Category Archives: Be A Man

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

End Times or Again Times

 

I don’t really want to  add myself to an endless list of fruit cakes predicting or obsessing over “the end times.” But it’s been a hot topic of discussion all around me lately, even yesterday morning after a men’s meeting, with friends at a local coffee and breakfast shop.

And there are at least two things that have long stood out to me as a reasons we shouldn’t ignore the end times possibility either, and that it could be coming sooner than we’re thinking. [1] There will be an end times on the earth as we know it, with unprecedented chaos and fury, if you believe the Bible — the most remarkable guide to the earth’s past, present, and future we have. [2] Jesus thought it worthwhile to answer his disciples when they asked what the signs these times were imminent might be. Indeed there is similar information on the signs in several books of the Old Testament and New Testament.

My friend Larry piped up, “The Bible is so valuable! It prepares us to look for the signs and helps us understand some of the things that will happen to keep us from being deceived, to be informed, and to endure those terrible times.”

He then asked our little group, “Will the world know it’s happening?” “Probably not,” I piped in. “Think of the German people during the build up to WWII and through it’s early days. The same in Russia when Stalin was coming to power. The people welcomed the change and the (humanistic) promise of great progress. Until it was too late. Isaiah’s time and culture was in the same situation before 586 B.C. too.” Why?

Delusion! Deluded! A few people saw the signs and tried to act to stop it. And a few saw it coming and tried to prepare for it, or flee from it. But the vast majority didn’t see it coming, and by their actions (or inactions) exacerbated or hastened its coming, to their own hurt and destruction. (Isaiah 6)

What may lead to this delusion of the earth’s people in the last times will ironically be, in part, the signs that it is happening. A few signs that our table came up with quickly are: [1] May 14, 1948, Israel becomes a nation. No one assisting her or blessing her, but rather attacking her will invite the end, according to the Bible and history. [2] Russia, Syria, Iran, and others listed in the Bible circling to destroy Israel, which is happening again at this hour. [3] Languages no longer confused due to computer translators and translations, e.g. Google Translate. [4] An enhanced version of eVerify, or something similar is an easy way to control buying and selling in the future as the masses embrace conveniences like Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc. [5] The phenomenal advances in communication: fast, world wide, in our hands and our pockets, with the world wide web for news, markets, business, research, organization, and collaboration.

Recent card sent to an agnostic friend 🙂

So, if these end times the prophets like Daniel and John told us about are looming near, what do we do as we see them draw closer? As we see these signs taking place?

Might we stand with Israel to the end? Personally. As a nation. Politically encouraging our leaders to do so?

Might we remind ourselves and our friends not to be passive? But to be alert and engaged in positive ways during these times. Be “light and salt” where you live, with your friends, family, neighborhoods, and cities. Father planted you right there. (Acts 17:26)

Remember who you are. More importantly, remember Whose you are! Remember the weapons of our (spiritual) warfare (Eph 6) — and prayer. Sons and daughters calling out to our King and Father. (II Chron 7:14 & Rev 8:1-5)

Remember Father’s word to all mankind in II Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”

Live with these truths in mind. It’s been said, “God does not call the qualified, but qualifies the called.” Reread the story of Gideon. And remember “We have this treasure in (our) clay vessels,” (2 Cor 4:7) His Holy Spirit.

Perhaps most importantly, remember the chief end of man according to the Westminster Catechism which tells us that, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him for ever.” This is the Preacher’s conclusion as well.

I’m heading out the door to see a new movie, “Paul, an Apostle of Christ”, in a few minutes because some friends invited me. Among this world changer’s most famous words were, “…to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings.” (Phil 3:10) That’s what drove Paul. His life was “Light and Salt” in a dark place and time, in his end times, and well beyond! A life well lived indeed! He’s a great example to us with the days growing gloriously dark. 🙂

The Lord’s Spirit be with you. Enjoy a Good Friday…

*************************

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)

And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him. But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. “For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ “Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ “For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him. When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:27–34) (Bolding mine.)

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15)

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Ice Age

… And The Right to Bear Arms.

