Tag Archives: America

Boys at War… a Welcome Home Poem

I wrote this poem in 2003. So many U.S. Soldiers, both men and women, were leaving for Iraq, to fight in a war while the rest of us lived our lives in comfort and peace. My friend’s son was one of the soldiers who fought in Iraq. I presented her with a copy of this poem to encourage her and give her hope. I prayed with her, and together we asked God to bring her son safely back home. God heard our prayers, and every Memorial Day is a sweet reminder of God’s great mercy. But many soldiers were not as fortunate.  Many died, and many came back with severe physical injuries, and emotional injuries too. We don’t always understand God’s plan, but the silver lining is that God is good, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28 New International Version).

That same year in 2003, I had the honor of my poem being chosen for a reading at our small town’s memorial service which took place under the gazebo in Rose Hill Park. This poem is called “Boys at War,” as a tribute to the men who have gone before us, when only boys were soldiers heading off to fight in a war. But this poem is still meant to honor ALL those who have gone to war on behalf of our country, both men and women, who have sacrificed their lives for the rest of us. This is for the soldiers who have made it home, and the soldiers who have not. It is to thank you, because we understand, that freedom is not free.

Boys at War 

Say a prayer, for our boys are at war.
What in the world are they fighting for?

Just that… our world… to keep it free.
They fight for you. They fight for me.

They risk their lives to save our own.
They’re in our hearts; they’re not alone.

God bless our boys, and let them know,​
America’s proud and loves them so.

Protect their heads down to their feet.
So they’ll come marching down our street

To flags and shouts of, “Welcome Home!”
Where freedom rings, so they can roam.  

And for the boys who don’t return,
Our tears will fall, our hearts will yearn.

Dear Lord, we know that some will die,
And they’ll be welcomed in the sky.

Comfort loved ones filled with sorrow.
Thank you, God, for our tomorrow.

When we’ve lived past 97,
We’ll bring flags with us to Heaven,

Smiling at each soldier’s face,
We’ll rejoice, and then embrace.

At that parade with lots of noise,
We’ll all yell thanks to God’s Brave Boys!

© 2003 by Angela Royse Pelleman

No matter what happens here on Earth, soldiers and their loved ones who receive Jesus, will one day be reunited in Heaven! 

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’ ” (Rev. 21:24).

10 Questions for Christians Marching for Causes (Series: Social Media Sadness, Badness, and Madness) 

Who’s right? Who’s wrong? As a Christian, how do you know which causes to support, or if you should participate at all? So many people are going in so many different directions, including our brothers and sisters in Christ. There are genuine believers, wandering believers, young believers, old believers, sincere believers, rebellious believers, passionate believers, laid-back believers, well-intended believers, entitled believers, people who falsely believe that they are believers, dangerously lukewarm believers, evil people pretending to be believers, and lost non-believers. These people are all loved by God, but they are not all Christians, just because they claim to be so.

A genuine Christian believer is one who has received Jesus Christ, and has a relationship with him. Many genuine, yet imperfect, Christian believers are living in confusion, conflict, and chaos because we listen to lies. If we do not engage in prayer, bible reading, and the pursuit of Jesus, we become more susceptible to being deceived, just as a non-Christian does. Unengaged Christians still have salvation, protection, rights, and authority in Christ, but they are living as if they do not. They cause confusion among their brothers and sisters in Christ, who seek to obey God and live by His Laws. With some claiming to be Christians, yet not living out a Christian lifestyle, it’s easy to see why people are led to march down so many false paths in the name of “Christianity.” Upon closer inspection, it’s not so difficult to find out why we are not all on the same page. The only pages that will truly unite believers, are those in the Bible.

As Christians, we have an innate desire to share truth, and fight for just causes. After all, we are fighting a spiritual battle every day. Most causes have political ties, with both liberal and religious undertones. We are living at a time where corruption is around every corner, with our country split right down the middle on whether we should respect and follow the godly laws upon which America was founded. Christians need to make sure we are not trying to “create our own truth.” For God IS Truth, and Only HIS truth is true. We must place our own hopes, dreams, and fears, into God’s hands, while trusting Him to care for them. We should then ask The Holy Spirit to speak truth to our hearts about the causes which ignite passion in our hearts. Then we must exercise wisdom and discernment, before marching forward.

