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  • When Lackluster Looms

    Article by Laura Laura Raborn

    “A thing worth doing is worth doing well.” Since you read this blog, I have a hunch you agree Scripture memorization is “worth doing.” But the part about doing it “well” – now that stings a little. Sure, some days we have lots of focus and some weeks we make great systematic progress. Then there are the other days. You know, the “not that verse again” review session, the “don’t care about that” new verse, and the “half-hearted and good-enough” attitude. If you’ve been there, read on.

    Thoroughness, accuracy, review, assimilation, concentration—elements of high quality memorization—sound like work. And they are. Good news, there are some tips below. But hold it just a minute please, practical skim-readers! Consider why long-term, deep-down memorization matters. Continue reading

  • Girding Up the Loins of Your Mind

    "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
    (1 Peter 1:13)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    I've never viewed myself as someone who has an above average memory. Meeting a new friend usually involves me warning them that I struggle with names, and I have a somewhat embarrassing tendency to forget most of what I fail to write down. I say this not only for the sake of honesty, but to be clear that successful Scripture memorization doesn't depend on extraordinary memory skills. After all, simply memorizing as many verses as you can in the shortest time possible isn't the point; it's to uniquely "acquaint ourselves with Him" through a fuller knowledge of the Word and, consequently, "be at peace" spiritually (Job 22:21).

    As the saying goes, those who aim at nothing will hit it every time - an observation that seems to be very much line with Peter's in today's Scripture. Continue reading

  • Keeping it Simple

    "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."
    (2 Corinthians 11:3)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    As the only person in my family who regularly memorizes Scripture, it's especially important for me to stay as self-motivated as possible in my memory work. Knowing that no one I'm especially close to would hold me accountable if I started to slack off in this discipline, I've developed a number of different routines that act somewhat as safeguards against an unintentional hiatus from memorizing Scripture.

    The greatest problem I often encounter, however, is my own tendency to overcomplicate things. Being disciplined and relatively self-motivated is by no means a bad thing, but I can also take it to an extreme by creating a rigid set of rules that I cannot possibly live up to a consistent basis. For example, only a few months ago my daily to-do list looked something like this:

    • Complete my daily memorization session on memverse.com.
    • Review and recite 2-3 complete chapters.
    • Take an accuracy or reference recall test on memverse.com.
    • Listen to memory verses on my iPod for approximately 30 minutes during my commute to work.
    • Learn new verses.

    Obviously there is nothing wrong with a routine like this one, and I actually found it to be very effective most of the time. The problem was that anytime an especially busy schedule would keep me from completing every item on that to-do list, I would become discouraged and feel the need to make up the slack the next day. If this wasn't possible I would fall even further behind, become even more discouraged, and struggle to find motivation to keep going at all.

    Of course I'm not suggesting you abandon any tried and true routines in your own Scripture memorization. If you have found a certain technique to be successful, then by all means stick with it! After all, developing a systematic approach to Bible memorization is what Scripture Memory Fellowship is all about. Just remember not to complicate the process of "getting back on track" if ever that becomes necessary. If, for example, you had hoped to finish memorizing that new chapter weeks ago, don't link obedience to finishing it by tomorrow night; simply take a step in the right direction by learning a verse or two today, and then maintain a steady pace until you have finished.

    Although the enemy would like to keep us distracted by the gap between where we are and where we think we should be, resist the temptation to become discouraged and instead pray for perseverance - both in your Scripture memorization, and in all other aspects of your walk with God. Perhaps you'll find that gap to be smaller than you originally thought.

  • The Puritan Practice of Meditation

    "I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways."
    (Psalm 119:15)
    Article by Jim Woychuk Jim Woychuk

    Joel Beeke, in his essay on “The Puritan Practice of Meditation,” writes that “The Puritans devoted scores of pages to the benefits, excellencies, usefulness, advantages, or improvements of meditation.” Dr. Beeke lists some of the benefits as follows:

      1. Meditation helps us focus on the Triune God, to love and to enjoy Him in all His persons (1 John 4:8)—intellectually, spiritually, aesthetically.
      2. Meditation helps increase knowledge of sacred truth. It “takes the veil from the face of truth” (Prov. 4:2).
      3. Meditation is the “nurse of wisdom,” for it promotes the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 1:8).
      4. Meditation enlarges our faith by helping us to trust the God of promises in all our spiritual troubles and the God of providence in all our outward troubles.
      5. Meditation augments one’s affections. Watson called meditation “the bellows of the affections.” He said, “Meditation hatcheth good affections, as the hen her young ones by sitting on them; we light affection at this fire of meditation” (Ps. 39:3).
      6. Meditation fosters repentance and reformation of life (Ps. 119:59; Ez. 36:31).
      7. Meditation is a great friend to memory.
      8. Meditation helps us view worship as a discipline to be cultivated. It makes us prefer God’s house to our own.
      9. Meditation transfuses Scripture through the texture of the soul.
      10. Meditation is a great aid to prayer (Ps. 5:1). It tunes the instrument of prayer before prayer.
      11. Meditation helps us to hear and read the Word with real benefit. It makes the Word “full of life and energy to our souls.” William Bates wrote, “Hearing the word is like ingestion, and when we meditate upon the word that is digestion; and this digestion of the word by meditation produceth warm affections, zealous resolutions, and holy actions.”
      12. Meditation on the sacraments helps our “graces to be better and stronger.” It helps faith, hope, love, humility, and numerous spiritual comforts thrive in the soul.
      13. Meditation stresses the heinousness of sin. It “musters up all weapons, and gathers all forces of arguments for to presse our sins, and lay them heavy upon the heart,” wrote Fenner. Thomas Hooker said, “Meditation sharpens the sting and strength of corruption, that it pierceth more prevailingly.” It is a “strong antidote against sin” and “a cure of covetousness.”
      14. Meditation enables us to “discharge religious duties, because it conveys to the soul the lively sense and feeling of God’s goodness; so the soul is encouraged to duty.”
      15. Meditation helps prevent vain and sinful thoughts (Jer. 4:14; Matt. 12:35). It helps wean us from this present evil age.
      16. Meditation provides inner resources on which to draw (Ps. 77:10-12), including direction for daily life (Prov. 6:21-22).
      17. Meditation helps us persevere in faith; it keeps our hearts “savoury and spiritual in the midst of all our outward and worldly employments,” wrote William Bridge.
      18. Meditation is a mighty weapon to ward off Satan and temptation (Ps. 119:11,15; 1 John 2:14).
      19. Meditation provides relief in afflictions (Is. 49:15-17; Heb. 12:5).
      20. Meditation helps us benefit others with our spiritual fellowship and counsel (Ps. 66:16; 77:12;145:7).
      21. Meditation promotes gratitude for all the blessings showered upon us by God through His Son.
      22. Meditation glorifies God (Ps. 49:3).

