Remember. Don’t Forget.

8.29.13—How many times do we read in the Old Testament “remember” this and “don’t forget” that? Blake Newsome mentioned this in his chapel sermon last Thursday, pointing out that Deuteronomy 8 is full of such references.

So we’ve been remembering. Remembering what it was like to be a part of the seminary communJudi 2013ity eight years ago when Hurricane Katrina came for a visit. Remembering when three years later, then-mayor Ray Nagin instructed New Orleans and NOBTS’ers to hit the road again in anticipation of “the mother of all storms” (a.k.a. Gustav). Remembering the end of last August and the disruption Isaac brought to our schedules and lives.

Reflecting on her Katrina experience, Courtney Veasey wrote:

“Eight years ago today, at the age of twenty-two, I learned a very important life lesson: to hold YOUR plans with open hands. I had just graduated college, spent the summer doing mission work, and then set off on my first ‘adult’ adventure of moving to New Orleans to begin graduate school. Three weeks after that move, I found myself back in Florida and watching in unbelief with the rest of the nation (and world) as Hurricane Katrina invaded our shores and brought with it, quite literally, a flood of devastation. I lived on a first floor apartment at the back of the school campus where most of the flood damage occurred. Needless to say, when I returned nearly a month later to retrieve any belongings I could from the rubble, what could be salvaged was minimal. It had taken two SUVs to get my belongings there in August, and one cardboard box to carry out what remained in September … humbling.”

To read the rest of these thoughts, see Courtney’s blog at

What is it that you need to remember — not for the sake of dredging up bad memories but to reminded of how you saw God at work in ways that you might not have seen Him otherwise? Sheila Taylor, in response to a Facebook post about the significance of August 29 in our lives, pointed out: “We will never forget Katrina, but most of all we will never forget the faithfulness of our God.”

It’s fixin’ to get real, girlfriends. You may not have a hurricane story in your Christ-walk narrative but I trust you’ve got something in your personal journey that reminds you over and over and over that He is faithful and active and loves to show up in the middle of “impossible.”

Your first quizzes are rolling in. Your first papers are coming due. Your first seminary stress-outs are lurking nearby. It will be easy to forget the work of the Lord that got you here. It will be easy to trade the peace you felt as you applied to come here for sweat-producing anxiety as the due dates pile up.

Instead, remember. And, even more, don’t forget.

“Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God ….” (Deuteronomy 8:11a)

Judi Jackson

[Associate Dean of Students, Coordinator of Women’s Programs]