Archive for November, 2012

The art og getting out-of-the-way. This is a tough one. It seems that most people want to help. We see this by the full food banks and out pouring of support for the hurricane Sandy victims. When we help solve problems we feel better about ourselves and we get a sense of accomplishments, however in some situations there comes a time when our help may be wanted but not needed and sometimes there comes a time when our help is more of a hurt.

Because helping people is so important even though help is not needed it is important to be ready to give it, but don’t until it is needed. Sometimes getting out-of-the-way and being available for when help is needed is the hardest and yet most helpful posture to take. Raising kids is often this way. I heard one wise older gentleman describe a mothers duty for her children as this.. “The mothers job is to slowly gently make herself unneeded in her child’s life.” That sounds harsh but does it sound worse than “You have to cut the apron strings at some time” ?

 

peace (and happy firday!) 

john3c

 

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Allow me to be the first to wish you a happy Friday eve! So happy Friday eve. You are almost there only a few more hours and it will be Friday end of the work week beginning of the weekend.

On my way to work this morning the radio is dominated by two subjects the budget talks in the United States Washington DC and the new government in China. unfortunately the talk on both subjects seems to have a very negative tone, then as if on time I see the marquee for one of the churches on my work route and it reads “The nation that turns from God will always be in turmoil” and this really resonates with me.

Now I am not sure your religious preference, I have always said that the right religion is the right one for you, but I know that at the heart of almost every major religion is love and respect for fellow-man and I know that with this principle the budget talks in DC can be accomplished and a compromise can be made in which everyone will have a bright future and with this same attitude in China the new government can ensure human rights and a strong nation.

The most powerful force in the world is love and as long as we keep ourselves centered on this everything else seems to work its way out

peace

john3c

 

Saturday night I went to the CMT Summer never ends concert in Savannah GA. The headliner was Jake Owen and the show was incredible. High energy great music, just had a really good time!

While at the concert in line waiting for drinks I began to notice first the theater. I really like this theater in the small town that is just forty minutes away from the small town I live in. There is a mezzanine and a balcony as well as a pit. The lobby is not decadent but not austere it is a great combination and the theater is used to host all kinds of events. I have been to dramatic and comedic plays in this theater, there has been the country music concert (like tonight) there has also been rock, rap, jazz and blues. I have with the kids seen the circus in the theater as well. The second thing I notice after taking note of the theater is the people at the concert are all dressed the same, and yes I include myself in that. Plaid is the order of the day and I wonder if the same people went to the other events like me and dressed differently like I did.

I am always amazed at how multi faceted people are. The world is a unique place and is full of many unique well-rounded individuals.

Oh yeah this guy Jake Owen and this concert is really good if it comes to your town or a town outside of your town you should definitely check it out worth the time and money

 

peace

john3c

 

Upon opening the bulletin at the church one is greeted with a page of announcements some literature about the importance of family and a prayer request list. The prayer list is updated and prayed over on a daily basis, there are sections for prayers to be made everyday of the week.  The list has prayers for the health of friends and families, traveling mercy for friends and families, there are a few requests for financial help from the lord there also. Then there is the testimonial section of the prayer list, here is where the miracles are listed.

A miracle is defined as an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause, or for those of us who love the simple and succinct, a marvel or a wonder.

I often wonder if based on this definition for a miracle that maybe the section of the prayer list should contain much more testimonials.

The Earth is the perfect place for creating and maintaining human life and while there is a fiery debate about the future of the Earths climate it remains the only one that can sustain human life. This fact in and of itself is miraculous. Am I saying that I should speak to the church committee for the prayer list and have the earth’s climate added to the list? No but when I pray and acknowledge God perhaps it would benefit me to  keep in mind the presence of “everyday miracles” and if  I can make this my prayer as well as my outlook on life itself maybe I will enjoy each moment a little more.

maybe the miracles I am looking for are right in front of me

peace

john3c

Veterans day was here yesterday so I guess I should change the title to read happy late Veteran’s day everyone.  I spent veterans at Sunday School morning service, the house for an afternoon football game and then the park for a nice Sunday afternoon jog (to burn off the extra calories found in the bag of chips that disappeared during the football game). Sounds like an idealistic lazy SUmday right? Well, it was anything but that….

Sunday School went off without a hitch. The lesson pointed out the importance of charity and giving to the church and fellow memebers.  So yeah Sunday School was great, after that we had our fellowship in the sanctuary, some wonderful hyms and a special song by some church members. I suffered through the part of the service were they passed the plate for tithes and offerings and something odd happened. The minisster asked if all the veterans would come to the front of the sanctuary. There I was at the end of the line at the front of the church sanctuary, listening to the minister compliment us on our service and thank us for  service and then the preacher asked that each of us step forward give our name and branch we served or were serving in. So far everything is fine I have a healthy fear of public speaking not a phobia but he also asked that each of us relive and let the church now of a time we felt protected during our service by God.

I was taken off-guard I had spent only three years in the military as a young person and I am convicned to this day that every one of my one tousand ninety five days had the hand of God on them. I had purposely choosen the last spot in line when making my way to the front of the room and no I thought that perhaps choosing this spot was a mistake.

Our church demographics run the gambit with age and we are becoming (slowly more diverse with nationality and race), up there before I spoke I heard stories of veterans from the jungles of Vietnam and southeast Asia, the deserts of Iraq, the moutains of Afghanistan and even some from the rivers and of Bosnia.

The men and women who stood up there have seen there share of heart ache while in service and that was being shared at this church service. The tears were flowing and the tissues were out both in the pews and in the front of the sanctuary. I began to contemplate the prospect of running for my seat, but realized my embarassment would force me to pass by my seat and B line it to my car and then I would be compelled by my embarassment to find a new church to frequent, and this was all too much, so I swallowed my fear and my made my statement and did it tear free.

I began to wonder why the minister had choose to do this. My wondering about the why got me to thinking about why we remmeber veterans and why their stories are so important.

War is hell. This is a truth that is, in this day and age of instant news coverage and technology that connects us yet works hard to distance us from reality, a truth  easily forgotten. It is in hearing veterans retell their dark stories that we can be reaffirmed of the hell that is war. “Managed Chaos”, was how I once heard a general describe it. The cost of war is high!

“It is only the dead who have seen the end of war”

The origins for this quote are unsure. It has been (as many quotes have) said that this quote comes from Plato. I am unsure of it’s origins however it does seem that based on history, the physical and emotional scars from conflict that the quote despite uncertainty in it’s origin is very true.

We celebrate here in the United States and remember or military veterans on the same day peace was declared ending World War I, it seems proper and nessecary to remember our veterans and their stories so that we can if possible avoid the hell that is war.

Happy late Veterans Day and God bless all who have served and all of their families.

Checking my e-mail I see a message with a link. The link takes me to what I consider to be a reputable website www.wallbuilders.com . If you get the chance you should visit the site and look around. The wallbuilders organization is a oraginzation working to preserve the history of the United States of America. To read the site it is “an organization dedicated to presenting America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built”.

“While we read history we make history.”   George William Curtis

remember today is simply tomorrows history and on that vein there was an article about the current presidents hostility towards the Christian religion. http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=106938 

I read the article and I couldn’t help but think of the John Lennon song Imagine. This was one of the most beautiful songs sang by John and If I recall the lyrics there is a call for no religion, no countries just people living together as one.

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

No matter what party or religion we are we should first remember that we are part of the human race and the most powerful force in the human race is love.

peace

john3c

In the front of the church there are dozens of shoe boxes wrapped in Christmas paper and empty. The boxes disappear, taken home by the members, to be filled with presents and hygiene products. The boxes will reappear this week and be sent to under privileged children world-wide. The ministry is part of Samaritans Purse and is called operation Christmas Drop. http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/its_shoe_box_time1/ 

Samaritans purse is headed by the eldest son of Billy Graham, Franklin Graham and today is Billys birthday. Happy birthday Billy! Billy Graham is a 94-year-old evangelist who has been evangelizing and spreading the christian faith through compassionate actions and fiery revivals for over fifty years.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Graham

Billy preached with Martin Luther King Jr. and even bailed Dr. King out of jail after some protests. The Billy Graham ministries have reached over 2.2 billion people and even created their own pavilion for the 1964 New York Worlds fair. I found it amazing that his compassionate ministry is carried own by his sons. I also find it odd that on his birthday politicans celebrate victories or learn from defeats and even in the greatest victory no politician will have the positive impact this man has through compassion and charity on the world!

Happy Birthday Billy!

 

peace

John3c