    Source: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2015/03/13/22-benefits-of-meditating-on-scripture/

  • GSLAHE Expo 2015

    "Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing."
    (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    The Greater St. Louis Area Home Educators Expo was something I looked forward to every year as a teenager. I was always edified, encouraged and entertained by lectures on topics like creation vs. evolution, Biblical history, and the civil war. In fact, it was in 2010 at the age of 16 that I was first introduced to the ministry and resources of Scripture Memory Fellowship. I remember being overwhelmed with excitement when I realized there are an abundance of tools available to streamline the process of Scripture memorization, as well as a strong community of believers who share an unshakable commitment to hiding God's Word in their hearts systematically.

    At this year's expo, I was blessed with the privilege of personally representing SMF as a curriculum exhibitor and workshop host - a dramatic role-reversal for me compared to just a few years ago. Continue reading

  • The Sword of the Spirit

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

    Before the days of armored tanks and automatic weapons, the sword was the primary offensive tool used in battle. It was much more than a decorative relic that could be found hanging over a fireplace; it was a deadly weapon that Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, chose as a fitting symbol of the Scriptures. Nevertheless, as we read in Hebrews 4:12, God’s Word is in fact much "sharper than any two-edged sword”, and as such is an indispensable piece of the armor of God.

    "Benaiah…also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day.”
    (2 Samuel 23:20)

    More often than not, the battles we face as Christians are fought under the most inconvenient of circumstances. Continue reading

  • Kansas City Scriptorium

    "...I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
    (Romans 11:4)
    Article by Laura Laura Raborn

    Let’s face it, memorizing Scripture – especially in large quantity – is not in vogue. Some people look at you like you also own pet otters! But as in Elijah’s day, God still reserves for Himself children who love Him and value His Word. A Scriptorium is a great place to meet them.

    At the Kansas City Scriptorium, 66 people quoted through the majority of Luke and Acts. Voices reciting the Word of God from memory brought us from the birth of Christ through the Pauline travels of the early church. Precious children spilled forth His Word, giving evidence of their parents’ teaching labor. But also adults—who so often are “too busy” or “can’t memorize”—also stood and recited, giving proof that what we desire to retain, we can retain. Continue reading

  • Hard Work

    "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
    (Hebrews 12:2)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    The two most common misconceptions I seem to encounter when discussing Scripture memorization with others is that those who promote it either have extraordinary memories, or have discovered some special trick that makes the process easy. As I have shared before, I myself avoided Scripture memorization for years based on a similar belief that my own memory just wasn’t good enough to take on such a challenge. After all, I was the type of person who was (and still is) bad with names. Even to this day I keep a GPS in my car at all times, as my inability to keep a map in my head has gotten me lost in my own neighborhood more times than I’d care to admit.

    I won’t say that Scripture memorization never gets any easier, because my experience has been that it does become less of a challenge once you’re able to identify your unique learning style. Continue reading

  • A Transformed Heart

    “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life."
    (Proverbs 4:23)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    The condition of your heart will influence every decision you make in life. Whether you're deciding who to marry, what career to pursue, or where to spend your Friday nights, a dirty heart will result in a dirty life 100% of the time. It's for this reason that I always cringe when someone who's facing a major life decision is told "just follow your heart." Although I can't say going with your gut instinct is always a bad idea (common sense is a wonderful gift), I also know that "the heart is deceitful above all things" (Jer. 17:9). Adam's and Eve's sin in the Garden means that our own judgment is often skewed by the sins of pride and selfishness (Rom. 5:12), even if we don't realize it.

    But no matter how much I try to bypass human nature by taking all things to God in prayer, the fact of the matter, as we see in today's Scripture, is that every issue of life is affected by the condition of your heart. Continue reading

  • Checking the Price Tag

    "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it?"
    (Luke 14:28)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    I'm often accused of being overly analytical. Whether you share this quality with me to the same extent or not, chances are you've learned to count the cost of major decisions before you make them. Have you ever bought a car without knowing about how many miles per gallon you could expect to receive? When is the last time you bought a pair of clothes without first checking the price tag? Maybe you simply bite your tongue on days when your boss is in a bad mood, knowing that speaking your mind would not be worth the loss of your job. You may not always recognize the detailed thought process that goes on behind the scenes, but chances are you are far more analytical than you think. Continue reading

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