Verse of the Day

Sunday, November 29, 2015

First Sunday in Advent

If you enjoy this, the entire AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!

Rev Jack Arnolds Sermon
Church of the Faithful Centurion - Descanso, California
Today’s sermon brought the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and is partly contained in the forewords above.

The First Sunday in Advent
The Collect.

LMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.

¶ This Collect is to be repeated every day, after the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas Day.

Today’s Collect, like almost all of them, starts out asking God’s Grace, His Help, His intervention to allow us to turn our backs on evil and our own desires that we might make His Desire our desire.  If you will understand how much we fall short in our “natural” desire, you will understand that to cast off the works of darkness and don the armour of light, we must turn to Christ, who came to visit us, born in a simple and humble inn in Bethlehem.  As His manner of birth, we must be humble as well, not boastful and proud like the rich[1], but meek and lowly, to embrace light and cast off the works of darkness.  Though He came in a rather humble manner, He shall return in a glorious and majestic manner, a rather stark contrast to His original incarnation, leaving no doubt who has come to lead us.

We must embrace the lightness and reject the darkness. We do this by allowing the Holy Ghost into our hearts, to shine the light in our hearts and expel the darkness. Only then can we truly don the armor of light. We need to train our brains and minds and souls in this way, so that we can act for Christ. We have been called to do these things, as sons and daughters of God, but only with a conscious effort on our part to accept Him and more importantly to listen to Him, can we do these things. To do these things we have to live it.

This point brings us straight to the Epistle. Paul tells us that we need to live the life we aspire to.  He cautions us to not borrow for what we do not need that we might owe others nothing but our love.  That way we will not have a worldly obligation to any who might hold that over us to influence our path away from that Christ set out for us. We ideally owe no man anything but that of our love.  Paul asks us to love our neighbors, by love he means to take care for them as we would for ourselves or our own close relations.  Not necessarily to “give” them money, but to help them in self-sufficiency that they might prosper both in soul and body. 

This takes us right into the Gospel according to Saint Matthew.  We must not be for God in speech only, but in deed.  When Jesus came into this world, He came knowing the true purpose of His coming, He came knowing how He would leave, He came knowing the cost at which our souls would be accounted at perfect.  The story of Palm Sunday is the same as that of the Nativity.   For on Palm Sunday, there was joy in the crowd at the arrival of the Savior, much as there was in the stable at the arrival of the Child Jesus.  Yet, many in the very same crowd who cried “Hosanna” on Palm Sunday were there early on Good Friday.  For what did they cry then?

“Crucify Him, Crucify Him!”

Pilate asked for them to cry for mercy, they cried for vengeance on their Lord and Savior!

A swift 180° turn from “Hosanna to the Son of David.”  How quick are men to turn upon that of a good thing. As Charles Spurgeon said "It is an astounding thing and a proof of human depravity that men do not themselves seek salvation. They even deny the necessity of it and would sooner run away than be partakers of it."  This is due to our natural inclination to choose the fruit of death rather than the bread of life, which comes from the Baker of Life, Jesus Christ.

I was reading Genesis 40 a while back with my parents and it struck me how the tale of the baker and the butler of the Pharaoh, with each with three days to their eventual fates, was a parallel to Christ.  Why the two had differing fates is not clear in Scripture, but for certain Christ is the Baker of Life, and who in three days arose from the dead to have conquered death. The Bread of Life is Christ’s sacrifice for us, and every time we partake of it in Holy Communion and listening to the Gospel and the Epistle, we must always remember the cost of our freedom from death. Also with the cost comes conditions, namely that we profess Christ as Our Saviour and to put Him first in our lives, love God with all our heart, soul and mind, and love our neighbors as ourselves. We have heard this before in the Summary of the Law. This is what the Law of God condenses down to, and this is what all our laws that we set forth must be based upon, for there is no other rational or foundational base so great and solid as Christ. He must be the Chief Cornerstone in our lives, if our lives are to have any meaning. There are those who He is not chief in, and they are those who may vainly profess His name with their lips, but not in their actions. This is a great sorrow for them. They have not kept the Word of God in their hearts, though they may shallowly profess it with their lips. It is action and not diction that counts!

