It starts out small – ankle high. But as you walk along the brick sidewalk, the wall grows higher and higher, listing more and more names. Somewhere along the path the significance of the list became overwhelming to when I realized that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial bears the names of nearly 50,000 young Americans who died in that conflict around 30 years ago. Many of those were High School classmates and Basic Training buddies of mine. Anita couldn’t understand why I couldn’t move on any faster, but the reality of those names being real persons was captivating.
Other lists include the 34,000 GIs who died in Korea and the nearly 300,000 who lost their lives during World War II. The other countries involved in those conflicts also have their lists of people whose dreams and hopes died with them in battle.
Today, as we remember those who gave their lives in defense of freedom, we need to think about a list that gives meaning to life – and death. It’s a list that God keeps. It’s not a register of the dead but a list of the eternal living called the Book of Life. Is your name listed there?
Tags: Memorial Day, Vietnam War
This week we talked about lessons learned from the story of the Amalek Memorial in the Old Testament. Many of those Old Testament stories have hidden moral lessons that can be gleaned when viewing them through the cross. As an introduction, I talked about the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, and how many have forgotten it was constructed to remember the brave veterans of World War II.
My earliest memory of the Coliseum was going there with Dad to watch the midget racers in the 1950’s. The exhaust fumes and tobacco smoke was so thick in there the government would shut it down these days. But nobody got sick and we all had a great time.
What is your remembrance about the Memorial Coliseum?
The late Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch prisoner of the Nazis during World War II and wrote several Christian books about her experiences. She had a great illustration of God at work in the life of a believer. She brought to the platform a limp, worn out glove and talked about how useless it was in that condition. Then she put her hand into that same limp glove, and, abra-cadabra, strength came to the glove.
The glove looked the same and still appeared worn and faded, but the hand within gave it new life. With that hand inside, that limp glove had the power to pick up things, throw things, and accomplish great tasks.
So it is with us. Although we may be limp and powerless, worn out with life’s pressures, yet when the Spirit of God comes within us there is nothing that we cannot do. Of course, it wasn’t the glove, but the hand, that had life. And so it is with us, not me, but the Spirit within that accomplishes great things.
Tags: Corrie ten Boom, glove, life, power, Spirit
In the mid-1970s, Ed Roberts created the world’s first commercially successful personal computer (PC). He hired a 19-year old named Bill Gates to write software for him.
Roberts sold his computer business in 1977 and bought a farm. Seven years later, at the age of 41, he entered medical school. Today Bill Gates is the head of the largest software company in the world. Ed Roberts is a physician in a small Georgia town.
So who is making a greater impact on the world, Roberts or Gates? Roberts says, “The implication is that the PC is the most important thing I’ve ever done, and I don’t think that’s true. Every day I deal with things that are equally if not more important here with my patients.”
Something deep within each of us tells us that significance cannot be measured by wealth and fame. What makes you significant?
Tags: Bill Gates, significance
Chris Swanson passed away yesterday morning, after struggling with colon cancer. Her husband, Doc Swanson, passed on several months ago. When he was suffering, she was there by his side, day after day, caring for him until the end.
Chris was very involved with Shelter Ministries in Auburn and had served by the side of her husband when he pastored a church in Avilla years ago.
Chris leaves behind a son, Sean, who will be a Senior this next year. I will remember Chris being a caring person who reached out to down-and-outers and helped them get back on their feet. She will be missed.
What will you remember about Chris Swanson?
You will likely remember the name Madalyn Murray O’Hair. She was profane and aggressive, devoting herself to attacking religion, and especially Christianity. Then, in 1995 at age 76, she mysteriously disappeared. Was she the victim of foul play or had she gone into hiding?
Before evidence eventually pointed to a former associate as the murderer, the Internal Revenue Service seized her personal belongings to pay delinquent taxes and personal debts.
O’Hair capitalized her life on mocking religion and what it stood for. In the end, it was the lack of submission to any moral standard that ended her life.
One item that sold for auction was a copper penny with the phrase “In God We Trust” scratched off, which sold for $10, and O’Hair’s personal Bible, which sold for $2,000. What had no value to her, found value in the hands of some collector.
What will your life’s possessions’ value be when you are gone?
An old legend tells of a reunion St. Francis of Assisi arranged in Italy’s Umbrian mountains for some of his Franciscan brothers. When they arrived one of them said, “God was so good to me. When my mule lost its footing on a narrow bridge, God saved me from falling over the edge into a deep gorge.” Everyone rejoiced.
A second brother said, “God was extremely kind to me also. While I was crossing a river, the current swept me away. I would have drowned had God not provided a fallen tree for me to grab.” Again there was great rejoicing.
Hearing those two miraculous stories, the brothers asked St. Francis to report on his journey to the reunion. He said, “I too thank God for His wonderful works. I experienced a fantastic miracle from Him on the way. He gave me a smooth, pleasant, completely uneventful trip.”
Some miracles we don’t even notice. What miracle has God done for you lately?
Tags: miracle, provision