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Wade Hughes, Sr
Flag Folding & The Meaning of Each Fold!
I guess this settles the "One Nation Under God" debate once and for all.
Do you know that at military funerals, the 21 gun salute stands for the sum of the numbers in the year 1776?
Have you ever noticed the honor guard pays meticulous attention correctly folding the American flag 13 times?
You probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but we learn something new every day!
The 1st fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The 2nd fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.
The 4th fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.
The 5th fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decaur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.
The 6th fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States Of America, and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
The 7th fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.
The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.
The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense
of our country since they were first born.
The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews’ eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity
and glorifies, in the Christians’ eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.
The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely
folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of
our nation’s motto, "In God We Trust."
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in,
it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever
reminding us of the soldiers who served under
General George Washington, and the Sailors
and Marines who served under Captain John
Paul Jones, who were followed by their
comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces
of the United States, preserving for us the rights,
privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.
There are some traditions and ways of doing
things that have deep meaning. In the future,
you’ll see flags folded and now you will know why.
Bob Munford tells of a certain Italian harbor that can be reached only by sailing up a narrow channel between dangerous rocks and shoals. Over the years, many ships have wrecked, and navigation is hazardous. To guide the ships safely into port, three lights have been mounted in the harbor on three huge poles. When the three lights are perfectly lined up and seen as one, the ship can safely proceed up the narrow channel. If the pilot sees two or three lights, he knows he’s off course and in danger.
Mumford goes on to say that God has also provided three beacons to guide us. The same rules of navigation apply – the three lights must be lined up before it is safe for us to proceed. The three harbor lights of guidance are 1. The Word of God (objective standard) 2. The Holy Spirit (subjective witness) 3. Circumstances (divine providence)
Together, notes Mumford, they assure us that the directions we’ve received are from God and will lead us safely along His way.
G. D. Watson says the Holy Ghost never guides us contrary to the Word. The Word never guides us contrary to Providence, and Providence does not guide us contrary to the Word or Spirit. So, these three elements of divine guidance are always harmonious.
BUT A RECENT GALLOP POLL COMMISSIONED BY THE SUNDAY SCHOOL BOARD SAID, “FIFTY NINE PERCENT OF 3700 PEOPLE RANDOM SELECTED WHILE LEAVING 217 CHURCHES BELIEVE, THEY COULD STAND BEFORE GOD ON THEIR OUR OWN MERITS, AND THAT IN THE END, GOD WILL BE FORCED TO GRADE US ALL ON THE CURVE ANYWAY.”
PERHAPS YOU HEARD ABOUT THE 26 YEAR OLD KOREAN GRADUATE STUDENT WHO WAS STUDYING POLITICAL SCIENCE,
H. AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, WHO WENT OUT TO MAIL A LETTER, BUT BEFORE HE COULD GET BACK TO HIS APARTMENT, HE WAS ATTACKED BY A GANG OF VIOLENT TEENAGERS LOOKING FOR MONEY TO GO TO A DANCE, AND THEY ROBBED AND KILLED HIM, WHILE A DOZEN PEOPLE WATCHED AND DID NOTHING
I. THIS YOUNG MAN HAD BEEN A MODEL SON AND A EXEMPLARY CHRISTIAN AND THOSE WHO COMMITTED THE CRIME,
1. WERE CONTEMPTIBLE DIRT BAGS.
2. THIS YOUNG MAN’S WIDOWED MOTHER, HAD EVERY RIGHT TO BE FILLED WITH HATE AND ANGER FOR THEM, BUT REMARKABLY, SHE WASN’T
J. THE MEMBERS OF HER CHURCH IN KOREA, TOOK UP AN OFFERING TO PROVIDE FUNDS FOR HER TO COME TO THE UNITED STATES, SO THAT SHE COULD HELP THOSE WHO HAD COMMITTED THE CRIME AGAINST HER SON.
K. WHEN THE YOUNG CRIMINALS WERE TRIED, FOUND GUILTY AND SENTENCED TO DEATH AND LIFE IN PRISON, SHE GOT DOWN ON HER KNEES BEFORE THE JUDGE AND PLEAD FOR THEIR LIVES TO BE SPARED AND THOSE ANIMALS STARTED WEEPING LIKE BABIES, AS DID THE POLICEMEN WHO HELD THE YOUNG OFFENDERS IN CHAINS.
L. THAT GRIEVING MOTHER, BECOME A CHRISTIAN, BECAUSE YOU AND I, THROUGH OUR TITHES, PAID A SALARY TO A SOUTHERN BAPTIST MISSIONARY, WHO GOD LED TO SOUTH KOREA.
M. SHE WAS LIVING OUT WHAT PAUL SAYS IN EPHESIANS 4:31-32, “GET RID OF ALL BITTERNESS, RAGE, ANGER, BRAWLING AND SLANDER, ALONG WITH EVERY FORM OF MALICE. BE KIND AND COMPASSIONATE TO ONE ANOTHER, FORGIVING EACH OTHER, JUST AS CHRIST FORGAVE YOU.”
A. SANDWICHED BETWEEN THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND THE SECOND WORLD WAR -- WAS AN EVENT THAT OCCURRED ON MARCH 5, 1938, WHEN THIS NATION NEEDED A MESSAGE OF HOPE AND ASSURANCE
B. PEOPLE ACHED FOR THE STRENGTH TO GET PAST THE ECONOMIC DEVASTATION THEY’D EXPERIENCED, AND THEY LONGED FOR THE FORTITUDE TO FACE THE PERSONAL, CHALLENGES THAT LAY AHEAD.
1. THAT’S WHY MILLIONS STOPPED THAT SPRING DAY TO LISTEN TO ONE MAN SPEAK.
C. IT WAS THE UNMISTAKABLE VOICE OF PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, SPEAKING ON THE OCCASION OF BEGINNING HIS SIXTH YEAR AS PRESIDENT.
D. WITH THIS COUNTRY COMING OUT OF AN ECONOMIC DEPRESSION AN...
"In war, when a commander becomes so bereft of reason and perspective that he fails to understand the dependence of arms on Divine guidance, he no longer deserves victory."
American humorist, Sam Levenson once said about the Ten Commandments:
"Different people look for different things in the Ten Commandments. Some are looking for divine guidance, some for a code of living, but most people are looking for loopholes."
THE RIDE HOME FROM COCO BEACH
We were driving back to the hotel at 70 miles an hour on the interstate when a major rain storm hit, we could hardly see and then it happened. It was like something right out of Nascar - cars going airborne spinning and crashing into each other. I watched cars right in front me plowing into the guard rail and into each other -- I saw a blue mustang leap into the air spin and land in the center ditch. I saw parts of cars flying into the air out of control. All of this was happening 10 yards -directly in front of me. I heard a calm voice in my mind say Mike drive to the left up through the median - through the water and stop up on the side of grass of the median -- don't go too far or you will plow into oncoming traffic. It seemed easy and even as if someone took the wheel and guided me through all of the spinning cars and crashed vehicles. We came to a stop. Kathy complimented me on my driving. I thought wow! Immediately Kathy and I got out too assist all the others trapped in wrecked in vehicles. One lady was wondering around in shock -- her car was still running and smoking. I asked her if I could shut her car off -- she said sure. So I climbed in to the smoking car and turned off the engine. I must admit I was concerned about it blowing up. But I knew in my heart I needed to shut off the car or it would catch fire. We then assisted others -- everyone seemed stunned and thankful that there were no life and death situations. The two in the mustang were hurt the worse. I went over to talk to the driver who was the mom and her young daughter. They were in pain -- in their necks -- so me and another man told them not to move. We called 911 and then turned around to witness another pile up behind us about 100 yards another car had plowed into the back of the stopped cars. It hit one and was launched into the air it came down nose first into the middle of the median strip down into the standing water.
Within 5 minutes the fire men showed on the accident scene. They blocked 1 lane off on the other side of the highway and started treating the injured.
As we were there waiting to be allowed to go another man form the other side of road ran over. He said my dad is having a heart attack in the van right now. So they immediately went and helped him. Three people that evening were placed into ambulances and rushed to the hospital.
The highway patrol man came up to me and said. Did you hit anyone I smiled and said "No sir!' He looked at our car and all the accidents around it and said -- "You did a good job getting out of the way." But I thought, "I really followed the inner voice of the Lord and He protected us this day -- thank you Lord!"
He then helped us to get out of the traffic snare and we proceed back to the Convention. We drove with thank full hearts and we thought "Wow -- the awesome protection of God." We knew that it could have only been His divine protection and guidance!
We were both once again awed by God.
How do we navigate the guidance of God in our lives?
Consider if you will you’ve pulled up at the traffic lights in your car and the lights have just turned to red, here you need to stop. Red means when it comes to God’s guidance means we always need to stop and consider the objective truth of God’s word speaking into our lives.
Secondly the lights will turn to amber where we instinctively get ready for maneuver putting the car into gear, taking the foot off the clutch and the foot on the gas pedal, this is instinctively done. To me this is a picture of the instinctive work of the Holy Spirit in our lives we need to be ready for the subjective witness of the Holy Spirit speaking into our lives.
Thirdly the traffic lights turn to green which means go. At times we need to go, to just get on with things because God will guide us through our circumstances, his divine providence will be worked out. So often many of us talk about not understanding God’s will for our lives, but more often than not we are already fulfilling Gods will for our lives at that particular...