Extended Scripture Memory for Kids (and parents)

January 1, 2009 at 11:03 am 87 comments

During the month of December, we decided to read Luke, Chapter 2 every night before bed with Orison. We would do our Advent Calendar reading for the night, then Orison would settle into his bed for Daddy to read the account of Jesus’s birth.

He got excited about the repetition and predictability of it. “Are we going to read Luke 2 tonight?!?!”

The effect of reading one section of Scripture every night for a month was surprising. Nothing we anticipated, really. But on December 23rd, Abraham got him started and did an experiment to see how many words he knew in the story.

Basically, he just kept going. And going.

He had the whole thing almost word-perfect from verses 1-21. We were STUNNED!

So our new plan for family devotions for 2009 is to introduce Orison to important people/accounts in the Bible, reading a section repeatedly for a certain amount of time. We might not do a whole month with all of them, but the repetition has proven really good for his little memory.

And it’s had its effect on us, as well. I know a lot more of Luke 2 than I ever have before. So not only do your kids get concepts and stories from the Bible into their eager little brains, but you learn it too!

Enjoy the edited version!


Entry filed under: Faith, Family, Orison.

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87 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Pam  |  January 1, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Molly that is awesome!!
    Ryan Ferguson has some serious competition (he’s the guy that recited Hebrews 9 & 10 at Worship God ’06 and I think he’s recited at other conferences as well).

    I really think we’ll be doing this with our son Joshua (age 5) this year. We’re half way through the book of Mark with him but when we’re done I think we’ll choose a few key passages and repeat until he memorizes them. And… I LOVE how Orison looks so pleased with his accomplishment when he’s done…priceless!

    One more thing…if anyone had any doubts, his hand gestures give away his last name πŸ˜‰

  • 2. Greta  |  January 1, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    I can just imagine the big grin on God’s face…especially after the “Gloria” interlude ;).

    Too precious.

  • 3. jennapants  |  January 1, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I’m the good kind of jealous right now. That was wonderful!!! I want that for our children, too. Thanks for sharing!!!

  • 4. rachel  |  January 1, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Wow… that was incredible!!!!! Orison is awesome. I love how he associates the Gloria song we sing today with the one the angels sang and made it part of the story!

  • 5. Sunny  |  January 1, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    When Brenton was little, his parents would play them (him and his brothers) the Bible on tape as they were going to bed. B memorized large portions of the Bible from listening to those. The would take turns picking out which Bible tape to listen to. He always liked 2nd Samuel.

  • 6. emily  |  January 1, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Love this! Way too cute for his own good πŸ™‚

  • 7. bean  |  January 1, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    He is so cute! And that is amazing. We’re going to try it here. πŸ™‚

  • 8. Kristin  |  January 1, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    If you sold a version of the Bible of him reading it I would buy it! Oh my gosh that was too cute!!

  • 9. patty broberg  |  January 1, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    That’s great! We’ve also been memorizing Scripture at our house… we sing the verses (to whatever tune the kids want: Jingle Bells, hymns, or made-up ones) onto a tape player and then listen to them every day… so far our oldest three have memorized Hebrews chapters 1 and 2. It’s taken many months, but it’s in their brains now, so God can move it to their hearts whenever He wants πŸ™‚

  • 10. Melissa Parnell  |  January 1, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    I love, love it! My favorite part is when he breaks out in song. We miss him! we are looking forward to seeing yall soon.

  • 11. jamsco  |  January 1, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Spoke to your folks last night downtown. Were you guys Mary and Joseph this year in the family play?

    Our kids are doing the play to new years dinner relatives tonight.

    This year we finished learning a song version of that same part of Luke 2.

    Orison did great. My favorite part was when he sang “Gloria” the second time.

  • 12. Sean  |  January 1, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Make sure you watch this on the days that you feel defeated as a parent.

  • 13. springsnoopy  |  January 1, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    In theory, I’m not surprised; children’s brains are that way. But in experience, I’m so wowed and blessed! Love the expressive hands, range of intonation, genuine joy, apparent understanding of his recitation, and the hard-rockin’ “DEO” at the end of the musical portion!

  • 14. diane  |  January 1, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    wow! That brought tears to my eyes! oh how wonderful that he is storing these words in his heart! You must be so encouraged! Happy New Year!!!

  • 15. amy sanders  |  January 1, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    just curious…what other passages are you thinking about doing?

