Monday, October 29, 2007

Boost Your Memory

Pastel Lily Pads

Sleep-interrupted. That describes last night. Maybe all that waking and sleeping and thinking is what made me rise and shine feeling practical.

So I decided to do a little post on boosting one's memory. Memory of scripture, specifically. This is not one of my strong points. Particularly on the chapter and verse side.

"So and so and such and such...," I'll be saying (that's me pretending to quote a verse). "It's in, uh... Isaiah, I think. No maybe Jeremiah. Okay, I'll look it up and get back to you. Don't quote me, all right?"

In other words, most of my scripture memory sinks to the bottom of the pond, making it difficult to fish things out when I need them.

Anyway, here's my solution to this lack of numerical-memory issue. (Otherwise known as "scripture-memory-stuck-in-the-muck syndrome.)

Jesucristo es el mismo ayer, y hoy, y por los siglos. (Hebreos 13:8)

Yup, I have discovered that if I memorize a verse in another language (Spanish being my favorite), I can actually remember where things are in the bible.

Now, isn't that practical?

Pastels on Pond photo, by J Barkat. Used by permission. Seedlings Invitation: If you write a post related to this post and Link It Back Here, let me know and I'll link to yours.

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Blogger Every Square Inch said...

Wow, I don't know, LL. I'm having enough memorization issues in English...not sure it'll be helped by doing so in another tongue

1:52 PM  
Blogger jcubsdad said...

Practical...maybe. A little off the wall, you bet.

the reason you remember is because you are paying more attention to it when translating it. This is why Lingamesh and other translators can quote it so well, they spend so much time in it line by line concentrating and meditating on it.

I will tkae it in good old fashioned english. I am still mastering the language personally.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Pero, no hablo, escrito o leo espanol. Que' voy hacer?

4:03 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Or should I have said "puedo leer"? See, I really can't!

4:04 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Awesome idea, Laura! I like it.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You crack me up. I suppose if it works for you, then go for it. As long as you actually remember the translation back to English if you're quoting it to someone. Might be interesting to see how God uses your multi-lingual memorization one day.

5:27 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Every Square... you make me smile. Now, you must realize it is no easier for me to memorize. I just happen to remember the chapter and verse reference better! :)

Gyrovague... Oh, thank you for saying that. Really, it's not practical at all. Just shows you how off the wall I need to get in order to get this memory in gear. The best part of this process though is actually the line by line concentrating and meditating, as you say. In this example, for instance, it struck me that the verb for "to be" is the unchangeable form, not the "this is so today but not tomorrow". That in itself was kind of a cool realization (for the translation is "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.")

Kim... oh but you do. And so well! Maybe we can get a master translator in here to work on the nuances. (No names mentioned, Craver).

Sarah... hi there. Do feel free to leave your blog address in your comments. That's fine with me.

Spaghettipie... oh, details, details.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

i'll stick to my made up songs.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Jennwith2ns said...

I've done both the made-up song thing AND the other-language thing, and they've both worked for me . . . but with limited success. It doesn't help that I don't actually KNOW any other languages. I can say Psalm 23.1 in Welsh--but I knew that one in English already. Sigh.

7:22 PM  
Blogger TO BECOME said...

I can only speak English so that will have to be where my memorization stays. Sure wish I could speak Spanish as we have so many Spanish people that live here. I like a the sound of a lot of languages. I think I am too old to start learning a new language though. I think my memory is not so good anymore. connie from Texas

9:04 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

hehe, good one, L.L.

The older I get the less I care about chapter and verse. I'm annoyed at the tendency of us to cut out verses out of context and cut and paste everywhere, really more like taking a verse out of context and then misapplying it.

I'd much rather keep working at seeing the verse in its context and then in the whole of Scripture as much as possible and then in all of life. More like the Puritans used to do, I think. Their thinking was steeped in Scripture through and through.

So I want to be hit by the Story and details in the Story and then find my place in the Story, my story becoming a part of this great Story of God.

Just another way of not worrying about my loss of memory, yes, I used to be so much better at quoting verses and their reference!

10:34 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Not to say I have what I think is the good part down. Haha, that's a laugh. But that's my goal. Something like that.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is practically practical! hehe.

i really like the photo.

12:00 AM  
Blogger 23 degrees said...

Interesting idea, Laura. Maybe you have the gift of memorizing in tongues? :)

I heard a while back that you got your ms back from NavPress. How is the book progressing? Any news?

