Archive for the Holiday Category

Celebrate 4 where we came from

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God, Holiday, Patriotic, Politics with tags , , , , , , on July 4, 2012 by rylanreed

Today we celebrate the 4th of July.  A time of fireworks, barbeques, sun, and freedom.  It’s a time of remembering the Declaration of Independence, the courage it took for 57 men to decide the 13 colonies of America had enough of being ruled by another country on another continent, subjected to their rule and order.  The sacrifice it took for those in the 13 colonies to stand up and fight, risking their lives so that they, and generations to come, could be free to live a life worth living.

Here is an excerpt from the President of Hillsdale College, Dr. Larry Arnn, from “How to Celebrate the Fourth of July,” in the July issue of Townhall magazine:

Two hundred thirty-six years ago this Fourth of July, 57 men signed the document that created the American republic. They represented a people of about 3 million grouped in a series of 13 colonies along the eastern seaboard of the United States. They were all wanted men, sought by the commander of the British forces in North America for sedition and treason. He had behind him the resources of the greatest military power on earth. They had behind them the bare beginnings of a government, hardly anything of an army, but something mighty in the way of an idea.

This nation had therefore a desperate beginning. Who but the boldest could believe that the signers of the Declaration of Independence were laying the foundation of the greatest constitutional republic in history? Now that republic has spread across the continent, and its influence reaches around the world. Its population has increased a hundredfold. Its Constitution has provided government to a free people constantly growing in size and territory, each new state joining the union as an equal, its citizens never subjects, its people ever free. There is no story close to it in the history of man.

I would encourage you to read the whole article of what Dr. Larry Arnn has to say about the government today and where we are possibly going to in the future.  We are a free people, able to decide what we want for ourselves and as a people in general.  Let’s not get away from that thinking.

Here is an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

You can download it here.

Galatians 5:1 “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

I am grateful of the freedom I have to believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who died for my life so that I can be able to someday be in Heaven with Him.  The freedom to speak freely about what I believe and have the opportunity to meet freely with those that believe in God as the Creator of this world and country that we are uniquely able to live in, and Jesus His Son being the One who is able to save people from eternal separation.  I am grateful for those 57 men, who decided that they could not take on the task that was set before them without having a faith in something much greater than themselves.

“O what a freedom is thine! freedom from condemnation, freedom to the promises, freedom to the throne of grace, and at last freedom to enter heaven!” – Charles Spurgeon

2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

I am honored and blessed to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Thank you to the men and women of the Armed forces who have allowed us the safety to live in the land of opportunity and freedom.  You are remembered for your sacrifices!   “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”  Elmer Davis

To the Cross

Posted in God, Holiday with tags , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2012 by rylanreed

Today is a time of remembering, for those who follow Jesus Christ, of what He went through leading up to the cross and the glorious resurrection that followed three days later.  As I think about my own life and what I’ve been through leading up to where I am right now, I’m always humbled and blessed to remember that Christ died for my sins and did so even before I knew Him.  I see in the Cross, how much His love is for me, that He would go to a horrible death so that I could spend Eternity with Him when I die. I rejoice in Him, knowing that what He gave was a gift, one that He gives to anyone and everyone that believes in Him, the savior for the world.

A friend showed me this link about Good Friday, a story line from when Jesus started picking out His disciples to just after His death.  You can listen to it here.

At the end, the pastor talks about the stations of the cross, which you can read about here.

For the dads

Posted in Family, Holiday with tags , , , , , on June 19, 2011 by rylanreed

Today we have the chance to celebrate the dads that brought us up through our lives, in the hard times and also the good times, that has made us who we are as men and women.  No one’s perfect, and some fathers will say they wished they would have done things differently, but they were there ‘in the flesh and heart’ for most of their kids.  I can’t speak for all fathers, but my dad was there willing to help out whenever it was needed.  He worked his butt off and continues to do so, to give us the ability to do and try the things that we wanted to accomplish.  Some kids were not so lucky.  Their dads either died when they were young, were there only ‘in the flesh’ and didn’t really care about what was going on in their kids lives, or they left their mothers before the kids were born or a little after the marriage.

