The Stirring Faith Blog

The Art of Memorizing Scripture

The Art of Memorizing Scripture

In the whirlwind of our daily lives, finding moments for spiritual growth can feel like a daunting task, especially for busy Christian women juggling multiple responsibilities. However, amidst the chaos, there exists a transformative practice that holds the power to deepen our connection with God—the art of memorizing Scripture. Join me on this journey as we explore three compelling reasons to commit God’s Word to memory, hear an inspiring story of someone impacted by Scripture memorization, and discover three practical techniques for busy women to make memorizing Scripture a reality this year.

Three Reasons to Memorize Scripture

  1. Nourishment for the Soul

In our hectic schedules, we often neglect our spiritual well-being. Memorizing Scripture acts as a source of continual nourishment for our souls. Just as we prioritize feeding our bodies with regular meals, our spirits require the sustenance of God’s Word. The verses we memorize become a wellspring of comfort, guidance, and encouragement, readily available to sustain us in every circumstance.

  1. A Weapon Against Challenges

Life is filled with challenges that can leave us feeling overwhelmed and powerless. However, when we store God’s Word in our hearts, we equip ourselves with a powerful weapon against the struggles that come our way. Like a warrior preparing for battle, memorizing Scripture allows us to access God’s promises and truths, providing strength and resilience in times of adversity.

  1. Deepening Intimacy with God

Memorizing Scripture is not just an intellectual exercise; it’s a pathway to a more intimate relationship with God. As we commit His Word to memory, we internalize His truths, allowing them to shape our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. This deepening connection fosters a sense of closeness to our Creator, transforming our faith from a mere belief into a lived experience.

An Inspiring Story

Consider the life of Corrie ten Boom, a remarkable woman whose story exemplifies the profound impact of memorizing Scripture. During World War II, Corrie and her family sheltered Jews from the Nazis, ultimately leading to their arrest and imprisonment in concentration camps. In the direst of circumstances, Corrie clung to the verses she had hidden in her heart.

One day, faced with the harsh reality of her sister Betsie’s failing health in Ravensbrück concentration camp, Corrie recited the entire 91st Psalm—the same Psalm Betsie had requested (from The Hiding Place, Chp. 8). In the midst of the darkness, these memorized words provided a glimmer of hope and comfort, creating a sacred space where God’s presence was felt even in the bleakest moments.

Four Techniques for Busy Women

Use your Technology for Good

Busy schedules often leave us glued to our smartphones or computer screens. Leverage these digital platforms by creating visual aids for the verses you’re memorizing. Design simple graphics or use apps that allow you to overlay text onto photos. Two are like include YouVersion and Word Swag. I download these as lock screens and then create a special folder for them where my pictures are stored. This way, you can glance at your phone during the day and reinforce your memory with visual cues.

Incorporate Scripture into Daily Routines

Seize the snippets of time scattered throughout your day to engage with Scripture. Whether you’re waiting in line, commuting, or cooking dinner, use these moments to recite and reflect on a verse you’re working to memorize. By integrating Scripture into your daily routines, you’ll gradually build a repertoire of memorized passages without adding extra time commitments.

Use Scripture Cards

Another way I incorporate Scripture into my routine is with physical cards. There is often something about holding it in my hand or placing the cards where I can see them that gives just one more opportunity to make the words stick. That’s why I design these for The Stirring Faith Company. My favorite set for getting started is our Plaid Collection Set that includes twelve verses every Christian should know. It’s simple as well as foundational. I created it with my special needs daughter in mind. I cannot tell you what it meant to me hearing her recite several of these to us a few weeks ago. It’s a great place to begin, for yourself, and anyone you know who might need the visual reminders.

You can find it here 

  Repeat and Associate

Memorization thrives on repetition and association. Choose a verse and repeat it consistently throughout the day. Some experts encourage reciting a verse 10 times per day when you are learning it for the first time. A tool I use and encourage my family to utilize is an app called Fighter Verses. This app helps tremendously because it offers lock screen images of verses, songs, an audio player for having the verse read outload to you, and games. The downside is that it costs $3. I prefer free apps, but in the grand scheme, the price is well worth the benefits gained.

