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Dear Mushka,

How To Start Memorizing Scripture

How To Start Memorizing Scripture

Today if I were to sit down for coffee with all of you amazing women I’d want to share with you something that John Piper taught me that really changed the way I approach memorizing scripture.

This idea kept me from feeling overwhelmed and I am so pleased to share it with you because the more scripture we know, the better! 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (among other verses) tells us what scripture does for us. We need to know God’s Word because it has the power to change us, it’s what offers us truth and shows us how to live our lives.

We NEED to have scripture stored in our heart and it's true that all scripture is profitable for knowing and memorizing. Also, it’s just good for our brains to be able to memorize large chunks of scripture!

The more scripture we know, the more it will come out in our words and actions. However, it can be hard to know where to begin with memorizing and it can be overwhelming to start.

John Piper has been a great (long distance!) spiritual mentor for me - I trust him, know he’s memorized large chunks of the Bible and has walked a lot of life. So the idea he has given of Fighter Verses has been really helpful!

Fighter Verses

You start to use the Fighter Verse method for memorizing scripture by looking at your life and choosing around 5 categories that you need to combat. These can be sins, temptations or trials that you find yourself constantly dealing with. You then choose one verse for each category - these are the verses you memorize first!

You don’t have to start with the whole Bible. What’s the one thing your heart needs to remember or fight against these days? Write it on a notecard or make it into a piece of jewelry😉. Take it one situation at a time and be ready to fight with God’s truth and words, remembering the verse.

To give you some ideas, I’ll share John Piper’s six categories and if we have a corresponding jewelry piece in our collection, I’ll share that, too. Most of our jewelry pieces are built on these verses for this very reason.

John Piper says the motor of his mind is neutral and the hum of the gears is the sound of Isaiah 41:10. This is one of his favorite verses of all time and it corresponds with our Held Bracelet. This is his go-to verse because he wants to remember that God is our God and that He will strengthen, help, uphold and not go anywhere!

The next verse, Isaiah 55:11, relates to his ministry work because he is a pastor and is great for any of us in public ministry like I am.

He used the next verse to reflect his fear of being too weak to do his work. We actually made this verse into an art print and I keep it right by my kitchen sink so I can be reminded that when I am the weakest, His glory and strength shine.

Future Decisions was also something he wanted to focus on and the verse he paired with it is reflective of our Guide Necklace that comes in four different colors and hangs at 14”. This is one of my verses that I have adopted, too!

He uses Romans 8:31 for opponents. So if you feel like you’re constantly walking up against enemies and people who are combating you, this is a great verse for you.

The last one he chose was for the welfare of loved ones - Matthew 7:11.

So these are the topics he chose that he felt he needed a verse to fight for and remember.

These were his six, here are the ones I’ve chosen over the year (at least, I started here and added more as time went on!).

Wisdom reflects Psalm 32:8 and goes together with our Guide Necklace. I usually wear the light grey one and call back this verse back to God repeatedly. I pray the verse back to God and use them for worship.

Weakness reflects 2 Corinthians 12:9 and Pslam 73 is usually what I go to for weakness (a Dear Mushka piece is coming for this verse this Fall!)

Welfare for Family and Children is paired with Lamentations 3 that comes with the Portion Necklace. It is a reminder that the Lord is my portion, not my children or husband or comfort.

Focusing on my purpose keeps me from comparing myself to others and my verse for purpose is 1 Peter 2:9 which actually comes paired with our first choker necklace! This verse is powerful and reminds me that my job is to proclaim and share His good news. I am chosen.

James 1:2-4 is my verse for trials and suffering which we just made into the Complete Necklace and comes in both gold and silver. This verse reminds me that my trials are changing my heart towards perfection.

You may want a verse for anxiety, rest, jealousy, anger, generic sin, etc. You need to think about what you are constantly battling with in your life, whatever keeps you from resting in the goodness of God - start there.

Your concordance in your Bible or Google is a great place to find a verse. Write it on a notecard or post-it, search our website for a jewelry piece to match it if you want something as a reminder.

Having these memorized has helped me so much in my life and I’m able to share God’s word and wisdom with others so much easier because I’ve stored them deep in my heart.I hope you've found meaning here, too!

The Motivation You Need To Read Your Bible Every Day

The Motivation You Need To Read Your Bible Every Day

My life is busy and stressful just like yours with three children (one being a newborn) so I often show myself reading my Bible in the morning to encourage you to do the same. I have decided that it is a priority and the most important thing in my life to spend time with the Lord!

I love knowing that we, as Sisters, are all joining together all around the world and are opening up the exact same Book to read and learn from and guide our lives by.

I’ve learned that when I am not reading scripture it is almost always because I have decided that it is not important for that day, for that season. Sometimes this is a conscious or subconscious decision that we are too busy to pursue God.

