D-Day + 1.0

My father went into Normandy on D-Day +1. He was a combat engineer. He followed the troops all the way to Germany. He had a picture of himself and his brother looking out the window at Berchtesgaden. My dad fought in the battle for Alaska first. Then fought in North Africa. And finally landed in Normandy at D-Day+1. When he came home, he never wanted to talk about his time in the army. He had seen too much. He wouldn’t even allow guns in the house. When he came home, his old employer offered him a job in Bermuda. Mom said she wanted to go. But dad said he had traveled the world and seen enough for a life time. Dad wanted to go to college to be an engineer. He started but his first son came along. He left college and began to work to support his family. Even though his dream was college and career as an engineer, he never went back. He worked in the Post Office until he retired. Then mom and dad began traveling around the country in their motorhome. Mom and dad both believed that traveling gave you an education. The kind that you couldn’t get anywhere else. When we were all at home we would travel across the country every summer. I never saw my father complain about not getting his way in life. He lived his life for his family and did what was necessary. I did see him get on his knees every night and pray. Often when I would look at the newspaper after my father read it, there would be engineering problem worked out on the pages. Honor and Integrity can’t be taught like math or science. It has to be learned by example. My father was that example to me.

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Memorial Day Rollcall

Calvin and Luther Blanchard, Massachusetts Minute-Men, 1775.

Thomas Blanchard, North Carolina Militia, 1776.

Thomas Newton, Commissioner, US Navy, 1776.

Thomas O. Blanchard, War of 1812.

Albert G. Blanchard, Maj. General, 9th Louisiana, 1861.

Carey Edward Blanchard, 17th Texas Brigade, 1864.

William P. Blanchard, 71st Inf., 1941.

Neal Blanchard, Doctor, US Army, 1941.

Dyer Blanchard, US Navy, 1941.

Hal McGown, Lt. General US Army, Korea and Vietnam, 1948.

Felix Castille, 1st Marines, Korea, 1951.

My older brother was a Physician’s Assistant in US Army during the Vietnam War. I served in the US Air Force during the Vietnam War. Three of my sons and two of my nephews serve in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since my grandfather came to this country in 1637, our family has defended it. My family are patriots. There are a lot of people who have served our country and I am thankful for it. We are blessed by God with a good land to live in. And it is worth defending our country, no matter how bad it seems to be. I just want to thank the men and women who have served our country in the military. It is right to honor them. Have a blessed and safe Memorial Day.

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My Life is going to Change

This time of the year is graduation time. Many young people are graduating from high school or college. I went to a graduation party yesterday for a young friend. She was all excited at the prospect of her new life. She had chosen a university to go to but not a field to enter. I told her about when I graduated from high school. When my ceremony was over and we were walking down from the platform, I had a frown on my face. My mother tried to get me to smile, but at that point I came to a realization. My life was going to change. I was no longer a child living at home. My life was before me and I had to make a choice on what to do. It scared me. I was moving into the unknown. Change can be a scary thing for any one. Change is something that happens to everyone. It is the only constant thing in this entire universe. We change on a daily basis, even if we don’t see or understand it. It is always better to understand and embrace change, but time will tell. Have you figured out your end game yet? In what direction are you going in? Is your direction worth going in? These are questions you will ask yourself almost every day. My older brother told me about a plan for his life. He said to figure out a 1 year plan. To see where you will be in 1 year. Then you figure out a 5 year plan. I wanted more than that in my life. I wanted my life to be all inclusive. Then I met the person who worked out my life in the right direction. Then He showed me the path to take. I looked at what it would cost and figured out that it would be a very good choice. From that time on I was never afraid of the life I chose. Because I choose the life that gave me peace. You see that person is Jesus Christ.

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Striving to get Some Where

As long as I can remember, I was always trying to get somewhere. I never seemed too happy in the spot I was in. I was pushing to get somewhere. Even when I arrived in the spot I was looking at, it never seemed to be enough. It was a never-ending circle of my own making. I am a smart guy and like to acquire knowledge. In high school, I read the entire World Book encyclopedia. Now it did help me in college, but that wasn’t what it was for. My search for knowledge was part avocation and part obsession. You see I am a teacher. Then when I had that concussion, everything got harder to do. It was because of the dyslexia cause by the concussion. My avocation became the obsession. I became a visual learner instead of an all-around one. I had to work hard to learn. But it still was an obsession. After special-education classes, I could read at my level again. When I graduated I worked off shore on a barge. I read three 1500 page novels back to back. Then when I come to the Lord, I asked Him to heal me of dyslexia. I wanted to read the bible without problems. God healed me. And for the next 25 years, I studied the Bible. And I learned a few things. That my knowledge doesn’t come anywhere close to God’s.  I learned that He loves me without reservation. He is always willing to listen me no matter what. And He cares very much what happens to me. He gave me revelations about the bible and let me patent my book at the US Library of Congress. The first day I came to the Lord, I knew that I had arrived at the place I had been searching for all my life. And I am not going to move anywhere else. I still seek knowledge only to be used in God’s work. Selah.

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Honor and Integrity 3.0

Yesterday I was talking to the young man that cuts the grass in my yard. We had a good conversation. He has his own business of mowing lawns. I found out that he was in the army, a veteran of Iraq. Not only a US Army veteran, but he was in the 101st Airborne, an infantryman. He also was in Iraq the same time my second son was there the first time. He told me that his squad was in a Humvee and ran over an IED. 2 of the troopers were killed. He was burned over 50% of his body and had shrapnel in him. They medevac’d him out to Germany and finally to Ft. Sam in San Antonio. When he arrived in San Antonio, his wife came to visit him with her boyfriend. He divorced her while he continued to recover. The army eventually retired him from the service. He settled in our area. He met a young widow with 3 young girls. He married her and settled down here. He told me that his oldest girl just graduated from high school. He was so proud of her. He doesn’t need to work because of his retirement. But he said for his own sake and his family, he is working. I teased him and said, yea you got to pay for 3 wedding. We laughed. But he wasn’t going to stop just because things went wrong in his life. He has honor and integrity that comes out of him as he lives his life to the fullest. I am glad I have gotten to know this young man. I just want to shout, hooah.

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Approval 2.0

Everyone tries to get approval for their lives. Some get a lot and some none at all. But it doesn’t stop us from trying. Unfortunately, I have seen people who don’t get approval make really bad choices. It is ingrained in us to seek out someone who will love or care for our being. When we are children, it is our parents we start out with first. I have seen what not getting approval can do to young lives. Children start out in life perfect. They learn from their parents the lessons hopefully they can use in life. If you want to know what kind of parents a person has, all you have to do is listen and observe the person. As much as people say they aren’t like their parents, they are like their parents. Approval is a good thing. It makes us teachable. And if we are going to survive this world, we need to be teachable. No one knows everything. No one has all the wisdom they need. Or even the ability to put the wisdom into practice. Do you know why doctors practice medicine? It is because that is how they learn to treat people. Everybody wants to be unique. They have ideas that they want to put into practice. You know what is unusual, is that there is nothing new under the sun. What was before will be again. And what is even stranger is that if you go back in that person’s history, you will found an ancestor that has done the same thing. We all seek approval and want to be accepted for who we are. And I only know one person who will accept us as we, faults and all. That is person is the man Christ Jesus. Call upon His name and He will answer you. And He will show you great and mighty things that you don’t know.

