What seniors should do with those old, painful memories

Turn them off, turn them over to Him, or turn them into gold.

“Your sins and iniquities I will remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17). 

God has a healthy forgetter; we should too.  The things that need forgetting, we give to him and walk away from.  Even if they are not entirely forgotten, we are free from their effects.

My wife Bertha and I were talking about memories the other day.  We each have a lifetime of remembrances to share with each other since we were in our 70s when we met.  We were each 75 when we married.

She said, “Each of us has a wagonload of memories of God’s people who have loved us and cared for us.  But we also have our share of painful memories that I sometimes wish I could edit out of my life.”

She continued, “But the Holy Spirit showed me something.  If He were to remove all the memories of the pain and strife, He would also be removing the lovely things that happened during the same time.”

So, we keep all the memories.  But we treat them differently.

Continue reading

Why the Lord gives us appetizers of Heaven

Often, as we serve Him on earth, the Lord gives us these little glimpses of Heaven, special moments when we know “the Lord is in this place!”

Pastor Perry Sanders decided to witness to his seatmate on a plane bound for Richmond.  “Do you know the Lord?” he asked the elderly gentleman.  “I sure do!” the man said.  “I’d love to hear about it,” said Perry.  The man said, “Years ago, I was traveling the highways of South Carolina in sales. As lost and miserable as it’s possible to get. And one day I picked up a hitchhiking college student.  He told me about Jesus and led me to the Lord.”  Perry said, “Sir, do you recall where you let that student out?”  “Yes sir.  He got out in Bamberg, South Carolina.”  Perry Sanders, longtime pastor of Lafayette, Louisiana’s First Baptist Church, said to him, “Sir, I’m that boy. I was a student at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC and always tried to share my faith with anyone giving me a ride to my parents’ home in Bamberg.”  A little foretaste of Heaven.

In Heaven, they ‘re going to be coming up to you: “Do you remember that time you witnessed?  Preached a sermon? Prayed a prayer?  Gave an offering?  Wrote a note?”  And God used it.  So, He lets that happen just a little in this life in order to prepare us, to encourage us, to keep us faithful.

For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. (2 Peter 1:16). 

In the middle of His teaching on discipleship, the Lord Jesus paused to utter a one-of-a-kind prophecy, one that would be fulfilled within the week:  “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom” (Matthew 16:28).   The gospels of Mark and Luke phrase it slightly different.  “…will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power” (Mark 9:1).  “…shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:27).

The prophecy was fulfilled a few days later when the Lord took with Him the three disciples of His inner circle–Peter, James and John–to the top of the mountain where He was transfigured. Several things happened…

Continue reading

Listen to the experts, but don’t take it to the bank.

“How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?  When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken” (Deuteronomy 18:21-22). 

Someone said to me, “He may be an atheist but he has a Ph.D. in Greek and has studied the Scriptures in their original languages.  That gives his views a great deal of weight.”

I laughed.  And so did “Someone” on the royal throne (see Psalm 2).

On the back of a book on prayer, a blurb described the pastor/author as an expert on prayer. I’m not sure why that offended me.  I felt as if one of my five siblings had announced that he/she was an expert in communicating with our parents. “What’s so hard about that?” I would have replied.  “They love us and are always available.”

I don’t know. Perhaps it’s just anyone calling himself an expert that bothers me.

I have read that FDR had an innate distrust of anyone called an expert. It’s not a bad philosophy.

Continue reading