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Monday, October 28, 2013

Quiet Time: Scripture Memory Card File

How to Build a Scripture Memory Card File

I told everyone in my last blog that I'd share a very simple method that will not only get you memorizing scripture but will guarantee your ability to recall what you’ve committed to memory weeks, months, and even years later.So, here it is:
  1. Get some 3 x 5 index cards with a  file box
  2. Label the divider tabs as follows: 
    • New
    • Sunday
    • Monday
    • Tuesday....etc

  3. Write down your first memory verse on a 3 x 5 index card
  4.  Place it behind "New" tab. (see picture at number 2 above)
  5. Review it every day until you have it memorized. 
    • Actually I carry it around in my pocket and review it all day. That's why my cards look so frumpy!
  6. On the day you memorize it, place it behind the divider tab for that day. 
    • In other words, if you begin working on a verse Monday and finally get it memorized by Thursday, you'd stick the verse behind the Thursday tab. (again see #2 above)
  7. Now, here's how you guarantee that you'll never forget it
    • Each day of the week you'll pull the verse out from behind the divider for that day and see if you can still recall it without messing up the words or address. (no cheating)
    • If you don't remember it, place it back behind the "New" tab and begin at step 5 again.
OK, time for a personal confession. I've not reviewed some of my old cards lately; therefore, I've forgotten many of the verse addresses. Looks like there are going to be quite a few cards behind the "Now" tab again!
Other things to do with your card:
  • Use the back of the card as a journal, noting why the verse is important to you and how God is is working in your life through it at that moment.
    I add a few words of the verse to get me started when first trying to memorize it/
  • List any cross references that help shed light on the verse.
  • Note the day and date that you memorize the verse. You'll be amazed to see several years later the things God was revealing to you through scripture at that particular time in your life.
  • Draw a picture that helps you recall the scripture especially if it's part of a larger idea. (Once I drew a picture of a lighthouse with the foundation representing one verse, the structure another verse, and the light as the third part of a three part idea of the Word being my foundation, strong tower, and light. Hey, don't laugh, it worked for me!

  • I have a pastor friend who says that he took it one step further. First, he makes another set of dividers for prayer requests. Next, he writes down the request and places it behind the "New" tab. Finally, he moves the card to the day the request was answered. Now, that's a man of faith!

On a side note:  I'd suggest moving your verses to a monthly review file once you feel that you've gotten them well in hand and can recall them at will.

By the way, there are many variations on this idea. Google "Scripture Memory Index Cards".

Here are a couple of links to home school moms with ideas that may be helpful. (much more detailed than my version) Go moms!:

Scripture Memory Box

You've gotta love a mom who's tech savvy.  

Check out this YouTube video:


Don't forget to comment back with how you're doing, as well as, any other ideas you may have that will help us all memorize more scripture.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Quiet Time: What's In Your Heart

What’s In Your Wallet Heart

The law of his God is in his heart; His steps do not slip. – Psalm 37:31

We’ve all seen the credit card commercial with the tag line “What’s in your wallet?” insinuating their company’s ability to keep people safe and confident. The truth is security can’t be found in a card.

Talk really is cheap, isn’t it? But when God speaks we can have full confidence in what He says.

His words are tried and true. That’s why we must cultivate the habit of memorizing scripture. We need to have the truth deep within our mind, will, and emotion – our soul, as well as, ready on our lips.

When we allow His word to dig deep within our heart we find confidence and strength beyond what we ever thought possible. We find a ready answer to doubts and fears. We find definitive direction and firm footing for life’s myriad questions and quandaries. We find that God really is with us, a very present help in time of trouble.

God wants His followers to memorize bible verses. He wants His word to be fixed in our hearts and minds (Deut. 11:18) and His laws always passing before our eyes (2 Sam. 22:23). God wants us living in line with what we learn and memorize (Deut. 6:6) because He knows that He is our best hope for a bright future and only true security.

Furthermore, and practically speaking, memorizing scripture is the only way to have a biblical world view. A right resolution to the world's wrong solutions.

Now I know, that most of us believe that scripture is worth memorizing; however, we’ve not developed a systematic way of doing it.

In my next blog, I will share a very simple method that will not only get you memorizing scripture but will guarantee your ability to recall what you’ve committed to memory weeks, months, and even years later.

Stayed tuned (I'll include pictures)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Quiet Time: The Word

The Word

Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. – Psalm 119:89

God's word is settled in God's kingdom and nothing on earth will ever affect it.

Back when Matthew, my son, was in grade school, his teacher stopped to talk to my wife in the car line and told her about a funny conversation she'd had with him that day. She asked him when he liked to read. Matthew said he read every morning with his mom before coming to school. The teacher asked, "And what is it that you like to read so early in the morning?' to which Matt replied, "The Word." "The 'word' she asked; what word?" to which Matthew replied again, "The Word." Finally, it dawned on his teacher what he meant and she asked, "Do you mean the Bible?" Matthew nodded and gave her look that said, "Doesn't everybody?"

