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Looking back

Posted by on Dec 31, 2015 in Memorials, Special days | Comments Off on Looking back

All over America and around the world, people are taking time today to look back on this past year. After all, today is the last day on the calendar, and tomorrow begins a new year.

The Bible has two things to say about looking back:

1.) Do it.

2.) Don’t do it.

This can seem like a huge contradiction until you consider what Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.” Just like there is a time to give birth and a time to die, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing (see Ecclesiastes 3:2-5), so, too, is there a time to look back and a time to stop looking back. Let’s take a look at some biblical reasons to look back.

Why look back?

1.)    The word of your testimony. “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death” (Revelation 12:11). The word of your testimony can involve two things. First, the Word of God itself is your testimony, and you have the right to speak it in faith to overcome your enemy, the devil. Second, your personal story of salvation and how God has manifested His care for you throughout your life is also included in the word of your testimony. You have the right to overcome the devil by reminding yourself and him of all the astonishing ways God has come through for you in the past.

2.)    Memorial stones. God stopped the Jordan River from running, causing the waters which flowed down from upstream to pile up in a big heap (see Joshua 3:13) so that the tribes of Israel could cross on dry ground. Joshua, their leader, then commanded men to remove twelve stones from the supernaturally dried up river bottom and to set them up on the other side as a memorial to this miracle from God. Joshua directed “…when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’” (see Joshua 4:6), then the adults could tell them how God held back the Jordan’s waters in a big heap while they passed through on dry ground. Memorial stones are very similar to the word of our testimony. We use both not only to overcome the devil and pull ourselves out of unbelief or despair, but also to train up young believers in God’s miraculous ways.

3.)    For our instruction. “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). If in your looking back you are not instructed, encouraged, or made hopeful, then you’re not looking back in the way God has prescribed. If this describes you, then stop looking and ask God to help you to adjust your vision.

4.)    As examples. “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.  Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (1 Corinthians 10:11-12). George Santayana wrote in 1905, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Looking back upon failures—those recorded in the Bible, in history, and in our own lives—can be a beneficial discipline when it is done as a study in what not to do. Be instructed, and then pressing on in faith, put what you’ve learned into practice.

The Bible also instructs concerning not looking back, as in Isaiah 43:18: “Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past.” From what I can determine, the privilege to look or not to look is all in the “hows” and “whys” involved in the looking. Are you looking back to give glory to God, to encourage yourself or others, or to overcome attacks or negativity battering your mind? You are looking back in accordance to the will of God. Are you looking back to receive instruction in proper decision making? You are looking back according to the purpose of God—but leave room for the Holy Spirit. Are you looking back to determine how to avoid repeating certain failures of the past? You are looking back in line with the plan of God as long as you take the information you need and then return, girded and armed for an overcoming lifestyle.

Don’t be afraid to assess this past year. A good look back is beneficial on so many levels. You can receive instruction and wisdom for your future as you prayerfully consider the last 365 days.

But most importantly, as you look back, be sure to give God the glory for all that He has done for you. Because of Him, you have arrived here, on the last day of the year, to think about all that has transpired this year. He has granted you life, health, a sound mind, and the strength to finish out the year. And it is by His grace and eternal purpose that you will enter the new year tomorrow.

To God be the glory!


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The Rejected Stone is the greatest Rock of all

Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Memorials | Comments Off on The Rejected Stone is the greatest Rock of all

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Matthew 21:42, NIV

Memorial stones. Joshua commanded one man from each of twelve tribes to haul a large stone from the bottom of the Jordan River to erect a memorial to the Lord’s mighty power (see Joshua 3). As the Israelites gazed upon that stone pile, they would remember throughout their generations the great river-parting deed of  God.

Wednesday and Thursday this week, we took a look at two types of memorial stones:

The Word. You, too, are called to gaze upon memorial stones in your life. The Bible is packed with living stones of life and power—as you meditate upon the words within it, “They are life to those who find them and health to all their body” (see Proverbs 4:22). See Using Scripture as memorial stones.

