My Buddy "TJ"
How time flies! It seems like yesterday when I was cruising around the North Shore of Massachusetts with my Triton High School buds blaring "Eruption" by Van Halen! We grew "up" (I suppose). I know we grew "out." As the years passed we all got married and started families. We stayed in touch though. We went camping first as friends and then as families. We celebrated together as children were born, took their first steps, and then got their drivers licenses. Taylor (TJ) was my friend's oldest son and he was my buddy. We just kind of connected. I watched him grow up. I wondered if he would. I mean it seemed like all he ate for the first seven years was peanut butter! But grow up he did into a fine young man who has now graduated from High School and on July 16 will ship off to Parris Island to be made into a Marine. It just doesn't seem all that long ago when I was sneaking him quarters for the game room when his parents weren't looking. I am so proud, as I know his parents are, and I am truly humbled. Jesus told us in the Gospel of John, "There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." (Jn 15:13) Never is that more clear then when you know someone personally that is willing to defend our freedom. Someone willing, if need be, to give his last full measure of devotion - for me and for you. You may or may not know TJ but that doesn't matter. He is willing to do it regardless. I can tell you this. It certainly gives me a whole different perspective on Independence Day. As you celebrate July 4 take a moment in between hot dogs and hamburgers, parades and fireworks and to consider this as well. You may or may not know Jesus either but He was willing to die for your sins regardless.