Zachary, your post inspired a new blog that is probably overdue. As we are building a strong community of like-minded believers here at memverse, it would be great if we could uphold each other in prayer, praying for special needs and events in each other's lives as people feel free to share. The Scriptures we are memorizing are full of promises of God answering our prayers, as well as testimony of a prayer-answering God who did move often in response to the prayers of His people.
Zachary, thanks for sharing about your dog, Ginger. I will pray for you and your family during this difficult trial. I will also petition God for the safe return of Ginger if it is in His all-knowing, all-loving, perfect will. I twice had our family dog (different dogs a few years apart) run away when I was young growing up in Indonesia. One was gone for a couple of weeks and we have strong reason to believe was stolen and tied up, but managed to escape after losing a lot of weight. The other just returned after almost a week and acted like nothing had happened. I know of others whose pet never returned. May God encourage you through this challenge.
I ask the memverse family to pray for me as I am facing a lot of big changes coming soon, as I plan, Lord willing, in the next 6 months to get married to a wonderful girl God sent me to. I also plan, Lord willing, to walk away from a 22-year career as a math teacher to be able to focus more directly and passionately on the spreading of Scripture. There is a lot up in the air as to what exactly that will look like. It is very exciting and a little scary all at the same time.
May we lift each other up in prayer before our all-powerful Father in heaven and watch Him answer and work in our lives. What can we pray for in your life?
Postscript (River La Belle): Thomas Watson has said, "When we pray for those things which are absolutely necessary to the glory of God or to our own salvation, we can pray fervently and persistently. But when we pray for those mercies or comforts upon which our salvation or His glory does not depend, then we must learn to couch our petitions in submissive resignation to His will and wisdom." Excellent. I just thought that we should all keep this in mind as we share our requests.
No book in history has ever compared to the Word of God. It has been hated and loved; burned and cherished; neglected and trusted; criticized and yet never undefended. Many countries have banned Its use entirely, while others have built their very foundation upon Its words. Amazingly enough, what makes God’s Word unique is not the fact that It has proven so controversial, but that It has proven Itself accurate time and time again:
- Scientists once falsely believed that air had no weight, even though God had told us otherwise thousands of years earlier (Job 28:25).
- At a time when it was largely accepted that the Earth rested upon the back of a large animal or giant, the Bible spoke of its suspension in space (Job 26:7).
- Long before the discovery of atoms, the invisible “building blocks” of Creation, God had revealed “…that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11:3)
- During an age when Science claimed the earth to be flat, Christopher Columbus sailed west through faith in the Scriptures: “It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth…” (Isaiah 40:22)
In Isaiah 55, God promised us that His Word would not return unto Him void. Like the rain and the snow from heaven, It has a purpose that will be accomplished. Though mankind has attempted numerous times to block that purpose, they have failed miserably on every occasion and have served only to further prove the inerrancy of Scripture. As it was said by Charles Spurgeon, “Had I written [the Bible], there would be men who would pull it to pieces at once, and perhaps quite right too. But this is the Word of God; come, search, ye critics, and find a flaw; examine it, from its Genesis to its Revelation, and find an error. This is a vein of pure gold, unalloyed by quartz, or any earthly substance. This is a star without a speck; a sun without a blot; a light without darkness; a moon without its paleness; a glory without a dimness.”*
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Without a doubt, the Bible is the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It has no equal, and thus reflects the nature of Its Author (1 Samuel 2:2). Jesus is Its grand subject, our good is Its design, and the glory of God is Its end (John 1:1, 14; 1 Corinthians 7:35; Philippians 2:9-10).
As both the number of users and the number of translations has grown, we have more and more memory verses being entered each week. After returning from Christmas we realized that the number of verses that need verification had become very daunting. So there is now a new page where you can help verify verses.
The page takes a while to load but you will get a list of the verses in your translation that haven't yet been checked. There are instructions on the page on how to do this. Once you have made any corrections, the verse will go to a final verification step. We have been testing this out with some early volunteers and it has already dramatically reduced the time we spend correcting verses.
Over time, we will add alerts for when there are verses that need to be checked. For now, NIV and a couple of the other major translations are already up to date.
P.S. We're thrilled at the response to the referral competition. We have a record number of new users the past two weeks.
verse verification, checking verses
My dad put me in touch with a website: www.gracegems.org. Be sure to check out the website, as it is absolutely PACKED with free downloadable solid Reformed books, articles, quotes, etc., both from the Puritans as well as more modern authors, such as Spurgeon, Ryle, Robert M'Cheyne, and Arthur Pink.
Anyway, I have been receiving their wonderful "Daily Grace Gems" for over a month. They are basically just small excerpts from Reformed authors, mostly Puritans, that are meant to encourage you in many different ways, depending on the nature of the gem.
