There are times when you just have to walk in faith. This is to say that in life an absolute dependence on God and His Word become paramount in good times as well as bad times. I can attest to faith on God on both levels. There is no doubt that God has been nothing less than incredible in my life and to speak of things most recent would take a book just to begin to understand the many twists and turns that have led me to this point. Let me explain.
Many may be familiar with the fact that I am in Texas as a result of the Fort Worth veteran’s health clinic offering me a chaplaincy internship. Now, the Fort Worth clinic is part of the larger Dallas VA medical system. Still, with that offer I quickly accepted the position while I was still in Baltimore and began in earnest to make my way to Texas. Of course this was not an easy task because I had been unemployed for some time and was unable to pay for any means of transportation. Well, this was nothing for God. As a matter of course I was put in touch with the founder of an organization called The Open Table (http://theopentable.org/). Without hesitation the founder sponsored my trip to Texas and provided other financial aid. So, someone please tell me that God does not take care of His own!
Still, that is far from the end of the story. I also needed a place to stay and while researching what could be done I learned of Veteran’s Community Outreach (http://www.vetsco.org/). I received the same type of response from its founder as I did with The Open Table. Without hesitation the founder simply said, “I’ll help you.” And with that he did help. I was picked up at the train station in Fort Worth, transported to a hotel that Sunday evening, picked up Monday morning and transported to a wonderful four-bedroom house in Arlington, TX. It is true that God does put people in our way to be a blessing to us. The fact is that God uses people to bless people so I would encourage all that have a hard time receiving to open wide your hands so that God can do what He does best.
To my dismay the Veteran’s Administration was not nearly as accommodating. After getting to Texas and doing all that was required I soon learned that things within the Veteran’s Administration are far from honorable. No doubt that many have heard of the atrocities at the hands of the Veteran’s Administration in which a number of veterans died waiting to be served. While my situation is not as dire as that suffice it to say that I served in the United States Marine Corps. I was honorably discharged in 1985. From that time I have had no problems because of my not registering with the Selective Services. In fact the Selective Services letters I have clearly show that because of my service I should be denied nothing from the Federal Government.
Well, this did not matter to the Dallas Veteran’s Administration. I had already started my internship and was fully seated. My background was clear; I was able to get through a very intense interview process among other things. And while human resources did not fire me they did say that my package had to be sent to Washington, D.C. for clearance. The process could take as much as ninety days. So, after much hard work my program was suspended impacting not just me but also my co-workers. With that it seems that well qualified veterans such as I deserve extra scrutiny in order to work with veterans. For real? Is this the way veterans should be treated?
It needs to be made painfully clear that my experience with Human Resources of the VA has nothing to do with my immediate supervisor. In fact my supervisor in the Fort Worth clinic, insofar as I am concerned, is a superior and wonderful person. In fact all the chaplains I have met in the Texas VA have proven to be high quality people many of whom are themselves veterans. My issue is the administration and the administration alone. The fact of the matters is that my supervisor was kind enough to refer me to a chaplain at Huguley Hospital (http://www.texashealthhuguley.org/) in Fort Worth. After meeting with him his words were “I can see why they hired you” and immediately offered me a position. Yes, there was some red tape but nothing like that of the Veteran’s Administration. My work at Huguley is to start Monday the sixteenth.
Now, this will be a very intense program. Within two and a half months I will put in at least four hundred hours and about ten on-call days. This means that I will be spending much less time online as I walk further into my destiny. And while I will not be online a lot my plan is to chronicle my experience with the Huguley Hospital internship weekly. Please be sure to follow what is going on in my walk as I continue to press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
With that said it is my hope that all be encouraged. It took several years for me to get to this point with considerable opposition. Some have said that I was not qualified while others mocked my faithfulness. Some saw no reason for me to perform academically while others have chosen to smother themselves in the stench of jealously. This will also happen to you if you choose to go after what God has for you. But, be not dismayed. Do not give up. Keep on moving toward your destiny and your end will be most victorious. No, don’t you dare quit!
