Jan and I went to a Beach Boys concert last Friday and we really enjoyed hearing again many of their songs from years ago. There were ten musicians on the stage, but only two of them were with the Beach Boys when they began in 1961.

I was only 10 when they launched their band but I have always appreciated them and their songs and music. Their concert this past Friday was the third time through the years Jan and I have seen them in concert and we appreciated all three of them.

Listening to them again in concert left me feeling nostalgic. The definition of feeling nostalgic is “thinking fondly of a past time or condition.” I’m 71 and often feel nostalgic when I am reminded about things in the past and remember them fondly.

Having lived in Southern California for 30 years I was especially taken by the two songs “California Dreaming” and “I Wish they all could be California Girls.” As a pastor for many years the song “God Only Knows” was also an important reminder.

It’s not just the music of the Beach Boys that make me feel nostalgic, but also a lot of music by other groups and individuals from years ago. Nor is music the only remembering that makes me feel nostalgic. Sometimes talking with longtime friends and/or family I also end up feeling nostalgic.

Another word to reinforce nostalgic is melancholy.  As an adjective melancholy is about being sad and pensive about a longed-for past time or condition. It’s not just music from the past that gets my attention, but also people, places, and vacations from the past.

I don’t think I’m the only one who sometimes thinks about music, vacations, places, and people from years ago. I don’t squelch those times when I am sad and pensive thinking about my past. Nor do I squelch my feelings when I think fondly about my past.

Being reminded of things in our past and remembering what they meant to us and still mean to us is something that happens to me quite often. Even though we cannot return to those times in our past that we cherish, we can remind ourselves and remember times in our lives that were enjoyable and exciting.

Most readers of these thoughts of mine have probably heard the classic song/hymn “Precious Memories.” Some artists who covered the song include George Jones, Johnny Case, Emmylou Harris, Jim Reeves, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, and others.

Hopefully all of us have precious memories that mean much to us. On the other hand, we also have memories that remind us of mistakes, loss, and pain. At the age of seventy-one I have both precious as well as painful memories.

I tag this blog a reflection and one of the definitions of reflection is serious thought or consideration. I hope what I have written prompts some of your own reflection.

Feel free to leave a comment below.


Most of us probably remember at least one thing we wanted to become when we were moving into young adulthood. Many of us became what we wanted to become and others realized there was something else we wanted to become.

Earlier today I read the manuscript of a sermon by Ken Shigematsu. This preacher’s sermon was five full typed pages and one of the best, most challenging, thoughtful, encouraging, and attention getting sermons I have read the last several months.

Shigematsu used Romans 8:28 for his text and not only delivered the goods on Romans 8:28, he also included a variety of observations that got my attention and provoked some honest thinking about my own life and what lies ahead.

Shigematsu shared with those who heard the sermon or read the manuscript that “through COVID-19, I have been reminded that I do not control my life.” He continued “COVID-19 has shown me that I am utterly and completely dependent on the living God. If I think I am in control of things that is merely a pleasant illusion.”

Shigematsu’s sermon conclusion takes an entire page and gives to both listeners as well as readers a refreshing and instructive wrap to his sermon.

As much as I appreciated Shigematsu’s sermon, one brief affirmation in the last paragraph before his conclusion challenged me. His most powerful observation got my attention and has given me lots to think about when he reminds us “the central drama of our life is who we are becoming.”

I’ve been a Christian for most of my life and have had my ups and downs when it comes to who I am becoming. Hopefully I will keep on becoming more and more the Christian God wants me to be.

Shigematsu’s sermon title is Hope in a Time of Anxiety. If you can find it I think you will be blessed by it.


The Lord’s Supper is an act of worship that Jesus himself established and encourages us to regularly participate.

It is often called “Communion” (or Holy Communion) and emphasizes that we are in fellowship with God and our fellow worshippers. Connecting with and speaking with God is primary–but in communion we are reminded we are all part of the body of Christ.

In the Lord’s Supper we are not merely eating–we are eating together. We are in fellowship with Christ, and we have fellowship with one another.

When we share in the Lord’s Supper we need to be reminded that our host is Jesus. He invites and welcomes us to His table.

The Lord’s Supper is a reminder. We need to be reminded of what Jesus has done for us through his death on the cross. Perhaps the most important thing we need to remember is that God and Jesus forgive us.

Usually the Lord’s Supper takes place in a church building, but it is not limited to such a building. Some of the most meaningful times of communion for me have taken place in camps or on retreats outside in God’s creation.

Usually when I post a blog it also has a picture. I haven’t been able to figure out how to add a picture, but I am working on it. Be patient with me.