Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Memorial Day and the cross

This email was just sent out by my friend (and boss), Dave Mead who directs the Navigators Military Mission. I thought it was worth reposting. Happy Memorial Day:

Memorial Day is a special day for Americans. For many it signifies the start of summer and all its halcyon activities. For some it means a shopping spree with the hope of finding a plethora of discounted items. But for all it should be a day of remembrance for those who sacrificed their lives while serving our nation as members of our Armed Forces.

In the span of our living generations, the last 71 years (since the start of World War II), we’ve lost over 507,000 men and women. The campaigns are many: WW II, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Just Cause (Panama), Desert Shield/Storm, Restore Hope (Somalia), Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), and Operation New Dawn (OIF, OEF, & OND total 6,330 fatalities) with the addition of many peacekeeping missions. As we serve and minister to those in uniform, many of us are directly touched by the tragedy of war and the price of peace.

I am. Memorial Day has great significance for me and my family. I never knew my grandfather. He was a bomber pilot who died on a bombing mission somewhere in the South China Sea in November 1942. When I was stationed at Fort Campbell in December 1985, the 101st Airborne Division lost 248 soldiers when their DC-8 crashed while taking off from Gander, Newfoundland. Three were Navigators including one of my best friends. As a Reserve Commanding Officer, I had two of my men die in Iraq. I remember the difficulty of writing my letters of condolence to their families. I still weep when hearing “Taps” as I did at their funerals. Memorial Day is profoundly personal for me.

So on Monday, I’ll remember my fallen comrades, pray for their families, and solemnly reflect on the privilege of knowing some of these great Americans. But ultimately, Memorial Day leads me to the cross…remembering Jesus Christ who served and sacrificed more than we can ever imagine so that we can experience the incredible--true life and purpose in Him. Let Memorial Day be a true day of remembrance (Lk 22:17-20, 1 Cor 11:24-26). In Christ, it is a new season, full of hope through His sacrifice!

Dave Mead
Director, Military Mission
The Navigators

Monday, May 21, 2012

Getting Personal

“When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.”
(Luke 4:40 NIV)
In spite of the fact that it was a very large crowd that came to Jesus (Mark says the whole town), Jesus healed each one personally and individually. He laid His hands on each one and healed them.
Never underestimate how important is the personal touch. Don't try to accomplish in a group what ought to be done face to face and person to person. How often for the sake of expediency, do I avoid the visit or the phone call when that is precisely what's needed?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Going to Home

“Then He got up and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Him to help her.”
(Luke 4:38)

Jesus had ministered in a synagogue, but he ended up in someone's home healing and touching their family. That is the way of Jesus. He doesn't merely want to be present in our religious institutions, meetings and services - he wants to present in the intimate settings of family life. He wants to enter there and make a significant difference.

Whenever I meet someone, I need to think of their whole family network and hopefully, get into their home. It is there that the work of Jesus truly begins.