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had a most embarrassing moment last week. I went to introduce a long-time friend to someone else and called my friend by the wrong name. Okay, it was at a funeral and my mind was focused on the grieving family, but that is still no excuse. He was a fellow pastor, who was one of several pastors attending this service, but that is still no excuse. I even named the churches where he had served before his retirement, but that is still no excuse. While my friend was kind and forgiving, understanding my plight, that is still no excuse for getting his name wrong.

I have always taken pride in my ability to recall names, dates and events. There was a time when I would meet our visitors before the worship service and call them all by the correct name at the end of the service. Now, I have our Deacons place the visitor’s cards on the table in the foyer, so that I can review them during the closing prayer. At one time, I was able to keep my appointments straight by carrying scraps of paper in my pocket. I am way past “reminder notes” now, needing both a calendar on my phone and my office door, along with two desktop calendars.

Memory is a tricky thing, indeed. It is a gift from God but it can also be a curse, when we cling to the wrong things. In our humanity, we often remember the things that we need to forget and forget the things that we need to retain. As we get older, we seem to struggle even more with separating out the precious memories from the painful moments of our past. While we easily recall those who have wronged us, we wrestle with calling the names of even our dear friends.

The Bible has much to say about our need to remember the blessings of God on our lives. The psalmist Asaph wrote in Psalm 77:11, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.” We read these words from King David in Psalm 143:5, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.” As much as I regret forgetting my friends name, there are much more important things in life that I pray will never slip my mind. Let us never forget God’s blessings, past and present!

Serving in love, Bro. Jim

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