Lyrics On My Mind

Let’s try this whole blogging thing again.

The news: I’m engaged!

Tahahaha, I am absolutely not. For those who have been following along, a fake engagement announcement is how I started all two of my 2022 posts, and I couldn’t help but try it again because I’m so hilarious and clever. This is the last time or is it.

Unrelated to fake engagements but related to this blog, I would like to say props to myself for successfully navigating the new WordPress look (I don’t know how new it is, but on my end, guys, everything looks different, and I’m already getting too old to adapt to these sorts of things; I barely know how to use my iPhone [yes, I switched from an Android to an iPhone; it is the source an ongoing identity crisis).

What’s changed, and what’s new?

Not much and everything. We’ll get into that at a later date if I actually keep posting. I’m still following Jesus, still part of the church I’m helping plant in Texas, still getting my socks rocked off by Jesus’ kindness. But I’ve been changed.

I say “omg” and “lol” out loud a lot now, and I’ve got a middle part. And did I mention I’m an iPhone user now? Ahem. All topics for another time.

Okay, enough chit chat. I’m writing a blog post because I want to hype up a band I’ve been listening too recently (besides The Gray Havens).

Gable Price and Friends

Okay, one night back in 2020, I was swimming in the depths of Spotify and got down some sort of Alternative Christian music rabbit hole and came across a song called “Dead Man” by Gable Price and Friends. And then I found “Touch Your Robe” from the same EP. They went onto my 2020 playlist, and I worshipped to them so much through that fatal fateful year.

Now, literal years later, I’ve started to actually listen to more music from Gable Price and Friends, and now here we are. Gable Price is now on my list of people I want to meet in heaven. The lyrics are unique–blunt and up front and also layered in metaphors–the sound is kind of punk rock-y, good driving music, good crying music wait what.

So we’re just going to chat (er, actually no chatting, just a written TedTalk from yours truly) about some of lyrics/songs by Gable Price and Friends.

“You can’t kill your demons if you make ’em your homeDemons by Gable Price and Friends.

Talk about a one-liner.

Wow. It instantly makes me think of times when I’ve given myself to sin–of when fear has come on me with all sorts of anxious feelings and I’ve laid down and let it take over, of when self-pity whispers poison to my mind and heart and I just let it set up shop and sow division and fear, of when I not only listened to lies from comparison but viewed the world through a lens of comparison. This line always feels like a splash of cold water.

There’s another line–“You talk a lot, but the game isn’t won from the parking lot.” Bruh.

I think the whole song is about actually getting in the fight against the things that we suffer under–whether sin or depression or anxiety or whatever. It’s about actually fighting, about doing, about living out the truth instead of just saying the truth or just talking about all the things that are hard. At least that’s how I understand this song and why I love it.

How did we end up here?
How did we get so far?
‘Cause my key to your door doesn’t seem to be workin’ no more
How did we end up here?
How did we get so far?
I sat at your porch and I cried at your doorstep for hours

It feels colder than the winter
I wonder if I slipped from your mind
Would you let me in for dinner?
I’d kill for just a bit of your time

I find it easy to love you
But not so easy to trust you
You talk of houses on hills
But who’s paying those bills
And who’s frontin’ those fees?
– “Easy to Love You” by Gable Price and Friends

I love worship music so much, hymns and contemporary music alike, but there’s something about Christians writing songs that aren’t simply for church worship. There’s something about songs like this. When I first heard it, it was like things I’ve felt toward God in times of suffering or doubt put perfectly into words with metaphors that just made so much sense to me.

That feeling of lostness that comes when the things you used to do to be close God are now routine and he feels far away, feels like he won’t let you in (“Cause my key to your door doesn’t seem to be workin’ no more”). Then the creeping fear that you’ve been forgotten and abandoned and the desperation to get back to a place where you hear his voice clearly and he feels close by or the desperation that comes when it feels like he’s overlooking you (“I wonder if I slipped from your mind… I’d kill for just a bit of your time”). And then the skepticism that comes wondering if the Father has the means to come through for all the goodness he promises (“You talk of houses on hills, but who’s paying those bills…“).

After a time following Jesus, a sturdiness, a steadiness should form in maturing Christians, but there are still seasons that will come where the Father’s voice seems far away, seems like the zeal and golden love from the beginning has faded and someone changed the locks. Even though how it feels doesn’t mean that’s how it is, there’s something comforting to me of someone putting those feelings to words and expressing some of the difficulties of following Jesus (easy to love, harder to trust; how quickly the fear of being abandoned by the Father rises; etc.).

