Posts tagged ‘soldiers’

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.

May 24, 2012

Memorial Day

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hpebley3/3504265592/

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend, when we unofficially kick off the summer. There will be races, baseball, concerts and cookouts. Schools will be letting out for the last long weekend and people will be making their first beach trips of the year. Yet none of this has anything to do with the original purpose for Memorial Day.
The original purpose was a day of healing and remembering the fallen soldiers of the Civil war when General John Logan ordered flowers put on the graves of the Union and Confederate soldiers buried in Arlington National Cemetery . Over the years flowers and flags have been place on all the graves in Arlington and through-out cemeteries all across the USA where fallen soldiers are buried. Most big events like the races and ballgames have a special events honoring these fallen heroes and I am grateful. But unless you go to an event like that, very little is mentioned about the meaning of this day among the people.
I will be heading up to Washington DC for Rolling Thunder. It is a motorcycle rally and parade through the DC area to honor the Vietnam Vets and especially the MIA, (missing in action) and POW (prisoners of war) who were never returned. There will be nearly a million motorcyclist gathered for this event that tops it all off with a parade that runs through the historic DC area. This will be my third time going and each time has been a blessing and an honor.
During a political season, especially one where the presidency is at stake, Americans practice their freedom of speech like never before. As much as I hate some of the hatefulness of the rhetoric, I am reminded of those who died for this freedom and I have to be thankful. Even if you hate everything about our country and you are a citizen here, you have rights that are yours because someone cared enough to fight for them. Many of those who fought for your right to speak freely, will never speak again with words from their mouth, but they continue to scream “You are free!” because of their actions on the battle field that sent them to the grave.
When General Logan decided to have a day honoring the fallen of both sides of the Civil war, his purpose was to have reconciliation and strengthen peace. A flower on a grave will never honor a fallen warrior as much as you having the freedom to speak of their heroics will. We can honor their service by putting aside our differences for a weekend and speaking of the good that came from their deaths. We can say thanks to those in uniform who are still serving. Why not give them some flowers or buy their lunch or simply shake their hands and say thanks. Don’t forget those who served in the past who are still alive. Many veterans struggle with a deep feeling of not being appreciated for the years that they served. If you know a veteran, tell them thanks for their service.
We live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. The free are free because the brave are unselfish. Many of those brave gave the ultimate sacrifice for us to be free. They would want nothing more than for you to have a great time this weekend enjoying the freedom that they died for. But please don’t let this weekend go by without taking a moment to remember those whose gave it all so that we could have such a great place to live. God bless those who sacrificed. Jesus said, “No great love can a man have than to lay down his life for a friend.” God bless America!