NFL: No Flag Loyalty-Part Four: Headline News

Mark Twain is credited with the saying that
“Fact is stranger than fiction.”

I am reminded, also, of the saying that,
“You can’t make this stuff up!”

To close our series, here is the actual newspaper headline from our own New Hampshire newspaper, the “New Hampshire Union Leader,” as it actually appeared, on the day after this year’s Super Bowl. Without doubt, the biggest football game of the year, and the most-watched.

This is the headline, as you can plainly see, from Monday, February 5, 2018, and, as you can plainly see, this is the “Super Bowl Edition.”

Note that this is not the “Sports” headline, but the Headline from the front page. To the left is the quote from Daniel Webster:
“There is nothing so powerful as truth.”

You just can’t make this stuff up!
I am reminded of another saying that
“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Closing statement to those who think that a simple thing like just standing during the singing/playing of our Nation Anthem has nothing to do with honoring/respecting/recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve/who have served our Country:
“Yeah, it does.”

Richard. Vincent. Rose.
American
Founder/President
Freedom Unlimited Resources

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NFL: No Flag Loyalty-Part Three: “What Happened to the NFL?”

Just a couple of weeks ago, we had a High School basketball game, as a special part of our regular School day.
Before the game started, it was a moment I’ll never forget:
As a student sang the National Anthem, I was mesmerized by a good friend of mine, our “School Resource Officer,” (for those who don’t know, that’s a uniformed Police Officer who is part of our School Staff), who, the entire time the Anthem was sung, stood proudly at attention, in full salute, facing the large American Flag, which is draped from the gym ceiling. It was, simply, a proud moment I’ll never forget. It reminded me of how important it is to recognize the sacrifices made for our freedom, and in his case, also included were the sacrifices made by fellow Police Officers.

It began with just wanting to reflect on things that had happened between the first and last parts of our series, “The Price for Freedom.” The one thing that stood out, for me, was the “fuss” being generated over this “Stand for the Anthem” issue. I thought about this statement:
To those who think that a simple thing like just standing during the singing/playing of our Nation Anthem has nothing to do with honoring/respecting/recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve/who have served our Country:
“Yeah, it does.”

Back in November, that “Reflection” Post was to introduce the final video in our “The Price for Freedom” series, and it was to be titled “Reflecting on the Changes Since Start of Series.” We concluded the series, the same way we began, by featuring a Memorial Day speech from President Ronald Reagan, which supplied our banner for the series:

“The price for this freedom has been high … but we have never been unwilling to pay that price.”

The First Video in this series, “The Price for Freedom,” was posted on June 23, 2017.
Since that time, I have experienced, and witnessed, much sadness and tragedy … As, have many of you.

In July, my beloved Father passed away, and I stood there, near his flag-draped casket, as I witnessed the 21-Gun Salute.

In October, one of my closest and dearest friends passed away, and I stood there, near his flag-draped casket, as the Soldiers came up in perfect formation, performed a heart-wrenching Memorial ceremony (this was conducted inside), and I listened to the words of why the design of our American Flag meant so much to those who live under it … what the flag represented…

Since that first video … This is just since June … I have seen that, just standing for our National Anthem … this same flag which was draped over the casket of my loved one … and yours … just standing in honor of that same flag … has become an issue …
I still can’t believe it … I understand it … like you do … but, I still can’t believe it…

Keep in Mind this Post was originally written, and scheduled for release in November:

I do know that one of the things I most look forward to, before a football game, is the National Anthem.
Now … “they” don’t even show it during a regular football telecast.
A league advertising“Salute  to the Military” … yet, they have ceased, made a conscious decision, to not even show the singing of our National Anthem … I get it … You don’t want to see your sport being booed … But, to say you “support” the Military, our Military, and, then, make a decision, a Corporate decision, to not broadcast the singing of our National Anthem….

Hey, America … I watched the World Series … Every Game this year, for the first time in many, many years…
Every game, I saw the players stand, and remove their hats, and stand … and stand … like Americans … for the singing of our National Anthem.
Can you imagine what would have happened if just one baseball player … just one … had kneeled during the National Anthem???

