Saturday, March 19, 2016

March Reminders

Reading through the Old Testament, time after time God instructed the children of Israel to build stones of remembrance, an Ebenezer, to remind them of the Lord’s provision and sovereignty.  As they would pass by the altar at later times, they were to recount from one generation to the next, the story of God’s help.  Along with the remembering came gratitude for God’s faithfulness, provision, protection, and blessings.

The month of March holds many “Ebenezer” moments for our family.  With gratitude we remember God’s presence, help, and provision at the time of loss of lives of loved ones.  This week marked the 15th year that Larry’s mother has been with her Lord and Savior.  March 21 will be the 20th anniversary of when my brother, Terry, met Jesus face to face at the age of 38.  It is also the 3rd year without the earthly presence of Glenna Spain, a dear friend I have known since I was 4 years old.  I am continually grateful for the impact these people had and continue to have on my life.  Their home going is full of precious memories of God’s love and help during those days and the years that have followed.

March is also a reminder that God continues to bless for generations to come.  This is the month we celebrate several family birthdays and thank God for the lives of Larry’s sister, Gloria; our daughter-in-love, Abby; great-nephew, Eli; and granddaughter, Ryen.

This upcoming Holy Week, offers times to stop, reflect, remember, and give thanks for God’s great love for us and for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.  Since Jesus paid the price for our sins, those who trust and believe in Him have a relationship with our Heavenly Father.  The Lord has saved and helped us.  And because He has proven Himself faithful with the past, we can trust Him for today and the future.  In gratitude, may we be quick to respond in faith, love, and obedience that make a difference in the way we speak, think, act, react, and choose to live our lives. 
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
I Samuel 7:12

He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever— holy and awesome is his name.
Psalm 111:9

So Joshua summoned the twelve men and told them, “Go out into the middle of the Jordan where the Ark is. Each of you is to carry out a stone on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes.  We will use them to build a monument so that in the future, when your children ask, ‘What is this monument for?’  you can tell them, ‘It is to remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of God went across!’ The monument will be a permanent reminder to the people of Israel of this amazing miracle.” 

Then Joshua explained again the purpose of the stones: “In the future,” he said, “when your children ask you why these stones are here and what they mean, you are to tell them that these stones are a reminder of this amazing miracle—that the nation of Israel crossed the Jordan River on dry ground! Tell them how the Lord our God dried up the river right before our eyes and then kept it dry until we were all across! It is the same thing the Lord did forty years ago at the Red Sea! He did this so that all the nations of the earth will realize that Jehovah is the mighty God, and so that all of you will worship him forever.”
Joshua 4:4-7, 21-24 (TLB)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

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