My Plan for Memorizing Psalm 71

This week I’ve been gearing up to memorize Psalm 71 with the amazing community of believers at Do Not Depart.  I’m so excited! if you’d like to join the fun, I encourage you to sign up. This will be at a pace of 1-2 verses a week, which is very doable. (and such a blessing!)


I hope you’ll join us!

Having memorized 1 John 1:1-14 and 1 Peter 1 with the great ladies at Do Not Depart, I know first-hand what a blessing it is to memorize a passage with a group of sisters in Christ who are committed to Hiding God’s Word in their hearts. I encourage you to join us! The accountability and fellowship along the way are priceless! You will be inspired, encouraged, and strengthened both by the verses we’ll memorize as well as by the other godly women who are dedicated to hide Psalm 71 in their hearts these next several weeks.

Why I’m excited to memorize Psalm 71

1. Psalm 71 has an astonishing back story. 

Now in his grey headed years (Psalm 71:18), David is suffering the consequences of his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the murder cover-up of her husband, Uriah. (Psalm 71:4, 13) After David had learned his sin with Bathsheba got her pregnant, David was desperate to hide his sin. (2 Sam 11:5) At first he tried to persuade Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, to take a break from the war and go be with his wife so the pregnancy would not look suspicious. However, Uriah was a faithful solider and thought it unthinkable to enjoy time with his wife while his fellow soldiers stayed behind in the trenches. In a panic, David ordered Uriah to be put in the fiercest part of the battle, and then have the soldiers withdraw from him, to guarantee Uriah’s death, and make it appear as a natural consequence of battle, rather than the murderous conspiracy that it was. (2 Samuel 11:15). 

In time, Nathan the prophet exposed David’s sin and prophesied why we see in Psalm 71 David being pursued by enemies, even in his old age because “the sword will never depart from your house.”(2 Sam. 12:10) So in Psalm 71 we see David suffering from his sin in 2 Samuel 11,  yet his trust and hope in the Lord never waiver. His praise of the Lord never runs dry. He knows his God. He has tasted and seen that the Lord is good. (Psalm 34:8) Even in his time of great distress, and old age, David holds nothing back in praising the Lord. He is fully confident in the Lord to save and deliver him—and rightly so. That’s our God!

2. Psalm 71 gives us godly examples, modeled by David, which we can imitate as we face trials of various kinds. (James 1:2) and wait on the Lord for deliverance. In Psalm 71 we see David:
  • Trusting in the Lord alone (Psalm 71:1) 
  • Turning to God in prayer (Psalm 71:2)
  • Continually resorting to Jesus, our strong refuge (Psalm 71:3)
  • Looking to God to deliver, rather than taking matters into his own hands—and further complicating his life (v 4)
  • Hoping in the Lord continually (Psalm 71:5, 14)
  • Praising God continually—even in the hard times (Psalm 71:6, 8, 22)
  • Declaring the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord (Psalm 71:15-18, 24)

3. Psalm 71 serves as a solemn reminder to the lasting consequences of sin.

David’s consequences for his sin with Bathsheba lasted even into his greyheaded years, for the sword never departed from his house. (2 Sam. 12:10) Chuck Smith observed, “David's life was a tough life. He had many devoted friends, but also many avowed enemies. And David is always praying concerning those enemies that are seeking his hurt, seeking to destroy him. And even up into the elder years, as the Lord said to David, "The sword shall not depart from thy house." And so in the elder years of David, there was still that problem of the sword, that problem of enemies. And so a psalm of again calling upon the Lord for His help, for His protection, even in his older years.” Like David, Abraham’s sin with Hagar led to years of consequences that extend even to this very day.  Sin is serious stuff. There is no telling how far the consequences of our sin may extend. Perhaps that is why each and every time we are tempted the Lord faithfully provides a way of escape for us. (1 Cor. 10:13)

4. Though Psalm 71 speaks of David great hardships, while even in his greyheaded years, Psalm 71 also shows David’s incredible trust and hope in the Lord—praising God all the while, even while he is in the storm and awaited deliverance.
  • In You, O Lord, I put my trust (v 1) 
  • My praise shall be continually of You (v 6)
  • Let my mouth be filled with Your praise and with Your glory all the day. (v 8)
  • But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. (v 14)
  • My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits. (v 15)
You can memorize Psalm 71!