We think we can do our lives with the Words He has given.

It’s easy to think that we don’t believe or think this to be true, but our actions say something different when we aren’t prioritizing scripture.

What I love about the way that God describes His Word is when He compares it to bread and living water! When we don’t eat, we’re okay for a little while and then … hangry. Eating food or drinking water changes everything and God’s Word is even more important than it.

Jesus even says that Man shall not live by bread (food) alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. This is how important it is!

I think that one of the reasons we don’t treat God’s Word as if it’s important is because we treat the Bible as if it’s a book about ourselves and when we do this it always ends up lacking power and meaning when we think that it’s for our own answers. It is, first, a book about GOD!

Learning about our Creator and Saviour is far more interesting and captivating, I promise. He is so good and big and incredible! We store up goodness for our hearts and minds when we read about the Lord instead of thinking it to be all about us. Finding characteristics of God to cling to has made ALL the difference in my mindset and joy.

Bathe yourself in the truth of God’s character that we see and trust from scripture. Our most important job as Christians is to remember it - which is why I keep coming back to the Word because without it I forget!

Remember who God is. Remember what He’s done. Remember that He loves us and remember to share His goodness through reading your Bible daily.

If I’m not re-reading regularly, the things I need to remember will trickle to the back of my mind and current trials will slip to the front.

This is why I read my Bible every morning. My challenge for you is to dig into your why. If you have a real obstacle where maybe you’re chronically ill or unable to read for whatever reason perhaps you can listen or have someone read to you. For the rest of us, we’re probably just busy and can find time to prioritize the Lord through His word.

Set aside time tomorrow to pursue God. Start in Genesis, Psalms or even Matthew. Write down who God is! Think about what you have written and pray thanksgiving for Him. That’s how we feel God’s presence!

How To Read Through Psalms

How To Read Through Psalms

Here’s how I read through the Psalms using the Crayola Twistables. I love using them as they are color pencils you’re able to erase! This is the only section of my Bible where I color code. Sometimes I might make little notes to the side like a journal, but I’m not using this for the purpose of making my Bible look beautiful or to decorate it.

If you’d like to see the video sharing this Bible study process, you can find it saved here on my IG highlights.

I color code the Psalms so that I’m easily able to open my Bible and find whatever my heart needs quickly! It’s wonderful to be able to open your Bible and get what you need without having to read through the whole Psalm during times of need. Here’s my color code key for reference:

Brown

Distress, low times, suffering, etc. For when I’m needing to see how God has helped and answered others during these times.

Orange

Shows me God’s character. It’s incredible to open your Bible and see these highlighted, it’s like balm for the soul.

Green

Words I want to pray. Obviously the Psalms are the prayer books of the Bible, but some of them are more clear and I color them to repeat over and over again. I also copy these words into my prayer notebook or scribble them on post-its around the house.

Pink

I use pink to depict me and God’s people. Usually together with the orange color coded sections I find ways in which we should act in light of God’s character. This has helped me start to see themes and how it’s a lot of thanking and telling others!

I hope this inspires you to share God’s goodness and power and mighty acts with anyone. I am so honored to get to do it with you!

Today I challenge you to read through Psalm 145, pray back a verse or two with God. Meditate on His truth and write down His good works in your life. Then share them with someone!

Here is the study Bible I’ve been using for 15 years: ESV Reformation Study Bible

Bible Studying Tips

Bible Studying Tips

Don’t complicate it, Sisters. Just open up your Bible and read a verse or a chapter. Read the same thing at lunch and then before bed. Think about the words during your day-- sometimes I even write a key word or phrase down on my arm as a reminder! Pray through them and watch God work.

Good Places to Start in you’re Feeling Lost:

Genesis 1
Psalm 1
John 1
Philippians 1

I often open my Bible up to what was preached through at church on Sunday if I’m not sure where to start.

While I’m reading, I keep a Brain Dump post it next to me. When something comes to mind, I jot it down and move along. It’s all there waiting for me when I’m done and I don’t lose focus.

Do NOT use your notes app in your phone for this. You’ll be scrolling Instagram before you’re even aware.

If you’re having a hard time prioritizing studying your Bible, consider praying bits of Psalm 119.

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

I don’t know about you, but I NEED a light to show me what is right daily and even hourly.

Part of why we try to read God’s words daily and memorize scripture is to strengthen our minds for hardships in this world.

Context is also super important as we learn and understand books of the Bible. Even if all I have time for in a day is reading and comprehending an intro page, it’s time well spent.

If you only have a few minutes to read the word today, don’t let that stop you from jumping in.

When you have a busy weekend ahead, fight for your Bible study time more than ever.

Read one chapter.

Find one thing that chapter teaches you about God. Think on that aspect of His character all day long.

