WORDS FROM WAYNE
Beautiful day. Just got in from my walk with Mark. We usually do about an hour, but half of that is sitting and enjoying the scenery from one spot or another. Nice part of having our strollers, we can use them as chairs just anywhere. At one spot we observed 3 Turkey Vultures as they soared over us. Good start to the day. Bad thing about such a day is that in the stillness the gnats fell in love with us. Now to try to get this sermon out.
THIS PRESENT URGENCY Romans 12 - Plus 13:8-14 (Please read all: this is Paul's sermon on the urgency of the day.)
by Rev. Wayne McKirdy
There is the little story of a toad that was hopping along a muddy road and fell into a rut. Oh, this is the easy way, not mud, but a solid road to follow. Good! Then a truck came along, and the toad saw the necessity of getting out of that rut -- fast. This is the urgency of early Christianity. They liked the rut they were in. But as we read the New Testament, we find they were told to get out of that rut -- fast -- get up - and start loving. And they did. - they turned the world upside-down -- they changed the world with love. Centuries have passed. Occasionally one comes along who remembers the urgency of the moment - who loves even as God has loved him/her, and the world is changed for the better because one dares to love. Times change. The day of Paul is not our day; or even the time of Luther, Wesley, or Calvin. But in that change, just as in the past, there is this urgency of today. Paul said it was time to wake up. To experience that love of God. And to do something about it. So that sermon of Paul's contained in today's scripture. Each day is THE DAY that God calls us to account for. You and I have seen a lot of days go by. Many have been good. Some bad. I believe it is TIME to reevaluate our lives. To recognize and restate with fresh vigor the obligations we have to our creator; to our nation; to our community; to our church; and yes, to ourselves. TIME to look with courage at ourselves - what really makes our lives go; what do we really believe. There are no simple answers to life. Experience demonstrates that the problems, the conflicts of life, are not wiped out by running from or denying them; or blaming them wholly or partially on others. Nor do we resign to luck or fatalism, for God has provided us with tools: Intellect, Compassion, Vision, Judgement -- and His Spirit leads us to use these courageously in the world about us. TIME to take a personal look at ourselves, and then, with dedication, to "be Christ's people from head to foot." And if I am to be that man - that woman - then it is time for me to KNOW my God: His Love, His care. Time for me to accept this God, and the love He gives. Time for me to follow: To follow is to lo love; to follow is to serve. We shirk our responsibility if we build walls of indifference or apathy around ourselves, cutting off our view of God's world around us. We need to live in this world, knowing it is GOD"s world. We are obligated, in service to our creator, to become part of all that transpires - the problems and promises; the joys and the sorrows. We become involved. We do not stick our heads in the sands of isolation, but, in love with our world, we need to work in it. Simple things like, for example, taking an interest in our great country, studying what's going on, and then taking the time and effort to vote. Not hard to do, but so important. For when we begin to appreciate God's great world of love that surrounds us, we begin to love in return. And God is not remote -- some serene personage in a distant heaven. God gives us help when we seek it. As we turn to God, He is near. For God sent Christ Jesus, that we might know God That we might love. God. That we might honestly seek God's will and God's help for each day. Without God, we can't do it. But in God's love nothing is impossible. There is an urgency today. Never has the world more needed men and women who will take the time and effort to humble themselves before God, and who will then take God's power and love and demonstrate it to this world. Let's listen with hearts of love -- let us act in this present urgency -- we don't know about tomorrow. But we do have today - right now! And the beautiful part is that God is not only in it, but that God loves us -- You – and--Me- Wow. Walk in that love. Amen
We have the privilege of having Jada Bass, National Guard member and R.N. on our team. Jada wrote a moving tribute to her fellow solider Cody Holte and she graciously gave us permission to share.
19+ years in the Guard. Lots of great days and of course some bad ones, but today was probably the hardest that I have ever been a part of. To see and feel the pain of saying goodbye to someone who’s not just one of our own, but one of the best I’ve ever known is hard to describe. Perspective changes with time, so if I could give any advice to our younger Soldiers, it would be this - Remember what you’re feeling right now; the leadership traits that you valued in this particular Lieutenant, how unique he was, how much he changed each of us in the past two years, and keep that with you forever. There were lots of speeches today, but the best way I can describe this incredible leader is an example that he set during the very first day of our last AT. It was hot and humid, we were at Ripley (and didn’t necessarily want to be), we’d had a cargo incident on the convoy, the fuel line was the typical disaster that it is on the first day of AT. We’d been told where to find our hooches, with less than ideal accommodations, even by Army standards - which is saying a lot! There were about 8-10 of us who’d arrived in our area and started unloading the cargo truck. At one point early on, as I reached for a bag, I bumped into the guy to my left and looked to see who it was - it was the LT. Now his own bags had been in his HMMWV and there was nothing in the cargo truck at all that was of any relevance to him personally or for any potential mission - it was our own gear. Not a single one of us would’ve even noticed if the LT wasn’t there when we unloaded the cargo, since he had plenty of other things that he could’ve been doing. But what those who were there DID notice, was that LT stayed right there beside us, working in the heat until the entire truck was unloaded and then helped haul the duffle bags into the right hooches. I have no idea how late he stayed up to finish his own work after we went to sleep that night, but that’s the kind of leader and person LT Holte was - someone who always put everyone else’s success before his own. Given the time and chance, he’d have helped an awful lot of people, whether it be personally or professionally. This is something that every single one of us, regardless of rank, should carry with us through the rest of our careers - we are here for Soldiers, for each other. LT Holte set the bar pretty damn high for anyone else to follow, but we are all better for the time we spent with him as our leader. We can’t change how it ended, but we can decide how we let it impact us from here.