Remember Me Monday: #3
“I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
his great goodness to the family of Israel—
~ Isaiah 63:7, The Message
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly, quietly and loudly, tells his children, “You have forgotten me!” (Jeremiah 3:32, Ezekiel 22:12, to name a few). It’s a heart cry from a father to a child who has forgotten all the love, all the saving, helping, little and big blessings – and it leaves me stunned when I realize our Father, the creator of the universe, who knows things I cannot begin to fathom, who authors storylines that leave me amazed, delights in all of us so much, He cries out, “Remember Me.”
While every day is a Remember God Day, I am inviting you to join me on Monday mornings to come by and remember what God has done for you, for your family. Maybe God sent a cardinal darting out in front of you, as if to tell you, “I’m here,” or broke a child’s fever after you laid it all down at His feet in a 2 a.m. bedside vigil. Maybe He stood with you in the wait of a prayer sent out, or brought someone you loved to Christ. Maybe He healed your broken heart, gave your courage, or you gave Him your dreams as a love offering only to have Him give them back in an unimaginable way. Maybe God helped you survive to bedtime after a crazy Monday, or forgive yourself for missing it with your kiddos –– Whatever it is, let’s Remember Him. . . in a “Remember Me Monday” love letter.
“My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
Of your salvation all the day long,
Though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord”
~ Psalm 71:15-16.
Let us delight in Him by telling the stories of what He’s done! No Linkey – just blog hop old style – because I like how that starts communication and builds relationships. If you wrote a blog post remembering what He’s done for you, put it in the comment section. If you didn’t but what to praise Him for what He’s done – write it in the comment section. Then visit a comment before or after yours! One of the beautiful things about the blogging community is the relationships it builds!
Rules? Write long or short, a list or a story, include photos or not. Just Remember Him and what He has done, and let the gratitude of your heart guide you.
#remembermemonday #godwantsustoremember #godisthebestfather
The Prototype for Crisis Response: The God Response
On March 2, our community was hit with a Category 4 tornado – we lost 18 people then in our small community, and a few later; children, moms, dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles. The last hospital victim came home last week.
One family of five survived in their laundry room, holding tightly to each other. When it was over, their laundry room was in a yard. Another mom ended up on someone else’s roof; her daughter in a neighbor’s pool. Both survives. Another family made it into their basement just as the tornado hit. In one neighborhood, only one house was left standing. It became a refuge, a beacon, comfort; it became The House Left Standing. There’s a whole community of stories like that.
Morning came. . . bringing something else. . .
People flooded the area to help. So many people came, it needed organization. Day 2 Post Tornado, anybody wanting to volunteer needed to meet at the Old Hobby Lobby parking lot. That parking lot wasn’t big enough for all the volunteers. Incredibly enough, there was no looting, just help.
The photo above? All those vehicles? That’s just for one property – at about 2 pm. Day 2. One man said, “ The amount of people you see now is really thinned out from earlier.” He’d arrived at 8 a.m. When he got to work, he said there were about 50 people there. An hour later he looked up and the place was crawling with volunteers. Debris was organized, stacked, burned. Volunteers with backhoes, chainsaws cut away at felled trees. Men, women, college students, teens, kids carried, bagged, picked-up the big and the little. Volunteers donating the gas, the tools, the manpower. That didn’t include those working at shelters, staging centers, food prep and so many other volunteers finding ways to comfort. Everywhere you turned, the hands and feet of God’s kind of Generosity of Spirit ministered to all the family’s affected by this horrible thing. Day 2 friends!
My husband lived through the Ky tornado of ‘74. He said it took a couple of months to clean up from the destruction, “We were pretty much on our own.” He stood, amazed at what those in our community and those who came from far and near to help had done in just two days. In Putnam County after the tornado March 2 – no one was on their own.
Inside our county, people poured out to help – and people from outside our county, poured in – and in the aftermath, God praises rose – from the survivors and the people helping every way possible – people talking over and over about the miracles. There was so much hard – but WOW how God showed up in that hard. The tornado victims telling what God did changed everything . . . even in the hardest of hard.
A little boy named Sawyer along with his mom and dad lost their lives in the tornado. His favorite song was “Holy, Holy, Holy.” The family asked churches to sing it the Sunday following in remembrance. Copy #sawyersong in the FB search and see the amazing results.
. . . Praising God, in the hard, despite the hard. . .and it filled with grace and and became holy!
One 4-year-old little girl snuggled in her parents bed heard the weather alert. She saved her parents and baby sister’s life, but she didn’t make it. Her dad said the night of the storm after her bedtime read, she told her mama she saw Jesus and he was wearing white. When I heard her story, I thought, “She was born to save lives – and she did!”
