Wednesday, March 10, 2010


contributed by Kyle

This is short, because I have only one short thing to say.

I once had the entire chapter 104 of Psalms memorized. (That's not the one thing. Wait for it, it's coming). I memorized it because I was in training for my time spent in India, and the leaders of the organization encouraged morning memorization as part of our daily routine while at the training facilities. I had always loved that chapter, and so I took it upon myself to memorize it, and I was successful.

Later, Andrea and I decided that we were going to try to memorize the entire book of Ephesians, since it is a book that we both find very uplifting and powerful. We started just before we left for India, but somehow our interest in memorizing fell by the wayside, and our interest in daily Delhi living (aka, staying emotionally and physically intact) took over. Life went on until we found ourselves back in Canada working regular jobs but continuing our mission in Vancouver.

For me, this mission has meant being a light to the guys I work with. This is sometimes hard and sometimes less hard, but it is never simple. I have found, however, that more and more often our conversations are revolving around Jesus or the church or faith in general. This is encouraging, and a lot of interesting and sometimes hard questions have been thrown at me. Whenever these questions have shown up, the small amount of scripture that I do know has come in very handy. I often answer their inquiries with something like, “Well, the Bible says...” and paraphrase whatever it is that I am using to answer their question. But the odd time that I am able to quote the Bible directly I find there is a different feeling in the room. Perhaps it is a small picture of what Jesus experienced when he felt the power go out of him as the bleeding woman touched his robe when he passed by in the crowd. Now, maybe that's pushing it, but there is an authority inherent in the scriptures, and quoting a verse that you have memorized in a situation to which it directly applies can be very effective and can change the atmosphere in a room. It is, after all, the living and breathing Word of the Lord. If any of you think I'm overstating this, go check out the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4.

I have sat and chewed on this notion for a few weeks now, and Andrea and I have recently renewed our efforts to memorize Paul's letter to the Ephesians. I may never memorize the whole book, but it's worth a shot. It is more than possible that I will eventually encounter a situation where I can apply verses from Ephesians directly, and having them memorized may be the key to introducing God's authority into that situation.

Here's the part where I say my one short thing.

I'm not going to say that as a church we should be sent home on Sundays with a weekly memory verse, but I am going to say that I think it is a discipline that is often overlooked in a contemporary Christian setting. There are a lot of benefits to stretching our abilities in this area, and I am certain that if you suddenly did feel inclined to try to grow in this area, you would see results in your day to day lives as you interact with the people around you.

Well... there you have it. This is what I'm doing for Lent. That's all I'm going to say.



“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” - 2 Timothy 3:16-17


  1. Thank you for the encouragement to memorize verses. Scripture memory was a big part of Sunday School, but it seems to be something left to children or Bible School. It was timely for me to read this because a friend of mine mentioned that she tapes Bible verses to her fridge for her kids to read, and I have been feeling like I should get back into the practice of memorization. Get that muscle working again.

    Deuteronomy 11:18-21 (The Message)
    Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder. Teach them to your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night. Inscribe them on the doorposts and gates of your cities so that you'll live a long time, and your children with you, on the soil that God promised to give your ancestors for as long as there is a sky over the Earth.

  2. VERY cool, Kyle. Thank you so much for sharing. . .it's amazing how memorizing scripture can enable conversations to become more meaningful and powerful. . . .