Below is Chris Underwood’s “Encouragement Note” for April. Chris is a Christian from Chicago IL.
“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” ―Johnny Cash
Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Some businesses have entire departments responsible to deliver “Lessons Learned” training in an effort to bring awareness and compliance to their workforce. We may call it learning from your mistakes, whether the work is hospital surgery, drugstore prescriptions, or packing a parachute for one hundred people where it is not acceptable to have 99% success rate (think about that next time you have surgery, pick up a prescription or jump out of a plane).
Mistakes can be fatal, even when people do their work in good conscience. The memory of acting in good conscience and committing sin may lead to a lifetime of regrets, anguish and worry that can cause us to be “stuck” in the mud, and fail to move forward. Continue reading
“Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle forever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings.” Selah. (Psalm 61:1‑4). When my heart is overwhelmed. . .to be over-whelmed means, “to the mind covered or muffled up with sorrow.” [Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies]. What do we do when our hearts are simply overwhelmed? This psalm should give comfort to many a person who has struggled in finding words to express to God. The psalmist tells us how to deal with situations such as this.
First of all, we are instructed to pray. The very thing that we may struggle with is what we are instructed to do. I am reminded of the statement made by the apostle Paul in Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” The psalmist asked God to “attend unto my prayer.” Listen or give attention to my prayer. We have that assurance from God’s word in many places. John states, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” (I John 5:14). Don’t forget to pray!
Second, remember what God has done for you. The psalmist proclaimed, “thou hast been a shelter for me.” Remember all the blessings you have enjoyed, both physical and spiritual. When we look at what God has done for us, it should help us to face whatever is confronting us at the present time.
Third, we need to abide in the tabernacle. To do so is to be in the presence of God. We need to stay close to God. We need to walk closer to God each day of our lives. Notice another statement found in Psalm 27:5 “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.”
Finally, we need to trust God. We may not understand why certain things happen, but we need faith that is strong enough to trust God. (Psalm 62:8; Isaiah 26:3,4).
Pray. . . Remember. . . Abide. . . Trust.
Larry Cole – Montrose Church of Christ, Carthage, TN
Do you remember where you were and what you were doing ten years ago on this day? Most of us have no idea unless there was something special that occurred on that day: a birth, a death or something. In fact if you are like me, you have a better forgetery than you do memory! But some folks have a gift, the unique ability to remember virtually everything. This rare talent forms the basis of a new TV series called “Unforgettable.” It sounds fictional, but they say it is based in fact. I suppose that is so, but even God forgets some things. What does God forget? God made a promise to those who put their trust in Jesus and live for Him: “I will be merciful to them and will remember their sins no more.” This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess
Our proudest moment as a congregation, and the memory I’ll cherish is the week-long meeting conducted in August by the Grand Blanc Church of Christ.
While most congregations in the area are conducting three or four-day meetings, the elders of our congregation decided to have one for a week because they believed the apostle Paul who wrote, “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully,” (2 Corinthians 9:6 ESV).
The verse applies not only to those who give to the church, but also to the church that wishes to grow. If the seed of the gospel isn’t sown in abundance, a great harvest cannot be anticipated.
Our elders believed Romans 1:16, the gospel is God’s power unto salvation. It is the heavenly decreed way people become members of the kingdom of heaven (1 Corinthians 1:18).
For all these reasons, and for the people brought to our congregation, the meeting is one of our most cherished memories and will be for years.
I remember when I was in school and I and all the other students were “commanded” to memorize various passages of Scripture. This were graded assignments. I am in the minority, I am sure, but I did not then and I don’t now like the idea of memorizing for the sake of memorization. To a person of “my bent” it is fruitless. It is fruitless because rote memory did (does) not educate me; it only demands of me completion of an assignment. That was how I looked at it (and still do). Because Greek requires much memorization, I struggle. However, to learn it most effectively, memorization is crucial. I have memorized Scripture, but that was the result of intensive study of a text, not just the committing to memory a passage.
With that said, if I were in position of teaching at a school of preaching would support the practice of memorization. Though it did not work well for me, it might work well for another. In the end, I support this effort at 100 day of memorization.
An Over 50 Rule ~ A thought unwritten is a thought forgotten.
Have you ever asked yourself, “Did I do that?” Well, the answer may be “no”. The latest research reveals that we are all subject to what scientists call “false memories”. Whether caused by the power of suggestion or an exceptionally vivid imagination, false memories are as real to us as those memories formed from a genuine experience. Some false memories are formed because we see someone else doing what we later believe we did. Even when participants in the study were warned about the possibility of false memories, they still produced them. In view of this new study, it might be wise to be a little less stubborn and a little more open. This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess