Category Archives: Be A Man

Articles relating to and celebrating manhood, being a man in service to others, and to the King.

Awaken The Dawn

I was awakened before dawn this morning, to read, journal, listen, and meditate on what the Lord might be doing and saying, especially to me personally. There is a lot swirling around in our realm at the moment. 

We sold our home yesterday, so we’re homeless for the first time in many years. But we’re scheduled to close on a home in Northwest Arkansas later today. And we’re building a cabin at a different location. So life for us has gone in the last couple months from a great deal of peace to considerable chaos. Yet we’re feeling led to make all these changes, and experiencing considerable peace in the storm, praise be to God for His nearness and leading. 

But my reason for blogging early this morning is not about us. It’s about my friend Jeff, who has a lot going on in his realm this weekend too! He’s a good man and a good friend who’s helped me a number of times in natural matters and spiritual ones. I’ll share a couple things he shared with me recently that will give you an idea of where his heart and mind are. “The Bible tells us a couple of amazing things about faith: [1] It pleases God, and [2] It moves mountains.” He also said at breakfast recently, “Most of the problems in our country would be solved if Christians just read their Bibles every day.” All of this struck me as profound, and true.

I’m late to this fight, with all that’s going on around me, but I want to ask you to help this brother in two ways, right now. Pray for him and his wife in these two initiatives I’m about to share, both of which are going on this weekend. Then make these things known to your friends, and do anything you feel led to do.

Awaken the Dawn is a national movement of simultaneous worship and prayer for our nation in all fifty state capitols and many college campuses. Jeff and his wife are the Arkansas state coordinators. It’s happening in Little Rock and across the land even now. Please pray for their mission and purposes to be blessed by God, and pray to God for our nation.

Besides owning and operating a small business in NWA, Carter’s AV, and being involved in their church, missions, and other kingdom activities, Jeff and his wife are film makers! They have produced a documentary film about Dogpatch USA, the theme park located near Harrison and Jasper Arkansas that was in operation for several years and may have touched your lives if you’re in our five state region. It’s opening this weekend in theaters across the country. Click here if you’re interested in seeing where it’s showing, and please tell others. Thanks!

May God bless you Jeff, your family, your friends, and whatever you put your hand to do. Godspeed on your weekend, and your life’s journey.

Serving In the Storm

(From my journal) July 31, 2018      FSM-DFW-BIL-Zortman Montana    Up early with Beth who takes me to the airport at 0600L.

We both feel it’s right for me to go but are hesitant to separate with so much swirling about us?

Cabin framing started yesterday (amid showers — signs of Father’s blessing) We found a house in Springdale EB loves and I am content and comfortable with. Our Adelaide oasis has shown 8 times today, after only three days on multi-list. With a quick call to USAA we were pre-approved for a VA loan. Kim is helping sell our Fort Smith home. Barbie is helping us buy one in Fayetteville / Springdale. All this coming about in the last three weeks!

I’m going today to Zortman, MT and an Indian reservation where Justin died about one year ago on mission — for six days of spiritual focus, prayer, asking and listening, and service to the people there — some who know the King, and most who do not. Lord show us Your grace and favor. Amen. A prayer.

I just read on my flight out, from front to cover, “God Came Near” on my iPad and received much, much, much peace, faith, grace, and confirmation from it that “all is well.” Ps 23, Isa 30:15, Zech 4:6 TYL! Amen.

I texted EB to read it within the next 24 hours — starting with chapter 10, “Selling the Farm.” There are many, many similarities! And many, many marks of the Lord’s leading and favor!! :):) TYL! for leading me to write it and then read it — perhaps “For such a time as this.”

I’m going to Montana also, and primarily, to honor Justin and pray for what was important to him. And to thank God for the privilege of having such a friend. 🙂 Amen.

Arriving in Billings Intl Airport, I realize I haven’t even asked some praying people I know to cover our time and efforts with prayer — something I’ve leaned by experience is critical. I do so with texts, emails, and phone calls; then have a salad lunch, pick up a rental car and start the three hour drive north to the reservation.

I cross the Missouri River, and drive a little distance past the quirky, beautiful little town of of Zortman to Beaver Creek Camp on the Belknap reservation. I have dinner, meet Rick & James from TN, also Michelle, Bruce’s daughter. And several other interesting folks, Philip from Lavaca, his wife and daughter, and Carol, with here friend Stephanie from TN. I walk up the beautiful valley past the camp, enjoying the pristine weather, and pray. The main part of our Arkansas  group is scheduled to arrive about 10 pm tonight.

Thank you Lord, for a good, good day of remembering Your faithfulness. And for allowing — leading me on this adventure! 🙂

Those new friends I met a bit ago from TN & GA, who are returning home in the morning, were so pumped up about the Milk River Pow Wow they had just experienced! They say Rocky Boy is much (4x) bigger. They also said it was so rough a few years ago that Bruce wouldn’t go, nor take anyone. Then two years ago two ladies from the mission were invited by the chief — Bruce said they could go under his protection — and since then Bruce has started going back there…

Sounds like adventure to me! ?:)

These folks in the camp tonight are from all over — and some have been coming since 2002 — 13 or 14 years — some stay for weeks, and some all summer. They have a calling and have developed a heart for the Native Americans here. TYL! for caring and for pouring out Your heart to and in these people. Amen.

Click here for photos of the week and adventure.

Click here for a video of the week.

 

 

 

 

 

Time & Tide

Twenty-four years ago yesterday Mom Hogue was claimed by her King and it seems like a fortnight ago… a vapor, a wisp of time. Yet the separation seems long? Odd — time is odd.

And time is moving on — steadily and swiftly. But it seems to do so only when you think about it.

“Time and tide wait for no man,” says the ancient proverb attributed to Chaucer, but known to predate the English language. The proverb seems to say, “Make your decision today; don’t delay.” Time nor tide waits for a man. Carpe Diem! Seize the day. “Time and tide…,” has been on my mind for a few days now.

What is it with this quirky medium “time?” “Like sands through the hour glass; so are the days of our lives,” goes the soap opera jingle from days past. This seems truthful, but rings fatalistic as well? Contemplating time is like contemplating the meaning of life, and is intriguing, is it not?

Sand through an hour glass is a reasonably good analogy of time and our lives. You can’t stop them nor affect their speed.They flow constantly and at a predetermined speed until they are all fallen — their dance with physics and their race complete.

You can easily ignore this time passage, constant and rhythmic as it is, and constantly squander time. Or you can be aware of life’s brevity and end — and seize the day. Be more purposeful in how you spend your days and your life.

It seems the second option is more challenging and maybe more rewarding. To seize the day is to face the reality that life is short and death is certain. And to value the gift of life with it’s allotted duration and opportunities.

The Bible says more than a few insightful things about time and the gift of life — including the best way to steward it, view it, and approach it. It would behoove us all to search those things out.

My personal philosophy of time lately can be summed up in the short phrase, “Only two days are important; today and that day.” This seems especially clear  when you’re likely in the last three or four, five-year chapters of your life.

Twenty-four years ago yesterday in a special moment of time, it seemed the Lord gave me some clarity of vision and inspiration about the issues involved, and I wrote the following poem, while my wife’s mother entered the next dimension of time. I pray it’s insightful and enriching in some way for you.

August 31

August thirty-one, under a warm delta sun,
Small clouds moving with a gentle breeze,
That’s what my natural eye sees.

People in this small delta town are scurrying ‘round.
Some are fast… some are slow.
It seems so purposeless though.

Mom lies still in ICU while medical folk do all they can do.
She’s peaceful now, the end seems near.
She’s constantly attended by those she holds dear.

It’s a helpless feeling to the natural mind,
To see her breathing in labored strife;
To ponder the meaning of this earth life.

Scary, confusing, this can be,
The Preacher has called it “vanity”.
There’s a feeling too, I cannot chide,
It’s a deep, deep peace I feel inside.

Like Elisha’s servant, I gaze the skies,
This time I open my spiritual eyes.
I sense the King – His presence so near.
There is no panic, no pain, no fear.