Celebrating Fatherhood: An important Missing Link

Pt. 1 – Fathers are necessary to the healthy development of children

Anthony has been raised by a loving mother and other family members for the past 11 years, but there is a huge hole in his heart… his missing father.

Research shows that a loving and nurturing father improves outcomes for children, families and communities, and fathers who live with their children are most likely to have a close, enduring relationship with their children.  Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors including drug use, truancy, and criminal activity. The growing absence of fathers in children’s lives has emerged as one of our nation’s greatest social problems, resulting in lost opportunities for children and a financial burden to society.

American children are in crisis and families are in need of assistance due to father absence.  Statistics consistently point out that children who grow up without their fathers are more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (0r adoptive) parents.

{ Research: About 75 percent of children raised in father-absent homes will experience poverty before they reach age 11, compared to only 20 percent of kids in two parent families.}

The truth is this: Children need committed fathers as much as they need their mothers. While it’s impossible to piece together a complete picture through statistics alone, the following indicate some correlation between absentee fathers and a variety of social problems:

  • In a 1997 report to Congress, the U.S. Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) provides national demographic data on children enrolled in CMHS funded services. They found that “on the whole, children living in single-parent families are more likely to experience poverty than children living in two-parent homes.” Further, “of those children living in poverty, 73 percent were living in families maintained by mothers, as compared to 22 percent of those children living with both parents, and 5 percent living with their families.”
  • In a 2004 study by the National Council on Family Relations, researchers noted that “most children (56%) live in two-biological-parent married families,” but that “the share of children residing with two biological married parents has been steadily declining.”  This decline was found to negatively affect child well-being in several ways, including that “adolescents living outside two-biological-parent married families tend to exhibit more behavioral and emotional problems” and are “significantly less engaged in school.”
  • A study published in the February 2007 issue of the Journal of Population Economics notes: “There is longstanding evidence that youth raised by single parents are more likely to perform poorly in school and partake in ‘deviant’ behaviors such as smoking, sex, substance use, and crime.  However, there is not widespread agreement as to whether the timing of the marital disruption differentially impacts youth outcomes.”  After undertaking their research, the authors concluded that an additional five years spent with the biological father significantly lowers a youth’s likelihood of engaging in the named behaviors and that in general, “the longer the father remains in the household, the ‘better off’ the youth is.

The evidence is clear. Fathers are extremely important figures in the lives of their children and their influence cannot be underestimated.

Family Spectrum Magazine, Open Forum pg 24, June 2010 omahapublication.com

So lets encourage our dad’s today, to be the men that lead country to be its best everyday, and that leads by example how to live a life not solely for themselves but for the betterment of others.  Let us also encourage those that gave up their right to be a father or those that want to become fathers, to start becoming a part of the kids lives that they brought into this world, or for those not yet with kids to incorporate a part of their lives with children.  Fathers are a big part of a kids life, just like mothers, to help bring them up to be responsible adults.

Thank you dad!

Hallelujah, Christ is risen indeed

Posted in following Jesus, God, Holiday with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2011 by rylanreed

Through Him, we are given everything we need to live a life for Him and His praise.  He died so that we could live with Him forever if we just believe that He is God and the Saviour for all.  Let us give thanks to Him this day, for He has died and now risen!

What He went through

Posted in following Jesus, God, Holiday with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2011 by rylanreed

This is crazy! I know it is on a link about conspiracies, but if you look closely it comes from an excerpt from The Expositors Bible Commentary. I’ll just give you a little bit of what it talks about, and let you check out the rest:

Mark 15:15 “So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.”

The Romans first stripped the victim and tied his hands to a post above his head. The whip (flagellum) was made of several pieces of leather with pieces of bone and lead embedded near the ends. Two men, one on each side of the victim, usually did the flogging. The Jews mercifully limited flogging to a maximum of forty stripes; the Romans had no such limitation. The following is a medical doctor�s description of the physical effects of flogging.

