Monthly Archives: September 2010

Memorizing Scripture – Some Reasons & Tools to Help

Pastor John Piper lists six reasons we should memorize Scripture (click here to read the entire article):

1. Conformity to Christ
2. Daily Triumph over Sin
3. Daily Triumph over Satan
4. Comfort and Counsel for People You Love
5. Communicating the Gospel to Unbelievers
6. Communion with God in the Enjoyment of His Person and His Ways

Here are some resources on how to memorize Scripture:

  • Piper on his method
    Go to the 1:00 minute mark to hear see/hear him recite the entire book of Philippians from memory, until 18:35.
  • Pastor Andy Davis on “An Approach to Extended Memorization of Scripture” (pdf file)
  • I would also suggest forming a group or at least getting one other individual to memorize a particular passage or set of verses and hold each other accountable and encourage each other in this discipline.

Here are some electronic tools that are handy aids for memorizing:

  • e-Sword (free Bible software that includes an excellent Bible memory feature with multiple quizzing methods to really help memorize quickly and in an interesting way)

  • Bible Minded (ABS)   Android  iOS
  • Topical Memory System Android   iOS
  • Fighter Verses   Android ($2.99)   iOS ($.2.99)  (ESV & NIV)
  • CueCard (free windows-based computer program, creates flashcards which may include image, text, sound)
  • Flash (free mac-based computer flashcard program)
  • StudyDroid (free Android mobile phone and computer flashcard application)
  • Learn! (free Android mobile phone flashcard application, creates with still or video image, text, sound)

If you just set aside time to memorize one verse a day (and review them in the days ahead), you could memorize the whole book of Philippians in four months or less. Chapter 1 – 30 verses; Chapter 2 – 30 verses; Chapter 3 – 21 verses; Chapter 4 – 23 verses I am hoping to do this, or the book of James, in the near future. Screenshot:  Access Scripture Memory via the Tools menu in e-Sword  The original version of this post appeared on

Clothing Tips for Ministers

Do you have some questions about “dressing up” as a preacher? This is not about whether one should wear a full suit or business casual or similar questions, but about those times that you know you will be wearing a suit and tie.  Dr. Don Whitney has some great “Clothing Tips for Ministers” that talk about where to find bargains on dress clothes and provide other advice to help one be a good steward and still find quality items.

Click here to read “Clothing Tips for Ministers” at

As a related resource, maybe you’ve wondered how to tie a tie, how to tie a particular kind of knot, or just need a refresher course.  Here are two sites that provide guidance:

  • Tie a Tie at Wikihow (step by step instructions and video for tying a four-in-hand knot)
  • (four-in-hand, pratt, half-, and full-windsor knots)

Basic Sermon Prep Steps – Alistair Begg

Here’s Pastor Alistair Begg’s basic approach to preaching:

1. Think yourself empty.

2. Read yourself full.

3. Write yourself clear.

4. Pray yourself hot.

5. Be yourself, but don’t preach yourself.

You can read a more detailed explanation at the blog of “Unashamed Workman,” (a site devoted to expository preaching) by clicking here.

He also shared this in the 2005 Basics conference, along with other helpful messages by himself and other speakers (see here for free access to the audio or to order the messages).

The Man of God Is a Man on the Run

“A man of God is a lifelong fugitive, fleeing those things that would destroy him and his ministry…. A man of God is known not only by what he runs from, but also by what he runs toward.  Behind are the sins which could destroy him; ahead lie the virtues that make his ministry powerful.  As long as we live on this earth, the man of God can never stop running.  If he stops fleeing evil, it will catch him; and if he stops pursuing righteousness, it will elude him.  His entire life and ministry is one of flight from what is wrong and pursuit of what is right.”

John MacArthur (“The Man of God and Expository Preaching” in Preaching: How to Preach Biblically, pgs. 64, 65-66)

Click here to check out the sermon transcript and free audio MacArthur’s sermon on 1 Timothy 6:11-14.

CAPS Podcast

The first CAPS podcast is now available, hosted by Podbean!  You may listen by downloading the mp3 or streaming the audio from the Internet.  For the first twelve weeks, the podcast will feature lectures from the Fall 2010 Homiletics class.  Interviews, sermons, and special messages may be featured in the months to come.  After December, there should be at least one new podcast each month.

You can check out the Podcast homepage by clicking:

You can subscribe in an application like Google Reader with the RSS feed or with a Podcasting program or app by entering

You may also subscribe and download or stream podcasts from iTunes.  Search the iTunes Store (clicking here will take you to iTunes if it is installed on your computer) for capsministry or visit this link:

Quick Guide to Sermon Preparation

Dr. Hershael York, pastor of Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort and preaching professor at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, presented a helpful one-session workshop on sermon preparation in the midst of the 2007 Power in the Pulpit Conference. You can listen to or download the audio here (for free): A Sermon Preparation Checklist

Below are the basic steps Dr. York takes the audience through. This is a good refresher for experienced preachers and a good basic training session for those starting out. I hope you find it useful.

“Sermon Preparation Checklist” by Dr. Hershael W. York, 2007 Power in the Pulpit Conference

1. Read the text

2. Determine the parameters of the “preaching unit”

3. Trace the Argument/Narrative in the Text in a descriptive outline

4. Identify the Main Theme

5. Move from main theme to proposition

Note: The proposition must be applicational and NOT merely descriptive. In other words, what should the listener DO as a result of the truth revealed in the text?

6. Restate the points of the argument/narrative in applicational form

7. Fill in explanatory subpoints that arise from the text

8. Add appropriate SHARP ingredients (stories, humor, analogies, references, and pictures)

9. Write out transitional sentences

10. Develop the introduction that accomplishes 6 things:
  • Establish a rapport
  • Introduce the subject
  • Create interest
  • Set up and read the text
  • State the proposition
  • Transition into the body of the sermon
11. Develop the conclusion