Memorial Day: Honoring those lost in the sinking of USS Indianapolis

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a chance to remember and to give honor and respect to those who have sacrificed all.

Today is Memorial Day and it’s a time to pause and remember the heroic sacrifice that others have made on the behalf of our country.

In 2015, PBS published a story on its website that estimated the total U.S. military deaths as more than 1.1 million. Add in the fellow servicemembers, the famlies and friends of those who died, the communities they lived in and the impact of Memorial Day is felt just about everywhere.

The church I attend ended the service Sunday with a video tribute to those who have died in the line of duty.

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Assemble! Life and faith lessons from superhero movies

capYes, I’ll admit it up front.  I’m a superhero geek and I absolutely love those kinds of movies.  If it involves superheroes, I’ll, at least, give it a try.

So, as I’m writing this, I can’t even begin to rattle off the names of the superhero movies I’ve watched and the number of times I’ve watched them.  I do have hopes for Batman and Justice League, but, at the moment, I’m opting for Marvel’s world as my favorite.

In watching these movies, I think that are some clear patterns that speak to us about our lives, our faith and church.  With that in mind, here are some thoughts that hit me:

Story matters.  Some of the worst superhero movies are the ones that assume everyone knows the story already.  They leave out huge details and important character moments.  However the latest Marvel efforts have done an incredible job of telling the story.  I, for one, was never a particular fan of the first of the Thor movies.  Entering into this movie, I had little expectation for the movie because I was not as familiar with the story arcs. Continue reading

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Jesus is THE Good Shepherd: A sermon in 10 tweets

Sheep

A shepherd watches over the sheep.  Sheep learn the voice of their shepherd.

In John 10 (one of the Lectionary passages for this Sunday) Jesus lays out the image of a sheep pen, a gate, a Good Shepherd and a thief.  In the Book of John, many of the images are loaded with double meanings and point to higher things.

Yet, here, Jesus declares himself to be both Good Shepherd and the gate.  Here’s what the passage from John 10:1-10 says:

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It’s only the Monday after Easter

monday

It’s only Monday.  So much can change in a day.

It’s only Monday.

It’s a day just like any other day in Jerusalem.  The marketplace reopens and people begin to prepare for the journey home after the Passover.

The Roman soldiers that have been in town prepare for the march back home with Pontus Pilate.

It’s only Monday.

The group that arrested Jesus and had him executed on the cross thinks that everything is back to normal.  The authorities think the rebellion has ended. People saw him die.

It’s only Monday.

The closest followers of Jesus have started to get the accounts that Jesus’ tomb is empty. Some have their doubts. Many still haven’t seen him and still think he’s gone.

It’s only Monday.

No matter how that Monday started out, things were changing.  The curtain in the temple was torn.  Jesus got back up from the cross.  Nothing will ever be the same again.  They just don’t know yet what it all means.

It’s Monday. Only Monday.

Centuries later, people were gathered in his name.  Churches and sanctuaries were packed.  People were dressed up in beautiful clothes and wore beautiful smiles. The familiar account of the resurrection was told and retold.  Those who came after the terrible events of the cross celebrated that Jesus is alive.

But, it’s only Monday.

On a Monday, we have to think about the way we view the resurrection.  That view is what has the power to change our lives.

If we view Easter as wrapping up the story of Jesus, as tying up the loose ends, then Easter is just another great Sunday that fades into the reality of Monday.  No matter how “great” the worship service was, it means knowing if the news of Jesus’ resurrection don’t work in our hearts.

And it’s only Monday.

However, if we see Easter as another moment in the journey, as another step in the path, as simply a continuation of a story that’s still being written, then Monday takes on new meaning.  It becomes our journey as well.

Yes, it’s Monday!

And on a Monday such as today, we have the chance to live in the power of a resurrected Jesus and we have the opportunity to boldly proclaim the continuing theme.

He is not here.

He is risen.

It’s Monday and he’s back at work.

If you want to keep up with the Jesus who is back at work then don’t take Monday off.  Get moving!  Tell someone what you heard.  Share the news that Jesus died and was resurrected with anyone who will listen.   It’s Monday and Monday is another opportunity to change someone’s story and journey before next Sunday.

It’s Monday and everything has changed.


Reignite My Story is based on fact that every life story can be reset, renewed and redeemed.  For more life lessons, visit www.reignitemystory.com. For more, like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter at @reignitemystory.  You may also send email to reignitemystory@gmail.com.

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Palm Sunday is a reminder that God wins, always

palms

Palm Sunday reminds us of the clash between God’s way and the world’s way.  It is a clash of storms.

Jesus was much stronger than most people seemed to think.  When Jesus wanted to get your attention and he put that hand on your shoulder, well, you noticed.

I still remember what happened that day. I was just walking and talking with the other disciples when he walked up beside me, put his arm around me and pulled me close.

“Are you up for a special mission today?” he asked, as a smile came over
his face.

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Time management: Making the most of the seconds we have left

clocksTick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

My grandparents collected clocks and their house was filled with the sounds of those ticking clocks.  They had all kinds of clocks from wall clocks to a grandfather clock. I spent the night there a few times and it was difficult to adjust to that sound — especially when they would start to chime on the hours.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Seconds turn into minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days, days into months, months into years, years into a lifetime.  The seconds click off the clock.  It doesn’t matter whether you watch the clock or whether you ignore the clock.  The seconds are still drifting by.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Continue reading

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Finding joy even when your situation says you shouldn’t

Finding Joy

Joy and thanksgiving are bigger than happiness.  It’s even possible to find joy in the toughest of situations.

Have you ever heard of Randy Pausch?

He seemingly had everything that you could ask for.  He was a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University.  He was a pioneer in his field and had earned a reputation as someone who was working to open doors for women to pursue careers in computer science.

Then, he received the kind of news that usually does one of two things — brings us closer to God or pushes us further away.

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