Some People Don’t Come Home

What should we remember on Memorial Day? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Maybe it’s to my advantage here that I just don’t care for barbeques. It could be without that, I don’t get caught up in seeing Memorial Day as a day off. It is for me as I work at the campus post office and my boss told me to come in another day this week since the mail would be practically non-existent today.

However, even knowing that, I didn’t make any particular plans today. I don’t know what is open on campus and what isn’t right now. I have yet to go outside of the apartment today, but I will be soon. I make it a point to get out at least a little bit every day.

I do know that a lot of you will be having barbeques today, but please remember about celebrations. Celebrations are to celebrate something. It does seem odd to think of a day like this as a celebration day even as I write this. We have people who have died today. Why are we celebrating?

But don’t we do the same thing at funerals? I have only officiated at one funeral in my life and it was my grandmother’s. I remember that at the end, I became the M.C. of the night as we all stood one by one and told stories about my grandmother. Were we all sad in one sense? Of course! But yet we laughed as well and smiled as we remembered her life. These ceremonies are even referred to as a celebration of life.

That should be what today is. Today, we remember that some people did make the ultimate sacrifice. Some husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers never came home. Some wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters never came home. We remember them today. Their loved ones remember them every day.

It would be a shame for people to celebrate today and yet never once think about those people. Here’s an idea for you. If you know someone who has lost a loved one, invite them to your event today if you have one. Let it be a celebration of that loved one and an appreciation for their sacrifice. If the guest is fine with it, perhaps they should give a talk about their loved one and what they meant to them and how faithfully they served.

At the same time, make sure you are kind to those who have lost loved ones. The fact some people mourn does not mean no one should celebrate. I mourn still that I am divorced, but that does not mean I do not want people to enjoy marriage. If anything, I want them to enjoy it all the more. Of course, it would be quite unkind to seriously come up to me with the intention of telling me how great marriage is not to say that it is, but to remind me that I don’t have marriage anymore.

To those who lost loved ones today, we appreciate the sacrifice they made for our country. May we never lose sight that that freedom they fought for must always be defended lest it be lost again. By upholding true freedom today, we can still honor the sacrifice that these people made.

Happy Memorial Day!

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)


Abraham and Sacrifices

What could you have to give up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday, one of the pastors at my church spoke on Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac. Normally today, I would write about Memorial Day, but I honestly think these two ideas tie in together. After all, Memorial Day is all about being willing to make a sacrifice and acknowledging those who did make it.

When we look at the story of Abraham and Isaac, we who are Christians, and Jews many times, look at it and see a great story of devotion and sacrifice. Skeptics of Christianity look at the story and see God as a wicked monster and Abraham as a psychopath. For we in the apologetics world, our natural tendency is to leap into action and explain how they’re misunderstanding the story.

However, before we do that, let’s consider that they are at least taking the story seriously.

Consider what Abraham is being asked to do. He has wanted a son his whole life most likely and has been asked to sacrifice the son of the promised covenant that God Himself gave him. Also, Isaac was strong enough to go to the top of the mountain alone with Abraham and to carry the wood for the sacrifice so this is no toddler we’re talking about, but someone who is practically an adult at this point.

The way the story is told is also interesting. God tells Abraham to do this and the text in a practically nonchalant way says that Abraham gets up the next morning to do this. While Sarah dies in the next chapter, she is not mentioned here. If she was present, one can wonder how Abraham told the news to her if he even did.

What if it were you? What if you had to give up an only child? It might even be harder if you had multiple children and you had to choose one to sacrifice. Sophie’s Choice is never easy to make. How could it be done?

Abraham had to make a real decision. He had to really choose that he was going to go through with this. This was also the ultimate trust in God. God had specifically promised that it was through Isaac that the covenant would be fulfilled. Abraham had to trust that either he would be stopped or that Isaac would be resurrected, and resurrection had not happened before.

What of us today? What would be hard for us to sacrifice? Your child? Your spouse? Your parents? Your sibling? A friend? Maybe even a pet? What about a hobby or a job?

There are things we all have that are good in themselves that would be hard for us to give up. We wouldn’t want to. It’s why they’re called a sacrifice. If you gave up something you didn’t care about, it wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice. If you give up something that it’s easy to give up, that would also not be a sacrifice.

Suppose I gave $10,000 of my money to a charity right now. That would be a real sacrifice on my part. Now suppose someone like Elon Musk or Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos does the same thing. The charity would appreciate it, but for those guys, it would be chump change.

Before we explain the story of Abraham and Isaac, let’s listen to it really. We are called to make sacrifices in that we are to die to ourselves. We might have to make other sacrifices along the way as well.

Today, we honor those who did make sacrifices.

These were people who left their families and friends behind and knew there was a chance they would never see them again. What did these people think about when they died? Their wives? Their children? Good times with friends? We will never know.

And today, what will most of us be doing? Having a cookout. Now this is not to say that this is wrong, but let’s make it a point to remember those who have gone before us and are no longer able to join in. Some cookouts will have empty chairs there.

Thank you for all of those who have family members who are not there with us and who gave their lives so we could live free. They sacrificed themselves for what they would never enjoy. We should honor such as heroes.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)


Remembering the Fallen

How are we treating Memorial Day? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Okay. I admit I need to teach this to myself a lot more. It’s really hard sometimes to think about Memorial Day. In my own family, I have to think a bit before remembering anyone who has military service and the one that comes to mind is my uncle who died a few years ago. I can’t think of anyone in my family who died in combat. It doesn’t mean they’re not there, but if they are, they are in the extended family and I’m not aware of them.

Maybe you’re in the same boat. Maybe you don’t know anyone like that in your family right off. That’s okay. There might not be. On my side, it’s not that my family isn’t patriotic. We certainly are. It’s just that for whatever reason we didn’t serve.

So for me, this is really a normal day. If I didn’t know today was Memorial Day, the only thing I would be wondering is why the mail isn’t running today. Actually, I even checked before I remembered that it’s Memorial Day.

But again, that’s just me. For a lot of people, it isn’t. My wedding anniversary is probably for you a normal day. It sure isn’t here. There are many families today out there that are missing someone. There are many chairs that are empty. They did lose loved one in various wars.

That means their were husbands that never returned to kiss or embrace or make love to their wives again. There were fathers who never returned to teach their sons how to play baseball. There were mothers who never got to go get a dress for prom with their daughter.

They won’t be gathering around a grill outside (Which I don’t do anyway, another oddity) to fix hot dogs and burgers. Their families don’t just see this as another day off of work. In reality, this day can be super depressing for them.

So really, one of the best ways to honor the day would be to honor those families. Spend time with them. Don’t try and have fun with them unless they want that. Just be there for them. Listen to them. Let them talk about the sacrifices their loved one made for us.

Over here, we have a lot to be grateful for. We live in a country that is founded on the idea of freedom. It’s not a natural in human history. There has never been a country like this before. We have changed the world with this radical idea.

Give thanks to these families. They need to know that their pain today still matters. Their loved one or loved ones are appreciated.

So to all of you who lost loved ones, I am sorry for your loss. I appreciate your sacrifice and theirs. It wasn’t in vain. Any freedom I have today is in part because someone else was willing to sacrifice theirs.

Thank you.

Happy Memorial Day everyone.

Never forget.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Memorial Day Thoughts

What do I think about Memorial Day? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

For those wondering where the blog and podcast have been, we were moving to a new apartment complex here and things had to be packed up. We have everything back up now. We are still looking for a new desk as I am using my wife’s art table now, but hopefully, that will come soon.

Yesterday, while at the Orthodox Church, I heard the priest say something about Memorial Day that hit me. Veteran’s Day is for celebrating those who took off the uniform. Memorial Day is for those who never took it off.

I am sure every spouse knows that their spouse could die in combat, but most of us have this idea that it won’t happen to us. The reality is that it sadly does. Some people die because of the evil of others. Death is a tragedy, but there is something about that that makes it worse.

A year or so ago, there was a news story about some criminals on a bus being transported and somehow they stole a gun and killed a police officer and escaped. They were found a few days later and returned to prison. If I heard that while I was single, it would have been tragic. As a husband now, I cannot imagine what is going on.

Those criminals were able to wreck a young woman’s life and that of her kids for the rest of their lives just so they could enjoy freedom that lasted only a few days and they would have been on the run for the rest of their lives anyway. It is incredible to think about the intense selfishness in such an act. We can say the police officer knew the risks, but that doesn’t make them any less tragic when they turn out that way.

My wife and I have a habit when we meet police officers or military people. We thank them for their service. Even when a police officer has pulled me over for a traffic violation, I have thanked them for their service still. It’s way too easy to make the police the villains.

Memorial Day is to remember those who never took off the uniform and died in service to America. They gave up their freedom to make sure we wouldn’t have to give up ours. Now today, we will be doing many other things. That’s not wrong either. We should enjoy ourselves because our men and women died so we could also enjoy life in this country. Today, I will be celebrating a victory of my wife as she gets her one year chip at Celebrate Recovery.

Yet let’s also take the time to remember those who have gone on. While you are having a cookout with your family, remember there are some families that have an empty chair there. This is a day of grief for them. If you see a soldier sometime today, take the time to thank them for their service to their country.

Meanwhile, as I was writing this, I heard my wife playing a song that I think is appropriate for today. It’s Three Doors Down singing Citizen Soldier.

Happy Memorial Day.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

We Remember

How shall we honor this Memorial Day? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was going to do a book review, but I figure today it is better to write about Memorial Day. Today, we honor and remember those who gave their lives. This day is actually not about having barbeques, which is fine with me because I don’t eat burgers anyway and I’ve never cared for barbeques.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating such a day, but too many of us just see today as a three-day weekend. We are talking about the deaths of real human beings who died on the field of battle. These are real human beings who are not going to be able to have the barbeques with us anymore. They left behind spouses, kids, friends, parents, etc. Some events today will have empty chairs sitting at the table. Those chairs will never be filled this side of eternity.

Death is a really serious thing and sometimes we miss that. It’s easy to when we live in an age where you know that the actor in the movie isn’t really dead. We also live in an age where you can get extra lives on that game you’re playing or you can just hit the reset button. It’s fine for fantasy, but real life doesn’t work that way. There are no cheat codes or stunt doubles in real life like that. Death is very real.

As Christians, we can mourn, but we do not mourn like those who have no hope as Paul said. We mournĀ not for them, but for ourselves and for the loved ones of those who have gone on. This past week as readers know, my wife and I both could have lost each other when a car accident took place. We are not taking that for granted.

Every life is precious and every one of us is a great “might-not-have-been.” We all can contribute something to this world. Maybe you won’t see your name in lights this side of eternity, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have something to contribute. For all we know, the Joe Blows of this world could one day receive a greater honor than the Billy Grahams for doing the most with what they had. We don’t know.

Today then, my thanks goes out to all those who sent loved ones onto the battlefield knowing that it could be the last time they were ever seen. We mourn your loss, though definitely not to the extent that you do. We appreciate the great gift that you have given us. Many men and women sacrificed their lives so that we would not have to live in fear of losing ours to a number of evil causes.

Today if you are celebrating today, by all means, celebrate, but remember that today is more than a day off of work. It is a day meant to remember actual flesh and blood people who have died. Please take some time to remember them today and be thankful for the many blessings that you have that you are prone to take for granted.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Thanks To The Fallen

Are we taking the time to remember today? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I could have done a book plunge today, but I will hold off for tomorrow. Today is Memorial Day after all, and I want to write something to honor those who are no longer here. It’s sad as I think about it that the people I want to honor the most with this post are the ones who cannot read it. Hopefully, those who can read it will live their lives in honor of the ones who can’t.

As I write this, I sit in my apartment without fear of death from opposing forces. I will drive to my in-laws with my wife today and I won’t be worried about driving through enemy territory and having to dodge bullets and such. I will have regular meals today and I will be able to get a hot shower this morning and sleep in a warm bed tonight. I will do all of this with my wife of nearly seven years by my side.

The fallen don’t have that.

They died in fact not sleeping in the beds that I do and woke up every day knowing they could be walking into enemy territory. They didn’t enjoy the meals that I am able to enjoy at home. Some of the men overseas might have had girlfriends that they were writing to back home. They will never get to marry those girlfriends. They will never be husbands or fathers or eventually grandfathers.

Those families will always have an empty chair at Thanksgiving. Christmas will always be a reminder of what was lost. Mother’s Day could be a day of sadness for some Moms as Father’s Day could be for some Dads. Children are supposed to weep at the graves of their parents. It’s not meant to be the other way around.

