Remembering those who sacrificed for our freedom

Ponder a moment on Memorial Day the cost of our freedom.

 

 

 

 

 

Land of the free because of the brave

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Those of us living in the United States are blessed with religious freedom, political freedom, and economic freedom because those who went before us fought for freedom.

Many of those fighting offered up their life for freedom and the offer was accepted.

I am humbled and grateful to God that some of my ancestors are included in the long list of those who fought. I am especially humbled that a great, great grand-uncle is in the list of those who died in the defense of freedom.

Because of their sacrifice, I get to enjoy this kind of freedom:

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He is risen!

Death on a cross Friday isn’t the end of the story. The tomb is empty on Sunday, because HE IS RISEN! Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Since the purpose of this blog is to celebrate and advocate for freedom, I shall exercise my God-given right to religious freedom. I heartily encourage you to do the same in whatever form you choose.

Or don’t do anything if you choose. That is the point of freedom!

The following is a repost of my comment four years ago on Easter morning.

 

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

This morning my wife and I attended a sunrise service. Haven’t done that for many years. A wonderful way to celebrate this day. On our way to celebrate with our church family momentarily.

Here’s a selection of 4 videos to help your celebration:

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To all those serving in the American military or who have served

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

I was on active duty in the U.S. Air Force a mere four years. I never got within 3,000 miles of hostile action against American forces. To top it off, my small contribution was decades ago.

As a result, I am squeamishly uncomfortable accepting the appreciation when someone tells me “Thanks for your service.”

It took me a few years to get to a place where I could accept those comments.

I now graciously and proudly accept those expressions of appreciation from my fellow Americans, not because of what I did so long ago, but on behalf of all those soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen who do not have someone looking them in the eye, shaking their hand, and saying “thanks.”

So for all those troops pulling alerts, standing watch, scheduling logistics, or taking fire, please know that vast numbers of Americans are grateful for your service.

I pass on to you their thanks.

You are there, not here, so many people have thanked me instead. It is you they are really thanking.

While today we remember with gratitude those who did not return, I hope those who are serving today hear the appreciation.

I celebrate this Independence Day by using my freedom of speech and freedom of religion

Thought about putting on my blogs some cool patriotic visuals to celebrate the 239th anniversary of the greatest country in the world that has provided more political, economic, and religious freedom to more people than any country anywhere anytime. There are lots of nice looking things available on the ‘net.

Also thought about pulling up some photos of flags I’ve taken over the years and creating a visual celebration.

I decided to do something completely different.

Of the large number of freedoms that we humans have because we exist, which are also recognized by the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, I particularly cherish freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

So yesterday (which was the federal holiday), today (the actual anniversary), and tomorrow I exercise those freedoms.

(Cross-post from my other blog, Outrun Change.)

Freedom of speech

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In addition to gracious help from Indians, what moved the Pilgrims from starving to thriving?

The first winter for the Pilgrims was terrible. Between starvation, pneumonia, and tuberculosis, about half died.

The second winter was terrible, again with little food. Those who survived the first two winters only did so by the goodness of the Native Americans who graciously shared their food.

The third winter was far better, with plenty of food. In a few years, there was enough abundance that the Pilgrims had paid off their debt to those who financed their trip. They were alive, thriving, and free of debt.

Those are a few highlights of the Pilgrims’ story told by Karl Denninger in his article from 2006, which is reposted at Market-Ticker:  The Truth About Thanksgiving.

What caused the change from starving to thriving is the part of the story I never heard growing up.

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25 years of freedom for East Germany. And much of the world.

I was on active duty during the Cold War and fulfilled my committment several years before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

I recall with wonderful joy the day the Berlin Wall fell.

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Pondering the 4th of July makes me wish everyone on the planet enjoyed economic, religious, and political freedom

Been pondering today how thrilled I am to have:

  • the political freedom to write five blogs,
  • the economic freedom to run my own company the way I wish and see as much success as my effort, skills, & drive can create independent of the income level of my father when I was born or where his parents came from, and
  • the religious freedom to worship as I see the bible suggests worship should be conducted, in a church where the preacher preaches the word as we in my fellowship believe it ought to be preached, and I can teach the bible as we believe it is meant to be taught.

