Archive for the ‘Scripture Memory’ Category

2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 11!

Hey, Everybody! I am jotting this post several days in advance because I’ll be at a Living Proof Live in Atlanta, Georgia the day this goes up. In fact, if you read this before 11:15 CST (12:15 Atlanta time) on Saturday, we’d be incredibly blessed if you’d pray for our remaining time to be so flooded with the presence of God that we can hardly bear the glory.

I’m so proud of you for making it this far in our Scripture memory process! Sisters, you have worked hard. Let yourself feel the holy nod of God. He has tremendous joy in seeing His children esteem His Word highly enough to store it like treasures in the vault of their hearts. We’ve arrived at a milestone of sorts in this journey. June is tremendously significant for our team because this is the month we come to the halfway marker. Once we get into July and August we have less memorization in front of us than we have behind us. That’s a big deal.

This time around I’m choosing a verse that I’ll be challenging the attendees to memorize at the Atlanta Living Proof Live. I’m not sure a verse could be more fitting for the pure act of praise. I love Scriptures that not only speak about God but speak straight to God. Get a load of this one:

Beth, Houston. O Lord, You are great, mighty, majestic, magnificent, glorious, and sovereign over all the sky and earth!  You have dominion and exalt Yourself as the ruler of all. 1 Chronicles 29:11  The NET Bible

Any of us who memorize a fair amount of Scripture have certain go-to approaches that have helped us along. If you’ve got a method that is working, by all means, go with it! But, if you’re interested in memorizing the same verse and would like some suggestions about how to tackle it, I’ll share what works for me. Keep in mind that the methods of Blonder Than She Pays To Be could be madness to someone else so take this or leave it depending on your learning style.

With any verse, I start looking almost immediately for how I can reason out the word order. The first thing I’m going to notice in 1 Chronicles 29:11 is that there are 6 rapid-fire descriptions of God in the first sentence. In this verse, I’d reason that it’s fitting  for the word “great” to be first among the descriptions because many of us are accustomed to using the terminology that God (or the Lord, in this case) is great. It’s an easy, accessible word. The next three descriptions all begin with “M”: mighty, majestic, magnificent. As I prepare for Atlanta, I’ll be saying those three words over and over in that order so that they’ll get ingrained in my thinking. They have an amplifying rhythm to them, too, because the first one (mighty) is two syllables, the second one (majestic) is three syllables, and the third one (magnificent) is four syllables. Does that help at all with the word order and how they roll off your tongue? Say them until you feel the syllables build and you might latch onto them pretty quickly.

After the beginning “G” (great) and the 3 “M’s”, we have another “G.” This time it stands for “glorious.” That’s a word I love to say so I’m hoping I can remember it pretty easily. G-M-M-M-G. Are you beginning to catch on? (I think I just heard somebody yell “NO!” Was that you?? I tried to warn you that I can make things harder than they have to be. Laughing. You might need to be the one telling your sisters here how to tackle a wordy verse. Just give me an “E” for effort here and maybe an “A” for affection. I do so seriously love you.)

The last of the 6 descriptions is “sovereign.” To me, that’s always the final word on anything that has to do with God. If I’m confused or I can’t fit in my brain why this happened or why God approached a particular thing a particular way, I finally come to a measure of peace by stating this biblical truth: He is sovereign over all things. In the exact words of 1 Chronicles 29:11, “over all the sky and earth.” I love visual language and that, Sister, is plenty visual. Span the galaxies in the universe with your imagination then put your scope on our planet and zero in. (I know I’m really pushing it right now with some of you but the way I’d keep it straight that “sky” comes before “earth” is that it starts with an “S” like “sovereign” right before it. If I’m getting on your last nerve, never mind.)

Then put the finishing touches on the verse with this: You have dominion and exalt Yourself as the ruler of all!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not expecting that we’d have it down pat in the brief amount of time it’s taken us to walk through those few paragraphs but what about 15 days? That’s how long we’d have to get those words steeped into our souls. Could we get them down over the course of two weeks? Yes, ma’am, I do believe we can! And, if not word-for-word, just think how much we’ve meditated on descriptions of our God! That is time NEVER wasted. Let’s ask God to give us the supernatural unction to accomplish this memorization and remind Him how much glory He could receive from our being able to extol His preeminence like that over and over while we’re…

praying…

driving…

walking through our neighborhoods…

on our treadmills…

rocking our babies…

getting chemotherapy…

getting physical therapy…

sitting with an elderly loved one…

healing from a heartbreak…

or so happy that we need some way to tell Him how marvelous we think He is before we burst.

