LeRoy Eims on the importance of Scripture memory: "I think two of the master strokes of the devil have been to convince people he doesn't exist, and that Scripture memory is only for children. He remembers the humility of defeat when Jesus Christ, who was tempted in all points like as we are, met him with the Word of God." (What Every Christian Should Know About Growing; p. 26-27)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Psalm 23:6

Psalm 23:6
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Once again, begin the day by reviewing the first 5 verses you've learned.  Then add on today's verse - phrase by phrase, over and over and over again.

Today is your last day in Psalm 23!  Congratulations on learning a chapter of the Bible (or re-remembering it, if you're previously memorized it but need a refresher).

Take the next several days to review this psalm over and over until it is solidified in your memory.  We will continue with either Psalm 5 or 46 next - but probably not for about a week or so.  We're gone on holidays right now and I'm having difficulty keeping up with the posting.  Take this time to review Psalm 23 and any other chapters/books you've learned previously.  Feel free to also take time to research what you'd like to memorize next - I'm open to suggestions!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Psalm 23:5

Psalm 23:5
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Begin the day by reviewing the firsts 4 verses of Psalm 23.

Now learn v5, phrase by phrase.  If it's too long to do the whole chunk at once, just take it one sentence at a time, or even smaller - whatever works for you.  Don't get discouraged.  Just like the shorter verses, repetition is the key.

One thing to note - who is doing the actions in this verse?

Everything is done by God.
Everything is done through God's power.
Everything is done for God's glory.
It's not about us, it's about us glorifying Him.  And when we glorify Him, we will find that we have everything we need.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Psalm 23:4

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Begin your day by reviewing the first 3 verses of Psalm 23.

This one is slightly longer - take it one phrase at a time if you need to.  Repeat it over and over as you're getting ready for your day.

You're building a habit!  Keep it up!

Tomorrow is Sunday and will be a review day.  See you Monday for v5.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Psalm 23:3

Psalm 23:3
3 he restores my soul.  He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

Begin today by reviewing the first 2 verses and meditating on what they mean.  Then add in today's verse.

I love the part "for his name's sake".  Truly, that's why God does everything He does - for His name's sake.  For His glory.

Repeat the verse over and over and over until you think you have it.

Then review it throughout your day - take your spiral notebook with you - if you're consciously thinking about it, you'll find tons of opportunities to redeem the time!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Psalm 23:2

Psalm 23:2
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

Begin your day by reviewing v1.  Then move on to today's verse.  It's another short one, and another of the very familiar ones from this passage.

One thing I learned about this verse recently.....
Here in America, we visualize completely the wrong thing when we think of green pastures.  At least, I know I did!  I've always thought of it as these beautifully lush meadows, bursting with life.

But that's not the picture the Israelites had, and it's not what the psalmist meant.

It's hard to describe in such a short space/time (and even for me to remember it all exactly!) but the green meadows were actually rocky hills, and with the very small amount of moisture available in the area, small tufts of grass grow by these small rocks, and the Shepherd leads His sheep to those tufts of grass, and every day the sheep eat them, and there is just enough for what they need for that day.

In other words - God gives us what we need for the day, or even for the moment, when we need it.  This verse is not promising us a happy-go-lucky life with no problems along the way.  No, it's promising us that God will provide what we need when we need it, and not before - if we follow Him!  The grass is sparse and we can't find it on our own.   But we can trust Him, because He was faithful yesterday and the day before that and He will continue to be faithful today and every day.

And I think that's even more beautiful than what I originally imagined.  Don't you?

(from the Follow the Rabbi lectures by Ray Vanderlann with Focus on the Family.  Just googled it and found this video- you can see exactly what he's talking about, it drives the point even closer to home!  It's amazing - I highly encourage you to take the time - about 4 mins - to watch it.)
<iframe width="373" height="210" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/kdzhbv2eGxk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

And the still waters?

In the deserts, wadis can quickly kill. In fact, in that part of the world, more people die in the desert from floods than from starvation or dehydration. When it rains in the hills, water rushes through the wadis, creating flash floods that can’t be seen or heard until it’s too late to escape.
Sheep without a shepherd go to the wadis to find fresh water and have no hope of escaping the floods. It’s the shepherd’s job to find “still water,” that is, water that doesn’t risk death.

Again, it's not referring to a beautiful placid river running through lush meadows that you lounge beside.  It's about God leading you to water that refreshes and does not lead to death.

