We are revving up around here for SSMT 2015! The Scripture memory team we host and support every other year is the most extensive thing we do around here on the LPM blog so you can know that you are the size of an airbus on our ministry radar right now. We are elated about the year we have ahead and believe with all our hearts that God finds tremendous delight in this group of diverse women banding together to memorize His Word. Here is everything you need to know about how to participate in the 2015 Siesta Scripture Memory Team! Please be sure you make it all the way to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the information about our matching spirals.
First, a few things up front since many people joining us have no previous interaction here:
*For you new comers, an explanation of the name is in order. “Siesta” is just an endearment for “Sister.” There’s no club to join and no person you need to become. If you’ve trusted Jesus as your personal Savior, you’re a sister in Christ. If you don’t know Him, we’d love for you to stick around and get to know us and see if anything around here draws you. Everyone is welcome. Here’s a bit of our back-story on the weird name: When we first began the blog, it never occurred to any of us how much we’d come to love each other. As the community grew closer and closer and the participants more and more familiar with one another, one of you asked what name we should call each another. I tried to say, “I’ll tell you what we are: We’re sistahs!” but spell-check switched it to “siestas.” It stuck and that’s been us ever since. We even liked the thought that its actual meaning is to take a nap. We’ll know we’ve been a place of divine intervention if we’re a respite from the female competition and clatter out there. Only Jesus can give us that kind of relief in this exhausting culture.
*We call this a Scripture memory “team” because that’s exactly what we are. We cheer each other on, hold each other accountable, and urge one another to make it to the goal – 24 verses systematically memorized in 12 months – through a process that requires significant practice.
*Very often you will see me refer to SSMT. Just so nobody’s confused from the start, that is an abbreviation for “Siesta Scripture Memory Team.” If you’re not participating in SSMT, please know that we don’t limit the entire blog to our Scripture memory participants. It has a big presence on here because it’s twice a month but we still do lots of other things. Please don’t feel left out or forgotten.
*Why 24 verses? In previous years, we’ve found this to be a very doable pace: 1 verse every 2 weeks. If you do much more, you’ll tend to fall behind and not retain. If you do much less, the impact is negligible. You really can do this. So many of you will surprise yourselves with what you’re capable of doing in the power of the Spirit. Yes, it takes work but it’s tremendously fulfilling and the results are nearly immeasurable. Look at it this way: we’re going to be meditating on something: unforgiveness, toxic memories, misery, lust, greed, dissatisfaction, jealousy, competition. Let’s choose Scripture instead! Christ Himself said as a man thinks, so is he. He also said His words are spirit and life. This is work worth doing, Beloved. Never – NOT ONCE – have I ever known anyone to get to the end of a Scripture memory commitment and say that it didn’t make any real difference. Not a single time.
OK, NOW FOR THE INSTRUCTIONS. You can cut and paste these somewhere if necessary. Here’s how it will go:
1. On the 1st and 15th of every month of 2015 starting on New Year’s Day, you will find a post by 8:00 in the morning asking for your memory verse, suggesting one if you’re drawing a blank, and encouraging you in your process. In past years I’ve written all the posts myself but I thought maybe this year we needed to do something to shake it up a bit and make it extra-fun. I’ll still do all the posts on the 1st but the entries on the 15th will be written by a cross section of women from this community who’ve been asked to guest post. That means that, over the course of the year, you’ll hear from 12 of them. They’ll tell you a little bit about themselves, share the verse they’ve selected for that round, and why they chose it. We’ve also asked them to supply us with a picture so you can have a face to go with each name.
2.You are to enter the verse you’ve chosen to memorize for that two-week period within twenty-four hours of the post going up. I’ve been asked many times if it’s okay if you’re late supplying your verse and, yes, of course it is, but try to avoid doing it often. The people who make it to the very end of the year are overwhelmingly those who stay up with it month to month. Please know up front that one of the important parts of this process is the exercise of self discipline. This culture is mass producing self-indulgent narcissists. Year-long commitments like these that require punctuality and focused energy push back on that degenerating trend. All that to say, please don’t drop out if you get behind. I just want you to know that this will be much more successful if you treat it as a real, live commitment you are willing to work hard to keep.
3. When you clock in with your verse those two times a month, keep your comments limited to your name (first only if you prefer), city, verse and translation. Long comments on SSMT days are no-no’s. It won’t take you long to figure out why we maintain that rule. Wait till you see the powerful sight of hundreds if not thousands of verses flowing down the comment stream. It is a gorgeous sight. When you’re having a bad day, all you have to do is scroll down a few hundred of your sisters’ Scripture selections and I promise you, you’ll get a word. It’s a very powerful thing. Here is a sample comment:
Beth Moore from Houston, Texas: “May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.” Colossians 1:11 ESV
Always add your translation because so many of your sisters will want to know where you found the wording for your entry. One of the great impacts of this process is how much we reap from each others’ selections. Often you’ll see a sister say, “I’m doing the one so-and-so did last time!” (Yes, you can make a comment that brief. Those can be fun. Occasionally you’ll even see someone write, “For the sake of my marriage, I’ve chosen to memorize…” That’s okay, too, but try to keep it very succinct.)
