I used to be good at this

Scripture memorization. I think it’s one of those things you have to get in the groove of or else you’re toast. Back in the day, I could rattle off verses like nobody’s business. Then I turned 8 and it all went downhill from there.

In 2009, on the Living Proof Ministries (Beth Moore) Blog, there was a Scripture Memory Challenge. Memorize 2 verses a month for a year. I started off strong, faded in the middle and scrambled to catch up at the end.

Having verses tucked in your head that you can pull out whenever you need them? Awesome. Getting to go to Houston to meet a bunch of amazing women I’d only ever known online? Icing on the cake.

Here’s my account of the Weekend. Part 1. Part 2. God did some pretty cool stuff and I don’t imagine I’ll ever forget it.

They’re doing the Scripture Memory Team again in 2011, and I’m determined to go hard all the way this time. And unless God changes the plan, I’m going to choose 24 verses that talk about his love for the poor and oppressed.

So, I was reading the LPM blog this evening, and Beth is doing something really cool. She’s offering a little spiral notebook to write your verses in for just $3 + shipping.

I bought 2. One for me and one for you. For a chance to win, just tell me a verse that is special to you. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow and get your spiral to you as soon as I get it. (U.S. addresses only please)

And how cool would it be to meet you in Houston in January 2012??

45 thoughts on “I used to be good at this

  1. Holly

    2 Tim 1:7
    For God has not given me a spirit of fear, but one of love, power, and sound mind.

    We taught this to our kids early on…..I love hearing them repeat it.

    Would LOVE to do this challenge with you….

  2. deanna

    I work with our “Girls In Action” group at church and we have monthly Bible verses to learn. I love scripture memorization!

    My favorite verse of all time is Proverbs 22:6.

  3. Bemi

    I totally want to do this! One of my favorite verses right now is Hebrews 10:22-23. Life can get rough sometimes, and it can be really easy for me to forget that God’s got it under control, but this verse helps me to remember. The first part also reminds me that the biggest problem I’ve had, being separated from God, is taken care of πŸ™‚ Also, I’m praying for you and your book!

    “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

  4. Rachelle

    I have procrastinated joining LPMs scripture memory group. I’m in!

    A scripture I’ve been clinging to for several years now as I learn patience, trust and God’s faithfulness:

    3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
    it speaks of the end
    and will not prove false.
    Though it linger, wait for it;
    it will certainly come
    and will not delay.
    Habakkuk 2:3

  5. Sheree G.

    Well, my favorite changes periodically on this life journey, but the one that has been on my heart for the last couple of months (and it has been confirmed many times in those months) is this:

    “For God has not given us a spirit of FEAR, but of power and of love and of a SOUND MIND.” (emphasis mine, of course) II Timothy 1:7

  6. Dee

    Galatians 5:16-18 (The Message)

    My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?

    This vers has spoken anew to me and given me the freedom to truly trust God in an area of life I have struggledwith for 40+ years!!! Through reading “Lifes healing Choices” by John Baker I am heading in the right direction. I am trying to memorize it, but the years have taken much of that area of my brain!!!!

  7. Faith Cruz

    Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

  8. jess

    i’m glad you left it open. πŸ™‚

    i have several. but the first one that popped into my head (i’m not sure of the reference.) “to him that knoweth to do good, but doeth it not, to him it is sin.” i think i learned it at Scioto Hills, actually. You know how often this verse pops into my head when i pass a box of cereal on the floor a tthe grocery store and i want to just walk on by and not pick it up. (and at other times, too of course…but mostly at those small moments.)

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  10. Becky Roode

    Hey Marla,
    I fell off the scripture memorization bandwagon after high school (I attended a Christian school where we had to memorize large portions of scripture every month). Then I got to college and as I ran across a verse(s) that spoke to me I would right it in colorful marker ink onto a 3X5 card and tape it to the wall of my dorm bedroom. Before I moved off campus my walls were covered. But I stopped memorizing after that. I tried to start mid-way in 2009, but found it hard to jump in after so many had been going strong for months. I, too, bought one of the cute spirals and I’m looking forward to memorizing all year long in 2011. Hope to see you in Houston in January of 2012! πŸ™‚

  11. Heather Marshall

    There are so many verses that I LOVE…I can’t wait to join the memorization party in 2011. I won’t be able to make it to Houston for the party as I live in CA but I can be there in spirit. So the verse: “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:18

    Oh- I have to add one more
    “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” Joshua 24:15

  12. Lacey

    Marla, thanks for posting this! I L-O-V-E the idea of accountability in Scripture memorization! I was one of the two people on earth who didn’t follow the LPM blog (*gasp!*), but now I do, so all is well. πŸ™‚

    One of my favorite passages is 1 Chronicles 29:11-13, which I started memorizing just before my dad was in a near-death accident, and then clung to in the aftermath of that…”Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the Ruler of all mankind; your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength.”

  13. Rhonda

    One of my favorite verses is Ephesians 3:20. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more that all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” God’s power working through me to accomplish more than I could ask or even imagine! How awesome and what a privilege.

    I started the last scripture memory team but fizzled out early. Aiming for a strong finish this time.

