How God Used Three Strangers to Show Me My Sin

Anastasis Faith
It wasn’t a bad day, per se.
          It was beautiful outside, I had met my homework deadlines, and it was Friday.
          But I had my agenda, and things didn’t go my way.
How God Used Three Strangers to Show Me My Sin
          My plan was to have lunch with my friend like usual. I have an app with local deals and so we typically find a buy-one-get-one-free deal and eat cheap food. But today, my friend had family come in and couldn’t spend the afternoon with me like normal.
          It’s silly, but I decided I was going to pout about it. I wasn’t going to eat lunch so that when I saw my friend later, I could say, “Well, I wasn’t able to have lunch because I couldn’t leave campus to get food.”
          I knew I was being ridiculous and that there were definitely many ways for me to get food. But I was stubborn.
          I planted myself down at a couch and pulled out my laptop to study. My stomach growled. I thought, “Wow, this is going to be a long afternoon! It’s only 12:30 and I’m already starving.”
          Just then, the doors opposite me in the hallway opened up and this man in restaurant server’s attire looked at me and said, “Hey, we have some extra food in here from this banquet. Do you want some? Chicken parmesan, asparagus, pasta, salad.”
          My stubbornness went right out the window.
          I immediately stood up and grinned, “Yes, I will totally eat your extra food!”
          As I filled my plate with this beautiful fancy catered meal, I was convicted about my lack of trust in God. It was as if He was saying, “Do you think I won’t provide for you?”
          Going back to my couch, I tucked into my meal, both thankful and humbled.
          Then, two girls walked past me. I looked up and smiled at them. They smiled back as they walked past…then turned around and came back to me.
          They’re going to witness to me, I thought. 
          The first one, a blonde named Caroline, said, “Hey…so we just wanted to know if there was anything we can be praying about for you.”
          I felt my pride take over as I picked a church-y request so that they would know they didn’t have to witness to me—that I was already a great, holy Christian. I gave them a legitimate prayer request, however, about our Friday night inner city children’s ministry called Pioneers. “It’s hard to know the best way to interact with them. They’re very poorly behaved. We love them so much, but it’s hard to know how to try to show them grace and love, while not letting them get away with their sin like they do at home.”
          The second girl was an international student, Isabelle. She would interject questions when I would use phrases like “broken homes.” Her English was very good, but her accent was strong and she did not seem to be familiar with many of those types of phrases.
          Then I asked them what I could pray about for them. Caroline told me she had a stressful weekend ahead with school. Isabelle asked for prayer that she would be a diligent and efficient employee in the lab.
          They sat on the couch with me and we all prayed for each other. I still felt my pride rising inside of me, however, despite the fact that I was addressing the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
          Then Isabelle started praying.
          Slowly, the pride filling my heart melted as I listened to her pouring her heart out before her heavenly Father. Her prayer was overflowing with understanding and thankfulness for His love. Her soul had experienced the mercy of Christ and knew it. She was full of compassion for the children at Pioneers. She did not even know them, but her heart was already broken for them.
          And all I could pray as I listened to her was, “Father, forgive me.”
          Not only had He—despite my attitude—provided me with a beautiful lunch, He lovingly reminded me of my sin and His mercy and His love.
          He humbled my heart so gently and so lovingly. He is so good.
          Don’t quiet the gentle teachings of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Has a stranger ever had an impact on your life? When has been a time recently that God has humbled you? Leave a comment! Also, if you want to hear about how my friend changed the life of a complete stranger, read this post.

Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds

Anastasis Faith
Do you lack interest in studying God’s Word? Do you feel unequipped? Maybe want to study God’s Word, but just don’t really know where to start or think it’s boring.
If so, then this book is for you. Brittanie, who has been a guest writer with us before, has reviewed Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds. I hope you will consider adding this book to your bookshelf!

Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds

From the back of the book:
“We all know it’s important to study God’s Word. But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. What’s more, a lack of time, emotionally driven approaches, and past frustrations can erode our resolve to keep growing in our knowledge of Scripture. How can we, as Christian women, keep our focus and sustain our passion when reading the Bible?
Offering a clear and concise plan to help women go deeper in their study of Scripture, this book will equip you to engage God’s Word in a way that trains your mind and transforms your heart.”

The author:
Women of the Word
“Jen Wilkin is a speaker, write, and teacher of women’s Bible studies. She has organized and led studies for women in home, church, and parachurch contexts. Jen and her family are members of the Village Church in the Dallas, Texas area.” (from the back of the book)

My thoughts:
Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds by Jen Wilkin came into my life at a time when I was asking God to help me desire His Word more, and this little book was an answer to that prayer! After reading Women of the Word, I feel a deeper love of God’s Word and a desire to study it more on my own.
One of my favorite things about this book is that Wilkin starts with a high view of Scripture, as the revealed Word of God that we can know, and she stresses this throughout each chapter. Another thing she does really well is remove the false dichotomy (distinction) between the emotions and the intellect. Our culture tends to make us think that love and knowledge don’t always go together, but this is silly, especially in light of God and His Word! The more that we get to know God and learn about who He is from the Bible, the more we love Him and His Word, for “the heart cannot love what the mind does not know” (pg. 31).
This book is a great tool for any woman who desires to study God’s Word with greater understanding. Jen Wilkin states that the purpose of her book is to teach “a study method that will allow you to open up the Bible on your own.”
It is a fast read, with well-organized chapters and practical tips intended to help the reader have more purposeful Bible study time. In chapter 1, Wilkin suggests two wrong ways that we approach the Bible, and how to correct those. Chapter 2 is fully dedicated to communicating the importance of Bible literacy—to know and understand what the Bible says about the character and will of God. Bible literacy matters because it keeps us from falling into error, whether that be by false teaching or secular worldviews.
Chapters 3 through 8 are the bulk of the book’s material, consisting of a five-part approach to attaining Bible literacy through sound study and how to bring it all together. She teaches the reader to study with Purpose, Perspective, Patience, Process and Prayer. This is a simple, practical and efficient method designed to guide women into a deeper understanding, reflection and application of God’s Word.
The conclusion serves as a great reminder of the purpose of Bible study:
“Our study of the Bible is only beneficial insofar as it increases our love for the God it proclaims. Bible study is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. It is a means to love God more, and to live differently because we have learned to behold Him better. And it is a means to become what we behold. The reciprocal love of God is a love that transforms.” (pg. 148)

Final Comments:
I would recommend reading this book alongside a friend or with a group, so you can have someone to discuss it with (though reading it alone is great as well!). The material is pretty straight-forward, but reading with friends is always fun and beneficial, because you get to talk about what you read as well as hear different perspectives/things you didn’t consider.
Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our MindsI believe Women of the Word is a great resource for any woman who is already, or hopes to one day, disciple other women in Bible study (she even includes a chapter specifically called “Help for Teachers”).
I appreciated that this book addresses some common pitfalls that women tend to have when it comes to our Christian walk—especially about emotions. We should not let our heart guide our study; rather, we should train our minds first to train our hearts to love God and His Word. 

I think Women of the Word would be a great tool for ladies in high school and older, simply because of the nature of the studying she suggests (there is no explicit content). I enjoy the freer nature of it, how she gives great tips that are easy to put into practice, without telling me exactly how I should study or what it should look like. Jen Wilkin’s main purpose is to give every woman, regardless of your educational background, a way to know the Bible for yourself and embrace what it teaches about who God is. These ideas might be a little too abstract for someone who is younger or requires a more straight-forward, “tell me what to do” approach to studying.
   Brittanie is a recent college graduate, new wife, and expectant mother! She enjoys spending time with family, serving her church, and encouraging her friends. You can follow her on Instagram: @djbritbrit

 Have you read this book? Any good study Bible suggestions? Or great books on how to study the Bible? Share in the comments!

