Jul 5, 2018

Happy Freedom Week

The Forth of July can be a time that reminds us that not everyone is free in the USA. We are a divided nation in which many are still oppressed and not walking in the freedom we declared in our "Declaration of Independence" 242 years ago:
 ...that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. 

As a Christian, my heart grieves that we have so much injustice taking place. America; we have a long way to go. 

But one of the greatest freedoms we have as a nation is that we can speak up and draw attention to issues and wrongdoings.

This and other freedoms were paid for by men and women; dare I say even youth, whose passions for other people's freedom drove them to do something about it. 

Many of them paid for your freedoms and my freedoms with their bodies, minds, and even their lives.

I have never served in military and over the past few years I have become very grateful for those who have paid for all of the freedoms that I have as a citizen of the United States of America. 

To those of you who have served I say; "THANK YOU!" from the bottom of my heart.

The following is an old blog that I wrote eight years ago when my oldest son Jonathan was graduating from his basic training. 

Aug 20, 2010

Mighty Warrior

I feel the need to state upfront that I am not really a “paramilitary” person, nor have I ever been a part of the armed forces; I wasn’t even a boy scout. I grew up in a generation that for the most part looked down upon anyone who had anything to do with the military; mostly due to the mishandling of the Vietnam War. During the mid-seventies, my short-term fix (should I have been drafted) would have been to go to Canada and make sure that I was being taken care of, after all, I was free to do what I wanted.

I admit that this mentality was wrong and that I was self-focused and self-serving. Freedom isn’t free; on the contrary is has been paid for sacrificially by men and women; dare I say boys and girls, who chose to lay down their time and some their lives. Everyone who has ever served in the military paid for my freedom to reject any participation in the military service. To each of you reading this who have been or are currently in the military (in one branch or another), I say a long overdue; “Thank you” for paying for my freedoms I receive as an citizen of the United States of America.

My mind has been thinking about the military today partially because this week I attended the graduation ceremonies for my oldest son Jonathan, who (at age 28 ½) graduated from basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. I am now the father of a soldier. Jonathan will continue to pursue his training as an officer and serve as a soldier in the National Guard. I am very proud of my son Jonathan for following a dream that he has since he was ten years old; to be a soldier.   

While at the Fort I saw a plaque that caught my attention. It said; “EVERY SOLIDER IS A WARRIOR”.   

Written below that phrase were the following bullet points: 
     • NEVER QUIT. 

Surrounding the plaque were seven values: 
  1. LOYALTYBear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Army, Army Acquisition Corps, Acquisition Support Center and our Soldiers
  2. DUTYFulfill your moral obligations to the best of your ability each and every day
  3. RESPECTTreat other people as you yourself want to be treated — with dignity and respect
  4. SELFLESS SERVICEPut the welfare of the Nation, the Army and the Soldiers you support before your own
  5. HONORLive up to all the Army Values. Be honest, truthful and sincere in all of your actions
  6. INTEGRITYDo what's right, legally and morally, in both word and deed
  7. PERSONAL COURAGEFace fear, danger or adversity (physical or moral). Do what you know is right
Powerful words that caused me to ponder; “What if Christians followed each of these statements throughout their daily lives; would it make a difference?” 

What if Christians followed each of these statements on the aforementioned plaque throughout their daily lives; what difference would it make? Read the values and make the translation into how we as Christians should live; I think that you can see the application. These are values that WE as Christians should be living as an example of what it means to be a Christian; a “follower of Christ”.

Jesus, the ultimate Mighty Warrior said; “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:29)

The Apostle Paul wrote: “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.” (2 Timothy 2:3-5)

How about you; Are you simply tired of fighting battles in your life with seemingly no results? Do you wish that you were a part of a larger “army” of people who would be willing to come along side of you and fight for you and watch your back? 

The Bible says that when we surrendered our lives to His Lordship, we become a member of the family of God; the Body of Christ. Have you ever surrendered your life under the Lordship of Jesus Christ? Listen my friend; you can be a part of this great “army” today by simply: 

Go to the following link athttp://www.billygraham.org/specialsections/steps-to-peace/steps-to-peace.asp

Or drop me an email.

Mighty Warrior Lyrics and Music by Debbye Graafsma
Mighty Warrior, dressed for battle
Holy Lord of all is He
Commander in chief, bring us to attention
Lead us into battle to crush the enemy

Satan has no authority in this place
he has no authority here
For this habitation
Was fashioned for the Lord’s presence
No authority here

Jesus has all authority in this place
He has all authority here
For this habitation
Was fashioned for the Lord’s presence
No authority here

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