Military Ministry at The Lighthouse

Military Ministry at The Lighthouse
LEGO American Roadshow

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monday Night Bible Study: Daniel Chapter 7

Last night Bob Kroeger came over for Bible study. We talked about Daniel 7. Daniel had a dream that bothered him. The interpretation of the dream was that of the Antichrist that will rule on the earth during the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation, called the Great Tribulation. John wrote about it in Revelation. We correlated the little horn of Daniel's dream with the Antichrist in Revelation chapter 13. We also talked about Nebuchadnezzar's dream about the kingdom that kingdom God sets up that will fill the earth and that will crush all other kingdoms. A kingdom that will have no end! I love connecting the dots; tying together the different parts of Scripture that speak of the same event. It was a good study!

Sunday Afternoon Visits with Bob and Toree

Everybody either had duty, had to work, or had other plans today. So Yvonne and I just kicked back and relaxed this afternoon. But later Bob Kroeger came over and visited for a while. 

While Yvonne and I visited with him, Toree Mathis called from Hawaii! We got to catch up with what was happening in his side of the planet! 95 degrees with tropical breezes, and lots of sunshine! Boy, Toree is really suffering for his country over there!  :)

Too bad I couldn't just crawl through the phone connection and get to where he was! He did say that I was right about the difference in temperature on the Kaneohe side of the island. He had to go to Pearl City and it was in the 90s...when he got back to his side of the island it was only 75 degrees!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Saturday Night Acitivity

Brandon and Savannah Justice came over tonight with Malachai and Sarabeth. We had a nice time together visiting and catching up. We hadn't gotten together in almost a year.

I pulled out the new grill that one of our neighbors gave us a few years ago; that we never actually used. I guess, if I were to confess, I've never been much of an outdoor griller. It's usually too hot or humid for me to do that here. But the weather was beautiful! And WOW! does this grill cook nice!!! I love it. I will definitely be doing more grilling in the future! :)

I grilled hamburgers and they turned out great! Yea!

I've never seen an eight month old baby who loves tomatoes! Sarabeth grabbed a slice of tomato in her little fist that Savannah gave her and didn't put it down until she finished it completely.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Encouragement From Ezekiel!

Yvonne and I have started reading through the book of Ezekiel in the Bible for our devotions together. It’s amazing how applicable God’s word is to our situation in trying to minister to young military men and women. Sometimes it gets discouraging when time after time we try to reach out to young men and women in uniform, and they are not interested in what we offer. We reach out to them in love, providing a safe, home and family environment, where they can have fun, play games, eat, and fellowship together. Basically, offer them a home away from home, with family and everything. And yet, so often there seems to be so little interest.

I totally understand the hectic schedule of military men and women. Their job is not like that of a civilian who may work from 9 to 5 and then goes home, and has his or her evenings and weekends free to do what they want to do. Young servicemen and women have to work around the clock in rotating shifts. Then on top of their “normal work day” they have “duty days” where they are restricted to their base or ship, and have to stand “watches” anywhere from two to four hours in length. Many of our military people are worked to exhaustion. Sleep often becomes a precious commodity! And simply having some alone time, time to run personal errands, shop, get hair cuts, manicures and pedicures, or simply to do laundry, is really limited.

But, I’m concerned about these young people spiritually. David Kinnaman and Thom Rainer in their books “You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…And Rethinking Faith” and “The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation” address the attitudes and beliefs of young adults between the ages of eighteen and thirty something; saying that almost three quarters of that generation believe the Christian church is irrelevant. They don’t necessarily consider themselves ‘hostile’ toward Christianity or religion, but simply indifferent toward it. Well over half of those who say they attended church when they were younger teens, do not attend any longer. God called Yvonne and me to reach these young adults: those who do not believe; those who may once have believed, but who have turned away from Jesus Christ or the church; and those who may still believe, but have enormous pressure coming against them to draw them away from the faith.

So, what does all of this ‘concern’ have to do with what we read in Ezekiel? God sent Ezekiel to speak to the people of Israel. What God said to Ezekiel, He could just as easily have said to Yvonne and me in our situation. Let me show you what I mean. Listen now as God speaks to Ezekiel. I am using the New International Version. In Ezekiel 2:3-4 God said, “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says.'”

Rebellious? Obstinate? Stubborn? Wow! Those are some pretty harsh sounding words from a “loving” God!

But just in case Ezekiel was thinking that maybe he wouldn’t go and speak God’s word to them, because they probably wouldn’t listen, and his speaking to them probably wouldn’t do any good anyway, listen to what God tells the prophet in Ezekiel 2:7, “You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.” God told Ezekiel He had to speak to them either way. Whether they listened or not did not make any difference at all!

In Ezekiel 3:5-7 God acknowledged that it would have been easier for Ezekiel to go to a foreign country where he didn’t understand their language, than to go to his own people. The people in the foreign country would have listened to his message. God tells the prophet “But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for the whole house of Israel is hardened and obstinate." The prophet was to go to the people God sent him to; and he was to speak God’s word to them even though they would not listen. God explained to Ezekiel the reason the people would not listen to him, was because they were not willing to listen to God.

