As you know I am attempting to digest the letter of Philippians. Here are 4 of the many, varied practices that I am using along the way.
This is not an original idea of mine. None of these are. But I feel responsible to share this article by Andy Naselli with you because it is a great article and the ordinal source for this first point.
This is what I did, step by step.
- Copy and paste the entire letter.
- Delete every chapter verse number, footnote markers, etc.
- Change the spacing to 2.0Print as one full letter.
What this is doing in every step.
- I am more inclined to only tread this as one full letter each setting.
- I am able to stay longer on each portion.
- I am able to see connections I’ve never seen before. (I’ll blog about more this in future.)
- I am able to see recurring propositions and themes that are stretched out.
- In general, I read more focused.
This is why I left spacing. I’m a weirdo on many levels, but especially when it comes to writing in books. So it has been helpful to be able to see my notes within the text rather than 2 sources.
I’m also a visual learner. So even when I meditate on scripture from my physical Bible, I tend to have Evernote open. If not, rest assured I have some scrap paper on which to write, draw, and ask question after question? I also have a few folks on stand by, ready to text.
- My writing in between the lines helps me visually retain new revelation.
- My scribbling leads to connecting themes I may usually miss due to the rapid movement of the text or my attention span.
- I’m able to write out where the Holy Spirit is convicting me and make pointed observations to discuss with helps brothers.
If you read the Naselli post, you know by now that this process helps with memorization. I honestly, feel like all the reasons he points out for this help so I’ll list my 2 favorite.
Memorizing in a grammatically structured way versus a systematic way helps to internalize what the passage is really saying instead of words. Memorizing off of this paper helps look at the full context continually.
Here are some personal helps I’ve found:
- Because I am visual, I usually write and rewrite portions at least 5 times. Something about the action of writing seems to trigger memory.
- Because I am visual and musical, I see Philippians in movements and have been highlighting motifs.
I pen in repeat symbols, 1st and 2nd endings, and so on. This all serves to importing the letter in my heart, ears, and head. I am seeing it as sheet music. (Perhaps, I’ll eventually be post pictures.)
I do all of this in excitement and enthusiasm but I anticipate the time in the week when I’ll be able to share it with someone else.
How will I obey with others?
I’ve written things down and will report with at least one fellow Christian. This makes is both accountable to carry out these truths. At the end of our time together, we pray. It all hinges on prayer. We must at some point in this meeting, look each other in the eye and say,
“Who else will you share this with?
How will the game of Christ be spread because we now have this knowledge?
How will you become a better Disciple maker because of this?”
Again it all gives on prayer, so we are asking for the empowerment of the indwelling Holy Spirit to do this with through us. Or as Paul says in the beginning of Philippians:
“I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”