It can start with this prayer:

God, allow me to find more comfort and joy in you than I do my bed, Help me get up in the morning and then wake up my mind and body enough to meet you in this place. Amen.If you want to read your Bible more often, keep it accessible. Mine lives on the kitchen counter so I can read a verse or two in between meal prep and dishes and life.

I underline using different colors when reading a Psalm to make notes of who God is and what we’re supposed to do (or not do) because of it.

This may only take you ten minutes. Perfect when you’re short on time.

It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

QUIET TIME: A ROUTINE THAT'S HELPED ME

QUIET TIME: A ROUTINE THAT'S HELPED ME

I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man may be nourished. -George Muller

For years, I'd sit down to spend time with God & then pause because I didn't actually know what to do next. I felt like I was wasting my time, staring at a random Bible page or throwing prayers up based on whatever popped into my groggy mind. 

After reading this book, I decided to come up with a consistent routine for how I spend my time with God in the morning. Do I stick to it 100% everyday? No way. But it allows me to come prepared and make the very best use of my time with the Lord.  

I hope seeing this written out helps you prioritize your own time in God's presence. I'm not superwoman, and different seasons of life allow me different availability. But what I know is that I will never, ever regret meeting with my Lord & Savior every day, and He is worth the very best I have to offer. 

6:00 Alarm goes off. I get up immediately; that snooze button is dangerous! If I'm feeling extra tired, I quickly pray for energy and joy. God is so faithful to give it! I go to the bathroom, feed the cat, and fill my bottle of water. 

6:10 Sit in a chair in my office with my basket that has everything I need in it. Bible, prayer notebook, memory verse box, pencil, post-its (for brain dumping), etc. Having everything there and ready for me is crucial. Also: water, a blanket, and kleenex! 

6:10-6:15 Work my way through my scripture memory box. I use the system I wrote about here; it's such a quick and effective way to store God's words deep in my heart. When I'm ready for a new verse, I'll also use this time to write it out on a card. 

6:15-6:45 Read my Bible. You can read about the chronological plan I'm using right here. Most days, this looks like 3-4 chapters at a time. After I read, I think through a few questions; sometimes I write the answers down and other times I reflect in my head.

What necessary context do I need to remember from what I just read? What does this text show me about God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)? What does it show me about myself (sins I need to confess, examples to follow, promises to claim, etc)? And then how would these answers change my life if I took them seriously (what false ideals could I throw off, why might God be showing this to me now)?

Thinking through these answers allows me to move from reading God's words to meditating on them. If you've never done this before, it's where I've seen the most transformation in my own life. God's words are living and active... and it really helps to reflect on them beyond zooming through the assigned chapters.

6:45-7:00 Pray. First, I pray the ACTS acronym regarding what I've just read in the Bible. Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. It helps solidify what I've read and allows the information to go from my head to my heart.

For example, if I just read about God leading the Israelites out of Egypt, I'd praise His strength and power; I could confess the times I don't trust Him to bring me out of a hard situation; I may thank Him for His constant leading in my life or for the examples we have in Exodus; I could ask Him to deliver me from a hard time. Something like that :) 

Then I use these sheets for other specific needs; I talk all what that looks like for me in these Instagram story highlights. Basically, I have a few things I pray for daily and then I flip to my day-of-the-week page and pray for those things/people. 

It feels funny at first, but praying aloud is a great way to stay focused and alert. I find myself less distracted, and more aware of who I'm talking to when I actually say my words aloud. Try it! 

7:00+ My boys start to stir at 7:00 which usually ends my morning time, but if I have a few extra minutes I listen to a worship song and/or read a chapter of a God-focused book I'm working my way through. I may also evaluate my goals, write down wonderful deeds of the Lord (Psalm 9:1), or sit and meditate on a specific verse. These last three things are all in my prayer notebook so I have them there at the ready!

During the day: You can read about how I try to tie the Gospel into our days right here. Sometimes, I miss my quiet morning time and instead work the things above into my hours with little boys around my feet. It's valuable and God-honoring even in the chaos.

1:00pm: I usually sit down to work on Dear Mushka right after my boys head down for a nap. I start this time by saying/paraphrasing the Lord's Prayer. It's a great way for me to recalibrate and meet the Lord mid-day. 

9:15pm: I try to head to bed around this time so that I can read/pray and be asleep by ten (so I can restfully get up at six the next morning!). Sometimes I choose a Psalm to pray through, but right now I'm reading a chapter of this book. It's so good, I often read the same chapter a few nights in a row. 

And then I start the whole thing over again the next morning! For me, doing this 6-7 days a week is really helpful. My body clock knows what to expect and wakes itself up naturally. I let myself sleep in on Sundays if I need to, but truthfully it's become a time I don't want to miss if I can help it! 

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lordand on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. -Psalm 1:1-3

 

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