My close friend, speaking of the NFL, says “It’s too late.” Major League Baseball, which didn’t “pour it on” with “Military Salutes” during the World Series … well, the best part was the first part … The National Anthem…

A moment to explain the background behind this “It’s too late” statement. A close friend was pretty angry (that’s a polite phrase) that, at the height of this “National Anthem” fuss, one football team did not even come out for the singing of the National Anthem. Yes, they refused to even come out to the field for the National Anthem. However, they did allow one player to come out to the edge of the tunnel, where he stood at attention, hand over heart, for the Anthem. Note that this particular player is a former Captain in the United States Army, in which he served as an Army Ranger and was decorated with a Bronze Star for valor, and served three tours of duty in Afghanistan. I don’t know if the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) team tried to tie him up, or chain him, or something else to prevent him from coming out in honor of those who have served and died for our Country, but he, somehow, made it out at least to the edge of the field. Maybe he would have faced suspension if he had actually stepped onto the field? Anyway, another high-profile member of the team wrote something of an apology for the team, saying that intentionally not coming out for the Anthem may have been a mistake. You think??? So, there I was, and this was back in the Fall, there I was, trying to, and this is true … I tried to defend the apology of the player, that he had, in his own way, tried to apologize for his team’s actions. That’s when I got the response, “It’s too late.”

By the way, the game in question was at, and you can’t make this stuff up … the game was at “Soldier Field.” I just read that this particular player’s jersey was the top selling jersey on the NFL’s official store in the 24 hour period after that Sunday’s games.

So, back in November, I wrote this:

What Happened to the NFL?

What happened to the NFL?
They used to play for you and me
Now, they only seem to play for “ME.”

Before each game
I would wait for the Anthem to play
Waiting to stand to give honor to our country
Now, they won’t even show the Anthem on TV
That’s one more channel on which I can’t stay

You won’t stand in honor of those who have died?
You won’t stand in honor of those who have served?
You play a game, yes, play, yes, play a game,
Yet, you won’t stand for those whose honor is deserved?

You kneel, but not to pray
You kneel, yet are allowed to play
Yes, play, a game
You are still allowed in this country, to stay?

If you don’t stand for our flag
What do you stand for?
If you don’t stand for our flag
Whose flag do you stand for?

You say, proudly, that this isn’t about you
It’s about others, and what they are going through
That this isn’t about “ME,” you then stand and say
That it isn’t about “ME,’ what you showed us today

When the anthem plays, we all know to “remove our hats and stand”
We all remove our hats, yes, our hats we all doff
So, I have this question for you all:
If this isn’t just about “YOU,”
Why, then, as you kneel, do you take your helmets off?

So, then, it’s not about “THEM,” it’s about “YOU”
Otherwise, you would leave your helmet on
How else could they get a close-up of “YOU”
Instead of showing the Red, White, and Blue?
If you don’t stand for the American flag
Which flag do you stand for?
If it’s not about “YOU,”
Why do you take your helmet off?

You’ve done your job
You’ve shown yourself to me
So have the networks
Now, they don’t even show the Anthem on TV

While you kneel there,
Thinking you are great,
I must agree with my friends,
For the NFL, it’s too late
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

To those who think that a simple thing like just standing during the singing/playing of our Nation Anthem has nothing to do with honoring/respecting/recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve/who have served our Country:
“Yeah, it does.”

NFL: No Flag Loyalty-Part Two: Serious Questions

Opening statement to those who think that a simple thing like just standing during the singing/playing of our Nation Anthem has nothing to do with honoring/respecting/recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve/who have served our Country:
“Yeah, it does.”

It began simply enough, as most things do, with my just wanting to reflect on things that had happened between the first and last parts of our series, “The Price for Freedom,” a period which spanned from June 23, 2017 until November 8th, 2017. So, as I thought about the events of the last months, the one thing that stood out, for me, was the “fuss” being generated over this “Stand for the Anthem” issue.

I am reminded of the book by Dr. David Jeremiah, entitled, “I Never Thought I’d See the Day!”
Well, guess what?
I never thought I’d see the day when there would be a “fuss” over standing for the National Anthem. Did you? But, even sadder than that … I never thought I’d see the day when, if you criticized someone for not standing … you … yes, you … would be criticized! I’ll say it:
I never thought I’d see the day when our President, the President of the United States, would make a strong statement that we should stand for our National Anthem … and, then, HE would be criticized for making that statement … I never thought I’d see the day …
Once again, as I wrote in Part One, “What message do you think that sent to the world?”

