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sights & smells of our past…

Our God is in heaven doing whatever he wants to do. Their gods are metal and wood, handmade in a basement shop: carved mouths that can’t talk, painted eyes that can’t see, tin ears that can’t hear, molded noses that can’t smell, hands that can’t grasp, feet that can’t walk or run, throats that never utter a sound. Those who make them have become just like them, have become just like the gods they trust.

—Psalm 115:3-8 As we go from season to season, it’s amazing how the change in sights and smells brings back memories from past times. You can almost smell the honeysuckle like when you were 15 years old, or you see the way a tree is bent a certain way and it reminds you of walking on a tree lined roadway when you were just 10. Our memories are fantastic and God has given us great recollection from the past in order to live the abundant life today. The sights and smells of our past can help us reflect on the past and see great hope and balance for life that is God centered and rich.

One of these sights and smells happened to me on Thursday of this past week. We were driving to Florence, AL on our way to Missouri to attend Andra’s niece’s wedding and I had one of those epiphanies. It was one where everything lined up to bring back something from my past. We had just gone across a bridge over the Mississippi River and turned on I-55, when suddenly as I looked at the road ahead, it hit me. I went all the way back to a time when I was 19 years of age driving to my sister’s home to visit during a break at school. It was raining and the fields, the road and the way the sky was heavily clouded brought back a memory so vivid it almost shocked me. As I looked up the road, I remembered this was the trip when I went to my sister’s home for the weekend; not too long after that initial trip I met Andra for the first time. Long gone memories were suddenly there again. I cracked the window and smelled the rain, and the freshness of earlier times suddenly brought balance and peace to me. My heart was stirred. God gave me a treat! No different than when we take a very small break in our schedule to remember a treat for our dog, Mocha. Not too big a deal for us, but very tasty for her.

God has a way of taking the simple things and making us come alive in a different way for “just a moment!” — little in time but huge in effect. Hopefully our busyness and indifference will never take away those precious little moments that can be experienced again and again through seeing or smelling something. It‘s amazing that God seems to look into our puny little lives and gives us a fresh remembrance of the past. He is able to make it seem as if it happened just yesterday. That’s Abba Father…

As we approach this Sunday in worship, hopefully all of us will get a fresh touch from God that will cause us to remember just how good God is and how much better our lives are with Him. It may be a smell, maybe something you see or maybe it will be a certain song. Whatever it is, live in the moment. Find your balance once again and then long for those memories of God’s grace and love for you to freshen your heart again and again. Remember, God is not distant and unapproachable. In fact, God is very real and very close. He wants to bless us and give us sights and smells that are real, not fake. Don’t trust other gods that have no hope, no heart. Trust God and allow Him to penetrate your heart afresh and anew. Be like Him and see your world change before your very eyes. He is real…

As we think about the upcoming Mother’s Day, I want to say a big thank you to my mother and all she has done for me. I also want to thank Andra for being a Godly example to our children. I also want to thank the Lord for the two new granddaughters he is sending our way in September. I’m already going to thank God for the mothers Natalie and Dana will be. New smells, new sights, new memories. Remember! Don’t forget!

Happy Mother’s Day!

David Warren

Worship Pastor

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