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Frank Hay

Frank Hay

Nehemiah 9:1-6 (NKJV) -- 1) Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads. 2) Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3) And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the LORD their God. 4) Then Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani and Chenani stood on the stairs of the Levites and cried out with a loud voice to the LORD their God. 5) And the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah, said: "Stand up and bless the LORD your God Forever and ever! "Blessed be Your glorious name, Which is exalted above all blessing and praise! 6) You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You."

I am reminded how easy it is as you grow older to forget to remember. At times, I must think a moment to recall what I had for breakfast. Our scripture tells of a Biblical time when the Israelites rebuilt the walls to Jerusalem, after which Nehemiah led the people in a time of worship. The rest of this scripture reminds the people what God had done for them in the past.

Our Bible calls us to remember many times. We humans are prone to forget, and with age, it gets more difficult -- especially remembering how God carried us in a past time. I certainly can recall several times I had to stop and remember how God had delivered me from situations.

As we rapidly enter this new year, have you stopped to remember what God has done for you? Since we were born with a rebel heart, it is easy to tell ourselves WE did it all. By our own strength, we have provided and maintained our lives and the lives of those that rely on us. Think with me. What do you have that was not provided by some other being? Did you make the shirt on your back? If so, where did you get the material?

Most provisions come from the earth in one way or another. Where did the dirt come from? Do you know anyone who provides dirt? Something as simple as dirt was created from nothing, and it was created by God. He alone provides it all. I believe we are seeing our world, and especially our nation, in such turmoil because we have sought to eliminate God from our everyday life.

God created this world and inhabited it with humans to have fellowship with Him. He did, however, make us with freewill and choice of who we would serve and have fellowship. Today we must rely on our history, our remembering to know what has been done for us. Our memories are choosing to believe in our own knowledge even when told not to rely on our own knowledge.

Check your history; use reliable sources, especially the Bible. May God lead you to follow Him, learn from Him, and the joy of the Lord will bless you beyond your expectations.

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J. Frank Hay Jr. is an Orangeburg pastor and chaplain.

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