Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Even the routine is not routine in Iraq

Part of this was posted in the last post that I did, but there is an email included from the unit commander that was written after the accident and before SSgt. Hansen's death. The article was sent to me from a friend who lives near the base and whose daughters and sons serve in the Nebraska Guard like Dan does. Please say prayers tonight for all of our men and women in uniform who make the daily sacrifice to secure our safety and our freedoms and for their loved ones who live without them on a daily basis for months and even years at a time.

Thank you for your support of our brave soldiers.
For those of you who have been following the progress on my Dan's injuries in Iraq (you can read them in the posts below this one) I have some very sad news:

I have been informed of the terribly sad news that Staff Sgt. Jeff Hansen, the soldier that was submerged for over 8 minutes in the canal and was in a coma, has died from his injuries. Dan very easily could have been in Staff Sgt. Hansen's place if he had not been the first one pulled out.

Please say a prayer tonight for Staff Sgt. Hansen's family. He leaves behind a wife and his father who were both able to be there with other family members when he died. He was 31, the same age as Dan and was Dan's Staff Sergeant and I know that Dan thought very highly of him. Dan is continuing to recover in Germany and they will know on Thursday if he is going back to Iraq right away or if he will require some further treatment as he is still having some difficulty breathing at times and still coughing up clots from his lungs. Walcott is currently at Walter Reed hospital and expected to make a full recovery. Thank you again for your continued prayers for Dan and Pfc. Corey Walcott and for the 167th B Troop platoon and Staff Sgt. Hansen's family as they deal with the loss of a beloved family member and friend.

Accident shows even routine deadly in Iraq

EDITOR’S NOTE: This e-mail is from Sgt. Jason von Hoff, a 1991 graduate of Kearney High School. He is a mounted section leader with Black Sheep, Bravo Troop, 3rd Platoon, 1st of the 167 Cavalry stationed in Iraq. He is the squad leader of the soldiers injured in a rollover in Iraq. Von Hoff is the son of Coni and Bill Nelson of Greeley, Colo., and formerly of Kearney and is the grandson of Bill and Audrey Nelson of Kearney.

It was supposed to be a routine patrol. Bloodknife 32,33,37 clear zones 7,1,2,3. ... run a mobile screen of route Linda ... be in by 1820 ... download gear and go eat chow.

It started off routine. ... weather was 120F, sky a bit hazy. Como checks were good. Briefed my section of the mission, route, did risk assessment, reminded them to do a rollover drill and grab extra water for the road.

Routine. Everything was pretty normal until a sandstorm blew in right on our rear. I notified Anaconda Main we were going to button down and wait out the storm. Twenty minutes later, we continued our patrol — routine.

My Scout truck was manned by my most experienced driver, vehicle commander and gunner. They were the best crew of the three vehicles in my section. Normally, my medic rides with me but I decided to send him with BK37, the lead truck today.

It was supposed to be a routine patrol. We were three-quarters through our patrol and needed to make our way out to route Linda to run our mobile screen before heading in. BK37 VC advised me, BK32, to hold my position while they scouted down a road we had never traveled on.

It was supposed to be a routine patrol.

‘ROLLOVER. THEY ARE IN THE CANAL’ my gunner yelled down to me. I radioed BK33 VC to run down with me to BK37’s position, threw my hand mic to my gunner and took off running.

Neither myself nor my BK33 VC are strong runners and carrying over 50 pounds of gear didn’t help. 150 meters down the road I saw 37’s driver pop out of the water and climb on top (the VC side) of the truck. ‘Where are my men?’

It was supposed to be a routine patrol.

I will spare you the details of the rescue, but know this: My soldiers stepped up. We pulled the remaining crew from their watery coffin. None were breathing. We administered rescue breathing and the gunner
(This is Dan he is talking about), who had been down approximately three minutes regained consciousness and began breathing on his own. My medic was down for five minutes and was semiconscious and had labored breathing, coughing up blood. My VC — I could not find my VC ... eight minutes before he was pulled out.

It was supposed to be a routine patrol. The driver who was the only soldier to escape is doing well physically but mentally is hurting. My gunner is doing well but will need to be watched for secondary infection in his lungs. My medic was stable throughout the night and has good BP. My VC regained breathing on his own and was stable last night. All three soldiers were flown to Germany for treatment.