There are many wonderful causes, and we are proud to participate in movements which could bring important changes for our country. But when a cause gets elevated over and above God’s truth, or attempts to replace God’s authority, we are definitely marching to the beat of the wrong drummer. Even the devil masquerades as an angel of light. Satan will deceitfully lead Christians down a path of distraction, danger, and eventually destruction if we do not keep our focus on God. Does your cause line up with scripture, or does it deceive you into believing your cause is the exception to God’s Laws? “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5 New International Version).

Ten questions, Christians can ask ourselves, when deciding whether or not to get involved with a cause:

Does your cause…

1.  …Lead others towards God’s commandments and laws, or draw them away from God’s safety and protection?

2.  …Honor and respect God, or pay homage to your own selfish wants and desires?

3.   …Promote a peaceful bible-based message centering on goodness, nobility, and purity, or a false religion stirring up evil, chaos, and vulgarity? 

4.  …Spread Christ’s good news of hope, truth, and love, or ungodly shouts of anger, hopelessness, and hate?

 5.  …Involve prayer and possibly fasting, or involve impulsive acts based on flaring tempers and quickly-changing emotions?

 6.  …Come about after seeking God’s wisdom and discernment, or after being persuaded by the media, and opinions of others?

 7.  …Stem from a solid foundation on biblical truths, or from getting caught up in passing trends and fads? 

8.  …Stem from a passion to follow Jesus, or from a desire to further the agenda for separation of church and state?

 9.  …Come backed with proof and prophecy from the scriptures, or from worldly influence and ideals?

10.  …Give you peace that you are doing God’s will by following Him and listening to His voice, or leave you with the unsettling, smug satisfaction of using your own voice, while leaving God and Jesus out of the picture?

Christians who stand, march, and fight for causes which do not align with God’s Holy Laws, are hurting themselves and others. In a world drowning in deceit, there will be times that Christians with good reasons and well-meaning intentions, will support and participate in causes without realizing the evil motives of the enemy moving underneath. When a Christian discovers that the cause does not please God, he or she will experience conviction, seek forgiveness, and choose a different path. Christians need to understand that our emotions will deceive us; we can’t trust in a cause just because it makes us feel good. We need to ask Jesus to lead us to the truth, which will bring us peace. A cause without God in the middle, is quite simply, a lost cause!

The Silver Lining is God knows the hearts of His children. God knows whether we are truly seeking Him, or whether we are willfully engaging in the sins of stubbornness, rebellion, and pride. But God can use everything for our growth and His glory! Our job is to view situations with discernment and call out the sin, without judging our brothers and sisters in Christ, whom we are called to love. We can disagree with others, but demeaning fellow believers with threats, insults, name-calling and other forms of abuse does not display the character of Christ. Instead, we should pray for each other to grow, and in humility, acknowledge and understand that we all come from different walks of life.“Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you” (Jas. 4:11 New Living Translation).

The most important question is: Are we willing to walk, march, and run for GOD’s cause…in order to grow the Kingdom of Jesus Christ? No cause is more worthy of our valuable time and energy. Eternal lives depend on us! There will be many times when people oppose, fight, and insult us as Christians for sharing the truth. We will be judged, as others seek to take over, hoping to drown out the message of righteousness in Jesus Christ. God has revealed in the scriptures, that our compassionate, truth-filled words will fall on deaf ears. The spiritually blind cannot see what the eyes of the spiritually discerning can see. People cannot receive truth until they elevate God above their own agenda and causes. But God promises us victory in Jesus! People can march for their causes, but the battle has already been won for us. The victory is ours, and our freedom is in Christ Jesus!

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (1 Cor. 15:57 English Standard Version)

memes-copy
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
(Phil. 4:4-8 NIV)

Soldier On!

