Every January I had a love/hate relationship with the various clubs in which I instructed classes. To see so many newly resolved exercisers bearing down with grit, determination, and focus created the best kind of fitness energy. But, I also experienced loss when all my new bffs fell off the work-out wagon in March.
It's all too easy to jump on a train bound for personal growth. However, when you realize the train is actually only going around the corner to drop you off with some gloves, a shovel, and an instruction manual detailing the fact you have to work it out, grit disappears, determination turns to dreariness, and focus blurs to indifference.
A month ago, 80 of us retreated to the mountains for our annual getaway. For a few months leading up to the retreat, God stirred in my heart a desire to spur women towards deeper intimacy with him through scripture, prayer, and community. To be honest, I had pulled way back on my wearing sackcloth and eating locusts in the desert raving lunatic way of life. I feared I was wasting my breath, getting on people's nerves, or worse, wounding people who struggled deeply.
Thanks to the work of God in my life and to my good friend, Beth Moore, I'm over it. I've put my itchy prophet clothes back on and I'm out waving my crazy flag again. Aren't you so glad?
Through the teaching of Beth, God reminded me that loving people isn't enough. Truth is an important part of the equilibrium of investment. Without truth, love becomes an idol, an excuse, and even an enabler. Truth is not oppressive or crushing. Truth and love bring restoration and rest for our souls.
So, friends, let me say it again with fresh fervor: discipline results in growth, health, contentment, and freedom.
As you know, I believe scripture memory is a key discipline in taking in the Bible. When you use it in conjunction with reading, studying, hearing, and meditation, your life will be transformed. I know too many people for whom this is true, so you cannot argue with me. You can try, but I won't listen. Make all the excuses you want, but while you're wallowing in the mire, I'll be over here beckoning you to get out of the poop and into biblical life/mind/heart transformation.
At the retreat, around 50 women shocked me by showing up to a little side seminar to learn my scripture memory system. Yesterday someone told me that a young woman is still at it, and has jumped to two verses a week because I said if one was too easy, add another! Yes!
Galatians 6:9 this month. The train has dropped you off with your gloves, shovel, and instruction manual. Don't be surprised. Just get to work. I'll be right beside you. We can cheer one another on.
Are you still at it? How's your grit, determination, and focus? How many of you still need a packet? Does anyone need more cards? Do you need help? I love to help with this because I can't do it for you. It's all you and Jesus, the very best teacher and only true life-changer.
Through November I'm memorizing a couple of verses. I took my own advice after the retreat and memorized an extra one in October because my brain was up for the challenge. Maybe I can do the same in November. We shall see. Here are my November verses:
2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
I so want this to be true of my life, so I'm writing it on my heart to focus my hopes into discipline and determination.
In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
I often focus on the last days being difficult times, so I'm memorizing this as a reminder that the God gives us everything we need for life and godliness through his Spirit.
I'm so continually thankful and continually prayerful for each of you. I'll keep asking God to enlighten the eyes of our hearts!