Hope


Armor of God

 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. – 1 Thessalonians…

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A Necessary Juxtaposition


     Some might recall my experience with Subway last year on Veteran’s Day. In Baltimore I visited eight Subway stores anticipating that the organization would honour its promise of providing a six inch sub sandwich to veterans. To My dismay and chagrin neither of the stores in the downtown Baltimore area provided me that sandwich. I was more troubled that a professional letter of inquiry was sent to Subway’s corporate offices soon after the event in November of last year and to date Subway has yet to respond to me. I said it then and I say now, shame on Subway.

     In light of that I find it necessary to juxtapose Subway with a much different organization in a totally different city. You see, there are some stores that don’t make a lot of fan fair yet the work done by them is most honorable. One such organization is Chick-fi-la in general and the Collins Street store (http://www.cfarestaurant.com/northcollinsstreet/home) in particular. My experience with this organization and store is worth raving about. However I would not have had the good pleasure of enjoying the professionalism and excellent products of great restaurant were it not for my brother, a police captain in the Baltimore Police Department, who gave me and my siblings 2014 Chick-Fi-la gift cards for Christmas last year. What a generous and thoughtful gift!

     Because of the gift card provided me I have had the opportunity to visit the Collins Street Chick-fi-la a few times. My visit early this week allowed me to see signs indicating that there would be a military appreciation day which took place yesterday from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. yesterday. I arrived around 6:00 and found much more than I anticipated. There were police directing traffic and a parking lot filled with a number of sponsors all of whom had small gifts for veterans. All that was needed was the presentation of a military or veteran identification card. So, I presented my ID and was not only given a ticket for a great chicken sandwich meal with waffle fries and lemonade but also other gifts including a Chick-fi-la moo-moo cow bearing an olive drab billboard with the inscriptions “Life, liberty and the pursoot of chickin” and “21 chickin salute.” These things were underscored by the professionalism and courteous demeanor of the plentiful staff of Chick-fi-la. Thank you so much Chick-fi-la.

     Perhaps the honesty and unexpected largess of Chick-fi-la goes to the Christian roots of its founder S. Truett Cathy which can easily be juxtaposed with the not so Christian ideals of Subway. The fact is that Christians, by virtue of their dedication to holiness, are often generous. Moreover Christians tend to keep to their word no matter personal costs. This apparently is the attitude of S. Truett Cathyand has filtered throughout the restaurant chain. This is a lesson that can be applied to Christians at large in that the keeping of one’s word, particularly when that word is unsolicited, is extremely important and under girds the integrity of the one putting out that word.

     Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 reads, “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, then that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” And while this text is specific to vowing to God the idea of making promises and vows without fulfilling them is an inherent problem and should not be an issue among Christians. Jesus furthers the matter in Matthew 5:33 when He states “Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths…” These oaths to the Lord are not just specific to Him but also to those that serve and love Him.

     It is for this reason that Christians need to be very careful about promise they make. If a promise is made then the promise needs to be kept no matter how insignificant the promise may seem to be. This promise of a Christian extends from many levels to multitudes of relationships. It could be a simple “I’ll call you” to the vow of marriage for better or worst. Any breaking of any promise to a Christian is like vowing a vow to God and not honoring it. Even so there are many that break vows as though their words mean nothing. The text in Ecclesiastes counts such ones as fools.

     With that said I thank Chick-fi-la for honoring the veterans of this nation and for keeping a vow that may seem little yet is much in the sight of the Lord.

 

 

The Cross has made you Flawless


I am really enjoying this new album from Mercy Me, particularly this song….

sevennotesofgrace

mercy me welcome to new Thanks to the band Mercy Me we have another way of appreciating what the cross has achieved for us, by grace. In Christ we stand before our heavenly Father as perfect, flawless people. We are wrapped up in Christ’s righteousness. What a great image. We have done nothing to deserve this grace, nor can we do anything to deserve it. The song is called Flawless , from the album Welcome to the New .

FLAWLESS

There’s got to be more
Than going back and forth From doing right to doing wrong
‘Cause we were taught that’s who we are
Come on get in line right behind me
You along with everybody, Thinking there’s worth in what you do

Then Like a hero who takes the stage when
We’re on the edge of our seats saying it’s too late
Well let me introduce you to amazing grace

No matter the bumps…

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