T’was The Night Before Christmas – But Not What You Expect


T’was the night before Christmas,
He lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house,
Made of Plaster ad Stone

I had come down the chimney,
With Presents to give,
And to see just who,
In this home did live.

I looked all about,
A strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents
Not even a tree.

No stocking by the mantel,
Just boots filed with sand,
On the wall hung pictures,
of far distant lands.

With medals and badges,
Awards of all kinds,
A sober thought,
Came through my mind,

For this house was different,
It was dark and dreary,
I found the home of a soldier,
Once I could see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping,
Silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor,
In this one bedroom home.

His face was so gentle,
The room in disorder,
Not how I pictured
A true American Soldier.

Was this the hero,
Of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho,
The floor for a bed?

I realized the families,
That I saw this night,
Owed their lives to this Soldier,
Who was willing to fight.

Soon round the world,
The children would play,
And grownups would celebrate,
A bright Christmas day.

They all enjoy freedom,
Each month of the year,
Because of the soldiers,
Like the one lying here.

I couldn’t help but wonder,
How many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas eve,
In a land far from home.

The very thought,
Brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees,
And started to cry.

The soldier awakened,
And I heard a rough voice,
“Santa don’t cry,
This life is my choice;

I fight for freedom,
I don’t ask for more,
My life is my God,
My country, my Corps…”

The soldier rolled over,
And drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it,
I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours,
So silent and still,
And we both shivered,
From the cold night’s chill.

I did not want to leave,
On that cold, dark night,
This guardian of honor,
So willing to fight.

Then the soldier rolled over,
With a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, “Carry on Santa,
It’s Christmas Day, all is secure.”

One look at my watch,
And I knew he was right.
“Merry Christmas my friend,
And to all a good night.”

 

This poem was written by a Peacekeeping soldier stationed overseas. The following is his request. I think it is reasonable.

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to all of the service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your small part to plant this small seed.

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Deny God or Fail


Deny-God-700x466

Reposted from Liberty News Now

Victor Skinner, writing for the Education Action Group Foundation, revealed today that a public school teacher in Katy, Texas was accused by a seventh-grader that her teacher ordered her to deny that God is real or face a failing grade for the class.

The young girl reported the incident at a meeting of the Katy, Texas School Board where she explained how the events in her class unfolded… that she would not deny her deeply held religious beliefs… and should not receive a failing grade for believing in God.

The girl, identified as Jordan Wooley, a seventh grade student at West Memorial Junior High School in the Katy Independent School District, testified at the school board meeting that the assignment provoked serious controversy in class and said she was frustrated over the teacher’s effort to indoctrinate her and her classmates into atheism.

“Today I was given an assignment in school that questioned my faith and told me that God was not real. Our teacher had started off saying that the assignment had been giving problems all day.

We were asked to take a poll to say whether God is fact, opinion or a myth and she told anyone who said fact or opinion was wrong and God was only a myth,” Wooley told board members.

Wooley said she and many of her fellow students immediately objected to the order, adding that the teacher refused to consider their position. According to Wooley:

The teacher, “started telling kids they were completely wrong and that when kids argued we were told we would get in trouble.

When I tried to argue, she told me to prove it, and I tried to reference things such as the Bible and stories I have read before from people who have died and went to heaven but came back and told their stories, and she told me both were just things people were doing to get attention.”

“I know it wasn’t just me who was affected by it. My friend, she went home and started crying. She was supposed to come with me but she didn’t know if she could” because she was so upset…”

The teen said she spoke with other students in the class who received low grades because of their religious faith and tried to propose compromises that would allow students to express their belief in God, but that the teacher would have none of it.

“Another student asked the teacher if we could put what we believe in the paper, and she said we could … but you would fail the paper if you do,” Wooley told the board.

“I had known before that our schools aren’t really supposed to teach us much about religion or question religion. When I asked my teacher about it she said it doesn’t have anything to do with religion because the problem is just saying there is no God.”

Wooley’s mother, Chantel Wooley, attended the school board meeting with her daughter saying she had exchanged text messages with her daughter about the assignment earlier in the day.

“Hey mom so in reading we were required to say that God is just a myth,” Jordan texted her mother shortly before 3 p.m. Monday. “I thought if a question was against our religion that we could put what we think is true but we got in trouble for saying He is true.”

“Wait what? Myth?” Chantel Wooley replied.

“We had to deny God is real. Yeah, we had to say he was just a myth,” Jordan wrote.

“You got in trouble?” Chantel questioned.