It was supposed to be a routine patrol — nothing here is routine.

I’d appreciate prayers for my men, their families who will be flying to Germany to see them and for my fellow soldiers in the platoon and troop.

God Bless, peace out.

In "Other" Words - Tuesdays at CWO

"I thought about the whole notion of "reproduction," and what it really means to replicate yourself.
Is it merely about the passing on of eyes and chins and hair color?
Or is it, rather, the replication of the heart?
Do we leave a bigger mark by passing on our genes, or our thoughts?"
~ Shannon Woodward, author of
Inconceivable: Finding Peace
in the Midst of Infertility ~

Would I rather pass on my looks or my values? That is essentially what this quote is asking. To me there is no question of which one I would choose. I would rather pass on my values, my character, my morals than my looks.

Somewhere in the past, my daughter got it into her head that she was pretty and started saying so at the tender age of 2 and even now, almost 3 years later, there is not a mirror that she doesn’t pause a moment in front of and take a look into. She is undoubtedly gorgeous, of that there is no question, so I'm sure it came from these past few years of people saying in front of her how beautiful she is. That is when I started telling her this:

“Sweetheart, it is more important to be pretty on the inside than pretty on the outside. It is better to be kind, generous and compassionate to others than it is to look good. There are people who can be beautiful on the outside who are plain ugly on the inside because of how they treat and act toward others. Then there are people who may not be so pretty on the outside but they are beautiful on the inside and they always have friends because they treat others with kindness, gentleness, honesty and compassion. Which person would you rather be friends with?”

Now I ask that question to you. What kind of person would you rather your child be? Would you rather your child be physically beautiful but spiritually ugly or would you rather your child be plain looking but spiritually beautiful, obeying God and following His commands?

Children have to be taught how to hate, to hurt others deliberately, to reject others based on a variety of factors. It is interesting to note that they don’t have to be taught to love, to accept others as they are, to play with other children regardless of looks, handicap, color, race or religion.

The legacy you leave in your children doesn’t hinge on biological connections. Adopted, foster, step or biological, you have the chance to pass on a legacy of true Godly beauty in the children of your heart. In adverse times will they curse and bemoan their fate or will they look to God, their Helper and Strength and press forward, making the best of their situation? In happy, joyous, prosperous and successful times will they pat their own back or will they give praise to the One who gave them that “Good” in the first place? In times of sorrow and sadness, will they turn to amoral pursuits or will they cling to the Rock to fill the emptiness inside? When they see others suffering and hurting will they pass on by, saying that it is someone else’s problem to deal with or will they lend a helping hand and be the example of love and compassion that our Savior showed to all?

Matthew 25:31-46 says:

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

The Golden Rule says “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” but there are many “pretty” people out there today who have twisted that to say “Do unto others BEFORE they do unto you” and act accordingly. Which Golden Rule would you rather your children follow?

Character is a value that you can pass down to any child in your sphere of influence and what better way than to start at home? Biological connection has no bearing on this, but your heart, your Christian walk, your own personal character and integrity do.

Proverbs 31:30 says “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

Children become the example that they see and are given. Be the example you want the child of your heart to become.
For those of you who have been following the progress on my Dan's injuries in Iraq (you can read them in the posts below this one) I have some very sad news:

I have been informed of the terribly sad news that Staff Sgt. Jeff Hansen, the soldier that was submerged for over 8 minutes in the canal and was in a coma, has died from his injuries. Dan very easily could have been in Staff Sgt. Hansen's place if he had not been the first one pulled out.

Please say a prayer tonight for Staff Sgt. Hansen's family. He leaves behind a wife and his father who were both able to be there with other family members when he died. He was 31, the same age as Dan and was Dan's Staff Sergeant and I know that Dan thought very highly of him. Dan is continuing to recover in Germany and they will know on Thursday if he is going back to Iraq right away or if he will require some further treatment as he is still having some difficulty breathing at times and still coughing up clots from his lungs. Walcott is currently at Walter Reed hospital and expected to make a full recovery. Thank you again for your continued prayers for Dan and Pfc. Corey Walcott and for the 167th B Troop platoon and Staff Sgt. Hansen's family as they deal with the loss of a beloved family member and friend.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Update on Dan and My Baptism

Well, good Sunday morning everyone! Thank you all for your prayers. Dan is progressing really well though he is having some residual problems. He is having problems with stairs. When he goes up them he has a difficult time breathing for a while afterward and starts coughing excessively and when he coughs he coughs up big black clots. But at least he is getting them out of his lungs. Overall though he is in excellent spirits and is ready to get back to his unit in Iraq. His unit from Nebraska (about 300) provide the security for the entire base. His particular platoon consists of about 30 so 10% of those guys were placed out of commission in one instant. The other two soldiers are at Walter Reed hospital and Sgt Hanson is, reportedly still in a coma. He was submerged apparently for over 8 minutes.

