Choose to serve the Lord

15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. 16 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods; Joshua 24:15‭-‬16 KJV

Memorial Day

I was born in November 1961. My father had been an MP and a soldier in the islands of the Pacific theater of World War 2. In all of the years that I had to talk with him, he never once told me anything about the war. He divorced my Mom in 1966 and I saw him very little for the rest of his life. The few times that we had to talk until his death in 2001 I never asked him about the war and he didn’t volunteer any information. Today is Memorial Day 2021, almost twenty years after his death. 

Life and death are what we live with and it doesn’t matter if you have been involved in a war or have only read about it…the effects that it has on men and women who have been a part of it are permanent. 

I was an EMT/Firefighter for five years and an EMT for ten. It has taken nearly thirty years for much of what I saw at suicides and car wrecks and at the scene of a fire where people young and old lost their lives or took them to get to the point that I can write some of it down. During the years of working as an EMT, I had to compartmentalize what I saw or had to handle during my shift so I could do my job. Sometimes, those compartments break open and the memories come back as nightmares or episodes of PTSD. 

When I was in my teens, around ‘73 or ‘74, I was afraid that the war in Vietnam was going to last long enough that I would be drafted into it. It was a fear that I carried but I didn’t let anyone know about it. This is the first time I have written about it. I watched a very realistic movie today called “We were soldiers” and it was about the first engagement in the Vietnam war on November 14, 1964…a Sunday.

I am proud to be an American by birth but I am glad that the war didn’t last long enough to drag me and my schoolmates into it. Thank you, Lord, for your grace and mercy for that. I also pray that You will give Your comfort, strength, and grace to all of those who lost loved ones or friends in that war as well as all of the wars we have been involved in since then. I want to extend my thanks to all of the families and the survivors of these wars and thank you all for your service to our country.

Even in his sorrow…

25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. Job 19:25‭-‬27 KJV

An upright man who worships even in the bad times

So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord , and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips. Job 2:7‭-‬10 KJV

We are living in the last days

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:1‭-‬5 KJV

Does God’s love mean much to you?

Many times I have been asked to pray in church, even when I was a pastor and the facts about our Savior just overwhelmed me and I would choke up. Some people may have thought I was weak or just a “cry-baby” by doing this although none of them would admit it. But when you consider the pain and suffering that Jesus had to go through on the day He was crucified to pay for all of our sins…it is overwhelming. God loves each of us who will give our hearts to Him and repent of our old ways and His love is so overpowering until we can’t understand it. 

Why would God send His Son to go through all of the suffering and pain as a man in order to pay our penalty for our sins? It’s because of His love for us and nothing else. Every time He disciplined the Jewish people in the Old Testament He was trying to get them to turn to Him for their provision and for His love to be poured out on them as blessings. Sometimes they recognized this and sometimes they didn’t so for a while they would follow Him or the person that He sent to bring them back into a relationship with Him. But as soon as that person died, they would turn back to the idols that they had rather than continue to follow God’s leading.

God has always been close to our little world and He has protected us from many dangers that we never know about. Can I prove this? Not really…unless you look at the surface of our moon and see how many hundreds of asteroid impacts have ended on its surface rather than hitting Earth. I would guess that there have been a few extinction-level impacts that were intercepted by the moon instead of impacting and setting our world back a few thousand years or more.

The love that God has for us, each of us, is so magnificent and deep until we cannot possibly understand or even comprehend it and it was because of that love that He came in the guise of Jesus to pay our debt so we wouldn’t have to. Just consider His love for each of us because He even knows how many hairs are on your head and mine! He knows when a bird falls from the sky because in the Bible Jesus said that “not even a sparrow falls without the Father knowing it”. If He cares enough to watch a small bird and know when they die, don’t you think that each of us is worth a little more than a little bird?

When you or I consider the deep and abiding love that God has for each of us, how can you not shed a tear or get choked up a bit? Not one of us deserves His love but He thinks that we do and He does care for us more than we could imagine or hope for. Give your life to Jesus and ask Him to come into your life and help you clean out your heart because your future depends on this decision. He has already paid for your past mistakes (sins) and for any future ones too, all you have to do is repent of them and ask Him to come into your life and make it useful for His Kingdom.