ABOUT Anchor Points
The goal of Anchor Points is to make the Word of God more accessible to Christians who have struggled with their knowledge of the Bible. Anchor Points presents selected Bible verses in an easy to use format that facilitates both memorization and meditation on the Word. These downloadable “meditations” are both scripturally sound and musically inviting. What follows is a brief introduction to Anchor Points along with some instructions on how it works.
Anchor Points is designed to help you memorize and retain scripture. Every believer is called to hide the Word of God in his or her heart. If you’ve struggled with memorizing scriptures or knowing where to find a verse, this method may be just what you’ve been looking for. These recorded meditations are easy to listen to and are organized in topical categories which allows you to focus on a specific spiritual interest or ministry need.
Please note that these scripture-based arrangements are not intended to replace the regular reading of the Bible in your preferred translation. There are many good translations to choose from such as the New King James Version, the New International Version, the New American Standard Bible, and the English Standard Version to name only a few. Anchor Points doesn’t rely on any one translation but instead draws from many translations in composing these meditations. Often, the verses presented here will be a compilation of several translations. We call the scriptures we present here “meditations” because they are not always word for word renderings from any one particular translation. However, in composing these meditations, great pains are taken to remain true to the spirit and intent of the original verse or passage. Every Anchor Points meditation is taken directly and exclusively from the Bible.
Anchor Points arranges the selected scriptures in a manner similar to the approach used by the composers of songs sung in the church for hundreds of years. Both venerable hymns and modern day worship songs often reference a specific Bible verse without duplicating it word for word. With Anchor Points, the goal is to present the Word in such a manner that it ‘sticks’ with the listener. In order to accomplish this we have used literary and poetical devices such as rhyme and meter, which may not be present in the original translation. In this sense, Anchor Points is more of a lyrical rendering, as opposed to a literal presentation of the scripture.
Now let’s take a look at how to get the most out of Anchor Points. You’ll want to start by looking over the available categories. Every category contains at least 4 scriptures. Once you have selected the categories you want, say for instance “God’s Love” and “Forgiveness,” simply download them on to your computer. From there you can transfer them to your devices, like a smart phone or an iPad. You will also find a printable version of the scriptures once you make your purchase. Make sure you print that out as well. It will be very helpful with reviewing and reinforcing memory retention.
As you listen to the meditations you will quickly hear that the narrated word is closely tied to the rhythm of the musical background. Because every scripture is set to a strong steady beat, and repeated the same way every time memorization becomes much easier. Anchor Points uses the pulse of the beat as an unwavering rhythm to define the “heartbeat” of the meditation. This beat sets the steady tempo which keeps you on track. If you stay with the pulse, you are more likely to remain in tune with the powerful truths contained within the verse. And with each ensuing pass the Word gets planted deeper in your heart.
Every Anchor Points meditation is built around the very same structure. Each meditation consists of four lines and each line gets a four beat count. Every Anchor Points scripture will then be contained within a set framework of 16 beats (4 lines each with 4 beats = 16 beats). For the musically inclined that would be four measures totaling 16 beats. If you’re not musically trained don’t worry, if you can count to four you’ll be fine! Every Anchor Points meditation adheres to this same template. This makes it even easier to apply to any other meditation once you have become familiar with the format. Let’s take a look at one Anchor Points meditation to demonstrate how this works. This particular meditation can be found under the category of “Self- Acceptance” or “Who I Am in Christ.” We will use the printed version to illustrate:
I CAN DO _
ALL THINGS THROUGH _
JESUS CHRIST WHO
STRENGTHENS ME. _
We see from this example that our meditation consists of four lines. As stated above, each of these lines receives four beats. These beats occur where you see a letter or sometimes two adjoining letters underscored. You will also sometimes see an underscore all by itself with no letter above it, as in our first line “I CAN DO _”. These underlined letters or spaces mark the places that get the beat. As with the above example where the forth underscore sits there all by itself, it still gets a very important beat. In musical terms, this would be called a rest. And so again, in this first line the first consonant in each word would synchronize with the beat and the forth beat would be felt in the music but would not be accompanied by the spoken text.
On the second line “ALL THINGS THROUGH _” we see the same pattern, the first letter of the first three words getting the first three beats and then the forth beat being a rest. Not every meditation will employ this particular pattern, but every meditation will adhere to the 4 lines of 4 beats format. This structure allows us to organize the selected Anchor Points scriptures in a manner very conducive to learning and retention.
