Share-Your-Story Friday. Frank from WI

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Committing Scripture to memory, for me, truly took off in 2005, the year before my bride and I said our “I do’s.” Growing up, memorizing was an understood, expected and necessary discipline, though I never realized its relevance or power until, following a challenge by my pastor (to commit to memory a tiny sampling of short verses on the back of our church bulletin), I felt the need to include it as an integral part of my time alone with God.

Later, while courting my future wife, my tally of verses grew, and I noticed them growing into passages. As time passed passages became chapters. Then came the day when, a semester class on the book of Romans was beginning, my professor offered each of us a choice of two learning tracks: a standard semester, complete with reading reports, quizzes and exams; or memorize Romans chapters 1-13. After praying and discussing it, my wife and I decided that, although a challenge—not necessarily easy—the memorization route would be a simple one. As one diagnosed with ADHD, simple directives are best.

Little did I realize that the habits formed in me the day I began committing those few verses to memory would eventually birth in me a passion, to see Scripture literally come to life in me, and to seek venues for my presentation of Romans to inspire others with challenges like mine to do likewise. For I’ve discovered my method reaches beyond benefitting my retention of Scripture, into the realm of daily life. Thanks to this discipline, I find it easier to cope with appointments, remembering something I may have said weeks ago, even in simply remembering faces and names (which I feel was once my worst failing).

It should come as no surprise to any of us how effectual and rewarding the discipline of committing Scripture to memory is; God promises it in His Word (Deut. 11:21). My new book, when complete—a complement to Janet’s work—will provide an added focus to those, like me, burdened to memorize, but lacking the mental device to start or sustain it over the long run. Meanwhile, I thank God for your ministry and encouragement, Janet…this is a vital skill—lifestyle—for us as Christians, to a world so desperately in need of hearing Truth.

16 comments to Share-Your-Story Friday. Frank from WI

  • mickey

    Great story, I like the part where you talk about having a passion to see scripture literally come to life in you. For me that is what internalizing scripture is all about having God’s Living word living inside of me. That is why our memory group is called Living Word Initiative, what a joy and what a responsibilty. Looking forward to the book.

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself, brother! It is an unspeakable joy, while yet an awesome responsibility. We truly may be the only Bible some may ever read. Why would it, therefore, not be paramount that, in addition to living and showing our daily love for Christ, that we actually TALK it, too (yes, I intended to say “talk it,” and not “about it”–that’s the point to Scripture memory, that we literally speak it, not just talk about what God says…there are enough commentaries out there already–how about having the Word speak for itself once and a while, right?!).

      I’ll be praying your memory group continues to grow, both internally as well as in outward numbers. There is, in my opinion, too much biblical illiteracy out there already…the world needs to hear Scripture, not us, speak! And the more who are learning to do so, all the better the opportunity to see more come to faith and love in Christ.

      Feel free to shoot me a Friend request, Mickey, if you like and as time grows closer, I’ll be posting notices about upcoming publication of the book (be sure and mention this blog when you do).

      Jude 2 to you and yours!

  • Linda

    Friday, January 31, 2014
    Hullo Frank,
    Thanks very much to you and your beautiful wife for sharing your story!
    Please let us know when your book is published here at so we can read it and share it – I hope the publisher makes it an ebook too. is helping me review a lot of my verses especially at night when I have to do it silently.
    I believe the violence in our schools and universities and in public places would vanish if children, teens, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles were all memorizing Scripture!
    That is the power of God’s Word!

    • I take comfort in verses such as Nahum 1:7, and the “refuge” promised in the Lord’s care. The same can be said of His very Word and the words of Scripture.

      I remember a pastor telling once of an older saint who approached him following a particularly impassioned sermon to lament as to the sordid state of our world. When she asked him, very seriously, “Pastor, just what is this world coming to?”

      Without batting an eyelash, my pastor dipped his head to look her in the eye, and with a gentle but confident candor, responded, “Sister, it’s coming to the feet of Christ!”

      What an assurance and truth. Even Jesus assured us of the trouble we would receive, but just as quickly reminded us that He has ALREADY overcome it, and so are/will we. Paul echoes this same theme later in Romans, in Chapter 5 and then in Chapter 8, to name just a couple of examples, that because of BOTH Jesus death AND His life in the form of humanity, we as God’s former enemies, WHILE WE WERE SUCH, because of Jesus, are now not only friends–WE ARE FAMILY!!! That just blows my mind.

      The result is, as in Chapter 6:22-23, “eternal life IN Christ Jesus our Lord,” and “who shall separate us” from THAT? Answer: NO ONE or ANYTHING (see 8:38-39).

      It is so encouraging to hear of the tools you’ve found, Linda, to help you in your challenge to ingest God’s word. My pastor has also suggested Biblegateway’s audio playback, which he said helps him as he is getting himself prepared for his day. For me, it is the fun of ingesting those words so that I may, like they did in Mary Poppins, literally “jump into” and drink them into my spirit. Then they can come to life inside me and I will own them, not simply recite them.

      That’s part of the concept behind my work. As I suggested to Mickey, feel free, Linda, to Friend me on Facebook and you’ll be able to see as time grows closer for my book to become available (be sure to mention Janet’s blog when you do).

      The executive I met with last year at Moody Bible Institute is the former head for Moody Publishing, and he’s already promised me a group to work with me, once my manuscript is complete. Your prayers for me as I endeavor to finish it (amongst feedings and changing, and navigating through the demands of a new, full-time job) are very much appreciated.

      Blessings to you and yours, Linda!

  • Chérie

    Love your story Frank. The one word that sticks out to me is when you used the word “Lifestyle”. How many times have we heard doctors or diet gurus saying that going on a diet is temporary, but for long term weight loss, you must make healthy eating your what? Your “Lifestyle”.
    Scripture Memory has definitely become my Lifestyle—”Style of Life”.
    I don’t say this in a haughty way by any means. I only mean that it is such a habit now that it is as much of who I am as my name is. It makes perfect sense. ….”And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you. —Rom 8:11 [NIV84]
    Thanks again for sharing. I really hope you will share more insights with all of us as our online community grows.

    • Wow, Cherie! How cool is it that you would choose to quote from what has become my obsession internalization book of the Bible: Romans. And what a great reassurance, that our sanctification comes not from our own efforts, but from the way in which God’s Holy Spirit moves us!

      I remember the words of my Romans class professor at Moody, Dr. John Hart. He told of how, when asked by a prospective convert whether receiving Christ meant giving up smoking, drinking, etc. (insert your own personal mores). His answer may sound provocative, but the more I meditated on it, in light of truths found in verses like this one in Romans 8, I found I could truly have no disagreement with it.

      He would answer, “Not at all. You can choose to keep doing any of that, any sin you want.” He would then go on to add that, if God is moving you to receive Him through Christ, although you may try and stray from Him, rest assured, He will see to it that you not only do so, but that you continue on the path to sanctification. It’s like what I feel Him saying to me often, “Okay, Frank, we can do this the easy way, or the HARD way.” But, as I’m sure you can identify, in the end, regardless, it will ALWAYS be HIS way!

      That’s why, when I examine myself daily, this never includes the need to ask myself if I am truly a follower of Christ. Think about it; it’s also as Dr. John proposed: “Do I have to daily re-examine myself to see if I’m truly married to my wife? No, that’s ridiculous! I KNOW I’m married to her.” Therefore, self-examination stems FROM my sanctification in Christ, not as a means to PROVE it.

      You said it correctly, sanctification, as it pertains to the drive to ingest Scripture and all other facets of our walk, is exactly what we are MOVED to do. God always does and WILL do the moving. The difference will then be, how easily will we be led–as a trusting child, by the hand, or as C.S. Lewis has testified about himself, “kicking and screaming” into the joy and peace found in Jesus Christ and the Word of God (if you have never read his personal story, I highly recommend it: SURPRISED BY JOY).

