What's the big deal about Young Living

Memorial Day Thoughts

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We are planning fun times today with grilled hamburgers,  laughing children,  and fireflies.

But in case you haven't thought of it yet, I want to post this reminder that there are those of us who are remembering family members who gave their very lives in defense of our country.

I love my sweet friend, Penny (especially when she stays up during the wee hours to help me work through life's dilemmas), and I can't begin to imagine what she goes through every day missing her boy.

I also love my country. We say the pledge of allegiance, love 4th of July parades, and have a favorite CD of patriotic songs and hymns.

But I feel very strongly about when and where this love should be displayed.

I would love to know your Memorial Day thoughts.  I enjoy hearing different ideas and opinions, but please, let's have this conversation civilly. I have received hate mail for the views expressed in the above post, and that is really not necessary. If you have an opposing idea, it is welcome here, as long as it is stated respectfully.

Who knows? Maybe you will bring to light a point that I haven't considered and we will all be better informed because of the dialogue.

I hope you all have a blessed Memorial Day, cherishing the family you have and remembering the ones lost.

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  1. This is a post that gave me a moment to ponder. As a veteran – one who did not serve in an actual war but during a heightened season – one who lost friends and am currently watching many of my friends retire… I see the beauty of your post and the others – the ideals and the oppty to idolize people, rather than worship our Father. While I don’t think we should idolize anyone, I do believe that our pulpits are meant to guide a nation to Christ. The founding fathers – not just the men who signed the documents, but those who came over on the Mayflower, signed the Mayflower Compact and sat in church – listened to men of God share the truth about God’s word and those words helped shape our nation. At times, Pastors were even taken to talk with the King of Englad – to remind him of the truths of God’s word. I don’t think we should idolize anyone – and applaud your thoughts on that. I do think we need to start preaching truth and sharing honor where and when it is due. Our pulpits need to be filled with godly men – pleasing God and not man. Blessings to you today – praying many are blessed through your post.

  2. harmonyl says:

    Totally agree with you, Connie! Worship should be for God. There are other, more appropriate, places to show honor to mere humans.

  3. We also do not mention these American celebrations during our worship service. But we will make mention of it after the service ends during announcements or possibly have a meal. Generally they are also mentioned in context of being a godly mother or father and the like. Blessings to you today!

  4. I read the original post and am a bit conflicted to be honest with you. Worship is about worshipping God, but clearly that is not all it is about. We do announcements during worship, we do sermons during worship that are usually about teaching the congregation. Not all of worship is about worshipping God. Some of worship is about how to live the life God wants us to live, and why can’t it be a little about recognizing those who try to live that life? Now I actually hate mother’s day and Father’s day, etc. Why? Because my parents were not overly good father’s and mother’s. They weren’t Christian and weren’t trying to live a good Christian life. But I also have no problems with a very small section of the service, during the children’s message or during the announcements recognizing certain people.

    When it comes to recognizing veterans specifically, I do have some issues with that, as it seems like if we had a perfect world we wouldn’t have wars or soldiers. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and we have veterans who have done things for their country and many were absolutely necessary in this non-perfect world. But I can’t honor what they had to do, when it just reminds me how imperfect of a world we live in. I also hate the singing of My Country Tis of Thee during worship, as it seems to say America is God’s chosen country. I do not believe it is. Rarely does God choose to support a country in a war, or a sports team in a sporting event. Most of the time, I think he allows things to happen. Sometimes he has a purpose for what happens, or sometimes he makes what happens have a purpose. But I tend to refrain from putting God on anyone’s side in a war or sporting event.

    But I also think that by not mentioning the holiday at all, we unintentionally offend. Even though I think a slight reference is all that is needed. Someone at church yesterday asked everyone to have a moment of silence at 3 PM today for veterans. (I think she said silence, I think a moment of prayer would have been more appropriate of a request.) That was the only real mention of Memorial Day at church and no patriotic songs. I also can’t stand the american flag up at the altar either. I do believe in a certain amount of separation of church and state.

    • Rebecca says:

      My country, ’tis of Thee,
      Sweet Land of Liberty
      Of thee I sing;
      Land where my fathers died,
      Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
      From every mountain side
      Let Freedom ring.

      My native country, thee,
      Land of the noble free,
      Thy name I love;
      I love thy rocks and rills,
      Thy woods and templed hills,
      My heart with rapture thrills
      Like that above.

      Let music swell the breeze,
      And ring from all the trees
      Sweet Freedom’s song;
      Let mortal tongues awake;
      Let all that breathe partake;
      Let rocks their silence break,
      The sound prolong.

      Our fathers’ God to Thee,
      Author of Liberty,
      To thee we sing,
      Long may our land be bright
      With Freedom’s holy light,
      Protect us by thy might
      Great God, our King.

      I just wanted to post the lyrics of that song to see for myself what you were meaning about disliking the song because it seemed to say that America is God’s chosen country. I don’t see that, personally at all. It looks like a song of thankfulness and a prayer for guidance. Thankfulness that our heritage is what it is, marveling at the beauty of the land, thankfulness in our freedoms and a call to acknowledge all of that. I’m not understanding anything else other than that. I think it’s a pretty song and a true song.

    • “Not all of worship is about worshipping God. Some of worship is about how to live the life God wants us to live,”

      I don’t think those things are different! In my view, the way we live our lives is (or can be) an act of worship to God, and it’s good to encourage each other publicly in doing that.

    • “Since our typical congregational model looks so different than anything you read about in the new testament it’s difficult to draw a hard and fast rule about what should be acceptable and what crosses the line. ”

      Kimberley, I think that is a very perceptive comment! Maybe we need to change the way we “do church” on a Sunday to be more in line with what we find in Scripture?

