Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fear Not Means Worry Not – A Businessman’s Perspective

Hello, as we come to the end of 2011, my husband Bert is presenting the male’s perspective on some of the things we’ve been working through.

Luke 2:10 (KJV)
…Fear not…

I have chosen to practice my profession as a self-employed person for almost 40 years. The full responsibility for the success or failure of my business falls on my shoulders daily. I worry (another word for fear) about the potential negative business consequences should I make a poor judgment call.

However, I have to remember that worry contradicts the fact that I have affirmed my faith and belief in the Lord’s promise to guide me into making the right choices. And when I do (more often than I care to admit) make the wrong choice, I have learned that He is still there for me.

Worry (fear) is a normal human response. But, we all know that worry contradicts faith. When I experience such times as: worrying I’m spending too much time at the office, paying bills on time (both at work and home), and managing the company’s profitability, it helps when I remember that God is big enough in these cases, too.

I would like to quote from Rev. John Schmidt, Central Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, MD:

“We’ve got to deal with our trust in God, because it’s directly related to how panicked we are feeling about life around us. So we have to bring our fears to God. We have to talk to the management.”

I really need to get better at talking to the management about the fears in my life. What about you?

Men, am I alone on this?

Before I go, I need to admit another area I fear – or at least an area where I lack confidence: writing for this blog.

My monthly contribution to Sheryl’s blog has been a much harder task than I anticipated simply because I’m not the writer Sheryl aspires to be. So, I think I need to recognize where my talents lie – and where they don’t.

Therefore, this will be my last regular Bert’s Perspective. Perhaps, I will surprise everyone (especially myself) and throw in a Perspective now and then. But for now, I’ll just end with:

Keep up the good work, Sheryl. See you at home.
Bert

Friday, December 23, 2011

Not At Her Age

Luke 1:37 (NIV1984)
For nothing is impossible with God.

Luke 1:37 (AMP)
For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.

The angel, Gabriel, just left.

I’m stunned – and overwhelmed with everything the angel told me. Did I understand correctly that I am to bear and give birth to the Son of God? Me? “I’m a virgin,” I remember telling Gabriel. And how was I, of all women, chosen for such a privilege?

And, did the angel actually say my cousin Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy? No way! Not at her age.

But Gabriel was clear when he declared with such confidence, “Nothing is impossible with God!”
(Rewritten based on Luke 1:26-37).

What have you prayed and prayed for, but deep down you doubt will ever happen?” In my case, my prayers sometimes feel more like wishes.

But this week’s verse offers a lot of encouragement. Nothing is ever impossible with God.

But reality seems to scream differently, doesn’t it? And then there’s God’s-will-and-timing-versus-our-will-and-timing to consider.

So what do we do?

Let’s start by acknowledging God always knows what’s best for us. He knows what to do and when to do it – in every circumstance.

Next, we can commit this verse to memory. It’s short and easy (unless you’re like me and memorize the Amplified!)

We can recall times God answered our prayers. Reading Bible stories about God doing seemingly impossible things: separating the Red Sea, healing the sick, raising the dead, and suddenly changing a person’s destiny (such as Mordecai’s) builds faith, too.

Finally, let’s pray for each other. Sometimes others have more faith for our petitions since they’re not emotionally involved. You can share your prayer request with others here by leaving a comment at the end of this post. Please know, you can also email me with prayer requests.

Call upon Him this Christmas season– for nothing is impossible with God.

What do you think?

     • What prayer request(s) seems impossible to you?
 
     • What’s the biggest (and smallest) thing you’re trusting God for?

     • Will you let us pray with you?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fear Not

From Luke 2: 10 (KJV)

…Fear not…

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:8-11 NIV 1984)

This week we will be memorizing and obeying a small segment from Luke 2:10: simply, “Fear not.”

What are you afraid of?

Taking this in another direction, if I were visited by an angel from heaven, I imagine one of the things I would experience is being self-conscious about the areas I fall short as a Christian.

What about you? Perhaps, year after year after failing to keep your New Year’s resolution to read your Bible every day, you would hang your head in shame believing you’ll never measure up to be what a Christian ought to be.

Or would being in the presence of a heavenly being make you want to hide because you still struggle with that same habit or entangling sin? Maybe you would go to bed that night wishing you were a little bit more loving, a whole lot more giving, or, in short: would stop living as if “it’s all about you.”

Fear not.

God loves you deeply and He’s not disappointed in you. It is only as I write these words that I am reminded of these truths, too. He will never give up on us as long as our hearts are truly devoted to Him and His ways.

 If God were to ask you, “What do you want for Christmas?” would you consider asking for confidence? Ask Him to give you confidence in His ability to help you to become the person He designed you to be.

What do you think?

• In what areas in your life do you need assurance that God will never give up on you?

• Can this Christmas season be one of renewed faith in God’s ability to help you be all He designed you to be?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Do You Still Love Me?

Part 14 of a Segment-by-Challenging-Segment Series on 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:8a (NASB)
Love never fails …

1 Corinthians 13:8a (AMP)
Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].

“Do you still love me?”

How many of us have wondered if a person would still dare to love us even after we broke another promise, or failed to live up to his or her expectations one too many times?

But today’s section of Scripture gives reassurance, doesn’t it? Love (God’s love in us and for us) enables us to love strong and forever; and best of all to know the Love that never fails.

The Phillips translation says it this way:
It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.

This week we finish our focus on 1 Corinthians 13, one small segment at a time. Wow!

How did you do? I’d love to hear from you.

 Which verses (or segments) were the toughest for you to apply?

 How have your motives changed while focusing on the Love Chapter?

 Do you think others are seeing a change in your behavior?

 More importantly, are others seeing Jesus in you?