  14. Kathleen-NM


    I was so pumped when I read the LPL blog. God willing, I will look so forward to meeting you at the Siesta gathering. I tried the memorization last time, but didn’t go to the celebration at the end. This time want to finish strong and meet with all the siestas. My theme for 2011 is knowing God’ heart.

    Daniel 2:22 “He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him.”

    So excited, can’t wait! Thanks friend!

    PS My Secret Name book arrived today.

  15. Melanie Miller

    I’m so excited to be doing the memorization again next year. I’m hoping my daughter will join me. I bought two spirals last night, so I don’t need to be entered in your drawing. Just wanted to say, I’m joining you. It was transforming last year.

  16. Shelli @ Hopefully Devoted

    I already bought my own spiral last night. I tried memorizing on my own this year, but without the accountability of the gathering, I fizzled out. I can’t wait to start again on January 1 and it would be very cool to meet you in 2012!

  17. Cheryl Armstrong

    Reading Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life” and trying to memorize one verse a week. This spiral would be a great treat.
    Jeremiah 29:11
    β€œFor I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, β€œplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

  18. Ruth

    Psalm 116:1-2 “I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.”

    I love this verse because it is a constant reminder that the Lord will ALWAYS hear my cries: cries of thankfulness, cries of praise, cries for help.

  19. Melissa

    God is able to make ALL grace abound, so that in ALL things at ALL times, having ALL that you need, you will abound in EVERY good work. II Corinthians 9:8, emphasis ALL mine =)

  20. cyndee

    Last year, as my infant grandson struggled in his last days, God sent me Psalm 121 as I prayed through the Bible. His name was Jacob and I had told my daughter that my special Nana name for him was going to be Israel. I was pleading with God for his life in the hospital chapel as a group of people gathered at our church to pray for him when I read these words: “Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” These were just the words I needed to ‘hear’ to reassure me that no matter what the outcome, God was holding our sweet baby Jack in the palm of his hand. I memorized the psalm and it is now my favorite.

  21. kendal

    i am all in for the challenge. and hope to get to houston because it seemed so incredibly cool. i love these “safety” verses:

    you hem m ein – behind and before
    you ahve laid your hand upon me
    such knowledge is too wonderful for me
    too lofty for me to attain.

    Psalm 139:5-6

  22. Jen Hanson

    My all-time-favorite-God’s-heart-for-the-poor-verse is 1 John 3:16-18. I discovered it on an 8th grade mission trip and it has been my favorite verse ever since.

    “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:16-18

    (I especially love verse 18. Another translation says, “Let’s us stop just saying we love people, but let us really love them and show it by our actions.”)

  23. valerie (in TX)

    I started making scripture spirals several years ago when I did Beth’s Believing God study (can you say Changed.My.Life!). I tried to join the SSMT in 2009, but I too dropped out. sigh. It’s so much harder for me to stay accountable when my accountablility partners are across a computer screen and not face-to-face. sigh again. I would love to join again this year and see it through all the way to the end. And would love to be able to meet you in Houston in January 2012!! πŸ™‚

    “I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not be afraid; I will help you.'” Is. 41:13

  24. Mary

    I was a rockstar at scripture memory too back when I was 8 and younger πŸ™‚ One in particular I still remember…1 Peter 3:15.

    “But in your hearts, set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

    I was given $1 at the time to remember it…looks like it stuck! πŸ™‚ Hope I win – I’d like to do the scripture challenge regardless. Can’t wait to see you next year!!

  25. Brooke

    For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7.

    I won’t ever forget that one – it was my triathlon verse and I repeated it over and over and over while pedaling up a rather large hill where I was struggling.

  26. Tricia

    Jeremiah 29:11
    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, β€œplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

  27. Gaylene

    I still carry my spiral with me and pull it out often. I have shared with others and I know of one who will be joining the LPM siestas in memorizing in the new year.

    “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:19

  28. Natalie

    Would you believe me if I told you that I just completed Beth Moore’s Breaking Free study (so good- have you done it?) and am working on my very own set of spiral bound scripture cards? It’s true!

    Here’s my favorite verse from my spiral right now:
    “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on to the heights.” Hab 3:19

  29. Bethany Peters

    This is the Scripture that’s on my kitchen’s chalkboard door right now:
    “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me…Freely you have received, freely give.” –Matthew 25:37-40 and 10:8

  30. Tracie

    So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD
    His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
    And He will come to us like the rain,
    Like the spring rain watering the earth.” Hosea 6:3 NASB

  31. joyce

    “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

    Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)

    Count me in…

  32. Nina

    Ah! I’d love to win one. Participated last year but didn’t go to the celebration. Right now the Lord is using “he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of His saints” (proverbs 2:7, 8)

  33. Missy @ Its Almost Naptime

    I am hoping to just pop in Living Proof soon so if I win you can probably throw me back, like a little fish, but I just wanted to tell you that I just noticed that for some reason you weren’t on my blogroll, so I added you.


    1. Marla Taviano

      Most of the blogs I read aren’t on my blog roll, and I’m too lazy to fix it. I read them all in my Google Reader anyway. When I get a free minute today, I’ll try to remember to add you. πŸ˜‰

  34. LS

    SO FUNNY…i am ordering mine tonight too!! i didn’t do it last go around, but really want to next year. . .yay siestas, yay scripture, yay meeting blog friends IRL πŸ˜‰

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