Posted tagged ‘blessed’

When the wolf bites hard, the sheepdog remains steadfast.

September 26, 2007

u19776252.jpg   by Pamela Kay

The following is an email my son sent to his wife. Names have been changed to protect privacy. It shows, as have many others like it, that the soldiers in Iraq are not ready to desert their post and come home. They do not want to cut and run. They want to complete the mission they were sent to do. They are brave beyond belief. I am sure their first choice would be for the world to be at peace and themselves to be at home in the embrace of their families. But since they can not have their first choice, they do what they can, above and beyond the call of duty, everyday. They put their lives at risk to keep us free. They go into harms way, so it will not come to us.

I am proud of these men and women for stepping up and doing what needs to be done, regardless of the personal toll it takes on themselves and their family. They do this for the good of all. They are to be commended for not only their bravery, but for their selflessness and their dedication to the United States of America and our ideals of what freedom really is. They are sheepdogs in the wolves’ den, making a difference in this world of chaos and hostility.

Sweetie,

I’m back at the Boondocks 🙂 It was a pretty good trip and Gunner was with me, so we had a few laughs. Things went well until we were entering the IZ this afternoon. Just as we were entering the IZ, our last stop, I got a radio message that we had taken a casualties in the64th and that they were being MEDIVACed to the CSH (which is also in the IZ).

Gunner and I went directly to the IZ and got there just as our Soldiers were being brought in. They are all going to make it, thank God. But the gunner is hurt really bad. An EFP hit the truck and penetrated. The gunner took the biggest part of the blast and pieces of the projectile went all the way through his abdomen. He’s got some extensive damage to his intestines but he’ll recover. I stayed there while he was in surgery …he was in there for4 hours. The kids name is SPC Porter. When they brought him out of surgery he was a mess, but tomorrow they are going to operate again and then they will EVAC him to Walter Reed through Germany. The doctor said he expects a full recovery. They are keeping him asleep until after his second surgery, so I never got to talk to him, but Gunner, myself and a number of his buddies stayed there beside his bed for a while.

The Chaplain for the CSH, who is a good man, came and talked with everyone. He’ll watch out for Porter tonight…and I’m thankful that we have him there. CPT Haden, the commander, was wounded as well. He’s got a broken clavicle, but will be fine. SPC Garcia was also wounded, but returned to duty.

We were blessed…it really is a miracle that no one died in this attack. By all rights, it should have been a catastrophic hit…but somehow it wasn’t. CPT Haden is a very devout Christian, and he certainly believes he had a prayer answered today.

While at the CSH, I had another of those moments that lets me know we are doing the RIGHT thing by being here. In the bed beside Porter was a 5-month old baby. I asked the doctor what happened to him and they told us his mother and father were killed by insurgents. The insurgents also shot the baby, but he survived….somehow. He too will be okay from what we were told. It was hard to think that someone could do something like that. Just because this baby and his family were Sunni, they were shot. How do these people do these things. You know me and kids…but then that’s everyone and kids I guess.

I was really shook up, and that experience coupled with my guys being wounded really hit me hard. It was tough. As I said, when I arrived they had just brought the wounded in. SGT Malory is the squad leader for that squad. Malory is an inch taller than me, and goes about 250 I guess. He’s a BIG man, and HARD. My initial report was that the wounded were serious but stable, but I never trust that anymore because the last two times we had a Soldier killed, I was told via radio that they were “serious but stable”. So I walked in half expecting the worst.

When Malory saw me he just broke down crying…he was inconsolable. I took him outside right away and we sat down on the curb. I was certain that one (or more) of my guys were gone. I just put my arm around this big ole mountain of a man and we sat there while he cried. Finally, he stopped and started telling me how everyone was (as best he knew). Gunner was inside checking on the status of everyone. Judi…I was so relieved when he told me that they were all alive. He said “I’m not crying because they got wounded…I’m crying because they are all so brave.” He went on and on about how ALL of his squad did EXACTLY what they were trained to do.

The vehicle was still smoldering, but the other squad members ran to it and started extracting the wounded…that is extremely dangerous because the ammo inside can cook-off easily killing or wounding anyone near it. But they didn’t hesitate. They got them out, secured the area, called for MEDIVAC and stabilized the wounded. He was, as am I, so impressed with their “calm under pressure” abilities.

When he was finished telling me what occurred I said “Malory, they did all that because YOU trained them…you showed them how to do all this back at Hood.” We talked a little more, and then he was back to himself….hard, big and in-charge. The rest of the squad was there by that time, and so we went to talk to them and tell them that everyone was okay.

I spent about an 30 minutes talking to the Soldiers and telling them I was proud of them. Of course, none of them thought they did anything special. “Just another day at the office.” They were worried, but even in this state, they all made sure that Malory knew that all sensitive items and weapons were accounted for… That the remaining trucks were combat ready…standing there in that hospital parking lot, the team leaders had the presence of mind to brief their squad leader that all was well with the remainder of the squad, and that they were ready to get back in the fight.

I know this gets old, Babe. I know that it’s a broken record…but again I found myself asking “where do we find these kids?” Dirty, blood-covered in some cases, and shook to the bone by a BIG hit…with brothers in the CSH wounded badly…these kids were preparing themselves and their equipment for whatever might come next. That’s amazing to me. I am moved often by their bravery…real courage.

Once again I’m left thinking “I’m blessed to serve beside them…to get the opportunity to lead people like this.” It was a rough day…it was certainly not filled with good memories. But I am in awe of our troopers, Judi. They amaze me.

I’ll be here for a little while and if you have time to talk I’ll give you a call. Let me know. I love you.

Love, Me

Hold on to the peace that surpasses all understanding

September 24, 2007

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Some days it rains. We cannot get around that. However, what we can do is seek shelter, raise an umbrella and put on our rain gear to protect ourselves from falling torrents, splashing puddles and lightening strikes. It is the same with the storms of life.

We can just muck along in the gossip, arguments and backbiting or we can choose to rise above it and seek a higher plain on which to stand.

This is an easy thing to say. But, when it comes down to actually turning the other cheek we sometimes balk at it, as too hard. When it comes to actually walking away from angry accusations thrown at you, it is too hard to do. When juicy gossip is floating around that will put you in the know, it is too hard to not listen. When someone has hurt you and you then catch them with their hand in the cookie jar, it is too hard to keep it to yourself.

Turning the other cheek, walking away, not listening, and keeping things to ourselves are not human traits. They are spiritual traits. Learned behavior. These are the keys to having the peace that is promised by Jesus. He will give us this peace, but we must obey to have it.

I fall down a lot in this area of my Christian life. I am too often quick with an angry retort, or push back when I am pushed. I don’t want to do these things; I just do them before I think. The human side of me wants instant satisfaction and revenge. The spiritual side of me is shoved aside as I basically say,” Wait a minute Jesus, I’ll handle this one.” He does not argue with me, He lets me proceed to make another mistake, because I choose to do this rather than remember the lessons I have been taught in the past. Obeying Him is always a choice; it is never forced on me.

I am always sorry afterward. I often feel shame for not obeying and living the example He gave His all to teach us. Yes, He forgives me, but when will I learn? How many times do I have to trip into this pitfall before I see I need to take another path? How much damage do I do to my creditability as a Christian?

If you preach it, you had best be living it. There are those always waiting and watching for you to fall so they can say, “I thought you said so and so.” And if they can see when my actions do not match, what I say, then they can see when they do match and this is my witness for Jesus.

It takes a long time to undo the harm and damage I do to my witnessing ability when I keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Satan knows what buttons to push. He knows I hate injustice and he uses this against me. Hating injustice is a good thing, but not when you try to change things on your own. The fight is Jesus’ and He has already won it.

He does not want me to fly angrily into the fray, screaming and pushing, demanding to be heard. He does not want me to use the methods of those that I seek to show a better way. How can I tell someone that His way is better if I do not live it myself? Who would listen? Who would believe me?

No, what He wants is for me to follow His example and take the venues He has opened for me. I do not get to choose the terms of engagement, the battle plan if you will.  He will always provide a way to do His work if that is what He wishes you to do. He has more ways and means at His disposal than I can ever hope to imagine. You have to do it His way or not at all.

I do not get to pick and choose who I would like to see saved by Christ. He chooses, and He does not tell me who they are sometimes. To be sure that I do not do more damage than good, I must be the same all of the time, treating everyone the same. He was not a respecter of persons, neither should I be.

Friend or foe, He loves us all and sees the good in each of us. It is His choice as to who should be punished and how and when. Not mine. My part is to show His love to everyone I come in contact with. Yes, this is another thing that is so hard to do. But I try to remember that we sometimes entertain angels unbeknownst to us. And that I too was once wandering around lost and He chose to save me. Do I wish to deny others the same blessing that was freely given to me? Heavens no!

I use to laugh at the way some of the Jewish men would wear a Tefillin on their foreheads and hands. These are small boxes with scriptures in them. The first is from Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 and says, “And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes….”  I no longer laugh at this practice. It makes sense to me. It is to help them to remember. I need one that says, “There but by the grace of God, go I.”

I could remember better, if I spent more time in my Bible and less time wondering about what others are doing and saying. Those things are none of my business. His word is my business. It should be my primary business.

I suppose that what brought about me writing this blog today is the dismal way I failed yesterday at work. I became so angry that my blood pressure shot up enough to turn my face red. My anger did nothing to resolve the problem. However, I did not want to wait until Monday, when Human Resources are open. I wanted things done then, in my time, not in Christ’s chosen time. Therefore, I did a lot of damage to my reputation as one who is a Christian.

I was not the injured party. It was a shy sweet little Hispanic woman who barely speaks English. But you understand anger in any language when someone is screaming in your face. She was frightened and did not even know what was going on. A foul-mouthed bully was giving us all a hard time, but the Hispanic woman took the brunt of it. She was so thankful for my coming to her aid that she spent the rest of the day running over to my job to help me.

Now this is heart warming to me, but…! She may not be the one that Jesus had in mind for me to witness to. Maybe it was the foul-mouthed woman. At any rate, my behavior was deplorable and I am ashamed of how I handled the incident. I do not know if the damage can be undone. I am in pain because I may be that woman’s last chance to get to know Jesus. It is true that her actions appeared driven by Satan, but it is also apparent that mine were too.

I have to answer for my actions but if she is lost, God may call me to account for her soul too. He knows now that I am so sorry for what I did. He has forgiven me, of this I am sure. However, even with forgiveness there are always consequences and this weighs heavy on my heart now.

Since I love Jesus, I should not have such a hard time holding on to the peace He gives to us. But by my own willfulness, I have let go of this prized gift from my Lord and Savior. My prayer is that He will in His great mercy allow me to redeem myself at work and again be a good witness for Him.

Enough! How To Take America Back Through Our Children

September 20, 2007

America The Beautiful

by Pamela Kay

What has happened to America? Where are the people who once valued freedom, decency and respectfulness? Why have our values been turned upside down and our vision so distorted, that we no longer see a line between right and wrong, sensible and stupid, funny and vulgar? Why have the lines been smudged or erased!

Language in this country is horrendous. Four letter words are used as punctuation. No one seems able to express them self with out using expletives that make my skin crawl. Take “brown nosing” for an example. Most probable do not know what it really refers to, they only know it means to curry favor. However, if you look at what it actually means and get a mental picture of it, it is repulsive.

Even those who have great, working vocabularies use this language. I believe it is an effort to fit in. This desire seems to drive our country. Being accepted is important to me too, but on my terms, not those of others. I say what is acceptable to me, not the one with the most personal power. These people are usually bullies and I will not be bullied into relinquishing my ideals to gain favor with them, in hopes that they will do me no harm.

That is how they gained their personal power in the first place. Well, most of them anyway. Those with the vile vicious wagging tongues that spread their venom about those who do not bow down to them. I see it in action everyday at work. Really nice people being forced out because they will not conform to the vulgarity that reigns. I say enough is enough!

Another thing that I do not understand is why our troops are bashed in the media when it is the policies of the country that may be at fault. Calling a national hero who put his very life on the line for all of us is an unthinkable act. And by a well-educated and wealthy woman who wields a lot of power. But again the line is blurred and Hillary Clinton stepped over it. What could she hope to gain from bashing General Petraeus? More power! She has not learned what enough is.

Modesty has all but disappeared in America, and nudity reigns supreme. The more you can show, the better. Hemlines have crept up as necklines have plunged. There is no longer anything left to a man’s imagination, so he searches in the day cares for something to tantalize him. He is searching for purity, which he is hard-pressed find in today’s modern woman. There are those who dress in a modest way, but they are few and far between.

If anatomy that was once required to be covered is not actually showing, it is covered so tightly it might as well be showing. Or it is so decorated that attention is drawn to it. Do women think this is the only way to catch a man’s eye? What about smiles, personality, values, faithfulness and intelligence?

Upside down is our dress code of today. Clothing that is “in style” must be either too small or too big. I am so tired of looking at ugly butts, boobs and bellies that I could scream!! I don’t even want to see the pretty ones. With people like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton setting our standard for the youth, I see no hope of it getting better. But I have had enough!

Children once were taught to show respect to their elders, their country, their flag and their president. But no more! Respect is passé, out the door, out of style, old fashioned and very much dead in America. Why? How did we move from there to here? How did our values change so quickly? The answer is television. And I have had enough of that too!

Television started out to be a good thing as did the splitting of the atom, which held hope of making deserts bloom, and feeding the masses. But, it went wrong when programmers realized there was more money to be made in shock than in educational, in sleazy than in nice, in shocking accusations than in truth and in x-rated than in family oriented.

So I ask you, where are the decent, law abiding, God-fearing people who will take America back? Will we sit on our hands or wring them until it is too late to redeem us? Do you think you can’t make a difference by yourself? You can make a difference and you can motivate others to join with you in fighting back against the ruination of our great country. Have you had enough? I have and I am fighting back!

What can you do? Vote! Encourage others to vote. Know the candidates and what they stand for, what they have voted for in the past. How they live their lives. It takes time to do these things, but isn’t the goal worth it? You can write letters of protest to senators and congressional representatives, to sponsors of bad television programs, to your council members, your mayor. Tell them what you think and what you want.

Get to know your own children better; they are the future of this country. And just as it did not take only one day for us to fall so far, it will take more than a day to right ourselves.. Know who your children’s friends are and what their family ideals are. Get to know the parents and see it they have the same moral values as you. Talk to your children; give them examples of how wrong behavior hurts them and others. Show them by the example of your living how to live in a decent way.

Find a way to take them to see other children in hospitals because of bad choices. Same thing with children that are incarcerated. Let them see what can happen to them. Encourage them to read about good role models. In addition, be one yourself.

Know their teachers and what their curriculum is at school. Don’t just assume they are being taught what they need to know. Teachers have agendas just as everyone else does. Are they putting their personal spin on things and leading your child off the right path? Find out by becoming involved.

If you find the schools approved curriculum not to your liking, try to change it. Go before the school board; rally other parents with your views. If this fails, consider taking your child out of public schools and placing them in a private one. Or try home schooling. Think you can’t afford it? Think again.

