Remember by Peggy

“When I was your age, I had to walk in three feet of snow, barefoot, to school every morning after feeding the goats and herding the cattle,…” yadda, yadda, yadda. Ok. So that’s an exaggeration, but who doesn’t cringe when the old folks try to tell them how tough they had it and all of that stuff.

Whenever I would hear people go on about how hard they had it, I would think to myself: “geez, why would you even want to remember that?!?” I have always liked remembering the happy things in life, and just not lingering on the tough stuff. Like Christmas. Christmas makes me happy, and so do my many memories of Christmas while growing up.

My parents never had a lot of money, but we didn’t know it. I don’t think anyone I grew up with were ever really conscious of the financial situations in our households. Stuff like that was never talked about in front of the kids. We had all of our needs met, and that was all we needed to know. We were kept innocent of life’s up and downs as much as possible.

But, come Christmas, we thought we were millionaires! Santa came and left his whole sled of toys at our house, it seemed! I can still remember the year my sisters and I got the kitchen set. It was all metal, four pieces, “life” sized, and pink! It was the greatest thing, and my parents set it up in our basement with a table and chairs, and it seemed like we had our own little house down there! Hours of fun.

Then there was the year I got a typewriter. How I loved that thing! It was a kid’s manual typewriter, and I practically had to put all of my weight on the keys to make it type, but, again, hours and hours of fun! Now, there’s some great memories! Happy things that make me smile.

Now that I have become one of the elderlies, I find that I still wish to remember the nice things and great times. I tried to make Christmas a great time for my kids, and I look back with fondness of big holiday dinners with the extended families as well.

When I remember my childhood and teen-aged friends, and realize we are still friends today, I am awestruck at the strength of the ties that bind us together in life, and how very blessed we are to still care about each other. Our parents instilled in all of us the value of relationships.

But I also, in my later years, have come to appreciate the hardships that so many have gone through in their lives that have helped to mold mine.

When I look at my beautiful, intelligent daughters and granddaughters, I think about how, when my own mother was born, women still did not even have the right to vote in this country. I am humbled by the struggles of those who took up the cause to change the tide of history, recognizing women as humans who had a valuable voice to add to the process of making and sustaining this nation.

When I see a soldier in uniform at the airport, I remember how my father fought in WWll, and how many have sacrificed before him and after him, even to this day, to rid the world of tyranny that I can’t even imagine, in order to keep our nation free. I remember, and I am grateful beyond measure.

I don’t take lightly the sacrifices that people have made in their lives. In fact, the older I get, the more meaningful those sacrifices become to me. I realize that, in this world of social media in which we live, everything that happens to anyone in their lives is newsworthy. But is anyone ever looking at the deeper implication of some things? We see all kinds of stuff about everything from the antics of puppies and kittens to the horrors of human trafficking, but what does it all mean to us? When we read a story of someone else’s struggle, do we just shake our heads with a “tsk, tsk” and scroll to the puppies and kittens, or do we stop and pause to say a prayer for them, or see if there is a way to get involved? Are we rolling our eyes at the atrocities that some face, like we do when we hear an elderly begin a sentence with “when I was your age”…

I find that many times, I am guilty of the scroll. I choose not to take on the plight of others, and I am looking for the puppies. And I am ashamed of myself. So I fight it, and try to remember something my mother said to me many years ago: “everybody has a backstory”. In other words, don’t ignore the plight of others because you may not know what got them there. Instead, if you can, try to do something to make a difference. Remember what sacrifice someone might have made that helped form you. Think of a way you can be a better person.

That is what my blog is about this month. I challenge the readers to remember the good stuff, and pass those stories on to your children and grandchildren. Don’t let the traditions and memories die because it may not be easy to keep up with them.

I challenge you to remember the challenges some have faced in your family history. Then pass on those stories, for they have helped to make you who you are today.

And I challenge you, this Christmas season, to look at others, and see what you can do to make a difference in their lives. Remember it, and pass it on.

Tell them all, the stories of good, bad, hard and help. These, my friends, are the story of you. Pass it on, someone’s life will be made richer.

And may we always remember the reason we celebrate this season:

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.

Remember, and pass it on. May you all be richly blessed this season with the peace of God, may His grace be yours, may you be blessed in your comings and goings, and may you have a healthy and happy New Year!

