Honor

.This Monday is Memorial Day in the USA. On Memorial Day, we remember and honor those who have died serving to defend our freedom in the military. It is a sober reminder that we enjoy the liberty we have because of those who have fought and died to secure and preserve that freedom. We owe them a debt of gratitude.

Paul in speaking of a believer’s relationship with civic authorities told the Romans, “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” Romans 13:7 ESV I cannot think of any who deserve our honor and respect more than those who willingly laid down their lives for us.

We have an obligation to remember and honor them. This used to go without saying, but as the decades went by the attitude of many has changed. As believers, we must honor their sacrifice. We are blessed to live in a nation which was established to allow us to control the government. We elect representatives to decide on matters which impact all of us. Our military serves to protect and defend our freedoms for enemies foreign and domestic. Honoring their office and service does not imply we agree with all actions our government takes, but it means we respect their service.

One great way to honor them is to pray for those in active service and for the families of those who have paid the ultimate price for our liberty. 1 Timothy 2:1-3 says, “Therefore I]exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,”

Remember the fallen and pray for those still standing on watch for us.

Expectations

I teach High School, and we are in the last few days of class. There is a widely used saying that there is no tired like end of the year tired. I can relate to that! Students are winding down from another year of busy schedules and cramming learning into every fold of their brain. At least, that is what teachers hope who are also scrambling to finish the content, juggle the paperwork demands, and crowding in one more meeting. This time of year everyone gets frustrated more easily. I am doing something new. I am writing my class expectations for next year right now. All the things that have grown old and worn us out will be addressed day one. Establishing expectations and sticking to them is a great tool in all areas of life.

God gave us His expectations for our behavior in Micah 6:8.

“He has told you, O man, what is good;

and what does the LORD require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness,

and to walk humbly with your God?” ESV

Micah had asked what to do to please God? What offering He most desired and what would appease Him. He even exaggerates and speaks of offering thousands of rams and rivers of oil and firstborn sons, but none of those are what God wants or requires. Sacrifice, no matter how momentous, is useless without a life of justice, loving-kindness, and humility.

We are expected first to do justice. The word translated “justice” means to comply with the proclamations of a court. In this context, we can read it as doing what God has commanded. The highest court of all, heaven, has decreed what is right and wrong. We are to equally apply that standard in all of our lives and to all people.

Next we are to love kindness. Loving kindness is a deep affection based upon past relationship. We are love God and love others. That love leads to acts of kindness done. God wants us to be kind to all.

Finally, we are walk humbly with our God. There is a reverential awe we should have before God. We walk as Jesus did, as humble servants. We obey God knowing that we don’t deserve anything but His wrath.

Live a life which embodies justice, kindness and humility and you will be in step with God’s expectations.

Yuck!

Do you hate anything? I mean is there something you just can’t stand? When I was a youth director, I learned to hate tuna fish sandwiches. Growing up I loved them. But when I was a youth director and living on my own, every time we had sandwiches at church the loving people would send the left overs home with the starving youth director. It turns out, after eating tuna fish for nearly a week, I grew to hate it! I have sense overcome my aversion, but for a while it was strong.

We don’t like to think about it, but the Bible says there are things God hates. Prov 6:16-19 says,

“16 There are six things that the LORD hates,

seven that are an abomination to him:

17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,

and hands that shed innocent blood,

18 a heart that devises wicked plans,

feet that make haste to run to evil,

19 a false witness who breathes out lies,

and one who sows discord among brothers”

Wow! God hates some things. Notice the things He hates: pride, lies, murderers, scheming hearts, evil actions, sowing discord among brothers. The common thread in all of them is sin. All of them are sinful actions and thoughts. God hates sin.

God wants us to walk righteously. Pride, lying, and harming others is the opposite of that. He calls us to humility and of service to others. Jesus even said that the second greatest commandment of all was to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Are you walking in that kind of love?

104.8

I have always been overweight. I never viewed weight as a spiritual issue. Then came Financial Peace University. What does eliminating debt have to do with health? Dave Ramsey has often said, “You don’t take financial advice from broke people. It’s like taking dieting advice from fat people.” He also stressed stewardship in all aspects of our lives. God owns us and everything. We are merely His stewards.

It finally sank in that my stewardship of my health was pathetic. Last summer, I had trouble walking due to the pain and stress on my feet and knees caused by excess weight. I reached the highest weight of my life at 360 lbs. I knew I had to do something.

Shannon and I started Weight Watchers on July 1, 2017. Since then by eating lean proteins, fruits and veggies and making better choices in my carbs I have lost 104.8 lbs.! People have been asking how I have done it. The biggest factor which made this time different was finally have a good enough why.

Why did I want to lose weight? I finally get it that I am responsible to the Lord for stewardship of my health. Paul said in 1 Cor. 4:2 ” 2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” ESV My health issues were self-imposed due to bad habits. I also have no desire to get back into a wheelchair. 11 years ago, Guillain-Barre Syndrome left me paralyzed and it was a long road to get back on my feet. Last summer, I saw that I was moving back to the wheel chair as my poor health took its toll on my mobility. I also turn 50 in June 2018. I saw that looming milestone and wanted to get as healthy as possible before entering a new decade. Finally, my last why is my family. My son, Joshua crossed over to Boy Scouts this year and I was sitting at 100 pounds over the maximum weight allowed for many scout adventures. I don’t want my health to limit him. My daughter is entering the high school where I teach next year, and I don’t want to reflect poorly on her. All of us needed to improve our health so we have taken this journey together.

Now that 30% of my starting weight is gone, I feel better. I have energy, very little pain, and my blood pressure is much better. I have discovered a new why and a reason to keep going. Many others have noticed and now turning to this fat boy for information on what works! We are reaping the benefits of working together to get better.

We will plan to remain good stewards of our health so that we can better serve the Lord. Learning self-control and discipline has paid dividends in my walk with the Lord as well. Seeing all life as a stewardship issue makes us more mindful in all of our choices.

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Guillain-Barr%C3%A9-Syndrome-Fact-Sheet