Niceville Campus eLetter
Thursday, May 23, 2019
From our Life Group Minister
Memorial Day Weekend has always been a very special time for me and my family growing up. We would all get together and celebrate with a picnic filled with all our family favorites – Mom’s potato salad, Grandma’s jello salad, awesome spiral cut ham, and the season’s first watermelon and corn on the cob. We would play lawn games, drag out the sprinklers and kiddie pool, and even had an all-out squirt gun battle for adults and kids alike. Memorial Day weekend represented the beginning of the summer fun. It wasn’t until I was older that I understood the true meaning of Memorial Day.
I joined the military after college not really knowing what I was getting myself into. I just knew it was where I was called to serve. My fellow airmen and their families became our family. We moved often and developed more extensions to our family. It was through a military spouse that I was introduced to Christ for the first time and came to accept him as my Lord and Savior. We attended our first church with a group of military families. My children went to their first Vacation Bible School at the invitation of other military children. I attended Bible study during lunch hour at work with my fellow military folks. The center of our family became focused on Christ and living for Him rather than ourselves or the world.
It was when I became a Christian and understood the great sacrifice Christ made for me on the cross and through his resurrection that I started to understand the true sacrifice made by the military members and their families. Christ was willing to go to the cross and die to give me freedom from the grip, shame and guilt of sin. Those answering the call to serve in the military and ultimately giving their lives in the process also gave their lives for the cause of freedom. They made the decision that we are worth fighting and dying for. It was also at this time that a fellow military friend of mine lost his life while on active duty. He left behind a wife, 3 year old son, and 6 month old daughter. They were not only an awesome military family but also a devoted Christian family. His wife told me at his funeral that she and the kids would miss him dearly but he died doing what God called him to do – serving the cause of Christ and the call to ensure the freedom of this country. So this weekend as we celebrate Memorial Day with our friends and families I hope we can all stop and remember those paying the ultimate price of their lives so that we have the freedom of worshipping together and sharing the gospel of Christ with others.
Stephanie Case, Life Group Minister