4. THIS ONE IS KEY! As often as possible, choose a verse that means something to you in your present season or circumstance. This is the reason why we don’t all memorize the same Scripture. We’re not all going through the same things. The more you let God lead you to verses that direct you or edify your soul in your present circumstances, the more He will renew your mind toward your challenges. This is a huge part of 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 where we’re told to demolish strongholds and take our thoughts captive to Christ. If you don’t have a verse on your mind or you’re drawing a blank when the 1st or 15th rolls around, you are more than welcome to share the selection offered in the post. That’s one reason it’s there. You might also look at a few of the comments and see if one of theirs resonates with you. I say this next part with a grin: try to refrain from memorizing Scriptures that you think your spouse or your children need to learn. Memorize what you need to learn. That means do your best to avoid jotting your verse on a stick note and planting it on your bathroom mirror where your man can see it and repent of his sins. He probably won’t because he’s got your game. I bet you can guess how I know that.
5. I strongly recommend that you stick with only one verse to memorize each time. (This is just a recommendation and not a rule. You’re free to do whatever works for you.) Keep it simple and meaningful. (If I were addressing you live, I’d have you repeat that sentence back to me so just go ahead and say it out loud in order to nail it down. That sentence could be your best friend through this process.) If you do too many verses or get too complicated, you will soon be overwhelmed and want to drop out. Better to do 24 simpler verses over a 12 month period of time than a chapter over the first month then quit. We want this to be a discipline we practice for the rest of our lives. Think marathon. Not sprint.
6. Either shortly before or after making your entry each 1st and 15th in the blog comment, write the verse by hand in your spiral. (Again, that’s a recommendation and not a rule. I’ve discovered that there’s something about writing it with your own hand and picturing it later in your own handwriting that helps it sink into your memory bank. I’m not entirely sure why.) Take that spiral with you everywhere you go. Read it and read it and read it and read it. Do mental gymnastics with it. Flip that baby over and over. Many women have told me along the way that they’re not good at memorization and I truly understand that. I also beg to offer two responses: First, that may change. Give the Holy Spirit a chance to do something brand new with you. Second, even if you don’t get your verses down word for word, you are still meditating on them as you read and reread them. You still, thereby, accomplish one of the most important goals: captivating the mind to Christ. You just can’t lose on this one. Either way, it has a powerful effect.
NOW, about that spiral! In years past, we’ve created them here at Living Proof and shipped them to those who ordered them. But, to our slack-jawed surprise, last time we did it, 10,000 women signed up and nearly all of them ordered spirals. My beloved (SMALL!!!) staff and hardworking volunteers filled every one of those orders over about a 10-day mad-dash and, though they never lost their smiles, it flat-out nearly killed them! We are just too small a staff to handle that many orders. HOWEVER!!! We MUST have matching spirals! So, here is the perfect solution. Watch this tutorial and you’ll see how quick and easy it will be to prepare your spiral:
There are two sizes to choose between for your spirals. Click on the size cover you would like to print for yourself then adhere it using any of the methods we suggested. You can certainly use regular printer paper but cardstock works perfectly:
OK, I think that’s more than enough to get us prepared for January 1st but I so hope you’ll go ahead and get our huge wrap-up celebration on your radar because we want you to know how to qualify and plan to be there! It is the biggest blast ever.
Our Siesta Scripture Memory Team 2015 Celebration will on January 16, 2016. I’m telling you about it now so that you can have it for a little extra incentive. Our main incentive is the will and good pleasure of God, of course, but He Himself authored great celebrations in His Name so feel free to be excited at the thought. Also, I want you to have plenty of time to start saving your money for your transportation and hotel. We do not charge for the event. Your entrance fee is your well-used spiral. By the way, we will have Travis back again to lead us in worship and Amanda, Melissa, my whole LPM staff and volunteer team will be there to serve you. Here’s how you qualify to attend the celebration:
*Clock in by first name and city at least 21 out of 24 times. (But please make your goal 24 out of 24!) Let me reiterate that you can be late with your entry on a 1st or 15th of any month but, by the end of the year, there has to be a record in the comment sections of you signing in at least 21 out of 24 times on a SSMT post. Make sense? Please give us 24 hours to post your comment before you assume it got lost. We still moderate all comments and the amount we get on SSMT days necessitates a slower pace. Thank you for your cooperation!
*Bring your spiral to the celebration. Again, that’s your ticket in.
*If you’re planning to come to the celebration, be prepared to say any 10 of your 24 memory verses to another Siesta (of your choice) during the designated time at the celebration. (We get in pairs.) Some of you will be tempted to let this be a deal breaker but don’t back out! Siestas are really sweet and patient with each other and we are notorious for giving each other hints. We can even act out charades if necessary. If you’re one of those who genuinely struggles with memorization, just tell your memory buddy up front and she’ll give you all the grace you need. Tell her the gist of the verse as accurately as you possibly can. She’ll be able to tell that you are well acquainted with it and that the goal was accomplished even if you can’t say the verse word-for-word.
*Register for the event when the time comes. (December 1, 2015)
Whew! Have I exhausted you?? I’ve worn myself out. Sorry this is so wordy! We just want to answer as many of your questions up front as possible.
I want to say something to you before I wrap up this diatribe: this community means something to me. I love it because I love you. I think about you on an ongoing basis. So does my staff. You are a huge part of this ministry. Thank you for the privilege to serve you and to embark on another wild journey with you. May Christ find such delight here that He astonishes us with His presence, favor, and power.
So, welcome to Siestaville: women walking alongside women on our way Home, stirring up excitement toward that great day. SSMT is one way we do that. AND IT’S A WHOPPER. Let’s do it, Sisters, starting this coming January 1st! I’ll talk to you again about other things before then but I don’t want the New Year to take you by surprise.
I love you.
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