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Psalm 100:4 – Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

I came across a treasure in my things today, something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. I haven’t paid much attention to it because it has traveled with me for years, through despair, self-loathing, and pain. It has been with me each and every place I have ever lived, including when I lived on the street. I have always taken it out of whatever box it is in and proudly displayed it on whatever surface seemed worthy of such a fine gift, but I stopped looking at it and now it has my full, undivided attention. What is it you might ask? Well, I will tell you!

image2My beautiful mother at one time saw very clearly with her own eyes my downfall. She watched from afar as I slipped into darkness. She could see that I was no longer myself, I had long ago forgotten about the beautiful things in life, I had succumbed to the lies of the enemy, and she was helpless, but never hopeless. In an attempt to bring me back to reality, to my roots, to memories of good and not bad, she found a simple glass container and filled it with blue pieces of paper where she had written gorgeous memories of my past. She told me that anytime I was having a bad day, to take a piece of paper out of the “Memory Jar” and choose different for that day, choose life, choose blessings. And that glass container with it’s awesome treasure has followed me for nearly 12 years, through trials, tests, weaknesses. It has survived addiction, death, even being ripped from my family. This wonderful gift from my mother now sits proudly atop my nightstand in my new home and now it has been opened and enjoyed. I sat on my bed and cried a river of joyful tears as I relived every precious memory in that jar and I thought of God and how far He has brought me. For so long I pushed down those memories of long ago because I couldn’t bear to think of them. I couldn’t look upon them with gratitude…only sadness, guilt, and shame. Pastor Tilghman once said to me, “Attitude determines altitude, and gratitude determines how far we will fly.”

remember1God loves a grateful heart, and today, I couldn’t be more grateful! My choices determined for me that I would sit idly by and watch my own life go by in a haze of regret, but not anymore! Thank you, Mom, for your precious gift you gave to me. I will cherish it for the rest of my life!

Psalm 103:9-19 – He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.

19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

image1 (1)You can read Psalm 99-103 and bask in the beautiful poetic musical prayers of those long ago at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Psalm

To further your reading, consider this from:

Philippians 1:3-6 – I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

The good work began when I completely surrendered. NOTHING, and I repeat, NOTHING has the power to take me out unless I let it. I can only imagine my beautiful mother saying these words to me. Long gone are the memories of bad, we only hold tight today to the new memories created since my rebirth in the family of Jesus.

Related Scriptures: Psalm 25:7; 1 Thessalonians 3:6; Matthew 26:13