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Footprints In The Sand

One night a man had a dream.  He dreamed he was walking across the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to him, and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. he also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, You said that once I decided to follow You, You'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints.  I don't understand why, when I needed You the most You would leave me."

The Lord replied, "My son, my precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

Footprints:  Jesus Christ and Me.
Author:  Mary Stevenson Parker

I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze;
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform,
So young, so tall, so proud;
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought... how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?

How many pilots' planes shot down
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves
No, Freedom is not Free.

I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still;
I listened to the bugler play,
And felt a sudden chill;

I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant "Amen"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend;

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands.
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No. Freedom is not Free!

Written By Kellky Strong, 1981

God Bless America - Long May She Stand
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True worship for the believer must focus on addressing the complexities of the human soul for that is where Jesus lives on in us; only then will the Christian see clearly to address the complexities of the human existence in today’s world.
{Jim Haynes  - March 2006}
January 26, 2000 3:29 PM
Subject: American History

I grew up in rural America in the '50's and '60's. On any given day, you could walk through the high school parking lot and observe that half the vehicles parked there were trucks with windows rolled down and doors unlocked.  Most of them carried as standard equipment an FFA sticker (Future Farmers of America for you city folks) and a gun rack with at least one gun, usually loaded.  You could make the same observation at any of the four high school campuses in our county.  Amazingly, I do not ever recall reading or hearing about mass shootings in any of those high schools.  What has changed in America is not the accessibility of guns, but the character of man.

On the wall in my parents home is a plaque awarded to my father in recognition of service for 27 years on the local school board. He told me that for years, a standard requirement on every Teacher's contract was membership in a local church.  I remember starting every school day with the pledge and a prayer.  I remember when girls who got pregnant in high school were ashamed, when abortions were illegal, when the divorce rate was not 50% because couples stayed together for the kid's sake, when there were no X-rated movies, when milk cartons didn't have missing kids faces on them and I didn't know anyone personally who used drugs.  I remember when kids were taught respect for authority and accountability to God.  I hear people say that the good old days weren't always so good but please don't tell me you think these are better.

Last night I attended a high school football game that was covered by local and national news.  The news coverage was not about the football teams, but about the defiance of a court order by one brave little Texas town to preserve the right to pray before a football game.  The more this country struggles to free itself from religion, the more we become entangled in the consequences.

If people are taught that they came from slime, the obvious questions and consequences must follow; What is the purpose of my existence [hopelessness], who made you the boss of me [lawlessness], why are your rules good and mine bad [relativism], what does it matter how I live if I came from slime and return to slime [immorality and inhumanity]?

I realize that in any given poll, the vast majority of Americans claim to believe in God. I claim to believe that running is good for me but that does not make me a runner. Putting on my running shoes and running makes me a runner.  The climbing abortion rate, murder rate, divorce rate, alcoholism and drug abuse rate, child and spousal abuse rate contradict that claim and prove that actions speak louder than words.  It is an observable truth that the best time you will ever make on any American City freeway is on Sunday morning because there are no traffic jams getting to church. For those who believe that separation of church and state is not enough, that the world would be better off with no church at all, ask your self this question.

How many hospitals, universities, orphanages, homeless, and abuse shelters have been founded by the ACLU, or American Atheist Society? It is the inclusion of the word Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Christian, etc., in the name of so many of these institutions that proves by actions, not just words, who really cares for the suffering of mankind and desires to make the world better.

The question that people should be asking is not "Why does God allow tragedies?" but "When will we realize that no nation, in the history of the world, has ever separated itself from God and evolved to a better society?”  Of course, to answer, you would have to know history.  Most people, it would seem, prefer People magazine."

(Submitted by tipi)
{From The Archives Of Jim Haynes}

This Piece was Written By:

Joyce Minor
Asst. director of Development and Alumni Relations
University of Alabama School of Law
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My Favorite Devotionals
Christian Wisdom

There is no situation so chaotic that God cannot from that situation create something that is surpassingly good. He did it at the creation. He did it at the cross. He is doing it today.
Bishop Handley Moule Bishop of Durham – [1841 – 1920]
Unites States Coast Guard

This poem is important to Kelly because he wrote it as a high school senior (JROTC cadet) at Homestead High, Homestead, FL. in 1981. It is a tribute to his father, a career marine who served two tours in Vietnam.

When he finds others trying to take credit for the authorship of the poem, Kelly sees it as a dishonor to the man who inspired the poem, his Dad.

Kelly is now an active duty Coast Guard pilot living in Mobile and serving at the US Coast Guard Aviation Training Center. He has three kids and a great wife, Najwa, who just completed work at the Miami VA clinic as a physical therapist.