Good and bad habits are developed the same way; through repetition. Spending time in the bible each day is a good habit and one that brings eternal blessing into our lives.

Check out these scriptures. We may even see a couple here to memorize:

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
God's word is eternal and what He promises He will do.

Psalm 119:160 All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.
God's word is all together good and will never change.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever."
God's word is as unchanging as the One who spoke it and nothing in this world compares.

The bible will never change, but it will always change us when we bend our will to the word.

By the way, my son is in college now, and his morning habits are different, but I was encouraged to find sitting on the night stand next to his bed two books stacked within reach. A copy of Matthew Henry's Commentary and "The Word", the Holy Bible.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Quiet Time: God Is Thinking Of You

God Is Thinking Of You…Right Now

Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count. 

– Psalm 40:5

I have a friend who is struggling with a tough addiction. Sometimes he feels overwhelmed and defeated. I believe God’s not done with him yet and that His plans are beyond anything either one of us have considered.

Here are some encouraging scripture verses I shared with him.

(I get the impression that someone else out there needs to hear them too)

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. – Psalm 40:5

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them! – Psalm 139:17

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. – Isaiah 55:8

Press on in the power of the LORD.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Quiet Time: What Do I Care

What Do I Care

Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. – Philippians 2:4

I have a confession to make. I don’t stop to help people on the side of the road much.
 Frankly, it isn’t because I'm uncaring, but because there are so many weirdos around.
However, on my way to church the other morning, I stopped to pick up a guy walking to work.  When I pulled up beside him I noticed that he had grease on his hands and dirt on his pants and shoes. The interior of my car is tan, and I’m pretty meticulous about keeping it clean. I’ve got to say, I was working hard not to show the frustration of him dirtying things up; but I went ahead and asked him to hop in; and, he did!

He asked where I was headed; I told him and added that I was the worship pastor at the church around the corner from his business. We had a pleasant conversation and we parted with him saying what I’ve heard so many times before, “May-be I’ll come by and visit your church.” The fact is that I’ve never, I repeat NEVER, had anyone visit any church at which I’ve ministered after giving me this line. 

Actually, I’ve come to take the phrase the same way I consider the greeting, “Hi, Doug; How are you doing?” I know they really don’t care how I’m doing; they’re just being cordial. But what if, the next time we asked someone how they’re doing we actually stop to shake their hand, look them dead in the eye, and wait for them to genuinely respond? I’ll wager they’ll stutter before answering.

By the way, the inside of the car had a long grease stain that never completely came out, but I’m glad I stopped to help. Who knows, may-be I was the only guy who cared.

You may enjoy reading the parable of the Good Samaritan again.
Here’s the link: (Luke 10:25-37)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Quiet Time: What Is Required

What Is Required

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? 
– Micah 6:8

To be skilled as a musician requires consistent dedication.  No matter how skilled he becomes on an instrument, he can never stop practicing the basics. 

I remember waiting in an underground offstage wing at Disney World. Our band was scheduled to perform at the Tomorrow Land Theater. We were required to be in place 45 minutes prior to the show. As I waited, I listened to a highly trained (and paid) Disney cast member practice scales on his clarinet. Over and over he moved tediously through the basic routine that I know most musicians learn in the first few months of study.

As I took my place on the rising underground platform I marveled at the clarinetist's dedication as he continued to practice. 

After an hour, our show completed and the stage dropped itself back to its original position below ground. You can imagine my surprise when the first thing I heard after the platform came to rest was the sound of a clarinet smoothly gliding up and down the chromatic scale.  Two hours of practicing nothing but arpeggios! Now that’s going beyond what is required!

If we’re not careful, we can find ourselves in the company of complacent Babylon; demanding God’s discipline and intervention (Isaiah 47:10). Oh, we may still attend church, give our money and talk as if we’re doing just fine, but in our hearts we’ve become rebellious and out-right sinful (Micah 6:7).  

Look, God doesn’t want our half-hearted attendance or our attempts to buy Him off with sacrificial gifts. In fact, He doesn’t ask for any sacrifice at all, but the sacrifice of all. Everything that keeps us from acting right, loving right, and walking right in humility with our God must go (Proverbs 21:3).

Suggested Prayer: Father, I acted judgmentally toward _______ today, please forgive me and help me to make it right with him. Lord Jesus, I don’t want to be unmerciful or unkind to others, please change me. I lay my heart in your hands; mold me into who You want me to be. 

 Men will part with any thing rather than their sins; but they part with nothing so as to be accepted of God, unless they do part with their sins. – Matthew Henry

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Quiet Time: How to Love Life

How to Love Life

 Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 
– 1 Peter 3:10

How to love life and see good days:

  1. Say nothing evil
  2. Say nothing hurtful
  3. Do no evil
  4. Do good
  5. Seek peace
  6. Pursue peace

Looks like a good plan.

May God empower me to do it?

READ: 1 Peter 3:8-22