A Powerful Weakness

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My Musings – When we are covered by 1) God’s grace, through 2) His Son, we are plugged in to an awesome power base, 3) the Holy Spirit.  But sometimes, (many times) we get in the way of that power by relying on our own strengths, which in reality are weaknesses.  Once we acknowledge that, God’s power is perfected in our weaknesses.

Now for the understatement: “My grace is sufficient” (enough to meet the needs of a situation, adequate).  Enough and adequate, hardly seem impressive.  But the point is, no matter how small or how big the “situation,” God’s power will always be enough.  God’s power is all we will ever need.

My Advice – Admit your own insufficiencies (weaknesses), let go and let God.

Too Seldom Is Heard, An Encouraging Word

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Isaiah 41:13For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – How many lives have been made by timely words of encouragement or derailed by lack of encouragement or harsh criticism?  “Words of encouragement fan the spark of genius into the flame of achievement. Legend tells us that Lincoln’s dying mother called her small son to her bedside and whispered, ‘Be somebody, Abe!'” (Wilfred A Peterson)

My Advice – Be somebody! Not just for fame or fortune, but for making your life count for eternity. You have done well thus far. We are proud of your accomplishments. Stay the course.

Choose Wisely

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Romans 12:2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  (NIV 1984)

My Musings –  Attitude is a choice. Too often we choose “the pattern of this world,” which is a bad attitude.  This can cloud our judgment, making it difficult “to test and approve what God’s will is.”  We need to renew our minds (attitude) and be transformed.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace that day. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.” (Chuck Swindoll)

My Advice – Keep renewing your mind and be more consistent in maintaining a positive attitude, despite obstacles, adversities and disappointments. It very well could make the difference between success and failure.  How?  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8, NIV 1984).  You’ll be surprised about what this can do for one’s attitude.

 

Overcoming the World

1 John 5:1-5Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.(NIV 1984)

My Musings – In life situations, sometimes having made the trip is more rewarding and satisfying than arriving at the destination.  But when you make the trip with Christ, arriving at the destination will be the ultimate in reward and satisfaction.

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles one has overcome while trying to succeed. (Booker T. Washington)

My Advice – Don’t let obstacles stop you. They may slow you down as you learn how to overcome them, but do not let them overcome you.  Overcome them.  But do not just overcome the obstacles, overcome the world.   “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

Shadows of Fear

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Joshua 1:9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified: do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We are afraid of many things, most of which are misplaced.  We are told elsewhere (Luke 12:4-5) to not fear those who can only kill the body and do no more.  Rather we are to fear Him (the Righteous Judge), who after our deaths, can condemn us to hell.  Perhaps this is another reason that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom?

But if we have a right relationship with the Father (through the Son), we need not be terrified of or discouraged by anything.  For when we are in a relationship with Him, nothing (neither life nor death) can ever separate us  from Him.  And to be absent from the body (physical death) is to be present (spiritual life) with the Lord.

My Advice – Don’t be a pussy cat.  Be a Lion.  Be strong and courageous.  After all, aren’t we related to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah?

Towards A New Birth of Freedom

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John 15:13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (NIV 1984)

Musings of Others – Today I’ve selected the musings of others to share as we commemorate Memorial Day 2019 and those brave soldiers who laid down their lives for their fellow country men and women.

  • Francis Scott Key – “Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave?”
  • Unknown – “Our flag does not fly [“yet wave”] because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.”
  • George Washington – “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”
  • Abraham Lincoln – “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt – “Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.”
  • John F. Kennedy – “The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.”
  • Ronald W. Reagan – “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We did not pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

My Musings – Francis Scott Key might be surprised indeed that our flag still waves.  But he probably would not be surprised that it took the “last breath of [so many] soldier[s] who died protecting it” to keep it flying for so long.  As a nation, as individuals, we need to make sure that those soldiers who “gave [their] last full measure of devotion” did not “die in vain” and to not “forget in time that [these] men died to win” the freedoms we enjoy, that they continue to be “appreciated by their nation.”

It is sobering indeed to realize that “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,” something that Francis Scott Key probably realized when he penned those words.  So we need to continue to be vigilant that “these dead shall not have died in vain,” particularly given the fact that the “cost of freedom is always high.”  I would hate to think that following so close behind the “greatest generation” that I could be among the generation of that freedom’s extinction.

What is particularly sobering to me, is that today, what may be the greatest threat to this nation’s extinction, is not some foreign enemy, but ourselves.  As I see the bickering amongst our elected officials, the polarization of our citizens, and the animosity that seems to permeate the fabric of our nation, I fear that one other quote may become more prophetic than all of the others. For we have known all along that “a house divided against itself cannot stand:”

  • Nikita Khrushchev – “We do not have to invade the United States, [you will destroy yourselves] from within.”

My Advice – We need not “spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”  We need not choose the “path of surrender, or submission” or self-extinction.  How do we guard against it:

  • George Washington – “Be Americans. Let there be no sectionalism, no North, South, East or West [no Democrat or Republican, no liberal or conservative]. You are all dependent on one another and should be one in union. In one word, be a nation. Be Americans, and be true to yourselves.”

But more importantly be a nation “under God” that does “not perish from the earth” until Christ returns.  This is how we can best remember the “honored dead.”

2 Chronicles 7:14If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (NIV 1984)

 

 

 

 

 

 

All The More

Hebrews 10:24Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Many of the signs are there that the Day is indeed approaching. But we have not heeded the warning. Regular Church attendance, even by devout believers, has been in the decline for many years.

My Advice – Find a Bible believing Church, that teaches the truth in love, and make it your habit to not only attend regularly, but become involved. You need it, and it needs you.