It was just nine days ago when I announced this little project called “Partnering to Remember.”  I had received encouragements from people to put this together, but I had no idea the kind of response this would receive.  Seriously, I am blown away.  I have heard from people across the world (e.g., Costa Rica, Australia, Central Asia, Indonesia, etc.) who are joining in the 2011 Philippians Memory Moleskine party.  On a personal front, many of my friends and family as well as members from my home church are getting on board.  I have heard from husbands and wives doing this together to build their marriage and strengthen their love for God and His Word.  I have heard from numerous pastors bringing this challenge before their entire congregation, youth ministers challenging teens, and bloggers promoting this to their readers.

There is no way to give an accurate accounting as to how many people are doing this in just a matter of days, but a conservative estimate based on downloads and written feedback would lead me to conclude 5,000+ people so far.  There is no greater joy I have–as someone who happens to blog–than seeing people treasure God and His Word.  Your responses and enthusiasm have stirred in my heart deeper gratitude to God for the opportunities He has afforded me to leverage this medium for the spreading of His Word to others.

There are a couple things I wanted to mention before we get started, including a few tips.  First, I plan on blogging about the verses each week as a means of encouragement and keeping this as a front burner commitment in our lives.  There will be weeks where it may difficult (such the next two weeks when I will be in Haiti with little to now connectivity), but my plan is to continue to forward this vision of partnering together to remember God’s Word.

Second, because there are so many people doing this, it would be great if there was some way to network together.  For those of you on Twitter, the easiest thing for us is to create a hashtag for our tweets on this subject.  My suggestion is that we use #P2R.  Some are also using #memorymoleskine.  Also, I am thinking about starting a Facebook group or fan page for this as well so that those of you on Facebook can network together and encourage one another.

Thirdly, I want to mention a few tips for memorizing that have helped me in the past that may be helpful to you.

1.  If possible, get an MP3 reading of Philippians and put it on your MP3 player.  Set it on repeat and listen to it while exercising, driving, and other times when you find yourself listening to music.  I have the Listener’s New Testament read by Max McLean which is great.  Listening to the entire book of Philippians on a regular basis will be a great help to you.

2.  Anticipate times of margin in your day to rehearse the verses.  We all have them.  Five minutes here. Ten minutes there.  Sometimes a full hour.  Whether it is a waiting room at a doctor’s office, break at work, or other times where you are waiting, I think you will surprise yourself how much time is available to practice.  Some of the most fruitful times for me of late has been while walking the kids around the neighborhood. I have the stroller in one hand and my memory moleskine in the other, and bam, 30 minutes of practice is in the books. 🙂

4.  Similar to #3, I encourage you to take seriously what Deuteronomy 6:7, which says “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”  The nice thing about the cahier moleskine is that it is sturdy yet thin and pocket-side, so it is suitable to take wherever you go.  When you lie down at night, meditate on the verses you learned.  When you rise in the morning, renew your mind with the Word.  Let Philippians permeate your thinking as well as your day, and God’s Word won’t feel like an accessory but more like Matthew 4:4.

5.  Lastly, think of the implications and applications of the verses you are memorizing.  Illustrate them in your mind.  Share them in situations and circumstances when fitting.  Don’t let scripture memory become a discipline that is merely “devotional” and not “experimental”.  When the Word is in you through memorization, the healthy outcome would be a fulsome integration of its working in all areas of your life.

Do you have any tips or suggestions?  I would love to hear them!  Let’s do this.