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Archive for July, 2014

 

Bible memory

I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.
~Psalm 119:16

For years (and years) I’ve labored under the conviction that I am unable to memorize.  Ask my kids, as I’m often the brunt of their good-humored ribbing.  Take for instance my propensity to sing with gusto songs that should be very familiar to me, but songs I end up making up words here and there or humming (or more conspicuously, mumbling) a bit now and again when I realize (or don’t realize) that I no longer remember the actual words.  The fruits of memorizing Scripture is appealing to me, but planting the words in my heart and mind has always seemed out of reach.  However…

This makes a lot of sense to me.  My son-in-law recently directed his friends to a post that highlighted a simple, low-tech, low-cost method for Scripture memorization and review. When I found out this is the Charlotte Mason Method of Recitation, I knew that it would be specific and effective. I was correct.

Like many home-school moms, I learned to love and trust the gentle, but determined 19th century educator, Charlotte Mason.  Her reliance on “twaddle free” living books with noble themes and engaging stories really resonated with me. I instinctively knew I wanted this for my children and it eventually led me to embrace the literature-based Sonlight curriculum for our reading, history, and science lessons.

When given a Bible, a North Korean defector to South Korea said, “As a man who is full cannot understand another man who is starving, I do not think other Christians around the world would anticipate that there are people who desperately desire to read the Bible once in their lifetime.”

Most likely those reading this have unlimited access to the Bible, whether in print or on-line. I wonder to what extent we will answer for our cavalier attitudes toward God’s Word, behaving like glutted diners before another full course instead of hungry beggars seeking our daily bread. I wonder to what extent we will ever be forced to rely on what Scripture we have hidden in our hearts like our brothers and sisters in prisons around the world for their testimonies.  I wonder what peace would be mine (Ps. 119:165), what influences God might expand in my life (Ps. 119:46), what sin might be averted (Ps. 119:11), what joy might settle in my spirit (Ps. 119:7) if I had a greater storehouse and recall of God’s precious teaching and promises to me. This system allows an individual or family to add to their memorization file and monthly review their already memorized verses.

SimplyCharlotteMason shares the method here.  It requires only a recipe card file box, recipe cards, and 44 file box dividers with tabs.  Simply Charlotte offers free, printable Scripture cards and pre-printed divider tabs to get jump-started. Print directions for this memory/review system would be complex, but this 6-minute video presents the process in a clean, understandable manner. [The site also links to a free app for Windows 8 users if this old-school method seems inhibiting.]

To strengthen resolve, it would be helpful to hear real-life stories of how God has employed the memorized Word to bring Him glory, as well as the systems and the recitation methods others are using to successfully memorize Scripture.

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
~ Psalm 119:103

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Appreciating spouses clip art

A dear friend of mine has another brand new son-in-law.  Four days into his new marriage he bravely posted an article (below) on how to show appreciation to your wife.  I know… I can hear the audible gasp.  Those of us who have been married for a while have learned that we don’t play our hand quite so openly as that. I don’t know if men ever even read such articles (which is a bit frustrating if they don’t); but women, who often do, learn quickly to read such things on the sly so as not to be held accountable (or worse, deemed uncaring or insensitive should we fail).

Well, in three days, July 14, Dana and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary (another audible gasp… I know). Also our oldest son has just proposed to (and been accepted by) a dear girl and will spend the year ahead preparing for their life together. It seems as good a time as any to humbly acknowledge my need and desire to continue to try to be a better and better wife. I know so much of this goal is wrapped up in showing appreciation (which is different than simply being appreciative). The Oxford on-line dictionary defines appreciation as “the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.”

I don’t know anything about Chris Ayres, but she has put together a couple good lists to help us show appreciation for our mates. For appreciating our husbands, Ayers sought the advice of her husband and some of his friends as to what wives can do to make their husbands feel appreciated. She compiled the appreciate your wife list with the help of her own friends (many of whom are spouses to her husband’s friends). All in all, they seem to be fair lists and would certainly be a good place for any of us to start. It may mean opening myself to scrutiny and correction, but perhaps flying a visible standard will better hold me accountable for what I know and desire (instead of dabbling on the sidelines and claiming ignorance).

