Monthly Archives: February 2012

Made to Crave

Dear Friends,

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent. I am relatively new to the tradition of observing Lent, so I won’t at all profess to be an expert in the area. In fact, last year was the first in which I ever attempted an observance of the season. If you too are new to this tradition, or would like to learn more, I found some helpful information here, at biblegateway.com

This year I decided that in addition to giving up something for Lent, I would read a book by Lysa TerKeurst called “Made to Crave, Satisfying your deepest desire with God, not food.” It has come highly recommended, and I’m delighted that a number of friends have indicated an interest in joining me. If you have read this book, or are planning to read it, or would simply like to make any kind of comment concerning Lent or desiring God, please do so below. And as always, I encourage you to make comments on each other’s comments!

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, let us also love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is made complete in us.”  I John 4:10 – 12

In His Love,

Christy

Verse 4

Time to share our 4th verses! Thank you so much for stopping by! If you are new to scripture memory, Welcome!!! It’s never too late to start! If you have been here before, you know the drill… please share the verse or verses you are working on for this time period, whatever you like about how those verses came to you, feel free to share anything that is going on in your life, ask for prayers, comment on other peoples’ comments, and if you memorized scripture last year, please share your verses for last year! Thanks so much!

On February 15 of last year, I was still reading Francis Chan’s “Forgotten God,” about the Holy Spirit. I was struck by these words, spoken by Jesus:

John 14:15-17

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

What a promise! The Spirit of truth, with us and in us! How exciting! This was a more difficult passage for me to memorize (and a somewhat challenging book to read), but I found that because I really had to work at it to get in engrained in my brain, it has stuck with me and returns to me often. Some verses and passages I worked on last year came easily to me, and others were a bit more work. When I am struggling, it can help me to look for patterns or symmetry in the verse. For example, at the beginning of this passage, it is Jesus speaking of first himself, then the Father, then the Spirit of truth, the Trinity. In the next sentence, the word “him” is used 3 times in referring to the Spirit. This symmetry not only helps me commit the verses to memory, but helps me appreciate the beautiful literary quality of so many of the passages.

It was also at this time that I discovered that there is more than one NIV (you probably already knew that). I had been working from a couple of different Bibles, and since I was having trouble memorizing these verses, kept referring to my Bibles to refresh my memory. At some point I realized that the translations I was using, while both NIV, were worded very differently. And I found that, as a general rule, I prefer the NIV 1984. These verses, however, are from the NIV. This confusion could be part of the reason why I had so much trouble getting them to stick… What about you? Do you have a favorite version for memory work? For study?

Also, as a general note on scripture memorization, a very sweet Siesta in Houston gave my friend Cara an invaluable tip. She had done the memory challenge before, and said that she works on her new verses during the week, then on Sunday she reviews her older verses so as not to forget them completely. I have found this to be a great way to keep the old verses fresh!

And now for the new! If you’ve been here before, you know that this year I am working on the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5 – 7, with a group of ladies. I seem to be confusing some people by guessing ahead which verses we will be covering (Cara is posting weekly while I am sticking with the 1st and 15th of each month), so this time I will simply say that we are currently up to Matthew 5:12.  Our most recent verses have dealt with persecution, and if you are interested in joining in the conversation (which has been fascinating) you would be most welcome to join us by clicking here.

Matthew 5:9-12

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.   11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Your turn! I look forward to hearing from you, and I absolutely LOVE that so many of you are commenting on each other’s comments. I was really hoping for a community here, not a following. Thank you for blessing me as you allow the Lord to use you in blessing each other!!!

One last note: We have been talking about a book, “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst. Some of the ladies here have read it and many of us would like to, so some of us are going to read it together starting on February 22, the first day of Lent. I will put up a short post that day where everyone can chime in with their comments about the book. We’d love to have more company, please feel free to join in! You have a week to get your copy if you don’t already have one!

The Lord bless and keep each and every one of you!

Christy

February 1 Verses

Well friends, there is much to share this time, but I’ll try to be brief. I was blessed to pieces to be able to travel to Houston on January 20 for Beth Moore’s Siesta Scripture Memory Celebration. I met Siestas (Beth’s code name for sisters from her blog community) from all over the country who spent 2011 committing God’s word to their hearts. I can’t even begin to describe how it felt to be in a room full of 1,000 plus women who were brimming with the Holy Spirit, gained at least in part through the discipline of scripture memory. If you ever had any doubts about whether memorizing scripture was for you, please read some of their testimonies here, on Beth’s blog.

If that doesn’t convince you, perhaps Ann Voskamp will. She wrote a blog this week about her scripture memory goal this year. You can read what she has to say by clicking here.

And last but not least, for now, what about John Piper’s two cents? He makes a convincing case here for the importance of memorizing scripture.

I will tell you that many years ago I made a new year’s resolution to read my Bible daily. After a few years of making that a resolution, I realized it wasn’t really a resolution anymore, it was a habit, it had become a discipline. Same thing with daily prayer, there was a time when that needed to be a resolution for me. Now it’s a habit, a discipline. I am not trying to toot my own horn here, I’m just saying that after a while of doing something that is really good for you, that has a good impact, and that bears fruit, that thing can become a habit rather than a chore or item to put on a list. And your affection for it can grow. Memorizing scripture has become that way for me. I can’t even imagine not memorizing the Word. It has blessed me to my core and borne fruit in such a way that I almost crave it. I can’t urge you strongly enough to put aside any thoughts that you can’t, and just do it. You can! And you won’t regret it!

My verses for February 1, 2011 were I Thessalonians 5:16-18:

16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

These verses came to me through my daughter. By this time last year, the kids were well aware that I was memorizing verses. I had insisted that we all repeat I Corinthians 13:4-8, substituting our own names for “love” until they all had it memorized themselves. Emma’s Sunday school lesson had been on these verses from Thessalonians, and she thought they would make good memory verses for me. She was right!

A few days later, I was reading Francis Chan’s book about the Holy Spirit, “Forgotten God,” and he mentioned I Thessalonians 5:19,

19 Do not quench the Spirit.

Well, I don’t believe in coincidence, so I felt that the Lord was prompting me to add another verse to my short passage, and I tacked this on. I have seen these verses pop up everywhere this year. At the SSMTC, all 3 of the women in my group who recited our verses to each other had chosen this passage (although I was called an overachiever for tacking on v. 19). And if I recall correctly, verse 18 pretty much sums up Ann Voskamp’s life-altering book, “1000 Gifts.” If you are thinking of memorizing scripture but aren’t sure where to start, this passage is a great place! You can even break the verses up and do them one at a time.

This year I am memorizing Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5, 6 & 7. I have only just begun, but I can’t express how these words are affecting me. My prayer is that they will truly affect how I live and love those around me. My verses for this time are Matt 5: 8-12:

8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

I’d love for you to join me in learning more about this world-changing sermon here.

Now it’s your turn! Please post your verses in the comments below, and if you memorized last year, please share your last year’s verses and any ways that you were impacted by memorizing scripture. Also, if you have any helpful tips for others who are taking on the challenge this year, I’m sure that would be much appreciated! Additionally, Beth’s ministry hosts a celebration every other year, so I hope that all of you will consider traveling to Houston in January 2014 for a time of unbelievable blessing, Lord willing! Meanwhile, perhaps we can come up with our own way to celebrate this year’s memory efforts together in January 2013. I’m open to suggestions!

Thank you for coming, and the Lord bless you and keep you, dear ones!

Christy