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Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual Toolbox’

toolbox

 

So, whether you want to memorize one verse or an entire book, try these strategies to help you remember more. 

1. Read it repeatedly. Did you know you can memorize Scripture during your morning devotion? Instead of zipping through your reading for the day, pause and camp on one verse for a long time. You won’t regret it.

2. Pay attention. Sounds obvious, but often ignored. Simply forcing yourself to be aware of what you are reading can help you internalize the words. Repetition will make the mind wander. What you have to do is bring it back. 

3. Visualize what you are reading. Take Psalm 1:1 for example. “Blessed is the man who does not walk with the wicked nor stand in the way of the sinner nor sit in the seat of the mocker.” Your first tasks is to see the three actions here: walking, standing and sitting. If you can see the three main actions, then you can start to memorize the surrounding words. 

4. Create anchor words. In the above example, your anchor words are “walking,” “standing” and “seating.” In Colossians 1:15, my anchor words are image, invisible and firstborn. Whenever I get lost while reciting a passage I look for my anchor words to orient myself. 

5. Recognize patterns. In Psalm 1:1, after the first line, the next three sentences follow this pattern: a verb, a noun and a modifier. Think of each of these as a bucket you drop the appropriate word into. 

6. Start with the easy.  Now, some passages are easier to remember than others. Psalm 1, easy. A page from Romans, hard. On your first effort at memorizing large chunks of Scriptures, don’t tackle Romans. Build some confidence first by memorizing Psalm 1 or the Sermon on the Mount. 

7. Stagger. Sorry, not like you were drunk. What I mean is memorize an easy passage then a hard passage then an easy. Give your brain a break. This way you’ll avoid burnout.  

8. Build memorable associations.  If you want to remember difficult section of scripture like Romans 1:18-20, it helps to imagine God hovering like a brooding mountain over the world to represent all three verses.  This is a robust picture hard to forget. 

9. Anchor memorable associations in chapters. These rich word pictures can also help you when you’re trying to memorize entire chapters of the Bible. They orient you on a larger scale.   

10. Cheat a little. Once you’ve absorbed a hunk of Scripture, don’t be afraid to keep a sheet of paper nearby with keywords or section headings to help you out when you need a reminder. 

11. Narrate. Sometimes it helps to describe in your own words what you are trying to memorize. This will also help you build memorable associations, spot keywords and develop anchor words.  

12. Stick to a ritual. I find it easier to memorize Scripture in my car–I have a long commute–and before I sleep. Especially early on in the process of memorizing, I can’t remember my passage as easily anywhere else except these places. So, until I gain more confidence, I stick to this ritual.

13. Sing it. Try opera. Or a musical. The point is to be dramatic. As if you were in a play. [This is my favorite trick, by the way.]

14. Try mnemonic devices. Many of us learned ROY G BIV to remember the colors of the rainbow. Make up your own device to memorize anchor words or more. In Psalm 1:1, your device would be WSS, or walk, stand and sit.

15. Enlist your body. If mnemonic devices aren’t your cup of tea, use body parts. Classic example of this is Ephesians 6:10-18, the armor of God. Waist, chest, feet, forearm and head complete the armor and can help you navigate through this lengthy passage.         

16. Repeat the alphabet. Say you just can’t remember that big word in 1 John 2:2. Run through your ABCs. When you get to P, it should trigger the word escaping you: propitiation. 

17. Type it. One way to memorize something like John 1:1-3 is to type it into your computer. Not once. Not twice. But ten times. Maybe more. Your call.

18. Hear it. After you’ve typed it, next, read it aloud and record it. Then listen to the recording several times.     

Don’t forget: As you work on memorizing, turn off the TV, unplug your iPod and shut down your computer. You’ll retain more.

 http://www.fallenandflawed.com/tricks-memorize-scripture/

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toolboxHow to Invite Someone to Come to Church or to a Church Event with You

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters… Isaiah 55:1

 

Remember to get as many people as possible to pray for the person, neighborhood, or area you want to evangelize. The more people involved and the more time spent in prayer, the more effective your efforts will be, and more glory will be directed to our Lord.

