Let Jesus Shine in 2009!

1 Jan

Light of the worldMy Mom always tries to think of some catchy phrase when she wants to remember something. Sometimes it is a musical phrase. Most times it is a rhyme. A new tradition has been started at my parents house where they host all of the granddaughters (9) at their house on New Years Eve. When I talked to her this morning (New Years day), she said that she was trying to think of a devotion theme to have with the girls. She decided to talk to them about letting the light of Christ in their lives shine bright in their life. Her theme this year is “Let Jesus Shine in 2009”. Hokey, catchy, whatever… you’ll remember it, right?

That got me thinking about what it means to allow our light to shine. Much has been written in about Jesus bringing a light to a dark world. That light shines in us if we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. But what does it really mean to allow that light to shine in our life? How do we reflect that concept in our daily life?

Obviously there are some high-profile examples like Mother Teresa, but what does it look like in our normal everyday life? It could be something as always being a positive influence in your immediate circle of friends. It means doing the right thing when nobody is looking. It means loving those who treat you badly. It means helping those who can’t help themselves. It means being humble and caring. It means forgiving those who offend you. Basically – it’s acting differently than the rest of the world.

It reminds me of a story I read recently. Lee Strobel was an atheist. He married a fun loving girl the everything was fine until his wife became a Christian. He started noticing a change in her. He had to admit that something was different about her. As a journalist, he set out to disprove Jesus. During his two year investigation of the evidence of Jesus, he became a Christian. He is now one of the leading apologists for Christ, writing books entitled, God’s Outrageous Claims, The Case for Christmas, The Case for Easter, What Jesus Would Say, among others. But it was the difference he noticed in his wife’s life that prompted him to seek further. He saw her light.

So – Happy New Year and make it a point to Let Jesus Shine in 2009!

Happy 233rd Birthday Marines!

10 Nov

Wimbrown VII Crew 1988

Every November 10, Marines around the world celebrate their birthday. So today I want to wish my fellow Marines, Happy Birthday! Semper Fidelis. Below I have reproduced the Commadant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway’s message to Marines worldwide. I was fortunate to server under then Colonel Conway in 1988 in the Persian Gulf.

—–

During the summer of 1982, in the wake of a Presidential Directive, Marines went ashore at Beirut, Lebanon. Fifteen months later, on 23 October 1983, extremists struck the first major blow against American Forces – starting this long war on terrorism. On that Sunday morning, a suicide bomber drove an
explosive-laden truck into the headquarters of Battalion Landing Team 1/8, destroying the building and killing 241 Marines and Corpsmen.

Extremists have attacked our nation, at home and abroad, numerous times since that fateful day in Beirut. Their aim has always been the same – to kill as many innocent Americans as possible. The attacks of 11 September 2001 changed our nation forever, and our President has resolved that this nation will not stand idle while murderous terrorists plot their next strike. Marines will continue to take the fight to the enemy – hitting them
on their own turf, crushing them when they show themselves, and finding them where they hide.

Only a few Americans choose the dangerous, but necessary, work of fighting our nation’s enemies. When our chapter of history is written, it will be a saga of a selfless generation of Marines who were willing to stand up and fight for our nation; to defend those who could not defend themselves; to thrive on the hardship and sacrifice expected of an elite warrior class; to march to the sound of the guns; and to ably shoulder the legacy of those Marines who have gone before.

On our 233rd birthday, first remember those who have served and those “angels” who have fallen – our reputation was built on their sacrifices. Remember our families; they are the unsung heroes whose support and dedication allow us to answer our nation’s call. Finally, to all Marines and Sailors, know that I am proud of you and what you do. Your successes on the battlefield have only added to our illustrious history. General Victor H. “Brute” Krulak said it best when he wrote, “… The United States does not need a Marine Corps … The United States wants a Marine Corps.” Your actions, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and across the globe, are at the core of why America loves her Marines.

Happy Birthday, Marines and Semper Fidelis!

General James T. Conway
Commandant of the Marine Corps

Vote for the Poop Sandwich (Not!)

4 Nov

If you live in Montana, don’t vote for the poop sandwich!

I saw a funny story today about one citizen’s effort to make his feelings about this election known. Regardless of who wins – this is pretty funny.

My favorite line from the story is, “I think Obama’s plan is just one big old poop sandwich and we’re all going to have to take a bite”. Ewwwwwww!

Read the whole story here!

Vote And Get Caffeinated!

3 Nov

coffeeIf my earlier post didn’t get you out from behind that computer screen and into a voting booth – maybe a little bribery will. Starbucks will give you a free cup of coffee on Nov. 4th if you just tell them you voted. You can learn more on their website or on YouTube.

So now you don’t have an excuse!

Vote or Don’t Complain

3 Nov

VoteTomorrow is Election Day so make sure you go out and VOTE! I don’t care who you vote for – just go and VOTE. You’ve heard it before but if you don’t vote – you don’t have a right to complain. So VOTE!

Regardless of who wins this election, on November 5th, I will still be praying for our leadership. Isn’t that what all Christians should do? Pastor Jeff Leake has a great response when he is asked, Are you going to speak on the election? You can read the complete post at his site but here is a summary of his points:

  1. My hope for the future of the USA does not rest in this election.
  2. My primary concern is with the Kingdom of God and not with the United States of America.
  3. I believe that a believer should consider moral values, character, and vision when they make their decision to vote.
  4. My responsibility is to pray for and even bless governmental leaders, even when I disagree with their policies.
  5. I think at times we can over-estimate the election season.
  6. My passion is to represent Jesus well in the world. Partisan attitudes often divide.
  7. I want to protect the unity of the church (not just APC but believers all throughout this nation).
  8. I like to consider what Jesus did regarding politics when he walked the earth.
  9. I really like one of his last statements, “I think it is safe to say that neither Obama nor McCain is the hope of the world. That is Jesus. It is also safe to say that neither candidate will be as much a threat as Nero, Herod, or Mao. If the Kingdom can expand under their leadership, I am confident God can continue to work no matter who is elected in 2008.”

    Elephant in the ChurchAnother Pastor that I read frequently is Mark Batterson. He pastors National Community Church in Washington D.C. His church is unique in that the livelihood of a lot of his congregation is dependent on the election. His church regularly goes through a change with each election cycle. He has a sermon series called the Elephant in the Church where he discusses issues that everyone knows are there but don’t want to talk about in church. This week is the Political Elephant. I urge all of you to listen to or watch his message. It is a great perspective.

    So – I will be voting. I will be voting my conscience. I will be voting based on character, values and vision. When the next president is sworn in, I will commit to pray for his leadership regardless of who wins the election. My hope is in Christ – not the president. Besides, like I have said in other posts, I’ve read the book. I know who wins!

Believe – He Will Be Fun To Watch Grow Up

27 Oct

I was reading Phil Gerbyshak’s, Make It Great! blog today and his most recent post featured a video of 10 year old Dalton Sherman delivering a keynote address to 20,000 school teachers and administrators in Dallas. It is an amazing video. The boy has amazing presence. It will be fun to watch him grow up – to see what he becomes. Watching him now – he is poised to become great and to do great things.

Take 9 minutes out of your day to watch and listen to his message.

If you can’t see the video above, click here to watch the video.