Additionally, associate the verse with specific cues or locations. For example, link a verse about strength to your morning coffee routine or associate a verse about peace with your bedtime ritual. Creating these mental connections enhances recall and makes memorization more accessible.

Make This Your Year

As we embark on a new year, let’s make memorizing Scripture a goal that transcends our busy lives. Embrace the reasons that make this practice invaluable, draw inspiration from those who have gone before us, and adopt practical techniques tailored to the rhythm of our bustling days.

Imagine the impact of having a treasure trove of God’s Word stored within you, ready to guide, comfort, and strengthen you in every season. The art of memorizing Scripture is not an additional burden but a transformative journey that aligns with the flow of our lives, bringing us closer to God in the midst of our daily hustle.

This year, let’s not merely survive; let’s thrive by nourishing our souls, equipping ourselves for challenges, and deepening our intimacy with God through the beautiful art of memorizing Scripture.

For His glory,

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Unmasking Satan’s Strategies: Five Biblical Truths for Spiritual Warfare

Satan's strategies

Unmasking Satan’s Strategies

Hello, beautiful sisters in Christ! It’s Cheri Strange here, and I’m so thrilled to dive into today’s discussion about a topic that’s close to our hearts: understanding Satan’s strategies and how we can stand firm against them. As Christian women who long to desire more of God in our everyday lives, it’s crucial that we heed the Bible’s wisdom and not be outwitted by the enemy, for we are not ignorant of his designs (2 Corinthians 2:11). So, let’s explore five of Satan’s strategies he often uses against us, backed by Scripture, to equip ourselves for this spiritual battle.

The Distraction Tactic

The first of Satan’s strategies is to distract us from our focus on God. In 1 Peter 5:8, we read:

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Just as a lion sneaks up on its prey, Satan seeks to divert our attention away from God through the chaos of life, materialism, and worldly desires. But it can also happen through the good in our lives. In my life it is the urgent that wars for my time against the important. I think a point worth making is that the distraction tactic, although as old as time, is tailor made for effectiveness in each individual.

It’s crucial that you and I be able to recognize what distracts us from our focus on God, and be watchful to resist these distractions. Taking time each day to refocus on God’s Word, prayer, and His presence, is crucial for our hearts to center (and recenter) on Him.

The Lie of Self-Sufficiency

Satan’s second strategy is to deceive us into thinking we can navigate life on our own, apart from God’s strength. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Paul writes:

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

The enemy whispers lies about our self-sufficiency, pushing us to rely on our own abilities and resources. But that never works.

You are not enough on our own.

Neither am I.

There is a better way. Embracing the reality that we are not able to navigate all that comes our way can lead us to victory. When we acknowledge our need for God in our daily struggles and difficult challenges, His power shines through our inadequacies, leaving the enemy of our souls defeated.

The Accusation Game

The third of Satan’s strategies is to accuse us relentlessly, attempting to burden us with guilt and shame. In Revelation 12:10, we’re reminded of his title,

“the accuser of our brothers.”

Satan desires to make us forget who we are, causing us to feel unworthy of God’s love and forgiveness. And he’s really good at it. Our only hope of defeating him is believing the truth of God’s word over the barrage of lies. Truths such as:

  •  1 John 1:9 where we are assured that in Christ, we are forgiven and clean,
  •  2 Corinthians 5:17 that tells us that whatever we were before is gone. Jesus makes us new and nothing can take that away from us.
  • Psalm 103:12 reminding us that our sins, however terrible, destructive, or conniving, have been removed from us as far as the east is from the west, and
  • Romans 8:1 reassuring us, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

When Satan tries to accuse you and me, the path to victory is remembering our identity in Christ and rebuke Satan’s lies with the truth of God’s Word.

satan's strategies

The Deception of False Teaching

Satan’s fourth strategy involves spreading false teaching and leading us astray from the pure, unadulterated truth of God’s Word. In 2 Timothy 4:3-4, Paul warns,

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

Friend, this can be so subtle. And we are sure to lose unless we remain in God’s word regularly. There is no better way to distinguish between authenticity and some twisted nuance than becoming saturated with the real thing. He’s coming for our confidence in Scripture and God, Himself. This is a call to be vigilant against doctrines and teachings that deviate from Scripture. Our only hope is to stay rooted in the Word of God and seek wise, biblically sound teachers who lead us closer to God, not away from Him.

