Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 105:5’



“Hey, look at this one,” my brother, John, said while passing to me an 8 x 10 of a large family reunion picnic, 1955. He was just a toddler that year, sitting on the lap of our older cousin, Janet. I sat on the opposite end of the children’s row; Mom was next to Aunt Betty in back.

Poor Cousin Greg was hardly visible at all, except for his quintessential cap. Next to him stood Uncle Ralph, pointing at something in the sky and blocking Greg’s face.

“I’ll bet Uncle Ralph did that on purpose.” I commented. “He always was the practical joker.”

John agreed, adding, “Dad counted down to three, and Uncle Ralph probably took it as his cue to act up.” (Dad isn’t in the picture, leading us to believe he was probably the photographer—the one with the expertise and equipment.)

Back and forth John and I passed photos, documents, and memorabilia our mother had saved – two big boxes worth. And while sorting, labeling and organizing, we enjoyed memory after memory.

No doubt you’ve experienced the same:

Remembering the past brings blessing (Proverbs 10:7a).




It was fun to recall with John more than a few of the good old days. In our hands we held again bits of personal history, revisited in our minds the people and places of our youth, and delighted in the happy times of long ago with family and friends, many of whom left positive examples for us to follow.

The remembrance of the righteous is a blessing” (Proverbs 10:7a, HCSB, emphasis added).

 Remembering the past allows us to learn from the experience of others (Deuteronomy 32:7).




Talk to an elderly person about his youth, and you may think he had it a bit rough: one bathroom in the house, one phone, one car, no TV, no computer. Siblings shared bedrooms, hand-me-down clothes, and toys. Everyone had chores to do and Mom and Dad made sure they did them.

Then he’s likely to add: “But it was good for us to have responsibilities at an early age. And even though our family was a bit poor, all of us kids had a great time inventing our own fun. We laughed a lot, too.”

And while listening to such recollections, we realize: three traits of utmost importance a couple of generations ago—responsibility, respect, and resourcefulness—no longer receive as much emphasis. We’d do well to bring them back.

Remembering the past fosters praise and hope today (Isaiah 46:9).




Eugene Peterson wisely wrote: “The before is the root system of the visible now” (Running with the Horses, p. 37).

My brother, John, and I have been blessed by the root system of our family tree that includes: perseverance and patience, humor and humility, wisdom and warm-heartedness.

Even more valuable, though, is all that God has done in the past, providing solid ground for praise in the present and hope for the future, as we:

  • Remember the wonderful works that he has done, his miracles (Psalm 105:5a).
  • Recall how the Lord has led decade after decade (Deuteronomy 8:2).
  • Rejoice in all the good God has bestowed upon our family (Deuteronomy 26:11).
  • Sing for joy at the works of his hands (Psalm 92:4).




*     *     *    *     *     *     *     *     *     *


Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the blessing of a family tree with sturdy roots. Thank you, too, for the precious memories of your glorious deeds in my life—wonders you performed that I saw with my own eyes. Now may I be faithful to provide a strong, godly root system for those around me, that they may stand stronger yet.


(Frequently over the four years of posting on this blog, I’ve included stories of God’s wonderful works in our family—remembrances that foster praise and hope. Several examples include:  The God of Rachel, Henry, and Clara, Part 1; The God of Rachel, Henry, and Clara, Part 2; Christmas Afterglow; Signs and Wonders.  I invite you to skim through!)


How have the roots of your family tree impacted your growth?  Please share in the comment section below!


(Art & photo credits:  www.pinterest.com; http://www.crosscards.com; http://www.quotescodex.com; http://www.pinterest.com (2).    


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(John and me in our second home, 1957)


If I close my eyes, I can still see the various rooms of my three childhood homes in northern Illinois, but especially the one we moved to when I was ten–the one in which my parents still lived when Steve and I were married.

With great fondness, I remember reading in the box elder tree behind the house, playing Hotbox with Dad and my brother, watching television with a big bowl of popcorn on my lap, and the four of us eating dinner in the cozy banquette Dad built in the kitchen.

In all kinds of weather John and I walked or rode our bikes to school.  Before the bell rang each morning, one teacher supervised the entire student body of 400+ children as we arrived and played on the playground.  We learned Christmas carols in school and no one complained.

When not in school, John and I were out and about in the neighborhood, playing with the other kids, building snowmen and snow forts, riding our bikes to friends’ homes, to the library, and (in the summertime) to the pool.