I can say this with all truth and sincerity: I know what it’s like to be ridiculed, or to be made fun of, or be criticized, for being something called a “Patriot.” This has nothing to do with a team who has that name. To be “called down” for acting like a “Patriot” is not something I am ashamed of. It is something I am proud of. I’m proud to be an American. I will stand for our Anthem. I’m proud of what our Country stands for. I will stand for our Anthem. I’m proud of what our Military has done, and is doing. I’ll stand to honor them. I’ll stand for our Anthem. I am honored to be the recipient of the freedoms which these brave men and women-under the banner of our Flag-have accomplished for me, and for us all. I’ll stand for our Anthem.

However … this does lead me to “question” those who don’t stand.
I can’t help it … I am human … and, I am a proud American:

If all this “isn’t a big deal,” then the following questions wouldn’t be a big deal either:
If they don’t stand for our Flag … then … whose flag do they … will they … stand for?

If it’s not “just about them,” then, why do they remove their helmets during the Anthem?
Do they know that “everyone is watching?”
Oh … I get it … if they don’t take their helmets off … how could their face get “camera time?”

Say … those are 2 pretty big questions:
If it’s not about just them, why do they remove their helmets?
If they don’t stand for our flag, whose flag do they stand for?

I have made it clear that I am, yes, a fan of the NFL (No Flag Loyalty).
Maybe not as big a fan as I was, but I’m still a fan.

But, and, maybe I’ll be criticized for writing this … but … as big a fan of sports that I am, as big a fan of the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) as I am … I am a bigger fan of the United States. I am a bigger fan of our Flag, and what it “stands” for.
I love the fact that I used the word “stands” there. Looking at it, the word, I am reminded that, yes, I love our Flag, and what it stands for. For the men and women who have, and still do, “stand” under it, and defend it. Maybe, most of all, I stand for those who have died … defending it. Who have died, fallen, “standing” for it, and what it “stands for.”
Yeah … I’ll stand.

Is that it?
Is that why I stand?
What does it say about me … that I stand?
What would this, then, say about those who refuse to stand?
Ok, allow me to speak as a fan: There are at least 4 teams that I believe have serious “locker room” issues. Because of this, these 4 teams will never win a Super Bowl. Will never win a Championship.

Every “movement” must have a leader. Did I just say that, not standing for our National Anthem, was a “movement?” Dr. Jeremiah … “I Never Thought I’d See the Day!”
Anyway, there is a particular player who is, generally, credited with starting this “movement.” And, the fact that he has, since he became “famous” for not standing during our National Anthem, been unable to get a job, has equally made “big news.” Seems no one, in the NFL (No Flag Loyalty), will hire him. Again, this has been news, and the subject of much debate. Let’s get back to this “serious locker room issues” idea. No one wants a player who would “divide” the locker room. Heck … this particular player divided the country! So, it’s “not looking any better for tomorrow” to have him “suit up” for your local team. There have even been reports of fans refusing to buy tickets if this particular player is signed. I don’t know … what does that say?

So, thinking about this one player, for a moment. I agree, 100%, that we have freedoms in this Country. Yes … freedoms we enjoy directly because of what that Flag, and those who defend it (even died defending it), stand for. Heck … there’s that word “stand” again. That must really be a “sore spot” for some folks … Anyway … I think I came up with this question while I was looking at the Time magazine cover with this particular player’s photo on it … you know, the one where he was kneeling during our National Anthem … After I thought, “I wonder if he would have made the cover in recognition of his football skills?” the next thought was this:

I had been debating this issue over whether this was about a glaring social issue, or just a personal opportunity for publicity. I thought about what I had always been taught, and, it is pretty “cut and dried.” When the National Anthem is played, you stand. Period. Hats off.
Period. That’s what you do. Period. A hundred reasons why. A thousand reasons why. A million reasons why. I don’t know the exact number of those who have died, defending the Flag, but each one represents a number to stand. Proudly. It’s not about me. It’s about them. But, could it be, that the opportunity could exist, to make this most sacred of traditions … about “me?” The command, and it has always seemed like a “command” and not a “choice issue,” was to:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please stand and remove your hats.”
Period.

So … the question I had, as I looked at the photo, was …
If this isn’t about “me,” why did you remove your helmet?
Why did you take off your helmet, if it wasn’t about “you?”

