A Mother’s Faith

10 05 2015

Image result for abraham lincoln mother

“I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also”—(2 Tim. 1:5).
Lois and Eunice are not irrelevancies in the story of Timothy. What they were had much to do with what he was, or they would not have been named with this honor. As one missionary put it, “To make a sound Christian of a Hindu you have got to convert his grandmother.”
Nowhere will we find a more wonderful example of such feminine spiritual aristocracy than in the life of Abraham Lincoln. When he was a baby his mother said that she would rather have him learn to read the Bible than to have him own a farm. While the boy was still young, in forlorn poverty that mother died and was buried without religious services at her grave. Afterwards came a step-mother—a most understanding woman. She also desired that Abraham learn to read, and to read the Bible. He did.
So the two women of the backwoods and the cabin of the dirt floor had ambition for the boy and gave him guidance. Who knows how much they contributed to what he became? It may be that some of us who wish we had greater opportunity fail to recognize those we have in the nurturing of faith in our children.

Heartwarming Bible Illustrations.

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Pearl Harbor Day

7 12 2014

As a young sailor, I was stationed at an ammunition depot across the Lock from Pearl Harbor. On that base I had access to the mountain pass that the Japanese came through as they mounted the surprise attack on December 7, 1941. At that time there was a large cross erected marking the spot. One could see the open Pacific Ocean on one side and Pearl Harbor on the other. Many times I stood there and put myself in the shoes of those who experienced the horror of that lazy Sunday morning.

I visited the Arizona Memorial on several occasions and felt awe in realizing that it was the final resting place of 1,102 of the 2,402 who lost their lives on that day of infamy. One could still see oil leaking from the sunken ship into the harbor as if it were weeping for those entombed in its hull.

On this Pearl Harbor Day, I recognize the challenge of evil on that day and the generation who stood up against it. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Benediction for Pearl Harbor Day

Eternal Father,

As we close this service of remembrance, let us have an overwhelming sense of Your favor upon this land. With the conviction of faith, help us to see that Your mercy is still available to those who call upon You.

God, bless our nation, keep us safe in 2013, deliver us from evil. Bless our President and Commander-in-Chief with wisdom to lead, strength to persevere, and readiness to seek your face. Guard and guide those who protect our nation: our Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

Shower our World War 2 vets with assurance of your presence as they face their final battle, let them find peace through Your amazing grace. Now Lord, bless us and keep us, make your face to shine upon us and be gracious to us .Lord, Lift up Your countenance upon us and give us peace. In Jesus Name,

Amen





First Proclamation After Plymouth

27 11 2014

Governor Bradford of Massachusetts made this first Thanksgiving Proclamation three years after the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth:


“Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.
Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.”

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations. Psalm 100:4-5





Netanyahu’s speech to Hamas

28 07 2014

This speech will never make the nightly news. It was sent to me by my Jewish step father. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).

Pastor Dave

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu just made the following speech in front of the
Knesset:

To Ismail Haniya, and the leaders and operatives of Hamas:

We, the people of Israel, owe you a huge debt of gratitude. You have succeeded where we have failed. Because never before, in the history of the
modern State of Israel, has the Jewish people been so united, like one person with one heart. You stole three of our most precious children, and slaughtered them in cold blood. But before we could discover the horrible truth, we had 18 days of pain and anxiety while we searched for them, during which our nation united as never before, in prayer, in hopes, in mutual support.

And now, as you continue to launch deadly missiles indiscriminately, intended to maim and murder as many civilians as possible, while you take cowardly refuge behind your own civilians – you continue to inspire us to hold strongly onto our newly discovered unity. Whatever disputes we Jews may have with each other, we now know that we have one common goal: we will defeat you.

But we are offering you now one last chance. Within 24 hours, all rocket fire – and I mean all rocket fire – will cease. Completely. Forever.

I give you formal notice that our tanks are massed at the Gaza border, with artillery and air support at the ready. We have already dropped leaflets over the northern parts of the Gaza strip, warning civilians of our impending arrival, and that they should evacuate southward, forthwith. If you fail to meet our ultimatum, we are coming in, and, with God’s help, this time we will not leave. Every centimeter of land that we conquer will be annexed to Israel, so that there will never be another attack launched at our civilians from there.

Even so, we will continue to keep the door open to allow you to surrender gracefully. The moment you announce that you are laying down arms, we will halt our advance, and there we will draw our new borders. If you continue to attack our citizens, we will continue to roll southwards, driving you out of territory that you will never again contaminate with your evil presence.

It pains me deeply that your civilians will be made homeless. But we did not choose this war; you did. And if our choice is between allowing our citizens to be targeted mercilessly by your genocidal savagery, versus turning your civilians into refugees, I regret that we must choose the latter. If only you loved your people as much as you hate ours, this war would never have happened.

To the rest of the world: Israel has tired of your ceaseless chidings that we should “show restraint”. When you have your entire population under constant missile fire from an implacable enemy whose stated goal is the murder every man, woman and child in your land, then you may come and talk to us about “restraint”. Until then, we respectfully suggest that you keep your double standards to yourselves. This time, Hamas has gone too far, and we will do whatever we have to in order to protect our population.

Hamas, once again, I thank you for bringing our people together with such clarity of mind and unity of purpose. The people of Israel do not fear the long road ahead.

Am Yisrael Chai.

 





A Christian nation?

22 02 2014
Are we a “Christian nation”? I guess it all depends on how you would define a “Christian nation”. If you want to refute the claim by our president, you would say things like, ” the majority of Americans identify with the Christian faith.” The numbers are there (read the following article), and they are staggering.
In all honesty, I can not see us as a nation of practicing Christians nor one that has patience with those who vocalize their Christian faith in the public arena. Now, I believe that our nation needs to tolerate the free exercise of religion, even if it is not my belief system. No problem. I take issue when my belief system is viewed as the source of bigotry, anti-intellectualism, hatred, gay-bashing, or embarrassment.I take issue with a Christian nation that does not want me to use the name “Jesus” while giving an invocation at a High School graduation or mention His character with a sense worship instead of as a cuss word. I take issue when we view the desecration of the Koran as a vicious crime (and it is), but does not have the same outrage when the Bible is verbally trashed on national public news broadcasts (like the criticism that followed when Phil Robertson quoted it). If we are really a Christian nation, why do we have to make it a non-issue if we run for office? If we are a Christian nation, why do we allow the abortion of  over one million viable unborn babies every year?  I can go on.
Are we a Christian nation? I guess it depends on how angry you are with the president. As for me, I believe we are more secular than Christian.
Pastor Dave

Gallup: Only 5% of Religious Americans Are Non-Christians

December 30, 2013 – 2:27 PM

CNSNews.com) – A recent Gallup poll refutes the claim made by Barack Obama on March 9, 2008 that “we are no longer a Christian nation.”

Gallup found that three quarters of all Americans – a supermajority – identify themselves as Christians, with only five percent saying they are practicing members of a non-Christian faith.

“We find, looking at our data, that America does in fact remain a predominantly Christian nation,” Dr. Frank Newport, Gallup’s editor in chief, said of the poll released on Christmas Eve.

“Now, our overall estimation of what percent of Americans identify with the Christian religion depends a little on which of our various polls we look at, but I would estimate that about three-quarters – 75, maybe up to 77 percent of Americans – identify with the Christian religion.

“About half of Americans are Protestant or some other non-Catholic Christian faith, and another 23, 24 percent are Roman Catholic. About 2 percent are Mormons, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

“Now, does that mean that a quarter of Americans identify with a non-Christian religion? Not so, because we have about 17, 18 percent of Americans who don’t identify with any religion, the so-called ‘religious nones’ as we call them.

“And so that reduces down to about only 5, or maybe 6 percent, again depending on how we do the definitions, of Americans who explicitly identify with a non-Christian faith.”

Newport added that contrary to popular belief, Americans are actually more religious now than they have been at various times in the past. Fifty-six percent told Gallup that religion is “very important in their daily lives,” up about four percentage points since the 1970s and 80s.

And although weekly church attendance has declined since its peak in the 1950s, Newport added that it is “no lower now than it was in the late ‘30s and early ‘40s.”

Thirty-nine percent of those polled said they attended a church service within the past seven days, compared to 41 percent in 1939 and 37 percent in 1940.





Does God give us more than we could handle?

24 01 2014

I like to read things that challenge my thinking. Not only could I learn but it could change the way I look at a long-held belief. It could even solidify the belief I already hold.

This article by Kayla Lemmon is one of the top 10 blogs on WordPress. It has both challenged my way of thinking and given me fresh appreciation of God’s will while we suffer. It is well and warmly written. Let it challenge you.

Pastor Dave

God will give you more than you can handle: I guarantee it.

There’s a certain phrase I’ve come to really dislike.

All my life, I’ve heard this phrase whenever I go through a rough patch. *And by rough patch, I mean a prickly, gnarly patch that leaves me bleeding to near death*. You’re probably familiar with those kinds of “patches”.

“God will never give you more than you can handle” is the phrase I’m referring to.

more than to bear

And it’s a sweet sentiment, really. The people who say it are speaking from caring and concerned hearts.

BUT–it isn’t true.

I know that sounds harsh, but I promise I haven’t suddenly lost my mind or have become an angry-with-God bitter woman who hates the world. Actually, when I realized the simple fact that God can–and will–give us more than we can possibly bear, it got easier.

And it all started to make more sense.

I’ve often trudged through trials that overwhelm me. Ever since my childhood there have been trials that have made me “grow up” pretty fast. But granted, I know for a fact you’ve had your own fair share too, because that’s the reality of life. But this last trial is the one that shook me to my core and had me searching like a mad woman for answers as to why it was happening–and how I could possibly even survive it.

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I lost my Dad to cancer last month–if you’re a follower of mine, this is old news. But–it was absolutely horrific.

Every day leading up to his death was like walking through every level of hell–slowly– for lack of a better term. There’s no other way to describe it. The images…the sounds…the sleepless nights…the cries for God while we look on, helpless…the torment of rubbing morphine in his cheeks, praying it’ll absorb–but to no avail. The horrible, wrenching pain that came with lifting him up, laying him back down, lifting him up, laying him back down…because he became so restless and cried out for “home” every few minutes. And all along, in the back of my mind, I reminded myself that millions of people go through this, and have already gone through this, very thing. And it is simply unbearable. If you disagree–it’s because you haven’t been there.

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This trial was so consuming that I hate to even put it in the past tense–sometimes it still consumes me. Yesterday, at my Dad’s memorial service, it consumed me all over again.

I’ve suffered from nightmares where I relived the memory over and over mercilessly–I sometimes see his face on strangers that pass and worry that I’m going crazy. I cry over sad songs in the car and torture myself with stacks of pictures and yellowed photo albums. It’s beyond just missing him. And even with a firm testimony of the gospel and with peace that he is exactly where the Lord prepared him for, it is still too much for me to handle at times. It steals my breath–and it can steal my joy.

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So, the other day, I turned to the scriptures. I needed help.

I wanted to know where that phrase was that people kept repeating to me in church and at work and over the phone. Why did the Lord “trust me so much”?! Why did He think I could handle these kinds of trials?

And then I realized: I couldn’t find that quote because it isn’t there.

It never mentions anywhere in the scriptures that the Lord won’t give you more than you can handle. Yes, in 1 Corinthians 10:13 it speaks of Him giving us an escape from temptations so that it’s not too much to bear. But when it comes to pain, trials, heartache, and burdens– not once does it say it won’t be more than we can bear. Instead, it beautifully says this instead:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me…for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11: 28-30)

carrying man

The words struck my heart, as you can imagine. Christ is speaking to those of us who are carrying burdens much too heavy for our own shoulders. And in that one verse he simply states the reason why we are given more than we can handle: It’s so we can come to him. It’s so we can trust him enough to hand over our heavy, crippling burdens and let him carry the load.

You might be heavy laden right now like I was before reading and re-reading and re-reading once again this scripture that has never stuck out to me as much as it has lately.

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You might be shrunken with sadness or drowning in debt. You might be overwhelmingly angry at someone at church or aching under the pressures of raising children or maybe the inability to have them. You might be dealing with a terminal disease and you still have young children. And chances are–you might need your Redeemer to find you on the path and take up that heavy cross you’re dragging. Besides, even he tells us that he’s more equipped to carry it, so why not hand it over?

I’ve come to learn–slowly but surely–why I need Him.

I suppose it’s because of pride that I always thought I could just do things on my own. I’m strong, I’d say. I’m a tough cookie. I can help others through their tribulations while carrying mine all by myself. Well…wasn’t I wrong.

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I didn’t really know what needing him meant until I had no other choice. I didn’t know what it meant until I wrapped my arms around my middle so I wouldn’t fall apart–or the time I choked on tears and yelled toward Heaven. Or the times when I was utterly alone, and the silence was too much to bear. Those are the times that taught me he’s not just a want or a convenient symbol of love or a reason to do good deeds.

No, he’s the very air we breathe.

And he’s the only one who can make it bearable when life is simply anything but.





Benediction for Veterans Day, 2013

10 11 2013

Gracious Father, we acknowledge that you have been our hiding place in all our generations. You heard us when we cried in our distress, you graciously kept us safe and free. Without you we can do nothing; we thank you for being good to us as a nation. Thank you for this service of recognition for those in service who deserve our thank you.

Now we call upon you again to let your favor be upon our men and women in uniform who have volunteered to stand against evil, intent on our destruction.  Show favor on Korean War vets as we celebrate 60 years of the Armistice. Show favor to last of Doolittle raiders, who gave their final toast a few days ago. Show favor to those who will remember the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and the buddies they left behind. Show your favor on those who suffer physical and mental wounds in the defense of our freedom. Show your favor on our vets as they age, may they be an example of integrity, and patriotism. Let them be the peacemakers, fill them with wisdom and reason. Show favor to our Commander-in-Chief, those that make decisions in the Pentagon, our Congress, our Senate, our commissioned officers, our sergeants, and our 18 year old privates.

God, we ask you bless us and keep us. Make your face to shine upon us and be gracious to us. May you lift up your countenance upon us and give us peace.

God, in your grace, bless America.

We ask this in the Name of our Lord and Savior,

Amen