“Yeah she told me I was wrong because I put it was fact,” Jordan wrote.

“What did you say?” Chantel texted.

“I said he is real and she said that can’t be proven,” Jordan replied.

“And what happened?” Chantel wrote.

“I still put fact on my paper,” Jordan texted.

Jordan told school board members that her family contacted the school principal, who promised to speak with the teacher and investigate the incident. Board members also vowed to “look into it,” but said school administrators should first focus on addressing the issue.

They also thanked Wooley for voicing her concerns and said she “was very brave” to tell her version of events before an open meeting of the school board.

The Final Inspection


The_Final_Inspection

The soldier stood and faced his God,
Which must always come to pass;
He hoped his shoes were shining bright,
Just as brightly as his brass.

“Step forward now, soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you turned the other cheek?
To my church have you been true?”

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
“No, Lord, I guess I ain’t;
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was rough;
I’ve had to break your rules my Lord,
Because the world is awfully tough.

But, I never took a thing
That wasn’t mine to keep;
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear;
And sometimes … God forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place
Among the people here;
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you’ve a place for me here, Lord,
It needn’t be so grand;
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don’t, I’ll understand.”

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints often trod;
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

“Step forward now, soldier,
You’ve borne your burdens well;
Come walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets,
You’ve done your time in HELL!”

~ Author: Sgt.Joshua Helterbran ~

Accountability Partners


By Dan Polecheck

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17

It was a Tuesday morning in February, almost four years ago, that I decided it was time for me to quit drinking. I had tried several times to quit in the past, but I had failed. It was different this time. This time I asked for help. I turned first to God and asked Him to help get this demon off my back. I knew I couldn’t make it on my own. He told me that I needed an accountability partner. That morning while we were driving I told my friend that I needed help. I told him that I needed to quit drinking. He immediately said that he would help me. The first thing we did was to pray about it. It was a long journey, but together with God’s help we were able to stop drinking. I say we because I found out that in order to help me, he decided to quit drinking too.

There is a list of 5 steps that you can take to assist you in this process. These steps are based on several of the steps in the Celebrate Recovery Program.

1. Admit you have a problem. You must admit to yourself that you have a problem and that you are powerless to overcome it by yourself. Admit that your life has become unmanageable.

2. Believe that there is a greater power. You must believe that there is a power much greater than yourself. You must realize that only with God’s help will you be able to beat this thing.

3. Make the decision that you want to change. In view of God’s mercy, you must offer your body as a living sacrifice as a spiritual act of worship.

4. Confess your sins. Admit to God, yourself, and your accountability partner the exact nature of your problems.. Confess your sins to each other and ask God for forgiveness.

5. Continue to pray. It is imperative that you pray through this whole process. Pray that you may be healed so that God would be glorified and pray for your accountability partner that he or she will remain strong through the process and build his/her relationship with God.

This journey is not over.

This is a journey that you will be on for the rest of your life. If you are serious about wanting to kick an addiction or to get rid of emotional pain, or to stop a habit that is drawing you away from God, i strongly recommend that you get into one of several 12-step programs that are available. I have found that Celebrate Recovery, which is a 12-step program based on the beatitudes is and outstanding program and a great maintenance tool for the rest of your life.

One last thought.

I cannot stress the importance of the accountability partner or partners through this who process. Be careful when selecting your accountability partner. It must be a person you trust with your life, because in essence you are.

Who Packed Your Parachute Today


Reposted from God’s Little Acre

Charles Plumb, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was a jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!” “How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb. “I packed your parachute,” the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!” Plumb assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said ‘Good morning,’ ‘how are you?’ or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.” Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn’t know.

Now, Plumb asks his audience, “Who’s packing your parachute?” Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory — he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your parachute.

Random Acts of Kindness


My friend Paul Hullings went with Hainesport station 391 as part of Burlington county tender strike team to the warehouse fire in north Brunswick… After 12 hours fighting the fire and supplying water, he hadn’t ate so I took him out for breakfast to the route 130 diner in Delran. Well, the waitress overheard us talking and this is what she set down instead of the bill. Such a selfless and kind act. I definitely urge my friends to make a trip out and support the business, and if Liz happens to be your waitress, tip big.

note

But that’s not where this story ends. Her simple but generous act inspired the firefighters to pay it forward.

After they learned that Woodward is trying to raise money for her quadriplegic father, who is in need of a wheelchair-accessible van, both Young and Hullings decided to help out.

a183d-van

Hullings said they will do whatever they can to help, including holding a fundraiser.

Read more at Sunny Skyz