Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

It's Memorial Day and I hope we will all take time to remember our freedom isn't free. This veteran's testimony is still one of my favorites. I've posted it before, but in case you haven't seen it I wanted to do it again. Charles Durning, popular American character actor, recounts his experience during the Normandy Invasion (June 6, 1944). It is a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by so many Americans for our freedom. May we never forget them, and may we live lives that honor them...lives that refuse to bow to our own selfishness, and rise to serve the greater good.

Our government is asking all Americans for pause at 3:00 p.m. today for a National Moment of Remembrance. Find out more here:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Day to Remember Before Memorial Day

Today is a day to remember. This is a picture of my father (second from the right) and some of his army buddies from a long time ago. I'm proud that he was a part of the "Greatest Generation," who fought for our country's (make that "the world's") freedom in World War II. He was wounded twice, once from enemy gunfire and once from shrapnel from an enemy artillery shell. Though he never said it, I wonder if the shrapnel wound was the more painful of the two? I would think so because over 30 of the men in his company were killed by that shell.

Today is my father's birthday and he would have been 85, but I thank God for the almost 81 years he had here. I also thank God that he was willing to go and fight to maintain our freedom; and for those soldiers and friends of his who lost their lives the day he was wounded. I know he never forgot that day, or those men, and we shouldn't forget them or any of our brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives in military service to secure and maintain our freedom.

This coming Monday is Memorial Day, and many high school and college graduates will continue to celebrate their recent graduations. I hope they (and their families, and their friends, and all of us!) will take time to remember those teenagers in our country's history who did NOT have such freedom. I'm talking about those teenagers and young adults who willingly answered the call to war, knowing they might not return. Many did not, and because of their sacrifice, we are free.
I will never forget my father, or his service to our country....and I pray I'll never take for granted those men who served with him who did not return home. I hope we will honor their sacrifice by remembering them and by using our freedom to do what they did, to act unselfishly for the betterment of our nation!

Isn't this what freedom is for? As Paul reminds us in Galations 5:13,14: "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

Have a meaningful Memorial Day!

Myth Exploded for Dog Lovers - Calculating Their Age!!

Okay, here's a pretty useless post, but I stumbled on an article about calculating dogs years on webMd (I was looking for ways to get rid of fat faster that did not involve surgery.). I didn't even know that WebMd dealt with pet issues. By the way, did you know that if you ever let your cat sleep with you, then you better think twice about reversing your decision...they can be very vindictive! Any way, here is the link to find out finally if your dog really is too old to learn new tricks!

And even IF your dog is over the hill, it doesn't mean you can't teach him/her new tricks! Here's a DVD to help you do just that!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Danger of the Influence of Alcohol!

Was looking for illustrations about the power of influence and came upon this video of the dangers of being "under" the influence of alcohol. Actually, it also shows how powerful one mistake can be. No one was seriously hurt...if only that were true in the real world of alcohol consumption when one decision to drink and drive can end up in tragedy. May you have a day where you are only under the influence of what is true, and good, and helpful to those you meet. Of course the best influence is not that of a "what," but of a "who!" May the love and grace and truth of Christ be the ultimate influence in your life today! (Click to play)

What I Do After a Deacons' Meeting / Why I Always Carry A Camera!

Sunday night I ran (a short distance) home after our deacons' meeting to take a couple of pictures of an approaching storm. The sunset I took the next night from the top of a hospital parking lot in Columbia after making a....surprise! ... HOSPITAL visit! Our Father is quite an artist, whose work we often overlook because we're too busy to notice. We miss a lot of spontaneous beauty simply because we're not paying attention. Cases in point...(Click on each for "significant" enlargements!)

Wait a minute! Who's that walking down the street?

Oh, wait...look closer to that tiny water tower in the middle of the picture!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Reality Check - How's Your Worship Going?

Traditional worship or contemporary worship? Which does God prefer? I'd say He prefers GENUINE, BIBLICAL WORSHIP. This video clip was produced by North Point Media, connected with North Point Church in GA, to get people thinking about the nature of true worship. This is not a jab at contemporary worship, but a reminder that regardless of how many people attend a service, or how many videos are played, or how many old, old hymns are sung, or how hip things are, if worship isn't biblical, it doesn't matter how it sounds, or how it makes you feel.

Scripture condemns hypocritical, self-serving worship regardless of how it sounds. The bottom line is this when it comes to your worship:
  • Is it Christ centered?
  • Is it theologically sound?
  • Is it reflective of an obedient lifestyle (i.e when you're not in a church service).
  • Is your life and character GROWING to become more and more like the character of Christ and less and less like that of the world? In short, are you loving God and others visibly (1 Cor. 13), and is the fruit of the Spirit showing up more and more in your life (Gal. 5:22,23)?
  • Do you help the poor? (James 1:27)
  • Do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ regardless of their musical preferences?
  • Do you naturally talk about how important Christ is to you in conversations with other believers and with non-believers?
On the night He was betrayed, and after the resurrection, Christ told his disciples to:
  • Obey what He taught them.
  • To love each other.
  • To depend on the Holy Spirit to make those first two things happen.
  • To share the good news with others.
If we don't care about these things, then it doesn't matter how contemporary or traditional Sunday morning music is! May we all grow more and more to be the kind of worshipers our Father desires, those who worship Him in spirit and in truth, regardless of the kind of music we like!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Power of One Decision

I've been back for a week, and it's been good, but challenging with several church members facing new or recurring sources of significant stress. My brother sent this to me, and it just made me feel better. Of course, on the continuing pursuit of object lessons, it also reminded me that one choice, one decision, one act of kindness or meanness, can set into motion a series of life-changing circumstances, SO THINK ABOUT YOUR CHOICES!!! MAKE GOOD ONES! MAKE WISE ONES! MAKE CHRIST-HONORING ONES! MAKE LOVING ONES! Enjoy the video!

PS: These are the same guys that did that treadmill video a couple of years ago.