Sharpening Our Swords – Helpful hints for memorizing scripture.

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Alright ladies let’s pull out our swords and start sharpening them. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you memorize scripture.

Pray – It seems obvious but sometimes we skip this step.

For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

Accountability – This year we will launch a Scripture Memory Team. When you join, you will have other ladies from the church who are memorizing scriptures right along with you. We will check in with each other on the 1st and 15th of each month to see how things are going. The purpose of the group is encouragement and accountability.

Visibility – Put your selected verse(s) in as many places as you can think of.

  • Put them in a baggie and hang them in the shower.
  • Write them on the bathroom mirror.
  • Place an index card above your steering wheel and read your verse while you are stopped at a light.
  • Put a pretty piece of scrapbook paper in a photo frame and write your verse on the glass. This way you can display it on an end table or on the kitchen counter.
  • Write it on a ribbon and tie it around your wrist.
  • Add it to your Facebook cover photo.
  • Use a scripture chalkboard to display your verse. I made my own using Con-tact Brand self-adhesive paper and a picture that we were not displaying. http://amzn.to/18u1Ct9Image

Gather supplies – Rotary cutter, mat, ruler, Con-tact paper, unused photo, and rubber scraper.

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Trim the salvage edge.

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Measure your frame and cut the Con-tact paper to fit.

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Apply the Con-tact paper as directed. Voila! Now just add your verse and hang it in a high traffic area. (You can work the bubbles out with your fingers or the rubber scraper).

{Hint} Measure twice…cut once. Or you will end up with an extra chalkboard for your refrigerator.

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Read, Write, Repeat – For some saying it aloud again and again will help it stick. Others may benefit from repeatedly copying the verse or writing and illustrating the scripture.

  • Act out the verse using different voices.
  • Print the verse, cut out each word, scramble them up, and then put them back together. (Another tip from my years in Children’s Ministry)
  • Type out the verse.
  • Recite it first thing in the morning and as the last thing you do before you go to bed.
  • Write your verses on spiral bound index cards and carry them in your purse. Pull them out when you have a few seconds to review them. I picked these up in a variety of colors from the Dollar General for under $2.Image
  • Try the Charlotte Mason Scripture Memory System http://www.pinterest.com/pin/75013150017338306/

Relevance – Choose a verse that speaks to you and your current situation. The verse that jumps out at you during your bible study time is probably the one!

Sing it! – Just make up a little ditty or adapt a tune that you already know. I can’t tell you how many verses I have memorized to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Jesus loves me” during my time in Children’s Ministry.

If you have decided make memorizing scripture a  family endeavor I highly recommend Seeds Family Worship CDs http://bit.ly/IOdNWb. They are great for the van.

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Embrace Technology –

  • Set an alarm on your phone that reminds you to read and recite your verse.

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  • Give Scripture Typer a try. You can do this from your computer for FREE http://scripturetyper.com or take it on the go. The app for iPhone is $5.99.
  • The app “A Good Word” has many verses to choose from. Once a verse is selected you can play hangman or do a word search for the missing pieces of scripture. This is a good one for the kids.Image
  • Another app that turns learning into a game is called Remember Me. It’s currently free for Android users through Amazon http://amzn.to/1gAAqfb. iPhone users can purchase the app through iTunes for $2.99. Image
  • Make a Fist – Think of it as gripping the Sword of the Spirit in one hand and then changing hands 🙂 “Getting a grip — literally — by clenching your right fist before remembering information and your left when you want to remember it can boost your recall, according to the latest study… (If you are left-handed, the opposite applies.) {Article from TIME Health & Family}”http://www.pinterest.com/pin/75013150017341991/

Do you have a tried and true or fun and creative method for memorizing scripture? If so, please leave a comment below for others to see.

Teachable Moments In Traffic

This morning was a little out of the ordinary for us because my husband had
to fly last night and was still asleep when we awoke for school. (I don’t
know about you but my children don’t have the capability of being quiet in the morning.) “If you’re quiet this morning we can go get donuts!” brought about the closest thing to stealth mode that my children could muster. That being said – I got them up, dressed, and loaded in the van.
 