Well, as the other topic stated I am getting baptised today. I was baptised as a teen but it wasn't something that I truly meant. I did it b/c at the time it was kind of "the thing" to do in order to really be accepted at the church I went to. But now I am making this decision b/c I want to further my walk with the risen Christ and to follow His example. I might be able to have some pictures of the event if I can get someone to take them.

I'm a little nervous about giving my testimony b/c there is a lot that I have done and my mom called a lot of our family friends who will be there and they have no idea the magnitutde of what I'm going to talk about. Emily will be there so I will also be showing her this step to being obedient to God and setting an example for her as she grows up.

I have no idea what God has in store for me with this. We will be doing this in the courtyard baptismal fountain in front of a whole lot of people as this is our "welcome back Sunday" at church for the students. I'm more nervous about giving my testimony in front of people I've known amost my whole life than I am in front of strangers but God will guide me. :)

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heav'nly host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Answered Prayers on a Thankful Thursday

There is no other way to say it than God still works miracles EVERY DAY! Dan has made nothing short of a miraculous recovery so I'll just forward his email to you so you can read it in his own words! From yesterday when I first talked to him and last night (he was still on oxygen and using a breathing machine - nebulizer and sounded pretty ragged) to today is truly a miracle.

Thank God for answered prayers!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: daniel.g----
Date: Aug 24, 2006 3:24 PM
Subject: up date really good one

I would have sent this earlier but what does a good soldier do first in Germany if he's able to? Hmmm of course have a good German beer. Oh and by the way it was awesome. I could get enough O2 (oxygen) on my own so they released me earlier today now they have me at Keabler(SP?) (something like that). Sorry folks, I no longer have my own phone. I have an eye appointment tomorrow morning (will try and get some glasses) and in a week I have an internal appointment. Well I'm here I think I'll see if I can knock out dental too. Why not?! ;-) SMILE.

During the wait until then I'm going to see how well I can play tourist and see the sights. I don't now how well those endeavors will be, hopefully something will work out in that area.

Supplies I really don't need any they have pretty much every thing I need here for me for the jolly good price of free so I won't complain about that and they gave me some grant money that I don't need to pay back for other necessary items that aren't free.

Any questions you have please email Dad, John, Nicole, and/or me. If you would want to talk to someone feel free to call Dad (John) or John (same name as Dad's John is my oldest brother and first to receive a call if something happens to me sorry I don't have his number handy).

Well going to get situated here. Lot's of love out to everyone and thank you for your prayers. Please continue prayers for Walcott and Hanson they leave for Walter Reed hospital tomorrow. Sgt Jessen he was our driver he has no injuries but he's been shaken up real bad, and the rest of third platoon.

God has given us all much to be thankful for from the simple things to the amazing. May He continue to watch over us all in His Son's name Amen

In light of this amazing news I have some definitely things to be thankful about so here is my Thankful Thursday list for today!

~1 Thessalonians 5:18~ Give thanks to God in all circumstances (no matter what they may be), for this is God's will for you (who are) in Christ Jesus.

My Peace I Leave With You

Thankful Thursday: What Nic is thankful for this week

Family and friends from around the world who pray faithfully when requested of them.
Miracles that still happen every day.
For someone special who is love personified.
Guardian Angels who protect their charges.
The promises of God that are unbreakable once He gives them.
Life so precious, so fleeting and often taken for granted until something serious happens.
Answered Prayers - enough said.

Links to other Thankful Thursdays:
Unicorn Child (new "home" of ThT and code)
A Child of God
A Revision
Anna's Place
As My World Turns
Friday's Child
Imagine Bliss
Journaling Through the Valley
LadyBug Crossing
Momma's Life
Mommy Does It All
Mommy Needs To Vent
Show Them Through Me
Sting My Heart
Uzi's Musings
Yellow Rose's Garden

(If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below; or, you can post in the comments)

Click here for the Thankful Thursday code

Click here for Chrixean's blog

Trackbacks, pings, and comment links are accepted and encouraged!

