Tag Archives: values

A DAY OF INFAMY

The day began much as any other weekday—get the family out the door to school, finish dressing for the day, and stop at the office.  This day would also include a drive to Taylor for a meeting with pastors from across Michigan.  Typically, my truck radio was tuned to Detroit’s WWJ-AM 950 all-news radio.  Although that Tuesday, September 11, 2001, may have begun routinely, it was about to change.

Even as I muttered about the rush hour traffic along I-96, unaware of the events transpiring in the skies over New York, governmental agencies were scrambling, trying to locate American Airlines Flight 11 on radar—to no avail—until it crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.  At 8:48a, the first live pictures broke in New York City on WNYW-TV.  In horror, New Yorkers watched a live feed as more than 100 people, trapped by fire and smoke in the upper floors, jumped to their deaths.  But this is only the beginning of horrors. 

Before these details can be understood, American Airlines Flight 77 is hijacked at approximately 8:50a.  At 8:51a a flight controller at New York Center notices a problem on United Flight 175 from Boston to LA.  Attempts to establish contact are futile.

At 08:52 F-15s are scrambling from Otis Air National Guard Base.  By 08:56, the transponder for Flight 77 is turned off and primary radar contact is lost.  The aircraft travels undetected for 36 minutes due east toward Washington, D.C. 

At 08:58, United Airlines Flight 175 takes a heading toward New York City, where at 09:02 the plane and its passengers crash into the south face of the South Tower of the World Trade Center at a speed of 590 MPH. 

While early news coverage by at least three major networks is focusing on the first plane crash, millions of Americans see the impact of the second plane live.  Parts of the plane leave the building from two sides, falling to the ground up to six blocks away.

By 09:08, the FAA has banned all takeoffs nationwide.  At 09:26 the FAA bans all civilian aircraft regardless of destination—a national groundstop is in effect. 

But at 09:28, hijackers storm the cockpit of United Airlines Flight 93, commandeering the flight.  Meanwhile, at 09:37 American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the western side of the Pentagon.  All 64 crew and passengers onboard are killed, as are 125 Pentagon personnel. 

At 09:42, Ben Stiley of the FAA grounds all air traffic over the United States and diverts incoming international traffic to alternate destinations.  US airspace is shut down.  All aircraft in flight are ordered to land at the nearest airport as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, a few civilian heroes on Flight 93 begin a passenger revolt at 09:57, less than two minutes before the South Tower of the World Trade Center begins to collapse—56 minutes and 2 seconds after the impact of United Flight 175. 

At 10:03, United Airlines Flight 93 is crashed into the rural terrain of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. 

Back in Washington, D.C., the west side of the Pentagon collapses, followed by the collapse of the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 10:28.  This collapse is also viewed on live television. 

In the span of less than two hours—before anyone could really grasp what was taking place—thousands of lives had been lost.  As country singer Alan Jackson asked in song, “Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?  

As some of us watched in stunned horror, we could not help but recall (Psalm 9:17 KJV) The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”  Could there be a man or woman alive who witnessed these horrific scenes who was not wondering, “What is happening to America?”

Surely, such a series of tragedies should serve as a clarion wake-up call for Americans to soberly contemplate—“God, what do you want us to see, to understand, to learn from these attacks?”  Although man may have meant it for evil, is there some good that God can bring from this? 

            By the time President George W. Bush retired just before midnight ten years ago, he had penned into his journal these words:  “The Pearl Harbor of the 21st Century took place today … “

Indeed, as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt stated in his speech to Congress, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States was suddenly and deliberately attacked … “

            And today, September 11, 2011, we are commemorating a day of infamy.  Let us never shy away from the searing memories of that September day, lest we forget the price that was paid …

… by innocent people who were ruthlessly slaughtered as they were just doing their jobs  

… by the heroes who risked and gave their lives in an honorable attempt to save as many lives as they possibly could before they themselves paid the ultimate price

… by those brave men and women who risked their lives in service to their fellow-man, and who will live with the haunting memories and physical handicaps for the remainder of their natural lives

… by the thousands of nameless men and women around the globe who, in the first few hours of multiple tragedies were scrambling to make intelligent and fast decisions to avert further disaster

BTW, do you pray?  If so, join me in a prayer of thanksgiving for those Americans—both living and deceased—who performed beyond their natural abilities during this crisis which has changed and challenged America.   

Today, we should also consider that, sadly, our nation is in decline.  The warning signs are everywhere.  The caution flags are waving.  The child of God should not be shocked as we review events of the last decade, while using 2 Timothy 3 as a prophetic template for understanding. 

Those who know God and His Word must understand two critical things: 

First, these are the last days and the human picture will not be a pretty one, but rather a scene that declines from bad-to-worse.  Second, as believers, we are called upon to remain faithful, fervent, fearless, and fruitful.

Faithful does not mean a fatalistic outlook on life, and neither does it mean that we resign ourselves to thinking that our lives cannot or will not make a positive difference on the world in which we live.  Faithfulness means that we fearlessly set our sights toward the future, believing that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us for His cause.  It mean that we throw ourselves into the battle for eternal souls throughout our world, since God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Therefore, we should determine on this occasion, that we will renew our commitment to God, presenting our bodies as living sacrifices in His service, that by all means available to us, we might save some. 

BTW, do you pray?  If so, why not pray–right now– that kind of commitment prayer to God?   

            Finally, on this tenth anniversary of 9—11, we are not only commemorating a day of infamy, and considering a nation in decline, but we should also be calling our nation to repentance. 

At 7:24p, September 11, 2001, members of Congress joined together on the steps of the United States Capitol and sang, “God Bless America!”  While I firmly believe in that great song—made famous by vocalist Kate Smith– Congress should have been leading this nation in prayers of repentance, thereby giving God a viable reason to bless America.  They did not do so, and based on the track record of the last decade, they apparently have no intention of doing so. 

My question is this—even if Congress will not truly embrace the biblical principles and precepts that our founding fathers held dear, will you?  Will the people who claim to know God choose to live like we know Him?

            (2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV)  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

While we may sing of God’s blessings on America, “obedience is better than sacrifice!”  How much pressure will it take to bring America to our knees in repentance?  We need leaders whose character runs deeper than the latest photo-op.  

