Monthly Archives: July 2017

The Price for Freedom-Video Seven

“I just served as best I could.”

For the freedoms we enjoy,
“Thank you.”

“The price for this freedom has been high …”

For all who served,
“Thank you for your service.”

For all of us who understand the great sacrifices made,
“Thank you for your support.”

Our seventh video in the series features this video from moments.org.
Here’s a direct link to their website:
http://moments.org/

When I worked for a large retail store, a young man who worked in the same department was a recent Veteran of the War in the Middle East. Without exception, when he realized that a customer was a Veteran, he would reach out his hand, and, simply say, “Thank you for your service.” This young man went on to pursue public office, and I’ll never forget that hand reaching out, the handshake, and those words:
“Thank you for your service.”

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The Price for Freedom-Video Six

“The price for this freedom has been high …”

Our sixth video in the series was first aired during this year’s Super Bowl, and features Johnny Cash’s “Ragged Old Flag,” with an entirely new video background story, shot just for this Super Bowl 51 Pre-Game feature.

Interestingly, the game featured a team called “The Patriots.”

Once again, Fox Sports should be commended for providing a Patriotic feature before kick-off. We’ve written much about how often we would hear our National Anthem … if we didn’t watch sports. For the last several years, when it was “their turn” to broadcast the game, Fox Sports has paid honor to our Country,
and it’s Veterans, by providing such a feature as this.

We’ve just returned from Georgia, where Daddy was laid to rest, beside my Mother, and my Sister.

Just a few days ago … I was there as the Honor Guard placed the United States Flag on Daddy’s casket. I witnessed, in somber silence, as I stood, just a few feet away, as the 21-Gun Salute echoed through the North Georgia hills … So, too, I stood a few feet away as the Bugler played “Taps,” my memories fading into the trees with those mournful notes …
I was there when two members of the Guard reverently removed the United States Flag, folded it ever so carefully … so thoughtfully … so respectfully … and then, bowing down … the Captain of the Honor Guard gently placed the folded Flag into my oldest’s Sister’s hands, and then … I leaned in closely in order to hear the
spoken words … It was a deeply personal moment, and the words were spoken softly, personally, as he looked directly into my Sister’s tears:

“This flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation as a token of appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service.”

I’ve never been so proud of “That Ragged Old Flag.”

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Breaking News/Breaking Heart: July 14, 2017: “Daddy’s Gone”

Hi Friends:

It is with great sadness that I convey the news that our beloved Father went to be with Jesus, yesterday, Friday, July 14, 2017.

Daddy had just turned 93 years old on June 29.

After an extended illness, Daddy passed on, very peacefully, at 11:30 yesterday.
Shortly after 3:30, yesterday, I held the pen as God gave me the words to “Daddy’s Gone.”

Today, I write to all of our friends, everywhere, who have experienced this same grief and sorrow … I can, now, truthfully say, I know exactly the pain and anguish you are going through. As I read the words from the first sentence, above … it begins to “hit me.”

I have written much, and often, about our beloved Mother, who passed away on Valentine’s Day, in 2013. Like so many of you, “writing” about Mama is easy … Writing about Daddy … well … it just isn’t. I think of all the songs about “Mama,” and the few songs written about “Daddy.”

I went to the pages of “Modern Day Psalms,” remembering that I had written about Daddy in those pages. First, I remembered something I wrote about Mama, and I can now say the exact same thing about Daddy:

“Please allow me to comfort and encourage you with these words:
As a parent, when it comes to your children, there are three things you most worry about when they are away from the house, gone with friends, etc. These would be:
1. Where they are.
2. Who they are with.
3. When will you see them again?

Now, as a loving son … when Daddy left us … so much of the pain and agony was taken away, because:
1. I knew where he was.
2. I knew who he was with.
3. I knew that I would see him again.”

I found the introduction to “The Bottomless Sea,” a poem I wrote from the passenger side of my father’s truck, during a trip from Georgia to Arkansas.

Please allow me to share this, from the Introduction:

“As he drove, 45 miles an hour the whole way, we hardly talked. Daddy didn’t talk much as a rule, so I just concentrated on the scenery, the continual stream of cars passing us, all the while hoping he would pick up enough speed to change into fourth gear. I remember thinking that at least we wouldn’t have to slow down if we had to take an exit off of the interstate.

It had been years since I had spent this much time with Daddy, and I will always remember this time of being together. Of thinking what a wonderful man he was, and among many other qualities, he was the most honest man I have ever known. He is the only person I have ever seen who, when finding money (that wasn’t his) in the change slot of a vending machine, puts the money back into the machine. Because of the way Daddy was, when I read the story of how Abraham Lincoln walked several miles to return a borrowed book, I never doubted the story.