Here’s 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 in its entirety:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NASB)

4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,

5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails …

And, for those who love the Amplified Bible’s added depth:

4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].

Friday, December 2, 2011

He Never Looked Back

Part 13 of a Segment-by-Challenging-Segment Series on 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:7d (NASB)
(Love) …endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:7d (AMP)
And (love) endures everything [without weakening].

“Yes, Father, I will go.”

And at the proper time, Jesus left a perfect existence to live among us. Thirty-three years later, He died an excruciating death – for us.

You may be thinking that I’ve gotten my holidays mixed up. But please bear with me as I speak about enduring love.

I want to write about a love that displays perfect commitment… but how do I accomplish that?  Preparing for this post, I’ve written, and rewritten. Then I deleted almost all of it, only to repeat the cycle over and over again. This type of love …is simply beyond my skills as an aspiring writer to effectively articulate.

As we focus on the last segment of 1 Corinthians 13:7, we will memorize and attempt to obey a quality of love that endures everything without weakening. Who does that? I don’t come close to it. Do you? I mean, I’ll love pretty well for a while, but it doesn’t take much conflict or disappointment in the relationship for me to weaken in my affections.

Jesus persevered in His love while He lived on this earth, and He continued in that love all the way to the cross. And today, He consistently loves me even when I’m not very loveable

The Message translation says it this way:
(Love) … never looks back, but keeps going to the end.

I want to love that way, too.

What do you think?

      Have you experienced the kind of love that endured everything without weakening?

      How does this view of love set you free from performance based love?

Friday, November 25, 2011

What Happens at Home, Stays at Home

God bless you this day after Thanksgiving!

This week, my husband Bert is presenting the male’s perspective on the verses we’ve been working through during the month.

Bert’s Perspective on 1 Corinthians 13:7 

[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes …(NIV 1984)

This is what comes to mind as I attempt to apply 1 Corinthians 13:7 to my life:

Love protects
• Love shelters the one you love from outside wrong doing by being sensitive to potential threats from others. Love may also include using discretion to protect another’s reputation. In other words, “What happens at home, stays at home.” 

• Of course, we could apply the word “protect” further, to include physical safety for our wives. As a husband, I even protect my wife each time I make sure her car is up to safety standards: checking her oil, and tires, etc. I protect her by keeping up with life insurance policies; and simple things like, when Sheryl and I take walks, I walk on the side closer to the street, thus protecting her from the “wild horses.”

Love trusts
• Love takes God at His word. We can trust that He’s responsible for the changes others need to make in their own lives. The buck stops with Him. We are not responsible to change anyone – except ourselves. So, in the meanwhile, we try to give each other the benefit of the doubt. (Just like we want them to do for us).

• Again, let’s extend the discussion. How can I, as the head of my home, exhibit my trust in God? How do I behave under stress, or when treated unfairly? Do I display trust that God is in control of my life? Is my wife able to rest easier because of my example?

Love hopes
• No man is hopeless. In spite of how we feel, these words, based on Scripture that expresses God’s love for man, demonstrates how we are to practice loving one another.

• Jesus, the Son of Man, loved perfectly throughout His life on earth. We can inherit His optimistic view of love and apply that grace when at home and at work. When we’re tested and tried, due to others lack of love towards us, we can “man up” by not reacting in kind. Think of the Golden Rule.

We’ve all heard this powerful principle: Think about how Jesus would respond before you open your mouth.

I’ve learned when I:
Stop
     Listen
         Think
            And (most of the time) keep my mouth shut, I avoid hurting the ones I love. By the next day, I often don’t even remember why I was so angry.

Protect. Trust. Hope. This is love in its fullest meaning.

Men, am I alone on this?

Keep up the good work, Sheryl. See you at home.

Bert

Thursday, November 17, 2011

When Kathy Took Me In

Part 12 of a Segment-by-Challenging-Segment Series on 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:7c (NASB)
(love)… hopes all things,

1 Corinthians 13:7c (AMP)
(Love’s) …. hopes are fadeless under all circumstances,

“We are at the point, Sheryl, that we’re going to have to place you in a long-term facility,” the doctor said.

“No, I’ll wither up and die for sure in a one of those places.”

“I’m sorry, but I have no choice.”

The doctor gave me the news while I was a patient at a short-term behavior health unit (an inpatient mental health facility). After years in and out of mental hospitals, and following another failed suicide attempt, the psychiatrist was now considering committing me to the state hospital.

But then, Kathy called.

“Hi, Sheryl. Mike and I want you to live with us until you get on your feet.”

Tears of gratitude streamed down my face. My youngest sister’s gesture gave me the courage to hope again. Thankfully my doctor allowed me to go to my sister’s house in lieu of the state institution.

After moving in with Kathy and Mike, I met Joan at Calvary Chapel Church. She quickly became my best friend. Joan kept me laughing and never allowed the stress of my instability keep her from including me in her life.

During the dark years prior to that time, my (not much older) sister, Teri and her husband took me in for weeks at a time offering tons of support and love.

I’m dedicating this week’s post to these ladies, my Aunt Joan (who never stopped praying for me), and to many others, whose hopes were fadeless under all circumstances throughout my slow journey while coming out of depression and a serious eating disorder.

I would not be enjoying healthy relationships, including my marriage to Bert (five and half years and counting!), enjoying selling radio advertising again, writing this blog, etc. if it wasn’t for those who refused to give up hope that one day I would be all right.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m thankful to all those who never lost hope in an all powerful God for Whom nothing is too difficult. Thank you, Father, for continuing the work You have begun in me.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who support and participate in the Memorizing Scripture Blog. I love and appreciate every one of you, and pray for you almost every day.

