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Honor our Heroes on Memorial Day

A Day to Remember the Men and Women who have Served our Country

A hero, as defined by Noah Webster’s Dictionary of 1828, is “a man of distinguished valor, intrepidity or enterprise in danger; as a hero in arms”. The modern-day Merriam-Webster Dictionary places the first meaning of a hero as a mythological or legendary figure. I’d like us to hearken back to Noah Webster’s definition on this Memorial Day as it reminds us that REAL heroes live among us, and have died for our freedom.

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which honors and commemorates the men and women who died while in military service. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.

Salute or commemorate a loved one serving in the U.S. military by proudly wearing a military cross or medal. These pendants also make treasured gifts for someone serving in the military to assure them that you are praying for them and that their protection is found in God.

The blog Fresh Manna by Pastor Tim Burt featured a video on “The Story of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight” earlier this week. Click here to access the archived blog from that day’s post.

The mini-book entitled “Pray for Our Nation”, published by Harrison House, includes this prayer for Veterans:

Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank You for our veterans. I thank You for their willingness to risk all so that our nation might dwell in peace and safety.

May they find the honor and recognition they deserve.

In the name of Your divine Son, I pray that You will heal the physical and psychological wounds some of these veterans have suffered. Bring peace to those who mourn the loss of comrades.

Father, I pray that our nation would learn to respect and acknowledge those who have served their country well.

Scripture Reference: Romans 13:7, John 14:17, John 16:33

Visit the US Memorial Day website for more information on the history of Memorial Day.

Make this Memorial Day about more than barbeques with family and friends, about more than the start of the summer travel season, about more than a 3-day weekend. Take time to truly remember and thank God for the ultimate sacrifice many men and women have paid. Pray for their families and loved ones. And take time to remember and thank the men and women who currently serve in all the branches of our military.

Celebrate Your Faith has many thoughtful and meaningful gifts to honor our service men and women. Check out our Memorial Day Gifts section to find the perfect one today!

The Ultimate Love Letter; The Ultimate Gift

Have you ever sat down and written a love letter to someone? It could be your husband or wife, your child, your grandparent or your best friend. Love letters come in all shapes and sizes and can express a variety of types of love, from romantic love to friendship to familial love. Or have you looked for the perfect poem on a greeting card to help you convey your feelings? Whether you’ve written it yourself, or searched for it in a large sea of red greeting cards, chances are at some point you’ve desired to express your feelings of love for another person through the written word.

Then maybe you decide to go one step further and get this special someone a gift to illustrate your affections. You want the perfect gift, so you think long and hard about just what would make your Valentine the happiest. You want it to be personal and meaningful so that it is representative of your love and is not just “another gift” to be put on the shelf and forgotten about.

You know, God has written us the Ultimate Love Letter. It is perfectly personal. It is marvelously meaningful. It is timeless yet relevant. It is the Bible.

The Bible is an unfolding of His love for mankind – and not just for mankind as a whole, but for YOU individually. He gave us His Word so that at any given moment, we could open the Book and be reassured of His love for us.

God’s written Word is a revelation of Jesus. All throughout the Old Testament, Jesus is hidden in the stories and the details of the offerings and prophetic passages. Jesus is revealed in the Sin Offering. He is revealed in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3:25). He is revealed in the Messianic Psalms of David. He is revealed in Isaiah 53. And then in the New Testament, He is revealed in the flesh.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:1,14 KJV

God’s Ultimate Gift to us was the sending of His Son, Jesus. As we see from John 1, Jesus and the Word are one in the same. He always existed as the Word of God, but at the appointed time, He became God incarnate, in order to dwell among us and redeem us back to God by His death on the Cross. Now, we experience Him through His Word. It’s hard to comprehend sometimes that as we hold the Word of God in our hands, we hold Jesus in our hands. Jesus is God’s greatest expression of love for us. Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection is the only way by which God is able to have unbroken fellowship with us, His people.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 NKJV

He also gave us the Holy Spirit to abide with us forever. Our salvation is sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13 & 4:30). We also experience Jesus through the words that the Holy Spirit speaks to us. He is still revealing Jesus to each of us today in a very personal way. It is also by the Holy Spirit that the love of God is available to us to in turn express to other people.

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5 NKJV

Some other translations of Romans 5:5 help us to appreciate and comprehend it’s message even better.

“…God’s love has been poured forth into and continues inundating our hearts…” Blackwelder, Boyce. Letter from Paul, An Exegetical Translation.

…For God has given us a love transfusion by the Holy Spirit He provided for us.” Jordan, Clarence. The Cotton Patch Version of Paul’s Epistles.

“…we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well… because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.” TLB

It is through God’s love for us that we have the capacity and ability to love others unconditionally. This Valentine’s Day, seek a greater revelation of God’s love for you by spending time in His Word. Ask Him to help you to see Jesus in the Word. Ask Him to help you to love others in a deeper way. Ask Him to increase your compassion for others.

My Valentine’s prayer for you is that the Lord will cause you to be full and to overflow with a growing and glowing love for each other (1 Thessalonians 3:12 Tomanek, Weymouth).

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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