Monthly Archives: May 2016

“World’s Tallest Symbol of Freedom”

Built by Acuity Insurance Company, it is located at 2800 South Taylor Drive in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, the home of Acuity.

The flagpole is one of the most visible landmarks on the Interstate 43 corridor, and the flag serves as a symbol of gratitude to our country and those who defend it.

At the base of the pole is a Veterans Memorial, which features the names of every Sheboygan County veteran killed in the line of duty.

The Flagpole stands 400 feet tall, which is nearly 100 feet taller than The Statue of Liberty.
This is the tallest Flagpole in the world flying a U.S. flag.
The Flagpole weighs approximately 420,000 pounds.
The Flagpole is designed to withstand a low temperature of -42o F and wind speeds of 120mph.
Three pendulum-style tuned mass dampers reduce movement and vibration.
The pole has an 11-foot diameter at base, and tapers to a 5 1/2-foot diameter at the top.
680 cubic yards of concrete were used in its foundation.
Over 500 gallons of paint cover the pole.

About the Flag:
The 70 by 140-foot flag is the world’s largest free-flying American flag.
Each stripe is over 5 feet high.
Each star is nearly 3 feet across.
The flag covers 9,800 square feet, and weighs 340 pounds.

A couple of notes regarding the building of this Flagpole:
This was the company’s fourth attempt to build the country’s tallest flagpole.
The first was built in 2003, and was 150 feet tall. It was then expanded to 200 feet, but toppled in a winter storm. The next pole was 300 feet, and it was replaced by a 338-foot pole. In April of 2008, that Flagpole was seen swaying in the wind.
Six years later, in 2014, the 400-foot pole was built to last, and was officially dedicated on June 16, 2014.

Here’s a video look at the building of the Flagpole, and the reasons for it. As you will hear, it stands not just as a symbol of freedom, but of hope and inspiration. As one Veteran stated, and this is so true of any U.S. Flag we are privileged to see flying, “There’s nothing like the sight of that American Flag flying in the wind … it really means a lot …”

For more information, visit www.acuity.com/flag

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Words and Video: “Thank God for the Promise of Spring”

This past Saturday, the skies were clear and sunny; the temperature was 80.
I mowed grass for the first time, in memory, in the middle of May (it was the 14th).
What does this mean?
We woke up Monday morning to Snow on the ground.
Welcome to Spring in the North Country!

While we did have a very mild Winter (for us), we always seem to forget “where we are,” and that, “It’s not June yet!” It never fails: We get caught up in a day or two that resembles Spring “everywhere else,” and we start re-arranging our closets … This year, we’ve burned only 6 tons of pellets, and as I write this on May 17th, I just brought up the last bag of pellets, and tonight is the last night in the forecast (10-day) where we’ll be in the thirties.

Thank God for the Promise of Spring.

Mama used to always say that the part she loved most about the changing of seasons is that it shows that God’s Word is true, and that He is still in control (Genesis 8:22). These “flashes” of warm weather really make a great point: It only takes 1 day of abundant sunshine and warm temperatures to “wash away” months of dreary days and bitter cold. I also believe that God sends these days along to remind us to just hang in there … this, too, shall pass. Better days are ahead. A gift to remind us how He’s got us through this far … A victory, of sorts. And … we all need a victory now and then.

Thank God for the Promise of Spring.
True, ours comes later than in a lot of places, but, doesn’t that mean that we are grateful for it more? Let us not forget there a lot of places where Spring comes even later than here … and, it lasts a lot less …

Recently, I shared one of the songs from Cynthia Clawson, which meant so much to me, when I was going through a tragic period of my life. That song, from her “River of Memories” CD (it was actually on cassette), was “It Won’t Rain Always,” featuring words like, “God’s promises are true.”
Here’s a link to that post:
It Won’t Rain Always

Another song from that cassette which I clung to, word after word, line after line, promise after promise, was this one: “Thank God for the Promise of Spring.”
This was the darkest, bleakest time I had ever gone through, and God sent these words to help “see me through.”