 

Ask:

1. Are you at a point now that you want to know what church is all about?

2. Would you like to know if church would be a fit for you, perhaps what you are looking for?

3. I would like to invite you to my (church/event.) May I take a couple of minutes to tell you what it is about?

4. I would love to help you understand why I go to church, and what it is and is not all about. Would you like to get together and discuss our basic beliefs?

5. Would you like to come to my church?

 

After you have brought a friend to your church or a Christian event, then ask:

1. What did you think of my church?

2. Did you feel welcome?

3. Did it make sense to you?

4. Do you have any questions about it?

5. Would you like to know more about the wonderful discovery of knowing God personally?

 

These questions need to be put in your own words so they match your conversational style and do not sound canned or rehearsed. So, feel free to modify them to fit your needs and culture. Do not be discouraged if the person does not want to answer or if they are not interested. Move on. Keep the peace and friendship and pray for another opportunity. Research from Campus Crusade says that it takes eight encounters with Christian witnessing before a person receives the Lord. This just may not be the time. View article…

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How to Prepare a Testimony II

Do you Fear Giving a Testimony?

We are called to take the spiritual initiative and be productive. Does God need to stir you up? Are you spiritually lazy or apathetic? Do your Christian activities line up to His revealed truth, or are they based on your plans and agenda? Has your life been transformed? Are you being fed from His Word? Then, you have testimony. Perhaps, as with me, fear has its grip upon you. Always be willing to give an answer for His Truth and His work in you! True Christianity and its practice will never retire or become counter-productive (Matt. 28)!

It is natural for us to be fearful when we are about to speak to strangers or give a public address. In fact, public speaking is considered the number one fear of people—even over heights, flying, lightening, and being eaten by sharks! Thus, we will experience fear in this, but God calls us to fear not (Isa. 41:10; 43:1-5). The question for us is, how will we handle it? We can trust in Christ and allow Him to overcome our fears as we put faith and confidence in His work in us. It is about receiving His work in us and then responding to it. The more we develop our spiritual formation in Christ, the stronger we will be in controlling our fears (Isa. 40:30-31; Matt. 17:20; John 17:18; Rom. 4:20-21; Heb. 11:1).

We need to allow Jesus to touch us, so our faith comes alive and our testimony becomes evident to those around us. Our most important demonstration of Christ in our lives is our character and His Fruit flowing from us, because sometimes, we need to answer a question or say what our faith is all about in few words. If Christ is Lord over us, then our confidence should be in Him, not in the fears of how we may come across to others. Our Christian life is about glorifying Him, not lingering in our fears. Does God have to get you away from the crowd so He can meet your needs?

I believe the key to overcoming our fears is to realize the power we have in Christ. We are to pay attention to Him and not to how a person may react or even ignore us (2 Peter 1:12-21). We overcome our fears when we see Christ for who He is—Glorious. He is a fact in history and in our lives as Believers. We are established by His Truth, and we must let our words show this! Christ is setting you up for a legacy. We do not stand alone. We have a testimony because we have His Spirit and the information and power He gives that can help fuel more confidence and hope. We do not stand alone. We are connected with others and Christ’s real Truth. We have even more than the Apostles, because we have what they had—a witness of what Christ has done for us, the Law, the testimony of the Prophets, and most importantly, the Spirit—plus the completed cannon of God‘s most precious Word and countess Christian resources! Thus, we do not need to have seen Jesus personally to have the same confidence that Peter and Paul had, nor do we need the gift of evangelism or an “over the top” story. All we need is Christ and to be a record of His work. This means when we are in Christ, we have solid proof that no argument or human reason can stand against, unlike the seductive conjecture and pseudo-experiences of the ways of the world.

Gaining Confidence

Peter had seen the glorious, majestic splendor of Jesus firsthand, and he had heard the very voice of God. He had even replicated some of Jesus’ miracles. Many say that Peter’s confidence came from directly seeing Christ firsthand, but that the full impact did not occur until after Jesus left them bodily and sent His Spirit. We have the same access that Peter and Paul had to the confidence and power that Christ provides.

Have you ever wondered about situations you faced with faith and confidence in the past but now, somehow, you have misplaced that confidence or knowledge? Perhaps you once stood firm in your faith in Christ, but the busyness and stresses of life have distracted you. Or, perhaps you have started to believe in teachings that tingle your interests and emotions, but you are not sure that you have something to say. Remember the significance and relevance of Christ. We all need reminders from people in our lives who are mentors and good examples, and we need to be on guard against those who seek to derail us from His Word and Truth.