It’s an emotional and crucial time in America. I hope you will join me for my upcoming blog post, “God is Sovereign…He’s in Control.” God was already leading me to write about His Sovereignty, even before the election took place. It is my prayer that God will continue to use me as an instrument, to bring you: hope, encouragement, and comfort through Jesus Christ. I pray God will give us a desire to unite with our brothers and sisters in Christ, by providing us with reminders of His biblically proclaimed promises: God promises to watch over His children and protect them at all times. He does not abandon His people. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you’ ” (Deut. 31:6  New International Version).

I am sharing a link to last year’s Veterans Day post, Thank a Vet…Pray on Veterans Day. I’m so grateful to each and every veteran who has served our great country of America. I believe that writing about how God chooses a king, and about how God is sovereign, is the best way for me to show gratitude and honor to our veterans on Veterans Day. Our soldiers and forefathers have fought hard, and sacrificed much, in order for us to live in a country founded on God’s laws. America is a country worth fighting for! It still remains a Republic which “stands one Nation, under God!

As Christians we must continue to do battle in Christ Jesus, knowing we are soldiers in God’s Army. We should fight without sinning, recruit with honestly, and our battle cry should be love. Our mission should be one, and the same; to introduce Jesus to people who don’t know him; and to share God’s love with a hurting nation of broken people who need hope and healing in Christ. As Christian soldiers, we must believe in God, and trust that He can make good out of anything and everything we do in His name! 

Soldier on in your search for The Truth, pursue Jesus, and “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 

1 Peter 4:8 New International Version

 “Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Tim. 2: 3 

“Onward Christian Soldiers”
19th Century Hymn

Onward Christian soldiers

Marching as to war 

With the cross of Jesus

Going on before

Christ the royal master 

Leads against the foe

Forward into battle

See His banners go

Refrain:

Onward Christian soldiers

Marching off to war

With the cross of Jesus

Going on before.   Amen.

-Written by Sabine Baring-Gould, 1865
-Music by Arthur Sullivan, 1871

    
  
Thank a Vet…Pray on Veterans Day 

Choosing a King… 5 Biblical Examples

CHOSEN, ANOINTED, APPOINTED: God chooses all kings. When we understand how God chooses a king, we can apply godly wisdom and discernment when faced with a democratic vote for choosing our new president of the United States of America. Do you have peace about your vote? We can examine five biblical truths from 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel, to prayerfully guide us to be at peace with the decision we make when we go to vote.

 1.   GOD SENDS A PROPHET TO ANOINT A FUTURE KING:

Samuel was a prophet. A prophet is also anointed by God to proclaim God’s truth. “The LORD said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill you horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king’ ” (1 Sam. 16:1 New International Version). Today, God sends his pastors and disciples out to anoint and pray for our leaders and disciple them, in the name of Jesus.

 2.   GOD DOES NOT LOOK AT OUTWARD APPEARANCES:

 King David was a young shepherd boy. Shepherds were looked down upon as the lowest of the low on the social scale during biblical times. They were dirty and smelly; they were gossips and liars. But God didn’t see that, because He saw what was underneath, a heart after His: “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart’ ” (1 Sam. 16:7) Today God is still unimpressed by status, wealth, fame, and connections. After all, He is The Creator of all of us. He can give and take away in an instant.

 3.  GOD LOOKS AT A THE HEART OF A MAN:

God sees everything. He observed how David took his job as a shepherd very seriously. He watched as he gathered each and every one of the sheep together, and searched for any that were lost, to bring them back home. God in His Omniscience could already see that David would do the same thing with people under his reign. God needed a king who would care for the chosen people of Israel. “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ” ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do’ ” (Acts 13:22). Today God looks through all the superficial layers the world has created, and He searches deeply for the good that lies down underneath. He sees our potential, even when no one else does.