How often we forget how blessed we are, just to have parents like I’ve had. To be raised in church, to have had a Godly upbringing, and then when I went off into deep water, God rescuing me, bringing me up out of the bottomless sea.

There is one thing, also, I’d like to mention about my father. It was advice he gave me, during the darkest point in my life. Daddy wasn’t the type of father that you could just “talk to” about problems. Frankly, I was afraid to talk to him for most of my pre-adult life. However, as I look back, at the time I needed it most, he gave me a sentence … one sentence of advice and wisdom … wisdom that I have shared often, in the pages of this volume.

Without going into too much detail, it was a Sunday, immediately after suffering the “Betrayal” of which such works as “It Took a Judas” was based upon.
Here’s what I wrote:

“I drove the 100 miles or so to my Mom and Dad’s house. There was never a time in my life when I needed to see my parents more.

I explained to my Mom … and then … the hard part. The hardest part, ever, was explaining anything to Daddy. I don’t mean that as negative as it may seem. It was just so hard to talk to Daddy, especially when it was an emotionally-charged issue. I knew I had to tell him, somehow. He left the house to go out back to take care of the animals. I joined him, and as we walked across the yard, I feebly attempted to explain to Daddy what was going on …  

He looked at me, and then, stopped. It seemed the world stopped, as well. The look he gave me was one I’ll never forget. It was a look of understanding and compassion. From Daddy! A man of so few words, he then spoke the words that will echo across the generations:

“Well, these things have a way of working out for the better.”

When I was at the very bottom, both my father and Jesus were there for me.”

God gave me the words to “Don’t Weep for Me” on the day my Father-in-Law (the “Vincent” in R.V.R.) was called Home. Now, just hours after Daddy (the “Richard” in R.V.R.) was taken to be with Jesus, I hold the pen as these words, and my tears, flow onto the pages:

Daddy’s Gone

He was the most honest man I ever knew
If you’d known him, you’d thought that, too

He’s always say, “I don’t know”
But you knew that he did
He was Charles Atlas, Jack Lalanne, and Superman
To a whole houseful of kids

Six kids he raised
With the sweat from his brow
You should see how those kids turned out
And where they are now

He didn’t say much, that’s for sure
But, the words he spoke, they will endure

He lived a long life, you see
You’ll never know what his life meant to me

He didn’t talk much
Especially to me
But, when he did
I carry that, as a special memory

The world he left; he didn’t mind
Life’s pain and suffering, he left behind
He’s now with Mama, and dear Sister Sue
And now, he’s waiting, to talk with you

He was rugged, and tough,
And he knew what it meant
When you said, “Life is rough”

He had a soft, tender side
Which only my sisters saw
My wife, Carol, saw that same side
He reminded her of her Grampa

No greater man there ever was
I wish I had told him … just because
Just because … we all need to hear
We all need to hear
That someone … somewhere …
Holds us dear

I was afraid of him
I really was
Like standing next to greatness
I really was

Now, he’s gone
And, now, I see
How great he really was
How great he was, to me

My eyes shed a tear
Because greatness stood so near
I wish that I had known him more
I wish that I had written this before

Daddy’s gone
But, not for long
I’ll see him yet again

Finally, he’s alive and well
He now has crossed that Golden Veil
We’ll talk and talk, and talk some more
As we stroll, with Mama, and Susan, on Heaven’s Golden Shore

Richard. Vincent. Rose.
Written the afternoon of July 14, 2017

The Price for Freedom-Video Five

“Remembering our fallen heroes, their family and friends, who bear the burdens of  of great sorrow and pain.”

I discovered some of the videos in this series while I was researching for a “Memorial Day” video to share, so this is why the Memorial Day theme is prominent in some of  them.

Our original title for the series was “Memorial Day … Every Day.”

Our fifth video in the series features more images, some of them featured before, and some seen for the first time here. In either case, the images are to continue to remind us all that …

“The price for this freedom has been high …”

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“The Price for Freedom”-Video Four

Our fourth video in the series features the beautiful, so soulful, voice of Sarah McLachlan, singing “In the Arms of an Angel,” with images …
Here’s a link to Sarah’s official website:
Sarah McLachlan’s Website

I just can’t find the words to write, to go with these images … because … there are just no words that can …

Images to remind us all that …

“The price for this freedom has been high …”

 

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“The Price for Freedom”-Video Three

“Some people sure have short memories, and those who are too young to know, need to be taught …
I fought for you.”

“And I’d do it again.”

Our third video is available for download from the ministry website “sermonspice.com” @
http://www.sermonspice.com/search?q=I+fought+for+yoo

We continue “To salute the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.”

More information is included at the end of the video.

“The price for this freedom has been high …”

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