I have always appreciated a good mechanic. Whether it was for our own vehicles or those vehicles used in the military—the fact that reliable maintenance is necessary to perform the mission was never lost on me. So when my husband and I meet maintainers, we express our appreciation for their expertise and dedication. After all, nothing happens without them.
I enjoy road trips—time alone in the car to sing along with praise music on the radio, see some pretty countryside, stop for coffee a time or two, and get caught up on some Bible studies on CD or my iPod. Recently I was listening to some really good Bible teaching on marriage and family issues from a favorite pastor/teacher. He said something like, “A great marriage will last at least 100 years.” I just about slammed on the brakes right there on the interstate! What???
I’ve been working on this writing for the last nine years. And it’s not done yet. I wanted to put down in writing, on “cyber-paper,” what I have lived and observed for most of my adult life. It’s what I love about our military . . . the people, the mission, the life. The truth is . . . as members of the United States military, people are watching you.
I have several friends who email me “forwards.” Perhaps you do, too. I received this one back a few years ago--and I like to return to it, this time for 2018. The ten predictions are from the forwarded email (author unknown). . . . .and the additional comments are from Scripture, and my heart. Top 10 Predictions for 2018: 1. “The Bible will still have all the answers.”
It is the end of 2017–the beginning of 2018 and the perfect time to ask the question “Who is Jesus Christ?” Even better, it is the perfect time to answer the question, “Who is Jesus Christ to me?” It’s a very personal question on which all of life hinges. It is interesting that Jesus begins this encounter with His disciples by asking who “others” believe that He is. Very interesting.
It was her favorite Christmas present, she said. Perhaps it was his, too, but he was still recovering from long months at sea and was needing to catch up on sleep. As they stood before us they still had that “newlywed glow” about them, even though most of their wedded life had been spent apart due to military duty. So when they were telling us about their first Christmas together there were smiles going back and forth between each other, and eyes sparkling with the chance to tell what was so very special about their first time of giving and receiving gifts as husband and wife.
How are you doing this Christmas? Is your heart overflowing with thankfulness. . . .or are you overwhelmed by circumstances and deployment, disappointed with people (or yourself), too tired to celebrate? The days are full. . . . and if you’re like me you are yearning for a chance to just “be still” and spend time with the Lord. After all, this holiday is all about Him—the One who came to seek and save, to rescue and redeem, to bring inner and eternal peace to those who know Him.
It was Christmas Eve in Thailand, 1972. Thanks to Armed Forces Radio “Silent Night” was playing in our room . . . but it was not really a “silent” night at all. I was a young Air Force wife visiting my husband serving that year in Southeast Asia—but even in my naïveté I knew something big was imminent. Linebacker II was in progress—the 1972 Christmas bombing of Hanoi—and the constant sound of take-offs (“please, Lord”) and landings (“thank you, Lord”) from the Air Base was surreal in dissonance with the sweet music I was hearing on the radio. A rescue was in the works, and the POWs, so long tortured and confined in Hanoi, heard and felt the thunderous aircraft noise with great hope and expectation for their eventual release from captivity.
Pastor Tommy Nelson, of Denton Bible Church in Texas, gave a sermon to his church for Christmas, 1988, entitled “Jesus’ View of Christmas.” The text for this powerful sermon was an unlikely one . . . Luke 11:21-26. Those verses are several chapters away from the traditional Christmas story which we all know and love, Luke 2:1-20: “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed . . . “ I was intrigued. How could verses about Jesus and Satan give us a message for Christmas?
This matter of “gifting” is complicated. Before Christmas I have my list, which only seems to grow as I think of more and more people I want to “remember” with some kind of something. But then there is the matter of “how much do I spend on each gift?” You want your gifts to be meaningful—but what if what you really want to buy is more than you can afford? And what if you just don’t know what to give—is a gift card a good option or a cop-out?