She’s resting? Responding? Kind of asleep?
Things are subtly changing,
There’s an appointment to keep.
A big cloud appears – refreshing rain falls down.
It’s cooler, clearer now – pleasant all around.

Inside her room, on the second floor,
Things are changing – maybe more?
Feelings fragile, emotions strained,
This time’s a humbling and fearful thing.

But in these hours – peace has moved in.
There’s been humor, love, even some grins?

The King’s spirit of comfort invades all our parts.
Friends come and go, sharing love, heart to heart.

These events, while connected, are quite side by side,
The most significant thing –
The King comes for His bride!

If you do not know, His bride is the church.
Folks like us; He’s saved in a lurch.
Friends and believers, The King holds us quite dear,
Truth hard to believe, yet brings us much cheer.

Truth hard to swallow, it cuts like a knife.
He said it and proved it, as He laid down His life.

Back on the floor, distant thunder is heard.
Time seems to slow …
Has He uttered some word?

I sense His approach.
Is He distant or near?
Can’t really say?
But I know He is here.

Time moves quickly.
Time stands still.
Just what is happening?
No one can tell.

She calls to her daughters.
“Tell me you’re here.”
They do and she whispers,
“Home” in their ears.

She simply rests quietly,
As dusk turns to dark.
Outside the skies blaze,
As lightning does arc.
All o’r the horizon
With hardly a sound,
Lightning brightens heavens,
Never striking the ground.

Also no thunder?
What a power display!
Can’t help but think,
The King’s on His way.

It’s during this hour,
Our Momma has gone.
Embraced by her King,
Welcomed to His home.

With deep love, honor and respect for both Janie Hogue and Jesus “INRI”,              Dwayne Bell

A Tent and An Altar

I’ve not really blogged about this nor told all that many people, but we are considering moving to another city an hour to the north, and into a new chapter of being, with God.

It’s a decision I don’t take lightly at all. We’ve lived in this area since the 1980s, a period now spanning most of our lives, some thirty-seven years. We’ve worked here, raised our children here, been a part of the same church family here for thirty-five years. Most of our close friends are here. We love our home. We love our neighborhood and neighbors. I’ve been a part of three men’s groups here for the past four or five years, and have made some deep spiritual friends. Life is pretty simple and comfortable here. Why would we leave?

About a year ago, I started feeling God was leading us into a new chapter of life and adventure with Him, especially spiritual adventure. I’ve been hearing and sensing His leading and promptings ever since then, and journaling about them, after times of reading His Word, sharing faith with others, and of meditation. Those promptings have intensified in frequency and intensity in the last six months. But there has been one serious sticking point — my wife. She hasn’t been hearing what I have been hearing or sensing the same thing.

And I couldn’t see dragging her away from her friends, and the life we have built here, unless I heard so strongly this is the will of the Lord and the right timing that I just did it. I have confidence she might come screaming and kicking, but that she would come in that case. Yet I’ve been praying as I walked, “God if this is You, please change her heart in this matter.”

About four weeks ago, after a sleepless night of “wrestling with the Lord,” to quote her, she said to me, “I think the Lord is telling us to move to Northwest Arkansas.”

And so it is… with somewhat heavy hearts, and somewhat excited hearts, we’ve moved out in faith (faith involves risk) and put our home on the market, looked around in NWA and made an offer on a home there. I would also mention we are building a cabin during this period. Are you kidding me?! All this upheaval at the same time? After we’ve fought for the peace and simplicity we have here?

Well, we who desire to follow Jesus as Lord, and count His Presence the most important thing in our lives, know that “when the cloud by day or fire by night” moves, we must move with it and Him. Maybe that peace and simplicity has allowed us to hear His gentle voice? And that same peace and simplicity can also translate to “comfort” or “being too comfortable?” which can be an enemy of our spiritual lives. I’m thinking of a quote from a recent blog: “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal” Paulo Coelho

At any rate, during this time of amazing activity, it’s been relatively peaceful spiritually, feeling His nearness. I went on a long-scheduled mission trip to an Indian reservation in Montana, and Elizabeth went on a trip to NYC with a friend to visit our son, while we trusted the Lord to work out the details as He wished. Proverbs 3:5-6, my life verse, continues to be applicable to my life and guidance. As does the main Scriptures journaled in the past chapter of my life: Isa 30:15, Ps 23, and Zech 4:6.