Has a decade laden with disasters not captured our attention?  If the vicious attacks of 9-11 didn’t turn our nation to God, what will?  Hurricane Katrina wasn’t enough wake-up call?  When Irene came knocking recently, were we listening?  Do current crime statistics and news reports of violence not arrest our attention?  Will prolonged unemployment rates not help us to consider our ways?

God will not force us to make decisions to obey and follow Him, whether as individuals or as nations—but often throughout history, the bitter consequences of disobedience traditionally do one of two things:  lead us to repentance or to further harden our hearts in defiant resistance. 

A wise young leader of a nation once stated, (Joshua 24:15 GWT) But if you don’t want to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve … (but) … my family and I will still serve the LORD.” 

            My appeal to you is simple:  Make a fresh commitment to God today to become a man or woman if influence for Christ.  With Elijah of old, I say to you, (1 Kings 18:21 KJV) How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.   

It is insufficient for modern believers to drift along ambivalently or complacently in these closing moments of time, considering that the eternal destiny of millions of people is at stake.  We must be sober and vigilant, fearless, fervent, faithful, and fruitful.

 Let us pray and serve to that end.

Advertisements

Happy 235th Birthday, America!

Of all the holidays associated with our country, the Fourth of July is my favorite, but this year I “come to the party” with mixed feelings.  While I love my country, celebrate the freedoms we enjoy, and recognize that throughout the world millions of people yearn to enjoy these same freedoms, my heart is grieved by the imminent danger our nation is facing. 

The peril to which I refer is not necessarily some grave danger from without, (although there is clear and present danger without), but rather the growing, not-so-subtle dangers from within our own ranks, especially inside the Beltway in our nation’s capital, though not limited to that by any means.

My concern is the void of common sense.  As I listen to and read the news coming from Washington, state capitals, and the courtrooms across the country, I wonder if there is any common sense left anymore.  Across America is the same basic concern—Washington/government has gone astray.

My concern is the lack of fiscal responsibility.  If it isn’t bad enough that our national debt is climbing rapidly past $14,462,000,000, (that’s $129.500 per taxpayer and $46,400 per citizen), the very people who have made the decisions for this federal spending rampage continue making irresponsible financial decisions.  To add insult to injury, they blame each other.  FACT:  The 535 men and women who have been making these decisions, collectively, are irresponsible in their spending of taxpayer dollars—and yet they want to raise the limit on the credit card (national debt ceiling)!

Here’s an announcement for governments throughout the land—stop living on credit and make the hard choices necessary to live within your means.  My two-year-old  granddaughter doesn’t have $46,400 to pay the bill! Oh, by the way—that’s just common sense, but that’s seems to be in short supply and a fresh supply of that can’t be printed by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing!

My concern is the growing moral depravity.  America’s violation of morality takes on many forms these days, with violations from the White House to the outhouse.  The commentary is truly sad when our (former) president, who can’t define “is,” set an example for the young people and children of America on what not to be.  Tradition has it that George Washington couldn’t tell a lie.  Apparently modern politicians can’t tell the truth!  Only well-read and thinking Americans can tell the difference.

With New York’s senate joining five other states to declare same-sex marriage to be “legal,” Andrew Cuomo seemed to fall all over himself to find a pen to sign it into law before midnight.  Mayor Bloomberg, really misspoke when he stated, “The Republicans who stood up today for those principles I think will long be remembered for their courage, foresight and wisdom.”  Mayor, I have news for you—those Republicans were cowards for not standing for proper moral principles, they exhibited anything but foresight, and there was not a shred of wisdom in going against nature and nature’s God.

My concern is the ignorance of history.  To suggest an ignorance of history alone is a bit misleading.  Let’s bring to the table for discussion the fact that American history is being revised to the point that, if and when the subject is given attention in the national educational system, it barely resembles the sequence of events that actually transpired.  Sometimes what is being omitted is more important than what is presented—especially when the omission includes the very principles that permeated the values of our founding fathers. 

My concern is the dereliction of duty.  Witnessing the flood of illegal immigrants streaming across our borders—specifically, our southern borders—the federal government, charged with the responsibility to secure those borders, not only fails to do so, but attacks and threatens the states most affected by the failures of the feds!  We’re not talking “Oops, we forgot to lock the door” here, folks.  We’re talking about a real, known problem that is sucking the resources out of hard-working Americans’ pockets to care for illegals.  It isn’t that America doesn’t care—we do care—we have cared, for 235 years, but there is a right way and a wrong way to become a legal part of the American family. 

Finally, my concern is the rejection of God.  Since before our beginning—read the Mayflower Compact)—God has been a part of this nation.  Our forefathers sought God’s guidance and wisdom in making decisions.  God was acknowledged, credited for blessing this nation, and His name as well as His Word were a part of almost everything that was built or written.    

This is where knowing American history and the Holy Scriptures accurately will destroy the rationale that is being thrust upon us by a liberal politico, media corps, and the likes of the ACLU.  The entire world knows that America is in trouble economically, morally, politically, and socially.  However, too few Americans have explored why this is the case.  It may have little to do with political parties, but it has much to do with the violations of biblical principles—principles once embraced by this great nation.

BTW, do you pray?  If so, perhaps after reading the following passage and reflecting on it, you will pray for America—to humble ourselves, to pray, to seek God’s face, to repent, and to once again enjoy the forgiveness and favor of The Almighty.

(2 Timothy 3:1-5 KJV/NLT) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  (NLT) For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.  They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.  They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.  They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! 

Truly, let us pray!

LET THE CEMETERY SPEAK

Since childhood, I’ve been privileged to periodically visit Arlington National Cemetery (Arlington, VA), and for those experiences, I will be eternally grateful, because the foundation of respect and values established in the formative years of my life.

Because of my own parents’ values, they made certain that my siblings and I were exposed to the rich geography and history in America, which included numerous visits and vacations in Washington, D.C.  While I was energized many times by running up the stairs to the top of the Washington monument, and intrigued by the wonders of the Smithsonian Institute, I think I was most impacted and influenced by Arlington National Cemetery. 

Ralph, Hazel & Dale Peterson, circa 1954

 

As we walked in silence amongst the headstones, it was as though I could hear the silent shouts of those who had paid the ultimate price for the freedom that I enjoyed, but did not understand at that time.  Of course, there were no audible voices, but in my mind I imagined who these men and women had been in life, the circumstances of their deaths, and the loneliness of their families left behind. 

Visits to Arlington always included the solemn changing of the guard at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier where, in the 1950s and 1960s, when the reverent silence was only broken by the brief and staccato-like voices and crisp clinks of the guards and their boot heels and weapons.  Regrettably, these days there seems to be little reverence or respect, but rather constant movement and even boisterous voices throughout any audience that gathers. 

It’s at times like my last such experience at the Tomb of the Unknowns, which happened to be with my oldest son Justin, a USMC Captain, that I wonder if very many people grasp the significance of such moments and places anymore. 

On this Memorial Day 2011, it would behoove all Americans to set aside some time—at least a few minutes—to quietly but deliberately walk through a national cemetery, not just to see it, but to reflect on what is represented by those rather plain, uniform headstones.  Parents, you could use this holiday for one of the greatest lessons you ever teach your children by a one-hour visit, pointing out numerous lessons and explanations, answering questions, and most importantly exemplifying the respect due to America’s fallen who, by their service and sacrifice, have insured our freedom. 

On that last visit to Washington, my son Justin and his wife Patty took Debbie and me, along with their son Jayden, to the World War II memorial.  As we spoke in hushed tones about what we were seeing and thinking, Justin spotted a young lad, perhaps nine or ten years of age, climbing on one of the memorial’s walls.  As quickly as a flash of lighting, Justin was standing by the young boy, ordering him off the wall, and with the demeanor of a USMC drill instructor (sans the volume) let the unaccompanied minor know that was not proper behavior and that this was not a playground. 

Yep, I was proud of Justin—then and now. And I plan to make my annual Memorial Day stop at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly (MI) for a time of reflection in Section 5 at Site 595.  Debbie and I will talk softly.  We will probably laugh quietly.  We will cry.  We will pause to gaze across the acres of graves on what was once the property of Mr. Bryson Dexter Horton, the inventor of the “Square D” electrical switch, and remind my precious wife Debbie that what we are seeing is “the price of freedom”—yours and mine—and paid for with the lives of the sons, daughters, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters of those represented by each simple headstone.

Memorial Day at Arlington

Let’s not forget that represented also by each grave marker is an empty seat at dinner tables, a son or daughter whose parent will not teach them how to catch a baseball or swing a bat, a spouse who now bears the family burdens alone, and a parent whose dreams for their son or daughter now reside with honor and respect (as in my own case) in a section and site rather than on a street and in a city. 

Neither let us forget that for those who, like Justin, put their faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, we who are alive and remain behind have an awesome hope and expectation—we expect to see our loved ones again and therefore do not sorrow because we lack hope. 

Although the world joked and laughed this past week when the prophecy of an unwise preacher who set dates and times for the rapture, I for one still anticipate that great event at any moment.  And since no one knows the day or the hour, I plan to live in such a manner as to be ready to catch up with my son—in a moment—in the twinkling of an eye!

BTW, do you pray?  If so, why not take this Memorial Day 2011 to exercise the discipline of prayer?  Thank God for the countless airmen, sailors, soldiers, and Marines who paid for your freedom?  Ask God to encourage and preserve those who serve, as well as their families who must make-do in their absence.  Appeal to the Lord on behalf of those who have an empty seat at their table, especially for those whose sacrificial experience is still fresh in their hearts and minds. 

And for all Gold Star families in Michigan, coming soon to a Michigan Secretary of State office near you will be a special Gold Star license plate.  Here’s a link to read about it: http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127–256829–,00.html

Cheers!

Debbie & Dale Peterson

She Gave Us More Than Life

Three times over a ten-year period, she brought new life to this world—May 1950, again in November 1954, and yet again in January 1961.  Her three children were born healthy and whole—well, except for that spiritual part, that is. 

 Yes, Hazel Peterson gave life to the three of us (Dennis, Gina King, and me); but she gave us more than life, that we might live.  She also gave us an marvelous model by which we could live.

She gave us more than life—she included good partnering for our father—an example we could follow

Both mother and daddy (that’s what we called them when we were small) set as great an example of what husbands and wives ought to be as any couple I’ve ever witnessed.  In retrospect, I couldn’t have asked for better parents, because they laid a proper foundation by being great partners for each other.

Dad was a quiet unassuming man, who worked long, hard days—especially during the years when he and my paternal grandfather owned and operated the largest dairy farm in eastern Tennessee, combined with his construction business as a brick mason.  In my mind’s eye I can still see him coming home from work and kissing my mom—or see him standing behind her as she looked across the farm from the large window over the kitchen sink, one arm on either side of her, his hands pressed against the counter. 

Mother's High School Graduation

Although I can still hear them discussing family matters, Mother did most of the organizing.  They were so homogenous in their relationship that they seldom discussed anything for very long—at least not in front of us as children.  Whatever one presented as an option made so much sense to the other, they just agreed!  I never remember hearing them argue—not even once. 

They loved each other, and it wasn’t until I was in college that I discovered that not all husbands and wives enjoyed the kind of partnership that mother and daddy did.  Other people knew it, too, and have told me so through the years, especially when I conducted their funerals.

In fact, a year or so after mother had died (as the result of a head-on collision caused by a drunk driver), Dad was visiting my family.  The day he was heading back to the family home on Fort Sumpter Road outside of Knoxville, as he opened the car door, he turned and asked, “Dale, do you think I loved your mother too much?”  He was hurting, missing his mate, and I had no clue what he was felling.  I replied, “Dad, unless you loved her more than you do God, how could you love her too much?”

She gave us more than life—she included good parenting for us as children—an example we could follow

Dad wasn’t the only hard worker in the family—mother was right there, too.  While I never knew which parent was the first one up in the morning as a rule, I know they were both already up and dressed for the day when they awaken the children.  We also awakened to the aroma of breakfast cooking six days a week—most of it cooked or fried in bacon grease.  Only on Sunday mornings did we eat boxed breakfast cereals, and that was because Dad didn’t want mother to have to cook on Sunday.  In fact, it was quite common for Dad to do the cooking for lunch and dinner.

We also awaken to a list of to-do’s that are still my habit to this day.  As soon as our feet hit the floor, we made the beds we’d just slept in.  Pajamas were folded and placed under our pillows.  We dressed, washed our faces, and combed our hair before going to the breakfast table. 

Ralph, Hazel, & Dale, circa 1954

There was always order in the Peterson’s household—not just with things, but also in our relationships. If we were told by a parent to do something, we were expected to do it.  Mother never counted to three—unless it was three whacks across our backsides when we did not do what we were told.  That expectation later morphed into the tag line that I used with my own children, “Quickly, cheerfully, I will obey.”  It’s apparent to me when I see young parents today—giving a “time out” to their three-year-olds—they must not have had parents like mine!

She gave us more than life—she included good principles for our lives—an example we could follow 

Some of these principles have already bled through in previous paragraphs—things like cleanliness.  Generally speaking, my wife does not have to follow a trail of crumbs or dirty clothes through our condo, cleaning up after a thoughtless husband.  In fact, she chuckles sometimes with my banal obsessions for orderliness, but somehow I think on the inside she is grateful that my mother (whom she has never met) instilled cleanliness in me!

Mother also instilled good study habits in her children.  In fact, I may very well be the weak link in that chain, since both my younger siblings have greater formal education than I do.  But all three of us are students of life—not merely of textbooks in classrooms, though these certainly have their place.  While Dad was a B/C-level student in school, mother excelled with straight-As, and she wanted her children to be good students, both inside and outside of a classroom. 

We were also provided an excellent moral compass in our home.  Life’s daily routines and travels afforded us many family discussions of right and wrong, as well as the reasons behind each.  As I look around the country in which I live today, I can’t help but think that although we have more possessions, we have fewer godly principles at play today.  Sadly, our country is adrift morally in every way.

Dale, Dennis, & Gina, circa 1963

One last principle that mother instilled her children was respect.  Respect (or a lack thereof) can be seen in so many ways, from the manner with which one family member treats another to the way in which total strangers interact.  Not only did mother (and Dad) instill a sense of proper respect in their children, their very lives commanded the respect of all who knew them.  Again, I’ve heard this time and again through the years. 

Finally, she gave us more than life—she included good prospects for the future—an example to follow  

Dennis, Gina, and I come from “good stock,” as people used to say.  We know it, we are thankful for it, and we want the same to be said of each of us and our families.  Mother and Daddy laid the foundation.  They weren’t perfect, although they were closer to it than I will ever be.  It was through their lives and my upbringing that I had hope for the future in a family of my own.

Yet, the good prospects for the future are larger than this life.  It includes the life to come.  You see, mother lived her life in such a manner that her children would come to faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior.  She lived daily the Christ life—we could understand Him better by looking at, listening to, and sensing it in her!

So, on this Mother’s Day 2011, although Dennis, Gina, and Dale will wear white flowers on our lapels, our mother is very much alive, no doubt standing at a heavenly kitchen window above the sink, daddy’s arms around her, both of them looking this way, waiting and watching for the kids to come home—each of us, for the last time.

There’s one family circle that will not be broken!  Meanwhile, her children will rise up and call her blessed, with gratitude for a godly mother who gave us so much more than life!

Dale, Gina, & Dennis

Heroes

(If you’re a family member, friend, or regular reader, you knew this blog was coming, so just  stop now, get your box of tissues, and then continue reading!)

If you could spend time with airmen, sailors, soldiers, and Marines who are recipients of one or more Purple Hearts, one common denominator amongst them would be this—none would admit to being a “hero.”  No matter how valiant they may have been in their own actions, each one would reserve the title of hero for those men and women who paid the ultimate price for the freedom that American citizens enjoy.

Today, my oldest son Justin would have celebrated his 36th birthday, had his life not been cut short by a freak accident in Al Anbar Province (Iraq) four years ago tomorrow.  At least from our human perspective, it would appear that way, because we now can see only through “a glass darkly” (1 Cor 13:12).  However, I anticipate seeing all things clearly one day.  In that moment when my Commander-in-Chief (and I’m not talking Obama—not even close!) points to His perfect purpose and plan for the painful events of this life, even the death of our loved ones will make sense to us—then.

My best guess is this—until then, some things are just going to hurt a bit, and 30 September and 01 October are on my list, to be sure.  Thankfully, our whole family has made adequate preparation for a grand family reunion, so we don’t sorrow unduly, as though we had no hope!  But I digress …

With only 60 years under my belt to-date, I’ve lived long enough to out-live my parents by several years, at least by using the calendar for our measurement.  I don’t know if it’s even possible to “out-live” many of my relatives if we use godly character as the standard.  I try, but sometimes feel like I still fall short of being the man I ought to be or the man that my own father was—and he is one of my heroes.

Interestingly, my son Justin has also become a hero to me.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve forgotten most of the antics he pulled growing up, but forgetting some things is a good thing; after all, our Heavenly Father has forgotten the antics, blunders, and sins that we have pulled!  “Forgiven, I repeat, I’m forgiven!” as the 70s song said—and that means forgotten—and that’s a good thing.

But as I remember Justin interacting with his boys (during the little time they had together), I saw something in him that made me very proud of him.  I cherish the pictures I carry in my mind of him wrestling with Jared or simply walking hand-in-hand with Jayden.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t do enough of that as his dad during the early years. 

Last Saturday, before leaving town to preach, I watched Jayden playing soccer in a YMCA league.  After the game as Debbie and I said our goodbyes, I hugged Jayden and whispered to him how proud his dad would be of him for playing soccer so well (because soccer was always Justin’s game).  Jayden instantly commented, “Papa Pete, I think he saw the whole game!”  Great perspective for a fatherless six-year-old, I’d say.

Then because Debbie and I were leaving right from Jayden’s game, I hugged Caitlin, who was born only a few days before her dad deployed to Iraq, and apologized for not being able to attend her game later that afternoon, but the ever- cheery four-year-old replied, “That’s okay, Papa Pete!  I understand!”  It’s tough to explain to a little granddaughter how proud her daddy would be of her—and not “lose it!”  And I cherish the few photos that I have of the two of them together—my hero and my granddaughter!

BTW, do you pray?  If so, would you pray that via His infinite grace and perfect plan, God would do for the fatherless what they need?  Would you pray for Patty as she rears the children without the mate that made them possible?  Would you also pray for “the siblings” whose lives were made rich because of their brother Justin, and who try so hard to remember him by the laughter but have those moments when they must cry?–and for a mother whose birthday celebrations will always be tempered by the memory of her son’s funeral on the same day?  Finally, would you pray that through it all, each of the Petersons would always find ways to turn our tragedy into triumph … to turn our buffeting into someone else’s blessing.  We don’t want to waste the pain.

In 1971, my friend Gordon Jensen wrote the following song that has blessed my life immeasurably and inspired the book Leave a Well in the Valley which I recently authored.  It describes how I intend to process life’s tough times.

To the valley you’ve been through those around you must go too

Down the rocky path you’ve traveled they will go

If to those learning of your trial you lend the secret of your smile

You will help them more than you will ever know

Blessed is the man who has learned to understand

To become a hand for God to those in need

Yes, then all the tears he’s shed with God’s help become instead

A precious balm that will heal the hearts that bleed

 

So leave a well in the valley—your dark and lonesome valley

Others have to cross this valley too

What a blessing when they find the well of joy you’ve left behind

So leave a well in the valley you go through

 

You see, there can be more heroes than those who die on distant fields of battle.  Each of us can become a hero to someone else by living in such a manner so as to leave a lasting positive impact upon the people within the circle of our own influence.  And since we have no promise of tomorrow, we must leave the legacy in the time we have—today.

And whenever you see a member of America’s military, take a moment to thank them for their service and your freedom!

One chapter in Dale’s recently released book Leave a Well in the Valley addresses the subject “When a Child Is Killed,” and could become a source of encouragement and strength to other parents who have experienced the death of a child.  Leave a Well in the Valley may be purchased at www.dalepeterson.org

Does Anyone in Get It Anymore?

I have not used the blog to share political opinions, but today will be an exception–an exception which I am considering to make on a monthly basis.  Earlier today, my eye caught an Internet headline that announced “Tea Party Derails GOP Dream.”  I immediately swiveled in my office chair, grabbed a pen and paper, and wrote that down.  Here’s why …

Isn’t the GOP, assuming that means the “leaders” of the Republican Party, supposed to be leading the entire party?  And as a representative form of government, that would also assume a connection between the leaders and those being lead?  My thinking is this–the established GOP appears to be as out of step with America’s grassroots as those they criticize, and that is being reflected because of the grassroots uprising identified as the Tea Party!  Whose dream is this anyway–yours, mine, or ours?  Which leads me to ask, “Does anyone in Washington, D.C. get it?

In Delaware’s close race, the voters chose Christine O’Donnell over Michael Castle.  New Yorkers elected Carl Paladino as their candidate over Rick A. Lazio.  And the word I heard is that the GOP refuses to back those who were elected by the voters.  I guess that identifies whose dream we’re talking about, doesn’t it?  Apparently, it is no longer about the people’s dream, but rather than “establishment’s” dream. 

Uh … does anyone besides me see a tremendous disconnect here?  Isn’t that the same philosophy that is being exercised by the Democrats as they ram through Congress legislation that grassroots America opposes?  And, by the way, one of America’s most memorable speeches (“I Have A Dream,” and spoken from Washington, D.C.) is etched in the minds of Americans because the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. resonated with the dream of many from grassroots America.

The GOP politicos who refuse to back the candidates whom the people elect are being dishonest with America, to my way of thinking–which is as insane as bringing Roger Clemens up on charges for lying to Congress, perhaps the largest collection of “creative-truth-tellers” in the country!  (Don’t misunderstand!  If an individual lies under oath, that should be dealt with–but then again, why is it necessary to be “under oath” in order to tell the truth?)  These men and women seem to promise “the moon” while on the campaign trail, but too many hours inside the Beltway and they forget the promises!  How many times have we heard, “No new taxes!” only to uncover all kinds of hidden taxes?  And don’t even get me started on gun control!

No!  No!  This isn’t really about politics and the media and party affiliation.  Folks, it’s about character (or more appropriately, the lack of it)!  America is clearly fed up with the political sleight of hand that takes place in our nation’s capitol.  And the actions of our current president and congress over the last two years has been no small part of raising the ire of the citizenry.  But how can a populace be so gullible to elect someone who promises such “hope” along with the “change”? 

Clearly, a lack of discernment!  These are times when every American citizen needs discernment.  However, a low-level of character on the part of any nation will not produce discernment.  Good discernment and good character must go hand in hand.  For example, any able-bodied man or woman who refuses to work for a living (a minimum wage job if necessary) and provide for him or herself and the family that is their responsibility will invariably exhibit an entitlement mentality.  I remember a day in America when hard-working Americans were too proud to accept “welfare,” let alone go seeking for all of it they could get.  Many “Americans” have become welfare addicts.  However, people of good character will do right–by themselves and by those around them.

I’m not convinced so much anymore that Washington even understands what “right” is, and if they perchance do, lack the character to simply do what is right.  Let me see if I can help …

RIGHT would be for the federal government to fulfill its responsibility to secure our borders, rather than suing border states who struggle with the negative results of the fed’s dereliction of duty.

RIGHT would be to be honest with mortgage applicants and tell them, “We’re sorry.  Your income will not service this level of debt,” rather than creating federal mechanisms that allow people to “own” homes they cannot afford.

RIGHT would be to acknowledge that “tolerance” is a two-way street in this world and if America is going to allow the Saudis to fund the building of mosques here, then Baptists can also build churches in Saudi Arabia. 

RIGHT would be to say to the nations that American tax dollars have helped to defend and to rebuild in the past, that it’s time they paid their own way and defended themselves for a change.

RIGHT would be to come back to the Second Amendment and allow law-abiding citizens to defend themselves against those who have little if any regard for the laws of the land, rather than the nonsense that is slowly choking our freedoms.  Come on, it’s laughable to think that the deranged individual heading toward the “gun-free zone” will see the sign by the driveway and say to him or herself, “Oh, I can’t go in there with my weapons,” then head back home to deposit them safely there–with ammo in the basement, weapons in the attic, and trigger guards on everything!

RIGHT would be for married politicians to be faithful to their spouses, rather than the unprecedented adultery that gives fodder to a media that thrives on the very things of which we should be ashamed!

I’m reminded of an old “chapel saying” of Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., who died during my freshman year at the university which bore his name:  “Do right!  If the stars fall, do right!”  Where are the men and women of godly character today who are willing to simply do right?!

BTW, do you pray?  If so, knowing that I’ve only scratched the surface of a cesspool of corruption, every one of us who knows the name of God should be calling on Him passionately.  However, it is not enough to pray “God bless America.”  He is a God of principles and precepts, set in motion from eternity past.  One of those is the law of sowing and reaping.  We must give God a reason to bless this nation once again, which will require that we as citizens, and especially Christian-citizens, repent of our wickedness, seek again God Himself, turn from the behaviors that have lowered the character level of a once-great nation, and determine that even if the stars fall, to do what is right.

Oh, and if you haven’t bought my book Leave a Well in the Valley, go to www.dalepeterson.org (my very out-of-date website) and buy a copy now.  I promise, it isn’t political, but it will be encouraging to anyone going through a tough time in life!

Cheers!

When A Plan Comes Together

Almost four years ago I ran into a long time friend, Dr. Leland Kennedy, at a national conference in Detroit.  Leland gave me a big bear hug and said, “It’s so good to see you, Dale!  We were just talking about you two days ago over in Ireland.”  That conversation was the beginning of a fresh focus on ministry for me, as it turns out! 

Fast forward to 9 August 2010.  I have no clue where Leland Kennedy is this morning, but I’m sitting in my room near Cefn Lea Park, a camping/conference centre just south of Newtown, Wales.  Last night we opened what is our largest youth camp to-date with nearly 400 total in attendance.  My dear friend Dan Brown and his staff from LIFT Student Ministries is running the show, and another good friend, Ed Trinkle, is our main speaker.  The energy in the auditorium on opening night was “a mile high,” and in a culture where so many say “It can’t be done” we’re seeing it happen, right before our eyes.  At least 25 young people came to faith in Christ in the very first service!

As the adage from the old television show “The A-Team” goes, I love it when a plan comes together!

This journey into the UK actually began in the winter of 1978-79, when I brought a team of singers from Liberty University to England and Scotland.  One of the young men on the team, Dale Brown, is now the pastor of West Shore Baptist Church in Llandudno, Wales.  Reacquainting ourselves over the past weekend was such a delight for me as I witnessed that God has done something special through Dale Brown … and to think that maybe–just maybe–God used me in some small way in his life 30 years ago!  And to see Dale Brown in action with his congregation last Sunday caused me to say to myself, I love it when a plan comes together!

Dale Brown and Dale Peterson 2010

As I stood with the hundreds of young people and youth leaders in the opening service of LIFT-UK 2010 last night, listened to the singing and observed the response of the audience, I said to myself once again, I love it when a plan comes together!

BTW, do you pray?  If so, would you pray that miraculous events will take place this week in this camp.  Somehow, I just believe that since God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, if we ask Him, He would draw dozens and dozens of young people to His salvation before we close camp Friday.  Then as ministry partners, we could all say that we love it when a plan comes together!

One closing thought–what part will you play today in God’s plan today?  Will it be a role that through the years you, too, can see that in the little acorns of service you plant for Him today, you will one day see mighty oaks, and say to yourself, I love it when a plan comes together?

Cheers!

Don’t Forget to Remember

On Monday, 31 May 2010, many American’s will celebrate a national holiday, forgetting the true meaning or purpose of the day itself.  However, throughout this great nation, thousands upon thousands of families will remember—in fact, it’s impossible for us to forget, because buried in a cemetery somewhere is a casket that holds the remains of a loved one who paid the supreme sacrifice that we might be free. 

"On behalf of ... a grateful nation," my daughter-in-law Patty

However, this day of remembrance must never be limited to a few moments of emotional energies spent merely missing  our friends and loved ones whose lives were cut short during their military service for our country.  We surely must contemplate a bigger picture and the grander scheme of the future looming before us.

For example, we must remember the principles and precepts that lead to the birth of this great nation.  As I write this, I’m seated in my hotel room in Enfield (CT).  In just a few hours, I will address an eternity-bound audience, reminding them, not only of America’s Fallen, but of the price that has been paid from the inception of America—as early as the 1620s.  The founders and the fallen so strongly believed in equality, self-governance, and the rule of law, that they were willing to pledge the lives, fortunes, and sacred honor—risking it all, sacrificing everything for freedom.  In so doing, they kept their honor.

America is a nation at-risk because we’re sluggish in remembering the critical ingredients that have made America great.  Few Americans will reflect any more than I on the people who have fallen—those for whom we have set aside this special day.  But we must remind ourselves that this American holiday is not only about remembering the personalities, but also the principles.

Here in Enfield (CT), two local high schools have scheduled graduation ceremonies in a local church facility that best accommodates  these events—parking, seating, staging, restrooms, etc.  However, the ACLU has filed suit, seeking an injunction, preventing the use of a church facility, with their usual insanity, crying “Separation of church and state!”  Somewhere along their educational track, they must have overlooked a few lessons from history class.

The first public school in America—the Boston Latin School—located only a few hours from Enfield (CT) in Boston (MA), was founded by Reverend John Cotton on April 23, 1635.  Five of the fifty-six signers of the American Constitution attended this school.  Can you imagine?  But the ACLU wasn’t around in those days to protest, threaten, intimidate, and file frivolously insane lawsuits, trying to protect young America’s students from religious symbols and the New England Primer and the Hornbook. 

But the insanity of this distorted thinking by a relative handful in America can only be exceeded by the insanity of good American citizens continually tolerating it!

Perhaps the great need of America today is not another “bailout” from Washington, D.C. but a revival of old-fashioned patriotism—a patriotic fervor built on critical personal ingredients, such as …

Great character.  The good character of leaders past will not suffice for today.  They have all run their leg of the relay race of life.  The baton has been placed into our hands, and we must boldly rise to the occasion, becoming internally what the Good Book instructs us to be, enabling us to do what people of good, godly character should do.

Great conviction.  It is high time that people who profess to know God determine to live like we actually know Him.  Like David of old, facing the giant Goliath against all odds, we must ask ourselves, “Is there not a cause?”  William Bradford thought so, but today’s history revisionists choke on his Mayflower Compact of 1620.  Barbara Fritchie thought there was a cause when she withstood Stonewall Jackson with those famous words, “Shoot if you must this old gray head, but spare your country’s flag,” she said!

Where are the men and women of modern America who are willing to stand, and having done all, stand?  Conviction is the bottom line of all my thinking.  It is what I have concluded as vitally important—important enough for which to live and die. 

Great courage.  Without character, we become dishonest and self-centered—which unfortunately and increasingly describes our country, including many of our “leaders.”  Without conviction, we lose our bearings—our moral compass.  Again, regrettably, this describes our nation—adrift morally.  And without courage, we fail to act on that which we profess to be and to believe.

In two short decades, America has gone from a nation with a president who could courageously say, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!” to one who apologizes for America to every rouge nation wherever he travels!  That makes those of us with good character, conviction, and courage rather nauseous!

As we approach this Memorial Day 2010, let’s concentrate on and honor our forefathers and the fighting men and women of this nation for their courage, their vision, and their sacrifices.  Let’s remember how precious our rights and freedoms!  Veterans, we honor your service, your courage, and your countless sacrifices at sea, in the air, and on distant fields of battle.  May God continue to bless the great nation, as we give Him reason for doing so.

BTW, do you pray?  America is in desperate need of the prayers of men, women, boys and girls who are on speaking terms with God to plead for the future of the nation we love.  May each of us be found faithful at our post in prayer!

Leave a Well in the Valley

Well, it’s official now!  We’ve had our first book-signing for my new book, Leave a Well in the Valley!  And now I will hit the road for a few weeks doing a few more of those–primarily in churches.  The itinerary at the moment for May and June takes me to Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Michigan, Tennessee, and Illinois, before heading to Great Britain!

If you haven’t purchased a copy yet, let me encourage you to do so.  Here’s why it will be beneficial …

No one is immune from trouble and trial, disappointment and discouragement–and going through various valleys during the journey of life.  We need others from time to time to encourage us when we feel like What’s the use! and giving up in a given circumstance and quitting.  Leave a Well in the Valley is the kind of book that can breathe encouragement and hope into a weary traveler!  There are people all around us who are discouraged and hurting because of some circumstance they’re facing.  So, after you’ve read the book, pass it along to someone who could use the encouragement.  In fact, many people are purchasing multiple copies in order to pass them along to others.

Here are a few of the comment that people are making about Leave a Well in the Valley:

I just finished Dale Peterson’s book, “Leave A Well In The Valley.”  This is a must read.  Dale deals with many valleys of life that all of us walk through at one time or another.  We may not walk through all the valleys that Dale describes but all are devastating.  The transparent way Dale deals with each situation is refreshing.  The scriptural solutions are terrific.  I don’t often recommend books but this one is a keeper.  – EC, Austin, TX

Another gentleman wrote:  I’ve almost worn it out reading it and crying.  Good job bro! – GC, Birmingham, AL

One businessman said:  (I’m) flying to Greensboro, NC for the week. Taking my copy of “Leave A Well In The Valley” by Pastor Dale Peterson. Everyone needs a copy of this inspirational and enlightening book. A true blessing to all that read it. – GW, Detroit, MI

As I discovered in the process, writing a book is hard work–and the work isn’t over when the book goes to press!  But as I receive comments like those above, I must tell you that every moment of labor becomes worthwhile when I see others encouraged and inspired!  It’s also a humbling experience when that for which you have prayed and worked actually happens!

If you’d like to investigate the book before purchasing, you can do so by following this link to Google Books: 

http://books.google.com/books?id=xW0PVRg9AeEC&pg=PP1&dq=leave+a+well+in+the+valley&ei=wqPhS7ruJ4mUNY6j8eIJ&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false.  

If you’d like to purchase your own copy of Leave a Well in the Valley, and perhaps additional copies for hurting family or friends, ask for it at your local book shop or purchase online.  Here are some options for online purchases:

http://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/index.php?keyword=Leave+a+Well+in+the+Valley&searchtype=title&qfunction=search&x=34&y=10

http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?store=BOOK&WRD=Leave+a+Well+in+the+Valley

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Leave+a+Well+in+the+Valley

BTW, do you pray?  If so, would you ask God to use this book as a source of hope and inspiration to thousands, perhaps millions, of hurting people around the world?  Heartache and disappointment and defeat surround us.  But a copy of Leave a Well in the Valley might just offer the ray of light for someone’s darkness, the glimmer of hope to replace someone’s defeat. 

Thanks.

Come and See

Just about daylight, the world of two women, both named Mary, was rocked, as they approached the garden tomb of their recently deceased friend.  If an earthquake wasn’t shocking enough, they were also startled by a stranger dressed in white and whose countenance was like lightning.  However reassuring this angelic messenger was, his message must have startled the women all over again, as he announced that their friend, buried some 48 hours earlier, was no longer there!

While each Gospel writer conveys the details a bit differently in their accounts, there is one unmistakable detail that is crucial to the historical accounting, and also to the theological value—“He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.”  However, that is not the phrase to which I would direct your attention in this service.

(Matt 28:5-7a KJV) And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.  Come, see the place where the Lord lay,  And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead;

Let me transport you on a journey of thought through the corridors of time, departing from this platform, but following five brief stops, returning you to our point of origin.  At our first stop, I would invite you to come and see the God of UNTOLD POWER 

Although we will not disembark at any of our stops, look through the window of time past—see the Psalmist standing beside our train on the platform.  Listen as he speaks—

Come and see the works of the LORD(Psa 46:8 NIV)  Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf! (Psa 66:5 NIV) 

You see, while the world continually tries to explain God away, the heavens still declare his glory and the firmament still shows us his handiwork! And those who have accepted Him by grace through faith experience His untold power, working mightily on our behalf.  Isaac Watts hardly scratched the surface when he erupted in song—

I sing the mighty power of God that made the mountains rise,

   That spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies.

I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;

   The moon shines full at His command and all the stars obey.