Your own testimonies. As you recall the wonderful interventions of the Lord in your own life, you are submitting to God and resisting the devil. This extremely effective method of overcoming the enemy is revealed in Revelation 12:11. “And they overcame him [the devil] because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death”. See Personal victories as memorial stones.

But the most important Memorial Stone of all existed before time began:

The Rock: The Stone which the builders rejected. The Rock has been lauded since the time of Moses. He sang of this Rock, “The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He” (Deuteronomy 32:4). The Rock came to earth as a Stone in the fullness of time, and He was rejected. Nonetheless, this Stone became the chief cornerstone of the New Covenant between God and man. The Stone was lifted high on a cross; He foretold of this event as He explained to His followers, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life” (John 3:14-15). The serpent to which he referred was an image of bronze lifted high on a pole; whoever looked on that metal serpent—although bitten by one of the very real venomous snakes invading their camp—would be healed immediately (see Numbers 21:9). And you, as you gaze on the Rock—that Stone which the builders rejected—you, too, receive abundantly of His Life.

The Stone Himself, before His death, commanded His disciples to memorialize His mighty life and His death-defeating sacrifice. He said to them as they shared the Passover feast, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me” (see Luke 22:19). With that, He instituted a new memorial stone—to remember Him throughout the centuries to come—believers of all generations partaking of the bread and the cup.

Jesus—the Stone which the builders rejected—is the Chief Cornerstone and the Chief Memorial Stone. Gaze on Him. Meditate on His mighty Life, His sacrificial death, His victorious resurrection. Let Him cleanse your life with His redeeming blood and fill your heart with His unwavering peace. In this way, your life—however tough, bleak, or uninspiring it may be—will be transformed by His life, His grace, and His abiding presence.


Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  Matthew 11:28-30

© 2015 Dorothy Frick

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Personal victories as memorial stones

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Memorials | Comments Off on Personal victories as memorial stones

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14

More than once I’ve arrived at a point in my life in which everything seemed to be falling apart or spinning out of control. More than a few times I have felt the dull leaden mantle of oppression or defeat clamp down on me like a coffin. And many of those times, I was absolutely on my own or surrounded by those who knew little and cared less about spiritual warfare—or me.

Joyce Meyer has said that at times such as those, you and I have a choice to make—to get bitter or get better. There is no in-between.

Even if you are surrounded by a loving family or friends who care as deeply about you as they do their own kin, when it comes to your own attitudinal choices, as President Harry S Truman said, “The buck stops here”—with you. There’s no getting around it. Whether you grab onto victory or not doesn’t depend upon your pastor, your spouse (or lack thereof), or whoever else you may know. Your victory hinges upon two relationships only—the one you have with the Lord Jesus Christ, and the one you have with yourself.

I had never heard of memorial stones, and I knew very little about encouraging myself in the Lord, so I stumbled upon this quite by accident. It happened sometime in my thirties when I had been under a prolonged assault against my joy. I was getting tired of fighting. Like one preacher said, I had rebuked the devil until my rebuker was sore, but I wasn’t ready to wave the white flag of surrender, either. In my exhaustion, I did something different—something just to get my mind off of the attack.

I started talking out loud to the Lord about how I got saved. I went into detail, telling it to Him as if He didn’t know the story. And then I told Him about my water baptism and how He filled me with the Holy Ghost. I told Him about the various people I’d witnessed to; I told Him some of my tales of miraculous deliverance; I told Him how He led me by His Spirit to find my first apartment, and how He had opened the door for me to my different jobs.

You probably know what happened next. Instead of merely diverting my attention away from the attack momentarily, the last thing I ever expected transpired. I felt strength and life from God pour into my heart, my mind, and my body. The lid blew off of that depression, and when it did, the entire mummifying encasement constricting me flew off with it. I was free!

Joshua commanded, “Let this be a sign among you” (Joshua 3:10a). I am challenging you today—especially if you are under some kind of attack—let your past victories and triumphs be a sign to you. Rehearse them—each and every one of them—aloud before God. Tell Him all about them in vivid detail, and believe me—His strength and life will ooze into you and build you up and overpower the forces of darkness that have been attempting to take you captive.