  • 16. Melissa  |  January 1, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    That was wonderful!! Thank you for posting that. We will be trying this at our house in some form…
    This brought tears to my eyes, warmth to my heart, and joy to my soul on a day when I really needed it.
    God bless you!

  • 17. J. Evans  |  January 1, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    And again he is SUPER cute. He voice sounds like Linus from Peanuts. O is a keeper.

    I was looking at the recent photo of the Piper family on DG’s blog on your in-laws anniversary. Orison looks like his uncle Karsten quite a bit.

  • 18. Jan  |  January 1, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Oh…my…word! That was great. It’s not just memorized, it’s a dramatic “reading”. Hilarious!

  • 19. Stacey  |  January 1, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    It is sooo amazing what they remember and can repeat……and you didn’t think he was listening hehehehehe.

  • 20. Kate  |  January 1, 2009 at 3:55 pm


  • 21. Phil Walker  |  January 1, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Hi. My name is Phil Walker. I coach Bible Quizzing and run an extensive K-12 Scripture memory program at Upton Lake Christian school in Clinton Corners, NY.

    My life calling is encouraging people to memorize Scripture and discover the true Biblical God through Scripture. I was greatly blessed by Orison quoting LUKE 2.

    I run Scripture memory support groups on and off Facebook. I wanted to let you and your friends know about the first national Bible Bee for ages 7-18 that is handing out $260,000 in cash prizes. (www.biblebee.org)

    Also, Scriptorium2009 is a celebration of Scripture April 24th – 26th at Hannibal, MO that is free (including lodging and food) to everyone who quotes at least one chapter. We get participants from around the country age 4 – 89. You can learn more about this through my website or email me to learn more about anything I wrote. Sorry this sounds a little like a shameless ad.

    I mainly want to encourage you and your family as you continue to seek God through His Word. In Christ, Phil Walker (845)416-8010 philjohn1558@yahoo.com

  • 22. Stephanie G.  |  January 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    This whole post brought much joy to my heart. I’ll tell you, though, I most enjoyed O’s rockin’ ending of “Angels…” He’s the cutest 4-year-old metal head EVER!

  • 23. Jessica  |  January 1, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Wow – that’s amazing! I love that he has such expression – not many kids that age could do that! You must be so proud! πŸ™‚

  • 24. Chelsea Bass  |  January 1, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    What a great video! Good job, Orison!

  • 25. jenrigney  |  January 1, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Molly! I absolutely loved this! My favorite part was the very end when he starts grinning from ear to ear…he is so pleased with himself! He puts me to shame! Love you!

  • 26. brooke  |  January 1, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    This was wonderful! We had the privilege of learning this, too, when our children were small. We normally are involved in Awana, which is truly a great program. That makes it hard to do family memory time like this, and like we have done in the past. I miss it right now. Our children had memorized lengthy passages just through the repetition. We had “Sweet Sundays” where they would get ice cream for adding to the verses they knew in the passage. I think the use of one long passage aids so much in memory, because the review is built in. I wish we could find a way to do that again and let the kids still do Awana.

  • 27. Nicole  |  January 1, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Molly, that’s super precious. I know you know that already. πŸ™‚ It makes me think that he could be the next Linus! so so sweet.

  • 28. Bernard Shuford  |  January 1, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I think there’s just something about having “Piper” for a last name that makes you guys into awesome parents πŸ™‚ You both never cease to amaze me as I struggle with my own 6 and 3 year olds. Thanks for the stories. You doing this really IS worthwhile.

  • 29. Laura Gruner  |  January 1, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Very impressive… my favorite part was the “it’s like a choir” comment he made about the multitude of heavenly host. Children are so precious – thank you so much for sharing this video!!

  • 30. Chelsey  |  January 1, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    I’m not even a mom yet, but that video brought tears to my 22-year-old eyes. I am so encouraged by your commitment to reading Scripture to your kids. How awesome God is to use your little one to teach you about Himself when you weren’t even trying. Seriously, Molly, be encouraged. This is incredible!

  • 31. Jane  |  January 1, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Thank you for posting this so we could all share the treasure that is your little boy, Orison. That was just so precious!
    My favorite part was the acting out of the shepherds being afraid.

  • 32. Amber  |  January 1, 2009 at 11:02 pm


  • 33. casey zachary  |  January 1, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    this is amazing. sounds like he will be a pentecostal preacher.

