Prayers for the Week – Memorial Day

Memorial Day

A Boy Scout salutes at the foot of a grave after volunteers placed flags at the Los Angeles National Cemetery on Saturday, May 28, 2016 in preparation for Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9 (ESV)

My friends, on this Memorial Day weekend, we salute and honor all of those that have paid the ultimate price for the freedom that our country enjoys today.  On this weekend, there will be beach goers, there will be those that have a cookout in their backyard, there will be those that go to a ball game.  And there will be those that go to visit their family member who is one of the fallen that we salute today — them and their families, whose lives were changed forever.

Our Word today comes from the book of Joshua, a verse that I’ve used many times before, but seems really appropriate for today and this weekend.  God commands us to be strong, to be courageous.  God tells us not to be afraid, not to be dismayed, and to remember, He is with us wherever we might be.  Those words of encouragement are for all of us to hear this day.  This is the Word of God for us, the people of God.  Thanks be to God!

If you are the loved one of one of our fallen heroes on this Memorial Day, know that our thoughts and prayers go out to you this weekend and every day.  My family salutes your sacrifice, your courage, and your commitment to serve our country, and we give thanks to God for the ultimate sacrifice that your loved one gave for us.  Jesus said it best when He said:

13Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. ~ John 15:13 (ESV)

Brothers and Sisters, on this Memorial Day weekend, let’s remember those that aren’t able to celebrate with us, and remember them in whatever way is appropriate to you and gives them the honor and glory that they deserve.

Now, please continue reading as we go over our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Jodi starts us off this week: Long story short, my son’s left foot has been swollen for 2-1/2 years following ant bites. Several doctors and tests have been unable to figure it out. Adam has an appointment with a vascular specialist this morning. Please pray if there’s something to be concerned about that it will be revealed, and if nothing, that we would be reassured it’s ok to let this go. Thanks!
    • Update from Jodi: We finally have a diagnosis! It is something that will probably never go away, but it is not life threatening or life altering and will be treated with a simple compression sock. They will do an ultrasound next week to confirm, but this doctor is confident in his assessment. Thanks for the prayers!
  • Please pray for my friend Peter, his mother passed away at the age of 91. Pray for their peace, comfort, and strength moving forward. Thank you!
  • Please pray for my friend Kip and his family.  Kip is very ill.
  • Please pray for all of the anonymous prayer requests — especially for those that need changed hearts like we talked about in last week’s prayer post.
  • Please pray for my businesses, that they both would take off to the point that my wife could stop working at a job where she is not appreciated.
  • Lastly, pray for the families of our servicemen and women, serving now and those that served before, and especially for those that have fallen heroes in their families.

Thank you for all of your prayers, now please join us in praying the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.

Attractions: Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum

One thing I love to do on this site is cover places that I visit. There are so many attractions in and around my area that spotlight many unique forms of creativity that it would be a shame if anyone missed them. So if you are ever in Michigan be sure to visit Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum.

If you’re not planning to be in this State anytime soon, then this post is for you!

31005 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills, MI

What can one say about this place? It’s weird. Weird but wonderful at the same time! And as the first exhibit (pictured below) will show, it draws its inspiration from some pretty solid places:

Fine Inspiration Indeed!

Marvin Yagoda, the museum’s founder, had been collecting the items that populate the 5,500-square foot building for some 50 years. He was a recognized expert in the field of mechanical and electrical game apparatus and was involved in the appraisal of such items for the television series American Pickers. We lost Marvin on January 8, 2017 at the age of 78.

But the eclectic showroom he started so long ago still operates and is open to the public seven days a week.

Let’s have a look at just some of the oddities you can expect to find:

Instant Physical Exam for just 75 cents

You will find a huge collection of coin-operated animatronic dummies, mechanical games and other oddities here. The doctor above is just one of dozens of examples on display. If you plan on investing your money on this doctor’s diagnosis, prepare to be insulted!

Where to look first?

Walking in for the first time can be overwhelming! There isn’t a bare piece of wall or ceiling in the place.

“Vibratory Doctor”? Is that even legal?

Many of these vintage machines would have been on boardwalks or in sideshows, at a circus or freak show. I wonder why?

Beautiful Neon

There are several examples of neon signage as well, with my favorite example being displayed above.

Advertising Signage

Marvin was an equal opportunity collector and so also added vintage advertising to his collection.

Disturbing!

This museum is definitely a Home of the Weird as the above image shows. A 3-breasted Gypsy, anyone?

The Lighter Side

The museum also has many pieces to make you smile too. Such as the two Sailor Puppets above.

Hungry or Thirsty?

We are about half way through our tour, so if you’re getting a bit peckish, why not stop at the food stand and ask Humpty Dumpty for something to eat or drink?

Your Weird Hosts for This Post

What would a fun place be without a warped mirror?

On the Road

I need to get me a truck like this when I go searching for things to add to my weird and wonderful collection!

Now all good things come with a price:

Electric Donations

There is no charge to visit this museum but, as you can see above, donations to cover the cost of electricity are gratefully received! Also, almost all of the displays are fully operational and can be enjoyed for between 25 and 75 cents a play. This includes vintage arcade games (like Asteroids and Pac-Man), carnival games, pinball machines, and ‘Peep Shows’ (clean, of course!).

So please be sure to leave some of your hard-earned money behind!

COOL FACTOR: 5/5

I was thrilled to find such a unique and strange place among the attractions of Michigan! It won’t be for everyone, especially if you’re easily creeped out. But if you’re a student of history and a fan of early examples of coin-operated art and like to walk on the wild side at times… make your way to Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum!

Prayers for the Week – Persecuted Christians

Persecution

18“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.20Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.21But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin,but now they have no excuse for their sin.23Whoever hates me hates my Father also.24If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father.25But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’ 26“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning. ~ John 15:18-27 (ESV)

My friends, welcome to this somber Prayers for the Week post.  Today, we are going to be praying for persecuted Christians across the world — but also in our own back yard.  Let me share with you some things that have happened recently, and how the chain of events is showing me very clearly just how persecuted we are.

On April 19th, our daughter Sophie was confirmed in our church, along with 39 of her fellow Confirmands.  That was the day that Sophie publicly acknowledged that she is a Christian, a child of God, and that she loves Jesus with all her heart, mind, soul, and strength!  As much as we don’t care to think about it, the day that this happens is the day that Sophie and all her classmates are in the crosshairs of those that persecute Christians.  Those people, whoever they are, don’t realize this, or if they do realize it, they don’t care, but they are pawns in the service of Satan, the evil Prince of Darkness.

On April 27th, I started a new Bible reading program, called the Bible in 90 Days.  This program guides you through reading the Bible cover to cover, from Genesis 1:1 all the way through Revelation 22:21 — in just 90 days.  Each day the reading is harder and harder, and the distractions are greater and greater.  Each day I find reasons to fall behind, to put it off for a day, and the temptation to put it aside for good is very great.  My friends, this is another case of persecuted Christians.  The battlefield for Christians, my friends, is not a physical battle — it is a Spiritual battle.  Read what Ephesians 6:12 tells us:

12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

The battle to get me to stop reading the Bible is the Devil’s attempt to take away the greatest weapon I have — the Truth contained in the Word of God!

But the battle ramped up much higher this past Friday.

I came home from work to see both Cindy and Sophie in tears.  During school, Sophie had been called names, slapped, accused of physically harming another student, and was subjected to emotional distress to an incredible degree by some at school.  Now, Sophie is not completely without fault — she reacted when she shouldn’t have, and in essence poured gasoline on a lit fire, but she did not provoke this altercation, she did not do the things that the other student claims she did, and she was with a friend, at least we believe him to be a friend, and we trust that he will tell the truth.  However, this has happened often enough that we are looking at an uncertain future, we do not feel that Sophie is safe at school, despite the wonderful teachers that exist there, and we are not certain that we will allow Sophie to continue going to school there.  It seems like this happens just way to often, and Sophie, with her Aspergers syndrome, she just has trouble at times with the social interactions that are needed in Middle School and beyond.

Just like that, Sophie’s path is uncertain, her road towards her future is murkier, and we are not sure what path it will take.  However, here is what we do know:

  1. We know that God is with us, and He will lead us on the path that we are to take.
  2. We know that the easy road is not the way to go, that this road leads to destruction.  The gate to take is the narrow gate.
  3. Lastly, we know these two things:  One, we know that God has plans to prosper us, not to harm us, to give us hope and a future.  We also know that in this world, we will have troubles, but as Jesus tells us, do not worry!  Jesus has overcome the world!

My friends, please pray for us, pray for Sophie, Cindy, and myself, for our Peace, our Comfort, our Strength to make the tough choices that must be made.  Most of all, pray for Sophie’s future, that God would show her the path that she needs to take, and that He would lead her on that path.

These days, most often we hear about the Christian persecution overseas — in Iran, Syria, Egypt, and at the hands of ISIS.  Don’t forget, though, that the battleground isn’t all that far away — the battleground is in our own back yards, and it just got a whole lot closer.  Pray for persecuted Christians across the world, please, and tell us what we can do to pray for you as well.  Now, to close, please pray the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever. Amen.