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Monday, March 10, 2014

Yahtzee! Adult Scripture Memory through Song & Visual Art

Isaiah 43:1-2
I am absolutely thrilled right now because I've stumbled upon an internet treasure. For years, our family has been singing Seeds Family worship Songs through which our children have memorized 20+ Direct Scripture references (and their happy tunes whittled their way into my brain to add verses like Psalm 34:10 and Philippians 4:11-13 to my arsenal). While there are some great songs & hymns out there saturated with the Word of God and deep truths - I've never seen an undertaking for adults like the one started by pastors by Joel Limpic and Ryan Gikas - The Verses Project.

The Advantages:
1. Well-Composed Adult Praise Music
2. 117 Scripture References as of March 2014.
3. Visually Artistic wallpaper for 1. Smartphones; 2. Tablets; 3. Desktops - all of which serve the purpose of reminding you of not only the verse (though certainly that) but also beauty and creative power of God's Word. 
4. Those who've perhaps done the Scripture or New Testament in a year thing, may want to instead (or in addition) try meditating on 1 Scripture Memory Reference per week! 
>>When Dietrich Bonhoeffer set up his seminary in Finkenwalde he had each student, including himself, meditate on the same verse for an entire week - a half hour each day. They were not allowed to consult any notes or helps but deal with the verse as though it was God's Word to them personally. 
>> Perhaps you've grown cold toward the Word of God, the great Puritan Thomas Watson once explained: "The reason we come away so cold from reading the Word is because we do not warm ourselves at the fire of meditation." 
5. Option to Sign up to have weekly updates (ie. new verse) sent to your Inbox
6. Free

Two Disclaimers:
1. Recognize the artists are "limited" by their subject matter. Some will cry foul: "Are you saying, Pastor Ryan(!), that the Bible is limiting?" Not at all. Only that the words they sing are consecutive verses (usually 2 or 3) of Scripture and they are limited to these. No artistic license to ponder examples in their lives of what is pure, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy and the like from Philippians 4:8 nor spot-on descriptions of the futility of life before "passing from death to life" from John 5:24. Also, it's the same words again & again (albeit done well!). If I'm honest, I had to initially tune my brain to "Ryan, Remember this is helping you Remember."  The singing is helping plant the Word of God deep into my mind, heart & soul. 

2. Most songs are a bit slower in tempo and softer in sound. This is so the artists can sing God's Word clearly - not to fast so that words run together nor too loud so that the words can't be heard over the music.