Memorial Day Still Matters!

 

Memorial Day: What does it bring to mind?

For many of us, it’s cookouts, parades, and the ‘unofficial’ start to summer.

For many others, it brings back memories, heartache and pride…for the loved ones that have given their lives in service to this country.

Over the years, 1,312,612 people have given their lives in service to this country.

Why did they do it?

Some politicians would have us believe that they joined the service because they had no options left, and that it was a tragedy that they got caught up in something.

I refuse to believe that.

I believe that every man or woman who has put on that uniform of the U.S. Marines, The US Army, the US Air Force, the US Navy, the US Coast Guard have done so because they know that this country has something very special to fight for: Freedom! Liberty!

This country has been an exception to the rule of tyranny and subjugation over the history of mankind. In this country, each individual has the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. In this country, we understand that the rights of the individual come from Almighty God, and not the government.Therefore, those rights cannot be taken away by our government–no matter how convincing the spokesperson is!

This country is The Example of freedom and liberty for the rest of the world! That did not come cheaply, nor will it be maintained easily!

On Memorial Day, we honor those who have invested themselves, sacrificed themselves, and given themselves totally for these freedoms.

May God bless the families of those who’ve given the ultimate sacrifice…and those who are in the midst of the sacrifice right now by serving! May they know that this country…the United States of America…is STILL worth serving and sacrificing for!

 

“We hold these truths to be self evident: That all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” 

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Jesus is BETTER!

Moses is one of my favorite people in the Bible. He was one who grew up in royalty (by a miracle of God), and who led the people of Israel out of Egypt, out toward the Promised Land.

He was a special man, destined for a great position within the overall scope and plan of God. He is one that has inspired people throughout history–many of our Founding Fathers included!

However, Moses was not ‘it’. He was not ‘The Hope of Mankind’. That role was reserved for another…Jesus!

Jesus was the one who would take His people to a ‘land of promise’–not a physical place on earth, but a Heavenly dwelling that will never be spoiled, abandoned, or lost in political wars.

In Hebrews we read…

“But Jesus deserves far more glory than Moses, just as a person who builds a house deserves more praise than the house itself. For every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God.

Moses was certainly faithful in God’s house as a servant. His work was an illustration of the truths God would reveal later. But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house.” (Hebrews 3:3-6) 

Moses was a faithful servant…one of the best! Ultimately, though, he was a servant in the house. Jesus, as the Son, runs God’s house!

Some people wonder why it’s so important to highlight the differences between Biblical Christianity and ‘other’ world religions. Shouldn’t we just ‘respect’ them, or ‘tolerate’ them? Aren’t they all basically saying the same thing?

NO!

While we should respect those who believe differently, and have toleration within our culture for those other religions, there IS a difference…and it centers on the person of Jesus Christ! HE is the key, the way, God in the flesh, our only hope.

Worship Him–exclusively–today!

New Beginnings

 

Have you ever tried to exercise, only to be discouraged by your lack of progress so much that you simply give up?

I have two daughters who run Cross Country–one for Comstock High School, and one for Paramount Charter Academy. They are an inspiration to me.

Neither one of them is the fastest on their teams, but each one of them understands a crucial thing: The key to improvement is not to simply compare themselves to the 1st place runner and take note of the distance between them–this can be discouraging and defeating. The key to improvement is to try to beat their own record–their “PR” every time. If they can continue to challenge themselves to improve each and every race they run, eventually they may be able to compete for the lead. If they choose instead to only look at the great distance between the current leader and themselves, it can be demoralizing to the point of giving up.

It seems to me that we approach our Christian Life like that too. We know we should read, study and apply the Bible with regularity, we know we should pray more, we even know that we should share the Great News about Jesus more! Sometimes though, that goal seems so far away from our reality that we give  up. Maybe we decide we’re going to get up extra early every day to read the Bible. We sleepily make our way through Genesis, we survive Exodus, but then we hit Leviticus and we give up!

We start to pray for the love of God to fill our hearts more, and He moves us to share His love with a coworker. We finally get the nerve up and it goes poorly…we vow never to do it again.

We know that our ultimate example is Jesus, but we reason that–since we’ll never get there, we might as well just give up.

Let me encourage you: DON’T GIVE UP! Keep on starting anew! Keep on trying–out of your genuine desire to be closer to the Lord!

One of my favorite scriptures is Lamentations 3:22-23:

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.”

His ‘tender mercies’ are new every morning!

He continually gives us new starts!

We can try each and every day for a new beginning, and He will encourage us!

 

Let me put it this way: You know that the Goal of following Christ more closely is worth pursuing, and virtually anything that’s worth pursuing is going to take some effort and self-discipline. It will take commitment. It will take change.

There may be days that you are discouraged at your lack of progress. Don’t quit.

There are New Beginnings–because of God’s faithfulness–every day!