As we begin first series of The Topical Memory System, I thought it important to point out some resources I and others have found helpful in the past and present, as well as to ask you to share yours. Some of these are also covered in an older post – “Tech Tools for Your Spiritual Journey.”
Bible. Of course, our first resource will be Scripture itself. Scripture intake, including memory and meditation should always be done in context. Take time to read the surrounding text, chapter, or even the whole book in which your verse is found! I will be using the English Standard Version, but praise be to God that we have so many quality English-language translations available to us! As well as the traditional printed Bible, there are many good online sources and digital device apps out there. Here are a few:
- Blue-Letter Bible (www.blueletterbible.com): Both online and as an app, BLB offers a large number of English-language translations and Scripture tools, including quick access to their Interlinear Bible (Hebrew/Greek and English together). From the Interlinear Bible, you can easily jump to word study tools including lexicons, dictionaries, and concordances.
- Bible Study Tools (www.biblestudytools.com): Like BLB, this offers many English (and other modern language) translations and study tools. Though I am becoming more of a fan of BLB for many things, I think the BST search function is superior.
- Bible App/YouVersion (www.youversion.com): YouVersion makes several products, but their “Bible” app is the one I’ll detail a bit here. The Bible app offers an interface that may be a bit more familiar and engaging to tech-savvy folks, with access to reading plans, verses of the day, and easy ways to share with others. People who are newer or lower-level tech users may find it less intuitive.
Scripture Memory. Of course, I think the Topical Memory System itself is a great tool to learn Scripture. The system comes with memory verse cards in several translations, and having a hard-copy on hand is a great tool. However, if you want to have something on your phone to help with Scripture memorization, I think the Bible Memory app (www.biblememory.com, formerly called “ScriptureTyper”) is really hard to beat. You can choose which verses to memorize and either import them online from numerous versions or type them in manually. As you learn a verse, it will set a longer and longer interval between bringing them up for review, or you can lock verses in so that you review them every day (or two, or whatever interval you’d prefer). The free version allows you to pack in up to 50 verses. The paid “pro” version comes with 4 licenses, gives you unlimited verses, and adds a few other features like the “heat” highlights that show you visually where you tend to make mistakes in a given verse. The group I’ve put together for the TMS (in the ESV) is called “FCBC Navigators Topical Memory System.”
Prayer. Prayer is an integral part of Scripture memory and meditation. This is a challenging journey we are embarking upon, and prayer will be critical in completing it. We will introduce several examples of prayers during the next year. Some good tools:
- PrayerMate (www.prayermate.net): This app helps you keep track of prayer requests, and can be set to randomly bring up a set number of prayer requests every time you open it.
- Echo (new.echoprayer.net): This doesn’t have a lot of the options and customization of PrayerMate, but makes it easier to share prayer requests between groups you create. It also allows you to send notes of encouragement to those for whom you are praying. A limitation of the free version is 25 members per group or feed.
Establishing a Daily Devotional Time. A daily time alone with God is a critical part of Spiritual growth. Having a friend or family member hold you accountable is a superb tool for this. I have also found that a great tool to help establish this habit is “7 Minutes with God,” (our blog post on this tool is here). It is a “low-threat,” accessible way to take the first baby steps towards a rich life of daily devotions. This document is also available from NavPress in a leaflet format, easy to hand out to those who are hoping to start this discipline.
Well, these are some resources I hope you will find useful. Have you tried any of these before? What did you think about them? Do you have others you would recommend? Please feel free to respond in the comments below!
In His Grace,