Monday, May 30 2016
Today is Memorial Day. It is a day to remember all those that have fallen on the field of battle to protect our freedoms. They fought to protect our right to worship and speak without interference from the government. Their battles kept tyranny and lawlessness from our shores. The sacrifice was tremendous, but they have preserved the greatest country the world has ever known.
Having never been in combat, I am amazed by the bravery of the men that stepped on to the beach at Normandy or fought through the jungles of Vietnam. We should never forget those that braved a freezing winter at Valley Forge or fought on the fields of battle in Fredericksburg and Gettysburg. Today, we honor those that fought in the trenches of World War I and the deserts of the Middle East.
We remember the Rough Riders, the Buffalo Soldiers and the fighter pilots. We should honor the Tuskegee Airman, bomber crews and the men that kept the Star Spangled Banner flying at Fort McHenry. It is the fallen that preserved democracy in Korea and around the world that deserve a salute today. Our country should never forget those that sacrificed themselves in Benghazi and other places to save the lives of others. Yes, we remember and we should never forget.
Today, we say, "Thank you and God bless America."
Monday, May 16 2016
Yesterday, church was amazing. We felt the presence of God as we worshiped and felt convicted by His Word. Truthfully, I learned more than three things, but as the old saying says, "We would be here awhile." So, in the interest of time and because this is a blog and not a novel, I will keep it brief.
1. There is no place I'd rather be David wrote that he had "one thing have I desired of the Lord" (Psalm 27:4). For many of us, we could whip out a "Christmas list" of things that we wish that God would give to us. Do any of these prayers sound familiar?
David did not give a list, but his desire was to be "dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life." When we prioritize God through our faithfulness, God gives us the help that we need. David continued to write...
Psalm 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
2. God demands unity Our Assistant Pastor, Rev. John Tarnovska, preached so beautifully at our Downtown Fredericksburg church about having another Pentecost. He preached about the infilling of the Holy Ghost, but his message centered around the unity that God demands to have revival.
On the Day of Pentecost, Luke wrote that the 120 in the Upper Room were in "one accord". The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Phillipi...
Philippians 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
I do not believe that this unity is demanded for each local assembly, but for the entire body of Christ. Pastors must work with pastors and churches with churches to fulfill the true purpose of the church of seeking and saving that which is lost.
The Psalmist wrote...
Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
3. Church changes me It is common to see and hear churches say, "Come as you are." We say it to, but we should follow that with "leave changed". There have been many times that I have walked into church in a "bad mood" as I fought the flesh, but left changed. Why? Because you cannot remain the same when you are in the presence of God and hearing the preached Word of God.
The Bible is filled with those that were changed in the presence of God including the sick healed and possessed delivered. A great example of the life changing power of God is found in the story of Legion.
Luke 8:26 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.
When I go to church, I need God to change me. I do not ever want to leave church the same way that I came. After a week of fighting the devil and my flesh, the presence of God that dwells in the praises of His people his sweet relief.
Monday, May 09 2016
Yesterday marked the second Mother's Day without mom, Kathy Eaby. She died of Alzheimers's Disease in October of 2014. It was a tragic end to a beautiful life. She will always be missed.
My mom worked as a secretary much of her professional life. My brother, sister and I grew up middle class. She never graduated college, but she did know short - hand (that seems impressive to me). Mom's last car was a PT Cruiser (my dad still drives it). She had three children and five grandchildren. Her life would seem rather average to most, but for one thing...her spiritual legacy.
My mom became a Pentecostal in January 1973. My siblings and I were all very young. She was a 25 year old woman living in a 1200 square foot house in Waldorf, MD. My dad converted the same month. That was a beginning of a fantastic legacy.
The Bible has chapters filled with this guy "begat" the other guy and so forth. This reveals the importance of legacy to God. I believe he cares about how we can effect the generations to come. It was David that prayed...
2 Samuel 7:29 Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord GOD, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.
My mom's spiritual legacy includes church - plants, and many preachers. Hundreds, if not thousands of lives have been changed because her faithfulness and willingness to be a soulwinner. She was never a licensed minister, but her life constantly ministered to those in need.
Her influence has instilled faithfulness into her children and grandchildren. This would be her greatest legacy because her family (including my dad) has four ordained ministers, two pastor wives and everyone in church on Sunday morning worshiping Him in Spirit and in truth. It was not always easy, but mom told us that we had to be in church unless we were "dead or bleeding". She lived by that to her dying day.
It has been said that we stand on the shoulders of those that have gone before us. My parents have been an example to me on how to live for God and make it to heaven. As the old song says, "This life is not our home, we are just a passing through." One day, I will see my mom again, but this time it will be for eternity. It will be all because mom said "yes" to an invitation to a double - wide trailer church that preached sound doctrine.
Thanks mom for teaching me about the love of Jesus Christ.