Remembering … With Purpose

Friday, November 11, 2016
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O God Our Help In Ages Past"1 (Lyrics)

Many countries observe the eleventh day of the eleventh month, November, as Remembrance Day, Veterans Day, or Armistice Day, a time set aside to honour the sacrifices of the military, past and present. The eleventh hour was the time on that date in 1918 when an armistice was signed to end the First World War.

I was a child during the Second World War. Everybody was involved in helping to support our troops. People rolled bandages; we had food ration books; we children took rolled-up balls of aluminum foil to school; people grew their own produce in "Victory Gardens". Thankfully, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, we never experienced bombing, but we had air raid drills when we darkened all our windows. My father and sister were both involved in building aircraft at the de Havilland plant. She married an Air Force officer in a simple, short, white dress with a veil, considered patriotic as it saved fabric that could be used in the war effort. They went off to a station in the far north.

It was a time of selfless giving. Everything was to help the soldiers who were fighting to keep us safe. We all knew someone who received a telegram starting with, "We regret to inform you …", which meant that a family member would never return home.

As I pause for the two-minutes' silence at eleven a.m. on November eleventh and wear the poppy, I ask myself, "What about now?" How can we honour in a practical way those who gave their lives? There are many options for becoming givers ourselves: supporting food banks, giving to others in need, making a friendly phone call, offering help to a lonely person, volunteering and financially supporting charitable organizations, encouraging our churches to offer an outreach program to help those less advantaged in our society, or sponsoring refugees from war-torn Syria.

Proverbs 11:25 – Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. (ESV)

I believe that the Lord has built a spiritual law into the very fabric of the universe. As we give, we also receive — not from the same source or in the same way — but our needs will be met in ways that will surprise us.

So, as I wear my poppy this November, I remind myself that it's all about giving. The Lord wants us to be givers, and to experience the blessings that He is eager to share with each one of us.

2 Corinthians 8:13-15 – For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, "Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack." (ESV)

Prayer: Lord, help us to turn our thoughts from our own needs to the needs of others, and become the generous, caring persons that You want us to be. Show us now an action that we can take to meet another's need. Amen.

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About the author:

Valerie Dunn

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    May it be so Valerie.

    Thank you – a beautiful message for Remembrance Day and every other day.

    Amen and Amen, Valerie. May we always remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and also those who served. Blessings.

    Thank you, Valerie, for a walk down memory lane. If only people could unite like that again.

    Beautiful sentiments Valerie.
    Be blessed, as we remember them.

    Thank you for your meditation on “Remembering”. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Valerie – this is the first devotional that I have noted from you. I’ve often wondered who God encourages to write messages for special days. Thanks for your message and may our Father continue to bless your writing.

    Greetings Valerie,
    Just to let you know how very much I appreciated reading your devotional this morning. It was very meaningful & a reminder of “selfless giving” which those men & women do in serving our country in the armed forces.
    Thank you kindly & the Lord’s blessings upon you,

    Dear Valerie,
    Thank you for your remembrance Day writing. It is well-done.
    I pray that God will bless you in every way, that he will bless our country with peace in God through Jesus Christ, and will bless the new government in the United States, and will bless all the world with the knowledge of Jesus Christ and with faith in Him.

    Thank you for your words today.
    I am still involved with the local Legion.
    We have a service at the cenotaph at 11 a.m.
    All our ministerial is involved, and we always get a great response from our community. All the public schools are also involved.
    Lest We Forget.

    Dear Sister-in-Christ:
    Yes, I too remember all that you have said.
    These days, most people care more about their IPad than they do about their Bible. Still, the Lord has plans for us, plans for our good, not our harm.
    Let us keep the Faith, and continue to love and serve the Lord and each other!

    Hi Val:
    I want you to know that I appreciated your devotional today. I have had a subscription to receive this email devotional for several years now, and I was especially happy to get yours while on a pilgrimage. A fantastic time to learn the depth of spiritual life that is immersed in the different cultures and history of the Middle East. God’s presence was perceptible in very many things we witnessed and places we visited. We have walked the ramparts of the Old City walls and traversed all quarters of the Old City.

    Dear Valerie: thank you for recapturing for me some of my memories spent as a teenager during WWII and prepared to put on a military uniform just as the war ended. Your Devotional content reminded me of the many little efforts we undertook and items saved by wartime citizens and, oh yes, some food varieties that were so scarce. And still, I think, we didn’t seem to mind at all. I would fail should I try to add or improve this morning’s Devotional for I should fail. How much better I have always lastingly felt when I, looking back, have given rather than receive but not when I thought a gift, whatever it may have been, was directed by my Lord.
    So from a 90 year old in good health still supervising a LTC Home staff who is in charge of providing daily necessities for my wife, I thank you again, Valerie, and wish you God’s continuing blessings.

    Well done my friend.

    Hi Valerie,
    I read your devotional with interest yesterday morning. I was not aware of the things which were going on here in Canada as I was child in occupied Holland at the time. I lead my Bible discussion at the local Long Term Care centre yesterday and we commented on the situation at the end of the war followed by two minutes of silence in the home.
    Thank you for writing.

    Valerie, my wife died on Remembrance Day.
    She was very in tune with importance of that day, so it has a double meaning for my family as we gather around the grave site.
    Thanks for the meaningful devotional.

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