Repeat this verse over and over throughout your day, whenever you have a moment when your hands are busy but your mind is idle, and remember - God will give you what you need for this moment.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Psalm 23:1

Psalm 23:1
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 

You probably know this one!  And if you don't, it's short :)

Try to repeat it over and over as soon as you can when you get up.  Bring your spiral or iPhone with you wherever you go today - while making/eating breakfast and school lunches, while blow drying your hair.

Keep this a habit!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday Review

Today is Tuesday, so review the book of Titus today.

Tomorrow we start Psalm 23!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday review

Today is Monday so review both Psalm 1 and 121 today!

Since it's a little late to say we're starting something new tomorrow (that would leave you no time to get prepared), we're starting the next Psalm Wednesday.  It will be Psalm 23.  It is likely very familiar to most of you, but if you don't have it memorized, this is a "must have".  And it's only 6 verses, another pro for those of you just starting out with us. So, write it out on your spiral, or use your iPhone, or whatever works for you.

Psalm 23
 1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil;  my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Psalm 121 Review

Spend the next few days reviewing Psalm 121.  I'll look over the list of psalms we considered (on our Facebook group) and let you know soon which one we'll do next.  If you have any favourites or suggestions, feel free to let me know!

Spend time reviewing this psalm until it becomes totally ingrained in your memory. Once we've got it down, we'll review it every Monday from now on.

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
   where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth.
 3 He will not let your foot slip—
   he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
   will neither slumber nor sleep.
 5 The LORD watches over you—
   the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
   nor the moon by night.
 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
   he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
   both now and forevermore.

Meditate on the truths of this psalm.  What comfort in knowing our help comes from such a God as this!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Psalm 121:8

Today is Tuesday so review the book of Titus.

Today is our last new verse of Psalm 121!

Psalm 121:8
the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

The Lord will watch over you - no matter where you go, and no matter how long it takes.  His watchfulness, protection and guidance never ends.  Once again, this doesn't mean that nothing bad will ever happen to us.  But nothing will ever happen to derail God's plan for our lives.  Nothing can thwart His purposes. Nothing can happen to us that has not first been filtered through His hands, so if anything evil happens it must be for our greater good or simply for His glory.

Begin by reviewing the first 7 verses.  Then add today's verse - the final one for this psalm! Repeat it over and over and over again until you have it memorized, and then continually review it throughout the day.

Congratulations!!!  You did it!!  We will review this Psalm for a few days before beginning the next one.  From now on, we will always review this psalm on Mondays (along with Psalm 1).

Monday, April 9, 2012

Psalm 121:7

Today is Monday, so review Psalm 1!

Psalm 121:7
The LORD will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; 
God has a purpose for your life, and He will protect you, guide you and watch over you as you live your life for Him.  He will protect us as we fulfill His plan for our lives.

Begin by reviewing the first six verses of Psalm 121.

Now add today's verse.  Find time during your day when your hands are busy but your mind is idle - and spend that time learning the verse and reviewing what you've memorized so far.  You can do it!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Review Day

Happy Easter everyone!  We'll spend the day simply reviewing what we've learned this past week.  See you for another new verse tomorrow!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Psalm 121:6

Psalm 121:6
6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

This verse infers around the clock protection.  Not necessarily physically.  Satan is our enemy and he hates us and he will attack us.  But God is watching, 24/7, around the clock, day and night.  He is sovereign and nothing will happen to us without His knowledge, without His presence to get us through it.  This verse could also mean that God protects us from natural threats (such as the heat of the sun, the coldness of night).  It could even mean from actual threats (sunburn) and perceived threats (moonburn? no such thing, but God will protect us, even from our fears)

Once again, begin your day by reviewing the first verses of the passage.  Then add on today's verse.  All the verses so far have been fairly short - we're easing you in to things here!

Every day you do this, you're making it a habit.  This is not difficult, but it still requires a choice to do it.  This is one of the easiest ways I've found to make the Word a daily part of life.  But it still requires a deliberate decision to redeem the time.  It is worth it!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Psalm 121:5

Psalm 121:5
5 The LORD watches over you - the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
Begin the day by reviewing the first four verses of this psalm.  Then add on today's verse - isn't it a marvelous word picture?  If it wasn't for shade we could literally die in the desert.  This verse doesn't promise us a desert-free life, but it promises us that God will be our shade.  Meditate on the meaning of this verse as you memorize it.

Recite and review throughout idle moment in your day.  Laundry day?  Perfect opportunity!  Combing your kids hair?  Recite it to them!

