Coffee Break – 05.30.2016

Your Monday Dose Of Inspiration - Memorial Day Edition

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.

Coffee Break

We all need to be reminded of the sacrifice that many have given to ensure our freedom. In honor of Memorial Day, I thought you might appreciate reading President Reagan’s Memorial Day Proclamation for May 25, 1981.

Over one hundred years ago, Memorial Day was established to commemorate those who died in the defense of our national ideals. Our ideals of freedom, justice, and equal rights for all have been challenged many times since then, and thousands of Americans have given their lives in many parts of the world to secure those same ideals and insure for their children a lasting peace. Their sacrifice demands that we, the living, continue to promote the cause of peace and the ideals for which they so valiantly gave of themselves.

Today, the United States stands as a beacon of liberty and democratic strength before the community of nations. We are resolved to stand firm against those who would destroy the freedoms we cherish. We are determined to achieve an enduring peace — a peace with liberty and with honor. This determination, this resolve, is the highest tribute we can pay to the many who have fallen in the service of our Nation.

In recognition of those Americans whom we honor today, the Congress, by joint resolution of May 11, 1950 (64 Stat. 158), has requested the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and a period during such day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, 1981, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 o’clock in the morning of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to cooperate in this observance. I also request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the appropriate officials of all local units of Government to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff during this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control, and I request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

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:

Memorize Scripture: 1 Peter 1:7

Hiding God’s Word In Our Hearts

Verse seven, of Peter’s first chapter, is one of my favorite verses, and is easily one of the most recognizable verses about the endurance of our faith as believers.

Take a moment and read it for yourself. You can find it in 1 Peter 1:7.

1 Peter 1:7

Peter has just been speaking of the certainty of trials and tribulations that we will face. This is one of the major themes of his letter, and he will come back to it again. But here, he gives a brief reason for why such things happen to Christians: They help to refine our faith.

When we suffer for the sake of Christ, those who are persecuting us, and ultimately, the main enemy, Satan, intend it for harm. But God can and will turn it for good.

This brings to mind Joseph’s statement to his brothers in Genesis 50:20:

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

The analogy that Peter uses is one of gold, a most precious of metals. As gold is heated in the smelting process, the impurities can be strained out, leaving only the precious metal.

Summer Of Service

One of my strongest spiritual gifts is in the area of discipleship. And the best way that I can achieve that is found in one of my other strongest gifts, teaching. But is that the only way to disciple?

Summer Of Service

Although teaching, in a classroom setting, or a home study, or even some one on one situations, is often the way that we create and grow disciples, is it the only way? Or even the best way?

I am very comfortable teaching a Bible class or study, and the more I do that, the more comfortable I am. In fact, when I was presented with the idea that we do something different this summer, I was hesitant at first. Simply because teaching is within my comfort zone. Other stuff might not be.

But the more I thought about it, the more I discovered that maybe discipleship happens in several different ways, and not all of them involve a teaching/classroom setting. Sometimes disciples are grown by getting out and doing what disciples do.

To that end, we are trying something new at our church this summer. We are calling it the Summer of Service, and we have a lot of pretty good ideas that can pull all the different ages and groups in our church together to work together as we grow together. It may be a bit uncomfortable for some, but we believe that it will be a valuable summer experience, helping us identify our role as a disciple more clearly, and acting upon it.

Coffee Break – 05.23.2016

Your Monday Dose Of Inspiration

On this day in history: In 1785, Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter that he had invented bifocals. In 1876, Boston’s Joe Borden pitched the very first no-hitter in the history of the National League. And in 1934, police kill famous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde near Sailes, Louisiana.

Coffee Break

Ikawa Pro Sample Roaster – I would one day like to purchase a professional coffee roaster. For now, my air popper will have to do.

A Brief History Of Internet Milestones – All this started in 1971, the year I was born, so in a very real sense, I grew up in this era. This is a very interesting infographic.

How To Remember Someone’s Name – Sometimes, I am notoriously bad at remembering names. And I suspect it will only get worse. Here are some great tips for helping the memory work better when it comes to names.

Read Scripture: Judges – The Bible Project has released several videos illustrating the timelines of different books of the Bible. Here is the one for Judges.

Memorize Scripture: 1 Peter 1:5-6

Hiding God’s Word In Our Hearts

Peter introduced the concept of an inheritance in the opening sentences of his letter. In this week’s passage, he expands upon that and reveals the purpose of his writing.

You can see this passage for yourself in 1 Peter 1:5-6.

1 Peter 1:5-6

Peter spent the previous couple of verses describing the inheritance that believers have, an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. It’s protected. It’s safe.

But that is not the only thing that God is protecting. God is also protecting us. Peter states that we are shielded by God’s power. This has a military connotation, and speaks of an active protection. He is guarding us from the dangers that we will face, which he will address in the next verses.

But just what is this inheritance that Peter is referring to? What have we to look forward to, that Peter is so excited about? It’s nothing less than “the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Peter states that it is kept in heaven, being safe-guarded for us, but it will be revealed at the end time. This is our hope. This is our focus. This is what we long for, knowing that we are not meant for this world. In Christ, we have a living hope, a salvation that is held by God himself.