Psalm 139

My Bible memory for the month of June…Psalm 139. This is a great passage to meditate on during adoration in my prayer time. I hope to have it hidden deep in my heart by the end of June. Each day after I give my day, myself and all I have, desire, and plan to do to my blessed Jesus, I read thru the entire passage out loud, then ink out a word or phrase and read through it again. I do this for 5-15 minutes every morning before I read the daily Mass readings. My pie in the sky plan is to have one chapter of Sacred Scripture memorized each month.

Do you memorize Sacred Scripture? Share your best tips and favorite passages with me.

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Drawing from the well – on Scripture memory

As a young girl, I heard testimonies about the benefits of hiding God’s Word in our heart, I like to think that when I need to hear a word from the Lord, I will hear him even if a Bible is not handy, because I have committed His words to memory.  A phrase I heard this morning in the Divine Office podcast reverberates in my mind, and I find it fitting right in with my thoughts on Scripture memory.

Rejoicing, you will draw water from the wells of the Savior.

Psalm 46 is the next passage of Scripture that I am putting to memory.  I memorized this portion of Scripture when I was in a little private Christian school in the fourth or fifth grade.  Every morning, before academics, we would have prayer, siing a song or two, and we would read or recite a portion of Scripture that was chosen for us for the month.  Each day, we were required to memorize one or more verses from the selected passage, and by the end of the month, the passage was committed to memory.  I still have pieces of this one stuck in the far corners of my time worn mind.

Phrases from this chapter have come to me numerous times when I have prayed for God’s help.  Rejoicing, I draw water from the wells of my Savior, I drink them in, and they refresh me.  Like buckets of water, again, He pours out His promises on the parched, dry places of my heart and mind, washing away the doubts and fears that cloud my thinking. And I am clean and refreshed, still before Him, ready for service.

ACT before you ASK

I’m working on a prayer journal system that will hopefully be a tool in keeping me organized and on task in my quiet time.  Right now, it’s a tool, but also a project, as I am in the process of tweaking it to make it function for me.  You might remember that last year, I began putting a little prayer journal together for the sake of memorizing the creed and rosary.  I did a series on prayer that included some of the insights the Lord gave me while putting it together, and I’m thinking this is going to be a similar series by the time we finish with it.

20140524-081414-29654093.jpgLast year, a dear friend sent me a little journal, which had remained empty and unused until last week.  I’ve put it to use as my Beta version, and when I pick it up, I remember her in my prayers.  (She is one that I thank God for in my Thanksgiving…as well as one I intercede for in my supplication) …but I’m getting ahead of myself.   By the way, I LOVE how God made this journal with sunflowers!  It’s like my prayer life has a theme…and seeing sunflowers reminds me to pray.  How great is He!?

I started putting my journal together by following the ACTS model of prayer, that is, Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.  As I continued it kind of morphed into what I call ACT before you ASK.  I don’t know about you, but if I’m don’t deliberately make myself focus, my prayer time can sound whiny, and childish.  I do not want my prayer life to be marked by this.  I want my prayer time to be intentional, where I focus on the Lord and my heart is filled to overflowing with gratitude and praise for Him, and marked by faith and trust.

I divided my journal into six sections as such:

Adoration – Where I record the names and attributes of God that I collect as I go.
Contrition/Confession- Where I spend time in self-examination and confess the sins that the Holy Spirit reveals to my spirit.
Thanksgiving – Where I remember to thank the Lord for what He is accomplishing in my life.

Application – Where I record my God whispers…times when the rubber meets the road…those little (or big) things that jump out at me in my daily Bible reading, prayer, or personal interactions with others.
Supplication – Where I keep a record of people that I pray for on a regular basis.
Knowledge – Where I keep a record of portions of Scripture and Bible truths that I have committed to memory and know by heart.

My daily quiet time follows this model pretty closely, with my daily Bible reading fitting right between the two acronyms.  I think I’ll make a separate post for each of my sections so I can show you better how I put this system to work for me.  I haven’t completely made up my mind whether I will prefer a bound journal, like the one I’m using right now, or if I will eventually move to a 3 ring binder system.  I can see benefits and downsides to both, and I may eventually use a combination of both.  It is providing me with more opportunity to create, and draw, and color.  For now, my dividers are homemade, laminated bookmarks that fit the book.  Each divider has prompts that keep me on track, and the cool thing about them is, if I don’t want to take my whole journal with me, but need the prompts, I can remove them from the journal, put them in my Bible, or purse, or whatever I’m carrying, and tote them along with me to use as needed.

More to come…

 

 

 

Ephesians 5:1-5

Last month, I set out to memorize Colossians 3 on my facebook page.  I loved having it broken down into bite-sized pieces and taking it a bit at a time, chewing slowly, and thinking through some of the really cool word pictures there.  When I finished I wished that I would have blogged it, and I still may, but I’ve decided this month to memorize Ephesians chapter 5.  I’ll be blogging my progress and thoughts on it here, then sharing to my fb page.  Funny, the similarities between this chapter and the passage in Colossians…Almost like God is trying to cement some truths down, huh?

I find that blocks of 5-7 verses work best for my mind to take in and remember at a time…so that’s how I’m breaking these up. Funny, they seem to kind of flow in complete thoughts accordingly, at least this chapter.

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,

2 and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

3 But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints.

4 Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving.

5 Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

I will never forget the real life example shared with me about this passage.  My good friend’s husband had contracted polio as a child and from then had developed a noticeable change in his gait…a very pronounced limp.  Their son, as a young boy developed this same limp when he walked…as he imitated his daddy.

If we are following Jesus closely, we are looking at how He walks, talks, and behaves, and we are instructed to imitate him; “walk this way!”  When we do this, we will be living (some translations actually say “walk”ing) in love as verse 2 says, as Christ loved us…giving himself up for us.  By doing so, he became a fragrant offering…a sacrifice to God.  If we are imitating Him, we’ll have that same scent on us.

All the yuck in vs 3 and 4, will not be associated with us, because we are not imitating that…we are imitating Christ.  Those qualities cannot co-exist with love and giving of thanks.  And just in case that wasn’t clear enough, we are specifically warned that fornicators, impure, greedy persons (and idolaters) will not share in any inheritance of Christ.  Again, they cannot co-exist with the qualities inside an imitator of Christ.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and have your company as I commit this passage to memory.  Won’t you join me?