      May He continue to fuel the FUN of committing His word to your heart’s memory!

  • Kelly

    Thank you for your story! I, too, look forward to your book! How true that the work to hide Scripture in our hearts and minds leads to Scripture coming alive in our lives! I am so very thankful to the Lord for the ways in which He works!

    • There is a saying I came up with years ago, Kelly, and I stick by it even today: I’m never surprised, but always amazed.

      In other words, it will never catch me off guard the ways in which I know in my heart, as seen in His word, that God works. However, the results, from a human perspective, as a sinner saved by His grace, will also never cease to amaze and thrill me! So is the case with Scripture as we take it in and allow it, like a spiritual “pro-biotic,” to do its redemptive work in us, cleaning out all the junk and preparing us for even richer life and power through Christ.

      As I’ve invited the others, I also invite you, Kelly, to Friend me on Facebook (be sure to mention Janet’s blog) so you might get updates on when my manuscript begins its final journey toward publication.

      I pray your journey continues to bring you even deeper satisfaction and joy through your discipline of Scripture internalization!

  • Good morning (nearly afternoon) everyone!

    My apologies for the delay in popping onto respond to you, as it’s been quite the early morning/late night adventure, as I’m sure you with young children can surely relate (feedings going a bit longer than usual, one too many changes for the same child, etc.). Also, amidst all this, I wanted to be sure my mind and heart were spiritually aligned prior to logging on. I’ll say it again, I am so grateful to God for servants such as Janet and her ministry to those of us challenged to grow more in our retention of God’s word, despite everything/everyone which may be otherwise vying for our attentions.

    I’ll be checking in periodically today to answer any questions and respond to your comments. Should you wish to continue this conversation with me later, I invite you to Friend me on Facebook (be sure to mention this blog). There, we can chat, message or if you wish, both my email and a phone number is available for you in which to contact me (I am currently seeking opportunities in which I might begin performing live my dramatic presentation of Romans, as a spring board to spur on interest in my upcoming teaching text, ACTING, A BIBLE & ADHD).

    “The Lord gives strength to His people. The Lord blesses His people with peace.” Psalm 29:11

    Note the verbs: strength is a gift promised, as if on the front end, to us–Jew and Gentile alike–through Christ, in his human ancestry through Israel; peace is a blessing, implied as perhaps part of the sanctification process–the further we go with Him, the more we are able to endure. It is a pair of railroad tracks, running side-by-side…God’s gift, not earned and our participation through our intentional efforts to grow in the knowledge and love of God in Christ.

    I’m no expert theologian; that’s just what comes to me from what I’ve exegeted from what is found in the text. What’s so wonderful is that this is the same kind of “thick, savory sirloin beef” available as we not just read, but truly dig in and become fascinated with God’s word. This is key to not only memorizing, but internalizing it–something I describe in greater detail in the book I’m working on.

    It is truly incredible the treasure trove of power and strength just waiting for us to tap into, as we not just read but ingest Scripture. Just one warning: once you truly become fascinated in doing so, you will become obsessed; this is good and VERY necessary to your growth, as well as for the edification of others, regardless of their belief.

    I suppose that’s as good an intro as any for this blog. My apologies for my tirade; I am simply so excited that, not only is this all true, but that I, a man medically challenged on all sides by more distractions than he can shake a stick at, can truly pause long enough to feel–no–KNOW the force and freedom it has brought and is bringing to my life.

    If you doubt the same for yourself, consider this…according to God’s word through Paul, in 2 Timothy, chapter 2, the faith you and I have is not something we either asked for or conjured up. Faith is a gift through Christ, otherwise we would not be promised that “if we are faithless, He will remain faithful.” Therefore, I may continue to doubt myself, while at the same time, my faith in Christ remains unshakable! That’s the tension, and miracle of a life, sanctified in Christ.