God redeeming the hardest of hard – and it becomes grace and holy! Praise to God!
“Every single person I talked to mentioned God,” said CBS corespondent David Begnaud in a news story.
. . . and God has a way of turning crucifixion into resurrection, if we let Him. Only He can redeem the irredeemable! Praise God!
When President Trump came, toured the devastation, met with the families, listened to the stories, he said that how our community handled crisis was a prototype for other communities in crisis.
The most important component in our prototype: The God Response!
Someone recently asked me to describe Cookeville/Putnam County – we talked about the local university, how the town has grown since my husband and I moved here 29 years ago, the homegrown music and local beer breweries, fabulous restaurants, artisans, the hospitality, kindness, the outdoor experiences – and how there’s a Holy Spirit River running through this community. If you want to dip your toes in, step into it, it’s there for you, inviting you. If you’re not interested, that’s ok – nobody’s going to push you in; it’s a choice, and regardless of whether you do or not, this community will still love you, nurture you – and help you when life gets really hard. That’s Putnam County; that’s the Cookeville I know – and evidence of the Holy Spirit was evident in the aftermath of March 2, evidence of that Holy Spirit River, washed over our community, ministering, working, loving in every way imaginable in the midst of the hardest hard. That’s Cookeville’s secret ingredient!
We were not designed for suffering – but because of sin, suffering in the challenges is something we must push through. God didn’t leave us helpless in the challenges – He gave us The God Response – the faith, the love, the hope – the relationship and in the relationship, remembering what He’s done, praising Him for how He redeems us in the hard, if we just stick with Him.
“I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places— firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.” Isaiah 58: 11-12, The Message
Satan comes to steal kill and destroy. Sometimes he uses tornadoes. Sometimes he uses sickness. Sometimes he uses people separated from God to horrifically, heartbreakingly to destroy life.
Today our country is suffering devastation – devastation designed by the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy. A tragedy happened when one man murdered another man. It was as though a tornado hit our nation. . . . but the response has not been of God. God showed us in March how His people respond – with outpouring of love to help, to mend, to build, to encourage, to heal the wounds.
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit.” ~ Luke 6: 43-44.
Burning, looting, beating – those aren’t the actions of the hands and feet of Christ. It doesn’t make a community stronger. It doesn’t correct wrongs. It’s not the way to handle the hardest of the hard. “Each tree is known by its own fruit. . . . if the fruit comes to steal, kill and destroy – it is not of God!
Our community suffered horrifically in March – and out of that suffering we saw how to heal a community – through kindness, love, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control (Galatians 5: 22-23). We saw the hands and feet of Christ ministering to those hurting, to those suffering heart-breaking loss – loss of life, loss of home, loss of everything they owned – and possibly everything they loved.
But for The God Response, the aftermath would have been so very different.
Today’s crisis needs The God Response!
“Though good and bad men suffer alike, we must not suppose that there is no difference between the men themselves, because there is no difference in what they both suffer. For even in the likeness of the sufferings, there remains an unlikeness in the sufferers; and though exposed to the same anguish, virtue and vice are not the same thing. For as the same fire causes gold to glow brightly, and chaff to smoke; and under the same flail the straw is beaten small, while the grain is cleansed; and as the lees are not mixed with the oil, though squeezed out of the vat by the same pressure, so the same violence of affliction proves, purges, clarifies the good, but damns, ruins, exterminates the wicked.”
― Augustine of Hippo, City of God
This is the best sermon I’ve read or heard about “where was God?” when the hard challenges come. If you have questions, please give it a listen. The sermon below begins at 5:34: Click Here.
Places I’m linking with:
Grace & Truth/What We Learned/Inspire Me Monday/Legacy Linkup/Literacy Musings/Tell His Story/WelcomeHeart/Purposeful Faith/Recharge Wednesday/Worth Beyond Rubies/Tune in Thursday/Heart Encouragement/Embracing the Unexpected and Faith On Fire.
So happy for “the God response,” in your community! I agree with you, the times we are in right now need “the God response,” nationwide. Praying it spreads!
I appreciated hearing the testimony of God working in your county.
I’m wondering what would happen at the protests of the good Christians got off the pews and joined in—bathing the protest in prayer? For too long I’ve ignored the problems racism causes because I’ve always known that I’m not racist. But I don’t think that’s enough anymore.
Love prays – doesn’t it? And love steps in to help the hurting, hopeless and hungry. Love goes out to help, extend a hand – and stands together to condemn the heinous actions of people who commit atrocities! Maybe it’s about loving your whole community better, not just the “cliques” we form. Maybe this is the part of love where “you will know them by their actions.” My word for the year has been prayer – God gave it to me in December – it is certainly a word for this season!