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“[W]e should “get wisdom.” We should bend all our efforts to become wiser tomorrow than we are today. And I speak not just to students and graduates, but to us all. Graduation…gives me an occasion to say something that applies to us all, namely, that formal education is only one stage in the process of becoming a wise person. So much of life has been professionalized and institutionalized that we easily slip into the notion that it is the responsibility of some profession or some institution to impart to us wisdom. You can see this tendency in the fact that continuing education in many spheres is thought of entirely in terms of taking courses from professionals in institutions. The implication seems to be that wisdom and understanding are something you purchase with tuition and class fees, rather than being a daily, lifelong process of growth. But what I want to stress this morning is that we should never be content with the wisdom we attained through formal education. Blessed is the graduate who walks through the commencement line more hungry for wisdom than when [s]he entered school, for [s]he shall be satisfied. ~John Piper (Get Wisdom)
I check the mailbox more than usual this time of year. (My “usual” being “never,” in the vain hope that our friendly mail lady will take back the bills and three pounds of catalogs.) But I dare to open the little black box in June because—my husband being a youth pastor—this is the month we receive a flurry of graduation invitations—always a little bitter-sweet.
In honor of all you graduates, we want to share one piece of advice Mom gave us when we graduated.
Mom’s advice to her girls, and to you, is this: Keep studying.
We know, you probably don’t want to hear this right now—you’ve just finished studying for finals. So you might want to bookmark this post and read it after a week or two at the beach.
Bon voyage! Have a great time!
Ok, so now you’re back from the beach, refreshed and ready for Mom’s advice.
Whether you are heading back to school, into the workforce, or you don’t have a clue where, set yourself on a life-course of study. And don’t just study anything.
If Bruce Milne is right (and he is) and “getting doctrine right is the key to getting everything else right” then you can’t afford not to study doctrine. You must learn more about God.
Here’s a list of books to get you started, but don’t stop there.
Study biblical womanhood.
If Elisabeth Elliot is right (and she is) and “Being a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but being a Christian makes me a different kind of woman” then we ought to understand what kind of women we are to be. So learn all you can about God’s design for womanhood.
Here’s some suggested reading for Biblical Womanhood 101.
Congratulations, Grads. And happy life-long studying.
—from the archives
For my heart:
In choosing what clothes to wear, whose attention do I desire and whose approval do I crave? Am I seeking to please God or impress others?
Is what I wear consistent with biblical values of modesty, self-control and respectable apparel, or does my dress reveal an inordinate identification and fascination with sinful cultural values?
Who am I trying to identify with through my dress? Is the Word of God my standard or the latest fashion?
Does my clothing reveal an allegiance to the gospel or is there any contradiction between my profession of faith and my practice of godliness?
What do my clothes say about my heart?
For my wardrobe (adapted from Nancy DeMoss):
With my dress, am I guilty of…
...exposing intimate parts of the body?
...emphasizing private or alluring parts of the body?
”[W]omen should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control.” 1 Timothy 2:9
Some wise words to add to our conversation on submission...
Submission When It’s Easy by Nancy Wilson
A Godly Unsubmissiveness by Nancy Wilson
I’m A Better Leader by Karen Waddles
Thanks to faithful girltalk reader Pam Nelson for our Friday Funny. This adorable little boy has some words of wisdom for all the kids out there who are learning to ride a bike. We’ll see you all Monday, Nicole for Carolyn, Kristin, and Janelle
We wanted to pass on a few more of the resources for helping kids (and adults) memorize Scripture that were often mentioned in our contest entries this past week:
Desiring God Foundation Verse Pack
My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God’s Word in Little Hearts by Susan Hunt
(at least today the Kindle version is only 99 cents!)
Hide the Word by Mark Altrogge
(a favorite from our Aussie frends)
Hide ‘Em In Your Heart by Steve Green
Bible.is (in ESV)
(a free app which includes audio)
You all make these contests absolutely impossible—it is so difficult to choose from all the great ideas! I am so provoked and encouraged by the creative and intentional ways that so many of you are teaching your children to memorize Scripture. Here are the ten winners of the new Seeds of Character album. Congratulations! Thanks Seeds Family Worship and thanks to all of you.
I own a set of Crayola Window Crayons. I use them to write Scripture on the bathroom mirror for my 6 and 8 year old daughters. The girls learn them while they brush their teeth. My son is 3, and I write verses on his bedroom mirror to learn while we help him get ready each morning and night. They love requesting certain colors and little pictures next to their verses. It’s easy to Windex off and start again when they are ready for more. Just a hint—use the fan in the bathroom during bath time or the crayon runs from the humidity!
We memorize verses together as a family by saying a verse before each meal. The verses are on flip charts. Once everyone knows a particular verse, we flip the chart and start working on the next one. We’ve been doing this for several years and have worked through hundreds of verses. It has become so ingrained in us that we do it no matter where we are—at home, a restaurant, or a friend’s house. Say a verse, pray, and then eat. That’s the routine, three times a day. My boys are 6, 4, and 1. The oldest has done this since he was 2 years old. My second started participating by the time he was 2 as well. And the baby will soon, I’m sure, because it’s just “what we do”!
To help my children memorize scripture, I write it in chalk on our driveway. Then we play “Bible jump” where they jump onto each word as they say it out loud. Once they have it memorized, they hop on the words out of sequence and try to recite it from there. This is working out well with my kindergartener who is reading but also with my younger 2 who memorize the verses by hearing and imitating their older brother.
One of the ways we help our children learn Scripture is with bean bags. We toss the bean bag back and forth while repeating the scripture. The repetition of the tossing seems to help them remember the words.
I made the kids a Scripture memory book on one of those photo websites, like a photo book but with verses we want them to learn and fun pictures and backgrounds. They love having a book with their picture on it and then opening it to practice their verses (or pick out a new one to learn).
My boys (3 and 2) LOVE to watch themselves on video - so often I will have them “perform” their memory verse for the camera, and we’ll send it out to family and friends or post it to facebook…they think that’s pretty cool and it inspires them to recite Truth with passion!
Each morning after breakfast, we review the passage that we are working on memorizing. When we review it, I allow my 2 daughters (ages 6 and 4) to stand on their chairs. This is the only time of the day that this is permitted, and they think it quite fun to do that while quoting their verses! So far, no one has gotten hurt . . . although it is definitely risky when we use actions or hand motions to go along with the verses because they can be very animated! In the past year the girls have memorized almost all of Exodus 20 with hand motions to help them remember the 10 commandments.
To memorize scripture i print out a verse or two on plain paper. I cut up the paper into single words or phrases and put each one into a coloured envelope. the envelopes have numbers on them. i then hang the envelopes on a piece of string that is strung across the dining room window. each morning at breakfast one of the kids gets to open the envelope and peg the words onto the string. we learn the verse word by word/phrase by phrase.
The verses I know best are the ones my mum put on the back of the toilet door growing up. In light of that I’ve put some verses on the wall next to the change table - so every nappy change is an opportunity to learn our verses! (to our great advantage my 2 y/o started speaking well at 16 months, so I’d say most of the verse and she’d fill in missing words and we’ve built on that). I intend to move them to the bathroom door when potty training!
One fun way that I help my children memorize longer portions of Scripture is by making a cd for them to listen to at bedtime. I record myself (using garage band on the computer) reading the Scripture passage with a soft background instrumental track. Usually each cd will also have a few songs relating to the Scripture passage as well played in between each time the Scripture is read. By the time they’ve finished the cd (although usually some are asleep before then!) they will have heard it 5 or 6 times. This is the way mine have memorized Philippians 2 and the Christmas passage in Luke this past year.