I got this one a few days ago and was greatly blessed by it. I thought I would share it with all of you, praying that you would be greatly heartened and convicted, and inspired and motivated to greater levels of holiness, by God's grace alone.
Would such an inscription look well on some of our costly furniture?
Would such an inscription look well on some of our costly furniture?
(James Smith, "Holiness Unto the Lord" 1865)
"On that day even the harness bells of the horses will be inscribed with these words: 'Holy unto the Lord.' And the cooking pots in the Temple of the Lord will be as sacred as the basins used beside the altar." Zechariah 14:20
We are to write on all that we ARE, on all that we HAVE--"Holy unto the Lord!" We are no longer live unto ourselves--but unto Him who loved us, and gave Himself up for us. We are to have . . . Christian, is there anything in your house, in your business, or on your person--on which it would be unfitting to write, "Holy unto the Lord?" If so--ought you to possess it, practice it, or wear it? O Spirit of holiness, come down and by the finger of Your power--write, "Holy unto the Lord!" upon our hearts!Enable us, as the effect, to write upon all we that have and are, upon all that we purpose, plan, and do--"Holy unto the Lord!" in large and pleasing characters, such as all may understand!
holy sorrows, and
pursue holy objects.
1. See then, what we should BE--holy. This was God's end in our election, redemption, and effectual calling. This is God's design in all our trials, troubles, and exercises; they are for our profit--that "we may be partakers of His holiness."
2. See also, what we should DO--write, "Holy unto the Lord!" on all that we possess. We have no right to possess, use, or wear anything--on which we cannot write, "Holy unto the Lord!"
Would such an inscription look well on some of our costly furniture, fine clothing, or entertainments? Would it? Do not shun the question--but let conscience take it up, examine, and return an honest answer.
We should use all that we have--as consecrated to Jehovah's service and praise:
our mental powers,
our physical strength,
--all should be used for God, and for His glory! When about to employ any of these, we should pause, and ask, "Will putting them to this use honor God? Will it serve His cause? Will it bring praise to His most holy name?"
All who see us, dwell with us, or visit us--should be able to perceive that we have written upon all we have andare, "Holy unto the Lord." Until they can, we are not what we ought to be--and God's end in what He has done for us, and conferred upon us, is not answered.
We are to write on all that we ARE, on all that we HAVE--"Holy unto the Lord!" We are no longer live unto ourselves--but unto Him who loved us, and gave Himself up for us. We are to have . . .
Christian, is there anything in your house, in your business, or on your person--on which it would be unfitting to write, "Holy unto the Lord?" If so--ought you to possess it, practice it, or wear it?
O Spirit of holiness, come down and by the finger of Your power--write, "Holy unto the Lord!" upon our hearts!Enable us, as the effect, to write upon all we that have and are, upon all that we purpose, plan, and do--"Holy unto the Lord!" in large and pleasing characters, such as all may understand!
Grace Gems, James Smith, Holiness
As we all know, the start of a new year is a great time for resolution making and it is a great time to refer people to Memverse. We are going to run a competition from now until Easter, April 24th 2011. The more people you refer to Memverse, the more chance you will have of winning one of the three prizes:
The winners will be chosen randomly from the Referral leaderboard but the higher your referral score, the more chance you will have of being chosen. If you have a score twice as high as someone else you will have twice as much chance of being chosen. Three people will win and the one with the highest score will get to pick their prize. The second highest score will pick next and the third highest will get the remaining prize.
I'm hoping that people will be creative in finding ways to refer people. Feel free to post links on your Facebook page, post a flyer in your church, email people you know, add a link from your blog, buy Google Adwords (there are lots of free coupons available on the web). Remember to use your referral link to make it easy to get credit. However, please do not spam people and give Memverse a bad reputation. Targeting a few influential people who have a passion for memorizing will be much more effective.
Remember that you will also benefit from the people they refer so the sooner you start the better.
The little social bar at the bottom of the screen seems to be either loved or hated. I'm pleased to announce that it is now optional. You can disable it on the profile page (Profile -> Profile ... I know, it's confusing)
The really, really cool aspect of this new feature is that it was implemented by our second volunteer developer, Alex Watt. Please feel free to start pestering him for new features :)
A week before the Bible Bee finals Alex contacted me and asked whether he can help contribute to Memverse. I said, 'Sure', and he started immediately. You can imagine my surprise when I saw him on the video winning the whole competition! As I've mentioned before, my vision is to have more people actively working on improving Memverse. All the source code is open-sourced on GitHub and now that I've dragged Alex through the process of getting set up and contributing it should be much easier for the next person!
One note on the toolbar: many people do use it to refer a friend to Memverse, share links to the leaderboards, popular verses, and the blog. That's the only reason it's there. We definitely are not storing any of your information.
