home > Pastor’s Desk >2022 >JULY 15TH>THE TOOLS OF REMEMBERING


I like to think I have a pretty good memory.  I like to think I’m organised.  Generally, I am – I don’t double book appointments, I keep track of what I’m doing and when, I mostly turn up on time. But, on reflection, I’m not so sure this means I have a good memory.

If you ask my husband, Stephen’s opinion, he’d say I have a terrible memory – at least for movies.  I’ve lost count of the number of times he’ll suggest a movie.  I’ll comment that I haven’t see it.  He’ll tell me we have watched it (sometimes several times).  I’ll insist I’ve never seen it.  We’ll start watching it.  Fifteen minutes in, I’ll assure him again I’ve never seen it.  Definitely.  Absolutely. Thirty minutes into the movie, something about it starts to seem vaguely familiar. Then it starts to come back.  Doh! Stephen is right. Again!  I can watch a movie and have no or very little recollection of it.  The great thing is I get to enjoy it all over again.  The funny thing, at least from Stephen’s perspective, is that I still jump or react at all the same moments – I’m a very jumpy movie watcher.  “Didn’t you remember that?” he’ll ask.  Nope.

So, what’s going on with my memory?  Well, in part, it’s because I’m more inclined to remember those things that are important to me.  It appears movies don’t fall into that category!  But, the real reason I’m organised is not so much because of my memory, but because of the tools I use. 

I have plenty of tools to keep me organised.  I’m diligent about keeping appointments, commitments and events in my calendar.  I have a planner to help me organise each week.   My phone is another handy tool – I have a to-do list app on my phone, a birthday app, plus I set alarms and reminders.  

Even more than appointments, events or movies, it’s important that we remember God.

Throughout Scripture we see the people of God forgetting what He had done for them, forgetting His faithfulness, forgetting His rescue.

They did not remember His power or the day when He redeemed them from the foe.
Psalms 78:42
Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
Psalms 106:7 

It seems we are prone to forgetfulness – “spiritual amnesia” it’s sometimes called.  Praise God, that in His grace, He has given us so many ways to remember Him!

Last Sunday we considered 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 and the Lord’s Supper.   Each Sunday, as we eat and drink together, we remember Jesus and what He did for us.  It brings us back to the very focus of our faith and reason for our hope. 

And when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:24

This is one of the most wonderful ways, instituted by Jesus Himself, that we are given to remember Him.

We have the Bible – God’s Word to us.People have fought and died so that we can hold a copy in our hand. People have smuggled them through closed borders at great personal risk.  Yet how easily we get caught up in our day and don’t pick it up. It’s not only a handbook on how to navigate life, but so much more.  It reveals God to us, we can get to know Him through His Word. It helps us remember – who God is, what He has done, and His great love for us.  It teaches us how to live.  The same Holy Spirit who inspired the words of Scripture dwells within us to help us understand it and cause it to speak to us.  Many people like to keep a journal, which is a great tool to help you intentionally and prayerfully consider what you’re reading, and journalling also offers the gift of looking back at how God has spoken to you over past weeks or months. Memorising Scripture is another great way of hiding God’s Word in your heart. 

We have creation. When we take time to ponder and enjoy the world around us, we can’t help but remember the Creator!  There is such beauty that surrounds us, particularly here in our island state, and we can so easily miss it.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Psalm 19:1

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
Romans 8:20 NLT

Church is another wonderful way to remind us of God, to help us refocus, correct our misconceptions, and realign our priorities.  As we gather together each Sunday, not only do we worship together, pray, celebrate communion and hear from God’s Word, but we fellowship and encourage one another before and after the service.

Parents have the wonderful privilege of teaching their children about God – both intentionally, and by the way they live.  How wonderful to help our precious ones know and remember the God who created them!

He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children, that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.
Psalm 78:5-7

Another way we remember God is by reflecting on His goodness and faithfulness in the past. As we intentionally remember times when God has demonstrated His faithfulness and care, our faith is stirred, and we are reminded that He will always care for us.