Perhaps you do not fear, but you feel that your efforts are fruitless. Being faithful does not always means having results. We are all called to be the bright light, as a reflection of His Light shining in us. We are to realize our place and, with humility, that He chooses to use our weak verbiage to enthuse and equip others to apply His precepts and call! God is the deliverer; we are the receivers. We are to receive in humbleness His work in us and, in turn, let others know about it. God’s transformation does not come from us, nor does He need our words, but He is brought into us by the Holy Spirit, and then proclaimed by us.

In Second Peter, we are called to make every effort. This indicates to “pay close attention to Him.” Peter’s passion and purpose was not to have a life of laziness or leisure, but to be fervent in proclaiming Christ and His Gospel. The questions for us are what are we doing with this precept? And, how are our efforts going? We have a purpose. The results are not as important as is our obedience to follow and practice His call. Our lives are short, and we must take the initiative to do what we can, here and now, with what Christ has given to us. We are called to work hard, efficiently, and with meaning concerning His Truth (John 21:18-19; 2 Peter 1: 12-21).

Our growth in Christ has value, as it is the substance for our testimony! Real, impacting, growing faith requires our diligence. Thus, we are asked to keep “burning” in Him, to rekindle our Christian growth as an ongoing effort. If our faith starts to slack, we are to apply His Truth so our hearts become centered upon Him so we can grow in Him. What He is doing in us is the “advertisement” for His Kingdom. Just think what is going on in your life that can touch someone else around you. How are you applying self-control, patience, endurance, godliness, and love? Ask God how those around you would be affected by what He is teaching you (2 Pet. 1: 5-11). Then, you can see His work, and His purpose in you can be augmented by your putting a few words to it. Don’t fear failure; the only true failure is when we do not obey God’s will, as it will cause us to lose out on so much in life and in eternity. Our diligence to remain faithful and obedient with virtue will enable others to do so also. When we obey God, He will reward us beyond our ability to fathom!

 

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Theological Mathematics

"The mathematics of the Trinity doesn’t make sense.  How can three be one? But that’s the trouble with trying to understand the triune God by mathematics–He can’t be reduced to a formula." –unknown

Little Minds Trying to Understand a Big God

"The first thing the doctrine of the Trinity says to us is that there are some things in life too big for us to get into our little skulls." –unknown

My idea

The best illustrations I (Keith) use are

1x1x1=1 (Each 1 has equal value, is distinct from the other ones and still produces a total of 1) obviously there are problems with this illustration, but it gets some of the point across.

I ask the person to imagine a cup of hot boiling water with an ice cube in it. Only it is a bit special. The ice cube doesn’t melt and the water never cools.

In this cup: liquid, ice and steam but all are made of water. (Again the problem of metaphor is that it never quite matches the thing you are trying to explain. Thank you Tower of Babel of destroying any chance of adequately explaining the idea, even to ourselves)

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How to Prepare a Testimony I

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir

 

To be an effective witness of our Lord, we need to have a well-prepared testimony!

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. 1 John 1:3-4

When someone asks you to make a profession of faith or give a testimony, does your blood pressure go up? Do you dread it, and begin to sweat, perhaps even panic? Can you think of all kinds of reasons why you should not profess your faith, such as you do not know enough, you are not ready, or that this is not your gift? I know I have in the past. I have a natural fear of public speaking, which you may think is weird for a pastor, but many of us do. Chuck Swindoll told me that he still sweats and gets nervous before he preaches, so I am in good company. But Chuck, as well as I, had to learn to get over our fears, because what Christ has called us to do is far more fulfilling and wondrous than remaining in our trepidations. We have to realize that we do not need to fear; we can even allow fear to motivate us by controlling it rather than letting it control us. And, the great news is, you can do it too. If you know Christ, then you know enough. If you are saved by His grace, then you are gifted to do it. And, it is my goal to help you get ready. When I was on staff with Young Life and then with Campus Crusade, I was exposed to great training on how to do this. All I had to do is practice, and I gained confidence so my fears would not prevent me from sharing Christ. You can do it, too!

