Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I'm a smart American! Blogthings told me so.

You Are a Smart American

You know a lot about US history, and you're opinions are probably well informed.

Congratulations on bucking stereotypes. Now go show some foreigners how smart Americans can be.

You know it was an easy one when I score well on a history quiz!

2 Peter 1:4

“Whereby he hath granted unto us his precious and exceeding great promises; that through these ye may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in that world by lust.” (ASV)

Freedom is an ideal that we as humans have striven toward throughout our history. Just as God's chosen people Israel sought freedom from their bondage in Egypt, Christians today seek freedom from the slavery of their sins. Unfortunately freedom is seldom easily won.

We can take heart though in knowing that God also desires our freedom. He has gone to a great deal of trouble to ensure that we will have it. "For freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage." (Galatians 5:1 ASV) The justification provided to us when Christ hung on the cross covers all of our sins, past, present and future. We need only accept it.

Of course, once we have accepted justification, that isn't the end of the story. "For ye, brethren, were called for freedom; only use not your freedom for an occasion to the flesh, but through love be servants one to another." (Galatians 5:13 ASV) "I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13 ASV) We still must struggle against sin every day, but we can know that God is there with us and He will provide us the strength to overcome.

Freedom is ours, as children of God. We need only to reach out and grasp it.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Luke 14:33

"So therefore whosoever he be of you that renounceth not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." (ASV)

What would you be willing to part with for Christ's sake? What if you found that some of your favorite possessions were leading you to sin and you needed to get them out of your life? What if your landlord decided he doesn't like Christians and kicked you out? What if your parents said they would disown you if you don't turn away from God? What if someone decided to kill you if you wouldn't renounce Him?

Some of these situations may seem far-fetched, but they have happened many times and will probably continue to happen in this fallen world until Christ's return. God knows that the road to follow Him is a difficult one. That is why He gave us the passages found in Luke 14:26-33. He wants us to be prepared.

Christ asks a lot of us. In fact, He asks that we give Him all that we have. Not only possessions, but relationships and our own lives as well. Of course, He has given a lot for us, so He is well within His rights to ask this. And we don't need to tremble as we place our lives in His hands because He values us more than we could possibly fathom.

We need to realize though, that following Christ's lead will not always be rainbows and sunshine. There are bound to be a lot of dark and scary moments. Other people will not always accept our faith. Many will lash out at us, simply because we believe. In some areas of the world, even today, Christians live in fear for their lives. They are harassed by the government, their neighbors, and even their own families.

Paul knew a thing or two about being persecuted for the sake of the Gospel. He was well acquainted with the first recorded martyr. He may have even been there when Stephen was stoned. Then, when he turned to Christ, the peril became his own. He was kicked out of towns, arrested, abused, and eventually killed for spreading the truth. Yet he found strength through it all. In Philippians 3:8 he wrote "Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ." (ASV)

This is the attitude we Christians should seek to emulate. Paul knew that he had gained the most precious and important thing on earth -- a relationship with the risen Christ. He knew that everything he had and everything he was could not measure up to the bounty that awaited him, so he feared to lose nothing.

Most of us today live our lives in relative peace. We may get teased in school or shunned by people that don't understand, but really there is little danger associated with faith for many of us. Because of that I think we often overlook the costs of being a Christian. Still, as Christ reminds us in the above passage from Luke, we need to be ready to turn over everything and everyone we hold dear, if He asks it of us. We need to remember that He has our best interests at heart and that He sees things in the long view, while we often only see what is happening in any particular moment.

So what would you be willing to give up to be a follower of Jesus?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Psalm 3:6

"I will not be afraid of ten thousands of the people That have set themselves against me round about." (ASV)

Have you ever had one of those days when it seems that the whole world is set against you? When nothing goes your way and you're ready to just throw in the towel?

King David, a king appointed by God Himself, had plenty of those days. His reign was rife with assassination attempts and uprisings against him. He had kings and princes after his hide. When he authored this Psalm, he was fleeing for his life. His own son, Absalom, was trying to kill him. What's more, Absalom had the armies of nations at his call! Israel and Judea sided with him, against David. This king was now living in the wilderness and hiding in caves.

Yet while all this was going on around him, David had peace. He knew who was really in charge of the situation. David had an answer for times of trouble. His life was threatened, his adversaries were many and powerful, "but David strengthened himself in Jehovah his God." (1 Samuel 30:6b ASV)

Despite all his failings, of which there were many, David was described as "a man after God's own Heart." He never stopped worshiping and loving his Lord, and he never forgot Who granted him his power and authority. Seventy-three of the Psalms bear David's name. His son, Solomon, was the wisest of Israel's kings. And it was his line that was chosen to bear the Messiah.

Clearly, David knew how to overcome difficulties. When the world was against him, he never forgot that God was on his side. Perhaps we all could learn a thing or two from this young shepherd who was appointed king.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

My sis on stage with Gym Class Heroes

Mae with gymclassheroes at Warped Tour
Note: Bigger version of pic available by clicking the title to this post.

Ok, my sister is now engaged to the brother of the keyboardist for Gym Class Heroes. Kinda neat, huh? So anyway, she just got some of the pictures from last summer's Warped Tour, and she's in several shots with the band on stage! WooHoo!!! In the one I've attached she's the girl with the big white sunglasses and pink tank top in the back left. (the guy in the blue t-shirt next to her is her future hubby)


Abducted 12/10/06 by a 45-50 year old African American woman Driving a 1980's Silver 4dr-sedan (possibly a Volvo)
Please call with any information (310) 490-3901

Revelation 2:4

"But I have this against thee, that thou didst leave thy first love." (ASV)

This passage comes in the midst of Christ evaluating His church. This particular phrase was uttered to the church at Ephesus. Prior to this they are commended for upholding their duties and remaining true to the gospel. They are described as discerning, patient and vigilant. And yet they are rebuked.

I think this shows what Christ values most from us. He is not looking for followers who simply obey the law, do as they are told and uphold the traditions of their faith. He wants more than that from us. His desire is for our passion to be His. He wants a relationship with us.

It is not fitting for a Christian to say they love the Lord, yet continue to chase after the things of this world. "For our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:29 ASV) When we are truly walking with God and He becomes our first love, we lose sight of all else.

When we are striving toward His will in our lives, we need not worry about the more trivial matters and circumstances. "But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33 ASV) This is the type of relationship God desires to have with His people.

Have you ever seen someone in the thralls of new love? They walk around with a glow to them. They forget to pay attention to their other friends because all their time is taken in trying to please their sweetheart. Of course, this kind of love doesn't usually last here on earth because they begin to see the flaws in that person they once thought was so perfect.

Loving God can and should be like that. We have the glow of joy around us. We forget the concerns we held only yesterday because they pale in comparison to the God we serve. And we spend our time seeking to please our Lord. The difference is, since He alone IS perfect, there is no disappointment to be had after we come to know who He truly is.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Matthew 4:16-17

"The people that sat in darkness Saw a great light, And to them that sat in the region and shadow of death, To them did light spring up. From that time began Jesus to preach, and to say, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (ASV)

Light is integral to the human experience. It guides us, warms us, nourishes us. After all these years, scientists are finally recognizing that sunlight is beneficial to our health. It provides a source of vitamin D, which aids our immune system. It has also been shown to help protect us from several types of cancer. Clearly we need light to thrive.

Can you imagine the complete darkness of a nighttime with no electricity? People must have felt blinded after the sun's last rays of the day were gone. Of course, they had oil lamps, but those provide little light. They can't reach very far into the darkness. How fearfully hidden the world must have looked on a cloudy night when not even the light of the moon or stars could be seen!

In many ways, our world today is living in that same darkness. Oh sure, we have streetlights and headlights and spotlights and so forth, but we have done very little to chase back the darkness of the soul. The majority of the people we encounter every day have no inner light.

God is the source of light. "And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5 ASV) As much as many like to pretend He's out there in the darkness somewhere, we know better. Light can never be veiled in darkness because darkness flees from it. Darkness can not stand in it's presence.

Jesus came to this earth to grant us that light. When he began to preach, the entire region saw a great light. He was God's light sent down from Heaven to walk the earth for a time. While He was here, he brought his light to as many as would listen.

Jesus said "Ye are the light of the world." (Matthew 5:14a ASV) Now that Christ has returned to His Father's side, he has left for us the Holy Spirit to be our light. We are like the lamps of old, vessels for holding the light. It lives in each of us who are believers and followers of Christ, and we are called to let it shine forth to a world that trembles in the darkness.

