MEMORIAL STONES

I really enjoyed preaching yesterday about memorial stones. In Joshua 3 and 4 we are told the story of when the Israelites were about to cross the Jordan River into their new promised land, Canaan. God stopped the flow of the Jordan so that the Israelites could cross the river on dry land. As they crossed the river on dry land God had one person from each of the 12 tribes pick up a stone from the river bed. That night when they camped God had them stack the stones up to make a memorial. The “memorial stones” were to be a reminder to everyone of God’s power and faithfulness. God said, “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over (Joshua 4:21-23).”

We still have memorial stones today. They can be anything that reminds us of who we are, where we’ve come from or what we’ve been through. They are things that remind us of God’s goodness and faithfulness during various times in our lives. Memorial stones don’t have to be just stones, they can be anything (cards, rocks, notes, etc). I knew a man who carried 5 pennies in his pocket every where he went. These five pennies represented his five grandchildren, and the dates on the pennies were from the year each of his grand-kids were born.

So this past week, while preparing for my lesson, I began to look around for things that were “memorial stones” in my life. Here are a few I found and mentioned in my lesson and a few extras:
  • A CHRISTMAS CARD I CARRY IN MY BIBLE: I have carried this card for years. It was given to me by a young lady named Cindy. Cindy’s dad was an alcoholic who I spent a lot of time talking with over a cup of coffee. One day he mentioned “getting cleaned up” and getting off the alcohol. I called his hand on it, and he did what he said. To this day, 9 1/2 years later, he’s still dry. The first Christmas following him drying out, his beautiful 17 year-old daughter sent me a Christmas card that said, “Thanks for giving me back my dad.” I was floored she felt this way, because I really had done nothing more than be his friend. So I have always carried that card in my Bible as a “memorial stone,” to remind me how easy it is to make a difference in someone’s life and not even know it. “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water… (Matthew 10:42)”

  • A BOX OF CARDS: In the top of my closet you’ll find a shoe box full of “Get Well” cards that I received back in 2003 when I was diagnosed with cancer. Over 200 cards, letters and notes from people everywhere. I have cards from friends, family and people I never met. All of them telling me that they are praying for me to get well. That summer was a dark time in my life and those cards meant everything to me. Every May, on my cancer anniversary date, I take that shoebox full of cards are read them. They are my memorial stone that reminds me of other’s love and God’s kindness to me.

  • AN OLD BIBLE: In my office you’ll find an old Bible that belonged to my father. My father passed away when I was only a child. I really have no real memories of him. I do have the Bible he carried. In it are verses he’s highlighted with a marker and notes that he’s written in the column. It gives me some insight into who he was and what he thought about God. It’s the memorial stone that serves to remind me that I came from a Godly heritage and if I’ll continue to walk in the light I will meet him someday.

  • A PICTURE OF MY 4 BOYS: You will always find a picture of my boys on or around my desk. It’s my memorial stone that reminds me that God has blessed me richly. It also reminds me that I have a huge responsibility to be an example to them, and that the things I say and do will directly or indirectly influence them in a positive or negative way.
These are a few of my memorial stones. I’d love to hear about some of yours…

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
20 Comments Post a Comment
  1. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Trey,

    There are many different stones. Being the “pack-rat” I am supposed to be, there are several that come to mind. I carry a gift, a pocket coin that has ‘Forgiven’ on one side and ‘forgive’ on the other. I spoke at a retreat and talked about holiness. I gave a china cup as an illustration. I see the one I kept as a remeinder and have seen a couple of other people who have mentioned the cup. Probably the most unique ‘stone’ I have is a plastic cow’s ear. My sister-in-law gave it to me as a comment on being a good listener. I have a couple of boxes of different ‘memories’that are stones.

    James

  2. The Preacher's Household: says:

    The decorations in our bedroom are a collection of things from all over the world that close people have given us, or that I brought back after living in Costa Rica and James brought back after living in Africa. They represent lots of love and memories and a desire to share the gospel. One of the things is actually a small rock that someone gave me as a token of their friendship. I also carry the wedding vows we wrote in my Bible.
    Kathy

  3. Trey Morgan says:

    James & Kathy … thanks for the thoughts on memorial stones. It’s amazing the things that remind us of our past. And James, a cow’s ear? You sure it was a compliment? Yuk!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Trey,

    Did not realize how many “memorial stones” i have until i read your comments. I have a pair of pliers that my Grandad had, and also some pens that have his name on them.
    I have a knife that the guys from the coop gave me when i left there. I have been writing in a journal for the last couple of years, i try to write in it at least 2 to 3 times a week. I hope that this will be a “memorial stone” for my kids to have after i am gone.

    Matt

  5. preacherman says:

    Trey,
    Sounds like a great sermon.
    Thanks for sharing it with us. What are we leaving behind?
    Great post.

  6. Paula Harrington says:

    Great post Trey!

    Thanks for the memories.

  7. Neva says:

    Trey,
    I have my first husband’s wedding ring, geraniums (still alive, an amazing feat for me) from my grandmas funeral and a stone in my purse that says integrity on it—just a reminder of what kind of person I am striving to be.
    prayers to you, my friend
    Neva

  8. Trey Morgan says:

    Matt & Neva… sounds like you’ve got some great stuff there. Loved the story behind the items. Makes them priceless, doesn’t it?