They say the truth will bring you to your knees
That it might make me a better me

But not before it rips your chest out
And not before it puts your back against the wall
There’s a painful coalition
A cardiac collision involved
The truth might set you free
But first it’s gonna set fire to your house
It takes what you’ve been trusting
And breaks it down to nothing at all
– “How It Sets You Free” by Gable Price and Friends

This is the one that got me.

I had their latest album on in the background while I did something (maybe my annual cleaning of my room?) and these lyrics just clicked in my head.

I don’t know what it’s been like for other people, but for me, facing the truth–having to repent of sin, having to admit I was wrong, having to admit that the rose-colored glasses I view myself through are not always accurate, being truly humbled before God, all that jazz–is super painful and hard. I can think of so many instances where I felt backed into a corner by the truth, and I could either swallow painful truth and be renewed and change my mind/my thinking or go on in willful disobedience. For me, these are always hinge moments–where something turns, when I must give up a false idea or mindset or view, watershed moments that become landmarks for a before and after.

Recently, this looked like repenting of bitterness towards some of my friends. I’d felt for a while that something was off in my heart toward them. I tended to have a short fuse with them, wanted to believe the worse, wanted to be hypercritical. It isn’t how I normally am with my friends, and I knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was exactly, couldn’t quite name it. Finally I prayed about it, something like this:

“Father, this is a little awkward since I’ve been in denial about the way I feel for quite sometime…”

*clears throat*

“Anyweys, I think maybe something is off in my heart towards so-and so.”

*cough cough*

“I don’t know what, can’t name names, but something–maybe, I dunno, the fact I get angry at them when I shouldn’t–makes me think it isn’t good and maybe you could tell me what and, uh, we could do something, ahem, about it. Together. You know, or something.”

After praying about it for a few weeks, it became pretty clear that all these feelings I had towards these friends were the fruit of bitterness, and then I was still in denial. It looked something like this:

*my regular day-to-day life*

Holy Spirit: “Why does it make you angry when people speak well of so-and-so?”

Me: “I doN’t KNoW.”

Holy Spirit: “Isn’t this how bitterness has looked for you in the past?”

Me: “UGH, mAYbE, I DOn’T KnOW.”

Holy Spirit: “Why don’t you want to see them?”

Me: “NO rEaSOn. C’MoN, gimme a BReAk.”

Holy Spirit: “It’s bitterness.”

Me: “That seems a little extreme, don’t you think. I am A Mature ChristianTM, and I don’t get bitter or struggle with sin in my heart.”

Holy Spirit: “You’re going to go for that lie again?”

Me: …. …. …

*repeat the whole thing six or seven times*

Eventually, I came to terms with me sinning against my friends in my bitterness toward them… sort of. I mean, I knew I was bitter, but I wasn’t that bitter, and it wasn’t that big of deal, like, why would the Holy Spirit keep bringing it up. Gosh, like, just leave my alone and chillax, it’s not that bad. Like I’m just a little bitter, but like no one knows and maybe we can just go another year and a half with minimal interaction with these friends, like I can just avoid them on Sunday mornings and it’ll be fine.

Kids, I kid you not, that is where I was at.

But living in the truth means facing the truth, and by some miracle (what could it be? God’s grace again????) I was able to stop minimizing my sin, take responsibility, and repent. But it was a struggle. The truth had to devastate my ridiculous I Do Not Sin Anymore self-image and put my back against the wall so I couldn’t wriggle away from reality any more.

That’s why I love “How It Sets You Free“. The truth, the reality of my own sin, is pretty hard to look at and speak completely truthfully about. It’s easy to want to cut myself some slack when what I need is to have my house of false ideas burned to the ground.

Obviously, there are other ways the truth sets us free, but that’s a topic for another time.

*insert creepiest mwhaha ever*

The perfect polished pastor cannot save you
Your Meyers or your Briggs won’t buy your sins
You can break the alabaster on a podcast
Deconstruct the light till none can be let in
Self discovery can only get you so far, baby
You’re heaven sent and only home will set you free
There’s a middle eastern Man, with holes inside his hands and he’s out to get you
– “Ten Percent” by Gable Price and Friends

I’m sorry, but what? I gasped out loud when I heard this bridge for the first time.

“Ten Percent” is about us only giving Jesus 10% of our hearts, and the cost of living only a little bit for Jesus. This bridge is fire. That part where it goes “deconstruct the light till none can be let in” was straight up shots fired. At a time when so many people who grew up in the church are hopping on podcasts and deconstructing their faith and then (a lot of times) rejecting it and/or rejecting ultimate truth, this seems wildly pertinent.

I look back on the day Jesus saved me and the others who were (supposedly) saved too but now have walked away from Jesus and his Church, and it sobers me. It also encourages me because this band is around my age, and some of the lyrics of the songs make me think (but I don’t know for sure) that Gable Price grew up in church and has some similar experience as me. I don’t know. For some reason, this song seems oddly relatable?

Also I love how that casual reference to Jesus at the end of the bridge alludes to him as the one who saves, the one who buys your sins, the one who brings light, the one who sets free, and how he’s bent on having his people.

Wowza, we’re already over 2000 words for this post, sorry, kids. I’ll call it quits before it gets too crazy long. Suffice it to say, I’d recommend giving Gable Price and Friends a listen.

To any faithful Penprints followers or new readers who tuned in for this entire ramshackle post, thanks. Had you heard of Gable Price and Friends? What lyrics are jumping out you from your current music favorites?

Further up and further in,


p.s. – just know it went against every bone in my body to not write a Valentine’s Day post about singleness. Yes, I recently listened to a podcast called “Is singleness superior to marriage?” and yes I also was sad and cried on February 13 because I don’t have no boo thing and then spent all of February 14 living my literal best life and being confused why I was sad about being single the day before. Nothing new there.

p.p.s. – for the uninitiated, “Boo Thing” is a term that refers to one’s significant other; I will use it to refer to significant others. And also, as it turns out, almost every single person other I encounter. It just comes out of my mouth before I can stop it, and I say it to a lot of people. And one of these days I will tell the mailman or some man buying a present for his wife at my work, “Thanks, boo, have a nice day.” And then I will go die.

p.p.p.s. – also, if you’re going to listen to Gable Price and Friends, but sure to give “Underdressed” a listen.

p.p.p.p.s. – I have an Instagram again. I may delete it. We’ll see, lol.

My Current Worship Playlist [spring 2018 edition]

A while ago, I shared my worship playlist (aka: my go-to songs for worshiping with music), but that list has grown significantly.

So, today, I’m sharing another edition of my current worship playlist. (If you’re on Spotify, you can find the ever-growing playlist here.)

worship playlist 2018.jpg

Captain (yes, this is a repeat from last time, but it’s still high on the list)

Through waters uncharted,

My soul will embark,

I’ll follow Your voice straight into the dark.

Come Thou Fount (performed by Kings Kaleidoscope)

Jesus sought me when a stranger,

Wandering from the fold of God,

He, to rescue me from danger,

Interposed His precious blood.

The Secret Place

Where will you run, my soul?

Where will you go when wells run dry?

When the wind starts to blow,

How you gonna keep this flame alive?

Nailed to the Cross

When I stand before the throne at last,

His blood will plead my innocence,

I will worship Him with holy hands,

And raise the song that never ends,

Of Jesus Christ, my Righteousness.

Need You More

When I am lost, when I’m alone,

When my faith is almost gone,

You see my heart, You lead me home,

You give me courage to carry on.

Nothing Without You

Oh, God, peel back the layers of my heart,

I want communion,

I want fellowship,

I want to be You where You are…

Reckless Love

There’s no shadow You won’t light up,

No mountain You won’t climb up, coming after me,

There’s no wall You won’t kick down,

No lie You won’t tear down, coming after me.

Death Where Is Your Sting

From heaven’s highest place,

He took the fall,

And there was just one life,

Laid down for all.

Endless Alleluia

In the morning when I rise to meet You,

In the morning when I lift my eyes,

You’re the only One I want to cling to,

You’re the first thought on mind.

All Hail King Jesus

There on a cross they made for sinners,

For every curse His blood atoned,

One final breath and it was finished,

But not the end we could have known,

For the earth began to shake,

And the veil was torn,

One sacrifice was made,

As the heavens roared,

All hail King Jesus…

No Outsiders

I was tired, I was poor,

I was thrown upon Your shores,

I was hopeless and afraid,

Till I heard You call my name,

Now I’m ransomed, I’m restored,

Resurrected, I am Yours,

I am loved, yes, I belong,

Oh my soul has found its home.


