Remember What You Believe

In the summer of 2000, we were living in Virginia for my husband’s PhD program, but visiting my family in Memphis. At 23 weeks, 6 days along in a difficult pregnancy, I was hospitalized with a life-threatening pregnancy complication, one so rare that most doctors will never treat a case of it.

I wasn’t in the hospital long, only a day or two, before the labor started and wasn’t stopping, even with the medication they gave. It was late evening, and I was afraid as my doctors were not there. They moved me back down to labor and delivery, and an anesthesiologist came in and jammed a large size IV into my wrist to prepare for surgery if needed. Things seemed to be moving fast, and I was scared I was going to deliver her. My fear wasn’t helping the situation.

There was a young, sweet nurse there. She came over to my bed. She said something like, “I noticed when you first came in that your husband is studying religious studies,” trying to indicate that she thought I might be a Christian. I can’t remember exactly her next words, but it was, in a loving and encouraging way, something to the effect of, “I think you need to remember what you believe.”

With that, I calmed down, I started to breathe easier, to pray better, and the labor started to slow and subside. There was no surgery that night. But I got the message: Remember what you believe. 

You and I have many situations, big and small, day by day, where we need to remember this truth. God’s Word calls us to be a people who remember (Deuteronomy 8, Joshua 4, 1 Samuel 12:24). In this way, we can remember what is known in order to set our minds as we face what is unknown. We can remember who God is and what He has done, that He loves us, that He gives good gifts and has good plans. We aren’t the author of our stories, but our God is in complete control. And in the midst of a broken and unsettled world, aren’t we glad He is? We can stand on the Rock and be stable and steadfast, even with unsteady and unfamiliar circumstances.

Why do I remember this now?

Well, my blog is a place to record my own “stones of remembrance.” If you don’t have a place to do that, a journal of some sort, I encourage you to begin, to record where you see God working in your life. It can be as simple as looking out and seeing the sunrise and remembering that God is speaking to you through creation to tell you of His faithfulness, His loyal love, His covenantal kindness, His hesed. He who has always been faithful will be faithful again.

But also, I find myself going through another far less dangerous, but seemingly rare medical situation. As I consider the recommended surgery and potential risks, even though minor by comparison, will I remember what I believe? Will I take what is known to enable me to face what is unknown? Will I trust my loving Father in heaven who gives us what is good? He gives me every reason to trust and believe Him.

I pray today for you, with whatever you are facing, that you also will trust your unseen, but known God for your future that is unknown, but seen by Him. He is worthy of that trust.

“casting all your cares on Him, because He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7

January Scripture Memorization

“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness,
The power and the glory,
The victory and the majesty,
For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;
Yours is the kingdom, O LORD,
And You are exalted as head over all.
Both riches and honor come from You,
And You reign over all.
In your hand is power and might;
In your hand it is to make great,
And to give strength to all.
Now, therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name.”
1 Chronicles 29:11-13 (NKJV)

Around Christmastime, my mom texted me and my sister to see if we could learn these Bible verses together. I agreed, and it took me the whole month of January to learn them completely. (I find memorizing harder the older I get!) Read more

Happy New Year 2020

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Happy New Year 2020! The picture above is the first sunrise of the year that greeted me this early morning.

Over the years, it has been my pattern to write down a word or theme for the coming year. I’ve had themes around prayer, Bible reading, “firstfruits,” the Lord being our Shepherd, “whiter than snow,” “God is Light,” the fear of the Lord, and others. Each year I’ve written about the word or theme to record it. Read more

A Prayer from Psalm 26

I found this brief prayer below on my computer today, written back in 2015. It seems like a random psalm to pray through, but I probably wrote this when we passed Psalm 26 in our church’s Bible reading plan. I love it that we can turn God’s Word back into prayer and praise to Him.

This psalm reminds me of Psalm 1, giving instruction on how we should sit, stand, and walk (26:3-5), which really is to say that God’s Word gives guidance for every aspect of our lives. And as Psalm 139 reminds us, God knows when we sit down and rise up (139:2). He comprehends our path (the way we walk and go) and our lying down and is acquainted with all our ways (139:3). What wonderful knowledge (139:6)!

PRAYER:

Praise you, Lord, that you are a merciful Redeemer (v.11). You show us the way to walk and to go, a path that leads to life. May I trust in You without wavering, and may my foot be on a level place that it might not slip (v. 1, 12). May I have a sturdy trust in You, my faithful God. Examine me and prove me; try my mind and heart (v. 2). Keep your lovingkindness before my eyes, help me walk in your truth (v.3). May I bless you in the congregation, proclaiming with a voice of thanksgiving, and declaring all your wonders (v. 6-7, 12). May I walk in integrity (v. 1, 11). In Jesus’ name, who has made these things possible, Amen.

Book Review and Giveaway

9780802419194This summer, I went through a new Bible study on prayer called On Bended Knee: Praying like Prophets, Warriors, and Kings by Crickett Keeth. Crickett is the women’s ministry director at First Evangelical Church in Memphis, where I grew up. She is also a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, where my husband earned his Th.M. So we have many mutual connections which helped stir my initial interest in this study. I’ve also been impressed with the growing number of Bible studies being offered by Moody Publishers (where my husband also happens to work!) and have enjoyed using them over the last few years as resources to dig into God’s Word. Read more