Tag Archive | Marines


knivesA boy from my kids’ high school was shot dead this past weekend. It didn’t happen at school, nevertheless, officials with metal detectors were on campus bright and early Monday morning.

Now, my boys are knife lovers. They pore over magazines about knives and our computer monitoring software is always warning me about visits to sites showcasing knives, swords and other various sharp objects. But they know better than to bring one to school. But I still frequently worry that they’ll forget they’ve stuck one in their pocket as they get ready for school, simply out of habit. Hasn’t happened yet, but the risk is there.

And unfortunately, for a friend of my son’s, that risk grew bones when he was caught that Monday morning with a pocketknife on campus. For now, he’s serving a 10-day suspension. There’s still a possibility that he could be expelled. What a shame that would be. He’s a good kid. But, as my son put it, he’s an idiot.

A young marine I know could have served as a VIP motorcade driver. His teenage driving record, however, wasn’t up to snuff. Too many moving violations. His love for speed as a teen tripped him up too many times. He wasn’t chosen for that position.

Another friend of mine stumbled just one time and had premarital sex. The result? A beautiful baby, but a changed life as a rushed wedding followed.

Do those who speed always get caught? Obviously not. Does every sexual encounter lead to pregnancy? Again, obviously not. Does every student who knowingly—or forgetfully—brings a knife on campus get busted for it? No. But why run the risk? As the saying goes, If you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.

My 6th grade class takes a field trip every year to a local serpentarium. The owner has been bit 17 times by poisonous snakes. Twice, he’s almost died. His hands are gnarled and bent and stubby because of his encounters with these dangerous serpents. Does he get bit every time he handles one? No. He thinks the job is worth the risks.

Is the risk of expulsion worth bringing a knife on campus?

Is the risk of unplanned teenage pregnancy, even if you’re practicing so called safe sex, worth the momentary thrill?

I’m praying for my son’s friend, that the administration will look at his record and determine that the suspension has been enough of a lesson.  I’m also praying that this has been a sobering experience for my boys. That maybe they’ll make doubly sure they’re not inadvertently carrying a knife on campus.

I trust my boys not to do something stupid, but I also know that they are boys, and they are teenagers, and they don’t always think things through. Better that they are forewarned so that they may be forearmed.

Knives. Cars. Sex. In and of themselves, not so risky. But use them in a way not intended by God and/or law and you chance encountering a life-altering situation.

Is it worth it?

photo from http://www.news.bbc.co.uk

God Bless America

Today is Memorial Day. Unlike Veteran’s Day, which is set aside to honor those who have served our country in military service, Memorial Day is to remember those who have actually paid the ultimate sacrifice: They lost their lives in the service of their country. Neither my dad nor my brother ever served in the military, but my grandfather did. He earned a Purple Heart for being injured in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in WWI. I also had a great-uncle I never got to meet because he died in WWII. And my uncle is a WWII vet. My father-in-law is a veteran. David’s grandfather was a veteran. My pastor’s son is an active-duty marine.

We are touched every day by those in the military service. But not all of us have experienced the death of a loved one because of it. My eldest child has aspirations of being a fighter pilot in the Air Force. I fully support him in that effort, but the idea of him actually flying in war scares me to death. He thinks it sounds exciting and adventurous. I only picture his handsome, youthful body being blown to bits. Would I hold him back? Not in a million years. Even if at this moment, his idea is not that of protecting freedom but simply doing what he loves, I think his goal is honorable.

Some people deride our military and our leaders by saying they have callously sent young men off to fight needless battles in foreign countries. I picture this:

Say you were out watering your lawn one warm summer afternoon, living the high life, loving your freedom, when all of a sudden you hear a scream from the house next door. What in the world is going on over there?  you might wonder. You might even look closer to see what was happening. You might see a husband beating his wife and children. You would be shocked, or maybe even annoyed that this drama is playing out next to your quiet yard.

But, you may think, that’s their problem. Let them take care of it. It’s not on my property they’re having this trouble. 

Really? Wouldn’t you call the police and report a case of domestic violence? If you saw someone threatening a young child with a gun, wouldn’t you do something about it, even if it wasn’t your own family? Or is your motto “don’t get involved”?

That’s how I pictured the situation in Iraq years ago. The people were being beaten down, killed, evilly oppressed by Sadam Hussein. It was not right for us to just sit by and do nothing. When people can’t fight for themselves, we have a moral obligation to fight for them. Proverbs 31:8 says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed” (New Living Translation.)

Do our leaders always make the right decisions? No. Is war a terrible thing? Yes. Is it necessary to battle evil? Absolutely. I’m no war monger. Ask my boys. I hate guns and fighting and weapons of all kinds. But do I believe the oppressed need to be fought for? Yes.

Thank you, all you who have sent loved ones off to their deaths in the service of our country, to help ensure freedom everywhere, not just on American soil. I’m so sorry for your loss.

God bless America.

Thankful today for:

321. All our military personnel: past, present and future

322. A day to remember those who have died in service to their country

323. Finally being able to use my massage coupon from my sisters

324. Friends coming over this afternoon

325. Only a bit of wind from Beryl (as of yet)

326. The testimony of a family I don’t even know during the hard-fought battle of their infant son. He lost the battle yesterday and is now in the arms of Jesus.