The book of Deuteronomy has long been one of my favorite portions in the story of God’s work with His people. Yes, it is repetitive. Actually, the whole purpose of the book is to repeat the Law to remind to people that God would do what He promised. God told them in Deuteronomy 6:10-12:
10 “And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
They would forget. They would forget that God alone is God. They would forget that God supplied the manna and God brought them to a good land. They would forget that God set them free from slavery in Egypt. The book is set with admonitions to remember His work–to remember through the wearing of symbols, through eating at festivals, through repeating the Law, even through setting up piles of rocks. You can hear the Lord pleading with the people: Remember, Remember, Don’t forget.
We forget. And while we may not use the symbols and festivals as memory prompts, our birthdays serve as a good space to remember. I am setting up this pile of remembrances to testify to the goodness and kindness of my God–through one of the most difficult years of my life. The memories which follow are set in chronological order throughout the last year.
I give thanks and remember:
- Spending my 45th birthday celebrating with my parents–both of my parents after my dad’s esophageal surgery.
- Debriefing students as they came home from their trips. May God help them to remember what He taught them!
- Recovering (mostly) from elbow surgery after getting thrown off a stationary bike at the gym.
- Climbing up the Forest Service Smoke Tower with the Tatlocks.
- Kitten Therapy at the Kellers.
- Golden hills to hike in my back yard.
- Baby birds in my shower window, whales in the water, bears on the trail.
- The fabulous solar eclipse on WOW Monday.
- Thriving through 20 years of WOW weeks! #studentlife4life
- Moving to the upstairs office with bright windows and room for books.
- Gaining an eager new staff.
- Joe Keller’s message on relationships in our fellowship group in which he gave us the admonition to “Hug the cactus.”
- The hopefulness of another first day of school at The Master’s University.
- Starting to write again.
- Teaching a women’s retreat in Singapore and splurging on Yakun’s steamed bread.
- Reconnecting with faithful friends all over the world who love Jesus.
- Making elderberry extract in my instant pot.
- Participating with a loving care group.
- Meeting my parents in DC. to visit the Museum of the Bible on opening day.
- Pizza, sushi, and bacon.
- Spending Christmas with my family after surprising my parents Christmas morning.
- Being greeting multiple times a day by Bosco, my landlord’s goofy dog, and being loved by Bosco’s family.
- Going on a cruise with the Tagliers.
- Being devastated by the spiritual state of Vietnam and Cambodia.
- Spending the day in Bangkok with Jason.
- Watching flying fish in the Gulf of Thailand
- Seeing Bora in his home in Phnom Penh.
- Meeting Spencer Copley on his way home from the hospital. Welcome to the world, little friend!
- Finishing another GO class, retreat, and 100 teams.
- Spending time with my colleagues at Lake Arrowhead. Training, Planning, Praying, Nachos.
- Visitors from Ukraine, Japan, Brazil, Idaho…
- Pinning more missionary prayer cards to the alumni board.
- Late night hang out during Shepherd’s Conference with Alex Strauch.
- Deciding to take a job at Children’s Hunger Fund starting July 2.
- Mourning the loss of friends through death and through disbelief.
- Hearing my boss preach on “Walking Well when Weary” in the midst of spiritual, relational, and physical weariness. We are Dependent Creatures.
- Speaking at the TMAI conference, at EWG, and in Jacksonville, Florida.
- Rejoining Results fitness.
- Antiquing with Carly and Heidi.
- Using the Easy Macro lens to see God’s world of tiny beauty.
- Recalling God’s goodness over 20 years of life and ministry at TMU.
- Celebrating with Dr. Jennifer Kintner at SBTS.
- Visiting the Bargases, Johnsons, Van Rhees, Jenkins…
- Serving together with Joe and Jenn and Dave: 70 years of collective ministry at Master’s.
- Traveling with my parents to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary.
- Remembering the goodness and kindness of God through all of His gifts.
Next years memories should say…visited the coolest friends in Goa
Love this – and love you! Blessings to you as you head into another year with opportunity to remember God’s goodness and provision. Excited to see what He has for you. Happy birthday, my friend!!!