MEMORIAL DAY: REMEMBER, PRAY, AND HOPE

Memorial Day is an American holiday that will be observed on Monday, May 31, 2021 (the last Monday of each May). It honors men and women who died during their service in the United States military.

“Decoration Day” was first observed shortly after the Civil War and in 1971 became a national holiday. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by decorating graves, gathering with family, and attending patriotic events. It is fitting to remember the past, pray for the present, and have hope for the future.

John McCrae’s World War 1 poem, “In Flanders Field,” inspired a tradition of wearing red poppies in memory of the fallen soldiers.

Another poem was written as a reminder to pray for today’s military personnel and in appreciation for their service as well as to remember ultimate sacrifices. The poem also relates a Biblical definition of “greater love.”

NO GREATER LOVE

“How many nights have we all slept well
Safely at home in soft beds warm
While weary soldiers battled hard near hell Directly in line with the way of harm?

How many times have we failed to pray
In gratitude and give God thanks
And ask for safety for soldiers today —
Our brave men and women all through the ranks?

How often have we forgotten to give
Honor for the supreme price paid
When some gave all so in freedom we live?
We must remember the sacrifice made.

A giving love is love from above;
When one gives all, we see greater love.
Such love gave God’s own Son from above;
His Son gave His life… no greater love.”
(Judy Gillum Foy)

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” 
(John 15: 13)

CAHN’S HARBINGER 2:  WARNING BRINGS HOPE

I cannot imagine spending approximately a year in social isolation without books. Reading is one of my favorite pastimes even when not isolated by a pandemic.

Our public library offers curbside pickup; accommodating for those who have not yet been vaccinated or do not feel comfortable being indoors in public places. Perhaps you are fortunate to be near such a facility. If so then take advantage of its offerings.

Today I am recommending a book by gifted author Jonathan Cahn. I recommend any of his books and especially Harbinger 2: The Return. He is a Messianic rabbi who understands Israel’s history, Biblical prophecy, and their ties to current events.

If you have interest in American history, end times prophecy, writing by NY Best-selling author of Harbinger, connections between Israel’s past and current events in America, an intriguing story heavy with Biblical truths, then check out Harbinger 2.

Cahn’s warning (a harbinger) gives hope that God indeed has a plan for our world today, that He is in control of the affairs of people, that He has a personal interest in each one of us. It may stir us to pray more for ourselves, our fellow humans, our nation, and our world.

His warning gives hope that God is at work in everything happening today just as He has been throughout past history from the beginning. It may stir us to seek His Will as individuals and as a nation.

His warning gives hope that the Bible is true and relevant. It supports the truths in God’s written Word. It may even lead us to study the Bible to see for ourselves the hope that God wants in our lives and in our future. If in doubt that a warning may do all this, read Harbinger 2 and see.

Most importantly the warning in Cahn’s book may even lead us to seek the One Who will change our destiny from eternal death to eternal life. That above all is our greatest hope!

Now then, sons, listen to Me, for blessed are those who keep My ways. Listen to instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.”  (Proverbs 8: 32, 33)

WINTHROP & CAHN:  MEN OF HOPE

Jonathan Cahn has written, “It’s been said that if George Washington could be called the father of his country, John Winthrop could be called the “grandfather.” The Puritan leader of the first wave of English immigrants to America who become first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony laid “…the foundation stone of America.”

Winthrop had a vision for America, understood that it would be a covenant nation like Israel, and warned of consequences if her people turn away from God. I believe Cahn also has an understanding about these similarities between America and Israel. I consider them as men of hope. Both have shared hope through their writings even if they included definite warnings.

John Winthrop wisely wrote the following about America:

For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us.”

“Thus stands the cause between God and us. We are entered into covenant with Him for this work.”

“The Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us as His own people and will command a blessing among us in all our ways so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness, and truth.”

If we shall deal falsely with our God… but if our hearts shall turn away… so that we will not obey… but shall be seduced and worship other gods… and serve them… our pleasure… and profits….

“So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His presence from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world. We shall perish.” (JW)

Winthrop left a legacy of writings about his understanding, and Jonathan Cahn will leave multiple books including Harbinger 2: the Return. In this book Cahn has shared some of Winthrop’s own words and those of other wise men along with many Scripture verses.

There is hope in words written by those who are gifted with wisdom and understanding. We are sometimes distracted from sitting quietly and reading such books, but you will be blessed by taking time to read Harbinger 2 then recommending it to others. More than fascinating reading or a needless warning, it is hope shared by men of hope.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish, but happy is one who keeps the Law.”  (Proverbs 29: 18)

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”  (2 Timothy 3: 16, 17)

A MOTHER’S LOVE: BLESSING AND HOPE

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers who love your children and who are loved by them. You are blessed and are a blessing. You will leave a legacy of blessing and hope.

Jeff and Sheri Easter wrote a song, “She Loved,” both in honor of their her own mothers and to express perhaps the best that can be said of a mother after she passes from this world. You may read the words below, but please also listen to Jeff and Sheri Easter performing the song online to be blessed.

Ponder your own legacy. May we parents strive to better love our precious gifts from God, our children. I am thankful that a mother’s love for me and my brother (and for our children) is a legacy left by my own dear mother.

SHE LOVED

Someone once asked,
“If only you knew
How short life would be,
What would you do?
What would they say
When God called you home?
What would they engrave
Once you were gone?”

I hope they would see
What I’ve done in my life;
Who I’ve cared for
And how I survived.
I hope they’d say,

“She loved more than anything else.
She loved with all of her heart.
She loved everyone she believed in.
She loved, oh she loved.

She loved the Lord
And served all her life;
A sacrificial mother
And an honorable wife.
She gave all she had
And through every trial
Made life much sweeter
Because of her smile.”

Everyone will see
What she’s done in her life,
Who she cared for,
And how she survived.
I’m sure they’d say,

“She loved more than anything else.
She loved with all of her heart.
She loved everyone she believed in.
She loved, oh she loved.

She loved everyone she believed in.
She loved, oh she loved
Oh, she loved.”

(Jeff & Sherri Easter)

Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: ‘Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.’ Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.”  (Proverbs 31:  28 – 30)

HOPE FOR AMERICA: PRAY, REPENT, HOPE

In the 20th century America endured great turmoil from WW1 and WW2 to unrest of the 1960’s and 70’s, racial riots in streets at home, threats abroad of “Death to America!”, political assassinations, hostage-taking, and numerous signs of decline and deterioration.

Finally believers from across America gathered in Washington, DC, shared President Lincoln’s Proclamation for Prayer (see April 24, 2021, blogpost), and prayed trusting 2 Chronicles 7: 14.

The two main prayers of this event were answered the following day! Fifty-two American hostages held in captivity for 444 days were released and a new US President was inaugurated.

Many had renewed hope for America as Ronald Reagan took the oath as President with his right hand raised and left hand on a Bible opened to 2 Chronicles 7:14.

As in the past it was the Scripture needed for the day:  “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Signs of healing and restoration were witnessed, falling inflation rates, rising economic growth, strengthening military power, fall of communism in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Not only American history but world history changed after people prayed.

Now… today… have we forgotten Who gives blessings to a nation? Unfortunately we are not heeding warnings. With prayer and repentance we can become hopeful again. Without it the future becomes bleaker and America weaker. If we pray, repent, hope, then we will experience God’s blessings in our hearts… our nation… our world.