The Back Pew - Feb 2018
The first four words in the Bible are: “In the beginning God!” Of course, the verse continues by stating, “created heaven and earth!” I think a good way that we might start the New Year is by remembering what God did and continues to do for us every day. With that thought in mind, it leads me to believe that indeed we will have a wonderful year ahead!
In his terms, Selwyn Hughes shares some insight for having God in our lives. He uses as his text Romans 5: 1 -6. “1. Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2.By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4. And, patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5. And hope make me not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us. 6. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”
We are seeing that the greatest purpose of our lives here on earth is to develop a deep and sensitive awareness towards others and demonstrate personal care for their pressing needs. “A Christian is one who cares,” we said. Is this just mere rhetoric, or does it have a basis in fact? It is based on the greatest fact of the universe --- the Creator cares. Regardless if our religious beliefs, we do have a God who cares.
A God who doesn’t care doesn’t count. If we believed that God didn’t care, we would not, could not have respect for such a God. But our God does care. The Almighty has, by His own volition, entered through the door of humanity and involved Himself with us in the person of His Son, Jesus. What a wonderful blessing that is!
Let us Pray
O Father, I see so clearly that You are a God who cares—really cares. And, because You care, I must care too. Help me become a truly caring person. In
closing, we ask that you Father help us to remember those who remain steadfast in caring for the less fortunate and for those who need to be comfort- ed and healed. Let us always be mindful of the needs of others. We ask this in Thy Holy Name and I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen
What can the Chaplain do for me?
My primary job as Chaplain of the V. L. O. A. is to conduct the Sunday morning worship service at our reunions. In addition, should you have the need to talk with someone who has "been there, done that," I am available to listen.
Outlaws Devotional - July 2017
Ephesians 4:29. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
When I entered the U.S. Army in 1960, I quickly learned that getting straight to the point was the norm. Commanders were “old school;” give orders and demand soldiers execute them. In later years, younger military personnel were a “different breed of cat” and required more explanation before the order.
As a young commander, I wasn’t attuned to the fact that the “explanation” I gave might be perceived as blunt, harsh, or critical. My orders were more often than not very straight-forward, even though they contained some explanation. My Father-in-Law made a statement one time when we were hunting on his Florida farm that really hit home with me. He said: “Words are like a bullet shot from a pistol; once you pull the trigger, you can’t take back the bullet.” As my names imply, I have always been earnest and frank! My Father-in-Law’s words stuck with me as I grew older.
Some years ago, I forwarded an email I received criticizing a politician I didn’t support, only to get a return email from an Army buddy. “Good Christians don’t criticize others” he said in his lengthy response, but then he criticized me for criticizing others. I did a great deal of thinking about what he said.
Have you experienced someone that criticizes or disparages someone else in the written or spoken word, seriously or jokingly, knowingly or unknowingly? Just about everywhere we look in today’s society, there is an abundance of hate, offensive statements, Tweets, Facebook posts, TV reports, and newspaper articles that have clearly moved away from being Christ oriented in our words and deeds. This is the right time for all of us to take a step back and really see how our words and deeds are received by others. Maybe we should apply Ephesians 4:29 during this period where our country is trying to find who it is and what it stands for again as a world leader. Just maybe, some things might work better in our personal lives, our church, our community, and our nation.
My Prayer: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer. Amen.
Submitted by Frank Estes