Remember by Andrea

I remember few years ago, Jim Gilbert, did a few teachings on the altars of the bible. There are different types of altars some for sacrifices and some for memorials to honor, remember and extol the greatness of our God.  It helped me think about the value of memorializing events and experiences we’ve been through with the Lord. When we take a moment to reflect or recall the Lord touching our hearts, radically changing our minds, relationships or perspectives; we who are believers cannot afford to forget  such significant occasions. We still need altars, or feasts and memorials that exalt the Lord’s goodness. As believer’s our testimony consists of our personal transformations and of the reality of Christ in our lives. This includes those times we want to remember and some we might want to forget but that the Lord managed to use them for our good. I’ve known people who were saved while on drugs or prostituting themselves. It may be difficult to share their personal stories but there are times that just like the Israelites who built a golden calf while Moses spoke to God, we can benefit from sharing those times too.

       I often encourage believers to write down their experiences, not just in their own interest but for the benefit of other believers and for the generations that come. Life can often be much shorter than we expect and writings from our loved ones are cherished. The miracles that we’ve experienced should be shared, to teach, encourage and edify our friends, family and future believers.

       When I become aware and actually sense, I am a part of the body of Christ, His church, His bride – that is when I see how important each individual testimony becomes to the whole of her, the bride of Christ is the church. It is why I believe we need to set our egos aside and share from our hearts and the witness of Christ in our lives. We must share our stories of overcoming and in those stories is our defeat and Christ’s victory. They may not be pretty stories and there may be pain and shame in them but in Christ there is an eternal victory and that should be shouted from the roof tops.

       Our life stories often resemble the story of Israel, we were in bondage and the Lord set us free. We were once a people with no hope, who now have hope. Once a people with no future who now carry within us the seeds of eternity. How powerful is that? Should we share it with those who are still in bondage? Should we share it with the brethren? We believers all have a story with a sad beginning and an eternally happy ending.

       As I was considering how to write on this month’s topic, ‘remembering’ my 2 yr old granddaughter, Anaya Rose, was playing with my phone when I saw she was in the text feature and had written HAGGADAH.  Maybe autocorrect helped her. I don’t know. I only know I had never seen the word Haggadah but it seemed biblical so my daughter looked it up on the internet and there is ‘Haggadah’, the text recited at the Seder on the first two nights of the Jewish Passover, including a narrative of the Exodus.

       It is the telling of the story of their liberation told at Passover and sometimes at Purim. We believers understand that the Passover is a type of the coming Messiah, our Christ. In preparation for the Seder, all unleavened bread, even the slightest crumb is removed so the house is cleansed. This represents the cleansing of our selves and the willingness to be cleansed, from sin, through Christ’s blood shed on the cross. They tell the story of putting the blood on the door post so that the Death Angel will pass over them. Believers see this as Christ sprinkling our hearts so that the death angel passes over us and we enter into eternal life in Christ Jesus. The Seder, is a powerful story, the remembering of their liberation from bondage.

As Messianic Christians take communion, the wine and the bread, during the Seder, the prayer said over the first glass of wine is:

I will bring you out of Egypt,

I will deliver you from bondage,

I will redeem you from Bondage,

I will redeem you with an outstretched arm,

I will take you to Me for a people

       The Seder is considered a Holy Gathering of remembrance of the Exodus out of Egypt. Most Christians celebrate Easter, Jesus is the lamb of God, no longer would people have to sacrifice in the temple for their sin. Christ is our sacrifice, once for all. Just as the Passover lamb saved the Israelites, who believed God, from death. Jesus’ death saves believers from death by giving His followers eternal life.

       What if we each told our own ‘Haggadah’ each year? How would you celebrate your own deliverance from the bondage of sin? Your own exodus from Egypt. It is vital that we exalt the  Lord when He appears to us and we commemorate God’s favor, not with stones or in journals but in our hearts. For we are to be a people of gratitude, who walk in the light, who have so much to celebrate, our personal testimonies should be worn on our sleeve and we always need to be ready to give a defense for our faith. Whether it be our personal experience or an apologetic response. We believers are never to hide our relationship with Christ and our testimonies are just one of many tools for evangelism that we have at our disposal. You are a letter from Christ, the result of His ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

       Where are our altars? Did they happen in our home, in our church or in our hearts? We need to ask ourselves where are our places of remembrance where God revealed Himself to us?

       I intend to write my own Haggadah, to tell my own story of deliverance. I want to remember everyday the times the Lord has spoken, the times His hand moved so mightily over me, I truly say, “I will never be the same”. A Haggadah can be used over a meal, shared with friends in a prayer meeting, or told on any day we choose to make a day to celebrate and remember the greatness of our God that when we were once slaves to sin, we are now slaves to righteousness because of Christ Jesus who has set us free.

