By Joan Clayton: PNT Religion Columnist
Oil painting has changed the way I see the world. I find myself studying clouds and landscapes.
I like to see the tumbled down houses and barns as we travel along the highway. I wonder what stories they could tell of days gone by. How did their occupants live their lives? Did they leave their home with regrets or did they just walk off and leave it? Did they make every day count? Were words left unsaid? Were opportunities missed? I wonder how they were remembered.
Every day you and I are leaving memories and those we leave behind will remember what we left behind. Someone will remember us.
I remember my grandfather with such admiration. His kindness to everyone he met left a life-long impression upon me. I never saw him angry, upset, unhappy or depressed. He found humor in simple daily life. His daily prayers reflected his strong faith and he faced death triumphantly.
Occasionally I meet someone who remembers him and they share a happy memory that reminds me of Proverbs 10:7, “Good people will be remembered as a blessing, but evil people will soon be forgotten. (NCV)
Granddaddy’s love for my grandmother is filed in my memory. Our children and grandchildren will long remember my husband’s love for me.
We are given just so many years with the gift of life. How we spend them are so important. Have we just taken up space or have we made our lives count for something?
We may not be rich by the world’s standards, but we can give what we have. Everyone can have a smile, a caring attitude and a compassion for a needy soul.
Make and leave good memories by giving yourself away. Would you have the abundant life? Lose yourself. “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39 NIV)
Every day is a miracle in some way.
Look forward to the new day with thanksgiving.
Birds praise their Maker each morning. We can too.
Be amazed with sunrise and sunsets.
Gaze into a baby’s face to see God’s wondrous works.
Send your treasures on to heaven to be a “million heir.”
Here are some scriptures to help you have no regrets:
Are you heavy-hearted? He is the God of all comfort. (Isaiah 66:13)
Are you fearful? He is bigger than any problem. (Isaiah 35:4)
Are you lonely? He is a “friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24). Are you weary? God has a rest for his children. (Psalm 37:7)
Are you sick? He is the God who healeth thee. (1 Peter 2:24)
Are you anxious? He is the God of all peace. (Ephesians 2:14)
Are you downtrodden? He will make your feet like hinds’ feet. (Psalm 18:33)
Are you sad? He gives you a merry heart like a medicine. (Proverbs 17:22)
Are you worried? He is your shield and buckler, a mighty fortress. (Psalm 91)
Are you carrying guilt? Repenting removes your sins as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12)
Are you in need? He is Jehovah, Jireh, your provider. (Philippians 4:19)
God will never leave you nor forsake you. He is with you even through the shadow of death with his rod and his staff to comfort you. He is Jesus in you, the hope of glory.
To leave good memories and have a life of victory follow Matthew 6:33(NIV):
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
I have been blessed. My memories include little school children’s smiling faces, my husband’s goodnight kiss, the “I love you, Mom” phone calls, and the many words of encouragement I have received from so many.
Leave loving memories and you will have no regrets.
Joan Clayton is a retired teacher, author and religion columnist living in Portales. She can be reached by email at: