Next Generation Fellowship

Celebration of Freedom

Welcome to this celebration of freedom on this Memorial Day weekend.

My name is Ed Hurter and I will be your co-host this hour along with Dana Woodall.

We have  some celebratory music for you all to sing..  Many have heard these songs but not sure of the words.  Now you can all join in as the words will be on the screen.

Band and singers to sing :  If I had a hammer    This land is my land this land is your land…

Thank you  Band members and vocalists by name. ……………….

Jim Carlson:  Prayer

Dana:  Announcements:

Dana: Meet and Greet

Dana:  The Memorial Day holiday began as Decoration Day to honor Union soldiers who died while serving in the Civil War.  Over time it became know as Memorial Day and expanded to recognize and honor military service members who perished during any armed conflict.

In order to be recognized on Memorial Day, you can’t in attendance.  You have to be dead.  Sounds kid of morbid when you put it that way, but yet there seems to be something significant about these deaths.  How can that be?  If someone passes on from an accident or illness we’ll recognize them at a service and maybe in a newspaper obituary, but there is not much going to be a national holiday dedicated to honoring those individuals. What is it about perishing in combat that makes the entire nation stop what its doing for an entire day to say thank you?

Perhaps it has something to do with choice.  For most of US history, our military has been made up of volunteers.  For any given service member who’s died in the line of duty recently, they might still be alive if they had not chosen that career path.  They knew the

Risks before going in.  They knew that their individual outcome night not be ideal, but they signed up anyway.  Why would they do that?  Sure the military offers a few incentive like the GI bill to attend college after service but does that explain the droves of young people who willingly join front line combat units?

It’s sometimes called the ultimate sacrifice, What is sacrifice?  Sacrifice is defined as surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.  Some might consider sacrifice taking one step back so you can take two steps forward or investing a dollar so you can get back five dollars.  Is that a step back or is that dollar invested sacrifice?  Not really because you got it back and then some.

How about if I give up smoking so I can have healthier lungs or if I stop over eating so I can handle steps?  Am I sacrificing the cigarettes or that carton of ice  cream?  No that is not a sacrifice because I don’t prize or experience gratitude for those vices.

Sacrifice is when you give up something that’s good, genuinely good and beneficial to your experience.  It’s gone forever never to return, but…you get something even more valuable in return.

I only hope this discomfort I feel, this living sacrifice, was the right choice. I know I prayed and I got the direction from God. It really wasn’t my choice at all. I was led down this path. I know that this living sacrifice is holy; it’s acceptable unto God, which is my reasonable service.

Anyone recognize that? Yeah, that’s from the Bible! Paul says it to the Romans in Romans 12:1 “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

`When you’ve made a sacrifice and you’re missing the valuable thing that’s now gone here’s what you do:

  1. God made the decision. You didn’t. Even if you don’t think you prayed or you think you were forced into the sacrifice or you didn’t really have a choice for some reason, stop that thought. God is your pilot and leads you whether you like it or not, whether you acknowledge it or not. Folks God’s in charge, and you can rest in that government.

2.     Praise the new benefit.

3.   See the silver lining. All right, so your thought strayed back to missing the old small benefit. That’s ok. You have permission to forgive yourself. Now we’re going to play the ‘Silver Lining’ game where you make up a story of who is now benefiting from your sacrifice and how they are benefiting.

ED:  Looking back at my life I see where I have followed God’s will to defend the many freedoms for mankind.  Whether it was at our countries first line of defense at the demilitarized zone at the 38th parallel in Korea, to protecting high profile officials,

or being a first responder to unknown dangers which lie ahead.  And in my

personal life sacrificing my personal agenda of what I wanted my life to be. By listening

for guidance and asking where I can be placed to best serve God and mankind.  Service also includes humility.  But though all of these sacrifices I have been gracefully prepared and supported when I raise my hand and say “Here I am send me”.  As one sacrifices self to God we also will be given unseen blessings to an expected end.  General George S. Patton wrote’ “Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of Victory.”  What a feeling of joy when we listen to God and win the battle over anything that would exalted itself it’s self against the knowledge of God.  Then we bring into captivity every

thought to the obedience of Christ and enjoy the promised freedom.


God and our military gives us freedom we can celebrate everyday. The military is defending our rights to freedom which we all are thankful for and enjoy every day.  We will also address another freedom we have, the freedom to enter into the holiest, the realm of God.  The military defends the Bill of Rights and we defend our rights to freedom as promised by God.  Wars are taking place, one a material plane and the other on a spiritual.  We can examine these freedoms and how we can continue to achieve and maintain our rights.  All freedoms have a disciple to it.

ED:  Dana and I would like to honor the military personnel present in our fellowship.

Please raise your hand if your are present today so we can acknowledge your service to our country. Douwon Harris, Charles Walters, Dick Davenport and Dana Woodall

DANA: Borough Holmes, Jim Carlson,, and Ed Hurter…..Thank you all for your service.

