November 2016


November 26, 2016

Be thankful for what you have, not what you want.

Luke 14:7-11 “Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them,  “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him,  and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  ESV

  • SHOW HUMILITY – Verses 7-11
    • It is almost impossible for a prideFULL or arrogant person to feel thankFULL.
      • They already think life is all about them
      • Any good thing that happens is because of them
        • Boss when you do something amazing: “I am sure glad I HIRED you.”
      • We like to think we are really something
      • It hurts when we find out we ain’t all that we think we are
      • We are not to seek the spotlight OR the place of honor
        • but rather we are to act humbly.
      • Instead of seeking places of prominence, we are to seek humble places.
      • Being thankFULL requires us to:
        • Put God first
        • Put others next
        • Be thankFULL for God and all the people He places in our lives
          • Not to seek to be above or better than both
          • This was Adam and Eves downfall
            • They were deceived into thinking they could be like God
            • They should have just remained ThankFULL for all He had given them
      • This was the devils (Lucifer – son of the morning) downfall
        • He thought he should be equals with or better than God
          • He should have just been thankFULL for what God had blessed him with
      • It can be our downfall as well
        • We think we DESERVE better than we have received
        • We think we KNOW better than God
        • We think we should have the place of PRIVILEGE because we have WORKED so hard, GIVEN so much or SACRIFICED more than others.
        • We should just be thankFULL for what God has given us
        • We should be thankFULL for who God is in our lives
          • We are to let others exalt us and not exalt
  • SHOW THANKFULNESS
    • Invited to a banquet
      • Be thankful you were invited
      • Be humble and sit in the worse seat
        • You still get fed
        • Head table or the kids table
        • You still get fed the banquet
      • You are still there
    • Maybe, you will be blessed and invited to move up
      • Don’t be greedy for you don’t have
  • Be thankFULL for what you are given
  • Be thankFULL for the opportunity
  • Be thankFULL for the invitation
  • Be thankFULL you were able to attend
  • Be thankFULL for what God has provided in EACH and EVERY situation

Be thankFULL for the LOVE OF GOD and His OFFER of SALVATION and ETERNAL LIFE!

What’s it worth?

1 Corinthians 13;13 “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”  ESV

We have heard this scripture often and like the warm squishy feeling we get when reading the Word of God tell us what eternity will bring God’s Children.

Faith, Hope and Love are eternal.  Love is the greatest.

Jesus spoke often about the necessity of love in our world.  Love God first and foremost; love your neighbor as yourself.  Love is the greatest commandment.

Yet, we know that our world desperately lacks love.

Why?

Galatians 5:19 – 21  “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”  ESV

This is a list of the things that will keep us out of God’s planned eternity for us.  They find their roots in the Ten Commandments.

Have no false gods, have no fake gods, don’t use the real God’s name as a curse and remember to set aside a day for God.  You remember the first 4 right?  Their basic lesson is to LOVE GOD, while the next 6 speak of LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR.

Pride of the flesh, pride of the mind and pride in your spirit.  The common denominator, and greatest of these, is PRIDE!

  • Loving yourself more than you love God.
  • Loving yourself more than you love others.
  • Loving what you have and want more than anything else.

Selfish, arrogant pride is the very opposite of faith, hope and love.

It is this pride that got Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden.                                                       It is this pride that brought great destruction to our planet in the Flood.                                       It is this pride that sent shadrach, meshach and abednego and  into the fiery furnace.           It is this same pride that keeps people separate from God today.

What do you hold most dear? What would you stubbornly hold onto if you knew it would be a destructive force in your life or worse, your eternity?

Substance abusers choose to hold on to their desire for the substance that makes them feel good for a short time while they allow that same substance to destroy their families, friendships and even their own health and life.  They know the problem but they like the problem more than they like anything or anyone else, including their selves.

The arrogant are willing to stomp on anyone and commit any act to climb their desired ladder to their perceived success.  The ones that do rise to the top find only loneliness, sadness and disappointment.  They sold their soul for flesh pleasing achievement.

