Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Not a New Year’s Resolution

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Most days I’m in serious need of a mental makeover by 5:00 p.m.  I start the morning on a positive note, but then home school, housework, e-mail, errands, and phone calls leave my mind worn down and overwhelmed by late afternoon. That’s why I want to keep working this year on the single most important New Year’s resolution I ever made.

Actually I don’t even like New Year’s resolutions because making a list of commitments feels like setting myself up for failure: I usually forget all about them by January 15th.  For the past several years, I review my vision statement instead, and choose two or three NEW HABITS to cultivate.  I forget a list of resolutions, but I can focus on a few new habits.

This year, I’m recommitting to what has been the most life-changing habit so far: memorizing scripture. Not just isolated verses, but memorizing passages, verse by verse. I do it because frankly sometimes I need something better to think about than my own whining thoughts.

You see, by 5 o’clock most days the voices of discouragement and complaining knock at my door:

  • I don’t have enough time for everything.
  • What on earth am I going to make for dinner? 
  • What will happen to my family if the economic crisis worsens?

 I want God’s words written on my mind and heart to counteract the voices of the world.

Why Memorize Scripture?

  • God’s words transform our thoughts and renew our minds.
  • Dwelling on God’s word increases our faith.
  • Having God’s word in our hearts helps us grow closer to Him.
  • God’s word empowers us.
  • It encourages us.
  • It gives us something to share with others.

How to Do it?

I use a little pink notebook, a moleskine look-alike, as my scripture memory book, and I write just one or two verses on each page with the verse number at the top.  After choosing a passage  that encourages me, I work on it one verse at a time.  Each day I review the verses I’ve already memorized; then I copy and memorize the new verse for the day.  Here’s what it looks like:

Day 1:  Read today’s verse out loud 10 times. Write it down and repeat it ten times from memory.

Day 2: Recite yesterday’s verse 10 times.  (Look at your Bible to check yourself.) Read today’s verse out loud 10 times. Write it down and repeat it ten times from memory.

Day 3: Recite yesterday’s verse 10 times. Recite the verses from days 1 and 2 together. Read today’s verse out loud 10 times. Write it down and repeat it ten times from memory.

Day 4: Recite yesterday’s verse 10 times. Recite old verses all together. Work on today’s verse.

Ideas adapted from Dr. Andrew Johnson

Review is important because if you’re like me, you can memorize something, but then two weeks later, it’s gone out the window.  In fact my goal for January and February is just to review the passages I’ve already memorized.

What about you?  Are you setting any goals for 2012? If you had to pick one Bible passage to memorize, what would it be?

Favorite passages to memorize and three resources:

Psalm 23
Isaiah 40:25-41
Romans 5:1-8 (My kids and I memorized 1:1-17 together last year.)
Ephesians 1:3-23
Philippians 3:7-14 or 4:4-9
Colossians 3:12-17

Four Minute Video on the Value of Memorizing Scripture by John Piper

“Maybe the Most Important Thing to Do for Your Faith.” by Ann Voskamp

“Scripture Memorization for the Rest of Us: the Jesus Project” by Ann Voskamp (My family is going for this project this year.)

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

2 thoughts on “Not a New Year’s Resolution

  1. Big D and I are working on James 1. It helps for me to do it with one of the kids to keep me going forward. I use an index card spiral to keep all my verses in. It fits great in my bag since it is so small.

  2. Kids and I now working on Romans 12

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