Many years ago, during my younger days in Chicago, I joined the Marine Corps with the idea of serving my country. Initially, I wanted to keep my brother out of the draft (gone by 1975). Also, I wanted to make a career in the military. The Marine Corps matched my ideas to serve God and country, the Corps, and my unit. My heart had the mind to serve because the Marine Corps was still an all-voluntary military service, since 10 November 1776. I stood up and stepped forward to serve.

Unfortunately, my flat feet had other ideas and derailed my plans for the military. I received an honorable discharge from USMC and returned to Chicago. I wondered how I would live a life of service to others. However, one year later I stepped forward again. I was licensed to preach the Gospel by my Baptist Church at the age of 19. This began a lifetime of service to God, America, my family, and humanity.

This is no brag or boast, but an invitation for others. America is wounded and needs healing. America needs community by restoration, reconciliation, and renewal. It’s time for all Americans to stand up and step forward. Search your heart and mind for your own individual giftedness. After having found your gifts, talents, skills, and abilities, find a place to stand up and step forward to serve. There are plenty of opportunities to serve God, contribute to society, and nurture those around us who are in need.


James Weathersby


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