Memorial Day Tribute

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 (KJV)

flowers-14207_960_720 pixToday we honor those who gave their lives in sacrifice for our freedom. The legacy of those honored dead, who paid freedom’s price with their final breath; to secure, establish and defend the principles of liberty; set on fire a torch that burns brightly to this very day.

How shall we honor those who gave that last full measure of devotion, except that we are likewise devoted to the same great cause for which they gave that last measure. We must carry the torch set ablaze by their lives. We must live our lives worthy of their dying. We too must fight for the righteous cause of freedom.

Should we be faced with tyranny, standing toe to toe with the despots of our day; let us stand firm, never flinching in the facing. And, let us be resolved to enjoy the blessings of our freedom and to never sacrifice that freedom on the altar of peace-at-any-price.

How About You
Friend, if you have lost a loved one in the service of this great country, may I say on behalf of a grateful nation, thank you for your sacrifice.

God bless you and keep you… and God bless America.

Roxanne

 

Hope For America

white-house-1953465_960_720America just swore in the 45th President of the United States. Once again, we witnessed a peaceful transition of power. No cracked crowns. No military coup. We saw the public display of well wishes, hugs & handshakes and the departure of the previous President and his family. Yet, somewhere between the pomp and the platitudes lies a nation in crisis.

We the People

We’ve heard the words ‘We the People’ spoken in recent days. Our constitution’s preamble begins with these words and it’s not a bad place to start looking for answers. But what if we went deeper & made it more personal? What if we each looked beyond ‘We The People’ to ‘Me The Person’ and asked serious questions of ourselves?

  • Does my desire to be heard supersede my obligation to listen?
  • Is the light I desire to share dimmed by a self-righteous superiority of attitude with which I try to share that light?
  • Have I relegated myself to the comfort of my like-minded friends for fear of clashing with a conflicting culture?
  • Do the words I speak live up to the life that I have been given, or has my life made His words irrelevant to a watching & listening world?

white-house-451544_960_720Steadfast Hope

Our nation’s hope is not dependent upon changing cultural winds or political outcomes.  It was not decimated when President Obama left the White House nor did it arrive with President Trump.  Our hope is in a God who is in control and does not change. Psalm 103:19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.

God’s sovereignty was not sideswiped by this vicious election nor is it weakened by the bombastic and violent assertions of people wanting us to know they matter. Psalm 11:4 The Lord is in His holy temple, The Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. God sets up kings and establishes kingdoms according to His purpose. He knows what’s happening here.

How About You

Are you concerned about the unknowns of upcoming days? While it is unnerving to be sure, we need not quiver in a corner waiting for the proverbial hammer to fall. Rather, let’s examine our own hearts and determine what we can do to be part of the mending of our land. Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. While we wait on God to turn the king’s (president’s) heart; maybe we should ask Him to turn ours as well.

God bless you and keep you,

Roxanne

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. ® Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Rebel Chickens and Children

Penny PortraitPenny is the sweetest little chicken. She follows me around the yard and meets me at the car when I come home from work. She found a dirt pile one day and it fast became her favorite place to be. She rolls around in it and works the dirt into her feathers. It doesn’t look appealing to me but it’s both cleansing and relaxing to her. I prefer a warm bath and candles myself, but to each chick her own I guess.

While outside one morning a storm worked its way toward us. I tried to get Penny to her coop but she wasn’t having it. She wouldn’t follow me and ran away when I tried to grab hold of her. The wind kicked up and rain began to fall. No matter what I tried she wanted nothing to do with leaving that pile of dirt. I went inside and asked God to protect my stubborn chicken.

Penny Hutch

Make-shift Shelter

Once the rain subsided I found Penny holed up in the remnants of a rabbit hutch that some animal had torn apart. “Well, have you had enough?” She stared at me. “Come on, let’s go home.” Without hesitation she crawled out of the hutch and followed close behind me to her coop. I opened the door and she stepped in without a fuss. It’s amazing what a storm will do to bring a chicken to her senses. While that hutch provided a small measure of shelter from the wind and rain, it provided no safety at all from predators.

Rebellion & Bondage

Not wanting to stay within the parameters God set for them and refusing to follow Him, the children of Israel chose to run away from God and live according to the dictates of the culture. He gave them instruction on how to live to ensure a peaceful and prosperous life and to protect them from danger but they wanted no part of it. They were taken captive by a cruel enemy, suffered great deprivation and lived in bondage. God did promise them a way out, “and they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid.” Ezekiel 34:28. It would be 70 years before they would be released but they would be ready to follow Him.

What is it about the dirt piles of this world, the lure of the forbidden that we find so appealing? We have a kind and faithful shepherd that offers green pastures and still waters yet we want dirt. He longs to gently lead us but it often takes a storm to get our attention. “But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.” Proverbs 1:33. It’s amazing what a storm will do to bring us to our senses.

How About You

Have you found yourself drawn to someone or something that you knew wasn’t right for you, only to end up in disaster? Are you there right now, holed up in a place you were never meant to be? God has offered Himself as a place of refuge. “Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; In You I take shelter.” Psalm 143:9.

God bless you and keep you,

Roxanne 

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. ® Copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Substance and Evidence

20160125_102655A heavy snowfall made both town and country roads hazardous and in some spots impassable for standard vehicles. That left me stuck at home and my husband stuck at work for two days. Once the roads were cleared, my husband was able to drive home; though not up our long driveway. He parked in front and trudged up the snowy path to the house. A neighbor saw the truck parked at the road and offered to bring the skip-loader over and remove the snow. 

Seeing is Believing

The following morning I sought quiet time to read and pray before starting my day but just couldn’t focus. I couldn’t find the words of thanks or praise. Going outside had often cured that problem so I took a walk. I noticed the driveway that had been covered with knee-deep snow was completely cleared and a rather large pile of snow stood at the far end of the driveway.

Though I never saw the neighbor, or his equipment working, I saw the substance: a cleared driveway & huge pile of snow and the evidence: very large tire tracks. The man said he would clear it, he said how he would do it and all the evidence backed it up.  I believe.

Believing is Seeing

While we have no trouble attributing sky scrapers and farmhouses to unseen architects and builders, we struggle with the concept of a God we cannot see. We fail to apply the same principles of reason when it comes to creation and the word of God. The order & whimsy and simplicity & majesty we see in nature testify of a creator. Consider Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.”

While I have no trouble believing in God, sometimes trusting Him is a different story. Circumstances loom large in front of me and, though I don’t doubt His being, I have at times forgotten about Him and His capabilities. Jesus addressed this common problem in the Sermon on the Mount. He said, “Look at the birds of the air” and “Consider the lilies of the field.” Matt. 6:26 & 28. Understanding the definition of faith helps. Hebrews 11:1-“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  All that we see gives us reason to believe the One we cannot see.

How About You?

Do you get stuck in your faith with a lack of faith? Do you worry about how you’re going to make it or where help will come from? You may even wonder if God exists at all. God’s message to His people applies to us as well. Jeremiah 29:13And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” If you really want to know ‘if God can’ or ‘if God is’, look around you and listen. Creation speaks.

God bless you and keep you,

Roxanne

Read more about reasons for faith in Psalm 19, Matthew 6 & Hebrews 11.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. ® Copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.