Why You Need to Celebrate and Remember God is Good


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The other night, Rev and I celebrated the 50th anniversary of our first date.

And we spent the evening like we’ve spent so many other evenings…

Sharing memories.

We talked about that first date and the early days of getting to know each other and falling in love. We remembered our early years of marriage. We described apartments, homes, and the love of amazing friends. We looked back at the adventure of raising a family.

And the common thread through every relived decade was God’s amazing grace.

Life is full of highs and low, moments of grief and moments of joy … failures and victories.

And God lovingly made His presence known through it all.

The following morning, all I could think about was the way God had allowed us to build an altar of remembrance. No, not a physical altar … but an altar none-the-less.

How to use anniversaries and special occasions to remember that God is good, stop to be thankful for all He's done and surrender the future in faith. #Remember #Faith #GodisLove #Hope #CountingMyBlessings

Why You Need to Celebrate and Remember God is Good

In the Old Testament, God commanded two kinds of altars.

1. Altar of Sacrifice – Where God’s people brought an offering as a sacrifice to receive God’s forgiveness and peace.

“Come to the altar and sacrifice your sin offering and your burnt offering to purify yourself and the people. Then present the offerings of the people to purify them, making them right with the Lord, just as he has commanded.”

Leviticus 9:7

2. Altar of Remembrance – Where God’s people offered worship and praise for God’s deliverance, protection, provision, and guidance.

Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future, your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord, your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and He kept it dry until you were all across, just as He did at the Red Sea when He dried it up until we had all crossed over. 2He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”

Joshua 4:21–24

In the New Testament, because Jesus the Lamb of God, the perfect Sacrifice, was offered for our sins, you and I can be forgiven and have peace with God without bringing an animal sacrifice to church.

Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world.

John 1:29

But the New Testament also has something to say about the sacrifice God does want from us…

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

Ephesians 5:2


Let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to His name. 

Hebrews 13:15
How to use anniversaries and special occasions to remember that God is good, stop to be thankful for all He's done and surrender the future in faith. #Remember #Faith #GodisLove #Hope #CountingMyBlessings

I’ve realized there are two offerings God wants you and me to lay at the altar of remembrance…

1. An Offering of Praise
2. An Offering of Surrender

I want to make my life an offering of praise and thanksgiving. I want to stop and celebrate the specifics of God’s amazing grace in my life.

And I want to rejoice over every undeserved happiness and praise Him for providing all we need through every pain and heartache.

Yesterday morning I read…

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
    and He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
    out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
    and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
    a hymn of praise to our God.

Psalm 40:1–3

Yes, that!

I have known the pit of despair … God heard my cry and lifted me up and gave me a new song to sing.

A song of remembrance! A song of praise!

And by His grace, an offering of surrender!

It’s kind of funny … I spent much of my life holding a little of myself back from God because I was afraid.

Afraid there were things that could happen that would destroy me … things I would just not be able to endure.

Yeah, it was plain and simple lack of faith.

Although God patiently gave me countless opportunities to surrender myself completely … I couldn’t get past all the “what ifs” that flooded my mind.

Which is why an important part of remembering for me … is knowing God allowed my pit of despair to show me His love and faithfulness. And to give me a new song to sing or in my case, a post to write.

I love this verse and the way it so clearly reminds me of the offering of surrender God wants…

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him

Romans 12:1 (MSG)

I’m so thankful Paul wrote, “God helping you,” because I know there is no way I can surrender every part of my life without His help.

But with His help … I can take every moment – sleeping, eating, working, walking around; yes, everything and I can entrust it to God.

An altar of remembrance to celebrate His faithfulness. And an altar of surrender to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and love others as I love myself. (Luke 10:27)

With His help, I can be thankful for the past and hopeful for the future!

How to use anniversaries and special occasions to remember that God is good, stop to be thankful for all He's done and surrender the future in faith. #Remember #Faith #GodisLove #Hope #CountingMyBlessings

You and I talk a lot about being thankful in November and December but now it’s January and we’ve started our diets, picked up our fitness routines, and gone back to work.