In fact, I'm reciting these verses aloud with my kids as I make their school lunches in the mornings, so they're learning it with me! (Course, today's Good Friday, but I can still squeeze it in at some point today) They memorize so quickly, they can easily memorize during that one short stretch.  We review again after school or at bedtime.  Even if you don't "make" them memorize, it's good for them to hear you reciting scripture, both to see it's importance to you, and to benefit from simply hearing the Word of God spoken.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Psalm 121:4

Psalm 121:4
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
Slumber can mean the appearance of sleep, or inactivity.  Not only will God not sleep, He won`t even ever have the appearance of sleep or inactivity.  He is sovereign and He is watching over you, no matter what time of day, or what type of circumstances you are in.  God is also concerned about the group (Israel, the church) and the individual - you!

Begin by reviewing the first 3 verses.  Then work on just today`s verse.  Then all 4 of them together.

Start first thing when you wake up - whenever you have your first idle thought time - whether that`s lying in bed for a few minutes before you get up, showering, fixing breakfast.

Continue to review throughout the day, whenever you have a minute to spare.  You can get a lot of reviewing done in just a minute or too!

Developing the habit of memorizing and meditating on scripture takes commitment, but it so worth it.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Psalm 121:3

Psalm 121:3
He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber;
Start off this morning by reviewing the first two verses of Psalm 121.  Can you do it without looking?

Now move on to today`s verse.  Repeat it over and over again.  Once again, it`s a fairly short verse, so it shouldn`t take you too long to learn this one.  Just keep repeating it over and over again - while you`re brushing your teeth, blow drying your hair, putting on your makeup.

Once you have the 3rd verse down, start repeating all 3 of them together.  So far you`re still under 20 seconds.  Who can`t find 20 seconds in their day?  You can!!

Meditate on the verses and what they mean to you.  After all, we`re not memorizing for the sake of memorizing.  We`re memorizing to draw closer to God.

Isn`t it amazing that our God - the very Maker of heaven and earth - will watch over us with such care?!  He never sleeps, and He will never let you down.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Psalm 121:2

Today is Tuesday so review the book of Titus.

Psalm 121:2
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Today's verse answers the question from yesterday's verses.  David's help came, not from the altars of false gods on the hills, not from the hills themselves, but from the very Maker of those hills.  And that's where our help comes from too.

Start off today by reviewing yesterday's verse.  Then add on today's.  It's another short one thankfully!

Repeat it over and over as you get ready in the morning, as you're folding laundry or vacuuming.  Find moments that would otherwise be filled with mindless tasks and redeem the time!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Psalm 121:1

Today is Monday so don't forget to review Psalm 1.

Today is our first day in Psalm 121.  This is probably a very familiar psalm to you.  One of my daughters memorized this Psalm in either Sunday School or Girls Club, so this will be an easier one for me as I have some of it in my head simply from helping and hearing her memorize it.  A great reminder to memorize these portions verbally, out loud, and those around us will memorize without even trying to!

Psalm 121:1
I lift up my eyes to the hills — where does my help come from? 

One thing interesting to keep in mind about this verse is that at the time David wrote this, altars to false gods were built on the hills.  David was looking at this display of misled devotion and misplaced guidance and recognizing that his hope was not in these false man-made gods, but in the Almighty God, the Maker of heaven and earth.

This is a short verse, it likely only takes you about 5 seconds to say it once.  You could probably say this verse 10 times in 1 minute.  We easily have 1 minute in our day where we can redeem mindless time with the joy of meditating on and memorizing scripture!

Prop your spiral notebook (or iPhone, or whatever you're using!) on your bathroom counter and read it over and over while brushing your teeth or blow drying your hair.

Bring it in the kitchen and review while making school lunches or fixing breakfast or cleaning up the dishes.

By now you'll have it memorized I'm sure.  Continue to review it throughout the day - while driving or running errands.   Take a couple of minutes to review before turning on the radio.

Review the verse again before going to bed.  What could be better than going to sleep at night with the Word of God running through your mind?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Titus Review and Psalm 121 tomorrow

Hopefully you've spent the last 10 days reviewing Titus 3 and the entire book of Titus.  You've memorized an entire book of the Bible - congratulations!

From now on we will always review the entire book of Titus on Tuesdays so that you will never forget it, and not lose the benefit out of all that hard work!

Tomorrow we will start on Psalm 121 - so write out your verses on your spiral notebook!  Only 8 verses this time, so we're tackling an easier project after that long one.  We will likely do several psalms now before moving on to another large portion of scripture. I look forward to our continuing journey together!