In the United States, today is Memorial Day. Originally observed in 1868, and called Decoration Day, this day was established as a day to decorate the graves of those who were killed in the Civil War. After World War I, the observance was expanded to include those who fell in all American wars. Memorial Day was officially declared a national holiday by Congress in 1971, and placed on the last Monday in May.
In honor of Memorial Day, today’s Coffee Break is focused on remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for American freedom. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who have lost loved ones defending the American Way.
If you are interested n finding out more about Memorial Day, here are a few resources.
I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country. – Nathan Hale
Paul stated clearly that, in spite of some people’s motives for preaching, he rejoices that the message is being preached. In this week’s passage, he continues to rejoice, knowing that God is accomplishing his purposes, no matter what happens.
See this passage for yourself in Philippians 1:18c-20:
Paul continues to rejoice because he knows that he prayers of the Philippians are being expressed earnestly for his deliverance, and that the Holy Spirit is working in the same manner.
Paul fully realizes this this deliverance could come in any shape or form. He knows that his deliverance could be through the form of death, and he anticipates that even. But he also knows that if this deliverance comes in a physical release from prison, then he will continue to serve Christ. This is very evident in verse 21, which we look at in detail next week.
In these verse, however, he expresses his resolve that he will not be ashamed, but that he will continue to preach the gospel faithful, no matter what the outcome may be.
This passage gives us some specific truth about the nature of prayer. The Philippians prayed. And the Holy Spirit answered and moved in response to that prayer. Often throughout Scripture, the idea of deliverance is closely tied to the activity of prayer.
Between us and heaven or hell there is only life, which is the frailest thing in the world.
Life can throw you a curve ball occasionally.
Several days ago, I shared some ideas on how to rejuvenate yourself when you’re tired. Not just physically tired, but when you are spiritually tired and worn out.
I shared that because that’s where I am in my own life right now.
But there’s more.
Over the past several months, my wife has been watching me and keeping copious amounts of notes and observations. I’ve been dealing with several small issues, from depression to stress to headaches and high blood pressure. I’ve had aches and pains, and have been overly tired to the point where I felt like I needed a nap several times a day.
Each of these things, by themselves, don’t seem like that much. But when you add them all together….
My wife sat me down, and presented her observations and research. To the best of our own self-diagnosing abilities, and with the help of Dr. Google, she determined that I may be dealing with some heart issues.
There is a lot of history attached to this date. Here are a few of the more interesting things that have happened: In 1302, the weaver Peter de Coningk led a massacre of the Flemish oligarchs. Montreal, Canada, was founded in 1642. In 1942, New York ended night baseball games for the duration of World War II. In 1949, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America was incorporated. And on this day in 1980, Mt. Saint Helens erupted in Washington state. 57 people were killed and 3 billion in damage was done.
Cold Brewed Coffee On The Cheap – I love making coffee in a variety of different ways. One of my favorite ways is to use my Coffee Toddy, and cold brew my coffee. But if you don’t want to spend the money on one of these, you can do it very inexpensively. This article explains how.
Amazing Dinosaurs – I love Fake Science! This is one of my favorite websites to crawl through when I need a chuckle. I also love dinosaurs. So, naturally, I love what they’ve done here.
Berlin Battleground – 70 Years Later – This is a very interesting comparison of several images taken by a Russian photographer during WWII, and the corresponding locations today. The newer shots are even taken using the same kind of camera and black and white film to make them as close as possible to the originals.
The thought that Paul began at the beginning of this paragraph, which we looked at last week, is continued in the remainder of this passage. Last week, we saw his thoughts about those who preach from pure motives. In this passage, he turns to those whose motives are wrong.
You can see it for yourself in Philippians 1:17-18b:
Paul addressed those who preach from pure motives at the beginning of this passage. His attention now turns to those who have the wrong motives for preaching. These people are probably those who are jealous of Paul’s leadership and authority, wanting to hold such positions themselves. It is worth noting again that Paul does not condemn these people for preaching incorrect doctrine. He only addresses their motives.
These teachers and preachers were placing their own egos and their desire for recognition above the message of the gospel. They were preaching the truth, but they were doing it for the wrong reasons.
It seems as if they were doing as much as possible to stir up trouble for Paul, in whatever way that they could. Just how they were doing this is not clear. It may be that they were intentionally preaching to stir up the community, knowing that Paul was in prison. This could adversely affect his legal standing, and cause serious problems.
However, Paul’s perspective is not what they expect. Instead of attempting to stop them, Paul finds encouragement in what they are doing. After all, either way, the gospel is being preached!
The Dark Side Of Charles Darwin (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2011)
One of the icons of evolutionary science for the past couple of centuries has been Charles Darwin. But was he really all that people think he was? Was he a brilliant scientist? Or did he lie and plagiarize the idea of others in order to establish the theory of natural selection and dethrone Christianity?
In Jerry Bergman’s book, The Dark Side Of Charles Darwin, many of these questions are examined, and more, concluding that Darwin wasn’t all he presented to the world. He had a dark side. And it was pretty dark.
The Dark Side Of Charles Darwin was an extremely interesting book. I highly recommend that you read it. You can pick up a copy at Amazon.com.