Tag Archives: Army

Memorial Day 2013

134-memorialday2013

In honor of Memorial Day, please join me in solemn remembrance of the friends, family and neighbors that we have lost in defense of our freedoms and way of life, men and women who gave, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, ‘the last, full measure of devotion’ to our country.

With thousands of men and women still serving in harm’s way, our gratitude and appreciation only continues to grow. The members of our armed forces represent our nation’s highest ideals, personifying the sacrifice and patriotism central to the American experience. The United States would not be the great nation that it is today if it were not for the courage and valor of the proud individuals who have served in defense of our values.

On this Memorial Day, as we pay tribute to those serving and to the fallen, I hope you will consider the following quote and take some time to show your appreciation to the veterans in your life and our communities:

‘As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.’
– John F. Kennedy

Very truly yours,
Jack

Jack D. Franks
State Representative
63rd District

God’s Everlasting Love

Romans 8:37-39“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

Are You in the Lord’s Army?

Psalm 89:28 “My mercy I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall stand firm with him.”
I may never march in the infantry,
Ride in the cavalry,
Shoot the artillery.
I may never zoom o’er the enemy,
But I’m in the Lord’s army. Yes, sir! I’m in the Lord’s army. Yes, sir!
I’m in the Lord’s army. Yes, sir!

I may never march in the infantry,
Ride in the cavalry,
Shoot the artillery.

I may never zoom o’er the enemy,
But I’m in the Lord’s army. Yes, sir!

Remember that one? It was always one of my favorites. In fact, I wish the ‘grown-up’ church service would have it as a worship song occasionally – just to remind us of something very important:

We are in the Lord’s Army
Sure, it’s a kids’ song- but it has an adult message that is too easily neglected and too often forgotten. When you’re a child, it’s fun to think about being in the service of the Captain of our salvation…oh but then at some point we get ‘mature’, which often translates into ‘chicken’.

So the issue at hand is: are you involved in the fight? Or perhaps at some point you were taken prisoner by the enemy. If you are a captive, you might not even know it- so let me give you a few characteristics of spiritual P.O.W.’s.

  • They think that many Christians are just too ‘radical’ for Jesus. After all, they should settle down and try not to ‘offend’ people too much or too often.
  • They have been led to believe that the early fire they had for Christ was just a temporary spiritual high, but that kind of feeling will probably never come back.
  • They are trapped in the rut of going through the motions of church, Bible reading, and prayer…almost as if they are doing it out of duty instead of desire.
  • They try to witness to others through actions only, thinking that people will understand the gospel without ever being told.

If any of these describe you, the great news is that you hold a ‘get out of jail free’ card right in your hands! Satan only has as much authority as you give him, so take it back, recommit your life, and go to battle!

Perhaps the old song mentioned above isn’t quite enough to get you motivated anymore. If so, allow me to share a somewhat updated version that describes your position more specifically:

I am a Soldier
Author Unknown

I am a soldier, a prayer warrior, of the army of my God.
The Lord Jesus Christ is my Commanding Officer.
The Holy Bible is my code of conduct.
Faith, Prayer and the Word are my weapons of warfare.

I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience,
tried by adversity, and tested by fire.

I am a volunteer in this army, and I am enlisted for eternity.
I will either retire in this army at the Rapture or die in this Army;
but I will not get out, sell out, be talked out.
I am faithful, capable, and dependable.

If my God needs me, I am there.

I am a soldier, a prayer warrior. I am not a baby.
I do not need to be pampered, petted, primed up, pumped up, picked up, or pepped up.

I am a soldier, a prayer warrior.
No one has to call me, remind me, write me, visit me, entice me, or lure me.

I am a solider, a prayer warrior. I am not a wimp.
I am in place, saluting my King, obeying His orders, praising His name
and building His Kingdom!

I am a soldier, a prayer warrior.
No one has to send me flowers, gifts, food, cards, candy, or give me handouts.
I do not need to be cuddled, cradled, cared for, or catered to.

I am committed.
I cannot have my feelings hurt bad enough to turn me around.
I cannot be discouraged enough to turn me aside.
I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit.

You’re Helping to Build the Army of God!

1 Chronicles 12:21-22 “They helped David against the band of raiders, for they were all mighty men of valor and were commanders in the army. For from day to day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army, like an army of God.”
Hebrews 10:25 “Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
It must have been amazing to watch David amassing men around himself until it was like the army of God — Jesus is doing exactly the same thing in our days. The difference is the kinds of battles we’re fighting. David and his men engaged in physical warfare against bands of raiders; Philistines and local Canaanite tribes. We are in a spiritual war against “…principalities, against powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” [Ephesians 6:12]
A program by National Geographic gives a powerful illustration for us. In the great annual wildebeest migration in Serengeti National Park in Africa a giant herd, thousands of wildebeest, slowly move in groups across the plain. They are invariably followed by stalking lions. But the lions never attack the herd – they simply watch carefully for the stray wildebeest, either careless or seeking greener grass, who separates himself from the larger groups of animals. The isolated wildebeest will become the sudden prey of the lions who attack with lightening speed and ferocity.
In spiritual warfare isolation is equally dangerous, as our enemy roams like a roaring lion looking for separated brethren to prey upon. We all need real relationship and spiritual community for protection against our enemy who is constantly stalking vulnerable prey. It’s not enough to simply “go to church”. We need to be the community of believers, actively participating in loving, serving, praying, counseling, encouraging, admonishing, eating, rejoicing, weeping, and forgiving as the family of God.
Far too many are isolated, and seriously vulnerable to the spiritual attacks. Are you one of them? Do you know someone who is in this dangerous condition? David’s army was successful and safe because they were together in mind heart and purpose. Wildebeest, as well, survive when they stick together. Find your spiritual community and be faithful to it. It should not be a formality, but a family reality with a warfare mentality.

Stand In The River

Joshua 3:8 “And as for you, command the priests who bear the Ark of the Covenant, ‘When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’”

Joshua and all the Israelites were standing in front of the Jordan River. They were about to experience one of God’s miracles. From their story we can learn how Christians make God’s miracles happen.
The Israelites have to act; they have to go into the river first. I am sure they feared walking into a rushing river. They may have begun to doubt and think, ‘Will this river be cut off? Maybe we should wait until the river is cut off before stepping in!’ But God said to them that no matter what go to the river and stand in it first! That takes a true act of faith!

Many times we want verification before we try to something we are afraid of. We want to step into the river after it is cut off. We want to see first, and then believe. But God said to the believers, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
We have to act first. Often, we are unsure whether or not to step into the river, because we do not trust that God will cut it off as He said. But, we need to rely on our faith and go and stand in the flowing river. God will cut off the river, and we will cross it on dry ground. We will praise God on the dry ground!

Eternal Father, Strong to Save

Psalm 107:30-31 “Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!”

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidst the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Christ, the Lord of hill and plain,
O’er which our traffic runs amain,
By mountain pass or valley low,
Wherever Lord our brethren go,
Protect them by Thy guarding hand
From every peril on the land!

O Spirit Whom the Father sent
To spread abroad the firmament,
O Wind of Heaven, by Thy might
Save all who dare the eagle’s flight,
And keep them by Thy watchful care
From every peril in the air!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them whereso’er they go.
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee,
Glad praise from air, and land, and sea!