Step #12. Remember

season

This entire series, 12 Steps to Stay in Tune this Season, isn’t the end all be all. I don’t attempt to claim expert status. I’ve simply been sharing what the Lord has taught me about keeping the main thing THE MAIN THING throughout November and December. Thanksgiving must be more than turkey and Black Friday deals. Christmas is so much more than decorations and wish lists. Around Mid-October I determined that I didn’t want to end up frustrated and worn thin on Christmas Eve. I resolved this year would be different.

Come Thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

– Robert Robinson, 1735-1790

This song easily became my motto. I heard it while shopping. I sang it as I rocked my baby. The lyrics have stayed with me and reminded me to seek what matters, to have a heart tuned to God’s grace.

Reminded.

Remembered.

We must remember why these dates are celebrated on the calendar. We must tell our souls the stories of God’s provision and faithfulness. We remember so we don’t forget.

stepStep #12. Remember.

“I am a wandering Israelite who sees the flame in the sky above, the pillar, the smoke from the mountain, the earth open up and give way, and still I forget. I am beset by chronic soul amnesia. I empty of truth and need the refilling. I need to come again every day–bend, clutch, and remember…” (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts)

 

Remember how Mary was not chosen out of her perfection, but out of her willingness. Remember the first “Silent Night” was probably anything but silent. For while our Savior was sinless, he was most certainly fully human-  and much crying he probably did make. Remember the wise men who saw with their eyes and believed with their feet… they followed.

 

All this to say, in five days, when you sit by yourself or with your family in front of a tree, around a table, in a wooden pew, or on a cushioned chair… remember the 42 generations who awaited the birth of the Messiah. Recall the young teenage girl who gave up her expectations for God’s amazing reality. Picture the infant breathing his first gulp of air and wailing – and then the man who cried out and gave up his last breath on Calvary. This God made flesh has come.

remember

 

 

“Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isaiah 25:9

 

Following,
Ginger

Thursday Tips: Choosing to Remember

remember

Catching the theme this week? REMEMBER. Today’s Thursday tip is a retro video post with a ridiculous popped collar, but it holds truth for today!

We begin in Psalm 105 again:

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
    tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always.

Remember the wonders he has done,
    his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced…”

Let’s take the time to remember all He has done! Catch you after the video:

Remember from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

“I REMEMBER the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.”  Psalm 143:5

What will you choose to remember today?

Following,
Ginger

Not to Forget

Psalm 105: 1-7 (NIV)

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
    tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always.

Remember the wonders he has done,
    his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
you his servants, the descendants of Abraham,
    his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
He is the Lord our God;
    his judgments are in all the earth.

REMEMBER.

Psalm 106:12-13, 20-21 (NIV)

“Then they believed his promises and sang his praise. But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel… They exchanged their Glory for an image of a bull, which eats grass. They forgot the God who saved them, who had done great things.

I do not want to forget. I want to remember the God who has done great things in my life…

He gave me a loving family.
He brought me to camp.
He gave me encouragement to live my passion.
He protected my heart and life.
He taught me to love through pain.
He showed me the way I should go.
He cultivated my story.
He directed my steps and journey.
He granted experiences.
He spoke to my heart.
He brought me to the desert.
He gave me countless opportunities.
He granted failure and favor.
He has given me a home.
He richly blessed me.
He granted the desires of my heart.
The Lord has done great things for me.
I will remember!

newtonPerhaps today is the day to make your own Psalm 105. Let’s remember what He has done for each of us, the way He has woven our stories. Let’s not forget.

Following,
Ginger

Remember, Remember, Remember.

After 27 hours of airports and travel we finally made it home from the other side of the world yesterday afternoon. I slept a full twelve hours and woke up rested and filled… and bursting with things to remember and to share. I’m trying to collect the thoughts, memories, and lessons that the Lord continues to press on my heart.

I know I’m about to answer this question hundreds of times: “How was your trip?!”

Short answer: beautiful, weighty, exhausting, energizing, and life-changing.

Long answer: stay tuned as I’m sure that response will be a part of every entry for the next month or so… OR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

So much to reflect upon and remember…

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;  and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;  and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall,  and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.

