TODAY we’re going to talk about remembering.

Remember you are strong. Remember you are amazing.

This is God’s message for you today. God is telling you: “Remember My love for you. Remember how much I love you. Remember what I’ve done for you.

Remember how blessed you are.”

I am totally, completely, and perfectly loved.

We are on the second talk of our crazy, amazing series on Deuteronomy and here, it picks up where the book of Numbers left off.

Imagine I’m Moses and imagine that you are the second generation of Jews– because the first generation died in the wilderness.

You are now at the door step of the Promised Land. And just imagine that you really want to enter already. But Moses starts a history class, gives a lecture– three chapters long.

And Moses keeps on saying, “Remember…” God is telling you right now before you go in: “Please remember what I’ve done.”

Moses says, “But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.”

A Horrible Disease

Let me begin with a sad and scary story of a friend of mine.

She is in her 80s and she is a daily Mass goer. Every morning, like clockwork, before 6 o’clock, she hops into a tricycle to go to church and attend Mass. After Mass, she takes another tricycle to go back home.

She is the kind of woman who is feisty and stubborn.

Her daughter tells her, “Mom, don’t go alone.”

She replies, “I can, I’m strong.” She’s bull-headed.

But one fateful, historic day–a day that they would not want to remember— she went to church but her daughter, waiting for her at home, noticed she had not come back at the usual time. The daughter rushed to church. She could not find her– you can imagine the panic.

Let me fast forward the story. A few hours later, a tricycle driver found my elderly friend walking on the street– totally lost.

This tricycle driver kind of like recognized her– but not quite. So, he asked her, “Lola, where are you going?”

And my friend said, “I want to go home.”

The tricycle driver said, “Lola, I will bring you there. Where do you live?” And Lola said, “Doon sa… Doon sa…–There…There…”

She could not remember her street.

The driver asked her, “What is your name? She said, “Ako si ano… –I am…”

She could not remember her name.

The cruel blow of Alzheimer– dementia—a general term for the decrease of mental capacity had taken over her brain.

By the way, I just want you to know that she’s safe — because there was another tricycle driver who found her, recognized her, and brought her home.

Thanks be to God!

A History Class

But I want you to know that aside from this deadly, horrible disease, there is a similar disease and it is, I believe, more pervasive: the dementia of the soul —it is when you forget your spiritual identity, your spiritual destiny, and your spiritual family. It’s when you forget who you are, why you live and where you belong. And if you have soul dementia, you will be like my friend– you will not be able to go back home. Your own spiritual home you won’t be able to find your way.

I just want to share Deuteronomy again, because this is what Moses does. He goes through and he understands that this is the disease that will steal away from people their relationship with God. And so, he warns them of this soul dementia and he says, “You’ve got to remember!”

You’ve got to fight this soul dementia. And so, what Moses does is he gives them a history class and he goes back to what they went through.

Let’s read Deuteronomy 1:2-3:

Moses knew it would just take 11 days from Mt. Sinai all the way to the Promised Land!

So, Moses was reminding them of the tragedy that happened to them, specifically their parents, because this was what happened to their parents: Instead of an 11-day hike, it became a 40-year circuitous death journey. What a calamity! Horrible thing!

Who Are the Prodigals?

And so, this was the second generation listening to Moses. But I want you to know that again, the difficulty of this text in the book of

Deuteronomy is Moses was confusing.

We talked about this last week, if you recall.

Why is it as though Moses was talking to the first generation, their actual rebels, when actually, they were already gone? They were already dead. And now, he was talking to the children– and yet when he was talking, he would say, “You rebels and this is what you did…”

And I believe the author of Deuteronomy was

How many of you have once in a while made mistakes and sin against the Lord?

And sometimes, you do your own will and not God’s will.

So, the book of Deuteronomy is talking to prodigals like you and me– that we want to return to the Lord with us, you know, insisted our own way, rebelled against God– and now, we want to go back. And so, Moses is speaking to all of us.

There’s this American author named George Santayana, and maybe you’re familiar more with his quote rather than with him–because he said somewhere in the 18th-19th century, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to forget it.”

So, we need to remember what Moses was doing. Deuteronomy 4:9, at the end of his history class:

We need to never, never forget. There are two points that we should never forget

How many of you have ever experienced God’s painful lessons? Have you experienced that in your life? That when you have failed Him, when you disobeyed Him, when you did not trust Him, calamity struck? You experienced bad consequences from your bad decisions.

It’s funny when you think about it.

For example, God says, “Be patient.”