       I’ll need to include the times the Lord renewed my life. I was an atheist, dramatically saved and convinced of God with one simple prayer. I struggled with doctrines and my faith because the mormons (a cult) had come to my door. I thought God sent them. I was challenged and confused. After so much study and prayer, I cried out to God pleading, what is the right church, He spoke? “Why do you worry about how men dress me and not what it is “I” desire”. That so altered my walk with the Lord and taught me why denominations or doctrines are not His first priority and it shouldn’t be ours. I eventually left the LDS but I was never more saved than the first day I knew the Lord. I wasn’t saved by a denomination or a doctrine. It was the Lord Who saved me and it is He who keeps me.

        I’ll need to write down how I was addicted to drugs and miraculously delivered. Thank you Lord, how can I ever thank you enough?

       Once I fell into such awful regret for how I had spurned the Lord before I was a believer, my best friend had died and I simply did not know if she went to heaven or hell. I had been twisted and grieving for months. One day as I walked up to her grave, feeling so hopeless and not knowing how anyone could carry this kind of grief. “The Lord spoke  out loud,”as I have risen so has she”. I am crying now even as I remember, what a burden He lifted from me. The gratitude and love that washes over me as I remember the healing of that heartache.

        I have many more stories. We all have those experiences, let us try to share them with others. In this season of celebration and thanksgiving lets remember who we are most grateful to and who did more for us than any man in heaven or earth, Jesus Christ. God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving everyone, andrea

Remember by Ronda

Remember when…

television programming ended every night with the playing of the National Anthem. (Try explaining that to your children or grandchildren and record their reaction!).

Remember when…

in order to make a call away from home you had to have at least 20 cents. (Again, try explaining that one to your children or grandchildren and get ready for shock and awe.)

Remember when…

you actually talked to people more than inanimate objects like your phone or gps system.

Remember when…

you received information about your children at school from a printed report with actual hand written teacher’s comments.

Remember when…

you had to actually stop what you were doing to hold your baby, take a moment and take it all in: not drop them in a chest carrier contraption to get to the next thing.

Remembering is this powerful mindful activity that we get to do because a loving God made our brains remarkable. Remembering can be nostalgic, encouraging, and what we call a walk down memory lane. It is stimulated by so many of our senses, so much so that anything in our external environment can trigger us to remember. It is a powerful thing. Now think about what is like not to remember. What to we like to call them today, “senior moments”. We can’t remember whom we wanted to call when we picked up our smartphone. We don’t even remember phone numbers anymore because our smartphone does it for us. We can’t remember where we put our keys and we are running late. Total frustration can set in. Now contemplate how traumatic it could be for a person who suffers from a lack of remembering. Today, we might call it aging, memory loss or even more devastating Alzheimer’s. I don’t know anyone who has Alzheimer’s, so I have no personal point of reference but in musing over this topic I began to realize how much “remembering” is a part of our lives.

What about what our Father God says about “remember”?

One of the first mentions of “remember” in the scriptures is in reference to the Sabbath. Father God tells us to “Remember the Sabbath” in Exodus20: 8. Now before I discuss this any further I want to mention another portion of scripture.

Isaiah 55:8 reads, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth. So are My ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

SELAH.

Father God, the Most High God, Creator of the Universe told His people, the Israelites to remember the Sabbath. Are you wondering why I am talking about the Old Testament? Well, it’s been over a year now that Holy Spirit has been speaking to me about entering into the rest of God. (Hebrews Chapter 4). When I write for this blog I don’t want to write something that doesn’t mean anything to me. I don’t want to just put words on paper that have not been inspired, or God-breathed. God-breathed meaning, His Spirit has ministered it to me in some way in order to share and impart it to someone else who may need it. So I can only share what I believe Holy Spirit is prompting…and He has not released me from studying and understanding the rest of God. WHY? Simply put, because I need it and from my observation of the world in which we live…I am not alone.

Remember the Sabbath.

Father God did not institute the Sabbath as part of the law as many of us modern day believers assume. If we “remember” God hallowed and set apart the seventh day as part of his original plan of creation. God rested on the seventh day and made it holy. Please think about that. Father God chose a day, sanctified it from the beginning of time and made it holy. I don’t want to get into a doctrinal debate with any believer about the law and grace; so please don’t misunderstand why I am sharing this. Let’s just agree…His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. His ways are higher than our ways.

