Just some thoughts. They aren’t really random, because they were brought to mind by other things I’ve been reading today.
Tracy (Mother_Moonie) made this comment in the previous birthday post (and I thank her for saying this):
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ETHAN! And thank you ever so much for serving our country and putting your butt on the line for all of us!!! May God bless you!
(I’m not picking on you, Ethan, so please don’t be embarrassed or be wishing I wouldn’t say this.)
WE DO NEED TO THANK PEOPLE WHO DO JOBS THE REST OF US WOULD NOT DO. But it occurred to me that some of those we thank, might not really understand why we do it. And there are those who are uncomfortable with it.
(Now, I will say this: There are undoubtedly people in the military who just joined for the benefits, such as they are. I know it’s true….I’ve seen that excuse given when some did not want to go to the sandbox. But they enlisted, and they should go. It wasn’t like they didn’t know that was a possibility when they joined. They were trained in military tactics and given a gun. How could they know?)
We don’t need to worship our military and call them supermen. THEY know they don’t measure up to that. They are human beings. And it’s sometimes tough for them to take. However, we should encourage them. Scripture says we should encourage one another. It’s talking about encouraging fellow Christians (and many in our military are Christians), but we should never be a discouragement to someone going into a dangerous situation.
There are a lot of scriptures that talk about encouragement in different situations.
2 Sam 19:6-7….. 7 Now go out and encourage your men. NIV
Isa 1:17…..17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. NIV
Encouragement can be one of the gifts of God. I don’t mean it’s a blessing from God to be encouraged, although it is. I mean It is a gift of the spirit, just like teaching and prophesy. There are some people who just seem to be able to encourage other people better than some. It’s a gift from God:
Rom 12:5-8….. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage ; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
1 Thess 5:11…..11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. NIV
Heb 3:13-14…..13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. NIV
Heb 10:25…..25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching. NIV
As Christians, we are supposed to encourage each other more and more, as we see the signs pointing to the closeness of Jesus’ return. Encouraging people helps them to do what’s right. It helps them to not give up.
Just make sure it doesn’t turn into hero worship. God is the only one that should be worshipped.
But we don’t just have to thank those who do dangerous jobs. Thank your cashier at Walmart (or Target ). I do sometimes. I had one cashier stand with her mouth open once when I thanked her. She was apologizing for making some mistakes. She was training. I told her my daughter was a cashier there at Walmart, and I knew she had a tough job. (Yes, it is…you try ringing up purchases, when rude people are screaming at you, and bosses are wanting more out of you, and you still have stock you have to put on shelves. And it’s the day after Thanksgiving. And you are expected to keep a smile on your face.)
Now don’t misunderstand…there are people who are not doing a good job, because they are too lazy to do so. But I’ve heard Beth talk so many times about people that chew them out for things they have no control over. Take time to thank people. It’s encouraging. Who knows….maybe that cashier who doesn’t care about her job, will try harder because of encouragement. (And don’t be cynical….it CAN happen!)
Maybe that airman, or soldier, or sailor, or Marine who is discouraged or depressed, just might get a smile on their face because of encouragement from someone. It can’t hurt to try.
Another thought: Linda (lindaintennessee) posted pictures of doves that have made a nest in a window of her house. It made me think of a couple of verses, but this one I wanted to share:
Song 2:14…..My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. NIV
That’s from the Song of Solomon. In the past, people have written commentaries on how this portrays the love between God and humans. And it does. But scripture has different layers of meanings. And the most obvious meaning of The Song of Solomon is love between a man and a woman, and….sex. Yes, you read that right. The Bible talks about sex, people. Get over it.
One of our Bible Studies was on this book. And you should have seen the looks on the faces of the people in the group when they realized that the Bible talks about sex. There were a few open mouths. People have the attitude that pure and holy scriptures would not speak of anything so…so…umm….HUMAN!
It’s because of the worldly attitudes about sex. Who invented it anyway? God, of course. He designed our bodies, and gave us our desires. But people who believe what the world teaches do not believe that there was an intelligent designer.
Look at what that scripture portrays. It’s tender. It’s compassionate. It’s loving. That’s the way you have to treat a dove. You cannot run at it – it will flee from you. You have to gently encourage it to come to you.
You see, this tenderness is fueled by a God-given love. The kind of love He wants us to have for our mates. Yes, mates. Not significant others. Not something you can buy on the street. Something pure and….holy. This kind of love is respectful of the other person. This love is more concerned about the wants, needs and welfare of the other person, more than its own. It is unselfish. It is beautiful.
It doesn’t talk about how “hot” the dove is. It does say the face is lovely. But that’s not because it’s a beauty queen. It’s because the special love God gives that couple causes them to desire the face of the other. That face is more beautiful to them than any other.
The voice is sweet. Steve called a little while ago, and I just love to hear his voice. It’s soothing to me. I can’t wait to see his face again. It’s the face of the person I love. Just to be near him is what I like. We can be in this living room at night, and not even talk much, but just to be near….I like it. He’s my mate. He’s my other half. God bound us together, and we are one. Half of me is in Pennsylvania right now.
Did you know that studies have been done in medical settings, between spouses? Now there are obviously spouses who don’t want to be in the same room with each other. But loving, committed couples who are married to each other, have calming, soothing effects on each other. When one is in the hospital, just the other being there holding their hand can lower blood pressure and heart rate. It’s amazing. That’s the kind of bonding God wants spouses to have.
Oh, how you deceive yourself when you tell yourself that marriage makes no difference. That it’s just a piece of paper. It isn’t. It is vows that legally bind you together. It forms a more stable union.
Is there someone you think you love, but you are more obsessed with how hot their body is than anything else? If they had a roll of fat somewhere, would you leave them? You probably aren’t perfect, either, I’m guessing. Are you more concerned with your own wants or needs than theirs? Is their body more important than the possibility of love they hold inside? Do you respect them? Do you have substance?
If not, you are not ready for marriage.
Here we go again. There is a storm in the Gulf, and I smell panic in the air. It’s only expected to be a cat 1 storm, but people are talking about evacuations.
Steve has a tough job this week. He said he has a 900 page book that he has to know where to find all the answers in, for the tests on Thursday and Friday. It’s a timed test on all the EPA rules. Not fun.