Courage for today

We see the effects of courage and bravery almost every day, although some may not recognize it. You hear about it from the foreign battlefields and in cities and towns all over this great land. Firefighters and policemen and policewomen all exhibit courage even though they don’t think of themselves as heroes or courageous, they are just doing their jobs. It is the same with our service men and women who are out in the field doing their jobs, courageously, selflessly but do they get the credit for what they do? Do any of them get the recognition that they deserve?

In this time and with this administration, they don’t. Mainly because it has no regard or respect for any selfless act of bravery or courage and that is truly sad. We should have a President and a Representative government that is asking the people what they want, not telling us what to do! They should be paying more attention to those who have fought for this country and its freedoms, rather than acting like a dictatorship that has been elected.

We have to show courage and dignity during times of trouble and if someone doesn’t think that we are in trouble today, then they need to check and see if they have a pulse! Our country is on the edge of an abyss that we cannot dig our way out with a bigger shovel, nor can we build a bridge over it, because we don’t have enough people who are willing to work to get it done.

What would’ve happened to the human race if Adam and Eve had just decided to sit down and do nothing after being forced out of Eden? What would’ve become of North America if Columbus had not discovered it? I know that many would say that America would be far different if it had been a couple of hundred years later before it was discovered. The history would be quite different from what happened up until the seventeenth century until today.

Our whole culture would be different, but the point that I am making is that it took courage to explore and to do the things needed in the past to bring about the present. It will also take courage to, somehow, fix the problems which we have today so that there will be a future for our children. It will take hard work and sacrifice and lots of time, because trillions of dollars in debt cannot be wiped away in a decade!

The debt didn’t accumulate in just one decade and it will certainly not go away that easily either. It will take more than America has been investing in itself in a very long time. It will take the same determination and will that the Greatest generation had during WWII, and right now the people in America don’t have it. There are a few people who do, but compared to the majority of Americans, they are few in number.

When the Revolutionary War was fought and independence was declared, our ancestors reached for something that we seem to have lost: courage and Providence. Courage in the people who wanted freedom from England‘s rule and Providence Who provided them with hope. God was that Providence and He had a profound effect on early America because it was due to religious persecution that America became a colony of England. God had His hand in molding our country into the beacon of freedom, religious or otherwise, that it became so that people would want what we had.

I say “had” because that beacon is becoming dim. We have lost the fire and the power to rekindle it because we have pushed God out of, not only our government, but our schools and from some of our homes too. Our military has taken Him out of the oaths that our soldiers take. How much longer can you push God until He pushes back? Do we really want Him to push back? Are we so arrogant that we believe that we could withstand a push from God?

Glenn Beck has it right. We need to get up from our couches, put on some work boots and get back to work! America can be what God intended for it to be if we will do the work needed to get the job done! Nothing worth doing is easy, it is usually hard, but the reward afterward is worth it! I pray that God will bless this nation and its people with the backbone and the will to get up and get the job done, because if they don’t…we’re history.

Memories

Everything in life revolves around remembering things in one way or another. We remember birthdays and anniversaries and holidays and what to pick up at the grocery, most of the time. What about the people who have lost so much already this year, will we remember them and their sacrifice? Those who have gone to war, not for the first deployment or the second but the third or fourth. What about those who have gone for their last deployment, the ones who won’t be coming home? Will we remember them and pray for their families?

There are so many in the military of our country who have given so much of themselves and their families have given a lot as well. Some have even given their lives for their country and the job that they held as military men and women. Does our country, our “President” consider their honor and dignity enough? Does he honor them and help their families without asking for anything in return because they have already given enough?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. I do know that many of our men and women in service have given more than their fair share and our government should be proud to take care of them no matter what it costs. Many from earlier wars are still scarred in ways that we will never understand. Many have taken their lives and left their families to pick up the pieces because they couldn’t make sense of it all because of PTSD.

I have had and may still have symptoms of this illness even though I have never been to war. You see, firefighters, policemen, paramedics and many others suffer from it too. But no one ever hears about us because we are not on the “front lines”, we are not coming home with our legs blown off or our arms missing. Our injuries are mental in nature because we see horrific scenes at shootings, at wrecks, at house fires. We see what happens when a friend or family member decides to murder the rest of the family. We see the children of people who drive drunk with their kids in the car and have to pick up their children to take them to the funeral home, while mom or dad is recuperating from a cut on the head that they don’t remember getting.

The only real cure for this illness is time and the love of God. He is the only one who is capable to repairing and healing a damaged mind which was torn by these images. Many in public service like I was never admit to having this. People just ignore it and go on with their lives not knowing what will happen, but living with the consequences just the same.

Our society doesn’t understand that some of the most horrifying crimes are committed by close family members. Sometimes the reason behind that may be a mental problem that wasn’t addressed or even admitted to anyone. So nobody knew that it was there until it was too late.

God can heal all of the wounds that we have, but we have to be willing to admit that we have a problem and come to Him for help. We have to give our lives to Jesus and let His healing power come over us and through us so that the healing can begin. If we don’t do that, we will always have problems that we can’t identify, or won’t.

Many times, some of these same mental problems are caused by our own families. In broken homes, children of divorced parents witness what happens when their parents go separate ways. There is resentment, anger, frustration, fear, guilt, doubt, blame and all of this is sometimes piled on a child who is not even old enough to know what they are. Later on the child feels and understands a little but will blame themselves for the break-up of the family, until they are much older.

Sometimes we never get past the hurt and all of the emotional baggage that comes from a divorce and will carry it with them the rest of their lives. Still, God is the only One who can really help. Turning to Jesus and giving the frustration and all of the problems that you have grown up with will help and He will make a difference in your life and in your family’s life too.

The memories that we have to live with and grow with sometimes cause problems but those memories can also bring us hope and peace. Memories of Christmas and family. Memories of good times that our family has had and memories of the tragedies that we have had to endure as well. Give your life to Christ and let Him heal the hurt and all of the baggage that has come with it. He will make a huge difference in your life and in the lives of others.

 

We are like children, regardless of our age

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child and played as a child; when I grew up, I put away childish things.” (paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13:11)

This is something which we have heard from preachers for years, but what exactly does it mean?

To us, as Christians, it means that when we finally grow up, regardless of what age we may be when we do, we should act like it!

Do we act like it? Have we grown up? Are we, as adults, really grown up?

1. Most of us are not.

·         We do what we want to do, when we want to do it, if possible. Then, we get mad if we can’t.

·         People see themselves as good, but what about the thoughts that we all have. Are they good all the time? Would you want Jesus to read your thoughts every day? He knows what you think whether you have given your heart to him or not.

·         Does it bother you that God knows every thought that you have? If it doesn’t, you might want to check your relationship with Him.

 2. Can we fix our character, our heart or our soul on our own? Of course not! We can’t pull off something like that, only Jesus can do a soul-cleansing restoration on your heart and soul!

 Many times, we believe that we are in charge. We start our lives wanting to be in charge of our life. “I can do it myself!” How many times have parents heard that? At those times it is cute, for a while, but when children get older it is called being rebellious. It tends to cause ulcers and grey hair and lost hair too.

 The point is that, when we think that we are good enough to run our lives by ourselves, we are taking the throne away from the One Who is supposed to be there! We are doing the same thing that Satan tried to do when He was cast into outer darkness. He wanted to put himself on the throne which God was on or to put his “throne” above God’s. We can’t do that, although many people do just exactly that!

 People that think they have plenty of time to get around to God do it. People who don’t believe that there is a God do it. People who have made their own version of “god” do it. This happens all over the world, every day. Billions of people think that they know better than God!

 Can we be that ignorant? Are we? Many people think that they have all of the answers for their own problems and for the world’s problems too. You see them on television and on the internet every day. If they base their advice on God’s Word, and use its wisdom to advise people, then maybe they do have the answer for mankind’s problems. But, if they are using their own wisdom or some wisdom from man, such as Buddhism or Scientology, then they are mistaken. Even the Koran is only from a man, it was not given by God. God would not condone killing others because they won’t accept Islam as their religion. That sounds like it came from Satan himself.

 The answers to our life’s problems lie in giving our hearts and our minds to Christ so that we can become more like Him. Following Him in all of our ways, every day and in all things. Give the day to Him before you begin it so that He will be in your mind and heart and direct your steps and words during your daily routine. It isn’t hard to do, but it is a conscious decision that we have to make. A decision that comes only when your heart is filled with the Holy Spirit and you have taken the Word into your mind. One sermon a week listening to someone preach doesn’t equip you for service to God, you have to do that daily!

 I know that many people think that daily walks with God in His Word is what the preacher is supposed to do. It is what we are all called to do as Christians, to be followers of Christ. Walking with God daily is our responsibility because if we don’t, we won’t get to know the God who came to save us. Reading the Bible is the best way for us to get to know Him because it is His way of communicating with us and telling us about Himself.

 God loves us more than we can understand but the way that we can learn about Him is by reading His word. Getting to know our Father better is one of the best things you can do for your relationship with Him, the better you know Him, the easier it is to recognize His voice when He speaks to you. I can’t imagine a more satisfying relationship than having one with the Creator of everything! He created us all for that, the least that we could do is return the love toward Him.

God knew you before you were born and He knows when your last day on the earth will be. Knowing this, He still chose you to be a child of His and all He is waiting for is your agreement with Him and your asking Him into your heart and life. God’s grace toward us is loving and eternal and doesn’t depend on anything that we may believe that we have to do, God doesn’t need our help in making us righteous. He works His changes in your heart and your life gradually and carefully, but sometimes those changes may hurt a bit.

We don’t agree with the pain and suffering that we have to endure during the time of God’s changes in our hearts and our lives because, even as Christians, it hurts or it is uncomfortable. That’s life! Jesus didn’t say that He came to make our lives easy. He told the disciples and us through them that we would have trouble and pain in this world, but He also tells us to take heart because He overcame the world and through Him, we can too!

There are many people in the world that are hurting every day and in more ways than we can imagine but God knows about each of them and His Spirit is with them through it all. He will draw them to Himself and if they answer the call they will have His strength to carry them through whatever they are being put through. Many people don’t acknowledge that call on their spirit because they are hurting too much or they are high on drugs or they are drunk, but God knows their hearts. He will keep drawing them until they tell Him to go away, if they recognize that it was Him to begin with.

Other times, which happens more often that we would like to believe, they don’t hear His call in their life. People are so caught up in what they are doing or having to deal with until they are spiritually deaf. Satan loves it when we are so caught up in our lives and our jobs or with our family that we can’t even hear God calling to us. That is when he will crank up the volume in our life so that we are even more involved and there is no way God can get through. But, God knows your heart and He knows whether you will hear Him at some point and it is at those times, whether you like what is happening to you or your family or not, that you will hear Him! You may wonder why this is happening at that point but it is because God has something that only you can do and He will not let you ignore Him.

I can hear many people saying that we are not predestined but God says that we are. He can raise up a ruler or bring him down for His purposes and He can do the same with us. He is the Creator and can do anything that He desires to do and if that means breaking down your will in order to build you up to be the person that He knows you can be, then that is what He will do. Give your heart to God before He has to allow that to happen in your life, so that He can use you in a more fantastic way than you could ever imagine! Won’t you call on Him today?