Scripture Memory, II

Zambian elephant (Aug. '14 trip)

Elephants may have phenomenal memories, but I sure don't.

My memory has always been decidedly un-elephantlike, but the older I get, it's more and more goldfish-like.

Not being able to remember something that irritated me yesterday (or half an hour ago) has its pluses. But my sieve-like memory is a decided drawback when it comes to retaining important things like Scripture.

A while ago I wrote about the index card system I've been using to help my youngest sons memorize Scripture.

Tim (l.) on an elephant in Thailand a few years ago

You know what? This easy and effective method works just as well for me as for my children!

At first I figured I would sort of passively learn the same verses they were learning. After all, I was quizzing them every day. "Sort of" was right. Having the answers in my lap meant I only half-way learned them. In other words, not hardly at all.

But setting up my own card deck and box took care of that. Having the boys quiz me occasionally works great, too.

I use a 3x5 binder for the verses I'm working on

I continue to be a huge fan of the index card file box as a way to systematically learn AND retain God's Word. It's simple and effective, and really no matter which input you use to learn your verses.

But I've added a few other tools to my memory arsenal.

1. Scripture Typer
My younger daughters introduced me to this free app/program, and I love it!

Do you remember learning verses in Sunday School by having your teacher write a verse on the board and erasing words bit by bit? Scripture Typer works in much the same way.

First you type the verse while looking at it. Next, you'll begin to memorize the verse, and then some words will be erased. Finally, you type the verse with no prompting. If you need a hint, you can ask for a word to be revealed. Each time you type the verse, you receive a words per minute score, showing how fast you are typing.

This program really aids in word perfect memorization. It won't accept an "almost" word, so it helps you get it 100%. By typing the words, it helps me cement in my memory that it is "yields" and not "bears" or "mercy" and not "lovingkindness," for example.

Scripture Typer allows you to import verses (in 10 translations) and set up your own personal verse collections or use one of their libraries. You can even create collections for groups to use. It works on phones, tablets, and good old computers.

2. Quizlet
This one requires a bit more work, but it also gives you more options.

Quizlet is a powerful tool that allows you to create sets of information. Then you can study by using virtual flashcards, typing (either what you hear or what you see), and various games and quizzes. My daughters particularly like Quizlet.

3. Virtual Sticky Notes
I love to plaster my computer with sticky notes! I use them to remind me of urgent To-Dos, of phone calls I need to make later in the day, and of things to buy. I also use them to remind me of Scripture that God has used to encourage me.

But real post-it notes tend to loose their stickiness after a while. And then I end up with notes fluttering all over my desk and room.

Enter VIRTUAL Sticky Notes!  This is a Microsoft program/app, but I think there is something similar for Mac users.

Sticky Notes can be color-coded.

Here's my computer screen with  sticky notes plastered on the right

I like having the notes pop up as soon as I turn on my monitor. I can also make them disappear if they are visually distracting.

Verses on my screen serve as a frequent reminder, plus a visual encouragement to me as I re-read God's promises!

4. Meditating in bed

This one's completely low-tech. Or no-tech.

But it may be my favorite.

After memorizing Scripture, one of the great benefits is being able to meditate on it. And what better time and place than when lying in bed when sleep eludes? Whether it is before I fall asleep or when I wake during the watches of the night, I love to rehearse the passages I've learned and stop and think about what they mean.

I relearned Psalm 23 in KJV for this purpose. How sweet to lie awake at night and stop and really dwell on each part of this beloved Psalm. "The LORD." - Yes, the creator of the universe! The One who holds all things together!... "Is my shepherd." - Amazing! The same One who created and rules over all, is actually my own shepherd!

    My eyes are awake through the night watches,
    That I may meditate on Your word.  - Psalm 119:148

I'll never have a memory like this fellow, but thanks to these helps, I can at least make progress on storing God's Word in my heart!


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