6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Have you answered the call and are you living your life in response to a committed faith? Are you a hero for God?

Tomorrow is Memorial Day and as you can see I have asked the members of the military, and the fire department, and the police department to wear their uniforms today.

Especially to our military and now since 9/11 our police, EMS, and fire personnel we want to say thanks.

If you are currently serving our nation in the armed forces, the fire service, EMS service or as a law enforcement officer would you please stand and let’s show them our appreciation.

There are many stories as to the actual beginning of Memorial Day. Over 24 cities lay claim as to being the birthplace of this day, which was originally called Decoration Day.

The one story I like the most is one I found on Wednesday while researching the topic on line. You can find this information by searching Memorial Day on the web.

It reads, “It was 1866 and the United States was recovering from the long and bloody Civil War between the North and the South. Surviving soldiers came home, some wounded, and all with stories to tell.

Henry Welles, a drugstore owner in Waterloo, New York heard the stories and had an idea. He suggested that all the shops in town close for one day to honor the soldiers who were killed in the Civil War and were buried in the Waterloo cemetery.

On the morning of May 5, the townspeople places flowers, wreaths, and crosses on the Northern soldiers in the cemetery.

At about the same time, a retired general by the name of Jonathan Logan planned another ceremony. His ceremony was for those who had survived the war. He led those who fought and survived through their town to the cemetery. When they arrived at the cemetery they decorated their comrades graves with flags.

Neither was a happy celebration, they were memorials for those who had given of themselves for the sake of freedom.

In 1882 the remembrance was officially called Memorial Day and in 1971, President Richard Nixon declared Memorial Day to be the last Monday in May and to be a national holiday." End article

Over the years, the traditional observance for Memorial Day has lost its meaning in some areas. Most Americans see Memorial Day as the beginning of summer, the day the swimming pools open.

I am happy to say our home town still remembers the meaning and the traditions of Memorial Day. Tomorrow at the Winfield Scott Cemetery there will be a Memorial Day service at 10 AM. I hope you will attend.

Cities all around the United States will hopefully be having some kind of remembrance to pay their respect to the men and women who have given all in the service of their country.

But let’s not stop there.

Let’s not limit Memorial Day to just those brave men and women, let’s remember all the heroes who go and serve in their various ways I the armed forces, as fire and EMS workers, as law enforcement workers, let’s remember those who put their lives on the line every day.

And let’s also remember and honor the memories of our loved ones who have died and gone on before us.

One author stated, “Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.”


Father we ask for Your anointing on us today. Place Your anointing on me as Your messenger today.

Open our eyes so that we may see Your Word. Open our ears so that we may hear Your Word. Open our minds so that we may understand Your Word. Open our hearts so that we may receive Your Word today.


In my opinion Memorial Day is about honoring the heroes in our lives. That may be a national hero, it may be a hero like our nephew Joel, it may be a personal hero of mine like my grandparents or it may be my greatest hero Jesus Christ who gave it all, let’s honor them this weekend.

What is a hero?

How would you define a hero?

What characteristics does one need to be a hero?

Webster’s New World Dictionary defines a hero as

“1. A myth and legend, a man of great strength and courage, favored by the gods and in part descended from them. 2. Any man admired for his courage, nobility, or exploits. 3. Any man regarded as an ideal or model. 4. The central, usually sympathetic, male character in a novel, play, poem, etc. 5. A central figure who played an admirable role in any important event or period.”

There are too many people in our society today who are looking for the wrong characteristics in people to determine what it takes to be a hero.

The characteristics of a hero are going to be different for the different age groups. Dani Jo is going to have a different perspective on what a hero looks like than her grandparents are.

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