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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Onward Christian Soldiers

With Veteran's Day just around the corner, I have been thinking about those who daily serve our country.  It seems a thankless job and yet where would we be without the men and women who have given up their freedom, so that we can have ours.  My Dad served in the Korean War as well as Viet Nam.   Growing up in a military family you expect to move around a lot.  In many ways my Mom was the true hero.  Each time we moved, she was the one making a new home for us while my Dad was away at war.  I was only 6 years old when my Dad decided to retire after 21 years in the Air Force.  I'm sure part of the decision was made because our family had 4 kids in school and my parents wanted to plant themselves for a while so we could have stability.  I was young enough that I have limited memories of the adventures of living in the Philippines and Florida.  My memories are tainted by my brothers perceptions of how things happened, they have always been good at telling a story, the problem is I don't know where the truth starts or ends.

Now I have a niece, Joye, that has followed that career military path that her Grandfather took.  She has had to move her family to Germany recently.  Her husband and 2 young boys are away from Grandparents and all things familiar while their Mom serves our country.  She has since been deployed to Kuwait, while her family holds down the fort in Germany.  She has missed big events, like the birth of her new little niece.  This is the life she signed up for, all so we can be free as a country.  It doesn't seem fair that people like her give up everything.  She can't just easily leave if she doesn't like it - her life is not her own.  Thank you to all of you who miss weddings, births, funerals, parties, graduations... all the things I take for granted.  Thank you that you believe in this country and in our freedom enough to risk your life for it.

I was reading my Bible recently and came upon the verse in 2 Timothy 2:4 " Christ's soldier, do not let yourself become tied up in the affairs of this life, for then you cannot satisfy the one who enlisted you in his army".  I remember singing songs as a child like "Onward Christian Soldiers" or "I'm in the Lord's Army".  As a committed Christian, I say my life is surrendered, that my life is not my own.  This verse challenges me.  My niece had no choice once she signed up for the Army, her life was not her own.  I envy her dedication and her courage.  I claim to be Christ's soldier and yet I cling to my rights and my "things".  I'm no different than most people in justifying my choices or giving excuses to stay in my comfortable life.  I should have the same willingness to serve my God as so many men and women do to serve our country.  Many of them are serving our country as a service that God has called them to.  God bless them.

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