WOW! How icy our culture is becoming? Cold and slippery…

I received this email during the week from a very good friend. “I do very little social media and mass emails are something I never do but this information needs to be known by any and everyone that values their right to bear arms. I’ve had insurance coverage with MetLife for 21 years. If they are standing against the NRA (defenders of our right to bear arms) I have to find another company to insure with.”

My wife had already read a news article to me saying that United Airlines and Delta were doing the same thing. So I purposed to talk about that among our friends and vote with my feet (or credit cards) and give them as little of my business as possible in the future. And if it’s a matter of conscience to you, either way, I suggest you do the same.

I’m not sure where this is coming from? Why are companies who provide a service to the public trying to tell us about moral or legal issues? Unless they are sure this issue is very popular and will garner them more business and add to their bottom line; then I suppose their motive is greed? Perhaps putting their hope for more profitability ahead of what’s best for the country?

“How do you know it’s not in the best interest of the country?” you might ask. When I asked a dear, wise friend once about how to vote on a constitutional amendment, he told me, “I generally vote against them, because our founding fathers had more wisdom than people do today.”  So I’ll end this writ with how the founding fathers thought about this issue. Besides wisdom, they also have a lot of historical evidence on their side. They thought it very important that the people bear arms, and also not be hampered in doing so. Thus they made it a very pronounced part of the law of the land, the Constitution of the United States of America.

If you read my book, or my blogs, you know I try to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness. But today I feel impressed to call a little attention to the darkness and what it’s doing to us. And to encourage us all to be aware, and take some action against this unwholesome tide, slippery as it is, and turning us cold. And at least be aware of what you believe? And Why? And vote with your feet and your check book? And tell your friends how you feel about it, like my friend did when he emailed me.

I’ll close as I said with what the founding fathers said and thought about the arms issue. And especially Thomas Jefferson. I’ve gained a new appreciation for the man and his greatness, along with some great quotes! Besides what he said about gun ownership, I particularly like what he said about disagreements. And that sort of gets back to the cold issue of friendships dividing, on social media and physically, over these type issues, as well as companies starting to divide their customers over these issues. A sad commentary on our interesting times, is it not?

Fear not. We have the light of the Lord and the Bible to show us the way. And instruction to let that light show through us, as we’re also salty: providing savor, and preserving the truth in our culture, to the extent He empowers us to do so. 🙂 Enjoy your journey! And keep letting your light shine.

“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”   Thomas Jefferson

*******

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” Thomas Jefferson

The laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.” Thomas Jefferson

“When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
– Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
– Patrick Henry, Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778

“The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”
– Samuel Adams, Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, 1788

Doing God A Favor

Or “Theology 101”

Hannah with the children of La Balsa

When I heard what Gary, Tim, and Kevin had prepared to teach the pastors at this year’s pastors conference, I was a little bit incredulous. They were teaching the pastors theology, which is the study of God and his attributes, from a book entitled “The Attributes of God” by A. W. Pink.  My first thought was that something a little simpler and a little more practical might be in order. But my second thought was that these men are led by the Spirit and they probably heard correctly about what they were to teach.

The power of what they were teaching was apparent to me the first morning as I sat with the Honduran pastors and listened, being encouraged and instructed right along with them. Further confirmation of its power came immediately after lunch as I was riding in the back of a pick up truck to Capucales with Giovanni, a young Honduran minister and worship leader.

He was fired up about the teaching and freely shared with us what impacted him. He said, “Many people think they’re doing God a favor to believe in Him or serve Him.” And “People who are not believers think that about believers, that they are just doing God a favor to follow Him or believe in Him. But nothing could be further from the truth!” he exclaimed. “God does not need us. We need him.”

The steep road from La Balsa 🙂

In two short sessions, Giovanni’s awareness of the greatness and power of God had been greatly increased, leaving him inspired and sensing God’s true place in His creation. It’s a privilege to know him, serve him, and make him known. That’s the truth, according to the thousands of years of revelation we have recorded about Him in Holy Scripture. He indeed needs nothing nor anyone. Something akin to the summary of philosophy and theology that Solomon, reportedly the wisest man who ever lived, wrote at the end of his life, recorded in Ecclesiastes. “When all is said and done, fear God and keep his commandments.”

