Found Any Peace?

The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.  Psalm 29:11

 

Peace is not always what we expect it to be.  Many would believe that peace would be to have no debt, others great health, and others that special ‘I want’ which is most important to them.  We certainly don’t have much peace today as the world would define it. Just listen to the news, read the papers, read your email and you will see what an inward war we are fighting even among our own people. To read our mail you would think that we do not like anyone.  Maybe we don’t have peace because we don’t know what peace really is? I think the best description of peace is the simple truth of knowing that we belong to God and we can depend upon Him for all things. No one and no power of this world is going to give you peace. Name me one thing of this world which can give you peace that will walk with you through sickness and into death.  I stand by the beds of those who are slipping out of this life into eternity. They never ask for power, money, and fame; they ask for comfort and peace. Name something that this world can give you that cannot be taken from you? There is nothing! God alone can give us peace; why don’t we call upon Him?

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Published in: on March 31, 2011 at 5:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Don’t Forget Who You Are

Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to Him.  Second Corinthians 5:9

 

There were some questions that mother would always ask us no matter where we were going.  Such as; who is going to be there? What time will you be home? Who are the adults that will be in charge? Then last but not least, “Do you have on clean underwear?” It always seemed to me that if I had been in a wreck no matter how bad I had been hurt are what kind of condition I was in mother wanted to make sure that I had on clean underwear.  It was as though she would have been heartbroken had the undertaker seen me in dirty underwear.  Another thing she always did was to tell me never to forget who I was and what my name was and to behave like I knew it was very important to uphold the family traditions.  Before I left for the Navy she stood in front of me and gave me that often spoken challenge, “Don’t forget who you are and how you are suppose to act and behave. I took mother at her word and believed she was life and death serious about her admonishment to her only son.  Come to think of it; I believe God wants us to remember who we are and to uphold His family traditions.

Published in: on March 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Where Did Retirement Go? (Page 2 )

For those untaken trips, those adventures of dreams, that is all they are, just dreams. Time is still not available and even with it the funds are just not there.  In fact some ways I am in more of a bind than when I was young.  For time is not on my side, if I dont make it now I have run out of time, chances are gone and opportunities fade faster than the days pass.  Where I once had the dreams of tomorrow, not now, for the tomorrows are fewer and fewer. I go to my friend’s funerals, watch others go into a state of living longer than their health as they sit in chairs and nursing homes and just look toward nothing. There bodies still live but they do not. Growing old is not what I expected, but I choose it as the better of the choices and somewhere inside of my heart I still believe that tomorrow will be better.  Maybe it is not the tomorrow of this world, maybe it is the tomorrow of the world to come the world where Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you.”  He knows I will need Him to prepare one for me for I will never get this one paid for, not in this life time.

Published in: on March 29, 2011 at 5:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Choosing the Hard Way

If given the choice most people choose the easiest and simplest way to accomplish a task. It certainly makes sense, saves time, and gets you on to the enjoyment of the day.  Yet now and then a challenge needs to be faced, a task needs to be done in the best way and an example set for others.  Jesus and His disciples were making the journey to Jerusalem and most people would have chosen to go up the Jericho river valley.  It was safer, easier, and provided more availability of food and water.  But Jesus said to His disciples that He needed to go through Samaria. Now you could just imagine their anxiety when He made this announcement. ‘Lord just look out at that wilderness, that’s not a good choice.  Robbers are there, the road is terrible, there is no water and it is just plain old hard.  When I visited Israel I sat on the hillside looking out across the great wilderness of Jericho. Unlike our wilderness; it was barren, filled with great stones, deep sand, hard winds, and heat, unbearable heat.  But Jesus knew that at the ancient well of Jacob outside the small village of Sychar a woman would be there in the heat of the day drawing water for her family. This woman needed to meet Jesus.  Her future in this world and her eternal future depended on that meeting.  So Jesus choose the hard way, endured the heat, stumbled over the stones and grew weary of the journey because He knew this worthless woman needed to see her value and discover her potential future.  That meeting with Jesus changed her life and in fact changed the future of an entire city.  The next time you are tempted to cut church, not read your bible, skip your prayer time or let the TV entertain your children. Remember this wilderness that Jesus faced for the value of a worthless person. Choose your path carefully, spend your time wisely, and allow your family to enjoy you even if it seems like a wilderness.  Who knows it could change a lifetime.

Published in: on March 28, 2011 at 6:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Captain Ed Freedman

Captain Ed Freedman heard the desperate calls for help over the chatter on his helicopters radio. The men he had dropped off just a few minutes before in the Ia Deang Valley were being ravaged by the onslaught of the enemy. No one was going to survive. He listened as the Medic Commander order all MedVac choppers out of the area and wept as the calls for evacuation, ammunition, supplies, and medical attention spewed out of his choppers radio.  On that November day of 1965 Capt Freedman turned his chopper around and in spite of the hail of bullets made a total of 14 relief trips to the men in harms way. In doing so he was wounded four times and after 14 trips his Huey would not fly but he had saved the lives of thirty of those men.  For his bravery he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross then some 36 years later the President of the United States, George Bush on July 16, 2001, presented our Nations highest honor to him as he placed the Medal of Honor around his neck and stepped back and as commander in chief saluted now retired Major Ed Freedman.  Freeman was known by his nick name Too Tall, because until the regulations changed he was considered too tall for flight school. This is his name in his role in the battle as part of the book and movie, We were Soldiers Once  and Young He died on August 20, 2008.  Ed Freedman has left a memorial, his own life lived in commitment and the lives of thirty others given back to them, gave more than his duty, he gave his best.

Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

On The Sea of Galilee

On our visit to Israel in 2008 for our first six days we stayed in Tiberius on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. While the city is only mentioned once in the bible the sea served as a central part of much of Jesus’ ministry.  I sat in the dark one night and listened as the waters of the sea lapped against the wall which protected our hotel from erosion. Far across to its eastern shore you could see the lights of Jordan, on the sea itself were fishing boats searching for their catch in the light of the full moon. I wondered if it were somewhere near here that Jesus took a boat across to the other side to teach the people.  Maybe it was close by that He walked to his disciples as they trembled in their boat during a storm.  Somewhere on that sea Jesus had slept in a boat while his disciples feared for their lives because of the storm.  It was here that he told them where to cast their nets so that they would have fish aplenty.  From this sea he called a fish to bring him a coin so that he might pay his taxes. By this sea in his resurrected body he prepared breakfast for his disciples and told them in the early morning hours to cast over there for a great school of fish and then to drag them to shore and join him in a seaman’s breakfast.  Looking across that great sea I could almost hear the Master saying, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”

Published in: on March 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Another ‘Greatest Generation’

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.  Psalm 127:1

Is it possible that the Lord is waiting for us to ask Him how to build our country?  I believe that most of you would agree with me that no matter your political choice our country is still in need of help.  God makes it so clear in His word that He is the builder of lives and nations. I know that we have some Godly men and women in the leadership of our country.  Maybe it is time for us to stop our bias praying and ask God to take those who do seek His will and join them with others that they might discover His plan and His glory. We know that God was there when our nation was formed, He guided us through the terrible time of our civil war, and He guarded our men and women as they served across our world to bring freedom to others and to preserve it for ourselves. While I was very small in the years of the Second World War I was old enough to worry and to pray. I saw my parents and my teachers weep because of loved ones and friends who would never come home. We need to call our Nation to prayer and we need for that call to begin in our lives.f Let us pray that God will raise up in this generation another ‘greatest generation,’ that our nation might find His will and His plan. That America the Beautiful will be a song that all would sing because we do bring beauty, His beauty to the world.

Published in: on March 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Shadow

Bill read the story of the great oak tree which stood in the mans front yard and how early in the morning it began to cast a shadow across his property and just before noon that shadow was reaching into his neighbors yard long and beautiful. Then sun high in it great orbit of brightness removed the shadow and for a while it cast nothing, but then by the coming evening the shadow was again long and had moved through the other side of the yard and laid itself on the family cemetery that joined the property.  This tree and its shadow reminded him of his own life; how as a child he began to grow and reach out to all that he considered wonderful and challenging and now that life was growing dark the only place it seemed to point to was the cemetery down the road. There were so many plans he once had, so many dreams. Trips to take, places to see, stories to tell but now the shadow cast by the diming light was fragile and cover little and reach no where except the grave yard that rest just down the road. How had it happened so fast, where did it go, and for certain there was no way to stop its journey?  Growing old was not all that exciting he thought, but for certain it could not be stopped. He read back to the morning shadow and the early afternoon and hoped, really hoped that somehow it had mattered; somehow in its moment it had been good, not just for him but for all that it had touch and each that it had covered, it just had to have been good. It had to.

Published in: on March 22, 2011 at 5:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Controlling the Main Thing

Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. Second Peter 1:6

 

Self-control, – ‘keeping myself self under the management of my heart and soul as I place them into the hands of God.’ – I think we can understand what that involves.  Most of us have worked for people who had little if any self-control. One moment we knew what they wanted and the next we were on a different page. Christ warns us in His word that as His followers we need to develop self-control and in doing so we will also develop patient and godliness.  Our world needs a lot of godliness today.  I see so many people, yes even Christians, which do not have lives that reflect the glory and goodness of God. I see us as angry and vocal as the world outside of God. Mean spirited and rude.   It is no wonder that people are not being attracted to Christ, we are not allowing His love and life to shine through us.  At the job, in your home, with your friends, nothing will draw them quicker to the Lord than your good life. Not ‘acting’ like we are special or holy, but in a very real way living as if Christ was inside of us calling the plays. On the same tract nothing will move them further from the Lord than a hateful, sinful, selfish life.

Published in: on March 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Did I Do Good Enough?

I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties.  But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.  John 16:33

 

What a promise. What assurance. You can build a life on this because you know the one who made it.  The small white church was filled with farmers, merchants, and others as they listened to Carol give his promise of love to Wanda on that beautiful June afternoon. It was by all of our standards a very small and humble wedding but for Carol and Wanda it was promises made and promises that would be kept.  For more than fifty years Carol worked hard provide his best for Wanda and their three children. Some of the days were hard, difficult and bleak. But when it was all said and done it had been completed, the promises made were the promises kept.  The night Carol died Wanda held his hand and thanked him for the years, the love, and the promises kept. He softly asked her, as the final tears filled his eyes, if he had done good enough by her, ‘Had he kept his promises?’ “O, yes Carol you kept them all and you did really, really good.” Was her soft reply.  The tears flowed and Carol slipped out of that humble bed and home into the sounds of heaven shouting, ‘Well Done!’

Published in: on March 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm  Leave a Comment