I don’t know about you, but I am fascinated with our human brain. It is amazing in its capacity to retain and retrieve information, analyze it and produce an action by sending messages to the rest of the body. Because Dr. Amen referred to his book as ‘A Memory Rescue Resource’ I was intrigued. Who couldn’t use some memory work?
Absolutely, I found this little book to be a valuable resource for encouraging memory exercise – primarily by way of Scripture memorization.
I particularly liked the organization of the book. The 12 letter mnemonic device (REMEMBRANCES) was very helpful for memorizing the 12 spiritual disciplines considered by Dr. Amen “the foundations of a healthy brain and strong memory as well”. (page xvii)
The foundations highlighted by Dr. Amen are: Rest, Exercise, Meditation & Prayer, Eating Healthy, Meaningful Work, Bonding with Others, Relaxation, Absolution, New Learning, Concentration, Enjoyment, and Socialization. With each spiritual discipline, Dr. Amen provided a short synopsis of the important role each plays in the healthy functioning of the brain. For example, in the last discipline discussed – socialization – Dr. Amen asserts our need for interpersonal relationships.
“We need other people in our lives to thrive emotionally and spiritually. Without friends and family to interact with, our minds begin to decay. In fact, studies have shown that feeling lonely is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s.”
Also particularly helpful are the “Tips for Memorizing Scripture” toward the back of the book. Though the 10 tips seem rather common sense, reading through them encouraged me to keep going. I realized I already practice several of the tips without recognizing them as a tool. Others appeared to be a possibility for future memorization work.
I quite often hear people say they are not able to memorize Scripture – regardless of age. This is very bothersome to me because God tells us to meditate on His word day and night. His word tells us He will write His word on our hearts. He also says we are able to ask Him for anything – including wisdom – and to commit our ways to Him and He will accomplish what seems impossible. Thus, I was greatly encouraged by Dr. Amen’s exhortations to practice using our memories. I agree with Dr. Amen, our brain is a valuable and amazing aspect of our created bodies – knit together by God Himself – and so we must be good stewards of the tremendous resource we’ve been given by our loving Creator.
May we all be found willingly and joyfully exercising our brains while we are able. May we follow the precepts God gave us by remembering His commandments, meditating on His word, talking about His character when we rise up and when we lay down, and teaching the next generation.
Thank you, Dr. Amen, for this compact and valuable resource for keeping our minds healthy and alert by remembering God’s word which is living and active – like our brain!