Sunday, May 25, 2008

Greater love...

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" John 15:13

The above scripture is one that when truly reflected upon can have the power to bring me to my knees. The God of all creation sent his only son to die for me. To this day I am left without words when I think on this. Jesus is our perfect example of sacrifice. Our perfect example of giving more than we could humanly or possibly understand. This verse also comes to mind for me when I think on those serving in our armed forces. It brings me to tears when I think of a soldier, even today as I type this, away from his or her family in triple digit heat. Serving unto his or her death, for me.

We have been blessed with a three day weekend in honor of “Memorial Day”, a day set apart just for them. Let’s not use this time off only as an excuse to bring the family together for a barbecue, or to just take a break for ourselves, but let us use it as a day to remember. The word memorial means “preservative of memory”, or “that which serves to keep in memory.” So, Memorial Day is a day that our nation should set aside some time to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and those who even today, are serving our country.

It is in the deepest parts of our being, the desire to be remembered. Many times in the Bible the words “remember me” are said by many of the Lords people as they cried out to the Lord; Nehemiah, Zachariah, Jeremiah, Job, David, Hannah, Samson, the thief on the cross. My prayer is that this Memorial Day we will remember to pray for these brave men and women and their families on our own, without the provocation of a sad story or a touching television commercial.

I was raised by a former U.S. Marine. My father put out his American flag every morning before he left for work. He rarely ever spoke with me about politics but always spoke of the love he had for his country. I believe my patriotism was a genetic trait passed down from father to child. My husband Paul and I have raised our children to respect and honor those serving in the United States military. We have passed on this very same flag-waving DNA to our own children. We encourage all four of our kids to thank those they see in public that are in uniform.

One of the sweetest memories we have of our youngest son Samuel was when he was about two years old. He shyly walked up to a young service man dressed in his military attire at a grocery store and told him “thank you”. This young man couldn't understand Samuel's two year old language so his brother and sisters interpreted to this young man, just what Samuel was trying to convey. It moved this young soldier.

It is never too early to start showing our children ways to express such gratitude. Regardless of your political beliefs these men and women have signed their lives over to the American people. Willing to go wherever and do whatever is needed to keep our freedoms secure. This lesson isn’t only for children. I double dog dare you to go up to a military person or even the mother or father of one of our enlisted people. You will know these servicemen and women by their uniforms or haircuts. You will know their parents by the bumper stickers on their car or by the huge buttons they wear with a picture of their child in military attire. You could even drop by and thank Mari at My little corner of the world, her son Andy is serving. Your words and prayers for so many of these people can make such a difference. I remember just as the war broke out, being at a grocery store and thanking a military mom who had two sons in the service. My voice started to crack and I could barely get the words out of my mouth.

Friends, as Christians we are led by our perfect example in Jesus, as parents lets lead our children by this same example. Let’s let our children see that we do remember those serving our country this Memorial Day.

The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree. ~Thomas Campbell


Becoming Me said...

And now you've tugged at my heart. What sacrifice indeed.

Mari said...

Joanne - what a great post. I have always been patriotic, i was also raised that way but it does hit home more when you have a family member serving. Thanks so much!

Chelle' said...

I agree fully. The example we set for our children must include respect and appreciation of those that serve and protect each and every one of us.

Amen and Amen friend.

Happy Memorial Day.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I've tried so hard to truly with ALL my heart have full reflection on those who sacrificed for us. Amidst the deep personal pain, I am struggling SO hard. May God forgive my selfishness.

Amy said...

Great post, Joanne. My husband is a former Marine too and my boys are Marines in training!

Mommy Dot Com said...

I love this post. I am moved by those who cry out to God, asking Him to remember them. It means so much to be remembered and you have inspired me to do just that for those serving this country and those who laid down their lives for this nation.

Also, I read on Refresh my Soul that you are going to She Speaks. Me too. I am actually driving up with Angela from Refresh my Soul. We went together last year.

Can't wait to meet you. I'm sure Angela will know how to make that happen!

In Him,

Melanie said...

Great post, Joanne! It seems this country has forgotten the importance of showing our military men how much we appreciate all they do for this country. I pray we all remember to do this as often as we have the chance.

Have a great week!

Grace said...

Yes! This day is about so much more than having a feast and playing at the beach... Thanks for the beautiful post.

Grace said...

Oh Joanne, you're too kind!

p.s. Yes, Jean is in Southern California... :)


connorcolesmom said...

That was a great post
We live near a military base so we see soliders all the time
My youngest always waves and says thank you!
It is such great respect that I have for these men and women and I am so grateful
Enjoy your weekend

Mommy Dot Com said...

Hey sweetie!

I am driving up with Angela I guess on Friday. I am bringing my two oldest girls, Paris and Madison. I am doing the speakers track b/c I do prison ministry and have to speak from time to time and I need all the help I can get!

I am SO looking forward to meeting with you. I need to get you my phone number so we can meet. My email is

Much love,

Aly said...

Beautiful post, Joanne.

Thank you and bless you.


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