This morning, my family was all together at the Peerless Road Church in Cleveland. Debra, Lindsey and I made the trip over to the home of Shaun, Stephanie and Reagan, along with a friend of ours, Secil Mathew who had flown in from London, England to spend the holidays with us.

The music and other parts of the service were great and the Pastor, Tim Coalter preached on of the best sermons I believe I’ve ever hear on the “Gift of Grace.” My heart was so full as we concluded the service with holy communion, with my family and so many friends present. God certainly has been good to our family.

I am certain that whatever form the services took today in our churches across Tennessee, that many others were blessed just as I am. We have such wonderful pastors, pastor’s families and laity in this great State and we are all blessed to work and worship together in the great harvest the Lord has placed us in.

My final thought concerns a Christmas service well over 30-years-ago, when I was serving in the the United States Army on foreign soil. It was such a lonely Sunday as I looked out across a perimeter not knowing what nightfall might bring. God was good to me and spared my life, and the life of so many of my comrades then, and today it all came rushing back as I thought about our troops serving with such great dignity. We live in a wonderful land, where our freedom has been secured by generations of such men and women who deserve and need our respect and affection.

Let us also remember all of the first responders, police, firefighters and EMS personnel who will be working to keep us safe while they are away from their families too.

My final prayer today was for them…the men and women who are away from their families this Christmas, standing as the first line of defense for Freedom. I hope you will join me this day remembering their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of their familes, and let’s breath a prayer for them.

“Father, we pray that You will keep Your arms of protection around our military and their families…and Father bring them home safely.” May God bless all of you today! Amen.!