Wednesday, August 26, 2009
This is worth sharing.
From a MILITARY Mom.
The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's, but he has never collected unemployment either.
He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm howitzer..
He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk. He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.
He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.
He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march.
He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient.
He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.
He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts..
If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.
He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands.
He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.
He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all.
He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.
He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed..
He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking.
In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.
Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great- grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.
He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.
And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so.
As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot. . .
A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.
Prayer wheel for our military... please don't break it. Please pray this Prayer.
'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.'
When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our ground troops in Afghanistan, sailors on ships, and airmen in the air, and for those in Iraq .
There is nothing attached...
This can be very powerful...
Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, CoastGuardsman, Marine, or Airman, prayer is the very best one.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The most painful and debilitating fear is fear of the unknown.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie
We fear the unknown, perhaps more than we fear anything else, and yet we are, at heart, adventurers. We seek to expand our realm of knowledge and dominion. Perhaps we are attempting to overcome and crush the unknown, but our duel with the unknown is such a one-sided clash that we must know in our hearts that our adventure is no more than a child's game. Perhaps we hope that the unknown is like the darkness of a cave and that the brief light of our adventurer's candle can illuminate the entire cave. Nonetheless, the path of the adventurer is a path of joy, while the way of fear is one of suffering.
As Helen Keller says, Let life be an adventure. Live your life to the fullest, unfettered by fear of the ghosts and goblins of what might occur. Calamity and death happen as well to those who hide from life as to those who squeeze every drop of zest from it.
Monday, August 24, 2009
"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
When I think of our human propensity for anger, confusion, impatience, harshness, lack of control and impulsiveness, I am amazed at God's solution. Our humanness, a result of man's fallen condition, has been trumped by God's Holy Spirit. What a plan. God gives us a body in which we house our personality with enough room for His Holy Spirit. The result is the ability for the Holy Spirit to produce in us new attitudes, motivations and behaviors. Paul calls it fruit. What a great analogy - the Holy Spirit alive in us, growing into a beautiful fruit tree. The fruit that the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. You don't have to make an apple tree produce apples. When watered, nourished and receiving adequate sunlight an apple tree produces beautiful luscious apples. Likewise, you don't have to manufacture the fruit of the Spirit; rather, you begin reading and meditating on His Holy word and spending time in relationship with God through confession and prayer and the Holy Spirit will generate the results. Begin today to nourish your Spiritual life and let the Holy Spirit produce its fruit.
Have a wonderful week.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
God's Ways: Ordinary and Miraculous
1 Kings 17:2-7
God declared, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," (Isa. 55:8). And in fact, one of the biggest frustrations of the Christian life has to do with a lack of understanding about God's ways. There are times when we could really use a miracle, and yet He does not come through for us. Unmet expectations lead to confusion, disappointment, and even anger. Why did God let me down?
There are two schools of thought regarding the miraculous. Some people don't believe God works miracles at all, while others are convinced that if He's not doing the miraculous every day, then something is wrong with their faith. We need a balanced perspective, which we find in the Bible.
God works in both supernatural and ordinary ways, and He determines the method. Elijah ate food miraculously delivered by ravens, but his water supply from a brook was completely natural. When the water dried up, the Lord could have made more spring from the ground, but He didn't.
Sometimes God uses ordinary means to move us in a new direction. The curtailment of his water supply opened the door for Elijah's next "assignment." When the Lord withholds miraculous intervention and lets your brook dry up, He has something else planned for you.
Seeing the work of God in the miraculous is easy, but He's just as involved in the commonplace aspects of life as He is in any supernatural event. Look for His "fingerprint" in the day's mundane activities. He is there, opening and closing doors, drying up one opportunity but initiating another.
Have a wonderful weekend. Back Monday.
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