HOW TO SHOW APPRECIATION TO YOUR HUSBAND

• Communicate effectively

o Say please when you ask him to do something for you.

o Use kind, gentle words when speaking with him.

o Praise him in the little things that he does for you every day.

o Encourage him gently, without being pushy, while striving to make the journey together.

o Be calm in your heart and avoid acting harshly with him.

o Do not escalate fights. Be peaceful and don’t cause drama over little things.

• Be supportive

o Recognize his effort at work and what he does for the family.

o Believe in his potential, in what he can do and in what he needs.

o Love him unconditionally. This includes looking past his imperfections.

o Remind him about small imperfections, but focus on his good qualities.

o Inspire him by your firm determination to act in life and be the best person you can.

o Be positive; have hope and fight together for a better future for your family.

o Be his understanding companion.

o Leave notes telling him that you appreciate his acts and appreciate him in general.

• Show unconditional love

o Forgive easily. Do not hold a grudge or resentment.

o Look into his eyes with love.

o Help and ask for his help to keep the house clean and organized; make sure that it gives off the vibe of “welcome home!”

o Take care of yourself and your appearance.

o Be positive and have a good sense of humor.

o Make an extra effort to always have a smile on your face, especially when he comes home or does something for you.

o Want to have an adventure together. It shows that you like being in his company.

Show him respect

o Be punctual.

o Do not complain about your life or his work; the hard work that he does for you.

o Ask for his help for difficult things.

o Respect his ideas and opinions in all parts of your family.

o Be honest but subtle.

HOW TO SHOW APPRECIATION FOR YOUR WIFE
(in no discernible order)

• Give her flowers for no reason except to say, “I love you!”

• Try and help to keep the house clean, especially the kitchen and the places that you use.

• Respect her opinions and come to an agreement together.

• Plan dates with little surprises.

• Leave little love notes before you go to work.

• Check the doors and windows before you go to bed; sleep closest to the door.

• Cover the bed on cold nights and keep her covered if you are out of bed.

• Be the Man in situations that show courage and honesty.

• When you are ready to make-out make sure that you smell good and brush your teeth.

• Try to leave work at work and pay attention to your wife and family when you get home.

• Use to your advantage the power of touch. Touching produces oxytocin, a hormone that diminishes stress and increases confidence, either through hands, hugs or kisses.

• Be interested in what she has to say and pay attention to her ideas.

• Never put her down, especially in front of other people.

• Plan times that you can spend together and do your very best to make it happen, to show that you love her and want to spend your time with her.

• Ask for forgiveness when you do something wrong and forgive her when she does something wrong.

• Be grateful for the dedication that she has for the family and everything she does, like cleaning the house, doing the laundry, dishes, cooking and everything else, every day.

• Demonstrate that you appreciate her more with actions than words.

• Always remember important dates like your anniversary and her birthday.

• Do your best to keep the toilet seat lid down and clean.

• Be a reliable father and spend quality time with the kids.

• Work to agree with your wife when it comes to the kids.

• Compliment her on her appearance, especially in the morning when she just woke up, has no make-up and has messy hair.

• Stay a little longer in bed with her in the morning.

• Don’t rush her.

• Send her Instant Messages and text messages for no reason, always say good things.

• Be affectionate, hug her and kiss her even if she isn’t in the mood for sex.

• Include her when you make plans.

• Come home from work quickly because you miss your wife.

• Worry about her health and always try to take care of her.

• Make her smile with a joke, or with a mischievous smile.

P.S. Please don’t judge me for the clip art.
This is really one of the things I appreciate of Dana.

In his stand-up routine, Tim Allen talks about all the choices women have:
Women now have choices. They can be married, not married, have a job,
not have a job, be married with children, unmarried with children.
Men have the same choice we’ve always had – work – or prison.

I have always appreciated that Dana heads to work each day,
year round, without question; literally, our pizza-winner.
Likewise, I’m always thankful that he shows appreciation
for the work I do in the home (as well as away these days).

Thank you, Danie.

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