Just as I am grateful to belong to the family called Heimbuch, I count it a joy to belong to the family called Foursquare. I grew up in a Foursquare church in Oakland, Calif., coming to Christ at age 6, and becoming the pianist there by the time I was 13. When I transferred to Life Pacific College (also called LIFE Bible College) in 1980, I made Angelus Temple my church home, again privileged to become the pianist there.
Since 1998, I have had the joy of attending and ministering at The Church On The Way (Van Nuys Foursquare Church) in Van Nuys, Calif. In 2012, I was honored to follow the ministry of Jean Darnall in overseeing the Thursday Noon Service that meets in The Prayer Chapel. We continue to encounter the life-changing presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit.
When I first entered the ministry, I traveled with Arleta Keck on the evangelistic field, primarily as her worship leader and telling Bible stories with sound effects from my synthesizer during revivals, retreats and youth camps. During the 10-1/2 years that I traveled with Arleta, she often requested that I present, in costume, excerpts from Ruth. This was a musical drama that I had composed while in college and presented at Angelus Temple, with full cast and orchestra, 12 days before my graduation.
During the numerous hours that it took to drive across the U.S., Arleta and I would often listen to preaching tapes. Arleta’s favorite message of Aimee Semple McPherson’s was called, “This Is My Task.” I was struck by its timelessness and decided to memorize it—word for word, inflection for inflection—and portray Sister McPherson as authentic in costume as in delivery. Churches have loved this. I am especially thrilled to have presented this message to 20,000 people in Manila, Philippines, and nearly 10,000 people in Paraná, Brazil, for national Foursquare Jubilee celebrations.
In 1992, God put it in my heart to memorize the Book of Revelation. Because I love productions, I then added portions of classical music to serve as appropriate underscore while I delivered the Scriptures. Presenting the pure Word in such a beautiful and dramatic way never failed to have a profound impact on people.
Then, in 1997, Jack Hayford invited me to deliver excerpts from Revelation at the Fall Leadership Conference. When pastors began requesting CDs, I knew I would need an original score and wanted a world-class orchestra. The Lord answered my prayer for a composer as well as my heart’s desire: to record with the London Symphony Orchestra!
From the time God had first moved on my heart to memorize Revelation to the time I finally had product in hand, it had taken 10 years and well over $1 million. Yet I have had the joy of presenting The Revelation, or excerpts from it, at venues such as The Great Western Forum, the chapel at SHAPE (NATO’s military base in Belgium), Joyce Meyer’s Annual Women’s Conference, Master Media International Summit, CBA and NRB conventions, on radio programs such as Haven Today, and on numerous TV networks, including TBN and the Praise the Lord broadcast.
When we speak what God has written, faith arises (Rom 10:17). I received a precious email from one Canadian teenager who, after hearing The Revelation, was inspired to memorize Revelation herself, and then went on to memorize four other books! Her goal is to memorize the New Testament.
After speaking at women’s retreats, highly motivated women have returned home to begin groups that focus solely on memorizing large portions of the Word. At one church, the women learned a combined total of 100 chapters in a matter of weeks. Several memorized entire books.
I continue to memorize the Word of God—including Jonah, Joel, James, 1 John and Hebrews. Why memorize Scripture? 2 Tim. 3:16-17 offers several excellent answers: All Scripture is literally “God-breathed” and, therefore, useful to teach us what is true and to do what is right; to expose our rebellion and set us straight; to prepare us in every way, fully equipping us to do God’s will.
Jesus Himself remains our greatest example. Three times He dismissed the enemy’s temptations with the spoken Word: “It is written …” And, of course, the record of Scripture begins with the creative power of God’s spoken word. These reasons alone justify any amount of personal time and effort we can direct to entreasure God’s Word in our hearts.
So, I will continue to deliver dramatic presentations of the pure Word, as well as train others to memorize and deliver Scripture, whether locally or globally.
Sweeter than honey, more precious than gold, sharper than a two-edged sword—the Word of God will always achieve the will of heaven. May we pray as the disciples did in Acts 4:29: “Enable Your servants to speak Your word with great boldness” (NIV, emphasis added).
By: Karen Heimbuch, an ordained Foursquare minister and evangelist, is a staff member of The Church On The Way (Van Nuys Foursquare Church) in Van Nuys, Calif. Visit her website, karenheimbuch.com.