We must not be like them.  We must put on the great Armour of Light and to reject our former lives of sin and vanity. We must switch from our old selfish lives to a new unselfish, Christ filled life.  It is something that we always will be struggling with, but God never gives up on us. We can be comforted by this assurance that He will never give up on us. We just have to never give up on Him and do our very best to follow what he says. As long as we repent from our sin and turn back to God in our private prayers and devotion, he will wipe our slate clean. I know I have a hard time keeping on the straight and narrow path, so I am glad He left the Scriptures to guide us.

Through following His Word and Instructions, we shall be given a greater reward than anything existent on the Earth; past, present or future, that gift of immortal life, life for all eternity, that will outlast this physical world. To don the armour of light is not merely putting it on, you have to utilize it, and utilize the helmet, the buckler and sword (Scriptures and Christ’s teachings).  You need the whole complement of weaponry to go into combat with the Prince of Darkness in this fallen world. And you not only need the complement of weaponry, but we need to train with these weapons. The best way is to be reading Scriptures regularly and discussing the meaning of it with your fellow believers. This way you can ingrain the Scriptures in your heart and be ready to do battle with those who follow the Prince of this World.

Make no mistake, we are engaged in a World War with the Prince of Air, the Prince of this world for the souls of men, starting with our own, a World War which which has been going on since the beginning of time. But we know the ending is in our favor for certain, for the Book of Revelations tells us so.

As individuals we may not experience victory here on earth. We may struggle with problems in this world and our own, our whole lifespan on this planet. We may not know that savor, but we know that in the end, He will be victorious as we know the Savior.  We will win, for we are on His Side.

Cast off the dull worn robes of darkness, which lack luster, give no warmth, protect not from the heat, and put on the shining glorious armour of light.  So kitted up, we walk in light, not in darkness where we may stumble and fall.   Unlike moths, for us light is life, not the destruction of darkness.

Come, put on the Armor of Light and go forth to destroy that last enemy, death!

Heaven is at the end of an uphill trail.  The easy downhill trail does not lead to the summit.

The time is now, not tomorrow.  The time has come, indeed.  How will you ACT?

It is by our actions we are known.

Be of God - Live of God - Act of God

[1] It is not that worldly wealth is, in and of itself, bad, but rather the attitude it can bring, one of self-worth beyond that which is correct.  Wealth often brings to us a “better than thou” attitude, which soon turns to “Holier than thou.”  The kind of thing that was referred to when Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”  Mark 10.25

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day

Sermon – Rev Hap Arnold – Time and Action

Thanksgiving Day

The Collect.

 MOST merciful Father, who hast blessed the labours of the husbandman in the returns of the fruits of the earth; We give thee humble and hearty thanks for this thy bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness to us, that our land may still yield her increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect acknowledges in effect God hast blessed the efforts of the workers as shown by the things they produce from the natural resources God provided and that we give thanks for this great harvest of useful things, food and others, and that we pray God will continue to guide us and help us so we can stay prosperous and happy to show how great He is and for our own comfort, by the way.

In his Epistle, James tells us all good is of God and if we are of God, we will act of God.  Saint Matthew reminds us we should not worry about how things will be or what we will do.  Remember, the line of time stretches from the unknowable past to the unfathomable eternity of the future.  But, we humans here on earth live only today.  Today is where God’s finger touches that line of time.  Just do what we are supposed to now.  For yesterday will never come again and tomorrow will never get here.  If we do not act today, it will not be done.  

Few thinking people would dispute the rather obvious fact our country is in real trouble.  More than it has ever been before.  With the exception of the Civil War, in the past our threats have been external.  We were able to come together around a common core and eliminate the threat.  Today, our enemy is among us and attempting to divert people from our common core values.

Make no mistake, this has been a Judeo-Christian country since it was first inhabited, read General Washington’s proclamation regarding Thanksgiving.  From the beginning, people came here to worship in freedom, the greater part of them serious Christians, almost all nominal Christians owing their heart’s allegiance to our Lord.  But, almost all in the end feeling their world would be best served with freedom of religion.  None looked for freedom from religion.  Even the very few agnostics valued the Christian religion as the only one suited for a Republic.