      I wonder if maybe it would be better to simply pray for these groups rather than applauding or something like that. What does anyone else think? I am a Christian from the UK, and one year I happened to be in the US on July 4th, attending a church there. I must confess I found it very strange that we stood to honour the flag but sat to sing the hymns, which are supposed to be honouring God!

  5. Countless lives have been lost defending the freedoms of our nation(including your right to worship as you please and my right not to). A brief round of applause or acknowledgement should be welcomed

  6. Let me preface by saying that I have the utmost respect for you and your devotion to God. Truly this world would be a better place if more people in it were as dedicated. That being said, I disagree with your original post. The reasons are too numerous and prone to misinterpretation and misunderstanding for me to try to discuss them in a comment on a blog post. But I did just want to say that momentarily honoring people who are trying to live Godly lives in a worship service is something that I agree with.

    • Rebecca says:

      I agree. I think sometimes we over think or over inject our feelings into things that simply are not there. We do recognize military at our church. Without our military, we could have been one of those nations meeting underground or secretly in our homes, no freedom to worship, print Bibles, to witness openly or have to the freedom to assemble. We worship only the Lord. I’m not quite sure what is meant in the original post about church services being only for worshiping God. Worshiping God comes from within, it can be an act but I worship God through song, through tithes and offerings, through my service in the print ministry or making meals for children during VBS. I can worship God in song. I can worship Him with a thankful heart during someone else’s singing. The pastor preaches on a variety of topics and I don’t know if every one of them would be classified as worship. Thanking a veteran is not worship. It is not done at our church as an act of worship. Just simply a thanks, either done before or after preaching service. It’s an attitude of thankfulness. We are not God’s chosen people but we are blessed beyond any other nation in the world for a reason….for the heritage of our forefathers, for their determination to base this country on God and Biblical principles. What we live in today is a far cry from the way it was designed. There really are too many points to disagree on and too much to say about it all to type it all out. I’m sure everyone’s opinions are prayed about and thought about (I hope) but I will say that for everyone that is offended about a flag in church or honoring a veteran in church, there are just as many that are offended when a veteran is not honored for their service. David was a mighty warrior and a powerful man of God, with his faults of course but zealous for God. There is much to be said of those in the Bible who fought and prayed in the same breath, worshiped and warred.

  7. Kristine says:

    I appreciate your post! I don’t think I agree with your position as an absolute for all churches, though I think it’s fine for any church to decide not to recognize veterans, mothers, and others during service. I do agree that only the Lord is worthy of our praise, and yet, if we’re going to give thanks and attention to the veterans ten minutes or one day or one month after the service ends, it sounds like you and I would both agree that it is categorically a different and appropriate type of thanks than that which we give to the Lord. I think giving merited, proper, brief thanks (not idolizing) to members of the armed forced falls within the Philippians 4:8 boundaries, and I’m not sure I think Sunday morning should be such a different moment than the rest of our lives throughout the week. That said, I think this falls under the “permissible or beneficial” question, and each person and church should abstain from recognizing anyone else other than the Lord during service if convicted. This post was good food for thought, and I will continue to mull over this question in coming days.

  8. I appreciate and respect your view. While this has certainly given me something to think about, we don’t see “eye to eye” on this. I don’t like the recognition of Mother’s/Father’s Day. However, I do appreciate a brief moment being taken to honor veterans. There are many countries where coming together to worship is a punishable offense. Here we have the right to do so without fear of being arrested, punished or put to death. Our military helps ensure that right and I am forever grateful. (I know you are as well. In no way did I take from your post that you were not.) I can’t put all my thoughts in writing, but that’s my general feelings. I just don’t feel that a brief mention/recognition is synonymous with idolatry.

  9. Kimberley says:

    I don’t think most legacy churches are really valuable to the Kingdom anymore because they are too focused on entertainment in general so it doesn’t surprise me that they would add additional things to the service in order to attract a wide audience. I’ve even heard Pastors mention on the week before certain holidays that they would be honoring such-and-such group so make sure to come back and bring those people with you. I don’t really see the difference between honoring the groups you mentioned and having a praise band who performs (they usually call it ‘lead’) on stage. I guess my point is that there are a lot of parts of a typical service that really have nothing to do with your ability to worship and most people don’t seem to mind any of them. But I do wonder what the Bible says about worship beginning and ending? Since our typical congregational model looks so different than anything you read about in the new testament it’s difficult to draw a hard and fast rule about what should be acceptable and what crosses the line. Why is it so different to honor people after a service? It’s like saying, ‘Oh look, the hands on the clock are now pointing to those numbers so God’s turn is over and we can get on with the rest of our day.’ Is that really more honorable to God? It makes Jesus sound like the truancy officer of the sky. It just seems like there are a lot of lines drawn in the sand from the comments on this and the previous post and everyone, of course, thinks their line in the sand is in the right spot. But I don’t see too many Bible verses. Very interesting topic to ponder.

    • for some reason my reply to you has appeared several comments up!

      • Kimberley says:

        Well, Hopefully this reply will post under yours Liz! :)
        I think you are right about praying for the groups rather than applauding. I have been in services for various holidays and the Pastor asks that particular group to stand and reviews Bible verses that show their important work in the Kingdom and then we lay hands on and pray for them and it doesn’t seem to dishonor God or be in any way usurping God’s rightful place of honor. It’s just a time to remember and pray for that particular group like the way you would pray for a group about to embark on an overseas mission.
        I think if your conscience is being pricked by the Holy Spirit then there probably is something that is dishonoring to God. I think it is best to be led by the Spirit on those occasions when there is something that just doesn’t feel right. We all want to be more in tune with His leading and sometimes that means going against the grain–even if the grain is a bunch of well meaning Christians.

  10. Elharrington says: