Category Archives: Sacrifice

Legacy

Memorial Day is set aside as a special time to recognize and honor those who have given their very life in defense of our freedom. A freedom we should never take for granted.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Navy SEAL Adam Brown and his story as told in Fearless. If you missed that post you can read it here, but I want to share with you the impact it had on the man who wrote about Adam.

Despite the impact and magnitude of the bin Laden mission, Adam’s story stands on its own. Throughout his life he inspired scores of people, and his story has continued to change the lives of many—including mine.

He’s reminded me to appreciate every moment with my family, to be goofy rather than grumpy, to get back up no matter how hard I might get slapped down, to sometimes buy my children a cupcake when I pick up coffee in the morning but to call it a muffin “because,” as Adam would tell Savannah, “as long as you call them muffins, they’re okay to eat for breakfast.” And though I hadn’t opened a Bible in more than twenty-five years, his faith encouraged me to question my own questioning about religion.
~ Excerpted from Fearless by Eric Blehm

Adam Brown’s life and legacy could be summed up with one word: Fearless

What one word do you want people to use when describing your life and your legacy once your story on this side of the grave is complete?

Are you living living that kind of life?
***
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Choices, Commitment, Courage, Determination, Eternity, Faith, influence with the world, Memorial Day, Sacrifice

Our Magic Moment came at a price

It was our last day at Disney World. We had gotten to the Magic Kingdom at 10:00 am and it was 10:25 pm. We were spent… but wanted to squeeze in one more ride.

When we got to the ride the sign said there was a 40 minute wait. The park was only open for another 35 minutes so we couldn’t use a Fast Pass.

As we stood there talking about what to do an older gentleman who works at Disney came out to chat with us. Learning of our dilemma he told us we only needed to know two words – Magic Moment.

After a bit more chit-chat he took us to the Fast Pass line and sent us through with instructions to tell the ride attendant those two special words.

As we stood there waiting to board the ride Eli said, “You just had your Magic Moment.” He explained that those who work in the parks try to give out special treats like that to help add an extra spark to your visit.

It was a great way to end our fun-filled day at the Magic Kingdom. But I couldn’t help thinking about all those people who had been waiting in line before we got there. They were still waiting when we got on the ride.

Our Magic Moment came at a price.

Those of us who belong to the kingdom of God have freedom from sin and death. We have a new identity and a new lease on life. We have a restored relationship with God and the promise of an eternity with Him forever.

We did nothing to earn it.

We did nothing to deserve it.

It comes to us free, but it came at a price.

It cost Jesus His life.

What will we do with God’s gift today?
***
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Eternity, Forgiveness, Freedom, God, Grace, Heaven, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Love of God, Relationship with God, Sacrifice, Sin, Stewardship, Thankfulness

Fearless: The Adam Brown Story

I’ve read my share of inspirational stories, but none compares to that of Adam Brown – a SEAL Team SIX Operator. From hometown hero… to drug addict doing jail time… to Navy SEAL, it’s a story of triumph second to none.

Fearless is a chronicle of heroism and humanity at its best. Adam Brown was a man of extremes, whose courage and determination was fueled by faith, family, and the love of a woman.

It’s about a man who waged a war against his own worst impulses and persevered to reach the top-tier of the US military. Always the first to volunteer for the most dangerous assignments, Adam’s  final act of bravery led to the ultimate sacrifice.

“As a rule, we don’t endorse books or movies or anything regarding the command where I work, and Adam Brown worked, but as the author writes in Fearless, ‘you have to know the rules, so you know when to bend or break them.’ This is one of those times. Read this book. Period. It succeeds where all the others have failed.” ~ Anonymous SEAL Team SIX Operator

“Fearless is a clear and deeply honest portrait of an authentic American man who lived and loved with an intrepid personal velocity. For most of us, the failures and disappointments in life take their toll. Not for Adam Brown. He vanquished all life’s heartbreaks with faith, humility, and hard work.”
~ Kurt Johnstad, screenwriter, Act of Valor and 300

Fearless will hit bookshelves next week but I got the chance to read a prerelease copy and had trouble putting it down. I laughed… I cried… I was inspired to live life to the fullest.