Of course, most of you have your own Scripture selections and I have just put you through the wringer for nothing! So, whether you’re sharing 1 Chronicles 29:11 or bringing your own verse to the table, let’s see them! I’m blessed almost out of my bleached blond mind to get to do this with you, Sister. You are a tremendous joy to me.

 

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2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 3!

Hey, Everybody! Welcome to Verse 3! One month down, only eleven more to go! I say that with a grin because I don’t want it to fly by. There are stressful aspects to what we’re doing here on our team because victory is labor intensive and demands focus and discipline. You can’t really cheat at your memory work. I mean, either we take the time for the constant repetition until it’s embedded underneath that skull of ours or we don’t. But, at the same time, it’s also rejuvenating, don’t you think? And fun? And, admit it, the team aspect of it is glorious.

In fact, I hope God is using this whole process to bring some of you back to life. I’m picturing all of us women like that valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37. Scattered in that broad dell of ours are skeletons of dead-tired, depleted girls from all over the United States and in at least a half dozen other countries. Thousands of us. The breath of God’s words falling on us, rattling our bones, wrapping us with new wine skins, filling our lungs, and beginning to raise us to our feet: a mighty army brandishing Swords. (Eph. 6:17) We use these swords to battle darkness and not one another. We are not Peter who, in an impulsive fury, left poor Malchus with one less ear in John 18:10. There they were, in the most critical moment in human history thus far and Jesus had to stop what He was doing and stick the man’s ear back on the side of his head. (Luke 22:51) Enough of this! Jesus commanded. The people around us who we are called to reach and serve in Christ’s name are not drawn to weapons and shredders but they are indeed drawn to courage and valiance and gracious strength. A well-trained soldier knows who his enemy is and who his enemy is not.

I’m looking forward to your verses! I am starting some memory work out of the one-chapter book of Jude today. I find this verse fascinating because the inspired penman really meant to write his audience about one thing when God sidetracked him to another. These dimensions of divine inspiration make my mind spin. I love thinking about it. Here goes mine:

Beth, Houston. Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude 1:3 (ESV)

Contend for the faith. Lord, show us, teach us, equip us, fill us, and anoint us with holy affection, sound minds and doctrine to contend for the faith. Show us how to fight for our faith without wounding and scarring the people we were called to influence in the process. This can get tricky. Show us how it’s done.

I’m honored to serve you, Sisters, and to draw swords with you in this battle against the blackest darkness. Built up in Christ by the breath of the Spirit, focused and deliberate, we can be a mighty army.

OK, let’s have it. Your names, cities, verses, references, and translations.

Live and love well out there today, you hear?

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2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 2!

We’re off and running, Sweet Things! And 11,000 strong!!! Oh, how I pray that God will grant us the divine favor and indwelling power to keep it up month after month and finish 2013 in the multiple thousands. What joy He and we would have! For now, we take it step by step, one verse at a time. Don’t get caught up wondering how in the world you’re going to memorize 24 verses when you’re having a hard time memorizing the first one. That will sink your Scripture memory boat for sure.

I make you this promise based on my experience and the experience of many others: the more you memorize, the more you’ll get the hang of it. I was going to say that the more you memorize, the easier it gets but it’s not easy and that’s part of what makes it such a victory to celebrate with Jesus. I do believe I can tell you with confidence, however, that your tenth verse will very likely be easier to memorize than your first one. By that time, you’ve quit letting your nay-whining old nature tell you that you can’t do it and you shouldn’t have even tried. A big part of the battle in the first month is simply telling that self-destructive echo in our heads to shut its mouth. It’s replacing “I knew I couldn’t do it” with “Oh, yes I can. I can do all things through Christ.”

Persevere! Let’s not be quitters! God would rather us make it to the end of the year still stumbling over some words than throwing our hands up and quitting at the first imperfect recitation. Even if we don’t get our verses down perfectly, the pursuit itself is the very art of meditation. Nothing about it is a waste of time. Just think of how it helps to break the mental loop of rehearsed offenses. We’re going to be fixated on something. That’s how our minds often work. But we get to choose what.

So, right now say verse 1 out loud the very best you can.

Tremendous job. Now, let’s add our second one to it.

I totally love my verse this time around! It came up in my Scripture reading during my quiet time early Sunday morning. Here it goes:

Beth, Houston. All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13 ESV

Isn’t that fabulous? I’m choosing this verse specifically so that I can turn it into intercessory prayer. Mind you, I’m not “claiming” it like I’d be apt to do with a promise more clearly obvious under the New Covenant. I’m reluctant to claim the fulfillment of a promise made straight to Israel for myself or people in my world unless I know that we have a coinciding New Covenant promise.  I’d have to see consistency to pray it as one fervently counting on it. Isaiah 54:13 carries obvious elements that are very consistent with the promises of Christ to us. He promised that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and He blatantly gave us His peace but where I’m asking God to do an Isaiah 54:13 work in my family is the emphasis on ALL my children. I want every single one of them to be students of Christ Jesus, to love His Word and His ways with a passion beyond the natural realm, and for His peace to be great upon them and contagious. If you’ll look in the Scripture’s context in Isaiah 54, especially in verses 11-17, you’ll see that V.13 is within the promises God made specifically to Israel and scheduled for fulfillment in a time yet to come. So, no, I’m not claiming it, so to speak, BUT, I am indeed asking for it. That’s fair game.

God is not obligated to say yes to promises like those in Isaiah 54 this side of His Kingdom’s full revelation but, as I persevere in prayer and faith, He will indeed hear me and I believe be pleased that I had the boldness to pray it. He is not blessed by our small, vision-bare petitions anyway. I’ve thought for a long time that God would rather hear His children voice outrageously large prayers of faith even if He has to say no on occasion than hear our pale, timid, tepid requests for things He’s already given us anyway. For instance, if we belong to Him in Christ, He is indeed going to “bless us” and “keep us.” So, I’m adding Isaiah 54:13 to my spiral and planning to reword it often into a request. I’m going to take the risk that He may indeed perform generational miracles with a family tree sprouted from the soil of disease and brokenness. Make us oaks of righteousness, Lord,  for the display of Your splendor. (Isaiah 61:3)

This I know for sure: we often have not because we ask not. (James 4:2)

I love something else about Isaiah 54:13. I love that the word translated peace in English is the word “shalom” in Hebrew. The Hebrew word blows the doors off of our usual concept of peace. When I ask God for great peace to be upon my children, I have no interest in a trance-like state of passionless nirvana. I want God’s brand of peace: lively, vivacious. Here’s what the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament has to say about it:

“The general meaning behind the root š-l-m is of completion and fulfillment—of entering into a state of wholeness and unity, a restored relationship.”

It means to be intact, healthy, sound. It means wellness of soul. It conveys the idea of God prospering His child. He describes His peace like a river: moving and running. His peace is no pond. I read the verse first out of The NET Bible that sits open on my desk at home. Isaiah 54:13 is worded this way on its pages: “All your children will be followers of the LORD, and your children will enjoy great prosperity.” Right that moment I jotted the verse down in my journal and, under it, asked the Lord (with enough zeal to imprint it on the next page) to prosper my children and their children and their children and their children in the way that really matters: grant them lives that bear much fruit – I said MUCH FRUIT -  for THIS is to our Father’s great glory. May they blatantly show themselves to be Christ’s disciples. (That’s John 15:8 and, if you haven’t memorized it yet, it is a must! Prioritize it early on in your year if God causes it to leap off the page with you.)  With all my heart, I want God to use this lineage He is redeeming to prosper His Kingdom.

So I am really fired up about my verse for our next two weeks and hope to still be saying it and praying it for the next generations of this family line when I’m about to see Jesus. If you don’t already have a verse selected, you are welcome to share it and make it your own with Jesus. Choose any verse that He’s using to speak to you right now. Remember, that’s what will make it stick to your ribs. It needs to mean something to you!

Hit it, Girls! Remember! Only your names, cities, verses, references, and translations! You are stellar, Sisters. I love you so much.

Edited to add: Information on how to download your Android or iPhone application!

I know many of you have been asking if we are going to have an app this year for your smart phones, and we have both good news and bad news. The good news is YES, we ARE! We have created an app for both Android and iPhones. The bad news is, the Android app is ready for you, but if you would be so patient with us, we’ll have the iPhone app ready for you in about five or six days. Does that sound good?

So, excuse me while I get technical for just a minute!

For those of you that still have the old application on your phone (and this goes for both Android and iPhone users), you would most likely have received a notification about the availability of this new one, but if not, and you are currently using an android, simply click here to download the app. (This link is for Android users only.) Android users, if you’re having issues with this link (and it’s currently working fine on this end), you can search “Living Proof Ministries – Scripture Memory Team – 2013″ in your phone under applications. (I have very little knowledge about Android phones, so forgive me if my wording is wrong.)

When the iPhone app is ready, I’ll update this post for those of you who would like to download it with all the instructions you’ll need. However, I do know upfront you’ll be able to find the app in the iTunes store via your phone or computer.

Once you have the application, it is very user friendly. You’ll be notified the 1st and 15th of every month with the new blog post that will land in your application (you will only be notified if you have turned on notifications for this specific app), you can share the post, and then you can also store your memory work in there. It will also act like your spiral. You may want to use both your spiral and the app to have on hand in case you lose one or the other!

I hope that helps! Doesn’t this make it so much more fun?

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2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 1!

Finally!!!!!!!!

Are you ready, Sisters? Do you hear me cheering?? I have never been more excited about doing this.

I am on the verge of doing about 10 backward flips on my hardwoods. I said on the verge. Not quite doing it. Well, I’m doing it in my heart. That counts for a lot around here.

SO LET’S DO THIS THING! Now, promise me this! Promise me you will read this entire post before you leave a single comment. I know you’re about to burst and I am, too, and, for that reason, I’ll keep it as short as possible. It’s so important that we get our ground rules firmly established so that we’ll have a fabulous experience. Remember, hundreds of our participants this time around are brand new so let’s make sure everybody’s on the same page.

A few things you absolutely MUST KNOW:

*Your comment to this post is your official registration onto the team. Everybody starts at Verse 1 no matter when they begin the process. (Word gets around and we often still have people joining in with us even in March and April. We don’t mind how late they begin as long as they can catch up, memorize their verses, and document each one of them on the proper post as an official participant.) This launch post will remain right here in this January 1st 2013 slot all year long and each new person will need to make her first entry here. This is how we track who signed up when we get to the end of the year and it’s party time.

*Your comment must be strictly limited to the following 5 pieces of information: name, city, verse, reference, translation. I’ll say it slower now for those brand new to the process:

Your name (or first name if you prefer), city. Your verse for that two-week period written all the way out, the reference for it (where it is found in the Bible: Book, chapter, verse) AND the *translation you’ve taken it from.

(*For instance, is the Bible you’ve pulled the passage from a KJV, an NAS, HCSB, NIV or NLT? Or is it The NET Bible, The Message or another similar version? The translation almost always appears on the outside spine of a Bible. If not, you will find it on the first few pages. If you’re looking on line, you’ll get an option to choose a translation. Do so as it speaks most clearly to you. We aren’t fussing over translations here in our memory work. You also do not need to stick with one version throughout.)

Just those 5 pieces of information!  They will comprise every comment to this post. And the moment you start scrolling through all of them, you’ll see why. Page after page after page after page of Scripture and each one telling a reader exactly where to find it. It is the most powerful sight to behold. This invites people who are not participating in the memory work to reap tremendous benefits by just reading the comments and taking strength from verses they may not have known existed. This way it has the potential to bless our whole community or any weary visitor to our blog. I’ve been in crises before and gotten on the comment pages and scrolled from Scripture to Scripture and practically wept with relief and fresh courage or revelation. That’s why it’s best to keep the SSMT comments as succinct as possible. If you’ve got an exclamation in you that you just can’t hold back, you can occasionally make the briefest comment like, “I really need this one!” or “I’m sharing so-and-so’s verse” but, please, no more than that.

Comments other than the verse-entries on the 1st and 15th of each month can’t be approved. I’m so sorry and I hope you’ll understand. Thousands of us will be doing this together so the moderation process is monumental from the administrative side. The verses will be all Lindsee and I can handle in the comments for our two SSMT days per month. Keep in mind: NONE OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS PERTAIN TO THE OTHER BLOG POSTS HERE AT LPM. We will be completely free to do our regular thing on all other posts! The really stringent rules are only for the 1st and 15th of each month in 2013 and in reference to Siesta Scripture Memory Team. I hope that makes sense!

*Your comment may take 24 hours to get moderated (or posted if you’re new to the blog process) and sometimes a bit longer if it falls over a weekend. We try our hardest to stay up with it but on those days when 500+ come in at once, it’s quite a task! But we love it! It just requires a little patience on all sides! Before you assume that your entry somehow vanished and you’re tempted to write it again,  give it one full day and see if it shows up. Keep track of what time you posted it and double check the comments around that same time.  The accidental repeats make it much harder to track participation through the course of the year so always double check. If you don’t find it a day later, by all means, post it again!

*Remember that you get to choose your own verse! That’s really important! The ease with which you can memorize a verse is greatly impacted by how much it means to you. The more you need it or want it, the more you’ll absorb it. If you come up dry at times, no problem! You can either share my verse or another in the comment line that really speaks to you.

*PRAY that God will bless you in this endeavor and will enable you to memorize His Word! Ask continually throughout the entire year! When I get stuck and frustrated that I can’t get my words in order, if I’ll stop what I’m doing and ask God to supernaturally infuse me and help me to concentrate, you would not believe how quickly a breakthrough will come.

Are you about to stuff a sock in my mouth?? I’m about 2 seconds from stuffing one in my own mouth. Melissa gave me two new pair of boot socks for Christmas so at least I have fresh choices.

All right, already! Here goes mine! In honor of our process ahead and how willing the Holy Spirit is to help us…

Beth from Houston Texas, But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26 NIV84

Here’s one more alternative if you’ve never memorized it for a new year! I just love it for January 1st:

You crown the year with Your bounty, and Your carts overflow with abundance.  Psalm 65:11 NIV

May God’s grace abound to you, Sweet Thing. WELCOME! We have such a fabulous challenge ahead of us. GOD, GRANT US YOUR GOOD FAVOR!

So…what are you waiting for??? SIGN IN WITH VERSE ONE!

 

PS. I thought you guys might find it a bit amusing that I brought in the first 300 comments in the CAR on the way to the airport to catch my Atlanta flight for Passion 2013. Laughing. You keep your blog mama busy. I love you so!

 

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Siesta Scripture Memory Team 2013 Instructions!

Hey Siestas!  We’re two weeks out from our big launch and, based on the number of people who got Siesta spirals -not to mention those grabbing their own – we should have one titanic team!  May God get much glory! (If you’re interested in a spiral and have yet to purchase one, click here for the details.) Numbers are nothing if they don’t translate into fruit displayed in our lives but if we truly decide to live out the words that are going to live in us, remarkable things are in store for the Kingdom of Christ among us.

Here is everything you  need to know about how to participate in the 2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team!

First, a few things up front since many people joining us have no previous interaction here:

*For you new comers, “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’re a really long line of women standing shoulder to shoulder with our swords drawn. (For you newcomers, Ephesians 6 calls the Word of God the “Sword of the Spirit.”) And we don’t draw our swords to wound people, to convict our family members (God’s job) or to cut off the ears of our hearers. We draw our swords to fight the good fight of faith. While I was saw stacks and stacks of Siesta Scripture Memory Spirals being stuffed into envelopes for shipping, it hit me with fresh impact. What if thousands of women really did memorize 24 Scriptures in 2013?? What are the implications of that? What kind of repercussions might that have in our personal lives and our homes? That’s worth getting riled up over. SO, you bet this is a team. Don’t be too cool for it. Remember, God’s Spirit is a fire. If we’re too cool, we can’t help but quench it. If cheesy works around here, we’re not ashamed. Just throw in a can of jalapenos and grab a tortilla chip.

*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.

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 2013, you will find a post by 8:00 in the morning where I will ask for your memory verse and give you mine. This will begin New Year’s Day 2013. You are committing to 24 Scriptures in 12 months. In previous years, I’ve found this to be a very doable pace. 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: you’re going to be meditating on something: unforgiveness, toxic memories, misery, lust, greed, dissatisfaction, jealousy, competition. Choose Scripture! Christ Himself said as a man thinks, so is he. He also said His words are spirit and life. This is work worth doing, Sweet Thing. 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.

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 wimpy 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, 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 from Houston, Texas: “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3 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 other’s 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 welcome to share mine. I will always include it in the post. 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 own 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.

OK, I think that’s enough to get us prepared for January 1st. Now, let me tell you well in advance how to qualify for our Siesta Scripture Memory Team Celebration on January 17-18, 2014 which is the biggest blast ever. 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 hope to 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 throughout the year:

*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.

*Be prepared to say any 12 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, 2013)

Whew! Have I exhausted you?? I’ve worn myself to a pulp. Sorry this is so wordy! We just want to answer as many of your questions up front as possible.

I want to tell you something before I sign off. I may sound like a broken record but you have to let me say it again as we embark on this wild journey together. You have impacted my walk with Christ. This community has given me encouragement when I was nearly down for the count. I am more disciplined because you are here. You make a difference in my life. You make me think, and laugh, and study. You offer me company when I am lonely. You stir me up to love and good works. You are used of God in my life to make this hard world a better place.

That’s what Siestaville is for. Women walking alongside women on our way Home, stirring up excitement toward that great day. SSMT is just 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.

Your blog mama loves you.

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