Dean of Admissions, Grace College, Winona Lake, IN
“Memorize the entire book of Hebrews? I could never do that,” were my thoughts in 1972 when the idea of quizzing for an IFCA church in Atchison, Kansas was first proposed to me during my senior year of high school. Even though I had grown up in that church which highly valued Bible memory, my memorization experience to that point had been 1 or 2 verses at a time (with the exception of Psalm 23 and The Lord’s Prayer which we often quoted in unison). However, I accepted the challenge, and my attitude toward tackling large passages of scripture changed.
The IFCA Youth Conference was at Grace College in Winona Lake that year, and after attending, I made the firm decision to attend Grace College in the fall. There I was required to tackle the memorization and understanding entire books of the Bible. The challenge seemed much less daunting because of my quizzing experience. Now, many years and many milestones in life later, I am the Dean of Admissions at Grace College.
For me, having entire passages of scripture that I can recall effortlessly during those very critical moments in life has been well worth all the diligence it took to memorize them in the first place. When my husband and I lost one of our children soon after birth, it was the passages of scripture that flooded my thoughts that the Holy Spirit used to comfort me. When my father passed away, it was this same comfort that daily got me through the sorrow. I cannot name the number of times “mortality is swallowed up by life” helped me realize the victory over death I had just witnessed.
Whatever joys and challenges life has brought, the words of scripture have formed much of my thinking and response to them simply because my mind, especially during those formative years, was focused on them through Bible memory and quizzing programs. So, when the IFCA quizzers were on our Grace College campus just a couple of weeks ago, and I learned that they are again memorizing the book of Hebrews, it challenged me to refresh my memory of the book. I am amazed at how quickly it is coming back to and the new depth of understanding and appreciation I now have for such a complex book of the Bible.
All I can say to current quizzers is do not give up on this. You are not just preparing for a competition when you memorize those verses; you are preparing for life!
Bible Quizzer - 1972 (Senior Year)