 

God calls us to proclaim what we have seen and heard!

A testimony means we profess our faith publicly to a person or multiple persons. We share who Jesus is and what He has done for us. This is not just for the professional pastor or evangelist; rather it is a call for all who are in Christ. We are to be examples of His love, reign, and work; we are the participants and citizens of His Kingdom and are to reflect His light to a dark world. This means we are not to just profess our faith; rather, we are to be possessed by Christ so our professing is real and empowered. Then, we will be the light on a holy hill (Psalm 15; Matt. 5:14-16).

To be an effective witness of our Lord, we need to have a well-prepared testimony, and it needs to be written out. In writing out your testimony, you are seeking to show others who and what Christ is by your example and story. This basically means making a brief, spiritual, public declaration—in essence, a short autobiography of your journey with Christ in which you talk about what God has done in you and/or what He has been teaching you recently. Your testimony is like a baptism, as it is the outward sign of an inward work of Grace that Christ has done in you. It is proclaiming the reality and the symbol of Christ by both your example and your words.

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toolbox

How to Study the Bible: Method Eight – The Book Background Method of Bible Study ~ Chart: HTML / PDF

 

Tools 

Bible dictionary and/or bible encyclopedia

Bible handbook

Bible atlas

Various tools that allow you to experience in your time the environment of the Biblical cultures

 

8.2 – Steps 

Step 1 – Choose the subject or book of the Bible

Step 2 – List your reference tools so that at the end of the study you can see which were of the greatest help in your study.

Step 3 – Discover what you are able of the following: 

Who is the writer of the book

What is the date of the book

Where was the book written

For whom was the book written

Why was the book written

How does the book fit into the Bible overall; in addition, what light can be shed on the study when the book is evaluated in the following contexts:

        – Geographical setting

        – Historical events, prior, occurring, or expected

        – Culture of the day

        – Political situation

        – Anticipation of coming events or personage(s) 

Step 4 – Summarize your research

Step 5 – Write out your personal application 

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toolbox

Method Seven – The Word Study Method of Bible Study ~ Chart: HTML / PDF

 

Tools

Bible and several alternate translations

Exhaustive concordance

Bible dictionary or encyclopedia

Set of word studies

English dictionary

 

Hints

·         Remember that often a single word in the original language may be replaced by many different words, or even phrases, when translated into English.

·         An exhaustive concordance such as Strong’s or Young’s are especially valuable for this study since they associate each discrete original word to its English translation.

 

Steps

Step 1 – Choose the word you will study

Step 2 – Find its English definition in the English dictionary

Step 3 – Compare treatments of the word in the various translations

Step 4 – Note the definition of the original word (Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic)

Step 5 – Discover just where the word is used in the Bible

1.      How often does it occur?

2.      In which books is it found?

3.      In which book is it used most?

4.      Where does the word first appear?

5.      Where does it first appear in the book you are studying?

6.      Which writers used the word?

Step 6 – Find the origin and root meaning of the word, how the word was used by the secular culture of the day

Step 7 – Determine how the word was used in the Bible and how it would have been understood in the culture to which the Bible was originally addressed

Step 8 – Write an application

 

A Suggested List of Key Words for the Word Study Method of Bible Study

 

Adoption
Adversary
Apostle
Atonement
Baptize
Believe
Bless
Body
Call
Chasten
Christ
Church
Confess
Covenant
Death
Disciple
Everlasting
Evil

Faint

Faith
Favour
Fear
Fellowship

Flesh
Good
Gospel
Grace
Hear
Hell
Holy

Hope
Immanuel
Iniquity
Jehovah
Jesus
Judgment

Kingdom

Know

Law
Laying on of Hands
Life
Light
Lord
Love
Lust
Manifest

Marriage
Mediator
Meek
Mercy
Mind
Minister
Miracle
Mystery

Name

Obey

Passover

Peace
Perfect
Perish

Preach
Propitiation
Reconcile
Redeem
Remnant
Repent
Rest
Resurrection
Righteous

Sabbath
Sacrifice
Saint

Sanctify

Save

Servant

Sin

Soul

Spirit
Temptation
Trial
Truth
Understand
Vain
Vision
Watch
Wisdom
Witness
Word
World
Worship

 

From Bible Study Methods

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