The Back Pew - June 2018
Prepared by Bert Rice
As many of you know, the Psalms are an interesting number of poems or songs of praise, worship, thankfulness, and repentance. Each is quite complete by itself. As you read them you might experience a variety of feelings, emotions, attitudes and interests. From personal experience, I have felt one or more of these when reading most any one of the Psalms.
I will use as an example Psalm 1. It reads as follows: 1. Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sits in the seat of mockers. 2. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3. He is like a tree plant- ed by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. 4. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
When I read Psalm 1, I get a feeling that the decision for me is quite simple. Because I know that one day judgment will come, I am compelled to ask myself this question: Will the Lord judge me as one of the wicked or one of the righteous? Verse 6 is helpful to me in making the decision when it states, “For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of wicked will perish!”
In my meditations, I pray that God will forgive me of all my sins and am comforted in knowing that my sins are forgiven, as He has promised, because I believe in Him and have faith and trust that His promise is true. I have often felt that maybe I am not worthy. What that really means is that I need to reexamine where I stand for it is obvious that my faith and trust need to be bolstered. God does that for me through His inspired word. In short, that brings me back to the importance of reading and meditating on God’s word daily. I will close with this question: “Will you be judged as one of the righteous or one of the wicked?” Something to ponder.....!
Let us Pray:
Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we pray that you will give us strength to go the way of the righteous even though we see wickedness all around us. Help us discern right from wrong and to do what is pleasing to you. We believe in your promise of forgiveness and we pray that our thoughts, words and deeds are righteous, not wicked. You give us strength to do thy will and we thank you. Lord bless all members of VOLA and their families. Comfort those who are ill or are recovering from any malady. Hold in your loving arms those who grieve the loss of a loved one or friend. Watch over our military service members and families and be with the leaders of our Nation and the World. We pray for peace and freedom for all who are oppressed.
Thank you for listening and answering our prayers. In Thy Holy Name we pray, Amen
What can the Chaplain do for me?
My primary job as Chaplain of the V. L. O. A. is to conduct the Sunday morning worship service at our reunions. In addition, should you have the need to talk with someone who has "been there, done that," I am available to listen.
Outlaws Devotional - July 2017
Ephesians 4:29. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
When I entered the U.S. Army in 1960, I quickly learned that getting straight to the point was the norm. Commanders were “old school;” give orders and demand soldiers execute them. In later years, younger military personnel were a “different breed of cat” and required more explanation before the order.
As a young commander, I wasn’t attuned to the fact that the “explanation” I gave might be perceived as blunt, harsh, or critical. My orders were more often than not very straight-forward, even though they contained some explanation. My Father-in-Law made a statement one time when we were hunting on his Florida farm that really hit home with me. He said: “Words are like a bullet shot from a pistol; once you pull the trigger, you can’t take back the bullet.” As my names imply, I have always been earnest and frank! My Father-in-Law’s words stuck with me as I grew older.
Some years ago, I forwarded an email I received criticizing a politician I didn’t support, only to get a return email from an Army buddy. “Good Christians don’t criticize others” he said in his lengthy response, but then he criticized me for criticizing others. I did a great deal of thinking about what he said.
Have you experienced someone that criticizes or disparages someone else in the written or spoken word, seriously or jokingly, knowingly or unknowingly? Just about everywhere we look in today’s society, there is an abundance of hate, offensive statements, Tweets, Facebook posts, TV reports, and newspaper articles that have clearly moved away from being Christ oriented in our words and deeds. This is the right time for all of us to take a step back and really see how our words and deeds are received by others. Maybe we should apply Ephesians 4:29 during this period where our country is trying to find who it is and what it stands for again as a world leader. Just maybe, some things might work better in our personal lives, our church, our community, and our nation.
My Prayer: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer. Amen.
Submitted by Frank Estes