Your victories are just as significant for you as the twelve stones from the riverbed were for Israel. You just need to haul those personal memorial stones up and out of the river bottom of your memory and memorialize them by retelling them and marveling before God at His wonderful intervention for you.

I believe that as you practice rehearsing and gazing at your own personal triumphs, the effect on your attitude and life will be far more profound than the best anti-depressants money can buy.

Psalm 37:3b states, “…dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness” (NKJV). What better way to feed on His faithfulness than by recalling His amazing tales of faithfulness to you?

What are you waiting for? Go to that river and pull out your memorial stones!


This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. Lamentations 3:21-22

© 2015 Dorothy Frick

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Using Scripture as memorial stones

Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Memorials | Comments Off on Using Scripture as memorial stones

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

What was the purpose of Joshua’s memorial stones? One purpose, as he himself said was, “Let this be a sign among you” (Joshua 3:10a). The function of the stone pile by the Jordan River was to be a sign of encouragement that the God who parted the Jordan and shepherded the people safely across it to Canaan Land would continue to watch over and provide for all the generations of Israel to come.

You and I, also, have need of memorial stones of our own—those specific testimonies, deeds, and promises of God to which we may gaze as a sign of His faithfulness. One teaming treasure trove of such precious stones is sitting not too far away from you in leather or paper binding (or online!) in your Bible.

I will present five of the memorial stones in the Word of God upon which I often gaze when, like David, I encounter difficulties greater than me and need to encourage myself in the Lord (see 1 Samuel 30:6). These stones—anchored in the pages of the Bible—are not mere tales or dusty promises; they are Spirit and Truth; they are living and active; and they work mightily within the one who believes.

Health.  I have found great encouragement and help in Isaiah 53: “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (verses 4 and 5, NIV). In fact, as I awakened from bypass surgery in the ICU back in 2003, I drew upon this living stone of Scripture. I could literally feel the Lord bearing my crushing pain for me. Two other verses I’ve used as healing stones are 1 Peter 2:24 and Matthew 8:17.

Protection. I have found God to be faithful to protect me in all kinds of situations. When I go on trips or vacations, I typically begin my journey with Psalm 91. As I meditate upon those sixteen verses, I can’t help but be encouraged that I am—in absolute reality—safe under the shadow of the Almighty. Even if a thousand were to fall at my side or ten thousand at my right hand, it would not approach me. As I gaze at that towering structure of God’s promise to me, I know that He has given His angels charge over me to guard me in all of my ways. Even if I do run into opposition from the enemy, this memorial stone reminds me that I will trample the “lion, cobra, young lion, and serpent” under my feet.

Demonic attack. When I sense an uptick in demonic attack against me, the memorial stone I often gaze upon is Isaiah 54:17, “‘No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me,’ declares the Lord.” As I muse on this promise, the specter of the attack does not threaten so ominously; instead I find relief and refuge from tormenting thoughts as I think on God’s faithfulness to overturn every onslaught against me. I feed my confidence with God’s assurance that the attack will culminate with my vindication from the Lord.

Fear. Like you, I’ve faced off with a lot of it, and am I ever glad that the Word is loaded with giant “Fear not” memorial stones! Fear can come in all shapes and sizes, but the Bible is adequate to grant you victory over every instance of it. Two biggies for me when confronted with fear are very different, but both produce wonderful results.

The first is found in 2 Timothy 1:7 and says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV). I like to run to this memorial stone especially when the fear of man starts to grip me; I know that such fear is not from God and never will be from God. Instead of the fear of man, God has given me a spirit full of power, love, and a sound mind. What a true blessing!

When I am faced with sudden fear—as when things go bump in the night or some similar quick spark of terror hits me—I grab Psalm 56:3 out of my memorial stone holster, pull back the hammer, take aim, and fire: “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee” (KJV). I find this verse hits the bull’s eye every time, helping me to gauge the fear pounding in my chest against the all-encompassing power of the unfailing God in whom I trust. He has always proven to be the Greater One.