Update on Dan

Thank you all for your prayers. I spoke with Dan last night at length and got the extended version of the story, rather than the short version in a noisy Chinese restaurant while in shock. It turns out that Dan actually did drown and was unconscious. He said that he was holding his breath as long as he could and was praying but just couldn't hold it anymore and he said that everything went white, was white everywhere he looked and that he felt lonely and scared but he kept on praying and then he lost consciousness. Said the next thing he knew he was out of the canal and on the side. He didn't think he was that bad off and tried to get up to help get the others out but that some of the guys were holding him down telling him to not move.

He told me that the canal they rolled into was a 7 foot canal and the only thing that could be seen of the Humvee was about a foot space that included one of the doors where the rescuing soldiers has wrestled and pried one of the the armored doors open. He said that if the door was completely shut that the HUMVEE would not have been able to be seen at all b/c it was completely submerged in the water so a big thanks to God that they were on patrol with the other men who saw this happen.

Dan is breathing easier, but coughing a lot. The concern is that without the oxygen he is on, he can not get enough oxygen into his body on his own. If that is still the case in a week, if his body is not taking in enough and holding the oxygen on its own then he will be taken stateside for further treatment.

But, just like Dan, he was thinking of others first, namely the rest of his platoon. He said that there are 30 of them there from his unit in Nebraska and with three of them taken out like this his concern is getting back to Iraq to be able to boost their spirits and finish his duty.

The names of the other soldiers are Specialist Walcott and Staff Sargeant Hanson (the worst off of the three). Both of those are going stateside for at least a few weeks for sure.

Again, thank you all for your prayers. They mean so much and are greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Prayers that Avail Much

So, this is an email that I sent to friends and family earlier today. There are some soldiers in Iraq who were injured and need your prayers...My Dan is one of them.
Hi all. Wow, this is a difficult thing to say b/c I just found out about it two hours ago. Dan is in the hospital in Germany. He was on patrol and the Humvee driver was too close to a canal and the edge of the canal was extremely muddy and gave way and the Hummer rolled into the canal and Dan and 2 other soldiers were trapped under the canal water b/c both doors became blocked. Several soldiers helped to get into the armored Hummer to rescue them, but it still took several minutes.

Thank God that Dan was rescued first, but not without damage being done. He is very, very bruised, nothing broken though, and he had breathed canal water into his lungs while he was trapped in the vehicle. He was the only one conscious that was pulled out of the water. From what I can gather, the other two guys were not conscious and they were already turning blue by the time they were pulled out of the water. One of them regained consciousness after a few minutes but the other one is still in extremely critical condition. The other two soldiers are being sent stateside to get further medical treatment b/c of the extent of their injuries.

They are keeping Dan in Germany for another week for observation as the water they were in was extremely filthy and he is still having problems with his lungs and breathing even after 3 days of being on oxygen. (Even the guys that just stepped in the water to get them out of the vehicle were given antibiotics b/c of the water) He said that they had all sorts of wires and monitors on him. If his lungs don't clear up in a week they will send him stateside for a few weeks in one of the hospitals here. Either Walter Reed, or one in Omaha where he's stationed or even possibly Brooks Army Medical in San Antonio, just an hour away from Austin.

He sounded extremely ragged and tired and was on oxygen when he was talking to me. He told me that he wasn't sure how to tell me this happened and didn't know if he should send it in an email or over the phone. I jokingly told him that if he had sent this in an email that I would have reached through the computer and strangled him.

I hoped nothing was wrong but felt that it very much could be b/c Dan is very faithful about contacting me every day whether on IM chat, a phone call or an email and I hadn't heard from him in 3 days. I had stepped up my prayers on Monday b/c I just felt the need to pray more for Dan. I am very glad that I did. I know that God is protecting him and that Dan could have been injured much, much worse. Dan was in fairly good spirits talking to me but he was shaken up over the incident and it came through in his voice. He was tiring quickly in talking to me for the half hour that we were able to talk. The fatigue was evident.

