Free…the Memory Shall be Ours

Enjoy this remembrance of the beginning of Decoration Day and a great poem from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of a soldier’s sacrifice.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was the most renowned American poet of his day having penned such classics as I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, The Tide Rises the Tide Falls, The Children’s Hour and countless others. He founded the Atlantic magazine in 1857. He is also attributed as the author of Paul Revere’s Ride (January 1861). But surely, one of America’s favorites is his Decoration Day poem aptly titled with the same name.
The younger among us may not remember that Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day…for that is what we did, we decorated the graves of the fallen so they would not be forgotten. It originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. There were more lives lost during the Civil War than in any other conflict in U.S. History, including World War II. The country’s first national cemeteries began as a result of this war where one in four soldiers failed to return home.
According to The Civil War Trust: The Civil War was America’s bloodiest conflict.  The unprecedented violence of battles such as Shiloh, Antietam, Stones River, and Gettysburg shocked citizens and international observers alike.  Nearly as many men died in captivity during the Civil War as were killed in the whole of the Vietnam War.  Hundreds of thousands died of disease.  Roughly 2% of the population, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives in the line of duty.  Taken as a percentage of today’s population, the toll would have risen as high as 6 million souls.  
By the late 1860’s, many Americans around the country had started holding tributes in the spring to their loved ones who had perished in the war, decorating their graves with flowers and flags and saying prayers. Longfellow’s poem came at a time when the country needed comfort and consoling. By the time the poem was published in the Atlantic in June, 1882, most of America would have learned that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had passed away at his home just a few weeks earlier in Cambridge at the age of 75. Yet, his remembrance of this important day lives on for us to never forget to hold dear those that sacrificed the most.

 Decoration Day

 Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest

On this Field of the Grounded Arms,

Where foes no more molest,

Nor sentry’s shot alarms!

Ye have slept on the ground before,

And started to your feet

At the cannon’s sudden roar,

Or the drum’s redoubling beat.

But in this camp of Death

No sound your slumber breaks;

Here is no fevered breath,

No wound that bleeds and aches.

All is repose and peace,

Untrampled lies the sod;

The shouts of battle cease,

It is the Truce of God!

Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!

The thoughts of men shall be

As sentinels to keep

Your rest from danger free.

Your silent tents of green

We deck with fragrant flowers

Yours has the suffering been,

The memory shall be ours.

  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Free…the Memory Shall be Ours

This weekend, as we gather with friends and family, let us take time to remember those who have given everything. From the Civil War to Iraq and Afghanistan, let us not forget the price they paid that we might live in Freedom. To those that are serving, thank you, thank you and thank you for giving of yourselves, sacrificing time with your family and risking your lives so that we all might live FREE.

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Their sacrifice has not been in vain and no matter what comes upon this nation we will forever be indebted to those who held true to what it was founded upon, what it stood for and what it was intended to be. May God have mercy on us today as we struggle to hold on to the values we hold so dear and the freedoms that are slipping away from us on a daily basis.

May God bless the United States of America.

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Picnics, Fireworks, Apple Pie…and a Sale at DaySpring!

Picnics and fireworks and apple pie, oh my! And a sale at DaySpring has already begun. They are celebrating Memorial Day with 25% off!

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you purchase something after clicking on my links.

Right now you can get 25% off everything with the code 25Memorial. Yes, that’s everything!! 

Hurry on over for great gifts for Dad and Grads and even something for yourself. Check out a few of these specials:

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And for Dad?  449341 837371

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There are plenty of deals on cards, singles and boxed and many other gifts for that special someone. Go shopping!

 

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A plea to the desperate

“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.” ~ Robin Williams

Sometimes the impact of LIFE hits hard. I spent the last two days in Catania, Sicily with The Sweetheart. The sweet missionaries we are staying with encouraged us to take a short trip to Sicily, it is so close to Malta, flights are cheap and it only takes 40 minutes to get there. We had hoped to meet up with some national pastors but their schedule didn’t work out this time. But we prayed we would be able to do more than just sight-see and God made a way for us to witness for His name (I’ll share that story soon!) and intercede in a desperate situation. This is a plea to the desperate.

Catania sits at the bottom of Mt. Etna and right on the Iconian Sea. The beauty is unsurpassed friends, it is breathtaking.

