Monday, May 30, 2011

Do we really remember on this day?

Memorial Day is often a day spent with family and friends...filled with family backyard barbecues,  a day at the beach/lake, or maybe spent getting summer gardens readied. For some families it means making sure the graves of their loved ones have flowers. Those flowers are placed there out of  respect for the lives lived and died in sacrificial service to  our country. For others, it's just another day off work...a time to relax or play or sleep. 
photo taken by Tiffany Mora, edited by Gay Idle
 I'm not sure that I have ever been alone on Memorial Day...ever.  Well, that is until today.  I find myself alone today.  My husband and son are visiting family in KY/MI for my husband's nephew's wedding...their presence was required as they were both actually in the wedding.  My daughter and her husband are on their first road trip as a married couple to visit family back east.  So here I am with my two dogs.  I was okay being left back home...until today.  I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because my husband has been gone for almost a full week...or maybe it's just being alone on a holiday when I am accustomed to being with family. 

So I find myself doing laundry, a little cleaning, making plans to do some reading in the sun this afternoon, and making a trip to Walmart.  Now usually at the check-out line in stores on a holiday the typical greeting would be, "Happy (insert name of holiday here)".  I didn't hear that today...well, there was this one woman in the aisle saying, "Happy Memorial Day" to someone as she passed.  I couldn't help but think, is that an appropriate greeting on a holiday such as today?  Is it a day to say be happy or somber...or just grateful?   As I sit and reflect on this day I wonder how many people really know what it's  all about.  To many it is merely the weekend that represents the beginning of summer vacations and activities.  Some people think it is a holiday for remembering any and all dead.  Wow...it saddens me that we are so easily forgetting a meaningful memorial to our nation's history. This holiday represents a memorial to all of those who have died defending the freedoms of this country...a time to show our thanks and gratitude for all of those living and dead who were and are willing to lay their lives on the line so that we continue to have the privilege of living in a free country.  If you are interested in a bit more about this holiday you should check the website, www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.  Among the origins and the meaning of the holiday, it mentions the origins of the red poppies I remember seeing being worn on this day when I was a young girl. I didn't see any of those poppies today...hmmm....

So in honor of all of those who laid their lives down for the freedoms we are privileged to experience in this great nation of ours(yes...in comparison to so many other countries and in spite of its flaws, we live in a great nation),  I will say a personal prayer of thanksgiving and leave you with these words:

A Soldier
By A. Aguilar

There is  discipline in A Soldier you can see it when he walks,
There is honor in A Soldier you hear it when he talks.

There is courage in A Soldier you can see it in his eyes,
There is loyalty in A Soldier that he will not compromise. 

There is something in A Soldier that makes him stand apart,
There is strength in A Soldier that beats from his heart.

A Soldier isn't a title any man can be hired to do,
A Soldier is the soul of that man buried deep inside of you.

A Soldier's job isn't finished after an 8 hour day or a 40 hour week,
A Soldier is always A Soldier even while he sleeps.

A Soldier serves his country first and his life is left behind,
A Soldier has to sacrifice what comes first in a civilian's mind.

If you are a civilian - I am saying this to you…
next time you see A Soldier remember what they do.

A Soldier is the reason our land is 'Home of the free',
A soldier is the one that is brave protecting you and me. 

If you are A Soldier - I am saying this to you…
Thank God for EVERY SOLDIER Thank God for what YOU do!

For EVERY FALLEN HERO,
The ultimate sacrifice they have given is beyond any words, God Bless the 
families and loved ones that have had to endure the pain of losing their HERO. 
My sympathies, prayers, love and respect are with you all. 
Remembering all those who made the ultimate sacrifice. God bless. ✝


"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." - John 15:13


Have a memorable Memorial Day.







Wednesday, May 25, 2011

No one knows the day or the hour...not even Harold.

OK...so I find it hard not to write something about the recent (turns out...non-eventful)  prediction made by Harold Camping, 89 year old founder of Family Radio.  I have to admit that until I saw a few, rather mocking, comments on Facebook about this man and his predictions, I really didn't know much about him. So being the student that I am I proceeded to do a little research.




 Turns out his specific prediction was that the Day of Judgement was to begin on 6 p.m., Saturday, May 21st...beginning with a tremendous earthquake..as he states in his very own words,
  "when we get to May 21 on the calendar in any city or country in the world, and the clock says about — this is based on other verses in the Bible — when the clock says about 6 p.m., there’s going to be this tremendous earthquake that’s going to make the last earthquake in Japan seem like nothing in comparison. And the whole world will be alerted that Judgment Day has begun. And then it will follow the sun around for 24 hours. As each area of the world gets to that point of 6 p.m. on May 21, then it will happen there, and until it happens, the rest of the world will be standing far off and witnessing the horrible thing that is happening."  
Well that clears up everything...NOT! Is it just me, or did that statement make any sense at all? 

 In an interview conducted by New York Magazine, in reference to his most recent May 21st prediction, he is quoted as saying this:
“God has given sooo much information in the Bible about this, and so many proofs, and so many signs, that we know it is absolutely going to happen without any question at all. There’s nothing in the Bible that God has ever prophesied — there’s many things that he prophesied would happen and they always have happened — but there’s nothing in the Bible that holds a candle to the amount of information to this tremendous truth of the end of the world. I would be absolutely in rebellion against God if I thought anything other than it is absolutely going to happen without any question.”   
This prediction from Camping, was not his first prediction of this event...nor his last. He had actually made a similar prediction in 1994, and now that this one didn't pan out he is now trying to say that...oops,my bad...It's actually October.

 This man is not the first to make such predictions and sadly, not the last.  What a sad commentary that  many believed this man. Yes, even those who profess to be Christian, yet really don't even know the Word...they are so unfamiliar with the scriptures that they begin to question the validity of false prophets such as this man, even when he has a proven track record of being a failure as a prophet proclaiming the Word of the Lord!  Shouldn't we search the scriptures everyday, as the Bereans did in Acts 17:11, to see if what is being proclaimed to us lines up with the Word of God? 

Albert Mohler addresses this very issue in  an article on Harold Camping. The following points are an  excerpt from this article:

First, Christ specifically admonished his disciples not to claim such knowledge. In Acts 1:7, Jesus said, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” In Matthew 24:36, Christ taught similarly: “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”
To state the case plainly, these two verses explicitly forbid Christians to claim the knowledge of such dates and times. Jesus clearly taught that the Father has not revealed such dates and timing, but has reserved that knowledge for himself. It is an act of incredible presumptuousness to claim that a human knows such a date, or has determined God’s timing by any means.
Second, the Bible does not contain hidden codes that we are to find and decipher. The Bible has been given to us in order that we might know the truth, and the truth is clearly revealed in its pages. We are not to look for hidden patterns of words, numbers, dates, or anything else. The Bible’s message is plain and requires no mathematical computation for its understanding. The claim that one has found a hidden code or system in the Bible is an insult to the Bible as the Word of God.
Third, Christians are indeed to be looking for Christ to return and seeking to be found faithful when Christ comes. We are not to draw a line in history and set a date, but we are to be about the Father’s business, sharing the Gospel and living faithful Christian lives. We are not to sit on rooftops like the Millerites, waiting for Christ’s return. We are to be busy doing what Christ has commanded us to do.
In Hebrews 9:28, we are taught that Christ will come a second time “to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” That is the faithful Christian response to the New Testament teachings about Christ’s coming. The church is not to be arrogantly setting dates, but instead to be eagerly waiting for him. Of that we can be truly certain.

Well said!!    As we are looking forward to His return, and as we wait what is required of us?

 "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

In eager anticipation of His return,




Thursday, May 5, 2011

Today is National Day of Prayer!!!

Were you aware that today is National Day of Prayer ?!  In honor of this day I wanted to share  the webcast from this weeks episode of Your Family Life webcast from Focus On the Family, entitled, The Problem with Prayer.  

Prayer is so important for all of us!  It needs to be not just another spiritual discipline but a defining part of our relationship with God!

So...get a cup of coffee... sit back in a comfy seat...click on the link below and enjoy!!

http://www.focusonlinecommunities.com/community/webcasts/2011/0504







And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight. ~Philippians 1:9
 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rejoice or gloat?

Let us never forget the victims of 9/11 or those who have bravely fought for our great country. God bless America!


As I sit and contemplate the news of the past evening and morning I am wondering... are we missing the boat ?   Osama(or Usama) Bin Laden is dead. Wow...this is history in the making!   Justice has been served.   There is a flurry of news articles and personal commentary going on as I write this that saddens me just a bit.  Oh...don't get me wrong!  I believe that OBL was an evil man bent on the destruction and death of  all who opposed him and his regime. I'm thinking that any man who would use a woman as a human shield is not a man at all but a monster.  I believe that in his death there is a victory in one of the major battles in the war on terrorism.  But there is such a confusion in the responses to this news. 

Let me explain...

As I begin to read the things people are posting on facebook I see alot of rejoicing over the news of Bin Laden's death...then as I continue to read I see the rejoicing turn into gloating. Gloating, such as pictures of the Statue of Liberty holding forth, not the torch leading the way to  freedom, but the bloody head of  Osama Bin Laden...such as posts stating, "rot in hell".  Then I begin to see posts, I believe trying to counter the gloating, of scripture such as..."Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice." Proverbs 24:17.  Wise advise from the Word.  In responses to the posts of scripture such as this one, I see a conflict in the minds of those who want to rejoice but now feel guilty.  So how do we reconcile this verse with the fact that this is indeed a good thing that good has triumphed over evil and surely that is something to be happy about ? 

I believe we need to determine if we are indeed gloating or just rejoicing, then determine what it is we are rejoicing over.  Let's look at the definition of  gloating.   Dictionary.com defines it as, "to look at or think about with great or excessive, often smug or malicious, satisfaction."  No doubt after reading that we know there is no room in the heart of a true believer(Christian) for gloating.  Actually our hearts should be saddened Osama Bin Laden went to his death rejecting Jesus Christ.  It is a sad fact that he will spend his eternal destiny in hell.  Not my judgement, mind you, he chose that path when he rejected Jesus Christ.  God's word tells us that no man comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ (John 14:6).  Knowing that...I cannot rejoice over this man's death and eternal place of residence. 

I am still, however,  going to rejoice over the fact that another battle of good vs. evil has been won.  Another verse in Proverbs states: " ‎"When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers" Proverbs 21:15.  I find a bit of irony in the fact that the day Bin Laden was brought to justice was the very day Christians all over the world were celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  THAT was the final victory over the evil one...there will still be many battles to fight, but the war has already been won!  He has risen indeed and because of that I know that I will one day see Him face to face!

Rejoice or gloat?  Where do you stand?