I’ve taken several months off blogging. I was starting to feel like my experiments were distracting me from my larger goal of learning to trust Jesus. I wasn’t focusing on the most important things and wanted to take some time off to decide if I wanted to continue with blogging.
One thing I did spend time on this summer was memorizing Psalm 130 with my 4-year old son. A week ago we finished memorizing the entire chapter. We approached it slowly, learning one verse or half a verse at a time and reviewing what we’d learned so far every couple of days. We didn’t add another verse until we’d completely memorized the previous verses.
Memorizing Scripture has never been something I’ve focused on before. When I started doing a preschool program with my son last year we tried memorizing a different verse each week. None of the verses were related to each other and it wasn’t sticking. We’d remember a verse for a week or two and then forget it. We also didn’t remember where in the Bible the verse came from.
Choosing to memorize an entire Psalm has been life-changing for me. It became embedded in my heart. I recite it to myself during the day sometimes when it comes to mind. I pray it for others. I pray it for myself. This has lead to a desire to embed more of Scripture in my heart and mind and memory. It’s exciting to me in a way that just reading the Bible hasn’t been for a long time.
I realized a few days ago that it’s been exactly a year since I did my Read the Whole Bible experiment. I’ve found my next experiment and this seemed like the perfect time to start.
This month I’ll be reading aloud Philippians twice each day, once in the morning and once at night. You might wonder what this has to do with memorizing Scripture. I decided to start with this experiment after reading this blog post by Kenneth Berding, The Easiest Way to Memorize the Bible: What I Learned from Dr. John Mitchell. In it he writes that John Mitchell would read a passage of Scripture out loud 50 times before preaching on it. Over time he memorized a great deal of the Bible without actively trying.
I’ve decided to read Philippians because our church is focusing on Philippians 2:1-15 for the next several weeks and the length is something I can read in about 15 minutes.