On my way to Montana, I reread my recent book, beginning with chapter 10, “Selling the Farm.” It seemed to be amazingly apropos to this chapter of our lives, as did the entire book. 🙂 Seems like the Spirit may have had me write it so I could read it and have my faith renewed, reflecting on His past faithfulness in our lives “for such a time as this.” 🙂

Yesterday I was with a new friend Jeff on top of a mountain standing by our cabin under construction. He said, “The Bible tells us two amazing things about “faith.” [1] It pleases God, and [2] it can move mountains.” May it be so!!

I told a new friend Joe at our early morning men’s meeting today, who had just prayed for us and expressed his excitement about the new chapter God was providing for us, “Derek Prince once said when teaching about the life of Abraham, “‘From the time Abraham started following God, he knew only a tent and an altar.’” Amen. He also came to know God better than thousands, and seemingly experienced God’s nearness and covenant love at every bend of his journey. Isn’t that what we all seek?

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For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”” (Romans 4:3)

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want...He leads me ...” (Psalm 23)

 

Ralph Irwin.Friend of the King

Ralph Irwin 1942-2018

Ralph Irwin, a good friend, a friend of many, and a friend of the King stepped into his Lord’s presence at 3:15 a.m. today.  A day of inexpressible joy for him, and a day of some sadness for those of us who will miss his gentle words, kind actions, sense of humor, and beautiful art.

The Focus and Center of Ralph’s Life

Ralph was a family friend, church friend, missions friend, and personal friend. He supported my writing any way he could, especially “A Friend of the King.” He volunteered to do the art work for the cover, and it was perfect! Thank you Friend.

Early in the week, I had the strong impression to visit Ralph and read to him from Paul’s last epistle, 2 Timothy 4. I got distracted and didn’t get it done in person, so I’ll do it here and now.

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6–8, NKJV)

We’ll be reunited soon Friend. May the LORD bless and keep your family and extended family, forever. Amen.

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For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”  (2 Corinthians 5:1,5)

Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast

Scene from movie “The Blindside”

Over three hundred people showed up at 6:15 a.m. yesterday for the 47th Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in downtown Fort Smith to honor Christ and those in authority in our region.

An energetic young man, SJ Tuohy, the real younger brother behind the character in the movie “The Blindside,” was our speaker. He had a lot of really good things to say, but his speed in talking made me doubt he was really from the South.:)

Michael Oher with adopted Tuohy Parents

Here are some insightful things he said relating to life, living, and faith — which may not be exactly correct due to his speed in speaking or my slowness in hearing. 🙂

“Be where your feet are.” “Be in the game! You can’t make a difference if you’re not in the game.””It hurts when you get pinched — you’re injured with a broken arm. You can play hurt — you can’t play injured. And the great part about being a Christian is that we are ALL hurt , but NONE of us are injured. You are never beyond grace and mercy. You just gotta make the choice to get in the game.”

New Friends Greet & Visit with “SJ” Sean Tuohy

He talked about how people today have so divided themselves from others over race, gender, politics, etc., then said, “If how you define yourself, divides you from others, then your definition of yourself is too small.”

“Value people. Value others. There are Michael Ohers in this room — in and around your lives. You typically avoid them. Jesus didn’t! He spent time with them.”

He never got around to the topics of “kindness and hard work” as mentioned in his bio; but come to think about it — he did! 🙂

Thanks for coming SJ Tuohy! And for sharing your heart and life with us. May the Lord bless you and yours continually. Godspeed on your journey at the U of A, and through life.