And to my wonderful husband, Bert: You are very precious to me. I’m grateful that I get to serve the God of all hope with you.

What do you think?

• Will memorizing and meditating on this segment of 1 Corinthians 13 help you to persevere in hope for one another, even if it takes years before you see any changes?

• What section of Scripture would you like to memorize and obey (one small segment at a time) after we complete 1 Corinthians 13? (It could be a chapter, section of a chapter, a few verses, or even one verse).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Changing Our Opinion

Part 11 of a Segment-by-Challenging-Segment Series on 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:7b (NASB)
(love) …believes all things

1 Corinthians 13:7b (AMP)
(love) … is ever ready to believe the best of every person (AMP)

“Peter and I are getting a divorce. He found someone else.” Dottie told me as we began our daily walk. Her eyes were filling with tears.

“Dottie, I’m so sorry.” I knew Dottie well and observed for years how deeply she loved her husband. Stopping to put my hand on her shoulder, I said, “Let’s take our walk later. Looks like you could use a good cry.”

 “It hurts, Sheryl. And what makes it worse is dreading what everybody’s going to say. After all, this will be my fourth divorce.”

 “You just tell them to talk to me, and I’ll let them know what a great person you are.” I gave her hug.

That exchange is actually a combination of conversations I had with two ladies. Both experienced multiple divorces and deserve to have others believe the best of them.

How can we practice believing the best of every person? We can begin by not starting or listening to rumors. To dismantle a conversation going in the wrong direction, say something like: “Oh, I hope that’s not true. We need to pray for [her or him].” It’s even better than just remaining silent because sometimes our silence could say the wrong thing.

And what about believing the best in those we see every day? If our spouse makes a costly investment mistake, are we convinced he’s a failure, or do we still believe in his ability to succeed? If our friend is caught cheating on a test, do we discredit her Christianity, or do we remember her years of faithfully serving God?

It’s easy to form a wrong opinion. It takes more effort to refuse to give in to it.

This week as we continue through 1 Corinthians 13, one small segment at a time, let’s be quick to look for the best in everyone.

If I sound like I have a handle on this, I assure you, I don’t. Writing this will help me to be a little more accountable, especially to those of you who know me personally. Tell me when I begin to speak ill of others. Bert, Hon that includes you.

Which brings up another way to improve in this area: be accountable. Form alliances with others who will hold you to this higher standard of love.

What do you think?

• Who can you be accountable with to practice believing the best of every person every time?

• How will loving others in this way affect your relationships? How will it affect your Christian witness?

• What section of Scripture would you like to memorize and obey one small segment at a time after we complete 1 Corinthians 13? (It could be a chapter, section of a chapter, a few verses, or even one verse).

Friday, November 4, 2011

Love Bears All Things

Part 10 of a Segment-by-Challenging-Segment Series on 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:7a (NASB)
(love) bears all things

1 Corinthians 13:7a (AMP)
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes

“…You see, I was diagnosed with colon cancer that had metastasized to my liver and the doctor gave me only a 25% survival rate. I was floored. There Eddie and I sat listening to the words but not really comprehending what was being said. It was very surreal. We were completely shocked.” 

As Faye continued her testimony to the congregation, we learned that years after being cleared from that cancer, she was given another cancer diagnosis.

Can love bear up under two separate threats of terminal illness? It did and still does for Eddie and Faye. (Thankfully, Faye is now cancer free).

Faye said that during that time it felt as if life was out of control, and they had to choose how they were going to respond. They chose to bear it with God’s help, and with their love for each other.

As we begin with this week’s challenge: love bears all things, how will you choose to respond if you’re faced with devastating news, or when your child fails sixth grade, or your sister gets asked out by the guy you like?

The New International Version (1984) words the verse we are memorizing this way:

(Love) always protects.

That’s sums it up well, doesn’t it?

We will take four weeks memorizing and practicing obeying verse seven as we continue our segment-by-challenging-segment of 1 Corinthians 13. Here is the verse in its entirety:

1 Corinthians 13:7 (NASB)
(love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (NASB)

1 Corinthians 13:7 (AMP)
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

What do you think?

• How will you respond this week when you’re faced with a challenge that could put stress on your relationships?

• How can you improve in the area of allowing love (God’s love in you) to protect and defend those you love? 

• As we’re nearing the end of this series, what’s the next section of Scripture you would like to memorize one small segment at a time?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bert's Perspective

This week I’m starting a new feature: The last Friday of each month, my wonderful husband, Bert, will give a male’s perspective on some of the things we’ve been focusing on during the month.  And here's my husband:

Bert’s Perspective on 1 Corinthians 13:5 (NASB)

(love) does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
  
In regard to this verse, what comes to my mind are these thoughts which I’m trying to live by:

• Just because we have been wronged by another person, our love for that person should be genuine/pure. Not forced out of obligation.

I’ve recently had an experience with a former colleague that will cost me over $7,000.00. But I know I’m required by God’s standards to love him in spite of it. A Christian brother counseled me to pray and stay connected to him because of some probable issues that may have caused him to renege on his commitments. I have to look at the fact that God has a plan for my life regardless of (and may include) these types of scenarios.

• Love resists threats to undermine it from outside forces such as: greed, selfishness, fear, and intimidation, etc.

I call these things outside forces because they distract me from the joy of loving others. When I get overwhelmed with these things, I try to remember to focus on the Lord Jesus Christ’s love for me.

• Love considers the other person first before self.

• Love is solid, consistent, unchanging. It doesn’t waver in spite of life’s little annoyances.

My love for Sheryl doesn’t become any less just because of something she does or says at the moment. True, I do get annoyed and angry sometimes, but those momentary incidents are not deal breakers for me. My love for her is far reaching and looks forward to the future with her.

