Spiritual soldiering

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For the greater part of my childhood, military history held a consuming fascination for me. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were my heroes. Thermopylae, the Alamo, and Gettysburg sang to me of gallantry, steely defiance in the face of overwhelming odds, and self-sacrifice. Although the books on the American Civil War have long since been gathering dust on my shelves, the impact of those days remains.

Despite all the cruelty, misery, and havoc soldiers have wreaked over the course of history, and although war in and of itself is evil, the finest soldiers embody traits we all need in the conquest of whatever would subvert our sense of man's true nature as a child of God. We all need vigilance in guarding our mental perimeters against the encroachments of evil. When our own weaknesses have temporarily bested us, we need the capacity to regroup, order our ranks, and renew the attack. When barraged by fear and self-doubt, we need the discipline to stand firm under fire and hold our ground.

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Washing feet vs washing hands
January 12, 1981

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