Posts tagged ‘Army’

September 14, 2012

Watching and Waiting

by pastortimfowler

Jesus is Coming

One of the elements of the Christian faith is the promise of the return of Jesus Christ to earth. The details of when and how are often a subject of debate among believers, but it is not something that believers disagree will happen. The truth of the matter is that Jesus said that no man will know the our or the day, and therefore we should be waiting and watchful. This means for some 2000 years now Christians have been watching. That sure is a long time; when is it enough and we are going to say, forget about it?
2 Peter 3:3-4 First, you must understand this: In the last days people who follow their own desires will appear. These disrespectful people will ridicule God’s promise
4 by saying, “What’s happened to his promise to return? Ever since our ancestors died, everything continues as it did from the beginning of the world.”

Just 20-30 years after the death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven of Jesus, Peter wrote this to the believers who were getting a little tired of waiting. So it is no small wonder that believers today, some 2000 years later are getting tired of watching and waiting. I encourage you to read all of Peter’s second letter, especially the third chapter. He tells us that we need to remember that time for God is not the same as it is for us. He says that a day with the Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years is just like a day. We get caught up on God working on our time when we should be preparing to work on His eternal time.
When the early church was told to watch and to wait they were being told a military term. Most people think of watching and waiting as is we are watching a TV show that we don’t like as we wait on our favorite show to come on. This is far from what we are supposed to be doing. The military is on constant watch. They are waiting for two things; the enemy to attack and the commander to return if he is gone.
The first is an obvious thing for a military watch to do. These watches, or soldiers who are assigned positions of surveillance, were always alert, attentive to what they were told to do, and did not sit down with their feet propped up. Because the enemy rarely gives you a warning that they are going to attack, this watch did not get comfortable. Lives were at stake and they knew it. At the first sign of a potential threat, the alarm was sounded and all the other soldiers went into action.
The second thing a military watch was for was to wait for the commanders return. When the commander was away, the unit went into a mode of operation that included a certain vulnerability to internal strife. The return of the commander meant security in leadership. His return was always marked with an announcement of his return. It was a good thing to have the commander return to his people. Upon his return, the soldiers would all tighten up the ranks and walk a little taller and a little more circumspect. There was usually an inspection of the troops upon his return, so the time of waiting was not idle time but rather preparation time. Rewards were usually given out for those who performed their duties in an outstanding fashion.
So Christians are to be waiting and watching. We should be ever aware of an enemy that is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he can devour. We should be waiting on the return of our Commander who is returning and will have rewards with Him. He is returning, we don’t know when, but we do know that when He does, He will gather us all together for a time of inspection and rewards. We are not waiting for the next show to begin, we are waiting Jesus to return. We are not watching a show that gets boring and puts us to sleep. We are watching a battle for souls and we are the soldiers who will be victorious.
Don’t get comfortable and go to sleep. Drink a cup of spiritual coffee. I suggest the 2 Peter brand for an eye opener. If that don’t do it, perhaps a shot of Revelation 19 will do it. Meanwhile the rest of us need to make sure our whole set of armor is on and ready for inspection, but even more so, ready for battle. This war is hell, but the winner is Heaven.

December 8, 2011

Spending Time With Kids

by pastortimfowler

Tomorrow I am heading to Washington DC to see the Army/Navy football game being played there Saturday. This will be the second year in a row, and I am stoked to get to do it again. Being a Navy veteran and the son of a Navy veteran, it has always been a special game for me. What makes it even better is that my son is going with me again. It would be great if both of my sons, and even my daughter, could go, but that just isn’t possible.
I have been blessed to have a great relationship with my adult children. We can talk about most anything. Our favorite subject is their mother, but that is another blog for another time. We enjoy hanging out and have fun when we do. And this all started when they were small children.
I was definitely not the perfect parent when they were little. But I had a desire to spend time with them and to try to be. From the time my daughter was in preschool, we went to dances and father/daughter date nights and I rarely missed a game that she cheered for. My boys and I fished, play video games and I coached their teams when they played sports. I even played “roady” for my youngest son’s band for a couple of years. My wife and I tried to take vacations that had us all spending time together rather than finding a place to entertains us as individuals. Sure we had some vacation nightmares, but for the most part, we always enjoyed our time together.
So now that they are adults, we still find time to hang out. What is cool is that I see them spending time with their children now. Taking them to ballgames, cool vacations, and special events of music and plays. I can’t tell you how special that is because I know that these times spent bonding now will last a lifetime and will grow into a habit of spending quality time together for years to come.
Don’t think that your children don’t want to spend time with you. Parents don’t have to be best friends in everything, but they do need to be examples of how to have a good time with the one’s you love. Those things are priceless lessons that embed in the heart and grow to be memories that never fade and continue to be made every time you get a new chance to spend a special moment together. If parents teach children how to have a good time, then they won’t have to learn it from other kids who have no parental influence in their lives.
So tomorrow there won’t be a blog. I will be driving to DC with my oldest son to spend Saturday at the stadium watching a game that I have loved ever since I was a kid watching it with my dad. GO NAVY! BEAT ARMY!

December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor

by pastortimfowler

70 years ago today, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, drawing the USA into World War 2. For those who survived it, the memories are still crystal clear and the emotions can be triggered in a flash. Fewer and fewer of these people are alive today and there will soon be a day when the only people who remember it will be the ones who have heard about it through the stories passed down.
I had the privilege of serving in the Navy for 9 years and 4 of those were spent in Hawaii, stationed at Pearl Harbor. Every year there is a parade of the ships past the memorials of the sunken ships. The USS Arizona is the most popular of these and that ship has never been decommissioned due to the over 1000 sailors who make it their final resting place. There is a crew that raises and lowers the American flag every day, same as on any other ship. It is an amazing piece of American history.
This parade of ships is quite the spectacle. They dress out the ships with all of their flags and the crews line the rails in full dress uniform. As they pass by the Arizona, all hands come to attention and render a hand salute and a minute of silence passes before the whistle to return to parade rest. As you continue around Ford Island, which is in the middle of Pearl Harbor, you continue to pass by the other ships that were sunk on that day. After about an hour, the parade is finished and work goes about as normal. But the rest of the day is filled with talk of how special that parade was and the memories of all those who died that day.
Every year this event is marked as a national day of remembrance. It isn’t tangled in politics and it isn’t clouded with rumors of vast conspiracies. It doesn’t have dark clouds of race or ethnic hatred. Other than naming the country that attacked, it is simply a reminder of a day that will live in infamy. It is a day where most Americans reflect on the fragile state of this world and its ability to be a dangerous and violent place and the fact that when and if that ever happens, we have brave men and women in the Armed Forces, ready to defend us even before the first shot is fired.
Today, Pearl Harbor is a beautiful place where thousands of sailors and Marines serve and live. Each day, hundreds of tourists visit and see the Memorials and barely notice the ones who are serving daily, just like those who were serving there 70 years ago. They did not expect to have such an event, but when it happened they gave all. The same would be true for those who serve today, and many of them have been in battle due to the conflicts in the middle east. But none will be remembered like those who were there on Dec. 7, 1941.
If you see someone today who has served or is serving in the military, thank them for what they do. If you are fortunate enough to know someone who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor 70 years ago, talk to them and hear it from them and thank them. Every day the fine men and women of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Reserves, Guards, and Coast Guard, are ready to defend and protect us from any threat the world can offer. God bless them, and God bless the United States of America!