Gratitude is a simple way of remembering God’s goodness and mercy.  The practise of gratitude takes intentionality, but it only takes a few seconds! All it needs is the time to notice and say, “thank you, Jesus.”

If it’s true that goodness and mercy follow me “all the days of my life”, how many days do I miss that goodness in my helter-skelter race to cram it all in before sunset?
John Mark Comer – The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

I’m so thankful that our loving Heavenly Father reveals Himself to us in so many different ways – ways that help us to overcome the “spiritual amnesia’ that we so easily slip into.  We have all these wonderful “tools” at our disposal – but will we use them?

Why not take a few moments to consider how you can “remember” God in the midst of your day-to-day life?

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
Psalm 103:2



Your Care Team Pastor,



Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.


  1. LYDIA

    Thank you Donna:)

  2. Wendy Williams

    Spot on!! Thank you Donna👏🙏.

    • Donna Hill

      Thanks for the encouragement, Wendy!

  3. Gordie

    Love the John Mark Comer quote. How true. I am going outside right now to just take in the view and God’s wondrous creation.

    • Donna Hill

      Thanks Gordie – I keep coming back to that quote in my own life. It’s so easy to miss the many gifts God gives us as we rush through our day.

  4. Nicky Marzetti

    Spoke to me on many levels, thank you!

    • Donna Hill

      Thanks Nicky! Much appreciated.


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For those unfamiliar with the story of the Bible who may be seeking to remedy that unfamiliarity, I would recommend that they start reading in the New Testament. It is there that they will be introduced immediately to Jesus who is the central character of the whole Bible. For many novice readers of the Bible who then attempt to read the Old Testament of the Bible (its first 39 books), it initially seems like they are reading a completely unrelated story which seems to describe a completely different God. But with a little patience and persistence the reader will begin to suspect that this is not a different story but is in fact the prequel to the New Testament. Then a strange supernatural thing happens as they continue to become acquainted with the lives of the patriarchs, judges, kings and prophets, as these characters interact with enemies, giants, angels, strange heavenly beings, and GOD Himself. The reader begins to see in a similar way to what a photographer could not previously see clearly until his camera’s focus was adjusted to make the picture clear — the GOD who created, acted, spoke and judged, frequently referred to Himself as ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘our’, and at times seemed to have conversations with divine characters identified as ‘the LORD’ and ‘Me’ and ‘His Spirit’ (Isa. 48:16). And this all begins to sound very reminiscent of the GOD described in the New Testament as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. With a growing knowledge of the Bible and hunger to understand it, the follower of Christ discovers that literally for thousands of years prior to this day there have been many many others who have also walked the journey of discovery through the mysterious pages of the Bible and have each made a startling discovery about the human Jesus’ pre-existence throughout the pages of the Old Testament.


The One who spoke the world into existence entered materially into His World and “split time in half”. He came to rescue the world because a great betrayal occurred. One of His chief agents was filled with self-deception and conceited envy and manipulated a serpent to his bidding in destroying the very last and highest of the Lord’s “very good” creation. Disappointingly she fell for it – and her husband who supposed to protect her failed in his most basic of responsibilities. Their fall from innocence and into grace plunged that was momentarily and formerly under their vice-regency. The world had now gone rogue. When the Eternal Son of God submitted to His co-LORD, the Holy Spirit placed Him into a virgin’s womb by uniting his consciousness and sinless essence with the ovum of this young virgin. In doing so, Immanuel relinquished none of His sovereign power or prerogatives but chose to lay aside His glory and become fully human. And for those who came to recognise who He actually was, it ever caused them to fall down at His feet in adoration, or shrink back from Him in terror. The side-effect of those who who adored him was a new ability to sleep. If you have trouble sleeping because of worries, you too can discover how an acquaintance with the Lordship of Jesus the Christ can also help you to sleep better. 


Today, “Jesus Christ is Lord” sounds like a bumper sticker or part of an ancient church liturgy but when Christianity was founded if someone uttered these words it could literally mean death! ’o christos ’o kurios “Christ is Lord” was a risky thing to declare when the only safe thing to declare was ’o kaiser ’o kurios “Caesar is Lord”! Yet it was upon these words that the earliest confession of the Church was founded. For the early Christians, this was not a glib, throw-away line uttered during a church service or something stuck on the backside of your donkey (or chariot if you were wealthy).  


