2018-06-12 - Changing the Landscape
As we approach Flag Day, it is fitting that we should remember all the men and women who have served under that flag, and have given their lives to secure and maintain our freedom, or to try to secure the freedom of people from oppressive regimes. My father was an Air Force veteran, and at his recent graveside service, two members of the Air Force did a Taps/flag presentation ceremony in his memory. When the soldiers folded the flag, they treated it gingerly, as if handling a valuable and cherished object. When the soldier was presenting the flag to me, she turned it over several times, caressing it gently, looking at it lovingly - and then seriously looking at me, as if to impart the importance of the symbolism. She handled it tenderly. It was very moving; we could tell that they truly appreciated both his sacrificial service and what that flag represents to those who sacrifice time with family, along with health, limbs - and sometimes their very lives - to protect our freedoms and help people (including hurricane relief and other relief services). These services are very meaningful to family and friends. At my Dad's service, some were sobbing, because it was so moving to them.
So we all should thank God for the courageous people who serve and protect every day - members of the Armed Forces, as well as our brave firefighters. And let us please not forget those who risk their lives every day, to protect and serve even those who spit at them, curse them and slander them - law enforcement, which has to be the most thankless, most misunderstood job in America. For many years, I worked with hundreds of them, and have seen them at their best and worst, so I actually know whereof I speak. There are damaging, dangerous myths out there, that actual FACTS and statistics prove wrong. God IS the father of truth, not lies and myths. As Christians, we responsible for seeking TRUTH, and not passing along myths and misunderstandings that can actually endanger officers’ lives by stirring up hatred against them, when in reality, 99.9% are good, hardworking, caring, patient, underpaid men and women of ALL races I felt the Lord’s leading to share that, for He has pressed this group of people on my heart. Here in America, many devoted officers are African-American. Many are Latino, many are White - and there some who are of Asian and other backgrounds. I urge people to THINK about this, do their own research and pray pray pray about it. Remember, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” and MUCH of their daily time, that is actually what officers are striving to do - sowing peace among family members, neighbors, coworkers and the like. So should we all "Go and do ye likewise," in attempting to be peacemakers.
Symbols such as the flag are good reminders for us. But there are people whom we all should cherish even more than the Stars and Stripes - like our family, our church family, and most of all, our Lord and Savior.
It has been said that by looking at someone’s checkbook, you can see whom or what they worship. What would yours say about you and your priorities? What about how you spend your time? Do you spend much of your time in seeking God’s kingdom?
I encourage you to pray along with me, that God will help us to cherish what and whom HE cherishes, and to live accordingly.
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