Our responsibility as married men is to cultivate a greater love for our wives than when we were first married. We love not out of obligation, but out of a passionate desire to act on God’s will within our lives. Not that this comes easy for us, we just keep working at it.

Men, am I alone on this?

Keep up the good work, Sheryl. See you at home.
Bert B. Boldt, II

Friday, October 21, 2011

Love Rejoices When Truth Prevails

Part 9 of a Segment-by-Challenging-Segment Series on 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:6b (NASB)
(love) does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

1 Corinthians 13:6b (AMP)
[(love)] does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Beginning the discussion:

It was no secret.

The woman had been married five times. Adding to her scandalous reputation, the man she was now living with wasn’t her husband. Her neighbors avoided her, and frequently gossiped about her.

Regret and shame prevailed.

Then, Jesus entered into the woman’s life. And soon righteousness and truth prevailed instead.

As the Bible story continues, the same crowd who had previously condemned the woman’s way of life, later thanked her for telling them about Jesus. From one woman, who lived years in disgrace, suddenly arose a ministry that resulted in many lives being changed. (See John 4:7 – 42). And for once, she was viewed differently by others. And most likely, she saw herself in a different way, too.

As we memorize the second part of verse six and consider how to apply it to our lives, consider these questions: Can right and truth also prevail before there’s evidence of a changed life? Do we continue pointing our fingers and wagging our tongues until the person does something to deserve our support? If that’s the criteria, what must a person accomplish before we begin to pull for her or hope the best for him?

What if we encouraged righteous behavior among one another before a person spiraled downward? What if we prayed for the person who has taken steps in a wrong direction, or is caught up in bad behavior? What if we got involved as God leads? How might our churches, and communities benefit? 

What do you think?

• How do you think the woman in the story started her day the morning after she met Jesus?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Love Does Not Rejoice in Unrighteousness

Part 8 of a Segment-by-Challenging-Segment Series on 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:6a (NASB)
(Love) does not rejoice in unrighteousness ...

1 Corinthians 13:6a (AMP)
([Love]) does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness ...

Beginning the discussion:

“I am here today to again apologize for the personal mistakes I have made and the embarrassment I have caused … I am announcing my resignation from Congress, so my colleagues can get back to work, my neighbors can choose a new representative and most important so that my wife and I can continue to heal from the damage I have caused.”

Many have questioned if the U. S. Representative felt genuine remorse during his resignation speech following the scandal involving him texting lewd photos of himself to several women.

But there’s little doubt those same people did feel a host of emotions in the midst of this man’s political demise. Were any of these emotions feelings of compassion, or grace? Or were his opponents quietly celebrating the end of his career?

How many prayers from us, the viewing public, were offered for the healing and restoration of his marriage – or more importantly – his soul? It’s easy to justify not extending grace, especially when it comes to politics, or when the offensive person has committed a grievous offense. It’s tempting to take a little satisfaction in the demise of someone who’s hurt us, isn’t it?

But that is not how we are called to live.

As we continue to memorize and obey 1 Corinthians 13, this verse will be broken into two segments.

Here is the verse in its entirety:
1 Corinthians 13:6 (NASB)
does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

1 Corinthians 13:6 (AMP)
It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

What do you think?

• Have you faced a moral, spiritual, economic, or some other type of downfall? How were you treated?

• Do you know people who have brought shame upon themselves and their families? How can you respond to them in a Christ-like way?

• Is there anyone (even an “enemy”) you need to seek forgiveness from because of the way you responded to his or her time of shame?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Love is Not Touchy

Part 7 of a Segment-by-Challenging-Segment Series on 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:5c:

(love) is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered.  (NASB)

it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to
it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].  (Amplified)

Beginning the discussion:

I, Sheryl, take you, Bert, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, - Darling, I need to interrupt here and mention that I haven’t mastered 1 Corinthians 13 yet. So, maybe it would be more honest if I say it this way: I, Sheryl, take you, Bert, to be my husband if you do not insult me, hurt my feelings, or do anything that upsets me or makes me mad from this day forward until death do us part.

You would be glad to know that I didn’t actually reword my wedding vows. However, I’m positive Bert would have appreciated the heads up.

Did you notice the last line in the Amplified version: it pays no attention to a suffered wrong?

I’m thankful for God’s standards. As we add this to the list of virtues we’re memorizing from 1 Corinthians 13, we move into a higher level of maturity and true character building. Don’t you think? I mean, we’re not talking about pretending we didn’t notice a wrong done to us, but actually not even giving any attention to the mistreatment.

How do you think you’ll do with this one?

Since we are at the last section of verse five, let’s look at the verse in its entirety:

(love) Does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered.  (NASB)

And in the Amplified:
It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride);
it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.
Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or
its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or
fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to
it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

What do you think?

• How hard is it for you to take no account to a suffered wrong and extend immediate forgiveness – and even consider the person may not have intended to hurt or offend us?

• And how do we deal with our emotions while we’re practicing not to react to a suffered wrong?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Love Does Not Insist On Its Own Rights

Part 6 of a Segment-by-Challenging-Segment Series on 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:5b (speaking about Love)
it does not seek its own, (NASB)

Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; (Amplified)

Beginning the discussion:

A highway sign tells me to merge into the next lane because my lane is ending. Within a short time, I merge. Then close to where the lane ends, several drivers are still in the closing lane. I see their blinkers, but I refuse to let them in. I merge on time; therefore, I have the right to ignore them (and in a way, punish them) for waiting until the last minute. They should have merged sooner – behind me. Then I justify my selfish attitude by believing my need to get home is more urgent then theirs.

Many times, my attitudes are driven by the way I want to be treated. I can be a great person to hang out with, especially when I get my way.

