Gracious Heavenly Father, Ruler of All, with humble hearts we ask Your blessings upon our nation and our rulers. We ask especially today for your blessings upon President Donald Trump and his cabinet. Grant them safety of body and soul throughout their administration. Grant them wisdom to rule our land with honor; and through just laws bring order and justice to our society. Give our citizens respect for our government and help us to respect one another, even when we disagree. Above all, we ask that Your Church may do its work in peace and safety, that Your Word may be freely preached and taught for the salvation of many souls. We bring our requests in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Yes, it’s Veterans Day, the day we as a nation “officially” thank our living Veterans and their families. However, we can and should individually and as a church family thank them every day. Why? Because every day is how often we live our lives within this nation’s precious freedoms… including our freedom of worship! The mere time it takes to look a military man or woman in the eye, firmly shake their hand and simply say “thank you” means more than you know……even more so if it’s from a total stranger.
Our Veterans, the men and women who wore or are wearing our nations cloth, are sent to places and put in situations we can’t imagine—nor did they choose. Regardless of how large, small, distant or local, these orders and their contributions are part of our nation’s defense of freedoms: ”some gave all but all give some.” Sums it up, doesn’t it? And always remember, this includes their families and loved ones!
So, this Veterans Day, please show your caring in the form of prayers, thankyous and support. You and your congregation’s support can also include joining the new ELS & WELS military ministry “Lutheran Military Support Group (LMSG)”. This newly forming military support initiative is dedicated to supporting those serving, those who have served, and their families. Check us out at www.LutheranMilitary.org. Pray that we can help grass root efforts for our military in our back yard and overseas.
In closing, let’s remember, on Veterans Day we thank the living and on Memorial Day we honor the fallen. God’s blessings and your support is our hope. Have a meaningful Veterans Day!
Warmest Regards & Blessings,
Denny “Master Chief” Behr, Navy (retired)
Charter Member of National LMSG Board
Lutheran Military Support Group
“now serving in His service”
Gracious Heavenly Father, Ruler of all things, as our nation elects new leaders, we ask for Your wisdom and guidance in our choices. Give to all our leaders wisdom to lead with justice, strength to uphold the laws of our nation, and courage to stand up for the truth. Continue to bless Your Church with faithful pastors, teachers, leaders and members. We ask these things in the name of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. Amen.
For as many years as I can remember, the phrase “America is at a crossroads” has been used prior to a presidential election, pitting one candidate against another and one ideology against another. But in reality, the phrase ceased to be true a long time ago.
American society has traveled beyond the crossroads. At some point in the last few decades, our society chose a path: the wide and straight path to destruction. As a society, we have abandoned traditional morality based on natural law for an emotion-based individual morality that quickly changes based on one’s thoughts and feelings. Nothing is wrong and nothing is right. We can only say, “It’s right for me.” If we dare to tell someone they are wrong, we are immediately labeled a “hater.” There is no room for discussion, no room for debate, because there is no room for absolute truth. The road continues to widen and slope downhill, so we, as a society, continue to stumble faster and faster toward our fate.
All is not lost, though. Not everyone has chosen that road. There is still a large segment of our society that has not left the intersection where the roads diverge. They still stand at the crossroads with one foot on the steep and rocky path, calling out to their friends, family, and neighbors, pleading with them to return. That segment are Christians who have not succumbed to the lies of Satan and who not only want the country to return to traditional morals, but want all those who have chosen the path to Hell to turn from that path and live through faith in Jesus as their Savior.
That segment of Christians is faced with a challenging task this year: voting for a presidential candidate. We look at the character of the two major candidates and we may wonder how we can choose. One of them likely will be president. While we may not personally like either of these candidates, we need to look not only at their personalities and behavior, but also at what they claim to represent. We cannot see into anyone’s heart. We can look at what they claim and what they do. There are important issues for Christians at stake in this race, and we dare not give in to our own emotions, but instead face the realities of our nation both today and in the future.
We are not electing a spiritual leader. We are electing a government leader. But that government leader can have a profound impact on the work of the Christian Church and the lives of Christians. We have recently seen hostility in some areas of our government toward Christian beliefs if those beliefs are based on God’s Word and seek to follow that Word. We have seen that hostility reflected in new laws and how those laws are enforced. We have seen government agencies attempt to coerce Christians into actions that violate their consciences. No president can do this on their own. But the president generally sets the tone and the path of the country.
There are many considerations when choosing a candidate, from personal safety to the economy. Each may hold varying degrees of importance to each voter. But as Christians, one of the primary considerations must be our future and the future of our children in this nation. As we choose our nation’s leader, please pray for guidance both for you and for our nation. Consider what your vote will mean for your future as a Christian in this country and what it will mean for the future of the Christian Church in our nation. And no matter the election outcome, we pray that the Gospel of Christ may have free course for the glory of God and the salvation of many souls. And, as always, we pray, “Let God’s will be done.”
Rev. Paul Fries
Gracious Heavenly Father, Creator and Ruler of all things, we ask for Your protection for the people being affected by Hurricane Matthew. Give them strength through the storm and character to endure the aftermath. Guide all emergency workers and officials to make wise decisions and keep them safe. As in all things, let Your will be done. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.