Kirk Morris, father of Marine Pfc. Geoffrey Morris, 19
"I don’t think that the majority of Americans get it," he said. "It’s about remembering those who have fallen. … I don’t want to diminish our veterans, but that’s why we have Veterans Day. This day is about all those who never got their tomorrows."
Sandra Miller, mother of Army Pvt. DeWayne White, 27
[S]he is baffled so many Americans do not recognize or even think about his sacrifice, especially on Memorial Day. Even family members, she said, are too busy to mark the occasion, leaving her alone in her sorrow.
"It’s not about having a barbecue. It’s a day for remembering. … And what’s up with all the sales?" she said. "If one TV channel could just put up the photos of all the fallen for just one day, that would make a huge difference."
It’s a good thing, I believe, to remember the dead — especially in a culture that trivializes death. We shunt it aside to the fantastic realms of video games and movies, and call it by other names when we do it to old people and unborn infants, and all of this is a way, I think, of grasping life in the wrong way, in a way that reveals the underlying belief, for many of us, that our lives are about our gratification.
That’s such a big word for an experience that is so very small. Gratification is as far removed from joy as hunger is from a great feast, and yet we forsake the latter in pursuit of the former because joy, like a feast, requires sacrifice.
So it’s a good thing to remember those who gave their lives in sacrifice for others. Think on them, and if you like you can light a candle or mutter a prayer, a prayer that you and I and the rest of the world will, if only for a slender day, give ourselves over to loving someone other than ourselves, which means the great sacrifice of setting down our hurts and lusts and grievances and entitlements, all of which are chains with heavy anchors, but which we gather to us like treasures. But today, if only for today, what say we lay them down?
"A portion of the profit from our shirts will go to changing your world:
"Globally: Fighting to end extreme poverty in 3d world countries.
"Locally: Providing food for the hungry in the U.S.
"When you buy a shirt, you join a movement of people who want to change the world. We see need all around us. Stop talking about it. Start living the difference. It's not sacrifice unless it costs you something. Love is the weapon of the future. Be vigilant. Be tenacious. Be the change."
This spring, Davis started playing baseball. At the six and under level (6U), it’s coach-pitch. He did pretty well, and we saw improvements in his fielding from that first practice to the last game this past Saturday (May 22d). Hitting wise, he did awesome, going seven for eight in the first half of the season. He hit a slump, but rebounded for the last two games.
To see more photos, including a couple from the game, check out the rest of the set.
Andrew Farley, The Naked Gospel:
Grace is the system that the Holy Spirit uses to counsel and teach us on a daily basis. Grace is in place, whether or not we’ve sinned recently. We worry that an absence of law will result in a lifestyle that is out of control. This concern is natural. But is contradicts what the Scriptures say about the effects of grace. grace isn’t just a treatment for sin; it’s actually the cure for sin!
When we question the function of grace in our lives, we’re insulting God’s intelligence. Would he users in a New Covenant that not only allows but actually promotes sin? Is God foolish to think that grace really motivates us to live godly lives?
The secret is that grace deactivates our pride. Removing the law from our lives means our self-effort is no longer prodded to control behavior. The law excites human effort. It encourages us to depend on resources outside of Christ. But unconditional acceptance deactivates human effort and allows the Holy Spirit to be all that he wants to be through us.
Our greatest fear is that we’ll be out of control. But we were never made to be in control. Self-control has always been a natural attribute of the Holy Spirit. The reason he lives within us is to produce the self-control that we’re afraid we’ll lack under grace.
Each year our church sponsors a mission trip for the high schoolers. It’s an opportunity for them to experience, if only for a week, some of the missional lifestyle: living in a foreign land, serving others, giving up many of the comforts of home. It exposes them to the real world beyond high school football games, drama classes, part-time jobs in retail, and life in the suburbs in general.
I’ve gone as an adult leader for two of the past three years. (Last year was a no-go because we had a still fairly new little one in the house.) We’ve been working with Amor Ministries to build houses in Juarez, Mexico, but the violence there the past couple of years, and notably the perception of said violence, has led us to explore other avenues.
Last year the group went to serve those on the Mississippi Gulf Coast still recovering from Katrina.
This year, June 19-26, we’ll be going to Arizona, to the reservation of the San Carlos Apache Tribe. Amor has partnered with Arizona Reservation Ministries, where the need for standard housing is great.
Thirty-nine percent of the tribal families live in substandard housing, and of those that live in standard houses, 40% are in overcrowded conditions. Some of the homes have 1,300 square feet of living space, and have 20 people living in them. Three bedroom homes with four families living therein.
There is a need for 2,400 homes. ARM has committed to building 1,600, and they are currently well short of their goal.
The cost of the trip is $650 per person. We generally ask the students to provide around half, and this year they’re expected to provide $300 through fundraising. This is used to pay for the transportation, meals, and lodging while on the road. (It’s a long drive from the Flowerplex to the reservation in Arizona.) The church, through its mission program, provides the rest, which pays for building supplies, any camp fees, etc.
So using that as a baseline, I’m looking to raise $300 from folks who believe this to be a worthy endeavor, likely providing the rest myself. Obviously, anything over $300 is greatly appreciated, but that’s the goal to reach.
So how can you donate?
Unfortunately, there’s not an easy, online way to donate (that wouldn’t eat into your donation; pesky credit card processing fees), so let’s go the snail mail route.
Please make your check out to “Crossroads Bible Church” and mail it to me at:
1079 W Round Grove Rd
Lewisville, TX 75067
Full disclosure: that’s a UPS Store box I’ve had for…gosh, a decade now. It was originally used as a business address, and we’ve kept it as kind of an insurance policy for most of our shipping needs. Keeps expensive stuff from sitting on our front porch or things like checks from nice people from sitting in our mail box.
Funds are to be turned in to the church by June 13.
So that’s it. I’d be happy to answer any questions anyone might have. Leave them in the comments below, or feel free to contact me privately at “retrophisch AT retrophisch DOT COM”.
UPDATE, 9 May 2010:
I decided to pull the trigger on using PayPal to acquire donations, even if they take a cut for processing and profit. I figure something is better than nothing, and if having this makes it easier for folks to donate, so be it.
Any amount is greatly appreciated!