But  isn’t it true that when we put the needs of others ahead of our own – or even better – when we seek to  protect  another’s rights (such as the preborn, or victims of bullying), we are demonstrating God’s love that is in us?

So as we continue memorizing bit-by-bit the love chapter in 1 Corinthians, let’s strive toward putting the needs of others ahead of our own. And I mean literally, when we catch ourselves about to put our rights ahead of another, let’s recall “love does not seek its own (way)” and behave differently: yielding our rights to be more like Jesus. He, of course, is our best model. He never exerted His rights while living on earth, when He had every right to do so.

Discussion Points for 1 Corinthians 13:5b: (Love) does not seek its own:

• What would it cost you to give up your rights just once this week? How much would you gain?
• How many times a day do you look for ways to protect your rights?
• How many times in a week do you defend or protect someone else’s rights?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Love Is Not Rude

Part 5 of a Segment-by-Challenging-Segment Series on 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:5a
(Love) does not act unbecomingly (NASB)

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.  (Amplified)

Beginning the discussion:

 “... I truly despise you. …You're a hater and you're just unattractive inside...”

It’s likely you saw the video clip played on the news and internet, showing a U.S. Open women’s tennis finalist ranting against the umpire because the umpire awarded her opponent a point for violating the “hindrance rule.” The competitor screamed during the point and distracted her opponent, which led to the penalty.  The actual tirade lasted quite a bit longer than the quote above, to the point where I felt embarrassment for her. Maybe because I couldn’t help but remember the times I ranted and behaved unbecomingly myself.

As we return to our 1 Corinthians 13 segment-by-challenging-segment series, we focus on the first concept in verse five: love does not act unbecomingly (unmannerly) and is not rude.

In its entirety, verse five reads (speaking about love):
Does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

And in the Amplified:
It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

We will be breaking verse five into three segments: this week we’ll concentrate on not behaving rudely. The next week, we’ll work on not seeking our own way or rights. And the third week will center on not reacting to unfair treatment. Wow! Read verse five in the Amplified again. This is a powerfully challenging verse for me. What about you?

Are you benefiting by breaking these verses into segments? Because remember, the goal is not to only memorize these verses, but to actually be changed by our application of them. Let me and the other readers know how these verses are changing you by clicking on the comment link below.
Also, how has your life – or least a situation you were in – been changed by a Bible verse?

Discussion Points for 1 Corinthians 13:5a: (Love) does not act unbecomingly.

• Who can you be accountable to who will help you act more becomingly?
• If you heard a tape recording of your words in a typical day, how embarrassing would it be? How many people would you have to make amends to?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Remember Ten Years Ago

In honor of those we lost and their families, I’m sharing something my pastor, Mark Wilbanks, (Bradfordville First Baptist Church, Tallahassee, Florida) wrote and shared in a recent service:

A Different World

Ten years ago our world changed. The events of 9/11 are seared into our minds and hearts. Most of us can remember where we were and what we were doing when those planes struck the Twin Towers. The emotions were raw and intense – shock, outrage, fear, uncertainty … the list is long.

We live in a different world for more reasons than the way the terrorist attacks altered our attitudes and actions. Economic indicators, political issues, cultural shifts, catastrophic weather events, and other factors tell us we live in a new day – one that can cause more despair than hope, more confusion than certainty.

How are we to respond as people of faith? How are we to see the world as it really is rather than the way we might want it to be? Where is God in all of this? What message do Christians have in a world that doesn’t like to listen to us very often or at all? How do we speak the truth in love to people who like having their “ears tickled” (2 Tim. 4:1-4)?

Could there be great opportunity in these uncertain times? Could our faith become a beacon of hope? Peter Gomes, pastor and writer, penned these words after 9/11: “The whole record of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, and the whole experience of the people of God from Good Friday down to and beyond September 11, suggest that faith is forged on the anvil of human adversity. No adversity, no faith.”

REMEMBER 10 Years Ago:

How will we hand the story of 9/11 to the next generation?

What lessons have we learned?

Is there evidence that our Christian beliefs have become stronger?

Is there evidence that our Christian witness has grown stronger?

How has 9/11 changed you?

Let us pray …
• For spiritual awakening in our country, our community, our church
• For boldness and wisdom in our witness in our community and beyond
• For comfort and peace for those whose heartache and grief will be revisited
• For those who serve and live in countries and among people groups who have no relationship with Christ
• For wisdom and courage for those who lead us in all levels of government

Invite someone, or better yet, bring someone with you to worship this coming Sunday. During the next three weeks, we will explore how people of faith live in this different world. We will commemorate 9/11 in our services that day On Sunday, September 18, special guest, Dr. Freddy Davis, will preach on the subject, “Facing the Fear of the Call” from Ephesians 4.

On Wednesday nights (Sept. 21, 28 and Oct. 5), Dr. Davis will be teaching us about developing a Christian worldview. On the 25th, our worship theme will feature a passage from Romans 14 to encourage us to live out our faith to please God.

For those who are able to attend, Bradfordville First Baptist Church is located at 6494 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, Florida, 32312. 850-893-0893. http://b-fbc.org/ 

Friday, September 9, 2011

A September 5, 2011 Interview with Scott Beigle, president of the Faith Radio Network which broadcasts from Tallahassee, Florida.

Do you memorize Scripture on a regular basis?

I don’t memorize Scripture now as much as I did when I was younger. I don’t know why except maybe we think we are too busy. But having this question asked me makes me realize it doesn’t matter how old you are or how busy you are - we all need to memorize more and more scripture.

What is your favorite verse or verses?

 My favorite verse is Philippians 4:13

What method do you use when memorizing Scripture?

The method I use is repetition – repetition – repetition. I also like the idea of teaching children and grandchildren; and by teaching them, we learn as well.

How has memorizing God’s Word changed you?

Memorizing Scripture for sure has changed me. When many times I need a word from God, I think back to a scripture that I learned and I apply it to the situation. Also, I realize more and more that I can’t make it day to day without the Lord and learning the scriptures. I would love to have more scriptures memorized, and it’s up to me to do it. We have time for what is really important to us and God’s Word should be a top priority.

This week, we are focusing on the middle part of 1Corinthians 13:4 “… love does not brag and is not arrogant …” In light of your success with the Faith Radio network, how do you keep yourself from appearing arrogant or boastful?

I pray that I never appear arrogant or boastful about Faith Radio because I know God gets all the glory for what has been done or will be done in the future. I could fail today and I know that. That’s why I asked our listeners to pray for us every day that God will help me and the staff to be used as clean vessels for him.

Is there anything else you would like to add regarding memorizing or meditating on Scripture?

 I like the idea of having a “quiet time.” I am the type of person who usually has “noise” going on. But, when it is quiet I seem to be focused more on what God has for me for that day.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Love Does Not Brag and Is Not Arrogant

Part 4 of the Segment-by-Challenging-Segment Series

1 Corinthians 13:4d

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, (NASB)

4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. (Amplified)

Beginning the discussion:

“Well, I’m president of my firm, of course. And the only way I could get away to be here was to have my partner service my million-dollar-plus clients until I return. I just hope he doesn’t mess things up….” No, I have never heard anybody actually say these exact words, but we’ve probably all heard a braggart make a similar remark at a class reunion.
 
In this post, we’re finally completing 1 Corinthians 13:4 by adding “love does not brag and is not arrogant.” 

Personally, I refrain from bragging. Indeed, I’m quite proud of the level of humility I’ve achieved over the years. Of course I’m being a bit facetious, but I have to purposely guard against sounding boastful about my accomplishments.

Boasting is never attractive. I get so embarrassed when I hear myself sounding haughty, that I immediately try to redeem myself by attempting to say something humble-sounding: “I have the whitest teeth in the family! But, then again my teeth are so big, maybe they just look whiter.”

Seriously, it’s no fun being around someone who’s constantly bragging, is it? It not only displays a lack of love (and respect) for others, but it reveals a lack of self-love, too, when one feels the necessity to prove his worth.

Perhaps we can minimize our temptation to brag by understanding God’s love for us. I want to be so secure in His love that I don’t have to reach for validation from others. Furthermore, I want to love others with that same kind of love, thus helping to remove their need for boasting, also.

Are those your desires, too?

This week let’s meditate, memorize and practice the entire fourth verse of 1 Corinthians:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant.

Let me know how you’re doing with this very challenging verse.

Discussion Points for 1 Corinthians 13:4b: Love … love does not brag and is not arrogant.

• When are you most likely to brag?
• How do you feel when you blow your own horn?
• What have been the consequences of your arrogance?
• Would knowing how much God loves you just as you are decrease your need to boast?
__________
To help you memorize this verse, you can write the scripture out by hand on an index card. Or click on the Biblegate.com link to copy and paste the verse in any Bible translation you choose. The “Preparing Scripture Memory Cards” tab may also be helpful. OR subscribe to this blog to receive regular emails with a copy of the current memory verse in the translation of your choice. No charge to subscribe to the blog or to receive the verses.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jesus Wept

John 11:35 (NIV)
Jesus wept.

Beginning the discussion:

 “Hi, Sheryl.”

“Well, hi, Jay!” I am always happy to hear from my brother who lives several states away.

“There’s going to be a family reunion,” His voice sounded a little strained.

Yes, I know I thought during a pause. The Hilker clan has been planning one for months.

“Yea, uh … ” It sounded like he was about to cry.

“Jay! What’s going on?”

“It’s Matthew. He died this morning in a motorcycle accident when a tire blew out.” Then all I could hear was heartbreaking sobs.

“No!” I felt my throat tightened as tears flooded my eyes. I sat in the nearest chair and cried with my brother.

We all experienced it, or heard of others getting it - and we all definitely fear it: the phone call that changes our immediate priorities; the one that announces a death, or an illness of someone very close to us. And suddenly we’re packing, changing schedules, cancelling appointments, and in the car driving to be part of an unplanned and grieving family reunion - which is what my husband, Bert, and I did this past weekend.

This week we are stepping away from the “Segment-by-Challenging-Segment” series we’re currently memorizing to spend time on John 11:35: Jesus wept.

I’ve heard many interpretations on why Jesus cried at Lazarus’ gravesite. Today, I’m inclined to believe that one of the reasons He wept was because He had compassion for the grieving. I’m thankful God cares deeply about the things we’re going through.

And as we memorize and meditate on this short verse, let’s exercise the practice of showing God’s compassion to the hurting, as we weep with those who weep.

I’d like to offer another verse for Jay and Wendy, their son Trey and his wife Sarah, Jason (Wendy’s brother and close friend of Matthew), my sisters, and Matthew’s friends:

John 14:1-3 (NKJV)

1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

Discussion points for John 11:35: Jesus wept:

• When have you felt Jesus weeping with you?
• How has Jesus’ compassion for you helped you weep with others?
__________

To help you memorize this verse, you can write the scripture out by hand on an index card. Or click on the Biblegate.com link to copy and paste the verse in any Bible translation you choose. The Preparing Scripture Memory Cards” tab may also be helpful.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Love is Not Jealous

Part 3 of a “Segment-by-Challenging-Segment” Series of 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:4c
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; … (NASB)

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, … (Amplified)

Beginning the discussion:

“You think leaving your child at school on his first day of kindergarten is tough? You have no idea the pain of being separated from your child!” My words were clearly unsympathetic to my friend when she confided to me how she teared up after leaving her oldest child at school for the first time. I was unable to empathize because I was separated from my small children due to a constant battle with anorexia nervosa, a serious eating disorder. I would have given anything if my children would be returning home after just a few hours of school.

I regret the way I acted towards her. I wish I could take back many words I spoke during those painful years when I wasn’t able to raise my children. It’s not fair! raged within me. Indeed, I was boiling over with jealousy—an emotion that had control over me for years. (I am thankful that God enabled me to maintain a close relationship with my children in spite of my attitude and not raising them.)

This week, we are focusing on overcoming jealousy in our progressive goal of memorizing and obeying 1 Corinthians 13:4-7a. My daughter, Wendy, commented (the first!) on my last post on how God’s love, patience and kindness helps her when her temper is ready to flare. I responded by confessing that due to my meditating that week about responding kindly (see last weeks’ verse), I avoided a confrontation with a friend that weekend.

As you probably guessed by now, God and I have lots of conversations regarding my attitudes and my tongue. I sincerely want to overcome these sinful traits. That is, after all, why I began this blog.

Recently, on the way to Louisiana to see my children (and grandchildren!) I listened to a CD by Terry Workman, the pastor of Victory Harvest Church in Baton Rouge. In that recording he spoke about the time he refused to give into jealousy when a co-worker got the promotion that he was hoping for. He said he spent hours banging pots together while declaring, “I will not be jealous!” God actually helped him to overcome his jealousy to the point that he sought ways to help that co-worker succeed in his new position. I replayed that part of the CD several times! “God, do that in me,” I prayed out loud in my car.

Is that your prayer, too?

Discussion Points for 1 Corinthians 13:4a: Love is patient; love is kind and is not jealous:

• Is jealousy damaging any of your relationships at home, work, or school?
• With God’s help, are you willing to overcome jealousy by at least praying for your rivals to succeed?
• What other ways have you struggled with and overcome jealousy?
__________

To help you memorize this verse, you can write the scripture out by hand on an index card. Or click on the Biblegate.com link to copy and paste the verse in any Bible translation you choose. The “Preparing Scripture Memory Cards” tab may also be helpful.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Striving Towards Kindness

Part 2 of a “Segment-by-Challenging-Segment” Series of 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:4b (NASB)
Love is patient, love is kind ...

Love endures long, and is patient is kind … (Amplified)

Beginning the discussion:

As a private caregiver for the elderly, family members will often interview me to see if I’m the right person for the job. When answering their questions regarding my training, I often say, “Well, I’m not a CNA (certified nursing assistant), or a RN (registered nurse), but I’m an ANP.” I pause slightly to allow them to search through their memory banks trying to “remember” what ANP stood for. Then I solve the riddle, “a nice person.”

They chuckle with relief because that’s what they’re always looking for—a nice person to care for their loved one. And although I actually have Sheryl H. Boldt, ANP on my name tag, it’s much more of an ice breaker than a true testimony of my personality trait. Because you see, if it wasn’t for the work of God in my heart (and His kindness towards me), I would indeed be a NANP (not a nice person).

If you read my previous post, you will remember that we are slowly working our way (segment-by-challenging segment) to memorize and incorporate 1 Corinthians 13:4-7a into our lives. Last time, we began with, “Love is patient.” How are you doing with that? Memorized it yet? More importantly, are you behaving in a more loving way?

This time, we’re pushing on and adding “love is kind.” Hopefully, we’ll pray to allow God to change us to reflect His loving kindness even when those around us aren’t. And that God will help us be kind after someone insults us, or respond kindly when our hair is cut too short, or when we are charged for three tubes of toothpaste rather than two or when our spouse or children forget to thank us for any of the endless deeds we do for them.

Kindness is a step added to patience, isn’t it? I can perhaps accomplish the appearance of being patient (which is a feat in itself); but to stretch further and respond kindly takes a more obvious effort. And of course, I pray our goal will be that we are truly changed from within.

By the way, while I wear the ANP next to my name, I do humbly admit that I know several ENP’s (even nicer people).

I hope to hear from you.

Discussion points for 1 Corinthians 13:4a: Love is patient; love is kind:
  • How do you normally respond when people treat you unfairly?
  • Do you know any ENP’s? How does their example of showing kindness influence you?
__________

To help you memorize this verse, you can write the scripture out by hand on an index card. Or click on the Biblegate.com link to copy and paste the verse in any Bible translation you choose. The “Preparing Scripture Memory Cards” tab may also be helpful.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Striving Towards Patience

Part 1 of a “Segment-by-Challenging-Segment” Series of 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:4a (NASB)
Love is patient,….

Beginning the discussion:

 “It’s about time!”

Immediately my face burned with embarrassment from my rudeness. True, I wasn’t the only one in line frustrated with the store cashier’s laughing and chatting with a coworker between customers.

However, I knew my tone wasn’t what Jesus’ would have been. And I wish I could say that it was rare for me to show impatience, but I want to keep my communications with you honest.

The memory verse above is only part of 1 Corinthians 13:4. In its entirety, it reads:
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
And in the Amplified:
Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy; is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
I was going to post the whole verse. However, the purpose of this blog isn’t only to commit Scripture to memory; but it is also for us to practice the verses’ meaning in our everyday lives.

To be honest, I’m challenged by each virtue listed in verse 4, not to mention the others listed in the following verses of 1 Corinthians 13 (:5 - :8a). Therefore, I decided to take one segment at a time, and will continue segment-by-segment until we complete the whole section. Just think how much nicer we’ll be! I’m sure our husbands, friends, and cashiers worldwide will be glad we spent time in the love chapter.

