Sep 24, 2012

Refreshing Weekend

This place, given the name "Hammock City", was where several college students slept this weekend
at the annual KNCSB Fall Conference in Salina.

Nate and I got to go (Nate always does, its his job; this year I went with him, while the kids stayed with friends.)
We didn't sleep in Hammock City.
We slept in the retreat center.

This is what I got to do...lead worship with my Hubby!
Don't get to do that often!
This was a blast.  Some very dear alums that Nate and I know well from their time in college gave their time this weekend to come lead with us.  They are some pretty special people.  And stinkin' funny too.  We laughed....a lot.

The main speaker: Gordon Fort, and his wife Leigh Anne.

I loved what this man had to share.  Humble, passionate, in it for the long haul with God.

My very favorite take away, however, was from a workshop speaker named Radu Gheorghita from Romania.  Talk about fascinating.
He has much of the New Testament memorized.
He walked us through his method for memorizing Scripture book-by-book.
Alongside of this, he explained how most people aren't aware of what their brains can do.
He shared, in detail, what each phase of memorization felt like; i.e. hardships, surprises, insights into the mind of God.
I'm telling you, fascinating.

I have been reading a book by Nicholas Carr called "The Shallows" about the effects of high internet use on our brains and our culture.  Also fascinating, by the way.  
I was struck by how Radu's method seems to be the antithesis of the quick, skimming, a-lot-of information-in-a-short-time type of information intake that the internet reinforces.

In contrast, Radu's approach is long (4-6 months to memorize one book),
deep (understanding the text is important),
and less information (the same 4-6 chapters covered over and over again).

Honestly, it seems to me (just from my observations, I'm no brain expert) that the methods of thinking and processing information that Radu was describing are almost obsolete in our culture.  Not many would say they have the time or the ability to do this.
Radu claims to have a very average brain.  He forgets names moments after he hears them and forgets grocery list items by the time he gets to the store.

Just because I am so inspired, I will share his notes with you here:

Phase 0: Prep
Choose a translation.  Choose a book. (maybe start with something 4-6 chapters)
Diagram the text. Rewrite, highlighting sentence flow and train of thought.

Phase 1: Acquisition
2-3 weeks
30-40 min./day
Goal: able to recite with the aid of text when needed.
Activity: Memorize 10 vs. a day
Hardest phase!  Don't give up.  Don't have to have verses perfected before you move on.
Feel free to look at text whenever you need to.

Phase 2: Consolidation
4-5 weeks
30-40 min./day
Goal: recite without help
Activity: Recite book every day in 1 sitting.

Phase 3: Delight
3-4 months
30 min./day
Goal: enjoy richness of book
Activity: recite book every day in 1 sitting.

Phase 4: Hibernation
indefinite
Store safely for future use.
Keep it warm.  Recite in 1 sitting about 2 times/year.


I'm going to attempt tackling James.
I don't know how it will go.
But even if it's not very smooth, I am excited simply for the practice of working my brain through a slow, repetitive, deep method of processing information.  The way Radu explained the sheer delight and joy of Phase 3 seems too enticing to not at least try.

Going through this with others would make this extra fun.
If you feel like tackling a book of your choosing, let me know.
We can share insights along the way.

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