Pedaling and Coasting

Now is a good time to check in with the memorizers in our community. Memorizing Scripture can be compared to bicycling. Learning a new passage is like pedaling hard, exploring new territory, and enjoying the beauty of the experience. Coasting is more like reviewing your passage, going at a slower pace. Both pedaling and coasting are part of the process.

With summer fading and fall soon upon us, it might be time to chart a new course by picking a new passage to memorize. For me personally, if I don’t have a specific plan I will coast through the fall, miss the stimulation that comes from memorizing a new passage, and end up with a football hangover. Another option? Pedal hard, take a fresh path, and push myself to the summit.

Let’s spur one another on to know and love the Book and its Author. We can draw strength from each other, even if we’re doing different passages. My next memory project is 1 Corinthians chapters 1-4. This section highlights the power and wisdom of this world versus the power and wisdom of the gospel.

My starting date is September 1. I invite you to join me. Here’s my fall plan for pedaling and coasting into 2018:

September – chapter 1
October – review chapter 1
November – chapter 2
December – review chapter 1 & 2
January – chapter 3
February – review chapters 1-3
March – chapter 4
April – review chapters 1-4.

Somewhere along the journey the wheels might fall off, but at least we can start strong and then readjust when needed. Read through 1 Corinthians 1-4 and listen for your name being called. If you don’t hear anything, pick another passage that interests you. Then come up with a plan and tell us about it. Make it a plan that will work for you.

Assuming that many of you are in the middle of a memory project right now, tell us what you’re working on and which chapters you plan to tackle this fall. Declaring your intentions will fortify your plan and provide a sense of accountability. We’re here for each other.

OK, all of you out there in the blogosphere, tell us what you’ll be memorizing this fall—and maybe why you chose that passage.

31 comments to Pedaling and Coasting

  • Beverly Schlomann

    my 2017 goal was to memorize a psalm a month. It’s slowed down a little (about 6 weeks instead of 4) but just yesterday I realized that it’s almost September . . .so it’s a good time to start pedaling again.
    Psalm 119 keeps coming into my path. I have memorized a few stanzas in the past, I will be leading an 8-week bible study on this psalm this Fall; time to make a plan to pedal up this mountain!
    I will try to do 3 stanzas a month, which will give me some good time for review.
    Sept – vs1-24
    Oct – v25-48
    Nov – v49-72
    Dec – v73 -96
    Jan – v97-120
    Feb – v121-144
    Mar – v145-168
    Apr – v169-176
    Thanks for spurring me on to love and good deeds! I will continue to pray for your journey. . .

    • Hi Beverly, I love your goal to do Psalm 119. I started it but quit after 48 verses. Hopefully I will get back to it someday. Go for it, Beverly!

  • Lise

    Thanks for the encouragement. I want to finish Chapter 22 of Luke in the next few weeks and am pushing to finish Chapter 23 before Easter. It has been a powerful journey to memorize the account of the last supper, Jesus betrayal, and trials and I have been blessed in many ways that I did not anticipate. I hope setting the goal of Easter as the point when I go through the account of the crucifixion will keep me focused on His incredible sacrifice and that Easter will be a joyful starting point for memorizing the passages about His resurrection. God continues to bless my meditation and memorization of His word in ways that I never imagined possible.
    As a side note to Janet, I want you to know that God has used you and your ministry to point me to this joy and this life changing time of learning more about our great God and Savior. Thank you for serving as His vessel.

    • Hi Lise, I have so loved watching you on your journey through the book of Luke. Wow, what a joy to know the stories of Jesus by heart. Incredible. And my privilege to have had a small part.

  • Susan Williams

    Thanks for the exhortation to post our memorization goals, Janet. I, too, tried to tackle some sections of Psalms over the Spring/Summer 2017 (15, some of 37 and 5 stanzas of 119:121-160), but wanted to get back into New Testament again. At the middle of June, I started on Colossians – but wasn’t working up “much of a sweat”! However, around end of July I did try to pick up the pace and am loving it. I see Colossians as a mix of strong reminders of God’s plan of redemption, the all-sufficiency and completeness of Christ (“in you, the hope of glory!”), and exhortations on what my response to that redemptive gift should be (walk, put-off, put-on, etc). Here’s my goals for Fall.
    July/Aug: chapter 1 [done]
    Aug/Sept: chapter 2
    Oct/Nov: chapter 3
    Dec/Jan: chapter 4
    I am so grateful to you, Janet, and the other BMW women who inspire me to hide God’s Word in my heart. It has caused my memorized passages to become as beloved friends to me, and so impactful.

