2017 Scripture Memory Team – March

March is a month for change. Change in the weather, change in time (daylight savings), and even change of season. The Vernal Equinox – when both day and night are each 12 hours long.  The old English proverb “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” is surely holding true here in Georgia with such varied temperatures! March also brought the “time change.” Springing forward is challenging to us non-morning folks. However the trade-off is worth everything because dusk, eventide, twilight…is my favorite time of day, and I love more light in the evenings.

My verses for March brought some change too. A sense of challenge to recognize some of His amazing attributes. Loving and obeying Him more, and recognizing His faithfulness in everything.

March 1: My Pastor, Dr. Jim Perdue is preaching through 1 John and I have really been encouraged and strengthened through these sermons. This verse is one of those “jump off the pages of the Bible” verses. I have been taught from childhood to obey His commandments. Love and obedience walk together. I always wanted to please my parents and be obedient. I’m a rule follower, truly. The joy in this verse is the second half ~ His commandments are not burdensome. You know how your heart rests and is at peace when you are obedient. You don’t carry the burdens of guilt and fret over your poor choices.  Isn’t it good news to know that His commandments are not burdensome? Thank you Jesus for being our burden-bearer and commandment-giver.

March 15: Girl, you better get your hopes up! I remember hearing that quote at a conference from Thelma Wells. She rolled it off her tongue like this…Girrrrrrrrrrrlll, you bettah git yo hopes up. That challenge to remain hopeful has stayed with me for years. We must always have hope and our hope must be in Christ. Not a wavering hope, but steadfast hope. And why? Because He who promised is faithful. The older I get the more I see His faithful ways. It’s because I have more days to look back on and see His faithfulness in my life. I’m confident in my confession of unwavering hope. Not because I’m strong, but because Jesus is, and He doesn’t break His promises.
I hope you are resting in the truth of these two verses…whether you’ve ever read them or not.

  • His commandments are not burdensome.
  • He who promised is faithful.

The Solid Rock is one of my favorite hymns.  I love this first verse especially:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

Believe, hope, obey, and celebrate!


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2017 Scripture Memory Team – February

Happy last day of February! It is like Springtime here in Georgia. We always have a cold snap before spring officially arrives, so I’m sure March will come in like a lion tomorrow before going out like a lamb at the end of next month.

I am continuing with the Living Proof Ministries plan for memorizing scripture and can’t wait to share my two verses for the month. This is one of the best plans for accountability with a “do-able” program to keep you encouraged.

February 1: I am continuing with the Psalms – Psalm 62, verse 8.  Dr. Thomas Constable says, “There is scarcely another psalm that reveals such an absolute and undisturbed peace, in which confidence in God is so completely unshaken, and in which assurance is so strong that not even one single petition is voiced throughout the psalm.” What a JOY to know that we can Trust in God at ALL times and pour our hearts out before Him.  He truly is a refuge. A refuge is a shelter or protection from danger and trouble, a place of safety. Isn’t that wonderful news? God is a refuge. Pour out your heart before Him – He is safety. Tell Him everything – He already knows anyway and you will be so refreshed when you lay those burdens and heartaches down. 

February 15:  February 15th is my husband’s birthday. He is a wonderful man, worship leader, husband, father, grandfather and more. The simplicity of Philemon verse 4 is how I feel about this man of mine. I thank God for him daily as I pray for him.  I thank God for bringing  us together over 40 years ago as high school sweethearts.  I really do thank God for the joy of being his wife and partner in ministry, and the mother to our sons.

Our choir had a surprise party for Gary as his birthday fell on a Wednesday this year. We celebrated at the end of choir rehearsal with a beautiful cake and much love and laughter! We love our Second Baptist family and are thankful and blessed to serve them. This cake was HUGE and very delicious (from the awesome Wilson’s Bakery in Warner Robins, Georgia).

“Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
the last of life,
for which the first was made.
Our times are in his hand who saith,
‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half;
Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!” 

Robert Browning

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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.

 

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Scripture Memory Team Verse 24 – December 15, 2015

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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:

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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,

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Scripture Memory Team Verse 23 – December 1, 2015

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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.

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Scripture Memory Team Verse 22 – November 15, 2015

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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!

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Scripture Memory Team Verse 21 – November 1, 2015

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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!

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