May 26, 2014

Dear Liberty,

     Remember only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you.

Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.  

One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

     With indescribable selflessness the American solider puts his life on the line to win and keep the freedoms and liberties that we are privileged with every single day.  You are blessed to have the blood of many of those brave servicemen flowing through your veins.  One of your great-grandfathers was part of the Big Red One (see Duty First) in World War I (see A Hero's Story), while two others served in World War II along with several great-great uncles.  (see Remembering The Holocaust)  You have relatives that served in the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf Wars and one of your grandfathers was even stationed behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War.  Your family has been honored with such brave patriots and fortunate that only four of those courageous men have fallen during wartime, each called home during World War II.  Attacks at sea took the lives of two great-great uncles who were brothers, just 2 months apart.  One was in England in the European conflict while the other was in the Pelilieu Islands in the Pacific.  The Invasion of Normandy claimed one cousin (see Safe Spaces) while the Battle of the Bulge took another.  Like so many other Americans, who have lost their lives at war, their tragic loss is the price of our freedom.

     But even greater than the love, respect, and thankfulness that we have for our fallen soldiers is our reverence and gratitude for the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  While the soldier dies for his family, his country, and his freedom, Christ died for all, giving believers freedom from sin, death, and the power of the Devil.  Christ led the perfect, sinless life that we could not and took upon himself our deserved punishment.  He sacrificed himself to redeem us from the curse of death.  He was, in all reality, a one-man army, defeating the forces of Hades single-handedly in 3 days and claiming victory for us all.

     The Father of our Country, the humble, God-fearing General George Washington, understood this, demonstrating his belief in Christ every single day of his life.  With an open Bible on the chair in front of him, Washington prayed for an hour on bended knees every morning and every evening.  His faith and strong moral code, built on the firm foundations of God’s word, guided him through the bleakest days in our country’s history.  (see God's Divine Providence)  May we as a country return to the same devotion and understanding of the Lord’s ultimate sacrifice, knowing that the greatest battle has already been won.  Even though we still struggle with the curse of sin in this world and the wars that result, by the sacrifice of Christ our salvation has already been won and our eternal salvation proclaimed.  (see Fruit Of The Forbidden Tree)   May we humbly thank God for our blessings this Memorial Day, sharing in a prayer of thanksgiving given by General Washington.

     “O eternal and everlasting God, I presume to present myself this morning before thy Divine majesty, beseeching thee to accept of my humble and hearty thanks, that it hath pleased thy great goodness to keep and preserve me the night past from all the dangers poor mortals are subject to, and has given me sweet and pleasant sleep, whereby I find my body refreshed and comforted for performing the duties of this day, in which I beseech thee to defend me from all perils of body and soul.

     Direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit, from the dross of my natural corruption, that I may with more freedom of mind and liberty of will serve thee, the ever lasting God, in righteousness and holiness this day, and all the days of my life.

     Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the Gospel. Give me repentance from dead works. Pardon my wanderings, and direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation. Teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments. Make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber. But daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life. Bless my family, friends & kindred unite us all in praising & glorifying thee in all our works begun, continued, and ended, when we shall come to make our last account before thee blessed Saviour, who hath taught us thus to pray, our Father.”

George Washington’s Prayer Book.

     That’s my 2 cents.