Today is a day designated and set aside to remember the faithful who have fallen, as they fought fearlessly to defend the freedoms we know and enjoy. Countless men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice, as they selflessly served. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. – (John 15:13) May we take time to remember the fallen, as they willingly laid down their lives so that ours would be secure.
Remember the ones,
who never came back;
so valiantly fought,
while under attack.
Siblings and spouses,
the daughters and sons;
too soon they were lost,
but not forgotten.
We rest from our work,
we pause in our play;
for lives lost and peace,
we humbly shall pray.
Also for those still,
on the battlefield;
Lord, please be their shield.
May those who have served,
know our gratitude;
please keep them, dear God,
may blessings ensue.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the faithful men and women who have served and continue to serve our nation. Thank You Jesus for Your sacrifice, as it is only through the gift of Your life that we are able to truly live ours. Thank You for the sacrifice that so many families and soldiers have made, so that we can continue to enjoy the freedoms we know and love. Forgive us for taking our freedom for granted, and help us to lift up our service men and women regularly, and remind us to pray too, for peace. May we live and love with grateful hearts, and encourage all whom we encounter towards the same. Let hearts turn to You, and many come to know true freedom in a lasting relationship with You, our Redeemer. Be glorified, O God. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
For the Lord your God will bless you, …and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15
By Bill Federer
The 11th hour of the 11TH DAY OF THE 11TH MONTH of 1918, World War I ended.Though the Armistice was signed at 5:00 AM, fighting continued till11:00 AM, killing nearly 11,000 more men.
In 1921, President Warren Harding had the remains of an unknown soldier killed in France buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery.
“Here rests in honored glory an American soldier know but to God.”
Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all U.S. Veterans.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan placed a soldier from the Vietnam War in the tomb.
In 1998, Michael Blassie was reburied at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.
“On the threshold of eternity, many a soldier, I can well believe, wondered how his ebbing blood would color the stream of human life, flowing on after his sacrifice…
I can sense the prayers of our people…
Let me join in that prayer.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come…”
It is the Soldier, not the minister
It is the Soldier, not the reporter
It is the Soldier, not the poet
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
It is the Soldier, not the politician
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
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Today, many of us are blessed with an extra day off. The intent of this day is that we might honor veterans, both those whom have served, and those who are still serving. An automatic response of mine, anytime there is such a day, is to make some sort of personal connection so that the day is more meaningful. My mind instantly drifts to images of my late grandfather. Though he is no longer with us, he was an incredible example of one who was willing to lay down his life for the good of his country, family, and friends. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Army, and then went on to serve as a prison guard at one of the toughest penitentiaries on the West Coast. Despite his ability to command the respect of men, he was tender, gentle and kind with his grandkids and loved ones.
Several of my former students have also gone on to serve in our armed forces. I am so grateful for the sacrifices that so many men and women are willing to make, in order to preserve the freedoms we know and love. As I read in I Corinthians this morning, the following verse is lived out daily, by those who serve: “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” – (I Corinthians 10:24) May we listen for His voice, so that we too, may know how He would have us seek the good of others.
For freedom they fight,
so we may enjoy;
all that we now know,
our rights to employ.
This freedom’s not free,
cost much sacrifice;
time, blood, sweat and tears,
oft ultimate price.
Take not for granted,
these freedoms we know;
remember the cost,
and gratitude show.
Thank you all soldiers,
and those who support;
today we honor,
come close and consort.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the men and women who have answered the call to protect our country, near and far. Please protect every service member, and help them to know how very near You are. May each veteran and serving soldier feel honored today, and may we as a nation, be more supportive of our troops. Forgive us for taking our freedoms for granted, and help us to do whatever You call us to, to honor and support those who are serving our country, and their families that are left behind. Teach us how to trust You more, so that we may love like You in all things and at all times. May the love that we show lead many to a lasting relationship with You. Above all, be glorified through our every action. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
from then until now,
waked into harms throes,
never asking how.
Fighting for freedom,
defending the weak;
no glory to seek.
May we remember,
and honor the ones,
parted so tender,
left daughters and sons.
For brave mighty souls,
who too young have died,
laid rest in a hole,
while survivors have cried.