So, now, and there are millions and millions of proud Americans (and this is not a “knock” against the magazine) who don’t read Time.
I know I haven’t, since.
Anyway, there are also millions and millions of proud Americans who don’t follow the NFL (No Flag Loyalty).
But, now, there are millions and millions of proud Americans who know who you are.
If it wasn’t just about “me,” why did you take the helmet off?

Yes, the other glaring question may not have been publicized, but, it has to have been thought of, every time we see a player kneel:
If you don’t stand for our Flag, whose Flag do you stand for?

Oh … you aren’t standing for any Flag?
I think we get it.
Then … it has to be about “me.”

By the way, I just learned this week that, and I am serious about not knowing this, the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) is a non-profit entity. Not the individual teams, which, of course, are a true business entity, but the NFL (No Flag Loyalty), as a “League,” is recognized as a non-profit entity.

What a Country! Man … I would stand for the Anthem!

Notice that, in all of this writing, I haven’t mentioned anything about how great it must be to make millions of dollars … playing a game … yes … playing a game … to be a celebrity and admired athlete, with all the notoriety which comes with it … yeah … I’d have issues with a Country like that … Making big money playing a game … being famous … the freedoms-even more of which I can now enjoy because of my inflated income … man, oh man … I would be the first on the field, and would beg … yes, beg … to have the honor of holding the Flag … I wouldn’t just stand … I would leap to my feet … and, scream out the words … to honor those who have given so much … so that I could have … so much …

The more I think about it, the more I realize that, this “stand for the Anthem” issue, is a really big deal … Man … all that money … all that fame … all that celebrity … I would be praying for another opportunity to show my appreciation to the brave men and women, and especially those who have died defending my opportunities … defending that Flag …. Defending our Country … Praying to have another opportunity to show my appreciation …

Unless, of course, I wasn’t thankful.
I wasn’t grateful.
Because … then … it would be about them.
And, not about “me.”

I am fully aware that I am writing this the day before the Super Bowl. Will I watch? Yes.
Am I still a fan? Yes.
Am I ashamed of the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) decision to not broadcast the National Anthem during “regular” football games?
Yes.
Am I embarrassed about the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) decision to not broadcast the National Anthem during “regular” football games?
Yes.

I’m sure they will, tomorrow, make a “big deal” about their commitment to Veterans, and, they will broadcast our National Anthem. They may even act like it’s “their idea” to do so. I’ll remember, back a few months ago, when, all of a sudden, our National Anthem wasn’t part of the broadcast. How, when a close friend aired his disgust over this “not standing” issue, I defended the apology of a team who wrote that “maybe” it was the wrong thing to do, to not come out to the field during the National Anthem … I mean, I defended the team … but, his answer still resounds:

“It’s too late.”

By the way, tomorrow, they may even play a spot or two about their disapproval of gambling.

Sorry … I had to take a moment to check the “latest line” for the game. After all, isn’t all this “underdog/favorite” stuff based upon gambling?

Oh … I didn’t include a quote from Carol this time. Well … I must choose carefully … Her Father, too, had his casket draped with the American Flag … we both stood while “Taps” was played … we both heard all 21 rounds … We still have his medals, and his “Berlin” patch:

“If they’re kneeling, they’d better be praying.”

Closing statement to those who think that a simple thing like just standing during the singing/playing of our Nation Anthem has nothing to do with honoring/respecting/recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve/who have served our Country:
“Yeah, it does.”

Richard. Vincent. Rose.
American
Founder/President
Freedom Unlimited Resources

NFL: No Flag Loyalty-Part One

Opening statement to those who think that a simple thing like just standing during the singing/playing of our Nation Anthem has nothing to do with honoring/respecting/recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve/who have served our Country:
“Yeah, it does.”

On November 8th, 2017, I posted the last (so far) video in our series of support and honor for our Veterans and Soldiers, those who have served, and those still serving today … a series entitled “The Price for Freedom.”
Here’s a direct link to the series:
The Price For Freedom

The series had begun on June 23, 2017, and I just wanted to look back at what had changed in the short time between the first video, and, the last video. That’s all! Just take a look at events which had happened during this short time.

Please allow me to say this … Please …
Our writing, and, in particular, our online ministries, have just one goal, one mission, and, it’s simply to “Bless, inspire, and encourage.” That’s it.
Period.
So, I have battled with writing about this “Stand for the National Anthem” issue for well over 2 months.

