Remember the lady, Janet Pope, I was telling you about last month that memorizes whole passages and books of the Bible? Well, here she is! She is going to tell us more about her, her life, why she decided to memorize scripture, and some fun facts about her! And we will also learn how she is living “By Faith”, like Hebrews 11 talks about.
JOY Blog-When did you become a Christian? How were you led to Christ?
Janet Pope-I did not grow up in church so I had no Bible background or religious training. When I was 21 years old, my mother was going through a very difficult time in her life. My sister and I decided that our mother needed God. Pretty profound for two girls who had no idea who God was! We began to take our mother to different churches in the hope of finding God, for her. After a few months I took her to a Bible believing church, we heard the gospel, and within a few months both my mother and I received Christ, and have been growing ever since.
JOY Blog-When did you decide to memorize passages? Why did you decide to memorize passages instead of just memorizing some verses?
Janet Pope-I was 35 years old and attending a Christian conference. A woman came to the podium and recited the entire book of Colossians. It was so powerful hearing the whole book together at one time. I thought to myself “I wish I knew God’s Word like she did”. I realized at that moment that I was pretty shallow in my Bible knowledge, and I had a deep desire to make a change.
JOY Blog-How do you do it?
Janet Pope-I write out what I want to memorize on a 3 x 5 spiral binder. Then I take one verse at a time and begin to memorize it, adding one more verse each day. I carry my spiral with me wherever I go. It sits easily on a counter and I can memorize while I do other things. Over the years I have learned to capture dead time for scripture memory. I memorize while I’m doing household chores, exercising, walking, driving, and getting ready in the morning. When I finish a chapter I take a week or so to review before going on to the next chapter. When I finish memorizing a book, I assign it to one of the days of the week so that I will make that my day to review that book every week, which helps it stay in my memory, while I go on to a new passage.
JOY Blog-What do you do when you feel overwhelmed about life? What do you do when you feel overwhelmed about memorizing Scripture?
Janet Pope-When I feel overwhelmed about life, which does happen on occasion, I run to God’s Word and it is always there for me. Life is unpredictable and always challenging. God’s Word is a stabilizing force because it is truth and it is from God.
When I am overwhelmed about memorizing Scripture, I take a break, while still reviewing, and then pick back up in a few days. Memorizing Scripture is not to be a burden but a joy. Sometimes the task ahead can seem overwhelming, like if you want to memorize Ephesians and you are only on chapter 2. My advice is to go at a pace that works for you.
JOY Blog-How has memorizing Scripture helped you to live “by faith” as Hebrews 11 talks about?
Janet Pope-Honestly, memorizing Scripture has been the biggest boost to my spiritual growth and maturity. Meditating on God’s Word day and night truly is like Psalm one says. It is like a tree planted by streams of water, continually nourished, never parched and dry. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing the Word of Christ. God’s Word continually in my mind and heart has been an oasis for my soul. When you look at Hebrews 11, you see people who persevered through all sorts of adversity. And every life is sprinkled with adversity, some have more than others. I have trials in my life and it is God’s Word that helps me to persevere, even when I can’t see the road ahead, or why my life has taken a detour.
JOY Blog-What is your favorite color?
Janet Pope-It used to be pink, but now it’s yellow.
JOY Blog-What is your favorite book?
Janet Pope-The Bible of course. Besides the Bible, “Let the Nations Be Glad” by John Piper.
JOY Blog-One material thing you wouldn’t leave home without?
Janet Pope-I go on a lot of speaking trips, and I always double check to make sure I didn’t forget my NOTES. I can’t always trust my memory!
JOY Blog-One food you don’t think you could live without?
Janet Pope-Definitely… dessert. I love sweets, wish I didn’t, but I’m not ready to give them up.