OK, today I am working on the details of life and thought I’d share some music that is fitting with my mood. My favorite blues/rock musician of all time, who is no longer with us, but lives on through his awesome music, is Stevie Ray Vaughn. “Little Sister” and “Pride and Joy”.
And who better to bring out the old memories of carefree nights cruising your favorite places and talking about hopes and dreams with your friends than Bob Seger! “Against the Wind” and “Still the Same”.
One of my dear friends in Texas, a PGR brother, Navy veteran and Christian with a proud Mexican/American heritage, knows of my Cherokee heritage and blessed me with this this morning, so I decided to share it here with a few facts. My blog contributor shares the same heritage (Cherokee) and is going through some diffucult issues right now, so I would like to share this with him, as a departure from my usual devotions; a unique look at faith and honoring God in America.
Certain facts about those of us who have Cherokee blood: The Cherokee were monotheistic long before the European’s ever stepped on American soil. They lived in dwellings built in a cabin style, hunted and farmed and their roles were determined by which of the seven clans they were born into. The Clan was determined by their mothers clan, rather than their fathers clan. They had a central form of government, a council house in each community where the leaders of each clan met to determine tribal policy and laws. They were the only native American tribe to have a written language and published their own newspaper. As far as I have been able to ascertain in my limited reading, they also were the only monotheistic tribe.
In this video, though the art is beautiful, it mostly reflects the appearance and traditions of the plains indians, but the words are in Cherokee. It is a peaceful and enjoyable way to start the morning, and I say, Gracias por compartir el amor mi amigo Miguel.
I read this in my email and had to laugh. It reminded me of the way my father was when I prematurely, at age 11, evolved into full fledged physical womanhood. My father had a great heart and a legendary sense of humor that unfortunately for many unaware young men at the time, did not extend itself to his “baby girl”. I laughed myself silly as I read this one. Thanks Tailgunner, I needed a good laugh and the memories of my youth this morning. What a rich legacy of memories and joy we have to reflect on when we take the time to do it.
Rules For Dating a soldier’s Daughter
(or Marine’s, Airman’s, or Sailor’s daughter for that matter!)
If you pull into my driveway and honk you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure not picking anything up.
You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them.
I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don’t take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open- minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, In order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.
I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilizing a “barrier method” of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.
In order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is “early.”
I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.
As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don’t you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?
The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T- shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which features chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.
Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a potbellied, balding, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless master of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.
Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy outside of Chu Lai. When my Agent Orange or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car. There is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine, and I am not afraid to go to Leavenworth.
Daily Reflection and Prayer
by Mark D. Roberts
Laity Lodge Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence
God Is Thinking of You
READ Psalm 8:1-9
What are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them? [Psalm 8:4]
I can’t read Psalm 8:4 without remembering how it sounds in the older translations: “What is man that Thou art mindful of him?” (KJV). And I can’t hear the classic translation of this verse without thinking of Emerson Hall at Harvard University. That’s where the philosophy department was located, so, as a “phil” major, I spent hundreds of hours in Emerson Hall. This center of humanistic thinking, where most teachers and students were at best agnostic, if not atheistic, had carved into stone on the outside of the building this line from Psalm 8. Inside it could have been, “What is God that thou are mindful of him?” Yet, outside, it said in permanent stone: “What is man that Thou art mindful of him.” (For a photo of this inscription, check my website.)
Increasingly, our society is filled with people who look upon God with arrogance. Their haughty pride is about as far from the attitude of Psalm 8 as one can get. Yet for those of us who know God, we are amazed that God thinks of us and cares for us. More amazing still is the fact that God loves us so much he took our sin upon himself in his Son, so that we might have relationship with God forever. Amazing!
God is thinking of you today because he cares about you. He has created you like him and has redeemed you so that you might live your life with him and be a partner in his work in this world.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you ever stop to think that the God of the universe is thinking of you? How does that make you feel? What difference might this truth make in your life?
PRAYER: O Lord, how easily I can take all of this for granted. Of course you are thinking of me. I’ve known this pretty much my whole life. It’s old news. But then I step back for a moment from my presumption. I think of the fact that the God of the universe cares about me. Me? Me! Astounding! This may be old news, but it is still good news.
Thank you, awesome God, for thinking of me. Thank you for paying attention to me and for desiring relationship with me. Thank you for opening up through Christ; a way for me to know you and live my life with you. How wonderful you are to me! Amen.
Nothing is impossible for you
This post is in honor of the Marines, (Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen as well) who fought in, and the many who died, during the part of the Tet Offensive known as the battle of Khe Sanh. Reading about the battle sends shivers of pride through me as our brave Military honored their code and gave their best, in this battle. No one at that time knew that the North Vietnamese had the resources to mount such a huge offensive, so our troops were caught completely by surprise. Those who fought had to rise to a huge challenge and give everything they had to push the enemy back. My compliments to all our Viet Nam veterans who fought this battle, and thanks be to God for all who survived. Please feel free to comment here, and speak your mind and reflect. God Bless the US Military and all our military heros, past, present and future. Thanks and Welcome Home to all.
Links to the detailed story and sites dedicated to telling the facts about this battle, challenges, memories and the heroism as told by those who were there:
A quote from the KS Vets HP that caught my attention, as it gives the truth that still applies today:
“Let us understand: North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans can do that.”
Richard M. Nixon, television broadcast, 3 Nov. 1969.
Khe Sanh video documentary via YouTube:
Warning: Anyone posting anything disrespectful to any Veteran who comments here will be humiliated or deleted. That’s a promise.
Some time ago, when I was feeling down and dealing with many of life’s trials, one of my very best friends sent me this Steve Troxel devotional that lifted my spirit and imprinted in my heart. Now my friend is travelling a rocky and difficult road, and so I’m “regifting” this wonderful devotion back to him in hopes it keeps the chain of truth and Christ’s love moving forward. God Blesses us with our Final Victory.
The Final Victory
Today, all over the world, there are people facing situations which threaten to send everything they hold dear crashing to the ground. It may be the result of bad decisions or circumstances out of their control; but either way, they awoke in the middle of a whirlwind and cannot determine which direction to turn. There are many others who awoke tired and discouraged, and don’t even know why. Today is much the same as any other, but they are questioning the usefulness of continuing.
I can make this bold prediction about today, not because I have any insight into this particular day or period of history, but because that is the nature of life. We live in an imperfect world filled with imperfect people. The result is a bunch of imperfect circumstances! Even when we begin to walk with Jesus we struggle with these imperfections which distract us and steal our joy.
Why begin a message on such a depressing note? First, we need to understand we’re not alone. Many more people are struggling than we can possibly imagine. The need for encouragement is huge and will increase as the time of our Lord’s return draws near. Next, we need to know how we can live a life of peace and how we can pass this peace to others.
When we place our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we don’t receive the promise of a trouble free life – we receive the promise of an Eternal Life in the presence of God. Many of our troubles here on earth will remain. But an understanding of our eternal promise should encourage us as we shift our focus from life in terms of days and years, to life in terms of eternity; “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Jesus saw these same struggles in His disciples. He wanted them to live a life of peace and contentment, but He also knew they would face many difficulties. After a night of teaching His disciples about their relationship with the Father through faith in His Son, Jesus gave these words of encouragement:
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus came to conquer sin and death through His sacrifice on the cross: the battle with the true enemy has already been won! When we come to Him in faith and receive the transforming gift of His Spirit, we ought to keep this life changing truth at the front of ALL our thoughts. As we climb into the ring day after day – even as we grow weary, lose a few rounds and want to quit – let’s always remember that through our risen Lord we have an eternal hope. Let’s continue with the peace and assurance that in Christ we have been granted the final victory.
It never ceases to amaze me how little understanding of exactly what faith is about, is demonstrated by the non-believers who seem to feel so threatened by it, that they have to insult and persecute the believers. It’s as if they believe the only way to not be labeled hypocrites is to totally remove the part of man’s nature that makes a man or woman human. Being made a “new creature” does not mean you wake up perfect like Jesus, you just have the connection, grace and hope. But also the passion to get closer to God and his will. I cannot tell you with scientific factoids and certainty why I have faith. Faith is not based on things found on our worldly plain of existence, but rather on a personal inner experience. Faith is believing in something you cannot prove with science, but your personal experience tells you it is there. Jesus never said we would be perfect in our pursuit, only blessed with grace and forgiveness when we fall down or make mistakes in our chosen path to him. This article written by Mr. Barket makes the point in a very special way, so I am posting it here to help further the understanding.
Just Plane Faith
1.18.09 BY L. L. Barkat
I despise flying. Sorry for the strong word, but it’s true. From the moment I step on a plane, I get this queasy feeling. When the aircraft rushes down the runway and shudders into the sky, I feel faint. The whole time we’re airborne, I feel weightless, but not in a good way. More like I’m being dangled over a pit of tigers—and the air between my toes and their teeth is far too thin for my liking.
Imagine the torture it is for me to fly to my annual business conferences. New York to Chicago is bad. New York to California? Unspeakable. All those hours suspended over the tiger pit. If only I could sleep, I could ignore my fears. But no. I fidget. I snack. I get up and go to the bathroom too many times. It’s all enough to make me want to stay on the ground.
That’s all in a year’s work. But there are days, weeks, even months when my faith also feels like a flight to California. I hurtle down some theological runway, and I’m sure this time I’ll crash. I fuss and fidget and worry that everyone is going to know I really can’t do this faith thing . . . I’ve got insurmountable spiritual problems, too many doubts to qualify as a Christian.
This is one reason I love the Bible so much. I love the honesty of the people who wrote about faith giants who seemed likely to be disqualified. This honesty makes it possible for me to go to Moses and hear him say, with chutzpah, “Enough already, God. You birthed this people. I don’t want to lead them anymore.” Or I can listen to Abraham accuse, “Are you really going to destroy the good people of Sodom and let everyone think you’re just a bully in the sky?” I can get out of the boat with Peter, having trusted Jesus, only to realize that in fact I’m about to drown. I love the Bible for giving me permission to be afraid or angry or doubtful about faith.
I say the Bible gives me permission, because it’s not silent on these matters. Rather it speaks plainly about people who didn’t want to get airborne, were afraid of tigers (both real and hypothetical), didn’t have enough courage to sit in the exit row and open the door in case of emergency. And I see that faith is not the complicated business I sometimes make it out to be. Instead, it simply requires that I take the trip, step in, stay on, listen for instructions.
Fidgeting is allowed.
I would like to express my deepest sympathy and condolences over the loss of John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s oldest child Jett. I cannot imagine how diffucult it would be to deal with this kind of loss. May Jett take repose in the arms of angels until his family is together again. God Bless you and your family during this sad time.
To All Parents
Written By: Edgar A. Guest
(from “All In a Lifetime”–Copyright, 1938)
“I’ll lend you for a little time a child of Mine,” He said,
“For you to love the while he lives and mourn for when he’s dead,
It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three,
But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for Me?
He’ll bring his charms to gladden you, and shall his stay be brief
You’ll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.
“I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.
I’ve looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true
And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call to take him back again?”
I fancied that I heard them say, “Dear Lord, Thy will be done.”
For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shelter him with tenderness, we’ll love him while we may
And for the happiness we’ve known forever grateful stay;
But shall the angels call for him much sooner than we’ve planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.”