I am asking for your prayers for Dan's health and recovery as well as the other two soldiers who are worse off than Dan. Anything that gets into the lungs has a major potential to become infected quickly and turn fatal pretty fast. Dan said that it was a real blessing that they rolled where they did, which was only 200-300 meters from the hospital on base (which, this base is so large it takes over 45 minutes to get from one side to the other). That is something that was HUGE in helping with Dan's injuries. I am thankful that he is alive and conscious and that no major damage (so far that they know of) has been done.

Thank you all in advance for your prayers for Dan and the other two soldiers.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you.

Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.

One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

How Do I Live…?

(Beware...it's the big post! New pics at the end too!)

Everyone knows the song from the movie Con-Air by Trisha Yearwood called “How Do I Live”. It’s a heart-felt, poignant song about being without the person that you love.

I feel the essence of that song as I sit here and type this. So…this is a “recap”, so to speak, of what happened while “D” was here. For those of you who don’t already know, “D” is really Dan. So, for those of you who have been asking me for a name, there it is. My soldier’s name is Dan.

Dan is my perfect fit in every way. He’s amazing, he’s unique to all other men I’ve dated in the past. He truly is one of a kind. I am so glad that I met him and it was too soon to let him go again.

Dan came in to Dallas last week Tuesday at the midnight flight, so really he was there on Wednesday at 12:01 in the morning. I drove up from Austin right after work. Talk about a bad hair day! I could do NOTHING with my hair, so I teased and fluffed and sprayed it into a helmet. LOL! I am growing my hair out again. I'm tired of it not holding in this heat and humidity.

I arrived in Dallas around 9:30 so I had about 2 ½ hours to wait. As tired as I was, I couldn’t really sleep b/c I was so wired and excited! I ended up grabbing about an hour between 10:50 and 11:50. Dan’s plane got in a little early so he called me around 11:55 from the runway. I was parked literally right across from his arrival/baggage claim area. When I saw him walk through the doors into the waiting area I was just filled with warmth. It was so good to see him again!

So, his flight was one of 4 flights that had come in at the same time and they were all using the same baggage carousel. Dan’s flight was the 3rd one on the carousel and wouldn’t you know it? His duffle had been left in Denver. It was scheduled to arrive at my house in Austin by noon or so the next day. Suuuuuuure it was. It didn’t arrive until Thursday well after 5 in the afternoon.

It was close to 2 in the morning when we left the airport. I drove up until Waco, where we stopped for him to get some food and buy some clothes at the Super Wal-Mart so that he would have more to wear than his khaki pants and t-shirt, you know, just in case his duffle didn’t arrive when it was supposed to. He took over in Waco so that I could sleep for a little while, since I was going to work on Wednesday and was taking off Thursday and Friday before having to take him back to Dallas on Saturday so that he could get on a flight back to Iraq.

Of course, he couldn’t check in to Camp Mabry until the next afternoon so I offered to let him crash on the couch at the house. He accepted and we talked for about another 45 minutes or so before I finally drifted off to sleep, Dan at the wheel, holding my hand. With traffic so bad, and part of I35 shut down right outside of Austin, I was awakened as soon as he let go of my hand to take the wheel with both hands. It was around 5:15 at this time so, sitting in traffic with nowhere to go, I called work and left a message that I was going to be in late and explained the situation and that I was going to catch a couple hours of sleep. We made it to the house around 6:30 in the morning. I was sleeping by 6:45. Thankfully my mom was able to take Emily to her school that morning b/c I was just passed out.

I woke up at 9:15 and showered and got ready for work while Dan was still crashed on the couch. Then I woke him up so that I could take him to get a rental car to drive around Austin in. Poor guy was so tired it took him a little while to wake up completely. After his shower, we went on the search for the rental car. I ended up having to go out to the airport to find him one. I got to work shortly after noon.

That evening we went out to dinner with my “other parents”. Mama Marty and Daddy Darrell are my other mother and my other father. Darrell was the one to walk me down the aisle when I married “The X” b/c my own father was physically extremely sick. They are my mom’s best friends. Their oldest son, his wife and their two kids were there as well, which delighted Emily to no end! Emily attached to Dan really quickly and as we were headed from the car to the restaurant, Emily walked in between Dan and I and took his hand in hers. It was very sweet. It kind of startled Dan for a split second, but then he relaxed and went with it and Emily had the biggest grin on her face. Dan got along very well with the family – all of them. Mama Marty and Daddy Darrell really liked him a lot. Marty said that Dan fit in perfectly. He was very family oriented, polite, respectful, very knowledgeable about what was going on in the world, talked to everyone with ease and freely, was very open and was very kind. He and Darrell talked military and that was an interesting, rather lengthy conversation – and it would have been longer had we not had to go and get Emily in bed.

