Scripture Memory Failure

That sounds harsh, doesn’t it?

I don’t think I’m a failure because I haven’t finished memorizing 1 Peter 1. I think I’ve failed because I haven’t made any efforts to memorize it in over a month. (Actually, since right after I got myself caught up before.) I went to a conference. My kids got sick. I got sick. My kids got sick again.

Life got in the way, and I got out of the habit. Why is it so hard to continue with good habits that are established with great effort, and so easy to slip back into bad habits that you think you’ve managed to break?

Hmmm, that reminds me of a passage by Paul.

No matter. I’m way behind, but I’m going to start again. I won’t finish according to schedule (which would be, if I’m calculating correctly, this week), but I can still work on it.

I don’t want to just let the rest of the chapter slide. I want to learn it all.

Find a Hobby (and Become a Lifelong Learner)

    Project 44, Find a Hobby (and Become a Lifelong Learner), is the one that when I first glanced at the table of contents I thought “I’ve got that one already.”

    There are certainly plenty of these projects where I’d never done them at all (like the eco-friendly skin care), or had barely tried them (like last week’s eat locally), but this one? This one is so taken care of.

    I’m not trying to sound smug, because it’s an easy one for me, so it’s like telling someone who grew up in a bilingual family all about the benefits to learning a second language. Yup, got it, no problem.

    See, if it wasn’t already obvious what with the new book blog I started last month, I love to read. It’s my favorite hobby. It’s the main one I do in this season of life (although someday I hope to get back to some of my others). And reading is such an easy way to dovetail with being a lifelong learner – I do read some light fiction, but I try and steer clear of trashy fiction. And I read a lot of nonfiction. {Speaking of nonfiction, did you see that my 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads starts over at the new blog today?}

    I’m self-taught in some basic CSS & HTML, as well as dabbling in JavaScript and PHP. I’d love to get into more programming, but again, that’s something that’s been pushed aside while my kids are so young.

    I hope to homeschool and one of the things I’m most excited about is the opportunity to learn more myself about many areas where my education was piecemeal. We moved around just enough while I was growing up so that I missed out on some foundational stuff in English and math, so I’m hoping homeschooling will help me make my grammar impeccable. Currently I’ve got few weak areas relating to it. {hanging my head in shame.}

    What’s your favorite hobby? And do you consider yourself a lifelong learner?

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy a copy of One Bite at a Time using my link, I’ll get a percentage of the price, but it won’t cost you anything extra. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Hiding His Word: Catching Up

Did you see? I’ve got a new book & reading blog called The Deliberate Reader. I’d love to have you join me over there!

I got behind on my planned memorization of 1 Peter 1 – I’m trying to keep up with the group at Do Not Depart because I find the encouragement it provides is invaluable for sticking with long passages. When I’ve gotten too far behind the group it’s all too easy for me to stop moving forward at all, even though any progress is better than no progress.

Last week I made a big self-imposed push to get caught back up (more or less) and be ready to move forward with the group to this week’s verses. And guess what? All that hard work paid off.

I wouldn’t say that I’ve got all the verses memorized 100%, but I’ve got them down well enough that I don’t feel ridiculous moving on to the next pair. As I continue on with the later verses these older ones will continue to get reviewed so that’ll help push them deeper into my brain.

What helped me the most last week?

  1. Focusing on one verse a day. I had 4 verses I needed to get caught up on. Each morning I’d review the verses I already knew (so started with verses 1 – 5), then I focused on one new verse for that day and the next. On day 3 I began reviewing verses 1 -6, and focused on learning verse 7, and on it went for 8 days.
  2. I wrote it down. Every day. I wrote the review verses on a 3×5 card(s). I wrote the first letters of the review verses on a 3×5 card. I wrote the new verse on another 3×5 card. I carried them around with me and pulled them out whenever I had a moment. (Kids playing in the sandbox was a prime time for me to read through the cards a couple of times).

I realize nothing I’ve written is that new, but it was still reassuring for me to have reinforced that even if life gets in the way and I get “behind,” it’s worth it to not give up and to make an effort to push myself to memorize more in one week than I might otherwise think I can.

Linking up at Do Not Depart

Introducing The Deliberate Reader

DeliberateReader

I’ve mentioned it a few times, but today I’m officially launching my new blog, The Deliberate Reader. It’s going to be in addition to this one, although at least through October I’ll be dropping my posting frequency here down to three times a week. It’s not just a matter of getting used to a new blog, but because in October I’m going to be kicking off a “31 Days” series over there & it’ll keep me plenty busy. :)

I’d love it if you’d join me over there. I’ll be moving my book review and other book-related posts to the new blog. Other post topics will include favorite books from the past, and tips about finding great books and the time to read them.

If it sounds good to you, you can get The Deliberate Reader by email, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Hope to see you over there!

