Saturday, June 15, 2019

Hide It in Your Heart




Tips for Memorizing Scripture
 
Most of us don’t read the Bible when we’re looking for something to do in our leisure time.There are many other things we’d rather do with our time—read a good book, watch TV, play sports, walk on the beach, and on the list goes. Don’t we care about what God has to say to us personally? Don’t we want the intimacy with God that comes when we pray and study His word? What’s our excuse? Each of us needs to ask that question because internalizing God’s word is the most significant way God speaks to us and teaches us His precepts. 

In Psalm 119:11, the psalmist says “Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you” (NIV). In verse 16b he says, “I will not forget your Word.” and then he says, “Your Word has given me life” (vs. 50b). In verse 105 we read “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” These verses assure us of the importance of having God’s word in our hearts, but knowing is not enough. 
   
Memorizing scripture is not an easy task and there needs to be  real motivation in order to be successful at it. We must have a driving desire to know Him better, to walk closer to Him, to serve Him faithfully and to feel His presence with us in our daily walk. How can we hide His Word in our hearts? 

The Bible is a big book with some 783,137 words. We cannot hope to memorize all of it, though a few have memorized all of it. Dr. Bill Bennett, founder of Mentoring Men for the Master, says, “It’s hard by the yard, a cinch by the inch.” In other words, it’s much harder to memorize long passages than to learn one or two verses at a time. Therefore, we need to begin with an “inch” and later we might master a “yard.”

Specifically, there are four rules for memorizing scripture:
 
       (1) Study diligently. You must know it in your head before you can hide it in your heart. 
             Pray and ask God to direct your thoughts to the things He wants you to learn.

      (2) Consider which verses you want to memorize during the week. Write the verses for the week
            on a piece of paper; carry it with you every day.
Keep the verses in your heart by
            memorization and meditation. Ask Him questions about things you don’t understand.
            Don’t rush; take all the time you need to listen to the still small voice of God. 

      (3) Show it in your life as you live by it and obey its teachings. Having the scripture hidden in
           your heart will give you power to live by it. Have an accountability partner who will ask you
           about your verses and listen to you say them.   

  
      (4) Finally, use the verses in your daily routine. Quote scriptures  that offer hope and
           encouragement
for co-workers and friends. Let them see that it’s an important part of your life.
           
           At the end of each week, put the paper with your verses in a notebook; review your notebook
           at least once a week.       
                   (a) Write the verses for the week on a sheet of paper; carry it with you every day.
                        Read   the verses when you have a minute---break-time, waiting for appointments,
                        waiting in traffic, etc.
                  ( b) Have an accountability partner who will ask you about your verses and listen to you
                        say them.
                  (c) At the end of the week, put the paper in a notebook; review it at least once a week Add
                       new verses. You’ll be surprised at how God will bring these Scriptures to mind just
                       when you need them most.
Our goal is to be saturated with His Word. When His word is hidden in our hearts, it becomes visible to us and to others in our daily walk.




Friday, May 3, 2019

Writing Contemporary Psalms




                                                                                               
                                by Ann Knowles

I was presenting at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. As an editor, it was my turn to meet with writers about their books and articles and to offer encouragement and suggestions for improvement. 

One author sat across the table from me as I read several pages of her manuscript. It was amazing! I felt like I was reading the book of Psalms; only it was not about David or the other writers of Psalms. It was about her life experiences. God had given her a special gift:  She had written contemporary psalms about her life and was completely unaware of what she had done. Truly, God had led her to do this for Him.
 

Has He given you this special creative genius? Would you like to find out?

Wait! Before you sit down to write psalms about your life, let me make a suggestion

Discover how to write psalms of joy, praise, worship, prayer, and woe. Enrich your life by doing what God has called you to do for Him. In doing so, you will also bless those who read your contemporary psalms.


Using the Bible as our textbook, I teach a course “Writing Contemporary Psalms.” The cost is $40. It’s taught in four classes and begins the first Monday of every month.  If you’d like to know more about the class or sign up to take the class, email me at annknowles03@aol.com and I’ll send you all the details. 


Thursday, April 4, 2019

Advice for Aspiring Writers


Study to Show Thyself Approved 


The best advice I can give an aspiring writer or editor is to begin immediately to prepare for the task God has called you to do. Regardless of your career choice, being an approved workman should be the goal of all of God’s children. Study to show thyself approved, a workman that need not be ashamed. . . (2 Timothy 2:15).

Doctors, lawyers, teachers, ministers, welders, electricians, mechanics, graphic designers, technology gurus—every career choice requires extensive training in order to achieve success. Why should it be any different in the field of writing or editing? Yet many people attempt to write or edit without ever having any professional training. Without training, most of them will fail.

When my husband felt called by God to become a pastor, we had just moved into our new home. He had recently been promoted to supervisor at GE and I was teaching first grade. We had four children (ages 3-14).

His first reaction was: “I don’t know anything about being in the ministry. I have to go back to school and prepare for this task God has called me to do. This will change our lives dramatically. We’ll have to quit our jobs and move to the seminary.”

What was God thinking? It seemed impossible! Four months later we were at seminary, and the whole family was enrolled in school.

When I decided to become an author and editor, I had an MA Ed in education and had recently retired from teaching, but I realized I needed specialized training before I could move to a new career. I knew I had to invest time and money to make this dream come true. I took many online and community college courses and attended several writers’conferences to prepare for the ministry of writing and editing.

Do you dream of becoming a writer or editor? What kind of sacrifices are you willing to make? Do it now! Enroll in your first course today and begin the journey. Check out the "Classes Taught by Ann" on this blog. You can make that dream come true.