Remembering to be thankful gets lost in the mundane dailiness of things we don’t really want to do.

So, I’d like to invite you to do two simple things to help you…

  1. Set aside a basket or jar with a notepad nearby (a notebook will work too) and have your family write down daily blessings.
  2. Keep a list of anniversaries and use those days to remember God’s goodness!

Some of the anniversaries we keep are…

  • The day we met.
  • Our first date.
  • The day we got engaged.
  • Our wedding day.
  • Our children’s birthdays.
  • Baptism birthdays
  • The day we moved into our home.
  • Birthdays of family members or friends.
  • The day God spared Rev’s life.

You could also remember…

  • Graduations
  • Gotcha Days
  • Special Awards
  • Healings
  • And anything else that helps you remember God’s grace.

I’ll be honest, I get lost in the dailiness of life, too. But when I stop and remember the countless ways God has shown me His goodness and grace—I can’t help but celebrate, praise, and with His help … surrender.

Thank you so much for joining me today.

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  1. Valerie Murray says:

    God helping me! So powerful! This post and these verses have fueled me up with strength on this Monday morning. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Girlfriend! You sure do bless me! Sending hugs!!

  2. Congrats on that milestone–50 years since your first date, Deb! How amazing! I really didn’t think you could be old enough for that! You look great! And I love the idea of commemorating milestones in various forms. I didn’t keep track of some of the ones you’ve suggested, but I’m sure I could research and find some that my hubby and I could celebrate–thanking God for bringing us this far! Great post and I’ll be pinning!

    1. Thank you, Beth! I don’t always handle the aging and mirror thing the way I would like. Whew! Your kindness totally made my day!! It always amazes me how remembering all that God has gotten us through gives me hope and courage for the future. He is true to His promise to “never leave or forsake” us! Glory!

  3. I love this entire post, Deb! I have a “Stones of Remembrance” book and it’s amazing to me how an old school notebook can have such an impact on my faith. I love paging through it and praising God for all the ways He’s blessed us over the years.

    1. Thanks so much, Jana! I love that you’re already keeping a remembrance notebook! It’s awesome how the Holy Spirit is able to use memories of God’s faithfulness to strengthen us and give us strength for today! We are so very blessed!

  4. What a heartwarming start to this post. 50 years ago you had your first date. Wow! That is amazing. I hope the Lord continues to bless you and your husband. I loved your idea to meep anniversaries and use them as a time to be thankful. What a neat idea. I could see my kids totally getting into this! (Now a question: What’s a Gotcha day?)

    1. Thank you, Crystal! I really appreciate your encouragement! Gotcha Day is the day an adopted child comes home to his/her forever family. It’s being so thankful we “gotcha”! Blessings!!

  5. I’m learning to celebrate what I consider the mundane of life all because of Him. I thanked God for cobwebs last night because it means I have a roof over my head.
    Thanks for this reminder to truly count our blessings.

    1. I love that, Nylse! We’re here in the Midwest under almost 10 inches of snow and I’m thanking God for a warm house and that we have power. There are always reasons to be thankful! God bless you!

  6. Celebrating your first date 50 years ago? Oh, how romantic is that! Yes, we do need to be aware, even in the mundane routines of the every day, to take time to remember all the blessings God has given us, to thank Him, praise Him, and surrender to His will in all things. With His help, we can!
    Blessings, Deb!

    1. Thank you, Martha! I can be guilty of getting lost in the routine and failing to notice the blessings God is pouring into my life every day. It’s why I love to look back and remember what He’s brought us through! Wow! Like David said, “His faithful love endures forever!”

  7. That version of Romans 12:1 really hit home for me. I am so grateful for all the blessings God has bestowed upon me that I do not think of really offering back to Him as a living sacrifice. That brings on an entirely new meaning for me.

    1. I’ve always loved The Message version of that verse. Offering God my every day ordinary for His glory! Now to just stay focused on Him and not let myself get distracted by the junk of life! Thank you, Brittany! I’m so glad you joined the conversation!

  8. I love the idea of building an altar of rememberance!