When waiting…and waiting…and waiting…for what seems to be forever. Have you ever felt this way? I sure have. The Bible is full of men and women who waited a long, long time for His promise to manifest in their lives. From what I’ve seen in my life and others, this is still the case, far more often than we care to acknowledge. This is why the verse, “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward” (Hebrews 10:36), is a shining memorial stone to which I turn when I am tempted to give up.

And my go-to “guy” in the Bible—who embodies unwavering patience in the face of a Goliath-sized wait—is Caleb. This godly man returned to Moses with a good report concerning the Promised Land—one of only two who refused to cower in unbelief at the giants in the land—and the Lord said of him, “My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land” (see Numbers 14:24).

Fast-forward forty-five years, and Caleb is 85 years old and still without land of his own from among the promise. When I first really thought about his situation, I pictured Caleb walking into a modern day “faith-filled” church, forty-four years after the word of the Lord to him, testifying how God was bringing him into his land. And I imagined his reception—the looks he might get and the raised eyebrows—as folks shifted uneasily in their seats, shaking their heads at such a delusional old fellow. And I thought about the counsel he might get—brother, check your faith. You know, your current circumstances are likely the result of your own unbelief. You have not because you ask not!

Yet Caleb, undeterred—in the forty-fifth year after the promise was made to him—asked Joshua for his land. And what do you know? He got it; but first, that 85 year-old man had to fight for it—even though it was his by promiseand fight for it he did. Without complaint. And this patient, long-suffering man inherited his promise.

As I gaze on the life of Caleb as a memorial stone, I am able to rise above the defeat-mentality that so subtly attempts to suffocate me, knowing that “faithful is He who calls [me], and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

God bless you as you search out the marvelous memorial stones of God’s Word!


© 2015 Dorothy Frick


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Memorial stones

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Memorials | Comments Off on Memorial stones

Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you…Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over ahead of you into the Jordan…It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap.” Joshua 3:10a, 11, 13

Yesterday was Memorial Day in the United States. As a nation—ever since the Civil War—we have taken time to commemorate those who gave their lives in the service of our country. We remember, lest we forget.

Our nation is full of memorials for both the famous and the obscure. Every gravestone is a type of memorial; we have the 9/11 Memorial; the Lincoln Memorial; the Jefferson Memorial; the JFK Memorial; the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the World War II Memorial; and the list goes on and on. It’s important to remember; we must train our young people and their young people to remember. A nation who forgets who they are and from where they’ve come are easily subjugated by those who endeavor to rework and rewrite history.

Joshua, the man of God, knew that truth. He, under the leadership of Moses, had witnessed unimaginable miracles and works of God. He also evidently understood the enormous human capacity to forget. That’s why he asked twelve men from Israel—one from each tribe—to accomplish an unusual task while God displayed His mighty power, cutting off the flow of the Jordan River, piling up the waters in a towering heap. Instead of getting to gawk at the marvelous sight (like I would be doing), they were each directed to take up one large stone from the bed of the river and carry the boulders over to the place where they would camp that night (see Joshua 3 and 4).

Why would Joshua ask them to perform such a backbreaking task? Why not just have them pick up small or average-sized stones to carry over? Since God had moved in such a big and spectacular way, it was fitting that the memorial built to honor His mighty deed be big as well.

Joshua explained the purpose for the pile of twelve stones. He said, “Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever” (Joshua 4:6-7).

This biblical account underscores five components and/or purposes of memorial stones:

  1. Build it. Put some effort into remembering and honoring what God has done. If you build it, as the movie said, they will come.
  2. Let it be a sign. Don’t hide your light under a bushel; don’t bury the talents God gave you; don’t be ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. When Jesus is lifted up, He draws all men unto Him.
  3. Let your kids see it and take interest. The stupidest advice I’ve ever heard concerning child-rearing is to not expose children to “religion”. (Let’s face it—they mean the gospel.) Parents are admonished to let their kids decide for themselves when they grow up. NO! You “suffer not” the children to come to Jesus—you let them come; you let them ask questions; you let them get good and curious.
  4. Teach your kids about God’s miraculous power and provision using very real examples. The things you’ve known and heard that stir and encourage you will stir and encourage your children as well. I never had kids of my own, but I’ve probably had thousands over the years come through the classes I taught. I kept a Bible propped up with my personal things where they could see it, and every year as I introduced myself to a new group, I did so using my four C’s (and after heart surgery, 5 C’s): I’m a fanatic St. Louis Cardinals fan; I drink lots of coffee (and often spill it in class); I love cats and have a herd of them at home; I had cardiac surgery (with the eighth graders, I gave all the gory details—nothing like gore to reach a young teen’s heart!); and last, and best of all, I am a Christian who serves Christ. When I told them that final detail, every year someone’s eyes would light up—and some years, multiple eyes across the room would beam at me, heads nodding vigorously in agreement, some even pointing to themselves so I could identify them as my brother or sister in Christ. They knew then and there that my classroom would be a safe place for their personal and precious memorial stones.
  5. Keep those memorial stones forever. You need those memorial stones; your children need those memorial stones; and as long as generations continue to produce new generations, they will all need those memorial stones. Don’t be guilty of burying or bulldozing those stones! Don’t let them erode with disinterest or neglect. Keep them front and center.


Hear, my son, and accept my sayings And the years of your life will be many. 11 I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. 12When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; And if you run, you will not stumble. 13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life.   Proverbs 4:10-13

© 2015 Dorothy Frick, All rights reserved.

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Memorial Day

Posted by on May 25, 2015 in Memorials | Comments Off on Memorial Day

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Every year on this day we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice—their lives in defense of our nation. Memorial Day was once called Decoration Day and originated after the Civil War to honor both the Union and Confederate soldiers who died fighting in that conflict. Now on Memorial Day we remember all Americans who gave their lives in service to our country—men and women who laid down their lives for their friends back home—and for you and me.

This is the oath that our enlisted men and women pledge as they enter the Armed Forces:

“I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

Below is the oath pledged by our National Guard members:

“I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the State of (STATE NAME) against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of (STATE NAME) and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to law and regulations. So help me God” (see

These men and women make a solemn oath first of all to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Secondly, they pledge to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. Third, they pledge to obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of those appointed over them. It is my opinion that the sequence of this oath is not random, but it reveals what is their top priority—to defend the Constitution and its provisions with true faith and allegiance.

Our Constitution has altered somewhat with time. Built into it is a mechanism by which to change or tweak it. This mechanism is called an amendment to the Constitution and requires a well-thought out, specific, sober, and meticulous process to enact.

One way an amendment is introduced is when both the House of Representatives and the Senate approve a joint resolution by a two-thirds vote. If approved, this by-passes the Executive Office and goes straight to the fifty states for ratification. Another way an amendment may be proposed is for two-thirds of the state legislatures to ask Congress to call for a national convention to propose an amendment, although this method has never been used.

In order to ratify an amendment, three-fourths of the state legislatures must approve it. The repeal of Prohibition was an exception; it was enacted first by conventions held in three-fourths of the states—the only time an amendment was passed this way.

Ratification, according to the Supreme Court, must be done within “some reasonable time after the proposal.”  Typically, that “reasonable time” is seven years, but this is not set in stone. Since the writing of the Constitution, only 27 amendments have been ratified, including the ten listed in the Bill of Rights (see

The Constitution, which our men and women in the Armed Forces pledge to support and defend as their top priority, was designed to protect both the rights of the majority of the population and those of all minorities—down to the lone individual with a very unpopular or distasteful point of view. Each man and woman has been endowed by his or her Creator with these certain unalienable rights: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; when upheld according to the letter of its content, the Constitution defends these rights. This document—protected and safeguarded by American armed forces throughout US history—was designed by its framers to withstand the vagaries and societal conceits that cry for quick, and often, irrational or destructive, change.

May we never forget the brave sacrifice that our military dead have made on our behalf so that we may enjoy life and freedom supported and sustained by the greatest man-made document in history. May God grant knowledge, wisdom, and holy boldness to those He has chosen to continue to ensure that this nation will remain and become again strong, brave, and free.

May the wisdom and enduement of God’s power pour out upon men and women of virtue, humility, and upright desire from sea to shining sea to boldly do their unique part in and for this nation.

May God save and bless America. In Jesus’ name, so be it.


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