I relent,

There is nothing for me here,

You can have it all,

This life is not my own,

You give life that is worth the loss of mine,

I surrender all I have to follow You.

Psalm 51 (Wisdom in the Secret Heart)

Wash me thoroughly,

And cleanse me from iniquity,

And teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Psalm 46 (Lord of Hosts)

O come behold the works of God,

The nations at His feet,

He breaks the bow and bends the spear,

And tells the wars to cease,

O mighty One of Israel,

You are on our side,

We walk by faith in God who burns the chariots with fire.

Psalm 45 (Fairest of All)

He ransomed His bride,

On the day that He died,

Ascended to heaven in glory,

She stands clothed in white,

With her head lifted high,

Singing: “Come and return in Your glory.”

Psalm 139 (Far Too Wonderful)

Amazing love, how can it be?

Far too wonderful for me,

There’s only one thing left to say:

You are worthy.

Psalm 16 (Fullness of Joy)

Preserve me, oh God,

For I find rest in You alone,

I say to the Lord:

“You are my Lord,

I have no good apart from You.”

All the Poor and Powerless

And all will sing out,


And we will cry out,


Life Is Beautiful 

Painter of skies,

Maker of stars,

Holder of seas and all our hearts,

Artist of life,

Father of lights,

When I’m with You, my soul ignites.

The Love of God (performed by Sara Groves)

Could we with ink the ocean fill,

And were the skies of parchment made,

Were every tree on earth a quill,

And every man a scribe by trade,

To write the love of God above,

Would drain the ocean dry,

Nor could the scroll contain the whole,

Though stretched from sky to sky.

Abide with Me (performed by Sara Groves)

Thou on my head,

In early youth didst smile,

And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,

Thou has not left me,

Though I oft left Thee,

On to the close, Lord,

Abide with me.

Simple Gospel

So I’m laying down,

All my religion,

I’m laying down,

I want to know You, Lord.

His Heart Beats

His heart beats,

His blood begins to flow,

Waking up what was dead a moment ago,

His heart beats,

Now everything has changed,

‘Cause the blood that brought us peace with God,

Is racing through His veins,

And His heart beats.

Is He Worthy?

Does the Father truly love us?

He does.

Does the Spirit move among us?

He does.

And does Jesus, our Messiah, hold forever those He loves?

He does.

Does our God intend to dwell again with us?

He does.

It Was Finished 

It was finished,

On that day,

Death was beaten,

All darkness was slain,

All His passion poured out,

Like the rain upon the earth.

And that’s all I’ve got for today, friends!

Which of these songs do you enjoy? What would you add to the list?

With love,


P.S. – I’ve said before, but I’m going to say it again just in case people have forgotten: there’s still time to sign up for the 2018 #flashficdash and enter the newsletter giveaway.

P.P.S. – a special thanks to Luke for modeling some earbuds for the feature image for this post.

My Worship Playlist

Happy Monday!

A little while ago, I talked a little about why I make music part of my personal devotions time, and some of you asked for some recommendations for songs to use for intentional, personal worship. Well, today I’m finally sharing the list of songs that currently comprises my personal worship playlist.

I’m including some of the lyrics to each song, and if you click on the song, it will take you to the best YouTube version (theoretically, a lyric video) I could find!


What a Beautiful Name.

“What a beautiful name it is,

Nothing compares to this,

What a beautiful name it is,

The name of Jesus.”

For the Cross.

“Then on that day, what seemed as the darkest hour,

A violent hope broke through and shook the ground,

And as You rose, oh the Light of all the world was magnified,

As You rose in victory.”

O Praise the Name.

“Then on third, at break of dawn,

The Son of heaven rose again,

O trampled death, where is your sting?

The angels roar for Christ the King.”

God, You Are My God.

“No praise can define You,

No thought can contain You, God,

No other one is holy,

No other one is robed in righteousness.”

Be Enthroned.

“And unto You, the slain and risen King,

We lift our voice with heaven singing,

Worthy are You Lord.”


“By Your Spirit I will rise from the ashes of defeat,

The resurrected King is resurrecting me,

In Your name I come alive to declare Your victory,

The resurrected King is resurrecting me.”


“Jesus, my Captain,

My soul’s trusted Lord,

All my allegiance is rightfully Yours.”

Boldly I Approach.

