I Know It By Heart

Note: If you’d like to be a part of my “cyber sisters”; a group designed to pray for specific requests for my ministry and women with whom I’ll test-drive new ideas and material, please send an email to [email protected] and I’ll add you to the group. If you already signed up but did not get the first email that went out yesterday, please resend your address. I had three emails bounce back to me and have no way to get a hold of you.

Also—stop back by on Friday when I’ll have a P31 and Crosswalk.com devotion running. There will be a giveaway involved :-)


I love watching old movies.

Give me The Wizard of Oz or The Sound of Music any old day over the action-packed, computer-generated sort we see currently.

Even though they’ve danced across my TV screen dozens of times, I never tire of viewing them.

I tap my toes to the music.

I laugh at the funny portions and still cry when the tone turns sorrowful.

But most of all, I move my lips along to much of the dialog going on.

Yep, I know many of the lines by heart.

This is true also when it comes to oldies tunes.

Whenever a song from the late 70’s or decade of the 80’s emits from my car radio, I know all the lyrics. I can sing away, just like I did as a teen alone in my bedroom with my pink hairbrush in hand.


The Eagles.


Queen. (Mercy! I show my age!)

I also have a drama background; entire chunks of musicals and plays hidden in my head. I can recite a 14 minute monologue by heart. I’ve done it dozens of times.

Why then, when I seem to know so many trivial words from my past, do I fail to memorize important words?

Life-giving words.

Words packed with power and pregnant with change.

I’m talking about scripture.

Bible verses.

The very words of God written to us.

Shame on me! I’ve memorized more songs than scripture?

I know! What if I set Bible verses to 70’s & 80’s tunes? Now there’s a new product. It could be called “Quotin’ to the Oldies!” :-)

This past summer I admitted to 608 women at our Proverbs 31 She Speaks conference that, although I love to read and study the Bible, I have not made a concerted attempt to memorize scripture.

Oh its not that I don’t have ANY verses memorized. I got out my Bible last summer and attempted to highlight all the verses I knew by heart. Sad to say, I have loved God and followed Jesus for 30 years now this fall, and I barely knew 30 verses!

One verse a year committed to memory? Not exactly break-neck speed!

Oh, don’t get me wrong! I know TONS of what I call “sorta scriptures”; those more commonly known passages where, if you started the verse for me, I could “sorta’ finish it; not word for word and I couldn’t tell you where it was found in the Bible. But I could give you the main gist of the verse getting most of the words right.

While thinking through this reality, before I got too hard on myself, I also remembered I had a few Psalms memorized–Psalm 1 & 23.

Okay…not too shabby…

Oh, and once I tried memorizing an entire chapter. Colossians 3 to be exact.

So I got out my Bible and brushed up. After a few weeks I was able to recite that entire chapter by heart. (I did it for my She Speaks roomie Whitney Capps to keep me honest!)

Hmmmm…30 verses, two Psalms and an entire chapter? Well…that’s not so horrible is it?

Why, put me up next to any other gal in a Bible drill and I’d do allright.

I’ve memorized as much scripture as the average Christian.

Well last summer it hit me….

Since when did I sign up to be an average Christian???????

God then whispered to my heart a challenge. I sensed Him telling me to get out my Bible and time myself reading the entire book of James.

It took me 11 minutes.

I already told you I can recite a 14 minute monologue.

So, I made a goal to memorize the entire 5 chapters of the book of James by Christmas. (I’m about through the end of chapter 2.)

Then, Christmas morning, with an audience only of One, I want to perform my 11 minute monologue.

It will be this oldies-lovin’ girl’s present to Jesus.

Would you care to join me?

Oh, not in committing the same scripture or amount of scripture to memory. But in memorizing some of the Bible.

A verse.

Or two.

Or ten.

A chunk.

A Psalm.

A few pithy proverbs.

We could do it together.

You could pray for me and I will pray for you.

And then..

When I get all the words to the entire book of James……

All set…….

To the tune of Hotel California…..

Why, I’ll post it here as an MP3 download and we can all sing along!!!

Are you in?

If so, what do you want to memorize?

I’d love to know.

Know it by Heart blessings,


  1. Hi there, sister in Christ! greetings from Singapore!:D I found your blog from the Proverbs 31 devotion you shared today. Just wanted to say, thank you very much for all the very encouraging words here on this blog. you have indeed encouraged me to start making an effort to memorize bible verses! on a side note though, perhaps it might not be such a good idea to record James to the tune of hotel California? after all, the bible does often tell us not to mix holy with secular. perhaps you could record it to the tune of a christian song instead? just a suggestion :)

  2. I have never been a scripture memorizer, but over the past week or so, I have been trying. There are certain verses that just hit me as important right now. I don’t know if I could tackle entire book just yet, but I am starting to work at. I think what got me was my 9 year old daughter’s involvement in AWANA. She is constantly memorizing lots of verses. This year I am also helping out with the youngest group (3 and 4 year olds!). They have so many kids in the program that they needed an extra pair of ears to listen to the little ones recite their verses. It is amazing what they know and they review the every week. Sometimes you need to give them the first word, but they do great with short little verses. It’s amazing, and they can’t even read! If a 3 year old can do it, I sure hope I can!