4.  GOD SEEKS A KING WHO WILL PURSUE HIM, IN SPITE OF BEING A SINNER:

King David was far from perfect. He lusted after a woman named Bathsheba, while she was bathing. Then he committed adultery with her, and she became pregnant, all while her her husband was being loyal to the king and fighting for him in The Lord’s Army! As if that were not despicable enough, he also deceitfully set up a plan that would cause Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, to die in battle, just so he could keep Bathsheba for his wife. It worked. “After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD” (2 Sam. 11: 27). Though David battled sin and strongholds, he had a repentant heart, and continued to pursue God. He wrote the Psalms, which everyone can relate to today, because we are all sinners. Today’s kings must pursue Jesus for forgiveness of their sins, because God has said Jesus is the One and Only way to God.

 5. GOD WORKS IN SPITE OF EVIL BUT DOES NOT CONDONE IT. THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES:

A consequence of King David’s sin, was the death of his son.  David was remorseful. He prayed and asked God to save his son, but when his son died, he accepted the consequence. “Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at this request they served him food and he ate” (2 Sam. 12:20). David sinned, but he was not evil. He had a repentant heart. After asking God to forgive him, he accepted his trial, and continued to pursue God, and fight for God’s Army. God equipped David for these battles.

David could have rejected God and turned his back on him. Instead, David trusted God in all things, even painful trials. He went on to receive God’s blessing of another son, King Solomon, who became the wisest and richest king in history. Today’s kings can also have a close relationship with God by choosing to accept Jesus Christ. As they pursue Jesus, with repentant hearts, they can come boldly to God, without fear, knowing He will help them gain victory in their battles. They can say, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Heb. 4:16).

If God has appointed kings, but we live in a democracy, what does that mean for us? It means we are responsible to choose a king as God would, to the best of our knowledge and our abilities through Jesus Christ. Our candidate’s agenda should line up with God’s scriptures. If God says it’s a sin, the candidate we vote for should be saying it’s a sin. A quick way to do this is to look up the 10 Commandments.

They are listed in both the Old and New Testaments. God’s scriptures are black and white. If you feel an issue is a “gray area” seek God with all your heart, soul, and mind. Accept Jesus, if you haven’t. Repent of any sins. Ask Him to remove any spiritual blinders. Then ask Him your question again. He will answer you. The silver lining is that God is in control, and if we pray, we can have peace about going to the polls. God gave you a voice…Go out and vote!

“Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.”

Deuteronomy 1:13

capitol-22546_1280

Related: Christians and Candidates: Voting for Your President

Liberty and Justice for All who Receive Him

“In the last days, God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants–men and women alike–and they will prophesy. And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below–blood and fire and clouds of smoke. The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and glorious day of the LORD arrives. But everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.’ ”

Acts 2: 17-21 New Living Translation  

Christians and Candidates:  Voting for Your President

The Silver Lining is meant to uplift and encourage, so it will not be a place for political debate. However, I want to encourage you to pray, and fast as God calls, before you go to the polls to vote in this crucial election. Our new president could bring hope, healing and continued freedom for the United States of America, or instead bring catastrophic consequences for our country, which cannot be reversed. 

Voting in good conscience, calls for seeking a godly, Christian candidate. A selfless, wise, compassionate problem solver who puts himself under God, instead of above Him, is someone who has our country’s best interests at heart. King David was a small boy, a shepherd, with whom God was well pleased. God chose David to be the king of Israel. God passed over the men who were tall, good-looking, and older. Instead, God chose a lowly shepherd boy with a heart after His own! 

 “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7 New International Version).

David killed his gigantic enemy Goliath with only a slingshot and a stone! No one else would come near Goliath. But young David went forward with confidence in His God. He even shed the armor that King Saul had given him to wear in battle! It was too uncomfortable! That day the vast army of Philistines turned away and fled in fear; their giant was conquered, and they were terrified. 

“Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground” (1 Sam. 17:49).

King David was the father of King Solomon, who is still the wisest king who has ever lived! King David’s lineage included Jesus Christ, King of the Jews, God’s own Son. Jesus is the greatest king who ever lived; he was resurrected from the dead, and still lives today!

