Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I Did It--Challenge Completed Ahead of Schedule

The Five Chapters I Typed From Memory

Back in January I accepted the challenge to memorize the entire book of James (only 5 chapters) as part of the Beth Moore Bible Study. My plan was to memorize one of the chapters each month which would take to the end of May. I am happy to report that I have memorized all five chapters as of Monday of this week. This is by far the longest thing I ever memorized in my life! It was not easy, but I was determined and kept plugging along, trying to do at least one verse a day. Some took longer but some I already knew so I could sometimes lump several together.

Here is a list of the methods I used which worked for me:

First of all, I prayed asking the Lord to help me do this and believed that he would since memorizing scripture is within his will.

I wrote the verse of the day on a small paper and analyzed it, marking the prepositional phrases, noting the verbs, looking for word patterns and just anything that would help me remember the word order.

If it was a long verse, I wrote it again using just the first letter of each word and kept it at my desk where I would see it and could practice the verse using the clues.

When I thought I had it memorized, I would try typing it without looking at it and then checking it against the Bible to see if I had it right. If not, I'd practice some more and try again until I could get it perfect.

I also reviewed the verses I memorized in my head before on my way to the bus stop, on the bus, before I went to bed at night or on my breaks or lunch at work. Reviewing is very important if you want to remember it long-term.

As I finished a chapter, I tried typing the whole chapter without looking and then checked it, marking the words I missed and making the correction, then printed it out and highlighted my errors. As I would read it over from that copy, I would focus on making the correction and try it again. On my next attempt, sometimes I would miss different words or leave something out and would mark those errors with a different color as well as the errors I made on the first attempt. I did this with each chapter as I finished them and kept on trying until I got it right (I still have to try chapter 5 again). I think using this to review with was most helpful.

As I went along, I set short-term goals as well. After I got Chapter 1 done, I knew I could do it because Chapter 1 was the longest of the five and very hard!

The hardest thing I found in memorizing this book was keeping track of when the verse had "brethren" or "my brethren" tossed in. Also, I found it hard to keep track of when to use "which" and when to use "that." These were the most common errors for me. My mind did get a little boggled up though as I added more chapters which repeated some topics. I really had to focus on which verses went to which chapters.

I hope this will encourage some of you to try memorizing some scripture, perhaps not a whole book but maybe a favorite chapter at least.  Have you memorized any books of the Bible?  Do you have any other memorizing tips that work for you?  

(50 cents per legitimate comment during April goes to Paralyzed Veterans of America.)

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Beth Ann said...

Wow---that is amazing and ahead of schedule is even more amazing!!! Just goes to show that if you put your mind to doing something you can! Good for you, Karen!!!

Ann in the UP said...

You are amazing, and please accept my sincere congratulations and at the very least a pat on the back. But you are more deserving of a big hug. I can hardly memorize the more modern wording of the verses I memorized from KJV when I was a kid. Memorization was never my strong suit, even when I was younger.

BeadedTail said...

Congratulations on beating your challenge early! It's very impressive you were able to memorize all those chapters! I know I couldn't do it!

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Beth Ann: Thanks!

Ann in the Up: I think the KJV is actually easier to memorize because of the unusual words. When the words are all easy and normal, they are harder for me to remember.

Beaded Tail: Thanks! I bet you would be surprised though if you tried to find you could do it too!

Rebecca said...

Excellent!!! My kids memorized James last year. They are routinely memorizing scripture for school. I found that typing it from memory does help a lot.

Good for you!!! Now that you know the perfect law of liberty, you get to be a doer of the word!! Woohoo! :) :)

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Rebecca: Do you memorize the scripture along with your kids?

Tracy said...

James is probably my favorite book in the Bible. I don't think I could memorize it though.

Mrs4444 said...

Very impressive!

Here's a good memorization tip: use movement and/or music when memorizing something. Turn it into a song, create movements to go with various parts. Engaging multiple senses when learning something helps. Anyone who was every taught the Preamble, to-be verbs, etc. this way in grade school can attest to this.

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