August 2024 Flourish Newsletter

This month we are focusing on being deeply rooted in the spiritual disciplines of meditation on and the memorization of God’s Word. In her book, Spiritual Disciplines: Practices That Transform Us, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun defines these two disciplines this way:

Meditation is a long, ardent gaze at God, his work and his Word. Slowing down and giving one’s undivided attention to God lies at the core of Christian meditation.

Memorization is the process of continually remembering the words, truths and images God uses to shape us. Memorization provides us with a store of learning, which can be accessed anywhere and anytime.”

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. Psalm 119:15-16

Inside you will find a devotional, conversation starters, a prayer idea, a Bible reading plan and other helpful tips and ideas around the idea of mediation and memorization of God’s Word.

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August 2024 Bible Study: Meditation and Memorization of Scripture

By Captain Jan Pemberton
Divisional Women’s Ministries SecretaryCascade Division

This Bible Study contains questions about the study of Meditation and Memorization of Scripture. Take your time as you read each question and read the passage of scripture for that corresponding question in the Bible. Read and study each answer in the Bible and then write an answer in your own words.


Memorizing Scripture and Christian meditation is similar and components of one another. Before your time in meditative prayer, you can study a passage of scripture many times and, through the process, keep a list of questions you want to take to the Lord during your time together, such as finding the greater meaning of the text you just read and open your heart to the Holy Spirit to speak and minister to you.

  1. Read Psalms 1:1-6.
    a. How can we delight in God’s instructions?
    b. How can meditating on scripture help us pursue righteous living?
  2. Read Psalms 119:15-16
    a. What is the benefit of reading and meditating on God’s word?
    b. How can these verses grow us closer to God?
  3. Read Psalms 119:97-99.
    a. How often are we to meditate on scripture?
    b. When we read this scripture, what happens to us?
  4. Read Psalm 143:5.
    a. Why should we ponder the work of the Lord?
  5. Read Joshua 1:8.
    a. When should we meditate on God’s word?
    b. What happens to us if we meditate on God’s word?
  6. Read Philippians 4:2-9.
    a. What urging or encouragements, do you notice in these verses?
    b. What are we to think about according to these verses?
    c. Why is it good to keep God’s word in your heart?
  7. Read 1 Timothy 4:13-15.
    a. Where should we read scripture, and until when?
    b. What should we do with this gift God has given us?
    c. Why should we meditate on God’s Word?
  8. Read Romans 12:2
    a. What happens to our minds when we read and study God’s word?
    b. In learning His will, should we test God?
  9. There is an Acronym called PROBE. How can we use these in our lives in memorizing God’s word to share with others?
    a. Pray
    b. Repent
    c. Obey
    d. Believe
    e. Express
  10. Read the verses below. How can these verses give you strength and purpose and connect you with the Lord?
    a. John 3:16
    b. Jeremiah 29:11
    c. Matthew 6:33
    d. Matthew 28:18-20
    e. Joshua 1:7-9
    f. Philippians 4:13
    g. 2 Corinthians 5:16-20
    h. Psalm 23:1
    i. Proverbs 3:5-8
    j. Romans 8:26-28

When we are introspective about our time in the Word of God and with our time in prayer and allow the Holy Spirit to guide our time with the Lord, we can feel rejuvenated in our minds, bodies, and our souls. When we take the time to reflect upon the verses God has put before us in our devotions, mentioned in a Bible study or in a sermon, we need to do our own study in order to learn more about what God meant in those verses. If we have questions, we need to go to our Officers and ask questions because that is the only way we learn. We must do our research. Look in commentaries and the works of John Wesley and other theologians in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. We need to be people who hunger and thirst for God’s word, and through diligent study and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will see what the Lord has in store for us.

