The WELCOME HOME replaced with tears.

I originally wrote this post last year.  As I thought about what to write, I realized that what I have to say, I’ve already said.  Of all the holidays we observe in the United States, Memorial Day, at least for me, commands a remarkable level of respect and reverence.  That’s why I want to share this post again this year.  -Art.

It’s Memorial Day! Three day weekend – Woo Hoo! For many of my friends, it’s time to hit the lake! I have a couple friends heading to Indiana this weekend – one is going to the Indy 500. It’s the kick-off of summer and a lot of food will be cooked outside this weekend.

In 1968, Congress passed the “Uniform Monday Holiday Act” which moved four U.S. Holidays, one of which was Memorial Day, to Mondays, thereby creating three day weekends for Federal employees. This law took affect in 1971. Before then, Memorial Day was traditionally observed on May 30th.

“When the will defies fear, when duty throws the gauntlet down to fate, when honor scorns to compromise with death – that is heroism.”  -Robert Green Ingersoll

Headstones, graves

Even as I write this, I struggle for the words to express my heart. While I enjoy the three day weekend and the cookouts as much as anyone, Memorial Day for me demands a solemn respect.  A recognition that I get to live in a truly great country and enjoy tremendous freedom, but that this blessed gift came, and continues to come at a price. A price paid with the blood of the fallen soldiers who won it for you and me.

Memorial Day was born out of grief and loss. Waterloo, NY is officially credited with being the birthplace of Memorial Day. On May 5th, 1866, mourning families set aside a day to place flags and decorations on the graves of their fallen fathers, sons & husbands. This day was originally called Decoration Day.

I can’t help but imagine the war widows and children trying to rebuild their lives after so many of the men in this country fell during the Civil war. The surviving families going to the grave sites of their loved one to honor their memory by decorating their grave. I can’t even imagine the heart pangs of the families, with tears running down their cheeks, laying flags, mementos and flowers on their loved one’s headstone. The families that were longing for their soldier to return. Longing to say “Welcome Home” with a hug and a kiss, only to have it replaced with a reunion of tears.

“These fallen heroes represent the character of a nation who has a long history of patriotism and honor – and a nation who has fought many battles to keep our country free from threats of terror.” – Michael N. Castle

There are some in this country that think the cost is too great. Some say that the United States should never go to war. They are not willing to pay the high price of freedom. I have never lost someone close to me because of war. I can’t speak with any authority about the pain and suffering a family goes through when they lose a daughter, son, husband, wife, father or mother in battle. I can say with certainty though, that through the sacrifice of these men and women, not only our country, but our world is better. They made a difference for us all.

When tyranny has risen over the years and around the world, the U.S. Soldiers, Sailors & Airmen have willingly put themselves in harm’s way for us time and time again. Their mission – to keep us safe and to advance the cause of freedom around the world. This is a noble cause and while the cost is indeed great, I am so thankful for our soldiers who stood up to go and to do, to spend and to be spent. For all who serve, the risk is great, and Memorial Day for all of us is a time to be grateful for those who paid the ultimate price. They did it for us.

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”  -Nathan Hale

In 2000, a resolution was passed that appointed 3 p.m. local time, on Memorial Day, for all U.S. Citizens “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps‘.” (link leads to video of The United States Navy Band performance of Taps).

Miona Michael was the first to wear a red poppy in honor of those who died in service to their country. A tradition that is now identified with the VFW.  Moina wrote the poem below in 1915, inspired by the poem In Flanders Fields

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

It seems fitting to end this post with the words of the Gettysburg Address.  272 words spoken by Abraham Lincoln at the battlefield near Gettysburg, PA in November of 1863. 272 words that, at least to me, sum up what Memorial Day really means. It chokes me up every time I read it.

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The lives laid down –

  • Revolutionary War – 4,435
  • War of 1812 – 15,000 est.
  • Civil War – 620,000
  • Mexican American War – 13,283
  • Spanish American War – 3,289
  • World War I – 323,018
  • World War II – 416,800
  • Korean War – 36,914
  • Vietnam Conflict – 58,220
  • Gulf war – 294
  • Iraqi freedom – 4,501
  • Afghanistan (OEF) – 2,381
***The above list does not represent all of the conflicts where American lives were lost.
OEF = Operation Enduring Freedom.

God WANTS to help you!

Happy New Year! 

What a great time to start something new!  Right? Today we’re going to start something different.  Below is my first ever blog video, also known as Vlog.  It’s new for me so I would just ask that you forgive my “Hack n Slash” editing job.  I have been wanting to do video for some time now and have been quietly learning as much as I could about it. Most of my training has been from trial and error and also from the now famous “YouTube academy”.

Today’s topic is very close to my heart.  Many people need to hear God’s position concerning them.  My sincere prayer is that this will speak to you and strengthen your trust in God.  The scriptures used and some that were not used but are related will be posted below for you to look up for yourselves if you want.


Consider doing three things.

If this has helped you, please consider sharing.  Also, if you want to join the cool kids and not miss anything from, consider subscribing to my email list.  When you do you will receive “Your Path and Your Provision” a short PDF teaching that will help you see the goodness of God toward you.

I want to hear from you!  Join the conversation.  I would love for you to share your own experience about the goodness of God.  Please share by leaving a comment.

Supporting scripture.

Pro 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Mat 7:17-18 Even so, every good tree gives good fruit; but the bad tree gives evil fruit.  It is not possible for a good tree to give bad fruit, and a bad tree will not give good fruit.

Psa 115:16 The heavens are the Lord’s; but the earth he has given to the children of men.

Psa 100:5 For the Lord is good, and his mercy is never-ending; his faith is unchanging through all generations.