Then in Ezekiel 3:17-21 God gave the example of a watchman. I love it when God uses a military example that I can relate to! A watchman is just like a marine or soldier standing guard duty. God said,

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.”
“Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”

So, Yvonne and I will keep reaching out to young soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen. Whether they listen or not is really not the point. We will continue sharing His word with these young men and women, believing that God will grant us favor with some, and some will listen to the message.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Nichole and BTK Leave for Michigan

Are you going to push the truck all the way to Michigan?

Come on, are we going YET???


Friday Nichole packed up BTK and headed up the road to spend the next two and a half months with her family in Michigan. In case you're wondering what or who BTK is...that's Blackie, Tiger, and Kujo...Nichole's three dogs. Then in October she and the dogs will join Toree in Kaneohe, Hawaii.

The dogs had been living in our sun room behind the garage for three weeks. A place with cover in case it rained, and plenty of shade. Toree and Nichole watered, fed, and walked the dogs several times a day. And the dogs seemed pretty comfortable and content.

But, just a couple of days earlier we had kind of a dust up with our neighbors about the dogs. A neighbor who, after three weeks, came over to warn Nichole that it was against the law in Virginia to kennel her dogs. And, that it was also illegal here to tie them up, or tether them, for more than three hours a day. I had no idea about those laws since I don't own a dog. Nichole checked it out online and found the neighbor was correct.

I guess one night someone heard the dogs barking, and this particular neighbor was concerned that another neighbor might call the SPCA about the noise. They might come and discover the dogs in the kennels, or tied up. Nichole could then have been fined a thousand dollars per dog. Yuk! It all seemed absurd to me. These dogs were well groomed, well fed and watered, and well cared for. Anyway, that's the law.

Now I have another reason why I won't be getting a dog any time soon. Besides the fact that I refuse to take a dog for a walk two or three times a day with a plastic bag over my hand to pick up it's poop. The idea of picking up warm dog poop just grosses me out!

Anyway, while Yvonne was on the way home from church Wednesday night she came up with a brilliant solution! We would close in our sun room and our patio with rabbit fencing that we had, and make an improvised dog run for three days. The dogs would not be tied up, nor in their kennels, and everyone would be happy. It actually worked out really well! 

Good Bye...for now!

(Nichole just texted us and said she got to Michigan safely! Yea!!)

Wednesday Night Bible Study - Daniel Chapter 6

Bob Kroeger, Nichole Mathis and I got together for Bible study again Wednesday evening. We talked about Daniel Chapter 6 - Daniel in the Den of Lions.

Our discussion focused on the jealousy that the other men had toward Daniel. That jealousy caused them to try to set Daniel up to destroy him.

It would have been easy for Daniel to have compromised his convictions for thirty days to avoid the trap set for him. But Daniel remained true to God and to his convictions. Even if that meant he would have had to die.

God was able to rescue Daniel from their plan.

We each shared specific situation where others tried to undermine or destroy us too. But God was faithful, and is still faithful to work on our behalf to rescue us as well. But like Daniel, we have to be faithful to God and our faith in Jesus Christ.

The question is: do our convictions and our lifestyle show our faithfulness to Jesus Christ, like Daniel's did?

Monday Night Bible Study - Revelation

Monday evening Bob Kroeger, Nichole Mathis, Yvonne and I studied Revelation together. We compared the seals, the trumpets, and the bowls of Revelation 6, 8 & 9, and 16. It was an interesting study! 

Most of the book of Revelation covers the seven years known as the Tribulation. 

Daniel 9:27 gives the overall timeline of the period.

It begins with the covenant the Antichrist makes with many for seven years. This happens when the Lamb, Jesus Christ, opens the first seal in Revelation 6:1-2. Paul talks about this in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. In the middle of this seven year period, at the three and one half year mark, the Antichrist sets himself up in the temple in Jerusalem and proclaims himself to be god. That's called the Abomination of Desolation that Jesus talked about in Matthew 24, and Paul wrote about in 2 Thessalonians 2:4. Finally, the end that has been decreed will be poured out on the Antichrist; which occurs at Jesus' second coming according 2 Thessalonians 2:8.

In the book of Revelation, when Jesus opens the first seal, the rider on the white horse, the Antichrist, goes forth to conquer, bent on conquest. That seal being opened sets everything in motion. Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2 about someone holding back the revelation of the Antichrist. That somone is Jesus Christ. When He opens that first seal, the Antichrist will be revealed.

When you look at the sixth seal, the seventh trumpet, and the seventh bowl, each of them are describing the exact same event - the second coming of Jesus Christ to earth.

When you use this overall framework as a skeleton for the timeline of the events in the book of Revelation, it is interesting how well other details in the book fit together.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Toree Heads To Hawaii

Just got back from the airport (Monday morning). 

Toree is on his way to Hawaii (I couldn't fit into his sea bag).

I don't think Yvonne would have liked that anyway. She is  smaller than I am, so she would have been in his carry on bag stowed under the seat in front of him, or in the overhead compartment.

Saturday Night Pizza and Settlers of Cataan!

O.k. So here is my first real post on our new blog. Last Saturday night, July 13th, Nichole and Toree Mathis, and Crystal Schmidt joined us for our Saturday game night.

We ordered pizza from Papa John's and then played a cut throat game of Settlers of Cataan. From the pictures you should be able to tell who won...and who didn't...