I took Dan to Camp Mabry to check in around 9:30 and then we went back to the house to watch movies. After he left around 12:30 in the morning, I woke up around 3:30 with the worst stomach cramps. I don’t know if I had food poisoning or a bug, but I felt awful. I was sick until 9:30 the next night, which was really bad b/c Emily’s back to school night was that night and so there I was with Emily, Dan, my mom and “The X” in this hot classroom and I felt like passing out. We went to dinner after, which I couldn’t really eat anything still but tried a couple of fries and drank a shake that had strawberries, bananas and pineapples in it. I started feeling just plain AWFUL and didn’t want to throw up in a public restroom. We barely made it home before I started upchucking so hard I started choking and it was so violent that the muscles around my ribs started spasming rather painfully. I was a little freaked out! Here I was I couldn’t breathe, was choking and throwing up at the same time and my rib area was cramping painfully. Oh, it was a bad couple of moments there.

Thankfully, as soon as I was done I started feeling a whole lot better. Poor Dan, he was so patient and gentle and kind to me, even though his own back had popped out of place earlier in the day and he had got it popped back in just a few hours before and was still sore. So, instead of going out, we stayed in again to watch more movies and just veg on the couch. It was wonderful!

Friday dawned and it was A LOT better than Thursday. Dan came over around 9:30ish and we just relaxed on the couch and watched the news. Then we drove around Austin for a little while and I took him to Hula Hut, which he really liked – GREAT Polynesian/Mexian fusion food in a casual atmosphere on the lake. Coming back out of the restaurant, wouldn’t you know it? I rolled my ankle in a little hole in the ground. This was just not my time.

Dan and I got him some new running shoes, went to get his back adjusted one more time, went to Best Buy and got two internet cameras so that we can talk over the ‘net and see each other without him having to wait for the phones with a 20 minute time limit every time he calls. We then went to pick Emily up at her school, which she just loved! She was so excited to have us pick her up b/c I never get to b/c of where I work and where her school is. I think she was more excited to see Dan than me. LOL! I took both of them for Marble Slab Ice Cream afterward. It was just a beautifully idealic afternoon – except for the HEAT!

We were supposed to get together with MC for about an hour or so, but by the time we got back to the house and just relaxed from the heat of the day (did I mention it was HOT!), we were beat and just wanted to spend time with my mom and Emily since he was leaving the next day and Emily was leaving the next morning to spend Saturday and Sunday with her daddy. We ate Schlotzsky’s, which he’d never tried before, and watched some of the movies that we had bought that day at Best Buy. I put Emily to bed and she started crying and just burst out of her little self that she was really going to miss Dan. She snuggled up next to me and cried a little longer. I told her that we would continue to pray for Dan that God would keep him safe and bring him back home to us safely.

After she was sleeping we watched Larry the Health Inspector – rather disappointing, even though parts were pretty funny – and the Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail. We were just kind of cuddled up on the couch and I enjoyed every minute of it! It was so difficult to say goodnight as he was leaving to go back to Camp Mabry one last time, knowing that this was the last night that we had to spend together for a long, long time. I was so tempted to ask him to stay just to have him near, even though it would have been on the couch, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. That would have sent the wrong message and this relationship is better than that. Granted he did sleep on the couch the night we arrived, but that was out of necessity, this time he had a place to sleep.

Sometimes it’s just so hard to do things God’s way instead of the world’s way, but I didn’t want to set Dan and I up for any unnecessary temptations. He and I had had a discussion on that already and agreed that we wanted to honor God in every way and that meant not getting into the “gray” areas of temptation. How can I ask it of my daughter when I don’t practice what I preach? I don’t want to get into a discussion with Emily down the road and tell her one thing and then have her respond, “but mom, you don’t do that” or “but mom, you do that”. Be the example you are trying to teach.

So, anyway, Dan left around 3:30 in the morning. I went to sleep for about 4 ½ hours and woke up to get Em ready for her dad. I woke up surprisingly refreshed and fairly wide awake. Dan came over around 9:30. My mom took some pictures of us and we were out of there between 10 and 10:30. He had to be back in Dallas by 3, however, there were a few construction areas going up there that we needed the extra time on.

We talked up a storm on the way up there about taxes, home-schooling, the prison system, social security and more. Not so surprisingly, we had a lot in common in viewpoint and opinions and on the taxes, when he saw something a little differently than I did regarding the middle class, I explained my view and he listened and thought about it and decided that I was absolutely right. So not only is he man enough to listen to a differing opinion, he was man enough to admit that someone else’s viewpoint was correct, even though it had differed a little from his and he respected my opinions. Priceless!

We stopped at a Cracker Barrel in Waco – which he had never been to (excellent home style food!) and we held hands almost the entire time we ate. He was in his uniform and a couple of people talked to him, but not as many as he was afraid would. He was concerned that there would be a lot of people trying to talk to him and ask questions and we didn’t have the time to just stand around and chat. We made it to the airport with about 40 minutes to spare so we sat in the minivan and just kind of held hands in silence for a while, then I crossed the console and leaned against him and he held me as I silently cried. I didn’t want to make him feel bad about having to leave but at the same time it was so hard for me to let him go again.

I had wrestled with the decision to tell him how I felt. I didn’t know if it was too soon, but my gut said to go ahead and tell him so…I used the “L” word. Yes, I told him that I loved him. I let him know that I wasn’t in love with him…yet…b/c that took time and proximity, but that I was looking forward to that as well. He closed his eyes and leaned forward and kissed me and hugged me. He told me that he wasn’t going to say it yet b/c it meant something different when a man said it than when a woman said it but that it was so wonderful to hear it from me. He did say that he liked me – a whole lot. I'm glad that he didn’t tell me that yet b/c I did not want him to say it to me just because I had said it and I'm glad that he recognized the difference.

It's not so much that when men say it that it means something different than when women say it, but that women are intrinsically and inherently the more emotional of the two genders and, as such, are more apt to feel things faster, I guess. However, usually when men say it there is more of a permanence behind it b/c men usually will not say it until they are 100% sure that they are ready to and all that it entails for them. Men are, at the heart of it, complicated creatures on a different level than women. For the most part men are easy and uncomplicated in most matters, except in matters of the heart. And there, I think that men are MUCH more complicated than women. For women, love is a simple thing. You either do or you don't and there aren't all these factors to consider, unlike with men.

There are the women who love indiscriminately, but that's not me. I never say what I don't mean when it comes to love b/c it is a very serious emotion. With the exception of family, I have only used it a small handful of times in my life with other people – my closest friends MC and Amy being two of them.

This is not something that just "appeared" overnight. It started before we even met - during the chats and phone conversations. It's not something that is said lightly or for the first time on a chat or over the phone. It's a very personal feeling and emotion. Anyway, I started feeling that prior to Dan coming over and then in the time that we spent together it just kind of solidified it and I honestly wrestled with saying it, and I wrestled long and hard with saying it, but in the end, my gut was to go ahead and say it b/c, and heaven forbid, if anything ever happened to him over there - and I do have God's assurance that He is watching out for him - but IF...I didn't want Dan to not ever know how much he had touched me and how I have come to feel for him.

As I said earlier, I'm not "in love"...yet. I'm very much looking forward to that part though. There is a difference between being IN love and loving someone. Falling IN love means spending time together, in proximity, getting to know the other person in person and building that connection, and we haven't had the opportunity yet to experience those for an extended amount of time. But loving someone means that you have come to know the other person's heart and personality and that they have caught your heart by WHO they are and what they do and are, that they have become someone very special to you and have found their way into your strongest of affections. You can like somebody and not love them, you can love somebody and not like them (kind of like with family - you love them but don't like their personality or actions), but the best of all is when you LIKE and LOVE the same person. And I definitely like Dan too. :) He is a very special person to me.