I remember an interview I did several years ago, when I made the statement that, “I am not just a Christian. I am a Christian writer. My job is not to conform to public policy. My job is to change public policy.”
I think it’s ok to have an opinion. I also understand that, if we express our opinion, in public, we must be prepared to defend it. I think it’s ok to love Jesus. I think it’s ok to love your wife. I think it’s ok to love your family. I think it’s ok to love your Country.
So, as the writer of “The Eagle Still Flies (A New Anthem for America),” I must be prepared to write about my love for Country … and, my love for those who serve and protect it.

This … I do now.

So, as I thought about the events of the last months, the one thing that stood out, for me, was the “fuss” being generated over this “Stand for the Anthem” issue.
First … I can’t even believe this is an issue!

For this to even be an issue is, just, wrong.

For there to even be a debate about this, is, just, wrong.
Whether you like it or not … and I know that we live in this world, even though we may not be of this world … but … whether we like it or not … there are still some things, in this world, that are, just, wrong.
Period.

My Father was a Veteran.
My wife’s Father was a Veteran.
Many of you had, or have, a Father which is, or was, a Veteran.
Many of you have a spouse who has a Father which is, or was, a Veteran.
Yes … I capitalize the word “Veteran.”
Whether you like it or not.
Just another way to give honor.
And, respect.

And … I can’t make this statement strongly enough:
It is a way to honor the families of those who have served.
Whether you like it, or not, we are talking about sacrifice, which apparently, many don’t have
a single clue about.

I agree:
Honor.
Sacrifice.
Dignity.
Unfortunately, I must agree, there are too many who “don’t have a clue” about any of those three.

But … there are many who do. Who do understand the sacrifice that, just agreeing to serve, involves. Who do understand that “The price for our freedom has been high.”

That do appreciate the sacrifice … made by others … so that we can be free.
This came at a cost.

OK, I’ll say it:
Just because you aren’t willing to sacrifice or serve or be grateful or be thankful or be aware of what your freedom costs …
I think you can finish the rest.

My Father had a US Flag draped over his casket.
My wife’s Father had a US Flag draped over his casket.
One of my best and closet friends, who died only recently, had a US Flag draped over his casket.

I’ll stand for the Anthem.

I know … deep down … and, I mean the “deepest of down” … why I stand for the Anthem …
Yes, there is a reason … deep down … I stand and honor those who serve, and have served.

If you don’t stand … I agree … There must be a reason … deep down … that you don’t.

The NFL?
No Flag Loyalty.

Simply put, to honor the Anthem is … just simply that … “wrapped up,” as my Father’s, my Father-in-Law’s, my friend’s casket was … “wrapped up” in the US Flag.

That’s ok, NFL (No Flag Loyalty), don’t show the Anthem, except on special occasions …

Before a Monday Night Football broadcast, I was prepared to stand, and enjoy, the broadcast of … as they always do … the singing of the National Anthem …
They didn’t show it.
While I can’t quote all that Carol and others I know have said about the decision to not telecast the National Anthem … I do remember this statement that Carol made, when I stood … yes, stood … dumbfounded … wondering, aloud … why they did not air the singing of our National Anthem:
“I guess they don’t want to be embarrassed.”
Embarrassed? About showing the National Anthem?
Then … I got it:
It would be an embarrassment to show players who don’t stand.

I am a fan of the NFL, even though they demonstrate
No Flag Loyalty.

I mean, I love the game.
Though, not so much … now.

I heard on the radio that the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) ratings, or business, or something like that, was down 20%. I know my interest level isn’t as high as it was … even from last year.

I will never buy another NFL (No Flag Loyalty) product again.
I know others who feel the same way.

Wait … isn’t the opportunity to honor my Father … My Father-in Law … my friend …
Those in your family … your friends … those who enjoy freedom because of their sacrifice and service …
Isn’t any opportunity to honor them …
A special occasion …???

At some point, I must say that, as I’ve heard sportscasters say, “We forget about the 99% of NFL players who do the right thing … who are a positive role model …”
I agree 100% with this statement.

At one point, I thought, and I must “clean this up” quite a bit, that
the “NFL” should stand for “Need to Find a Lawyer.”

Now, as we introduce this short series … I must say, that
the “NFL” should stand for “No Flag Loyalty.”

