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Archive for the tag “humanity”

Buddy Poppy

 

BuddyPoppy_COB_Rotated

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

That poem reminds me of my youth. Growing up in East Texas, we observed most all things patriotic. I had many small town “little boy” jobs. Mowing lawns (with a boy-powered push mower), selling newspapers, you name it, I did it. One job I remember was selling Buddy Poppies, the paper replica flowers that the Veterans of Foreign Wars sell to raise money for disabled veterans. These were to honor our fallen soldiers. And at that time the focus was on WWII men and women.

Somehow I cannot visualize myself being in a war. I did spend a few years in the U.S. Navy; however, it was not during a period of American involvement in conflict. Honorably discharged in 1960, I spent the bulk of my military service aboard the USS Oriskany and the USS Hornet, both aircraft carriers. I married in 1959 and made the transition to civilian life upon my discharge. A few years later, America became involved in the Vietnam War.

But raising a family was my first concern and while my allegiance was to my family, I have always been conflicted about not serving during that period of time. Even today, I feel a deep regret for not stepping up to the plate. I feel sorrow for those who had the unpopular task in the Vietnam era.

My father-in-law was a combat veteran during WWII, serving in the SeaBees and among the first to venture onto the islands of the South Pacific, fighting battles and building airstrips. He was very private about his time in the service, but was among the many who received accolades for his time in the military, unlike the Vietnam veterans. I suppose this is one reason I feel a kinship with those who did.

Many returned home to an unpopular welcome. Derided and made to feel ashamed of their service. No other service to our country has ever been placed in that reasoning. Over 58,000 American men and women lost their lives during that conflict, and at the time those who survived were made to feel ashamed. That was a disgrace then and now.

Monday, May 27th is the day we observe Memorial Day this year. It is a day of remembering and honoring persons who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The burden is upon you, the America citizen, to remember and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country. Don’t disappoint me. Remember and respect all who did so. They served with distinction. And to the Vietnam veterans, I especially thank you for your service. I apologize for you taking my place.

Maybe I can find a Buddy Poppy to wear this Memorial Day. I do remember.

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IS THERE ANY…GOOD NEWS?

In the humdrum of everyday life, we often wonder about the circumstances of living and dying. As I spoke yesterday of the loss of a beloved pet in our midst, I am largely at a loss for words. Some have lost loved ones this past year. It is difficult to overcome the effects of death, whether a pet, a friend or a family member. Yet, life does go on. And for humankind, there is hope. I’m no expert on theology, however, I am confident that God is in control of our situations. He gives us peace and even joy to guide us through those challenging times.  Watching the evening news we often ask ourselves a question. This article tries to answer that question.

Malicious tyrants terrorize their people.
The news bears witness everyday,
Their cronies torment unwilling victims,
taking their freedoms away.
Lives are inflicted with shocking brutality.
Authority has blurred their vision.
Even good leaders turn from morality.

Mayhem fills the hearts of men…
Time… and time again.

From the ancient of days to modern day times
From Saul to Ahab to Herod of old
Nations and people have lived in fear
of kings and emperors and others so bold.

But God sent us His Son, Jesus, our King.
Who stepped down from His golden throne.
Good Tidings, Great Joy,
Oh, how the angels did sing.

And there were skeptics all around…
Because a Savior had been found.

And the authorities question;

“Can you not see the irony of this?
This child… a king…? Born in Bethlehem…?
Can anything good come from Bethlehem?
Is this some form of mockery?

I… am Herod the Great,
I will not step down.
I… am the ruler of this land.
Seek him out if you must
But know that I am king, not Him!”

And from more skeptics we hear…
Misguided… mostly from fear…

“From a lowly peasant girl…
You ask us to receive…
This babe— as our King,
This is what we should believe?

Surely, Yahweh God is more than able.
Our foes cannot be trembling at this sight!
Perhaps He could have come another way.
In kingly robes and a gleaming crown
Perhaps a chariot with eight white horses,”

Yet in this manger, a King is found.

for it is written:

“And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:12

“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end.”
Luke 1:32-33…

How many Kings stepped down from their thrones?
For you…? For me…?

Only One!

The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!

“Shout for joy to the Lord, ALL the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the Lord, the King”.
Ps.98:4:6

There IS Good News! JOY… to the World!

From the Highest of Heavens

Some say we are in the Christmas season, but I say, God is never out of season. People sometimes take Him out of their box in December, put Him back in the box in January and leave Him there until Easter.
This is the reminder… as we celebrate the birth of Christ with family and friends; let us also take the time to reflect on our worship of Him throughout the year.

“From The Highest of Heavens”

“The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all”.  John 3:31
“And the Lord God Almighty said, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are too small to be among the army groups from Judah, from you will come one who will rule Israel for me. He comes from very old times, from days long ago.” Micah 5:2

In the highest of heavens,
Even, the heavens above the heavens,
The Most High sits on the glorious throne of the
Lord God Almighty.
In the beginning and from your splendid throne,
You Were…
Before the equation of time became measurable,
You were God…
Before the flawless design of endless space
You existed…
Before cosmic matter came into being
You were present…
Before God-breathed humanity was fashioned
You were…
Even before nothing …
You were…

And even before all of this, my name…,
MY NAME…! was on your lips,
And my soul… MY SOUL! was on your mind.
Love for me… was in your heart, because,
You Were…

And in that highest of heavens,
at your right hand sat your Son, Jesus,
with the Plan for my soul.
—You whispered my name, He said, “I’ll go!”

Then from that highest of heavens,
Down through the endless space,
in His measured time,
Brushing aside celestial spaces to
save humanity as the True Light…
In flesh…,through a virgin birth, He came…

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth John 1:14

Here in the month of December, we celebrate the physical birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. But today isn’t His birthday, and neither is December the 25th. For we celebrate not the day He came, but that He Came. Some ask, was it real? I say, my friends, yes, His Birth was indeed real. He is real.
Can you imagine God whispering to Jesus, the names of everyone ever created in His image? Even before the world existed?…

God whispered your name…
Then He came…

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