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How Lettuce Helps Me Memorize Scripture, Part 2

  • Posted on: 24 November 2015
  • By: Keith Reed

In the first part of this blog, I outlined three excuses that adults sometimes use to convince themselves that committing verses to memory isn't important. If you missed this post, you can find it here.

Our minds have an incredible ability to remember, but we often lack the creative energy or the creative methods to make the important things stick. Let me suggest a number of ways that you can develop Bible memory like you develop muscle memory:

Use Props and Associations

When I was a child in Sunday school, the classic strategy was erasing individual words from a Bible verse and reading it aloud as a group. This was effective (reading something 20+ times over 20+ minutes will do this), but it was painfully boring at times. Thankfully, I also remember a teacher using a head of lettuce to help us remember the beginning of Galatians 6:9 (“Let us not become weary in doing good…”). I remember another time when a racing illustration was used: On your mark, get set, “Go into all the world and preach the good news…” (Mark 16:15). Be creative in how you develop associations to the key words you're memorizing. The options are nearly limitless.

Find a Partner

Sharing your goal with another person greatly increases your chance at succeeding. When you’re working with someone to memorize Scripture, it will also provide you with a number of creative options (i.e. you can text the verse to each other during the day or develop a scoreboard to see how each of you are doing).

Involve Children

Kids are naturally creative! Ask for them for ideas on how you can remember a verse and see what they come up with (scavenger hunt anyone?).

Use Music

There’s a good chance that a musician has already developed a song from a verse you’re trying to memorize. Try googling the verse to see what comes up. You can also try writing your own song or taking an existing tune and exchanging its lyrics for the words from the verse (if you choose to do this, please upload your recording online and send me the link!). 

Make it Visible

Save the verse as your computer’s screen saver or use it as the image for your phone. Use sticky notes on your car’s dashboard or on your mirror in the bathroom. Set up a reoccurring meeting for your online calendar and include the verse in your meeting notes.

How Lettuce Helps Me Memorize Scripture, Part 1

  • Posted on: 23 November 2015
  • By: Keith Reed


Memorizing Scripture used to be a staple of the Christian community. It used to be essential to teaching curriculum and a recognized mark of spiritual maturity. But I currently find it difficult to find adults memorizing Scripture with any sort of regularity or urgency. Why is this? A few reasons come to my mind that are based on my own observations:

The Childhood Fallacy

My guess is that the vast majority of Christ followers committed verses to memory early on in their Christian walk (be this as a child or close to the time of their conversion). But this practice has a way of fading as the years go on. The sad reality is that memorizing verses is seen as a chore for children and not an essential practice for all believers. It is quite common for a church to give an ovation after a young person publicly recites a verse aloud. But it is extremely uncommon to find adults challenging other adults to memorize Scripture, even though they tell their children it’s an important exercise. 

The Psalmist teaches that blessing comes to the person who delights and meditates on the law of the Lord (Ps 1:1-3). He says that God’s Word keeps people from committing sin (Ps 119:11). And while the young are specifically addressed at times (Ps 119:9), there is no indication that this activity should be reserved for the young minded.

Categorizing Bible memorization as a childish practice is bad theology. Even worse, it devalues God’s Word. 

The Cost Is More Than We Want to Pay

Committing anything to memory requires two things: time and effort. Most people think they suffer from a lack of time, but a more truthful statement is that most people are unwilling to invest the necessary time to memorize Scripture. While God has entrusted each person with a diversity of gifts and resources, He has chosen to give all of us the same amount of time. Our lifespans will vary, but all of us are given 24 hours each day and 168 hours per week. How we use the time He entrusts to us is a stewardship issue.

Five Reasons to Go on a Prayer Retreat

  • Posted on: 13 November 2015
  • By: Randy Wollf

Last week, I had the opportunity to go on a daylong prayer retreat. I came away refreshed, more in love with Jesus, and with a keener sense of His priorities for my life. Going on these kinds of retreats is something I’ve been doing for over 20 years (sometimes more regularly than others). Here are five reasons why I do them (and why I think others should consider doing them, as well):

We Experience Rest and Refreshment

When I go on a prayer retreat, I try not to schedule too many activities. It’s an opportunity for me to slow down – to practice a true day of rest. I come away from these times refreshed in body, mind, and spirit.

We Enter into Silence

Susan Moto says, “In a noise-polluted world, it is even difficult to hear ourselves think let alone try to be still and know God. Yet it seems essential for our spiritual life to seek some silence, no matter how busy we may be. Silence is not to be shunned as empty space, but to be befriended as fertile ground for intimacy with God.”

I know that silence is difficult to embrace when we are not used to it (yes, it may mean shutting off our electronic devices). Yet, silence creates a space where we can experience God in a deeper way.

We Connect with Jesus

Healthy relationships require time to connect. A prayer retreat gives us the opportunity to spend prolonged, intimate time with Jesus – listening, talking, and just being together. During a prayer retreat, I will find myself adoring God through praise. I’ll spend time interceding for others. Sometimes, I’m brought to my knees in confession as the Spirit reveals sin in my life. Throughout the day, I experience God’s love and express my love to Him. I cannot think of a time when I left a prayer retreat not feeling more in love with Jesus.

We Gain a Renewed Focus

When I remove myself from my normal activities for a prolonged period of time, I am better able to focus on Jesus. As I do so, I am more likely to gain his perspective on my life, both the present and the future. My fears and anxieties begin to fade into the background as God takes centre stage.

We Receive Guidance

There is something powerful about prolonged, uninterrupted time with God that allows us to draw close to Him and hear His quiet voice. Whether it’s related to a significant personal decision, a family matter, or a work situation, I find that God will often speak into those situations as I take time to listen.

What is your experience with prayer retreats? I would love to hear what you have found beneficial (you can leave a comment below).