  9. Lisa says:

    I don’t feel like a very sentimental person … I can’t think of very many memorial stones! I had to think on it all day.
    I have 2 rose petals in my Bible–one from the roses my Dad gave me the night he took me on the “date” that replaced prom night, and the other from my last night of camp my senior year of high school. It was from my date, which was also not a real date.
    Maybe after another whole day of dwelling on it, I’ll think of some more. I’m actually a pretty sentimental person who doesn’t like to get rid of stuff, so I ought to be able to think of a bunch!

  10. Fat Matt The Water Rat says:

    You finally coxed me out to leave a comment. I rarely keep anything, in fact my wife often refers to me, as a minimalist. but there is one memorial stone that has traveled with me always (from Texas to Hawaii and back, and it will continue to have a prominent place in my house forever.) It hangs on the inside of my front door. It is one of those fake stain glass things kids make it has the word “FAITH” on it with the Ark and a Rainbow in the background. A very young boy named Connor gave it to me, and it is a reminder to me that, my God is Able. Thanks Trey for your sweet sons.

    Matt

  11. Trey Morgan says:

    Lisa … excellent. That wasn’t too hard. I like those. I bet everytime you open your Bible and see one of those you remember what a special father you have.

  12. Trey Morgan says:

    Matt Matt the boy so nice they named him twice: Thanks for leaving the note. Glad you joined in. I like your thoughts and I’d forgotten about the Faith – Rainbow from Connor. Thanks for the reminder…

  13. Monalea says:

    Didn’t realize it but I carry a small (stone) nail in my pocket. It was given out at a teen retreat last April. It represents the nail used at the cross. When I take it out and look at it I’m reminded that nothing is too great for this nail.

  14. Stachia says:

    I have been thinking about this every since Sunday morning. Great sermon by the way. I have my parents wedding rings, my Grandmothers chocolate syrup pitcher, my Great-Grandmothers hand made quilt, and a journal that I wrote when Conner was going through chemo, and pictures on my desk of 4 wonderful gifts from God.
    Looking back over these God has certainly blessed my life. He gave a wonderful set of parents and grandparents, and I didn’t realize it then but I really God working with me through Conner being sick, the divorce, and beginning to raise the kids without their dad there all the time. I read that journal every year on Conners diagnosis date to remind me how blessed I am and how far we’ve come. Thanks for reminding me of some wonderful memories.

  15. Trey Morgan says:

    Stachia,

    Perfect example of a memorial stone. Powerful. Loved the example.

  16. The Preacher's Household: says:

    By the way, James did a youth retreat entitled, “Stoned” that included this and other stone stories from the Bible. You can learn alot from a stone. Maybe that is why they will cry out if we don’t.

  17. john dobbs says:

    Great thoughts, Trey. As you might guess, Hurricane Katrina washed away many of our beloved possessions that had such sentimental value … a small glass front cabinet that I carried out of my grandmother’s bedroom after she died. … a set of Charles Dickens books that I loved … and more things than I want to run through my memory right now.

    I do now have a new ‘stone’ … a coffee mug. It came in a box of relief supplies from somewhere in America. It is nothing very special on its own. It has a picture of a Downy Woodpecker on it and a little info about the bird on the other side. But I chose it out of a box of stuff someone sent. I brought it to the camper in which we were living in our driveway, and I continue to drink out of it.

    Really, it’s the kind of cup you throw away without conscience … redeemed from a box of crap (sorry, but mostly that’s what it was) … but I needed a coffee cup and there it was.

    It’s special to me.

    Also, in a box in my possession I have kept most of the notes of encouragement given to me over the years. It’s quite a joy to read through them. There are even letters from my grandmother and father in there. Thankfully it was up in the top of the closet and the floodwaters did not reach it.

    Sorry to be so longwinded.

  18. Trey Morgan says:

    John … I always love your comments. The are so full of “heart.” Thanks for blessing us with your wisdom. Please feel free to be longwinded anytime around here! :)

  19. Anonymous says:

    Memorial stones..some are black, but with a little polishing..they can be a stunning red!
    After marrying my Mom, Daddy served his country in Korea back in the mid to late 1950’s. He had three girls (I’m the middle one), when he came back.
    Mom and Dad divorced in 1974, because…Daddy could not and would not stop drinking.
    Mom died in 1988.
    In August of 1990, Daddy disappeared, for several days. We called everywhere..hospitals, sheriff department’s..even funeral homes, looking for him. Then, out of the blue..he appears.
    Daddy calls me and apologizes for not telling anyone where he is at. My response..”You know what Daddy? I put up with this when I was a kid…but NOW you have two grandkids that I would love for you to get to know and I WILL NOT put them thru what I went thru!” That was on a Friday..he checked himself in to the VA rehab center on Monday and was sober until the day he died..in January 1996.
    My kids got to know their Grandad!! I have always said and will always say, “I wasn’t always proud of my Daddy, but I always loved him!” Because..I WAS DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL!! (Even tho I was the middle one!)
    P.S. I still have the last birthday card my Mom gave me..on July 3rd…1987.

  20. Trey Morgan says:

    Anonymous … wow, what a story. Thanks for blessing us with your story about your dad and mom. It was powerful and heart wrenching.

    Blessings

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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