Sunday, June 5, 2011

ATM Sunday Message for June 5, 2011

Brothers and fellow Compatriots:
Below is my message for Sunday, June 5th.  As always, please feel free to forward or reply.  Your comments are always appreciated.  It may also be used as an article in your camp or other newsletter.
Many thanks to those who forward theses messages to other individuals and groups.  For that I am truly grateful.
May God bless each of you and our most worthy Confederation.

Bro. Len Patterson, Th.D
Chaplain, Army of Trans-Mississippi
Member, Chaplain's Corps Committee
Sons of Confederate Veterans

If They Only knew.
It has been said that, "Ignorance is bliss." Some have even proposed that, "What you don't know won't hurt you." There may cases where these statements are true, but most people will disagree. Given a choice we would prefer not to be ignorant or kept in the dark. Yet, the level of ignorance and misconception in a society that claims to be so enlightened, is monumental.
In 2 Peter 3: 5, the Scripture refers to those that are willingly ignorant. To be willingly ignorant is to ignore what is true because it is inconvenient, politically incorrect, or doesn't fit some mold that we have been led to believe. They choose to be ignorant, although the truth is readily available, because it suits them to be ignorant. In other
words, their mind is made up, don't confuse them with facts.
Speaking to the woman at the well, Jesus said, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He wouldest have given thee living water." (John 4: 10) This woman of Samaria was ignorant, and it was not bliss. She did not know who she was speaking to, and it was hurting. It was standing between her and the "Gift of God." And, the gift of God of which Jesus spoke, was everlasting life. (Vs. 14)
But fortunately, she was not willingly ignorant. In spite of what she had been taught all her life (Vs. 20), she was prepared to accept the truth when she heard it. Additionally, many others also changed their thinking, and received the "living water" when they heard Jesus speak. (Vs. 39-42)
Many, and probably most, people today accept as truth whatever they were brought up to believe, and in a lot of cases, whatever they see as being in their best interest to believe. We can't help what we were taught as we were growing up. But as adults, we should not be willingly ignorant. We must question and test what we were fed as children. We must ask, "Is what I believe supported by the facts and truth?"
As members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, we have tested and questioned. We have studied the facts and know the truth. Robert E. Lee was not a traitor, but a patriotic citizen. Our Confederate forefathers were not criminals, but brave and honorable men fighting to defend their homeland against an illegal invasion. We know the war for Southern independence was not about slavery, but states rights and the preservation of the Constitution as presented by our founding fathers.
We also know that Abraham Lincoln was not a great man worthy of honor, but a self serving war criminal of the first degree who trampled the constitution he swore to defend, and orchestrated a course of destruction for the new nation that "our forefathers set forth upon this continent." This, and much more we all know, but do we know and believe the truth about Jesus Christ?
Most, if not all, people have some knowledge, and believe (or disbelieve) something about spiritual matters. And, like the War for Southern Independence, many believe what they have been taught, or brought up to believe, and never question whether or not it's true.
It is my continuing prayer that every member of the SCV, their families, friends, and all others, would "come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim. 3: 7), commit their lives to Jesus Christ, and come to know Him as Savior, Lord, and coming King. He is the answer to every question and the power behind every endeavor. Amen.
Bro. Len Patterson, Th.D
                                     Army of Trans-Mississippi Chaplain
                                          Sons Of Confederate Veterans

Sunday, January 2, 2011

ATM Sunday Message for January 2, 2011

Confederate Christians and fellow Compatriots,

Below is my message for Sunday, January 2nd.  Please feel free to forward or reply.  Your comments are always appreciated.  It may also be used as an article in your camp or other newsletter.

I wish you all a very happy new year.

May our Lord bless each of you in His service and in service to our most worthy Cause.

Bro. Len Patterson, Th.D
Chaplain, Army of Trans-Mississippi
Member, Chaplain's Corps Committee
Sons of Confederate Veterans
                                            Rekindle That Old Flame!

       Occasionally we hear of a couple, after many years of marriage, renewing their wedding vows, or taking a second honeymoon. Of course they love each other as much as ever, and probably more. But, as they say, the thrill is gone. The excitement they once felt at just being together has faded, and they want to rekindle that old flame.

       We see a similar thing happen in church. Some members have been Christians and tireless workers for a long time. They have taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, visited the sick, helped the needy, and been a faithful witness to the lost. But it has all become routine, and the fire that once burned in their heart has lost it's heat. This, by the way, is a major pitfall to many ministers. They continue to fulfill their responsibilities, but their preaching has lost it's sense of urgency. It's time for them to rekindle that old flame.

       In Matthew 24:12, Jesus warns, "Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." When the flame is not rekindled, the fire goes out and the ashes turn cold. We call it being "burnt out." That's when marriages fail, church members fall, and ministers return to secular work or build mega-churches where everyone has fun and leave unconvinced, unconverted, and unrepentant, but feeling good about their condition.

       People often lose interest in their jobs, hobbies, activities, and even relationships. Things they once found exciting become dull, boring, and a chore to continue doing. Then they look for something else, someone else, or some place else to peak their interest. Of course, they'll soon burn out on that and move on to whatever is next. They have failed to rekindle that old flame.

       The same thing happens within the ranks of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Every year we have members who don't renew their membership, and I don't believe the reason is financial. Certainly our brave Confederate forefathers are worthy of the small amount of our membership dues, even if it requires some sacrifice.

       So, why do marriages fail, Christians fall, and SCV members not renew? Jesus answers this question in Revelation 2:4, where He says, "Because thou hast left thy first love." Simply, people lose interest in their jobs, Christianity, marriages, or the SCV because they have forgotten what it was that interested them in the first place. They need to rekindle that old flame.

       We are married because we met someone whom we loved and wanted to share our life with. We are Christians because we have a relationship with Jesus Christ who died that we might live. And, we are members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans because we wish to honor our brave Confederate forefathers, defend their worthy Cause, and preserve our noble Southern heritage.

In Revelation 2:5, Jesus continued by saying, "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen." That's how we rekindle that old flame.

                                                Bro. Len Patterson, Th.D
                                      Chaplain, Army of Trans-Mississippi
                                            Sons of Confederate Veterans