How to Start Memorizing Scripture: Tips, Techniques, & Resources

Anastasis Faith
We’re not just talking about memorizing John 3:16 here. Remember my friend Dani who has memorized entire books of the Bible? I’ve been slowly plugging through Psalm 119—and she’s already memorized the entire thing plus so much more.

We are excited to have Dani back on the blog from last week! To read WHY Scripture memory is absolutely critical to your walk with Christ, read this post. In that post, I asked the question, “When we can just google any verse, what is the importance of memorizing it?” She had a fabulous answer that you should read if you haven't already.

Today we’re going to talk about HOW to memorize Scripture and this is coming from someone who is a pro at Scripture memory.
Dani, we are so happy to have you back with us on the blog! My next question is this: what advice do you have for someone who WANTS to memorize verses, but never seems to actually DO it?

 Oh, that depends SO much on personality! But here are my tips.
1. Incentives
Use incentives that you would use for other things you want motivation for. When my youngest sister was starting really intense memorizing, my other sister would light a candle when she was diligently studying. When the candle was burned down to the bottom, they had a tea party.
2. Competition
To anyone who knows me much, I’ll probably sound like the broken record of a commercial, but I’m going to say it again. Competition, I once heard Brett Harris say, is God’s way of tricking us into doing our best. And the competition I’ve found to be helpful is the National Bible Bee. The Bible Bee consists of a summer competition, where you study a book of the Bible with a study guide, and memorize usually 14 passages, around 60 verses total. At the end of the summer, you can take a test, though you don’t have to. The top 120 kids per age group across the nation advance to Nationals, and that’s where it gets rough. They memorize between 600-900 verses (depending on their age group) and study a book of the Bible on their own. If this does pique your interest, you can check it out here. Registration is currently open through the end of May. You can also watch the National Bible Bee Game Show at The episodes are available for playback through the link for a week after airing. (I’m in the episode that aired on April 11!)
3. Accountability
Have someone to keep you accountable. Last year, as I studied for Bible Bee Nationals, I finally had consistent accountability partners, and I found that sooooo helpful! Having to tell someone you didn’t do the amount of work you could have done is embarrassing! And quoting passages to someone and constantly messing up and not getting better is also quite embarrassing. So find someone who can help you stick to your goals!

What have you found to be the most helpful and effective ways to memorize verses?
1. Music
My number one top tip is music. Setting verses to music is several times more effective for me than anything else. There are several artists on YouTube and online that set verses to music, but eventually, you’ll probably have to start making up your own. Don’t worry if you’re not ‘musical’. If you can carry a tune (aaaand maybe even if you can’t…), you can put verses to music. My mom mostly uses tunes from the hymnal or psalter. Another mom from our local Bible Bee would carry a recorder with her, and if a tune popped into her head, she’d hum it – or sing the words if that’s how she thought of it. Then start listening to your verses at times when you’d normally listen to something less valuable.
2. Rote Memory
The main way I pound verses into my head is rote memory – reading and repeating a phrase at a time until you can say it multiple times without looking, and then adding another phrase. This is gritty work, but very effective for just about anyone, whether auditory or visual learners.
3. Erase-a-word

Erase-a-word is a fun technique that we usually do with at least one passage each summer with our local Bible Bee. You write the whole passage out on the whiteboard, read it, erase a couple of words, read it again, erase a couple more words, and so on and so forth. When you have it all down without any of the words on the board, you line up and take turns writing it up a word at a time!
4. Loci Method
Another method that I just started using (after being told about it by fellow Bible Bee-ers for many years) is called the Loci method. This is for hardcore memorizers, and waaay too complicated to describe here. It’s used for all sorts of memorization, and is the technique used by memory performers.
5. Other options
Other techniques are quite useful, such as drawing out the passage, word mapping, writing the passage out over and over again, and so many other that are out there to discover! Don’t limit yourself to one or two techniques, but vary it! That way, it will help passages to stay distinct in your head.

Where should I start memorizing?