 

The Seeds of Doubt

The fifth of Satan’s strategies is to sow seeds of doubt and confusion about God’s character and His Word. In 2 Corinthians 11:3, the apostle Paul writes,

“But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”

Just as Satan tempted Eve with doubt in the garden, he seeks to undermine our trust in God’s goodness and faithfulness. Somehow, he crafts our thinking to consider, like Eve, that God might just be holding out on us. Sister, this strategy works. Time and time, again.

When these doubts arise, our best course of action is to recognize what is happening and stop the internal conversation. Don’t give it any energy or power. Instead, we absolutely must replace those thoughts with who God says He is and what He has done, so that we can trust that He can do what He promises to do.

My friend, it’s essential that we remain vigilant and alert to Satan’s strategies against us. As Christian women desiring more of God in our everyday lives, we must be equipped with the powerful weapon of God’s Word to counteract these schemes. Let us not be ignorant of his designs so that we can come against him, standing firm in our faith.

May the Lord bless and protect you as you continue to pursue a deeper relationship with Him and resist the enemy’s schemes. Remember, we are not ignorant of his designs.

xoxoxo,

 

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Praying for Understanding

praying for understandingPraying for Understanding

What do you and I do when we come to a spiritual dilemma—when we don’t know what to do or which way to go? If you ask the teenagers in my house, they will suggest we Google it. And that might help enrich our knowledge or provide options. But when we find ourselves needing more understanding of a spiritual nature, Googling our brains out is most likely not going to lead us on the right trajectory. Spiritual matters must be pursued in spiritual manners. And the best place to begin is the Word of God.

The Apostle Paul understood the need for more spiritual understanding which he attested by his own testimony to the Philippian church.

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Philippians 3:8-12

Gaining a richer understanding, knowing more of the Savior regardless of the cost, was Paul’s way of life. In fact, this path toward seeking out more understanding was something he taught those who came to believe the Gospel in the early churches. More than a pursuit for those who had a premature urge to Google, a necessity for all of life. What to do, where to go, how to get there, and who God wanted them to become were the unspoken needs of the day.

And they gained more understanding the same way you and I do today.

Through prayer.

An Example from Paul

Paul walks the Believers of Colossi through his own prayer– not only to share a piece of his heart for them but as a model for how they should continue to pray for themselves and each other.

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; Colossians 1:9-10

And I am ever so grateful he did because it remains here for us today.

May we use these insightful words on behalf of those in our midst who need direction, answers, and a deeper understanding of Who God is. And may we ask God to lead them recognizing how to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing him, and bearing fruit in every good work.

A Prayer for More Understanding

Lord Jesus,Praying for Understanding

Thank you for the Bible. Thank you for caring enough for each one of us to leave us the very words we can utilize when we don’t know what to do or where to go, or when we just want to know you better. Not only do You desire to give us more understanding in all of these areas, you want us to be filled with it. What a generous God you are. So now I ask that you do this very thing for my friend reading. Don’t just help her for the minimum. Let her see what fullness is. And in moments when she isn’t sure which road to take, what answer to give, or how to make sense of the drama in her life – give her understanding. You are so much better than anything we can seek out on our own. Give her words to pray, eyes to see, and a willing heart to walk in the ways You make known. Continue to teach her that You are trustworthy for all of the unknowns. May she desire nothing less than a life that knows and loves You more tomorrow than she did today.

In the Name of Jesus,

 Amen

XOXOXO

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How to Know When to Quit

when to quit

How to Know When to Quit

What if the answer you have long awaited is No? How do you know when to quit? This happened to a stranger I met on an airplane once. She and I had attended the same conference in which the final speaker had posed the question, “What is God saying to you in your ministry right now?” The options were “Yes, No, and Not Now.”

It’s the kind of question you ponder with prayer along with seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit. I even want confirmation from the Word of God for discerning how He might be directing. For me, that season was a go, but the person in the seat next to me received a distinct No. She was flying home in that revelation, unsure what to do with it all.