 

There’s not a plant or flower below but makes Thy glories known;

   And clouds arise and tempests blow by order of Thy throne;

While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care,

   And everywhere that man can be, Thou, God, art present there.

In only the amount of time required to move from one thought to another, our train pulls away from the station of the Psalmist and we come to the platform of the Prophets.  There stands the prophet Isaiah, waiting and ready to invite us to come and see the God of UNSURPASSED GLORY 

Hear the aged prophet as he quotes for us the very words of the Holy One of Israel, inviting us to come and see:

For I know their works and their thoughts; and they shall come, and see my glory. (Isa 66:18 KJV) 

Understand, my friends, while believers celebrate this Easter, the world around us castigates the very thought of our God!  Yet, in the fullness of time, God will step out onto the stage of eternity and reveal reality to a domain of deniers and doubters.  While man has accomplished untold feats at which we marvel, no person or thing will ever surpass the glory of God that is yet to be revealed!

Godfrey Thring captures a glimpse of His unsurpassed glory when he wrote the third verse of the great hymn Crown Him with Many Crowns:

Crown Him the Lord of life! Who triumphed o’er the grave;

   Who rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save.

His glories now we sing, who died and rose on high,

   Who died eternal life to bring and lives that death may die.

But before we can begin to digest this unsurpassed glory, our train of thought makes its escape from platform two, arriving at our third stop where we discover the disciple John, whom Jesus loved, and who penned the words exclaimed by a young man named Nathanael; but it’s Phillip who invites us to come and see the God of UNCHARACTERISTIC HUMILITY 

You see, our train of thought has brought us to Nazareth—the “poor side of town”—and surely a community with a poor reputation, because when Phillip told Nathanael that he had discovered the person about whom Moses and all the prophets had written, Nathanael exclaimed, Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?  Phillip simply invited him, Come and see

Yes, the King of Kings has dispelled the myth that we must have all kinds of human advantages in order to be significant in this world.  Ladies and gentlemen, Jesus Christ is the most significant person who ever lived, but he came from the most remarkably humble beginnings and lifestyle!  He rode on a borrowed beast, sailed on a borrowed boat, and went to a fish’s mouth to get enough money to pay his taxes. The foxes had holes, the birds of the air had nests, but the Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head!

But just as our minds start to focus on his humility, we’re off again!  And before we have a moment to contemplate the humanity of the Christ, we find ourselves at the fourth stop along the track of time—only now we find ourselves startled by a thundering voice that invites us to come and see the God of ULTIMATE JUSTICE

The reminder was transcribed for us by John the Revelator, who said—

And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. (Rev 6:1 KJV) 

But what shall we see?  We will witness the white horse conquering – and freedom diminishing!  Ah, friends, while today sin has conquered the lives of so many people, and while Satan may be having his “field day,” there is coming a justice and a judgment that will set all things in order.  Although we live in a world of terrorism, wars and rumors of wars—a world where politicians pretend they can legislate or negotiate peace—we know there is no peace apart from the Prince of Peace, whom the world mocked, rejected, and hung on a cross!

Through the telescopic lens of prophetic revelation, we witness the red horse removing peace, so that people begin killing each other in unprecedented numbers.  This isn’t so farfetched—we witness it on the nightly news.

(Rev 6:3 KJV) And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.

And a third seal is opened … and I heard the third beast say, Come and see.  And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat upon him had a pair of balances in his hand … and the black horse of famine consumes as food prices soar!

You know, the most developed nations of our world have numerous relief agencies whose work is never completed—we’ve watched them most recently in Haiti and South America following devastating earthquakes.  Even in America we’re increasingly focused on food for the hungry and feeding the children.  But there is coming a day when all the human effort the world can muster will be woefully inadequate.  This God of justice, today rejected by presidents and peasants, will unleash such righteous judgment that the entire world will notice!

And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see  (Rev 6:7 KJV)  

Come and see what?  Come and see the pale horse unleashing death and hell—devouring 25% of the world’s population.

By now some of you are thinking, Pastor Dale, why in the world would you bring such morbid detail to our attention on such a wonderful day of celebration?  Because while you and I know the Risen Christ as our Savior, and can rejoice, as many as 3 billion of our fellow human beings have never heard that there is good news! 

What the starving masses of humanity need today is the Bread of Life—the Living Christ!  What the thirsting multitudes of this world need is a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name—that they may never thirst again!  What the warring people groups of our globe need today is for someone who knows Jesus Chris—and the power of His resurrection—to bring them news of the Prince of Peace!

It may be morbid, but the reality of our world is that most of this world will see and feel the effects of these horsemen of the Apocalypse!  But they don’t have to witness it firsthand, because between them and a godless eternity stands someone with the solution—you and me, who know the Savior!

And being shaken to the depths of our souls by this troublesome tour, we find ourselves stepping off the time trolley into a garden.  We glance around us—there is no conductor—there is no train!  But there stands the white-robed angel beside an empty tomb, inviting us to come and see the God of UNLIMITED SALVATION 

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.  Come and see the place where he lay. (Matt 28:6 NIV) 

You see, the purpose of his death was the payment of your sins and mine.  The purpose of his resurrection was to prove to the heavens and the earth that he, the Christ is, indeed, the victor over death, hell, and the grave! 

Low in the grave he lay—Jesus my Savior!

Waiting the coming day—Jesus my Lord!

 

Vainly they watch his bed—Jesus my Savior!

Vainly they seal the dead—Jesus my Lord!

 

Death cannot keep his prey—Jesus my Savior!

He tore the bars away—Jesus my Lord!

 

Up from the grave he arose, with a mighty triumph o’er his foes.

He arose the victor from the dark domain

And he lives forever with his saints to reign.

He arose!  He arose!  Hallelujah!  Christ arose!

 

Because he lives, we too can live also.  Because he lives, others can live also, but they must hear the good news in time—the same good news that we celebrate today!  In the time tha it has taken you to read this blog, somewhere in this world 1,605 people died—most of them without Christ!

In the wake of the resurrected Christ, the instructions given were plain and simple—Go, tell your world!  Is it fair that any one of us should hear the Gospel twice until all have heard at least once?  Let’s determine to carry our celebration to the streets, inviting others to Come and See!