Clergy Appreciation 2007

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

As most of you know, the month of October is dedicated for Clergy Appreciation. It has been so encouraging for our family to see how the church is taking this opportunity to honor us. Already, several small groups have given so generously to our family.

Today, during our married couples’ small group, they took some time to go around and share something that they appreciated about Christina and me. It was really touching to hear some of their words of affirmation and encouragement. Then they took some time to pray for us.

No amount of gifts can replace the precious gift of prayer. We are so thankful to serve in a church community that love God and love us as a pastor’s family. We are truly blessed.

A New Generation of Men

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint, Vision

 
Michael Murphy Navy.jpg      Michael Murphy SEALS.jpg
 
 
 
Just recently, Dr. Steve Lee in Kenya, Africa forwarded an article about Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a Navy SEALS who died in combat in Afghanistan.

Yesterday, President Bush awarded him the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award, which was received by his father and mother.

What caught my attention was his profile. I am realizing that Ed Cole’s phrase of, “Being a male is a matter of birth. Being a man is a matter of choice” is so true. How do we raise up men that have character, courage and compassion that they are willing to lay down their lives for greater things?

I have mentioned that life is made up of “moments” and “decisions.” In fact, “our decisions determine our destiny.” Here is part of the New York Times article about Lt. Michael P. Murphy and some of the key moments in his life:

“In June 2005, Lt. Michael P. Murphy and three fellow members of the Navy Seals were on a mission in the mountains of Afghanistan when they were pinned down by a swarm of enemy fighters. Trapped in a steep ravine, they were unable to get a radio signal to call for help.

With the Americans suffering injuries, ammunition running low and roughly 100 Taliban fighters closing in, Lieutenant Murphy made a bold but fateful decision: He left the sheltering mountain rocks into an open area where he hoped to get a radio frequency.
He managed to make contact with Bagram Air Base, calling in his unit’s location and the size of the enemy force, even as he came under direct fire, according to a declassified Navy account of the battle.

He also was shot several times and died.

Mr. Murphy said his son’s action in battle was typical of the sort of selflessness he displayed even as a child, recalling an episode when he got into a scrap with three bullies in middle school who tried to shove a disabled student in a locker.

‘He just jumped in,’ Mr. Murphy said, noting that it was the kind of action that led him and his former wife to refer to their oldest son as ‘the Protector’ when he was a boy. ‘That was Michael’s way.’

Early in his life, Lieutenant Murphy appeared to possess the qualities that would make him the kind of candidate sought by the Seals, an elite Navy unit known for daring, physical toughness and mental acuity.

He was a member of the National Honor Society in Patchogue-Medford High School, a lifeguard and a solid athlete. He attended Pennsylvania State University, where he played hockey and graduated with two bachelor’s degrees, in political science and psychology.

His options after graduating in 1998 were wide open, and he was accepted into several law schools. He chose to join the military and train to become a Navy commando. He attended the Navy’s Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla., and then completed the Seals’ harsh training program and became a member of the Seals in April 2002.

It was a significant achievement for Lieutenant Murphy, who was not quite 6 feet tall, slight compared with the physically imposing members of the Seals. Each year, 50 to 200 sailors graduate from the training program. The dropout rate is 74 percent, according to the Navy.

In an interview, Daniel Murphy said that he was not surprised to learn about his son’s actions. “What Maureen and I always worried about was that he would put himself in danger to help someone else, which turned out to be true,” he said.

You can read the whole New York Times article here.

If we had more people like Michael P. Murphy, we will see the world transformed.