This past year I've been a part of the Siesta Scripture Memory Team through Beth Moore's blog. It's been an amazing journey through working on memorizing Scripture and I've been so glad that I've done it...but I don't want to stop yet. I believe this is the start to something new and continual in my life. Everyone involved was to chose their own verse to memorize on the 1st and the 15th of each month so that would be a total of 24 verses to memorize in the year. Beth would post on her Living Proof Blog twice a month and in a comment, women would post the verses they were memorizing.
There were over 3,300 women who began this journey in January but only about 1,300 women across the world who completed this Scripture memorizing challenge at the end of December. Many of them (including me! :) will be joining her for a Siesta Sister Scripture Memory Celebration on January 18th in Houston, Texas. I'm so looking forward to that! :) And because I'll already be in Houston until the 22nd, I'll also be able to attend the first night of Tuesday Night Bible study at Houston's First Baptist Church with Beth Moore. What a great reward here on earth for someone who's led Bible study for 20 years and has completed 10 of Beth Moore's indepth Bible studies to actually be able sit in person at one of her Bible studies. :) I'm very excited!!
We had just gotten back from a Christmas holiday in Phoenix when I noticed an email about this Scripture memory and I loved it so I immediately jumped in with both feet and I quickly sent out an email and a FB message/post to all my Bible study ladies to invite them to join in on this journey as well...and here we are! :) I didn't even have a verse to begin with, that's how quick it all began, but this was the verse that Beth had chosen to memorize and it totally resonated with me. I'm ever so grateful that it's the Holy Spirit who is teaching me and I can rely on Him more and more. I'm completely trusting Him to teach me many things this new year. :)
#2 Jan 15 - I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2 HCSB
- All your children will be followers of the Lord and your children will enjoy great prosperity. Isaiah 54:13 HCSB
I love the verse in Psalm and it had been on my very first Scripture calendar in 2008. My help comes from the Lord. The study we are going through right now, Stepping Up by Beth Moore, a study on the Psalms of Ascent, we are to memorize Psalm 121. So this verse was very fitting. (This study was in preparation to the WJOF Women's Tour to Israel and that is where I had taken the above photo, overlooking the Judean Desert). But Beth's blog post also really spoke to me as well with praying this verse for her girls and I too pray in earnest for my kids to become passionate followers of the Lord and that they will always know the Lord deeply, intimately and passionately.
#3 Feb 1 - This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! Ezekiel 37:5 NLT
- He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. Indeed the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep. Psalm 121:3-4 HCSB
While I was listening to Passion 2013 that Louie Giglio had with many speakers/musicians - Beth Moore, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin - and over 70,000 young adults present but over 120,000 people watching online - I had already chosen this verse to memorize as it had been their theme verse. I think of those trapped in the sex trade and many in this generation of teenagers that think Christianity is boring...come to life again!! In Beth's blog she had spoken about dry bones coming to live again too. (In March, I had been at the Holocaust Museum in Israel and this verse was posted on their entrance so I had to have my picture taken by it :).
And of course through the Stepping Up study, we are continuing to memorize Psalm 121. So meaningful! The Protector of Israel (and of us) does not slumber! It was amazing to be in Israel after journeying through this study...and the best part was our tour guide, Arie Harel, seeing this study book in print for the first time as it was his daughter who was pictured on the front cover! He's been Beth Moore's tour guide for all of her studies that she's done in the Middle East and he's also been mine for the past 4 times that God has had me in Israel :) So cool!
