From Pastor Thalacker

“Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”  - Ephesians 6:11


It seems a little odd to be writing a Mustard Seed article so early and so soon since the last one....but that’s the way things work out this month with vacations / scheduling / and before the month of July is looming only a couple of weeks ahead.  July is, of course, the month of our most important national holiday, the 4th being the celebration of the anniversary of our independence.  

I mention that because our family has a special personal observance of our national holidays this summer in which a number of us are going to participate.  May I write a little about that and tell you.  Our son Andy is a Lt. Colonel in the Army Reserve.  He’s been on active duty or in the Army reserves for the last 25 years from buck private to his present rank.  He’s been stationed as an intelligence officer and a Russian language and tactical specialist everywhere from Fr. Leonard Wood, MO to the Defense Language Institute in Montery, CA. to the border between East and West Germany near Fulda to two years in Washington, D.C. in the Pentagon.  As an enlisted soldier, he was the crew chief in a HumVee that monitored Russian military radio activity and operated jamming equipment.  He was nominated and later named Soldier of the Year on his post in Germany. He and his wife Amy (also in the military as an Army major veterinarian and presently stationed in Germany) have been over the years both been called up for the various military activities in the Persian Gulf.  In the meantime while a reservist he completed a law degree and is presently responsible as an army lawyer in a JAG (Judge Advocate General) unit.  As a citizen soldier he works for the State of Iowa as a lawyer in the Waterloo office as a public defender.  The end of July we are traveling to Pennsylvania for his graduation from the Army War College which is a special school for advancing military personnel.

I haven’t asked him about this, but I suspect he would be a little embarrassed with my telling you about his I am in talking about them.  And so I need to say that the reason for writing about this has nothing to do with him or with our pride for him and his contributions.  Rather, the reason that I’m writing is two-fold: a) it is to observe that what he has done is not really special.  Many of our citizen soldiers have had similar responsibilities and similar accomplishments.  Some of them have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the nation and the freedoms we cherish.  We thank these persons and are proud of them too.  And b) it is also to say that in our form or national government (a democracy) all of us have some responsibilities for the defense, care and protection of our fellow citizens.  I told Andy the other day that when we watch his dog (recovering from an accident) or help him bale hay (a hot job recently) for the horses they raise, that’s our contribution to the war on terror.  We all have similar responsibilities not to act in behalf of our own benefits but for the benefit of the neighbor and our fellow citizens.

I keep telling people we need to be singing not only the 1st but the 4th verse of the National Anthem which goes:

Oh! Thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand between their loved home and the war’s desolation!

Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”

And the Star - Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

                                                 Pastor T.