Monday, January 17, 2011

Not Too Bad So Far

Ok, I think I've got that first scripture down. And I don't know how much I'm getting out of it yet, but I do know that it helps me re-focus when I get a little anxious or upset or bitter or frustrated or ... you get the picture.

For example, I start getting a little bit irritated by my husband (obviously this never actually happens, but let's just say if it ever did), I catch myself. And instead of screaming at him out loud or in my head or playing the insult over and over in my head, I think, "But the wisdom from above is first of all pure..." This seems to help.

Granted, one might say that any kind of "mantra" could have the same effect. Well, we'll see. Part of the whole plan is that, no matter the situation, I will have a verse that I've tucked into memory that will focus me back on God; remind me that He is in control; help me find His joy.

Our pastor this week gave a reminder (from the book of James, by the way) that problems can be looked at as opportunities for God to work amazing things in and through our lives. I'll try to remember that.

So I'm on to verse #2! Now comes the hard part - remember a new verse without forgetting the old one. Don't read anything into this, but the verse is:

1 Peter 3:5 - "This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

So what do you think of scripture memorization? Mike thinks Baptists tend to over-emphasize scripture memorization for the sake of "works". Mainly that it's something people do for points and is therefore, legalistic and overbearing. Easy for him to say - He lives in the Bible and just speaks in verses that he's "memorized" without even trying.

I do see his point though. Memorizing scripture for the purpose of feathering your cap is not fruitful, but worthless. Spouting out memory verses to impress people with your knowledge or shame them with their ignorance - also not cool. But focusing on God's Word, internalizing it, holding it in your heart - what untold blessings can come from that?

I bring this up because I'm starting a year long scripture memory effort. Beth Moore is doing something through her blog (Siesta Scripture Memory Team) to encourage people to memorize scripture and help with accountability. Basically the idea is to memorize two verses a month. She uses her blog to have people sign in and log their new verse every couple of weeks. I did this a couple of years ago and didn't get but about halfway through the year before I bailed. Ack! Anyway, I'm also big on FREEDOM and not getting hung up on the rules, so I cut myself lots of slack over things like this. But this time, maybe I'll make it all the way through.

So everyone picks their own verses because they have to mean something to you and your particular situation at the moment or they don't matter. I may use my blog to explore my verse of the day (or week or part month or whatever). Or I may not - who knows what I will do?

However, here's my first verse of the year:

"But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere." - James 3:17 (NLT)

It's kind of long but sets the tone I'm wanting to maintain for the year - seeking God's wisdom and not getting hung up on other people's business. At least that's what I get from this verse. Maybe as I meditate on these words for the next couple of weeks, I'll get more.

Happy New Year!