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Publisher Shearon Hurst-Roach  Issue 36  Dec. 31, 2003


Micah 7:19  He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities;
and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Happy New Year!   And what a New Year it is!  You have made it through the storms; you overcame when odds were against you.  You came through trials and tribulations that put your faith in God to the test. Trials that made you weep in the midnight hour.  But look at you now; you made it to another year. It�s because of Jesus that you made it.  So Stop, Breath, Exhale, it�s a new beginning.  Rise up in this year and claim what is rightfully yours.

God says in His word to forget the former things, neither consider the things of old.  He wants you to let go and stop remembering the mistakes you made, stop dwelling on what others did to you.  It�s a New Year, time to forget the past.  God will toss all your past mistakes into the SEA OF FORGETFULNESS� if you will let Him.

I stand before you guilty and unworthy
How can I be forgiven and Holy
And I know I break Your Heart
But you promised I could start all over

And all the things I�ve done
You placed them each and everyone
Into the sea of forgetfulness

The Lord brought this song to my remembrance after I had minister to a young lady who was going through so much that she believed God was holding her past sins against her, even though she had repented.  She felt as though Jesus was going back into her past and reminding her of every sin she had committed, and was telling her to stop praying because things were not going get any better.   The enemy had her convinced that no matter how much she prayed that God wasn�t blessing her because of past sins.  I quickly reminded her of what the Word of God says and gave her some scriptures to meditate on.  

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness,
and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Heb 8:12

And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Heb 10:17

 Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins. Psalm 25:18

 �Even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Isa 43:25

Psalm 51:1-2


How many of us are going through the same thing?  How many of us feel that God hasn�t blessed us because He still remembers what we did in the past? God wants us to realize that His forgiveness includes His forgetfulness. Too many times we cry it out and repent of our sins to the Lord, then we go back and reflect on our sins when what we have prayed for has been delayed. This is what this young lady was doing.  She didn�t recognize that it was the enemy, not

God that was reminding her of her sins, and causing her to miss her blessing.  She couldn�t see how dwelling on her sins, and talking about them all the time had anything to do with her not being blessed.  The Word says; For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:  (Pro 23:7).  Each time she thought she was a failure, she was.  Each time she thought she wasn�t going to be blessed, she wasn�t.  If we don�t change the way we think the enemy will hold us in bondage forever, and God�s word will never be filled in our lives

 Into the Sea of Forgetfulness, as far as the east from the west, Seventy times seven You�ve forgiven me
And you keep cleansing me, And placing my sin into the sea of forgetfulness

Psalm 103:12 (33k)



God�s Word is faithful and true, He watches over His word to perform it. His Word says He will be merciful and remember our sins no more. So why do we keep reminding Him of them? One of the primary times that we get defeated in our daily living is when we allow the enemy to remind us of our sins. We allow him to play our past sins over and over in our minds as if they are movie videos, and we are watching a new release.  Why would you allow him to do this, and why do you want to remind God of your failures and defeats?  Doing this will only make your weary, stressed and depressed.  You should be reminding yourself that you are a child of the King and you are too blessed to be depressed. 

Psalm 51:7-8 (38k)

The scripture says in Psalm 103:12 that God has put our sins away from us as far as the east is from the west. This is a statement of infinity. After we confess our sins, God no longer remembers your sins. When you gave your life to the Lord you became a new creature in Christ. 2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  God only sees us through the blood of Jesus Christ. We are made whole and righteous in His eyes.  We have been completely forgiven because of the blood His Son shed for us.  It�s not the Lord that is causing you to remember, it�s the enemy. 

And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Heb 10:17

The enemy delights in holding up our past sins and trying to get us to agree with him that we are failures. And if we are having a bad day and all hell is breaking loose in our lives, we easily buy into it. He begins to make us feel ashamed and condemned as if we committed the sin all over again. And when he does that, you stop confessing what the Word of God says about you and spend more time saying bad things about yourself, hold pity parties, and giving glory to the enemy. Your sins can only be past sins if you leave them in the past. If you continually allow the enemy to bring your past sins into the present, they will be used to beat you down and wear you out until you give up and go back into the practice of willful sin.

Into the sea of forgetfulness, You placed all of my sin
But I�m the one that keeps reminding you
Over and over again

Isaiah 44:22 (27k)

How do I defeat the enemy when he brings up my past? Well for one thing, don�t hold a conversation with him.  You know how to tell someone to talk to the hand when you don�t want to hear what they are saying.  Well, what�s wrong with you doing that to the enemy? Put your hand up!!!! Let him know you don�t have time to talk to him. If he wants to talk to someone send him to Jesus. The battle belongs to the Lord, not you, so get out of God�s way and let Him do His work! 


