Sunday, June 29, 2014

Not all the mighty are warriors

I was looking for a picture of one of my friends that just passed away, and I was unable to find much in the way of pictures of her by herself. I was getting a little frustrated by that, then I realized that the reason for this was that people enjoyed her company.

I remember her from High School...well, she didn't go to our school, she lived a town or two over, but everyone came to visit our town. We were the grand mecca of the entire southwestern Nebraska.

She was the sort of girl that would also have a smile, always have something nice to say, would always welcome a visit and would always be glad to throw a scowl when you were being an idiot. In short, she was one of those people that made life seem a little better after you had spent some time with them.

I suppose I haven't seen her for right around 25 years. But she was still close friends with some of my friends and they said some of the same sorts of things about her that I remembered about her.

Here is a brief and wholly inadequate tribute, but I hope you understand what I am trying to express. She was a person the world needs, but now she is gone:

How the mighty have fallen
and the weapons of war have perished.
2 Samuel 1

Not all the mighty are warriors
Sometimes the most powerful thing a person can do, the most powerful weapon they have, is to bring a smile to someone else's face.

Not all the great feats are things that are done in the heat of battle
Sometimes the things that last the longest happen on a summer night when a few friends help each other get through some tough times.

Not everything that makes an impact for eternity is something that we can see.
Sometimes the things that last the longest are the way we cheered someone else, or boosted someone's confidence or maybe the most glorious thing we do is the way we welcome someone into our home.

Not all the mighty are warriors
Sometimes the mightiest people, those that make the most difference,
 are our friends

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Colors

We usually only put our flag out on special patriotic days. But I decided to put it up today.

 I know that many will point to our countries many flaws and mistakes and say that we should not celebrate this flag. I take a different view.

If not for the ideals that our flag represents, the constitution our founders created and the vision that our country holds close we may not even notice those flaws. Without the standard, we wouldn't have something to reach for, and something to compare ourselves to when we don't measure up.

And, without the sacrifices that so many have made on our behalf, we would not be able to fly our flag so freely.

I was spending a little time today listening to Mark Greenblatt talking about Valor. He recently wrote a book of that name to celebrate some of the unsung heroes from our recent wars. So many incredible sacrifices have been made in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Greenblatt wanted to highlight a few of them in order to represent the many.

Jump over here to quickly read a couple of extraordinary stories of some of those who have sacrificed for us. He even has a page where you can email some of these guys and thank them for what they have done.


Today, in honor of these heroes, and many like them, I will fly my flag.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Sons (and daughters) are indeed a heritage from the Lord, children, a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior 
are the sons (and daughters) born in one's youth.
Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them.
Such men will never be put to shame
when they speak with their enemies at the city gate.
Psalm 127

 Proud to be a Dad today!

I feel as if my impact in the world is multiplied through my children and I am happy. I wish I could be with them all today.

Here's who we got:

Thomas - A veteran of the war in Afghanistan and is currently serving in the Middle East again.

Emily - One a mission trip/leadership training program in the urban inner city of Quito, Ecuador.

Abigail - Here with us today, but ready to face the world.

Ethan - our warrior in training, ready to head to Church with us this morning.

Makai - Tom's son, who we are hosting for the summer.

They are so cool, they sound like the cast of characters from a movie or great novel. I can't wait to find out more of the story! I love you guys.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

D Day Viewing

It seems almost crass to commemorate such a hallowed day as the beginning of the allied invasion of Normandy with movie viewing, but since it is now the day after, I think we can start watching. None of these can do justice to the scope and intensity of the events on June 6th, 1944, but some of the movies about this day are a good reminder of what those men and women endured.. And some are not as good.

Here are a few:

This one is the quintessential classic star studded tribute to the invasion at Normandy. Everyone who was anyone was in it, and it is a must see. Not as graphic and much more glorifying than today's re-tellings, but it still records some of the actual events and reflects some of the enormity of the operation.

I haven't seen IKE yet, but I usually enjoy Tom Selleck and it looks interesting. I think they also show the famous scene where Ike is photographed talking to the paratroopers that are all bedecked in their was gear, Mohawk haircuts and bristling with weapons.

I used to love The Big Red One when I was in middle school. It tries hard to recreate the pathos and pain of serving in a rifle squad through North Africa, Normandy and to the liberating of a concentration camp in one running battle after the next.

I have seen it again more recently. Ummmmm.......

If you want PTSD from having been on Normandy Beach and having seen your buddy's die violent deaths, dim the lights, turn up the sound and you are there looking into the face of the German defenses as you jump off your landing craft. You've probably already seen this one, or decided you aren't quite ready for it, but it does tell a great story.

These guys were there. You can go watch them there. Through the whole thing, D-Day and after.

No one has actually ever seen this movie. From the descriptions of it, they should not. A love triangle about two officers heading off to their fate on D-Day and sharing stories about the girl they left behind...which happens to be, unwittingly, the same girl for both of them.

Not a strictly D Day movie, but it's related. And it has Clint Eastwood in it. Kind of a Guns Of Navarone in the snow sort of feel with a squad of special operations guys try to rescue a General that has the plans for the D Day invasion.

So, watch a few flicks. Keep the memory alive.

Its a sign, a very bad sign

I am convinced that one of the worst things a Church can do to help share the good news about all the wonderful things God has done for us and all the good news we have and all that is to invest in one of those changeable message board signs.

It's just my opinion, but nothing shows that world that maybe God really does have nothing to do with anything when people can drive by a worship facility and see a litany of messages about how hot hell is or how you shouldn't skip Sunday School or some bad puns that only a few insiders will get about how nails and and crosses and forgiveness and how hot hell is and bible school and some sort of rapturous experience all add up to "show up here Sunday at 10 am".

Aren't the bumper stickers bad enough?

I was reminded of my opinion when I saw this one a few days ago: Wear Your Religion Like Underwear.

When I read this aloud, our whole family laughed, with the exception of the 5 year old, who let out a loud, "Ewwwwwww! That's Nasty!".

Perhaps this sign means something to someone, other than "hide your religion from everyone", or "your religion should be something everyone laughs at or is grossed out by", but I think the majority of us will merely scratch our head and wonder who came up with that and what exactly they are trying to say.

So, if you are a Churchgoer and someone brings up the great idea to put up one of those signs that you can put messages and announcements on, throw up your hands and run out of the room screaming. If you don't have a Church you attend, you really should consider being a part of one. Just ignore the places that stick up signs like that.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Too Old

A recent episode of the TV Spy Comedy Chuck (, taught me that old people are scary.

Since we have brought a 5 year old into our house for a not necessarily defined period of time, I have realized that I am, indeed, getting old.

Here are some things I am now too old for:

- I am too old to go back in the military. Unless the president specifically requests me, or something like that.
- I am too old to take a federal Law Enforcement job. I don't really want one, but it is kinda fun to say, "I could always just go join the FBI.
- I am too old to be in High School. Until recently, I even had dreams about forgetting my locker and that sort of thing. Now I am even too old to have dreams about that. Fortunately, I already graduated. I know, I have graduated college, but I still go look at my High Schhool Diploma from time to time just to make sure.
- I am too old to care about certain things that I once thought were important. And that could be a good thing.

Hope I didn't scare you.