I’ve just discovered the Scripture Typer app and have loaded it onto my phone, my tablet as well as using the website. Basically, you create an account and then create collections of verses to memorise and it helps you memorise them.
There are several tools to help you do this. For instance you can choose a form containing a greyed out version of the verse and you then type just the first letter of each word and it emboldens the word for you. You then type the first letter of the next word and so on. When you make a mistake the word turns to red. At the end of the verse you get a percentage accuracy score and are asked to either do the exercise again or go onto the next level where you get a form with every alternate word showing. You go through the same process of typing the first letter of each word. When you get over 90% accuracy you go on to the “master it” form which is completely blank and each word appears when you type the first letter of it.
When you’ve mastered the verse then it goes into a review system and you get prompted to review the verse daily, then every other day, then weekly, monthly, yearly and so on.
There are lots of other tools to use, such as audio recording and drawing diagrams, groups to join (people memorising the same chapter and so) and various charts of achievement.
I have to say this is a really good system. I’m using it now to learn Ephesians chapter 2 (I’ve already memorised chapter 1). I’ve been able to enter chapter 1 into the system and check I really know it by using the “master it” module.
Apart from anything else, memorisation can be a very lonely exercise and its great to know that there are so many other people who do the same thing all round the world.
I think its fantastic that I found this app on January the first – what a help its going to be for me. I learned over 180 verses last year using paper methods but this really makes sure you’re 100% accurate and makes memorising a really interesting process.
My mother, my daughter, life-giving, Eve,
Do not be ashamed, do not grieve.
The former things have passed away,
Our God has brought us to a New Day.
See, I am with Child,
Through whom all will be reconciled.
O Eve! My sister, my friend,
We will rejoice together
Life without end.
The great American theologian and preacher, Jonathan Edwards, (1703-1758) was known for his love of the Bible, writing autobiographically,
I very frequently used to retire into a solitary place on the banks of Hudson’s river, at some distance from the city, for contemplation on divine things and secret converse with God; and had many sweet hours there. . . I had then, and at other times, the greatest delight in the Holy Scriptures of any book whatsoever. Oftentimes in reading it every word seemed to touch my heart. I felt a harmony between something in my heart, and those sweet and powerful words. I seemed often to see so much light exhibited by every sentence, and such a refreshing food communicated, that I could not get along in reading; often dwelling long on one sentence, to see the wonders contained in it; and yet almost every sentence seemed to be full of wonders.
I wonder how much this delight in scripture arose from the depth of his commitment to God, especially a decision which he made in 1723 at the age of twenty:
I made a solemn dedication of myself to God, and wrote it down; giving up myself, and all that I had, to God; to be for the future in no respect my own; to act as one that had no right to himself, in any respect. And solemnly vowed to take God for my whole portion and felicity, looking on nothing else as any part of my happiness, nor acting as it were; and his law for the constant rule of my obedience; engaging to fight with all my might against the world, the flesh, and the devil, to the end of my life.
If you memorise the Bible you want to make sure that the words you use are as close as possible to the words in their original language. You also want a certain resonance about the words, something that sticks in the mind and has an impact on your thought processes. If the language is too colloquial something seems to be lost along the way.
But many translations today take great liberties with the text, one current trend being the adoption of gender-neutral language. I absolutely support equality for women but do we really need to change the language used by the writers of the Bible in order to accommodate gender-neutral speech? If the Bible speaks of “men” (masculine plural), or “he” (masculine singular) do we really need to translate men as people and he as they? Rather than changing the language of the Bible, couldn’t we just understand, as in generations before have done that the priority of the male class (class as a grammatical term) in the Bible is just a feature of an ancient text and that the use of the male class does not usually exclude the female?
I am very committed to memorising chunks of the Bible and I decided to memorise the Sermon on the Mount in April 2016. It took me about six months to learn all three chapters – Matthew 5, 6 and 7. I chose this lengthy passage because I take seriously the words of Jesus in John 14:23,
If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.
If we don’t know his words, how can we obey him? After all didn’t Jesus himself say in Matthew 5,
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished
Our church is currently without a minister but we are having very rich ministry from our own people and from occasional visiting minister. In the meantime we are preparing our “church profile” document and this will soon be sent out to the regional Baptist Association for circulation among Ministers who are looking for a new placement.
Many will have heard of John Newton, the writer of the hymn, Amazing Grace. A one-time slave-trader, John Newton became a Christian and later, 1764 became an Anglican minister serving in the parish of Olney, Buckinghamshire and later at St Mary Woolnoth church, London.
Newton was a prolific letter-writer and I recently purchased a volume of his letters running to over 1400 pages – fortunately now available on Kindle for the princely sum of £3.88 – a bargain if ever there was one.
Psalm 33:10 says, “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing, he frustrates the plans of the peoples”.
From the day that the angel announced the birth of Jesus by proclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased” (Luke 2:14), Christians have known that the best plans for earth are those that promote peace. After Britain and the USA liberated Europe from the Nazi regime it was our aim to establish great councils which would enable nations to work together so that wars could be avoided wherever possible.
Both the United Nations and the European Union have been used to enable the nations to work together and the European Union in particular has seen an avoidance of war between its members throughout the 70 years of its existence. Are we really supposed to leave this powerful alliance at a time when because of international terrorism and the so-called refugee crisis it needs supporting and strengthening?
It is remarkable how rapidly the Brexit campaign collapsed after the referendum on 23 June. Within days, the Out campaign had wiped their website – knowing full well that it contained so much misleading and incorrect information. None of the “Brexiteers” seemed able to pursue their objective of leading the Conservative Party and instead we now have a serious-minded, seemingly well-balanced female Prime Minister in Teresa May. I have a great sense of God having been at work in Britain over the last two weeks, particularly in the collapse of opposition to Teresa May’s bid to become Prime Minister. Continue reading →