A. W. Tozer also wrote some books on theology, “The Attributes of God,” and  “Knowledge of the Holy.” The second he said was written for worshipers, not theologians, although it would stand up to theological rigor. I love that. And I love his book which I try to read one or more times each year. It’s a very small book, but there’s an old saying,”Beware of small books.”:-) In the introduction Tozer says something else amazing, “What you believe about God is the most important thing about you. Because it will affect everything you do.”

Pastor Kevin – One of the Teachers

So Theology 101 was indeed what the Lord had for these pastors and it hit it’s mark, as evidenced by the lively questions and discussions during and after the teaching times. The Scripture comes to mind, “They that know their God will do valiantly.” So these pastors who came to receive from the Lord left encouraged and empowered. Encouraged that they knew the Lord better and should continue this pursuit. And empowered with a renewed level of faith in the Most High.

May the Word of the Lord continue to accomplish what it was intended to do. Amen.

*******

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” (Psalm 9:10)

Through God we shall do valiantly, And it is He who will tread down our adversaries.” (Psalm 60:12)

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.” (Isaiah 40:22)

[Link to trip video]          [Link to trip photos]

A Honduran Exorcism

Ok, let me be transparent and real about this. I have no agenda or theology to exalt or to put down. Just the facts, Ma’am! That’s the goal of this short writ.

One evening after a time of praying for the pastors, one of the Honduran pastors, Pastor Minellio, was praying for the sick and a few of our team noticed him shaking as he prayed for the one in need, the power of the Holy Spirit being felt strongly by all.

Afterwards there was a time of fellowship under the arbor where we shared lunch and dinner with the pastors and their families. The team that noted the Honduran pastor shaking asked him about that?

He then related the following story. He said that in his village in the mountains one of his friends seem to be depressed and at one point tried to take his life. This pastor and two more friends who loved the man, determined to fast and pray for three days for him with him being continually with them, witnessing their fasting and hearing their prayers.

On the third day, according to this “shaking” pastor, their suicidal friend had a single, violent vomiting episode, and at the same time moment, the three praying friends were knocked to the ground by some unknown force!?

After that moment their friend has been free of oppression, depression, and acts normally. And when our new “quaking” pastor friend prays for people and senses the Holy Spirit is near, he shakes as he prays.

Indeed, he says when it happens to him, he knows or recognizes the Holy Spirit is near to heal or deliver or help.

After watching him, and sensing the Spirit ourselves, we all believe it’s true and happened just that way.

This pastor is a very quiet, always kind, pleasant, and humble – even shy.

We only report what we saw, and felt, and heard. 🙂

The Lord be magnified for helping those in need. And for equipping and empowering His own to help or serve in the process. Amen

*******

“But if I cast out devils by the finger of God, the Kingdom of God has come near to you.” Luke 11:20

[Story related by Gary, Tim, and Whit who were witnesses.]

[Link to trip video]          [Link to trip photos]

First Mission – Honduras

En Route Above the Clouds Over Houston

From January 10th to January 16th as part of a nine person mission team, I visited Olanchito Honduras.

The team was mostly from different churches in North Louisiana with one tag-along from Northwest Arkansas, me. This was my fourth Honduras mission trip with this team, and the first time to meet three of it’s members.

We all bonded wonderfully, and were led by the Spirit seemingly in every endeavor. Early in the week, and certainly by weeks end, we had become the best of friends! 🙂 All of us felt a sense of awe at what God had done through us and around us.

Descending into Miami International Airport on my way home, it seems so surreal already. And I’m peacefully full of joy about all we did and experienced. So much so, I’m happy to try to write about it, or not write at all? It is more than I could put into words anyway! We all felt that way as we shared our thoughts at an after-dinner debrief in Tela last night.

And what would a web audience, some probably known to me, and some unknown, like to hear about? Ah, these are more like questions for the Spirit of God, Who led us wonderfully throughout the week. So I’ll rely on Him to bring things to mind and tell parts of the story.

