Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual 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.


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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.



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



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



Bible and several alternate translations

Exhaustive concordance

Bible dictionary or encyclopedia

Set of word studies

English dictionary



·         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.



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









Laying on of Hands















From Bible Study Methods

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Method Six – The Topical Method of Bible Study ~ Chart: HTML / PDF


Previously you encountered the Thematic Method of Bible study in which you studied a narrow theme of the Bible in simple detail asking prepared questions of verses from a chosen list. With the topical study you will study a topic of the Bible, which may contain several themes, and you will not be asking prepared questions, instead you will be recording all insights you find from your study. The topical method will usually take longer than the thematic so you will want to assure yourself that sufficient time is available to at least make a significant start on the study.




Exhaustive concordance and/or cross references

Topical Bible


Hints (taken from Dr. R. A. Torrey)

·         Be systematic by listing all the concepts related to your topic, being as comprehensive as possible and study each idea individually and in systematic and logical order.

·         Be thorough by as much as possible making a study of every verse that relates to the topic.

·         Be exact, trying to get the exact meaning for each verse you are studying. Remember not to remove the verses from their context but use the context to help you in your study.



Step 1 – Compile a list of words related to the topic you will study

Step 2 – Collect all references relating to each word

Step 3 – Consider each reference individually

Step 4 – Compare and group the references

Step 5 – Condense the results of your study into a brief outline

Step 6 – Conclude your study


From Bible Study Methods

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Method Five – The Biographical Method of Bible Study ~ Chart: HTML / PDF




Exhaustive and/or biographical concordance

Topical Bible

Bible dictionary or encyclopedia



Remember that the person will often be referred to by means other than his/her proper name in many passages



Step 1 – Choose an individual from the Bible for your study. See the list below for a selection of persons from the Bible.

Step 2 – List all references concerning that person. A concordance will help if the person is referred to in the Bible by their proper name, but you may also wish to look for ambiguous references to the person (ie: Pharaoh’s wife, or: the son of Zebedee).

Step 3 – Note your first impression of the person after your first reading of the passages

Step 4 – Make a chronological outline of the person’s life after your second reading

Step 5 – Obtain some insights into the person after your third reading

Step 6 – Identify some character qualities after your fourth reading

Step 7 – Show how some other Bible truths are illustrated in this person’s life

Step 8 – Summarize the main lesson(s) you have learned

Step 9 – Write out a personal application

Step 10 – Make your study transferable

Step 11 – Note someone with whom you will share the results of this study and commit yourself to doing this.


General Questions for a Biographical Study


Here is a list of seventy questions you can use in constructing a biographical study. You shouldn’t try to use every question listed here in a single study. Depending on the depth of your study and the time you have, select the questions you would like to have answered. The questions are categorized into seven major divisions for easier use. As you think of other questions, add them to this list.




