Online Community Update

Group Of Multi-Ethnic People Social Networking And Connecting
Today marks one year since our online community of memorizers began. Woo-hoo!

This experiment of reaching into the blogosphere to connect like-minded believers stretched me and surprised me. Your friendship enriched my life and I’m ready for year two.

Let me share with you some stats from the year and give my evaluation still in process. Then I hope you will respond with comments so that I can know the needs and desires you have for our community.

Year one summary:
• We now have 186 subscribers to the blog, from many different states and countries.
• I wrote 88 blog posts, and we had 6 guest bloggers.
• We had 6 “WE WANT TO KNOW” questions and answers.
• On Share-Your-Story Fridays, 48 people shared their story of memorizing God’s Word. These came from 21 states + 1 story from Scotland. A huge THANK YOU to all of you who shared your stories. They were a highlight for sure!

My evaluation (just sharing my heart here):
• Many mega-memorizers don’t read blogs. They spend their free time memorizing—I get that. Still thinking about how to get them more involved in our community, as mentors to newcomers, wannabes, and fence-sitters.
• Email overload on Mondays makes it the worst day for a blog post.
• Living with a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule for blog posts keeps me under constant deadlines and pressure, and often squeezes out other worthy projects.
• Share-Your-Story Friday is the favorite day for our community, but I have no control over how many are turned it. As you may have noticed I ran out a few weeks ago.
• I’m still evaluating the SMALL GROUPS feature of the blog. My heart is to connect those looking for groups with existing groups. Not sure this is working, but I may give it another 6 months.

Plans for year two:
• Cut back on the number of blogs, switch to Tuesdays, but have no fixed schedule.
• When others send me their memorizing stories I will put them on Fridays.
• New subscribers joining us each month necessitates repeating many of the practical topics like, How to Memorize, What to Memorize, How to Review, etc.

Your turn to speak up:
I’d love to hear what drew you to this community in the first place and what keeps you in it. Since our group exists to encourage and support those who memorize books of the Bible, and those who want to, tell me which type of blog posts you value: Bible teaching? practical information? how-to? inspirational? If you’d be willing to tell your story, send it to me (400 words). Send me links to other stories, videos or blogs about memorizing. If you have a message for the community, and would like to be a guest blogger, send me your thoughts and I will consider it. Tell me what we can do to enhance our community atmosphere. Thank you for making our community a welcome place for newcomers. I’m here for you, and open to all suggestions.

19 comments to Online Community Update

  • Dear friends,
    This is an anniversary for me,also, as I started memorizing Scripture one year ago while on our ocean vacation. My goal was to read Janet’s book, His Word In My Heart, and begin memorizing. Beautiful memories of walking the beach with my 3×5 note cards memorizing Psalm 1 come to mind.
    The Lord blessed me with the desire of my heart- my ocean baptism on September 22. We will be at the ocean again this year to celebrate one year anniversary, and yes, note cards in hand, walking the beach, finishing John 15 memory verses. Oh, the goodness of the Lord, to those who hide His Word in their heart!
    Janet, your plans for year two sound great! Cutting back on blog posts gives you more time to step into His presences, alone. I have done the same on mine, waiting only on the Spirit for inspiration.
    During these dark world days, I want the Lord to find me on my knees, in His Word praying, memorizing and meditating, more than any other activity.
    I thank you,Janet, for your friendship; and for all of us, who have found inspiration, teaching, and encouragement from your blog, I give God all the glory!

    • Maureen, So glad to hear about your one year of memorizing God’s Word. May we all follow your example of being on our knees and keeping His Word ever before us.

  • Natalie

    Congrats on a great first year. You have taught and encouraged, persuaded and led the way. I wake up excited to read the blog and come away challenged. I look forward to year two.

  • Amy

    I am thankful for our retreat speaker telling me about this blog. This past Thursday I read “Where’s the Hope?”. It reminded me of God’s promise of hope and helped me deal with a family crisis in a new light. God continues to provide me with his word at the right time. I am thankful for your time and commitment, Janet, to this community.