12:16 AM  
Blogger Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Ok, so now I feel better for the French Bible and the Greek New Testament! I have trouble memorizing anything at all, not just scripture. And when it comes to scripture, the “addresses” are particulary difficult so I think your solution is both creative and industrious.

Honestly, I have trouble even repeating back what was just said to me. This happened on Sunday as I was trying to tell a wife about something lovely her husband said about her. He walked up, laughed and said, “Susan, that’s not what I said AT ALL” and proceeded to repeat what he had said word for word. Now, I had the gist of the conversation and the meaning exactly correct, just not many of the words he used.

I think I listen that way, always looking for the big picture, the meaning behind or the usefulness of something. I approach scripture in the same fashion; I can tell you the meaning of a scripture and apply it to life correctly without being able to quote it word for word or ever being able to find it, not particularly helpful in a counseling situation – so the online concordances are a huge help for me!

One thing I do find is that the more I use or share a scripture, the more likely I am to associate it with a certain book and then later with a chapter, so at least I know I’m making some progress.

Oops – there is probably a rule about the comments being longer than the original post.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Marcus Goodyear said...

Ich spreche nur Deutsch. Et latin.

But I don't even worry about remembering chapter and verse anymore. I read the Bible with both a woodpulp book and searchable program on my phone. That way I can find particular phrases with my phone, then verify them in context with my woodpulp.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Marcus Goodyear said...

Susan Halfmom. For me, the rule is simple. If a comment gets out of control, I turn it into a post on my blog with a link back to the original. If the blogger doesn't have trackbacks turned on, then I leave a commment with a link to my longer post.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Craver Vii said...

Ay que bueno! Actually, my Spanish is atrocious. And to learn Spanish better, I used to listen to the New Testament in Spanish, while driving. But I'm a big fan of employing creative methods for memorization.

2:15 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Heather... brava! I can never remember songs either, which means I'll have to stick to Spanish.

Jenn... oh, right. That's the hard part. I don't really KNOW Spanish, just sort of, which makes it a bit of a challenge.

Connie... I hear that learning a new language in one's later years really does boost memory (not just scripture memory), so.... I don't know.... maybe it is just the thing. ;-)

Ted... yes, certainly the grand Story is the preferable thing. I just get frustrated when I'm trying to communicate something and can't get the whole thing out. I also don't like the clip-it and quote-it approach, but you know what amazes me? Sometimes the tiniest verse speaks volumes even without the whole story as backdrop.

Nancy... :) Okay, thanks. I was hoping for a few people who might see how impractical it really is.

23 Degrees... you make me smile. Now, about that NavPress book, shhhh... you better not tell InterVarsity Press... they think I'm publishing it through them (well, okay, I am ;-) As for its progress, I just sent back my comments on their copyediting, which means we're in the home stretch. March 2008 release date. Wow. I feel happy and ill at the same time.

Susan... I think that's an important thing... to have familiarity over time. And yes, that helps me too. French and Greek. Brava to you too! And that's funny about the comment length. No problems here about it!

Mark... German and Latin! Wow, between you and Halfmom and a few of us, we could have a very multi-lingual conversation here. Not that we'd understand each other. But what's a little confusion among friends?

Craver... oh, really? I had such high hopes that you might be able to correct our faulty espanol. Greek, can we count on you for Greek?

3:24 PM  
Blogger Craver Vii said...

Greek?? Don't I wish! Nah, I can probably say hello in a dozen languages, but that's about it.

I started to learn Japanese from the Pimsleur language system, but the CD's went to a friend who's going in January to stay in Osaka for a year.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

LL-go with Ted's idea of context. Work on learning greater portions of Scripture instead of individual verses. Then, if nothing else, you can at least narrow it down to a particular chapter.

Lest you think I jest, my children & I are memorizing all of Psalm 103 this Fall. Last school year I memorized all of Deuteronomy 6. I have the fortune of being in a group that issues a "Memory Verse Challenge" for memorizing whole chapters each year. The accountability and year-long repetition make such a huge difference.

5:09 PM  
Blogger bluemountainmama said...

very interesting....since i know no other languages, that may be hard. wait... maybe piglatin? :)

but i'm with ya on scripture memory not being my forte....

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't started memorizing in other languages, but I have found it helpful to memorize in other translations of the English. It gets me out of my rut of just saying a verse so that I'm more likely to meditate on its meaning.

8:10 AM  

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