Archives For Partnering to Remember

PTR-1-Peter_728x90Summer is over, and boy what an eventful summer it was. It as if a seismic shift happened in our culture, especially as it relates to marriage and sexuality. But the decisions from the Supreme Court and the sway of cultural acceptance are but manifestations of a deeper spiritual reality. Christianity is no longer at the center of American life. We no longer can look other countries and think that marginalization and overt opposition only happens to them. This new reality begs new opportunities, not new fears or laments.

As all of this transpired over the summer, I began thinking about what I can do to help program my life not according to the dictates of the Supreme Court (or any other human authority) but according to God and His supremely authoritative Word. The letter of 1 Peter was written to a people of dispersion, “elect exiles”, as Peter would call them. The were pushed and pressed to the margins of society that despised them and constantly reminded them they were not welcome in their world run by the prince and power of the air. This letter was written to instruct them to remember the gospel, to know their identity in Christ, and to live in such a way that Jesus Christ would be clearly seen in their words, witness, way of life, and willingness to suffer for His glorious name.

Do we not have such a need to meditate and memorize such a letter in times like this? What difference would implanting the imperishable seed of the Word of God in the fertile soil of your heart do to help you live faithfully as a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for His own possession? What means of grace would this be to not only memorize it ourselves but do so in a community doing the very same thing and encouraging one another along the way? That’s what Partnering to Remember is all about and why I want to launch a new P2R initiative called the 1 Peter Memory Moleskine.

During the summer of 2009, I created a method of memorizing Scripture called “The Memory Moleskine.” Basically, it is a simple, portable, accessible method of memorizing a large section of Scripture. In 2011, I created the Philippians Memory Moleskine, and never could I have imagined so many people would jump on board! Since then apps have been created and several other memory moleskines have been put together by those in the P2R community. Now, for the Fall of 2015, I would like to issue a new Scripture Memory challenge to us all with the 1 Peter Memory Moleskine.

What Is a Memory Moleskine?

I am a big fan of Moleskine journals, and I have found the Cahier pocket-size moleskines to be a perfect little tool for organizing and retaining a scripture memory method. These journals are 3.5×5.5 in size and can fit in pockets, purses, and small Bibles. They can be purchased in a set of 3 where you can take one for yourself and share the other two with those who partner with you.

How It Works

Using PTR-1-Peter_300x250the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible, I have broken down the book of 1 Peter into 17 weeks. Beginning the first week of September 2015, this schedule takes you to the end of 2015 where you can begin the new year reciting the whole book of 1 Peter! Some weeks would have more verses to memorize than others (based on the section breaks), but on average, there are 6 verses each week to memorize (or roughly one verse per day).

Scripture memorization is hard. It’s best not to go alone. Do it in community. Partner together to remember God’s Word and encourage one another in the process. Loving exhortation and meaningful accountability is essential to sticking to the challenge and remaining committed week in and week out. There will be times you want to quit, discouraged or disappointed along the way.

Practical Steps to Begin

  1.  Purchase your set of Cahier pocket-size moleskine journals (or something similar to it)
  2.  Download the custom-made 1 Peter Memory Moleskine PDF and print it out
  3.  Cut out the sections according to the borders
  4.  Use double-sided tape to attach the sections on the right side of journal
  5.  Find a partner or two (or more!) to memorize 1 Peter with you
  6.  Get started with us at the beginning of September

The Important of Rehearsal and Retention

The left side of the journal is dedicated to rehearsal, reflection, and retention. Without regular review, the verses you memorize will be forgotten. Additionally, I have provided specific counsel from guys like Donald Whitney and Andy Davis on how to discipline yourself with a retention strategy. It would be a tragedy to memorize 1 Peter in 2015 and forget it in 2016! Let’s work hard to keep that from happening!

But more than that, use the left side of the page to write key words, phrases or thoughts that stick out in your meditation and memorization of the section for the week. Meditation sweetens the memorization and internalizes the verses you are memorizing so that it not only lodges deep in your head but deep in your heart as well.

