2014 Goals for Memorizers

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Happy New Year! What a great time to set some achievable goals. I offer different suggestions for Scripture memory goals depending on your desire and experience. Choose as many as are helpful to you.

• TAKE THE PLUNGE. If you’ve been inspired to memorize a passage or book of the Bible, it’s a great time to jump in. Begin today with Psalm 1. With only 6 verses, it’s motivational, and it only takes 1 minute to review. Start with verse 1 and add a new verse each day. When completed, review for another 6 days, then review once a week. Now you’re ready for a new project. I suggest the book of Titus, or another short book.

• RECAPTURE WHAT YOU’VE LOST. If you memorized a book in the past, but lost it because you didn’t review, don’t beat yourself up about it. Go back and pick it up. You’ll be amazed how quickly it will come back, especially the early chapters.

• DIFFERENT AUTHOR. If the books you’ve memorized are all Paul’s letters, branch out to James, or Peter, or John, or another author.

• NEW GENRE. Try a different genre than you’ve done before. If you’re accustomed to doing letters, consider expanding your base:
History – e.g. Ruth, portions of Acts, gospel narrative, Esther
Prophets – e.g. Isaiah passage, Habakkuk, Jonah, Haggai, Malachi
Proverbs – chapters 1-9 are thematic
Gospel – take a portion, Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7) or Upper Room (John 13-17)
Poetry – Psalms, Song of Songs, Isaiah 40
Parables – prodigal son Lk 15, good Samaritan Lk 10, the sower Mk 4

• STRETCH YOURSELF. If you’ve been memorizing for many years, choose a longer book that inspires you or intrigues you. E.g. Romans, Hebrews, Revelation, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Acts, a Gospel. Make a plan to break it down (e.g. 1 chapter every month or every other month). Longer books can be a multiple-year project.

• STUDY AT THE SAME TIME. For years my routine was to memorize a book first and then study it. Now I’m studying and memorizing at the same time. This does take considerably longer because you can’t study while you drive.

• FIND A PARTNER, someone you can recite your verses with, or someone who also wants to memorize. It’s not necessary that you both memorize the same passage or the same version.

• JOIN A GROUP. Scripture memory groups are popping up all over the country. There is no end to the encouragement and inspiration of a group. You can register with our Online Community (BLOG page, right hand side) if you have a group, or are looking for a group.

Warning/caution: It’s great to be an eager beaver but be careful as you set goals. Unfulfilled goals can discourage you later by heaping unnecessary guilt and self-condemnation. If you’re just starting or if you’re a Scripture-memory dropout, take small steps so that you can develop new habits. Train yourself to capture dead time in your day when your hands are busy but your mind is free.

Our online community is a great resource for you. We love questions, suggestions, and new tips. Let’s learn and grow together. We’d love to hear about your 2014 memorizing goals. They will inspire us and give us some ideas for ourselves.

6 comments to 2014 Goals for Memorizers

  • Richie

    Great suggestions and encouragement! I do find that memorizing different authors keeps me engaged. I have heard you mention that many of Paul’s intros are so similar that they can be easily confused. True! It’s been helpful to me to mix in something from James and Peter and Matthew as the writing styles are different. I am thinking 1 John might be next for me after I finish relearning Colossians. And I meet for the first time next week with a group so I am curious to see how that might help. Happy 2014 to all!

    • Hi Richie, thanks for your comments. One caution on 1 John. I do love the book, but it can be frustrating when reviewing. There are 9 “Dear children” and 6 “Dear friends”. I often get confused, even jumping from one chapter to a different chapter. It is a wonderful book, but just wanted to mention that. So glad you found a Scripture memory group. Let us know how its working. And happy new year back to you.

    • Chérie

      Hey Richie. So happy you found a group. I’d be interested to hear how it helps your memorization process. I do have a tiny trick when memorizing verses that have a near word for word repeat—(ex:, Col 1:1-2 /Eph 1: 1-2 ). 
      My best trick for memorizing in general is to find a cadence for each verse and then I practice and recite the verse that same way EVERY SINGLE TIME. So when there are verses repeated by the author I make the cadence of the words exaggeratedly different so as to trick my brain that its a different chapter or book. I hope that makes sense and I don’t sound like a loon? My youngest is having a bad day today, so I’m pretty sure I look like a loon at the moment? 🙂 

  • Chérie

    Wonderful advice Janet.  I have been really looking forward to taking on a long book and hopefully this is my year. I finished my 50th chapter yesterday, but in doing so, really feel I want to take the next 6 months to review intensely all 50 chapters. My very first chapter I memorized was Ephesians 3, but for some reason, I never finished the book. This past fall I decided to finish and now I just need to do 5 & 6. Instead of finishing each in a month, I’m going to go very slow so I can spend more time reviewing. June will be my 5 year anniversary of when I started memorizing and that is when I plan to start Hebrews, Revelation, or Esther. I’m not yet sure which, but I’m really looking forward to the plunge. 🙂

    • Thanks Cherie for sharing that. Reviewing chapters can be just as meaningful as taking on new ones – though somehow we love the NEW verses. I also think its critical to find the pace that works for you and your lifestyle. Don’t take on too much, but also be aware of taking on too little where your mind is idle. I love hearing about milestones. Five years – wow, so proud of you. Let us know in June what you decide to memorize. We’ll be here cheering you on!

  • Lise Anderson Brocious

    All really good points and very encouraging. I have been trying to review more and am so blessed to be going over material that I once had and don’t want to lose. It is like revisiting a dear friend to review these passages again and meditate again, sometimes in new ways, on what God is teaching me through them.