Memorizing these verses for the Stepping Up study has meant so much to me! So many people have been asking me if I'm afraid to go to Israel and to travel alone in England afterward ...I'm not! :) These verses tell me 'The Lord will protect my coming and going!' :) (The photo on the left was taken on the Southern Steps as we recited the Psalms of Ascent. Every one of us had gone through this study before we went to Israel) SO Special!! ♥
#5 Mar 1 - For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
It has been such a heavy week before leaving for Israel on the 7th with some very hurting people in my life going through extremely difficult dark times, as well as my mom continually struggling with her mental illness, which is so extremely difficult to understand. I sat in Scott Parables, so peaceful after Bible study and this verse was on a picture on the coffee shop wall. I have it on a plaque at the lake too...I love it...so meaningful! God knew the two verses I needed while travelling to Israel and England....they are just so perfect! :)
I had also met a Siesta Scripture Memory Sister in Israel who recognized Arie, my tour guide. It was exciting to meet her and talk Siesta verses! :) She has a Siesta group on FB too for women to share their verses on there too, which she had invited me to join as well. So cool to connect with other 'Siestas' in different parts of the world...we're just one big family! (This photo had been taken on the train in England going to Capernwray Hall to meet my son there after the Israel Tour, as he was finishing up his 6 months of Bible school before going on to travel throughout Europe before coming back home. The left is of my Siesta Sister I met in Israel :).
This is still a continuation of the Stepping Up Psalm that we were memorizing. I often get mixed up with the protects and he's in this passage and so I needed a reminder to keep memorizing. :) On this day, March 15th, I was in Israel with Jodi after the rest of our tour ladies had headed home. I wanted to spend a couple days alone in Israel before going on to England to meet my son. This verse was perfect for me to pray for myself as well as my family at home and Brandon in England. :) Jodi and I had an incredible opportunity to take a horse ride on the original road to Emmaus and so it was amazing to visualize Jesus with 2 disciples talking and walking along that road. There were 3 of us on horseback on this road too, our guide and us two....such a unique experience! Being in England for Good Friday was definitely a treat as well.
- The way of a fool is right in his own eyes but a wise man listens to advice. Proverbs 12:15 ESV
I read Beth's blog while I was in England and the lack of God there was very noticeable. These verses fit right in with a couple of conversations that I had there with a couple of people who feel that all this God stuff is a tad bit 'rubbish' and not something to believe in. :( My heart was heavy at the lack of God in England, in our own country Canada and in the world. Choosing to memorize these verses that Beth recommended fit so well with some of the things I was experiencing there.
- To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be life great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3 NLT
Today was Memorial Day for Israel and it was on this day that my son Brandon was touring through the Auchschwitz Concentration Camp. I had received an email from Messianic Bible with these verses in it, reminding it's readers of the horrors of the Holocaust. My heart was really heavy for the Jewish people today and it was God's amazing timing that Brandon would be touring through that camp today of all days. This was a picture he had taken there.
My heart is being broken over and over again over the sex trade in the world and right here in our own city of Saskatoon. I had just met with a woman recently who came from that background and whose daughters had been trapped in that for a time as well. I had also spent the day with two dear women who have also come from that way of life but have now been redeemed and are living for the Lord. Driving with one of them, she had pointed out a woman on the street to me who was pimping out her daughter who was 14 years old and had been since she was 12. So heartbreaking!! This evening I had also attended the Teen Challenge banquet with my friend Yvonne St. Germaine and heard amazing testimonies of God bringing women out of the lives of addictions and prostitution. Yes God is close and does rescue, just like He's rescued these dear women, and I am so thankful for that!
I've also been journeying through the True Woman study by Mary Kasian with about 70 women and it's been teaching us what true Biblical womanhood is all about and that God's desire for us as women is not to be a doormat, a sex tool, a man bashing gal or an abrasive ruling arrogant women's rights lady. We were created beautiful by God and to be a helper for man, both created in His Image.
#10 May 15 - So my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord's work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is never useless. 1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT
This week Beth had mentioned in her blog post that she would be taping her new Bible study series called 'Children of the Day' that week. It was such an honor to be praying for her, right now, in the midst of her finishing the writing and now taping. She had posted a video of herself asking for prayer and then she in turn prayed over her viewers, for us. That was so special and moving to me! I can't wait for that study to come out in a couple of years. :) It's also meaningful to me as well, as I press on in my "full-time" job in ministry for God and to be reminded that it's never ever useless the things that I do for my Lord in ministry. I need to remember that honoring God is foremost in any ministry and it's all about Him and deepening our walk with Him through it all. (The photo on the right was taken at the Sea of Galilee)
Again this verse of Beth's spoke deeply to me right at this time as I recently had someone tell me that God has nothing to do with the weather and the weather has nothing to do with God and that we have the power to control the weather with our own words. I know God gives us much of the same power that He'd given Jesus Christ and that we live in a fallen world and weather forces have been very destructive at times, but this verse tells me that God is sovereign over all the earth and sky and has dominion over it all....seems to me He has a wee tad bit to do with the weather. :) I absolutely LOVE the sunsets and sunrises He paints for us each day...so very breathtaking!
