Good morning Hillsdale families and Heart of a Shepherd Followers,

Today’s Scripture reading assignment is Acts 9-10 and I encourage you to read that passage in the absence of my devotional commentary.  I am afraid today’s schedule prevents me from investing the time I need to write and post my daily commentary.

On a personal note, it is my opinion we use the word “hero” too flippantly and frequently in our day.  This 21st century generation claims as heroes men and women who have done nothing of importance or lasting value.  Indeed, the millennials often claim as heroes men and women that are antagonists, provocateurs, and the antithesis of the definition of hero.

By definition, a hero is a man or woman whose life defines honor, courage, self-sacrifice, faithfulness, and achievement.  This morning I have the privilege of speaking in an 11:00 AM Memorial Service honoring Al Pereira, Sr., a longtime member of Hillsdale and an American hero who served in the Navy and fought in the Pacific throughout World War II.   Chief Petty Officer, Adalberto Pereira’s memories of the Pacific invasion were graphic and as realistic as anything you and I have ever seen portrayed in Hollywood war movies.  As he cared for Mela, his bride and wife of 76 years, the quietness of their lives brought to Al’s mind vivid memories of war that he shared with me and others.

What a privilege to know a man whose life epitomized what author Tom Brokaw described as, “The Greatest Generation”.  Al was more than a patriot; he was a faithful husband, proud father, and most importantly…a man who unashamedly professed his love for his Savior.

While our thoughts and prayers are with his family, my heart resonates with this truth:

Psalm 116:15 – “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”

With the heart of a shepherd,

Pastor Travis D. Smith

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