Honoring Memorial Day

June 6th, 2019 will be the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy where 156,000 Allied troops started a campaign to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany.  Today, I want to honor Memorial Day to take a moment to remember the sacrifices of those who have lost their lives in service to our country.

Did your father serve in WWII, Korea or Vietnam? Or Desert Storm?  Or Iraq and Afghanistan?
Maybe you had an uncle who served. Or a Grandfather?
Or an Aunt who volunteered to serve?
Or did you hear about the family member who left for war, but did not comeback?

It is Memorial Day.  We remember the sacrifices of the fallen and lost.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  John F. Kennedy

With the anniversary quickly approaching, I wanted to share this speech from Ronald Reagan that he gave at Pointe du Hoc in 1984 on the 40th anniversary. World leaders gathered to remember. While the first part walks through D-Day, the last half of the speech is what the speech is remembered for.  The speech challenged the world to find a pathway to peace, especially between the US and the then Soviet Union.   You can read the speech here, transcript of speech   or here you can watch Ronald Reagan’s Speech from June 6th, 1984

How do you honor Memorial Day? Many communities have a parade, many head to a national or local cemetery to place flags, and you can also place flowers at your community’s monument or walk of honor. I like to watch the Memorial Day Concert from Washington, DC where our country can collectively remember.

Here are are few songs for Memorial Day:

“Eternal Father, Strong to Serve” performed by Military Wives

Eric Bogle’s “The Green Fields of France”

Sometimes the true meaning of Memorial Day gets swallowed up by the ceremonial start of summer, but focusing on the true meaning is what we should do.

“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid.  They have earned our undying gratitude.  America will never forget their sacrifices.”  Harry S. Truman

The following quote is on one of the crosses of an unknown soldier buried in France, “Here rests in honored glory a comrade in arms know but to God.”

We remember you and you are not unknown to us. You helped us be free. Thank you.

Marcie Doll

It’s the Weak that Confounds the Mighty

Mighty Flowers

After months of their underground convening
Time had come to desist from further meeting,
The Old Man was about to meet his match,
Warriors hidden from his eyes
Clad in delicate disguise
Now prepared to execute the plot they’d hatched

Sheathed in white their sharpened swords
At signal raised in one accord
Pierced through snowy cover of the enemy shield,
Tiny bells rang their success
Victory pins of green on dress
Theirs the first win to take back the frozen field

Who’d have thought the gentle flowers
Could defeat the Icy King?
Valiantly the lowly snowdrops
Ushered in the reign of Spring!

© 2019 Karen DiProspero

“…God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are might.”  I Corinthians 1:27 (KJV2000)

Cloud Angel

Cloudangel

“For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” -Psalm 91:11-12
“See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.” -Exodus 23:20

Have you ever looked up at the sky and an angel appeared?   This picture captured the moment, where the light and the clouds formed an Angel with wings, looking down on all that afternoon.  You may not see an angel when you look up to the sky, but I do know they are watching out for all of us on Earth.

Shared by Patricia Wu

Draw the Circle Wide

Hands

This is a picture of hands in a circle at one of our retreats several years ago.  We all have temporary tattoos of butterflies and hearts on our arms.  Though we all have different colors of skin, we are united in the transformative spirit of growth and support at this retreat.

It reminds me of the hymn by Mark Miller with lyrics by Gordon Light called “Draw the Circle Wide.”  With all of the anger you see on social media, we need to really think about how to connect ourselves with others in more genuine ways.  We may not agree, but we can be in community together to help our world.

Here is a version of “Draw the Circle Wide” to watch and listen to.

Shared by Marcie Doll

 

At the Place where the Land Ends…

St.MichaelsMount

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

 

I came upon this sundial while visiting St Michael’s Mount in the Cornwall region of the UK on a stellar day last September.  I stood there and gazed out revering the vastness of the ocean with the sundial approaching high noon and the nerd inside me thought of the space-time continuum.  The scripture points out that no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end…..not even Einstein and the scripture urges me to behold and adore all the beauty that unfolds before me in the present because it is beautiful in its time.

Shared by Laurie Aksynowicz

Click here to learn more about St. Michael’s Mount, Marazion, Cornwall, UK.

Be Still…

 

 

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

In the two photos that I have submitted, one is of a lake on a windless, spring morning. The sky and clouds above as well as the towering pine trees ringing the lake are reflected perfectly in the still water, as if reflected in a mirror.  The second photo is of the same lake when breezes are causing ripples in the water and so the reflection is marred.

“Be still and know that I am God.” The directions are short and simple, but oh so very difficult for me. I try to set aside 15 minutes each morning to sit in silence with God, but it usually ends up being 14 minutes of fidgeting, changing positions and quieting the most random thoughts and one minute of actually being still.  Those are the days my heart resembles the photo with the marred reflection. There is no calm, just ripples of worry and what ifs. I keep trying though. I keep trying because I have found that it is indeed during the quiet, still moments that I feel the most peace and closest to God. It is during that quiet, still time that my unruly human heart can for just a fleeting moment reflect the beauty of my Savior’s love and find some much needed respite in the security of His everlasting arms.

I’m praying that we all find that oasis of God’s peace today and everyday.

Shared by Patricia Wu

 

Marching On…

Richmond

This picture was taken at the March for Our Lives Rally in Richmond, Virginia on one of the first days of Spring last March. I remember feeling so empowered that beautiful morning marching alongside hundreds of passionate young people and realizing that my generation has the power to unite to change the world.

The backdrop of this picture being historic downtown Richmond where Patrick Henry gave his “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech complements the ever-present fight for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness throughout our nation’s history. Living in the former capital of the Confederacy, one must also recognize that gun violence disproportionately affects African-Americans and vow to fight alongside our brothers and sisters of different backgrounds towards a more equal and compassionate future.

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. – 1 Peter 3:8

Shared by Morgan Doll

Today is the 51st anniversary of the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  We honor his legacy today and always.

Wilderness

Wilderness

Frederick Buechner, A Room Called Remember: Uncollected Pieces.  “To be commanded to love God at all, let alone in the wilderness, is like being commanded to be well when we are sick, to sing for joy when we are dying of thirst, to run when our legs are broken. But this is the first and great commandment nonetheless. Even in the wilderness – especially in the wilderness – you shall love him.”
Shared by Barbara Costigan