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