Once we get out of the habits that have kept us independent from God, receiving is inevitable. (Smith, Mandy. “Unfettered” pg 93)
Day 26 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. If you are getting numb to the news of this nightmare overseas, click here to read a personal and accurate account from a Ukranian AP reporter and his story of the tragedy of Mariupol.
I experienced my first Saint Patrick’s Day Weekend from a new perspective: that of the police, trying to maintain order and protect life and property. I was going to say I “survived” but considering what is going on on the other side of the world, I had nothing to “survive,” save for my patience dealing with drunk people. I was blessed to have to just work Savannah’s historic parade and then my normal patrol over the weekend. We were extremely busy, but all initial reports seem to suggest that major crimes around the city were kept to a minimum and the festival was a success. I am not sure what could have led to that, maybe the two-year hiatus had everyone so excited to get the parade back that many decided to enjoy it instead of extort it. If you have never been to Savannah for St. Patty’s, it needs to be on your bucket list. Get a hotel room in the historic downtown area, so you can walk to and from everywhere that is great to see. Get your tailgate items and set up your camp for the parade. The parade is great for the whole family, and keeping a hotel within walking distance keeps you in the mostly safe part of the city.
I was slightly aggravated and annoyed from the revelry that took no account for the true reason for the celebrated holiday. Only a few floats that cruised by were decorated with Celtic Crosses or actual words from the great Saint Patrick. There was one group from the city that put together an entire float to remind everyone that there is a much bigger world out there and we are extremely blessed as Americans. It was one of the only groups that marched by that I actually clapped and cheered to, and I snapped this photo below.
Maybe America needs to start protesting more over our position of sitting on the sidelines. I understand President Biden’s desire to not put young men and women into harm’s way, which is respectful. However, that was our position in World War II until Pearl Harbor. There seems to be a frightening progression of aggression from two world powers (Russia and China) that is extremely disturbing. Click here to read what China is currently doing in the south Pacific. World War III may just be months away, so why wait? Why not jump in now so we can end this massacre of innocent lives in Ukraine? I watched platoon after platoon of these brave young men march by me in the parade. If there is one group in the military that is always ready for a fight, it is the 75th Ranger Regiment, and Savannah is extremely proud of housing these historic heroes. And I am not willing to volunteer anyone’s sons and daughters to go forward without being willing to go myself. I’m ready, send me.
This picture is a perfect example of America. The brave men of 1st Battalion and the distracted party goers who can not even give the most deployed fighters of the entire military the respect they deserve, not that they want, or need, but what they deserve. There were many who were cheering for each platoon as they walked by, but I thought this picture was interesting as most of the parade viewers in the forefront seem to be distracted with their own conversations and did not even take a moment to pause and focus on the men who have fought, killed and endured horrors the majority of this nation will never have to face, all to “protect” our American dreams and “freedoms.”
But enough about me and my soapbox, let’s get back to this blog. Following our reading plan for 2022, we are reading Chapter 4 of Mandy Smith’s delightful work, “Unfettered,” this week. Chapter 4 is literally two pages. Last week Ms. Smith discussed how to Receive the Holy Spirit and as we saw in the first two chapters, she tackles what gets in the way of receiving the gifts and the touch of God and the Spirit in response to Chapter 3. The sentence above is how the chapter begins and, as you will see over the next few days, the main reason we do not receive the blessings we ask for, or see the miracles we hope for, the main reason we do not receive is simple: it’s us. It’s our desire to be independent from God. It’s our drive to build empires in western culture. It’s the hustle of our hunger to pursue the American dream instead of focusing on the call of Christ. It’s our obsession with ourselves instead of our brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends.
This is another long post and I’ll wrap it up real quick. My friends from The Holy Post released their historic 500th! Episode. If you are wondering why I am a faithful follower of this bunch, this is the episode to watch and you will hear many like me that have realized the brilliance of this group and how fun and important their discussions are in regards to Christian culture, the church at large, and current news around the world. Click below and I hope you join me in listening to this group every week moving forward.
I was only able to share one new release from last week in Christian Music, which was for King & Country’s new album. There is another huge drop of great music that came out this past Friday, so we’re marching on. Of all the different forms of Christian hits that came out, I am delighted to share the song below. This track has introduced me to a new Christian Hip-Hop artist and his debut album. Cephas lays down some heavy lyrics with beats that remind me of old school NAS, who I used to bump in my youthful and wayward days. For my hip-hop brethren, this album really hits home, and this song below, reminds us of the Burden that was endured for our souls. Listen to the end of the song. Pick up the burden.