In A Prison

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

I’m against long blogs, so this may require several short ones. Some possibilities include: A Women Named Carmen, Hannah & Whit —Dynamic Duo, Honduran Pastor’s Exorcism Story, Daniel of Olanchito — Deliverance and Restoration, La Balsa Revisited, Tim — A Birthday to Remember, Prison Encounter, TV in the Park, Theology 101 — Pink & Tozer, Those Who Stay with the Luggage, A Proclaimer Indeed, Tegucigalpa — Laura & Divina. We’ll see how the Spirit leads?

In a Park

In the Mountains

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A summary might read like this.

[1] We prepared materials and held a two day pastor’s conference for fifty-one people, mostly pastors and wives, who came out of the mountain villages to receive encouragement, training, and fellowship with each other around the Bible.

[2] We ministered in a Honduran prison for two hours with music, a spiritual invitation, and prayer for inmates who responded. We encouraged the prison fellowship leaders who seemed nonexistent three years ago. Lastly, we distributed some books, food, tooth paste and tooth brushes to inmates who seemed very appreciative.

[3] We attended a Thursday night meeting in a local church with a “Celebrate Recovery”  ministry where Kevin taught and Gary shared.

[4] We attended a Sunday night meeting at the same church with about fifty people where we saw deliverances and healing as the Spirit moved in response to our prayers and His purposes. Jennifer shared a powerful testimony of the healing, salvation, and the seeking out of one young Honduran woman that only the Spirit of God could have orchestrated. Then Tim shared a powerful testimony from his own recent life about forgiveness in a rapid-fire fashion that left Laura, his translator, gasping for air! 🙂

As We Arrived

Our Peaceful Mission House and Base of Operation

That’s the long of it! And perhaps the short of it? 🙂 But a few more short stories will follow. 🙂

Stay tuned! 🙂  Adiós, amigos

 

[Click here for a short video]

[Click here for photos of the mission….]

First Fight

Saturday night just before midnight twenty something men stood around a fire, bundled up as the wind chill temperature was hovering near the teens, to kick off a twelve week plan to spend more time seeking God, communicating with and encouraging each other, break old habits, gain some new ones, commit to exercise and physical discipline to better their health, and to read a book together over that period, discussing it to challenge themselves intellectually and spiritually. It’s a men’s ministry program called “Fight Club.”

I participated in it last year, and the leaders asked me to be their kick off speaker, to encourage the men and exhort them in their quest this year.

Saturday was Epiphany, and I thought that appropriate and predictive of their success. Epiphany means an “ah ha” moment or a divine revelation. The later is the true meaning of the word as it’s been used from antiquity. Epiphany is celebrated the world over in Christendom as “Three King’s Day,” or the first revelation to gentiles that the Christ Child was indeed the Messiah, King of Kings, and the Son of God. And I believe these men, if they can by the Lord’s help, stay their courses are in for revelations and some “ah ha” moments themselves.

That we are in a fight with sin, our flesh, and dark spirits becomes clearer and clearer as we mature. Or when you look at human history as recorded in human literature. Or you can simply look into the best selling book of all times to read about the battle, the causes, and the cure.

I know I look forward to the new year more and more as they pass. I appreciate a time that seems naturally given to reflecting on life, making needed adjustments, then going again at life and living. The longer you live, you understand more and more, you need forgiveness, and you need help. In short, you need a Savior. And you need a Helper. A spiritual boost from a Counselor and Guide beyond the natural.

Thankfully we have both available to us, and we have the process and path outlined in Scripture, the same best selling book of all times I alluded to earlier. Seek Him, as the Three Kings did, and you’ll find Him for yourself, just as they did. It’s His promise.

The Lord’s blessings and nearness be on the men engaged in Fight Club.

Best wishes to you and those you love for a happy and prosperous New Year!

 

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jer 29:13

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” Matt  2:10

“And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” Neh 4:14

What Do You Say?

