Worthy Heroes

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This Thanksgiving, Kinser Chapel’s congregations along with the Camp Kinser Community, had the opportunity to serve Marines and Sailors a special Thanksgiving Day dinner. It was a beautiful moment, when young and old volunteers, many ovens across camp, and leaders joined in to show love to our warriors who serve here far from home.

As I recall yesterday’s meal, and remember those strong, fine young Americans, relaxing at the table, I can’t help but think of the communities that they represent.  Many at home long to see them and to spend time with them during the holidays.

I think it’s safe to say that many of our Marines and Sailors are considered with a hero-status by their younger siblings, nieces and nephews, and communities back home. With that in mind, let me share two thoughts with you.  The first is that being a worthy role-model is needed by our Country today.  The second is this, if we are to be worthy heroes, it helps to have worthy heroes ourselves. This is because the level of greatness that our heroes have attained often becomes the maximum level for which we ourselves are reaching.

There was an early Christian leader named Paul who said, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.”  He was very focused on the one whom he considered his hero. To the extent that his hero loved, served and humbled himself, Paul would do the same.

I am proud to serve among American warriors in Okinawa.  They inspire me daily. This holiday season may each of us recognize the incredible strength of the example we provide to our families and communities. When we feel the pressure of our burden of duty, may we remember worthy heroes who inspire us to reach forward gladly, with all our strength.

Picture: Volunteers from Camp Kinser Chapel’s Thanksgiving Day Dinner. Yep, the children volunteered too. They kept the Marines entertained, and carried more than their weight.

Choosing Heroes

Choosing Heroes

Did you have a childhood hero? Heroes have a special quality about them…sometimes charisma, other times beauty, or perhaps intelligent creativity. Whatever it is, they have a greatness in them that we admire and to which we aspire. It can be dangerous to have the wrong heroes. This is because the level of greatness our heroes have attained becomes for us the maximum level for which we ourselves are reaching. As you’ve likely noticed, heroes often fall short. As you listen to today’s sermon, test this statement out, “Show me your heroes and I’ll show you your future.” In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians, notice how Jesus-focused he is. In the first 34 verses of his letter to this church, he mentions Jesus Christ 22 times. He is absorbed in wonder at this person Jesus. “To me to live is Jesus Christ,” he says. Good thing Paul chose the right hero. He goes on to tell the Philippians, that they, like him, should make Jesus Christ their model. “Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” To the extent that he loved, served and humbled himself, they should do the same. Due to Jesus Christ’s obedience and commitment, even unto humiliating death on a cross, God exalted Him to true hero status, and has given Him the name LORD, at which every knee will bow and every mouth confess that reality. Who is your hero? May Jesus capture your heart and be the the standard for your greatest aspirations.

Click on link to hear sermon:  https://soundcloud.com/kinser-chaplain/choosing-heroes-philippians-2

 

Operation One Macedonia: The Call to Unity

Operation One Macedonia –The Call to Unity

In a fractured world of broken families, warring nations, and self-focus, Christians find themselves in enemy territory. Strangers to this world and to the things it holds most dear, God calls us to be united citizens of his coming eternal Kingdom. The Apostle Paul brought word of this truth to the Philippian Church of Macedonia in a letter written from his prison cell in Rome, 62AD. He told them to “stand fast together. Conduct yourselves in a kingdom-of-heaven manner worthy of Jesus. Be courageous in the face of sufferings given you by God. You are sharing these pains with Jesus, even as they confirm your commitment to Him. The courage you show in your Gospel mission is a sign of God’s salvation power and of your enemies’ soon rendezvous with judgment.” Unity among God’s people is a critical strategy of Jesus’ Kingdom advance. That unity is made possible by something potent and uncommon on earth: selfless love. This kind of love is the way of Jesus. It’s the way to live peaceably and purposefully among each other. Such love reaches hardened hearts with the hope of Eternity and forgiveness, revolutionizing the world.

Click on link to hear audio message:  https://soundcloud.com/kinser-chaplain/operation-one-macedonia

Prayer for Veteran’s Day 2013: Commemorating 50th Anniversary of American Involvement in Vietnam

Vietnam Commemorative Flag 50th

Merciful God, we are gathered together this special fall day to honor America’s Veterans… especially those who 50 years ago began answering our nation’s call to the Vietnam War. 

They answered that call, or draft letter, from varied circumstances: while among family, friends, school halls, farm fields, enterprises, arts and athletic aspirations. They were asked to risk all for the sake of freedom, to intervene for a country which could no longer defend itself from the atrocities taking hold in the North.  

Precious was the gift of life they gave in Vietnam.  For the 58,220 who gave all, we stop and grieve their departure…    We thank you for the priceless gift of their lives. 

For the multiplied thousands who continue on, grieving their absence, we ask you to comfort, heal and bring joy.    

You showed us that “no greater love has anyone than this, that a man would lay down his life for his friend.”  So for those dreams cut short in jungle heat, prolonged rainy days and fighting nights… we dream again.  Render your aid to us in this endeavor, especially upon disabled and wounded veterans, fill them with new strength; and for the missing, that they be found.

We want to work for the cause of justice, peace, and freedom, especially for the weak.  Help us Oh God. In this way we can honor you & bless these fallen and bless the beautiful country, America, for whom they gave their last breath.

In the Holy name of Jesus Christ, I pray, amen.