52 Week Challenge History

About the 52 Week Challenge

On Christmas Day in 1982 my sister, our cousin Will and I received a special gift from our Uncle Don and Aunt Jeanne.  Their gift to us that morning wasn’t a “normal” present. Rather, it was a handwritten challenge.  They would send us one Bible verse each week for the next year.  The challenge was to memorize all of the verses…one week at a time. Then, at Christmas the following year, they would hand us $1 for every verse we could recite from memory.

That was well before email and the internet, so each week we received a card with a handwritten Bible verse (the image at the top of this page shows a couple of the actual cards they sent).  52 verses seemed like a huge number to memorize, but we tackled them one week at a time. Our parents quizzed us periodically over the year and, yes, we crammed a bit in early December.  I was nervous when we sat down with Uncle Don and Aunt Jeanne at Christmas the following year.  Would I be able to remember them all?  Would I forget after all of that hard work?  But one by one they called out verse numbers…we recited them back…and they handed us $1.  At the end, we were each very excited to show off the $52 we’d been given.

But what we’d really been given was priceless!

Although I certainly knew even as a kid that memorizing God’s Word was a “good” thing to do, I have to admit that the money was my primary motivating factor that year ($52 is a lot of money for a kid now, but it seemed like a huge amount of cash then).  What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was storing up a lifetime supply of truly priceless treasure…eternal wisdom straight from God to my heart and mind.

Today, over 30 years later, I still remember many of those verses and they guide me daily. What a blessing that Christmas gift has been.

So…are you up for the 52 Week Challenge? Are you ready to challenge someone you know? If your answer is “Challenge Accepted”, then we’ll send you a memory verse every week for the next year (they’ll also be posted on the website).  I can’t give each of you $1 for every verse you memorize, but trust me…the treasure you store up will be priceless.