As I mentioned earlier, its been over a year that I have been seeking and receiving from Holy Spirit about entering God’s rest. It has been a difficult journey because it is challenging for a Type A personality, like myself, to adjust to the admonition of Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”   What I have learned is that entering God’s promised rest is for all of us who believe. Entering God’s rest should begin with remembering the Sabbath. For me remembering the Sabbath means I purposefully and intentionally acknowledge God’s appointment with me. I remember that He wants time set aside for just us.

Remember that Father God rested from His work and He sanctified an appointed time for us to enjoy Him. Remember that loving God isn’t about doing, it’s about being His child. Remember that our life in Christ isn’t about legalism but freedom. Remember that part of that freedom includes enjoying the original plan and purpose of God; we are not striving to become but we are embracing the reality that we are. So we can rest in Him.

Remember by Barbara

When Peg first told us about our November-December topic, “Remember,” I truly laughed out loud! My long term memory is uncanny. The earliest memories I have are sitting in a wooden rocking horse that had a bench and protective sides. Moreover, I recall being fed watermelon by my grandmother, sitting in a highchair. My short term memory on the other hand is pathetic and downright frustrating.   For instance, please don’t interrupt me when I am talking as I will forget what I was attempting to tell you. It drives me crazy to walk into a room because I need something and that quick forget what it was. As I was pondering this subject, I heard the Lord say, “it is not just what I want you to remember but what I want you to forget (or let go of) as well.”

Remembering can be such a wonderful experience. It is joyful to take a trip down memory lane and reflect about the good times with family and friends. Jesus tells us to remember when He said, “do this in remembrance of me.” I love The Message Bible translation.

“Let me go over with you again exactly what goes on in the Lord’s Supper and why it is so centrally important. I received my instructions from the Master himself and passed them on to you. The Master, Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, took bread. Having given thanks, he broke it and said,

This is my body, broken for you.

Do this to remember me.

After supper, he did the same thing with the cup:

This cup is my blood, my new covenant with you.

Each time you drink this cup, remember me.

What you must solemnly realize is that every time you eat this bread and every time you drink this cup, you reenact in your words and actions the death of the Master. You will be drawn back to this meal again and again until the Master returns. You must never let familiarity breed contempt.”

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

This speaks volumes to me. When I think about the Lord’s broken body and shedding of blood, I remember that not only has He made a way for us to be with Him for all eternity but He set us free. Because of what He’s done for us, we no longer live under the curse and are no longer under the law. I firmly believe we are free from all sickness and addictions but better than that we now can have a relationship with God. This is the new covenant! Is life going to be a breeze? Heck no!   But when we remember what He has done for us, we come into the realization that we are never alone, He is good, faithful and can be trusted.

Now let us look at the polar opposite of remembering.

 

 

The Lord says in Isaiah 43: 18-19

Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
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.

There is nothing wrong with cherishing our memories but there are times we need to let go. Say we find ourselves reminiscing about the times our children were young and now that they flew the coop, we wish we could go back to those days. Sure it is ok to miss them, but now let the Lord do the new thing in your life. Your life isn’t over. The Lord promises to “make a way in the wilderness and steams in the wasteland.” Ask Him what that looks like.

How about when the memories are not so good? We need to let go and if need be forgive and seek the Lord in the matter. I’m not saying it is easy but with God all things are possible. Take one day at a time.

It is those little foxes that can especially trip us up.   Offense is a big culprit. As I more of less said in the Conformity blog, I am able to shake offense off rather quickly but there are those times, I have a sarcastic comeback. I am not one to start an argument but my weakness is, if you want one you got one. For the most part, 5 minutes later I can put it all behind me. My prayer is, that I let go of the offense immediately, never to give it a second thought. Furthermore to be baptized in a spirit love is something I been asking of the Lord. I heard of people who received it and I want it too. As for now, there are still those that get on my last nerve. Thankfully, His mercies are new every morning. That means everyday is a fresh start, no matter what yesterday looked like.

There are even moves of God that we may need to put behind us. Maybe you were part of a wonderful move of God such as the Toronto Blessing, or were witness to Glory clouds, gold dust, fire on the rooftop. etc.  Oh yes, these things were all so glorious but I don’t want to reflect on them in a way that keeps me from moving forward in the things of God. I want to be part of the new thing that God is doing. My question is; Lord even though those things I heard about or experienced were astonishing, I want to know, what are You doing now?

In conclusion, let us remember the good memories, deal with and give God the bad ones. I pray that no memory good or bad would hold us back from the things that God has for us. Here is another promise from the Lord:

However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
the things God has prepared for those who love Him.
1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

Whoo Hoo!!!! That is exciting. May we all move forward in the things of the Lord!