-2 Peter 1: 2-15, NIV

Thank you for your prayers and patience as I stepped away for a few days!

Following and remembering,
Ginger

Graven

I’ve had  “Before the Throne of God Above” stuck in my head for almost a week.  (Believe me, I know there are far worse songs to have stuck in your head.)  In case you aren’t familiar with it, LISTEN to any one of these recordings.

This hymn reminds me of my own faulty struggle with self-righteousness. I’ve battled being good enough for most of my life. I let comparison (judging my behavior as better or worse than others) and my own attempt at being “right” keep me from experiencing God’s grace in the ways that I should. God has been using studies, sermons, and everything in between to show me the hypocrisy and judgment that keep me from genuine repentance.

In simpler terms: When I attempt “being good enough” to earn God’s love, I end up acting like I don’t need His love at all.

This hymn reminds me that if I really believed that God’s love was enough I would be quick to say I’m sorry (to God and to everyone around me), I would live humbly, and I would have no need to seek my own righteousness. If only I could remember how He showed His love, with my name graven on His hands.

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on his hands,
My name is written on his heart;
I know that while in heaven he stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I am,
The King of glory and of grace!

One in himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by his blood
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God
With Christ, my Savior and my God
-Charitie Lees Smith

Even now as I sing along with the words I can’t keep my eyes from welling from tears.

“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.”
Isaiah 49:16, ESV

I write things on my hands so I won’t forget. My Father- my Savior, engraved my name upon His hands.  The Creator of the world engraved your name upon His hands. He won’t forget you.

Forgiven,
Ginger

Everything We Need

Lately God has been reminding me of a powerful truth: He’s given us everything that we need.  There aren’t hidden tools that we pick up as we age or mature… spiritual growth isn’t like passing levels on a video game.  All the parts are included, every piece of the puzzle arrived in the box.  From the outset you and I are equipped to not only survive in this life, but to thrive and live an amazing story.

Remember that He’s not holding out on you, waiting for you to get it together.

Remember that He sees you and He hears you.

Remember that His promises are precious and great.

Remember that He loves you and He has given you everything that you need to live a great story.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” 2 Peter 1:3-4, NIV

I love this one in the Message Translation too!

“Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.” 2 Peter 1:3-4, The Message

Thank God for His promises and for the fact that He has given us everything that we need.  Post this verse on your mirror and stay encouraged by the truth it holds!

Listening and following,
Ginger

Chapter 1

If you and  I want to make history this year by the way that we live and the choices that we make, I believe that we need to start at the source of living.  God has some pretty amazing things to say about the role you and I have to play in His Kingdom.

The truth is that you and I have forgotten, in a sense, who we really are.  We’ve become caught up in worries and fears and lists to the point that we’ve lost our identity and our purpose.

I hope to use the Tuesdays of 2012 to remind us all of WHOSE we are and WHOM we were created to be.  You are loved more than you could imagine and created for more than you could possibly dream.

Remember that you are more than the horrible mistakes that you made last year.

Remember that you were designed for far more than celebrity gossip and the latest fads.

Remember that you were created by the ultimate Creator.

Remember that your Father says…

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; 
   I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. 
 I will build you up again, 
   and you… will be rebuilt.”  Jeremiah 31:3-4, NIV

Spend time today acknowledging the fears, worries, and sin that held you captive in the past year.  Recite Jeremiah 31:3-4 out loud.  The spoken word (especially God’s Word) is powerful!  Remind yourself that living out an amazing story is possible because of the love and sacrifice of Jesus.  Speak out your desire for God to rebuild you once again.

Listening and following,
Ginger

I Will Remember

I’ve written about remembering before.  The theme of remembering what God has done replays itself over and over throughout the Old Testament.  As I finished reading Psalms yesterday I couldn’t help but stop and remember how faithful He has been.

Sometimes I make it so easy to forget. I get caught up in my schedule, deadlines, needs, wants and fears.

In the midst of stress and worry I forget the ways that He has taught me, wooed me, loved me, and brought me through.  Making the move to Arizona by myself was one of the most challenging parts of my journey thus far.  I battled loneliness, wanting so badly to bloom where He had planted me.

