Reflections on the Afghanistan War

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I still remember the vivid emotions I felt leaving a church service in 2001, when I heard the United States invaded Afghanistan.  An alarmed friend asked out loud, “What does this mean?”  Her husband soberly responded, “We are at war, honey.”   In that moment, I felt like life as I knew it would permanently change.  But, it did not.

For the last 16 years our soldiers have died in Afghanistan (and Iraq), and my life has proceeded in comfort.  During the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, I do not remember meaningful public discussion on the validity of fighting a two-front war overseas while so many were hurting domestically.

Barak Obama campaigned on the position of pulling out of Afghanistan. Donald Trump was more ambiguous on his plans, but there was hope that he would end our longest war (and he may still). I believe both wanted to end the war, but obviously there is more information received as president that changed both of their intentions.  We discovered on August 21, 2017, that the Afghanistan War will continue with a new strategy.

With my limited knowledge in this area, I have concluded a few things:

  • This war has been so long because the average American does not feel the impact of the war on their lifestyle.
  • When a nation topples a government, that country must be prepared to keep military personal their 100 years. That is something to consider before the next military invasion to uproot a government. This is a concern for Iran, North Korea and Syria. Yet, the United States and allies may have no other choice when it comes to those troubled regimes.
  • For democracy to succeed, a revolution of values has to occur in people’s hearts. We cannot export our values as easily as we had hoped after the Cold War ended. It may take many decades for an idea to germinate in a culture before a people group rises up in defiance for lasting change. It is not enough to win freedom; it is a continual struggle to maintain freedom.  The United State has 241 years of history that proves this struggle is necessary.
  • The fallen soldiers and disabled veterans, and their families, deserve for the Afghanistan War to reach resolution.

My prayer is for our soldiers to come home soon, and for Afghanistan to thrive as a place of freedom and security. I do not know if both are possible, so I will support my country in the path it chooses militarily, as much as my conscious allows me to.

Though good men and women participate in them, war is a manifestation of evil.  Through the future rule of Jesus, there will come a day when all war ends!  Praise be to His name!

Advent begins this Sunday (Nov. 27)

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After enjoying Thanksgiving, let’s gather this Sunday in anticipation of what God is going to do. We’d love to meet your visiting family, and believe God’s Word will speak to them, as well as to us, as I preach from Romans 13:1-14. It will be a blessing to enjoy a Family Sunday together.

ADVENT, a word with Latin roots, means “coming.”   Advent designates a period before Christmas when Christians prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. This practice began in the church over sixteen hundred years ago! Sermons focused on the wonder of the Incarnation. By the Middle Ages four Sundays had become the standard length of the Advent season. Since then, Advent has been considered the beginning of the church year.

This Sunday at CIL we begin our fifth year anticipating the celebration of Christmas by preparing our hearts through the season of Advent.

Here are our themes:
November 27            Anticipate
December 4               Prepare
December 11              Rejoice
December 18             Adore

These themes will prepare us for a Jesus-centered Christmas!  We will gather on Christmas Eve at 3pm and 4:30pm for services that welcome the Lord Jesus fully into our lives and church.

Also, we are collecting items for the Christmas Blessing this Sunday through Christmas Eve. Items needed: Coats (new or in good condition) Hats, Gloves, Scarves, Socks, Blankets, (new or in good condition) Sleeping Bags, Individually wrapped candy, Fruit Snacks, Peanut butter, or Cheese crackers, Little Debbie Snack Cakes, Chapstick, Cough drops, Pocket Pack Kleenex, Band-aids, Feminine Products, $5 McDonald gift cards.

 

UK Decision Points to Dissatisfaction

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A historic day has come to the  United Kingdom, as the vote to leave the European Union  passed. Humanity’s dissatisfaction with earthly government is creating a climate of change all over the world. I pray the United Kingdom, the United States, the Arab world, and all points in between will turn to the one in whom “the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

The Miracle of the 6 Day War

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Israeli soldiers dance in celebration at the wailing wall in Old Jerusalem on June 7, 1967. They were among the first troops to flee the city of Arab control and gain access to the wall during the Six Day War between Israel and Arab states. (AP Photo)

A modern day miracle culminated 49 years ago today. On June 10, 1967, the Six-Day War ended, as young and tiny Israel defeated the armies of the Arab world, and claimed Jerusalem.

Though I hate war, sometimes it is necessary in response to aggression. This occurrence demonstrates God’s plan to keep His covenant, and preserve His people. The thriving of Israel today is a sign to you about the promises of God for all His people.

Celebrating Progress for Women’s Rights

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We celebrate today that on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees the right of women to vote, was ratified when Tennessee became the 36th state to approve it.  This is an occurence to remember and celebrate.

America has come a long ways in opening civil rights for females, but the progression has not been quick enough. I heartily believe a women should be paid the same amount of money as a man to accomplish the same task. Gender discrimination is an injustice that Christians should be concerned about.

Nature, reason, and Scripture clearly recognize the unique characteristics of each gender. Society functions best when these distinctions are recognized and honored. God has designed each gender uniquely to compliment each other in marriage, parenting, community, commerce and various other areas.  The genders may be different in many areas, but they should be the same in respect and opportunity.

George Washington Carver and Education

Can the secular and the spiritual blend in education? A few weeks ago, I exposed the virtue of education for blending the secular with the spiritual.  Read that article by clicking here.

George_Washington_CarverA great example of the blending of the secular and spiritual in education is the life of George Washington Carver. In an era hostile to African-Americans, this son of a slave was a national celebrity. In the 1920’s Carver’s research changed agriculture in the South and around the world. Researching from Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, Carver used education for both scientific discoveries and spiritual development. As his work was discovered he “spent increasingly more time on the road speaking about the peanut, the sweet potato, and his views of God in nature, complete with the demonstrations … Reporting on the professor’s lecture at the Cecil Hotel in Atlanta, the Atlanta Constitution declared, “The Scripture was literally fulfilled: ‘See thou a man diligent in business, he shall stand before kings (Perry, 2011, p. 103-104).’ ”

Carver truly blended the secular and the spiritual together, and everyone has benefited from this.

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Perry, John (2011). George Washington Carver (Christian Encounters Series). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.