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Musings & Memories


Posted 5/20/23

Looking back over the years is something I find myself doing a lot; and I know I’m not alone in that practice either.

People of a ‘certain age’ spend time reminiscing about, …

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Musings & Memories



Looking back over the years is something I find myself doing a lot; and I know I’m not alone in that practice either.

People of a ‘certain age’ spend time reminiscing about, and recalling and remembering the events, activities and people from those precious yesteryears.

I write about my memories and thoughts, and I do look back over the past and share my musings in these weekly columns.

And I sincerely thank God for my memory and my memories. But, just like you, my memories aren’t always good ones.

I’ve made too many mistakes over the years, and there are certainly things in my past that I regret.

But, I can’t go back and change those things that happened years ago, even if I would like to.

Time-Travel has been the thing of multiple movies and TV shows.

There’s one concept that seems to be repeated in many of those films and that is “if you go back and change the past it will also change the future.”

If that happens we may not like what that future holds for us.

What we can do to try and make up for the past is to work hard to live the best life we can NOW, and if need be, make apologies where and when needed.

A very important part in the recovery process for alcoholics is to follow the 12 Steps. The 12 steps of recovery are as follows:

Step One: Admitting powerlessness over addiction and the unmanageability of life because of it.

Step Two: Coming to believe that a power greater than oneself could restore sanity.

Step Three: Deciding to turn one’s will and life over to the care of God.

Step Four: Making a searching and fearless moral inventory of oneself.

Step Five: Admitting to God, oneself, and another human being the exact nature of one’s wrongs.

Step Six: Readiness to have God remove all these defects of character.

Step Seven: Humbly asking God to remove one’s shortcomings.

Step Eight: Making a list of people one has harmed and having a willingness to make amends to them all.

Step Nine: Making direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step Ten: Continuing to take personal inventory and promptly admit when one is wrong.

Step Eleven: Improving conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will.

Step Twelve: Carrying this message and practicing these principles throughout life.

(Thanks to Genesis Wellness & Recovery. )

Correcting the errors, mistakes, or sins of the past all begin with surrendering our lives to God and His will.

In my estimation, those twelve steps listed above all point to a life of repentance and living a life dedicated to the Lordship and Plan of God for our lives.

Step Eight directs a person to “Make a list of people one has harmed and have a willingness to make amends to them all.”

The person following these steps is directed to “have a willingness to make amends…”

Step Nine is so important for us if we want to correct those past sins that we have made against someone in our past. It says: “Making direct amends to such people wherever possible,” and then notice the next part of this step, “except when to do so would injure them or others.”

Sometimes we need to let those past sins stay in the past, especially if it would bring hurt and injury to someone. We need to make sure God lets us know when to do that and when not to.

Asking God to forgive us is so important. A New Life begins there for us.

Both John the Baptizer and Jesus the Christ came preaching a message of Repentance. They both said “Repent! For the Kingdom of God is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2, Matthew 4:17)

Repentance means to turn away from our sin and turn to God. And again, it begins with asking God to forgive us.

The Bible has a name for the devil who constantly throws the sins of our youth before us. Not only is he known as ‘the tempter,” (Matthew 4:3), but he is called “the accuser of the brethren” in Revelation 12:10.

If we have asked God to forgive us, then we are forgiven. Remind the devil of that next time he reminds you of something God forgave you for. Tell that accuser, “Back off, I’m forgiven!”

As I wrote earlier in this column we need to live the best life that we can in the ‘here-and-now.’

Living a good life, surrendered to the Will of God, is the best we can do for ourselves and for others.

Our memories are such an important part of who we are, whether they are good or not-so-good.

Throughout my years of ministry I’ve sat with numerous people who were experiencing what their doctors may have diagnosed as dementia or even Alzheimer’s disease. Years ago people referred to those things as ‘hardening of the arteries.’

One thing that has struck me is that so many dementia patients can remember things that happened in their childhood or their teen years and young adulthood, but they struggle to remember things that happened two weeks ago or even yesterday.

Men may not remember their wife or their children. Women may not remember their loved-ones’ names or faces.

I know it’s sad to watch that happen to someone you love. It’s been called “The Long Goodbye.”

My mother passed away after a short illness at the age of 95. Someone her age has lots and lots of memories, and I thank God that Mom’s memory was still intact at her age.

Mom, like most of us, liked to talk about the good memories.

I remember one time sitting with Mom out on the deck at my sister’s lake home in Western Minnesota. I brought up some of the bad things I did in my youth, and Mom stopped me and said, “I don’t want to remember those things, and you shouldn’t either!”

That was my Positive Thinking Mother!

I’m not going to write about the bad things I may have done back then. Just know that I have prayed for forgiveness, and no matter what the accuser says, “I AM FORGIVEN!”

I may remember those things, but I also remember that I AM FORGIVEN!