Jan/2018 - Presidents Message:
Greetings and Salutations Tri-State Blue Knights,
Well Punsatawney Phil has been placed in the witness protection program after a group of local bikers was seen chasing
him down the street with pitch forks and buckets of tar and feathers. 6 more weeks of winter is almost unbearable.
As the winter season continues, many of us are anxiously awaiting Easter and the start of Spring weather.
Before we can enjoy the promise of Spring and reasonable riding weather, we need to deal with the fast approaching period known as Lent.
This year those of us who are devote Christians, and closely follow the Liturgical calendar are faced with a Problem.
The first day of lent is known as Ash Wednesday. On that day many Christians who go to church have ashes in the form of a
cross applied to their fore heads by the clergyman The ashes are made from the previous years dried palms left over from Palm Sunday.
The ashes signify that from ashes we came, and to ashes we will return. The lenten period runs from Ash Wednesday
to Good Friday, (02-14 to 03-29-2108). Ideally Lent is supposed to be a period of time, representative of the
40 days Jesus spent in the desert sacrificing and resisting the temptations of Satan. During Lent Many Christians
observe practices such as fasting, self denial, confession, repentance and restitution for their sins, and the giving of alms
to those less fortunate than themselves. Some of these practices are found in Matthew 6:16-18. The sacrifices made during Lent
are to prepare the believer through prayer, the doing of penance, mortifying the flesh, and the true repentance of all wrong doing.
We seek to purify our hearts, enlighten our minds, and liberate our souls. Sadly much of what we "give up" for Lent isn't taken seriously.
Often our sacrifices last about as long as our New Year's resolutions did. We mean well, but come on, seriously, give up something for 40 days?
Some of us who like to live dangerously are stupid enough to tell our spouses we gave up doing the dishes for Lent, or picking up
our dirty clothes. We make a joke of a very serious concept. It's often been said "you don't know what you have until you loose it"
When we deny ourselves something we enjoy during lent we often learn that it was something we overvalued and didn't really need any way.
It's amazing how many of us let silly unimportant things get in the way of truly understanding the love God has for us.
It is spelled out for us in John 3:16-"For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall
not perish but have eternal life" That's the basic lesson on Lent in a nutshell. Simple, right? Well where is the problem I mentioned
at the start of this article?
This year, Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent also falls on 02-14-2018, better known as Valentine's Day. What's the problem you say?
Well St. Valentine was a third century Roman priest who was martyred and canonized to become the patron saint of young lovers and romance.
He is known to have cured many young people afflicted with serious ailments. He was a favorite in the Roman court until he began to recruit
members of The Court to follow Jesus. This cost him his life. St. Valentine stands for the tradition of courtly love and all things romantic. As all of us who are married, or in a serious relationship know, Valentine's Day is one not to be missed or downplayed. Flowers, cards, gifts (preferably expensive) and dinner at a swanky location are in order if we want to be happy (and alive) husbands or boyfriends. If you men value your health, don't even try to get out of your obligations on this most important of days by telling your spouse or girlfriend you gave up celebrating Valentine's Day for Lent. On the surface, it appears that the spirit of these two days is in direct opposition to each other. Upon careful examination, they are intertwined and just happen to coincide this one time. Lent allows us to fully understand God's love for us, and St. Valentine reminds of us of the importance and need to love one another. The best definition of love can be found in I Corinthians 13:4-7. "Love is patient; love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres". In the 1970's singer Jackie DeShannon reminded us "What the world needs now is love, sweet love. That's the only thing there's too little of" The Beatles followed that sentiment with "All you need is love", and we all know "Love makes the world go round".
Confused yet? This year Easter falls on 04-01-2018. Oh the possibilities.
This is just the Cliff's notes lesson on Love and Lent. Don't just stop here, read the Book!