That second job in the household, which gives you a better standard of living, could be costing you dearly in the end. The best standard of living you can give to your children is a good right thinking education. They are your most important and valuable asset. They should be at the top of all agendas and priorities. What good are all the possessions in the world if your child is in prison, on drugs or lying mangled in a hospital bed?

When it comes to television as entertainment, limit the amount of time spent in front of the boob tube. It has been called that for a reason! Turn off the bad shows on TV and allow your children to watch only acceptable programming. Watch television with them.

Get outside with your children, no matter what their age is. Play basketball with them or run, swim, exercise, jump rope, or just take a walk with them. Teach them about the world and about history. Get involved with them in all ways. Yes, they may moan at first about spending time with you, but the average child of today really wants the approval and acceptance of their parents more that you might think.

If we, as concerned citizens of America, do not move now to change things for the better, they will only continue to change for the worse. Raise your voice and help restore the values and principles this great country was founded on. The danger of our country falling to a terrorist attack is great. But so is the danger of falling from within as ancient Rome did because of moral decay. I’ve had more than enough of politicians and organizations like the AFLCIO telling me how to live and cramming political correctness down my throat.

I already know what is correct and acceptable behavior at all times. I was taught in a time before Washington started pandering to special interest groups, before criminals had more rights than law-abiding citizens, when guarding our borders and obeying our laws meant something and when we as parents had a say in the raising of our children and what they were to be taught. Do you know what is right and just? Then let your voice ring out loud and shout from the rooftops that you have had enough!

Jillian Danielle Pasley and Roland Andrew Jeffords became one today

September 15, 2007

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Jillian Danielle Pasley and Roland Andrew Jefford became one today.

I have just returned from the wedding. It was a lovely affair. The women looked like a garden of flowers, and the men were all so handsomely dressed. The bride was stunning: a vision of white, except for the warm brown of her smiling, dancing eyes. The flowers were fresh and dewy and the food was delicious. The cake brought chuckles, as the groom atop it was drug off by the bride. Overall, it was a wonderful wedding.

However, there was one other thing the eyes of this grandmother saw that made the day so very, very special. It was the way that Andrew looked at Jillian. The pride, the joy, and the love were written all over his face. It showed in how he took her hand and held it tenderly. His thumb gently rubbing her hand in a silent but loudly spoken, “I love you, I cherish you, you make me complete, I am overjoyed that you love me too.”

They were lost to the guest and the rest of the world as they stood and faced each other on this, their special day of becoming one. This is as it should be. Nothing save God in heaven should have been more important to them, and it was not. The baby chattering in the back row was unnoticed, the warm glow of the flickering candles was unseen, the coolness of the sanctuary was unfelt, the murmurings of the guests were unheard, and the fragrance of the flowers was not smelled. Only the silent message sent by their eyes and their joined hands was acknowledged: I love you forever.

How wonderful is the peace of mind this little insight has brought to me. They are so young, and have so many roads ahead of them. Roads that sometimes take a twisted route of trouble or a detour of pain. Somehow, I believe these two, who are now one, will make it just fine. They will pull together through the rough times and laugh together in the good times. And this is what makes a good marriage in the end, doing it all together and never losing sight of the one you love most.

So, I am happy tonight. I have much to be thankful for, even though one son is far away in Iraq. I am blessed to have a healthy, loving family, however scattered out we may be. No matter that more often than not we disagree on some things. We always agree to love one another, to forgive one another and never turn our back on one another.

I am blessed that I have a job I am able to do (even though I often complain about it). Blessed to have my Mother, who is 81, with me and that she is more able than me at times to get the job done that needs doing. Blessed to live in America, even with all of its dissention and bickering. Blessed to be able to sit back and see things that others sometime miss, like the way that Andrew looked at my precious Jillian today.

Today was a good day, a very good day indeed.

Read the poem I wrote for them at http://www.helium.com/tm/604150/sounds-lives-meshingdawn-whispering