Monday, May 28, 2012

Remembering Their Sacrifice

Chuckle:  Child's prayer: "Dear God, I'm an American. What are you?" Robert."  
Ponder This"It is . . . for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."  --From Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
A TIME TO REMEMBER                 
    "Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and import duties, and give respect and honor to all to whom it is due" (Romans 13:7 NLT).    

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the Nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves.  In 1966, our Federal Government recognized Waterloo, New York as the official birthplace of Memorial Day on May 5, 1866.  After World War I, the day became a time to honor all those who had died in all of America's wars.  In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May each year.
This Memorial Day holiday weekend reminds us to give thanks and honor to those men and women in uniform, who gave their lives to give us the life of freedom we now enjoy.  We honor them and hold their personal sacrifices in highest esteem.  It is important that we remember, and teach our children that the freedoms we enjoy come at a terrible price. "freedom isn't free!"

"All of us lead busy lives. We have little time to pause and reflect. But I ask you: Do not hasten through Memorial Day. Take time to remember the good souls whose memories are a blessing to you and your family. Take your children to memorial parks and monuments. Teach them the values that lend meaning to our lives and to the life of our nation. Above all, take the time to honor our fellow Americans who have given their last full measure of devotion to our country and for the freedoms we cherish."  --Colin Powell
We usually wait until someone is gone to give them the honor that is due them.  Then it's too late for them to know our appreciation for their sacrifice.  We should be faithful to pray for those who are now serving and defending our country and protecting us here at home.  Also, please pray for their families as their loved ones valiantly serve far from home, and for those whose loved ones have died in service to our country.  They deserve recognition and honor for the price they have paid on our behalf.
While we are having fun enjoying the long holiday weekend, let's take time to thank God for our freedoms and reflect on the sacrifices of others that have made such freedoms possible.  The sacrifices of others, should serve as examples for us and cause us to ponder, with renewed seriousness, ways we can serve our country that will help preserve this great republic  and its freedoms we hold dear.  ". . ., and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Corinthians 3:17 NLT). 
Love, Jerry & Dotse

Friday, May 4, 2012

Is Marriage Obsolete?

Chuckle:  "As a husband and father, I can say anything I want around the house, but no one pays the least bit of attention!"
Quote:  "There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage." --Martin Luther 
Jesus said, "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'?  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate?" (Matthew 19:4-6 NIV).  "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, . . ." (Hebrews 13:4 NIV).  I'll begin with some sobering findings from the Manhattan Declaration.  
1.  Fifty years ago, three fourths of adult Americans were married.  Now the number is half.
2.  A survey done by Pew Research Center revealed that “marriage is becoming obsolete” in our culture.
3.  The writer of a USA Today article says that part of the decline in marriage can be linked to weddings performed by non-clergy.
4.  The USA Today writer also points out that clergy-less wedding ceremonies lack the necessary emphasis on the covenantal relationship between husband and wife.
5.  Studies show that children in married family households are less likely to live in poverty than children in single-parent homes.
6.  A 2010 Census showed that almost 40% of single-parent homes were under the poverty line. In fact, the state of Indiana links the breakdown of marriage as a major cause of the state's poverty.
 7.  In Indiana alone, the percentage of unwed births went from 5% in 1960 to approximately 44% today.
Even some "Christians" seem to have bought into the idea that living together and/or having babies outside marriage is perfectly alright.  Even though they know it's contrary to God's word, they don't have the courage to stand up and say so for fear of damaging relationships with their own family members.  Each one of us should pray for the conviction, strength and courage to vigorously and lovingly defend the definition and sanctity of marriage as a God instituted union between a man and a woman.
From the beginning, God's plan has included His deep involvement in each marriage.  It is a covenant relationship between the one man, one woman, and God.  Since God instituted marriage and actually joins husband and wife together with a spiritual bond, the covenant marriage relationship is sealed by His authority and will and is not to be broken except in the case of adultery (Matthew 19:9).  However, even in the case of adultery, it is God's desire that confession of sin, repentance, and reconciliation occur and the marriage be restored.  
Today, the emphasis on the covenant nature of marriage is often sacrificed on the altar of expediency and cultural acceptability.  The stigma of unwed mothers, living together outside of marriage, and divorce is rapidly disappearing.  Will we stand by and allow marriage to become obsolete in our culture? 
Love, Jerry & Dotse