#12 June 15 - And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires you to fear him, to live according to his will, to love and worship him with all your heart and soul, and to obey the Lord's commands and laws that I am giving you today for your own good. Deuteronomy 10:12-13 NLT
I've just started going through the Gideon study by Priscilla Shirer and Beth Moore's blog is also going through this study online. Before Moses died, he told this to the people and now a generation later, in Gideon's generation, the people had lost it all, weren't told about God by their parents and so they didn't know God. My daughter Alysha will be
graduating in a few days and then off to Bible school, my 2nd daughter Kyrstin will be finishing Grade 11 and going into Grade 12, and my son Brandon is back from Capernwray Bible school and back at work. This prayer is for my children, that they don't turn away from God and that they will teach their children the ways of the Lord. Focus on the Family had also called today and that was my prayer request with them as well...so thankful that they called out of the blue and asked if they could pray for/with me. So thankful!
- When I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me the strength I need. Psalm 138:3 NLT
I'm really enjoying the Gideon study and this is where these verses came from. In the study, Priscilla Shirer says the flesh image is often fear but the God image is courage. These verses really impacted me on June 25 and I knew right away that these were to be my two verses for the Scripture memory. Fear wants to be the first to come into any of my situations but God gives the courage. Early in June I had begun helping out on Thursdays at an inner city BBQ on 20th Street and I often feel so inadequate/fearful on those days because my life is so completely different than theirs and the enemy loves to keep me bound in those feelings because he doesn't want me there ministering to people on the street. These verses just popped out at me and in Beth's video blog this week, she shared how these two verses were her favorite as well and they had really spoken to her the most. :) God is so good and when He speaks, it affects all who listen. ♥
#14 July 15 - How thankful I am to Christ our Lord for considering me trustworthy and appointing me to serve Him. 1 Timothy 1:12 NLT
These verses just moved me so much one morning when I was reading in 1 Timothy. I couldn't get them out of my mind. This week my lake haven was full of kids and mammas....oh such a blessing to host them all here in the summer...and I was just overwhelmed with awe of how God would have me where I am now and giving me the honor and the privilege of serving Him in this way. I sat by the firepit in the warm morning sunshine with tears streaming down my face as I wrote out a lengthy FB post on how these verses have struck me. :) That God would entrust me with so many amazing people in my life and such precious mammas and children to spend this incredible time with and to allow me to speak into their lives. I don't know why God has me do what I do, but I do know my heart is willing and my desire is to please Him and to do all I do for Him. ♥
- And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. Revelation 12:11
The Revelation verse has always spoken to me through doing Faith Stories seminars with Women's Journey of Faith. I've always believed in "sharing our story" and giving a testimony. Kay Arthur had her post on FB with this verse, I knew immediately it was to be my memory verse this time around.
Also, Beth's blog on people never being what only God can be...that was a great reminder, especially with hosting over 100 people at our lake haven. I love what I do and I love people...I'm a people person. :) But as people, we all have quirks, including me, and I need God in order to do what I do so therefore I also chose Beth's verse again this time too.
