The Value of Memorizing Scripture

If you have been visiting my blog for awhile, it will be no surprise to you that I have a passion for memorizing Scripture.  I have not done this perfectly. I have not been as consistent as I would have liked to have been over the years.  I have struggled with reviewing and retaining what I have memorized. I am a firm believer that something is better than nothing, so I keep plugging away at it.  

There are times in my life when the value of this practice is given a spotlight by the Lord.  When this happens, it motivates me to keep memorizing.  My recent circumstances were one of those spotlight moments.

These pandemic days are unlike any other time in my life.  I recently returned stateside to be with my daughter during her surgery and recovery. The last couple of weeks were a whirlwind of activity with packing bags, saying final goodbyes and trying to meet all the requirements necessary for Japan to allow me to enter the country.  It was all very nerve-racking and I must confess that there were times that I was feeling quite anxious about it all.

It was in those anxious moments that the Lord would flood my mind with Scriptures that I have memorized in the past.  Verses about His presence, His love and His power. Verses that reminded me that if I had to do my quarantine in a hotel in Tokyo alone instead of at home, He was still in control.  I would not be alone.

One particular passage that I have been reviewing during this time is Psalm 91.  I memorized it last year with an online group when the pandemic began.  Recently, the Lord brought some of the verses to my mind during one of my more anxious moments.  I decided to pull out the card with the verses on it and review it everyday until my departure. I also reviewed it on the plane when I was on my way.  I can’t tell you the peace that those verses brought to my heart and mind.  It was a peace that passes all understanding.  

If hiding God’s Word in your heart has not been a part of your life, I would like to encourage you to begin now. You will not be disappointed.  God will honor any effort no matter how small. 

If you would like some more encouragement or information about this spiritual discipline please refer to 31 Days of Scripture Memory or click on the tab in the header.  Comment below and let me know that you want to get started and I will pray for you.  If you already are a memorizer, what are you working on?  What motivates you to keep working?  Let’s encourage one another!

Little is Much

January 10, 2011 in South Carolina

In the harvest field now ripened
There’s a work for all to do;
Hark! the voice of God is calling
To the harvest calling you.

Does the place you’re called to labor
Seem too small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He’ll not forget His own.

When the conflict here is ended
And our race on earth is run,
He will say, if we are faithful,
“Welcome home, My child, well done!” 

Little is much when God is in it,
Labor not for wealth or fame;
There’s a crown, and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ name.

~Kittie L. Suffield

Pondering

“But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

-Luke 2:19

Years ago, a very dear Titus 2 friend in my life encouraged me to ask the Lord to show me something new from His story during each Christmas season.  I have continued to do this each year.  I wish I would have started a list to write down all of the lessons so that I could review them each year.  One year in particular that comes back to my mind was the year that I meditated on the fact that Mary pondered in her heart.

There are many things that I ponder about.  Sometimes it is something that I want to remember and not forget.  Sometimes it is something that I don’t have an answer for.  Sometimes it is something that I know I should pray about, but I don’t know how to pray.  Romans 8:26 tells us that when we don’t know how to pray as we ought, His Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered!  What an amazing and comforting thought!!

At some point in time, I decided to add a page in my prayer notebook entitled pondering.  On this page I write the things that I don’t know how to pray about.  It might be a person I am burdened for.  It could be a situation that I know needs fixing, but I don’t know how to fix it.  It could just be something I see God doing and wonder what the outcome will be.

What a joy to look over that list and ponder over what God has done or is doing!  It’s not always easy, but God’s hand is in it and He is there!

What are you pondering over today? May I encourage you to give it to the Lord and see what He will do.

An Update and A New Bible Memory Project

I have safely returned to Japan.  There were a lot of requirements, but I was able to meet them all.  I thank the Lord that the final step of another cov1d* test upon landing was negative.  I was permitted to go home for my 14 day quarantine.  I couldn’t use public transportation or take a domestic flight, so my husband picked me up in Tokyo and we made the 5 hour trip home.  It was a long trip with little sleep.  One of the blessings of a quarantine is that I can catch up one some much needed rest…maybe!  HA!  I tend to try to play catch up on things, but I am trying to slow down a little.

