By Bill C. Dotson
With a testimony from my friend, Stan Barth
Losing a second language
Last week my devotional was on II Chronicles 7.14. Interestingly, my friend, Stan, responded with what you will read below. With his permission I am including it in our message today. His thoughts should a challenge to each of us. “So shall my word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isa. 55.11).
“Thanks Bill. My first language was German. When we moved back to the US my mom said she thought we would have trouble in school being bilingual. Over a period of time, I lost the gift of a second language. Last week, I had a thought that I am losing a different second language. Years ago, in Mission Marketplace, we made a commitment to memorize one verse each week. Clearly, I would forget the verse word for word over a period of time, but it seemed to be subject to sufficient recall when needed (Psalm 119:11). I wrote all the verses on 3×5 cards and accumulated them in a binder clip and kept them in my car conspicuously present at all times. This was for my benefit, but gotta tell you there were a number of surprises as guests in my car would see them and even the comments I received from the car wash guy. Last week, it occurred to me that I haven’t intentionally memorized a verse in perhaps years. Why should I? All I need to do is ask Siri. She (or is it he or they or it?) seems to have all the answers right there in my pocket. Our devices are becoming not only our gods, but a human crafted replacement for the Holy Spirit. The Bible does not say “I have hidden your word in my pocket, so that I might not sin against you,” but “I have hidden your word in my HEART.” I made a commitment to my Lord and a group of guys with whom I meet weekly to get back in the memorization game. My first verse is….guess what….I am hearing a drum roll….2 Chronicles 7:14. I wrote it out yesterday. It is in that special spot in my car. I woke up this morning capturing it in my mind and letting it get to the needed spot in my heart. Thanks, buddy.”
After my spiritual awakening experience at 32, I was led to begin memorizing scripture. The gospel, numerous New Testament verses and a lot of Psalms. To keep them in my mind and hopefully in my heart, I need to continue to recite them. Or else they go away. What a joy to have God’s word captured in your memory, and heart.
And as dads and granddads, you need to memorize Deuteronomy 6.7-9. It is your primary marching order. Your children, at an early age, need to begin learning God’s word. A lady once shared that she made it fun for her children by singing them rather than just reciting them. She said her children are now doing the same for her grandchildren. What a great idea and legacy. So, why not join me and Stan in singing this short verse.
“These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 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
Thank you, Stan.