If you ever get the chance to go to Washington, DC, you have to make time to go to Arlington National Cemetery. The fields are full of white crosses lined perfectly in rows across beautiful hills. You can walk for hours around the cemetery and still not see every cross. It’s a sobering reminder of so many who gave their life in service of this country. When you walk around the cemetery, you also notice the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, in every kind of weather, men and women guard the unknown soldiers who gave their all.

There’s also a wall in DC that has the names of those who died in Vietnam. It is over 246 feet long and contains over 58,000 names of soldiers who died in that war or went musing in action. As you walk along beside it, there are people with paper and pencils who find the name of a loved one and create a rubbing of it to take as a souvenir. It’s their way of remembering the person who sacrificed so much for this country. I remember tearing up as I read the names and watched people visit this wall. I didn’t know a name on it, but God knows every one.

On Memorial Day, we set aside time as a nation to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our way of life. Whether you agree with war or not, whether you agree with the politicians who sent these soldiers over seas or not, take moment today to honor those soldiers who died giving you the right to express that opinion. So many places in this world, so many “free” countries don’t give their citizens the right to have a dissenting opinion of the government or it’s officials. Our military members stand guard each day to protect our borders, our way of life and our freedoms.

As the saying goes, “All gave some. Some gave all.” Today, we say thank you to those who gave all. We pray for families who lost a mother, father, son, daughter, husband, wife, brother or sister. While we light up the grill and lay by the pool, they grieve over a family that is forever changed. It’s not just the soldier who paid a high price, the family did as well. If you know a family who has paid that price, send them a text or Facebook message to say thank you. Let them know their sacrifice isn’t forgotten and it wasn’t in vain. Honor them today by showing your appreciation.

Romans 13:7  reminds to pay respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.Today, amid all the fun and sun, find your own way to pay respect and honor to the fallen soldiers. Find a way to say thank you. If you see an active duty military person, shake their hand, say thank you, teach your children to respect them and to honor their service. One day they may be called up on pay the ultimate price for you and they will willingly go and pay it whether you agree with them or not because that’s what they do. They honor us with their lives, we honor them with our appreciation.

Our Responsibility to Rest

Psalms 37:1-8 promises, “[God] will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalms 37:4). But it also names three requirements for that promise: We must delight in the Lord, we should trust in His plan, and we need to rest in Him. Resting in the Lord is one of the hardest tasks we must undertake.

Resting may sound easy, but it requires supernatural courage, since in our human weakness, we tend to fret. Worry turns our minds away from delight and trust in the Lord. The three requirements are interrelated. We must enjoy spending time with God in order to learn to trust Him and commit to His way; our trust is absolutely essential to resting in Him; and we must be willing to rest in order to truly delight in Him.

Patiently waiting for the Lord to act is one of the supreme tests of our spiritual maturity. The stronger our desire is, the shorter our delay fuse. Sometimes we may desperately want to give God a timetable, but genuine, restorative rest occurs on His schedule. Only He understands every circumstance and knows the precise moment when answering our prayer will yield maximum benefit. We risk reaping disappointment, pain, and loss whenever we push ahead of His divine timeline.

Before you get out of bed each day, say a prayer like this one: Father, I want to thank You for giving me the desires of my heart. Today, I am going to delight myself in You, commit everything to You, and rest in the knowledge that You have everything under control. And I will wait for Your perfect timing.

If you follow the guidance of Psalms 37, God will richly bless you.

From the sermons of Charles F. Stanley

Expanded Lives

In a fascinating, kid-friendly science experiment, a bar of Ivory soap heated in a microwave writhes and expands into a unique, billowy shape. The change is due to Charles’ Law, which describes how a gas, such as that contained in pockets inside a bar of Ivory, expands as its temperature increases. The soap can still be used as normal, though it’s now fragile and flaky.

When the Holy Spirit enters us, we expand as well. Our Spirit-enlarged lives may seem misshapen to some, no longer conforming to the world’s expectations. But our uniqueness reflects the creativity of our Triune God, who reveals himself to people in many
different ways.

