Thursday, June 23, 2011

Standing Stones...

I have been participating in a Scripture Memory Challenge over that the Living Proof Ministries blog.  Two years ago, Beth Moore asked for some people to join her in committing to memorize two verses a month. 

On the 1st and 15th of every month we would comment on a specific blog post made for that purpose, and leave our name, city and state, and our bible verse, with the reference and version of the bible we took it from.  I was able to keep up pretty well with the accountability and did all right.

Last year, though Beth didn't do an official challenge, I did still try to keep up the 1st and 15th memorization, but it was hard and I kind of slacked off.  I don't think I would be able to tell you any of those verses anymore (not that I could right now of the ones I memorized in 2009, though I might remember a few).

This year, Beth issued the "challenge" again.  She set up ahead of time, as an incentive for us, a special celebration at her church in Houston, for this coming January, once we all have made it through the year, and all 24 verses. Our ticket in the door is our scripture memory spiral... along with having "signed in" on each post with our name, and memory verse each time, and the ability to say back to another siesta (sister - just one of the folks following along on her blog) 12 out of the 24 verses we have memorized.

Well, I am halfway through.  I went through yesterday and made myself go over and over the verse references, so I have them in the right order, and then I tried to remember all the first phrase of each verse.  Before I fell asleep last night, I went through all 12 and was able to remember the full verses.  I am so thrilled.  This is much better than the past two years.

Maybe it is because I have that incentive.  I already asked my hubby if it would be possible for me to go to the celebration in January, and he said it was fine with him.  I am hoping to meet up with my "siestas" that I have gotten to know from their posts, their blogs... but more important, I am looking forward to celebrating with God the fact that I was able to commit to memory precious bits of His Word that no one can ever steal from me.

This time around, as we are halfway through, Beth asked us to finish the sentence "memorizing God's Word has...."

I realized, as I looked back, that every single verse has made a huge impact on me because each and every one of them has been fitted to my exact need at that moment, or spoke to situations I found myself in for the next 15 days or so after I chose it.

I had to respond to Beth's question of what the memorization has done by saying each verse is a standing stone.  A standing stone attesting to the power of God, the amazing acts of God in my life, in the lives of those around me... Twelve standing stones so far.  I have no doubt that there will be a total of twenty four by the end of the year. 

It's not just a random gathering of verses.  Each time, I ask God to give me exactly what I need for that day and the ones to come.  Each time He has answered me. 

On Monday, I still hadn't chosen a verse for the 15th. I was nearly a week late.  I couldn't find anything to settle on.  It was quiet at church.  I was working, but I felt like I was in so much of a haze.  I just couldn't focus well on anything, and I was all out of sorts.  I think I was dealing with some depression.  I felt disconnected from God, from my emotions, and didn't like the out of touch feeling I was having. 

I finally got so frustrated at not being able to find a verse, and with the way I was feeling, that I said out loud, "God, I just need a Word!  I need a Word from you!" 

I felt silly for saying it out loud and was glad that no one was there to hear me, because it came out much louder than I had intended.

I have been "parked" in First Peter for a while (what I had thought was only a seven day stay turned into a month or more now), and had moved away from that book to find a verse, but found myself back there - and there it was.  My verse.  Literally moments after I cried out, God answered me with a verse.

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light."  1 Peter 2:9

Here I was feeling disconnected from my emotions and God. Frustrated with some things I was working on.  Gloomy because of the dark, rainy weather.


I am chosen.
I am royalty.
I am holy.
I belong to God.

That who I am.
Why?  Whats the purpose of that?

So that I can declare His praises.  Praise God and glorify Him before everyone I meet.  Everyone in my life, that I encounter, who I work with, should be able to see God in me, and hear how He has worked and what He is doing.

Why am I to do that?  What prompts praising God?

He called me out of the darkness.  I remember the darkness well.  But now I am living in His glorious light (I suppose I always was, but didn't see it... now He has pulled the veil of lies away and I can SEE!!!!)

God gave me the verse that I needed to remember.  I had some things that happened on Tuesday that could have really dumped me down.  But I had that verse.  Normally I would have reacted much worse to something like that - and I did react, but it didn't get me down for as long, because I remembered my verse.

No matter what happens, I have an identity defined by God.  I have a purpose defined by God.  I have nothing to fear because I am firmly in His light.  Even if it's a cloudy, dark, cold dreary day!

See. That was an example of how this memory verse is a standing stone to me.  All of the others have their own story to tell.

How I have grown to love standing stones! 

1 comment:

Clay Feet said...

I have an ever increasing appreciation for Peter's letters. Different than John, Peter has a depth of understanding and humility formed in his disastrous denial and subsequent encounter with more grace than most of us ever experience. I see myself more and more like Peter but still too much on the 'before' side. That makes me a bit frightened, but then we don't have to copy other's mistakes, we can learn from them.
Really enjoyed this post and praise God for your amazing growth over the past few years. You are indeed very special and honorable.