Christians are exhorted to pray hard, love hard, work hard and yes, play hard.  We are not to be slothful in any thing, but moderate in all things.  To be respectful, conservative and happy.  We are not to be a burden on others, if possible. “…if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3) 

But, what do we find today?  People being exhorted to do what feels good, accept all behavior as deserving of equal consideration and respect, to take it easy, to accept the handouts instead of working.  To be slothful, disrespectful, immoral and illiterate.  All this by our government and its minions. 

What is the result?

Record levels with regard to:

·      Our country’s respect level at its lowest since 1776;
·      Increased crime;
·      Inflation;
·      Poverty;
·      Unemployment;
·      Suicides;
·      Illegitimate Births;
·      Cohabitation and Serial Habitation;
·      Unhappiness!

So, what is the cure?  Follow God’s instructions.

What can you do?

Act!  Action, not diction is the key!

Act on those right next to you.  Spread the Gospel to the person next to you.  It is your job!  It is God’s commandment.  Start with yourself and work outward.

Accept nothing less that your best from you.  Maintain a positive attitude, encourage your family to maintain a positive attitude.  Attend church, so you can be around people with the right ideas at least once a week.  Work with members of your church to stabilize their lives.  Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.  Remember, we all die.  There are none so poor as cannot purchase a noble death.  Act like today is your last day.  Do what must be done.  Accept nothing less from yourself.  Encourage your friends and family.

God gave us a job to do.  We must not fail.  The country may survive, it may not.  That is not our concern.   I took an oath of office well over forty-four years ago agreeing “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”  Now is not the time to stop.

The oath of office I took lays out our job pretty clearly.  We must do what we can to insure our country is here for the future.  That means bring people around to the side of God.  We need to be on His Side.  God is never on our side, He expect us to come to His Side.  The country’s problems all stem from a failure to follow His Directions.  So, one person at a time, we need to bring people over to His Side.  Start with you and work outward.  If one out of a hundred of us had brought one person to His Side, things would be different soon.

Start today!  Read Scripture every day.  Figure out what at least one verse means.  It will take a while, but you have the rest of your life to complete your study.  Figure out what God wants you to do and do it.  Try to pay your own way everywhere.  If someone must owe, let others owe you.  Do your part.  Be part of the economic solution, not the problem.  Remember, debt is not your friend.  Be vigilant in protecting your civil rights.  Do not surrender civil rights for temporary and illusory security.  Take the time to talk to others and try to help them understand how much more freedom and hard work can bring compared to “free things” from a plantation government.  Support free enterprise and this country.  Remember you are free because of the blood shed on your behalf by those who have gone to war to protect you.  Do not give up the freedom they died for.

Do not despair!  All is not lost.  And, if all were lost, there would still be no room for despair, rather one last charge. There is a lot to be done.  Go forth and do His Work. 

This is a great country; not because God was on our side, 
but rather because it has always been on God’s Side.  

Let it stay that way!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Sunday next before Advent

Rev Jack Arnolds Sermon
Church of the Faithful Centurion - Descanso, California
Today’s sermon brought the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and is partly contained in the forewords above.
If you enjoy this, you can read
the entire
AOC Sunday Report RIGHT HERE!

The Sunday next before Advent
The Collect.

TIR up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may by thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

As is oft the case, today’s propers are all tied together.  As is usual, they call for action not just thoughts.  In fact the collect is among the most direct, asking God to stir our hearts that we might ACT in a manner which will result in good things!  Jeremiah prophesies the coming of Jesus out of the branch of David that He might unite God’s people as one under a New Covenant.  Christ is the key piece to the puzzle of the Old Testament Prophecies. John tells us Jesus not only comes to fill our hunger, literal in that if we follow Him we will do much better here on earth than if we do not, and figurative only He can fill the hunger in our hearts for God.  We are spiritually starving creatures who need His love, and our spiritual hunger can only be sated by seeking His love, by acting upon His Words and filling our hearts with His Word.  This is the only possible way we can truly be satisfied, everything else is a shadow of true happiness and satisfaction. God is the only way we in which we can truly be happy, for everything else is worthless to our well being, except for the joy of following Him.

If we follow our own heart and guidance, we will seek the things of this world.  There can be no true happiness or satisfaction.   Seeking material superiority results in coveting, that is the insatiable desire to have what rightfully belongs to others.  Notice both the insatiable part and the part about what rightfully belongs to others.  The word can also be described as "ruthless self-seeking," the kind of attitude the arrogant and callous person has, assuming that others and their things exist for his own benefit.  It has also been described as finding morally acceptable the taking of things from others rather than earning or purchasing them. These are all things that if you look at the Ten  Commandments, violate God’s laws. Thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not steal and thou shalt not bear false witness, are just a few of laws that this type of individual breaks.

