2017 Scripture Memory Team – January

Welcome 2017!

This will be my 5th year participating in the Scripture Memory Team with Living Proof Ministries It is both challenging and wonderful at the same time. This special team is held every other year. The accountability and method of memorizing two verses each month keeps me coming back. I was part of the very first group in 2009, and haven’t missed one since, having participated in 2011, 2013, 2015 and now with the 2017 group. I attended the inaugural celebration held in Houston, Texas in January 2010 (following the 2009 year of memorizing).  The blog post from that wonderful memorable event is here:  2010 SSMT Celebration 

I am sensing a theme for January and the word is “strength.” Each of my two January 2017 memory verses are from the Psalms, one of my favorite books of the Bible, and probably the one I go to the most for encouragement and yes, for strength. Psalm 105:4 says seek His strength, Psalm 59:17 says His name is Strength. I need the strength Jesus gives and I find it in His Word. Thankful.

If you don’t have a method for memorizing scripture, I encourage you to find one and get started. This method involves writing the verses in a small spiral book of notecards and carrying it with you. Repetition and reading the verse over and over will help you press it in your heart and mind.  It is a lifeline for me and God brings the verses to my mind when I need them for myself and even when encouraging someone else. I’m looking forward to this year of scripture memory.

 

Share

Scripture Memory Team Verse 24 – December 15, 2015

10292544_713027298804447_2891017255611194206_n

It’s a rainy night here in Georgia this New Year’s Eve Eve. Two of my grandchildren are playing nearby and it’s been nice to have some days at home. Being at home for several days in a row centers me. I’m a homebody at heart, although my husband and I did enjoy five days in New York City just two weeks ago with our friends the Dutchers. It was the perfect getaway after a time of loss as my precious 93-year-old mother-in-law passed away on December 8. She was a wonderful woman of faith and very special to me. We miss her but we rejoice that she is in the presence of the Lord.

I realized just earlier this afternoon that I had neglected to post my final Scripture Team Memory Verse of 2015. It makes it even more appropriate on this next-to-the-last-day of the year when you read it below…2 Corinthians 4:18:

2Cor4_18blackchalk

In some ways I can relate this verse to 2015 and 2016. Tomorrow is the last day of 2015. Except for tomorrow, 2015 is now SEEN.  I can roll events over in my heart and mind and replay them like a DVR. But as 2016 rolls around in 28 hours it remains totally UNSEEN.

I have no idea what this new year holds for me and my loved ones – but I hold fast to the truth that God knows. He knows because He is already there. He is omniscient, not limited by time or space, He is eternal. He is always the same. That truth comforts me. He promises to never never never never leave me and I’m counting on that.

So on this December 30th rainy evening I am fixing my eyes on what is unseen, what is eternal. I am trusting God to do a work in me in 2016 like never before. Less of me, more of Him. More time for others on things that count (eternal), less time wasted looking at screens (temporary).

I’ve enjoyed this Scripture Memory Team and the discipline of memorizing scripture is something I treasure. I’m thankful for the mind to do it and for the Word of God to hold in my hand, my heart, and my head.

Blessings and Happy New Year’s Eve Eve,

GranJan-BlogSignature

Share

Scripture Memory Team Verse 23 – December 1, 2015

10292544_713027298804447_2891017255611194206_n

Psalm 19:12-13
12 Who could possibly know all that he has done wrong?

    Forgive my hidden and unknown faults.
13 As I am Your servant, protect me from my bent toward pride,
    and keep sin from ruling my life.
If You do this, I will be without blame,
    innocent of the great breach.

I read this passage last week, after Thanksgiving. It was a balm to my hurting heart. I truly believe that a wise woman listens to her critics. As a woman, pastor’s wife, women’s ministry leader, and good grief — as a human being, I’ve been criticized!  At some point we’ve all received criticism. Have you ever heard the term “constructive criticism?” As opposed to what? It all hurts and it’s hard, but in my recent experience, it was healthy. We are ever growing…and hopefully, ever maturing in our walk of faith. My heart was hurting because I had to face some hard truths about myself – all of them stemming from my bent toward pride. My dictionary app defines pride as “a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority.” Yep, that pretty much sums it up. Go to my favorite Bible search site BIBLE GATEWAY and type in the word pride. Get ready for all the passages you will discover. Over 64 came up when I used the New Living Translation.

The twelfth verse is so comforting. How could we possibly know all we’ve done wrong? We are so frail. The Psalmist pleads to be forgiven of hidden and even unknown faults. This I know, I have them and recently when some were pointed out so they became known – I had to deal with the fallout. My emotions were everywhere, but thankfully they settled down on the side of grace and peace and a true desire for introspection.

I’m really praying verse 13. I’m asking the Lord – as His servant – to protect me from myself, from my pride. I truly want to be without blame and “innocent of the great breach.”  A breach is a violation of a law, trust, faith, or promise…a severance of sorts.

One of my mother’s favorite verses is the last one in this Psalm, verse 14. I have included it below. I’ve known verse 14 from memory for a long time, but honestly never realized it’s depth based on verses 12 and 13, the ones I am memorizing now. It means all the more now, this plea:

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

Yes and amen.

GranJan-BlogSignature

Share

Scripture Memory Team Verse 22 – November 15, 2015

10292544_713027298804447_2891017255611194206_n

Ephesians 4:23-24
Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Put on your new nature, created to be like God—
truly righteous and holy.

The struggle is truly real. I hear and see folks use that phrase sometimes and it is usually over something that is NOT really serious or a true struggle. However…the daily struggle to walk in the Spirit and live righteous and holy lives is indeed serious and very real. The only way we can put on our new nature is to renew our thoughts and attitudes – every day and often every hour or in moments.

I’m in the middle of a Bible study by Priscilla Shirer entitled “The Armor of God.”  Below is an excerpt – in fact my memory verse for November 15 came from my time in this study.

All day, every day, an invisible war rages around you —
unseen, unheard, yet felt throughout every aspect of your life.
A devoted, devilish enemy seeks to wreak havoc on everything that matters to you:
your heart, your mind, your marriage, your children,
your relationships, your resilience, your dreams, your destiny.

But his battle plan depends on catching you unaware and unarmed.
If you’re tired of being pushed around and caught with your guard down,
this study is for you.

The struggle is real and so is the enemy. However, there is a Savior and His Name is Jesus. And He is REAL and he really cares for you and will make a way for you to have a renewed heart and mind from any and all negative talk and strongholds.

Blessings to you today!

GranJan-BlogSignature

Share

Scripture Memory Team Verse 21 – November 1, 2015

10292544_713027298804447_2891017255611194206_n

Galatians 5:25 – NKJV
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:25 (AMP)
If we [claim to] live by the [Holy] Spirit,
we must also walk by the Spirit
[with personal integrity, godly character,
and moral courage—our conduct empowered
by the Holy Spirit].

My pastor, Dr. Jim Perdue has been preaching through the book of Galatians and the simplicity of this verse jumped out at me a couple of weeks ago as he completed the sermon series. I made a mental note to consider this as a memory verse, so here it is. What I believe this verse means is obvious; however, daily living it out is not as plain. Basically if we belong to Christ and live in His Spirit, then our lives should reflect the same.  I especially love the Amplified version of this verse, seen above in BLUE.

I was in the marching band in high school and we had to “keep in step” all the time. If one of us got out of step it would be obvious to those in the stands, and even more evident to a judge if we were at a competition! Regardless of whether we were just out on the ball field rehearsing or trying to win yet another competition…keeping in step mattered. The same is true in our daily lives. Keeping in step matters every day. Whether we are just at home doing laundry, going about our simple routines…or if we are at church teaching or leading a group of people in Bible study, we must walk in His Spirit.

The best news is that we aren’t left to keep in step in our own strength. His Spirit indwells us…Spirit with a big capital S! As a child of God the Holy Spirit equips me to live the Christ life, to walk in Him, to keep in step. And when I stumble and falter, or even fall flat on my face, that same Spirit is there to pick me up and keep me focused and in step. I’m thankful today that I live in His Spirit and that Jesus enables me to walk in the Spirit and that He orders my steps and lights my path!

GranJan-BlogSignature

Share

Scripture Memory Team Verse 20 – October 15, 2015

10292544_713027298804447_2891017255611194206_n

Psalm 119:147
I rise before dawn and cry for help.

I have put my hope in your word.

There’s something mighty special about the wee hours of the morning before the day breaks. The anticipation of a new day, fresh and clean without any mishaps. Now I will be very clear here – I am not a morning person.  Oh, I’m up early getting ready for work…but I’m just “up.” My mind really works best in the evening. Actually dusk is my favorite time of day, a time to unwind and reflect over the day’s blessings (and yes, the day’s mishaps). In fact my husband and I enjoyed sitting in the swing out by our pond yesterday evening with a nice fire in the firepit to enjoy the chilly fall weather. 

This passage taken from the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119, talks about rising before dawn and crying for help. The basic theme of Psalm 119 is the practical use of the Word of God in the life of the believer. This verse confirms that. The psalmist knew where to go for help and where to place hope. There is no better place to put your hope than in the unfailing word of God.

Whether you love the daylight of dawn or the darkness of dusk, crying for help that can only be found in the word of God is wisdom. I love the quietness of time in prayer and the Word of God early in the morning. It is the best way to start any day. But I can tell you that Our Faithful Mighty God never sleeps or slumbers and you can cry for help at any moment of the day, and He is there.

The most important thing to affirm in this passage is that you know that your hope can find a resting place in His Word. My paternal grandmother, Mary Ruth Maloy, loved this hymn, “My Faith Has Found A Resting Place.”  I love it too and I’m thankful she shared it with me.

My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device or creed;
I trust the ever-living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.

Refrain:
I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

Enough for me that Jesus saves,
This ends my fear and doubt;
A sinful soul I came to Him,
He’ll never cast me out.

My heart is leaning on the Word,
The living Word of God,
Salvation by my Savior’s name,
Salvation through His blood.

My great physician heals the sick,
The lost He came to save;
For me His precious blood He shed,
For me His life He gave.

Cry out to Him, Rest in Him, Hope in His Word,

GranJan-BlogSignature

Share

Scripture Memory Team Verse 19 – October 1, 2015

10292544_713027298804447_2891017255611194206_n

Psalm 12:3 (HCSB)
May the Lord cut off all flattering lips

and the tongue that speaks boastfully.

In this Psalm, David is crying out to God for deliverance from folks who were double-minded and used flattery to deceive. According to Dr. Thomas Constable’s notes, David placed confidence in the promises of God to deliver those who look to Him. Can we just go ahead and say this verse sounds a bit harsh? Cutting off flattering lips and boastful tongues? Hyperbole, yes, but it spoke to me and I pray it sticks (to the roof of my mouth and deep in my heart.) 🙂 

My friend Patsy Randall and I are team-teaching women’s bible study classes on Sunday afternoons. We are both in the same season of life, moms to grown sons, and both of us are also grandmothers…to our great delight and joy. We are just finishing up Jennifer Rothschild’s Hosea Bible study, and getting ready to begin The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer in a couple of weeks.

But we’ve already decided we are going to begin the New Year of 2016 with a study by Karen Ehman called “KEEP IT SHUT!”  We may as well just go ahead and say that title isn’t very soft or appealing either…however, it is a discipline that I crave and I know Patsy does too.

Today the author Karen Ehman has a list called “7 Tips to Stop Shooting From the LIPS!” Woohoo! Don’t you want that list? If so, there is a free printable for you to download at her website and can be found at this link: 7 TIPS TO STOP SHOOTING FROM THE LIPS  I’ve already printed mine and so has Patsy!

My mouth sometimes gets me in a heap of trouble – yes it does! Yesterday was one of those days. Mrs. Ehman says “we have to make the choice every day to put away the verbal ammunition and restrain our words.” Some days we make it, some days we don’t. God is faithful and by His Spirit and armed with the truths learned in His Word, we can overcome!

Blessings to you today!

 GranJan-BlogSignature

Share