Friday, September 17, 2010


When I was in the tenth grade, my American History teacher was Mister Priebe (pronounced pree’ bee). As part of our coursework, we had to learn all of the presidents in order. Six of the presidents are Tyler, Polk, Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan. To help us remember those six presidents, Mister Priebe gave us a simple word association technique. He told us to imagine Tyler poking Taylor, and Fillmore piercing Buchanan. He even made little hand gestures to indicate poking and piercing.

That was almost 25 years ago, and I remember very few of the presidents now, but I’ll never forget Tyler, Polk, Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan. Word association can be a powerful memory aid. Mister Priebe knew that, and thanks to him, it’s a lesson I learned at an early age. I often try to come up with little word association gimmicks to help me remember things.

I wanted to share with you today, another word association that I learned recently. This one comes from Charles Stanley, who I frequently listen to on the radio. Doctor Stanley has been talking a lot lately about satan’s attacks against us: how and when these attacks come, and what we can do about it.

In one sermon, Stanley identified four moments in our lives when we are most vulnerable and susceptible to the wiles of our enemy. The four dangerous times for us are when we are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. During these moments of weakness, satan will invariably mount an attack against us, and this is when we have to HALT. Before doing or saying something we would not normally do or say, we have to stop and re-focus our attention on God.

As an example from scripture, Doctor Stanley presented the story of Jesus fasting in the wilderness for 40 days. After 40 days, we can be sure that Jesus was feeling hungry, lonely, and tired, and lo and behold, up pops the devil to tempt him.

I’ve been trying to implement this into my own life since I first heard about it, and have found that it really helps me. When I feel tempted by some particular sin, I try to pinpoint which of the four weaknesses I am suffering from, and then ask God to help me through it. I’ve even found that it can be done proactively, rather than waiting for the attack to come. On Wednesday I was very tired because I hadn’t slept very well the night before, and I was also a little angry over the bad news I had gotten from the Lion’s Club. I was just sitting on the sofa thinking about how tired I was, and I suddenly stopped and thought, “I better be careful today, or satan will get me.” And you know what happened? Nothing! No attacks, and no temptations. I walked into a potentially dangerous situation, but I had my armor on and God carried me through it.

Thank you Charles Stanley for passing this on, and thank you Jesus for showing me how to overcome our enemy!

Matthew 4:1-11 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Then the devil took Him to the holy city and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test. Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ”All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.


  1. And thanks to the Preebee guy who taught you word association!
    I've been using that with Adam in his History. Now if it would only work on Algebra. lol

  2. We use halt in my program of recovery. I wonder where it surfaced first, hmmm.

    In the summers, I add an extra 'H" for hot. Haha!!