Psa 145:9 The Lord is good to all men; and his mercies are over all his works.

Psa 107:1 O give praise to the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy is unchanging for ever.

Psa 34:8 By experience you will see that the Lord is good; happy is the man who has faith in him.

Psa 33:5 His delight is in righteousness and wisdom; the earth is full of the mercy of the Lord.

Ezr 3:11 And they gave praise to the Lord, answering one another in their songs and saying, For he is good, for his mercy to Israel is eternal. And all the people gave a great cry of joy, when they gave praise to the Lord, because the base of the Lord’s house was put in place.

Here’s to a strong start for your 2015!

Your friend,


What’s So Great About America?

In recent days we have been given a front row seat to see our Federal Government in action.  We have been witness to the Judicial branch settling differences between the Legislative branch and the Executive branch.  To me this has been exciting to watch, not only because of the decisions that have been made but also just to see how our system of government checks itself, and to see that it works!  I am deeply moved when I think about the men who established our country and set in order what I personally believe to be one of the finest governments to have ever existed on earth.  While I think these men were some of the brightest, most intelligent people of the day, I also firmly believe that what was done 238 years ago to cause this country to be born was Divinely inspired.


In the booklet “The Rebirth of America” published by the Arthur S. DeMoss foundation, the writers talk about the greatness of America’s land.

“Some say the land itself has made America great.  One of our most moving patriotic hymns cites the beauty of America – a beauty that all who have traveled across the continent surely recognize.  Katherine Lee Bates stood atop Pike’s Peak and scanned the sweep of the land, then wrote of the “Purple Mountain Majesties”, and the “amber waves of grain.” She concluded that God had shed His grace on this land – a vast unexplored wilderness that, in an astonishingly short period, grew into a great nation.  It would be foolish to deny that the rich natural resources of the land itself have not helped to make America. The oil, the ore, the timber, the water, the soil, the climate, all have combined to nourish a civilization that would eventually spread from sea to shining sea.  Other nations too, though, have been blessed with fine resources; yet some how these have not risen to such greatness.”

So what is it that has made America great?  What is it that stands behind freedoms so great that they are the envy of the world?  Why has America been blessed with such abundance when so much of the world goes to bed hungry each night?  Here are a few things that I believe have made America great.

  • The Foundation of Our Law.  Our founders firmly believed in the Creator and believed that He had endowed them with inalienable rights.  They also believed that man was “fallen” and therefore could not be trusted to be his own law or judge.  They therefore used the Divinely inspired Holy Scripture as the foundation for the law of the land. The law can not be simply what a judge or dictator says it is, It must comply with the Constitution which was based on God’s laws in scripture.  Calvin Coolidge – “The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country”.  I think it’s important to point out that a country can’t have morality without religion and even though something is legal doesn’t mean that it’s moral.  Our government is designed to give liberty, but with a moral fence.
  • The Generosity of the American People.  America has been and continues to be very generous.  Whether it has been to help rebuild countries that have been ravaged by war, or help with relief for countries that have been ravaged by natural disasters, the generous spirit of the American people can be seen.  America is blessed because many Americans continue to sow good seeds, be generous, and help the less fortunate.
  • The American Dream.  America has been called the “land of Opportunity” and rightly so. The dream that a person can excel and become something in this country has been the driving force behind the immigration to our country for as long as it’s been in existence.  The Free Enterprise system has ensured that everyone has a fighting chance to be successful if they will only take the opportunities.  The ingenuity of the American people over the last 200 years has given the world well build, low cost goods, provided good jobs to millions and has given Americans the income to buy the goods they produce.
  • The Hand of God.  All of our blessings really point back to this.  In his writing “The Bulletproof George Washington” David Barton wrote: “Washington’s part in the battle of the Monongahela is indisputably one of the most significant events of his early life–his life literally hung in the balance for over two hours. Fifteen years after the battle, the chieftain of the Indians Washington had fought sought him out and gave this account to Washington of what had happened during the battle:

    “I am chief and ruler over my tribes. My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes and to the far blue mountains. I have traveled a long and weary path that I might see the young warrior of the great battle. It was on the day when the white man’s blood mixed with the streams of our forest that I first beheld this chief [Washington]…I called to my young men and said…Quick, let your aim be certain, and he dies. Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for you, knew not how to miss–’twas all in vain, a power mightier far than we, shielded you…I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle.”

    We read accounts of the British destroying the Capital during the summer of 1814.  It really looks like just 38 years after America declared independence from Britain, we’re going to lose our place and be put back in subjection to the Crown.  The British captured and set on fire the public buildings in Washington.  Then the storm blew in.  Weather experts indicate that this storm probably spawned several tornados.  One hit Washington, destroying buildings that the British soldiers were hiding in.  Some accounts indicate that canons were lifted & hurled through the air.  On his blog “Historical Digression” Patrick Browne writes:

As the storm began to subside, one of the British officers in command of the invasion emerged from his shelter and said to one of the inhabitants of Washington, “Great God, Madam, is this the kind of storm to which you are accustomed in this infernal country?!”

She responded, “No, sir, this is a special interposition of Providence to drive our enemies from the city.”

I don’t know about Providence. But there can be no doubt that the tornado that struck Washington that day did more to save the capital than the United States Army ever did. The fires were largely extinguished. And the British limped back to their ships.

As you celebrate this Independence day, take a moment to stop and thank God for your country.  Thank Him for His continued hand of protection and His continual guidance as we move forward as a Nation.  We are here by His will and by His help.  God Bless America.

What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a price upon its goods, and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.  – Thomas Payne, 1776.





The Rebirth of America – Published by The Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation