• Dodging Landmines

    Article by Laura Laura Lynch

    If you’re like me, landmines dot the field of memory verse review. Here are a few of the struggles I encounter as a memorizer--with suggestions for combat!

    The Aimless Must-Do

    “I need to review sometime somehow...and I will…sometime somehow….”

    Combat: Make a specific review plan, and get right to it. Any plan is better than no plan. First, make a list of the verses to review, then decide which days of the week you will review each verse, and finally determine a realistic time. Don’t get bogged down making the perfect system. Test-run your plan for a few weeks, then tweak as needed.

    I’m-So-Behind Despair

    “There are last summer’s memory verses and last month’s and the ones from Bible study and the Sunday school set and… I’m so far behind I won’t even try!”

    Combat: Pick a manageable number to start with; once you have a good routine, gradually add the rest in. You may find it helpful to make an initial time investment in organization. Would a notebook, verse cards, or app be most helpful to you? Again, don’t let the setup overrule the objective. Limit yourself to fifteen minutes in your initial setup time, then start reviewing. The remaining verses can be added little-by-little as you gain confidence and have the time. Reviewing some verses on day one is better than reviewing none.

    This-Is-Boring

    “That verse again? I’m so tired of saying it. Enough already!”

    Combat: Pray for fresh appreciation of God’s Word. “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (Psa. 119:18). “The word of God is living and powerful…” (Heb. 4:12). Read a commentary and/or discuss with Christian friends for fresh insights. Regular review, though it may seem unnecessary, will dramatically improve your recitations in the long run.

    The old Latin saying is true, Repetitio est mater studiorum--"Repetition is the mother of learning."

  • Why Homeschool Moms Should Care About Scripture Memorization

    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    Over the last two years, I’ve traveled to homeschool conventions and book fairs across the country. As I chat with dozens of homeschool moms at each of these events, I frequently turn to their young children and ask if they can quote any Bible verses. Of course, John 3:16 or “Jesus wept” is recited quickly by most, but when asked if they know any others, the response is often disheartening: blank stares, sheepish grins, and a somewhat embarrassed parent.

    Granted, most of these kids are being raised by well-meaning parents who want more than anything for them to know Christ and embrace a biblical worldview. But tragically, many parents mistakenly think they can do this without teaching the actual words of Scripture.

    This might seem like a minor omission at first, but it couldn’t be any more serious. Continue reading

  • The Need for Accountability

    Article by Laura Laura Lynch

    Why do we shrink from accountability? Reciting to a specific person at a set time each week will help us stay on track and press forward. It will also help us recite accurately. After all, errors made while whispering to ourselves will not disturb like errors made in front of a friend. Take up accountability not only as a help but also as a time to encourage someone else with the Scripture you've learned.

    To answer some objections:

    "Why bother with a specific time? I'll recite when I'm ready." If you have the self-control to do so consistently, great. But knowing you quote tomorrow at 7pm will help you tonight to turn off the computer and study that tough verse a little more.

    Continue reading

  • It's Time to Make Time

    Article by Laura Laura Lynch

    Is accurate word-for-word memorization worth the time? We can semi-learn, recite-and-run, and skip review altogether. But, "every word of God is pure…" (Prov. 30:5). Since God has preserved His Word without error, won’t we care to know it deeply and exactly? The keys to accuracy are thorough memory work in the beginning, correction of errors, and regular review. We’ll touch on these topics in future posts.

    But for today, there’s a ground-level matter to settle: TIME! Continue reading

  • Sundays & School Zones

    “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    Six days you shall labor and do all your work."
    -Exodus 20:8-9
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    Nobody likes driving through school zones. Well, at least I don’t. Watching my speedometer fall from 40 to 20 MPH each morning during my commute is a painful experience — especially when there are no children around to justify the slowdown! I keep a close eye on my speedometer as I drive through, not so much because I’m concerned about going over the speed limit, but because I want to go as fast as I legally can. Once I’m finally past the “end school zone” sign, I quickly accelerate back to normal speed and continue on my way to work.

    The problem with this mentality is that I miss the whole point of the law. School zones don’t exist just to annoy impatient drivers like me, but to protect the lives and safety of children. I might obey the letter of the law by driving the speed limit, but I ignore its intent every time I pay more attention to the speedometer than my surroundings. Continue reading

  • The Failure of Forgetting

    “I am the Lord your God,
    who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
    out of the house of bondage.”
    (Exodus 20:2)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    When God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, He began with a reminder of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. The Lord’s promise to “deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians” had been fulfilled (Exod. 3:8), and now they found themselves on the other side of a sea that once represented hopelessness and defeat. Pharaoh’s abusive taskmasters and harsh work orders were in the past. Their future, by contrast, held promises of blessing, rest, and provision.

    This reminder of deliverance is significant because forgetfulness proved to be one of Israel’s greatest struggles throughout the coming years — just as it is for us. As the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 106:21, they soon “forgot God their Savior, Who had done great things in Egypt.” Even before Moses made it down from Mount Sinai they had created a golden calf to worship!

    Continue reading

  • After the Ballot Box

    “If My people who are called by My name
    will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face,
    and turn from their wicked ways,
    then I will hear from heaven,
    and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
    (2 Chronicles 7:14)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    As election season ends, our country’s need for healing and unity is undeniably obvious. Months of campaigning has left us emotionally raw as many find themselves angry, confused, and worried about what the future holds. Whoever you are and whatever your political affiliation is, the last 48 hours must have awakened you to the fact that our country is changing in a drastic, and perhaps permanent way.

    The question for Christians is this: amidst all the chaos, what should we be doing as believers? What role can we play in bringing peace to a troubled and torn country? Continue reading

  • The Man Who Took a Bullet for Reagan, And the One Who Took the Cross for Me

    "For there is one God
    and one Mediator between God and men,
    the Man Christ Jesus."
    (1 Timothy 2:5)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    Everywhere the President goes, he is surrounded by members of the Secret Service. These highly-trained guards protect current and former presidents, vice presidents, nominees of major political parties, and even foreign diplomats. Their job is simple: protect those under their care at all costs, even at the expense of their own safety. On March 30, 1981, agent Tim McCarthy was called on to do just that as he willingly took a bullet for President Reagan in the line of duty. As shots rang out in Washington, D.C., McCarthy stood between the President and his would-be assassin, likely saving Reagan’s life while risking his own.

    Similarly, our salvation was accomplished by Christ, the one and only “Mediator between God and men” (emphasis added). Continue reading

  • Swordless

    "And take the helmet of salvation,
    and the sword of the Spirit,
    which is the word of God."
    (Ephesians 6:17)
    Article by Laura Laura Lynch

    The morning dawned early with a deafening roar as massing enemy troops shouted across the ravine. Smoke from a thousand torches boiled up into the sky.

    “Look lively!” cried the sergeant. “Up now! Into formation!”

    Throwing on our boots and helmets, we rushed to obey.

    “You forgot your sword,” I yelled to my comrade as he stood in line, his sheath swinging loosely at his side.

    “You have one,” he said with a yawn.

    “Mine is not enough for two of us,” I replied. “The enemy will have each his own weapon. So must we. Besides, I have practiced with my sword. Where is yours–the one you’ve spent hours with?” Continue reading

  • What Does Your Memory Actually Do?

    "Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God..."
    (Deut. 8:11)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    The cover story for the November 2007 issue of National Geographic features a fascinating analysis of the human memory. The article tells the story of AJ, a 41-year-old-woman with an amazing ability to remember nearly every moment of her life since age 11. On the opposite end of the spectrum is EP, who suffered severe brain damage as a result of the herpes simplex virus. As a result, he is incapable of forming new memories and forgets every conversation within just a few seconds. The article is summarized well by its simple subtitle: “In the archives of the brain our lives linger or disappear.”

    Technically speaking, the memory is the faculty by which our minds store and retrieve information. Practically speaking, however, it is much more than a stored pattern of connections between neurons in the brain; nearly every expression of your individuality comes from the archives of your memory. Continue reading

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