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We made a trek up to Mt. Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. In the late 1600’s, the city of Catania was nearly wiped out by a volcanic eruption that took 16,000 of the 20,000 living in the city! We took a tour bus to the top, about 1 ½ hours straight up. I will write about that in a day or two…pictures are AH-MAZ-ING!

 Back on the ground the next morning we witnessed something entirely opposite.

Heading down Via Etnea, the main thoroughfare through Catania, we came upon a large gathering of people all looking upward and we were trying hard to focus on what had grabbed their attention.

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Then we saw him.

Dangling on a pedestal on top of a roof, four stories high, was a young, teenage boy about to take his own life. (You can see him at the very top, on the middle limestone pedestal with his leg hanging over the side.)

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We could see he was desperate, he kept motioning for those that were trying to talk him down to get back or he would jump.

I have never witnessed anything of this nature and The Sweetheart kept saying, “Let’s go, let’s just go, you don’t want this scene in your mind the rest of your life.” He was a nervous wreck but yet we knew we had to pray. Someone had to pray!!

We began to intercede for this young man, praying in the Holy Ghost and asking God to intervene on His behalf. There was no net, no fire department to help as of yet. Friends, it was intense.

What makes a soul so desperate to leave this earthly life?

This is the way of the lost soul. The soul without Jesus Christ. There is desperation, there is extreme anxiety and frustration. To them, there is nothing that will make it better; nothing you can do or say that will ease their hurt and anger. You can make no promise that they will believe.

The world is in turmoil. There is fear on every hand; threats of war, famine, unemployment, hunger, drought, and of course ISIS. It is real around the world, not just in places like Italy, Malta, South African and Libya. This danger is global and getting worse.

No wonder people who have no hope are intimidated by the enemy into thinking that suicide is their only recourse! The devil wants to put desperation and fear into every heart that will listen and then he stands there, ready to push them over the edge where we know, and he knows, is everlasting darkness.

We must rescue, we must intercede!

Watching this scene unfold before us, and praying as hard as we have ever prayed in our lives, a policeman and another unidentified man had crept up to the floor just below the young man. He could not see them since he was perched on this pedestal on his stomach with his legs dangling.

a plea to the desperateThe man you see in the blue t-shirt then jumped up to the ledge, risking his life for sure, and with all of his strength shoved the young man as hard as he could to the safety of the balcony.

And the crowd roars.

Are you feeling that desperation in your life at this moment? Have pressures from just trying to get by weighed you down so much that you see no way out? Friend, there is HOPE.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. “ 1 Peter 5:7.

Jesus Christ gave HIS LIFE so you wouldn’t ever have to take your own. When He died on Calvary’s cross, He did away with the need for sacrifice, He paid the price, the ultimate price for YOUR salvation and mine. Look at this promise He left with us:

“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24.

There is nothing in this life worth taking matters into your own hands in desperation. Jesus truly offers a way out; He is the way! He promises to never leave or forsake us even though times are difficult; they may prove discouraging, frustrating and just plain hard at times. Yet He promises to walk with us through EVERYTHING, bringing Hope, Peace and Comfort in our most challenging circumstances.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.

Not only is there hope in this life but He offers eternal salvation and hope for eternity! Yes, things will get better even if it is not in this life. There is no peace that compares with the peace of God. It can carry you through ANYTHING!

“The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17.

He will quiet you with His love; bringing the security that you are desperately seeking.  And then…Hope for today and the promise of living with our Savior in perfect peace for all eternity.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:4. NLT

If you are desperate today, please feel welcome to email me if you need guidance to a Bible-believing church or need prayer. Reach out to family, friends or a pastor; someone who will help you find Hope in Jesus Christ. He loves you more than you can imagine and desires to set you free and give joy unspeakable in the midst of your trouble.

If you are struggling with believing you are forgiven, or feel as if you cannot come back to God, please read my post If God has Forgiven me, why can’t I Forgive Myself here.

Let this song by All Sons & Daughters bless your soul and turn you to a Holy God.

Kingdom2Sharing with The Weekend Brew, Grace and Truth, Sunday Stillness, Still Saturday, Out of my control, Good Morning Mondays, Making your home sing, Living Proverbs 31, Mama Moments Monday, Art of Homemaking, Modest Monday, Testimony Tuesday, UNITE, Tell it to me Tuesdays, Not just Homemaking Party, Wake up Wednesday, Wedded Wednesday, Raising Homemakers, Wholehearted Wednesdays

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