I’m sorry … did I just use the word “stand?”

I know … I know … you may be asking, “How important is this?”

Earlier in the season, I watched a game from London. Yes … I got up at 7:00AM to watch it. I told you, I still like the sport, and I am a fan of one of the quarterback on one of the teams. They always show the singing of the National Anthem from both countries involved. During the singing of the United States National Anthem, they seemed to go out of their way to show players (I don’t remember how many) who did not stand for the United States National Anthem.

What message do you think that sent to the world?

Later in the season, they had a game in Mexico City. Same thing. Both Anthems.
During the singing of the United States National Anthem, they seemed to go out of their way to show players (I don’t remember how many) who did not stand for the United States National Anthem.

What message do you think that sent to the world?

No wonder they are embarrassed.

I know I am.

Closing statement to those who think that a simple thing like just standing during the singing/playing of our Nation Anthem has nothing to do with honoring/respecting/recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve/who have served our Country:
“Yeah, it does.”

Richard. Vincent. Rose.
Founder/President
Freedom Unlimited Resources

Tortured for Christ [The Movie] – Official Trailer

We share this from “The Voice of the Martyrs:”
Visit their website at https://www.persecution.com/

The Voice of the Martyrs presents the inspiring new movie, Tortured for Christ, a cinematic retelling of the testimony of VOM founder Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, as written in his international
bestseller “Tortured for Christ.” This movie was produced to honor the 50th anniversary of the book’s 1967 release.

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

The movie opens in theaters on March 5, 2018.
Advance tickets can be purchased at www.TorturedforChrist.com.

Trees, the Truck, and Parking with God’s Protection, Providence, and Placement

Hi Friends:

We can always be sure that God makes it where we always have something (s) to pray about, and, just as important, we always have something (s) to be thankful for. When it comes to the weather, I think, regardless of where we live, we always have things to be to be both about.

It’s said that the weather is always something we can talk about, and, again, true regardless of where we live. While it would be easy to write about the weather “up here” for the last few weeks, with record-setting cold, I look back to one particular night, late last year, when we got a taste of what a lot of the country had been facing for so much of the past year: Rain, winds, storms, and more rain, storms, and wind.

It was the end of October/first of November, when the rains came. We are blessed up here in the North Country to be “shielded” from things like Hurricanes, Tornados, and the like. Occasionally, however, we’ll get the tail-end of a real monster, which ends its devastating trek across the country up North, before it heads out to sea. Of course, we’re speaking of rain-storms, and not the snow-storms, the ‘Nor’easters, which can make headlines … and make people wonder why anyone would want to “live up there.” The cold that we’re still experiencing (it was -15 when I went to bed last night) makes many wonder the same thing.

Anyway, it was the end of this past October, when the wind and rain was forecast to hit us, and, what followed, really made us appreciate/understand, first-hand, what our friends way-down South, and up the Coast, had been experiencing. Not since Irene and Sandy approached, were we facing a storm like this one, with the potential of damaging winds and flooding rain. And … hit, it did.

While we all like to think we are prepared for such an event, there’s just no way to accurately prepare for a storm’s onslaught, because you just never know what it will hit … and, what it will miss. You just have to do the best you can … and, pray.

The storm, as predicted, hit up here, in the middle of the night, on the first Monday night of November. Many friends told me they were awakened in the middle of the night by the high winds and pounding rain, the sound of limbs and trees falling. Didn’t I hear it? I didn’t. I guess that’s one of the “benefits” of going to bed so late … you sleep through just about anything … Anyway … the power had gone off, sometime during the night, and the heavy rain was still falling before dawn. I stepped out onto the front porch, but it was too dark to see anything.