“The Lord bless you and keep you;The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you;The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24–26, NKJV)

T U O H Y Tomorrow

Fort Smith’s 47th annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is tomorrow! Hope you’ve made plans to attend, or will do so now, on the spur of the moment. And bring a friend who needs to hear about Jesus. We all do!! Tickets for breakfast and the program are $20 and can be purchased at the door. 🙂

Our speaker, SJ Tuohy, from the real family in the hit movie, “The Blindside” emailed me today after seeing the article in the Times Record, and noticed they spelled his name incorrectly; something we too had noticed. But, hey, we are glad for the news coverage and thankful for the reporting, done as it was at the last minute! We’ve also had a couple of radio interviews about the event, and some bill boards around town. So we’ve been shown favor and are grateful to all. Tomorrow we hear from this interesting and intriguing speaker and person. See you there!

Blindsided

Thought about your blind side lately? We probably all have one, that we need to be aware of and we do need protection there! That would make a great topic for a post, but not now… 🙂

Instead, do you recall the movie, “The Blindside?” Click here for a short trailer — you’ll be glad you did. 🙂 Not the actor, but the real SJ Tuohy, from the family that adopted Michael Oher the NFL star, will be our guest speaker at the 47th Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast July 20th, 2018. The event will be held at the Double Tree Hotel City Center, 700 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith, Arkansas with breakfast starting at 6:15 a.m., and the program beginning at 6:45 a.m..

Frank Lay & Butch Edwards . Servant Leaders

Tickets are $20 per person and available from the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce, any CBMC member, or at the door. Hope you can come!

By the way, S.J. Tuohy is also on the  Arkansas Razorbacks Football coaching staff   having made the journey from SMU with new Hog’s head coach Chad Morris. I’m not sure if he’ll talk about the 2018-19 Hogs or not? But it’s possible. 🙂

“Why are you promoting this Dwayne?” you might ask. [1] I missed a recent Wednesday morning CBMC meeting, and in my absence they made me this year’s chairman. (Not really, but it almost happened that way.) And [2] I’m very interested in hearing this very interesting person talk about his life and faith.   I think you will be rewarded as well!

 

Geno, Tom, Butch, Andrew & Larry Help Get the Tickets Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

Father’s Day 2018

First I want to say, “Happy Father’s Day,” to you fathers out there, and I hope you had an enjoyable day. I did. My kids couldn’t make it home, but gifts and cards arrived, and we are scheduled to celebrate the day together in a couple weeks. 🙂

At our local church yesterday, the Bible class teacher, Gary, spoke about our earthly fathers. He honored his own father but was very transparent about some of his failings as a father. He made the point, and I think we all agree, we’re grateful for whatever love, stability, provision, and protection our fathers provided for us. Yet we all know our dads made some mistakes, or there were things they certainly could have done better. They were, and we all are, fallible.

We also acknowledge that their successes and failures as fathers leave a big mark on us. That’s just the way it is. It seems to affect our world view and our view of God to a large degree, and it’s etched so deeply and indelibly in our souls and spirits that it’s hard to change, or even realize that it may not be correct and might need to be changed.

Then Gary spent the rest of his time talking about the “Infallible Father.” God our Father, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, even Jesus of Nazareth who became flesh and walked among us to tell us about His Father, and to show us the Father. Faithful, loving, kind, humble, honest,  present, protector, defender, always the same… are some of the attributes pointed out about our Heavenly Father. 

Then in the preaching service that followed, we were asked, “How did you get your name?” The common answers were [1] Your father, [2] your husband, [3] yourself (as in a good reputation or name which can be chosen or worked at  — Proverbs 22:1.

Stan, the teacher, then connected that last thought with the thought of adoption, the other way we can get our name, or more accurately and importantly, His Name. He then spent a good deal of time talking about the Name of the Lord, the Name above all Names, and the benefits of being called by that Name, our Father’s Name. You might like to give his message a hearing by clicking here, or give it some thought and meditation on your own. 