#16 Aug 15 - And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, "Oh that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that your hand would be with me, and that you would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" So God granted him what he requested. 1 Chronicles 4:10 KJV
I had an amazing opportunity to go up to northern community in SK and
build friendships with some amazing people! I had my camera stolen the weekend before and on the drive up there, the man who stole my camera had been hitchhiking on the highway. We stopped and I was able to speak with him, hug him, forgive him and pray with him. God completely ordained this entire situation the weekend before, this moment on the highway and the incredible experience with some beautiful people up north...all of it was part of His amazing plan. To experience a different culture and to get to know a people whom I've been very racist towards in my past, God was providing a wonderful opportunity to build bridges, friendships and understanding a beautiful people that have lived alongside me for years. Much pain has been caused over the years and my prayer is that we become more united with one another, stop causing pain in the lives of others and become filled with love/compassion/understanding for one another. Extend our relationship territories God, keep us from evil, may we not cause pain and keep Your Hand on us all. Amen.
#17 Sep 1 - Praise the Lord, praise God our Savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. Our God is a God who saves. The Sovereign Lord rescues us from death. Psalm 68:19-20 NLT
We had been at the lake for the long weekend for Alysha's 18th birthday with 23 teenagers and a few adults... and I had the biggest scare of my life. While boating, a young man on on the tube behind my boat got the breath knocked out of him in the water. I feared the worst. :( I was driving, I felt horrible. Never in the 15 years of boating had this ever happened to me. So scary! But he's ok and the weekend was good and brought us all closer together and totally trusting on God. I really needed a verse and when I opened my Bible this morning, this verse popped out at me from the page and it was already underlined. God had it right there for me....oh I was so very thankful!! ♥ God is SO good!!
#18 Sep 15 - Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God's place in your hearts. 1 John 5:21 NLT
This is a great reminder for me...cause I love FB and pictures :) ...but it's also something for me to pray over my children. My kids are at the age where dating is beginning and I had read through 1 John the night that one of my daughters went out for a "visit" with a young man for the first time. Only God knows where that relationship will go. This was the last verse in 1 John and it jumped out at me. I knew it was my memory verse. There's so very much that clamors for our attention in this world...whether it's social media, materialism, people, food, jobs...and it often becomes so very important to us. This is a great reminder that God wants to be #1 in our lives and He wants us to become passionate followers of Jesus Christ. Oh He is ever so faithful...all...the...time! ♥
I've been going through the Patriarchs study with about 80 women. We've been studying the life of Abraham and then will go into the lives of Isaac and Jacob and Joseph as well. Abraham had a strong faith and God called him righteous. He messed up a lot but God still saw him as righteous. That's what I desire. In Beth's blog she talked about how God is keeping track of our good deeds, not our sin. This shed such a different light for me. God saw certain people in the Bible as righteous because of their faith. I pray for stronger faith day by day. I just can't imagine life without God. ♥
There's so much discussion/division going on in the world about gods, allah, buddah, angels, spirits, church denominations, no god...but God IS God and one day people will realize that. This has always been a favorite verse of mine and I can't wait for this day! I was reading this week on testimonies of survivors of residential schools that native children were forced to be in years ago. I hate the horrendous things that have been done in the name of God/Christianity/religion. Whether it's been these schools, or Hitler or Stalin or the Mennonite Colonies on which many of my own relatives live on...forcing people to be a certain way or do certain things has never been God's way. If we're not truly following God and only following rules or religion or no god/God, it's crazy scary what the human heart is capable of doing. One day, EVERY knee will bow and tongue WILL confess that Jesus is Lord. ♥ (This picture shows another great opportunity God had given me to share a weekend with a lovely group of women at Onion Lake First Nations. I love these women...but some of their stories are heartbreaking. SO glad God is the Great Healer and Lover of all nations).
#21 Nov 1 - Be very careful then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise. Ephesians 5:15 NIV
- He is your praise and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome works your eyes have seen. Deuteronomy 10:21 HCSB
The Women's Journey of Faith conference was this weekend and the speaker was Mary Kasian. Her messages were incredible and the timing impeccable. She spoke on the Wild Thing/Woman of Proverbs 7 versus the messages about womanhood in Genesis 1-2, 2 Timothy 3:6-7, Titus 2:1-5...which is the woman I want to be. Mary's message went so perfectly with the message in our Patriarchs study this week and Jacob's struggle with God. We need to fight the good fight of faith and not the mud wrestling and dirty fighting of a wild woman...we need to be wise women. The immoral woman coming to Jesus to wash his feet with her tears was incredible and she wasn't afraid of the condemnation of the 'church people'/the Pharisees ...she just wanted to be near Jesus and receive his forgiveness. We all want to be loved, but we are also to show love/compassion/forgiveness and we're not to condemn and judge. This also reminded me of the True Woman study that many of us had done back in May-June...to be reminded of the True Women that God created us to be and desires us to become.
