REMINDER: Tomorrow (January 1st) I’ll put up our first post for our first Scripture so don’t forget to get your spiral index cards today if you don’t already have them!! I’m very proud of you, Siestas! And so honored to be your servant. May Christ be greatly exalted and His Word be our double edged Sword!
UPDATE: Siestas, it’s 7:15 PM and we are already well over 500 strong! I am astounded. I have to tell you something. It’s not that terribly often that I just outright feel the unabashed pleasure of God. I certainly feel His love and approval but that’s not what I’m talking about right now. I’m talking about that glorious sense that God is really smiling over something. Maybe even laughing. When He’s really happy about a thing. Much of the time either life, busy-ness, self-condemnation or just plain sin gets in the way. But, Girlfriends, I feel it right this second. HE IS PLEASED WITH THIS. Sit back, take a second and feel His good pleasure. He LOVES this idea. And I guess you know what that means: it was His idea to start with. Which means He’ll also empower it. One last thing. A few of you commented that you want to become a Siesta in 2009. I’m so sorry that it sounds like some kind of club you have to join. Listen, if you are a girl and you are a Christian, you are a Siesta. Way back when we first began the blog, I was trying to call the women on here “sistas” (sisters) and spell check corrected it to Siestas and it stuck. Everybody’s welcome. It’s just an endearment for sister. You’re already loved and welcomed here!
Hey, Siestas? Anybody want to memorize some Scripture together this year? A few days ago my devotional was on making preparations for a visitation from God. It was based on the Old Testament Israelites preparing (actually RE-pairing) the Temple under the reign of King Josiah after the serious neglect of previous generations and restoring it to a place where God would want to dwell. It made me think that if I really want a Jesus-year – and I do – that there are several things I could do to prepare for it. This is one of them.
Scripture memorization has been among the most profoundly effective disciplines of the faith that God has ever given me to practice. Honestly, I think I would’ve lost my mind by now if He had not pasted His Word all over it. Every personal battle we face is won or lost on the playing field of our mind. I’m deeply serious when I tell you that I have some ongoing areas of relational challenge that would absolutely overtake my thought life with anxiety, fear, resentment and bitterness if I didn’t grab my index cards at critical moments and start saying my Scriptures. I did it as recently as yesterday when, concerning a particular situation, I thought to myself, “I cannot take this again.” It calmed me and kept me from acting like I felt. And then I slowly felt better. Scripture memory has long since been a necessity for victory for me. My mind is very prone to obsessive thoughts. I’ve never broken a single stronghold without deliberatly repeating Scriptures more times than my mind could repeat a destructive or unhealthy thought. The Truth finally trumps the lie or comforts the hurt. God prevails and I get the victory. This is the essence of 2 Cor. 10:3-5.
SO, yesterday I was thinking to myself that if I really wanted a Jesus-year, I needed a fresh commitment and plan for Scripture memory for 2009 then wondered to myself who might partner with me. I’ve practiced the discipline for years by myself but the times I’ve been most victorious and consistent with it have been those times when I enlisted accountability. So, who could I get to be my partner, I wondered? Then the thought just popped into my head: SIESTAS! After all, what on earth is a Siesta for if not to stir you up to love and good works and all the more as the Day is drawing near (Heb. 10:24,25)?
SO, anybody want to do this with me? Let me say quickly that there’s no pressure to sign up or condemnation here if you don’t. Many of you have your own accountability groups for various Spiritual disciplines and that’s fantastic. Face-to-face is best of all. Others are up to their eyebrows in commitments already. I certainly do understand that! I’m just making the offer to anybody who wants to. Don’t just do it because you need to. Do it because you want to. We will never sustain a practice based solely on what we need. At the end of the day, each one of us does what we want to.
Don’t worry. This won’t take over the blog or make you feel left out if you don’t sign up. It will just be an additional thing among many that we’re doing on here. That said, here’s what I have in mind so that you can think it over. We’re going to make this really doable.
*Commit to memorize (or seriously meditate on) 2 Scriptures a month. See? Very, very doable! Doesn’t seem like much at first but imagine that, in exactly one year, you’ll have memorized 24 new Scriptures! That, my dear sister, is a feat. The reason why I threw in the parenthetical “or seriously meditate on” part is this: a number of people have told me through the years – especially those in their 50s, 60s, and 70s or those of any age with chronic ADD – that they just can’t memorize. OK, so meditate! Listen, the whole purpose of the process is to take our minds captive to the knowledge of Christ and demolish strongholds or nip potential ones in the proverbial bud. As long as those Scriptures are rolling around in your head, your mind is being held captive to Christ-centered thoughts and led away from destructive or carnal thoughts whether or not you’re getting the words in the exact right order. At least three huge things happen when we memorize: our brains are bathed. Our brains are sharpened. Our ammunition is loaded.
*Sign up on this post with your name and the city where you live. Really give it some serious thought before you jump on here and sign right up. Let’s pull together a group that makes it all the way to next December! Do you really want to do this all year long? Will you commit to hang with it? Then sign up, you darlin’ thing!
*Watch for posts on the 1st and 15th of every month where I’ll ask you to turn in the Scripture you’re feeling led to memorize. (You’ll write it all the way out in the version of your choice and put the reference with it because one of your Siestas might read it and want to memorize it next.) This is an important part of our process! We’re NOT going to memorize the same Scriptures. I’ve learned through the years that we have the most victory with the verses that we each need most. Ask God to give you what He wants to prioritize for you this year then listen carefully through your quiet times, your Bible studies and your pastor’s sermons for verses that really resonate with you or that you know you really need. He’ll highlight one of those in your heart. Choose it with confidence. You’ll most easily memorize what means most to you.
*Buy a brand new set of index cards with a spiral that is only for this Scripture memory plan. (Most grocery stores and pharmacies have them. Easy to find.) You’ll need to have it by New Year’s Day so that you can write your first verse in it. Keep it with you A LOT. The car is a really great place to practice your Scriptures. Also be sure to get them out and say them every time you’re feeling tempted to obsessive thoughts. You will be amazed at the impact God’s Word will have on your thoughts. This right here, Girlfriends, is how we learn to wield the Sword of the Spirit.
*Watch your prayer life change. Check out John 15:7-8. The more God’s Word abides in us, the more the mind of Christ is developed in us. The end result will be that we will pray more and more of God’s will and get more and more of what we’ve asked. Do not think for a moment that praying in the will of God narrows your requests. It blows them wide open! Ask Him in this Jesus-year to explode your effectiveness in prayer then watch it happen.
*Have fun with it! Scripture memory is some work but it’s also really fun. Especially if we do it together!! Anybody game?