That really depends on preference. As I find the Psalms easy to memorize, I would recommend starting there. Find a few short chapters you like and work on memorizing them. But if you don’t find them easy, go searching! Is there a passage that you already love to read, and are familiar with? That would be a great place to start. Preferably, work on something with simple wording and rhythm.

Wherever you start memorizing, I highly encourage you to work on full passages. That way, you will get the context, you’ll know what the passage is talking about as you meditate on it throughout the day, and you will stretch your mind gently without confusing it by hopping around.
So this is what I would recommend:
1. Psalms
2. Start short and simple
3. Find something familiar
4. Full passage

Anything else you would like to share?

1. Use one translation
Please, please, please, when you start memorizing, pick a version and stick to it. Please don’t jump around between versions. It makes it so much more confusing! Just trust me on this one! I still haven’t gotten some passages switched fully from NIV, which I used until I was about six, to NKJV, which I’ve used since. It will stick, and it will confuse you!
2. Make Scripture memory a priority

Don’t think you have time to memorize? Try again! Make it a priority! For all the reasons listed above, it should be your number one priority! My advice is to print out passages on cards, in large letters (12 or 14 pt.). Carry those with you everywhere. Whenever you have a little moment of spare time, pull them out and work on them! One time of day that I often have some time is while washing dishes or cooking. I spread my cards out on the windowsill or counter and memorize as I work.
3. Make Scripture memory a deliberate goal
Make memorization of God’s word a deliberate goal. Set aside time each day, both for reading Scripture and memorizing it. Don’t be discouraged if it takes you longer than you want – with time and diligent practice, you will get much faster at memorizing.
4. Review
Memorizing isn’t much good if you don’t retain it, however. You’ve got to review what you memorize! Eventually, the more you review a passage, the longer you will retain it, and the less you’ll have to review it. is a website that uses this concept really well! Another useful website is The best review method, though, is reciting out loud to another person. Alternatively, you can record yourself and then compare it to the passage during playback, which helps you track where your mistakes are. When you memorize, your brain is literally building new neural pathways, and review will help those become stronger and not simply decay. 
5. Mix it up

If you find yourself having a difficult time concentrating or getting passages to stick after a while, break it up! Go somewhere where you don’t normally memorize or try a new technique.

6. Enjoy it!
Above all, enjoy it! Memorizing Scripture is not something that should feel like a chore (if it feels like a chore, but you’re still sticking to it, I applaud you! It will get better!). We have the privilege of putting God’s spoken Word into our minds. Not everyone gets that opportunity. Savor it while you can, treasure it up while you are still young and able to take in such large amounts of information! And don’t get so bogged down in the act of memorizing that you forget to look to the One who gave it to you. Let it point you to a deeper understanding and love for your Father who gave you life!
Dani is an Alaskan MK who loves the Lord with all her heart. A large part of her childhood has been spent competitively memorizing Scripture through the National Bible Bee. She has seen the immense blessing of the Lord in her life through it, and wants to share that blessing with others in whatever way possible. In her spare time, she does school, learns languages, and practices piano, violin, viola, or various other instruments. She also heads up a team of girls that publish A Hoe In My Hand magazine

Thanks so much for joining us, Dani! So much insight and practicality in this post! 

Okay girls, let's chat. What passage are you memorizing right now? (You should get one if you don't already have one!) What tips do you plan on implementing? Do you have any tips, techniques, or resources to add? Share in the comments!

