What’s a Patriot’s life?

PastPatriot

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Matthew 25:14-15

Last night, Senator Mike Morrell, honored Patriots of the Past, Present, and Future. My husband, Keith Roberts, was honored as a Patriot of the Past Finalist in the Education category. Below is my nomination:

My husband, Keith Roberts, was a JAG in the United States Air Force for 22 years. He faithfully served America throughout the world, serving in the Philippines, Italy, on the East Coast, the West Coast and in the Midwest.

The Philippines during the reign of Ferdinand Marcos and martial law set the foundation that fostered flexibility, adaptation, and a can-do approach to Keith’s service, career, and life. The Philippines boasted the highest rate of Air Force courts-martial in the world. The pressure on JAGs was tremendous. The first week we were in the Philippines, Keith was called upon to travel into the jungle to investigate the crash of an F-16. The remains of the pilot were strewn throughout the jungle. That experience had a profound impact upon him.

I remember Keith preparing young airmen for military action. He prepared their wills and their last arrangements. If President Carter had chosen to send military troops during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, Keith would have gone with those Airmen. His bag was packed; he had completed his own will, and he had all of his shots.

Fast forward to 1984. Keith was then stationed at Aviano AB in Italy. When the United States bombed Libya on April 15, 1986, we were there. We lived north of Padua, terrorist headquarters. Base entrances were guarded by soldiers in armored personnel carriers … 50 caliber machine guns on top and pointing at entering vehicles. He regularly drilled with a gas mask and protective gear in case of a chemical weapon attack. He was trained to jab his leg with a syringe filled with atropine. We kept evacuation kits for each member of the family … just in case. In Italy and the Philippines, Keith represented the United Sates Air Force as he worked with local and national dignitaries. Keith was recognized as a leader in the Air Force and in the community.

He began teaching at the University of Redlands as an adjunct professor while he was still in the Air Force. He was passionate about serving as a military officer, and he found that he was passionate about teaching.

After 22 years in the Air Force, Keith chose to serve others as a professor at California Baptist University while still teaching at the University of Redlands School of Business. A few years later, he became a full-time professor at the University of Redlands School of Business and has since become the Interim Dean of the School of Business.

Keith chose to serve America and preserve freedom rather than pursue a corporate attorney career. After his time in the military, Keith chose to lead those focused on teaching college students as well as to teach.

Keith chose a life of service. Keith Roberts chose to preserve freedom. Keith Roberts chose to lead and teach others.

Keith Roberts chose to live a Patriot’s life.

Keith Roberts chose to multiply the talents that God gave him and bless those he touched with freedom, knowledge, and a better life.

My prayer

Father, thank You for all American Patriots. Bless them with the knowledge of You and the knowledge that they have made a difference in America and that they are continuing to make a difference in the lives of others. Thank You for the many blessings You have poured out on America. Revive our souls; heal our land; let freedom ring! God bless America!

Graduation, a celebration of God’s future work through you

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

Yesterday, I attended the University of Redlands School of Business Graduation Celebration, and today, I was honored to be invited to a student’s family celebration.

This young woman diligently worked hard to gain knowledge to help her achieve her goals for her career. She made many sacrifices to get where she is, including working full time in a demanding job while working to achieve an MBA.

God is at work in her.

She has delighted in the Lord since she was a child, and the Lord has put a desire in her heart to make a difference in the lives of children. Her focus is set upon that desire, and she has achieved milestones to get her there.

Today, was a celebration of one milestone.

God will perfect her good work and direct her path in fullness and joy.

My prayer

Perfector of the good works that You have prepared for us from before the creation of the world, I pray that You will pour out Your wisdom upon all Your children who are working diligently to achieve the desires that You have placed in their hearts. Teach us to use the knowledge of the world wrapped in the wisdom that You give us. Thank You, Lord, for Your great and precious work that You are doing through Your humble servants.

Could entering heaven be like a graduation celebration?

“… there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10

UOR SignThe University of Redlands celebrated a weekend of achievements: traditional students and returning adults graduated with a variety of degrees. I attended the School of Business celebrations. There was an awards ceremony,  a very special dinner, other events, and the graduation ceremony.

As the graduates walked into the Greek Theater, families and friends cheered, waved, held up signs and jumped up and down.

Celebrate

Jesus told three parables about the celebration in heaven when a person is saved.

Jesus’ second parable showed the great effort that the widow expended to find her lost coin. She lit her lamp, swept the house, and searched carefully.

“When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ Luke 15: 9

The keynote speaker told the graduates, “You earned it; you deserve it.” Cheers erupted. Arms waved. Noisemakers blared. Whistles pierced the air.

When Christians enter heaven, they will say,

“I am a sinner; I don’t deserve heaven. Thank You, Jesus, for paying for my sins by dying on the cross. Thank You that You have conquered death. Thank You, that You love me so.”

UOR Graduation 2014When the graduates’ names were called, they walked across the stage to shake hands with the President of the university. If they knew him, they received a hug.

Think of walking into heaven, and there Jesus stands, smiling. I believe that there will be no handshake. I’m looking forward to a big Jesus hug after I run to Him.

Do you suppose that celebrations like the University of Redlands graduation are a mere shadow of the rejoicing in heaven as we enter that glorious new home?

My prayer for you

Father in heaven, thank You for giving us glimpses of heaven on earth. Thank You for putting spontaneous rejoicing, exuberant celebrating of others within our hearts. Thank You for rejoicing over Your children. We look forward to seeing You face-to-face.