I could see my truck, where I had parked it on Saturday, where I park it alongside the porch, so that I can just walk up the ramp with the groceries. Yes, I do the grocery-shopping (up here, they call it “food-shopping). I have three places I park the truck, in non-Winter months: Either down off the driveway, below (our house is on a hill, or maybe better put, within a hill, with the garage way down below, and the floors of the house progressing up the hill, if that makes sense), underneath a cedar tree, right behind a stand of sumac trees (not the poisonous ones), which shield the house from the road. That’s my normal non-Winter parking spot, as I like to walk around the house, up the hill to the back yard, to enjoy the yard and flowers, making my way around, behind the house, to the front porch. I could also decide to trek up the 3 flights of steps, separated by level walking paths, up to the front porch, but I like the long walk around back. A second favorite parking spot is way out back, behind the house, past the yard, “up in the trees,” where I’ll park under one of my favorite trees, a beautiful blue spruce, with wide branches, perfect for parking underneath, especially if rain is forecast for the weekend. The third spot is up by the porch, and, sometimes, like this particular weekend, I’d just left the truck there. It is a shady spot as well, as, just beyond the truck, is a large bank, which is topped by several large spruce trees making the property border. The trees cover the entire property line, all the way to where the bank drops down to the street. I anxiously look forward to parking at any of these three places, because that means it’s not Winter. It is a big moment in the Spring when I can park outside … it is a statement of sorts, that Winter is finally over, and I can park outside! Only those who live up here know what I mean when I say we have a “Summer entrance” and a “Winter entrance,” meaning the steps going from the driveway to the porch. Of course … I could shovel all of the 25 steps, constantly throughout the Winter, but … I’m ok with just parking in the garage …
Anyway, it’s a really big deal to be able to park outside!
Back to the first Monday morning in November:

I knew that there had been a large storm, the power was out, and I had to wait until daylight to see if there was any wind damage. I could see from the porch that 3 of the sumac trees, down off the driveway were down … they were large enough to cover an area from the cedar tree, where I would have normally parked, to halfway across the driveway. We had lost some of these trees before in a wind storm, but this was more intense. Had I parked underneath the cedar, as usual, they would have landed on the truck.

Once it got to be daylight, I then was able to see beyond the truck, to the bank of trees. The last two trees in the row closest to the street had fallen … these were huge spruce trees … huge … and, they had landed … perfectly … between the truck and the bank. You just couldn’t place them any better. They had fallen, side-by-side … not down the bank (which would have gone through the house, crushing the truck, as well) … but, had fallen long-ways, along the center of the bank … perfectly between the house and truck, and the bank. The edge of the limbs had missed the side mirror of the truck by a few inches. Perfectly placed.

It was only when I was leaving the house, that I looked in the back yard, as I passed by the back garage door, and looked out its window: That beautiful blue spruce, which was my favorite tree, which I was so proud to park under, had been blown over. It had been uprooted by the high winds, and was stuck in the limbs of a tall pine tree, leaning over, waiting to complete its journey to the earth. If I had parked there, as I would normally have in the case of a rainy weekend like this one, it would have come down on top of the truck.

It is so true, that old saying we’ve all heard, especially in times of great anguish:
“Jesus doesn’t promise there won’t be storms. He promises that He will be with you in the storm.” Yet again … once again … I had to report, as I’ve done so often: If there was ever, any doubt that God’s hand was on me … this proves, beyond a doubt … How many times have I, and you, said the same thing? So often, we see God’s protection. This was just another great example.

I had to get to town to buy a chainsaw. For the first time, and I’ve seen some pretty bad storms up here, roads were blocked. A stream, on the way to where Carol works, had flooded, and I mean it was over the bridge, and across the road. No one I know had seen that before. There were other sights I saw which was a first was for me, and for those who had lived here their whole lives. I saw water up to windows. I saw streets become streams … but … I had to make it to Wal-Mart! Some may get offended by that statement, but please understand the humor there … I mean, we don’t have 100 stores to choose from. Often, we have no other stores to choose from … anyway, Walmart had no electricity, and the generators weren’t working, so they were closed. On to Tractor Supply! Tractor Supply was open, sort-of … their door was open, but they had no electricity. But, they had employees with flashlights, and could take cash or credit (no registers), using the old “slide” manual credit card “machine.” And … they had one chain saw left … not the brand I would have chosen, but a chain saw with a 22” bar!

So, I was able to clear the driveway of the sumac trees, that afternoon. The power finally came back on. I knew many who didn’t have electricity for a week, and, the damage from the storm was far-reaching and immense. I was blessed in so many ways. It would take me a couple of weeks to clear the big spruce trees from the bank, and, don’t you know … I had to do it between snow-storms (this was November, after all!). It would be the weekend of Thanksgiving before I could cut up the spruce trees from the bank. I made 9 beautiful stacks of split wood. The big, beautiful blue spruce in the back is still hanging on, suspended. There’s been too much snow to work on it, as I’ll need the truck to help “yank it,” which I’ll have to handle when Carol’s not around to witness. I have a plan, though … I’m glad she wasn’t there when the chain came off the saw, and landed in the middle of my right thigh!