    • Thank you Susan. I never memorized Colossians but I have studied it and taught it. Such rich truths. Keep going! Also, I agree that the passages we memorize become so personal and cherished. I often refer to them, “That’s one of my books.” All for knowing Him and loving Him more.

  • Beverly Schlomann

    You ladies have been such an incredible blessing to me! I look forward to every post, and the comments. God has blessed us with His Word!

    • And I second that! This is why I ask you to share what you’re working on because it is HUGE in encouraging others. Thank you everyone for sharing.

  • Chérie

    Loved the illustration. I started on Hebrews 3 years ago.
    I got off my bike to rest a couple times and memorized Psalm 145, The book of Haggai (just 2 chapters), and Psalm 6.

    Rough challenges in life with a prodigal teen and with our special needs son and a few other significant hardships have put some pretty large potholes in the road.

    I got to Hebrews 11 and crashed.

    I just could not seem to get my bike fixed up. Hebrews 11 has so many verses that start with the same two words: “BY FAITH.”

    One day I asked my teenage prodigal to test me on Hebrews 11. I’d only managed to do a dozen or so verses at that point. When I struggled to remember the order, he said, “Mom, its chronological,…did you not realize? It’s chronological like from the Old Testament…..”


    Something snapped. I got back on my bike, and off I went.
    I started Hebrews 13 this month.

    I will be memorizing 2 Timothy next.

    Thank you Janet for your example of steady bike riding for all these years. You have always been my inspiration when my legs get tired of pedaling.

    • Oh sweet Cherie, we are all encouraged by your crashes, because we’ve all crashed. But you got back up. SO PROUD OF YOU. Hebrews is an amazing book and I love how it ties the NT to the OT. You’re almost done. Don’t miss the joy of chapter 13 because you’re looking for the finish line. There’s some great stuff in there. Amazing days are ahead of us. Let’s keep pressing on!

    • Beverly Schlomann

      Cherie, you will LOVE 2 Timothy! and those verses will come up in your prayer time over and over and over . . .

  • Anna

    As 2017 began, we were challenged to memorize the book of Philippians at church throughout 2017, 2 verses a week.
    I am almost through chapter 3 and plan to finish before the end of the year. After that I would love to memorize the last few chapters of Revelation.
    It is such a joy to hide God’s Word in my heart!

    • Hi Anna, So great to see you on the blog. I love your 2 verses a week plan. It’s so doable. And it builds confidence that memorizing an entire book is not just for people who have nothing else to do. Thanks for sharing your plan.

  • Chris Gray

    Thanks Janet for truly spurring us on in love and good works, appreciate you! I’m working on Romans 14 and I’m half way through. I am very excited to soak in all the gems of truth God has to offer through Romans as I’m doing a Who? What? Why? journaling on my own of Romans which I started in chapter 1 and now in Romans 6. I learned that method of study from when you were teaching Summer in the Psalms, so thanks again Janet 🙂 BIble Study Fellowship’s Study (to find class near you this year is on the book of Romans so I’m looking forward to it and hope to be finished with chapters 14, 15 & 16 by Thanksgiving. Lord willing and hope to have opportunities to share and encourage the body of Christ in Romans wherever the Lord would have me do so. I’ll need to set up and maintain a good review schedule too.

    • Hi Chris, You brought up a great benefit of memorizing. It gives us so many opportunities to share with others and encourage them from God’s Word. How many people need to be reminded of the truths in Romans? Every single one of us. Such a rich book, and you have persevered in it for several years now. I hope anyone looking for a Bible study this fall will consider Bible Study Fellowship (and Precept also has an excellent Bible study on Romans). There is no down side to going deep into God’s Word. It’s all good. Thanks for sharing Chris.

  • Susan Williams

    Thank you for your sharing….about the potholes you encountered (those pesky things do pop up from time to time), but more importantly, the inspiration of your perseverance! What a blessing from the Lord that it was your prodigal who helped you recover from your “crash” at Chp 11. That must have made your heart leap with joy.

    • Chérie

      Thank you Susan. Boy, I was thankful. Hopefully the scriptures he learned at church, in Awana and through his mega-memorizer Mamma will remind him of the truth. It isn’t easy having a special needs sibling.
      “A prodigal is still a son”…, My sweet friend Holly once said.
      He is always happy to test me on my chapters. I take advantage of that…. hee hee….

  • Shari

    This is such a timely post, Janet. I’ve been working on Romans for several years–I came to the end of chapter 12 in May. It’s been wonderful to review this over the summer–but I was wondering whether I should move on to chapter 13 or memorize a psalm. The Lord made it clear He wants me to first memorize Psalm 45 (it’s a Messianic psalm)–about the King and His beauty. I need this psalm right now to specifically put my eyes on the Lord Jesus–and concentrate on the wonders of His Person.
    Thank you for your encouragement to write out a “schedule” of how we plan to work on it. I needed to hear that and will do that!

