When I was a kid, the church secretary would give you a piece of candy if you quoted a verse for her. To be honest, most of the time I would cheat and just use the same verse each time. There was always the one kid who would quote John 11:35, “Jesus wept” (also known as the shortest verse in the Bible). We would all roll our eyes, but were secretly jealous that he beat us to it.
I never really knew the context of that verse, but I assumed it had something to do with Jesus dying on the cross. If I could think of something in Jesus’s life that would have made Him cry, that would have been it. But that is not the case at all. Jesus cried because His friend died. He knew that in a few moments that He was going to raise His friend Lazarus from the dead, but for the time being, Jesus mourned his friend’s death. Jesus came into his friend’s pain, and was there with them in that. That is so much more powerful to me, than Jesus weeping over His own pain.
When I say you should be memorizing scripture, the number 1 response I hear is, “but I don’t have a good memory.” To be honest, my memory isn’t that great either. But I spend time on it. What you spend time doing is what you will get better at. Here are a few tips to help you get started with Scripture memory.
Don’t start off trying to memorize the whole book of Matthew. Start off trying to memorize your favorite verse. Chances are you know that one pretty well already, since it is your favorite. Start a habit of reading that verse out loud 10 times a day for a week, and then the next week, try to quote it 5-10 times per day. Over time, that verse will sink in.
Don’t start off trying to memorize a genealogy. Pick a verse you want to remember. Memorize that.
Memorizing Scripture is simply repetition over time. Work on one verse until you have it down. That could be a...
I absolutely love podcasts. They are a great way to learn while you are doing other things like gardening, walking, or cleaning the kitchen! These are a few of my favorites these days.
This podcast is about being lazy with the things that don’t matter, and a genius about the things that do. I have learned so many tips and tricks from Kendra, and I am trying her “change your life chicken” this week and can’t wait!
Emily P. Freeman is one of my absolute favorite people! If you listen to one of her podcasts, you are going to want to listen to them all. If I am ever overwhelmed, I know I can put on her podcast and her gentle voice will help me to process everything in my brain, and come away with a clear mind and a simple next right step. I want to be best friends with her. Someone introduce me.
This one is hilarious, although some episodes may not be child friendly (there are some weird stories in the...
Growing up, I was always told to memorize scripture, because you could need to know a part of the Bible, and not have a Bible near you. Well now, I have a Bible in my pocket on my smartphone 24/7. That reasoning doesn’t hold water anymore. But I feel like now, more than ever it is so important to memorize scripture. Why?
In Romans 12:1-2 it says:
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
If we want to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds” we need to be renewing our minds! And that comes by changing what you think about on a regular basis. The Old Testament refers to this as meditation. When the Old Testament was written, there wasn’t a way to order a copy...
Do you ever read your Bible and then think, so now what? It is easy to pick out something to apply to your life when you are reading James, or some of the New Testament books, but how do you read a story from the book of Judges and then get some sort of daily action step for your life?
What if the goal of reading the Bible wasn’t an action step?
Yes, like James says, we shouldn’t be hearers of the Word and not doers. But what if the end goal of studying our Bible was to know God instead of to wrap up our reading time with an application point?
Instead of looking for what to do, what if we looked for how we could know God?
Do you ever feel like you just don’t have the words to pray? That is when I like to have Scripture help me in my prayers. The Psalms are full of prayers that people have prayed, and I use their words, and then rewrite them in my own words.
What verses stood out to you?
What parts did you relate to?
What parts did you not relate to?
What did you learn about God?
Pick one of these questions (or all of them, I am not the boss of you) and write about it for 5-10 minutes.
When I sit down to read my Bible, I always read with a journal and a pen as well. I like to take notes on what I read in the journal, and I also write down my prayers. I now have a huge box full of journals that have my heart poured out in them. I can go back through seasons of my life where I trusted God, seasons where I doubted God, and seasons that I didn’t think I was going to make it through but did. Having those journals is a record of God’s faithfulness in my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Like I said above, my journals are where I see God’s faithfulness the most in my life. When you are looking at life from a narrow lens of the right now, you miss out on what God has done in the past, and how He is using things that you didn’t expect for His glory and your good. Journaling is a good way to step back a little, and stop focusing so much on the...
I am trying something a little different over here today. My husband and I are the youth leaders at our church, and our students told me that if I made a YouTube channel, they would watch it. So instead of writing, I switched to video for the day! Let me know what you think in the comments or on social media!
I got my first house plant in November. I have always loved my mom’s Christmas cactus, so I bought one for my kitchen, and I very quickly fell in love with checking it every day for blooms and new growth. In the last 6 months, I have added 34 more plants to my house.
I did not go to the store and buy 35 plants, but I would pick one up here and there, and slowly adding to my collection.
Whenever we want to start a new habit, why do we always try to jump head first into that habit? If I had added 35 plants to my life overnight, and had to get used to all of their watering schedules at the same time, I would probably have 35 dead plants. Instead, by adding one or two at a time, I have been able to add them to my routine without killing anything.
If you want to get in the habit of daily Bible reading, don’t start off trying to accomplish the whole thing in 2 months. Simply read a section at a time. If you have never read the Bible before, start with a couple verses in...
If you ever borrow a book from me, I can almost guarantee that there is some marking inside of that book. I never read without a pen nearby, and my books show it. I put stars in the margins, I underline, I block in whole paragraphs. Reading should be an interactive activity, and I interact with a pen in hand. Why should reading my Bible be any different?
When I am reading the Bible I like to make notes in the margin of things I want to investigate further, questions I have, and patterns I see repeating. There are a couple of conversations that take place in the Old Testament that I have rewritten in the margins in my own words. Now there is definitely no space for that in a regular printed Bible, which is why I love journaling Bibles.
Journaling Bibles tend to have slightly thicker pages to them so that the marks don’t bleed through the page, and they have really wide margins so you can write what you want next to the text. I have seen people that write their prayers in the...