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A little bit about a lot of things - Albia Newspapers: Opinion

A little bit about a lot of things

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Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 9:10 am

This Saturday is Veterans’ Day. Lots of activities have been going on and will certainly be going on including the tremendous Veterans’ breakfast in Albia on Saturday. My dad, who just turned 100, still calls it Armistice Day. Bless his heart. Having been born in 1917 when WW 1 was still happening, that probably is ingrained in him. It was on the 11 the hour, the 11th day of the 11th month that the Armistice ended WW1 for all practical purposes. Since then and before then, men and women have served our country with, as I said in the high school assembly on Tuesday, grit and valor and courage. How true!

I have said it many times but we can never repay what so many have done for us. Winston Churchill said of the British Royal Air Force in WW 2 after they survived and saved Britain from the Nazi juggernaut-“never have so many owed so much too so few.” Those words can easily apply to the American soldiers and veterans of every generation. May we always remember them and pray for them and honor them and that we make sure that our country always helps them in their struggles to reacclimatize to the kind of lives the rest of us take for granted.

This past week, another evil atrocity took place in our nation- the church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Twenty six dead and over twenty wounded as a shooter with a horrific record or cruelty to just about everything and everyone went on a shooting rampage. This man was a devout atheist and was hostile to things and people of faith. Such an act is worse than barbaric; it is demonic and evil. Many clamor for this or that to be done with gun laws etc.

0But to say what I have said before, the problem is the human heart. We have so degenerated in our nation that more and more miscreants abound because we have run from God rather than to Him. We are lost in the abyss of sin and degradation nationally and these things will continue to happen. We need renewal and revival. As Ravi Zechariahs , one of the great Bible scholars of our nation has said, “ these people killed were worshipping Jesus and are with Him now while this man who so hated religion and denied God now knows there is one. “ A chilling thought indeed. Please pray for the victims of this little town in Texas and pray for all of us and our nation.

My dad and mom want to say a big thanks for all those who sent cards and letters and salutations on their 99th and 100th birthday. They also appreciated the visits as well. It was a very fun and special time. It is so true what my dad said to Dave Paxton the other day,” God has been good to Gladys and I.” It is so true and to me by allowing them to be here so long. It is indeed a blessing to have parents that know the Lord.

This past Tuesday, I spoke at the Veterans’ Assembly in Albia at the High School. I shared about one of the key battles of the war- Iwo Jima. But the key I tried to leave with the kids was to earn what the veterans had done for them by the way they lived their lives. After 30 years teaching, I always try to challenge kids to do better. I stressed that they should, as so many of our veterans did in their service, to be always faithful (Semper Fidelis) to their families, friends, country and God.

On Monday, I attended a book signing and social in West Des Moines for friend Aaron Putze and former all American quarterback and the head of the Iowa Sports Federation, Chuck Long. Chuck is a terrific story and a most humble guy and a legend in Iowa. He helped me out at our big Veterans and Military band extravaganza last year and wee have stayed in touch. His new book is terrific “ Chuck Long, Destined for Greatness.” If you love Hawkeye football or just a great story, get this book. It truly is awesome. Chuck is signing them and also visiting with folks. He will be at Scheels at Jordan Creek Mall at 4 p.m. on November 19 in his barnstorming promo tour and you can get the back on Amazon Primes now . Great Christmas gift.

Lately I have seen a lot of people do some really kind things to others and as we are moving into the time of year, keep this in mind: kindness begets kindness; comfort begets comfort; and like a rock thrown on a pond, you never know how far the ripples will carry. Take the time , consciously, to comfort and encourage and help and lift up other people. It can become a chain reaction. Never grow weary in doing good, for “ in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore as we have an opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are in the household of faith.’ Make a difference folks. Consciously make the effort. That is what Galatians 6:9-10 is saying.

I was blessed to see my friend Chuck Long, former Iowa All American quarterback and now head of the Iowa Sports Federation Monday night in Valley Junction. Chuck has a great new book that he worked with Aaron Putze about. It is called Chuck Long-Destined for Greatness. That is how the legendary Iowa coach Hayden Fry descried Chuck early on. Hayden was right. The best part of that is Chuck is a great guy as is Aaron who works with the Iowa Soybean Association. It is a terrific book and their will be signings around the state and the book will be for sale and available in other venues soon. It is a great Christmas gift and I recommend it totally.

The legendary Iconium Church Supper was last weekend and the church there set a record for proceeds . Oysters drive that soup supper but they appreciate your patronage and also as always the St. Mary’s election day dinner was superb. The community of faith in our area does a wonderful job.

My friend Ray Vitko will next week be doing the bulk of the Christmas decorations on the square in Albia. He does a great job and it reminds us that the season of Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming quickly. Man early hint, make these holidays special by remembering to honor our Savior.

On another front, Billy Graham turned 99 this week. What a great servant of the Lord. And do not forget to get all your Operation Christmas Child boxes back where you picked them up by Sunday. I will be picking them all up on Monday and starting them on their way to help needy children worldwide. And do not forget to listen to my 6:45 a.m. Sunday morning program Daybreak. I think you will enjoy it, KIIC 96.7

Finally, in Luke 19:1-10, there is the story of a little man named Zaccheus. He was a chief tax collector for the Romans. He was not , by the way, involved in the new tax overhaul plans of now. LOL. He was , however, despised by the Jews of his day. So it was surprising that Jesus invited him to come to a home where He could visit with Him . But then , Jesus said that He came to save the lost. We can infer from that then that Zaccheus was lost. But what is lost. What does it mean. I have been lost on vacations before and in hunting etc. We use the term when we talk about our team when they come out on the short end of a score , but what does lost mean spiritually?

It means that someone has not accepted Jesus as his or her personal Savior and Lord. In has nothing to do with physical location-yet. It will though if that lost condition continues because to be continually lost means one will be in hell as opposed to Heaven someday. It means spiritual deadness. Ephesians 2:1.Everyone is lost at one time or another spiritually. It is our natural position due to Adam and Eve’s sin. Zaccheus may have been a despised tax collector but that was not why he was lost. Good behavior and good works do not make us a Christian and bad behavior does not disqualify us. It is by trusting in Jesus alone as your Lord and Savior that you receive salvation.

You cannot get unlost spiritually by using a compass as you might when you are physically lost. You can only get unlost by going through Christ. He alone is the Way and the Truth and the Life. So as I close today I guess I would say to you,” are you lost.” You can even be saved and feel lost. That condition is often due to the fact you have allowed yourself to drift from the Lord. But again the Good News is that He is there calling you and ready to point you in the right direction. We live in a lost and fallen world. People and nations try everything to found their way and establish a way. There is only one way to security and fulfillment. There is only one way to not be lost spiritually and emotionally. That way is in Jesus. He is your compass and guide. You do not have to turn to Him or follow Him. The choice is yours. Make the right one.

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