Memory Verse
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take  or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,  which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:1-3

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August 2024 Devotional: Meditating on God’s Word

By Captain Jan Pemberton
Divisional Women’s Ministries Secretary Cascade Division

When we look at the word meditation, we think of someone on a yoga mat with their legs crossed in the lotus position chanting or something similar to that type of scenario. That is not the case when we look at meditating on the word of God. When we look at ways to take the time to meditate on the word of the Lord, we can set ourselves up for success in reading scripture. This time is also be seen as a time of contemplation. Some of us look to steal away to a quiet retreat, such as our offices with the door closed, some of us thrive and flourish in our alone time in a bustling coffee shop, and some of us like to listen to instrumental Christian or Classical music in our headphones to drown out the world around us. No matter how you recharge your spiritual batteries and meditate on the word of God, that moment in time is sacred and special.

When we are in Christian meditation, we can take our time reading the scripture God laid on our hearts at that moment or one our daily devotions have suggested. We can take the time to pray and meditate upon God’s word in a way that gives us time alone with the Holy Spirit to guide us into a deeper relationship with Christ. When we are in the midst of our meditative time with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, we are taking the time to think deeply, to prepare our hearts and our minds for the time we are about to have with the blessed Trinity and to prepare ourselves for how they will speak into our lives through our prayer time.

God’s Holy Spirit is there to help us when we are looking for guidance to learn more about Christ and His word and how He lived His life here on earth. There are many Scriptures that invoke meditative rest while in the presence of the Lord. A few are

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm19:14

“Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with righteousness.” Psalms 48:9-10

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

When we take the time to ponder the word and take the time to listen to what the Holy Spirit wants us to learn from scripture, we cannot rush this precious time. Take time to practice deep, slow breaths, and this will cause your body and mind to become calm and focused on what God wants to learn from your studies. This is a time of quiet, receptive prayer without words, and during this time, we can experience and enjoy the presence of God.

When we take the time to meditate on the Lord and His word, we not only can experience true peace, but through the Holy Spirit, we can experience perfect peace! When we have times of anxiety, frustration, and depression, there is nothing that can match the perfect peace we can receive from God’s word.

As we prepare to take the time to meditate on God’s word and rest in His presence and perfect peace while waiting for an answer in his time, this is a time when we can ask ourselves some questions to seek God’s answer.

When we look at meditating on God’s word, we must also look at the verses that speak into our lives and keep those scriptures close to us and have them written on our hearts. This is where memorization comes into our time with God. When we pray to the Lord, the Holy Spirit is there to bring those verses that have impacted our lives in times of great stress, worry, doubt, and great joy. This is why reading our Bible is essential and goes hand in hand with a productive prayer life. This act of memorization of scripture is not to stress us out more it is a time to reflect on passages that spoke into our lives.

Father God, I pray that I take the time for the rest, renewal, and refreshment that I need for my soul. Lord, when I can take time to myself to seek comfort in your word, let me do so with an intentional heart. Allow me the time of refreshment and time with you to comfort me while I am comforting others. As I pour into others, let me take the time to allow you to pour into me. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

We can ask ourselves the following questions as we prepare for our time with God.

  1. How can I prepare and focus my heart and mind to be fully committed to this time of contemplation with God?
  2. Is my space conducive to making this time with God intentional?
  3. How has God spoken to me through events in my life?
  4. What scriptures has God placed on my heart that I know by memory? How can I use them in my life and in my ministry to others?

Below are some tips for author Adele Ahlberg Calhoun’s book “Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us” (page 194) on memorization, and we can use these tips to kick start our time of meditating on God’s word and writing those words on our hearts.

DESIRE: To always carry the life-shaping words of God in me and in all places.

DEFINITION: Memorization is the process of continually remembering the words, truths, and images God uses to shape us. Memorization provides us with a store of learning, which can be accessed anywhere and anytime.


  • “Oh, how I love your law!  I meditate on it all day long.” Psalm 119:97
  • “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
  • Then they remembered his words.” (Luke 24:8) “I think it is right to refresh your memory. . . . And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.” 2 Peter 1:13, 15

PRACTICE INCLUDES: Memorizing Scripture, hymns, poems, quotes, etc., rereading portions of Scripture until they are committed to memory, memorizing Scripture verses that clearly reveal God’s plan of salvation, memorizing the books of the Bible, particular dates and times as well as where various verses are found learning by heart portions of Scripture that encourage you when you are tempted.

GOD-GIVEN FRUIT: Keeping company with Jesus by hiding his Word in your heart, recollecting God-given encouragement and exhortation, developing a habit of remembering that anchors your life in biblical truth, committing to memory Scripture, hymns, poems, and quotes that God is using in your life, knowing where well-loved portions of Scripture are located.

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August 2024 Craft: Prayer Hand Knit Blanket

By Captain Jan Pemberton
Divisional Women’s Ministries SecretaryCascade Division

This is a perfect craft for those like me who have trouble with traditional crocheting or knitting. This project is to have a warm blanket at the end of your craft and pray your way through each hand stitch. Each loop done for this craft will be covered in precious prayers given to the Father of Heaven for peace, comfort, and love. This blanket can be for yourself or given as a gift to someone special who needs God’s comforting love.

(Supplies are for a larger-sized blanket.)
6-7 skeins of chenille chunky yarn
Supplies for a smaller lap-style blanket.
3- skeins of chenille chunky yarn
Needle and thread (optional) – to reinforce areas where new skeins of yarn are joined.


Step One: Start a slip knot.

To begin, you need to tie a slip knot to start your first chain, then pinch through the center of your slip knot to grab your working yarn and make another loop. You will repeat this process until you have 30 loops. If you want more information on how to tie a slip knot, there are many resources you can find online, repeat this process until you have started your first chain.

Step Two: When you have your first chain finished, start your first row. Be sure to point your working yarn in the direction you are working in; this help with keeping your work contained and easily

Step three: Starting with your first loop, pull another loop facing upwards, then go into the top of every single chain and pull a loop through, keeping all your sizes consistent.

Step Four: This first chain and loops can be a bit bunchy; keep flattening it out with your hands to prevent more twisting and turning.

Step Five: Make sure you have the same number of chain loops; for example, since I have 25 chains, I will have 25 loops.

Now it is time to start our second chain! Make sure to point the working yarn in the direction you are working in; start in the first loop, then pinch your fingers through the loop and pull the working yarn through, making another loop.

Final Steps: This is pretty much your entire process! These blankets take me about 2 hours to complete, so ensure you are comfortable. As someone with a bad back, you will want to ensure this step is not missed because you do not hurt your back by leaning too much. Trust me!

You will do all the following rows in the same way. There is just one important step to remember. Always skip the first stitch in each row. It doesn’t matter if the stitch direction is going left-to-right or right-to-left. If you are on a brand-new row, skip the first stitch and begin working in the 2nd loop. By doing this, you will be creating a beautifully braided effect along the edges.

For each stitch, you just put your hand through a loop, grab the working yarn and pull it into the loop to create another loop. These loops can be quite loose or tight. It is up to you. I recommend trying to keep the loops on the side tighter rather than looser. Mine came out a little looser than I expected, but next time I will choose to keep the knitting tighter. Otherwise, the braided edges will look messy or too loose.
Keep working row by row until you have the desired length. It takes very little time to create this blanket.

Extra tips learned during this process:
There are a few ways to attach or join with new yarn. You will use at least three or four skeins of yarn and will need to attach new yarn to the piece as you go along. For me personally, I did a lot of research and tried to learn from some experts in this field. I found two recommended methods.

The way I attached a new piece was very simple. When I got close to the end of my skein, I pulled out a new one, took its end, and tied it to the end of my working piece. I then tightened it as much as possible and trimmed the ends. Since I used chenille yarn, this was nearly unnoticeable when I was finished.

An alternative method you can use is needle and thread (choose a color like your chenille yarn) and create several stitches through that very knot. When we are putting this much love into a blanket such as this, we would never want it to come apart, especially if this prayer blanket were a gift. If that happens to you and you made your own blanket without the thread reinforcement, you should just be able to use some extra yarn (if it wasn’t tightly knitted) and re-knot it where the knot came out. It should work just fine.

The alternative method is beginning a new row with your new yarn and weaving the ends of your old yarn into the back side of the piece. This might be easier in the long run but also time-consuming; it is your choice.

I hope you enjoyed this process as much as I did. I am terrible at traditional knitting and crocheting, but this is one that I can see myself doing for many others as a precious handmade gift. As each loop and strand were knitted together, I prayed that whoever received this blanket be blessed with the love of Jesus, the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and the grace and acceptance that only God can give.