I loved this woman immediately because it’s not every day you encounter someone so attuned to the voice of God over their life that they pay hundreds of dollars to run in the direction of the hope-filled “yes” only to receive a “no” and truly receive it. She knew it was a No as deeply as I knew mine to be a Yes. And she accepted it–willing and ready to move on with it as God’s will for her life.

Sometimes you know the answer to your dilemma is No. The answer lines up with everything else God is showing you and He leads you in a different direction. The door is closed.

Other times you and I can receive a Yes as strongly as my airplane buddy received her no, and experience doors slamming shut in every direction. Even the windows close off the daylight. And it feels as if you got it all wrong. All you want to do is quit.

But should you?

I have been on this particular roller coaster ride more than once. My work in ministry is often a lonely and discouraging pursuit without a paycheck. (You read that correctly. All the money received goes directly into the ministry account, from speaking events to book sales, to digital downloads. You name it. It does not belong to me.) And the last couple of years brought closed doors, boarded up windows, and arrived at the end of a lonely, desolate road. I received no’s when I hoped for yes’s. And I began to ask myself if it’s time to quit.

How do you know when to quit?

I have learned my decision about when to quit cannot be based on my feelings.

Neither can it be determined by my success thus far.

Pray

Instead, I take my rejected self to the Lord. The first thing I do is pray. I lay the whole situation out and remind Him of the instruction I believed He gave. Not in an accusatory manner, but like Jacob, who reminds God of the promise to bring him back to the promised land and be with him now that 400 men are coming against him and the situation looks dire (Genesis 32:9-12). Then I ask Him to speak–to reveal Himself and what He wants for my life because my reality is fighting to take over my faith in what I cannot see.

Did I mishear Him? Have I been mistaken this whole time — running after something that was always a No, too blind and unwilling to receive it. Did I go too slowly having missed my opportunity? Maybe I didn’t pray right or take the correct steps in the process? It’s ugly–but for the battle to be won, I lay it out bare.

Wait

Secondly, I wait. 

Seek

And in the waiting, I seek. More often than not, it is through this seeking that the answer comes. Not through a person or strikes of lightning, but the unchanging, timeless Word of God.

I was so afraid I had missed my Yes. That I blew it — that somehow I didn’t work fast enough, pray hard enough, seek out the right people–enough, have enough good ideas, or that I just waiting too long to move out so that He gave my work to someone else.

So I did what I am encouraging you to do. I waiting. I continued to seek His face to know if the no’s, the closed doors, the barred windows, and all the discouragement was the culmination of helping me see that it is time to quit — or not.

Shortly into the waiting, I read 1 Samuel 15:29. It was just where I was in my Bible. I didn’t go looking for it. But it arrived, perfectly preserved for my need when I needed it.

He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.

There is was. The underlying fear God was not afraid to address. Just because it hasn’t worked out as I planned and the end results are not all gumdrops and candy canes doesn’t mean His Yes was really a No, or that my best efforts were not good enough. He’ll pass and pick another.

All of the no’s and try again’s–setbacks and derailments mean nothing as long as His Yes still stands.

Friend, if God has given you a Yes about something in your life that looks and feels as if the smartest thing to do is quit–

DON’T DO IT!

At least, not until you work through the process.

Pray

Wait

Seek

when to quit

Your God is not in the business of keeping you in confusion, doubt, and failure. If the answer is No — embrace what lies ahead like my airplane buddy who went on toward fruitful ministry in the years that followed. But if the answer is Yes — in the midst of No’s and roadblocks, let Him confirm His faithfulness to you through His Word. Ether way, Believe His Word to you today. And keep making spiritual progress.

For His Glory,

 

 

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Becoming a Stronger You

Becoming a Stronger You

Becoming a Stronger You

becoming a stronger you

 

Welcome to the Stirring Faith Podcast – Becoming a Stronger You

Hi there. I am your host of the Stirring Faith Podcast, Cheri Strange. And I have been feeling a little weak. Slow. Puny in the arms, if you know what I mean. So much so, I have taken some Scripture to task to help encourage me in my efforts to “strengthen my weak knees” and “lift up” my drooping hands. In that process, I learned these verses have more to say to us when we feel the same way in life. In this episode we will look at five reasons Hebrews provides for you, becoming a stronger version of you. I pray it is an encouragement and help to you.

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Thank you for listening,