When is the last time you shared God's light with someone still living in darkness?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Philippians 4:8

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (ASV)

I'm a firm believer in the concept that attitude is everything. It shapes the way we see the world around us. Doctors know that a patient whose attitude is good recovers better than one who constantly grumbles. Employers know that positive employees are more productive. It seems to touch every part of our lives.

The great part is that we get to choose our attitude. When you wake up in the morning, you have a choice to make every day. You can choose to let the world affect the way your day goes, or you can choose to have a great day, no matter what the world may throw at you. Of course, hanging on to that decision through the day is the hard part.

Fortunately, Paul gives us a great way to maintain a good attitude. He tells us to focus our minds on the good things. It's hard to be in a sour mood when your mind is focused on the things of God! Praising God can counteract any difficult situation!

What are some of the good things God has put into your life? How can you remind yourself to focus on these things in the midst of a bad day?

Friday, February 16, 2007

How Texas am I?

You Are 28% Texas

You're as welcome in Texas as a skunk at a lawn party.

I hope BlogThings decides to do a "How Pennsylvania are you?" quiz soon... I'd probably score better on that one!

Psalm 119:11

"Thy word have I laid up in my heart, That I might not sin against thee." (ASV)

I know so many people who love the Lord, who pray regularly, and yet who never even open their Bible. Truth be told, it wasn't so long ago that I was one of them. I was missing out on all my God had to offer me.

I spend most of my reading time on fiction. I like a good story that grabs you and carries you away so that you look up from the book four hours later and wonder where the time went. I like to be entertained by my reading. The Bible used to lay on the shelf collecting dust between church services because it just wasn't gripping enough.

When I buy a new gadget or gizmo, only very rarely do I crack open the instruction manual first. Usually I play around with it for a while (sometimes weeks or months) until I find something I just can't figure out. Then it's time to go hunt down the instructions and force myself to read them. Usually I find out that I haven't been using the item to its full potential -- I've been missing out on some really great features and I've been doing things the hard way.

The Bible is God's instruction manual for life. It's no thrilling page-turner, but it contains a lot of vital information about how to live. Without it we miss out on a lot of the good things that God has for us and we tend to try to do things the hard way. Unless you are hearing God's voice directly, like the prophets of old, the Bible is the best way to get to know God. This is His Word to His people.

Lots of folks come up with the excuse "yeah, but it was written down by men, and men are fallible." If you honestly believe that God is not powerful enough to maintain control over His Word, that He is incapable of ensuring that it is correct, then you're clearly not aware of the awesome power of God. Then comes the excuse, "but it's been translated so many times that it's lost a lot of it's meaning." There are few of us here today who are capable of reading the Bible in it's original languages. Fortunately, God was there at the time of the translation too.

Most importantly, God is here now. He helps us to get from scripture what He has for us to know. An important part of Bible reading is prayer and meditation. Does this mean you have to scrunch your legs up underneath you and mutter "Ohmmmmm" over and over? Don't be silly! It's just a term used here to describe being quiet and still and allowing the Holy Spirit to communicate to you. If you've never meditated on the word of God, you'd be amazed at how the scriptures can really come to life for us.

So my suggestion to all Christians who have never really spent much time reading their Bible is this: Go, find a quiet spot, and just spend some time getting to know God's word. You don't have to start at the beginning, in fact I don't recommend that you do. Start wherever you're comfortable. For most people that's the New Testament. Read a short section, and then just spend some quiet time in prayer, asking God to reveal to you His wisdom. He's more than willing to enlighten us to a lot of things if we just take the time.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Romans 7:20

"But if what I would not, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me." (ASV)

Some people think that to really be a Christian, you have to be perfect. You have to be better than everyone else. Fortunately for us, this is not remotely the case.

Striving for perfection, while it is a noble pursuit, is not actually possible while we are here on this earth. We live in a culture ruled by sin, in bodies corrupted by it. While it is certainly possible to make headway in the war against sin, it is not possible for the human to actually win it.

