May we never forget that we are the land of the free, because of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. We do not face persecution, intolerance or controlled speech, because we have men and women who have gone before us who were willing to lay down everything for us, no matter the cost. This Memorial Day I have a heavy burden on my heart for the family members left behind. Let us serve them, honor them and always look up to them as an example.

As Christians, it begs the question, how should we as the church respond to our military and their families? Every day we benefit from freedom of religion, every Sunday we gather without fear or shame to praise our God. This privilege is not free and many have laid down their life so we could keep it.

This is a letter I wrote to a Pastor at a church we spoke at about six years ago. He was clear with his congregation about where he stood and it was so refreshing to me.  I’m calling Christians in the nation to rise up and pray for our country, to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and to serve and care for those left. May we do this every Sunday in our churches, not just Memorial Day!

Dear Pastor,

This is from my heart and I hope it spurs you to share with your church.

I wanted to say thank you for being aware of the loss of life overseas and for taking time in your church to pray for the families. In America, it seems that many see terrorism as a “theory” or an “idea”. For us terrorism and evil are real and we live it every day.  We lost a dear friend when a man wearing a suicide vest blew up a few meters from him. He had an amazingly beautiful wife and 4 kids who have now grown up without a dad. Scotty and his brothers lost one of their best friends when a terrorist shot an RPG directly at him. Most recently we lost our old neighbor at West Point when a terrorist dressed as an Afghani guard walked up and blew himself up. He had twins who just turned 2 and an amazing wife and family. I was holding back the tears from flowing as you prayed that sweet prayer for the soldiers and their families. Thank you for doing that.I feel that more churches in America need to share with their congregations the sacrifice, and the reason they can freely praise Christ without worry of harm or persecution is because of the men and women who have gone before us. Thank you for getting it right and thank you for making it a point to share it with your church.

Sincerely,

Tiffany Smiley

 

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