My daughter has fully recovered from her surgery and we are amazed at what God has done.  Thank you to those who prayed!

This is also a good time for me to start a new memory project.  I was praying about what that should be when my favorite online memory group announced their latest project.  If you are interested in participating, please click on the button below.  As a disclaimer:  I do not participate in Lent, but there is value in memorizing Scripture.  I hope you will join us!

*This misspelling is deliberate. I have been flagged on other sites when I use that word, so I am trying to avoid that. I also don’t want that little pop-up that often arises when that word is used.  Thank you for your understanding.

Believing

My word for 2021 is believing.  I knew in the fall of 2020 that this would be my word for this year.  There were reasons for that that I won’t go into in this blog post.  At the time, I had no idea how much I would need the focus on this word in this new year.

I am preparing to return to Japan with all the Covid regulations for travel.  It is nerve-racking to say the least.  I saw the Lord open wide “the Red Sea” for my return to the states and I know that He can do it again, but oh how easily I forget.  It is so easy to get my eyes off of the Lord and onto my circumstances.  

Two verses have stood out to me at the beginning of this year.  I am memorizing them and adding them to my prayers.  Whenever I finish my prayers with these words from God’s precious Word, I am helped.  

“Lord, you have told me that if I would believe, I would see Your glory. Lord, I believe.  Help thou my unbelief.” 

-based on John 11:40 and Mark 9:24

I have seen the Lord help me in my unbelief.  So many times I pray about things and then pick the burden back up instead of leaving it with the Lord whose shoulders are so much bigger than mine.  I want to get to a place in my life where I am praying believing that I will see the glory of God!

A Sunday Meditation

Thou camest, O Lord, with the living word
That should set Thy people free;
But with mocking scorn, and with crown of thorn,
They bore Thee to Calvary.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

When the heavens shall ring, and the angels sing,
At Thy coming to victory,
Let Thy voice call me home, saying “Yet there is room,
There is room at My side for thee.”
My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus,
When Thou comest and callest for me.

~E. S. Elliot

*****

Please pray for my dear daughter over these next few weeks.  I have made a trip back to the states to be with her. This is part of my reason for being MIA here at the blog. She will be having back surgery December 14th.  Prayers for my husband would be appreciated as well.  This is our busy season in Japan and we will be apart for the holidays. I am glad that he has family there.

A Sunday Meditation


Oh, how sweet the glorious message simple faith may claim:
Yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the same;
Still He loves to save the sinful, heal the sick and lame,
Cheer the mourner, still the tempest glory to His name!

He who was the friend of sinners seeks the lost one now:
Sinner, come, and at His footstool penitently bow;
He who said, “I’ll not condemn thee, go and sin no more,”
Speaks to thee that word of pardon as in days of yore.

Oft on earth He healed the suff’rer by His mighty hand:
Still our sicknesses and sorrows go at His command;
He who gave His healing virtue to a woman’s touch
To the faith that claims His fullness still will give as much.

As He walked once to Emmaus, with them to abide,
So thro’ all life’s way He walketh ever near our side;
Soon again we shall behold Him hasten, Lord, the day
But ’twill still be this same Jesus as He went away.

Refrain:
Yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the same,
All may change, but Jesus never glory to His name!
Glory to His name! Glory to His name!
All may change, but Jesus never glory to His name!

~Albert B. Smith 

*The photo is from another morning walk in our lovely park.  They are dredging the lake this winter.  It is needed, but I will miss these views.

A Cultural Moment

Context can be everything. Even though we have lived in Japan for many years, we still think and act instinctively like a westerner.

My husband and I had lunch at a favorite lunch buffet recently. He came back to our table with some fish and commented that they had avocado for the fish and how unusual that was.  I was so excited!! He got some for me too. I slathered it all over my fish as he took the first bite. I am so glad that he took that first bite. Turns out it was wasabi!  The heat from wasabi can make you feel like your face is coming off. The only good thing about it is that the heat doesn’t last like it does when eating hot peppers. We should have known that it was wasabi.  After all, we were in Japan and when did we ever see them serve avocado with fish? I’m sure that when we see what looks like avocado in the future, we will be more apprehensive.  

P.S.  Wasabi is good in moderation swirled in soy sauce, especially with sushi.