The U.S. military prides itself on being the best in the world. When you consider special warfare operations, the options are many and the bar high: Navy SEALs, Army Rangers and Green Berets, and Delta Force, just to name a few. However, one group stands apart in their mission—Air Force PJ’s or Pararescue Jumpers. Air Force PJ’s specialize in rescues and usually make such rescues behind enemy lines. Their motto, That Others May Live, expresses their willingness to sacrifice themselves to bring a fellow soldier home. They remind me of Colossians 1:13 NIV:
“For he (the Father) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,”
The Father, through the sacrifice of His Son and the work of the Holy Spirit in one’s heart, seeks to pull off the ultimate rescue: take a member of the kingdom of darkness, make them His own through adoption, and bring them home, to the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the kingdom of light.
That Others May Live.
Could have been Jesus’ motto too.
Have you been rescued yet?
The rowboat rocked gently in the calm ripples of the harbor. Davi, Martin, and Adam dropped their lines into the water and surveyed the nearby battleships. The USS Nevada was anchored closest to the boys, but Adam’s father, a naval lieutenant, worked on the next ship, the USS Arizona. The December morning was calm and clear. Suddenly, the buzz of airplanes broke the silence and the chaos began. Nine minutes later, the USS Arizona sank to the floor of the Pacific and Adam’s boyhood with it. Henry Mazer’s Boy at War: A Novel of Pearl Harbor plunges the reader into a pivotal day in U. S. history.
Illustrator Susan Jeffers introduces a new generation of readers to Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Jeffers gives Frost’s poem her unique perspective as fur and feathers spring from the pages. Fluffy snowflakes float down the paper in silent snowfall. Woodland creatures peek from behind bare branches. How many you can find and why is that man stopping by the woods?
Fire fascinates. It flickers and flares. Sparks shoot and singe. Candles, fireplaces, campfires—we are drawn to it. Colors dance and flames flirt with us. How close can you get without burning yourself (or your marshmallow)?
Sin holds much of the same fascination. It, too, flirts with us, cajoling us to come a little closer and before you know it, we’re nursing a burned finger. Solomon gives us a big “Duh!” in Proverbs 6: 27-28 (NIV):
“Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?
Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?”
His message? Simple.
Respect the fire and keep your distance. Playing with sin can leave some painful burns.
Which sin’s flame draws you?
How can you practice good fire prevention?
I’ve also been reading through The Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix. While I found Book 1 a little slow, the following novels have left me out of breath and with stubby fingernails. Haddix picks up the pace with each one. Plot twists keep readers and characters alike off balance. I’ve currently reading Book 7: Among the Free. Will the Shadow Children finally gain a voice and take their rightful place in society?
Officer Buckle’s crime is putting his listeners to sleep with his safety speech—until he buddies up with police dog, Gloria. Suddenly, Officer Buckle is receiving rave reviews, but unknown to the officer, his partner, Gloria, is stealing the show. What will happen when he discovers her antics? Take Peggy Rathman’s Officer Buckle and Gloria on your next stakeout. This book earned the 1996 Caldecott Medal.
Gold Rings and Pigpens
“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.” Proverbs 11: 22 (NIV)
Gold rings. Pig noses. Not something you would ordinarily put together. Gold rings belong on hands. Pig noses belong in the slop bucket of the pigpen. So why does God, through Solomon, use this analogy to convey His truth?
A gold ring is to a pig’s nose as a beautiful woman is to indiscretion. Indiscretion in a beautiful woman, or in anyone female, would look like a girl gone wild.
Poor choices. Costly choices.
The nose of a pig tarnishes a valuable golden ring. Likewise, the muck of expletives, immodesty, and inappropriate use of one’s sexuality can tarnish the treasure of a young lady made in the image of God.
Girls, you were created for more than the pig’s nose. You belong on the nail-scarred hand of the One who crafted you. Don’t tarnish your gold with pigpen life.