Veteran’s Day

The U.S. celebrates Veteran’s Day on November 11th each year. This is an ever increasingly important holiday for us as we attempt to give thanks to those that have served our nation to protect our freedom. When these ceremonies are held, we always remember our World War II veterans but they are decreasing in numbers each year. For some reason this year, at a local event, I started to think about the war this country had for our early freedom, the revolutionary war. Today, we talk about celebrating those that have protected our freedoms in the 20th and 21stcenturies. How about the courage of the men and women who fought to establish FREEDOM?

The British Army was the largest and most feared in the entire world at the time; we did not back down. We fought to ensure that we were free. The war of 1812 was another assault on our freedom. It is not discussed in detail however it was a proud victory from our past. Our Veteran’s deserve so much more than we give them. I’ve heard people argue, “They volunteered for it and knew what they were getting”. I hardly buy the volunteer argument, these heroes stepped up when many others did not, to protect our freedoms. Many of the service members that I’ve worked with have spent a career serving our country, which doesn’t sound like a volunteer. The person who volunteers at the food bank is not the same as the one who leaves behind a family to fight global terrorism. We owe our Veteran’s our freedoms and our thanks.

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13

If nothing says Veteran’s Day like “be men of courage” I don’t know what does. If you close your eyes, you can almost hear a commanding officer speak these words before combat. St. Paul is not talking to Roman soldiers or our military today; he was talking to the people of Corinth. They were, as we are today, in a battle for eternal life. St. Paul was warning them and us today, to be on guard and to stand firm in our faith. Everyday, God’s will and His Christian people are under attack.

The devil is trying to take back the souls won by Jesus’ death on Calvary by polluting the fabric of our society. False prophets and false teachings are everywhere. It isn’t often we hear about the saving grace of God and eternal life that can only be found in faith through Jesus Christ is our savior. St. Paul encourages us to be courageous despite these challenges. Confidently speak of God’s grace and mercy to all. Stay connected to God’s word and study the teachings of Jesus to remain strong in faith and to have the confidence to be strong.

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Courageous and Strong

The U.S. celebrates Veteran’s Day on November 11th each year. This is an ever increasingly important holiday for us as we attempt to give thanks to those that have served our nation to protect its freedom. When these Veteran’s Day ceremonies are held, we always remember our World War II veterans but they are decreasing in numbers each year. For some reason this year at a local event I started to think about the war this country had to achieve its freedom, the revolutionary war. Today, we talk about celebrating those that have protected our freedoms in the 20th and 21st centuries. How about the courage of the men and women who fought to establish our FREEDOM? The British Army was the largest and most feared in the entire world at the time; we did not back down. The ragged US Army fought to ensure that we were free. The war of 1812 was another assault on freedom. It is not discussed in detail however it was a proud victory from our past. Our Veteran’s deserve so much more than we give them. I’ve heard people argue, “They volunteered for it and knew what they were getting”. I hardly buy the volunteer argument,  these heroes stepped up when many others did not to protect our freedoms. Many of the service members that I’ve worked with spent a career serving our country, which doesn’t sound like a volunteer. The person who volunteers at the food bank is not the same as the one who leaves behind a family to fight global terrorism or protect our freedom. We owe our Veteran’s much more than our thanks but I know, they’d appreciate hearing it.

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13

If nothing says Veteran’s Day like “be men of courage” I don’t know what does. If you close your eyes, you can almost hear a commanding officer speak these words before combat. St. Paul is not talking to Roman soldiers or our military today; he was talking to the people of Corinth. They were, as we are today, in a battle for eternal life. St. Paul was warning them and us today, to be on guard and to stand firm in our faith. Everyday, God’s will and His Christian people are under attack. The devil is trying to take back the souls won by Jesus’ death on Calvary by polluting the fabric of our society. False prophets and false teachings are everywhere. It isn’t often we hear about the saving grace of God and eternal life that can only be found in faith through Jesus Christ is our savior. St. Paul encourages us to be courageous despite these challenges. Confidently speak of God’s grace and mercy to all. Stay connected to God’s word and study the teachings of Jesus to remain strong in faith and to have the confidence to be strong.

Their Service, Our Debt

Today is Veteran’s Day. We have an “Active Adult” community in our city that hosts a parade and an awesome service for our Veterans. People from throughout the community come to watch us all wave, but it’s too bad that many don’t stay for service. Every branch of service is honored and an active or retired military member speaks about the meaning of camaraderie or service to country. It is a very well done ceremony in a time when we, as a society, find it easy to forget the sacrifices that have been made by those living and those past. It’s unfortunate, but the needs of our veterans still outweigh our ability to serve them in the same fashion in which they served us. Veteran unemployment is still high, housing issues are abound, their medical and psychological needs are not being met and many continue to struggle. Its great that we have a day set aside for America’s real heroes but everyday should be Veteran’s Day until we have taken care of them all. The wars over the past decade have been like none we have ever known. Service men and women deploying three and four times in a decade long fight will take a toll on an entire generation and the effects will not be realized for years to come. Regardless of how you feel about “entitlement programs”, I hope that we as a nation do not ever consider Veteran’s Programs an entitlement. These service members earned every benefit they have; I implore you to never forget that. After WWII and the Korean conflict (war) our nation created programs to assist with housing, job placement, educational services and preferred hiring allowances for our returning veterans. Today, these are considered “entitlements” and have become bargaining chips for the “entitled” who are making the rules in DC. Let’s keep the honor to Veteran’s Day – for the common good and never forget what they did.

5There are different kinds of service, but the same LORD. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”
1 Corinthians 12: 5-7

Like the military, there are different kinds of service. Some people work in homeless shelters, some in food pantries and others at their church. There are all kinds of service “but the same Lord.” If you read on in verses 8-11, you we see that our gifts are listed right there in the bible! God did not tell us that we had to do all of them but that we are gifted. We all work in different vocations “but the same God works all of them in all men.” God doesn’t pick and choose who gets to do important work and who doesn’t, He works in ALL of us because it is all important to Him. The great joy in all of our work – service or vocation, is through the Holy Spirit and guides us toward the common good. We’re working for God in all we do. Our Veteran’s worked for the common good, ridding the world of evil. No matter what you do, you are working for common good – God’s will. Like our Veteran’s, don’t forget that.