Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Memorial Stones

Dear Readers,
The cool weather continues for us. Along with it came some beneficial rains, for which we are very thankful. My bout with shingles is winding down. For this I am thankful also. Next time someone mentions getting a preventive inoculation, I will be first in line! I will be posting this early Monday morning, so any comments I might have concerning the solar eclipse will wait until next week.
I’ve been thinking about those who seem bent on removing anything that would remind Americans of their national identity and inheritance. There are several lines of conversation, or commentary that come from this behavior.
One truth from the lessons of history is that if a people wanted to conquer a civilization, they would remove all the landmarks and other reminders of their history and culture. In our day, we have seen ISIS destroying Christian landmarks, and in our country currently, there is a movement to remove reminders of our past.
When the children of Israel were entering the Promised Land, when the priests, who were carrying the ark of the covenant, stepped into the Jordan river, the water stopped flowing, so that they could cross on dry ground. After reaching the other side, they were instructed to set up stones as a memorial. Joshua told the people that they were setting up the stones as a permanent memorial, so that when their children asked the question, “What are these stones”, they could answer with a lesson from Israel’s history.
These are the words of the Lord, given through Joshua to the people: “In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cutoff before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever” (Joshua 4:6-7).
Sadly, after Joshua passed from the scene, Israel forgot her past, and began to be influenced by her pagan neighbors. The result of this was that God judged Israel and sent her into exile for seventy years. I fear America may be on a similar path. We who care about the rich history of our country need to pray fervently that God would intervene and put her back on the straight way.
Praying for America,
Pastor Jerry
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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

Win or Lose

It is one of those days when I wonder how I will write a column that makes sense, when I don’t have a clue how to start. I have heard that the hardest part is writing the first word, so here goes.

In recent weeks, we have seen a number of contests, ranging from the World Series, to high school football and volleyball, to the election of a president. We have seen unlikely winners and surprising losers. Some contests were decided early, and others went down to the wire. But no matter which team or candidate you supported, there were winners and losers.

In sports or politics, there are rules of the game. When played by the rules, there is an honest outcome to the contest. One team wins, the other loses. Oh, there will be someone who will claim the rules weren’t followed, or that somewhere in the background there were ‘dirty politics’, or the umpires or referees will be somehow blamed, but in the end, the better team wins.

We’ve all heard the old saying, it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. Might I suggest this; although it is not whether you win or lose, it does matter how you respond to losing or winning.

The important thing is how we react to either winning or losing in a given contest. We have seen winning celebrations turn into near riots, and we have seen reaction to losing a contest turn into protests and riots. Neither of these reflect well on those involved.

Here are a few verses that apply to how we win or lose. This is Paul’s advice to the Christians in Rome: “For the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment of yourself” (Romans 12:3). “Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes: if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor” Romans 13:7.

Again from Paul: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone: (Colossians 4:6).

Win or lose, we are all made in the image of God. So, whether winning or losing, do it with grace, class, and respect for others.

Just thinking,
Pastor Jerry

Proof of Change

The month of June is almost over, and I haven’t spent any serious time fishing. Along with that, we have only had the camper out once this year, and that was mostly to see if everything worked. Maybe living beside the lake is a hindrance to both fishing and camping. Could that be it? Note: If you have ever wanted to know more about this place called Lake Ericson, check out the current edition of Nebraska Life Magazine.

It is being reported on some media sources that a certain presidential candidate has recently become a Christian. It is not my place to judge a person’s heart, but I can go to God’s word and read verses that help us to know if a person is truly a follower of Jesus Christ. We can pray these reports are true, and the Bible tells us we can know if a person is a Christian. I will share some of the evidences of true belief this week.

A new Christian is not perfect. Neither are older Christians. We all have the tendency to sin, even after being spiritually reborn. But here are things we should see in one who calls himself a follower of Jesus Christ.

The first step, confession, is found in Romans 10:9; 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. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Confession is to first confess to God that I am a sinner, followed by confessing that Jesus is Lord of all.

Confession is followed by repentance. This is a change of direction. To repent is to stop going away from God, and to turn toward him. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17)! The evidence of this change shows up in what is called the fruit of the Spirit. It consists of these: “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). There are others, but space here is limited.

Finally, we know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands (1 John 2:3).

Blessings,
Pastor Jerry

Who’s In Charge?

January is just over half gone. A national champion football team has been crowned, and now football fans are focused on the Super Bowl. The political races have taken on a new urgency, as we begin the count-down to the November election. Who knew there would be this much excitement this month?

Regarding the presidential race, I have mostly been observing the candidates as they jockey for position and try to convince the voters to support them. I will definitely make up my mind which one will get my vote before November rolls around.

One thing is sure; no one politician is going to solve all the problems of this country. Why? Because our problems, although politically driven in many cases, are the result of a spiritual deficit in this country. There are large numbers of people who see no reason to seek God, or to follow His commands. Many who claim to be Christians refuse to live according to God’s Word. Others seek to rewrite scripture to make it support their favorite sin, calling it a lifestyle, or claiming that God really didn’t mean what he said.

From Old Testament times, into the days when Jesus was on the earth, and continuing today, God has said that he will judge disobedience. I believe it is true for those who reject His gift of salvation, as well as those who claim to be His people and yet keep on living exactly like the rest of the world. If we continue down the path we are on as a nation, I see nothing but judgment in our future.

My reason for bringing this up is not to judge, but to give a warning. It is not too late to turn things around. God promises judgment on those who are disobedient, but in His grace and mercy, He offers salvation and the promise of eternal life to those who come to Him, confessing their sins, and asking His forgiveness.

Choose who you will vote for this November, but first choose to follow Jesus Christ. He is the answer. “For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17).

In His amazing love,
Pastor Jerry