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Monday, April 08, 2013

Memory and the Church

At church this week my wife challenged adults and kids to a memory challenge, encouraging them to memorize some Scripture and the Apostles Creed and Lord's Prayer. What a great challenge indeed.

I often wonder about our ability to use our memory and it's relation to our ability to grow spiritually as a disciple of Christ. Does God see spiritual growth like we do? In our North American evangelical Christian culture, some of the aspects we view as spiritual growth are the ability to know (i.e. recall) and appropriately implement Scripture in our lives, have a good bank of theological orthodox knowledge, our ability to pray, speak to others about our faith, and serve others in areas of giftedness. Much of these are memory dependent.

At the same time, all the news media this past week has been running the story about the growing cost of healthy coverage due to the seemingly growing epidemic of dementia and Alzheimer's Disease. Other popular stories of the week have been about mental illness, suicide and depression and autism.  While it's obvious in the case of dementia related illnesses, depression, mental illness and autism all have significant memory related components as well.

Which leads me to wondering about how does God view spiritual growth and discipleship in persons with dementia, mental illness, depression or who are on the autism spectrum.  Does He have any expectations at all?  In light of the fact that these are growing populations in our current culture, how does He expect the church to minister to them? What expectations should the church have?

When memory is compromised, how do we view ourselves as disciples? How do evangelize persons with memory issues and disciple persons within our churches that are memory impaired?

My hunch is that the church is woefully under-prepared to disciple these person, though certainly able to lovingly care for them. In fact for many churches, I wonder if it's on their radar at all.

Well, here are some memory hacks to put to good use to memorize some Scripture. I put a couple below that would be good for the memory bank. I felt convicted to memorize some more Scripture this week:

Top 10 Memory Hacks

Drastically Improve Your Memory by Building a Memory Palace

1 John 1:8-9:  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 Peter 4:8-9 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

1 Peter 4:9-10 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 12:28-29: 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

2 Timothy 1:9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time ...

1 Thessalonians 5:15-18  15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

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