You did not become patient and you blew your top. You took matters into your own hand and you rushed in and you did something that you later regretted. And now you are looking at: “I wish I just trusted in the Lord.”

Now, those bad consequences, I’m telling you, they are God’s painful lessons. Let me tell you about— I can’t tell you her real name, let’s call her Sally.

One day, because of greed, because of carelessness, because of financial ignorance, she found herself buried in a P4-million debt.

And she told me, “Bro. Bo, it is so bad! It’s like if there is a place in the world that I will consider hell, it is that.”

She would stand at the MRT, and when the train is coming, she just wants to kill herself. She just wants to die, to disappear! The only thing that prevented her was her two small children.

She said, “They’re too young. They need me.”

I want you to know that this story has a happy ending. Because after many years of hard work, discipline, and miracles from God, she got out of debt.

She is debt free.

Wake-Up Call: Two Words

I want you to know this: that she would tell me– and I’m sorry if I’m going to say some bad words here in my talk. I want to really make you feel what she feels.

She said, “Alam mo, Bro. Bo, kapag meron akong temptation to be careless again with my money, I would tell myself: ‘Ano ako tanga?! Babalik sa impyerno?!” – You know, Bro. Bo, if I have temptation to be careless again with money, I would tell myself: ‘What am I, dumb? I will go back to hell? Will I be insane enough to go back to hell’? Hello?!”

She has two words that she uses to wake herself up from the hypnosis of temptation– the temptation to greed. She would tell herself two words: “Never again.”

I love it and I really do! And it is something we can tell ourselves– that we have to remember the painful lesson that God allowed us to experience.

Whatever situation you had in the past, wag mo na ulitin! Wag ka na maging T A N G A. —Don’t repeat it. Don’t be dumb. We’re insane. We keep on going back to whatever God has allowed us to experience as a lesson, as a painful lesson.

But there is something so much better than learning from our painful lessons: Learning from the painful lessons of other people.

You don’t have to experience it. You just look: “Ay, kawawa naman siya.– What a pity. Never again.”

You don’t want to taste what that person experienced.

There’s this man, a young guy who comes up to me and he tells me his story. He is someone who can never walk into a casino. He can never play e-sabong—online cockfighting. He cannot sit down and play a harmless game of mahjong. Why? Because he saw his mother’s life destroyed by gambling. His mother was addicted to gambling and she lost her job because she stole from her company, and she actually went to jail for a few days. It was a horrible experience.

And her son said, “I saw how gambling destroyed someone I dearly love and it’s so painful that I said to myself, ‘Never in my life.’”

Learning the Lessons of Other People

This is what the book of Deuteronomy was all about. The second generation did not experience what their parents experienced — but they saw. They saw the effect of their bad decisions, of not trusting God.

Moses was telling them– basically for three chapters– he retold the story that we talked about in the book of Numbers, in the book of Leviticus— he told them, “You were here 40 years ago, you were at the doorstep of the Promised Land. Your parents were supposed to go in but it got delayed for 40 years because they sent spies and the spies saw giants, they were afraid.

God was saying that they can do it, they can conquer those giants. But the people of Israel said, “No, we cannot.”

And Joshua and Caleb were saying, “Trust God, we can do this.”

And they said no, and they walked for 40 more years. Moses had to retell that story to this new generation because he wanted them to understand: You may not have made the mistake, you were not the ones who disobeyed God– but listen, you tasted the consequences– and so you’ve got to learn from the lessons of other people.

The second story is about a guy I met. He’s somebody who has a beautiful family life. But he discovered his father had a second family– and then he realized that it’s like a family tradition. The uncles are playboys and the grandfather is a two timer– and all of that.

And he was here at The Feast, and he told me, he told his wife: “Not me.

It stops with me. I’m going to have a great marriage. I’m going to have an amazing marriage.”

He looked at his father and the horrible pain that he caused his family. He looked at his uncles, he looked at his grandfather, and said, “Not me.”

This couple is strong. This couple is loving. This couple is committed.

This couple is serving the Lord.

What mistakes did your parents make that you can learn from so that you can say Never again?

Say: “The cycle stops with me.”

Here’s No. 2… What’s No. 1? Remember God’s Painful Lessons. Hallelujah.

Remember, remember the pain you went through when you disobeyed God. Remember the pain. Remember, remember—so you will never do it again. Amen?

By the way, you know my story, right? I went through pornography. I was addicted to pornography—years ago. I’m telling you: I’ve experienced the horror of that. It is horrible. It ate me up. It destroyed my life. And so now, many decades later, I look back at my past and I say, “Never again.”

No way. I don’t want that horrible pain—the jail that I was in. I can’t. I taste the bitter taste in my mouth. It’s just huuu. And I want you to have that experience.

God is telling you: Remember the pain when you disobeyed me. Remember the pain when you did not trust me. Remember the pain when you insisted your way.

I want you to have fullness of joy. I want you to have peace in your life.” Tell somebody beside you: Remember God’s painful lessons.

Here’s No. 2: Remember God’s Persistent Love.

You might say, “Bro. Bo, isn’t it that God’s painful lessons come from His love?

Yes. But I’m emphasizing the painful lesson. But please understand: the reason God allows the bad consequences of your bad decisions is He loves you. If He does not love you, then this is what He’s going to say: “Oh, do whatever you want to do. Be greedy, be proud, you know, be selfish—I don’t care.”

No. God is a God who says, “I care for you. You made a wrong decision. I’m going to allow the bad consequences to bite you so that you will learn, and so that you will understand that that’s not the way to do it.

That’s the love of God. That’s the persistent love of God.

Another phrase for God’s painful lesson is God’s justice and we don’t talk about it so much– but we need to. Because God’s justice and God’s love are one.

And because of this, I want you to listen to this next guy who will preach: Audee Villaraza!


You know Deuteronomy is something that’s so relevant to a lot of us and you probably don’t know this yet– that if you’re Filipino, Deuteronomy is something that’s very close to your heart. When I was listening to Bro. Bo and we realized that verse: 11 days turned into 40 years? As a Filipino, you’ll understand that.

Because you go through EDSA every day. Sundays, when I go to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), it takes me 30 minutes to get here. But Mondays, it takes me three hours from my place. So, as a Filipino you know that little journey.

I want to continue reading the book of Deuteronomy. Moses is talking to the Israelites and he tells them:

You ever read the Bible sometimes and you feel like God is talking to you directly, through the verses? You’ve ever had those moments? Like this is for me. God is singling me out.

That’s what I felt like when I was rea ding this verse. Like this is a direct text message to my number. Like it has my name on it. As if God was using the verse to speak to me—in the sense that I suddenly remembered, when I was reading this, the many times that I failed God and I sinned against Him. And I turned my back on Him, and I forgot about Him. And I took Him for granted in my life.

And I realized, even in spite of all that I’ve done, God continues to make me feel that I’m loved.

God continues showing His favor. That’s what Moses was telling the Israelites: “In spite of everything you’ve done to disobey the Lord, He continues to show you His favor.”

And this is a message for you as well. In spite of what you’ve done against God—how you’ve hurt Him, how you’ve failed Him, God continues to bless you. Amen?

But if there’s anything, this is evidence: Like Moses was telling them, despite what you’ve done, look: No.1, God still led you to the Promised Land; No. 2, God appointed your leaders; No. 3, God won all these victories for you; and No. 4, He actually divided the land, according to each tribe so, that everybody would flourish.

If anything, this is a message of God’s relentless love, right? But we also have to be careful. Because I know that sometimes, we think that, “Hey, anyway,

God is going to love me. God is going to forgive me. God will continue to be there for me.”

This is not a license for you to abuse God’s love. Some people might be thinking like that: “Anyway, God is going to forgive me. Anyway, God is going to continue to accept me…”

No. Let me put it this way: Just because God’s love is relentless, it doesn’t mean that you have to be reckless. Say Amen if you believe that. It doesn’t mean that you have to abuse God’s love—just because it’s there.

So, how do we solve this problem Bro. Bo calls soul dementia? Here’s the solution: You have to establish rituals.

Some people might call it patterns, some might call it habits. Rituals in your life that will encourage you to do something again, and again, and again.

Because here’s the thing: If you don’t have rituals or habits in your life in place, you’re going to depend on your feelings. And let me tell you: When you start making decisions based on your emotions, that’s a bad recipe for success.

Because sometimes, you feel like you want to do it, sometimes, you don’t feel like doing it. That’s how our emptions are, right?

So, here’s the truth: That you can take home today: Make important things automatic.

Question: Is your health life important to you? Is it? Then what you need to do is establish habits– exercising regularly, or eating right, and watching your weight. Because you know that bad cholesterol is not good for you.

You make those habits automatic—you do them again and again.

Is financial life important to you? Yes? So you want to establish habits– investing, spending wisely, and becoming good steward of your resources.

