Veterans Day

veterans day

Veterans Day is a special day for me as I reflect back on my military career this far and remember those with whom I have served. Some still alive that I stay in contact with and spent part of the day today with a very good friend from my time in Iraq. I think about others with whom I served who paid the ultimate price. Others paid a huge price and carry their wounds still. Some visible some not. I think about all those who serve now or have ever served in all the branches of the military: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard as well as those in the National Guard and Reserves. They are all brothers and sisters in arms. But those who have served in combat are those with whom I have the closest bond.  Of course those I served side by side with through intense fights are the closest of all. Non-combat veterans and Civilians will never understand that bond. There’s also a bond between combat vets from different conflicts.  I have some close friends that served in WW2, Korea, Viet NAM and elsewhere who understand the experiences we all endured. Different in ways but similar in others.

To those I served with in Ramadi and to all combat veterans who put themselves in harm’s way I thank you all with the fullest depth of gratitude I possess. You honor me by including me in your ranks.

I also thank all veterans from all branches and all conflicts who were willing to put themselves in danger and to serve our nation. I thank you.

But. There is one who did not see combat during His life and least not that type of combat. The enemy He fought was a far greater danger to humanity. IS A FAR GREATER DANGER!  And He sacrificed Himself, pure, righteous and holy, for all of us sinners. So, despite not being in an Army, Christ is the ULTIMATE VETERAN!

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

 

For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.  Mark 10:45

 

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:15-18

 

I have served in the Army and I’ve placed myself in harm’s way and risked my life for others. I do not consider myself a hero; I was doing what I was supposed to do and needed to do. But, I served along side some truly heroic people. But I know serve the TRUEST of heroes, Christ my Savior and Redeemer.

 

Lord God,  I praise and worship at Your feet, thanking You for so great a love as Christ had to give His life for me and others like me, for all of us sinners. In The name of Jesus I pray that all my brothers and sisters in arms come to know you and that you give them peace and comfort. Heal their wounds, the seen and unseen wounds, the physical and emotional wounds they carry. Bless them for their sacrifices. More than that bless Jesus for the ultimate sacrifice.  Please make me worthy of the price He paid.

Amen

 

Thank you all for your time. Please, thank a vet, he or she put a lot on the line for us all. Have a blessed day, and be a blessing to someone else as well.

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The hero?

 

football

I have never been too interested in watching sports on TV, well or even going to baseball or football games and the like unless one of the kids or grandkids were playing. I enjoyed playing but watching the games was never something I learned to like. But, my son in law loves to watch, especially his favorite college and pro teams play and my grandson has learned that from his dad. Oh, I don’t think there is anything wrong with it, and if we are having a family get together and someone turns the TV to a game, I will watch, but it aint my thing. Because of that, I never had any pro athletes that I considered heroes.

But, my grandson, oh boy does he have some favorite players that he looks up to on different teams and the other day he was talking about one of the players on his favorite pro football team but it wasn’t the same guy he used to talk about. I asked him about the player and he told me that he didn’t like him anymore because he found out he was not a good guy, in fact, he said the guy was a jerk and he didn’t like him anymore. I asked about that and him to explain why, because well, obviously there was something that changed his mind about the man.

He told me what happened last summer. The professional football team in the area has their summer training camp back in the home town and last summer my grandson and his dad went to visit to watch them practice and get autographs and such. After the day was over they went to do some other things and eventually ended up at a fast food place to get something to eat. While eating, a few of the players came into the restaurant, among them the one that had been my grandson’s favorite, he got excited, told his dad and before he could get things together to try to go talk to them and get more autographs some other kids had already beat him so he was kind of waiting his turn. When he got there, one of the other kids asked them for their autographs and his hero turned to the boy and said, “no, I just aint feeling it for now, leave me alone.” Well, that surprised my grandson and he didn’t know what to think because in his mind, this man was a great guy, great player and all around fantastic person. He and the other kids were all shocked and as a couple of the other players were signing autographs the player turned to one and said, in course language that he was fed up with the stupid kids and all the having to act like he cared about them and wasn’t going to sign autographs for them. My grandson told me that when he saw and heard his former hero do that he realized he was not a good person and he couldn’t look up to a guy like that so he picked a different player as his favorite because he was nicer to people all the time and not just sometimes. I talked to his dad about it later and he confirmed what I had been told. That the guy was just rude to the kids and did make the comments my grandson told me about and after that, my grandson was pretty upset for a while that someone he had looked up to in that way was not the person he thought. They talked about it at the time, and my grandson and I also discussed that while there may be a reason such as the man was just tired after training all day, there was no reason he had to act like he did and that some people, when it doesn’t suit them to be nice, well, they aren’t nice to people, if they are getting what they want, they can be nice, but when they have nothing to gain from being good, they will behave in the manner that is normal for them and that it seemed this guy was not as nice of a guy as my grandson had thought. But, that he shouldn’t judge but should also not look up to people when he finds they are not really who he thinks. He seemed to understand, but did comment that he sure didn’t know if he would ever respect that player again. We also talked about the fact that he will meet a lot of people and many, if not most, will at sometime disappoint him with their behavior and that one needs to be careful who they look up to and also to try to be understanding of their individual actions but to watch for patterns of behavior, try to see if perhaps the bad actions are exceptions or if it is how that person truly behaves normally. If unusual for the person, be understanding but if the actions are more common than the good behavior then the person is probably not who he had thought them to be and that is the fact of humans.

27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king;
28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;
29 As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.
30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.
31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
32 This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

Daniel 2:27-35

 

Yes, this player had been a hero to my grandson and he had seen this hero that he had built up in his mind to be a great person come crashing down and it destroyed his opinion of the man. Thinking about that, I realized that I too had people I had thought very highly of whose actions showed me behavior I never expected of them and am left wondering if in fact the actions were more consistent with their true character. It happens to us all, we meet people that seem to be great and we somewhat blind ourselves to their faults and think of them as almost perfect. That is somewhat unfair to those we look up to as all of us are human and we all have faults. But, when we finally start seeing some of the faults we begin to realize that some of these people are not nearly who we thought. We see that some who make promises only keep them when doing so benefits them and are not interested in sacrificing or compromising, it has to be their way or the highway.  Yes, people are often selfish and are often more interested in what benefits them the most now. Showing that rather than being willing to work and be patient they would rather live in the moment and what suits their short term benefit is more important than their promises.

My grandson learned that lesson, I don’t know if he will remember it in the future or not but I hope so as it is hard emotionally to realize someone you once looked up to, once valued very highly is not who you thought. He will meet others that are that way and he will go from near idolizing the person to losing all respect for them due to their actions. Oh, maybe there will be a time that the respect will be restored if he sees the person act much better in the future, behave in a way that shows they wished they had not acted as they did before, that they remember their promises and those to whom they made promises, but it will be very difficult for them to regain the esteem in which they were once held. Respect is like trust, once broken, it is hard to repair.

I know others have been disappointed in me at times. I readily admit that at times, my actions have caused it. Sometimes I have been selfish and done things in a way that they perceived as inconsiderate towards them. I have been able to regain their trust and respect, but other times they have been unable to regain that trust because they are not willing or able to forgive me or consider the possibility that they are not seeing the truth and based their opinions on incomplete, inaccurate or false information and won’t reconsider. I have also had times that I have been lied to, lied about and things were done by others to cause people to lose respect for me. At times, things they did were disgusting to me and even though I have forgiven, I don’t know if there would be anyway to treat them as more than a fellow Christian in the future. I would pray that God would work in my heart, but some things can be forgiven, but not forgotten.

I can only try to be the person I should be and focus my attention on Christ and not dwell on things of the earth. I forgive those who disappointed me and hope those I disappointed will be willing and able to forgive me and try to be understanding about all circumstances involved, rather than believe initial impressions.

 

Lord, I praise You and ask You to help me and others understand that people can disappoint us, that we can have either a wrong opinion of them or they can have a lapse in judgement and behavior such that they taint our view of them. I ask that You help me forgive as Christ forgives. That no matter what, I maintain the love of Christ for others. Help us be able to see the truth and not base opinions on incomplete or inaccurate information. Help us all be the persons You want us to be for Christ. I thank You for the salvation and pray in Jesus name that You help me seek Him and learn to have the heart of Christ. I ask that You draw my loved ones to You and show them Your truth and the glory of salvation that You offer.

Amen

 

I appreciate your time, I hope all have a blessed day and are a blessing to someone else.