Monday, January 24, 2011

Dad preached, we went along for the ride...#6...

One of the very best things that happened during our summer trips while our dad was preaching in towns all around the country, was the time we spent memorizing verses from THE NAVIGATORS packs!

I still have one of the little plastic packs that we faithfully got in the mail.

Dawson Trotman was the founder of NAVIGATORS, he and his wife were close friends of my parents, I remember as a child, the day he died of drowning in New York, as he tried to save a young girl. I remember how sad and shocked my parents were.

As we traveled across the land, each morning my mom brought out the little pack, and we had our verse for the day. We sat in the back seat going over and over it, until we could recite it by heart for the rest of the family.

I seem to remember a less than excited 3 kids having to memorize yet another verse, and our parents NEVER forgot to spend this time, every single morning, as we traveled down the road...

Our parents had already learned the value of memorizing God's Word. They were living out the truth of it, and they wanted to be sure we had that same truth, verse by verse...

Little did I know it then, as we rolled our eyes about memorizing one more verse... but those scriptures, memorized in the King James Version, would NEVER leave my mind or heart. To this day, I can recite every one of them.

So if you are still in the parenting years, don't be discouraged or put off by the moaning of your children when you want them to memorize God's Word... they just don't yet understand what it will mean to them in the years ahead...

What a gift we were given, to be taught the words that would stay in our hearts for a lifetime, and 100's, probably 1000's of times, He sends one of those verses right into my mind, just when I need it!

"Obey me and live! Guard my words as your most precious possession.Write them down, and also keep them deep within your heart." (Prov. 7:2-3)


Marsha Young said...

No wonder your face has such a lovely glow. Anyone raised like you were has a head start on a life of joy.

My mother used to have us stop at the front door as we were leaving for school, and receite that week's verse. (KJV :) And yes, I still treasure them all, although I cannot quite recite them all off the top of my head. ....
the top of my head isn't quite what it used to be. :) have a wonderful day - Marsha Young

Felisol said...

You are so right, Sonja.
The early teaching are lessons learned forever.
I was also blessed growing up in a Pentecostal congregation.
Not everything were perfect, but boy, did they know how to teach the Bible. Memory words for each day in Sunday school, and a Bible to look up and underline in for the Sunday meetings. That's why these verses keep popping up in my head when I need them at most.I still use the Bible I got as a 14 year old.
It's kind of a memory book, with notes and dates in the margin.
New words and verses don't actually stick that well.

I guess we have both been extremely lucky.

Farm Girl said...

So true, when my husband and I were new believers, our young pastor was a Navigator. He started us out memorizing those little cards and like you, I still have them. I still take them out and go through them every so often. My husband carried them with him to work. Having at the time Christians in our home who had been in countries that outlawed the Bible, taught us how important it was to keep God's Word hidden in our hearts.
This is a very wonderful reminder, Thank you so much Sonja. said...

My older ones went through Awanas program and memorized so many well as at home...but I needed this reminder, I have to confess I have slipped with my younger ones...thanks so much. much that program has given to so many of us!

Kathleen said...

What a gift indeed! We had no such memorizastion in my home, even though my parent's loved the Lord. I didn't do it with my own children, either. Both were missed opportunities; those that remain among my cache of regrets.

I hope you never run out of these reflections. I just love 'em!!!


myletterstoemily said...

we did those, too! memorizing God's word is so important.
it is these scriptures that come to our aid in emergencies
and to encourage one another.

thank you for the texas sized birthday wishes!

Rita said...

Although I was raised in a Christian home, we did not memorize the scriptures. Only after I was grown did I realize that importance. Glad you were!

Just Be Real said...

What you show in the pictures I have seen. At one point I was very diligent in memorizing some key verses to the Bible. Need to get back to that. Thank you Sonja for sharing. Blessings.

Sandy said...

I have this exact little packet you have
pictured and have had it since I was
a young woman in my twenties. One of
my sons has it right now in his room
studying and memorizing each night.
Nothing compares to the love and power
found in the Word.

Rose said...

What a wonderful way to "hide HIS word in your heart." Those lessons we learn as children stick with us even when we aren't aware they will.

Debbie said...

What a blessing indeed to have been raised this way. My parents never did anything of the sort. All of my kids memorized weekly verses at school and I did it right along with them. And your right, how many times have one of those verses popped into my head right when I most needed it. God's word holds soo much more power than we realize I think sometimes.

Anonymous said...

You are so right Sonja - it all starts with the children. I direct the children's programs at my church and because of your great post today, I am going to begin a 'verse memorization' each week. Thanks for this...

Rebecca said...

Yep! I had many sets of those Nav verses myself! As teens, we also participated in Bible Quizzing--concentrated study and serious competition. A year's focus on one book or several small books of the Bible. The best way to "win" was to simply memorize the bulk of those books. Romans was "my year" to shine :) I also learned Philippians and James quite well. Later when coaching our own children, I composed several musical choruses to help the kids memorize the designated "finish this verse" verses.... "Oh, how I love THY law". I'm SO thankful for this discipline.

Thanks for the memories

Deborah Ann said...

What a beautiful legacy! To this day I still like to grab hold of a powerful word or two from my devotional to carry with me. In San Antonio, the word that stood out to me was 'permeate.' "I choose to dwell within you, PERMEATING you with My Presence." (From 'Jesus Calling' by Sarah Young). Every time I whispered 'permeate' I was instantly filled with the Holy Spirit.

Crown of Beauty said...

I do remember vividly carrying those Scripture memory cards inside my handbag during my early years as a CHristian. Yes, the Navigators were an important part of my growing up spiritually. Their materials for discipleship were very good. I had many Navogator friends during my university days!

I didn't know that Dawson Trotman had died of drowning. He surely has impacted many generations with his faithfulness and obedience.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story with us.

Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee... this is such a lovely truth to hold on to.


Miss Debbie said...

Sounds like you had very wise parents! One of the reasons I like songs including scripture is because you never forget the lyrics to songs!So those verses are in your heart and mind also!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Such conviction, Sonja. My kids learn Bible verses at school each week; wish I could say the same for myself. I don't know what my problem is... probably an obedience one. I'm trying to do better this year, but it's a real struggle for me. Would you pray that I do better in this area?

I love reading about your childhood memories. Thanks for sharing.


Debbie Petras said...

I have one of those Navigator packs too. Memorizing Scripture is so valuable. I cannot tell you how many times a verse would dome to my mind to encourage me or keep me from sinning. It's so much easier to memorize as a child. I can still recite Romans 12 and I learned it when I was seven years old. I didn't know about the founder of Navigators and how he died. A true hero in so many ways.

Love you,

lioneagle said...

Hi Sonja -

I much loved this.

It is so wonderful what your parents did and that you held onto the words of our Lord.

A few years ago, I was in a place that I didn't have my physical Bible but praise our Lord, that His Word was hid in my heart. I was able to quote, at length, from memory, scriptures from the King James Bible. It was a major help to have those words in my heart!

The King James Bible is the one that the Lord told me to use regularly. I am a great fan of that version.

This piece really encouraged me, Sonja.