Why? Because your financial life important to you.

Two Rituals

So, what you want to do is make important things automatic. So, you don’t even have to think about it. It’s just second nature to you.

Are your relationships important to you? So, make this a habit: Spend time with the people you love, to exercise self-sacrifice. That’s good to do.

I’ll teach you two practical things so you go home today with practical stuff that you can apply in your life. Two rituals that you can do starting tomorrow, or starting today:

I have a personal ritual that I will share with you today. It’s called First Light. What does First Light mean? It refers to the light that comes first.

You don’t get to my age without being wise.

First Light is this: The moment I wake up in the morning, the moment my eyes get illuminated, I have to remember to do something very important. And for me, this is the most important thing that separates whether I would have a good day or a bad day. The moment I wake up, I thank the Lord. I acknowledge that He woke me up, and I praise Him for that. I thank Him.

If I have a little more time—because I’ve got kids at home, sometimes I get to read Scriptures, sometimes, if I don’t– and this is a practical advice for parents who have young children who wake up very early and you have to do errands.

I make sure that I read the Word—even just a story. I use this book called Companion. If you don’t have one you can buy one at the lobby. It’s a beautiful book where you can write on it, you can underline some words, and you can jot down your reflections.

I Remember…

So, I read the Gospel for the day. And I read it like I’m reading a story. I don’t have to sit down and really break open the Word and study it. Because what happens is that all throughout my morning, the story gets lodge here (in my mind). So, it marinates in my mind and little by little, I get surprises every now and then that God will use that exact story to speak to me.

For instance, last Tuesday, I stumbled upon this verse, Galatians 6: 9:

We went to the grocery – we love grocery time in the morning because there’s nobody there. So, my wife and I went with the kids. And when we were at the counter—it wasn’t a long line—but I noticed that behind me, there was somebody who had only three items. And I remembered that verse: Don’t give up in doing the right thing… So, you know what I did? I told the guy, “Kuya, Bro, go first.

I am not in a hurry.”

Question: Was that the right thing to do? Yeah, it was! Because I wasn’t rushing. I wasn’t in a hurry. It was not an emergency. So, I allowed him to go ahead of me.

And then, we went to the parking lot—we usually park outside so we get Vitamin D (sunlight)—we put the groceries in the trunk of our car. Usually, sometimes, some people, when they’re rushing, they leave the grocery cart just right beside their car. But because I remembered that piece of Scripture: Don’t give up in doing the right thing… — even if you’re tired, even if you’re feeling lazy… So, you know what I did? I wheeled the shopping cart back to the grocery.

Was that the right thing to do? Yes. Yes, absolutely.

How Habits Change Behavior

So, you see what I’m trying to say is that if the moment I woke up, if I allowed things of the world to occupy mind, my mind would be in different directions. I’d be focusing on my obligations, my worries, my fears, my frustrations, my discouragements.

But I realized that if the first thing that I do the moment I wake up, is to let God’s Word occupy my mind and my heart, all of I feel more patient, more understanding. I’m looking for ways on how to be kind to people.

That’ s how the Word of God affects you. So, that’s what you need to do.

But here’s the secret: If you’re going to establish a habit, the key is to make it consistent. It has to be repetitive, regular– day to day.

There was an organization that did this study: the Center for Biblical Engagement. They did a survey among 40,000 persons, between the ages of 8 and

  1. That’s a big gap, right? But the study focused on the effects on people when they get exposed to Scripture—how their behavior changes.

So, the first day, they took one group and for a couple of weeks, they just encounter Scripture. Or maybe have an encounter with God—whether through Mass, through daily (spiritual) readings—just once a week. And the researchers noticed this: There was no change in their behavior.

Some of you know this. You go to Mass once a week. You go Sunday, day of obligation, and you’re feeling inspired after the homily. And you’re feeling so hoy after this. But then that feeling doesn’t even make it outside of the parking lot.

Why? Because somebody cuts in front of you and now, you’re feeling discouraged. And you’re feeling frustrated.

No change for people who just had an encounter with the Lord once a week.

But the researchers noticed that for people who encountered Scripture, or the Word, twice a week, really no change either. Same thing. Very little change. Or no change at all. But people who were exposed to Scripture at least three times a week, there was this little change. People would show signs of life. Like a faint pulse, a faint heartbeat.

Win Your Morning

When they got to the group who were exposed to Scripture at least four times a week, you know what happened? They were shocked. Because the changes in the persons, in terms of their behavior, all of a sudden, they just jumped up.