Week in Books: Twitter for Good & 31 Days of Twitter Tips

Twitter for Good: Change the World One Tweet at a Time by Clair Diaz-Ortiz

I wanted to like this, but it is so clearly focused on business or non-profit Twitter accounts that it’s usefulness was limited. The examples didn’t really inspire me, and other than giving me a kick-in-the-pants to set up some lists on Twitter I don’t think I took any actions after reading the book.

It wasn’t terrible or anything, it simply wasn’t for me. Unless you’re tweeting for your company or nonprofit, or developing a Twitter strategy for your job, I’d skip it.

31 Days of Twitter Tips: Grow Your Twitter Influence – 12 Minutes at a Time by Becky Robinson of Weaving Influence

This I do recommend, whether you’re using Twitter for a personal account, in conjunction with a blog (like I do), or for your job. While some of her tips were really basic, and some didn’t interest me at all (such as the tip to look at trending topics), most of her tips were useful and doable. Her writing is also perfect for the structure of the book – concise and clear and very motivating.

I appreciated her emphasis on using Twitter even if you have minimal time – her tips were all designed to be able to be done in 12 minutes (although you could spend more time if you want). I was really pleased with the e-book, and if you haven’t already grabbed it before the end of the month don’t delay – it’s free through August 31.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Week in Books: Cook This Now and WordPress Design for Dummies

Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can’t Wait to Make by Melissa Clark

A delightful cookbook arranged seasonally, with an introduction to each season, and further introductory remarks for each month. The recipes all include tempting back-story information, which is the sort of thing that makes reading cookbooks so enjoyable for me. Despite not finding many of the recipes tempting (I hate seafood too much for some of her dishes to appeal at all), I still read every recipe, and liked the stories behind them.

I also found a few to try, although I have not yet cooked or baked them. (The Mallobar Recipe from January is calling my name, along with some of the others. Especially the sweets. I have such a sweet tooth, and I adore reading general cookbooks from authors who admit to having one as well; so many chefs seem to scorn sweets that I like it when I run across the ones who don’t.)

Wordpress Design for DummiesWordPress Web Design For Dummies by Lisa Sabin-Wilson

This was good but not great, but that’s probably more because it wasn’t really what I was hoping it would be. If you’re wanting to create your own WordPress Theme, this has some great info, but it seems inconsistent on level of detail. I’m pretty good with HTML and CSS, and some parts were super basic, but then other sections had me scratching my head and thinking that I’d need to go over it again and again to understand.

My biggest complaint is the lack of images or pictures demonstrating what she’s explaining in the text – there are some, but some parts that would have really benefited from an illustration don’t have one. Food Blogging For Dummies was much better at always including an image when the text warranted one, and I think that book was a much better fit for what I wanted (despite me not writing a food blog). Unless you’re really wanting to get into the nuts and bolts of the technical side of WordPress Design, I’d pass on this one. And if you’re at all interested in blogging, I think the Food Blogging for Dummies is terrific (again, even if you’re not a food blogger, but assuming you don’t mind translating post types and niche discussions from food topics to your blog topic).

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Review: Counterfeit Gospels

Title: Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope
Author: Trevin Wax
Category: Nonfiction / Christian Living
Length: 240 pages
Format: Trade Paperback
Release Date: 2011
Publisher: Moody Publishers
ISBN: 080242337X / 978-0802423375
My Rating: 5 Stars

[A] counterfeit gospel will always leave our souls impoverished…. in most cases, counterfeit gospels represent either a dilution of the truth or a truth that is out of proportion. There may still be enough of a saving message to reconcile us to God, but the watered-down version never satisfies our longings. Nor will it empower us for service or embolden our witness before a watching world.

Trevin Wax’s Counterfeit Gospels is a powerful explanation of the true gospel and provides help in recognizing and responding to six common counterfeits to it.

The book begins by explaining the current crisis in the Church regarding the biblical gospel verses counterfeits , describes the three parts to the gospel (story, announcement, and community) and then details six counterfeit gospels that focus on one of those parts.

Part 1 is about the gospel story, followed by its counterfeits: the therapeutic gospel and the judgmentless gospel.

Part 2 is about the gospel announcement, followed by its counterfeits: the moralistic gospel and the quietist gospel.

Part 3 is about the gospel community, followed by its counterfeits: the activist gospel and the churchless gospel.

For each counterfeit, Wax explains the background to it, other forms of it (often describing Evangelical versions of it), what makes it attractive, how to counter it, and key Scripture truths refuting the counterfeit.

I found the structure of the book was really helpful in understanding Wax’s arguments, and I especially appreciated the “what makes it attractive” portion of the description of the various counterfeits . It made it easier for me to understand how and why believers could fall for some of them, and to recognize areas that are especially tempting for me to slip away from the true gospel. Following that section immediately by ways to counter the counterfeit is very effective and helpful.

Highly recommended.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions I have expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links.