So if we can't win, should we just give up? Not at all! You see our striving to be pure is glorifying to God. He desires our best. He delights when we turn to Him and ask for the strength to withstand temptation. He rejoices when we realize that we need His presence in our lives. And He is still working toward our perfection: "being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6 ASV)

Still, when we strive to do right and fail, it hurts. But we can take heart, knowing that God has already provided a means for our justification: "My little children, these things write I unto you that ye may not sin. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1 ASV)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Psalm 16:11

"Thou wilt show me the path of life: In thy presence is fullness of joy; In thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." (ASV)

There is a difference between joy and happiness. Many Christians miss this concept and wonder why their lives aren't filled with happiness.

Dictionary.com gives as the primary definition for happy: "delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing." Happiness then, is dependant upon circumstances. It is an emotional state, influenced directly by the world around us.

God never promised us continual happiness, though many like to think that he did. In fact, Christ said "Verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy." (John 16:20 ASV)

Clearly then, there must be some difference between happiness and joy -- else how could sorrow be turned to it? The difference is simple. Happiness is an outward thing, influenced by the world around us and therefore fleeting. Joy comes from God.

It is possible to have joy, even in the midst of terrible circumstances. Even when we mourn, we can have joy: "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4 ASV) In Galatians 5:22 joy is listed as one of the fruits of the spirit. It is something that God grants to us as we draw near to Him.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Psalm 89:33

"But my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, Nor suffer my faithfulness to fail." (ASV)

Psalm 89 is a declaration of the Lord's favor on David and his descendants. As we know that Christ was from the line of David and we are all grafted in through Him, this promise is granted to Christians as well.

The Bible holds many promises for us. It doesn't say that life will be easy or we'll all be rich and powerful. Rather, He promises that our treasure will be in Heaven. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:" (Matthew 6:19-20 ASV)

The greatest promise that we can claim though is that we will always have God's love. "For thy love is better than wine." (Song of Solomon 1:3b ASV) We can be assured that though we still mess up, though we still commit acts of sinful rebellion against God, He loves us as a good Father would. His peace and His grace never leave us. This truth is repeated in benedictions throughout the new testament. "Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with you all." (2 Thessalonians 3:16 ASV)

So wherever you are today, and whatever you might have done, be comforted to know that God has promised to us His love and He will not forsake us.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Romans 8:37

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." (ASV)

It is easy to look at the Christian life and see struggle and hardship. It's easy to see persecution and pain. But we who follow the Lord know that this is only one temporary facet of our walk.

Ultimately the Christian life is about Victory. Earlier in this same chapter, Paul proclaims "If God is for us, who is against us?" (Romans 8:31b ASV) Who indeed can stand in the face of Him who conquered even death for our sake? Who can hope to harm those who God has called to be His own?

Time after time throughout His earthly ministry, Christ told His followers to "fear not." When the seas roared around them and the disciples were certain their boat would not reach the shore, Christ's response was clear: "And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm." (Matthew 8:26 ASV)

When a man came to Jesus, asking Him to heal his daughter who had already passed into death, "But Jesus, not heeding the word spoken, saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Fear not, only believe." (Mark 5:36 ASV)

When He was preparing Himself for death on the cross, He had these kind words for His followers: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful." (John 14:27 ASV)

Finally, when he had been crucified, when He had passed through hell and conquered death itself, "Then saith Jesus unto them, Fear not: go tell my brethren that they depart into Galilee, and there shall they see me." (Matthew 28:9-11 ASV)

We serve a Lord who has power over the weather, the waves and death itself. We serve a risen God who has passed through pain, suffering, torment and death and returned with words of peace on His lips. What then do we have to fear?

The next time you begin to feel fear gripping your heart, take charge of it. Don’t let it conquer you and hold you in its bondage! Remember instead Who you serve and Who you belong to. Remember the victory that is already yours in Christ’s precious and holy blood and know that we Christians are not a conquered people, but a Heavenly nation of conquerors!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

My Hawaiian Name

Your Hawaiian Name is:

Iolana Okelani

Of course, I had to see what this means -- closest I can find is "To Soar Like a Hawk" "From Heaven".

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hebrews 12:11

"All chastening seemeth for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yieldeth peaceable fruit unto them that have been exercised thereby, even the fruit of righteousness."

No one likes being disciplined. No one enjoys hard times. But sometimes it's necessary.

