Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs--he wants to please his commanding officer… Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained. (2 Timothy 2:3-9)
Last week we observed Veterans Day, a tribute to all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and other veterans who have sacrificed a part or all of their lives to advance and protect our freedoms. It was fitting to take a moment to give thanks for veterans, since their service to us has been a gift of God and a reminder that we are all called to a similar mission. Like those who serve our nation in the military, we who serve God in His Church are called to endure hardships, remain focused on our mission at all times, and sacrifice to liberate others from sin, death, and the devil. The war was decisively won by Christ on the cross, but the liberation is ongoing, and we are each commissioned to be part of it.
“Heavenly Father, thank you for the freedoms we enjoy and the sacrifices which have made them possible. We especially thank You for the freedom from sin, death, and evil won for us on the cross, and ask that you give us courage and willing hearts to promote its advance, in Christ Jesus, amen.”
Why do Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines bicker so much?
One reason is that they don’t speak the same language.
For instance, take the simple command, “secure the building.”
The Army will post guards around the place.
The Navy will turn out the lights and lock the doors.
The Marines will kill everyone inside and set up a headquarters.
The Air Force will take out a 5 year lease with an option to buy.
A military base shared a landing field with civilian flights.
The tower received a call from a pilot asking, "What time is it?"
The airman in the tower responded, "Who is calling?"
The pilot replied, "What difference does it make?"
The airman replied "It makes a lot of difference.
If this is an Air Force plane, it is 1500 hours.
If this is a civilian flight, it is 3 o'clock.
If this is a Navy aircraft, it is 6 bells.
If this is the Army, the big hand is on 12, the little hand is on 3.
If this is the Marine Corps, it's 120 minutes to Happy Hour.”
At the beginning of the Army-Navy football game the coin toss is made.
The Navy captain shouts, “HEADS!”
Immediately the Army captain shouts, “LATRINES!”
The Lord give you discernment and endurance this week!
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-- (Philippians 2:14-16a)
With the election over, we can now shift gears—from arguing back to complaining! Perhaps the approach of Thanksgiving will remind us to be grateful, if only for a few moments, to live in a country where we have the right to vote, even if the election doesn’t always go our way. Perhaps we will also briefly give thanks that our nation supports religious holidays, even if we increasingly devote them to hedonistic consumerism rather than the Holy God.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we understand ourselves to be God’s adopted children, purchased at great cost on the cross, pursued by the faith-giving Holy Spirit, and entrusted with an essential purpose: to reveal the word of life, the message of salvation, to all the world. Our attitude matters. If we reflect the darkness of the world around us, surprised and disillusioned by the evil and disappointments of this doomed life, who will ever see the fire of God’s Spirit within us? On the other hand, if we as God’s children devote ourselves to trusting and obeying, without complaint or argument, our perfect, profoundly loving, promise-keeping Father, regardless of whether such trust is popular or natural, won’t the contrast between the fearful lack of Christ in the world and the fiery light of Christ in us be all the more apparent?
“Heavenly Father, give us the gratitude and trust of beloved children, so that we are not merely soothed in dark times, but shine with the fierce light of the hope that fills us, guiding others toward You, in Christ Jesus, amen.”
DEEP THOUGHTS BY CHILDREN
From an actual newspaper contest where entrants age 4 to 15
were asked to imitate the comedy sketch "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy."
I believe you should live each day as if it is your last,
which is why I don't have any clean laundry because, come on,
who wants to wash clothes on the last day of their life? -- Age 15
Give me the strength to change the things I can,
the grace to accept the things I cannot,
and a great big bag of money. Age 13
Democracy is a beautiful thing,
except for that part about letting just any old yokel vote. -- Age 10
For centuries, people thought the moon was made of green cheese.
Then the astronauts found that the moon is really a big hard rock.
That's what happens to cheese when you leave it out. -- Age 6
Think of the biggest number you can. Now add five.
Then, imagine if you had that many Twinkies.
Wow, that's five more than the biggest number you could come up with! -- Age 6
As you make your way through this hectic world of ours,
set aside a few minutes each day. At the end of the year,
you'll have a couple of days saved up. -- Age 7
Often, when I am reading a good book, I stop and thank my teacher.
That is, I used to, until she got an unlisted number. -- Age 15
It would be terrible if the Red Cross Bloodmobile got into an accident.
No, wait. That would be good because if anyone needed it,
the blood would be right there. -- Age 5
If we could just get everyone to close their eyes and visualize world peace
for an hour, imagine how serene and quiet it would be until the looting started. -- Age 15
The Lord guide your thoughts this week! In Jesus,
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the LORD. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing… (Psalm 68:4-6a)
Some people see God as distant, a kind of cosmic hermit who created the world but is too busy to be very involved in our lives. Yet the God revealed in Scripture is the very opposite: a caring Father who holds the world together, continually provides for our needs, and cares about the intimate details of our days. He invites us to join together and include others so that we can share the experience of freedom and fellowship found in being His family, now and forever.
“Heavenly Father, thank You for including us in Your family; open our eyes to the lonely and vulnerable so that we can include them in Your family as well, through Jesus, amen.”
I wrote a single entendre but it wasn't funny at all.
So I put two of them together...if you know what I mean.
What does your father do for a living?
He is a magician. He cuts people in two.
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Yes, one half-brother and one half-sister....
A man and woman walked out of a divorce court in Mississippi.
The man said, "Stop crying. So we’re divorced--You're still my cousin!"
What did the pirate say to his girlfriend when they broke up?
Well, we'll always have parrots.
Why does an archeologist make the best husband?
The older his wife gets, the more interested he is.
The Lord defend you this week! In Jesus,
As Pastor at Pilgrim, Kirk is fueled by a passion for God's Word and a lot of good coffee.