Veteran's Day. Talk about a day worth celebrating. On Nov. 11, 1918, the armistice was signed essentially ending World War I. The next year, President Wilson proclaimed the day "should be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory." And since then, it has grown as an opportunity to honor the veterans, not just of World War I, but all those who have fought for our freedom.
Parents, as equitable as you may try to be, have your kids ever come up to you and said, "You know mom, that was really fair and even. Thanks so much." Or: "Dad, I like how you gave each of us just the right amount."
"You are a witness to your own decision," Joshua said. "You have chosen to serve the LORD." "Yes," they replied, "we are witnesses to what we have said." "All right then," Joshua said, "destroy the idols among you, and turn your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel." The people said to Joshua, "We will serve the LORD our God. We will obey him alone."
On Halloween, 1517, Martin Luther posted 95 statements that he thought needed to be thought about in the church. He thought the church needed reform. That's why the day has another name: Reformation Day (which we'll be celebrating at church this Sunday – You are all invited). You see, as a monk, then priest, then professor, the more Martin Luther studied the Bible, the more he realized that some of the things the church was saying and doing didn't agree with what God's Word said. So he raised some questions.
"What the world needs now is love sweet love. That's the one thing that there's just too little of..." Good song, isn't it? Jackie DeShannon sang it in 1965. But even though it's old, it's still true, isn't it? We need more love - in our world, in our country, in our government, in our cities, in our workplaces, at school, but especially in our families, in our homes. And here's the thing. Everyone knows it. Go down the street and ask every single person you meet if they'd prefer more love or ...
I want to lose 20 pounds. So I have to ask myself: Is a slimmer figure and a lower cholesterol number worth giving up soda? Or learning portion control? Or sacrificing so much other tasty stuff? I struggle with the question of whether it's worth it.
Then [Jesus] turned to his host. "When you put on a luncheon or a banquet," he said, "don't invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you."
"Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose."
This week, we've remembered the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001. Maybe you've already heard the tale of John McLoughlin and William Jimeno, those two Port Authority Policemen whose story Oliver Stone made into a movie a few years ago. You see, John and William were the guys rescued after being buried in the rubble for 13 and 21 hours respectively. Today, I want us to think about how that had to feel for those twelve and a half hours before they were found, completely surrounded by death, absolutely trapped and unable to move, buried under the debris of ...