You welcome me with open arms of mercy
In spite of all I�ve done, You still keep loving me
And I only need to ask, And you erase all of my past forever

We all know people who say they have forgiven us, but their forgiveness is only verbal. They still resent and have anger in their heart towards you for what you did. They hold on to it and will still mention it to who ever will listen to them, which creates a wall between them and the person who has sought their forgiveness. But God�s forgiveness is perfect, there are no walls between you and Him because He refuses to remember the sins you confess. You have a clear record, for when you repented He placed your sins in the �Sea of Forgetfulness, and forgave you completely.

My debts have all been paid, And they have all been washed away,
Into the sea of forgetfulness
It�s Your unfailing love that covers me and all my multitude of sin,
It�s your stead fast love that keeps remind me I�m forgiven

I don�t know about you, but I had some things in my past that I NEEDED thrown in the �Sea of Forgetfulness.� I am so grateful that Jesus Christ has placed my sins in that sea, and He will do the same for you, if you ask Him to.  He will cast them into the sea, not near the shore-side, where they may be washed on shore again, but into the depth of the sea, never to rise again.  When God forgives sin He remembers them no more, and takes care that it shall never be remembered anymore against the sinner. God will throw your sins in the Sea of Forgetfulness and place a sign there that reads, �No Fishing Allowed�. So once and for all stop trying to fish where God has told you not to.



Psalm 25:7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember
 thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.

 Thank you Lord for placing my sins into the

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Forget the slander you heard
Forget the many unkind words
Forget the ones who made you cry
Forget the one who passed you by
Forget pain you suffer inside
Forget the ones wouldn�t stand by your side
But remember Jesus, for your sins He died

The 491st Time

Lisa sat on the floor of her old room, staring at the box that lay in front of her. It was an old shoebox that she had decorated to become a memory box many years before. It had been three years since Lisa last opened the box. A sudden move to Boston had kept her from packing it. But now that she was back home, she remembered the items in the box, lingering over the sweetest, until she came to the last and only painful memory. She knew what it looked like--a single sheet of paper upon which lines had been drawn to form boxes, 490 of them to be exact. And each box contained a check mark, one for each time.

the story behind it..........

"How many times must I forgive my brother?" the disciple Peter had asked Jesus. "Seven times?" Lisa's Sunday school teacher had read Jesus' surprise answer to the class. "Seventy times seven."

"How many times is that?" she whispered. Brent, though two years younger, was smarter than she was. "Four hundred and ninety," Brent wrote on the corner of his Sunday school paper. Lisa saw the message, nodded, and sat back in her chair. He bordered on being a nerd, but his incredible skills at everything, especially music, made him popular with his classmates. His music teachers said he'd be a famous musician someday. Lisa's attention came back to her Sunday school teacher as the woman finished the lesson and closed with prayer.

That same Sunday afternoon found brother and sister playing basketball in the driveway. It was then that the counting had begun. Brent was guarding Lisa as she dribbled toward the basket. He had tried to bat the ball away, got his face near her elbow, and took a shot on the chin. "Ow!� he cried out and turned away.

Lisa saw her opening and drove to the basket, making an easy lay-up. She gloated over her success but stopped when she saw Brent. "You okay?� she asked. Brent shrugged his shoulders. "Sorry," Lisa said. "Really. It was a cheap shot." "It's all right. I forgive you," he said. A thin smile then formed on his face. "Just 489 more times though."

"Whaddaya mean?" Lisa asked.  "You know...what we learned in Sunday school today. You're supposed to forgive someone 490 times. I just forgave you, so now you have 489 left," he kidded. The two of them laughed at the thought of keeping track of every time Lisa had done something to Brent. They were sure she had gone past 490 long ago.

"Wanna go play Battleship?" Lisa asked. Brent agreed, and they were soon on the floor of the living room with their game boards in front of them.  Desperate to win, she found herself leaning over the edge of Brent's barrier ever so slightly she was able to see where Brent had placed two of his ships. She quickly evened the score.

Pleased, Lisa peered over the barrier again, but this time Brent caught her in the act. "Hey, you're cheating!" He stared at her in disbelief. Lisa's face turned red. Her lips quivered. "I'm sorry," she said, staring at the carpet.

"Okay, I forgive you," Brent said. Then he added with a small laugh, "I guess it's down to 488 now, huh?" "Yeah, I guess so." She returned his kindness with a weak smile and added, "Thanks for being my brother, Brent."

Brent's forgiving spirit gripped Lisa, and she wanted him to know how sorry she was. It was that evening that she had made the chart with the 490 boxes. She showed it to him before he went to bed. "We can keep track of every time I mess up and you forgive me," she said.