Why is this? Because there are some wicked people in this world. Because war sadly happens at times. No. I am not a pacifist. At the same time, war is not anything we should celebrate. It is a tragedy that it happens. It is a tragedy that the innocent die because of the sins of the wicked.

My wife has been working lately on being more thankful. On this day, should I not be thankful? Should I not realize that all that I have is a gift. Whenever I kiss my wife, I am doing something that some man will never get a chance to because of his early death. I get to enjoy a meal that they won’t and I get to sleep in a warm bed while they are in the sleep of death.

So if this is what is going on, then why are we celebrating? Why are we having barbecues today and not sitting around in mourning? Why? Because I think the fallen would want us to celebrate. They died so we could be free. They want us to celebrate and appreciate that freedom. Don’t think I say this for some benefit of my own. I don’t really care for food. I don’t eat burgers or hot dogs or any of that stuff. I’m just not a food person.

Still, the best way to honor a gift you have been given many times is to live enjoying it. Here we have been given the gift of freedom. That freedom has come at a price. Just visit a place like Arlington Cemetery and you can see the price of freedom. We should celebrate it, but not take it for granted. Every day we have is a gift. Every moment with our loved ones is a gift. Every blessing we have over here is a gift.

To the mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and everyone else who has lost someone, my great sympathies for your loss, but also thank you. Thank you for helping produce someone of such a caliber in virtue that they were willing to die for people they would never even know. You have suffered a great loss. Nothing I say here could ever truly make up for your loss. Until eternity, there will always be a hole in your hearts missing that loved one, as it should be. They should never be forgotten.

And to those fighting right now and being in the service, today we honor the fallen, but let it never be that we forget your current sacrifice. I always try to thank a policeman or someone with military experience when I see them. I have the greatest respect for people who have lived their lives willing to take bullets, so the rest of us don’t have to live with that fear. When you in the military go out to fight our battles, remember the fallen and honor them with your service.

Happy Memorial Day everyone. God bless you and God bless our troops and may God honor the fallen.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Thoughts On Memorial Day

Is there anything to keep in mind with a cookout? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Today is Memorial Day as I write this. I will be going to spend it with my in-laws at their place for a cookout and my wife is bringingĀ Into The Storm for us to watch together. I have seen the movie several times and I don’t care much for food so aside from fellowship, I’ll probably be spending more time with my Kindle and my books.

Okay. So I’m the odd one out here, but a lot of you are doing something special for Memorial Day, and I’m not knocking that. That’s something to celebrate. It’s a special day, but let’s not lose sight of what this day is all about. This day is not about cookouts. It’s not about time spent on the lake. It’s not about even reading books. (GASP!)

This day is about people who have died serving our country. These are people who paid the ultimate sacrifice. They are not here to celebrate today. They can’t spend the day kissing their wives or hugging their children. There are mothers and fathers who won’t see their children, children who won’t see their parents, and spouses who won’t see their significant others. In fact, for them, this day could be very depressing.

Let’s not forget them. In fact, if you know someone like that, try to go and see them if you can. Bring them a homecooked meal. Center the day around them. These people have also made a sacrifice. They live without the person or persons that they love. They want to know that someone appreciated the sacrifice that that person made. They need to know that the person who sacrificed was a hero.

How many of us today are willing to face death? The reality is we all are facing it every day. There’s a commercial that I see on TV now and I think it’s about heart disease. It says that for people with heart disease, tomorrow is not a guarantee and in the background you hear the song “Tomorrow” from “Little Orphan Annie.” You know who tomorrow is also not a guarantee for? You and I. It is not a guarantee. If we want to live, the time to live is not tomorrow. It is today.

Today, hug your children. Today, honor your parents. Today, make love to your spouse. Take the time to celebrate those people who are in your life. Do not wait to live life. People died so that today, you could live. Not just exist, but live. Are you living? Do you want their sacrifice to be in vain?

People did not die just so we could have fun. They died because they thought that what they were dying for was indeed worth dying for. The question we have to ask of ourselves is do we think what they died for is worth living for? Our freedom as Americans? Our ability to love those around us? Our ability to enjoy our lives? Our freedom to worship as we see fit? Are these all goods worth celebrating?

Let today be a day you start living. They died so you could live. Don’t let it be in vain. If you’re Christian especially, remember the original hero who died so you could live. Don’t let His sacrifice be in vain either.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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