Look back on history and see how much evil action can be laid to coveting by not only persons, but nations. We can look at the examples of the early wars in Europe, and of late, of the wars started by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan for examples. We can also look to the religion of Islam as a key reason for conquest in the Middle East, a religion built on deceitful lies and covetousness.

This shows that we cannot satisfy us our own desires, but rather only God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit can fill the hole. Without them, it is a gap that will cause us all sorts of problems, as I mentioned above. We desperately need the influence that the Trinity provides in our life. Our life will be so much more rewarding and happier, if we have them involved in our lives, versus those who do not have them in their life.

As we come on Advent, think ahead to the joy of Christmas, the birth of Christ, His entry into this world, the joy of Epiphany, His revealing to the world.  Then, think ahead to the horror, pain and sadness of Good Friday.  So you must understand everything has a price that must be paid.  There is no free lunch, as it were. Salvation is not free, it was paid with the price of Jesus dying on the Cross and going down into hell to battle with the devil. From our eternal life which was paid for by Jesus’ one time sacrifice made for all mankind for all time to a simple meal.  It has been said there is no free lunch.  That is true, it is better said that everything has a price.  Some things are worth paying for, some are not.  Not one thing is worth coveting in the Ten Commandments sense.  Take nothing that has not been paid for.  If you don’t want to pay the price, don’t take it. You can accept gifts, but take nothing that has not been purchased. Do not partake or acquire stolen goods.

The inordinate desire for more money can lead to theft; the desire for more prestige, to evil ambition; the desire for more power, to tyranny; the desire for a person's body, to fornication and adultery. Paul identifies covetousness as idolatry because it puts things in the place of God.  When we put things over God’s Will, we no longer worship Him, but avoid Him.

When people serve idols, they place things above God.  When you covet, you are willing to set aside God for things.  In the end, that never works.  And, near the end it gets pretty unpleasant.  We find idols easier to deal with than God.  You can make an idol; God made you.  If you don’t like the idol’s rules, you change the rules.  Big differences there.

We shall never be satisfied with the riches and the cares of this world.  If we let the Holy Ghost into our hearts, we will find happiness and satisfaction in His Word. It will be more satisfying than the riches of this world could ever be.

If we keep on learning the Word and acting upon it everyday, something that everybody in some way needs to work on, not least myself, we will become more like Him and that is what He asks of us. He asks of us nothing special, but to do our very best and not just say it. It is a hard concept for many of us to follow, including myself, but we must all strive more and more every day to do our very best. If we study the Scriptures diligently and work hard to follow them to the best of our abilities, then we will, with the Holy Spirit’s help, be charted on an excellent course.

Interestingly, He tells the disciples to “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.”  It seems He is talking about the sheep that He tends to, He wishes to “gather up the fragments that remain”, meaning the people apart from His flock, that “nothing be lost”, meaning that their souls may not be lost for eternity. Think about that and take what it is offered before it is no longer on the menu! And be thankful for All His Blessings in our lives, for our friends and our family that He has placed in our lives.  

We are blessed and should be grateful we are in a spiritually rich group (The Anglican Orthodox Church) and in communion with some very good men and women across the Earth in the AOC Worldwide Church, who hold true to the principles of Scripture. God has blessed us all by bringing us together. I am thankful for each and every person in the AOC Church and my family and friends. As we near Thanksgiving, we should be thankful most of all for God sending His Son to die for us, that we might have eternal life and happiness instead of the eternal misery that comes from the separation from God.

Actions speak louder than words, but when we couple well thought out words with actions, we can do many marvelous things in the lives of people around us, through His Spirit and Word and we will help to fill people’s spiritual hunger, through acting through His Word, in thought, word and deed.

Heaven is at the end of an uphill trail.  The easy downhill trail does not lead to the summit.

The time is now, not tomorrow.  The time has come, indeed.  How will you ACT?

It is by our actions we are known.