In their study, in data form, they observed what happened to people who had encounters with Jesus, or encounters with His Word, more than four times a week:

But here’s the Good News as well: People who were exposed to Scripture again and again, they shared their faith. And it jumped up to 200%.

Amazing, right? Here’s he last thing: Discipling others just shut up to 230%.

Isn’t that encouraging?

I mean the more that you are exposed to the Word, it changes the way you view life. And all of sudden, you’re looking for ways how you can improve as a person.

No wonder, Scripture says in 2 Timothy:16:

So, start a Personal Ritual– something you can anchor yourself to every single day, and make it consistent. So that you have something to always go back to – whether you pray in the morning, or you pray at night. Make it very consistent.

I noticed this: that when you start your day with gratitude, you end your day with gratitude. No matter what happens during your day. That’s why if you wake up with anger, I’m telling you, the entire morning you’ll be angry. You’ll be frustrated. Win your morning by winning it with gratitude.

The Second Ritual: Communal Ritual

Communal Ritual is it’s logical. It’s actually self-explanatory: communing with other people.

In my household, we have two kids—five-year- old Ethan and two-year-old. Ellie. They don’t know how to pray very well yet. Except our five- year-old son. I love it when we pray before the meal—usually, I would be the one to pray, sometimes it’s my wife who prays– but I noticed that little by little, my son would not allow the prayer to end without him having a part in that prayer. You know how we’d usually pray—we say, Thank You, Lord, for…Thank You, Lord, for…

And I noticed, when he was younger, his prayer was always Thank You, Lord, for my toys… Thank You, Lord, for my Legos… Thank You, Lord, for my clothes.

It was always about stuff.

But lately, we’ve noticed that Ethan’s prayer has changed a bit. It’s no longer about Thank You, Lord, for my stuff. But Thank You, Lord, for my Mom. Thank You, Lord, for Ellie. Thank You, Lord, for Dad. Thank You, Lord, for Kuya Liam, for Lance (his cousins).

He prays for people now, and we’ve seen this change. This is something

I believe every family should have: Healthy, safe, conversations. Because our home is supposed to be a safe place. Do you agree?

But the sad reality is that there are not a lot of homes which are like that. Sometimes, your home is not a safe place. And you feel like the very place where you are supposed to feel safe is the very place where you feel like being condemned.

Where You Are Safe

So, parents, let me talk to you. Your job is to make your home into a safe place. Because the last thing that you want is people taking their issues outside because they are not able to deal with their issues inside their home.

Let me say this to the parents. Here’s what you need to do: You build strong, and safe, and secure tables in your house.

Why? So that your children will not have to look for a seat at the table of others. If you’ve got a safe place at home, your kids would be like, “Why would I need for acceptance, and love, and encouragement on the seat in the home of other people? Because I can find these here at home.”

That’s what our safe home should look like. But more than just these two rituals—Personal and Communal– you know what we really need? We need a strong family of families.

What do I mean by that?

You ever heard of that African proverb that says, It takes a village to raise a child? You know what I believe? That’s true. Bu I also believe this: That it takes a family to raise, another family.

That’s why God built His Church. What is today? August 13. Did you know that last August 3, the Light of Jesus Family (founded in 1980) celebrated 43 years of its existence, and the 26th founding Anniversary of The Feast? How did it start? The Feast started in 1997 in a garage—I wasn’t born yet.

I was born in 1998 J

Why did The Feast start in a garage? It started with a family (Bro. Bo, his parents, and sisters), holding prayer meetings at the garage of their home (in Cubao, Quezon City).

So, it all started with a family. But you know how it was able to expand?

Through other families that kept on growing, and growing, and growing. And now look at The Feast—it’s all over the world. We’re international. Amazing.

And I don’t know if this is the first time you walked in here, or maybe you’ve been attending since 1997. But what’s important is that you’re here. That’s what’s most important.

We Are Family

You know, in my ministry—

I joined the Light of Jesus Family

in 2008—15 years ago. And I’ve been through different sets of people. Like if I could look at it from the past,

I remember, I have so many people I’ve encountered and walked with– people from the Music Ministry, people from the Production Ministry, people from the Creatives Ministry, people from the Admin Ministry.

I’ve served in so many different capacities and what I’m so grateful about this is the fact that some people may have come. Some people may have gone. But at least, we’re still here. And you’re part of the Family.

Can you just elbow someone beside you and say,

“You’re Family.”

This is a family affair. And the reason we’re still here is our small caring groups we call the Light Groups (because they are like a mini version of our Light of Jesus Family).

