made by students at the Vogelweh
Elementary School, in Vogelweh,
Germany. Their parents are
stationed in Germany, serving with
one of the branches of the U.S.
Military. These children realize what patriotism is, and they too have sacrificed for our nation. May God bless each one of them during this Holiday season, and bring them a wonderful New Year!
This time of the year is so special to me, because every day I live in the true meaning and grace of Christmas. Christmas celebrates the greatest gift ever given in Creation. It is a time of year to formally, and with reverence, acknowledge that God so loved the world, and you and me, that he "willingly," in great sacrifice and love, gave his Only Begotten Son, that anyone who would "willingly" receive His gift and sacrifice might live their eternal existence in His presence and love, as His adopted son or daughter. In this world humanity has struggled so long to bring it's own failures into subjection, and despite the best efforts of the most devoted among us, we remain flawed. Still God dwells in the hearts and lives of those who have received His precious gift, directing their lives and giving peace, mercy, and grace, for all that is of this life. We face the same challenges as the rest of the world, we get sick, lose jobs, suffer losses of all kinds, but God stands protecting us from being overcome and defeated by the evil of this world. Nothing can separate us from His gift of love and eternal life, no matter what we must face in this life. He has won the war by His sacrifice, and we must only endure the battles and skirmishes as faithful Warriors, until we are called home.
Jesus Christ was born from the linage of David of Old Testament fame. You will remember him first as a brave young man who fought and defeated the giant Philistine, Goliath. Goliath came out into the open on a battle field each day and challenged any man of the Hebrew army to meet him in battle, as he insulted God and His chosen people. He was a brute of a man, huge and powerfully strong. Anyone hearing his challenge could easily see how unlikely defeating him would be. There had been no takers among the Soldiers David had brought food from home to that day. David urged all of the men to meet the challenge, and take this man out who insulted God, but when none of the grown men would go, he "willingly" went out to the meet the enemy in a contest to the death. He killed the giant with the weapons of a boy, and thereafter, he was known as a man "after God's own heart." God loves, in a special way, those men and women with uncommon courage and the "willingness" to stand for Him, for their countrymen, and to fight to the death all those who come to attack and conquer those who belong to the Lord. God loves, "with His own heart" the man or woman possessed of that special quality of "willingness" to sacrifice themselves for others. It mirrors the very heart of God. There were some extraordinary teachers last Friday, who were welcomed home by God as they too demonstrated in their last breaths in this world their own "willingness."
Our country will always have need of protectors, despite that some are so foolish and narcissistic that they believe that with the right direction from them, mankind's bent to destruction and violence will be cured. My stepson took a school field trip his senior year in high school where a scientist who was a presenter told Brian's class that science had identified the chromosomes that cause a person to have the "tendency to steal." The man stated that eventually a baby could be genetically engineered to be perfect. I shudder at the thought of there being those who are pursuing this science. For the time being, there are still the un-engineered who wake up each day determined to conquer our country, and take away the God ordained liberties we are privileged to know as United States citizens. During this Christmas Season so many of those in our military will not be home sharing the blessings of family. They will be separated from all that they love, some of them in extremely dire circumstances, and standing in the gap, protecting this nation. I wrote and published the following blog post some time back, but I am re-posting this blog because of how the service of those in our military is associated with the gift of God, a life laid down in sacrifice for each of us. As Jesus "willingly" gave His life, so many of our countrymen have given theirs.
If you know the family member of a fallen hero, please pass this tribute and acknowledgement on to them, for "no greater love hath any man than to lay down his life for a friend." There is one step up from that, and God Himself knows well what it is. It is watching a son or daughter, mother or father, husband or wife, brother or sister, give their life for others. Oh what anguish and pain lies in that sacrifice. We are the ones for whom these lives have been laid down for. Those who have made the sacrifice will not be present for the Christmas celebrations of their families, in fact, those celebrations will never be the same for the families of the fallen, always, there will be an empty chair at their celebration tables.
Then there are the families everywhere whose loved one will be in a war zone on Christmas, mine included. If you have never had this experience, though I love words, they fail me when I try to explain what the experience is like. The prevailing thought for me on these days is always, how does the son or daughter of a Soldier, especially the younger of them, deal with the absence of a parent on these occasions? It is almost unbearable for me, I can't even imagine what it is for the little ones.
There are also those who have sustained wounds in the battle, some are visible, and some are not. They too have put it all on the line for you and I. Many of these heroes can no longer serve, their lives having been altered forever. The families of those who serve sacrifice everyday as well, and it can be lonely doing so in a country where many people live their daily lives oblivious to the fact that our military are daily encountering our common enemy in battle. War is an ugly and difficult undertaking, but unavoidable when our enemies make overt aggression against us on our homeland soil, murdering innocent citizens without mercy. Their agenda has not changed, and if allowed, they will strike again. What follows are words that Soldiers I have shared them with have found supportive of the very difficult job they must do. If you know a Soldier, or love a Soldier, take just the few moments it will take to share these words with them. I believe the response you receive in return will indicate the same appreciation that brings me deep satisfaction in sharing. Expressing my gratitude with more than just the phrase, "thank you for your service," but instead with deeply felt expressions, seems especially important at this time of the year, so once again, words from my heart for those who serve, and for their families.
I had an exchange with one of the Warriors I have come to know by way of facebook. Always these men and women absolutely slay my mind with their deeds and the stand they make. As you will see, these simple words of recognition of the obvious were appreciated, which underscores for me how important it is that we never miss the opportunity to acknowledge the obvious to each service person we encounter. The job they do takes so much, and gives little in measurable personal gain. Their reward, for them, lies within their souls, and is self sustaining, requiring nothing from the rest of the world. The acknowledgment from each of us of who they are, what they do, and why they do it, is more necessary for us to be able to sleep at night than for them to. What follows is a spell checked version of what I wrote, then the validation that for at least one Warrior, it was words of encouragement, and has paved the way for my fulfilling my own obligations. Trust me, this Warrior took his first breath "willing," and would go on without a word of backing from anyone, I am the wife of such a man. I have had the privilege of knowing so many Warriors, and their families, and I am one rich person because of it. What a blessing I consider it to have encouraged one of them. So if you know a Soldier, a Warrior from any branch, and you would value the overwhelming sense of humility and a pride that comes from fulfilling your own sacred duty to these heroes, there is a chance that in your passing these words on to them, you can have that feeling. Here are my words, and then his, which are always expressed with a sense of humor, and for him that must be a tremendously powerful protective device in the war zone where he daily stands "willing."
There are some people who are born with a capacity to lay it all on the line that surpasses bravery. Any day of the week I can risk my life for one of my grand-children or children, my husband, parents, etc... There are people who, as their primary occupation, will risk their lives for perfect strangers, people of countries other than their own, and even a wounded enemy, and not just in one moment of a short lived disaster or accident such as a house fire or car wreck, but they will wake up every day... "willing." Deliberately they stand between threat and danger, and me and mine, and for the rest of the world as well. On an ongoing basis, and they think of it as "just doing my job," they are "willing."
Their families are affected by their willingness, but in both positive and negative ways, and because of what their family members witness in the lives of "the willing," they are enriched in ways that only those closest to "the willing" can be. Their family members share their everyday lives with a living, breathing, genuine hero, and that impacts a person, and it empowers and inspires their loved ones. Because they are willing to do what the majority of people would never commit to, we all have the freedom to achieve the destiny we would select for ourselves... and inch by inch... the rest of the world is being affected by their stand as well.
Debra, thank you again. Don't think I've ever seen that so well put of why we do what we do....I was gonna just be my usual smartass & say I do it cause chicks dig the uniform but this really hit home personally & it's one of those passages... that gets printed out, stuffed im my front vest pocket, maybe make a few copies for some buds that need encouragement some days & reread when I need to remind myself why we subject ourselves to the evil that would do us harm....you really need to publish this for everyone to see & ponder. Thanks.
30 minutes ago · LikeUnlike
Debra LeCompte Actually the chicks do dig the uniform... without a doubt...
4 minutes ago · LikeUnlike
Debra LeCompte I pray for you, and that bunch you run with every day...
3 minutes ago · Like