Scripture Memory

Typically, when my blog is dry, my journal is full. That’s been the case this last month. I’ll try to do some short posts over the coming days to catch up on some things.

One of the blessings of a sermon series going slowly, verse by verse through a book of the Bible, is it gives you time for in-depth reflection on the verses. We’ve been studying Romans at church and are in Chapter 5, just having finished verses 1-5. I have memorized these verses as we go because it’s quite easy after listening to the sermons to have these words on my heart and to then memorize them.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:1-5 (NAS)

I am reminded again of the value of Scripture memory. It gives my mind something to think on that is good and true (Phil. 4:8). It hides God’s Word in my heart to help me not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11).

Look at Romans 5:1 above. It’s an incredible verse that tells us how to have peace with God! Isn’t that what anyone would want?! Unless someone is simply denying the existence of God, I imagine they would want to know that they can have peace with Him and how that is accomplished:

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We have peace with God through Jesus Christ, being justified (made right) by faith in Him. We can be assured of this and have confidence of it and then go on in His Word to learn more and more about this. But right there is the starting point! Isn’t that amazing?! This is the peace we all need.

Then we had dinner with a family Saturday night, and I could see that this person was a living example of Romans 5:3-5, having been through tribulation, but filled with great hope, having character that is being proven. We were able to see the way the Spirit was so visibly working in their lives. It was beautiful.

It’s wonderful to keep learning Scripture to remind us and reinforce what God is teaching us in His Word. It will not return void (Is. 55:11).

I’m participating in the Scripture memory program for 2015 at Beth Moore’s blog. We’re memorizing a new verse twice a month so that by the end of the year, we’ll have at least 24 verses hidden in our hearts. It’s a very manageable pace. You can find it here if you want to participate, too!

Brush With Fame

In April 2006, I went with five friends to an event in Indianapolis called Downpour. James McDonald, Joe Stowell, Beth Moore, and Crawford Loritts were the speakers, and Harvest Bible Chapel was putting it together. We were drawn to it mostly because of Beth Moore, someone whom we all love and whom God had used in our lives through her Bible studies. My friends and I were hoping to meet her.

Right before the event was to begin, four of us went out to the restrooms. While outside the main arena, my friends saw Beth Moore walk past on her way inside, and they wanted me to go over and say hi. (As it happens, Beth’s daughter is a dear friend of ours and was at that time living in our little town.) I anticipated that Beth was trying to get in for the conference to begin, so I was reluctant to say anything, but my friends were literally pushing me toward her to say hello. She was surrounded by what looked like body guards and her assistant, and I just could not interrupt her path into the arena — until, all of a sudden, she turned her head around as she was walking and looked right at me.

I said, “Oh, hi, I’m Melissa’s friend, ….” Well, she was as sweet as she could be, rushed over to hug me, said some warm things, and so on. Honestly, I thought I was at the point in my life where very few people would leave me starstruck, but you suddenly have this awareness that this is the godly woman who has meant so much to your spiritual life, and all I could say, over and over, was “You’re so tiny.”

Not “Thank you so much for your ministry” or “You have no idea what you’ve meant to me” — No, just “you’re so tiny.”

Then I became a little more gathered and said, “Well, I’m just here with some friends…,” not wanting to forget my friends, and I looked over at the three of them, and they were standing there starstruck as though they were deer stuck in the headlights, smiling, unable to move. One of the most hilarious scenes I could imagine, the four of us there, acting like total idiots!

When we returned to our seats, there were our two other friends who had not gone out with us to the restrooms. They were so disappointed they had not seen Beth, while the four of us were beside ourselves with happiness!

At some point during the conference, we got to move down to the front seats due to some connections that one of my friends had with the folks at Harvest. We were sitting right around the speakers. During a break, we visited with Joe Stowell and his sweet wife, as they are longtime friends.

One of my two friends who had not had the chance to meet Beth Moore, but who really wanted to meet her, probably more than any of us, is in this picture talking to Joe Stowell, while Beth Moore is literally at her back.

This went on for many minutes while the five of us sat there in our seats in hysterics, waiting for them to back into each other, to turn around and meet each other, to make some sort of connection. I grabbed my camera so we could document for her later how close she had been to meeting Beth Moore! In fact, I blew up the picture and framed it for her for her birthday that May.

Maybe you have to love Beth as much as we do for this to seem even humorous, but it was really funny. The Downpour conference was great, too, and we were blessed to be there.

Random Thoughts

We are having 25-30 students over tonight for dessert, and I am putting off the inevitable final preparations… why do I wait to the last minute?! We are excited to have them coming out. These are students who traveled to Europe and studied there this summer with my husband and some other professors. I have been directed to only have European desserts. So glad Jewel makes those kinds!