  • 34. Erin  |  January 2, 2009 at 5:04 am

    So beautiful!
    I would have assumed that most children would be bored of it by the first week, but you just proved me wrong – in a great way πŸ™‚

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  • 36. Julie  |  January 2, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Well, this was a God sighting for me, as I’ve resolved regularly to memorize scripture this year. Thank you so much for sharing this! Please tell Orison he has inspired a lot of people to treasure the word of God in their hearts in 2009.

  • 37. Morgan  |  January 2, 2009 at 9:43 am

    this is so sweet…I just love it!

  • 38. D!  |  January 2, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Those hand gestures must be genetic…

  • 39. mom.huebert  |  January 2, 2009 at 9:54 am

    That was a great dramatic rendering. It really brightened my day. Thanks for sharing.

  • 40. Jonathan  |  January 2, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Just watched the video with my wife and four children. We all thought it was wonderful. The two year old was singing along and imitating the hand gestures. Great stuff.

  • 41. Jeri Tanner  |  January 2, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Beautiful! A favorite video for all time.

  • 42. Joe  |  January 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    This is great!

    This reminds me of something that contributed to my conviction that homeschooling is the way to go. A family that was homeschooling in the church I attended when I went to college(back in the ’80s) had their two children (ages 5 and 7, I’m guessing) reherse Luke 2:1-21? before the entire congregation (around 200 or more folk) for their Christmas program. They alternated verses and gave a wonderfully expressive rendition of this same passage.

    I decided to do the ESV 52 verses to memorize in 2009. I think maybe I should incorporate my practicing into my interaction with my kids (bedtime, meals, etc) so that they might be blessed by my efforts as well.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • 43. Demian Farnworth  |  January 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Unbelievable. You’ve given me enormous confidence in my own children.

  • 44. Overloaded Mama  |  January 2, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    How cute is that!

  • 45. MrsMK  |  January 2, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Your little man is just wonderful! I loved this!

  • 46. Annie Blakeslee  |  January 2, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    That was precious. I love Orison’s expressiveness.

  • 47. Amy  |  January 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    this is awesome. I just love Orison!

  • 48. Ben Mordecai  |  January 2, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    He reads it with expression! These are not just words! He really gets it! Go Orison!

  • 49. Kelsey  |  January 2, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    That is so precious! I too thought of Linus from Peanuts! And I thought he wouldn’t have use so much emotion since it was memorized but nope- he really got into that! It melted my heart and gave me a hope and challenge with our daughter!

  • 50. Jennifer  |  January 2, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    OMG(oodness!) He is sooo cute – and very smart! What a blessing. I just happened to be surfing blogs and your title “memory verses for kids..” or something like that – caught my attention

    Thanks for sharing.

  • 51. Colette Frazier  |  January 2, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Happy New Year Molly!

  • 52. johnbartik  |  January 3, 2009 at 2:34 am

    Magic! Brilliant! Awesome! When my kids can talk better, I will certainly do the same. Great example.

  • 53. My  |  January 3, 2009 at 3:02 am

    Thanks for sharing this! Really encouraging!

  • 54. Mike & Jolee kretsinger  |  January 3, 2009 at 9:47 am

    This is so precious Molly! Fewer things bring more joy to my heart than hearing little ones store up God’s word in their hearts! It was simply irresistible, we had to share it on our blog.

  • 55. 'Guerite ~ BoldLion  |  January 3, 2009 at 11:25 am

    This is beautiful and wonderful! Anybody can memorize His Word and store them in their heart! You are bless to be able to teach him and have him to recite it. Thank you for doing this to your wonderful son. I am planning to share this with others to see this!

    Hungry to eat His Word,
    ‘Guerite ~ BoldLion

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  • 57. Ashlee  |  January 3, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    That is sooooo cute! It brought tears to my eyes to see that. I hope that our son Noah will know God’s word like that at a young age as well. It’s definitely an encouragement to read more of the Bible to him. Thanks for sharing. That was precious!

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  • 59. amanda Lane  |  January 3, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    dare i ask about the un-edited version?

  • 60. Chris  |  January 3, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Hey, that’s better than “A Charlie Brown Christmas!”

    Great job, Orison!

    You have inspired us all:)

  • 61. Christopher  |  January 3, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Incredible! How I need to culture Orison’s memorization skills. I love his expressions about the Glory of God and the shepherds’ fear. They are so incredibly true. However my favorite was the Gloria interlude…I can honestly say I have heard the Christmas story for 25 years, had the mental image of angel in the sky, mouths moving and things happening, but until now there had never been any sound. Thank you Orison for helping to put sound to the story where there should definitely be sound!