  3. God is forever loving. I have casually considered memorizing more scripture. By casually, I mean a fleeting thought that goes away as quickly as it came. My children attend Christian school and part of their bible classes, they have bible verse quizzes weekly. So my thought was to learn the verses with them and have them give me a quiz weekly too. I never told them that thought because I knew if I told them, they would most certainly hold me to it. Your blog reminded me of the thought and idea. I will follow through thanks to this confirmation.

  4. I want to memorize scripture, but I don’t know where to start or how to find the time. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I need a plan, I guess.


  5. When our kids were young we owned several CD’s that set Bible verses to children’s music…that helped me, as well as them, to learn Scripture. Yet, I am also a ‘sorta scripture’ girl, too, so I am in need of memorizing God’s Word more completely.

    Psalm 145 is full of many wonderful attributes of God and His promises. I would love to learn the whole passage.

    Thanks, Karen, for this challenge.

  6. I love the story of the birth of Christ. A tradition in our home is that before any presents are opened, we read the Christmas story. This year, I want to recite the story of the One! So Luke 2:1-20.

    Don’t you think that maybe we (I) are unable to memorize so much scripture because God wants us to learn from it constantly, to be drawn daily to it? Just a thought.

  7. Kids4christ has a bible quizzing program for kids ages 6th grade – 12th
    grade. Some of these kids memorize entire books of the Bible and almost
    all of them memorize several chapters of the particular book that is being
    quizzed on during that particular season. This year they are doing the
    Gospel of John. One young man I know memorized the entire book of
    Phillipians 3 years ago. Amazing what these kids can do. Wouldn’t it be
    great if adults were that motivated? Maybe we should have an adult Bible
    quiz program?


  8. Yes, I too, know more lyrics and movie lines than scripture…never thought about it that way. Usually, in my bible studies, we memorize scripture that goes along with the study…The most recent study, they did not do that…I revisited Joshua 24:15. I will ask God what He wants me to memorize and get back to you…Great idea as we head into the Advent season…

  9. I’m working on Romans 6,7 and 8.
    I committed to memorizing it in college with a group of guys I was interning for a youth minister with and sadly, none of us ever finished that summer. So here I go again!

  10. Guilty as well! I always wish I was one of those people who could rip out a scripture at just the right moment to speak to someone’s life. However, I have missed the important and necessary step of spending the time to memorize the scripture. I act like it just magically happens for some people! LOL!

    Thank you for reminding me of the truth!

  11. That’s the first time I’ve ever heard of it called “sorta scriptures” but it’s such a perfect description! The bulk of my scripture “memorization” is sorta scriptures. Last summer a friend of mine whose great joy in life was reciting large blocks of scripture she had memorized died. She went on a trip to Israel and recited the entire book of Ephesians while sitting in Ephasis! So late last year she inspired me and I committed to memorizing Psalm 62 but only got as far as verse 2 before being distracted. (oh look! shiny things…) I am going to recommit to this as I feel getting scriptures into your heart and mind is a powerful tool for drawing closer to the Lord. I’ll restart Psalm 62 and then go from there.

    And for those of us who have more songs than scripture memorized, take heart! Some songs are actually blocks of scriptures, usually Psalms. Those are my personal favorites.

  12. Karen~Today I finally took the time to tune in. You must be my long lost twin sister! Thank you for the words I need to hear.

  13. So true, Karen! We are so guilty of this. I had also said I was going to learn some new Scripture this year, but have I, NO! I feel so bad about it also. I would like to join you as you learn. I won’t be as bold as you to do the book of James, But I am going to learn something new. I heard Priscilla Shirer @ Deeper Still last year. She spoke on Ephesians 3:20-21 for an hour and a half. I have been saying I would quote those 2 verses, but today I am going to start working on Ephesians 3:14-20 (Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Growth). I will set Christmas as my goal, also. Hugs and Prayers to you.

  14. Again what a great insight Karen! Especially for someone like myself who loves to sing along to any song or movie tune! The Spirit convicted my heart as I read your words. I too am a longtime Christian and know many “sort scriptures”. I would love to take this challenge. A scripture that has meant a lot to me in recent months is Ephesians 3:16-18 (NLT). I think I might start with this one. Blessings to all today! May we all hunger and thirst for nothing more than God’s Word to guide and direct our day.

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