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Monday, November 11, 2013

A long over due thank you:-(

As a preacher there are usually times of the year that people expect something such as an Easter service, or Good Friday service, Christmas series, and of course the summer should be filled with stand alone sermons because to many people will be traveling to be effective with a series.
I have always held to the belief that God Himself will give direction and although I value parishioners thoughts, I must follow God's lead.
It hit home yesterday that I have gotten tied up in a series that I am doing and trying to complete so I can begin my Christmas series, that although I feel this is what God led me to, He maintains the right to give me a last minute switch. Now if you know me at all you know me and last minute are not friends. I like to plan and think through and so when I felt the gentle nudge to acknowledge the veterans that have fought and still fight for our freedoms, I decided to just do an acknowledgement at the beginning of our service to appease my conscience.
Please don't think for an instant I meant to be flippant or unappreciative, as my intentions were to squeeze more in without losing what was already there. Usually this is about as effective as getting toothpaste back into the tube.
While speaking about our veterans I was moved almost to the point of tears as to how far our country has fallen and yet many of our men and women still fight for our rights even if we have given up. I understand that our veterans get paid and have great benefits, get to travel and see the world, use the latest and greatest technology, get college tuition, and many other nice perks as a trade off, but let me tell you about some other things they sometimes receive.
Prosthetic limbs due to an injury in the line of duty. counseling for all the death and destruction they endure. medication for the foreign illnesses you and I can't even pronounce. A divorce decree to sign when they return because their spouse didn't "sign up" for being a single parent. A new born child who is now walking and knows a few words, daddy isn't one of them because he is protecting you from afar. And how about the job loss, post traumatic stress disorder or paranoia thinking someone is always wanting to kill you, not to mention the snide comments that veterans get because of some Neanderthal liberal who associates the soldier with innocent deaths and blames the soldier instead of the threat and cowardly slime that put innocent lives at risk to save their own hydes.
I want to apologize to our veterans for not dedicating more time to prayer for you both personally and corporately as we worship. I want to apologize for not dedicating a day to observing the very things you fight for. And I want to apologize for taking for granted the comforts of my life and the freedoms that I observe every day because someone is doing something to maintain that freedom. You dear soldiers are a blessing.
We honor you today, those who have fallen and those who are being shot at as we read this. We pray for you, for your family and ask for your safety and strength. We are with you and we love you.
If you have need of prayer or would like to comment please feel free to do so. Please pass this post on to others that we may honor our veterans.
In His hands, even in the trenches
Pastor Mark