4 Reasons Scripture Memory is Absolutely Critical to Your Walk with Christ

Anastasis Faith
What if I were to tell you that I have a friend who has memorized Psalm 119--the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses?
          What if I were to tell you that that same friend has memorized the book of Ephesians?
          And the books of 1 Peter, 1 & 2 Timothy, Philippians, Colossians, Obadiah, Jonah, and Nahum.
          Not to mention the first fifteen chapters of John and the first ten chapters of Romans.
          I don't even have time to list out all that she's memorized.
          And what if I were to tell you that THIS SAME FRIEND is with us today on the blog to talk about why Scripture memory is important?
          If anyone knows anything about memorization, it’s her.
          Let me present my friend Dani to you. She just turned eighteen and lives in Alaska. She is also the founder of A Hoe In My Hand—a wonderful magazine for girls. I just received it today and loved it!
          I have long been wanting to write a post about memorizing verses because it has absolutely changed my life and has been huge in my walk with Christ.
          So I am thrilled to share an interview I held with Dani that will help you understand why Scripture memory is CRITICAL for you, and she even shared her tips and tricks for how she has memorized so much of the Bible before finishing high school in this post.
          Let’s get started then, shall we?
Why Scripture Memory Is Absolutely Critical to Your Walk With Christ
Glad to have you on Morning Glory, Dani! So glad to have the opportunity to pick your brain about Scripture memory. I have a big question for you: When we can just google any verse, why does it matter that we memorize them?
          “I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11) Not “googled it on my smartphone”, but “hidden it in my heart.” And that helps us not sin! How great is that?

1. Memorizing Scripture puts it directly into your head. 

          When you’ve been memorizing a passage, it will play through your head, influence your actions. It will be something you’re actively dwelling on. Psalm 1 says that the man who meditates on God’s law is blessed, but you can’t meditate on it if you don’t know it.
          “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8) When God’s word is there in your head, when it is on a live feed in your mind, you won’t be nearly as likely to act against it! It will always be there, strengthening the prompting of the Holy Spirit on your conscience!

2. Scripture is POWERFUL

          The word of the Lord is proven (Psalm 18:30). You can always trust it. It is the instruction manual for all things that pertain to life and godliness. It is given that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:17).
          “For the word of God is living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) Scripture is POWERFUL. There is no greater weapon you can wield against the attacks of Satan. (Ephesians 6:17) The voice that created the world, breathed the breath of life into man, and healed the sickness and sins of many also wove the beautiful tapestry of words that we call the Bible. Only those words have the power to break the chains of sin and death. When you memorize them, they are in you, and you can pour them out to those around you!

3. The Word of God should be our treasure

          David, the man after God’s own heart, loved the Word of the Lord, meditated on His law. Also, the writer of Psalm 119 loved the Word of God, and Psalm 119 illustrates that vividly. Just go and read the whole thing attentively. It is a love song about the Word of God! Shouldn’t we all desire to ‘be after God’s own heart’? Shouldn’t we all love Scripture in that way? When you love someone or something, you will have their every detail memorized. How much more should we treasure and memorize the Word of God?

4. Scripture is eternal

          “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will be no means pass away.” (Matthew 24:35) Scripture is the only thing given to us on this earth that will be enduring. Treasure it up, put your effort into it – everything else will be worthless in the end.
          When you have scripture memorized, it will always be there for you to use, while Google might not always be. I often think about the persecuted Christians both in the past and present who didn’t have the written Word directly available to them, but had huge portions memorized, and so were still comforted through the Scriptures, able to share the light of the gospel with those around them, and still growing through the nurture of His Word. That benefit was one that was pointed out to me by my Sunday School teacher back when I was 10 years old, and it has stuck!
          “The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6) 
          God’s Words are so much better than any other words we could have in our minds! Why would you even want something else there?

4 Reasons Bible Memory is Absolutely Critical to Your Walk with ChristDani is an Alaskan MK who loves the Lord with all her heart. A large part of her childhood has been spent competitively memorizing Scripture through the National Bible Bee. She has seen the immense blessing of the Lord in her life through it, and wants to share that blessing with others in whatever way possible. In her spare time, she does school, learns languages, and practices piano, violin, viola, or various other instruments. She also heads up a team of girls that publish A Hoe In My Hand magazine.

          Thanks so much for your wonderful words of wisdom, Dani! I think you can tell that her mind is full of Scripture by just how many verses she referenced! Check this post for tips and tricks for HOW to memorize the Word of God. And don't forget to check out A Hoe in My Hand!

Until then, let's chat girls! Do you memorize Scripture? Why do you memorize? What have been the greatest benefits of Scripture memory? Share in the comments!

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