Memorial Day 2013

I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and so had the sea.2 Then I saw New Jerusalem, that holy city, coming down from God in heaven. It was like a bride dressed in her wedding gown and ready to meet her husband.

3 I heard a loud voice shout from the throne:

God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. 4 He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.      Revelation 21:1-4 (CEV)

I am a weeping patriot. I love to see our flag flying in the breeze at the ball park. I can get a lump in my throat during the National Anthem…no matter how bad the singer! I do not apologize for these emotions. I don’t want to forget the cost of freedom. I don’t want to forget to thank our Father that He has inspired young men and women to stand ready to defend His great love for us through this country called America.

There is nothing “glorious” about war. It’s horrific. The cost is great. War should cost otherwise there would be nothing to stop it. It isn’t a video game. It isn’t to be looked at with philosophical eyes but with reality.

The VietNam War was my first personal experience with war. My brother was drafted just after he was married and right out of college. By the grace of God, he did not get sent to Southeast Asia. Gary Schemel always comes to my mind when I think of the war. He played basketball with my brother when they were in high school. He was drafted into the Marine Corps, went to VietNam and returned in a casket. To this day, I do not like to watch war movies. But I watch the Memorial Day and Fourth of July celebrations from Washington DC. I watch with a tissue in my hands because I want to honor the men and women and their families and never forget the price that has been paid and continues to be paid.

I briefly considered going into the service when I was in college. It was a financial consideration. The Navy or Air Force would pay for my education and in return I would give them four years of service. I decided against it because I thought there was a more than even chance that, given my experience, I would be sent to a hospital or MASH unit in Southeast Asia. And now I am too old to be in active service. But am I?

Each of us has been gifted by God to build His Kingdom. God speaks to each of us about how He wants us to use these gifts to show His love to His children. There are many, many men and women who have served in the military who are broken and hurting. Is God whispering in my ear about these children? Could I make a contribution to Wounded Warriors? Do I know a wounded warrior that I could bless with an offer of friendship? Is there a way to hold out my hand to a warrior and let them know they are not alone? LORD, open my eyes and heart to Your voice that speaks of Your opportunities. Here I am, LORD.

Memorial Day. A time for many to spend with families on a beach, a lake, or a river, cooking over hot coals with a cold drink in their hand. Life is good. May I not forget the price that has been paid for this beauty and Who is responsible for me being here.

Open the Eyes of My Heart, LORD written and sung by Paul Baloche

If You’re Reading This written by Tim McGraw, Brett and Brad Warren, sung by Tim McGraw


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