What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Monday, February 10, 2020

Oops! I Almost Forgot! (Sermon Notes and Weekend Wrap-Up)

Here it is getting to be late Monday evening, and I still haven't sat down to write about our weekend. Probably because it was busy today as well as yesterday...and I know you may be wondering about how things went...

If you read my post last week HERE about getting ready for company, you are probably wondering how our guests liked the guest room, etc., etc.  Well...that's another story...Oh, yes, they loved the guest room...they just didn't get to spend the night there after all!  Their travel plans met with some unexpected delays due to weather, and they were not able to get here Saturday night as originally planned.  So instead they traveled here to visit with us on Sunday afternoon, but had to keep going as they had other commitments further down the road, and were unable to spend the night. We still had a wonderful visit over lunch at our local "True Grits" restaurant, and then they came here for the grand "tour" of the house and guest room. Sadly, we forgot to take any pictures while we were together! We were just too busy visiting and talking and reminiscing, and totally forgot about pictures!  However, my cousin did bring me a "hostess gift" from their recent visit to New Orleans...
She knows how much I love tea, and so she brought me this bag of very delicious "Rooibos Tea" from the "World Famous bottom of the Cup Tea Room".

We didn't have time to share a cup of tea together yesterday as they really needed to get on the road, and so tonight I treated myself to a very special cup of tea...and it really was delightful!
I didn't realize until after I sipped my cup of tea that I was drinking from a beautiful little tea cup that our grandmother gave me years ago. I am sure Grandma would have been pleased to know that her two granddaughters were still staying in touch and carrying on the family traditions that she inspired.

It was our mutual Grandma who created this lovely needlepoint picture many years ago!

So thank you, cousin Becky, for thinking of me when you were in New Orleans! I only wish we had taken the time to drink a cup together...but maybe next time!!

Now, before I forget...I wanted to share the sermon notes with you from our Sunday message.  The title, or actually the theme of the message was "Mastering the Spiritual Discipline of Selective Recall".  I know, that's a mouthful, but you will understand it better if I can "recall" all of the important details!

We all have memories that we'd probably like to forget...or that are just really hard to "let go of".  
Selective Recall means that there are some things that we need to forget and some things we need to remember.

Things that we should try to forget:
  • Past hurts, unkind words, unkind actions:
          Let it go! If it can't be undone, then let it go!
          If remembering hurts  you...forgetting might help you!
  • Our Own Mistakes...Past sins...If you are struggling over guilt of your past sins, do what God has done...Forgive Yourself!
Philippians 3:13-14 says:
"13.   Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 
14. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
We often play the "if only game"..."If only I had done this", or, "if only he/she/they had not done that..."

Hanging on to what you think is sin...Is Sin!  You are putting up a wall between you and God.
Look at the scripture above...Paul was practicing "selective recall".  
  • Forget what is behind.
Things to Remember:
  • Things that God has done for you. 
  • Every blessing, every gift, every answer to prayer.
Deuteronomy 8:10-11:

10.   When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.

11.  “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today,

A Good Suggestion:
  • Each day write down three things you are thankful for.
  • Put it on your calendar or in a journal
  • Remember what God has done in your life
  • Remember what others have done for you
Philippians 4:8-9

8.   Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 
9.   The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

  • Whatever is noble
  • Whatever is right, pure, lovely
  • Whatever is admirable, excellent, praiseworthy...
The choice is yours...what you choose to remember and forget.

You can't control what comes into your head, but you can control how long you dwell on it.

Martin Luther said:

“You cannot keep birds from flying over your head. but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair”

So it is a matter of choice what we choose to remember and choose to forget. It takes persistence and obedience to Christ...a daily discipline.

God chooses to forget and forgive our sins. 

Hebrews 8:12:
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Isaiah 43:25

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions 
for My own sake;
And I will not remember your sins."

God also chooses to remember His promises to us.  When we read through the Old Testament and Psalms, we see many examples of how God remembered His promises to His children, and were always followed by something that He did for them.  

Back to Philippians 3:13-14..."Forget those things which are behind...and reach forward to those things that are ahead...and press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus..."

This is a powerful message to REMEMBER!!  

Sermon Notes: FUMC, Interlachen, FL, Pastor John Bennett, 02/09/2020

Please Note : I want to repeat this disclaimer here...the notes, outline, and content included here are based upon my own personal understanding of the message that was being given. I am not attempting to completely quote or reproduce this message or any other message I've shared previously. Just as each person reading these notes may glean insights and thoughts that seem to directly apply to one's own situation and interpretation, my own delivery of these messages is skewed by my hearing and translation of what is being said. Some may read my notes here and wonder if they were hearing the same message as I...and I say, God speaks to each of us as He wills...there are things He is trying to get across to each individual that may be entirely different than what the person sitting next to you in the pew is needing to hear... That is how the Holy Spirit works! He knows what we need to hear and how to apply it to our hearts. So it is with that understanding that I present these sermon notes to you.


  1. "Selective recall" -- what a good thought for those of us who are tempted to remember how others have offended us in the past.

    I'm glad your weekend turned out well, even if not the way you expected. (isn't that just how life often turns out?!!!)

