In one scientific estimate the adult human mind is able to store up to the equivalent of 2.5 million gigabytes worth of memories. The human memory works in three phases. First, is encoding which is the collecting of information. Second is the storing of that collected information. The third phase is retrieval of the stored information. We have been blessed to have so many experiences. Good memories can still put smiles on our faces from years in the past. These memories and the joy they bring is a reminder of the grace of God that we are able to hold on to things that are precious to us. That includes being able to remember who God is and what God has done for us.
This time of year, as we recall Christmases that have gone by, we reflect on traditions that have come and gone. We recall loved ones who have transitioned, whom we miss. We can reflect on presents under the Christmas tree and all of the ways in which time has brought about changes in our lives. But there is a ministry of memory. When we retrieve memories, we are able to see how much we have grown. We are also able to see how far God has brought us, and how much God has done for us. These memories help us cling to our faith. These memories minister to us and encourage us to encourage others to put their faith in God. And even as our memories fade there are brand new mercies before us each day that God gives us to create brand new memories filled with faith, hope, and love.
So let us thank God for the ministry of our memories.
God Bless You,
When you are born into a family you have no control over the examples that are set before you. You may have grown up around adults who abused you mentally, or physically. You may have endured sexual abuse or perhaps you grew up in a home where domestic violence was happening all around you. With those kinds of examples, you may have been made to feel unwanted or unwelcome. You may have developed low self-esteem. What is worse you may have felt that the examples you saw were worth repeating. You may have picked up bad habits from your childhood. Perhaps you are an abuser because you were abused. Maybe you have a hard time treating people with respect because you never saw it modeled before you. If this is your story, I am sorry about those early negative experience, but I do have good news.
First, you have a tremendous example in Jesus Christ about how to connect to God and the people around you. Second, it is not too late to find a new way of being. You do not have to be trapped into replicating negative examples from your past. You are deserving of love and respect just as you are. And you are able to share love and respect with the world around you. Jesus has called us to continue to work to follow His example. A follower of Jesus Christ is a person who has committed themselves to working hard each day to be more like Jesus. That sounds like a tall order. You may be thinking I could never live up to such a high bar. You are absolutely right, you can’t do it on your own, but we have the Holy Spirit to help us. The Holy Spirit is ready to help you become more like Jesus, so follow God’s example. Raise your expectations about who you can become, and watch God work in your life.
God Bless You,
When Jesus was born the angels who announced his birth said “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth.” (Luke 2:14) When we look around it seems we see everything but peace. People are in search of peace in their homes, in their marriage, in their family, and in their community. But peace is hard to find. Spas and beach front vacations promise peace, but these are merely escapes. The angels said there would be peace on earth because Jesus was born. The peace that we seek starts in us. When we have Jesus in our hearts, we have a peace that passes all understanding. We must be the peace wherever we go. There may be chaos and turmoil before you get there but when you show up there should be peace. The people of God must continue to work toward, and aim at peace. God calls us to stand up for peace.
We should let those who are being challenged in life, on seemingly every side, know that peace is possible. The way you live should suggest that peace is possible. That is why Jesus says in Matthew “blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
Will we live to see peace on earth? I’m not sure, but I know we have to keep working toward it. Generations before us have been working toward it and now it is our turn. With God’s help we will inch ever closer to achieving peace. And we will leave to our children and grandchildren a more peaceful world than we found. That is what the angels meant; there will be peace on earth.
God Bless You,
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