It was a beautiful evening and I was out for a walk—partly so I could enjoy the nice weather, but mostly so I could make my Fitbit proud of me.
It’s the little things in life…Namely, the apps, that make me feel like a smashing success or a dismal failure. While we are talking about apps, I thought you all were probably dying to know how my Scripture memory resolution was faring. (We are the better part of halfway through the year—believe it or not!)
And if you read my New Year’s post, you know I tried to make Scripture memory a priority and started two aid and accountability systems—Fighter Verses via the App, and Beth Moore’s SSMT Group.
Fighter Verses has been a good thing. It assigns a verse each week and has audio and even musical queues to help you learn the verses. It also has little review quizzes to help you to keep from flushing out previously memorized verses. So when I’m sitting on an airplane, I can easily be mistaken for the Millennial mindlessly playing Candy Crush, when, in fact, I’m madly reviewing my year-to-date Scripture.
If you’re interested in my mid-year review of Fighter Verses: Some of the Scripture songs are better than others and a few are downright annoying—especially when they do a looong musical intro, then rush through the hard parts, and then repeat, repeat, repeat the easy parts. But after having tried a few, I know how hard it is to put a verse to music word for word, so I’ve got to give them some respect.
I will mention though, that while at the beginning of the year my biggest struggle was trying to re-memorize previously memorized verses in a different version, Fighter Verses has made me step up my game. In fact, I stopped trying to keep up completely when they started cheating—putting 2, 3, or even 4 verses together for one week. That’s just too much for my little brain. Especially when they put all of Psalm 103 in one song. It was 22 verses in one four minute song. The passage was broken over seven weeks, but in order to learn it, I must have listened to it 150,000 over those seven weeks. I felt like a toddler with a new book.
[And I still messed up the passage when I tried to quote it to my three-year-old niece. She quoted about 20 verses to me in a row, so I tried to match her and I got tangled up somewhere and kept repeating and repeating like an old record player. I’d fire Fighter Verses except that I only paid them $2.99.]
Anyway, I decided to settle for sticking with one passage for two weeks (skipping one) when they pull a trick like that. The handy app lets you mark which passages you memorized so only they show up in your review bank. Works pretty well. (I love defending an app from my own accusations.)
Thanks to Fighter Verses, I’m up to 40 verses this year, and I frequently listen to Scripture songs in the car, while straightening my hair, cooking dinner, or going on walks. It’s worth $2.99.
Anyway, so back to the lovely evening when I was out for a walk.
I was actually not working on my verses that evening. Nor was I having a pleasant time despite the agreeable weather and quiet atmosphere.
I was thinking about everything that I want and don’t have. I was meditating on my unmet desires and my fears. One thought led to the next and the next until—without even calling it to mind—my lips began to sing, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom…”
It was my memory passage for the week. And it just popped out. Singing it through took my mind to another passage, “If God spared not his own Son, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32
My attitude completely changed standing on a foot bridge in the sunshine and watching the limbs above me sway in the breeze. Your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.
My earthly father would want me to have good things…how much more does my father in heaven? And while my earthly father would work hard to give me the best he could, my heavenly father owns and rules the kingdom. His resources are limitless. And He gave His Son. What will He withhold if He didn’t stop at that?
The passage goes on to impart eternal perspective… “Sell your possessions and give to the needy. [Because there are so many with so much less!] Provide yourselves with money bags that do not grow old. With the treasure in the heavens that does not fade, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:32-34
Fear not; put your heart in a place where it is eternally safe.
I don’t know how my evening would have gone had I not been in this Scripture Memory challenge, but I will volunteer that this was not the only time that a passage I’ve worked on has given me an insight or an attitude adjustment. Psalm 103 is full of nuggets of truth that remind us that God is a loving, forgiving heavenly father who fills our lives with good things. Many, many times it has been a lifeline for me. Maybe not 150,000 times. But still.
Before I close, I’ll also offer a quick review of the Beth Moore “SSMT” as well. Basically, this plan is biannual and it challenges you to choose 24 verses and tackle one each first and fifteenth of the month. You write the verses on a 3×5 card spiral and also share them as a comment to a blog each time along with hundreds (maybe thousands) of other women. She gives you two excused absences on the comments over the course of the year and invites you to a big party if you finish and can quote all 24.
I’m not planning on the party, but I did think it would be a good way to make sure I actually got the verses into my head well enough to make them stick. So I committed to SSMT too.
My honest experience: I’ve lost the spiral once already and started over…only to find the original one again. Did my best to get back on track. I’ve gotten behind posting verses a time or two (and used one of my excused absences) but I blame that partially on the fact that they have a somewhat confusing system on where and how you are supposed to post the verses. Even now, nine times in, I have to hunt around to try to find the right blog post or Facebook post to comment on. I’m not the best or the brightest, but I’m also not a complete dunce, so I feel like there is a little room for improvement there. Just sayin.
Anyway, so bottom line is, because of FitBit, I’m trying to walk more; and because of my Scripture memory resolution, I’m trying to work on Scripture when I walk…or anytime. And while they will probably announce in a few years that FitBits cause cancer (along with Goji berries and Chia seeds) I am confident that the time invested in Scripture memory has no harmful side effects and is good for so many things including dispelling the daunting fears of this little member of this little flock.