Oak Ridge Boys sing “Amazing Grace” at President George H.W. Bush’s Funeral

After playing their records for several years, I finally got the opportunity, a few years ago, to see “The Oak Ridge Boys” in concert.
It was one of the most memorable, and enjoyable concerts I’ve ever experienced.
I would honestly say that, “I’d see them again tomorrow.”

They are as busy as ever: Their new Gospel Album, “17th Avenue Revival,” comes out in March. They still tour year-round, and are currently traveling on their 29th annual holiday concert tour, “Shine the Light on Christmas,” which is taking the group to 32 cities in 18 states.

This latest holiday tour began on November 14th, in Branson, Missouri.

They would interrupt the tour for a very personal performance:
From their website, https://oakridgeboys.com, they explain:

DEC 1, 2018
The Oak Ridge Boys Remember President George H.W. Bush
“… he was fortunate enough to have been married to one of the most wonderful women who ever walked this planet … We started to sing for him … when he was VP, and we have been singing for him ever since. We have performed our songs on Air Force One, in Kennebunkport many times, and at his home in Houston … at the White House and several of his key birthday celebrations … we would even call him and sing to him when he wasn’t feeling well and Barbara swore that we had a healing effect on our FRIEND. We have laughed together, shared tears together, fished together, hiked together, shared a lot of lobster together, and sang together. We WILL sing for him again one day. THIS is ASSURED!
Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, Richard Sterban, Joe Bonsall
The Oak Ridge Boys

In addition, Duane Allen wrote this:
“He was like a daddy figure to me, and he was all about making everyone around him have a good time. The sting of death always hurts, but I have so many memories to make me smile. The Oak Ridge Boys have sung “Amazing Grace” for him on Air Force One, in Kennebunkport, at the White House, and over the phone when he was in the hospital. However, singing “Amazing Grace” at his funeral will be the most difficult assignment we will ever have.”
Duane Allen, The Oak Ridge Boys

Here’s the performance from CBS News and CBSNews.com:

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Senator John F Kennedy on Jack Paar Show: June 16, 1960

On June 16, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy made history by being the first presidential candidate to appear on a late-night television program.

We must remember the times.
In the year 1960, a political candidate making an appearance on a late-night entertainment show was something which had not been done … because, in many circles, such an appearance would be frowned upon.

For example, as Frank Rich wrote in the New York Times, “By the standards of 1960, a Presidential candidate’s appearance on an entertainment program was considered a bit shocking.”

John F. Kennedy would become known as the first “TV President.”

We have only a short clip from the show, but it is amazing how the statements Senator Kennedy made, resonate so clearly with our times, with our world, today.

His response to questions regarding why he went into politics, the responsibility of the United States in world affairs, the responsibility of the office of President, the issue of enemy countries sending “fellow travelers” into the United States, and how important it is for the United States to set an example which citizens of other countries would want to follow.
Senator Kennedy stated that “in the final analyses, they have to believe in freedom themselves. I don’t think you can sell freedom … In the long run, the best asset we have is the desire of people to be free.”

In other words, you can’t “inject” democracy.

For the record, this was 58 years ago.
Yes … 58 years ago.

Robert F Kennedy on Jack Parr Show: March 13, 1964

It was the first public appearance of Robert F. Kennedy, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

This year, Thanksgiving was on November 22.
Like many of you, Thanksgiving is a special day for me. In fact, the entire weekend (for me … 4 days!!!) is something I look forward to, all year.

This year, it seemed that I paid more attention to “November 22” than to “Thanksgiving.”

It may be because, for the past few months, I have been researching the history of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. I have read much, and watched many documentaries and films on their lives, and their families’ lives and history. As I’ve read, and viewed, the one thing that strikes me the most, personally, is how close “John and Bobby” were. That is the one thing I have “taken away” from my studies. I just completed a Library display entitled “A Brother’s Trust,” which I will share in the future.

On March 13, 1964, it was exactly 16 weeks after November 22, 1963.
In his introduction of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Jack Paar stated, “ … A man whose own life reminds us of what brother really means …”

Many of you may remember that Senator John F. Kennedy, as a presidential candidate, had appeared on “The Jack Parr Show” on June 16, 1960.

I think that, even though I didn’t know them personally, I feel a personal connection. Because … I have brothers, too. While I don’t exactly remember President Kennedy, I remember the times that followed. I remember, very well, Robert Kennedy. I remember “the times which followed” both. I remember well enough to ponder, in a deeply emotional way, “what might have been.”


Hiking The Long Trail Through Vermont

A friend of mine, Roland, hiked the entire 273 mile length of the Long Trail this summer, and was gracious to allow us to share his 18-day journey with you.

The Long Trail runs 273 miles through the entire length of the state of Vermont. It starts at the Massachusetts state line (near Williamstown, Massachusetts), and runs north to the Canada–US border (near North Troy, Vermont). It runs along the main ridge of the Green Mountains, coinciding with the Appalachian Trail for roughly 100 miles in the southern third of the state. Additionally, over 175 miles of side trails complete the Long Trail System.

This is the oldest long-distance trail in the United States, constructed between 1910 and 1930 by the Green Mountain Club. The club remains the primary organization responsible for the trail, and is recognized by the state legislature as “the founder, sponsor, defender, and protector” of the Long Trail System.

The Long Trail was conceived in 1909 by James P. Taylor, who was, at the time, the Assistant Headmaster of Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Vermont. Taylor shared his dream to “make the Vermont Mountains play a larger part in the life of the people by protecting and maintaining the Long Trail system and fostering, through education, the stewardship of Vermont’s hiking trails and mountains.”

Keep in mind that, as work began in 1910, this was America’s first long-distance hiking path.
This also means that the Long Trail is the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the United States, and, again, it was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail.

The Long Trail traverses almost all of the Green Mountains’ major summits, including (from south to north), Glastenbury Mountain, Stratton Mountain, Killington Peak, Mount Abraham, Mount Ellen, Camel’s Hump, Mount Mansfield, and Jay Peak. On its way to Canada, this “footpath in the wilderness” climbs rugged peaks and passes pristine ponds, alpine sedge, hardwood forests, and swift streams.

The Long Trail is maintained primarily by the Green Mountain Club and its volunteers.

This is a beautiful presentation, and seems to grow even more beautiful as Roland progresses northward.

I am reminded of just how beautiful this part of the country is … and, as snow is once again in our forecast here in early November … how much I already miss summer.

Enjoy.
Roland took 18 days to complete the entire 273 miles.

Sunday, Nov. 4: International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Sunday, Nov. 4, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP).
Here is this year’s slide presentation from The Voice of the Martyrs.

You can find out more at their website, https://www.persecution.com/

We went in and added music, and encourage you to:
Pray.
Every Day.

Every Day.
Pray.

NFL (No Flag Loyalty): Why Not Here in America? Why?

Why can’t we broadcast the National Anthem in America, but we can in other Countries?

I guess I really don’t understand.
I mean … I really don’t understand.
I just don’t understand.

When an NFL (No Flag Loyalty) game is played outside of the United States … as long as the game is being played “on foreign soil” (please understand the context) … then, the networks show the singing of the National Anthem. They broadcast it, live, as it happens.

If an NFL (No Flag Loyalty) game is played in America, in the United States, here at home … they refuse to show the Nation Anthem.

I’m not making this up.
I’m really not.

I can’t believe it, either.

I watched the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) game from London, last Sunday morning. It was a 9:30 kick off. The game was broadcast on network television. It was a regular-season game. It took place, “Live from Wembley Stadium” in London, England.

The network broadcast the National Anthem of both England and the United States. Showed it, both, live, as it happened on the field. The National Anthem. Live on broadcast, network TV. They showed it … right here in America.
Our National Anthem.

I don’t understand.
I mean … I really don’t.

The networks refuse … because it has to be a planned decision … to show our National Anthem when the game is played in the United States … yet, when we are in a foreign country … they make a really big deal of broadcasting our National Anthem …

I don’t understand.
I really don’t.

Please note that this is not a complaint of any kind against England, or any other Country. I love the UK, and I really do think it’s a great idea to play the games over there. And, in Mexico. And, anywhere else. I love our readers in these Countries, and, honestly, I think it’s great that we have so many readers in those countries. I have family who came from England. I just heard today from a reader “across the pond.” We love the UK, and our friends there.
Yes, I think it’s a great idea to sing the National Anthems of both Countries. A great sign of honor and respect.
I just don’t understand why we can show/broadcast the National Anthem in other Countries, but not here in America.

I can’t be the only one who doesn’t understand this.
Can I?

Once again, I must write that I love football … I was up, just last night … until Midnight … watching the football game. And, I am looking forward to a couple of games this weekend …
And, of course, on Monday Night.

Why can’t we broadcast the National Anthem in America, but we can in other Countries?

I particularly noticed this during last Sunday Night’s football game: You know how, later in the game, they will show highlights of the game so far? Like the team running out to the field, etc?
One of the highlights was the unfurling of the huge American Flag … it seemed to cover the entire field … Yet … they considered this a “highlight,” but refused to show the singing of our National Anthem. This was Football Night in “America.” Yet …

Don’t worry: I do notice, deftly tucked between beer and car commercials (think about those together) they always have a “Salute to our Troops.” Looks good. In fact, it looks great. Yet … they won’t broadcast our National Anthem?

Unless, of course, we are in another country.

I wonder how much money the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) makes on these games played in another Country?

I wonder … if not broadcasting our National Anthem, in games played in the United States … started to cost them money … would, then the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) suddenly become the most patriotic company on earth … if it started costing them money … I can hear it now …

“You’d better stand for our National Anthem!!!”
They would, suddenly, become proud of our Country … of the men and women who have given their lives for our freedom … for our men and women who still sacrifice today … they would … if the money was right … make a big deal of these heroes … at the right cost … they would suddenly love America enough to take a stand … to “make ‘em stand” …

Don’t they realize the great cost that has already been paid?
The great cost that has already been paid.
Yeah … I’ll stand …

Hey … maybe … if they start losing money … they may even start to broadcast our National Anthem in games played over here???

Last Sunday, I had stepped outside at the beginning of the football game.
I was not expecting to have the National Anthem broadcast.
Why would I?
I didn’t imagine it would be ok to show the singing of the National Anthem, especially since the game wasn’t played in America …

They broadcast the Anthem.

Carol came out “after it was over.” This must have been hard for the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) to take. I mean, they must have been forced to broadcast the Anthem, right? I mean, they don’t do it over here … Must have been a huge cost …

Carol reported that all of the players stood. For both Anthems. These guys … getting millions of dollars to play a game … probably had “all expenses paid” for this trip to London … these guys, all of them, actually stood …

Are you going to tell me there wasn’t an “official edict” that made sure they all stood?
What cost this must have cost.

I was dumbfounded.
I really was.
No, really.
The only thing I could think of was this question to ask Carol:
“Why can’t we broadcast the National Anthem in America, but we can in other Countries?”
Her answer was swift:
“Because of the way it would look.”

Because of the way it would look.
I could only think this thought, in response:
“Don’t they know how it looks to us?”

I watched the first Game of the World Series, from Fenway.
What do I remember most?
The players all lined up … and, the singing of the National Anthem.
James Taylor.

I don’t think Boston had to pay to have the Anthem broadcast.
I think MLB understands the tremendous cost that’s already been paid.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

“Tortured for Christ:” Watch the Movie Online for Free

What a great opportunity this is!

The Voice of the Martyrs is partnering with Faithlife TV to offer an exclusive online viewing of the Tortured for Christ movie. Just use the link we have below to register with your email address, and you will receive a link to watch the Tortured for Christ movie on Oct. 22-23 for FREE.

This is the same movie that gained national attention last March, showing in over 550 theaters, many sold out.

This is the dramatic presentation of the bestselling book by the same name, featuring the testimony of The Voice of the Martyrs’ founder, Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who spent 14 years in Communist prisons because of his work in the underground church. The book and movie tell the story of his stand for Christ and subsequent persecution in communist Romania.

Filmed in Romania, including in the very prison where Pastor Wurmbrand endured torture and solitary confinement, this powerful film uniquely presents the story in a live action format. The dialogue is presented in English, Romanian, and Russian (with English subtitles) to hold to the authenticity of this true story.

Just click on the link below, to register now for this special online event, and view the Tortured for Christ movie for free.

After you register, you will have the opportunity to receive a FREE digital copy of the Tortured for Christ book.

Here’s the link to register:
“Tortured for Christ” Movie

Now, we share the movie trailers.
Here’s the one we originally share with you, prior to the movie theater opening:

Here’s another trailer to share:

Again, here’s the link to watch the movie for free, online:
“Tortured for Christ” Movie for Free Online