The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus� shoulders, back, and legs. At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper in the subcutaneous tissues, producing first and oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles� Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. (C. Truman Davis, “The Crucifixion of Jesus. The Passion of Christ from a Medical Point of View,” Arizona Medicine 22, no. 3 [March 1965]: 185)    It is not surprising that victims of Roman floggings seldom survived.

Mark 15:20 “And when they mocked him , they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on Him. And they led him out to crucify Him.”

At last tiring of their sadism, the soldiers tore the robe from Jesus� back. The fabric had probably stuck to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds. Thus when it was callously ripped off him, it caused excruciating pain, just as when a bandage is carelessly removed. Jesus� own clothes were now put back on him.

Mark 15:24 “And they crucified Him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.”

Mark simply says, “And they crucified him.” What incredible restraint! Especially when one considers that crucifixion was, as Cicero said, “the cruelest and most hideous punishment possible” (In Verrem 5.54.165). What took place physically is described by Davis (“Crucifixion of Jesus,” pp. 186-187).

Simon is ordered to place the patibulum on the ground and Jesus is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The cross is then lifted into place.

It is gruesome to read everything that Jesus went through from the time at Gethsemane to His death on the Cross.  The whole read on this link is really incredible, but to only focus on the pain would not be sufficient of what this day was all about.  Jesus went through the worst pain ever imaginable, pain that almost everyone will not ever experience, or at least in my lifetime.  He did all of this because of His and God’s love for us.  It was an incredible event and one that allows those that believe in Christ, as a way to God the Father, to live with Him in Heaven when we pass away from this earth.

In Him, we remember

The Cross (Good Friday)

Posted in following Jesus, God, Holiday with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2011 by rylanreed

Today is a solemn day, but a joyous one because of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for the sins of the world.  The sins of everyone that has lived on this earth and will live before Christ comes back on that glorious day, He took it all so we could be able to live with Him in Heaven someday.    These are Jesus’ words and a description of the night before:

Matthew 26:39 “‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.'”

Mark 14:36 “‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.'”

Luke 22:44 “And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

And Jesus on the cross:

Matthew 27:46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, Lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

There was a time when I was younger, (and I’m sure others’ have as well), I used to think that when Christ prayed and sweated blood in Gethsemane, he was not wanting to go through the torture that was going to happen on the cross. And when Christ was on the cross it came to a point where it was too much to bear.  That was my perception because Christ was human, God becoming man, and having to go through all of the suffering; I know I could not have handled it and I’m sure no one else really could.

I’ve grown to understand, and heard it again a few weeks back, that it was way more than just the physical pain.  God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have all been together, so when Jesus came to the point of the cross and His crucifixion, he knew what was going to happen that had never happened before.  Because of God’s love for us, He sent His Son down to die for our sins, being blameless and without sin, was able to take on all the sins of the world.  But because God hates sin soo much, He could not be able to bear to see His Son with the sins of the world on His shoulders.  God is perfect and he can not bear to be near to sin, so when Christ was put on the cross, God had to turn His back on His one and only Son.  Jesus loved us soo much that he gave up His connection with the Father to give us a chance to live with Him forever in Heaven.  He did a work that I couldn’t have done myself, and no one else could, because He loves me (and you) with everything.

Let us remember what He has done for our lives. Let us take the time to be still and wait on His love. Let us stop what we are doing and praise Him who took on what we could never have accomplished by ourselves. Let us remember HIM!

(the link is a sermon, about an hour in length, and the part on this starts around the 46th minute. I would recommend listening to all of it, if you have the time)

The Gospel in Christmas

Posted in following Jesus, God, Holiday with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2010 by rylanreed

Jesus Christ, the gospel, has given us a chance to live with Him in eternity, if we just take a step of faith and believe that He is God and came to save us from our sins.  We think of Jesus as a baby boy, and that is what He came to earth as, but His main purpose was living a life for us to follow (knowing that we aren’t perfect and don’t have to be) and dying on the cross to take the punishment of our sins on His shoulders so that we could have a close relationship with Him and God the Father.

Here is a Christmas card that spells the gospel out in a beautiful way.