Normally I drive down 107 to get to their school on the air base but from
the donut shop it made sense to take 67/167 today. Lo and behold….we hit
traffic. Thankfully, it wasn’t stand still but a 30-40 mph creep. As we were sitting there I was regretting my decision not to take the frontage road when the car in front of us cut through the “emergency vehicle” path in the grass to the frontage lanes. Of course, my son fixated on that and began asking why I didn’t do the same. “It’s illegal,” I replied, “you can get a ticket.” “They will put you in jail!” my kindergartner added. Eyeing the nearly empty frontage road we continued to ooze South on the interstate.

Then I saw it…the little blue car, stuck in a line of probably 15 cars
trying to turn left from the frontage road at a one way stop sign. I won’t
lie…I was a little happy to see it there. If nothing else it gave me a
teachable moment from our morning spent in traffic.

To the kids I said, “Look! There is that little blue car that tried to take
a shortcut. That will teach you something…. There are going to be times in
your life when you are going to be tempted to take the fast or easy way out
of a situation but that might not be God’s plan for you. It could be that he
has a blessing for you and needs you to stay the course. In the end you will
probably come out ahead because you chose to obey.”

How have you used an everyday moment to teach a kingdom principal?

How does your Christianity show when you are driving on the highway?

The Guard and God

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Written by Amanda Geaney

Originally posted to my personal Facebook page March 7, 2013

I am a creature of habit. I like schedules and plans and could care very little for spontaneity or surprises. With that established let me share the story of the Guard and God.

It was early August when Jay called me from his TDY to Little Rock telling me that the Guard unit had asked him to apply for a job. My response over the phone was, “We can talk about it when you get home but be praying about it.” He drove home on Saturday and we talked about all the details before bed. (I may be the only person that has trouble sleeping when a major decision is at hand, tell me if I am wrong, but I didn’t sleep well that night). Sunday morning I woke up before anyone in the house and went downstairs. I wrote a list of all of my concerns about Jays proposition and then prayed for God to show us clear direction and to give us wisdom. That night Jay found out that he did not get a school slot (closed door). Then on Monday the Guard in St. Joseph, MO called and asked if Jay would like a full time job in their unit (open door). Clear direction, right? Taking it as such, we drove to St. Joseph’s to drop of a resume, sightsee, and look for homes but in the end the full time position became an unsure thing (closed door).

By the end of the month Jay was convinced that Little Rock was where we needed to be. We loaded the van and drove South for a meet and greet. In all honesty, I was just along for the ride because I was still so sure that God had wanted us to go to St. Joe. Why else would that phone call have come the day after I had prayed? I sarcastically teased Jay that the unit would greet him at the door with flowers and balloons as he dropped us off at the TLF and changed into his uniform. When he walked out the door I circled the kids and we prayed that “if this is your will, God, we ask that daddy (Jay) would find favor with this unit and get offered a job.” After a couple of hours he didn’t return with flowers or balloons but he had been offered a position with the 189th. The ride back to Scott was long so we had plenty of time to talk and think about what the transition to the guard would mean for us. After 8 active duty deployments and countless weeks tdy, leaving the comforts of active duty for a non-deployable, traditional with the possibility of a full-time position job, didn’t seem like such a gamble but more like a chance to grow roots and provide a more stable home life for the children.

September 1st, the house went on the market For Sale By Owner. Prayers continued: Is this Your will? Is it the right choice for our family? Please God bring us a buyer! We prayed, friends prayed, my faithful prayer warriors from Community Bible Study (CBS) prayed on our behalf. Nothing.

Jay’s job was suppose to start January 4th but there was no buyer for our house in sight. We had a few interested parties but one thing or another always presented a problem. More prayers. Then doubt. I remember being in CBS and grumbling that maybe this was Jay’s will and not Gods will but my friends were quick to rebuke me (Ephesians 5:22). I needed that attitude check.

After 30 days without a showing, we listed with an agent. Time was running out as the days rolled into December. One afternoon in the shower (my only place to be alone with my thoughts) it came to me, “We are just going to have to trust that God is going to do this and schedule the movers.” I shared this thought with Jay and he asked what I would do if the movers came but the house didn’t sell. I had a back up plan to have the movers take everything except the furniture in the basement which the children and I could use until the house sold. Then when it sold we would donate it to Beacon of Belleville Furniture Ministry. They offer pick up so moving the furniture wouldn’t be an issue. Jay scheduled the movers to pack December 26th & 27th and move on the 28th.

Christmas came and went and the movers were at our house. Prayers: “Okay God, I’m trusting.” The house was empty.

December 30th 12:59 pm my neighbor texts me: “Good afternoon I know you might be at church or busy with the move but I was trying to see if you guys got the house rented yet?” January 1st she signed a 3 year lease and asked for a move in date of January 18th. We loaded the van and drove to Little Rock the same day to house hunt. January 2nd, change of plans, the neighbor called and asked if she could move in the coming weekend. We put an offer on a house with 10 acres and Jay left that night to return to Illinois to pack out the house. January 3rd (my birthday) Jay returned and at dinner a call came that the offer was excepted on our new home.

We moved out of the hotel and into the motorhome the following day. Previously, in November, I had called to make reservations for Jay to stay there should he have to move by himself but was told that part of the camp was under construction and it was expected to last beyond the projected date of completion. We were told there would be no spots available. However, when we drove by Fam Camp two slots were open and we quickly snatched one up. By staying at the Fam Camp on base we were eligible to register Joseph in the base school.

January 15th I met my new CBS class servants team leaders for lunch. In the process of telling our story I shared a photo of the kids in the motorhome. Immediately and without hesitation we are offered a house to stay in. In fact, Mrs. Stella insists that we stay there and asked me to follow here to the home after lunch to see it. I did not know that there were views like the one that this home had in the state of Arkansas, beautiful. After work I drove Jay to the house explaining what had transpired and that night we moved in.

The bottom line is we prayed, we waited, we had moments of doubt, but when we stepped out in faith God delivered (BIG!!).

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Lessons learned:

1. Pray – “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22

In this particular case my first response was to pray. To ask God for His will in our lives and to cast my fears on Him. I confess that often times I react out of emotion/fear or my “fix-it” mentality and then go to God but I am working on that.

2. Wait – This is the hardest part for me! I found myself trying to help things along and the whole time He was saying “Be still. Trust me to see you through this and to bless as many people as I can through this.”

3. Attitude – The one thing that I was completely in control of the entire time was my attitude. Would I trust God to work through our lives and through my husband or would I worry. Would I submit to my husband (Ephesians 5:22-23) or would I be pessimistic and argumentative.

4. Godly Counsel – “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs 12:15. Not only were the ladies from my bible study praying with me, they were providing Godly counsel. When I began to doubt if my husband was yielding to the Spirit or pursuing his own agenda my friends reminded me that God would deal with Jay. My responsibility was to respectfully submit to my husband. God would bless my obedience (now or later). If you are going through a difficult time seek out women of faith who can give you guidance and help bring things into a Godly perspective.

Building His Ministry

This is His ministry. The five of us that compose the steering team have bathed this ministry and each other in prayer as we continue to seek God’s will for the Women’s Ministry at First Baptist Cabot. We’ve conducted a survey, followed by focus groups, and more prayer. When it comes down to it… we are waiting. Waiting to see where God is going to lead us. Who He is going to call to serve along side us. Waiting for His Spirit to speak into our hearts so that we can pour into the ladies of the church. We have heard the needs of the women of the church and we are calling on God to help us meet those needs. The need to KNOW the Word and it’s Author personally and intimately, to GROW spiritually through studies and friendships that build and encourage, and to be empowered to SHOW the love of Christ to others.

We wait with anticipation.

We pray with confidence.

This is His ministry.