“Behold the bright and risen Son,

More beauty than this world has known,

I’m face to face with Love Himself,

His perfect spotless righteousness,

A thousand years, a thousand tongues, are not enough to sing His praise.”


“I come in simplicity, longing for purity,

To worship You in spirit and truth,

Only You.”

In the Garden.

“And He walks with me,

And He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own,

And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”

My Worth Is Not In What I Own.

“I rejoice in my Redeemer, 

Greatest Treasure, Wellspring of my soul,

I will trust in Him, no other,

My soul is satisfied in Him alone.”

Fall Afresh.

“Spirit of the living God, come fall afresh on me,

Come wake me from my sleep.”

Be Thou My Vision.

“Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise;

Thou my inheritance now and always.”


“I will not boast in riches,

I have no pride in gold,

But I will boast in Jesus,

And in His name alone.”

All I Have Is Christ.

“Oh Father, use my ransomed life,

In any way You choose,

And let my song forever be,

My only boast is You.”

Come Thou Fount.

“Oh to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be,

Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.

O Come to the Altar.

“Oh what a Savior, isn’t He wonderful?

Sing alleluia, Christ is risen,

Bow down before Him, for He is Lord of all,

Sing alleluia, Christ is risen.”

Sweet Hour of Prayer.

“In seasons of distress and grief,

My soul has often found relief,

And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,

By thy return, sweet hour of prayer.”

Even If.

“You’ve been faithful, You’ve been good all my days,

Jesus, I will cling to You come what may,

‘Cause I know You’re able,

And I know You can.”

Do It Again.

“You made a way when there was no way,

And I believe I’ll see You do it again.”

It Is Well.

“Whatever my lot,

Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well,

It is well with my soul.”

Call Upon the Lord.

“Jesus’ name will break every stronghold,

Freedom is ours when we call His name.

Jesus’ name above every other,

All hail the power of Jesus’ name.”

You Love Me Anyway.

“See now, I was the man who yelled out from the crowd,

For Your blood to be spilt on this earth-shaken ground,

Yes, then I turned away with a smile on my face,

With this sin in my heart, tried to bury your grace,

And then alone in the night, I still called out for You,

So ashamed of my life, my life, my life,

But You love my anyway.”

Grace Unmeasured.

“Grace unending all my days,

You’ll give me strength to run this race,

And when my years on earth are through,

The praise will all belong to You.”

What Grace Is Mine.

“What grace is mine that He who dwells in endless light,

Called through the night to find my distant soul.

And from His scars poured mercy that would plead for me,

That I might live, and in His name be known.”

To Live Is Christ.

“My great desire is to be with You,

But this is the place You chose for me,

This is the place You chose for me,

To lift my cross and give everything,

This is the time You gave to me,

This is the time You gave to me,

For me to live is Christ.”

Have you heard of any of these songs? Do YOU have a personal worship playlist? Do you think you’ll start one? What do you think about including music in devotions?

With love,


P.S. – the winner of the paperback copy of The Girl Who Could See is Kat Vinson of Sparks of Ember! Keep an eye on your inbox for an email from me, Kat! :D

P.P.S. – also, if all goes according to plan, next week is the (legendary) tour of my bullet journal. You’ll want to hold onto your hats, kids. ;)

Why I Make Music a Part of My Devotions

In a previous post, I mentioned that I sing songs during my personal devotions, and this week is about why I’ve made music a part of my quiet time.


Music is a gift given to help us communicate deep thoughts and truths that we otherwise struggle to grasp or say, and music written for worship is a way to give God praise, to use our breath and our being to exalt the Most High. Songs are prayers set to melodies, outpourings of the human soul before the throne of the living God.

Music is beautiful.

I believe that music has power, and I believe that the Holy Spirit uses music to move and thaw hearts. He uses it to help me come close when my mind is scattered or my soul is raw with griefs or desires I can’t find words to express. He uses it to draw me into deeper love and wonder and humility and new understanding of the magnitude of what He’s done for me, how far I once was, how close I now am, and how much closer I can get to Him.

And when it comes to meeting with God alone, how can I not sing? How can I not give Him a joyful noise? When I’m able to go boldly before Him, how can I not use that boldness to give Him a freewill offering of praise?

I don’t think that quiet time with God is only about learning of the God Who knows no equal; quiet time with God is about coming to Him with intentionality and humility and prayer and praise with the purpose of glorifying Him.