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Jan/2018 - Presidents Message:
Happy New Year Tri-State Blue Knights! 2017 is now in the books. Good or bad, no matter what your opinion of 2017 is,
it's history now. We survived it, and hopefully learned from it. It made some of us happy, some sad, some stronger,
some just barely hanging on, some smarter, some not so much. All of us were changed in one way or another.
We all should know more than we did a year ago. Hopefully most of us will use our accumulation of experience and knowledge
to improve our lives and those around us. We are limited only by our lack of faith in God, Jesus Christ, ourselves
and our family and friends. Don't be that person, you are better than that!
What makes the start of a new year so special? For most of us it the possibility of a fresh start. Usually that begins
with a New Year's resolution or two, or more (if needed). A New Year's resolution must be a serious one.
One designed to improve you or your life. Resolutions to eat more pizza or to drink more beer don't count, (those are wishes, not resolutions).
They start out with "This year is going to be different, I'm going to.... ", and progress to "at least i'm trying to",
and end with "oh well, at least I gave it a shot". As I write this on 01-03-2018, many of us have already broken one or more resolutions,
and most of will have forgotten about all of them well before spring arrives, (in 95 days). We start off with the best intentions
in the world, and for numerous reasons we can't maintain that commitment and level of excitement we experienced at the start of the New Year.
A explanation of why we fail so often can be found in the book of Isaiah 40: 30-31. "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men
stumble and fall; but those who hope in The Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint". This statement is echoed in 2 Corinthians, 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the the new has come!" A conformation of this comes in Ephesians 4; 22-24, "You were taught, with regard to your former
way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by it's deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds,
and to put on the new self, created to be like God, in true righteousness and holiness.
These three scripture verses identify the problem we face not only with keeping our New Year's resolutions, but why we continue to
constantly fail and fall short of achieving our full potential. Quite simply, we try and do it ourselves. We think we know it all,
and often too late we realize we don't know diddley squat. We live life on our own terms. Jesus Christ is not a friend, confidant or ally,
but just a aquaintence. Someone we have heard of but don't truly know. Someone we turn to in the most desperate of times, instead of on
a daily basis. Jesus is not a first responder ! He doesn't show up just when you dial 911, He's ALWAYS there. It's because of Him you
have the good times, and because of Him that you can handle the bad times. Until each of us develops a personal daily relationship with
Jesus Christ, we will continue to fall short of reaching our full potential. It feels like something is missing from our lives, and we
will drive ourselves crazy trying to find it. (a short trip for some of us), but something is not missing from your life, SOMEONE is.
As we continue our journey in 2018, there are two scriptures that will point us in the right direction.
The first is Matthew 7: 7-8, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened". The second scripture is again
found in the Gospel of St, Matthew, 19:26, "Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible".
My prayer for each of you in 2018 is that for those of you who have a daily relationship with Jesus Christ you will strengthen that bond.
For those of you who are still working on that relationship, you will come to know Him better and to trust him fully. Give Jesus a ring,
but don't make it a 911 call !
On a lighter note, the burning question is,"How much longer will you continue to write 2017 on your checks?"
Faithfully yours in Christ,
The Holiday Party:
The Holiday party is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 13th at the VFW. Drinks from 6-7 Pm, dinner from 7-8Pm,
and our legendary gift exchange to follow. Due to the generosity of member Dave Pelligrini, the pistol he
won in our recent gun raffle has been donated back to the chapter with instructions that each member get a
ticket to win that gun at the party. Only members will receive a ticket to win the gun. There will also be
a special raffle of a limited edition of Bookers bourbon from Jim Beam bottled especially for the Blue Knights.
Ticked will be $5.00/chance or 5 for $20.00. All proceeds from this raffle will bennefit the
Life Changing Service Dogs for Veterans. The cost of the party is $20.00 per person. Checks (one for each person attending)
can be sent to Odie or given to him at the December meeting. Members attending will receive their check, or
cash back at the door. Guests are $20.00 and there is no limit to how many a member brings.
Applications are always being accepted. Click on the Join Us link in the left column for more information.
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