Location: Camden, Maine, United States

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"Notoriety and Decorations"

What a beautiful morning here in Coastal Maine, as I consider the blessings of the Lord! It is calm, it is pleasantly warm, it is clear. But isn’t He just marvelous! Every time I look out upon the beauty of creation, I pause . . . what I see is effected by the curse! God‘s creation was terribly marred by sin. Oh my, what must it have been before sin entered? Just think of picking a rose without thorns?

Well at any rate, good morning!

My family and I had a grand experience this past Memorial Day, along with many of our towns patriots! Not only were there parades, picnics, memorials offered on land and at seaside, and grave-side services, but, our town also dedicated it’s Veterans Memorial in the Town Green. There were dignitaries of government there, and Soldiers, Sailors, Guardsmen, Airmen, and Marines, both retired and active. Uniforms and flags, shinning sabers, a community band, the high school symphonic band, news teams recording the events, all lent to set the atmosphere! It was stirring! Town was shut down for an hour, nothing interfered with the service, except for a short glitch in the sound system.

I think the most significant statement made was by a retired Navy Captain, a man by the way who attends our church. He was introduced with a very impressive, and long list of accomplishments from investigating the Submarine Thresher incident, being project manager for research, development and conceptual designer of the Attack Class Submarines at Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, to Aide to the Director of Navy Program Planning; and the list goes on.

But above all of this you have to get to know this man to appreciate him fully. He is one of the most humble men I have met. He said, with a quiver in his voice, in effect, that having visited the memorial and read all the names, that he felt he accomplished little in comparison to the greatness of the other men and women whose names appeared on the wall.

Speak with him and you will see tears in his eyes and hear a quiver in his voice, with great humility, when he speaks of his Lord.

My Dad is one of the WWII vets who are bending at attention when the flag passes by. Any introduction by him would not include much notoriety. His great claim to fame is to have worked at Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation in Brackenridge, PA, where stainless steel was formulated.

He served in the Pacific during the war. I remember going to an Army reunion with him several years ago. He was the one who organized their companies first reunion, many years after their South Pacific hiatus. As I sat at the table with some of my dad’s old buddies, whose language was not the best, I learned of his notoriety. I saw their eyes focus on My Dad, with a sparkle as Dad began the festivities. As he was speaking the guys each looked at each other with smiles and back and forth to Dad, and one guy with a sense of teenage-glee and even delight said, “He is going to pray, Austin is going to pray.” I saw those hardened men with tears begin to come down their cheeks. After my Dad had prayed another fellow said, “I knew he’d pray, I knew he would!”

And just like the Captain, listen to my Dad speak, you will see tears and hear a quiver in his voice when he talks about his Lord. You see the Lord is who is great in the lives of these men. It is grace that decorates their hearts.

So I wonder this fine, beautiful morning, what kind of notoriety will decorate your life? May it be the kind that decorates the hearts that beat for the Savior like these two fine men of God.

“Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last!”

But better yet the words of the Apostle Paul: But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: Phil 3:7-9

May this kind of humility decorate our lives of service for our Lord.

Have a wonderful day serving our Wonderful Lord, by Grace Alone!


Blogger littleMstudio said...

If I could thunder a baritone (I can't even spell the word!) AMEN like that good brother who passed, I would. It was worth the wait Buppa. Oh to see you soon and sit in my spot & look at the back of all the saints' heads who sit in front of me. Even to hear a little skinn-a-ma-rink would be grand. Keep up the good preachin!

10:25 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

That was good. Thanks.

10:12 PM  

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