"See, I'll put a check in each box--like this." She placed two marks in the upper left-hand boxes. "These are for today." Brent raised his hands to protest. "You don't need to keep--"

"Yes I do!" Lisa interrupted. "You're always forgiving me, and I want to keep track. Just let me do this!" She went back to her room and tacked the chart to her bulletin board.

There were many opportunities to fill in the chart in the years that followed. She once told the kids at school that Brent talked in his sleep and called out Rhonda Hill's name, even though it wasn't true. The teasing caused Brent days and days of misery. When she realized how cruel she had been, Lisa apologized sincerely. That night she marked box number 96. Forgiveness number 211 came in the tenth grade when Lisa failed to bring home his English book. Brent had stayed home sick that day and had asked her to bring it so he could study for a quiz. She forgot and he got a C.  Number 393 was for lost keys...418 for the extra bleach she put in the washer, which ruined his favorite polo shirt...449, the dent she had put in his car when she had borrowed it. There was a small ceremony when Lisa checked number 490. She used a gold pen for the check mark, had Brent sign the chart, and then placed it in her memory box.  "I guess that's the end," Lisa said. "No more screw-ups from me anymore!" Brent just laughed. "Yeah, right."

Number 491 was just another one of Lisa's careless mistakes, but its hurt lasted a lifetime. Brent had become all that his music teachers said he would. In his fourth year at the best music school in the United States, he received the opportunity of a lifetime--a chance to try out for New York City's great orchestra. The tryout would be held sometime during the following two weeks. It would be the fulfillment of his young dreams. But he never got the chance. Brent had been out when the call about the tryout came to the house. Lisa was the only one home and on her way out the door, eager to get to work on time.

"Two-thirty on the tenth," the secretary said on the phone. Lisa did not have a pen, but she told herself that she could remember it. "Got it. Thanks." I can remember that, she thought. But she did not. It was a week later around the dinner table that Lisa realized her mistake.

"So, Brent," his mom asked him, "When do you try out?" "Don't know yet. They're supposed to call." Lisa froze in her seat. "Oh, no!" she blurted out loud. "What's today's date? Quick!"

"It's the twelfth," her dad answered. "Why?" A terrible pain ripped through Lisa's heart. She buried her face in her hands, crying. "Lisa, what's the matter?" her mother asked. Through sobs Lisa explained what had happened. "It was two days ago...the tryout...two-thirty...the call came...last week." Brent sat back in his chair, not believing Lisa.

"Is this one of your jokes, sis?" he asked, though he could tell her misery was real. She shook her head, still unable to look at him.  "Then I really missed it?" She nodded.

Brent ran out of the kitchen without a word. He did not come out of his room the rest of the evening. Lisa tried once to knock on the door, but she could not face him. She went to her room where she cried bitterly. Suddenly she knew that she had to do. She had ruined Brent's life. He could never forgive her for that. She had failed her family, and there was nothing to do but to leave home. Lisa packed her pickup truck in the middle of the night and left a note behind, telling her folks she'd be all right. She began writing a note to Brent, but her words sounded empty to her. Nothing I say could make a difference anyway, she thought.

Two days later she got a job as a waitress in Boston. She found an apartment not too far from the restaurant. Her parents tried many times to reach her, but Lisa ignored their letters. "It's too late," she wrote them once. "I've ruined Brent's life, and I'm not coming back."

Lisa did not think she would ever see home again. But one day in the restaurant where she worked she saw a face she knew. "Lisa!" said Mrs. Nelson, looking up from her plate. "What a surprise." The woman was a friend of Lisa's family from back home. "I was so sorry to hear about your brother," Mrs. Nelson said softly.

"Such a terrible accident. But we can be thankful that he died quickly. He didn't suffer." Lisa stared at the woman in shock. "Wh-hat," she finally stammered. 

It couldn't be! Her brother? Dead? The woman quickly saw that Lisa did not know about the accident. She told the girl the sad story of the speeding car, the rush to the hospital, the doctors working over Brent. But all they could do was not enough to save him.  Lisa returned home that afternoon.

Now she found herself in her room thinking about her brother as she held the small box that held some of her memories of him. Sadly, she opened the box and peered inside. It was as she remembered, except for one item--Brent's chart. It was not there. In its place, at the bottom of the box, was an envelope. Her hands shook as she tore it open and removed a letter.

The first page read:

Dear Lisa,
It was you who kept count, not me. But if you're stubborn enough to keep count, use the new chart I've made for you.  Love, Brent

Lisa turned to the second page where she found a chart just like the one she had made as a child, but on this one the lines were drawn in perfect precision. And unlike the chart she had kept, there was but one check mark in the upper left- hand corner. Written in red felt tip pen over the entire page were the words: "Number 491. Forgiven, forever."

Numbers 6:24-26 (32k)

Don't look back on failures.
Meditate on your successes


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