    • Hi Shari, Sometimes when I’m doing a long book I will take a break in the middle and do a psalm or a short passage. It gives you a break without breaking from God’s Word. It sounds like that’s what you want to do, so I will say DO IT.

  • Patta Dietz

    Hi all,
    I’ve been wandering around a bit and was sidetracked (in a good way since memorizing is good no matter where you wander in Scripture) but this spring I found that I missed John. This summer I’ve been reviewing and almost have the first four chapters back in shape. I hope to start reviewing John 5 in September and then begin 6 for the first time after that. Since I want to keep reviewing the first five and a few of the Psalms I’ve memorized, I may use the rest of the year to polish and then start 6 and the following chapters in 2018.

    I love the challenge to have a plan and put it down for the world to see!! Thanks for the boost and the comradely of all these posts.

  • Marianne Sherman

    Hi Janet, Thank you so much for inspiring us to memorize whole books of the Bible. In the past, I had attempted to memorize scriptures with the numerical verse numbers. I found it difficult to get any continuity. You asked that we share what we are memorizing currently. I am memorizing James 5. I started with James 1 last fall, and am now about 2 months out in completing James. I am also memorizing Psalm 103. It is such a beautiful Psalm, and I felt the Lord’s leading on this.

    • Hi Marianne, James is a holy kick in the pants. We definitely need that book to keep us straight. So glad that you persevered in memorizing God’s Word. There’s no better way to keep God in our mind and heart throughout the day. Keep going!

  • Richie

    I have been coasting for a while now, but my niece asked me to recite something for her wedding October 14. I chose, you guessed it, 1 Corinthians 13. I think this was really more for me instead of my niece because I have been convicted about the importance of loving people. I don’t want to be just a clanging symbol. I want to love.

  • Thank you, Janet, for this! It has made me realize the benefits of making an intentional plan for more than just the next section of scripture to memorize. In September, I will review Psalm 51 and Psalm 25. I want to really pray about what to focus on after that. Your post has helped me to think to pray much sooner than I would have. Thank you again!

  • Mickie Matthews

    Janet, I have loved the challenge of memorizing books of the Bible! Meditating on the word is a good place for my mind to go whenever it is idle. It certainly helps to have a community of others who spur me on; I am so thankful for all of you! I am in Chapter 5 of 1 John and hope to complete this book by the end of September (this will be my first book!!) I feel the Lord is leading me to memorize Matthew 5, 6, and 7 after that – the red-letter pages :); my goal is to have those complete by the end of December. Thank you for encouraging me!

  • Ruth

    I am ready to start memorizing Jonah next week (along with a friend) as a part of Scripture Memory Fellowship’s plan. See for the 16 week plan. They have a Facebook page for those doing it together.

    I am also planning to go through the Sermon on the Mount at the same time, which I memorized about 25 or 30 years ago but would like to go back to.

    • Hi Ruth, thank you for sharing about the Scripture Memory Fellowship. I didn’t know about it.

      • Ruth

        You’re welcome. It is headed by the son of the man who ran Bible Memory Association when I was a child. My family did some of their memory plans when I was in elementary school. Last fall they started offering plans for memorizing longer Bible passages, beginning with 2 Timothy, then the Sermon on the Mount, the 10 Commandments, and now Jonah. They have an app which is helpful, and during each new plan they have had Facebook groups for those doing the plan at the same time.

  • Kathy Aston

    Looking forward to this!

  • Teeka

    Janet, I’m so grateful you motivated me (& others) to start memorizing–something I’d planned on doing for years, but had only accomplished a few verses. I took the challenge in your book to memorize Titus. It has been so deep, meaningful, and instructive to me! I’m currently working on chapter 2 and hope to complete chapter 3 by Thanksgiving, no later than year’s end. Along with everyone else, I thank you for “mustering the troops” and urging us onward in committing the Word to our minds–and hearts.

  • Josh

    I’m doing a long-term project of memorizing the Psalms. I’ve got about 10% of the book of Psalms memorized. 2 years ago, I was having to work much more than normal, and all I had memorized was Philippians and the Sermon on the Mount, and a few psalms. I was too tired to even read the Bible; all I could do was review short passages by memory. I found myself wishing I had memorized more psalms. So, now that I have some time, I want to memorize as many of those as I can! St. Athanasius wrote in a letter that everything in the Bible is contained in the Psalms. Early Christians knew the whole Psalter by heart and sang Psalms while working; I want the same for myself.

    Future projects: Matthew, Hebrews, James