1.      Who wrote what we know about this person?

2.      What did people say about him/her?

3.      What did his enemies say about him/her?

4.      What did his/her family (wife/husband, children, brothers, sisters, parents) say about him/her?

5.      What did God say about him/her?

6.      Why do you think God allowed this person to be mentioned in the Bible?


Tests of Character


1.      What were his/her aims and motives?

2.      What was he/she like in his home?

3.      How did he/she respond to failure? Did he/she get discouraged easily?

4.      How did he/she respond to adversity? Did he/she handle criticism well?

5.      How did he/she respond to success? Did he/she get proud when praised?

6.      How did he/she respond to the trivial and mundane things in life? Was he/she faithful in the little things?

7.      How quickly did he/she praise God for the good/bad things that happened to him/her?

8.      How quickly did he/she obey God when told to do something?




1.      What can you discover about his/her family and ancestry?

2.      What does his/her name mean? Why was he/she given that name? Was it ever changed?

3.      What was his/her home life like? How was he/she raised? Where was he/she raised?

4.      What were the characteristics of his/her parents? Did they influence him/her?

5.      Was there anything special about his/her birth?

6.      Where did he/she live? What was his/her everyday life like?

7.      Was he/she exposed to other cultures? Did they affect him/her in any way?

8.      What was the condition of his/her country — politically and spiritually — during his/her lifetime?

9.      What kind of training did he/she have? Did he/she have any schooling?

10.    What was his/her occupation?

11.    How long did he/she live? Where did he/she die? How did he/she die?


Significant Events


1.      Was there any great crisis in his/her life? How did he/she handle it?

2.      What are the great accomplishments for which he/she is remembered?

3.      Did he/she experience a divine ‘call?’ How did he/she respond to it?

4.      What crucial decisions did he/she have to make? How did they affect him/her? Others?

5.      Did any recurring problem keep coming up in his/her life?

6.      Where did he/she succeed? Where did he/she fail? Why?

7.      How did the environment and circumstances affect him/her?

8.      What part did he/she play in the history of God’s plan?

9.      Did he/she believe in the sovereignty of God (God’s control over all events)?




1.      How did he/she get along with other people? Was he/she a loner? Was he/she a team person?

2.      How did he/she treat other people? Did he/she use them of serve them?

3.      What was his/her wife/husband like? How did she/he influence him/her/her?

4.      What were his/her children like? How did they influence him/her?

5.      Who were his/her close companions? What were they like? How did they influence him/her?

6.      Who were his/her enemies? What were they like? How did they influence him/her?

7.      What influence did he/she have on others? On his nation? On other nations?

8.      Did he/she take care of his family? How did his/her children turn out?

9.      Did his/her friends and family help or hinder him/her in serving the Lord?

10.    Did he/she train anyone to take his place? Did he/she leave a “Timothy” (disciple) behind?




1.      What type of person was he/she? What made him/her the way he/she was?

2.      Was his/her temperament choleric, melancholic, sanguine, or phlegmatic?

3.      What were the outstanding strengths in his/her character? What traits did he/she have?

4.      Did his/her life show any development of character as time passed? Was there growth and progression there?

5.      What were his/her particular faults and weaknesses?

6.      What were his/her particular sins? What steps led to those sins?

7.      In what area was his/her greatest battle: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, or pride of life, …etc.?

8.      What were the results of his/her sins and weaknesses?

9.      Did he/she ever get the victory over his particular sins and weaknesses?

10.    What qualities made him/her a success or failure?



From Bible Study Methods

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~ Chart: HTML / PDF

In the thematic method of Bible study you will approach a theme within the Bible and perform a basic study of it. It is shorter than the Topical Method of Bible study, which comes later in these notes, and is much less exhaustive in its scope. In a topical study you would examine each possible verse that relates to your topic of study, including each sub-them; in a thematic study you will study only those verses that apply directly to a single theme


Study Bible

Exhaustive concordance

Topical Bible or cross references


Stay narrowly focused on your theme since each associated idea can lead to hundreds of additional cross references causing your simple thematic study to grow quickly into a study requiring a great deal more time and effort than you have allocated.

Keep your list of questions short as some themes may have one or two hundred references associated with them which, if you have too many questions, would cause you to tire of your study even before it is complete



Step 1 – Choose a theme to study, for your first thematic study you may wish to choose a theme that is relatively simple

Step 2 – Make a list of all the verses you intend to study using the tools described above and select from this list the verses that are most applicable, or important, to your theme

Step 3 – Decide on, and make a list of, the questions you will ask of each verse. If you have written more than five you may wish to choose from this list as five questions is generally more than sufficient for the study

Step 4 – Ask these questions of each verse in your list of step two. You may not be able to obtain an answer for each question in each verse, some verses may only answer one or two of your questions but this does not mean that your verses have been improperly chosen

Step 5 – Draw some conclusions from your study. This would include collating the notes you have made and summarizing the details of the study

Step 6 – Write out a personal application and remember to evaluate your progress.

From Bible Study Methods

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