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Meditation and Memorization of Scripture

By Colonel Genevera Vincent

I remember with great fondness my Sunday School days as a child. I can still visualize many of the lesson pictures from the Scripture Press material. I remember many of the responsive scripture readings and, of course, the flannel graph stories. I know I’m dating myself, but I have a feeling there are those reading this right now who share some of these fond memories from your Sunday School days!

Back then, studying God’s word and memorization of scripture was a big deal. One of the first…if not the first verse I memorized as a child (from the King James Version of course) was Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.”

I am grateful to say that I have been hiding God’s word in my heart ever since then, and his word, his promises never get old. It’s amazing how a reflection on God’s word can ground you during a difficult situation with verses coming to mind that set you on a right path. This has been proven many times in my life. When I’m afraid or anxious, often a verse will come to mind that reminds me of the goodness and faithfulness of God and the anxious feelings subside and the fear diminishes.

In this age of Google and Siri, when we can call something up in an instant, this idea of scripture memorization can be a dying art. People may question, “When I have so much information at my beck and call, why tire the brain with memorization?” I would propose that this is very flawed thinking. Hiding God’s word in our hearts means that we have committed to memory those verses and passages that buoy us up when life gets tough…and even when life is good! Remember, you can’t recall what you have not previously learned. It’s important to know God’s word and be able to recall and recite verses that bring encouragement to yourself and others, as well as stabilize us all during difficult times.

My maternal grandfather suffered a debilitating stroke when he was 68 years old. Sadly, it left him paralyzed and unable to walk or talk. He lived for 10 years following his stroke and most of that time he was bedridden. What amazed so many is that, while he was unable to speak, he was still able to sing! He had a beautiful, strong, singing voice and while lying in bed, unable to walk or talk, he blessed many while he sang hymns and gospel songs that he had committed to memory prior to his stroke. He was unable to learn anything new but the songs he had previously learned brought comfort and inspiration to him and to many others.

Meditating on God’s word and memorization of scripture is encouraged all throughout the Bible. In Deuteronomy 11:18-21, the people of Israel were instructed to have God’s word in their heart and mind. This truly speaks to meditating and memorizing. Jeremiah speaks of God’s words as becoming a part of him when he wrote in Jeremiah 15:16, “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight.” In the New Testament, this appreciation for God’s word continues. Colossians 3:16 is a verse I especially love. It states, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” Towards the end of the Bible in Hebrews 4:12, we are reminded, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

In this age, when so much is “up for grabs”, we need more than ever to know God’s word, to meditate on it, and to memorize those precious promises that will see us through the highs and lows of life.
My meditation on God’s word has become richer since I became an empty nester. Sure, I read the Bible when my kids were still at home, but sometimes that time was interrupted with the duties of being a mother and taxiing my children from one place to another. Since becoming an empty nester, my time in the God’s word is usually uninterrupted and I am often amazed at the nuggets I find in scripture that somehow jump off the page to me. I wonder, “how did I not see this before?!?!” God’s word is certainly living and active!

I often think of my grandfather and what a rich treasure he had during the most difficult time of his life. Because he had committed songs to memory about God’s goodness and faithfulness, they carried him through when he couldn’t put them into a spoken word. I have often thought what a tragedy it would have been if he didn’t have a song in his heart and in his mind for when he needed it most.
How important it is for us as we seek to flourish in the spiritual disciplines, to meditate on God’s word and to hide his Word deep in our hearts. James 1:25 is a great reminder of this value, “But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.”

Get into the word today, memorize it, and be blessed by the fruit it bears in your life!

July 2024 Flourish Newsletter

This month we are focusing on being deeply rooted in the spiritual discipline of hospitality. In her book, Spiritual Disciplines: Practices That Transform Us, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun writes, “Hospitality creates a safe, open space where a friend or stranger can enter and experience the welcoming of Christ in another.”

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:8-9

Inside you will find a devotional, conversation starters, a prayer idea, a Bible reading plan and other helpful tips all centered around the spiritual discipline of showing hospitality.

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