  • Barbara A.

    Janet, your posts are always encouraging, and usually cause me to re-examine some part of my walk with the Lord. But you, as all of us, need to make the Lord your priority. One blog a week is good for me. 🙂

    I love hearing how God has blessed people through memorizing His Word. But those tips and tricks for making memorizing “easier” and more meaningful are SO helpful! Please keep all of these coming! Actually, just keep it all coming!

    This site has been a blessing to me, especially since I found my memory group through it. i would love to see more groups posted, and I tell everyone I can about our group and how it has helped me grow.

    May I suggest something? Since you have several blogs that give “basic instruction”, would it be possible to have them available all the time on a separate page on this site? Then they would be available all the time to any of us, newbies as well as for review for the rest of us.

    Thanks for keeping this going, Janet! (Sorry this is so long!)

    • Barbara, so glad you are benefitting from the blog. I LOVE your suggestion about making the basics available at all times. I will talk to my web designer and see what we can do. Great idea – love it!

  • Chérie

    Thank you for a years worth of guidance, learning, inspiration, and encouragement. I’m blown away you want to keep it up. It’s a heavy load for a busy Wife, Gramma, conference speaker, mega-memorizer and Christ follower. 
    My two-cents:

    I love knowing who’s memorizing what. Call me nosy, — but that’s what I love to hear. I also love the actual BIBLE teaching you have beautifully given us here and there. Several times I have been so excited to learn something new. 
    I definitely am with you on once a week post TUESDAYS and a SHARE YOUR STORY FRIDAY, if someone has a story to share and maybe a tuesday guest post thrown in now and then?

    I have made amazing friends whom I adore and been so blessed by this community, but I agree with you that we mega-memorizers don’t follow too many blogs because we have our priority of memorizing. I only followed you and Caryn Christensen for a long time, and just recently subscribed to OUR VERY OWN “little missy Holly Steadman”. (Blessings galore, by the way if y’all haven’t checked her out–she is goofy and beautiful and so STINKING in love with our saviour that it oozes out all over you whether you like it or not…I love it? ).
    We definitely need the encouragement and teaching you have been gifted with and I know I am not at all in a place (YET!) where I can come hear you speak at conferences,

    (My day is comin’ PEOPLE!)

    so a once a week post would be just ducky for this little chicky. Hahaha.

    YOU ARE LOVED AND APPRECIATED, and have ministered to us so much! Thank you for your heart and soul that you have poured out. 
    Bless you my dear friend.

    • Wow Cherie, Thank you for your kind and affirming words. You are definitely one of my new treasured friends. I considered last year a good investment of my time to get the online community started. Now that we have a core group its easier to keep it going. I suppose that I will continue to tweak the blog as the months go on. I too like to know what people are memorizing because it gives me ideas of what to memorize next. I’m always open to suggestions from our community so just let me know.

  • Holly Steadman

    Chérie–thank you so much for your kind words, and choosing to bless me. I love you. And you always make me smile. Currently–memorizing Matthew 14.
    This community and Janet’s enthusiastic teaching are so valuable. Gifts from God.
    So much is happening in the world. May we know with certainty how He is calling us to live our lives.
    Janet–thank you for this blog and your good example. I have learned a great deal from you–more than you can realize. But He does. 🙂

    • Hi Holly, one of the things I love about the community is that we learn from each other. We are a resource to all the others. You’ve been a great encourager to me.

  • Elizabeth

    I don’t know anyone else who memorizes so this blog is a real encouragement to me.
    I had stopped memorizing about 8 months ago but had decided last week to begin again. I had to get over my feeling of being a failure and just start again… So I am working on Psalm 91. I have already memorized Psalm 1 and Psalm 103 and have continued to review them. After Psalm 91 I think I am going to try 1 Peter again… I had begun 1 Peter earlier this year but became discouraged and stopped.
    As far as topics, I really love Bible teaching and inspirational – but I also love practical help too!!
    Reading others stories is wonderful, especially as someone who is new to this journey and kind of struggling along the way!
    Thank you Janet for all the time you devote to this blog. You have encouraged me and helped me do something I never thought I could do! I don’t normally comment but I love reading your posts.

    • Hi Elizabeth, so glad you piped in. Psalm 91 is so rich and one that will be there for you in time of need. And psalm 1 and 103 are classics. One of the reason I started this blog is because many people wrote me and said, “I don’t know anyone who memorizes, except you.” Now we know there are hundreds out there, and that encourages all of us to keep going. I will be continuing the blog and I’m so thankful for your comments.

  • Elizabeth

    I had one question- I see there are small groups in cities but are there any online Facebook small groups? Or is it only in person? Thanks…

    • There is no Facebook small group but if you feel like you would like to start one, that sounds fabulous. If you decide to, please let our community know about it and maybe some will join you. Great idea! Thanks Elizabeth

      • Elizabeth

        Ok, I will consider this! I have done online Bible studies using Facebook and it has worked well so maybe it would also work for encouragement and accountability in Scripture memory. Thanks Janet 🙂

    • Elizabeth, if you’re looking for a great Facebook group centered around memorizing Scripture, I recommend the group “HideHisWord”. I’ve been with the group for a couple of years now and am so blessed by it! They have memory challenges every Fall and Spring where you can memorize a chapter of the Bible with the group, or you can memorize another portion of Scripture if that’s what God is leading you to do. I’ve memorized several chapters with this group–i.e. John 1:1-14, 1 Peter 1, Psalm 71, Ephesians 1, Isaiah 55, etc. Right now I’m working on memorizing the book of Philippians because it is my memory goal for 2014, but I prefer to memorize with a group. I just don’t know of any groups that memorize a book of the Bible together. Anyway, I highly recommend the HideHis Word Facebook group. I’ve found it to be a ongoing source of encouragement and inspiration in my life. I never would of challenged myself to memorize the passages I mentioned above, or even consider that memorizing Philippians could even be possible without the weekly inspiration and encouragement from this group. God bless you as you seek to find a FB group of people who love memorizing God’s Word as much as you do.

  • Janet, your blog has been, and continues to be, such a rich source of encouragement to me in my Scripture memory journey. I first was introduced to you by reading your awesome book, His Word in My Heart. I was so delighted to find that you blog on memorizing Scripture! Too many times, I fall in love with a book and when I visit an author’s website, it is basically a listing of their books and speaking schedule, and tells their bio. But there is no additional information about the book they wrote in the form of blog posts, articles, videos, or tip sheets that would serve to compliment the fabulous book they wrote. So I am thrilled that you didn’t write your book and stop there, but have chosen to build a community of people who love to hide God’s Word in their hearts, and committed to bless that community with weekly inspiration and encouragement. The posts that are my favorite are mainly the how to and practical information, though I do enjoy the inspirational and Bible teaching posts, too. How to posts with practical tips are what benefit me most as I seek to hide more of God’s Word in my heart. Similar to Share Your Story Friday it’d be neat to feature a persons “story” on how they memorize Scripture. What is their Scripture memory routine or daily practices? What apps do they love and what do they love about them? What disciplines or resources help them memorize Scripture? How do they stay disciplined and motivated to keep on memorizing what God has put on their heart to memorize? What practices do they do to keep their verses hidden in the heart so they don’t forget what they’ve worked so hard to hide in their heart? How do they help their kids or grand kids hide God’s Word in their hearts? Just an idea. Thank you again for this fabulous blog. I look forward to reading more from you.

    • Thank you so much Brooke. I will print these suggestions so that I can keep them in mind as I write new posts. I also appreciate the info about the Facebook group. That is a great opportunity for someone who does not have a physical group. I want to do whatever I can do to encourage others to get into God’s Word.