When I look at our nation's flag and I see the red stripes, I recognize the sacrifice paid for freedom. Generally, soldiers have died for our freedom. They died in Korea and Vietnam because of the threat of communism. It had to be stopped somewhere. The Persian Gulf War was a little more complicated, but we decided it affected freedom. Afghanistan and Iraq are the war against Islamic jihadism. When certain allies are attacked, we say it's an extension of our freedoms being threatened.
I remember Muhammad Ali, around the time he refused the draft in the late 60s, said, "I ain't got no quarrel with those Viet Cong." That was typical fare from protesters in those days. The Cambodians didn't have any quarrel with the Communists either, but after Vietnam fell, one and a half million of them were killed from 1975 to 1979.
Some of you know my son is in the military, just finishing up his academic career last week at the United States Military Academy at West Point. This summer he will act as a Platoon Leader to around 40 third class cadets as they complete their mandatory class wide summer training event at Camp Buckner. Because he had yet to complete that requirement because of various circumstances, he will not graduate until August 10 along with 15-20 others from his class of over 900. There is actually May, June, August, and December graduation at West Point. That same day he will commission as a 2nd lieutenant in the Army. He will report to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma towards the end of October to begin more training specific to his job as an officer in Field Artillery, and stationed at Fort Sill for 4 years.
My oldest daughter is finishing her first year at Cal State University East Bay in Hayward, CA. She travels by public transportation (BART) there every week as a full time student, living at home. The year has gone very well for her. She does fine in class and she has a group of fellow students with a more similar world view with which she has acquaintance and to whom she talks about Jesus and evangelizes. She has also worked two half days a week as a teacher's aid in our school, as well as tutored a few students. She plays her violin twice every Sunday at our church and sings in the choir.
The two youngest daughters are in 10th and 7th grade, finishing up this week. We just had a violin recital and here is the oldest of the two playing Beethoven's Sonata #5 "Spring" in F Major, 1st Movement.
We've got a lot going on this year with my son's graduation our in New York and working on remodeling our house. We continue on the next book in our Word of Truth Conference. I teach four classes, history and economics at Bethel Christian Academy, one graduate pastoral training course, and a first year Greek class. I'm preaching through Luke and 2 Corinthians, and teaching through the historical books of the OT. We evangelize our area. There are many, many other things, including being on the board of two orchestras, one of which we're right in the middle of hiring a new OM. And, of course, I write full time here ( ;-D ).