The bible gives us the best example of characteristics we should be looking for in a king, when we are given the responsibility of choosing one. Who would have imagined that a quiet boy, tending to his sheep, would have become God’s choice for a king? It shows what one is capable of becoming, when he allows God to both lead and fight his battles.  

As Christians, we have a responsibility to come before God, bowing our heads in repentance, asking forgiveness for having followed the ways of the world. We need to pray for wisdom and discernment, so that we can vote for the best candidate to take care of us and our country. We should remember that our country was set on a godly foundation, and God’s laws have not changed today. 

Jesus came to bring us a new covenant, which made the first one obsolete (Heb. 8:13). He became a sin offering for us, through his death on the cross. He is the sacrifice for our sins, which is why we must receive him and ask forgiveness for our sins. This new covenant can be found throughout the New Testament of the bible. If we want God to grant favor on America, we need to vote for a president who is willing to put God first, and obey His covenant, which will result in protection and peace for our country. 

No president, not one king, will be allowed to rule over us, without passing through the hands of God, and first receiving His permission. This means that our new president will only become our president, if it is God’s will. Sometimes this is hard for us to understand, but God has a much greater plan, which we are unable to see. 

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1).

Still, God promises that if we fast and pray, he will heal our nation. This means He will hear us and answer our pleas for a good, godly president if His people come together and ask Him!

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

And we will have peace that no matter what, we will have done what God has asked us to do. And if we are God’s children, he will watch over us and protect us, no matter what lays ahead. 

Ask Jesus into your heart. Repent. Ask Forgiveness. Pray. Fast. Vote. Go in peace. God bless you, and God bless America.  

 

Thank a Vet…Pray on Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a perfect opportunity to reflect on what our U. S. soldiers have done for our country. It’s a time to thank, support, and pray for our American veterans. Our soldiers have put themselves in the line of fire, risked, and given their lives for our freedom. Our freedom should never be taken for granted. Our soldiers have fought hard, so we can live in comfort.

Thank a vet, in person. I have not yet a met a veteran, who doesn’t appreciate the words, “Thank you for your service.” I’ve received replies such as, “You’re welcome…Glad to do it…Yes ma’am.” I’ve also received the tip of a hat. Hold the door for a veteran with a cane, offer to let a veteran get in line before you at the grocery store, and smile at a veteran. Offer a handshake, and say, “Thank you for your service.” These are all ways to show respect and appreciation for their sacrifices they have made for our country.

Most of us personally know, and love, an American Veteran. My husband served five years as a helicopter crew chief in the Army. He served half his tour flying generals, and the other half on medivac duty. I’m proud to be married to an Army veteran! There are many ways to support our soldiers, and show that we care. We’ve donated socks and t-shirts to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where our nation’s heroes are healed. We’ve donated to charitable organizations, which help veterans when they come back home. Our favorite way to support soldiers, is to send Christmas boxes filled with favorite items for our troops. It’s become a family tradition to put them together every Thanksgiving. Something small, becomes something bigger, when many come together to help boost the morale of our country’s brave men and women.

Praying for our American soldiers, is the most important way we can give thanks for their service. Praying provides God’s protection over our brave men and women. We can ask people to join us in praying for our soldiers and their families. Some soldiers are just beginning their journey. Some soldiers are in danger. Some soldiers are coming home. Some soldiers are coping with physical and emotional disabilities. Some soldiers have gone to be with Jesus. Prayer brings our soldiers a silver lining. It brings them spiritual protection and healing that can only come from God. Lives are saved, people are healed, and soldiers on their journey find eternal life through Jesus. Thank you, veterans and soldiers. God bless you, and God bless America.

“A psalm of David. Praise the LORD, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle.” Psalm 144:1

image-8
Car magnets purchased by a veteran organization, in order to support veterans, and show appreciation for their service.

Click the links below to learn how to:

Send Support Our Troops® Care Paks, to aid in the welfare and morale of service members deployed to protect all of us in the United States.

Send holiday cards to show concern and appreciation, for service members, veterans, and familes recovering at Walter Reed Bethesda.