How to Remember Our Stories

stories

The stories behind this story.

Forty years. That’s how long it had been since the Children of Israel had crossed the Red Sea on dry land. People were still talking about it. People who were enemies of the Israelites, that is. These enemies heard about their conquests of other kings as well. That’s why Rahab hid those spies Joshua sent into Jericho.  She knew it was just a matter of time until her city would fall into the hands of the Israelites. Rahab had heard about their God, and she wanted to be spared when they came to take over her city. This woman remembered everything she had heard that had happened years before!

Because of her faith, Rahab and her family were spared when the conquest of Jericho happened. You can read about that here.  You will especially want to read chapters two and six, verses 22-27.

Following the conquest of Jericho, the Israelites finally found rest in the land that had been promised to them 450 years before. Sometimes they thought it would never happen, but it did. Hadn’t God said it would?!

They digressed in their faith and repented, over and over again. God continued to be with them and to bless them even though they failed Him over and over.

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Forgotten Stories

Eventually, Joshua, their leader died. Scripture says that after Joshua and his generation died, the people did not remember or know about the mighty works God had done.

How did this happen?  How could they not have known?!

Was it so familiar to them that they failed to realize the significance and power of their God? Was it so familiar to them that they no longer stood in awe?

Was it just a part of their history and not a part of their personal experience?

Who didn’t tell them? Who failed to recount the stories of the miracles God had performed?

  • Forty years of wearing clothing and shoes that never wore out.
  • Forty years of daily food in the form of manna.
  • Forty years of water provided abundantly, whether through streams in the desert or water gushing from a rock.
  • Forty years of wandering in the wilderness because of the sin of unbelief.
  • Forty years of following a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
  • Forty years of wilderness travel with a tabernacle set up for worship each time the cloud stopped.

It’s easy to think, “Shame, shame!” on those people who had raised their children in that wilderness. It’s easy to think they should have remembered.

Have we been guilty of the same? Have we failed to pass on the stories of our faith journeys?

There’s only one way to pass on a story to those younger than us and those not yet born.

There is only one way to remember: tell the stories again and again and again.

Somebody failed to tell those stories. Somebody failed to pass it on. Somebody failed to set up memorials so that when his children asked, “What does this mean?” he could say, “Let me tell you what God did for us.”

Silence stills the stories.

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We need to tell the stories

  • to help us remember and continue to praise God.
  • to remind us of His power and His presence in our past.
  • to help us face the Giants and Red Seas of our todays.
  • to give us the courage to face conquests of tomorrow

Telling the stories:

  • is like marching around Jericho.
  • gives us hope for our tomorrows.
  • is a way to pass on the stories to our children, our grandchildren, and those not yet born.
  • keeps us from forgetting
  • guarantees that generations will grow up knowing the stories and believing in their truth.

Ways to tell your stories

What stories do you have that you have not shared?

What stories are you passing on to your children and grandchildren?

What stories have you not yet told?

How do you tell your stories?  How do you remember – or do you forget to remember?

What symbols do you use to help you remember what God has done? 

Use the gifts God has given you. Use your gifts so that your descendants can one day ask you, “What does this mean?” and you can tell them the stories behind the story of God’s faithfulness.

When God parts the waters of your Red Sea, when He shuts the mouths of lions, when He fire-proofs your furnace, when He uses one stone to slay a giant, when He causes the walls of a city to fall flat, we need to remember. When He heals and restores, when He provides a way in our wilderness, we need to remember. We need to remember so that our future generations won’t forget what God has done.

Joshua used twelve stones from the Jordan River for a memorial.

Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe; and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”  [Joshua 4:4-7]

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What You Could Use

  • If you are a seamstress or a quilter, use old fabric to help you remember a person or an event. Make a wall-hanging or a quilt. Each piece of fabric can tell its own story.
  • If you love to do clay, pottery, or decoupage, create a design with a specific symbol that will help you remember.
  • If you are an artist or a photographer, create a photo or collage that will have your kids asking what it means. Use that opportunity to retell the story of God’s faithfulness.
  • If you enjoy words, use poetry or a written story, perhaps using online sources such as Snapfish or Shutterfly.
  • If you delight in music, write a song and use it as a wall hanging so that others will see it and ask you about the song. Sing the song to your kids and grandkids “so that you do not forget.”

Tell your children and your children’s children. Don’t let your stories be silenced and forgotten.

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Here are some other options for telling your stories. Check them out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Claiming a Mountain With Giants Hidden There

 mountain alps

The Scripture:   Joshua 14:7-14

As a forty-year-old man, Caleb was sent to spy out the land for Moses and the Children of Israel. Of the twelve spies who were sent, Caleb was only one of two who came back with an accurate report.

All twelve spies came back loaded with fruit – bunches of grapes so large they had to be carried by more than one man. Pomegranates such as they had never seen before. The evidence was before them and could not be denied. They not only saw the fruit, they got to taste and consume it.

Yet what the people remembered was that in that land flowing with milk and honey, there were giants.

pomegranates and grapes

When the people listened to the report from the other spies about the “giants in the land”, they decided they were too afraid to enter the land that God had promised them.

Caleb continued to trust and follow the Lord. He didn’t change his scouting story and he kept believing.  He said God had promised them that land, and He would give it to them.

Basically, he said, “That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.”

It turns out he was right. His report was accurate, and God proved it by rewarding the two men who told the truth. The other ten spies were never allowed to enter that promised land.

And now, in this biblical account, the focus turns to Caleb and his story.

Forty years have passed since that spying expedition. At eighty, Caleb is as strong as he was forty years before.

He was given a vision then (those many years before). He hasn’t forgotten that vision. I can’t imagine waiting forty years for a vision to be fulfilled, but he waited.

It’s time now, he says, to see that vision fulfilled.

Caleb wants to go forward and conquer the land – that land with those giants. That land whose giants kept the Israelite children so paralyzed that they refused to believe God would really give it to them.

Caleb isn’t afraid because He serves a God Who is able to do more than we could ask or think.

He’s not afraid because He knows a God Who can slay dragons and giants – as well as fears.

mountainn climber

He says to Joshua, “Give me this mountain.”

Caleb knows what is in that land, and he is still ready to go!

He’s a man on a mission – and that mission will succeed because it is God’s mission.

mountain snow

Is God asking you to forge ahead into unchartered territory?

Will you claim the mountain or be too afraid of those giants?

What a challenge – and what a way to pray!

I’ve got some mountains of my own. How about you?

What mountains does God want you to ask Him to give to you today?

mountain green

 

There’s a song about this story and about the mountains you and I are facing today.

You can listen to it by clicking on the link below. The words to the song follow this link.

Listen to it, and then sing along!

To listen to Anchored Quartet sing this song, click here. 

mountain top

Give Me This Mountain by Frank Garlock

The challenge now is here – what cause is there to fear?

I will follow to the place where God has called!

And though the task ahead is great, there is no need to wait;

God’s command is “conquer cities, fenced and walled.”

 

This mountain I shall own, but not for me alone –

For my children, I shall claim this promised land.

Because the Word of God is sure.  The future is secure;

All the power we need is in God’s mighty hand!

 

Take courage and be strong – We’ll sing the victor’s song,

All the blessings God has promised we may claim.

So let us hasten to obey, Our Saviour leads the way;

He will help us win the battle for  His name!

CHORUS:

Give me this mountain, give me this mountain!

To the land where giants grow

That’s the place I want to go.

Give me this mountain, this very mountain!

I shall conquer in the power of the Lord.

Claiming Mountain Pinterest