Mark 8:34 – 38   “And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.  For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?  For what can a man give in return for his soul?  For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”   ESV

The good news is that God loves you and wants to deliver you from self and sin; from the pride that prevents us from humbly receiving the gift of faith, hope and love that God has for us all.

John 3:16 – 17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”  ESV

We have all fought prides grasp, the good news is that Jesus is not here to condemn you, but to provide you a pathway to salvation and eternal, life.  He wants you to have faith, hope and love forever.

To repent simply means to change your direction, from your way or the way the world has you traveling; and turn to God’s way and plan for your life.  In doing so you find peace, joy and safety; the results of faith, hope and love.  Trust God with your everything.

What is your soul worth?

What value do you place on the simple gifts of faith, hope and love?

God sent His only Son.

Jesus was the only person to walk the earth without sin, yet freely gave His life, shed His blood, so you could be forgiven.

There has been a great price paid for what can be received without cost to you.  Receive.

A hard look at today’s realities from the dismayed eyes of a veteran.

This is a “word puke” written hard and fast, so please don’t correct my spelling, grammar or writing process.

WARNING!  This is a hard look at some hard issues.  This may offend some, I am ok with that, you are allowed to read it or not read it and are free to be offended.  It is your right.

I am a United States Air Force Veteran.  I say that not to solicit your words of appreciation, but to admit that today I wonder if our service was worth the effort.

From before the very foundation of our country young men and women of character, bravery and valor have answered their countries call to fight for freedom, democracy and the American way.  This call many of us answered freely, volunteering to serve; while others answered the call through the military draft system.

All served.  Many did not return to their home, spilling their blood on foreign soil.

When we entered military service each and every one of us swore and oath to the country we love and serve.

“I, Charles Alderman, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; So help me God.”

The brave folks who swore this oath were willing to fight, to bleed and to die for our country, defending the constitution that binds us all together as the United States of America.

These men and women were mostly in their teens and early twenties, wet behind the ears and without really knowing who they were and what was possible.

These youths were the ones who fought WW1, WW2, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, Iraq, Afghanistan and countless other wars, battles and conflicts.

They fought on beaches, in jungles, in forests, on mountains and in the sand.  They fought in the air, the sea, on the land and both on and under the seas.

They left families and communities behind to be shipped off to far away lands of strange languages, customs and enemies.

They left their homes and comforts for tents, barracks and trenches.

The placed themselves in harm’s way for the country that had blessed them so much.

It is often said that the men and women of our armed services do not go to war to kill an enemy, but so the enemy will not go to their homes to kill their loved ones.

They do not fight to kill the enemy in front of them, but serve their country and the loved ones they left behind.

Tonight I wonder if it is all worthwhile as the legacy of the American veteran is looked upon with such hate and disdain by many of the very countrymen we served.

Today’s youth seem to have little respect for their country or our constitution.  The actions by many “Americans” over the past few years makes me wonder if the next great enemy of our Constitutional republic will rise from within.

Professional athletes use their platform to disrespect the military, the veteran and their country.

There are violent and destructive protests over an American Election.  This is absolutely contrary to the American Traditions and Laws.

Where young men and women were once true patriots, today they burn out flag, defecate on our streets and bring chaos to our cities.

Where we were once fair minded and accepting of others and when things did not go our way, today we cry like little babies and throw temper tantrums like toddlers.

We served for your freedom.  Do not disrespect our service by disrespecting our flag, our constitution or those who serve.

Grow up.  Mature.  Learn to ADULT! Stop being babies.

Maturity is more than a plot on an age progression chart.

If you continue to bring battles to our street and engage our law enforcement officers with violence you may force some grizzled old veterans to follow their oath to our country and take action.

Perhaps the first action we should take is to introduce a bunch of adult babies to the serious side of our belts and bring some discipline and correction into their lives.

Perhaps we should actually hold people to account for their behavior.

Maybe we should stop giving everybody trophy’s except the champions and allow our teachers to use their red pens and give students the grades they actually earn. The fruit of hard work should be encouraged.

Maybe we should allow our kids the kindness of failure.  Then teach them how to deal with failure constructively, learning to communicate and cope with the ups and downs of life.

Then teach them the history of their country and the constitution.

Here are a few of your first lessons:

  1. You are constitutionally guaranteed to be offended.
    1. Deal with it.
    2. There are no safe spaces
    3. You are tougher than you think!
    4. If you insist on being a dainty butterfly then you are in for a rough ride.
      1. Outside of college/educational systems your cry for “safe spaces” or insistence on a world or workplace free from conflict will probably get you unemployed quickly
      2. Your employer does not care if you feel offended or the president elect is scary.
        1. Your employer cares that you get your work done, earn the wages you are being paid to get your work done and help the company be successful.
      3. When someone’s words of correction, wisdom and guidance make you feel bad it is called your conscience.
        1. Follow it! Change your direction.
        2. You are not being “triggered” you are being given a chance to be a better person
      4. We are a country of 350 million individuals from different states, countries, economic realities, races, colors, creeds, religions, backgrounds, tragedies and triumphs.
        1. We are a collection of different people
        2. We will not all get along
        3. We do not have to be the same
        4. I am not required to upturn my life to make you happy; and neither are you.
        5. If you have a different faith and religious practice than I do then don’t join my church. But do not restrict my constitutional right to freedom of religion and my religious beliefs and practices.
        6. If you do not like guns then don’t buy one! But do not infringe my constitutional right to own them and bear them
        7. If you do not like what I am saying then walk away. But do not infringe my freedom of speech.
        8. If you don’t like a certain person, group or corporation then don’t join them. But do not infringe upon their right to gather together.
        9. Give others the right to be who they are and expect them to do the same for you.
      5. Never trust just one source of information.
        1. Learn from many sources and ALWAYS ask questions and seek wisdom
        2. Understand that most of what you hear and read from the free press is biased.
        3. The internet is full of lies
        4. Go and learn things.
      6. Learn to love the country that is blessing you
        1. The USA might not be perfect but we are the best country and system of government out there
        2. Respect the gift you are given
        3. Be a patriot.
          1. There is a difference between being patriotic and being a true patriot.
          2. The patriot will offer their wealth, time and life for this country.
        4. You can always ask a veteran what it is like in the Middle East or how Hitler treated his own countrymen to see if you would like to move.
        5. The USA is very tolerant of most, if not all lifestyles. Lifestyles that other countries would bring beatings, imprisonment or death.
        6. We have a great life here; learn to love and appreciate what you have.
        7. Be part of building our country, not tearing it down.
      7. We are a tolerant people
        1. We may struggle with lifestyles and activities we find socially or religiously wrong, but are willing to tolerate this behavior because of the freedoms we all have.
        2. We may absolutely disagree with you, your ideals, your politics or your lifestyle. That is a right we have, as do you about our choices.
        3. What binds us together is not uniformity, it is a constitution that guarantees our right to be different.
        4. We know that an orchestra sounds best when every instrument plays their part in harmony; not when everyone plays the same note at the same time.
        5. What is hard to tolerate is people who take and take then disrespect the gift and the givers.
        6. Forrest Gump said “Stupid is as stupid does.” Don’t be stupid.
        7. Be constructive with your criticism and approach to conflict resolution.
      8. BUCK UP!
        1. Stop being a baby
        2. You will not always win
        3. Your candidate didn’t win? Neither did mine, didn’t even make the final big show.
          1. Half the possible voters – didn’t and the half that did was pretty much evenly divided.
          2. The system plays out and we have what we have.
            1. Accept the results
            2. Stop calling half of your country ignorant haters just because they didn’t agree with you.
            3. Look for ways to serve to make America better.
          3. Life is tough, tougher if you are stupid
          4. You are responsible for you
            1. You are the first person responsible for your education, safety, finances, food and every other thing you will need in life.
            2. Not your parents
  • Not your professors
  1. Not your government
  1. Your success in life depends on how hard you will work at being successful.
  2. I am not responsible for you.
  3. If you want something work hard and earn it

Start with those, then grow into the American Citizen you should be for your country and you to prosper.

The American Veteran loved you and this country enough to write a blank check for everything we have, even up to and including our very lives for you.

PLEASE, stop making veterans regret their service by your behavior.

Learn to Appreciate.

Learn to Respect.

Learn to Love.