My home in Arizona is filled with friendships born in this desert, a marriage born in this desert, and faith in my Father through experience rather than tradition. Today I chose to remember the way He has carried me through…


June 2007
The crazy thing is that I’ve spent the last few conversations convincing everyone (including myself) that things couldn’t be peachier out in the desert.  And yes, some days I might describe with a peach, however, other days are less like a peach and more like raw hamburger meat.  I’m quick to remind myself that no matter my location, my days would be varied.

As the plane left the muggy runway Tuesday evening I could not get control of my tears. I’m so glad I had the window seat because I’m sure I would have drawn lots of attention from the short woman next to me whose business suit was 4 inches too long at the wrist and ankle hems.  Instead I stared out the window at the greenery that is not the desert and reminded myself once again of Abraham’s journey from the land of Ur, a place he had called home for 90 years before he received quite a different calling from the Lord.  Surely he must’ve had a meat day every once in a while.

This distance from all that is familiar and dear has left me pretty emotional lately.  I’ve been feeling slightly less than peachy.  It all came to a head as I pulled my car into my apartment complex and a song came on a mixed cd.  I lost it.  Not just the tears, the deep wrenching sobs.  I pulled into my brightly lit spot and prayed my neighbors would not choose that moment to make a trip to Wal-mart.  (Also, do not go to Wal-mart at 6:30 pm on a Friday.  Bad Choice.) I managed to put the car in park and pull my knees up in front of the steering wheel.  It’s not that this is hard; per say… it’s just that being home would be easier.  I don’t want to live for easy…but boy doesn’t that sound… well, easier?

I could pack it all up and be home in a week if I wanted.  But I don’t really want to do that.  Things are just getting interesting, exciting even.  There are big transitions coming at work and I truly want to be a part of what is happening here.  I’m even going to take my first Seminary class in August.  Who would have thought?

So as I sat hugging my knees, the song continued to play and I heard these words over and over:

“You hold my hand, through all of my struggles, you carry me through.   You hold my hand; though dark surrounds me – You carry me through.  Patience, a thousand years and a day it’s all the same, oh to you, the God of Space and Time – I will wait on You. Do not be afraid, for I am your God.” [Song: ‘My God’ from Freedom Time by Colin Bates. ]

I let my crying subside before I took a deep breath and popped the trunk.  I had groceries to take upstairs.  And somehow, even though my arms felt like they were going to rip from their sockets because of the weight of the bags, I knew I wouldn’t be crying anymore tonight.  No guarantee for tomorrow… but I’m hopeful.

“I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.”  Psalm 57:2

“How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of me on those who take refuge in you.”  Psalm 31:19

—-

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.”  Psalm 130:5

Today, I remember.

 

 

“I REMEMBER the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.”  Psalm 143:5

Following and remembering,
Ginger

Remembering

Succeptible to criticism: party for one.

Anyone with me?  I find myself meditating on negative thoughts more than I would like to admit.

You have got to lose this weight now.
No one reads this, why does it matter?
I am so alone.
You will never be published.
You aren’t contributing to your family.
You should be loving your neighbors more.
You’re a lousy friend.

And on and on.  I’m sure you have your own tape that you can pull out and play at a moment’s notice.  So today’s Thursday Tip has to do with combatting the negative.  Let’s turn from the inward and downward to the upward and outward.  Let’s declare with the Psalmist, “May my meditation be pleasing to Him, as I rejoice in the Lord.”  Psalm 104:34

Remember from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done.  Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.  Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.  Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, the judgments He pronounced.” Psalm 105:1-5

Remembering:
God brought me to a desert that has become my oasis.
I have a home with someone I love.
I have my own Bible and do not fear repurcussions for reading it.
I get to dream big every day.
We have food to put on the table.
I have wonderful relationships with my family and my in-laws.


And on, and on, and on… Add to the list.  What will you remember today?

Following and Remembering,
Ginger

P.S.  Bloggers who REMEMBER:
1,000 Gifts
Grace in the Small Things