Are you part of a Light Group? If you don’t have one, please sign up at the lobby. This is my invite—to encourage you to sign up for a small group. Because that’s the way you will survive in the world—with your small group, with your squad of people who pray with you, who pray for you. Sign up in the lobby today.

And that’s how God will disciple you – one person at a time.

The people in my Light Group—they are people who I have been walking with for many, many years, they’re my Best Men, they’re the ninongs—godparents— of my kids. They’re people I confide to. I cannot actually remember how many times close people in my life have rescued me and have been there for me—

Bro. Bo and Sis. Marowe, Bro. Alvin Barcelona, and all the other people in my life.

So, start planting roots with the small group of people that you have.

Do You Remember…?

I’ll end with one last story.

I want to go back to that grocery story. Whenever we would go to the grocery, my family and I, it will always be as a family. You know, my wife would be with me, our kids would be with us. It’s a fun thing to do.

But I realized that going to the grocery as a family is very expensive. Because you start out with a list of 10 items. And by the time you’re at the cashier’s place, it becomes 50. But I don’t mind. Why? Because there used to be a time when we could not go to the grocery as a family. Remember, three years ago when only one person from the family was allowed to go out—because of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID) Pandemic? And when you had to go to the grocery you were all covered — you looked like an astronaut, with everything that was covering your body. And when you went home, you had to wash the cans, the bottles, everything. Some of you even went as far as washing the paper bills and the coins with soap and water, and then you had to have a foot bath, you had to take a bath, and you were so paranoid. All of us. We had to do those. And some of you even washed your face masks.

Do you remember those times? You say yes, but you’ve probably forgotten about them because that’s what you do now—every day. You know, you go out in traffic. Some of you, you still wear masks– some people don’t wear masks anymore– because there’s already that amount of comfort in wearing masks. You know, God has already conquered COVID. And there may be sicknesses around, but we know that God is good. We know He is bigger than all these ailments.

But I want to point out about us forgetting what we went through. Because sometimes we really forget. Me? Sometimes I take for granted – now I go out and I don’t have to wear masks.

It used to be a time when I was praying, “Lord, when is this ever going to end?” Of having to think, “Am I bringing sickness to my family?” When will this end?

And now we are at a time when that crisis is gone.

But sometimes, that’s the problem. When you get used to something, you take it for granted. And I’m not talking just about COVID. But I’m also talking about people. When you’re together with somebody, sometimes, you take them for granted. Because they’re always here by your side and you think they’re always going to be there. But the time will come when all of a sudden…That’s it.

Life is short. But when you start remembering… Remembering helps you realize… Because when you start remembering the past, when you start looking at what had been, you start thinking, “Oh, my gosh, I am actually blessed. Because I may not be where I want to be. But I am where I was not used to be. And I am grateful that I am here, and I’m blessed that I am here. And I remember that.”

But one of the most powerful things that your remembering does is this… Have you lost somebody that you love the most? Yeah?

I lost my Dad when I was 25- 26 years old. And not a day goes by that I would remember him. But let me re-phrase that. No. There are days that I remember him. That’s a sad reality. I mean there are days that I forget about him. The days that

I do remember him are times when I wish he was here to see my kids grow up and how he would have loved to see them grow up, and how in church he would have loved this Community.

My Dad was a people person. Most of the skills that I learned being with people are from him. But I remember my Dad during his birthday and death anniversary. But when I remember him—I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this: that when you remember some persons, it feels like they’re so close to you. Like they’re right there. And you imagine them to be with you. Remember that?

Like, “They’re here right now with me.”

And that’s the power of remembering that they’re there.

And ultimately, you know when you remember Jesus, whenever you pray to Him… Suddenly, you realize, “Hey, Jesus is here with me. He’s always been here with me. He never left me. He’s been here with me ever since– in my good times and in my bad times, in my victories and in my defeats—Jesus is with me.

That’s the power of remembering… As we worship Jesus, we remember the past. But we don’t forget about the present right now and what’s most important is that He’s here.

Father, look at your people today. Look at their gratitude in their heart. This place is filled with so much thanksgiving for all that you have done for us. For how much you have blessed us, for how much you have loved us, for all the situations and places that you have brought us through.

And today, we allow our gratitude to fill this place. To lift up our thanksgiving in song and in prayer. We worship you in spirit and in truth, to say thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus for what You have done, for what you are doing, and for what You are still about to do. Amen.


Published by THE FEAST (August 20, 2023)


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