Archives for June 11, 2015

Hiding God’s Word in Our Hearts: Scripture Memory Cards

scripture via kimberlyanncoyle.com

As a kid, I attended a Christian school and participated in weekly Bible classes. We memorized scripture in exchange for good grades. On weekends, I followed the line of children filing out of the church sanctuary to the classrooms in the hall. I listened to stories illustrated by flannel graph, and recited my weekly verse for a single piece of candy. Sunday School was something to suffer through–fun and relevant wasn’t high on the list of priorities for sunday school teachers in the 80’s. They liked repetition, they liked flannel, they liked their Bible stories with little flair for the dramatic. Every morning at home, my parents slipped in a cassette tape of scripture set to music, and I curled my hair while watching my mom’s reflection in the mirror, blotting foundation on her face while humming along to scripture.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but life-giving words saturated my childhood. There was no flash bang. No grab-bag reward. Only black and red letter words winding their way into every corner of me. Scripture surrounded me at school, at church, and at home on a regular basis. Even now when I read scripture, I find myself digging the words out from a deeper place, where over time they buried themselves like hidden treasure along the outline of my childhood memories.

Without knowing it, I hid God’s word in my heart, and while it takes some digging to recover it, I know it’s still there. It’s as close as a heartbeat. I regret not memorizing more when I was younger, before time and information overload took over the little space left in my memory bank.

By contrast, my kids are saturated with media, with a constant bombardment of words and images and sounds that fill every corner and crevice. God’s Word competes for every square inch of space. I confess, I haven’t done enough to help them bury the treasure of scripture. I haven’t played the tapes or sent them to Christian schools or whipped out the standard 80’s Bible drill or flannel graph memorabilia. Sure, we read our Bible, and my husband bribes the kids with rides to school in which they must memorize scripture to hop in. But it never feels like enough.

I want them to find God’s word written across their thoughts, actively renewing their minds with it. I want them to bind scripture to their hearts, and allow the Book of Life to transform them from the inside out. I realized I had failed miserably when we visited Israel a few years ago, and one of my children admitted they didn’t know Jesus was a real live human being. Apparently, they thought he was a fictional character. Someday, I hope to laugh about this, but given said child’s recent behavior, today is not that day.

I find myself wanting to help them memorize and pray through scripture, but not really knowing where to begin. My friend Kimberly and I talk about this often, and while I like to complain rather than come up with solutions, Kimberly likes to take action. She created a set of Read It/Pray It Scripture cards to use as a tool to teach her kids about hiding the word of God in our hearts. As someone who is easily overwhelmed by the constant onslaught of media, I appreciate her commitment to simple over flashy. I plan to have a set of these cards in my hands by Friday.

Kimberly offers her Read It/Pray It Scripture cards as a free download on her website, which might work well if you’re into downloading and printing off your own set. If, like me, you’re a little lazy, head over to her Etsy shop. She will ship you professionally printed cards–you can choose your set–or sign up for a monthly subscription plan for a new set delivered to either your inbox or your door every 30 days. It’s brilliant and easy, just as it should be.

These cards would make a great gift for new parents to pray over their children, for recent graduates, for your kid’s ever-faithful Sunday school teacher, or even for yourself–because who doesn’t need reminding? You can find them here or here. Download or order yourself a set today.