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Archive for May, 2008

They Gave Their Lives to Protect our Freedom

Many years ago Lyn and I along with our boys made our first visit to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington.

Over the three hours we spent walking in quiet respect and awe among the graves of over 290,000 who have served our country, I felt both a sense of peace in the beautiful setting on the hills overlooking the city and an overwhelming gratitude for those who served and most importantly, for those who gave their lives to protect our freedom.

At every turn you walk right into history as you read the markers.

There have been many new memorials added since our trip 35 years ago; but when you view them all together it still makes you proud to be an American and to also realize that the battle for freedom has not ended with one generation.
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The Invisible Mom

It started to happen gradually.

One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, “Who is that with you, young fella?”

“Nobody,” he shrugged.

Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we crossed the street I thought, “Oh my goodness, nobody?”

I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family – like “Turn the TV down, please” – and nothing would happen. Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, “Would someone turn the TV down?” Nothing

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A FRIEND WHO IS CLOSER THAN A BROTHER

 

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

 

False Contentment

Having many companions may give the appearance of someone who is content and surely not lonely.  But what each of us desires is a relationship with someone who really knows and understands us, who appreciates our strengths and understands our weaknesses, is willing to listen, ready to help and can always be relied upon.  This is the type of person the writer of Proverbs describes as a friend who is closer than a brother.

 

Are You Lonesome Tonight?

If your answer is yes to the question – Are You Lonesome Tonight? Remember this – Jesus Christ loves you!  The Son of God gave His life that you might have an eternal, personal relationship with Him.  Jesus, while on this earth, experienced all the stresses ands strains of life including loneliness, therefore He knows exactly how you are feeling and wants to replace any feeling of emptiness or being alone, with the fullness of His presence through the Holy Spirit.  The old hymn says it all – “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”!

 

Peace, Joy and Contentment

Knowing that we are never alone because Jesus is with us should bring us great peace, joy and contentment, but we also need friendships in this life. 

 

Illustration: I love the illustration I heard some time ago of the little boy who had scary dreams and frequently called out for his parents to come to his aid.  Whenever this happened the parents would talk with him about not being afraid since Jesus was always there with him, he just could not see Him with his eyes.  One night though, the little boy said to them – I know Jesus is always here but tonight I need someone with skin on!

 

Jesus is the perfect and eternal friend who is essential in our lives, but while we are still on this earth we also want friends with “skin on”.  This past week you have most likely come into contact with someone who was truly lonely and it may have been someone who would appear to have it all together and more friends than they could count.  But many times what we see are companions and not that true “friend who is sticks closer than a brother or sister”. One of the lost gifts in this world is that of true friendship and hospitality. 

 

Listen to how it is described in First Peter as found in “The Message” by Eugene H. Peterson: Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes! (1 Peter 4:7-11).

 

The old adage, to have a great friend we must first be a great friend, flows directly from Jesus teaching that we should treat others as we would like to be treated.  I pray that you will make the effort and take the time this week to be the friend that someone you know really needs.  In doing this you will not only fulfill God’s will for your life by being a blessing to others, but you will also burn away any shadow of loneliness from your own life.  

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This passage not only speaks about the blessing that comes to the Godly but it also tells us about the outcome of the Ungodly.

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