It’s been awhile since I’ve written or blogged. I’ve practically given up FaceBook for a long season and promoting my book that way? It’s been a quiet time of enjoying life, reflecting on life, and seeking the Lord personally for myself. Oh, I’ve been active in kingdom circles and activities, maybe too much so? I attend three men’s meetings each week. A life group from the church I attend meets in our home weekly. And we support a number of missionaries and mission causes. But some deep disappointments and spiritual circumstances have had me derailed, disillusioned, and not serving the Lord in the same way I’ve served in the past.

I mentioned the men’s groups I attend. Hopefully I bring something of value to the table for some of them occasionally, but I mainly attend for myself. The spiritual food from others who seek the Lord, and determine to live for and with Christ, sacrificially and faithfully. To the end. These men touch me deeply with their lives, honesty, humility, and humor. This is most valuable to a man in some spiritual despair and disillusionment.

I find myself wanting to dive off into this, and the lessons learned, and how the Lord spoke to me about it this morning in my Wednesday men’s group, but not now. Suffice to say, it was about grumbling in the wilderness. A spiritual wilderness for me. But we know from Exodus and the NT that grumbling is not good! It can derail your life! Your life with God. And the good plans He has for you. Enough on that, you get it! I got it this morning, thankfully, when I heard the Scripture and the Spirit highlighted it in my heart and experience. And in the safety of those men, I shared it, bringing some healing and release to me.

We prayed for many things today, but one jumped out at me. A friend of one of our members  had lost his sixteen year old grandson in an automobile accident last week where he was ejected from a vehicle and then run over by the same.:( This same grandfather had lost a wife in an untimely death, and was “mad at God,” as reported by my friend. Certainly this is understandable and we’ve all known of situations like this, trying to pray, counsel, and morn with those who morn. And this is right, of course. I guess? But this is what came to me…

It was written on a church bill board or marquee a few blocks from my house that I viewed driving home yesterday. It says, “God owes you nothing. God gave you everything.” Kindly stark! Isn’t it? But absolutely true as you start to meditate on it, in light of the Bible, and the human experience, isn’t it?

I’ve determined to keep my blog posts short, to better serve readers, and because I like short posts myself. 🙂 So the main point of my musing and insight this morning will come later, when this writ is continued…

 

Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.” (1 Corinthians 10:10)

The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint.” (1 Peter 4:7–9)

 

 

 

“You Owe Me… Nothing”

The Western Wall . Jerusalem

And I owe you … Nothing (Except to love you.)! 🙂

With Easter still fresh on our minds, I want to challenge you, and myself, about forgiveness. About practicing “forgiveness” and “living forgiven.” I believe understanding these two concepts are curial to living a life of freedom and peace before God and with others.

I’m not claiming to be an expert in this matter or even say I’ve mastered “forgiveness” myself. But I do believe I’ve recently received a little revelation on the subject that’s profound, easy to ponder, and an “acid test” of sorts to determine if you are living “forgiven and forgiving” or not?

St. Scholastica . Fort Smith

It’s two simple questions you can ask yourself. I’ll tell you what they are, why they are important, and where I got them.

Questions one is, “Do I owe you anything?” That is, am I in debt to you in any way? If the answer is “yes,” then I must make every effort to settle my debt by payment or seek to have it forgiven.

Why is this important? Or a goal you should always be working toward, or trying to maintain? Because it’s the clear teaching of Scripture, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other.” (Romans 13:8a) Debts owed usually affect relationships negatively, and rob the involved parties of real peace and freedom.

Sea of Galilee . Israel

Question two is, “Do you owe me anything?” That is are you in debt to me in anyway? If the answer is “yes,” then I must make every effort to collect the debt or forgive it? So that your balance sheet is clean and does not affect your relationship with me or with others.

This is the clear teaching of Jesus about His Father, and His kingdom in the area of “debt and forgiveness.” Look at Matthew 18:21-35, which is perhaps the clearest and most telling truth on “forgiveness” in the Bible.

The Jordan River . Israel

This is where Jesus ties forgiveness to debts. Especially in the areas of large debts of personal injury that are hard to place a price upon or repay. We see that is the context of the parable because of the way it starts with Peter’s question to Jesus, “How often should I forgive my brother who sins against me?”