I have to admit: my thick, rose-colored glasses cast a utopian hue upon those days. A person reaches a certain age and suddenly the decades of one’s youth become “the good old days”—far superior to the present.





After all, how many families today sit down together for dinner—with no television, ipads or phones interfering with conversation? What children can enjoy the freedom of riding their bikes clear across town without supervision? Where is there a public school that teaches children Christmas carols?

Times have changed.

To be honest, however, it’s doubtful those days of my youth were actually better.

It’s just my selective memory choosing the tranquil, happy moments. Overlooked are the arguments with my brother (and the teasing I did, for which I still feel deep regret!), those times Mom and Dad were being terribly strict or unfair (in my opinion), and the occasional upset at school or with friends.

I also have to remember:  the Greatest Generation that raised us Baby Boomers thought their good old days were far superior.

For example, in a book of Christmas literature we own, the editor wrote this intro for one selection: “This story is for those to whom the modern holiday season seems to get more glamorous and clamorous each year, but who still experience that old nostalgic feeling for the Christmas-time of a more quiet bygone era.” The year of publication? 1955.

Maybe we should put away our rose-colored glasses, unreliable as they are.

And yet, numerous scriptures encourage us to remember and rejoice in the good of the past—verses like these:



  • “…Rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household” (Deuteronomy 26:11).
  • “Remember the wonderful works that He has done, His miracles…” (Psalm 105:5a).
  • “I will tell of the kindness of the Lord, the deeds for which He is to be praised, according to all He has done for us” (Isaiah 63:7).

So are flights of nostalgia right or wrong?

It depends.

Constant longing for the past creates dissatisfaction in the present. That’s obviously not healthy.

But remembering God’s blessings of the past strengthens our faith and creates a deep longing for more of him in the present. That’s obviously a good thing!

You know what else would be a good thing? To savor today’s blessings and not wait till a decade from now to enjoy them.


(Photo credits:  Nancy Ruegg and http://www.pinterest.com.)


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Years ago, Mom taught me a neat trick for those times when I can’t remember the name of someone or something.

“Go through the alphabet,” she suggested. “Usually a letter will stand out, and it will jog your memory.”

No doubt many of you have discovered the same strategy.

Now that I’m getting older, it has occurred to me: Is it my imagination, or am I using the alphabet to jog my memory more than I used to?

That question brought a silly visualization to my mind. Who is the oldest Person we know? God–he has always existed, even before time itself, right?

What if he experienced memory challenges? I can see him with his elbow propped on the throne, stroking the thick, white wool of his beard, the other hand tapping absent-mindedly against the folds of his glowing robe. He’s talking out loud to himself (another habit of the elderly).

“Oh, what is her name? I can see her face…She’s one of our brown-eyed, brown-haired children. I just love deep, dark eyes…Isn’t she the one We blessed with a raise, even though she didn’t ask for it? Oh, what is her name?”

I told you it was silly. God doesn’t have memory problems! He is all-powerful and all-knowing. Actually, considering his magnificent splendor, it’s really quite amazing he cares about us at all.

David wrote, “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him” (Psalm 8:4)?

Mindful. I like that. God’s mind is full of us. He not only knows our names, he knows the number of hairs on each of our heads (Matthew 10:30). It stands to reason God knows our favorite colors, and what each of us was doing ten years ago today.

And when we consider he has planets, moons, and stars to orchestrate, it is no small wonder he concerns himself with such little specks as us.

Another psalmist wrote, “The Lord remembers us and will bless us” (Psalm 115:12a).

Not only does he remember who we are, he remembers our needs and blesses us accordingly.

Meditate on that concept for a moment. God supplies our every need.

James Janeway, a Puritan minister and author of the seventeenth century, said that such contemplations are enough to launch us forth into an ocean of goodness, where you can see no shore, nor feel the bottom. I like that, too.

Here’s another concept worthy of careful thought: God’s mindfulness did not begin when each of us was born. “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16). Could our days have been recorded without God’s knowledge? No. That means we have been on his mind since before each of our birth dates.

And last, God’s mindfulness will never end. He will continue to be mindful of us in the future, into infinity. “I will never stop doing good to them” (Jeremiah 32:40), He said. And “I will never forget you” (Isaiah 49:15b).

Oh, Father, thank you for your constant, caring attention. Thank you for your ocean of goodness from which you bless us. In return, may I be mindful of you, remembering the wonders you have done, your miracles (Psalm 105:5a). I want to praise you continually, and forget not one of all your benefits (103:2).

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