Archive for May, 2014
Veterans Honored, Those who Served paid a price.
1947 was a very good year for me and I really don’t remember it. It was a good year as I was born on July 4th of that year. I recall a good many things from my youth; Eisenhower was president when I was young. My family was very reminiscent of the war as my uncle had served as a side gunner in a B-17 and survived being shot down, He parachuted from what was to be a doomed airplane and landed in a German prison of war camp with his fellow side gunner. They of course were prisoners of war when they hit the ground. This is a story in itself and much was witnessed firsthand through the eyes of my uncle and his fellow companion in war and survival.
I also had an Uncle that was a medevac medic on a helicopter in the Korean War. Stories of his, in fact of both their experiences; are things movies are made of! Even then the whole of the account is not adequately explained or experienced by the viewer.
Then came my own personnel experience of Vietnam in the late sixties which involved many of my friends and acquaintance. Some of them, my best friend being one, did not come home. I was blessed and had a guardian angel at my stead all of the time. Some years later after I was settled into my life I came to know a friend we will just call Bill. He served in yet another war which was the first Gulf War. Since the first Gulf War there have been other and continuous ongoing wars without stop.
I give this brief history only to give perspective to my desire to Honor those who served and the families that endured, all with cost certain. I will mention some of the cost but first want to digress to my child hood.
When I was seven it was still called “Armistice Day” which became then “Veterans Day” as to Honor all who served in wars; not just those who served in World War One. You see, back after World War One they thought that the 1st World War was the war to end all wars. That had to be a political concept as any Spiritually astute individual knew in their heart this could not be true, Evil never stops trying to kill and destroy.
As I was between seven and say twelve years of age we had a different respect taught and held up than I see now. My first recollection of Armistice Day was to see a parade and fireworks in my home town. This was a small farm community with an Air Force military base only ten miles away. There were also fireworks and people gathered at the park. Back then we had an open air Dance floor in the park which was widely used by the community. For a few days prior to the Parade, the Dance and the Fireworks there would be Veterans on the street selling Poppies to raise funds for support of the veterans. Even as a little boy my parents made sure I had a little money to buy a Veterans Poppy with.
Back then anytime the Flag passed in review at a parade we all stopped in our tracks and saluted. We knew we were saluting a history of selfless sacrifice, an historic belief system and the many who had paid with all they had so we could stand in Freedom and be who we choose to be. A respect existed and was displayed by most everyone I knew and for a short time our differences were on hold as our common alliance to Freedom and Honor and Justice took center stage. We had fly buys and military bands that played Marching songs and churches and civic groups had an upbeat message of thanks giving both too the spiritual as we gave respectful thanks for the God Given Rights of Free Men and thanks to those had given their all, many of whom lay at rest in a foreign land. Presidents and politicians of every mind set gave honor and kind words to honor those fallen as well those still serving. I think it is because of moments of my youth, moments like these that; ” In Full Dress Parade as I passed in Command Review for departure to Vietnam I was crying as I marched and Saluted the Flag of these United States.
I miss those days, when Americans were not ashamed to be Americans. Days when we knew that regardless our faults we paid a heavy price to continue growing and becoming a better people. We did not apologize to the world for trying to set a higher bar and attempt to uplift the world. We had not allowed ourselves to be shamed in to apology for our Christian values and beliefs. As a people we, with the guidance of the God above could overcome the evil that was present in the world, in our country and in our lives. We actually believed in improving unashamedly the lives of those around us in spite of the selfish, self-serving and immoral people that were ever present in the world. Sadly, as I write this in the year 2014 many will read and wonder what mythical dream world I stepped out of. I am hopelessly lost in the romanticism of days past as I still believe the Old Values and the earlier Faith of Americans and Christians that came before me. I do not intend to give them up and submit myself to a political correct and thoughtless society that cannot think for itself. I Pray to the One God that has the world in His Hand and will not let his people be lost. He, the one that made me and all I see will be with me even unto the end of this meager life and beyond. This short vapor, this mist of life is only a foreshadow of that which is much greater. In my personal opinion, those that died, that fought, that sacrificed and stood the ground are far above the dissenters and antagonist of this hour that choose to denigrate and down play the ideals and foundations of our past. Those faults that we have and had are not the definitive narrative of who we are. It is the steps we have taken to overcome them that become our definition. It is the faith that we walk in that makes our presence brighter than the blight some try to discredit with. I look at the past and ask what the current critic will do with the evil that was and is present. I know a few of them, not many but a few. When the value of life, the respect of fellow men and the aspiration to higher ideals with real moral value diminish, then the future of man becomes very dark and foreboding. I do not want to promote it or participate in the culture that does.