We will not forget,
the brave folks who’ve served;
may we not regret,
grant honor deserved.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the many men and women who have faithfully fought, and are still fighting, to defend the freedoms that we are so fond of. Please be with the families of those who have fallen, and lead us and guide us as to how we might help and lift them up in prayer. Protect our forces that are serving still, and may we remember and honor well, those who have fallen in the fight. Forgive us for not giving honor where it is due, or for being passive or apathetic when we ought to at least actively cover our countrymen and women in prayer. Teach us how You would have us pray and extend practical help to those who are left behind, and to those who return injured or broken from the fight, so that they might not face all that lies before them alone. May our loving acts of obedience lead many unto You, in who we have access to become more than conquerors, by Your great love. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present
Oscar winning actor Marion Michael Morrison, better known as John Wayne, was born MAY 26, 1907.
Of Presbyterian Scots-Irish descent, his grandfather, Marion Mitchell Morrison, fought in the Civil War.
John Wayne played football for U.S.C. and worked behind-the-scenes at Fox Studios, before being discovered by director John Ford, who cast him in epic western and war films.
A January 2011 Harris Poll ranked John Wayne third among America’s favorite film stars.
On MAY 26, 1979, Jimmy Carter said:
“I have today approved…a specially struck gold medal to John Wayne.
For nearly half a century, the Duke has symbolized the American ideals of integrity, courage, patriotism, and strength and has represented to the world many of the deepest values that this Nation respects.”
Ronald Reagan said November 5, 1984:
“I noted the news coverage about the death of my friend, John Wayne. One headline read ‘The Last American Hero.’…
No one would be angrier than Duke Wayne at the suggestion that he was America’s last hero.
Just before he died, he said in his unforgettable way, ‘Just give the American people a good cause, and there’s nothing they can’t lick.'”
John Wayne had become an icon to all the branches of the United States Armed Forces, starring in films about World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, such asSands of Iwo Jima (1949),Flying Tigers (1942), They Were Expendable (1945), and the Ford cavalry trilogy: Fort Apache (1948); She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949); Rio Grande (1950).
Get the book, One Nation Under God
In 1979, John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, was named for him.
In his album, America-Why I Love Her, 1977, John Wayne stated:
“Face the Flag, son, and face reality.
Our strengths and our freedoms are based in unity.
The flag is but a symbol, son, of the world’s greatest nation,
And as long as it keeps flying, there’s cause for celebration.
So do what you’ve got to do, but always keep in mind,
A lot of people believe in peace…but there are the other kind.
If we want to keep these freedoms, we may have to fight again.
God forbid, but if we do, let’s always fight to win,
For the fate of a loser is futile and it’s bare:
No love, no peace…just misery and despair.
Face the Flag, son…and thank God it’s still there.”
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Veterans sacrifice so that those of us who remain behind, may retain our freedom. Too often they are ignored or demeaned when they should be saluted and honored. Veterans Day is set aside by a one time grateful nation to do just that, honor and salute those who have served and sacrificed. While I am no longer sure that this nation is grateful for the sacrifice given, I know that I am. This post is a reminder to honor those who have served and are serving. If you love our Vets please take a moment to pray for them and pray for peace. Perhaps one day soon, it will no longer be needed for some to sacrifice for others.
Veteran’s Day Prayer
Today we honor our veterans,
worthy men and women
who gave their best
when they were called upon
to serve and protect their country.
We pray that you will bless them, Lord,
for their unselfish service
in the continual struggle
to preserve our freedoms, our safety,
and our country’s heritage, for all of us.
Bless them abundantly
for the hardships they faced,
for the sacrifices they made
for their many different contributions
to America’s victories
over tyranny and oppression.
We respect them, we thank them,
we honor them, we are proud of them,
and we pray that you will watch over
these special people
and bless them with peace and happiness.
In Jesus’ name we pray; Amen.
By Joanna Fuchs
Veteran’s Day Prayer
Thank all of you so much for your prayers. I wanted to let you know that prayer works and God is still in control. My back has eased up quite a bit. It is not totally healed but it is not locking up and I can move without extreme pain. Thank you all again and God bless you everyone!