If you don’t have a good memory, don’t let that hold you back. If you truly have a desire to memorize Psalm 71, God will surely honor that desire, and fully equip you with the ability to not only memorize all of Psalm 71, but to lock it in your brain for the rest of your life. Trust Him. You can do this! If you ever doubt your ability to memorize Scripture, or finish this memory challenge let these two verses encourage you and help you take those thoughts captive and bring them into obedience to Christ:

1. I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
2. With man this is impossible, but not with God. With God ALL THINGS are possible! (Matthew 19:26)

Both these verses prove that you can memorize Scripture, even all of Psalm 71, regardless of your memory. For more great reasons to join us in memorizing Scripture, check out 10 reasons why I memorize Scripture,   John Piper’s 6 Great Reason’s to Memorize Scripture, as well as the benefits of memorizing passages over individual verses. So if you desire to join me in memorizing Psalm 71, I encourage you to head over to Do Not Depart and register for the Psalm 71 memory challenge. After that grab your favorite Bible translation to memorize from and join in the fun!

What Works For Me

Before the challenge begins, I’m gearing up to memorize Psalm 71 by reading it aloud, all the way through, each morning and night. I plan on continuing this when the challenge starts because it 
  • helps me grasp the psalm as a whole
  • familiarizes me with the verses I have left to memorize
  • and enables me to recognize repeated words and phrases within the passage.

When the challenge begins, each morning I read out loud and recite my verses for the week a total of 10 times each. So I don’t lose count, and to make things easy for me, to keep track how many times I’ve read a verse out loud or how many times I have recited it, I will write on any slip of paper something like this, and use tick marks to keep track of what I’ve done so far, so I know when I reach 10 times:

Psalm 71:1
Read out loud: ||||  ||||
Recite: ||||  ||||

Psalm 71:2
Read out loud: |||| ||||
Recite: |||| ||||

After I finish this I’ll write my verses on a 3 x 5 note card and bring my verses wherever I am to review throughout my day in those down times when my hands are busy but my mind is free. (i.e. Brushing teeth, styling hair, putting on makeup, cooking, folding laundry, going on a walk waiting in line at the store or in traffic at a stop light, etc.) I actually memorized the majority of 1 John 1:1-14 simply in the 15 minutes it takes me to take a shower each day.  By posting my verses in the shower, memorizing John 1:1-14 while I was already in there anyway meant the 15 minutes I worked on my memory verses did not take any extra time out my busy day. Rather I just redeemed the time when my hands were busy but my mind was free, just as Janet Pope recommends in her fantastic book His Word in My Heart: Memorizing Scripture for a Closer Walk with God.

Because posting my verses in the shower has proven so effective in helping me learn my verses, I’ve since also posted my memory verses on my refrigerator for easy review while I cook, and next to my mirror in the bathroom to review while I brush my teeth, put on my makeup, and style my hair. I also reference these verses by the mirror when I get out of the shower to run through my verses again one last time while I’m finishing up in the bathroom.

Think about your day and what moments you can redeem for hiding His Word in your heart. Maybe it’s when your kids are napping or playing independently. Or when you are waiting at the doctor’s office, in the checkout line, in traffic. Perhaps it is when you are folding laundry or going on your morning walk. If you know you are going to be facing those times, why not bring your 3 x 5 card with your verses on it and have them handy to review during those down times that can be expected in our day-to-day life? 

Something New I’m Trying for Easier Review of Psalm 71

For easy review, I’m creating two Scripture Memory playlists on my computer in iTunes (and then syncing my phone when I’m done). My playlists are:

1. Currently memorizing—Psalm 71 will be in this list
2. Previously memorized—Psalm 1, Psalm 103, Isaiah 53, 1 Peter, etc. will go in this playlist. 

I’ll load my audio Bible CD and select the above chapters to add to my playlists. Then I can play either playlist, wherever I’m at, whether I want to work on my current memory verses, or review older ones. I’m very excited about this. I wish I’d thought of this sooner.  

Moving From Being Familiar To Being Certain Of What The Bible Says

I want to leave you with one last thing. When I was in high school and I had a test coming up, I would study until I got it right. Now looking back, I can see I was doing the bare minimum in preparing for a test. Because God’s Word is life-changing I do not study my memory verses until I finally get it right. Instead, I practice until I can’t get it wrong. After much practice, I experience the joy of being familiar with a passage to actually knowing exactly what a passage says. So when the Psalm 71 memory challenge begins, my goal is to practice my memory verses until I can’t get them wrong, so by May, I‘ll be able to rejoice that I’ve moved from simply being familiar with Psalm 71 to actually knowing what it says. I hope you’ll join me in this! God bless you richly as you seek to hide His Word in your heart!

The Beautiful Layout of Psalm 71

Declaring Psalm 71 as "The Prayer of the Aged Believer," Spurgeon does an excellent job showing the breakdown of this passionate prayer of David:

"The first four verses are faith's cry for help; the next four are a testimony of experience. From Psalms 71:9-13 , the aged saint pleads against his foes, and then rejoices in hope, Psalms 71:14-16 . He returns to prayer again in Psalms 71:17-18 , repeats the confident hopes which cheered his soul, Psalms 71:19-21 ; and then he closes with the promise of abounding in thanksgiving. Throughout, this Psalm may be regarded as the utterance of struggling, but unstaggering, faith." 

My Memorization Plan for Psalm 71
Week
Dates
Verses to Memorize
Daily Memorization Plan
1
January 13-19
Psalm 71:1-2
1. Read Psalm 71:1 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
2. Read Psalm 71:2 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
2
January 20-26
Psalm 71:3
1. Review last week’s verses first (Psalm 71:1-2) by reciting them 10 times (look at your Bible if you need to.)
2. Read Psalm 71:3 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
3
January 27-February 2
Psalm 71:4-5
1. Review last week’s verse first (Psalm 71:3) by reciting them 10 times (look at your Bible if you need to.)
2. Review old verses altogether (Psalm 71:1-3) by reciting it once through.
3. Read Psalm 71:4 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
4. Read Psalm 71:5 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times.  . 
4
February 3-February 9
Psalm 71:6
1. Review last week’s verses first (Psalm 71:4-5) by reciting them 10 times (look at your Bible if you need to.)
2. Review old verses altogether (Psalm 71:1-5) by reciting it once through.
3. Read Psalm 71:6 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
5
February 10-February 16
Psalm 71:7-8
1. Review last week’s verse first (Psalm 71:6) by reciting them 10 times (look at your Bible if you need to.)
2. Review old verses altogether (Psalm 71:1-6) by reciting it once through.
3. Read Psalm 71:7 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
4. Read Psalm 71:8 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times.  . 
6
February 17-February 23
Psalm 71:9
1. Review last week’s verses first (Psalm 71:7-8) by reciting them 10 times (look at your Bible if you need to.)
2. Review old verses altogether (Psalm 71:1-8) by reciting it once through.
3. Read Psalm 71:9 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
7
February 24-  March 2
Psalm 71:10-11
1. Review last week’s verse first (Psalm 71:9) by reciting them 10 times (look at your Bible if you need to.)
2. Review old verses altogether (Psalm 71:1-9) by reciting it once through.
3. Read Psalm 71:10 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
4. Read Psalm 71:11 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times.  . 
8
March 3-   March 9             
Psalm 71:12-13
1. Review last week’s verses first (Psalm 71:10-11) by reciting them 10 times (look at your Bible if you need to.)
2. Review old verses altogether (Psalm 71:1-11) by reciting it once through.
3. Read Psalm 71:12 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
4. Read Psalm 71:13 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times.  . 
9
March 10- March 16
Psalm 71:14-15
1. Review last week’s verses first (Psalm 71:12-13) by reciting them 10 times (look at your Bible if you need to.)
2. Review old verses altogether (Psalm 71:1-13) by reciting it once through.
3. Read Psalm 71:14 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
4. Read Psalm 71:15 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
10
March 17- March 23
    Psalm 71:16-17
1. Review last week’s verses first (Psalm 71:14-15) by reciting them 10 times (look at your Bible if you need to.)
2. Review old verses altogether (Psalm 71:1-15) by reciting it once through.
3. Read Psalm 71:16 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
4. Read Psalm 71:17 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
11
March 24- March 30
Psalm 71:18
1. Review last week’s verses first (Psalm 71:16-17) by reciting them 10 times (look at your Bible if you need to.)
2. Review old verses altogether (Psalm 71:1-17) by reciting it once through.
3. Read Psalm 71:18 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
12
March 31-   April 6
Psalm 71:19-20
1. Review last week’s verse first (Psalm 71:18) by reciting them 10 times (look at your Bible if you need to.)
2. Review old verses altogether (Psalm 71:1-18) by reciting it once through.
3. Read Psalm 71:19 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
4. Read Psalm 71:20 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
13
April 7-April 13
Psalm 71:21-22
1. Review last week’s verses first (Psalm 71:19-20) by reciting them 10 times (look at your Bible if you need to.)
2. Review old verses altogether (Psalm 71:1-20) by reciting it once through.
3. Read Psalm 71:21 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
4. Read Psalm 71:22 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
14
April 14-    April 20
Psalm 71:23-24
Review
1. Review last week’s verses first (Psalm 71:21-22) by reciting them 10 times (look at your Bible if you need to.)
2. Review old verses altogether (Psalm 71:1-22) by reciting it once through.
3. Read Psalm 71:23 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
4. Read Psalm 71:24 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times. 
5. At the end of the week begin review program. Recite Psalm 71:1-24 once through every day for the next 100 days (during downtime—i.e. In the car, in the shower, while folding laundry, etc.)
 * My plan for memorizing  Psalm 71 was adapted from “An Approach to Extended Memorization” by Dr. Andrew M. Davis, Pastor at First Baptist Church in Durham, N.C.

Here's a  FREE printable version of my Psalm 71 Memory Plan 
 
Also, be sure to check out Do Not Depart’s free resources for memorizing Psalm 71

Question for you: Will you join me in memorizing Psalm 71? 


If you haven’t yet, follow me on Twitter or drop by my Facebook page and click “Like.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  

Copyright © 2013 Brooke Espinoza.

33 comments:

  1. Wow...thanks for all the insights on Psalm 71, and how you will be memorizing it...blessings :)

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    1. You're so welcome, Dolly! If you plan on memorizing Psalm 71 with us, here is the printable version of my plan https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-cM5SAYHgqteFlaLVFHZXNJd1k God bless you richly!

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  2. I can't wait to start Psalm 71 with you! Thanks for a great blogpost and see you on our FB page!

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    1. Thanks, Barbara! I can't wait either. If it helps, here is the printable version of my plan https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-cM5SAYHgqteFlaLVFHZXNJd1k God bless you lots!

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  3. What a wonderful idea! Blessings to you as you begin.

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    1. Thanks, Donna! If you plan on memorizing Psalm 71 with us, here is the printable version of my plan https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-cM5SAYHgqteFlaLVFHZXNJd1k I hope you'll join us! God bless you much!

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  4. This is so good! Beginning to end. I love all the background info and the application points and the details of "how to". This will be a great resource for everyone in our group. Thanks for your hard work and diligent spirit to get this into words for all of us to read. I know that's no quick task. You're a blessing.

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    1. Thanks Lisa, for your encouraging words! It was my pleasure. I pray it encourages and helps many to hide Psalm 71 in their heart. I added a printable version of my plan tonight, so hopefully that will help others, too. https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-cM5SAYHgqteFlaLVFHZXNJd1k God bless you richly!

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  5. I'm planning to do Psalm 71 as well! Excited to learn it!

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    1. So glad you're going to be doing it too, Elizabeth! If it helps, here is the printable version of my plan. God bless you lots!
      https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-cM5SAYHgqteFlaLVFHZXNJd1k

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  6. Do you have a printable of your schedule? Love all the background notes!! (shondaet@gmail.com)

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    1. Thanks, Shonda! Here is a link to the printable version of my Psalm 71 Memory Plan. Enjoy! God bless you abundantly!
      https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-cM5SAYHgqteFlaLVFHZXNJd1k

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  7. Very cool! It's a great idea and love how so many come together.

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    1. Opps! I forgot to tell you I was visiting from Mom's Monday Mingle! Please stop by and visit!

      http://adventuresofasemperfifamily.blogspot.com/2013/01/making-friends.html

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    2. Thanks, Nicole! I look forward to visiting your site! If you plan on memorizing Psalm 71 with us, here is the printable version of my plan. I hope you'll join us!God bless you much!
      https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-cM5SAYHgqteFlaLVFHZXNJd1k

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  8. I'm joining in too. :o)

    Loved your introduction to it.

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    1. Thanks, Deborah! So glad you're doing it too! If it helps, here is the printable version of my plan. God bless you lots! https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-cM5SAYHgqteFlaLVFHZXNJd1k

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  9. Thank you for your enthusiasm for hiding God's Word in your heart, Brooke! One of the things I'm really looking forward to during this time of memorizing Psalm 71 is meeting other godly women whose intent it is to encourage others as we all commit His Word to memory! Thank you also for stopping by my blog.

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    1. So glad this blessed you and that we will be memorizing Psalm 71 together. God bless you richly!

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  10. Continue to be a blessing and you will be blessed more and more! You deserve a Liebster blog award. Please visit http://gardenchefsneedleandpen.blogspot.com/2013/01/gardenchef-gets-liebster-blog-award.html

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  11. Terrific! Trying to memorize Psalm 91. I drew something to remember for every idea in the psalm. I'm a visual person and that's the best way I know to remember. I also taped my voice reciting it so i could listen when I'm taking a bath or painting. Then I discovered scripturetyper.com. It's a great site where it will help you master bible verses by having you type it out. First there's a guide, and then words will be missing. Happy new year! patsy

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    1. Thanks! I love Psalm 91! So comforting! Thanks for sharing your ways for hiding His Word in your heart. They're great! God bless you lots!

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  12. Thanks for sharing your memorizing strategies. I don't have a Bible on CD, but I occasionally listen to audio Bibles online. I think I'd like to get a CD version so I could practice my memory passages in the car. Sometimes I listen on my phone in the car, but it isn't loud enough! Thanks for the inspiration! (I'm visiting from "Faith-filled Friday" at Missional Women http://www.missionalwomen.com/31/post/2013/01/our-life-guard-walks-on-water.html)

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    1. Kristi, so glad you visited and that we share a heart to hide God's Word in our hearts! I memorize from the New King James Version and love, love, love my audio Bible: The Word of Promise http://www.thewordofpromise.com/ If you memorize from NKJV I highly recommend it! I know exactly what you mean about not being able to hear the phone loud enough in the car. Not sure if wearing earbuds while driving is considered legal, so CD's are a great way to listen to the Word.

      If you have an iPhone, you can load your audio Bible CD's onto your iTunes on your computer, make a playlist for your Bible, and sync it to your phone. If your phone won't hold your whole Bible, you could just load the OT or NT or simply whatever passages you are determined to memorize. One mistake I made was to buy the audio Bible from iTunes instead of buying the CD's and taking the time to load them on to my iTunes account. The problem was the audio Bible from iTunes didn't allow me to jump to a specific book or chapter of the Bible. It was meant only for people to listen through.

      While it does take time to load each CD of an audio Bible, it is SO worth it! Each track is a chapter of the Bible, so I can easily scroll down to a book of the Bible and start at chapter 1 or jump to a specific chapter. I love it! I made two playlists, one for OT and one for NT--that way if I want the book of Acts, I don't have to scroll through the entire OT before I get to the NT books. And like I said, I'm making a third playlist of just my memory passages to make it easy for me to find them.

      If you don't memorize from the NKJV, I'm sure there is a great audio Bible for your preferred translation. I find the reviews at Amazon.com helpful to me when I am making a buying decision. God bless you richly as you seek to find the audio Bible that is perfect for you.

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  13. Nice to meet you via pieces of Amy! I admire your goal to memorize scripture. I'll be working on Proverbs 3. God bless you!

    In His Grip,
    Monica
    http://happyandblessedhome.com

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    1. Thanks! Nice to meet you too, Monica! God bless you abundantly as you seek to hide Proverbs 3 in your heart!

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  14. Memorizing His Word truly is so important! It sounds like you've found an incredible passage to learn! I hope it goes well!

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    1. Thanks, Mary! I totally agree with you, "Memorizing His Word truly is so important!" God bless you lots!

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  15. Wonderful memorizing hints and strategies--and backstory on Psalm 71. And what better way to use a little of the Still Saturday quiet than to meditate/memorize? :)

    I'm working on the Romans Project with Ann Voskamp. Two verses down and a million to go. Have a great weekend, and thanks for linking.

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    1. Thanks, Sandra! I love Ann Voskamp's blog! God bless you richly as you seek to hide Romans in your heart. I know you will be blessed! This summer I'm planing on doing Ann's "Memorize the Mount." I can't wait!

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  16. Wow...you have such a thorough plan!! And what a great passage to learn! I am going for a verse a week this year! Praying I keep momentum and truly store God's word in my heart! Found you through faith filled fridays!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! So glad you found me though Faith Filled Fridays! What a fabulous goal to memorize a verse a week! God bless you richly as you seek to hide His Word in your heart!

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Thank you for taking the time to share. May God bless you richly!