Thank God for the Promise of Spring

The sky seems gray above me
And I can’t see the light of day
There’s a ray breaking through the shadows
And the smile can’t be far away

Thank God for the promise of springtime
Once again my heart will sing
There’s a brand new day a-dawning
Thank God for the promise of spring

Though the earth looks bleak and barren
And the seeds lay brown and dead
But the promise of life grows within them
And I know spring is just ahead

Thank God for the promise of springtime
Once again my heart will sing
There’s a brand new day a-dawning
Thank God for the promise of spring
Thank God for the promise of spring

As I wrote earlier, “In the midst of great agony and heartbreak, in the darkest of days, in the middle of life’s greatest storms, God can lead us to a song which will remind us that “Once again my heart will sing … There’s a brand new day a-dawning … Thank God for the promise of spring …”

This is from one of the Bill and Gloria Gaither television programs, as Cynthia Clawson, surrounded by “Homecoming” cast, sings “Thank God for the Promise of Spring.”



Here’s the link for the Cynthia Clawson Website:
http://www.cynthiaclawson.com/

Click here for the Gaither Website:
http://gaither.com/artists/bill-gaither

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Mother’s Day/Every Day Classic: “Ears”

Hi Friends:

Well … I had … sort of … promised … to post a work honoring “Mothers” from our book … which, by the way, I had, sort of, promised while I was in the middle of writing my next post, which, ironically, involved the television series, “All in the Family.”

Then … I felt led to share with you a story which I’ve had “on file” for several years … so long, in fact, that it isn’t even included in my “Shared Email” collection. This is a story which I had been sent, by email, way before I began the online ministry. I’ve had it stored “in the files” for years, and, honestly, before today, haven’t even thought about it for a long time. But, I am thinking about it now. Thinking about the love and sacrifice it represents. When I think of Jesus, I think about “love and sacrifice.”

When I think about Mama … which I do so often … I think about love and sacrifice.

I am thinking that, right now, instead of being obedient to my own will, my own plans … even in the writing of the next post … I am being obedient to the Spirit’s will, not mine … I am thinking … yes, I am … I am thinking that I wished I had been more obedient to Mama … had recognized all of the sacrifices she made …

Please allow me to include this from the book:
“The first gift, and the best gift that God gives a child is a loving, Godly mother. The first view of Jesus that a child receives is through her loving care.”

 It was such a thrill for me to learn that Mama had shared this story with her Sunday School Class. It meant that much to her. How precious does that make this story now! It is a story of love … family love … sacrifice … family sacrifice … I have always called this story “Ears,” and that is the name which Mama called it.

Ears

“Can I see my baby?” the happy new mother asked.

When the bundle was nestled in her arms and she moved the fold of cloth to look upon his tiny face, she gasped. The doctor turned quickly and looked out the tall hospital window. The baby had been born without ears.

Time proved that the baby’s hearing was perfect. It was only his appearance that was marred.

When he rushed home from school one day and flung himself into his mother’s arms, she sighed, knowing that his life was to be a succession of heartbreaks.

He blurted out the tragedy: “A boy, a big boy… called me a freak.”

He grew up, handsome for his misfortune. A favorite with his fellow students, he might have been class president, but for that. He developed a gift, a talent for literature and music. “But you might mingle with other young people,” his mother reproved him, but felt a kindness in her heart.

The boy’s father had a session with the family physician. Could nothing be done? “I believe I could graft on a pair of outer ears, if they could be procured,” the doctor decided.

Whereupon the search began for a person who would make such a sacrifice for a young man. Two years went by.

Then, “You are going to the hospital, Son. Mother and I have someone who will donate the ears you need. But it’s a secret,” said the father.

The operation was a brilliant success, and a new person emerged. His talents blossomed into genius, and school and college became a series of triumphs. Later he married and entered the diplomatic service.

“But I must know!” He urged his father, “Who gave so much for me? I could never do enough for him.”

“I do not believe you could,” said the father, “but the agreement was that you are not to know … not yet.”

The years kept their profound secret, but the day did come … one of the darkest days that a son must endure. He stood with his father over his mother’s casket. Slowly, tenderly, the father stretched forth a hand and raised the thick, reddish-brown hair to reveal that the mother — had no outer ears.

“Mother said she was glad she never let her hair be cut,” he whispered gently, “and nobody ever thought Mother less beautiful, did they?”

Real beauty lies not in the physical appearance, but in the heart. Real treasure lies not in what that can be seen, but what that cannot be seen. Real love lies not in what is done and known, but in what that is done but not known.

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