You need be careful what you cast out or throw off from your Heritage for with it will come that which you usher in to replace it. My Uncle that was in prison camp landed with a fellow soldier who broke his legs on landing. The Germans were going to shoot him and my Uncle laid over him and begged for his life. He was allowed to live, the condition was simple, my Uncle had to care for him without medication or assistance. My Uncle set his legs and carried him on his back until he healed enough to walk. I just recovered from a broken foot; it takes at least eight weeks for broken bone to heal. These men endured two death marches and were nearly starved to death by the time the allies freed them from prison camp. For those who do not think the holocaust is real, these same two men saw the mass graves in the making. They witnessed the gas chambers as Israelis were stripped man woman and child and sent to the showers where they met their immediate death. They saw the furnaces/ovens where the dead were cremated. They saw people experimented on for so called scientific research and lamp shades and furniture made of tanned human skin. You need to be careful of the ideals you allow your nation to embrace as many died that you may choose.
My uncle who served in Korea could not haul the wounded from the field fast enough. They witnessed red hot and warped machine gun barrels as machine guns were fired nonstop as Chinese soldiers climbed over bodies five and six deep to continue attacking. Many attacked without weapons, as they would retrieve the weapons of those in front of them who died. Many soldiers burned their hands to the point of incapacity as they changed the barrels on the machine guns that defended their position. Pictures of death and destruction that never leave a man, they just get pushed down to a place where he can live with them.
My friend Bill was tortured and except by the grace of God would not be here today to enjoy his wife and family. He had to have a great deal of help to deal with mental scares of his war ordeal. There is nothing of respect for life or individual reprieve as evil deals with death and destruction. Again, you better be careful what values you allow your country to embrace, some of them will be your end not matter your original deception.
In my own experience I drove by the Da Nang Airport near daily and watched as the caskets by the hundreds were loaded on the airlift transports to be flown home to broken families which would never again be whole. My best friend came home that way, He is sorely missed and will forever be nineteen years of age in my mind. His family never conceived, the fiancé’s love never full filled and his parents, brothers and grandparents never satisfied at the loss of his life. For them I can only say that he died giving all he could to save the life of a fellow soldier as he was a medic. He died trying to retrieve another. Who we are and what we believe will be the cause of the choices we make. Be careful of the values and precepts you allow your country to assume!
Last but far from least; I want to pay respect and a humble prayer to those who had to leave it all along with the wounded and the dead. These are the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, the wives or husbands and the children of the fallen. These will for all of their lives have an empty place in their heart, a blank space in their life and a memory of last moments. For some it will be a torment, some a vacancy that will not easily if ever be filled. Some will be thankful for their faith and look to future hope. Some, as the children will forever wonder who that person was and what they were like. They will wonder what life would have been with them present. Some where there is a woman that held a man in her arms and loved him, comforted him and never saw him again but she bore his child and the child now lives with his absence as does she. Evil does not respect life, it does not respect relationship, it does not know love, and it does not uplift or encourage anyone. It does not seek to comfort nor will it bring comfort to the broken. Only Love can do these things. My god, my Savior is in His very character; His very essence is the embodiment of Love. I have received it by his immutable Grace and pray it for you.
IN The Humblest way I know, I Pray for all those who served, I give thanks for all who endured and may God Bless You!
Have you met anyone, or are you one who just knows they are good people. They have not done anything wrong. Certainly if you have been a good person it counts for a lot with God, “If there really IS a God”. Certainly God would never be harsh or judgmental for he is the essence of love. Even if I have done something wrong it is not that serious and God would never judge me for it. Do you know anyone like that? After all, if you’re innocent then there is nothing to be concerned about. If it doesn’t matter then who cares.
I think I am a good person but let’s
review “Innocent:” free from guilt or sin especially through lack of knowledge of evil: blameless as an innocent child. When I look at this I know something right away, I am not unaware of evil and I am not blameless as an innocent child. I could not lie to myself well enough to buy that one. I did not fit that mold when I was very young as I knew when I was doing or considering something wrong. I knew instinctively. I will bet you did also. But you say, I have never done anything seriously wrong, I am not a bad person. It is easy to think that I have never murdered anyone; I have not maimed or destroyed anyone. Well maybe that is true in the physical world but what have you done to someone in the spirit. Who have you maligned and attacked with hate and or destruction in your thoughts, have you shared gossip with a close friend or relative? Who have you falsely accused or coldly rejected and in doing so wounded severally in their spirit. Have you been part and parcel of the destruction of a spouse, a child, a close friend by the conduct you have willingly and even wantonly pursued?
In reading a book called the Bible we are found condemned and in a knee jerk reaction, I say that is not fair and I don’t deserve it. But then as I review the definition of condemned I find that there is a part of my character that fits the picture. There is a part of me that can be declared reprehensible, wrong or filled with a modicum of evil. I am not blameless and if there is any honesty in me I know that I am guilty. I find I am convicted by my own awareness of self. I think this becomes problematic in (Genis 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened , and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.) This is cause for angst; if innocence is necessary for fellowship with the person of God I am doomed. It is in my nature as one will see reading Genesis 3. Here we find the fall of man through the acts of Adam and Eve. There is no hope for me to be in any way Holy and pure for I am already a corrupted vessel.
With the previous paragraph one then has the question of salvation. Why would I not need it? How can I find it? Who is going to judge me and how do I meet the standard. Why am I lost? What is the truth and how do I find it? Why do people think they can judge me they are no better than I am! Well, I am going to be honest to the best possible degree, I have either thought these questions or even struggled with some of them. I have even wondered why on earth anyone else would have to stand in my stead and pay a price for me. That after all is incredibly unfair and unjust.
Have any of these thoughts ever ran through your mind. At some time have you ever argued with your own conscience? Have you discussed any of the questions in the above paragraph? I may not know you but I will bet the answer to the question is yes. For me it was yes with an added problem of confusion and frustration. There is no wonder that Christianity so called can have so many critics. The arguments are endless. This is not a complete Bible, the history does not support these mythical stories, and men have created this religion to gain control of society. Even if you get through all of the battles of authenticity or historic reference then how do you handle the differing denominations? In the United States there are some 41,000 different so claimed Christen denominations. Wow, I would ask one what is the correct religion and of course it would be them, then another party in discussion would claim that all are wrong except there religion. Another would step up with the same claim, then another and soon you tend to slip in with friends or piers until there is disharmony or just plain a lack of participation due self-interest. It is easy to generalize and push off the truth and accept what is comfortable. Please the mass and have the brunt of none, in this modern society be politically correct non offensive and allow respect ever for the reprehensible is the trend. It is nearly effortless.
For me I came up with a great solution to the whole problem. It is really simple, go to the author thus bypassing all of the debate. Ask the person that wrote the biography what he is all about. After all that is the same way I got to know my spouse, my best friend, my own family; I took time to know them. I soon discovered why there was a need for salvation, in fact a savior. I realized that no man has the right to judge me, nor I the right to judge them. I discovered that I could not be perfected or pure based upon my efforts nor did I need to be. I found that my salvation was a price already paid in full; it was an act I could not produce for myself on my own strength. The reason that someone had to stand in my stead and pay the price was simple; I was not capable of doing it myself. Someone else had to make provision for my redemption. Some one that was capable of paying the price in full. They had to meet all of the legal qualification, be totally blameless and completely innocent; they would have to meet the Standard of God himself. That plan was established even before my conception as I was a bit lacking in fulfilling the requirements.
Have you ever heard someone say they must do the work of God so they can please God and get to heaven. If you will look in His Book, you will find in John 6:29 that Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. You see, I discovered that what I could not do for myself had already been provided for. The God who made me was so concerned about my condemned condition that he sent his own perfect and blameless Son to pay the price for me. The Son did this of his own free will. This act which would bring about my salvation could only be accomplished with a completely perfect sacrifice and no one else in the creation could fill that requirement but the Son, the one that God sent. Jesus willingly went to the Cross and bore my sin; He personally became the Sacrificial Lamb to satisfy the legal price for sin. Then, he told me I could choose to follow in him or not, It was my choice. If I choose to follow then I cannot be lost, no one can take me from him. I am not perfect in the flesh but when I die to self and walk after him in faith I have life eternal. I will be where he is and it is already decided. One simple little decision, it does not require anyone else’s approval nor any act of self-purification. I am totally covered in the Blood of the Lamb and when the Father looks at me he sees the perfect image of his Son. When people think of Christianity it should not be a matter of which billboard (religion) you wear, it is all about what you do with Jesus Christ. He is either who He said he is or He is not. When he was on the Cross on Calvary there were two others there with him. One of them mocked Jesus and one of them believed on him. The one who proclaimed Jesus innocence, also admitted his own guilt, because of his faith Jesus told him This Day You Will Be with Me in Paradise.” See Luke 23:39-43
You and I have an advocate that stands and claims our innocence through his sacrifice for our benefit and we are not guilty. He did what we could not; He took upon Himself the guilt of Sin for the whole world and only asked that we accept the Grace of God’s forgiveness by believing on Him. He will not force any to follow, it is a choice that each makes of their own free will. If you choose to follow then you are no longer alone trying to do it in your strength. Your weakness is the point of his strength. He will assist you through his Holy Spirit. It will never be on you again. Now that is the only Really Important decision in life; for this is the one decision that literally is everything.
Who do you want to know? Don’t depend on anyone else, ask the Lord into your life and ask Him to show you the truth. Read his word and let Him reveal himself to you. He has promised that he will not leave you or forsake you. All you have to do is choose. Will You?
Salvation (noun) 1: act of saving from harm; the saving of somebody or something from harm, destruction, difficulty or failure. 2: means of saving somebody or something; somebody or something that protects or delivers another from harm, destruction, difficulty, or failure. 3: deliverance from sin through Jesus Christ; CHRISTIANITY in the Christian religion, deliverance from sin or the consequences of sin through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross.
Condemn (verb) 1: to express strong disapproval of; censure: 2: to pronounce judicial sentence on: 3: to demonstrate the guilt of
Miriam Webster full definition of. CONDEMN: to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil usually after weighing evidence and without reservation
Miriam Webster full definition of. Innocent: free from guilt or sin especially through lack of knowledge of evil: blameless as an innocent child: harmless in effect.
Concordance def. Purity: not corrupted.
Concordance def. Grace: benevolence, favor