How do you remember?

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What do you remember from your childhood?  For me, I remember all the GREAT times our family had at picnics.  Often, on July 4th, the McCarty clan would gather for an old fashioned hot dog and hamburger picnic.  Of course the obligatory potato salad and jello were there as well.  And, my grandmother made a cake named the “nameless cake.”  Yes, that was its name.  Apparently she saw the recipe in a magazine and there was a contest to name the recipe.  But, grandma never saw the result! So, for all those years the McCartys just called it the nameless cake.  But, nameless or not, it was delicious.  Among the frivolity were games, laughter and family.  What  wonderful memories I have of those picnics.

Another day on the calendar that brought family together was called “Decoration Day.”  Now, this picnic was normally held at my grandparents farm in Western Pennsylvania.  This gathering found the Shoemakers coming together for a picnic.  Let me tell you, farmers can cook!  We would have everything from fried chicken to burgers.  On the farm, however, it wasn’t just fun and games.  Those cows still needed to be fed and milked twice a day.  One other occurrence would always happen that wasn’t the most pleasant; traveling to the cemetery to decorate the graves.  Many of the family would travel to various cemeteries to remember our relatives who had passed on.  Some of the Shoemaker clan had passed away in the 1800’s and their gravestones were hard to read.  Yet, it was a lesson in history needed to be passed on to the younger generation.

In those days, however, I didn’t really understand why in Pennsylvania we called it “Decoration Day” and it seemed in Ohio we called it “Memorial Day.”  Well, over the years I found out why.  During and after the Civil War many were seeking ways to memorialize those who died in battle.  They would travel to the cemeteries to literally decorate the graves. Thus, it became known as Decoration day.  By 1887 the name was changing to Memorial Day.  It would not be until 1967 that the name was officially changed and by 1968 Congress declared the last Monday of May as the official day for Memorial Day.

I can, also, remember the parades and marching bands on that day.  I can remember the patriotism that was sparked on that day.  It was a time to focus more on those who had died for our freedoms than on the picnics and festivities.

On Sunday we will celebrate Memorial day.  Wait, you say, that was on Monday!  I know when our country celebrates Memorial Day.  Each and every year, and only once a year, we soberly remember those who have died for freedom.  But, we, every month, have a memorial day of our own.  On the first Sunday of each and every month we set aside a portion of our service to remember the One who died for our spiritual freedom.  No, we don’t usually have a picnic.  But, we have a “meal” none-the-less.  When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper we are remembering HIs death, burial and resurrection.  It is Jesus who said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”  You see, it really is our Memorial Day.

So, no matter what we call it, let us look back to the Cross of Christ to remember His sacrifice for our sins.  Then, let us look forward to His return again to catch us away.  How thankful I am for those who fought and died for my freedoms in America.  But, I’ll be eternally thankful for my Saviour Who died in my place and gave me life.  

 

Come Sunday ready to celebrate Memorial Day with us.

 

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Families: A Foundation to Society

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Mothers, fathers, children; where would we be without them?  All of us reading this have a father and a mother.  No one, except Jesus Christ, enters the world without benefit of a mom and a dad.  Some of our moms or dads may not have been a good role model, but we could not be alive today without them.  The Bible says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord.”  Children are precious gifts to many married couples from our Heavenly Father.  Yet, He chooses some couples to not have children. His wisdom is always best, even in these situations.  But, to most of us, we have been blessed with children.

Today, some couples are getting married with the express desire to go through all of married life without children.  Some do it for medical reasons.  However, some simply decide that they do not want the responsibility of raising a child.  They might blame the condition of the world or economic issues.  But, they are robbing themselves of one of the greatest blessings God has given to married couples.  Even in the difficult times, children are a blessing.

Sunday we will move forward in our study of the Book of Ephesians to chapter six verses one to four.  In this section the Apostle Paul tells us how Spirit-filled children, parents and fathers will look and act like.  He will lay down a number of principles for each one to demonstrate in their lives to show the world the grace of God in action.  He will impress upon us how to imitate the relationship between the Son of God and His Father.

Do you know when the first Mother’s Day was celebrated in America?  1908.  Do you know hen the first Father’s Day was celebrated in America?  1910.  Now, do you know when the first Children’s Day was celebrated in America?  1925? NO!  1950? NO!  Actually, the first Children’s Day was celebrated over 40 years before the first Mother’s Day; 1867!  Before Ann Jarvis began to petition for a day to remember mothers, churches were setting aside a day to remember children.  Without children a society dies.  Without obedient children a society falls apart.  Children are truly the future of any community of people.

Strong Christian families are needed today.  Mothers are needed who love and serve the Lord and are Spirit-filled in living for Him.  Fathers are needed who love and serve the Lord and are Spirit-filled in living for Him.  And, children are needed who love and serve the Lord and are Spirit-filled in living for Him.  The Apostle Paul will give instruction on how this can happen.

Sunday I will share 10 reasons we often raise “angry” children.  Do you wonder why more and more children are going up mad at the world around them?  I will list what I believe to be 10 causes for this phenomenon.  This list is not inspired not exhaustive.  Still, it will give us food for thought as to what we can do set our children on a course to love and serve the Lord.

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What’s that you say?

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What do dads and sons, Queen Esther, apologetics and Eschatology have in common?  Nothing, you say!  WRONG!  🙂

These four subjects are the topics for our Summer 2014 Sunday School shake-up.  Four teachers will be teaching these subjects for ages 6th grade and up.  Ken Renfro will teach a class on Bible dads and sons.  It will be an interesting study to see how dads and sons related to one another.  For this class we will limit the class to men and boys.  Dianne Madison will embark upon a study of the life of Queen Esther.  This class is limited to women and girls.  She will be finding some stimulating principles from Queen Esther’s life.  Pastor Jon will instruct his class on the art of defending our faith.  This class is open to all.  He will teach thought provoking ideas on how to “give an answer for the hope that lies within us.”  Pastor McCarty will give a class on the subject of eschatology.  This class will also be open to all.  I will seek to answer many of the questions people have concerning the future.

Our younger students will be divided into two classes by ages.  These classes will give the opportunity for the whole family to participate in the Sunday School hour.

Learning is a life-long adventure.  No one would ever be able to exhaust all there is to know on any subject.  And so it is with our study of the Bible.  No mater how many years we have been saved or come to church we can always learn more.  We would love to see each and every family at FBCCLG choose a class and participate in it.  Could anyone really know all there is to know about dads and sons, or Queen Esther, or apologetics or eschatology?  I doubt it.

On Sunday, sign up for the class of your choice.  If any are full, simply choose another one.  All classes will be captivating, engaging, inviting, tantalizing, and stimulating.

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