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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Blessed (10/11/12)

By James Dick


The large bus stopped for the checkpoint at the Wall. Four uniformed military guards boarded, visually checked each passenger and then carefully reviewed their identity documents. On several occasions they asked questions. You could hear a pin drop on the bus. All talking ceased, and everyone looked nervous and apprehensive, some downright fearful.

As the guards departed, all on board breathed a sigh of relief. But the bus didnít move; it just remained motionless, waiting for something. Waiting for what?

Suddenly a large mirror lying flat on rollers and attached to a long handle was brought out from the guardhouse. With guards stationed around the bus holding weapons at the ready, a small crew methodically pushed the mirror underneath the bus, carefully scanning the entire undercarriage. What were they looking for?

They were looking for anyone trying to escape tyranny by hiding under the bus. They were looking for their own countryís citizens who were risking their life for freedom by clinging to the underside.

As I returned to my comfortable hotel in West Berlin, I thought about what I just witnessed. And I thought about how terrible it must be to wake up each day wondering what another day of tyranny and constant surveillance would be like. Finally, I thought how lucky we Americans are to have freedom, freedom to choose and freedom to decide what we want to do with our lives.

Since that time, many things have changed here in America. We often ignore our roots, our heritage, our God, and just how blessed we are. We take so much for granted that others would sacrifice their lives for the chance to attain. Compared to much of the world, America is the Land of Milk and Honey and the closest thing to heaven on this earth.

Just like each of us must be reborn in our quest for Christ, our country needs a rebirth of the spirit and the foundation which made us great. We must always remember the central importance of God and his commandments for life. If not, the freedoms and the bounty that have so graciously been given can easily be taken away.

Today we have a very brave military force stationed throughout the world willing to give the ultimate sacrifice so that other Americans might continue to live free. They do their jobs everyday so that we may never be faced with tyranny like that found in East Berlin. This requires the exercise of strength, a strength based on the foundation of God, because true peace requires the willingness to fight for what is right.

Peace without strength is never recognized by tyrants. And it is our job, as private citizens, to pray for God to protect these brave young Americans and to support them with the tools and encouragement that they need. When they know that the folks back home support them, their morale is boosted and their job becomes easier.

There is one other thing we can do. Veterans Day is coming shortly. On that day, take the time to thank a vet, either former or current military, for the job that they do. And take the time on that day, and every day, to honor them with your prayers and love.

Let us pray:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the freedom and abundance that Thou hast provided us. We are truly blessed by your love and grace. And help us to always remember the source of our blessings and to worship Thee and live our lives as Thou wouldst have us do.

And protect and comfort our men and women in uniform. Help them to be strong and vigilant while also retaining their belief in Thee. Let them know that we love them, support them and appreciate them and pray that they will return home safely when their work is done.

And care for the souls of those who departed this life fighting for our freedom, and mend those who have been injured and maimed but still live in pain and suffering.

Lastly, Lord, help us to return our American society to a society based upon freedom and individual rights, and one which continually recognizes Thee as Lord, Savior and Holy Spirit. May we be reborn in the Spirit, Thy Love and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to do your work on behalf of all mankind.

In Jesusí name we pray, Amen.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 10/20/12
Great thoughts and reminders. Thanks for sharing this tribute.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/20/12
This is an interesting devotional. I really liked how you shared a real personal experience to help us understand the Biblical message in your essay. I especially liked the prayer. Some people don't know how to pray and each time the words are read with meaning God hears the prayer again and again. This is a timely remember to thank not only those who serve but their families who sacrifice on behalf of our freedom. So know on November 11, that many will remember your words and offer a prayer of thanksgiving. Nice job.
C D Swanson 10/24/12
Wow. Great job with this piece. The devotional that was within "the entry" was touching, flowed with a great message, adn was just so well written.

Thank you.

God Bless~