Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thinking Back on 46 Years.

Today, I celebrate 46 years of life. I can tell that I have been around for 46 years: Grey hair, hair growing out of ears, creaking and popping from my body and other things. With all of these, I am thankful to God for being here and being alive.

As some of us get older, we begin to think on life and what we have done and what we haven't done. Well, this morning I was playing some of my Jim Croce music and I heard a song that I would say sums up how I feel. The song is called the "Hard Way Every Time". Read these words:
Well I have my share of broken dreams and more than a couple of falls
and in chasing what I thought were moonbeams I have run into a couple of walls.
But in looking back at the places I've been and the changes that I've left behind
I just look at myself to find
I've learned the hard way everytime.

Cause I've had my share of good intentions and I've made my share of mistakes And I've learned at time its best to bend because if don't well those are the breaks.

Should have listen to all the things I was told but I was young and too proud at the time.

Now I look at myself to find, I've learned the hard way everytime.

Well I've had my share of broken dreams and more than a couple of falls and in chasing what I thought were moonbeams I have run into a couple of walls

But in looking back at the faces I've been I sure be the first one to say when I look at myself today,


(written by Jim Croce)

I can say that everything that God in His Providence has allowed in my life has made me who I am today. The good and the bad, my response in obedience and disobedience to God has shaped me.

Today is my birthday. 46 years of living. I look forward to the future to see what God is going to do to make me more like Christ. Good or bad, I pray that my heart attitude will always be: "Lord, what are you teaching me and if has to be 'The Hard Way' so be it that I can be made the way you want me to be.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Soldiers Creed

Before moving to Tennessee, I had the privilege to serve as a reserve chaplain with the Florida National Guard. It was hard at first being Air Force Blue serving with Army Green. After awhile, it didn't matter, we were all brothers and sisters in service to our country.

One of the earliest things I learned while serving with my Army comrads was the Soliders Creed. Part of it went like this:

I will always place the mission first
I will never accept defeat
I will never quit
I will never leave a fallen comrade

In the military everything centers on the mission. It is the essence of why everything is done from training to maintenance. Whatever the mission is, it will be carried out to its fullest. Not to do so is failure or defeat.

This got me thinking “What is our mission as Christians?” Very simply put: “To make disciples for Jesus here on earth.” Everything that we do centers on this simple mission. We are here to fulfill the Great “CO” MISSION of Christ.

There are three other statements in the ETHOS that relate back to the mission. “I will never accept defeat; I will never quit and I will never leave a fallen comrade.” We as Christians must remember that we are engaged in a Spiritual Battle. Satan wants us to admit defeat and quit. He wants us to focus on survival!

It is so easy to focus on our little corner of the mission field or our little corner of the church field that we forget to work together or support one another. This is Satan’s greatest deception and trick. Just like the military, if we do not partner together by helping and supporting one another then we will soon be over run by the enemy. We have seen this already in the ministry here in US. We have shown the world that as Christians we are either in competition with each other or we don't trust other Christians. So many times we have left fellow believers and fellow churches behind because we felt there was nothing in helping them for us. SURVIVAL! LOOK OUT FOR OURSELVES! On the battlefield that means instant death. In spiritual battles, it is death.

Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:3-4: Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. (ESV). The moment we start thinking about how will this help us or how will it make us look, then we have become entangled with the world and our focus is off the mission.

I learned a lot with my service with the military. The one lesson I learned over any other is to live by the Soldiers Creed: MISSION FIRST: NEVER ACCEPT DEFEAT: NEVER QUIT: NEVER LEAVE A FALLEN COMRAD BEHIND. Think about today how you can live this creed out for Jesus.