To learn more or to order the book go here.
***
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Choices, Commitment, Courage, Desire, Determination, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Loyalty, Sacrifice, Teamwork

Our Magic Moment came at a price

It was our last day at Disney World. We had gotten to the Magic Kingdom at 10:00 am and it was 10:25 pm. We were spent… but wanted to squeeze in one more ride.

When we got to the ride the sign said there was a 40 minute wait. The park was only open for another 35 minutes so we couldn’t use a Fast Pass.

As we stood there talking about what to do an older gentleman who works at Disney came out to chat with us. Learning of our dilemma he told us we only needed to know two words – Magic Moment.

After a bit more chit-chat he took us to the Fast Pass line and sent us through with instructions to tell the ride attendant those two special words.

As we stood there waiting to board the ride Eli said, “You just had your Magic Moment.” He explained that those who work in the parks try to give out special treats like that to help add an extra spark to your visit.

It was a great way to end our fun-filled day at the Magic Kingdom. But I couldn’t help thinking about all those people who had been waiting in line before we got there. They were still waiting when we got on the ride.

Our Magic Moment came at a price.

Those of us who belong to the kingdom of God have freedom from sin and death. We have a new identity and a new lease on life. We have a restored relationship with God and the promise of an eternity with Him forever.

We did nothing to earn it.

We did nothing to deserve it.

It comes to us free, but it came at a price.

It cost Jesus His life.

What will we do with God’s gift today?
***
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Eternity, Forgiveness, Freedom, God, Grace, Heaven, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Love of God, Relationship with God, Sacrifice, Sin, Stewardship, Thankfulness

Jesus had other options

It’s impossible to know all that the disciples experienced following Jesus’ death, but surely it involved confusion, doubt, anger, shock, disbelief, grief, hopelessness…

Among all the rush of emotions and thoughts, perhaps some of them considered the possibility that Jesus had other options.

From Alan T Dale’s Portrait of Jesus

The Zealots believed that a physical, violent revolt was needed. Surely if they stand up to the Romans, God will come in power to deliver them. Jesus could have taken up arms with the Zealots.

The chief priests controlled the temple. They walked a tightrope of collaborating with the Romans without getting close enough to upset other Jews. Jesus could have gone along to get along and used the temple as a teaching platform.

The Essenes withdrew to the countryside to start over in their own communities. Jesus could have done this and had quite a following out where it was safe and quiet.

Pilate ruled the region on behalf of Caesar. Jesus could have cut a deal with Pilate and worked from within the system to make some changes. Imagine Jesus being connected with influencing the Roman Empire from the inside.

God had already done many miracles through Jesus. All Jesus had to do was call for a legion of angels to come take up the battle. Perhaps one more dazzling miracle is what was needed.

All of these are options, but Jesus chooses none of them.

In the garden, alone and deserted, Jesus says, “I know what I must do. I will not fight. I will not run. I will not deal. I will not dazzle. I will die. I will die. Not my will Father but Your will be done.”

Jesus knows that rebels always die so He dies on a cross in place of the rebels, men like Barabbas. Jesus goes to the cross and literally saves Barabbas’ life.

Jesus knows that with a word from Him the crowds will attack. Many of the Roman soldiers were just boys from nearby Syria working for the Roman government. So Jesus will not say that word. He goes to the cross and Roman soldiers live.

Jesus knows that if He flees to the wilderness, His disciples will be gathered and executed. That happened to every other wannabe Messiah, and His disciples are scared to death. He dies and they are saved.

Jesus knows that any kind of uprising will bring the wrath of Rome and Jerusalem will be destroyed. So He dies to save Jerusalem.

Jesus dies for all these people who hate Him. And from this one act of sacrificial love the world is forever changed.

But they don’t understand. They don’t grasp that this is part of a bigger plan. When Jesus is arrested and crucified, all their hopes die with Him. For this moment… all seems lost.

Jesus had other options, but He chose to give His life.

“No one takes my life from me. I give it up willingly! I have the power to give it up and the power to receive it back again, just as my Father commanded me to do.” ~ John 10:18 (CEV)

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Choices, Christianity, Courage, Easter, God, Jesus, Love of God, Sacrifice, Suffering, Surrender