Yes, devotions are about knowing Him as intimately as I can and taking what I know and living like I actually know it, but that isn’t all there is to it. The whole reason anything in all creation even exists is to glorify God, to give Him praise. Period. That’s it. And yes, my entire life is to be an act of worship, but when given the opportunity to lift my voice and glorify my matchless God one-on-One, when it’s just Him and me, why wouldn’t I take it?

I try to keep my music well-balanced with my prayer and study time, and I have found that beginning with some prayer and then a couple songs sets a tone of adoration for the entire time so that my heart is as engaged as my head.

How I use music depends on the day. Sometimes I grab my iPod and listen/listen and sing a few songs. Sometimes I simply pray the lyrics of a song. Sometimes I sing acapella. Sometimes I grab one of my ukuleles and play softly (though, sometimes I have trouble focusing on the words themselves and get too fixated on playing the song well, and so then I have to set my uke aside and sing without it).

I’ve made music a part of my devotions because I love to sing of my God, I love to sing to my God.

I’ve made music a part of my devotions because a few songs on Sunday just doesn’t cut it for me anymore.

I’ve made music a part of my devotions because I want to have a soulfire for God, and music about Him reminds me Who I’m burning for.

I’ve made music a part of my devotions because it helps me focus; it helps me turn my eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face.

I’ve made music a part of my devotions because I want to be consistent in my worship.

I’ve made music a part of my devotions because why not?

Let’s chat it up, peeps.

What do you think is the place of music in personal devotions? Do you think music has power? What songs draw you closer to God?

P.S. – Don’t I deserve some sort of award for keeping this post so short and sweet??? It’s not even 700 words! *collective gasp*

Bind Them on Your Fingers: 12 Tips for Scripture Memorization

Last week I posted on reasons to memorize Scripture, and this week I wanted to post some tips for memorization that I have found helpful from my own experience. Before I start that, though, I want to share the verses that inspired these posts and their title “Bind Them on Your Fingers”.

The first set is Deuteronomy 6:6-9: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

The second can be found in Proverbs 7:1-3: “My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teachings as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”

That imagery blows me away, and I can’t really explain why. I do know this: reading these verses as well was Psalm 119 has inspired me to take Scripture memorization seriously for the first time in my life.

This has become very important to me over the last few months, and as I’ve started memorizing Bible verses again, it’s been amazing how much more Scripture the Holy Spirit has helped me memorize than I ever thought possible. Right now, I’m working on a passage that I wouldn’t have dreamed of even trying to memorize six months ago, and so I wanted to share some tips for you as you do your own memorization work. I’ve divided them up into heart tips and practical tips, and so we’ll start with the heart tips.


Heart Tip #1: Realize that “success” in Scripture memorization isn’t going to come of your own mental strength.

First things first, if you’re going at this as just come sort of mental exercise, you’re going at it wrong. For it to be anything more than just pure information memorization (i.e. – if you want to experience any of the benefits listed in my reasons to memorize post) it has to be a work of the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t matter if you’re young and can consume massive amounts of information. It doesn’t matter if you’re old and have to work harder to internalize Scripture. Either way, you need the work of the Spirit to help you truly remember not only what the verses are but also what they mean.

Heart Tip #2: Evaluate your motives.

Ask yourself if you’re doing it for the right reasons. The right reasons look like wanting a better, deeper relationship with Christ and/or wanting to know the breadth and depth of His Word. The wrong reasons look like wanting make yourself feel more spiritual than others and/or wanting others to think you’re so spiritual for committing to memorize Scripture (I struggle with these two personally).

If you go at this with the wrong motives (e.g. – they frightening motives I cherished as a child), then that will affect not only your relationship with Christ but also actually remembering what you’re trying to memorize. An example of this is me as kid; between AWANA and Sunday school, I recited a lot of verses. But now, because I was only jumping through hoops to look good and get prizes, I only remember a fraction of the verses that I “memorized”. So take some time to examine yourself and see what you want to “get out of” time dedicated to Scripture memorization.

Heart Tip #3: Ask the Holy Spirit to grow your love for Scripture and help you understand it (specifically, the verse or passage you are trying to memorize).

The more you love God and His Word, the easier it becomes to memorize verses and passages, and so ask for the Holy Spirit to give you a greater love. Trust me, He’ll do it, and it will greatly impact the way you look at the Bible, memorization, and meditation.

Heart Tip #4: Be ready to meditate on Scripture.