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Consequences 2.0

For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. This is a law of Physics for the universe. If you push an object, it will resist being push. And brother I know how to push and to be pushed. When I didn’t get my way, I would push back, verbally, physically and spiritually. Sometimes I would push so hard, it sent ripples into my world. That is when I would cause consequences. I don’t want to harm anyone, but I could get angry and push back. It became stubbornness in my life or you could say I became a jackass. Before I came to the Lord, I had a vile and bitter mouth. It was as sharp as any sword. I could do damage to people and it came so easily. It didn’t make me to popular, but I didn’t care. I was so beat-up and hurt that I was going to take the world with me. It wasn’t until I met someone who just loved me for me. He saw all the hurt and put up with the mouth. His love was a soothing salve for the gapping wounds that I had. I began to see all of the consequences that I was causing. I felt bad that I had done so much damage. I didn’t know if the consequences could be reversed. One of the problems I caused took 15 years to erase. But it was only after I came to the Lord that the consequences in my life began to disappear. God healed my broken heart and helped me to live like I was supposed to. I hardly spoke at all for years because of the trouble I caused. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Choose wisely what you are going to say. Because your words will live beyond your life.

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The Pear Tree:

Several years ago, my oldest son’s basketball team won the state title. They went to the national tournament in Dayton, Tenn. The whole family went and we stayed for a week. In commemoration of this, we bought a pear tree in Tenn. We planted it in the front yard. It was about 3 ft. tall. The nurserymen graphed a flowering pear to a wild pear. So it would be hardy. The tree was growing. It was about 4 ft. tall, when a drunk women hit our 3 ft. ditch in an SUV. She bounced over our driveway and landed on our pear tree. It broke the tree in half. We nursed it back to health. But the graphed part grew slowly and the wild part put out a new shoot. As the tree grew, we twisted the graphed part to the wild part. The graphed part has just about completely in cased the wild part. It flowers regularly, white flowers all over the tree. Especially flowering after a hard freeze. The Lord reminded me that we are graphed into God’s family. Our wild part becomes part of God’s family, then disappears into the tree. Hopefully never to be seen again. Let God transform you into his image.  Ask Him and He will answer.

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Nothing More Precious

Yesterday I found out that a longtime friend died. This man was instrumental in my life. I should say his family was instrumental in my life. The entire family was raised in the church. His dad was a deacon in a local church. His mother would be considered a force of nature. They were by definition a Christian family. One of the grandsons was missionary. I knew most of the family. The mom was the first person to teach me how to pray for someone. She backed me in a corner and had me pray. All I could say was, “God do something”. And guess what God did. This began my prayer life. The man had a precious wife and 5 wonderful children. The oldest child, junior, went home to Jesus before my friend. He had his ups and downs just like the rest of us. But his life was full. He would walk into a store to buy a hammer and lead all the workers to Jesus. He was an evangelist. People from all over knew and loved him. As I did. At one time he was my pastor. He lived in so many different places and still had a normal family life. I know for myself, my life was enriched by this man and his family. And I know that his family is hurting today. I pray that God will touch his family and give them comfort. As it says in the bible, that there is nothing more precious to God than the death of one His children.

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Taken By Force

If we can remember the time in our lives when we were ruled by love and not by violence. It is unfortunate that as we grew, violence became a part of our lives. First from other children, then it came from everywhere as adults. Man learned how to control their surrounding through force. And each time violence was used, we died a little bit at a time. It is such the opposite of who we really are. Even in the bible, it says in Matthew 11:12 “…now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” When they came for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, they took Him by force. All of Jesus’ life was based upon love. He loved people so much that people saw it when they met Him. Every time anyone came in contact with Jesus, they saw that He loved them unconditionally.it is still the same today. Jesus loves us unconditionally, for God is love. As followers of Christ, we are to become the image and likeness of God. Which means we are love people unconditionally. This is a tall order for man. We would rather acquire everything through force. This way doesn’t open us to the pain of rejection. Jesus suffered rejection to be able to reach man. Yet He still opened His heart and loved us. Jesus knew that the only way to reach man is love them. It has never changed. Love is the only way to live in this and the world to come. And only by the power of God can we even attempt to live that way. By if we do live that way, it will not only change our lives but the lives around us. The reason that we are to love unconditionally is to be change into the image and likeness of God. And when we do, we will see Jesus when He returns for we will be like Him.

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