    1. Yes, we all have those kinds of memories that we would be better off if we didn't allow ourselves to dwell on. It isn't always so easy to just let go of them, but we can make that choice not to dwell on them...like Martin Luther said..."don't let them nest in your hair". I like that quote and it helps to put a smile on our faces when we are tempted to hang on to those things that only cause us pain. Yes, our weekend was perfect even with the changes to the expected plans. We still had a great visit...and now the guest room is still ready for visitors! I don't even have to wash the sheets! LOL!!! Have a blessed day my friend.

  2. I have most of my Mom's fancy teacups and I think one of them is like yours. Your sermon notes are so good. I shared with my widow's group last week that it is ok to take a drive down memory lane, but we shouldn’t park our RV and camp there. Choosing what to remember and what to dwell on is especially important for the widow or widower.

    1. I love your analogy about the "drive down memory lane"...that's a good one. I know this has been a difficult season of life for you, but it sounds as though God has been there with you, helping you to learn how to cope and how to choose what is best for you to dwell on and what to let go of. I don't know if you know my blogging friend Linda, below, from "Ramblings of a Retired Lady". Her dear hubby just passed away two weeks ago. You may be able to be a great help to her since you have already walked this road. Thank you for your wisdom and compassion. Oh, and the teacup is "Duchess" brand, made in England, "June Bouquet" is the design. I love it! How wonderful that you have your mother's pretty teacups. They are a treasure worth keeping! Have a blessed and beautiful day!

  3. Since my husband died recently, I am trying to claim Philippians 3:13-14 but it is very hard at this time...it has only been two weeks so I just pray and cling to God.

    1. And right now that is the best thing you CAN do...pray and cling to God. He will carry you through this current deep water that you are traversing...and He will bring you safely to the other side. Yes, for you right now all memories may tend to be painful because you are hurting and grieving so much. Eventually those memories will become sweeter as you are able to sort through the memories you want to treasure and the ones you need to "let go of". May the Lord comfort you with His loving arms right now, and give you peace. Don't try to rush this process...your grief is still very very fresh. There is no need to push yourself through this time. Just keep clinging to Jesus. He won't let go.

  4. "Selective"....love this, Pamela. There are a lot of things I ought to just let go...I think its safe to say we all do, smiles.

    That tea sounds delightful, although I am allergic to almonds, sigh. Have a great day, friend. smiles

    1. Yes, we do have a choice of what to do with those unpleasant memories when they pop up their ugly heads...maybe we should treat them like a bad pimple! LOL. 'nuf said! I am sorry you are allergic to almonds...that's no fun. is that the only "nut" you are allergic to? It would be difficult to live in a world without nuts!! LOL. There are so many of them around us every day! Ha ha. I am in rare form this morning. Hope you have a blessed and not so nutty day! :)

  5. Selective recall - I love this, Pamela! May we let go of the unpleasant memories and dwell in the now with God, giving Him thanks and praise. I'm taking this to heart, my friend, especially at this trying time.
    Sorry your cousin and her husband couldn't stay longer, but it sounds like you had a great time together! Maybe, you all will get together again soon?

    1. Thinking of you and saying a prayer for you right now, Martha. May the Lord bless you and keep you and give His angels charge over you and whatever the difficult situations may be that are causing you sorrow. He is always there for you, night and day. Praise God for that promise! I don't know when my cousin and I will get together again. They live in Ohio, so at most we may only see each other once a year if they decide to escape the cold in February! But we stay in touch through Facebook, etc., which is a blessing!! Have a wonderful day today. Praying.

  6. Love that@ "Selective Recall". And I couldn't help but beller out the song from FROZEN..LET IT GO...LET IT GO....! LOL! Love the suggestions Pam. Loving that beautiful tea cup and oh yes, your grandmother would be so proud of you cousins keeping in touch. It is so easy to wander away when everyone gets grown and gone...with their on families, jobs and etc. Sorry they could not stay in that beautiful guest room and I am sure they didn't like it either due to things they couldn't prevent. So sweet though that you all had this precious time together. Happy Valentines Day. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    1. I can just imagine you "bellering" out that song. I need to go listen to it so I can appreciate it even more! Okay, I just did...wow! What a song! Since I don't have any little girls in my life like you do, I've never seen that movie. Now I am curious just what did she let go of? Anyway, thank you for your sweet comments today. Yes, I am blessed to stay in touch with my cousin. We grew up together and were only 9 months apart, so we had a lot of fun playing "Barbies" when we were young, along with other fun memories that we like to remember when we get together. God is good, even when we have little disappointments...He always makes it up to us one way or another. Have a blessed and beautiful day.

  7. I am sorry your cousin didn't get to spend the night in your lovely guest room but happy they did get to visit and see your new home! That tea looks like it is delicious. I am not a big tea drinker but do enjoy an cup now and then. What a blessing that our loving God forgives and forgets. Wow!! That is so huge. Your sermon notes are always inspiring!

    1. Yes, we were disappointed not to have more time together, but we still had a great visit and covered most every subject from our ancestors to our grandchildren...LOL. The tea really is good, and I learned by looking it up on line that it is actually a very healthy tea to drink! So I will have to keep drinking it!! Yes, that sermon was very good for all of us to "remember"! Now to put it into practice!! Have a blessed and beautiful day.


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