Monday, April 25, 2016

Manners 101


Patriotism and our Faith

This week we have been to a Veteran’s Honor Flight’s return celebration, and then to the next Honor Flight’s Orientation day.  Both of these are very well done and quite honoring to the Veterans and their families.

I would say that most people could not truly explain the emotions we can go through as we watch the slide show of the Veterans from World War 2 through Vietnam, and also listen to the patriotic music which was popular during those eras.

Watching the Veterans who are excited and honored to go on a flight to Washington D.C., watching their happy families with ages from newborns to as old as the Veterans themselves, then also seeing the Volunteers doing everything to honor the Veterans and their families, to even the skirl of the Bagpipes is very special, and it is full of a range of emotions for those of us “on the outside looking in”.

It is truly difficult to express the depths of emotions, the patriotism, and the loyalty to our nation and for those who stood in the gap for us.

I was contemplating how the love of our country is only a "shadow, a faded picture" compared to the people whose love, devotion, and honor is given to the One and Only God for the rest of their lives for His marvelous grace through Jesus Christ who saved us from our sins.  The LORD now calls us His children.  We were bought with a price, Jesus blood!

The joy I have witnessed this week on the Veterans’ faces, the Guardians, all the families who love their Vet, the Volunteers - even the other passengers waiting for their own flights who are at the airport and are surprised and touched by the reception and comradery for the Vets - this joy is truly indescribable.

Our joy as Believers of the God of the Universe is far beyond what I experienced this week. 

When we meet up with another Believer we haven’t seen for a while, or when we meet a Believer we have never met, or when we meet a Believer we just saw yesterday, we find such unexplainable joy!  It is because we are connected to the LORD, we are related, we understand where each of us have come from, where we are in life, where we will be in life when Jesus returns. 

Veterans are connected to other Veterans no matter which war or whatever age they are, but Believers have ties to each other that will last an eternity.  Our “family” is the Body of Believers.  When our human family denies us, we can count on the Body to still be our family, to love and encourage us. 

Most of all we have an Awesome God who gave us life - life eternal with Him!  This is such a beautiful connection we have in each other. We are safe together no matter where we are in this world.  On this earth we have begun our eternal life with Him, but the best is yet to be with Him in glory!

Patriotism in the USA in these last generations is many times “tied”  or “woven” into our Christian faith.  It was how our culture used to be.  

As the LORD’s child we are far and above more, exponentially blessed than being an American citizen.  We can praise the LORD for our country which was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, but we can praise Him even more for His grace and mercies which He showers on those of us who choose Him!

Glory to God!

Praising the LORD for renewals!









































May 2016      COUNTRYLIVING.COM


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sweetness











MUTTS

Along the Road

By  Robert Browning Hamilton

I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chattered all the way,
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne’er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me!

*
Don't discount your agonies. Don't always say "why, why why?" 

As you continue to walk with God through them, He continues to give you His strength to continue, His wisdom to handle what comes, and He comforts you and lifts your head.  

We can do these things we know we can't because of Him, and all the while we are learning to draw closer to Him, and trust Him more and more.  Isn't this really our greatest desire after all?

Let us continue to abide with Him.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Hey, it’s not all about me!


-The storms of life-
*

I need to continually preach this to myself.

I would say that most of the time the LORD carries me far above these terrible storms of life.

Sometimes He allows me to walk in the muck of life as I learn to draw closer to Him.

– but sometimes - I am the one who forgets to keep my eyes on Him, and then I am “swimming” in the agonies of life, overcome and seemingly being swept away, overwhelmed once again. Everyday life becomes drudgery and difficult with bad attitudes to go with it.

A very important way to keep our minds thinking Biblically is to preach to ourselves.  When we read His Word we are filling ourselves up with His truth.  Even if we forget or do not have verses memorized, we can search through His Word to find them, be encouraged, and learn from them. 

Fix your eyes on Jesus! Then we can preach His Word to ourselves!

Hebrews 12:2
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Over these long years I continually learn to preach His Word to myself, although, I also often forget.  This is when “Life” becomes overwhelming and chaotic,  until I remember who my God is and how I can always find safety in Him no matter what the trauma or agony.

Before I capture my thoughts though, “it” becomes all about me - if only in my head.

Our lives are not all about us.  This life is about the LORD and we are His children who are to be glorifying His name with our very lives no matter if life is easy or the toughest of tough.

We always seem to be shocked when we are suffering, with so many “whys and hows” becoming our questions.  *(FYI:  It is okay to cry out to the LORD, just do not let this overcome you or your struggles will become all about you.)*

1 Peter 4:12-13
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.”

When we allow ourselves to take our minds/our eyes off of Him and find ourselves floundering in our troubles, we are not trusting Him with our lives.  He knows all about each of us, to every detail.  He is not surprised at what is happening to us. He has allowed whatever it is into our lives for whatever the reason is. We may never know the reasons until glory, but by that time, perhaps we will not even care.

*1 Corinthians 4:16-18
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Beloved sisters, do not think it strange at the fiery ordeals in your lives. These are the situations in which we can learn so much from Him if we choose to do so. As we draw closer to Him/learn from Him, He will give us His strength and comfort and many times carry us high above the storms.

We were bought with a price so precious, His blood!  Let us not forget who we are to Him!

1 Peter 1:17-21
”If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;  knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 
but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.  For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world,
but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory,
so that your faith and hope are in God."

Although I am preaching to you - I am really preaching to myself!

Praise the LORD! It is not all about me!
*