A Sad Memorial Day Reminder!

Remembering-Our-Fallen-Soldiers-on-Memorial-Day-2Today is a sad Memorial Day!

It is sad because of the numbers of people who were willing to give their all for what they thought was the cause of freedom. It is sad because of the many who have been duped into believing what our government has chosen to feed us through popular media formats. It is sad that tens of thousands have had to die and are still dying in wars that we have no business being involved with. It is sad that our thanks seems far too little for those who died.

It is sad that our government continues to justify the killing and massacre of thousands of people on foreign soil. It is sad that our military must fight wars that they are not fully equipped to fight. It is sad that our military cannot remain at home to protect our own borders from those who seek this country nothing but harm. It is sad that soldiers, airmen, marines, and sailors have had to die in vain so that our government can hand out gifts to people who hate America and all it stands for.

It is sad that old men will sit in their comfortable offices and dream of new battlefields for our children and grandchildren to fight on. It is sad that fighting against tyranny did not stop with the destruction of Nazi Germany. It is sad that we must be on guard against our own government whose leaders no longer pray for wisdom as past presidents have done. It is sad when many in our country have no shame in voting for a person who is a traitor to our military.

It is sad that this Memorial Day, we must remember with shame and disgrace that those who gave their all did so in the vain hope that America would always be the home of the free and the brave. It is sad that those who gave their all are buried with little fanfare while an ungrateful generation rushes by with the attitude that they are an entitled generation. It is sad that we cannot apologize to those who have died for allowing ourselves to be destroyed by enemies from within.

It is sad that freedom is never free. It is sad that freedom has been given away so easily by those who have forgotten the ultimate sacrifice. It is sad that many never cared in the first place. It is sad that many hate the very God who has allowed us to exist this far. It is sad that wickedness is accepted now so easily. It is sad that homosexuality is openly embraced, even by people claiming to be true Christians.

It is sad that our freedoms do not extend to the 60+ million human babies who were murdered and whose blood cries silently from their trashcans across this once great land. Currently about 1% of the population serve in the military compared to around 12% during World War II.

It is sad that low side to high side, that means that through abortion, doctors who swore the Hippocratic Oath not to harm or kill have killed between 600,000 to 7.2 million future soldiers, airmen, sailors, marines, and coasties just since 1973! What a sad Memorial Day. The TOTAL number of US population killed since 1775 is just 1.4 million! The TOTAL number of military killed since 1973 is just 9,610.

Yes, today is Memorial Day again, but it is a sad one for far too many reasons. May God grant forgiveness because we certainly do not deserve mercy today.

*** – Reposting my original post from 4 years ago.

memorial-day

Book recommendation: “The Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boom.

I recently finished Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place (the audiobook version) and was left shaken.

From the depths of human depravity to the heights of human compassion, the love of God and the gospel of Christ permeates our fallen world but we oftentimes fail to see it until we are under intense suffering (and even then we often miss it).

This book is bursting at the seams with biblical truths. One example is when Corrie refuses to accept her sister Betsie’s admonition from 1 Thessalonians 5 (to give thanks in all things) when it came to the fleas infesting their prison camp barracks. Corrie simply could find no reason to be thankful to God for the biting insects. That was until she discovered that the Nazi guards refused to step into their barracks because of the fleas, providing them the ability to hold daily Bible studies with the other prisoners without fear of being discovered.

The fact that this book is a true story makes it even more powerful. I was moved by it and enjoyed it even more than The Diary of Anne Frank. I highly recommend The Hiding Place and it is now on my required reading list for my children.

My only regret is that I never read this book earlier in my life.

Lest We Forget – THANK YOU!

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Through almost 223 years of America’s history, boys (and in more recent years girls also) have said goodbye to parents and with heads held high have marched off to serve their country.  Many of those years have actually been years of peace and a great number of those brave soldiers have never been required to potentially sacrifice their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honours for the sake of the freedoms we enjoy.

“When in the course of human events” was penned so long ago and the call to colours began to rally across the countryside, boys said, “We will give up all we have so that we might fight for a cause outside of ourselves.  We will stand in the gap where others are not willing to do so.  We will take up arms and fire at the enemy where necessary when some may condemn us for needlessly taking the life of a fellow human.”

Revolutionary War Dead & Wounded = 50,000

Almost one hundred years later, brothers and fathers fought each other in the battle for the right of states to be free from a government that was quickly becoming more and more oppressive and for a lesser degree the issue of slavery.  One of the turning points of that very bloody war was the battle of Gettysburg which lasted for several days.  At the end of that war, the stench of death hovered over the air still as President Lincoln stood and proclaimed, “But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Civil War Dead & Wounded = 646,392

The next century would see the rise of dictatorial governments desiring to conquer some part if not all of the world and again Americans rose to the challenge issued by their government.  They placed their faith in the cause for freedom that was given forth in the papers and over the airwaves via radios and television sets.  Hundreds of boys set aside their bats and balls for the weapons of war while hundreds of girls set aside their dolls to serve far from the comforts of a mother’s side.

World War I Dead & Wounded = 320,518

As each war passed and each country was visited, America never asked for one piece of ground in any of the countries ever served in.  They never demanded that the citizenry speak English!  They never demanded that the US Dollar be the new and only acceptable trading currency.  Often, soldiers holding US Dollars were at a disadvantage because of the trading values!

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World War II Dead & Wounded = 1,076,245

They stormed ashore at the beaches of Normandy and flew the skies over Nazi Germany knowing many would not come home.  They said goodbye to parents and lovers hoping it would not be the last kiss or hug, but knowing it might be!  Yet as one staff officer once stated, the only thing America ever ASKED for from each country was a place where she could bury her dead.  She ONLY ASKED for a place where she could return with the moms and dads to place flowers on the cold graves of their boys and girls who would never again play with bat and balls or dolls and prams.

Korean War Dead & Wounded = 128,650

The wars took a decided turn when the evil of communism entered the picture.  Many felt and still do that we entered wars that we could not win or were not permitted to win.  Either way, we found ourselves in a quagmire and through all the muck and mire and grime of blood-splattered fields of war, our troops sought to hold their ground.  They stayed the course in the face of adversity and many never returned alive.

Vietnam War Dead & Wounded = 211,454

Afghanistan Dead & Wounded = 3,056 & Counting

Iraq Dead & Wounded = 50,432 & Counting 

Many today still do not know why we ventured into the wars we have seen in the last half century.  Some claim it is because of oil, while others say it is because of terrorism.  Others say it is purely for the cause of freedom around the world while others are not exactly sure why.  Still the call comes ringing just as loudly as it has done through 223 years of history and each week men and women march with firm purpose down to recruiting stations across America and say, “I wish to serve my country!”

Today, there are many still wounded from the wars we have fought but they are still dying off.  Each day, many more old troops pass off into eternity.  We will never know their nightmares unless we have been in a trench, fought off an enemy at close quarters, screamed in agony as shrapnel pierced our body, wept uncontrollably while trying to staunch the blood of our buddy as their life flowed rapidly from them, and even sniffed that letter one more time trying to remember what life was like back home in America – the land of the free and the home of the brave!

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“Thank you” is not really enough when I see an old vet with only one leg left wearing his US Navy baseball cap showing the ship he served on in Pearl Harbor.
“Thank you” is not really enough when I see another old vet stooped with age wearing a lot of buttons on his cap reminding nobody but himself of the battles he fought in over in Europe during WWII or Asia during WWII or Korea.
“Thank you” is not really enough when I pass by the Veteran’s Hospital filled with men and women who survived what most Americans will NEVER understand.
“Thank you” is not really enough when I pass by that old US Marine on his Harley Davidson with the right to wear his long hair and sporting his Vietnam Vet patches.
“Thank you” is not really enough when I get on another plane to take a business trip and see a small group of soldiers with packed duffle bags saying solemn goodbyes to their families as they head back over to their 3rd or 4th tour of Iraq or Afghanistan.
“Thank you” is NEVER enough when I drive by the Veteran’s Cemetery, the National Cemetery, the local cemeteries, or see the pictures of American flags dotting very small seemingly insignificant pieces of property where the remains of our boys and girls, and our moms and dads lie buried and who never got to come home to be held by those who loved them!

When I look at the fact that I live in a country where I have the freedom of speech, the freedom to worship God, the freedom to spend time with my family, the freedom to travel where I want to go, the freedom to sleep in my bed, the freedom to work where I want, the freedom to worship where I want, the freedom to live where I want, and many more freedoms — 

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I realize I AM AN AMERICAN and my “THANK YOU” is all I have to offer to those who gave their tomorrows so that I and my family and my fellow Americans could have our todays!

With a truly grateful heart,
The Desert Pastor

Film review: “The Boy In The Striped Pajamas”

the-boy-in-the-striped-pajamas

I don’t usually do this–in fact this is a first (and probably a last) for DefCon–but I have a secular movie recommendation. Before you think I’ve lost my mind, hear me out first.

I gave up secular movies over two years ago for obvious reasons (sex, violence, profanity, etc.) in addition to the fact that Hollywood’s story telling capabilities lacked depth, and frankly, oftentimes insulted my intelligence.

One of the genres of films that I enjoyed when I used to watch movies was WWII films such as Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List (I have always been intrigued by the level of evil that a society could collectively attain to under on man’s leadership).

Sadly, I could never bring myself to watch these films ever again, not because I find myself in conflict with the portrayal of the dramatic historical events of war itself, but due to the unnecessary content such as the excessive profanity and use of my Savior’s name as a cuss word.

Well, for those of you out there like me who enjoy great films about WWII, but are not willing to set the wickedness before your eyes that Hollywood feels for some reason needs to inundate every film they produce, I have great news for you!

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas contains:

– No profanity.

– No sex.

– Very minimal violence (much less than The Passion of the Christ).

What happens when the 8 year-old son of a Nazi soldier who runs a prison camp befriends an 8 year-old boy inside the prison camp? Their friendship between the electric, barbed wire fence is chronicled in this cleverly crafted tale with superb acting that concludes with an ending that will leave you stunned.

This is truly a tale that your children can watch that will help to educate them on the horrors of what took place in Nazi Germany.

The only questionable scenes in the movie are when the one little boy lies to his mother a few times (once to sneak food to his friend in the prison camp). However, those lies do not rest without the boy reaping the bitter results. The other scene to be cautious about for younger viewers is when an SS officer takes a man into the kitchen and batters him. Although you do not see the violence you hear it and know it’s happening. Make sure you view the film before allowing your kids to, in the event you feel it’s not suitable for them.

Even with these scenes I was shocked at how this film portrayed the story in such a powerful way without the use of even one profanity (can’t even say that much for some preachers). I will not soon forget this film, and I highly recommend it.

I especially think this film would benefit home schoolers who are currently studying or planning on studying WWII. This movie is not a war film, but it’s more of an insight into the personal side of those affected by the horrors of WWII and Hitler’s Germany–a perfect example of a Darwinian worldview followed through to its logical conclusion.