Share-Your-Story Friday. Dolph from PA

My story is pretty basic, which when we all get down to it, is similar to most people. Got a wife, got a kid, got a cat. Love Jesus, love Penn State football, love buffalo wings. I’m in full time ministry, and have an evangelical bent in pretty much everything I do. I don’t like excuses, and won’t accept them for my own life (but certainly understand grace for myself and others). So that’s me in a nutshell.

Years ago, some guys in my small group wanted to memorize one verse per day and see what happened. We started with 1 John. As I started, I found myself doing multiple verses per day, and really enjoying it. After a couple months, I had finished the book and really felt like I knew it in a way that I hadn’t know any parts of the Bible before. That was pretty much all I needed….

Over many years I have plodded along and been able to memorize the epistles of the New Testament (Romans-Jude). While I can’t spit them all out on demand, I could get any given chapter back by memory if you gave me 10 minutes to review it. So it’s in my mind and heart somewhere!

The biggest benefits are when I listen to a sermon or other teaching, I have a much better knowledge of the context of the passage being discussed. Also, when in conversations and a subject is brought up, I can find some verses to encourage others more readily. Most of all, I simply have a whole new perspective on this world we’re living in and my response to others is drastically different than it was years ago.

I realize I don’t know how to speak to women, so this last point is mainly for the men: fellas, stop making excuses about why you can’t/don’t memorize Scripture. Either start doing it (start small, with just one chapter) or stop claiming you will someday. There will never be a perfect time, so stop waiting for it in order to start memorizing. Like I said earlier, I’m pretty basic and blunt. Feel free to let me know which part of what I wrote is way off base; I’m honestly open to learning why people think they can’t do this (because we ALL can!).

14 comments to Share-Your-Story Friday. Dolph from PA

  • Teresa

    Right on! I don’t buy the excuses either! What joy the memorized word of God brings to my life!

  • Jane MBS

    Thanx for your post – I agree with you, I was amazed at how easy memorizing is. I have been revisiting 1 John 1 this morning and it is quickly coming back….! “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.” wow

  • Amy Calvetti

    Well said. For me I do not think I thought much about how important memorizing God’s word was. I did not grow up in the church, but found my way there on my own. Once I committed myself to Christ I still did not understand the importance of memorizing God’s word. My friend who was killed a year ago in a car accident always encouraged me to memorize. I did not board that train until I went to our women’s retreat and the speaker shared how it changed her life. I was not convinced, but I sure am now.

    I encourage all to get on that train to try and memorize even a couple verses. I started with 1, Romans 15:13. The rest is history.

    • Dolph

      What a great verse to start with, Amy! My daughter’s middle name is Hope based in large part on that verse and Romans 5:5. Romans is actually my favorite book of the Bible. Having been able to memorize that and 1 Corinthians was what gave me the confidence that I could do the rest of the epistles. I started with 1 verse, just like you!

  • Ginger

    Dolph, thank you for sharing! You are always an encouragement to me. I thank God for you and your dedication to learn and live God’s Word. Blessings!

  • Chérie

    Dolph, You have a fantastic message. You are blunt and to the point and don’t accept excuses because that is how God designed you back in the day……(ya know before the creation of the world…) He knew that you would do this and be an inspiration to other men. So get out there and use this part of you that was pre-destined. 
    You saying you don’t except excuses made me think of one of the [hundreds of] classic scenes from THE PRINCESS BRIDE where VIZZINI tells FEZZIK , “I don’t accept excuses….I’m just gonna have to get me another giant…..” 
    (so funny!)
    You obviously have a giant gift if you can memorize 1 John in a couple months. (Are you stinking serious?) Took me a few months and I thought I was a pretty fast memorizer.

    So glad you accepted the challenge to memorize, and I hope you will use your “giant” gift to give other men a swift kick in the pants by being very vocal about what you have accomplished and showing them that one verse a day is all it takes. Once people realize how much time they actually do have to memorize, (hands busy/mind free) there aren’t any excuses anyway. 

    • Dolph

      Thanks Cherie–I’ll take any encouragement from someone who quotes the Princess Bride! For me, I spend a lot of time watching sports, so I use that time to also memorize and/or review. That’s something I know men can do. Having a couple of hours to work through stuff, instead of just waiting for commercials to end, definitely helps me get through sections at a time.

  • Sandy

    Agreed Dolph…just start with a basic plan and allow the Holy Spirit to be our guide! Wrote out John 14 to memorize and it is amazing how knowing God’s word in its context gives deeper and richer meaning. We can ask for a true hunger and thirst for God’s word…that old man of flesh needs to die everyday. Blessings to you & yours in Christ!

  • Chris Gray

    KEEP ON Brother Dolph! Thanks so much for sharing and encouraging, all for God’s glory 🙂

  • Richie

    Dolph, you are a legend to the Bible Girls! Sue Morton told us about you at our Colorado retreat a couple of weeks ago. I am so glad to know of a man who is this eager to memorize God’s word. Surely God is going to use your experience as an example to others, and especially men, to inspire them to dump the excuses and jump on board. You started with a very challenging book. I am working on 1 John now and have been on it for far more than a couple of months, so your zeal and drive impresses me. Keep committing scripture to memory, hosting the Word Warriors, and inspiring men to give it a shot!

    • Dolph

      I think Sue probably lied/exaggerated!!! She’s famous for that! Hahaha. Just so I don’t sound better than I am, I’ve been doing this for a long time, and have had plenty of stretches where I stopped and didn’t have the motivation to do it. And I was OK with that. Sometimes you need to do something different, and then get back to memory work. It’s the same with reviewing for me (I hope it’s OK to say that on Janet’s blog!!). Just don’t get discouraged, because that’s not of the Lord.

  • Dolph

    Thanks to everyone for all the encouraging words! I look forward to reading your stories soon!

  • Amy S

    Dolph – God uses you in our Word Warriors group as such an encouragement that we too can have chapters and complete Psalms hidden in our hearts to meditate on. I love how God uses you and the other members of our group to encourage me to draw deeper into relationship with Him!

  • Sue

    Dolph, you are certainly a legend to our group and for the kingdom! I love to hear you recite scripture. You are a lover of Gods Word and an obedient follower of Christ! Thanks for the example and encouragement you are to me and our group!