Archives for June 2014

Proud to be an American, Post #36

Have you noticed it also? The stores are packed with various sizes of American flags and patriotic bunting. The metal trailers for selling fireworks are cropping up throughout the city. Even the clothing stores are featuring larger quantities of patriotic attire. It’s coming soon… The Fourth of July, our nation’s 238th birthday.

Or could this resurgence of patriotism be because of the US Soccer Team’s success in the World Cup…

…or because of the recent 70th anniversary of World War II’s D-Day, the world-changing storming of Normandy on June 6th, 1944?  Whatever the reasons are for the patriotism and more flag waving in our yards and businesses, it’s inspiring and refreshing.

If you are like me, I couldn’t stop watching the television interviews recently of the World War II veterans as they tearfully recalled the moments of that June 6th, 1944 day in Normandy, a day that will live in infamy. For so many of them, they confessed that the television interview was the first time they had talked about their 70-year-old experience.  A few of their wives said their husbands had never even shared with them the events of that day–D-Day. The poignant, tragic memories had been bottled up inside them all these years.

Tears streamed down my face as I watched 88-to-90-year-old men sob like babies recalling what they had endured as they left those boats, waded in the bloody waters and onto the shores of Normandy to fight the Germans. Their bravery, heroism, integrity lives on. No wonder those men and women of the 1940s are appropriately referred to as “The Greatest Generation.”

We are blessed with valiant heroes today, fighting a different war 70 years later. Each time I see a serviceman or woman in uniform, no matter where I am, if I am able to make eye contact, I say, “Thank you so much for serving our country.” To me, our encouragement is the least we can do for their valiant service of defending our country. Freedom is not free.

An American flag waves proudly on the front of my house everyday, not just this season.  We live in the greatest country in the world and are blessed with abundance and freedoms most countries envy.  How ever you may vote politically and how ever you may feel about war, we are all united as American citizens. We serve and play on the same team–Team USA.

Unfurl your American flag and wave it high. Let us show the world we are proud to be Americans.

In eighth grade, our Social Studies teacher had us memorize a portion of the Declaration of Independence Preamble. It still is recalled easily, as it is seered on my heart:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Amen.

Reflect:

–Would you consider yourself to be patriotic? Please comment.

–Who are some American heroes in your life? How will you show your appreciation for them? Please comment.

Renew:

–” ‘…no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will not refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,’ declares the Lord.” –Isaiah 54:17 NIV 84

–“Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.” –Romans 9:5 NIV84

–“Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs–he wants to please his commanding officer.” –2 Timothy 2:3-4 NIV84

Recharge:

–What do you or will you do this week to demonstrate your patriotism?

Resource:

–Enjoy the US Naval Academy singing “America the Beautiful.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JKCom39yKQ

Leave a comment here | 2 Comments

Honoring Dads, Post #35

As this past Sunday was Father’s Day, please forgive me for not sending a blog post honoring our Dads prior to their day. It’s hard to believe my Dad passed away from colon cancer 10 years ago this year. I pray you gave your Dad and the Dad-like men in your life encouragement like we did for Mother’s Day.

It would be an honor to tell you some of the many ways my Dad impacted my life. For so many years our relationship was strained, as my parents divorced after 37 years of marriage. The Lord helped heal our relationship. I know my Dad loved me the best way he knew how.

Here’s to you, Dad, just a few of your lessons for which I am thankful:

  1. Thank you, Dad, for teaching me how to check the oil dipstick in my old car, so that I never messed up my engine or blew my transmission. That car I drove in high school, Awesomobile,  burnt a quart of oil every 200 or so miles. I loved that car and am grateful that I had it.
  2. Thank you, Dad, for providing for all my needs and many of my wants. We were blessed with a nice house, plenty of food to eat, plenty of clothes and shoes, and you even paid for my wonderful out-of-state college education. It was such a gift not to have to pay back college loans.
  3. Thank you, Dad, for teaching me to appreciate the outdoors and fishing. You even taught me to cast a fishing rod and how to bait my own hooks—I wasn’t squeamish about the worms and minnows most of the time.
  4. Thank you, Dad, for taking us to church every time the door was open. Your dedication to the Lord and His Word helped mold my faith.
  5. Thank you, Dad, for teaching me how to budget my money and spend wisely. I remember how you paid bills promptly and taught me how to abhor debt. I still to this day try to avoid debt, except for my mortgages.
  6. Thank you, Dad, for teaching me a strong work ethic. You worked hard at Delta Air Lines for 33 years before you retired. You liked to finish tasks you started and showed me follow through and doing what you said you would do.
  7. Thank you, Dad, for showing me to volunteer in the community and help others behind-the-scenes. You used to mow and weedeat the end of our street where no one would mow. You also mowed around the Turkey Creek bridge in Hanahan where you would walk daily. You thought no one knew. We knew and appreciated your quiet good deeds.
  8. Thank you, Dad, for trying to come to many of my basketball and volleyball games. Your presence was such a present.

Dad, I pray you can see from heaven I’m trying to carry on the Jordan legacy. Rest assured that I love my Heavenly Father, my Abba, with my whole soul. Thank you for loving me, Dad.

Reflect:

–What are some ways you are thankful for your earthly father?  Please comment.

–How will you strengthen your relationship with him.

Renew:

–“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” –Exodus 20:12 NIV84

–“Listen to your father, who gave you life…” –Proverbs 23:22a NIV84

–“The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him. May your father and mother be glad…” –Proverbs 23:24-25a NIV84

Recharge:

–What is something you did on Father’s Day or can do this week to honor your Dad?

–If your relationship with your father is strained, please prayerfully consider reaching out and forgiving him. I reached out years ago, and it was such a relief to our hearts.

Leave a comment here | 3 Comments

Are You Real? Post #34

How real, how authentic would you say you are? Do you find that you act differently around different people? You may have answered yes to that question.  I’m embarrassed to say that my answer was yes.

A well-respected Christian leader said that she wanted to strive to be the same person 24 hours a day, seven days a week, no matter where she is or who she is around. Wow. That statement sets the bar pretty high. That is the standard I pray to reach one day… one day. The journey is long.

Isn’t it so refreshing to be around authentic people?  I feel blessed to surround myself intentionally with authentic friends and mentors. The kind of people who are real, unpretentious, humble, can laugh at themselves, have servant hearts. People who talk the same about you to your face as behind your back. When these people/friends give you feedback, it’s mostly positive and uplifting, and even when it’s needed constructive criticism, it is uttered to your face and not only behind your back.

Have you ever overheard someone speaking positively about you? What a sweet treat. Now, have you overheard someone speaking negatively about you?  How did it make you feel?

Today is a new day. Let’s get real. What does “getting real” mean, you might ask? I heard a mentor say that success is treating our friends like family and our family like friends.  To me, that is what being real, being authentic means.

Reflect:

–Who are some people in your life who are real/authentic? Please comment.

–Who are you when no one is around?

–Who is the REAL, authentic you?

Renew:

–“Therefore, encourage each other and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” –1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV84

“Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” –Titus 2:6-9 NIV84

–“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear gifts? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.” –James 3:9-12 NIV84

 Recharge:

–What will you do be more real? Please comment on some ways to be more real.

–Call an authentic friend/mentor with whom to spend some intentional time this week.

Leave a comment here | No Comments