Monday, January 30, 2012

Scripture Cards - Part 3 of Spend More Time with God

God's Words:

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
~Deuteronomy 6:6-9 

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.
~Psalm 119:97

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 
~2 Timothy 3:16-17

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
 ~1 Peter 3:15b

For those of you who have been waiting in earnest for my next post about the methods I use to memorize Scripture (including photos and step-by-step instructions!!!), well here it is...FINALLY!  I've been rather preoccupied as of late.  My family is currently in the process of finishing a couple rooms in our basement to add some much-needed living space to our home.  This project has been going on since last summer and we are so ready to be done with it!  At long last, the carpets are in and now I'm in decorator mode, which for me is the most fun.  FYI:  I plan to share some photos of our new homeschool room and play area in the near future when I write a post (or actually, it might turn into its own blog or series, you never know...) on teaching your children at home. Over the last few years that I've been homeschooling, I've had so many questions about homeschooling from friends and strangers alike, that I might just put all my accumulated homeschool knowledge and know-how on the world wide web to save others the time and effort it took me to find all that information out!  So make sure to "stay tuned" for that if it's something you'd be interested in.

Anyhoo, back to the subject at hand!  So with the home improvement work taking up all my extra time recently, I've had to put my blog writing on the back burner for the last few weeks.  Ugh.  But I tell you what, this post has not been far from my mind and I'm actually kind of glad that I've had these extra 3 weeks to really pray and think about what to write next because Bible memorization is such an important thing for believers to do.  If you didn't read my last post and you're curious why I would say that, then please go back and read Part 2:  3 Steps to Take in God's Word So it "Sticks" of the series, Spend More Time with God.

Over the years, I have put together a Bible verse memorization method that has proven very effective for me, personally.  Now what I do might not work well for everyone, but it works great for me.  And I've been really looking forward to sharing it with my readers, in the hopes and prayers that it will help some of you, too.

So without further ado, here is what I do to memorize Scripture:

It’s simple really.  All you need is a pen or pencil, a roll of painter’s tape for delicate surfaces, a package of 3x5 or 4x6 index cards (ruled or blank, it doesn’t really matter.  However, if you are like me and cannot seem to write in a straight horizontal fashion, but rather “uphill” or “downhill”, then perhaps ruled index cards might work better for you!), as well as an index card-sized poly expanding file (this may otherwise be known as a coupon-size expanding file).  I found all the items below for super cheap at Menards, of all places.  You really do save big money there!   I call Menards the “Men’s Target” because most of the guys I know seem to love to go there at least once a week just to see what’s new and on sale, plus you can find pretty much anything there – from wallpaper and tiles to milk and birthday cards.

Then, as you come upon a Bible verse or passage you'd like to memorize, simply write it down, including the reference, (in your very best handwriting, of course) on one side of an index card and tape it somewhere you will see it often throughout your day.  Now, I have never had a problem with the 3M Scotch-Blue Painter's Tape for Delicate Surfaces harming any surface I've used it on.  But just like with any glue or tape product, please test it out first in an inconspicuous area before you go to use it.

So where should you stick it up at?  Well, for some of you, that might mean on your bathroom mirror or wall next to the bathroom sink so you can review the verse(s) while you get ready for the day and then again while getting ready for bed.  If you work outside the home, a good idea might be to tape your card next to your computer or other work area.  In my very first blog post, I shared that I like to have a Scripture card on the cabinet right next to the kitchen sink, where I spend countless minutes each day doing dishes, cooking, and cleaning up.

This is a close-up view of the card next to my kitchen sink (notice my 9-year-old daughter's hand-painted flowers and flowerpot.  The big green "M" on the pot is for "Mom", of course!):

I also like to keep another card up on my bathroom mirror.  Sometimes it's a totally different verse I'm working on; and sometimes it's the same verse as the one I have up by my kitchen sink.  As a side note, I admit I'm a little OCD about things being matchy-matchy and so, as you can see, my ink color perfectly coordinates with the blue in my bathroom.  Of course you do not have to follow suit in having your pen color match your room.  I just find simple pleasure in doing this.

Ok now, this is totally random, but I couldn't resist sharing a photo showing the main theme of my master bathroom, which is relaxing at the beach!  Ahhh, yes...relaxing.  An activity that quite often eludes me in my busy life of being a mother and wife.  But still, it's a good reminder for me to at least try to relax each day!

You know...I think that shelf is crooked.  Maybe that's why it ended up half coming off the wall the other day.  I think a screw was loose.  That really bothers me...OCD again.  Don't worry, my handy man will fix it soon!

Again, sorry, let me get back to the subject!  To learn a Bible passage even more quickly, it might help for you to copy the passage down onto several index cards and tape them up in different locations that you spend a lot of time at.  That way, you're sure to spend adequate time throughout the day viewing and reviewing the verse(s) you're working on memorizing.

What I do after I put up a new passage is to read it and repeat it out loud and then in my mind at least several times each time I'm near it.  So, for me, brushing my teeth in the morning is a perfect time as any to review my Scripture card.  And then again, sometimes many times (depending on how many dishes need washing), when I'm working at my kitchen sink.  I don't really count my bedtime teeth-brushing session as the best time for memory review.  At that point in the day, my brain function is pretty much shot and I definitely don't want to undo all the hard memorization work I've done all day long when my brain function is at its height (aka:  "Mom Brain"), which is still not saying a whole lot, at least where memory strength is concerned.

Now, another way to help the memorization process is to daily, or at least several times a week, copy the Scripture passage on a piece of notebook paper.  Copy it down just once each day, or however many times you find helpful to aid in memorization.  This is really an optional activity.  I rarely do this, maybe because I'm too lazy too busy to do so, but usually just the act of frequently reviewing the verses by looking at them on my cards is enough for me.

Having Scripture cards displayed where you can frequently see them is not just good for memorization.  It's also a wonderful reminder for you to focus on a portion of God's Word and really give it some deep thought (which is what it means to "meditate on") and prayer as to what God wants you to learn from that passage.  God doesn't want us to just read His Word, because sometimes we simply forget most, or all, of what we read.  Rather, He wants us to really think and pray about how we should apply His Word to our lives.  So these Scripture cards should not only help you memorize Bible verses, but also provide a very visible reminder to meditate on what you're "hiding in your heart".

In closing, I will briefly introduce what I use the poly expanding file for, which I will go into greater detail about in my next post.  I use the file to organize the verses I've already memorized so that they are readily available for anytime I want/need to "brush up" on them, as well as any verses I've already written down that I'd like to someday memorize, but haven't gotten to yet.  Until my next post, perhaps now begin thinking about how you would like to organize your Scripture cards.

And don't forget to stop by Menards this week to get your supplies, and be ready to run into lots of men you know who are just happily browsing the store!

In Christ,


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