    Thank you, Janet, and everyone for the opportunity to share my enthusiasm and story. I pray God uses all this to encourage and strengthen you, as you actively seek Him in your own discipline of prayer and ingestion of His Word.

  • Susan Turner

    Frank, I don’t have time to write much, but WOW! Thank you for your encouragement and the reminder that memorizing is indeed a discipline that has great rewards for the believer.

    • You’re so welcome, Susan!

      It is so true, isn’t it. What’s so ironic is that, until you actually make the commitment, it may look next to impossible. Once you’re rolling, though…it’s next to impossible to stop!

      (Kind of reminds me of when I was a child and just learning to play the violin, I would often drive my poor mom up the wall, playing on that thing for hours–and not just the material I’d been assigned to play, either. I was just so fascinated, I couldn’t put the thing down! Needless to say, God has translated that kind of drive to my passion to internalize. He can certainly do the same for anyone.)

      Thank you for the affirmation and your prayers!

  • melissa

    What will your book be called?

    • The working title at the moment is ACTING, A BIBLE & ADHD. I’m almost certain that will be what I stay with, because it truly encapsulates the spirit of the work.

      Feel free to Friend me on FB to learn more (as I’ve suggested with everyone else, be sure to mention this blog when you do).

      Thanks for your interest, Melissa, and for your prayers!

  • Well, it’s now my bedtime. I know, seems a bit early, but my wife, Melissa and I have found that taking shifts to care for our two little ones, Micah and Mikayla, helps prevent one or both of us from missing too much sleep. So, as is my wife’s preference, she is now beginning her shift, and later in the early morning hours, I will relieve her with mine.

    You know, I think I just discovered an analogy here in defense of committing Scripture to memory…

    As we approach it in a manner which emphasizes its benefits and nourishment, as opposed to some dogmatic requirement designed to induce false shame and guilt, we may find it just like my wife and I and our understanding of shifts: we understand the work must be done, that’s a given; it is then in exploring creative ways in which we may approach that work that will draw us in and better enable us to not only do that job, but actually find it to be enjoyable and fulfilling. It’s just like any job you’re starting, though…you just have to challenge yourself not to over-think it and simply, as the Nike commercials once proclaimed– “JUST DO IT!”

    That’s the two cents worth, from one Hamlet to another 🙂

    My thanks to Janet for allowing me to lead this forum throughout the day today, and to each of you who responded. For those who didn’t, but can find themselves identifying with life situations and challenges such as mine (attention deficit or just finding it difficult to keep the ingesting going), I challenge you not to allow yourself to remain in a holding pattern. And this may sound harsh, but please take it for your strengthening: either start or forget about it altogether.

    It is that huge a life-changer, and if you find yourself being convicted to begin, the prodding will only increase and intensify. Best bet, if you’re not going to do it…pray God to remove the drive and hope He’ll substitute something else instead.

    Then again…good luck with that!

    In Christ’s love, I pray only His peace that transcends all understanding, for all of you. If you haven’t let Janet in on YOUR story, what are you waiting for? (No commission necessary for that one, Mrs. Pope.)

    Jude 2 to you and yours!

  • Lise Anderson Brocious

    Frank I loved your statement that: What’s so ironic is that, until you actually make the commitment, it may look next to impossible. Once you’re rolling, though…it’s next to impossible to stop. When I was jogging the other day I was hit by the funny thought that Bible memory is just like Lay’s potato chips, I just can’t stop at one. The more I learn the more I desire to learn more and have such incredible joy when I am memorizing or reviewing. But you are so right that when you tell someone who hasn’t done it, it just looks next to impossible. Thanks for your great comments.

    • I’m glad God encouraged you through this conversation, Lise!

      …and my favorite chips are the Tostitos “Hint of Lime”. If you haven’t tried ’em yet, fair warning–like those verses (and those Lay’s), you’ll find you can’t eat just one!

      (I’m glad I may still comment and that our time on this discussion hasn’t yet closed…)