If a parent doesn't discipline their child properly, the child will never grow into a healthy and happy adult. A spoiled child causes trouble, not only for those around him, but for himself as well. A good parent doesn't discipline the child because they get some perverse joy out of it. They do it because they know that it is what the child needs.

In a lot of ways, we are God's children. He is trying to raise us so that we might be a blessing to those around us. He wants us to be more like Him. Often that means that we need discipline. God doesn't do this because He wants to see us hurt. He does this because He wants to see us grow in our faith.

Just like that child might become bitter and angry at his parents, often we become angry with God when we are being disciplined. But with maturity, we learn to see discipline as the loving act that it is. We look back at the difficulties that shaped us into who we are today, and if we're honest with ourselves, we realize that they were good for us in the long run.

Can you think of a time when God disciplined you? Can you thank Him today for the good that discipline brought about in your life?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end." (ASV)

Hope is not something we often find in the world these days. Amid all the wars, crime, violence and hatred it's hard to grasp. It's difficult to imagine a better tomorrow when it seems the world is going crazy all around you.

Right now, there is a panic in the world over global warming. It wasn't so long ago that the scientific community was warning of the impending doom of another ice age. On the news we hear about the imminent threat of nuclear war. It's easy to despair about the state of the world today.

As Christians we have much cause to hope. In Proverbs 23:17-18 we are told "Let not thy heart envy sinners; But be thou in the fear of Jehovah all the day long: For surely there is a reward; And thy hope shall not be cut off." (ASV)

We have hope not only because of the promise of heaven, but also because we know who is in control. We know that the day of Christ's return will come and there will be an end to the fighting and the destruction. "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, to me every knee shall bow, And every tongue shall confess to God." (Romans 14:11 ASV)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Psalm 81:1-2

"Sing aloud unto God our strength: Make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Raise a song, and bring hither the timbrel, The pleasant harp with the psaltery." (ASV)

At one time or another, most of us have come across a person with a song in their heart. They just seem to bubble over with joy -- they simply can't contain it! How often have we wished we could be as happy as that?

Music has a profound effect on a person. It is a very tangible way to express emotions and feelings, and we are hard-wired to respond to it. There are many mentions of music and singing in the Bible. Repeatedly we are reminded to sing God's praise.

Praising God with song is an intensely powerful act. Not only is it commanded to us to praise our Lord God, but it is also of benefit to us. Praise can refocus us, pull us out of the darkness and remind us to turn toward the light. When we praise God, we can be assured that He hears us and is pleased. He doesn't require perfect pitch or tone. He simply wants us to make our praise to Him aloud. "Make a joyful noise unto God, all the earth" (Psalm 66:1 ASV)

When did you last praise the God who made you?

Monday, February 05, 2007

Matthew 6:31-32

"Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." (ASV)

Not only does God know about our needs, but He has pledged to grant them to us if we follow Him. In fact, one of the names of God found in the Bible is Jehovah-jireh (in Genesis 22:14). This literally translates to God provides. Pretty amazing promise, if you ask me.

Now then, does that mean that all you have to do is pray to God and you'll have that Prada dress you've been drooling over? Absolutely not. Designer names are not "needs". Trendy things also don't fall into this category. In my experience, God doesn't spend much time worrying about what's currently popular or fashionable. He's more concerned with substance than appearance.

Does it mean that I can just quit my job and sit around and expect God to pay my bills and make sure there's food in the fridge? Again, a resounding no. Although this was His original plan for us, the fall of man pretty much put an end to that. Now we live under the curse -- we have to work for what we have.

So, that pretty much makes that promise void, doesn't it? Not at all! When Jesus spoke these words in the sermon on the mount, He was already very much aware of the fall of man and the curse it had brought. He wasn't telling us we could be lazy and foolish. Instead he was telling us that we are loved and cared for. We shouldn't be stressed out, worrying about how we're going to feed our family tomorrow.

In my own life I have seen this in a very real and tangible way. A few years ago, my husband and I were going through a rough spot financially. It got so bad that one week we didn't even have the money to buy groceries. One morning, while driving to work, I was reminded of God's provision for us and prayed, asking him to provide a way for us to eat for that week.

I went into my office and worked my regular shift, and left at six as usual. When I got back out to my car, I saw something tucked under the windshield wipers. Looking closer, I found it to be money -- forty dollars to be exact. Forgetting my prayers that morning, I assumed the worst. Someone had probably hit the car in the parking lot and instead of leaving their insurance information had simply left whatever cash they had on hand. I called a friend over to help me look for damage.

We spent about ten minutes looking over the car. Finally we decided that nothing had happened to the car, but I couldn't for the life of me fathom where the cash had come from. Since we were on the later shift, most of the parking lot was empty by this time, so there was no one there to ask.

I drove home and told my husband about what had happened. He too went out to look the car over and found no damage. We talked it over and couldn't think of any reason for this money to have been there. No one owed us anything, and we hadn't told anyone about our current financial difficulties. We decided to wait and see what would happen.

I held on to the money for two days, expecting someone in the office to put out a memo saying they had lost it, but nothing happened. Finally, when the fridge was completely empty, I took the $40 and went to the grocery store and got what we needed for the rest of the week.

I still don't know exactly who put the money there on my car. It was never reported missing, and no one ever claimed it. I just know that if it hadn't been there I didn't know where we were going to find the means to buy food for the rest of the week.

These days, anytime I feel myself beginning to worry about food or bills or what have you, I re-read my blog entry from that day and remember that God has always provided for us.

"I have been young, and now am old; Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his seed begging bread." (Psalm 37:25 ASV)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Scripture of the Day: Psalm 78:2-4

"I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of Jehovah, and his strength, and his wondrous works that he hath done." (ASV)

Memory is a fickle thing. People don't remember things for long, unless they have some way of being reminded.

Do you remember your first grade teacher? I mean really remember her? Can you picture her in your mind?

Most people do not. If they do, it's only because of a photo or because they have seen her more recently than when she taught them to read and write. In the same way, it is easy for Christians to forget the good things God has done for them. This is why, throughout the old testament, God instructed His people in ways of remembering.

When He made a covenant with Noah never to flood the earth again, he set a rainbow in the sky: "And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth." (Genesis 9:16 ASV)

When He brought Israel out of bondage, Moses gave the people a way of remembering their deliverance: "And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand Jehovah brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten." (Exodus 13:3 ASV)

And when the Ark of the Covenant crossed the Jordan, God instructed his people to set a memorial there as well: "then ye shall say unto them, Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of Jehovah; when it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever." (Joshua 4:7 ASV)

I believe that in these passages (and many others) God is setting before us a standard. He wants us to remember the things He has done, and He knows that we will need memorials to do this.

Modern day memorials may be quite a bit different than those of the Bible, but they are every bit as important. We should find a way of remembering the good things God has done, so that we can hold on to them when we pass through trials. Often a photograph or a journal entry can remind us. Some scrapbook their memories, while others may hold onto specific items that remind them.

How do you remember God's good works in your life?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Associated Content

Well, it's official! I am now a paid, published author. How, you ask? Click on the button above to find out. I got $6 for my very first article ever. It was a little over 650 words, and only took a few minutes to type. Maybe you should try it too?

Psalm 46:10

Every morning, when I wake up, before I even get out of bed, I like to take some time and delve into the Word of God. I find that on the days that I take the time to do this, it helps to focus my day. This morning, the idea came: why not share? So, to that end, I'm starting something new. Every morning (M-F -- I may not have time on the weekends to type it all out) I'm planning to post a scripture of the day. It will be just a verse or two, and my thoughts on it. So, without further ado:

Today's verse is Psalm 46:10 -- "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (ASV)

We live in a world of multi-tasking, endless to do lists, and the business of busyness. It's easy to get caught up in life and forget to live. Most of our lives are a constant rush of deadlines and appointments. Getting the kids off to school, getting to work on time, finishing the project or checking off the list become our goals. This is not what God wants for us.

The Bible is peppered with verses that talk about being still, waiting on the Lord, and resting in Him. It is in the still, quiet places that we can best hear His voice. The command in Psalm 46:10 is not to DO but to BE. Sometimes in the rush of everyday it's easy to forget God. Easy to forget His sovereignty. Easy to think WE are in charge.

When is the last time you took the time to really seek God? To ask for His direction in your life? To just dwell in the knowledge that He alone is God?

Verse of the Day