I really dislike the expression ‘moving forward’. So many people say, ‘moving forward’ from the meeting, the experience, the…. whatever! Has anyone stopped to think that time continues. We can’t go back. Even if we are reflecting, or for that matter mulling, we are in the continuum of time, and unless we have a mythical time machine, we just can’t go backwards in time. Our only option is to ‘move forward’.


I have long said that my primary role as a shepherd-pastor is to help people to die well. To do this, as I have often said, requires that we learn how to live life well. Of all the normally uncomfortable subjects that Christians find it difficult to talk about, death should not be one of them. But it is. This is because, of all the world religions, only Christianity has a positive view of death. After all, we have a divine Saviour who confronted and conquered death. As a result the original apostles mocked death.
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
¶ The sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.”
(First Corinthians 15:55-56)
These apostles refused to be intimidated by death which was ultimately evidenced by their martyrdoms. The apostle Paul could look forward to his death with the obvious lament that he would no longer be available to help those he had led to the Lord (Phil. 1:23-25). But he could face his impending death with the assurance that it would mean that he would immediately be in the presence of his Lord — and so should we! And like Paul, we too should be be able to talk about death in a very different way to those who do not know what we know.


A suburban home in Australia is shrinking in land size even though the average house size is headed in the opposite direction. What hasn’t changed is fencing around the block of land in order to separate it from a neighbour’s property. Broken fences, overgrown hedges and pets jumping fences are a known source of conflicts. We value our privacy. Those fences are boundaries. To go over them without permission will be trespassing. Renting, owning or owned outright – our home is our safe haven. When we chat with neighbours across the fence, there is a sense of security that comes with standing on our own patch of land. A little piece of Australia over which we have custody, albeit temporal.


Each of these uncomfortable topics in this brief series of articles are uncomfortable because there they carry a sense of embarrassment or even shame attached to them. But this particular topic also carries a good deal of pain associated with it – in addition to any feelings of embarrassment or shame. This pain may involve a sense of failure, betrayal, rejection, and humiliation. Divorce rarely effects just the two people involved in ending a marriage. Divorce can scar people like little else can. It can scar socially, financially, emotionally, relationally, and even a person’s physical health – and sometimes do so permanently.


All of us feel sad at some point – even people who are usually happy most of the time. Usually though for most people there will be some understandable reason for it. This might include the loss of a loved one, a certain disappointment, an accident, or sympathy for someone. This kind of sadness is temporary. But there is a kindness of sadness that lingers which leaves a person drained, teary, thinking dark thoughts, and feeling desperately lonely. This is usually when we consider someone is experiencing ‘depression’ and it is one of those things that Christians find difficult to admit to or even talk about.


There are some things that Christians can’t and don’t talk about – but probably should. So, I would like to pastorally share some thoughts about this taboo topic of doubt in what will be part 1 in this short series of pastor’s desk articles of four taboo topics that Christians can’t talk about.


Resilience was one of the predominant character traits of the early Christians. They called it being steadfast. For these early Christians being ‘resilient’ meant being able to keep going despite set backs, discouragements, betrayals, unforeseen circumstances, lack of energy, motivation, and resources. Like a weary hiker looking down a long road that leads to the mountain range they must walk over, being resilient in life means putting one foot in front of the other, and then doing it again, and again, and again, and so on. God knows that today, in what many are describing as “Post-Christendom” (and the resilient among us prefer to think of as Pre-Christendom) to be resilient is to live with a purpose, to stay focused, to live for others, and to strive toward a good, honourable, goal. With so many reasons to lose sight of the true purpose of life the tendency is to be tricked into believing that life right now is too hard. But the truth be told – people need to know how to be more resilient. Leaders especially need to be resilient right now. Churches assuredly need to be resilient at this time. With the recent interference into churches by government through the measures they said was “to keep people safe” — it has actually depleted people’s ability and willingness to be resilient! Here’s what leaders, people, and churches can do about it.