I realized this week that I simply must start making smaller buttons. To that end, I have taken a moment to shrink the brain (coral) and offer you an alternative. Here it is:Use whichever size best suits your blog.Now, what kind of memory progress have we made (or not made) this past week? (Post a link in the comments, and I’ll copy them in as soon as possible.)
Participants’ Progress Reports #3
- Ann Kroeker (see below)
- Jennifer at Scraps and Snippets
- Amy at Lavender *Sparkles*
- Ruth at Caribbean Wordkeeper
- Dea at For His Glory…By His Grace
- Jennifer at PeaceLedge
- Esther at Outward Expression
- Pauline at Him in the Everyday
- Joy at Bucket of Joy
It’s okay if you’re inching along. There’s still time! You still have all of this week and most of next–it’s not too late for things to jell!Ann’s Personal Update:You all were so encouraging to me last week. You may recall that I compared my brain’s absorptive powers to a rubber ball–boing! John 14 and John 15:1-17 (and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening) just kept bouncing off my cerebral cortex and out into the air again. Thank you for your kind comments and creative ideas.I’m pleased to report that this week, by the grace of God, my brain was a little more like the spongy coral that has startled so many unsuspecting readers. I was able to retain and recall some of the words!I truly want to get into my head some of Jesus’ amazing words recorded in the Gospel of John. If I don’t bother to get them into my head, then they don’t have much of a chance to make a deeper, more profound impact. But if they are in there, then they are accessible.It’s just that they can’t stop there. Cramming words into gray matter is just the start:
The journey from head to heart is one of the longest and most difficult that we know. (Donald Coggan, former archbishop of Canterbury*)
I’ve got to do more than cram these words into my head; I must let these truths pierce my heart.Amy at Lavender *Sparkles* pointed out in this post (one of her MMM updates), that the words of Scripture need to make their way to the heart, slicing it open if need be, to change us. Amy advised:
It’s quite possible (ask me how I know) to repeat a text daily, to remember it perfectly, yet to not let it penetrate your soul. And that’s the last thing I want. “Knowledge puffs up” (1 Corinthians 8:1)–and I don’t need any help getting puffed up. So this month I’ve added a step to my memorization process, in an effort to slow down and really meditate on the text. Spending five or ten minutes repeating sentences requires little of me; interacting with the words in my journal takes me deeper.
What a great, practical plan: Slowing down and spending time interacting with the words in a journal–that takes it deeper.Still, getting the words into my head in the first place is a critical starting point–thus, the importance of a commitment such as Mega Memory Month. In order for an idea or truth to embark on the long, arduous journey from head to heart, it must actually make it into the head.I’ll type out (from memory) what’s been “sticking.”Please keep in mind that the first part of this was tackled in October for the first-ever Mega Memory Month. So a huge hunk of what I’m about to type is review:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.Believe me whenI say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name you may ask me for anything and I will do it, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask for anything in my name, and I will do it.If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you send another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you do know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.Before long the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. I am in you, and you are in me. Whoever has my commands and obeys keeps them, he is the one who loves me. Whoever does not have my commands does not love me. These words are not my own. They belong to the Father who sent me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father…(forgetting this next section. Let’s see where I can pick up again)Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said to him, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. obeys my command, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I, too, will love Him and show myself to Him. (Rats. I think this belongs up higher.)…Peace I leave with you; my peace I leave with give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
I’m going to stop now. I have several additional chunks that I can spout, but it’s all out of order. I’ve got a plan for this coming week, however, to try to straighten it out.Pray for me, and I’ll pray for you (really)!Meanwhile, let me finish with a lovely poem by Robert Frost that was much, much easier to memorize:
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy EveningWhose woods these are I think I know.His house is in the village, though;He will not see me stopping hereTo watch his woods fill up with snow.My little horse must think it queerTo stop without a farmhouse nearBetween the woods and frozen lakeThe darkest evening of the year.He gives his harness bells a shakeTo ask if there is some mistake.The only other sound’s the sweepOf easy wind and downy flake.The woods are lovely, dark and deep.But I have promises to keep,And miles to go before I sleep,And miles to go before I sleep.
Ah, I do love that poem. That was typed out from memory, too. Thank you, Mr. Frost, for prefect rhythm and rhyme. * Coggan quoted on p. 41, Knowing Christ, by Alister McGrath, a Galilee book by Doubleday, a division of Random House, 1540 Broadway, New York, NY, 10036, copyright May 2002.