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  • 63. Kate  |  January 4, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Oh boy, this is painfully cute.

  • 64. Rachel  |  January 5, 2009 at 9:00 am

    that is one of the most beautiful things i have ever seen. ever.

  • 65. robyn  |  January 5, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    this is awesome! we’re totally going to try this with Noah. I guess if he can remember his favorite books word for word, he could learn scripture too! Go Orison. Noah loves watching this over and over again.

  • 66. robyn  |  January 5, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    also, what a great voice! that’s my favorite part when Orison starts singing “Glo-oo-ooo-“It’s like a choir” oria!”

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  • 68. Barb Romanowicz  |  January 5, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Molly & Aber, That is SO AWESOME! I’ve showed video to Keith,Amanda &Emma. We all love it! Emma wants to watch it over & over. She says,”Can I see him? When can I see him? He cracks me up! I love this part! “(when he sings).He is a cutie and very smart! Be proud! Love, Barb

  • 69. Ellie  |  January 5, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    My daughter’s first/second grade class memorized that this year. They do every year. They simply read it with actions together every day once, sometimes twice. And most kids can say it all. My job is to check memory… so it means I got to hear it 19 times very Friday. Now I know it all, too!

    Kids, and us I suspect, can learn a lot more that we imagine. We do AWANA and memory for school, so I don’t do much more at home, but I think in the summers, we might start on long passages. In school, every year, they typically learn two chapters of something – one year was Philippians, this year is Ephesians.

  • 70. rose  |  January 6, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    This is so amazing! I can’t even handle it! I don’t know you or your family, but this brought tears to my eyes. Praise Jesus!!!!

    Rose Johnson
    Seattle, Marshill church

  • 71. Subhro Sircar  |  January 6, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    This is really wonderful. It is inspiring and challenging for all Christian believing parents who desire to raise their children in a godly manner. Thank you Pipers for sharing this with us. May God bless your little Orison for treasuring ‘gold’ at this age!

    We learned memorizing the scriptures in our childhood (both verses and chapters) which both my wife Susanna and I inherited from our respective parents in India. We too have been passing the same tradition to our children Our daughter Gracia recited 1 John 4:8 on the World Sunday School Day when she was two years old. Since then she has been learning verses and chapters (now 14 years old) with her younger brother Jonathan (now 10 years old) and regularly recites in our family prayers. Besides numerous verses and passages from Genesis to Revelation, she and her brother already have treasured Psalms 1, 23, 34, 91, 100, 103, 121, Eph 6, etc. Children really learn faster than the older ones. It is amazing!

  • 73. Kristin  |  January 7, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    You may have a little preacher on your hands! That was wonderful. Thanks for sharing it.

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  • 75. Megan  |  January 11, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Precious and beautiful! I love it πŸ™‚

  • 76. Ronnica  |  January 13, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    That’s so good! Kids really are good at memorizing things. I know a family that does that, but they include a lot of hand motions with it. Really helps the kids to remember.

  • 77. Scripture Memory « Grace for Today  |  January 14, 2009 at 11:01 am

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  • 78. Julia  |  January 15, 2009 at 2:20 am

    Out of the mouths of babes…. That was so beautiful! I think he made me more excited about the Christmas story than i’ve been for a while! Thank you for your faithfulness in raising this little boy! Praise God!

  • 79. tim gates  |  January 15, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    i can see i’m certainly not the first to say this, but this is so fabulous! i love the animation he gives to his reading. just great.

  • 80. Tonia Bowers Ross  |  January 19, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    That’s AWESOME!!!

  • 81. Dale Tolmasoff  |  January 19, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Hi Molly,

    I just discovered your blog and went straight to Orison’s AMAZING recitation of Luke 2. I’m truly impressed. Keep up the great work!


    P.S. I also enjoyed learning how to fold a fitted sheet from your video.

  • 82. kelli  |  January 24, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Well, now I know why no advent book wasn’t good enough. Why didn’t I just stick with scripture?? So precious!

  • 83. Stacy  |  January 26, 2009 at 9:29 am

    This is seriously cute!

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  • 85. Roberta  |  May 11, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Absolutely precious…and full of purpose, treasuring God’s Word in his heart!
    God bless you.

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  • 87. Kathleen  |  December 25, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! I am inspired & challenged to do the same with my two boys!
    Merry Christmas and hope your family will be blessed in the new year!


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