Meanderings of a Minister


Why We Can Never Lose Sight of Veterans

Veterans

 “Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” (Jeremiah 6:16, NASB95)

I was asked to speak at last night’s veterans’ recognition event for the Five State Free Fair.  As I thought about what it means to be a veteran, the thought occurred to me that there seem to be fewer and fewer veterans identifying themselves as veterans and fewer and fewer people that understand the importance of veterans to our nation.  As I thought about it, I remember Jeremiah 6:16 and thought about the importance for more than just our happiness.

Why can we never lose sight of veterans?  For many reasons.  First, veterans are the only significant segment of the population that have given up their freedoms so that you can enjoy yours.  They have stood on the flight line, firing line, front line, and chow line to make sure you could hang clothes on the line in peace.  They have been fired upon so that you can enjoy campfires.  They have gone without sleep so that you can sleep peacefully.  They have stood watch on a dangerous world so that your world would not have to be interrupted.  In an age when everyone wants to talk about their “rights”, we need to remember veterans because it is right.

In addition to veterans’ sacrifice, we also need to remember and recognize veterans because veterans took an oath to defend our constitution and kept their promises.  In an age where, increasingly, politicians are seen as more for themselves than their constituents, we need to have examples of truth, integrity, honor, and kept promises.  Veterans help to keep us from growing so cynical of our nation that we stop defending it and supporting it.

We can also never lose sight of veterans because that was our promise to them.  The general population does not want to have to leave their lives, work, families, or hobbies to have to go and fight an enemy.  They don’t want to have to put up with the horrors of death and destruction, so they sent the veterans to represent them.  The agreement was that the general population would stay behind and support their efforts while they charged into battle.  To forget veterans is to break that promise.

Veterans also represent an understanding of “One Nation Under God”.  While not all veterans are Christians, or even monotheists, or theists, they understand that the true strength of our nation, outside of God, is our unity.  When you are on the battlefield, in the battleship, or battling the incoming jets of a foreign enemy, there is no time for Mexican-American, African-American, Native American, or any other such distinction.  Veterans know that we will only stay strong as long as we learn to see each other as Americans.  Period.  There is no dual citizenship when bullets are flying, bombs are dropping, or bayonets are rattling.  There is only “us” vs. “them” and the “us” is U.S.!

Veterans remind us of what it means to work for our goals, dreams and visions of the future.  They remind us that nothing comes without hard work, sacrifice, and time.  They stand as a beacon of responsibility in a sea of entitlement.  They stand up proudly and show what Americans can do when they work hard, work together, and work for the long haul.

Lastly, veterans represent our past, our heritage, and our history.  They represent our future because without the lessons of our past, we will repeat its mistakes.  They represent our present because they have seen where socialism, Marxism, communism, and elitism have taken other nations and what it takes to win a nation back after it has been taken over by one of these or other ideologies.  They represent what is right and wise, which combine to form righteousness.

We can never lose sight of veterans.  Heaven help us if we do!



Our justification is not accomplished by
August 1, 2014, 10:27 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Our justification is not accomplished by a profession of faith. The evangelical world has never fully grasped that nobody is justified by a simple profession of faith. Professions of faith are good things, and those who believe are supposed to profess what they believe, but it’s the “possession” of faith – not its “profession” – that translates a person from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. ~ R. C. Sproul, The Center of Christian Preaching



How can Christians think to follow Chris
July 25, 2014, 8:17 am
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How can Christians think to follow Christ in His self-giving love unless our self-concerns shrink while our concerns about God and others grow? ~ Mark Dever



Pastors are to be like mailmen. We shoul
July 24, 2014, 8:56 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Pastors are to be like mailmen. We should not make up our own messages, but faithfully deliver the messages we have been given to those for whom it was intended.



Who Gets Promoted and Who Doesn’t and Why (probably not because they read this book)
July 23, 2014, 9:18 am
Filed under: Book Review | Tags: , , , , , ,

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Donald Asher is well-known by many in the business community as the author of a book, now in its second edition, that outlines for them how to get promoted.  He includes both how to get promoted and what to avoid to keep it from happening.  His subtitle is “12 Things You’d Better Do If You Want to Get Ahead”.  Since this is a business book, it make sense that he draws all of his illustrations from the business world.  While Asher has some great things to say, many of these are self-evident and his mentioning of them is not all that helpful or insightful.  For instance, he talks about anticipating change and offering yourself as the solution to the problems or opportunities that change presents.  The problem with his encouragement to ride the wave of change comes from the assumption that a person can see all changes and that a person can remain nimble and trained up enough on potential futures to be the answer to anything that might come up.  While this would be the best scenario, it is not always possible, nor practical.  I realize the reader might be thinking that I am merely claiming sour grapes and not wanting to change and that this reluctance is driving my criticism.  My point is simply that it is not always possible to know what is coming, nor economical to train for every potential future.

Asher presents a  pyramid for getting promoted in the second chapter of his book.  I found this both helpful and a little presumptive.  He says that doing your job well is the foundation for future success (again, very obvious), but goes on to say this is not enough.  You have to:

1. Do your job well.
2. Make yourself known to the right people.
3. Develop the skillset needed for advancement (see note above).
4. Be available when opportunity knocks.  Package yourself for promotion.
5. Win the promotion.

While all of these steps are helpful, they are also nothing new.  What is new is that a person would approach their current situation with an eye always on promotion.  And herein lies the true power of Asher’s book.  Asher suggests that doing one’s job is no longer that best indicator of who is eligible for promotion.  For instance, he suggests that anyone who becomes so good at their job so as to become irreplaceable has actually worked against his or herself for promotion.  The military has seen their way around this conundrum for a long time, but they have the endless pockets which come from your tax money.  For businesses with limited resources, and profitability at stake, this is too often the case.  Many employers and senior managers would rather not take a chance on moving someone with a known skill set to a position they may not be able to fill.  They do not want to lose the productivity or mid-level leadership.  So, while a bit confusing, a person is to do their job well, but not too well.

Asher’s main contribution in Who Gets Promoted and Who Doesn’t and Why is that he challenges the average person to be become more than average and to seek to reach their full potential.  He suggests this through being a constant student of the company, people, the art of selling yourself and your company, and the art of reading and managing people.  This is worth the cost of the book for the person that has not considered such things before.  For those that read this type of material, and for those who have worked in the business world for any amount of time at all, this is obvious and need not be shared.

If I sound like I am confusing and ambivalent towards Who Gets Promoted and Who Doesn’t and Why, it is because I am.  The book is the same, so it is fitting.  If you have not read any material on promoting yourself, get the book.  If you have, don’t bother.  If you work in a company that leaves the door open for promotion, and you are not sure how to step through, get the book.  If you don’t work in that environment, save $15.  If you need a motivational push to get going, read the book.  If are already motivated, don’t get bogged down in reading the book.  You are probably already doing what Asher recommends.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The Crown Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



The applause of the crowd is not always
July 2, 2014, 9:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The applause of the crowd is not always the approval of God. ~ Warren Wiersbe



Those who plan to give to God “once the
June 27, 2014, 4:17 pm
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Those who plan to give to God “once they have enough for themselves” will never have enough for themselves. ~ Eugene Merrill




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