Resources to Help You

There are some very practical resources out there to help you. Let me recommend to you the following:

  • ESV Audio of 1 Peter from Faith Comes by Hearing (to listen to 1 Peter in its entirety only takes 17 minutes. Do this daily. Seriously. It will do wonders for your memorization. Listening to it has a way of internalizing it that will help you press forward. Note: this link is to the podcast where you need to download each chapter to your phone or tablet. You can also listen to the Bible from other apps or online programs for free.
  • An Approach to Extended Memorization of Scripture (Kindle Version) by Andy Davis. Here is a great resource for kindle users that costs only $.99 where Andy Davis unpacks a popular and helpful strategy for not only memorizing but maintaining long passages of Scripture.
  • Commentary on 1 Peter by Wayne Grudem (for a devotional and theological study of 1 Peter). One reviewer says, “Here is a brief and very clear summary both of the consolations and instructions needful for the encouragement and direction of a Christian in his journey to Heaven, elevating his thoughts and desires to that happiness, and strengthening him against all opposition in the way, both that of corruption within, and temptations and afflictions from without.”
  • BibleMinded App – here is a popular app available on iTunes and Google Play that allows you to put in your own Bible verses using whatever Bible translation you prefer and provides ways to test yourself as you make progress.
  • ScriptureTyper App – another popular app for Scripture memorization not only on iTunes and Google Play but also Kindle and desktop versions as well.

Finally, A Missional Challenge

Everyday Church HeaderFor those who want to take the plunge a little deeper, let me recommend you to a book based on 1 Peter that gives practical application to life on mission. It is called Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission by Steve Timmis and Tim Chester. You can get this book as a paperback or kindle version. I find this book one of the most instructive and insightful books on how to live as the people of God every day in a world needing to know the love of Christ from a community of light. Here is the chapter breakdown and schedule that I plan to do along with the 1 Peter Memory Moleskine . . .

Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission

  1.  Life at the Margins (1 Peter 1:1-12) // September 1-14
  2.  Everyday Community (1 Peter 1:13-2:8) // September 15-30
  3.  Everyday Pastoral Care (1 Peter 1:22-2:3) // October 1-14
  4.  Everyday Mission (1 Peter 2:9-3:16) // October 15-31
  5.  Everyday Evangelism (1 Peter 3:15-16) // November 1-30
  6.  Hope at the Margins (1 Peter 3:8-5:14) // December 1-31

Connecting and Promoting

If anyone would like to help spread the word about the 1 Peter Memory Moleskine, be sure to find us on Twitter and “like” our Facebook page as well. For those who would like to promote it online, here’s a header (or footer) graphic as well as sidebar ad graphic.

I want to say a special thanks to my friend Drew Downs who helped me created the 1 Peter Memory Moleskine as well as the promotional ad/artwork. I could not have done it without him. Thanks Drew!

Are You In?

If you are going to accept the challenge to memorize 1 Peter with me, please let me know! If I can assist you, I will do my best. May God’s Word penetrate deep into our minds and hearts and conform us into the image of Jesus Christ as we seek live out our calling as elect exiles in this day and age.

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P2R Memory Moleskine in 2012?

Tim Brister —  December 23, 2011 — 2 Comments

That’s the question I have been asking since June.  The Partnering 2 Remember Memory Moleskine took a life of its own this year with over 30,000 people participating in the challenge.  To say that I was blown away by the response would be a great understatement.  A Facebook page was created as well as a Twitter account. And even an iOS app was developed in the process.  It was so encouraging to hear from small groups in South Africa, missionary moms in SE Asia, entire congregations, and every member in the family–all participating together in putting the book of Philippians to memory.

So naturally, people have been asking about an organizational plans for a 2012 Memory Moleskine for P2R.  I have thought and planned through the next memorization challenge, and as the last public poll indicated, the leading passage to memorize is the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).  Plans were in place this past summer to make preparations for this upcoming year.