Be of God - Live of God - Act of God

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Trinity

Sermon – Reverend Jack Arnold - Time and Action
Church of the Faithful Centurion - Descanso, California
Today’s sermon brought the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and is partly contained in the
If you enjoy this,
the entire AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!
forewords above.

The Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Trinity
The Collect.
 LORD, we beseech thee, absolve thy people from their offences; that through thy bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the bands of those sins, which by our frailty we have committed. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.

Consider these words from the Collect, … absolve thy people from their offences; that through thy bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the bands of those sins, which by our frailty we have committed. …

The Collect asks God to pardon our offences, that is our wrongs, failures and failures to act as we should, where we have “erred and stray from His Way like lost sheep”, through His great mercy.   Note, through the mercy of God, not because we have been good, but because we cannot be good without Him in the form of the Holy Ghost.  Without His Light, we are darkness.  We need Him to deliver us from the multitudes of sins, by which our frail nature of ungodliness, we have committed.  Each day we find new ways to sin, or at least we think that until we find in fact there is no new thing under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Truly there is nothing new. The human heart is always as dark and depraved without the shining light of the Holy Spirit as it ever has been. People are always seeking ways to get around God and His Laws, but they truly cannot. Our only hope is to be in Him and be reborn in the Spirit. As Abraham Lincoln said in the famous Gettysburg address “That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.”  Only under God, can be reborn a new, and as he said, our freedom will be reborn again.  However, we first have to ask for our sins to be pardoned and be delivered from our sins by Jesus Christ Our Lord and Our Heavenly Father.

Through a sense of godliness, we obtain that “new birth” of freedom. If everybody in this country followed that simple advice, just think of how great our country would be. Look at Abraham Lincoln for an example of a Godly man, one of the greatest Presidents ever elected, who by following God and His Word, helped preserve the Union of this wonderful nation, albeit at a great cost to our freedom and with a huge expansion of government[1].

In the Epistle, St. Paul tells the Colossians if we are to be reborn through Christ into a “new birth of freedom”, as Lincoln said, we must place our hope not on Earth, but in Our Heavenly Father and his abode above. Unlike earth where moth and rust corrupts and thieves break through and steal, in heaven, we shall encounter none of that. It is truly going to be a wonderful place to be. We must always set our sights on our destination of heaven.  If we do this, the truth shall shine forth through in our work, at home, in our daily lives and people shall see Christ working through us for His purposes. If we follow what God asks, which is a very common theme in the Bible, as it is in my sermons, we prosper and do well.

Which brings us to the point of the Gospel, in which Christ heals a woman, who has such supreme faith in Christ healing her, that if she but touches his cloak, she knows she will be healed.  The woman did not have a single doubt about Christ’s power to heal her, her faith was solid.  She was not depending on the talisman of the cloak, but the power of Christ with which she hoped to connect.  Christ was impressed by the woman’s faith.  If we had the faith of this woman in Christ, imagine how we could impact the world around us. And, I might add, what is stopping us?  The ruler whose daughter had died also shared this amazing faith in Christ.  He had zero doubt whatsoever Christ would do these things.  The most important thing of all which was to raise his daughter from the dead. Christ also recognizes this man’s faith and rewards with the girl’s resurrection.  Quite a surprise for those who had just laughed and scorned him, basically telling him “That is impossible, you can’t raise the girl from the dead.”

He proved them wrong.  He gave a very practical demonstration that much is denied men, but though God all things are possible.  But, we need the faith of the woman, the faith of the ruler and the faith of the centurion.  We must follow Him and the plan that he lays out for us. We have to be willing to listen and be ready to follow Him.  In time, we shall too have an amazing reward, through our faith and we shall be in a “new birth of freedom” from otherwise certain death. Like the Marines who proved many skeptics wrong in World War II in the grueling jungle battles against the Japanese Army, seen by some as the elite army of Asia at the time, we too can do things thought impossible, if we put our trust in Him, as I have aforementioned. Works must follow faith however. We cannot have a full faith, unless we act to demonstrate the faith. Faith is demonstrated through our actions, and our Lord set this in His Example for us to follow.

Jesus’s miracles were all about actions, not just in word, but in deed. He did both, as we must also. If we only talk the talk, but do not walk our talk, then our words mean nothing. But if we walk the walk also, then our words have more weight, more meaning, as we become men and women of the Word. I say of the Word and not like the old saying, he is a man of his word. For we want to become a Man/Woman of His Word, not our word! If we go by His Word, then we can never go wrong. We always seem to go on our word and that is where we get into trouble.

