Dear First Pres, 
     I hope you heard my heart on Sunday when I encouraged everyone to work on memorizing Matthew 6:5-15. I really do believe that it is one way we can walk in unity as a congregation during this Lenten season. In my own household, memorizing these verses has already proven to be a positive way of gathering us around the discipline of Scripture memorization. I believe the same can happen in our congregation as a whole.

   Plus, when I've focused on memorizing chunks of Scripture in the past, God has always used that for good in my life. He uses it as a way to focus my attention on His Word rather on the multitude of other attention opportunities in my life. He uses it as a way to get His Word from my head to my heart; as I roll over the words again and again in the work of memorization, certain words and phrases begin to come alive for me in unexpected ways. And He uses it for the purposes explained by Paul in 2 Timothy 3:16 where he writes, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."  

   So, first, please forgive me if my exhortation on Sunday caused you to feel guilty or small. I confess to you that my words came from some disappointment that a relative few acknowledged their participation in this memorization project. And second, please hear my heartfelt invitation for you to experience the blessings of memorizing this Scripture passage with your church family. Our goal is to be able to recite Matthew 6:5-15 on Palm Sunday (March 25) without needing our Bibles. But, behind that goal, is the great hope that God will use this work of memorization to increase our desire to be connected with our Father in heaven through prayer.

P.S. There are a lot of things happening in our church ministries right now, be sure to check out the information below and in Sunday's bulletin.