Remembering and Honoring…

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Memorial Day is a day that the United States has set aside to remember and honor those who’ve given the ultimate sacrifice for God and Country while serving their military duty.

Unfortunately, this meaning seems to be falling away and is now more likely to be remembered as the “unofficial start of summer.” How truly sad.

It is foolish and wicked to desire war, but it’s foolish and naïve to think that war is always avoidable. For there are wicked people in this world that will kill, steal, and destroy without blinking an eye… that’s the human nature, the sin nature… unleashed.

Jesus told us just this in Matthew 24:6, where we are told: “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.

We know from the Book of Revelation, that it will be Jesus- the King of kings, and LORD of lords who will bring about the end of all wars… and I long for that day!

But until He comes, I am thankful and grateful for those men and women who have laid down their lives for the cause and hope of freedom. If you are reading this and have served or lost a loved one in uniform… thank you for your service.

The “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on December 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”

You may disagree or agree with the direction our Government and Country are headed… but surely, you cannot disagree with those who have paid the ultimate price for this land…no, they indeed should be honored.

I think it’s the very least we can do. Remembeing the Fallen

The Church…

A Little Agitation

So… recently as a part of our transition to Texas, we needed to purchase a new Washer and Dryer set. My bride and I go to a large chain store to take a look at a few machines and make a purchase.

Well, the salesman was quite helpful and knowledgeable. I walked away with the purchase of a new set, realizing that I had never known anything about these magical machines prior to encountering this salesman. I mean, I just thought dirty clothes went in and clean clothes came out. Apparently it’s not magic at all.

I was informed that there is an agitation process that goes on when the lid is closed that in fact is what removes stains and dirt… and that machines no longer have the agitator in the middle of the tub as that causes a binding of the clothes and doesn’t help to get them clean. Now the sides and bottom of the tub rotate in opposite directions to help get things cleaner than ever. Who knew?

And as is my custom, I looked for God’s hand in what that salesman was telling me.

Church is like a Washing Machine. We go in dirty and smelly… the doors are shut, and the agitation process begins… the Holy Spirit convicts- leading to repentance. Brothers and Sisters fellowship and pray together leading to cleansing tears of joy and forgiveness. The Word is taught, which acts like the laundry detergent… getting into the nooks and crannies of our lives, to bring about change.

It reminded me of Hebrews 10:24-25… and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Who knew you could learn so much from going to Home Depot?

 

Humbleness…

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Anyone who knows me, is aware of my fondness for the game of chess. I just love the game… the strategies involved… the strength of pawn chains… strength of minor pieces working together… the competiveness of opponent’s personalities…

I’m not very good. But I seek to improve every time I play. This week, I am playing an old friend, who is very good. Best I’ve ever played on a regular basis. I’ve never truly beaten him. But this week, I was in a very good position to win… in fact I was confident that I would win.

It was at this point in the game, that a unique move was employed against me… the “En Passant” move. The lowly pawn is able to attack another pawn through a special pawn capture. It totally changed the configuration of my strategy and rattled me to the point of immediately turning around and giving away my valued rook. Now, although the game is currently ongoing, I will lose this match. I was humbled.

I am reminded of the words of the prophet Micah 6:8… He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?

To me, life is a lot like chess. I want to get better on this journey, day by day… but truly, I will never master it… and when I begin to think that I’m more than I am… I know that God, in His love will humble me- for which I am grateful.

 

Listening…

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My pilgrimage with the Lord has landed me in Texas. For the most part, the unpacking is complete and now I am getting settled in.

But being settled is a little bothersome for me… I just don’t see that in scripture. So, I am waiting upon the Lord.

I was reminded yesterday in church of the need for a strong prayer life. Statistically I am told that the average American spends 45 minutes a day sorting through e-mails, while those same Americans only spend 3-4 minutes a day in prayer.

Perhaps we are not hearing from God today as in days of old because we are not listening to God today as in the days of old.

In the book of Daniel, the 9th chapter, verse 3… we read: So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.

Daniel at this time was the third most powerful person in Babylon. A busy man indeed. But he not only found time to pray, we are told elsewhere in the Book, that he made time to pray.

It has been said “that the prayer that God accepts, is the prayer that God directs”. So prayer, needs to be a dialogue and not a monologue. As I get “settled” into life in Texas, I hope to spend more time listening and obeying God.

My thanks to Pastor Aaron for these insights.

How is your journey going?

Pilgrims On The Move

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In Genesis 12: 4-9, we are told that Abraham left Haran at 75 years of age and died at 175 years. His pilgrimage therefore spanned a period of 100 years: his unchained life being a testimony to the world. His hearts desires were centered not on the transitory or unimportant things of life, but on those eternal realities revealed only through faith.

Today, my wife and I begin a Southeasterly transit from Washington State to Texas. We are in our mid-fifties… not as old as Abe, but not spring chicks either. One of the purposes in this move is to unclutter our lives, to focus more on the eternal and not nearly as much on the material.

As we relocate, my prayer is that we never become too comfortable in our relationship with Jesus… that we would always be seeking to follow Him, no matter where it may lead. We’ll keep you posted on what the Lord is doing in our lives. Pray for us, as we pray for you.