Our hearts expand and soften too, opening to other people’s needs and concerns, while our God-created purpose remains: to be a force of love and care — of cleansing and renewal — in the world.

Used by permission of The Newsletter Newsletter

The Gift of Tears

By Cindy Hess Casper

I called a longtime friend when his mother died. She had been a close friend of my mother, and now both had passed on. As we spoke, our conversation slipped easily into a cycle of emotion—tears of sorrow now that Beth was gone and tears of laughter as we recalled the caring and fun person she had been.

Many of us have experienced that strange crossover from crying one moment and laughing the next. It’s an amazing gift that emotions of both sorrow and joy can provide a physical release in this way.

Since we are made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26), and humor is such an integral part of almost every culture, I imagine that Jesus must have had a wonderful sense of humor. But we know that He also knew the pain of grief. When his friend Lazarus died, Jesus saw Mary weeping, and “He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.” A short time later, He too began to weep
(John 11:33-35).

Our ability to express our emotions with tears is a gift, and God keeps track of each tear we cry. Psalm 56:8 says, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (nlt). But one day—we are promised (Rev. 7:17)—God “will wipe away every tear.”

Lord, You have made us to laugh, to cry, to yearn, to love—and to miss those who have gone before us. Help us to love even more deeply, confident in Your goodness and in the resurrection You promise.

Our loving heavenly Father, who washed away our sins,
will also wipe away our tears

Teachable Moment

by Adrain Rogers

Train Your Children

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24

A boy responded disrespectfully to his mother, and his dad responded this way:

“Son, when you disrespected your mother, you sinned against God because God says you are to honor her (Exodus 20:12). You’re going to have to answer to God for that. And you sinned against her, and you’re going to have to answer to her for that.”

But then he added, “Not only is she your mother, she’s my wife. And you’re not going to talk that way to my wife. Now you’ve got me to deal with because you have disrespected my wife.”

What kind of lesson is that to a youngster? For a husband to protect his wife is one of the greatest lessons I have ever heard in my life!

Personal Salvation

A good friend who grew up in church and thought he was saved, excepted the Lord this week as his personal Lord and Savior. Every Sunday people sit in church buildings with a false sense of security. They assume that their morality, lifelong church membership, or baptism will earn them a place in heaven. While many of these folks sincerely desire to please God, they are confused about what the Christian life is all about. They think in terms of doing rather than being. So they imitate the actions of good Christians: going to a weekly service, praying, reading the Bible, and trying to be decent people.

However, salvation is not the product of good works. We come into the world with a corrupt nature, and all our wrongdoing is born of a heart turned away from the Lord. Because we are sinful people, we sin. It’s that simple. The good news is that in the salvation experience, we are given a brand-new nature (2 Cor. 5:17)Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.. Our sin is wiped away because Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for us. From the moment we trust in Him, the Holy Spirit dwells in our heart so that we can live righteously.

The world values action, but the Father prioritizes relationship–specifically a right relationship with Him. People who scurry about flaunting religiosity are missing out on the deeply satisfying and joyous intimacy between a believer and the Lord.

We can help turn others’ tragic misunderstanding into triumph by being ready to explain why we have hope (1 Peter 3:15). Speak of the personal relationship with Christ that’s possible when a person admits his need and trusts in the Savior. If your light shines, it reflects well on the church.

The First Step To Setting Things Right

By Adrian Rogers

The Lord Jesus said, “Moreover if thy brother trespass against thee,
go and tell him his fault
” (Matthew 18:15).

You say, “He’s the one that did wrong. If he wants forgiveness let him come and ask for it.”

But Jesus said, “No, you go to him.” Whether you are in the right or whether you are in the wrong, as a child of God, you are to go to that individual.

Isn’t that what God did in the Garden of Eden? Adam and Eve sinned against God and the Bible tells us that God came looking for them: “Adam, where art thou?” That was not the voice of a detective. That was the voice of a God Who pursues us to forgive us.

Stop right now and ask God to show you if you have an unforgiving spirit toward someone. Then, in His power and strength, call that person and ask his/her forgiveness. It’s going to be impossible in your strength, but remember, God does the impossible.