In the meantime, that’s just an example of God’s protecting hand. There were other cases this past year, and, even a miracle or two which I experienced over the Christmas break, in the middle of all that record-breaking cold. But, for now, I’ll report this one incident, as I continue to wonder … what has God kept us from … that we don’t even know about?

Once again, I am so thankful to report that God’s promises are true. That there isn’t anything He can’t do. In any kind of weather. I’m thankful that we always have something (s) to be thankful for.
In any kind of weather.

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

Looking Back and Turning the Calendar

Hi Friends:
Another year?
Yes.
Literally.

God is so good, and His Word is true.
Period.
He proves it, day after day, even hour after hour, and, yes, even year after year.

I find myself reminding you, encouraging you, at every time of the year, how important it is to remember God’s promises. These promises aren’t just for today, tomorrow, and the next day … but, God’s Word, His promises, are, literally, for eternity.
Times past and times ahead.

I really like what David said … That the same God who saved/protected him from the lion, and the bear … That same God … still alive and still with him … That same God … will save/protect him from what the future brings. Because, that same God, which was with him before … will be with him now … and, will be with him in the future.

What better way to meditate on the future … than remembering God’s favor in the past?

By the way, that same God which protected David from the lion, and from the bear, was fully capable of doing the same thing to whatever “giant” David may face in the future.
Just like us.

No wonder David wrote so many of the Psalms.
Think about so many of the Psalms David wrote:
He remembered God’s faithfulness in the past, and as a direct result of that, David knew he could count on God in the present … and in the future. How many of the Psalms carry this same message! Just as God could be counted upon in the past, he could be counted on now. And, in the future. For now, and for all eternity, God is the same, and His Word was true, is true, and will continue to be true. Period.

I’m reminded that David faced many “giants” in his life. Some, were giants only to him. Some were giants to “everyone.” David faced many private giants, and also, faced giants which everyone else saw as giants. The same rule applied: The same God who saved/protected him from “this” giant, would, was fully capable of, saving him from all future giants. One thing for sure: Whether the giant he was facing was private, or personal, or public … everyone saw how he handled it.
This hasn’t changed.

While David wrote many of the Psalms by hand, we write Psalms by our lives. Whether the giant we are facing is private, or personal, or public … everyone sees how we handle it.

So, again, I urge you to post Scripture, especially of God’s promises, “around the house,” where you can see them. Everyday. I’ve written many “What’s on Your” posts just to highlight this message.
Yes, I will always encourage you, even beg you, to begin your day, every day, with prayer and Bible study. And, something as simple (it would seem) as a calendar which displays God’s Word and His Promises.

A dear, dear family member gives me a calendar, with Scripture, every year for Christmas. It is the calendar which hangs in my office at home. I can’t say how many times I read the Scripture verse as the month goes by. These verses have meant a lot to me, and, it’s funny, how often the Scripture verse for that particular month is exactly what I need to see (and read) at a particular moment. When I received a new Scripture calendar this year, I made sure I stated how important these calendars are to me, and that, frankly, I look forward to receiving them each year.
In fact, I remarked, I still had the calendar from 2016, which I had saved, in order to write about how the calendar had blessed me throughout the year.

As I was cleaning out the office, going through my “to write” file … I found the calendar of which I spoke. However … it wasn’t 2016 … it was 2015 … I still had it, saving it, and its treasured verses, to share at some time in the future. This should also explain how far behind I am, or how much I have stored, to write about, as God moves me to save a particular picture, or story, or, in this case, an entire year of pictures.

As I thought about finally writing about how this particular calendar, from 20105, had meant so much to me, I got the idea to just share the entire calendar with you.
Why not?
God’s Word is just as real now, as it was then. In fact … all of the promises … all of the Scripture … is still true today … and, will be true … tomorrow … and, for that matter, next year … just as they were then.

So, here is the calendar from 2015. I was able to “scan” it in, and made a movie.
This Power Point thing, adding the photos, and adding music to it, and then making a movie of it, was a considerable “giant” to me. Guess what? The same God who used these calendar pages to encourage, and bless me, on every day of 2015 … is still alive … and, His promises … His Word … is still true.
Enjoy!