Archive for the ‘Memorial Day’ Category

Memorial Day

The Memorial Service held Sunday at Lake Ericson was well attended, and kudos go to those who helped in any way. I won’t give names, because you know who you are, and I would miss someone. The program was followed by root beer, or orange floats. Yummy!

Memorial Day is one of those holidays that for many people, has lost some of its meaning. In the beginning, it was to honor fallen soldiers. At some point, deceased family members began to be included in the tradition. These days, for lots of people, it has become just another long weekend to spend at the lake, or the campground. The time is spent drinking adult beverages, and eating barbeque, probably with little or no thought of how we acquired the freedoms we are enjoying.

Attending a service such as the one held Sunday afternoon here at the lake, reminds us once again, of the blessings we experience living in the United States of America. Regardless of your view of current politics, this is still the best country in the world, bar none!

Honoring those who have served, and are serving our country, should be a priority for everyone. After all, it is their sacrifice that secured and preserved our freedom. In addition, much of whatever peace exists in the world today, is the result of America’s military strength and presence around the globe.

To repeat scripture shared at the service this afternoon, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Many are those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and their countrymen.

Ultimately, peace will come to the earth when Christ returns as conquering King. For now, we are indebted to the peacekeepers in our military. May God bless and protect them, as they serve.

Some of you will read this after Memorial Day has passed; even so, would you say a prayer for our military personnel everywhere in the world? Thank you.

God bless America!
Pastor Jerry

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Reflections

As I write this morning, it is Memorial Day. Yesterday (Sunday), here at the lake, there was a program honoring our veterans and those who gave all for our country. It was interesting to hear some of the veterans tell their stories of service, and I was reminded again of the sacrifices made to keep our country free. At the same time, I was reading on social media of the vandalism of patriot displays and cemeteries around the country. It makes one ask, “what is wrong with people today who have no respect for these things? Actually, the answer is found in the Bible. It starts in the hearts of people. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it” (Jeremiah 17:10)?

As I look out my window, I see the lake. Its surface is completely still this morning, and reflects the trees along the edge, and the sky above. It is much like a mirror. Many years ago, somewhere I remember reading that the color of the water on a given day, is a reflection of the sky. Sunny days, it appears to be blue. On gray cloudy days, the water is seen as dark and gray. I think this relates to my opening comment concerning the behavior of people. What we see in their words and actions are a reflection of their heart.

“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart, his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

Christians are to reflect the character and actions of the Lord Jesus. We are to be a mirror image of the One whose name we bear. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son…” (Romans 8:29).

“And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:49). “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness…” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

It is not possible for any person to consistently exhibit right behavior without Christ in his or her heart. It is hard enough sometimes for the Christian to do so.

Just thinking,
Pastor Jerry

Free to Obey

We are still in need of beneficial rains. I know there are some folks who would share if they could, because of their over-supply. I also know that God will provide in his good and perfect timing.

 

I trust you have taken time this long weekend to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our great country. Did you also take time to pray for our current leaders and military personnel? Did you thank God for the privilege of living here and enjoying the many freedoms we have?

 

Our sermon this week asked the question, “Do we have too small a view of God?” I believe we do. How many of us contemplate the thought of meeting God in a personal way? What if we could get a glimpse of his majesty, his power and his holiness?

 

Let’s consider Israel’s response to the Lord’s appearance on Mount Sinai. Smoke, fire and earthquakes accompanied God’s coming to the mountain. The people were so afraid they asked Moses to intercede on their behalf. Here is their request: “Go near and listen to all that the Lord our God says. Then tell us whatever the Lord our God tells you. We will listen and obey.” (Deuteronomy 5:27).

 

The majesty of God showed in the thunder, earthquakes and lightning as He came down to the mountain. His power showed in delivering His people from Egyptian slavery. His holiness exposed the sins of Israel, and it does the same for us.

 

God is the same as He has always been. He has not changed, and he demands and deserves our obedience. This is not for salvation. Remember, the law follows salvation. Once saved, God wants us to be obedient to his commands. His law is not the ten suggestions, but the Ten Commandments. It is not there for our salvation, but as a guide to living a Christ-like life.

 

The real lesson here is this: We need to see God in all His glory, infinite in size, power, and holiness. We also need to see God in Jesus Christ humbling Himself on a cross for our salvation.

 

The redeeming work of a holy God redeemed Israel from Egyptian slavery, and led them to desire to obey Him, and it is the redeeming work of Christ on the cross that empowers us to obey God today.

 

Free in Him,

Pastor Jerry

Remembering

Dear friends,
I am writing from our Rock county property this morning. I can see the sun on the water, and it is a pretty sight. I sometimes wonder why people travel far and wide to see beautiful scenery, when many times it is right outside the front door?
Last week was pretty hectic, so I’m glad for a day to take a few minutes to enjoy this place.
As we celebrated the Memorial Day holiday, I thought about those of my family, friends, and acquaintances who have died this past year. Most have been well up in years, some not so old. The holiday was originally to remember those who had fallen in battle while serving our country. It has lost some of its meaning over the years, in that many now see it as another day to head for the lake, or wherever else they get their recreation.
Last week, I was privileged to participate in a graveside service honoring a friend of my mom’s. This lady was 91, and had been an army nurse during WWII. As I watched and listened to the American Legion part of the service, I was touched, and reminded once again of those many who have served, and those who continue to do so.
In the “Our Daily Bread” devotional for Memorial Day, there was a diary entry from Oswald Chambers mentioning the battlefield death of a young solder. It read as follows: ” And so Ted Strack has ‘gone to be with Jesus.’ That is just how he would have put it . . . . [He] was a rough beauty of nature and of grace, a fearless, loveable little saint. Thank God for every remembrance of him . . . . So they are gathering one by one.”
So they are gathering one by one. As I read this sentence, I rejoiced that Christians from all ages, be they soldiers or citizens, are being gathered one by one, as they are taken home to heaven, where we all will gather some day.
Will you be there? There is a way to know for sure. Scripture says, “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved… everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 9:10, 13).

Remembering and rejoicing,
Pastor Jerry