Monday, May 26, 2014

Thanks on Memorial Day....

I just looked back at my Veterans Day post.  I mentioned in that blog that Ken's dad was a veteran. (along with my dad, my brothers, my brother-in-law, Ken's brother-in-law -  yes we are a family of men who served)  Mervin Thomas Rowley, Ken's father, served in World War II.  He was in college during the beginning of the war, but as 1944 rolled around, our country was looking for more young men (particularly college men) to serve.  Ken's mom and dad had been married in 1942 and his sister Sue was born in the fall of 1944, while Ken's dad was serving in the Pacific.  I know that I have mentioned my own mom, left at home with 2 small children.  But here is Ken's mom, having her first baby, with her husband gone in the war.  It does give you a very different perspective on their life. 

Today I am so grateful for all of the men and women who have faithfully served our country. And those serving today. 
In July of 2010 Ken and I vacationed in Washington DC.  It was my first trip to our Capital and I was awed.  Especially at Arlington Cemetery.  I personally think every American should take a trip to this historic landmark and walk among the rows and rows of white stones.  Seeing a picture is one thing, but actually looking at the names on the tombstones is overwhelming.  We saw far too many mementos laying on graves.  Baby shoes, pictures, necklaces, scarfs, coats.  It was so sad.  Yet I also felt the pride of being an American.  Our family was blessed to not lose anyone during their military service.  Many, many families lost loved ones.
Take a moment and just look at the picture above.  Arlington is just one of many Veteran's cemeteries around the country and in fact around the world.  Our freedom as citizens of the United States was not free.  It was won with a very precious cost - the life of many, many Americans.  There was a sacrifice for our freedom.
We are FREE Spiritually also!  Hallelujah!  Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice on the cross for ALL of us.   What a wonderful way to end this post about freedom.  Our penalty for sin has been paid. We do not get what we deserve!  All because of Jesus.  We don't have to do anything, but just accept this amazing gift. 
Thank you Jesus for this reminder today for all of us, of your great sacrifice!  Jesus,  guard and protect all the men and women who are serving our country today in Military Service.  Holy Spirit, give grace and courage to the family members and friends who are missing their fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters or friends.  Holy Spirit, give all of us compassion to come alongside of military families and stand with them.  Give us all courage and boldness to share the Good News of our Freedom in Jesus.   Thank you for Memorial Day.  Amen

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