Meebo, toolbar, volunteer
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”-Galatians 1:8
As good as Spurgeon is, I haven't been reading the daily devotional nearly as often as I should. I read today's and was convicted about it, and now I am going to try to read the devotional for every day.
I thought it would be a good idea to have a blog post for the purpose of commenting on the devotional (because as good as Spurgeon is, there are bound to be TONS of comments. . . right?) . . . so here it is. :)
Spurgeon, daily devotional
We are excited to finally announce the beta release of the new memorization page. You'll find it under Memorization -> QuickMem. There are probably still a few kinks to be worked out so don't start using it unless you're the kind of person that likes to live on the edge.
It is intended to eventually replace the old 'Memorize' page. So why did we need a new one?
First, this one should be a lot faster to load each verse, especially for those of you who are on slow internet connections. It downloads the next verse while you're working on the current one.
There is also another feature which we think will help people stay on top of their memorization schedule: when a verse is not strictly due for review, you will have the opportunity to skip it. A little 'fast forward' button will appear and you can click on that to skip to the next verse in a passage that is due. This obviously only applies to verses that are being presented as part of a passage. (I realize that the fast forward button color scheme doesn't match the rest of the website ... if anyone is good with Photoshop and wants to make one that does, that would be great).
For those of you who use the 'Chapter Review' page, verses that are due as you work through the chapter will now be updated. So feel free to use the chapter review page as the main way to review your complete chapters. We're working on a better way to alert you when chapters are due for review.
Finally, there is a new Memverse counter on the home page which will update as verses are memorized. We can look forward to the day when that hits 1 million!
QuickMem, chapter review, memory verses, Memverse counter
It's just under a month until Christmas and then a week or so after that it will be 2011. Here are some recommendations from my 2009 experience:
Take this period to slow down on adding new verses. It will be busier than normal despite our best intentions, there'll be more on your mind, and it's better to go in to 2011 with a nice clean slate. (This is from someone who hasn't made it to the end of his verses for quite a few weeks now!)
Set a realistic goal for 2011. Take a look at what you've achieved the past few months and then set a goal that you think you can achieve with a bit of a stretch. Remember, the more verses you have in your head, the more time you'll need for review so if you added 100 this year, you might want to consider adding 80 next year. We are working on helping those of us who keep falling behind on their verses so don't throw in the towel just yet. :)
Finally, hope springs eternal in the New Year. January 2 is a great day to get someone to join you in memorizing the bible. So get a friend to join you. It's much easier together.
What is your technique for memorizing God's Word? I do not think that I'm wrong in saying that the main function of Memverse is the review, not the memorizing ... So how do you memorize Scripture off-line?
memorization, getting to know you
The subject is pretty much self-explanatory. What is/are your favorite passage(s) of God's Word? Why do you love them so much? What is/are your favorite book(s) of the Bible and why? Once again, this is a pretty small post, so let's make up for it in comments! :)
Bible Bee broadcast the final live. If you missed it this year, make sure to watch next year for some great inspiration.
Bible Bee, 2010
My journey of Scripture memorization started a couple years ago when I read the book "A Call to Die" by David Nasser. This 40 day devotional showed me the importance of memorizing Scripture and challenged me to memorize a couple of verses each week for 40 days. At that point in time, I memorized primarily because I knew I should. It didn't have anything to do with the joy of having it in my heart, because the joy doesn't always come when you are first starting out.
Anyway, I continued memorizing about 6 verses per month for quite some time before meeting some more Scripture enthusiasts (one of them being Phil Walker) who were obviously very passionate about the Word of God. This meeting couldn't have come at a better time, because my own interest in Scripture memory had already begun to grow, due to my personal realization of just how valuable it is to have the Bible in our hearts and minds. Through their words of encouragement, I left with twice the zeal I'd had before and joined MemVerse in a matter of a few days at their advice. Seven months later, I'm still here and plan to stick around as long as I continue to memorize the Bible (i.e. forever!).
So, what's your story? How long have you been memorizing, and what prompted you to start?
getting to know you
Ouch!!! People were warning me this day would come. The optimist in me didn't want to believe them. As much as I hate the message, I am thankful to the messenger (memverse member Josiah) for ruining my day and I want to pass the word on to others in the memverse family. I am not happy, but am still praising God that He, His eternal truth, His love and power, His Promises and Claims, His Word does not and will not change!!!
Not only do I dislike most, if not all the changes in the new NIV, it sure is a pain as a lover of the "outdated" NIV to have a new edition with the exact same name (Why didn't they just stay with the "wonderful" TNIV for the few out there who want the NIV to keep up with the changing times?) messing things up. Regardless of the mess man has made of translations and various other aspects of christian culture, may we be all the more passionate and steadfast in getting to know Him and His Word and in spreading a passion for and commitment to His Word to people we know and as God opens doors, around the world!!!
Andy, any thoughts on how this will affect memverse?