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A Moment of Reflection: Memorial Day

1 min read

Memorial Day Image

I am touched when friends and family members take the time out of their day to reach out and say "thank you" to me for my service in the U.S. Navy, but Memorial Day holds a special place of significance. 

Memorial Day was established by the U.S. Congress in 1971 to honor those who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Many people will observe the day by holding barbecues, attending community parades, spending time with the family at the pool, or just relaxing and enjoying a day off from work or school. However a great number of Americans will observe the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day to reflect on those who died in service to America or wear red poppies, a symbol of rememberance to honor those who have died in war. Whatever you choose to do on this Memorial Day, I would ask that you take just a moment of your time to reflect on those who made the ultimate sacrifice and to say a brief prayer for the families and loved ones they left behind.

 

A Letter to My Sons on Father’s Day (2008)

4 min read

“godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6 (New International Version)

Malcolm and Matthias,

As your father, I’ve had the opportunity to think about the life ahead of you and my role in trying to prepare you to be strong and men of God. When I looked at each of you closely for the first time, I struggled with the questions most fathers ask: “Will I be able to guide you?”, “Will I be able to provide for you?”, and “What kind of man will you be?”. The dreams and goals I had for you during those early moments have not changed. I not only want you to grow, but I want you to flourish. I want you to put your marriage and children first, and I never want my mistakes to visit onto you. You are at a wonderful stage of life with so many wonderful stages still to come. I don’t know what trials you will face in the coming years, but I hope to be there to help you through them. To help you prepare, I offer this letter and the words it contains.

Be open to new things, experiences, and people in your life. When your mind is closed to new people and you don’t open your heart to them, you may avoid pain, but you also lose the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Some of these people will be there for you during the toughest times of your life and create some of the best times of your life.

I must tell you that life is not a competition, but in your life you may meet people who will try to outdo you in school, in college, or at work. They may try to have a nicer car, a larger house, or nicer clothes. They may view life is a competition — they must do better than others to be happy. However, you should know that when you spend your life always trying to impress and outdo others you are wasting your gifts. Instead, learn to enjoy life. Make it a journey of constant happiness, learning, improvement, and most importantly love.

Love. There is no better rule in life. If there is a single rule to live your life by, it should be this one: Live your life by the rule of love. While success or selfishness rules the lives of others, you should be ruled by love. A life ruled by success can be stressful, unhappy, and shallow. A life ruled by selfishness and putting your needs above the needs of others can lead to a lonely and unhappy life. Love your wife, your children, your mother and I, and your friends. Love them with all of your heart. However, you should also show love to your neighbors, your coworkers, strangers, and even your enemies; and please don’t forget to love yourself. You are not ugly, dumb, or unworthy of love unless you think you are. You are a wonderful human being, worthy of happiness and love if you think you are. Love yourself for the wonderful person you are.

I love you both and I always will. You are starting out on an incredibly wonderful journey, and I will be there for you whenever I can. At this point in your lives, you can’t read this letter or understand what this letter is about, but my prayer is that someday you will look back at this time and know that from the start you were important to me and I love you both. When you are able to read this, I hope you will find some wisdom and value in what I share with you and I hope I am doing right by the two of you.

Love,

Your daddy

 

A Letter to My Sons on Father’s Day (2007)

2 min read

“We are born male. We must learn to be men.” Kent Nerburn, Letters to My Son: A Father’s Wisdom on Manhood, Life, and Love

Dear Malcolm and Matthias,

Being your dad is the greatest privilege in the world. Cradling you both in my arms; lulling you to sleep on my chest; each of these moments are special to me. I’m tempted to say that I can’t wait to see what your future holds; the joys and challenges that await you and the legacy your life will create, but I’m enjoying both of you too much right now, just as you are. My prayer is that you both cherish your life’s journey as much as I am cherishing them today.

If there is one thing I successfully pass on to both of you it is: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength, and love your neighbors as yourself.” These are old truths that can be combined with the strength of your character. With this you have the power to change the world. These aren’t original thoughts, but they are some of the best principles to build your life around. God, who fearfully and wonderfully formed you, deserves every ounce of your love and affection.

Throughout life’s challenges, God will provide for you and will never steer you wrong. He will empower you to fulfill a destiny that’s exceedingly abundantly above all you, or anyone, could ever dream of. Leave your mark in this world by loving each and every person your life touches. God first loved you, so be sure to share that same love with your future brides, your children, your mother and me; your friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and even people you meet in passing; the people who love you and the people who don’t. True love carries no conditions, so give your love, expecting nothing in return. Love gives freely and in abundance and this allows it to multiply and grow.

You are God’s handiwork, uniquely designed to be comfortable in your own shoes. Create your own path and impact the lives you will as only you can. You may not be perfect in all that you do, but learn to appreciate your weaknesses, for in them; God will teach you what your greatest strengths are.

Love,
Your Daddy

 

A Prayer Request for Our Military Members

1 min read

Originally printed in the April 2007 edition of The Voice.

"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen."

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Our nation has troops all over the world, from Cuba to Korea, Afghanistan to Iraq. Whether or not you support military operations abroad, as Christians, we know the power of prayer and are called to pray for those who need additional strength and safety. The next time your family begins grace, say a prayer for our troops and their families.

Of all the gifts you could give a U.S. Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine deployed in harm's way, prayer is the very best!!!

© 2010— — Absolon Kent. All Rights Reserved.