I also chose Beth's verse again this time too because God is and has done awesome things and I love it how He gives glimpses to me of what He's doing....He amazes me over and over again.
#22 Nov 15 - No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT
Again, this verse is from the Patriarch study I'm journeying through. I had just gone through some intense back pain for 3 days that I have never experienced before. God is doing some great things! I had a dream where I was at an event with 3 ministries and I had been asked to pray for protection from the enemy so I prayed specifically for 3 things, power-love-strength. 3 days later I was asked to lead a Bible study to single moms in an all women's apartment building in the inner city. I had 3 men pray for me...my hubby, my son, my pastor and 3 days later I had bought the books for the Girls Gone Wise study by Mary Kasian - they came in a set of 3 - a book/workbook/DVD. 3 days later began 3 intense days of back pain and on the 3rd day this new Bible study started and 3 women were in attendance that first time. I don't what's up with all the threes :) but I knew God was up to great things! :) I can't even imagine all that He has in store for me but it's been an amazing journey He's had me on and it's so exciting to see His plans unravel in my life and in those around me! ♥
#23 Dec 1 - For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies, nothing you desire can be compared with it. Proverbs 8:11 NLT
On this day I had been getting ready to go to the women's prison with Gospel Echoes prison ministries. I need wisdom. It's amazing how this came about and God was taking me...again...to a place far outside my comfort zone (yes I know it's hard for some of you to imagine me being out of my comfort zone cause it takes a lot :) But God HAS to take us out of our comfort zones in order for us to grow and I never want to do anything in my own strength. I will be sharing a testimony with the women in prison and it's about my relationship with my dad, on forgiveness, and on the passage of Scripture that God had me reading when my dad passed away. God had put this message on my heart only 2 days ago. I needed wisdom. I've begun the inner city Bible study and on the first day, in the first chapter, was this verse in Proverbs and we had agreed to memorize this verse from that study. God is amazing and He IS doing great things...and we need wisdom.
with no fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions. Proverbs 31:25-26 NLT
- I am leaving you with a gift --peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 NLT
Being in the prison was...I'm not sure what the right word to describe it is. My heart burned within me as I shared there on Dec 1 and I knew I wanted to go back. I had gone back there for an orientation a couple days ago to possibly lead a Bible study there. I'm not sure what God has in store for me in that direction but I am leaving it in His Hands and He's given me peace. I am willing to go where He leads me...whether it's now or later...I know it's all about His timing, not mine or anyone else's.
But I've also been on my knees a lot this month for both my daughters as they go through guy stuff...and my son has gone through some girl stuff too. We haven't had the dating thing in our lives until this fall and so it brings a completely new dimension into this household. :) I'm praying that they first become passionate about following Jesus wholeheartedly, that they seek God's will for their lives and that the boys that come calling will also seek the Lord and His Will in their lives, and that they would respect my daughters and treat them well and that my daughters would treat them well. :)
WOW WOW!! As I've looked back over these verses and the memories/meanings attached to them, I sit here in wonder at what has all transpired over 2013. What an incredible way to have a year in review surrounded by Scripture and Bible studies. I know this has been a lengthy blog post but I sure have enjoyed going through these verses in this way. Sure is a great way to journal. :)
I look forward to another Scripture memory journey with many sisters in the Lord walking alongside me, in person or online. :) Write your memory verses in a small spiral book to keep them handy for reviewing or write them on 3x5 recipe cards. God IS amazing and I KNOW He's going to be doing more great things in 2014. Share your verse that you'd like to memorize for these next two weeks to begin another great journey of memorizing Scripture together! Whoohoo! Love you all! ♥