This structured format not only facilitates learning, but also makes our meditations portable. Now the meditation can be adapted to your own individual needs. Once the scripture has been memorized, you no longer have to depend on the recorded track as your tempo guide. You can vary the tempo to suit your needs. Naturally occurring “metronomes” are everywhere. Like the pace of your steps walking from your car into the grocery store, or the blinking light when you’re stuck waiting for the train. It’s what the Bible calls “redeeming the time,” and real life applications like these are nearly endless.
Of course, these meditations may be listened to as often as you like in their recorded form, but the real goal of Anchor Points is that you will gain a deep understanding of the Word so that it becomes a part of your everyday vocabulary. Anchor Points is all about learning the verses word for word as presented, but more importantly, we want the Word to go deep into your heart so that it comes out naturally in your own words when the opportunity arises. In order for that to happen, there is no better way than first committing it to memory.
As we have stated before, Anchor Points can be used to facilitate memorization or as an aid to scripture meditation. Some will be satisfied using Anchor Points as a memorization tool, but some will want to go deeper. The beauty of Anchor Points is that it can be used for either. Listening to the recorded tracks it is easy to find yourself “immersed in the verse.” As we believe you may soon discover, when you’re immersed in the verse, memorization is meditation.
And so the basic instructions are the same for both memorization and meditation with one significant difference. If your focus is on meditation, there is an added component of breathing to facilitate being immersed in the verse. The basic breathing pattern we will begin with is very simple. We will breathe in on the first line and breathe out on the second line. And then we will repeat, inhaling on the third line and exhaling on the last line. So basically we are inhaling on every odd numbered line and exhaling on every even numbered line. This pattern will be repeated for as long as you care to rehearse the selected verse.
Probably the best way to get comfortable with orchestrating your breathing is to silently count to four as soon as the body of the verse begins (don’t bother counting until after the scripture reference is cited). Once the scripture begins, until you get the hang of it, it may be easier to focus solely on the breathing for a few rounds (“Breathe in, 2, 3, 4; Breathe out, 2, 3, 4.”), before trying to follow the spoken text too closely.
It should be pointed out that Anchor Points meditations are not meant to be spoken out loud during the initial learning stages. The focus should be on rehearsing them within the silence of one’s thoughts. It is very difficult to speak and deeply inhale at the same time. It is important that the cycle of breath is relaxed and uninterrupted and this would not be the case if you were trying to speak and breathe simultaneously. Of course, there is nothing wrong with speaking the scriptures out loud. In fact, we can almost guarantee that your frequency of quoting Bible verses will increase exponentially using this system. That is our hope. But if you hope to gain a command of the scriptures so that they become a natural part of your everyday vocabulary, you must first plant them firmly in your mind and heart. This is why we initially put all of our focus on mastering the meditations in silence.
And so for maximum effectiveness as a meditation tool, the element of controlled breathing needs to take precedence over speaking the word out loud. If your plan is to focus on memorization instead, then speaking along with the Anchor Points verse works just fine as you are learning the verse. The coordinated breathing is not an essential part of the Memorization focus. Furthermore, once the scripture has been memorized, there is no need to adhere to the rhythmical cadence of the verse as learned if you want to use the verse in ministry or a conversational context. At that point the priority becomes connecting with the person you are talking to, and the breath and beat which would seem very odd out of context, should naturally fall to the wayside.
To summarize, once you have become familiar with the Anchor Points format, you will see how the pulse of the rhythm is now synergistically connected to the words of the scripture. In other words, each component strengthens the others and is in turn strengthened by them. The result is that the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. This applies whether you are using Anchor Points as an aid to memorization or as a meditation.
A brief word about how Anchor Points meditations are laid out. At the beginning of every meditation the scripture reference will be given. After that, the verse will be repeated 4 times, followed by an interlude (equivalent to two repetitions or cycles of the meditation) where you will hear the musical background track but no spoken word. The narrated scripture will then come back in for two more cycles and then stop again with the musical track taking us to the end of our meditation. These intervals of music without the spoken lyric are practice tracks. They are inserted to allow you to practice on your own. If you get lost the first time the voice drops out, it’s only a brief moment before the second recitation of the verse begins. This time the voice is softer (we call it the “whisper track”) to encourage you to take the lead. The music continues for another 3 or 4 cycles allowing you to continue rehearsing the verse. Of course you can put any of these meditations on repeat and listen as many times as you like. This may sound a bit confusing, but once you’ve listened to your first meditation a couple of times you will see that it’s really quite simple.
We hope this has helped jump start your Anchor Points experience. Please consult our ‘Information’ section for more detail on all of the above. We welcome any feedback or comments. We also hope that these Anchor Points meditations bring the Word of God to life for you in a very personal way. May Jesus, the living Word, always be with you and may the Word always be your anchor.