1. The Beatitudes:
In 2013, I tackled scripture memory. I was so afraid to try this that I almost didn’t. My memory is terrible, and I had other fears. But I decided to trust God with my memory, and that if I retained even one verse from the effort, it was worth it. So, last January, I chose one of the scripture memory challenges from Ann Voskamp’s blog: Matthew 4, 5 & 6.
Today, my friends, I can say from memory all of these 3 chapters. I don’t know how that happened, or how long it will last. It is a miracle. I will say that Ann’s method and free printable was helpful. You take on about 2 verses a week and continuously review. I learned so much more than just the words to these verses from this exercise. These verses are hidden in my heart, and they help me every day. (I need lots of help.)
Here is my rather bedraggled spiral note card thingy that I made from Ann’s free printable:
2. To be ready to share:
My verse for 2013 was 1 Peter 3:15:
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
This verse meant more and more to me as the year went on. Our church’s discipleship ministry material made it even clearer that I must be ready to explain the hope of Jesus to others. I realized that I am not ready to do this, that I’m not good at doing this, and that I don’t want to do this, and that I don’t do this. But I also realized that being willing and ready to do this is part of my calling. Working on it…
3. What it means to be a true disciple:
Since the year 2000, when a big change happened in me through a Bible study by Dr. Henry Brandt, I’ve been looking for another study that was authentic and deep and that would rock my world. I was so ready for Follow Me by David Platt. I am still pondering and praying over the truths in this study. I stand amazed.
4. To keep counting the gifts:
Again this year I counted the gifts with Ann Voskamp. The method is simple: Make a list of your blessings starting in January of each year. Try to count daily. Make it a goal to reach 1000 before the year is over. Ann’s blog and book, 1000 Gifts, grew out of her own practice of this.
It’s important to me to count my blessings to cultivate a grateful heart. I count them big and small. Some years, I do not get very far on my list. This year, I made it to 1850 (and counting). My goal is to one day reach 10,000 gifts listed in a year. This Matt Redmond song inspired that goal in me.
5. That failure happens:
For many years, perfection was one of my idols and I thought far more of myself than I should have. In My Miracle in 2000, I faced the ugly truth about myself, and it was liberating. Now that I understand my true condition, and that there is absolutely nothing I can do about it but turn to the Answer, the Key to everything (Jesus) for help and healing, I am not so surprised and disappointed when I fail. I failed many times in 2013. I failed today.
My response to these failures was different this year than in the past. I simply asked forgiveness, brushed off my knees and started again. Yay!
I learned more in 2013, but this is long, so I will stop here.
Next post: What I’m doing to prepare for 2014, and how you can join me.