However, as 2011 continued to unfold, I continually faced challenges on every front that brought much of my life to a halt.  The year I planned and the year I lived had almost nothing in common.  As much as I would like to lead another organized effort with P2R and a 2012 Memory Moleskine, providence would have it otherwise, and I am sadly going to have to direct my efforts in the most direct spheres of responsibility.

Those areas include shepherding Grace (which is in transition), directing PLNTD (which is getting started), and directing the Haiti Collective (which is expanding rapidly).  Among these, I am planning three conferences, and working to raise $250,000 for 2012.  As I consider what the Lord ha allotted to me a this time in my life, I am extremely grateful for the opportunities and at the same time wish I could do more. Including leading another P2R challenge.

I know that there are groups of people planning to do a memory moleskine in 2012, and if you have an iOS device, you can find a lot of texts available on the iOS app for memory.  I hope that the vision continues and spreads with a love for internalizing, meditating, and treasuring God’s Word.  Personally, I plan to tackle the Sermon on the Mount, so if anyone else is as well, I would love to know.

May the Lord richly bless your efforts to own His Word.  And may He be kind to increase interest and expand the numbers of those who are drinking deep from the fountain of Scripture!

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It’s hard to believe that just four months ago, I pitched the idea of P2R – Partnering to Remember and the Memory Moleskine with a focus of memorizing the book of Philippians with friends and family.  Little did I know or could have ever imagined that the P2R Philippians Moleskine would be download by 40,000+ people and translated into multiple languages around the world.  Children as young as three joined in.  I heard from countless families employing P2R in the family dinners and devotions.  Numerous churches and youth groups embraced the challenge corporately.  Testimonies haven been shared across Facebook and Twitter on a daily and weekly basis, encouraging one another to press on in the meditation and memorization of God’s Word.  There has even been a P2R iOS app created for those who have an iPhone, iPod, or iPad.

The 16 week challenge officially ended yesterday, Easter Sunday.  It has truly been a privilege and joy to partake of this with so many folks both in my local church and the church worldwide.  I know that there are many of you who are still working on finishing the book of Philippians, and I strongly encourage you to press on.  The 16-week schedule was employed simply as a guide and template to provide accountability and challenge you to press on in memorizing Scripture.  The rewards and dividends of treasuring the Scripture in your heart and life will multiply in the weeks, months, and years to come.

Where do we go from here?

Because our minds are so quickly to forget and lose the impressions made through the pattern of memorizing large portions of Scripture, my encouragement for the immediate future would be to mediate, reflect on, and repeat again and again the book of Philippians from memory.  Work it over for the following weeks and months so that the book of Philippians can be quoted with little struggle for retrieval.  The longer and more sustained your reflection and repetition, the better it will be permanently sealed in your mind and heart.

Having said that, if you feel very comfortable with Philippians and have it securely embedded in your mind, you may want to consider memorizing smaller portions of the Bible, such as various Psalms or chapters in the Bible like Romans 8.  You can create a miscellaneous memory moleskine with various portions or chapters of Scripture that you are memorizing intermittently between books of the Bible.

Speaking of books of the Bible, I do plan to start another P2R Memory Moleskine until the new year. Below is a poll asking for your input.  Which book of the Bible should P2R seek to undertake?  Let me know your thoughts!

Again, thank you for partnering to remember with me and so many others.  Don’t stop now.  Memorization is for meditation, exhortation, application, and daily transformation.  May God’s Word be fresh manna to satisfy the appetite of a soul hungry to know God.

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2011 Philippians Memory Moleskine 

Week 16 :: Philippians 4:14-23

14 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.
15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel,
when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me
in giving and receiving, except you only.
16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.
17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.
18 I have received full payment, and more.
I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent,
a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.
19 And my God will supply every need of yours
according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you.
22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

– Philippians 4:14-23

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2011 Philippians Memory Moleskine

Week 15 :: Philippians 4:8-13

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—
practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length
you have revived your concern for me.
You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.
11 Not that I am speaking of being in need,
for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.
In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret
of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

– Philippians 4:8-13

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