ED: Freedom is promised to us in the Bible.  This freedom is not freedom from something but freedom to be. Freedom to be what God has created for us. The freedom to enter into the holiest, the realm of God where all blessedness and promises are revealed.  Entrance into this mental freedom is not easy.  It also takes allegiance to God.  Our allegiance is to worship one God and live the 10 commandments and the Sermon on the mount.  To say it plainly Loving God and Loving Man.  The 10 commandments are commandments of freedom not limitations placed on us. When we abide in God we experience the Truths of the commandments.  Then  we are free from beliefs that hold us in bondage.  Then we are recognized as His children and enjoying the Freedom given to all God’s children.  I have experienced this freedom in my life where all fears are cast out.  Peace and harmony reigns.  I am sure everyone has experienced this freedom in your life.  What a joy it is to dwell in the secret place of the most high and dwell with our heavenly Father/Mother God.  No one knows where your secret place is.  It is known only to you and God.  No one can enter into it without your consent.  This is where Love is revealed and freedom is found.  Your heritage as children of God comes to light with all its glory.

Loving one another is a powerful weapon when our freedom is threatened.  Peace begins with each one of us. How many times have I heard, “If the other guys does this or that

then I will love him.” I am sure the other guy is saying the same thing. No one wins unless someone takes the first step and Loves, unconditionally. Paul writes to us in II Corinthians 10:3-5, “ For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the fresh :  (For our weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty though God to the pulling down of strong holds,)  Casting down imaginations, and every high things that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”  Jesus has told us that “no greater Love is there than to lay down your lives for another.

Wars in most cases are a breakdown of communication of hardened egos, unwilling to negotiate a peaceful solutions.  Wars are often about greed, ignorance, hatred of others religion, other ethnicity.  It is a war of hate of self which ultimately is a hatred of God.

DANA: An American theologian by the name of Mary Baker Eddy wrote the textbook for Christian Science .  In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she writes to us, “The one EGO, the one Mind or Spiritual called God, is infinite individuality, which supplies all form and comeliness and which reflects reality and divinity in individual spiritual man and things.”  Mrs. Eddy writes on “Mortals are egotists,  They believe themselves to be independent workers, personal authors, and even privileged originals of something which Deity would not or could not create.”

David was a man of war who recognized that the only way to defeat the enemy was to defeat the enemy in the spiritual realm first. He recognized the real battle ground for

All issues in life was prayer.  We have much to do in defeating a belief of a power apart from God.  A church that prays together stays together because it becomes a powerful

Church.  A powerful church is one the enemy tries to destroy for he foresees his

Fall from power.

DVD of the change of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery.  

ED:  Each Memorial Day weekend we are reminded of the military memorial graveyards where valor rests.  If we were to gauge a nation’s character by how it treats its war dead, the Tomb of the unknown soldier and it sentinels embody the height of American Pride and dignity.

Let us stand for the playing of Taps and remain Standing for Reveille.  At the funeral of Winston Churchhill taps were played followed by the playing of reveille, a call of duty to arise for the story is not over.

ED:  nods to the bugler to start.

Bugler  PLAYs  TAPS  and   REVEILLE   … 

DANA: What the Folds Mean When Folding the Flag

There is meaning behind the way you fold a flag

American flag etiquette demands that the flag be folded into a triangle, with only the blue field and stars visible. The meaning behind this particular way of folding is so that the flag resembles a tri-corner hat, like the ones worn by Revolutionary War soldiers led by George Washington.

The triangular shape of a folded flag is achieved with 12 folds, and each fold has its own significance.

Folds 1, 2 and 3

  • The first fold is a symbol of life. The second fold is a symbol of belief in eternal life. The third fold is in honor and remembrance of veterans who fought for the United States.
  • The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, signifying that we must trust in God for guidance in times of both war and peace. The fifth fold is a tribute to the United States. The sixth fold is for our hearts and devotion–with the United States of America.
  • The seventh fold is a tribute to the armed forces, because they protect our country. The eighth flag is for the one who went into the “valley of the shadow of death.” The ninth fold is a tribute to the giving and nurturing nature of womanhood.
  • The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he gives children to defend the United States. The eleventh fold, dedicated to Jewish citizens, represents the bottom of the seal of King David and King Solomon. The twelfth fold, dedicated to Christian citizens, represents eternity and glorifies God.
  • At army and navy bases, the flag is lowered daily and special care is taken so that no part of the flag touches the ground. Once the flag is folded in its 12 parts, the red and white stripes are wrapped into the blue, signifying the light of day vanishing into the darkness of the night.

Folds 4, 5 and 6

Folds 7, 8 and 9

Folds 10, 11 and 12


DANA:  GROUP SHARING:   Let us get into groups of 3-4 and share ideas how humility, service, and sacrifice has been used in your battles in life.

DANA:  Offering and band returns to stage.

Final hymn:  Let there be peace on earth.

ED:  Benediction:  John 14: 17  “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”   AMEN


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