You can’t just memorize Scripture and expect to understand it all of the sudden; you have to meditate as well. Basically all of the benefits of Scripture memorization are products of what the Holy Spirit does when you meditate on Scripture, when you chew on it and turn it over and over in your head, trying to grasp what it truly means. A friend of mine once said: “Meditating on Scripture makes memorizing easier; memorizing Scripture makes meditation deeper.” So ask the Holy Spirit to help you to fruitfully meditate on Scripture, and be ready to invest thought into it.

So those are my four heart tips. Now onto the practical tips.

Practical Tip #1: Start small and work your way up.

Don’t just start in on a book of the Bible if you’re just starting on memorization. While you should definitely work towards memorizing entire books, when you’re just beginning, it is easy to get discouraged if you don’t feel like you’re making progress. Personally, I recommend starting with one to three verse chunks before going after a 42 verse chapter or an epistle.

Practical Tip #2: Pick a verse/passage that you are currently studying.

This really helps with the both meditation and memorization. I studied 2 Peter 1:1-10, and so I memorized verses 5-10. Not only was it easier to memorize, but it also helped me think about the passage throughout the day. When I went through the different qualities that are listed in those verses when I was trying to memorize them, I could meditate on the verses outside my devotions time. This enriched my quiet time because I was thinking about the passage a lot more. So focusing on a verse or verses that you are studying helps both your study time and the memorization.

Practical Tip #3: Get a partner or two.

Tell a couple friends that you’re trying to memorize Scripture and what you’re memorizing. It works best if they’re memorizing something too. For me, it’s my dad. I tell him what I’m memorizing, and he tells me what he’s working on. We check up on each other periodically (usually every week or so), and do something a friend of ours calls “soul wash” where we recite what we’ve memorized to each other and talk about what we’ve been meditating on. This helps keep us motivated and focused on “the good stuff”—what we learn through meditation.

Practical Tip #4: Read the verse/passage you are memorizing out loud at least once a day.

I know this sounds inconvenient, but it is something that’s really helped me. With the passage I’m currently memorizing, I was reading it every day for a while, and I was packing verses away like crazy. But then I stopped reading it every day, and since then, it’s been significantly harder to memorize the rest of the passage. So I highly recommend reading your verse(s) every day.

Practical Tip #5: Write your verse (or verses) out on an index card and carry it in your pocket or wallet.

This is my favorite thing to do when it comes to memorizing things. This just keeps your verse(s) handy throughout the day. I like writing it out by hand because that’s just something that helps me; my dad goes on and prints his out and keeps it in his work truck. So, basically, get your verse(s) printed or written and keep that handy throughout the day.

Practical Tip #6: Swap out music for memorization (aka: multitask).

I love to listen to quite a bit of music—while I’m milking, when I’m driving somewhere, when I’m doing dishes, when I’m in the shower, and a basically any time I can squeeze it in. Recently, I’ve been trading music for working on memorization. So instead of jamming to some Needtobreathe for half an hour while I milk, I work on verses. (For peeps who don’t find this tip helpful because they don’t listen to much music: my dad doesn’t listen to a lot of music, and so he works on his verses on the 30 minute drive to and from work.) Basically, the idea behind this tip is to be multitasking—memorize while doing something else. For some reason, this has helped me more than setting aside a half hour a day just for memorization.

Practical Tip #7: Don’t add verses too quickly.

Personally, I recommend working on a verse or small set of verses for at least a week before you add more. I tend to memorize in chunks of three verses at a time, and so I focus on those three in my meditation for about a week (sometimes longer) before I memorize another chunk. If you add too many verses too quickly, you’re probably not spending a lot of time meditating. Even if you can memorize like crazy, it’s best to have a week or so to review and meditate.

Practical Tip #8: Write down the references to the verses/passages you have memorized and go through that list periodically for review.

I write my references in a small notebook and try to go back once a week through all the verses. As you add more verses and passages, this can get kind of time-consuming and begin to feel daunting, and so I recommend reviewing a few verses every day of the week (e.g. – on Mondays review your verses in Psalms, on Wednesday review your verses from the Gospels, etc.).

And there you have it. 12 tips on Scripture memorization.

They make a lot of sense in my head, and so I hope they make sense to you guys as well.

Did you find these tips helpful? Which one was the most helpful and which was the least?

What are you memorizing right now? What are your memorization goals? What are your tips for memorization?

P.S. – I used different forms of “memorize” 49 different times in this post. That’s crazy.