Charlie’s List

June 23, 2010

I have recently been encouraged to commit some Bible verses to memory after coming across the story of Charles Hayward.  Inspired by Colossians 3:16, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…, Hayward started memorizing his favorite Bible verses.  He began his “Whole Bible Memorization Plan”, as he called it, at the age of 73, and committed 239 verses (at least 1 from each Old Testament book, the Gospels, and Acts, and at least 1 from each chapter of the rest of the New Testament) to memory before his death 14 years later.

239 verses!  I’m not sure if my mind has the capacity for that kind of memorization, but I desperately long for the “word of Christ to dwell in [me] richly.”  I often recall that when Christ Himself was tempted by Satan, He responded to the Prince of Lies with the Truth of the Word of God (Matthew 4:1-11).

Charlie’s List, as his kids called it, has been made available to everyone with this encouraging note: “It was his wish that others would be as blessed as he was by committing this list (or one like it, using your favorites) to memory.”

Taking a few verses from Charlie’s List and adding my personal favorites, I have begun to compile a list of my own that I hope to store in my memory bank.  I hope you will join my efforts with a list of your own!  There is no doubt that many lives were in fact blessed by Charlie’s Scripture memorization, and his inspiration can continue to impact lives through the likes of you and me.

Feel free to share a few of your personal favorites with me!  Some of mine that are not so well known are:

2 Kings 7:9 – We are not doing right.  This day of good news, and we remain silent.

Psalm 103:12 – As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Jonah 4:4 – Then the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?”

Nahum 1:9 – What do you conspire against the Lord?  He will make an utter end of it.  Affliction will not rise up a second time.

Good luck!

Nick B

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March 14, 2010

The washcloth I use to do the dishes gets absolutely filthy.  Poor thing.  Dried up spaghetti sauce, hardened ketchup and barbecue sauce (ick), strands of Ramen noodles clinging to the side of the bowl, and the washcloth has to tackle it all.  It sounds a little funny to have to wash a washcloth, but it definitely needs done.  I can think of only one thing that should be washed more often than that washcloth.  My mind.

Our minds soak up everything we expose them to.  Whatever we watch, read, or listen to gets sucked into our brains like a vortex, affecting our thoughts, feelings, and desires.  Man do those things get dirty.  Where’s a good brainwasher when you need one?

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed through the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2 NIV).  Ah ha!  A good mind renewal sounds perfect.  But how exactly do we let our minds be renewed?  Philippians 4:8 commands us to focus our minds on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things! (NIV)

We have a tendency to allow ourselves to be slaves to our sinful nature by what we choose to fill our minds with.  Instead of starving our sinful nature, we choose to fuel it.  When we try under our own power to change, we inevitably fail.

But God’s Word has the answer.  Instead of trying to simply remove our sinful thoughts and actions, we should focus on replacing them with what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.  I can think of no better way to fill my mind with God-honoring thoughts than by studying the Word, the ultimate truth.

It’s time to undo your thinking.  Wash your mind with the Word.  By allowing the Holy Spirit to work in your life, you can be renewed from the inside out.  If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, studying the Bible daily most certainly is.

Have you had a good brainwash lately?

Nick B

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