I went to a Beth Moore Living Proof Live event yesterday with 6 friends. She spoke on Proverbs 31:26 — “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.” The messages were all centered on kindness. I so enjoy Beth’s love for God and His Word. Her passion for Him is contagious and leaves others wanting the same.

My son is learning I Corinthians 13 in school. This was the first passage of Scripture that my husband and I ever memorized together. We were about 16 years old! I don’t even think we were dating at the time! Must have liked each other though to be memorizing Scripture together.

Hearing my son recite this passage has had me thinking about what it means, particularly the last verse: “And now abide faith, hope, love, but the greatest of these is love.” I had never given any thought to the fact that is seems to say love is greater than faith. It makes sense to me that it’s greater than hope, but faith? But the passage also says if we have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, we are nothing.

It struck me that I so often pray for greater faith, but I don’t often pray for greater love! I’ve spent the last week praying and thinking on these things — the love of God toward us that gives us our love toward others. Then our pastor spoke out of I Corinthians 13 this morning and touched a little bit on this, too. As he pointed out, love seems to be directly against our natural inclinations!

So these thoughts all tie nicely together — love and kindness. I have so many areas in my life that need sanctifying regarding these things. I want to love those around me and be kind to them, not just superficially nice (a completely different thing, as Beth explained). It’s a disposition, not an action; a strength, not a weakness, she pointed out.

I’m so thankful for God’s Word that is true and leads us in the path of life. It is a rich treasure, and I am so thankful for a personal God who loves us and instructs us in these things. I pray I can know His Word and obey Him by the power of His Spirit. I am so needy for Him moment by moment.


I wondered tonight what I should write on, reflect upon. I thought that as I did my Bible study, the Lord would reveal it. I first read through some old journals as I was looking for something else, but I was struck as I read those journals about how much the Lord had used Isaiah 40:28-31 in my life. These verses tell me to trust in Him, to wait upon Him, to hope in Him. He gives strength to the weary, power to those that trust in Him!

I then proceeded to do my very last lesson in Breaking Free, a 10-week Bible study by Beth Moore that some friends and I started months ago (we stretched it out)! What (among other things) did she talk about in this last lesson? Isaiah 40:28-31!

Beth asks the reader to offer feedback concerning the relationship between weariness and self-effort or renewed strength and the presence of God. Doesn’t it seem that it is often the weariness in self effort that ultimately brings us to the end of ourselves and to God? A few years ago, God very vividly showed me that I lacked strength, but that His strength was perfected in my weakness. (II Corinthians 12:9-11). I often think of this concept of His strength in my weakness as my “lifesong.”

As literally everything I do and am is under Him and His authority, I am dependent on Him and accountable to Him for everything, from the breath I breathe, to the thoughts I think, to the actions I take. His Word provides me with everything I need for life and godliness. His Spirit guides me into truth. I am filled with hope because He has given me all I need and truly gives me the strength to be and do what I cannot in my own strength.

These truths have changed my life, and I want others to know these truths, too, and to not miss the exciting walk of faith God has for us as we trust in Him and allow Him to be our strength. I hope to share a story of one way He has shown me this in my next blog entry this week.

Isaiah 40:28-31:
“Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.”


As I ran out to the store late the other night, I was driving home and saw the most beautiful moon! It wasn’t quite full, but it was out on the horizon and enormous looking, almost yellow with clouds touching it a little. It was overwhelmingly beautiful!

I’m doing a Bible study now called “Breaking Free” by Beth Moore. The study that morning had been about how our lives are to “glorify God.” We learned more about what glory means, and one thing I learned is that “God’s glory is the way He makes Himself recognizable.” I had had that sort of prayer on my heart that morning that says, “Show me your glory, Lord.”

As I looked at the moon, the only appropriate word my mouth wanted to utter was “Glory!” Who could look at that moon and not say that it is glorious!

As I pondered it, there was a song playing on the radio that echoed my heart, and these were the words:

Powerful so powerful
Your glory fills the skies
Your mighty works displayed for all to see
The beauty of your majesty
Awakes my heart to see
How marvelous, how wonderful you are.

Beautiful one I love you
Beautiful one I adore
Beautiful one my soul must sing.

You opened my eyes to your wonders anew
You captured my heart with this love
Because nothing on Earth is as beautiful as you

Did you hear that? “Your GLORY fills the skies”! Literally, I’m looking at this gorgeous moon in the skies and declaring GLORY and this song is playing! But the bigger message was “Nothing on earth is as beautiful as You.” The moon was glorious, but it was revealing His glory. I felt I was seeing His glory, the answer to my prayer.

I was also struck the following day that I can display His glory as I honor and obey Him and reflect Him to a watching world. By God’s power, we can demonstrate that a life filled with His Spirit and surrendered to Him changes us and is to the praise of His glory. May He strengthen us to walk in Him in such a way!

Psalm 66:2 “Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious!