Memorial Day … A reminder of America’s values

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“We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”

James A. Garfield
May 30, 1868 Arlington National Cemetery

Continue reading Memorial Day … A reminder of America’s values

Freedom Costs

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Freedom costs.

America’s freedom cost our forefathers their lives, their health, their livelihoods.

America’s continued freedom has been preserved by our military members and those who support them. Today, there are about 1.4 million American military members and over 21.8 million veterans.

Today, I met a Viet Nam veteran who teared up as he spoke of his experiences and his buddy who lost his life serving our country. He spoke of the disgust Americans showed him and the shame he experienced when he returned to the United States.

Today, I met generals, enlisted members, and officers. I talked with members of the Marines, Air Force, Army, Navy, Reserves, and Homeland Security. All have a passion for the freedom of America. All have sacrificed for that freedom. The VietNam veteran lives with the loss of a friend and the memories of shame. Other veterans and military members lost time with their families, and they may have lost their health, marriage, and family members.

Cost of Freedom

Freedom cost Jesus everything.

It was for freedom that Jesus emptied Himself of His glory.

It was for freedom that Jesus poured Himself into the flesh of a baby.

It was for freedom that Jesus walked throughout Israel teaching, healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the leper, and giving sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf.

It was for freedom that Jesus allowed the torture of the cat-of-nine-tails.

It was for freedom that Jesus allowed the Romans to nail Him to the cross.

It was for freedom that Jesus endured the shame of the cross.

It was for freedom that Jesus took my sin and your sin upon Himself.

It was for freedom that Jesus conquered death and rose again.

It was for freedom that Jesus sits at the right hand of God and advocates for you and for me.

It was for freedom from the penalty of my sin … and your sin.

It was for freedom to see Jesus as He is and to live with Him forever.

Freedom costs.

Freedom costs everything.

My prayer

Father, thank You for our military members and veterans. Freedom is precious. Thank You for America’s freedom. Thank You for the Christian’s freedom to live with You forever. God, bless our military members, our veterans, and their family members. Bestow us with the knowledge and awareness of how much freedom costs.

Please thank a military member, a veteran, and their families today. 

Please share your memories of your sacrifices as a military member or veteran in the Comment Section.

Let Freedom Reign in America

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My Prayer

Jesus, You preached and set the captives free. Holy Spirit, You set us on the right path of liberty. Father, in You, we live, and move and have our being in freedom and truth. We need an awakening in America, Lord. Holy Spirit breathe on America and fill us with a burning desire to return to Jesus with an urgency. Make America great in Your eyes. We want to please You. Lord, quicken Your people to remember Your words: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” We call upon You Lord, heal our land, for Your name’s sake. Amen

Memorial Day, a Time for Remembering the Price of Freedom

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Field of Honor, Murrieta, California

Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. Matthew 26:7-8

If you were a guest in the home of an Israelite, it was customary for the host to dab a pinch of ointment on you to welcome you. Mary broke her alabaster flask to pour all of the pure spikenard on Jesus’ head. As the sweet, spicy, musky fragrance of the spikenard filled the home, one disciple objected to the apparent waste of nearly a year’s wages.

Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her. Matthew 26:13

Jesus established His memorial in the Upper Room. Just as Mary gave her best and most costly possession, Jesus poured out His life for us. His blood was shed for our eternal life with Him.

And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you. Luke 22:19-20

America’s Memorial Day is a day of remembering the cost of freedom. Men and women poured out their lives. Their blood was shed for our freedom in America.

And the sacrifices continue today. Men, women, and families in our military are giving their lives, their limbs, their mental health, and much more – all for the cause of freedom.

Please take a moment and reflect on the meaning of our fought for freedom … it is costly.

Today and throughout this week, thank a military member, the families supporting the military, and a veteran. Let them know that they have made a difference in your life and in the lives of Americans.

God bless America, and God bless you!

My prayer

Father in heaven, thank You for giving us examples of memorials in the Bible. You have taught us that it is important to remember sacrifices and blessings. Thank You for Your great grace in sending Your only begotten Son to make the ultimate sacrifice, paying with His life for our sin. Thank You for the men and women who paid for freedom with all that they had – their lives. Thank You for the families who supported these men and women. I pray, Father, for today’s veterans and military members and their families. Bless them with the knowledge of You and the comfort and peace that only You can give. May this day be a catalyst to return America to You, Father. Ignite our spirits with a fire and a zeal for You. Bless America, Father, with an awakening and a return to You.

Please thank a veteran or active duty military member this week.

Grace & Freedom when we Lay It Down!

Freedom. Freedom to be what God intended us to be. Freedom to rest in Him. Freedom to let God work. Freedom.

Lay It Down is about Gospel freedom.  Lay It Down is not about performance … it’s about freedom to live abundantly in all that we were created to be … it’s about freedom to live in Christ Jesus.

Bill Tell, a leader in The Navigators for decades, writes of his walk from burnout to freedom in the Gospel. Tell had to unlearn certain beliefs he had about the Gospel, and in his reconsideration, he found the true grace of the Gospel.

He found that

… the Son of God lived and died so we could begin experiencing the glories of eternal life now and the radical life-changing freedom of the gospel today! It is a freedom that changes everything about us; it’s a change we desperately need. p. XV

Tell writes of three miracles about our relationship with God.

  1. The unconditional Good News. God views His children differently. That means that our performance does not win God’s love. God views us through the performance and sacrifice of Jesus. God views us differently than some have been conditioned to view themselves.
  2. The transformational Good News. God makes His children different. His children are free to obey, love, and bear fruit. 
  3. The relational Good News. God relates to His children differently. Because God’s children are free from shame, they are free to be loved and to accept that love.

In Lay It Down, Tell demonstrates what Jesus told His disciples.

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Those who belong to Jesus, must lay down their performance, their independence, their shame, their ego, and let Jesus work in them.

My prayer

Father, thank You, that You have completely taken care of the Good News and that there is nothing that we can do except lay down our performance, our shame, our brokenness at the foot of the cross. Thank You that You have delivered us from our sin, and You have transformed us to live in Your freedom of the Gospel. Lord, bless Bill Tell as he points people to You.

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of Lay It Down: Living in the Freedom of the Gospel for my honest review.

Thank You for freedom

Greater love has no man than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

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Freedom Wall - 1

Liberty Bell

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
2 Corinthians 3:17

Women's Memorial - 1Unknown Soldier

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Cross

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us;
and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

Thank you, active duty military members, veterans,
and families for your service!

My prayer

Jesus, thank You for these men and women who have laid aside their lives and their dreams for a season to preserve America’s freedom and to lift up the downtrodden. Thank You for the sacrifices of their families as they endured not knowing how their loved ones were. Thank You for the many sacrifices You made for us. Thank You.

Please thank a military member, a veteran, and their family members today!