(cross posted from my other blog, Outrun Change.)

That freedom is a rarity on the earth today and unheard of for all of history until around, oh, say 300 years ago.

Oh how I wish that everyone on the planet could be blessed with that economic, political, and religious freedom.

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12 situations when it might matter to you that the Feds are tracking everything you text or email and making note of everywhere you go.

(Cross-post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

Recent news reports indicate federal intelligence agencies are gathering up a lot more information than we knew. That data is available to undisclosed lists of unknown people and will be retained for a very long time.

So what?

Here’s just a few circumstances in which you might not want access to your data by a long list of unidentified persons from various federal, state, or local agencies who were granted access to various unidentified parts of the various databases: (more…)

The drip, drip, drip of news about how we are being watched. Our knowledge of the scale of surveillance is expanding by the day.

(Cross-post from my other blog, Outrun Change.)

Seems like every morning there is a big story with details of the vast array of surveillance conducted by the federal government. Here is a broad overview of news in the last 2 weeks.

First report was metadata of every phone call at Verizon is passed to the feds. More important than the number of every person you talk to is your location on a moment by moment basis.

Then we learn data from the other carriers, AT&T and Sprint, is scooped up.

Then the news is the feds are scooping up credit card transactions, e-mails, and Internet activity. Although capturing all e-mails as been in the news here and there for close to a decade.

We learn nine Internet companies are passing on their info including

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple

The Post Office scans the front and back of every piece of mail.

Today the report is thousands of firms are swapping data with a variety of federal agencies.  One specific example is Microsoft giving info on day 0 software bugs to federal agencies before patches are released.

Many companies voluntarily turn over information, or product specs, or system design, or data and receive information in return.

In addition, one specific companies receive a letter promising no criminal enforcement and many companies get letters providing protection from civil suits.

The steady drip of information on the surveillance society hasn’t slowed. Just as a wild guess, there’s probably more news to come.

Surveillance society – A very bad week for privacy.

(Cross-post from my other blog, Outrun Change.)

Joke of the week – if my computer or website crashes, can I get a backup copy from NSA?

Lots of publicity this week on extensive federal monitoring of citizens and non citizens. No time to write a full post, so just a quick note to put some dots on the page. Hopefully will have time to connect them later

Four massive stories this week:

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Thank you

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,

who has given us freedom of religion.

 It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,

who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet,

who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,

who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,

who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician,

Who has given us the right to vote.

source unknown

Why the difference between the excitement and opportunities in technology news and the horrible, terrible, depressing everything-falling-apart news in the political realm?

I challenge you to this experiment:

Spend a few days reading nothing but technology news. Then spend a few days reading nothing but political news. For the first few days [you will] see an exciting world of innovation and creativity where everything is getting better all the time. In the second period [you will] see a miserable world of cynicism and treachery where everything is falling apart.

Why is there such a gulf between those two worlds?

Quote from here.

This is what religious freedom looks like

Yesterday one-third of the people on the planet celebrated the most holy day of their faith – Easter.

Yesterday was just another Sunday for two-thirds of the people on the planet.

As I understand it, tomorrow marks the last day of Passover, a high point of the Jewish faith.  Passover celebrates the exodus from slavery as Moses led the people of Israel toward the promised land. For those reading this blog who are Jews, I sincerely hope you have a wonderful and blessed time of celebration.

For everyone else, I sincerely hope you had a relaxing weekend, maybe got to sleep in late. I’m quite serious. I hope you had a nice, fun, refreshing weekend.

Here’s what religious freedom looks like:

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An old joke shows the value of religious freedom

There is an old joke poking fun at denominationalism. That’s the idea that my denomination is right and since you and I have some subtle doctrinal differences, you are completely wrong.

Here it goes…

A guy was walking along on a hill near the edge of a cliff enjoying scenery that can’t help but make you think of God.  He slipped over the edge. As he was holding on for dear life he screamed for help.

Another guy heard the screams and ran to assist. After huffing and puffing and pulling, the rescuer pulled the helpless fellow back to safety.

Thanks be to God for your help,” said the rescued.

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