Freedom Is Not Free
Honor All Those
Who Served
And those Who
  Died In Service
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When, in the course of human events, I, as with all men, shall die,
Let it be Lord, that I may fall among men of honor.  To lie in the company of cowards would be too great a burden for my soul to bear.  For a man without honor, has no value and the world is a better place without him.  So grant it Lord, that on the day I kneel before you, my creator, let it be known to all men that this man was truly a man of honor who was  committed first to the service of his God, secondly the defense of his nation, and to the keeping in safety of his family, this is my prayer and Epitaph delivered to the throne of grace in the name and blood of Jesus Christ.  Amen!

The Price of Freedom

Each day as the sun rises and sets on the boundaries of this great Country, we find its defenders and protectors on guard serving our nation helping to preserve our culture, and our way of life.  Some fight in the battle fields around the world and others right here at home in our very streets.  Some wear the uniform of a soldier and carry the flag of the United States to help protect other nations in our name, others wear the uniform of a Fireman or Law Enforcement Officers, yet others are in khaki pants and tool belts standing in the fields putting themselves between one catastrophic event of nature after another.  No matter what their attire, they are warriors all, for they have chosen to risk there lives to serve a nation in need.  Their reward, precious little from a monetary stand point, and the risks far out way any gain, yet there they stand, men and women who each and every day earn the respect and gratitude of a nation by simply going to work and doing what the rest of us can not or will not do.  Oh there are detractors who would prefer to lay down and quit rather then fight, there have always have been those.  People who prefer to live under tyranny rather than to stand and fight for the very freedoms guaranteed us in our Constitution with its Bill Of Rights; a document that itself did not come without a fight, without sacrifice.  Yet despite its history, there are those who will still use their rights under these documents to beat down others, telling them to give up their own rights under our constitution.  It seems we have lost sight of our basic responsibilities which are also given to us under the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Our fore fathers knew that with each article written would came individual responsibility.  Responsibility to defend and protect the rights of their neighbors even if it means giving up some of our own privilege.  They understood the necessity of each community, each town, city, county and state to stand and work together each with an eye to protecting and helping the other.  They did not directly write this down, they did not have to for it was a part of their very nature and therefore inherent in the documents they wrote. 

Little did these men realize that future generations would become so self-serving as to turn this great work against not only their neighbor but even against their nation.  They intended to protect the innocent, and bring justice to those who have been wronged, to allow us the right to protest injustice, to demand responsibility in our leadership and above all to live our lives secure in the knowledge that we are free to pursue our dreams without fear of oppression and unreasonable demands by a tyrannical house of government.  Surely these noble thoughts and words would be recognized and survive, and yet it took years of conflict at places like Bunker Hill, Yorktown, and Pennsylvania struggling with other nations to gain our rightful place in this world, then in 1861, some our own states decided that they should be allowed to pull away and do things their own way without regard to others of the nation, and again the United States was tested in battle at Gettysburg and Shiloh.  Only this time it was a fight with ourselves, brother against brother, community against community we fought and we died and we started again only some wiser this time.  Sadly, it did not end with the Civil War, there were many more challenges to come and each time our young men and women stood to the challenge with devotion to country and courage unmatched in the annals of history, these people defended our nation, our ideals and yes even our politics with their blood, and there was a lot of that.  They fought and died in WW I on the fields and forests of the Arden's, Pearl Harbor, the hedge rows of Normandy, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Okinawa, Iwo Jima in WW II, the Korean war saw Pork Chop Hill, Chosin Reservoir, in Viet Nam, the Tet Offensive, siege of Khe Sanh, the Mekong Delta and thousands more, half of which we can't even pronounce, our Citizens bled and they died, and today our young men and women are still paying the price in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, and where ever else, our troops are called to serve the best interest of the United States of America.  Yes it has been a long fight and those who have stood the test can be proud of their achievements for they never relented even in the face of their own governments unconscionable abuse of power which cost so many lives in the battlefields of Viet Nam, and still they stood.  Oh I know there are some out there like our misrepresentative's from California who think all they have to do is compromise a little here and collaborate a little there with our enemies and those who hate us, but their pathetically naive beliefs will certainly fall miserably in the light of history, and with out the warrior standing there saving their sorry backsides they will come to great loss.  The warriors have always been spurned by some of the privileged and treated with disdain, but I caution all you liberal fat cats to take a good look at what your have, because it is the warriors and the warriors alone that has allowed you to keep it, and while you are at it remember that these warriors are also citizens of this nation, citizens who unlike many of their detractors, are picking up the bill for your blatant arrogance and disrespect which is a right given us under the first amendment of that the Constitution.

Finally to those who have carried, and continue to carry, our banner into the far reaches of this world, you are a noble breed and this nation must always show you the honor and respect you not only deserve, but have righteously earned, for without people, citizens, like you this nation cannot survive today’s world.  So to all of you out there I offer you my most profound thanks, the honor and respect due from a fellow citizen and a nightly prayer that god will protect and preserve you where ever you stand this day.  Very little to offer indeed, but a warrior asks for no more. 

{Written By Jim Haynes, Released 2007}

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