Monday, August 13, 2012

Memories That Matter

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

I learned Psalm 23 at church when I was very young. I still remember verses set to made-up tunes from summers in youth group. I attended a Bible camp in rural Wisconsin in elementary school because I had memorized 150 verses to receive a free week (twice!). I also placed third one year at the Bible Memory contest there. Unfortunately I did not keep up memorizing on a consistent basis and I regret that lapse.

As I teach our four children I have been reminded of the importance of being disciplined in Scripture memory. We have taught our children Psalm 23, Psalm 1, The Lord’s Prayer and some other verses. I now include Scripture Memory in our school plan. It is easier for children to memorize large amounts of information. But, it’s not just something for kids to do.

Scripture memory does not have to be complicated.

First, decide what you want to memorize.  
  • This link offers verses for different categories as well as a year by year guide that gives you approximately 50 verses per year.
  • Pick a chapter or verse that is important to you and you want to be able to remember anywhere, at any time.
  • Join me in memorizing a verse each week at BibleLearning on Memory Mondays.

Second, find ways to keep the verse close.
  • If you have a smartphone there are several free apps that allow you to post handy notes that you can click on and look at throughout the day.
  • Write the verse(s) on an index card and keep it handy.  Place it on your refrigerator, bathroom mirror or steering wheel.  Carry it in your purse or pocket.

Third, use different tricks to make memorizing fun and effective
  • Make up a tune or use a familiar melody to sing the words of the verse.
  • Make up actions for each part or phrase.  If memorizing with your family, this can be a fun thing to make up together.  It is also helpful for really little kids.  Our four year old twins still use some of the actions when they say Psalm 23 and they learned it over a year ago.
  • Write the verse down.  Say the verse aloud.  Read the verse.  The more ways you practice the verse, the faster it will be committed to memory.

Fourth, practice and review daily.
  • You should practice the verse you are learning every day until you have memorized it and move on to the next one.  If you have chosen to memorize one verse each week then you will have 52 verses memorized by the end of a year. 
  • What we often fail to do is review the verses we have memorized.  There is an excellent method described on the Simply Charlotte Mason site, but you can also set up a way to review that best fits your individual schedule.

Fifth, find a partner to memorize with you.
  • As with anything, it takes time to make Scripture memory into a habit.  That’s why it is a good idea to do it along with someone else.  Then you can challenge and encourage each other to keep memorizing.
  • Memorizing verses with your spouse and/or children is a great addition to any family Bible time.
  • I welcome anyone who would like to join our family on our memory plan.

As I desire to live intentionally and not waste the days that God has given me, I want to hide God’s Word in my heart and have it available to me at all times.  Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”  It points out how reading God’s Word, knowing it and having it close will help us to not sin.  Jesus was a perfect example of this when Satan tempted him in the desert before Jesus began His earthly ministry and He used Scripture each time to silence Satan’s arguments.  We have that same power available to us. So let’s make sure we are using the Bible and let it be “ a light on my path.”

No comments: