Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Press in exchange for my honest review.
2. James 1 – Perspective on trials and temptations; how to live your faith.
4. 1 Corinthians 13 – How to love and what it looks like in everyday life.
7. Philippians 3:7-20 – Christ as our everything and our future hope.
Other related posts:
2. Establish a routine of a few minutes per day at a certain time, but be careful not to turn it into something mechanical. Remind yourself of the reasons to memorize Scripture when you lose your motivation (see post: Why Memorize Scripture?).
3. Memorize up to 3 verses a week. More than that might tend to get confusing and recall may not be as simple. Of course, this varies from person to person, so be sure to gauge how much overwhelms you and then back off if you are tackling too much.
4. On the first day, read the verse you are memorizing 10 times to yourself (John Piper’s great idea). Read aloud ten times, mentally picturing it in your mind. Hearing helps cement the words in your head. Look at the words only when necessary.
5. On the following days, read the verse several times. Break the passage into natural phrases. Move on to the next phrase when you can say it several times without looking. See how many you can join together. Peak for hints when you need to. Keep doing this for several days because repetition and review is the key.
6. Learn a little bit very well instead of a whole bunch poorly. Writing it down helps you to think about each word. Re-write sections you keep missing.
7. Recite it out loud or listen to someone recite it out loud – not in monotone or as if reading aloud, but in a conversational style, thinking how it would sound if someone were just saying it for the first time. I heard Beth Moore do this in reciting the book of James (Mercy Triumphs) and I still hear the words she emphasizes and the slow deliberate speaking style that sticks especially difficult verses in my mind.
8. Speak it into your life and find ways to live it. Use it in conversation, journaling teaching, counseling, daily situations, and the self-talk in your head.
9. Frequently review verses you have already learned. Tim LaHaye recommends reviewing the new verses daily for 7 weeks, then reviewing them once per week for 7 months, then reviewing once per month for 7 months.
Have you ever wondered about the man with 6 fingers or other peculiar people, places, or things in the Bible? Exploring the Unexplained, by Trent Butler, claims to help you gain deeper understanding for the Bible in understanding confusing stories in an easy-to-read format.
In the format of a dictionary, the people, places, and things are listed in alphabetical order. Each word includes a passage in the Bible where it is mentioned and a definition or explanation of how it is used. An “issue” question is then provided for further thought or discussion that makes it relevant to life.
This book includes some ideas in the introduction how to use this book for Bible games and activities and would be fun and useful for Sunday School teachers or small discussion leaders. But don’t expect it to answer all your questions about the unusual, hard-to-explain, and difficult-to-understand stories in the Bible as it claims it will do on the back cover. No answers beyond the simple definitions are provided, and the issue questions might leave you even more confused than when you started.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.
Could the church lack credibility with our culture because Christians would rather be right than be in relationship with one another? Why is it that many Christians are tempted to replace relationship with reason, ensuring our doctrine is correct, factual, precise, often at the expense of relationship?
The life of faith is about following Jesus, forgiving, seeking, rejoicing, sharing; it is a life of relating to God, others, and creation. “Disciples are not known by how well they defend orthodox propositions, but by how well they love one another”, writes Leonard Sweet in his book What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person. Sweet challenges us to think about whether our convictions crowd out friendships and argues that relationship is pivotal to Christian theology.
Sweet expands his theme in eight sections that address relationships with God, His Story, others – in and outside the faith, creation, symbols, art, technology, and the spiritual world. Thought- provoking study questions at the back of the book are great for individual use. For group use, the answers are not easy for off-the-cuff responses but could really lead into some deep conversations.
For me, the phrase “personal relationship with Jesus Christ” is a cliché, void of meaning, perhaps because I have heard it regularly my entire life. Sweet opened my eyes to the significance from a completely different angle. This book is not a self-help book nor stuffed with fluff, but rather, a relational theology of what it means to be in relationship with God and how that impacts every other aspect of life.
When starting this book, I was tempted to make assumptions about what Sweet is trying to say. Yes, he is emphasizing relationships, but ultimately he doesn’t throw doctrine and truth out the window. Instead, without explicitly saying so, he shows how doctrine and relationship are intertwined and dependent on each other as shown through Jesus Christ.
Sweet puts an untraditional spin on the story of Abraham and his potential sacrifice of his son Isaac, suggesting that Abraham didn’t quite get it right in his obedience to God’s command. Whether or not you agree with his innovative interpretation that is based on where the Bible is silent, it is at least worth thinking about and worth continuing to read.
If you desire a fresh new slant on the familiar, want to engage more deeply with Scripture, or need to be motivated to live out your faith more passionately, Sweet will inspire you to live dynamically in every aspect of your life. This book is in my top list of favorites and I plan to read it repeatedly for wisdom.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterbrookMultnomah Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
While driving last week and listening to the radio, I heard a discussion on being a “Jesus stalker”. It stopped my thoughts in their tracks - a Jesus stalker? If all you do is read the Bible or go to church or memorize Scripture, gathering information about Jesus but not actually talking to Him, then maybe you area Jesus stalker. Collecting all the information you can without pursuing a relationship is stalkerish.
The analogy of the stalker falls apart, though. Usually a stalker wants a relationship but for some reason feels like he can’t have it. God is not like a stalker victim. He is the one pursuing the relationship with us but leaves it up to us as to whether we respond, or even notice. But He’s not the stalker, either. He doesn’t harass us into a relationship with him.
· Using Scripture memory as a tool for meditation, listening, and prayer ;
· Praying Scripture that I’m reading/studying in the form of praise, thanksgiving, confession, and/or request;
· Singing or meditating using music into my devotional time;
What are some ways you really connect with the Father in your quiet time?