So this time we are asking God to help us to behave patiently. I’m hoping that as I think about God’s patience (and mercy) towards me, I can behave more patiently with my husband, fellow drivers (even when I’m in a hurry), phone systems that keep me on hold—and yes, even with inconsiderate store cashiers. With God’s help, I want to live, speak, and think with the same kind of patience God extends towards me.

Let’s pray for one another as we strive towards being more patient.

Here’s a little bit of how the next (several) memory verses will look:
The next verse will be: 1Cor13:4a: Love is patient, love is kind. The following one will have “and is not jealous;” added onto it, and so on.

What do you think? Will breaking these verses into small sections help you to memorize and put into practice this beautiful and challenging section of scripture?

Discussion points for 1Corinthians 13:4a:

• In what situations do you find yourself behaving impatiently most often?
• What changes will you have to make in your expectations of people/events to make practicing patience easier?
__________

To help you memorize this verse, you can write the scripture out by hand on an index card. Or click on the Biblegate.com link to copy and paste the verse in any Bible translation you choose. The “Preparing Scripture Memory Cards” tab may also be helpful.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Striving Towards Humility

Philippians 2:3 (NASB)

3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.

Beginning the discussion:

“Congratulations, Peggy, on your sales today.” I had to force myself to say those words, and it was even harder to be sincere with my intentions. But I went back to my office knowing I had taken a step toward obeying God. For weeks during my quiet times, I’ve been begging God to help me regard others more important than myself—and do it with humility, no less.

Having been extremely performance based during that season of my life, I could barely function when my name didn’t appear first on the sales board at the radio station I worked for. That kind of attitude was destructive to my soul, and at the office.

I’m no longer in sales, so today when I read Philippians 2:3 I thought “what if I treated my husband with this scripture in mind?” How would that change my attitude about my husband? In what other areas of my life would hiding this verse in my heart change me?

I don’t know about you, but this is one of those scriptures that really zings me. Read it in the Amplified Bible (below) for a real zingy affect:
Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves].
What about you? Does this verse challenge you? I would love you to join in the discussion by leaving a comment. I look forward to hearing from you.

Discussions points for Philippians 2:3:
  • In what ways have you acted selfishly or in empty conceit this past week?
  • What does it mean to have “humility of mind” and how does one achieve it?
__________

To help you memorize this verse, you can write the scripture out by hand on an index card. Or click on the Biblegate.com link to copy and paste the verse in any Bible translation you choose. The “Preparing Scripture Memory Cards” tab may also be helpful.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Interview with Pastor Mark Wilbanks

Interview with Mark Wilbanks, Pastor of Bradfordville First Baptist Church, Tallahassee, Florida July 11, 2011

Do you memorize Scripture on a regular basis?

I try to. I tend to meditate to let the scripture soak in. God seems to always pull out the scriptures I need when I’m trying to make decisions or when I’m preparing teachings, etc.

As a child, I saw memorizing Scripture practiced in my family. My grandmother did it while suffering with cancer. She would rest her head on the back of the chair and quote Psalm 23. This had a big impact on me as a small boy. I could tell she was really in pain, but Scripture seemed to ease her suffering a bit.

When my mother underwent a medical procedure, the nurse was surprised to hear her quoting Scripture while she was coming out of anesthesia. The Word was obviously ingrained in her.

You know, I would rather have God’s Word dwelling in me than somebody else’s words.

What is your favorite verse or verses?

Philippians 4:19 has been my life verse ever since I was twelve years old when my dad gave me my first Bible. Before he gave me the Bible, he wrote Philippians 4:19 in it.

Psalm 119 also has a lot of meaning for me.

What method do you use when memorizing Scripture?

First, I read the passage over and over again. I take a phrase or a sentence at a time to try to get the full meaning of the Scripture.

This isn’t about being tested—it’s about what God is saying to me. You have to find a rhythm that works for you.

How has memorizing God’s Word changed you?

I have seen it get people through tough times. You can’t help but be changed when you witness God’s power change lives and hearts through His Word.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Return to Memorizing Scripture

Psalm 119:11 (Amplified)
11Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

Beginning the discussion:

My husband, Bert, and I went to bed last New Year’s Eve around 10:00. Fifteen minutes before midnight, I got up to watch Fox News. As the Times Square Ball dropped, Bill Hemmer, Megyn Kelly, and the crowds cheered welcoming another year.

In previous years, I was among those clapping and smiling (even alone on my couch) with prospects of new beginnings. However, I met this past New Year’s Eve with a real sense of regret and sadness.

That unusual response triggered many questions: Why did I feel so disheartened when 2011 reigned in? Was it mostly because I had not made the most of the previous year? How can I make the new one different? Will I allow God to use me this year? Candidly, I wasn’t optimistic and knew I had to make some changes.

One way I know how to have a different end-of-year-experience is to return to the habit of memorizing scriptures (see “About” tab). And finally(!) I’m going to do just that. I’m going to start committing God’s Word to memory one verse at a time, and begin to journal the difference it makes in my life. This practice at least presents the possibility that I’ll see growth in me during the coming months. And that gives me much encouragement.

Can you relate to my story? How would memorizing this verse help you? I would love to hear from you.

Discussion points for Psalm 119:11
  • In what ways do you want to change as you hide God’s Word in your heart?
Or, for those already memorizing scripture:
  • How has hiding God’s Word in your heart changed you?
__________

To help you memorize this verse, you can write the scripture out by hand on an index card. Or click on the Biblegate.com link to copy and paste the verse in any Bible translation you choose. The “Preparing Scripture Memory Cards” tab may also be helpful.
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