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Tuesday Thoughts 5-29-18

I had in mind to write about something else entirely until attending yesterday’s Memorial Day parade and service downtown.   Diana and I love being a part of a community that gets together, and Gaylord certainly does!  While there are many reasons for these public celebrations, yesterday’s gathering carried, of course, a somber note as the sacrifice of life-for-freedom by our service men and women was honored.   I was stirred many times by the sights and sounds of patriotism, sorrow, and respect.  What was striking, though, was the presence of a spirit of stillness.  The crowd included all ages, from the long-retired to the squirming baby.  There were people who took time from work, play, and the struggle of life to listen and watch presentations of flowers, songs, words, and tears under a hot sun.  I’m sure there were some that checked watches, tapped their feet in impatience, and were thinking about what they would do with the rest of the day, but I didn’t witness any of that.  People were still, attentive and expectant.  When we understand the value of something, it is much easier to pay attention.  Though we shouldn’t need reminding, we do; there is nobody more valuable than Jesus and nothing you get from any other source is as valuable as what He gives!  Our first step toward paying attention to God is recognizing and recounting His value through our praise.  As the Old Testament prophet Isaiah put it, “O Lord, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them.” Isaiah 25:1 (NLT).  Just as the war dead were remembered by conflict, name and military branch, so we need to verbalize the nature, power and deeds of our holy, loving Father.  These acts of remembrance will cultivate a spirit of stillness that enables the observance of a very needful habit for the people of the Cross—waiting—which Isaiah also wrote about, “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV).   Just as a Memorial Day service leads to hearts that are stirred, when we wait on God we will be stirred by the Holy Spirit toward personal peace, inner power, and outward acts of love.  So start remembering, reviewing, and giving praise to the King above all kings!

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