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Deuteronomy 4:9 on My Mind

NewOMM“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” –Deuteronomy 4:9, NIV

My grandmother used to tell me all the family stories—of ancestors who came over on boats or traveled across the country by wagon or train. I’ve recorded these carefully to share with future generations, yet some details have been lost to time. Grandma couldn’t answer all of my questions because she either didn’t remember or hadn’t been told a particular detail of interest herself. And, as I think of new questions now, it’s too late to ask them.

Among these stories are very few about my ancestor’s salvation experiences. I know several were Christians. I know which churches some of them attended. I know that my great-grandfather enjoyed attending revival services wherever he could find them and got to hear some of the greatest evangelists of his generation in person. But I don’t know, specifically, how most ancestors came to Christ. I would so love to know these stories. For now, I can only look forward to listening to my ancestors tell them in person in Heaven to honor Jesus someday.

If your parents are Christians, do you know how they came to Christ? Have you told your own children about the day you invited Jesus into your life? These testimonies are priceless for several reasons:

  1. This isn’t mentioned in Deuteronomy 4:9, but our salvation stories honor God. When we share them with others, we’re talking about what God has done. Telling true stories about other works of God in our lives brings glory to His name, too.
  2. Testimonies of God’s work in our lives encourage our children and others we know to get to know Him, so they can begin to see His work in their lives, too. Our children are our primary mission field. Anyone else God brings into our immediate sphere of influence is part of that mission field, too. Let’s brag on God’s amazing work whenever, however, we can.
  3. Telling our experiences to others helps us to remember them with more clarity and for a longer time. In fact, if we write about them in our journals (or on our blogs), they’ll be available for us to review whenever we need to be reminded that God is faithfully at work.

As Moses commanded God’s people, let’s do whatever we can to keep our true, faith stories on our minds, in our hearts, and in our loved ones ears. Let’s be careful and watch ourselves, so we will not forget.

Father, we thank You for Your continual work in our lives. Help us to see it. Help us to share it. Help us to remember in honor of Your name. We love You, Lord! Amen.

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Thank You, Lord, for Significance

Red Flower“Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah.”–1 Chronicles 1:1-3

While researching my husband’s family tree, I learned of a genealogical society that had done extensive research about families in the area his family came from. I was able to order pamphlets recording their research about specific family names. I expected one that I ordered to provide information about my mother-in-law’s birth family. In that pamphlet, I found the name of her birth mother, with information about her parents and grandparents, etc.–just as I had hoped. I also found information about this ancestor’s second marriage and the children from both marriages. But this woman’s first husband was missing from the record; my mother-in-law’s birth father had been overlooked.

This man married, fathered four children, and then died in Italy during World War II–before his fourth child, my mother-in-law, was born. He was only 26 when he died. Perhaps that explains why the historians missed him. To my family, however, he’s significant. His children, their children and grandchildren would not exist if this man had not lived, even if only for 26 years. Further, my life and many others could not possibly be the same without the impact of this man’s descendants on us. His life had meaning; he mattered—big time!

You matter, too. The book of 1 Chronicles begins with several lists of names, names, and more names–hard to pronounce, in most cases, significance lost to the past. But God remembers each one. His children matter, that includes you. Perhaps at this time, you’re feeling overlooked and insignificant. God has a place for you. He hasn’t forgotten. He’ll never forget. He gave you life, and He wants you to live! Live for Him today.

Lord, to think that among all the world’s people–past, present, and future–somehow I matter to You! I’ll show my thanks by serving You. You matter most! Amen.

To learn what some others are thankful for today, visit the Counting Our Blessings Link Up.