Sometimes the debt is so large, forgiveness is the only alternative to settle the affair, if the debtor is to have any chance at a fresh start, dignity, hope, and a life worth living. Still, this forgiveness is not required by justice or by law. It’s a grace or mercy extended by a loving heart out of concern for the well being of the debtor and his family.

Fort Smith . Arkansas

Indeed forgiveness is best extended and understood by these statements. “I forgive you. You owe me nothing.”

“Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation, restitution, or approval of sin. Forgiving, according to Jesus in his parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:21-35), involves a singular decision of the will by which you consider another person no longer indebted to you.”
(from The Red Feather by Tom Elliff)

Amen אמן

In light of the huge and impossible-to-repay debt that God has forgiven us by the sacrifice of His Son, and at His Son’s request, we must forgive others their much smaller debts. Do you agree? Then go and do likewise. Godspeed.

Jerusalem

And may it be, or I should rather say, it will be, healing for your soul. And the souls of those about you. God’s peace.

 

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8)

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:1)

Other Quotes on Forgiveness:

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. ~Mahatma Gandhi

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. ~Lewis B. Smedes, “Forgiveness – The Power to Change the Past,” Christianity Today, 7 January 1983

Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting. ~William Arthur Ward

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. ~Paul Boese

Friends Freedom Flight

Awaiting the Freedom of Flight

As some of you know, and others may have gathered, I’ve been led to a life long career and love of aviation. After having the unanticipated pleasure of flying fighter jets and commercial airliners, I’m experiencing presently the unanticipated joy and opportunity to own and fly a private airplane.

This experience continues to teach me a lot about God. His largeness, His generosity, His joy in creation, His joy in adventure, and His joy in showering good gifts upon His children. I continue to be humbled by His goodness, as well as, quietly and joyfully overwhelmed by the same.

N188DL Visiting Her Previous Home and  a True Friend

Recently I was invited to join a fraternal organization of pilots with all types of back grounds in aviation. Apparently it’s a friendship fraternity centered around flight. It’s a bit mysterious, and I usually steer well clear of secret or mysterious organizations, but I took courage by meeting the members a number of times, and because two of the members have been my close aviation and personal friends for more than thirty years. “What could be wrong with it?” I thought. And, “I’m all about friendship!”

Getting a Friend Out of the House for a Spiritual Lift

So on the appointed night of my acceptance (or rejection?), I felt the Spirit impress me to write a short poem as an acceptance speech, should there be an acceptance, and such an occasion to speak afterwards arise? 🙂 This I did hurriedly by the fire on a scrap of paper, the inspiration and words flowing into my mind surprisingly quickly, within five minutes. Sticking it in my pocket I kissed my wife goodbye and headed out the door to the meeting.

And Enjoying a Day Out in Creation

After the hilarious  meeting, I was asked to step out, while I assume some sort of vote was taken. I returned and it was announced that I  had been accepted as a member to smiles, laughter, and a short round of applause. While this was dying down, I ripped the little paper from my pocket, and announced, “ I have prepared an little acceptance speech for you, in the event you accepted me? If it’s appropriate to do so? It’s actually an acceptance poem.” They nodded their quizzical approval with smiles, and I began.

Friends On a Mountain Top to Enjoy a Sunset

[The name of the organization isn’t important, and I told you they were a bit mysterious, so I’ll just use XX for the name. 🙂 Thank you for your understanding.]

XX

What the heck’s a XX?
I don’t really know.
It seems by evenings end,
I may be one though.
It may be a man
With courage to leave the ground,
To launch toward the sky,
Where more that blue is found.
To soar with the birds
And look down on things,
To trade gravity’s bonds
For engines and wings.
And to walk among men,
Who similar paths have trod.
Some trusting in their aircraft.
And most trusting in God.
A fraternity not earthbound,
With skill and courage they flee, 

Mostly they have in common

The desire to be free.


Thank You Brothers and Friends In Flight , 
And have a good night. 

An officer asked me for the poem which I handed over with a smile. And I wouldn’t even have a copy except for the fact it was published in their national magazine last month.

There is a lot of freedom in flight, along with adventure, joy, beauty, spiritual truth, and friendship. But instead of exalting flight, the gift, I want this writ to exalt the Giver of flight, friendship, and freedom, even Jesus Christ, the Lord. His peace to you all in this Easter season of meditation and contemplation of His holy life, and His holy gift, freedom. Also His joy!!

Flying Into the Sunset … Arriving Home

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Galatians 5:1)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue … you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”” (John 8:31–32)

[Dedicated to Friends who soar in flying machines, and spiritually.]

Humility Strikes Again

Coming out from Men’s Meeting… iPhone… unedited

Scott, a very good friend of mine, and one I don’t see often enough, asked me to breakfast this morning. During the course of catching up on family, friends and spiritual things he asked me how the airplane was doing?

“Didn’t I tell you?” I replied? “I haven’t been trying to hide it from anyone, and I thought the word had traveled pretty fast! 🙂 I had another accident with it three months ago, December 30th to be exact, so I’ve been without the use of it since then. Maybe I will get it back into the air next week?”

Not Good! 🙂

“What happened?” he exclaimed. “Well, I’ll give you the short version and then the longer version if you want it,” I replied with a smile. I was practicing patterns at the airport, to burn a little fuel out of the tanks before putting the airplane in the hangar. It was a beautiful, sunny day with a good head wind out of the south, right down the runway, perfect conditions for short field landing practice. So I decided to see how short I could land and stop using the white painted area at the approach end of RWY 19 as a gauge. I landed exactly where I wanted to, braked hard, but well short of locking the brakes up, and when I had slowed to an estimated 5 MPH or walking speed,  I looked out the left window and down at the tire, saw I was still on the white paint. Thinking nothing bad could happen at such a slow speed, I continued to apply full braking. The next thing I heard was the sound of the prop striking the

Missing Something! Important….

runway multiple times; with the airplane in a nosed over attitude. Sickening feeling! It was so unexpected. And it happened so fast. I had the feeling I’d slipped on ice and hit the back of my head on the ground instantly.

It was such a slow speed event there wasn’t much of a safety concern. I just had the sickening thought that, “This is going to be expensive!” And, “This is your second airplane accident in three  years!” “How could this happen?”

Fuel was now pouring out the overflow vents due to the nose down attitude of the plane. So I got out and lifted the nose, lowering the tail gently to the ground. I climbed back into the airplane, called the tower to tell them I didn’t need emergency equipment, but I would need to be towed to the hangar, then pushed the airplane safely off the runway and waited for a tug, and the long ride to the hangar. That’s the end of the story.

On the Road to Recovery

Well sort of…. This kind of prop damage requires a new prop, and also that the engine be removed and sent to an FAA approved engine shop for tear down and inspection to ensure there was no internal damage from the sudden stoppage of the prop. There was no internal damage, but this has taken three months to date, and a significant amount of money, most of which thankfully is covered by my insurance company.

I’ve had plenty of time to ponder what happened and lessons that could be learned from this event? I’ve asked the Lord to teach me or show me what He wants me to glean from it and journaled about it a number of times. 🙂 I may share some of those lessons in subsequent posts, but this one has gotten long enough, so I’ll close.

It’s purpose is to not miss an opportunity to humble myself, and admit my mistakes. To be real about being human, and living life as an adventure with friends, family, and before the Lord. So I’ll end this report as I started the last accident I reported on this blog site about three years ago.

“After flying as a pilot more than fourteen thousand hours over thirty-five years, and never scratching an airplane, on March 28th of this year [2014] I crashed and totaled one. I walked away from it, and there is an old saying in aviation, “Any landing you walk away from is a good one.”  This is in fact true, for reasons that should be self evident, but it’s still very embarrassing [and humbling :)] to have an accident like this as an experienced pilot.” [More to follow…]

“The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4)

“… all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)

“I’ am still learning.”  Michelangelo

[I realize I’m posting this mainly for myself. Hopefully it will benefit some, and I’ll return to trying to be an encourager and providing spiritually uplifting material with the next edition. Thanks!]