Following this theme of words and action, on this past Veteran’s Day, I realized God has used godly men to our prayers for our freedom to be kept, by laying down their lives for ours. No greater love could be found in the world, then those men who died in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, World War I, the Pacific and the European theatres of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, Desert 1 and 2, Afghanistan and countless dirty little wars where the freedom of our country and that others was threatened.

Through a sense of godliness, these men went to battle on our behalf, as Christ battled Satan on our behalf.  These men did not just go into battle with the godliness, they prayed hard for them, they prayed for each minute just to stay alive, especially in the hellholes of the Pacific.  The danger they faced were far more perilous than the ones we face today.  We overcame the enemy, not only because of our superior tactics, but we had men ready and willing to take the enemy on and do our best to prevail, and that followed God.

The Collect, Epistle and Gospel tie together, laying out, detailing and reinforcing the same message, ultimately.  We have to have faith in Christ and God, and be willing to accept the Holy Ghost into us, that through Him, we may do good works on Earth and that we will receive our just reward for doing what is right in the end.

Heaven is at the end of an uphill trail.  The easy downhill trail does not lead to the summit.

The time is now, not tomorrow.  The time has come, indeed.  How will you ACT?

It is by our actions we are known.

Be of God - Live of God - Act of God

[1] The American Civil War was fought not over slavery, but over States Rights.  Make no mistake, the right being disputed at the time was slavery.  Many will say the wrong side won, including the noted thinker Thomas Sowell.  Slavery was an institution whose time was long passed, it did not serve anyone, master or slave.  It was counter to the Word and should never have existed here.  Truly it was an instrument of the Devil and was used to harm our country.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day 2015

Veterans Day 2015

As we observe this Veteran’s Day, let us stop and think what it really is all about.  This is not Memorial Day; that day honors those who answered their country’s call and did not come back.  This is not that day.

Today we honor all those who answered their country’s call; when this country called, they stepped forward, not back.  They did this knowing they may or may not return and if they did they may or may not be whole.  They offered their lives and the well being of their families and their future that we might live in freedom.  They did not do it for thanks or recognition, though in truth that is appreciated, they did it for their country and ours.

And, yes, today we owe recognition to all veterans and an even more special recognition to those who did not come back and to those who today still pay a price and to their families. 

Please think about the cost paid for your freedom before you give it away for a trinket or a crust.

Let us pray,

For the Armed Services.             BCP 41
 LORD God of Hosts, stretch forth, we pray thee, thine almighty arm to strengthen and protect the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coastguardsmen and contractors of our country. Support them in the day of battle, and in the time of peace keep them safe from all evil; endue them with courage and loyalty; and grant that in all things they may serve without reproach; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


lmighty God, we give you thanks for those who answered our country’s call, who rode towards the sound of gunfire and did not cower.  We give you thanks for those who are with us today and for those who are with you for ever more.  Lord, we give you thanks for the sacrifice made on our behalf by them and their families.  Lord we ask that you give us warriors who will follow your way on behalf of our country, all of which we ask in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

240th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps

240th Birthday of the
United States Marine Corps

No better friend, no worse enemy

On 10 November 1775, Captain Samuel Nicholas formed two battalions of Continental Marines at Tun’s Tavern in Philadelphia as naval infantry in accordance with a resolution of the Continental Congress.  They were to "be able to serve to advantage by sea when required" and "that they be distinguished by the names of the first & second battalions of American Marines."

No better friend: someone who will kill to protect you; someone who will give their life for you; someone who will be right there in your times of trouble and, thinking of you and your problems, will sacrifice so that you might get through your problem.

No worst enemy: someone who will not hesitate to destroy you even if that means destroying himself in the process; someone who will chase you down to the ends of the earth to extract revenge; someone who will cause you blood and tears and smile when it happens.

With a Marine as your friend, you have a person who will kill to protect you. With a Marine as your enemy, you have a person who will kill you. Pretty simple, huh?

The concept comes from the epitaph of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, famous general and legendary dictator of ancient Rome:

"No friend ever served me, and no enemy ever wronged me, whom I have not repaid in full."

Happy 240th Birthday, USMC!