Summary: Leave the past behind and strive toward the future…to win the prize in Christ Jesus.

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Get up and Win the Race

Great Bend, Kansas

Big Idea: Leave the Past behind and strive toward the future…to win the prize in Christ Jesus.

Introduction: This morning I want to review 2003. I believe it’s a noble thing to do in light of 2004. What are some of the major events that occurred in history?



Bush Presents Case for War in Iraq (Jan. 28): In his second State of the Union speech, president says country must be prepared to attack Iraq, preferably with the backing of the United Nations. Bush also asserts that his $674 billion tax-cut package will help to boost economy and vows to make prescription drug coverage part of Medicare.


U.S. Says Hussein Must Leave Iraq (Feb. 28): In a policy shift, White House says Iraq must disarm and Hussein must go into exile to avoid war.

Space Shuttle Explodes (Feb. 1): Columbia breaks up as it reenters Earth’s atmosphere on its way to Kennedy Space Center, killing all seven crew members. Victims are: Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, Michael P. Anderson, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark, and the first Israeli astronaut, Ilan Ramon. (Feb. 13): Investigators think a hole in the left wing let superheated gas flow into the shuttle, contributing to crash.

Bush Sends Congress Budget (Feb. 3): Fiscal year 2004 budget totals $2.23 trillion and predicts record deficits in coming years.

Club Fire Kills Dozens in Rhode Island (Feb. 21): Pyrotechnics display set off during concert by band Great White ignites an inferno that quickly engulfs entire building at West Warwick. Death toll reaches 100.

Court Upholds Ban on Word “God” (Feb. 28): Federal appeals court in San Francisco lets stand earlier ruling that recitation in public schools of the words “under God” in Pledge of Allegiance violates the separation of church and state.


Mystery Illness Strikes Asia (March 15): World Health Organization calls virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a “worldwide health threat.” (March 19): WHO reports illness may be caused by a virus in the paramyxoviridae family. (March 25): U.S.-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it thinks a “previously unrecognized virus from the coronavirus family” is the root of the illness

War in Iraq Begins (March 20): U.S. launches Operation Iraqi Freedom. Called a “decapitation attack,” the predawn air strike targets Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi leaders in Baghdad. Ground troops enter the country, crossing into southern Iraq from Kuwait. (March 21): Major phase of war begins with heavy aerial attacks on Baghdad and other cities. Campaign, dubbed “shock and awe,” intended to promptly overwhelm Iraqi forces. (March 23): Coalition troops encounter fierce resistance near the southern city of Nasiriya. Iraqi forces capture 12 members of the 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company. (March 25): U.S. modifies its ground strategy as Iraqi militias, called fedayeen, attack coalition ground troops as they advance on Baghdad. (March 26): About 1,000 paratroopers land in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq to open a northern front. (March 27): U.S. bombards Baghdad, targeting government buildings. (March 28): With Umm Qasr freed of mines, first shipment of humanitarian aid arrives in Iraq. Iraqi suicide bomber strikes near Najaf, killing four U.S. soldiers from the Third Infantry Division. (March 30): Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld deflects criticism that the U.S. has not deployed enough Army ground troops in Iraq. (March 30): U.S. Marines and Army troops launch first attack on Iraq’s Republican Guard, about 65 miles outside Baghdad.

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