As the ramifications sink in, so does the largeness of the proposition . Happy Father’s Day!! 🙂

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Before I leave you, I’ll add some tidbits that stood out to me from this Father’s Day message…

… the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” (1 Corinthians 6:17, NASB95)

and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”” (John 17:26, NASB95)

I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.” (Psalm 138:2, NASB95)

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1, NKJV)

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14, NKJV)

and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” (Romans 8:17, NKJV)

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,” (Philippians 2:8–9, NKJV)

“What A Beautiful Name” (2016 Hillsong) was a song we worshiped with, unplanned I’m certain. But it certainly hit it’s mark in the hearts of the worshipers. Some of the lyrics go like this…

“What a beautiful Name it is… the Name of Jesus Christ my King…” “You have no rival, You have no equal, now and forever God You reign..” “Yours is the kingdom, Yours is the glory, Yours is the Name above all names.”

Stan the speaker said the word of the day was, “Choose Me as the # 1 affection of your heart.” Then he said, “You know He reigns on His Throne. Does He reign in your heart? That’s the question?”

What a beautiful Name it is…

And He offers it to you…. Amen.

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Listen and meditate if you wish… “What A Beautiful Name” (Hillsong Worship)

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Stan ended with this verse, certainly noteworthy, ““Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.” (Jonah 2:8, NIV) Or as an earlier version on the NIV says, “forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” 

Remembering… 2018

At an early morning men’s meeting recently a man prayed about Memorial Day, that we would “remember the sacrifices that gave rise to our freedoms and our futures.” Amen. May it be so. It certainly should be so…

It reminded me of what I journaled on Memorial Day.

“”The Bob Goff book “Everybody Always” that Elizabeth read to me over the weekend is impactful. It was a joy to read and to contemplate, full of “self revealing thoughts” as well as “wonder” at the life of imagination and faith we can live with God… here and now —  with “everybody always.”

The book could be placed in the genre of “dream and believe big” looking to God for favor, leading, and help – like”Chase The Lion” by Mark Batterson … but is remarkably different in it’s  focus on “love” as the motivation and method.

There is a tendency to feel and think you’re used-up and your impact in the world has come and gone – or going quickly —  when you’re mid-sixties in our youth-worshiping, humanistic culture and times.

But there is never a better time to play offense or go on the offense! [A] You live with more awareness of the brevity of life. [B] This is a strength because you’re seeing and functioning in truth. [C] It helps you with humility, focus, and to act more in accordance with reality. Something along the lines of Solomon’s words,” It’s better to be in the house of mourning than in the house of feasting.” And,”The day off one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.” [D] If you have been blessed and exercised some restraint and wisdom, you probably have more time, freedom from work, and money to play offense. 🙂 [E] You are probably quiet – or more quiet — in your spirit and more philosophical about life and living – its meaning and purpose. [F] You realize it’s your last chapter (or 4-5 chapters) to enjoy your earth life and live it as intended. [G] Or to “store up treasure in heaven” by “feeding His sheep” or acting with His “sheep and goats” story in mind. [H] Or both.:-) [I] Grace to you all. We all need it! And it is His intention. 🙂

So what about those serving now, and those who have gone before? Soldiers in the military and soldiers in the faith, who have laid down their lives, serving others, for our freedoms and our futures?

Let’s remember. And let’s purpose to live lives worthy of their sacrifice, with thanksgiving for  them and to God.””

Right now I’m thinking of Navy Seal Adam Brown who’s from Arkansas and whose story is told in “Fearless.” And another seal who wrote, “Make Your Bed.” And the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us, many recorded in the Bible, and many in books like “7 Men” & “7 Women” by Eric Metaxas. My aunt Reba Gann, 96, who passed into glory last month. My good friends Brian Fields, Justin Blasingame, Charles Saulsbery, Bill Spilman, Clyde Davis, and Harold Hartley… I remember. Thank you for your example, sacrifice, and service for me, for your family, for your friends, for your country, and for your King. 

May He bless your descendants — physical and spiritual — forever. Amen.

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Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12:1, ESV)

So with Paul the Apostle we can also say…

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7, ESV)

And with Paul, and those mentioned above, we can say…

in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8, NASB95)

And remember these words…

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” Jesus (John 6:51, NIV)

Remember this Promise! The Bread & the Wine! And the greatest sacrifice of all times, giving us the greatest prospects for the greatest of futures…

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus (John 10:10, ESV)

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John the Baptist (John 1:29, ESV)