It means Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed, the acronym AWANA. AWANA is a fantastic ministry that Karen and I had the privilege of being involved in for a number of years. The acronym comes from the verse 2 Timothy 2:15:
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
We were once a Christian nation, one that openly worshiped the Lord Jesus Christ while allowing Americans the freedom to worship as they pleased. However that freedom, which I still fully support, has brought an apostasy to our once virtuous nation.
How did America become an apostate nation? I inquired of the Lord and asked Him; Father where did we go wrong as a nation? He pointed me to our beginning. Before the colonies were ever connected commercially and politically, they first became connected spiritually. The First Great Awakening came to the colonies in the 1730’s and 1740’s primarily through the preaching of George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards. This brought revival to the land as these and other great preachers taught about Christ and our liberty in Him. It was liberty in Christ that brought the desire for liberty as a people.
As a retired soldier, an amateur military historian, conservative pundit, and most importantly a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I am always fascinated with the lives of Christian warriors who answer the call of duty to serve their nation in the military. My beautiful son was just such a man. Like Eddie, I love to bring to light the lives of great Christian soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen.
Returning from a business trip last night I dropped off a co-worker at our office parking lot and headed home. I decided I wanted to listen to some music and the local Christian radio station was playing a genre of music that my late son used to like to listen to that is not exactly my taste in music. I decided to listen to a CD and put in “Aware” by Salvador. I love this group not only for their lyrical and musical talent, but also for their worship of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Did you know that there are a lot of smart, educated people who are not very wise? I used to think that knowledge was power and in a way it is, but what is more valuable; knowledge or wisdom? What good is knowledge without the understanding to apply it to your life?
Random House Dictionary defines knowledge as “acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation” and wisdom is “the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.”
Last night my wife, daughter, and I arrived to church only to find the entrance of the parking the scene of an accident. A motorcyclist traveling at a high rate of speed t-boned a church member’s car who was turning into the church lot. The biker had been drinking beer; in fact he had some empties and a couple of full beers tucked around him in his clothing.
The man was seriously injured and right before EMS and the police showed up his two biker companions jumped on their bikes and left. They left their buddy behind to face his injuries and whatever else his future holds…alone.
There are some quarters of Christian theology that do not believe in free will and while I do not want to turn this into a debate, the Bible clearly shows that we will reap what we sow and that our choices have consequences. I describe free will as the wonderful and horrible gift from God. He gave us free will because if I don’t have a choice whether or not I serve and love Him; is it real?
I have had a Keith Green song running around my head for at least a week now and I just have to write about it. It has been ministering to me, reminding me that no matter how far I may stray, Jesus is always waiting for my return. I feel like such a failure when I let my Jesus down, when I forsake Him for this world and this song reminds me of God’s faithfulness no matter what I do. I am thankful that when I grieve the Holy Spirit the Lord always draws me back to Him.
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is almost here? Yay! I love Thanksgiving and beginning on Monday I am going to rerun last year’s three-part series I did on Thanksgiving based off of a 2002 article I wrote. I’ll of course update it to reflect what has happened in the past year, but I think it is important to have a heart of thankfulness; actually it is required of us. God inhabits the praises of His people:
“But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3)
I so love how the Holy Spirit works. This morning I awoke with the song “You Are God Alone” by one of my all time favorite Christian groups Phillips, Craig and Dean. We sang this song in church last Sunday. The chorus goes like this:
You are God alone
From before time began
You were on Your throne
Your are God alone
And right now
In the good times and bad
You are on Your throne
You are God alone
Last night at a website I watched part one of a three part interview that Oprah Winfrey did yesterday with Sarah Palin. The thing that struck me the most about Sarah’s interview was what she said about how Team McCain handled her. These “advisers” and “consultants” all seemed to know what was best for Sarah; they kept telling her to keep on message. She said she never really knew what the message was.
It seems in the political arena today that Madison Avenue has more bearing on our candidates than does Main Street. The message writers and handlers tend to carry more authority than do the candidates. As I was thinking about that I remembered the first chapter of a powerful little book titled The Leadership Lessons of Jesus by Bob Briner and Ray Pritchard.
This morning I woke up with this chorus running through my mind:
Honey, you are my shining star
Don’t you go away
Wanna be right here where you are
Until my dying day
The chorus is from the song “Shining Star” by an old Motown group The Manhattans. I couldn’t understand why that chorus was so ingrained into my brain and so I figured the Lord wanted me to write about it.
Last night we lost power during Tropical Storm Ida, right in the middle of Monday Night Football! So I did what any good husband would do; I immediately set up the generator so I could plug in our refrigerator because I had no idea how long the power would be out. Oh yeah, and I plugged in the television, surround sound, and my TiVo box, never mind I almost broke my television by dropping it. Hey, why not use the electrical power…it was available after all?!
When the power came back on I realized how convenient it is to have power from the electric company. Everything had power! Of course I can hire an electrician to wire my power box to allow me to hook my generator directly to it and run most things other than the AC and washer machine, but to have unlimited power is to have real power. Not too mention I don’t have to fill the generator with fuel (and bring back not so fond memories of me as a junior enlisted soldier on maneuvers).