A Memorial

There are many wonderful articles written surrounding Memorial Day. Many eloquent words far better than mine, speaking of the brave soldiers who went into battle fully knowing that there was a great chance that they would not be returning home to those who loved them, those whom they loved.

Thinking of these brave men and women, I have to believe that they put a lot of thought into what the outcome could be as they parachuted from planes, stepped out of landing transports on beaches, made their way into jungles or jumped from trucks into sand dunes. I believe these individuals considered the cost of what they were doing. It was something that they were not taking lightly, this commitment, this pledge to protect and defend. Every day, hundreds of thousands of individuals in the armed forces, police, fire fighters, and first responders place their lives on the line to protect, defend and rescue the lives of people they do not know. Because they have considered the cost, they are willing and ready to place all that they know and love into God’s hands as they fulfill an oath, a promise, a heart felt desire to rescue, free and remove from danger lives all around the world. May we pray for them, for their families and friends as they step into these rolls. May we lift up so many families whose loved ones did not return from battles throughout our history.

As Jesus said in John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” To lay down one’s life for those around our world who are in danger, captivity, facing torture, abuse and ultimate loss of life, those courageous individuals should be on our minds daily. May God protect them, strengthen them, give them peace and hope on their mission. May their families and loved ones know they are not alone as they go into battle. May the ones left behind Know They Will Never Be Forgotten.

Free Speech

I was reading in James chapter 3 this morning and he was talking about our speech. In today’s world everyone thinks they are free to say just about anything they want simply because they have the “right” to do so no matter what the outcome.

Scripture, on the other hand, seems to take a different road, the One Less Traveled. It speaks of how the tongue, although it is a small member of the body, it boasts great things. And that the tongue is a fire, setting on fire the course of human existence. We can certainly see how much damage conversations have caused due to the hatred of individuals toward another, toward groups of individuals. Scripture also says that with the tongue we bless God and curse people who are made in God’s likeness. Free Speech is the kind that comes from above, not from jealousy and selfish ambition. From the heart the mouth speaks. If we have the true love of God within us, the wisdom that comes from being near to God, that wisdom is first pure, peaceful, gentle, obedient, full of mercy and good fruits. It is nonjudgmental, without hypocrisy and this fruit is sown in peace among those who make peace.

May we consider the words of our mouth and the things that our heart dwells on, what we meditate on, that they be acceptable in God’s sight, who is our strength and our redeemer. Truly “Free” Speech is free of hatred, bias, envy, greed, prejudice, manipulation, bullying, lies, and anything that puts us above God and His principles. May our Speech be Free from the wages of sin.

Made In His Image

My mom and my baby sister sitting with my grandmother and other siblings around 1940.

I know that I am a day behind in posting here about Mother’s Day, but I still wanted to share something I shared several years back yet I feel it holds true, and will for all time.

I am so thankful for the amazing compassion of God and His creativity that brings to life His love and strength in the form of our mothers. Within this creation, God packed so many wonderful aspects of himself. Within a mother you will find His never ending love, His strength, His wisdom, one who is always seeking us out no matter where we are, to tell us that we are loved. Within our mothers there are countleIs times of encouragement. Times when we were hurting, discouraged, feeling that there was no meaning to our lives,  yet from them came words of love, countless hours of listening, letting us know that this too will pass and that we will be stronger for those days of sadness. Her words of excitement came for achievements, honors and victories. There can never be a replacement for these wonderful souls placed in charge of our lives from infancy unto eternity. The lasting impression our mothers leave upon us will forever mold who we are.

Thank you Lord for these wonderful, brave, strong, compassionate, tender, encouraging spirits you knew would help to lead us to you. May the Lord Bless and strengthen all of the moms I have been blessed to know. Whether young or old you are loved beyond words. For I believe you are an image of a wise and Loving God.

Respect the Rust

The Years take their toll.

I have always enjoyed old things. I enjoy aged machinary, tools, houses, but cars especially. I love the stories of how they began and the people behind their origin. I love thinking of what these old vehicles have seen in their lifetime and the individuals who proudly purchased them and drove them. I have a respect for the designers and engineers making breakthroughs with every new model that came off the line. I love the history of man’s creativity in so many aspects of life.

Hebrews 12:1 reminds us that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. These witnesses, scripture says, should help us to put off every weight and the sin that easily ensnares us and run with patient endurance the race that has been set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

We have had witnesses in our lives, growing up, that proved to us that no matter what was faced, God provided and came through in the hardest of times. I have always loved being around older, golden aged individuals who told stories of their lives growing up. They spoke with confident proof of battles faced, scars received, loved ones lost but never wavered in their faith, for their God always gave grace in times of trouble. I miss so many of my relatives who have passed on and are no longer here. I miss sitting at their feet receiving their words of wisdom with gentle smiles given through true love. Witnesses for us come in all ages and all backgrounds. Each of them carrying truth, hope and love that represents the Father God’s purpose and reassurance that He will never leave us or foresake us. Let us respect those who have gone before us, their example in which to find strength. Let us respect those of all ages who hold fast to the promises of Christ so that we also can be considered one of the faithful who shines a light into another life to bring them into the knowledge of God.

A Quiet Strength

There are places that we know which bring peace to us. Each of us being different, each has his or her own place of silent, quiet strength where we can hear God’s voice. It is hard sometimes to shut off the sounds of chaos and demand so that we can hear Him speak. Your place may be sitting – early in the morning, outside listening to the sounds of nature around you. For some of you it may be on a walk or run where you think on His blessings. It can be listening to music that brings you into a time of worship. All of us need quiet, alone time with God to reflect on His love, blessings, direction and compassion. We all need to refresh in God’s presence to receive strength to take on our daily challenges. We need God in the demands of family life, to live out His example, to be wise in our raising of children and being the husband or wife God intends for us to be. We need God in the work place, meeting deadlines, working alongside co-workers and employers who need to see Christ-like examples of work ethic and Christian behavior.

Each day should revolve around Christ in us. To have that living example, we need the quiet strength that alone-time with God and His Word gives to us. Find your quiet strength each day this week. Start a new day with Christ at the center and end it with Christ at the center. You won’t be disappointed with the results you find. Come to His quiet. Still your soul and find strength, rest and peace that will go beyond what is humanly possible. Have a blessed week.

With Heart and Mind

Morning everyone…Having two friends go through two different types of major surgery last week brought some thoughts to mind. One of these friends had brain surgery while the other had heart surgery, both surgeries working on portions of the body that are major organs which give us life. Any small miscalculation on the part of the surgeons can end life physically, can cause the brain to paralyze large portions of the body or completely turn a world of clarity into a dark empty and non-functioning existence. So we can see how spiritually important these two parts of our human bodies are in respect to God operating within us. Our heart is said to be our compassion center. We love from the heart, we put our hearts into our families, jobs and interests. We allow God to have our hearts to reach out to those in need, to follow His call, to give from our hearts. Our minds are sharpened by God’s word, we focus our abilities, talents, skills through the clarity of our thinking. Without either of these we have a very paralyzed and dark existence.

May we think with pure vision on the life Christ offers us, may we give our hearts to him so that we can bring love and compassion to those around us. May we not miscalculate and try to rule our own hearts and minds to find we have lost sight of our purpose, Christ lives to help us think clearly, love deeply, hope in the midst of loss. May He be given the chance, everyday to rule our hearts and minds with His love.