Festival of Praise 2013
Year Verse Memories
Nancy Bell Nelson
I remember year verses well. I was a very new Christian and the concept of a year verse was confusing. I went to my very dear friend and mentor Larry Bishop and asked what in the world it was. He explained and suggested I spend time alone with God and ask God to show me. It sounded a little cooky to me, and I considered the possibility that it was Larry who was being cooky, but I went to my top bunk and began reading. Day one: nothing. Day two: nothing. On the third day as I randomly opened my Bible and read, Romans 8:28 burned through my soul; my heart began to race and I knew I'd uncovered my treasure, my guiding light for the year. Having come from the San Francisco Bay area to Oskaloosa created an unimaginable culture shock. In retrospect, "all things worked together for good."
Dora (Brantley) Wesche
It is great that we are continuing on a wonderful tradition that I believe was started by Dr. Harris. I learned from him to pray for a “year” verse as I learned so many other things. My calling over the years was Matthew 28:18-20. We used to sing in chapel with Dr. Willa Caffray -- “Ready to go , ready to stay, Ready my place to fill. Ready for service, lowly or great, Ready to do His will.”
Kathryn Shaw
I have a life verse but a year verse was new to me as well. Like Nancy coming from SF Bay Area, all of Vennard was a culture shock for me! I wish someone would have explained early on that one of the reasons for the rules was to prepare one to enter full time Christian service where often you need to meet a community or a congregation's standards even if they were not your own. I probably would have been in a lot less trouble. I'm sure the girl's dorm had the cleanest venetian blinds the year I was there due to all my 'demerits'. Even being in trouble so many times I have very fond memories of Vennard and still believe God wanted me there in that place at that time.

Year Verses
Song My year verse is a song. "Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there." That song comes to me again and again, and as I sing the burden is lifted. Along with that, 2 words -- "fear not." God is so good.
Sue Harris
Exodus 14:13-14 Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." That answer to the questions God's people were asking that day long ago!
Verne Summers
Joshua 1:9 "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." This is a great promise but an equally great challenge not to live in fear in this present day.  
Howard Ledford
Nehemiah 8:10 "The joy of the Lord is your strength." I had a different verse I was sure would be this year's verse. But this phrase from Nehemiah continued to come to me. And the day I was about start working on this list, the passage in my devotional reading was Nehemiah 8:10.
Sandy Harris
Psalm 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer."
Steve Bagby
Psalm 27:4 "One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple."
Dr. Robert Morris
Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
Tammie Andersen
Isaiah 40:31 My life verse is Isaiah 40:31. "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Actually I cling to the paragraph 40:28-31 This passage has carried me many times and God has always been faithful to provide strength to go on when I felt Ii could not do it alone. Of course all believers know and experience God's faithfulness even when we ourselves are unfaithful just as the Israelites of old.
Kathryn Shaw
Isaiah 41:10
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Lloyd Hanton
Isaiah 43:19

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  
Shirley Roehl

Isaiah 58:9 "Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!" [Don't miss all the surrounding conditions ... living a life that pleases Him!]
Bruce Moyer
Jeremiah 29:11-13
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Ernie Smith
Jeremiah 33:3

"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."
Larry Carr

Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good. A refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.”
Joy Boutakov
Matthew 24:35

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will by no means pass away." It is a blessing to know that the tradition of year verses is able to continue. His Word shall not pass away.
Jim Anderson

Romans 5:20b-21 "But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." When working in a violent city, this gives me peace knowing that God is still in control.
Samuel Barber
Romans 10:14

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them ?”
Dora (Brantley) Wesche

Ephesians 3: 20, 21
"Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end, Amen."
Carl Smith
Philippians 4: 6 & 7
The Message translation
"Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."
Sharon Cox
Revelation 3:7-13

“Write to the angel of the church in Philadelphia: The Letter to Philadelphia. “The Holy One, the True One, the One who has the key of David, who opens and no one will close, and closes and no one opens says: I know your works. Because you have limited strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name, look, I have placed before you an open door that no one is able to close. Take note! I will make those from the •synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews and are not, but are lying — note this — I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and they will know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come over the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming quickly. Hold on to what you have, so that no one takes your crown. The victor: I will make him a pillar in the sanctuary of My God, and he will never go out again. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God — the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God — and My new name. “Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.
Jeremy R. Geerdes, Pastor, Debra Heights Wesleyan Church