Anyway, to resume the story…

We went inside the terminal and they ended up allowing the people who were there with soldiers to get a special dispensation from TSA to go through security and wait with them on the other side until they left. We had a good 3 hours ahead of us and that was just fine with me. I think it helped me to be more strong and stoic about letting him go again. We sat and watched planes board and get loaded and fueled, etc. We talked, we leaned on each other and cuddled, we held hands…during one of the discussions we were having, he mentioned that in a “normal” dating relationship he wouldn’t have met my mom for a few weeks and he wouldn’t have met Em for at least 2-3 months after that and I told him that I completely agreed, that the progression of things would have been different but that this was not a normal dating situation.

THEN…we got to the “interesting” part.

He said that I knew how he felt about kids (LOVES them!) and how he wanted a large family and so Emily wasn’t the problem…I was the problem.

My response (jokingly) was, “I'm a problem??”

He kind of got a little flustered and said “no, no, that didn’t come out right…” pause, pause “it’s just that, well, I'm not marrying Emily. I'm marrying yo–Oh, boy, I, um, didn’t mean to say that. I, um, oh boy.” Poor guy was so flustered and tongue-tied. It was endearing to watch as he got red in the face and tried to stammer out an explanation. After several seconds of this I finally place a hand over his mouth and said, “It’s ok. I understand what you meant.” At the same time inside I was really warmed, excited, giddy, etc. by the knowledge that he’s been thinking about IT – you know, the “M” word, with me. :) (VBG!)

I had been praying, as had a couple of other people that I would know just what his intentions were toward me before he left for Iraq for another 8 long months. And there it was. He’s committed to this relationship and is even thinking about the “next” step – the BIG step.

He’s looked into transferring units from Nebraska to here in the CenTex area, also has discussed schooling and work options. He seems to be very serious about spending time together to get to know each other better to determine if this is “IT”.

Anyway, there were two rain delays that kept them there another couple of hours, so we got to spend an extra 5 hours or so together. All in all that time was a real blessing. I cried just a little when they finally lined up to go and as he finally had to let go and walk through the doors. My heart was so heavy at that point. I waited with three other women, one of them the woman from two weeks ago that I met in Dallas and her three kids, to watch the plane pull away from the terminal – several heart-stopping moments occurred when they brought people out not once but twice to look at the engine under the right wing. We all were a little disconcerted and were silently pleading for the guys to be taken off of the plane if it wasn’t going to be safe. But they seemed to get stuff together and ended up taxiing away. It was a rather quiet group that headed back to the garage.

On the way back home, I slipped on a wet floor in Hillsborough as I stopped to get some Braums ice cream (cherry limeade sherbet) and messed up my knee – it’s still all lovely shades of blue and green and reddish purple and it clicks when I bend it too far. I'm waiting for a week to see if that changes as the bruising goes away. Nobody that worked there asked if I was ok or offered to help me get up or anything. The only thing I got from a (probably) 18 year old kid behind the counter as I was sprawled out on the floor was “You might want to be careful there, it’s wet and slippery”. Gee, thanks for the warning after the fact, scooter.

I also, only by the Grace of God, made it home in one piece. I didn’t want to sit in a parking lot somewhere to go to sleep but I was so stinking tired the last 40 miles my eyes kept crossing and I would start to nod off. Thank the Lord that He was watching over me. It was around 1:30 when I got home and as soon as I got in the house and changed into my pj’s (a world record I'm sure at about 30 seconds) I was in bed and sleeping.

I didn’t cry at all on the way home but when I woke up the next morning I had a bit of a difficult few minutes.

On Monday, Dan called and wouldn’t you know it? They lost his duffle going back. They picked up another unit in Hungary whose plane had broken down. Out of the 120 of the original guys on the flight in Dallas, his was the ONLY duffle that was sent on with the other unit instead of staying put with him in Kuwait. He’s still waiting for it – now that he’s back at his base in Iraq. He doesn’t know if he’ll ever see it again. Both of his running shoes, including the brand new pair he didn’t have a chance to wear, his cowboy boots, clothes and a couple of uniforms are gone, quite possibly for good, unless there is a miracle. Thank God he had his electronics (computer, new computer camera/microphone we had bought together, iPod and digital camera) in his carryon and had that with him.

The running shoes are probably going to have to be an early Christmas gift if his duffle isn’t returned. He said they were the perfect fit for him for the first time ever. He has a fairly small foot for a man (9 ½) but it’s really wide so he usually has to get a size or two larger to accommodate the width and then for the most part they’re too big.

So I’ll wait. I’ll be keeping the “home fires” burning and counting the months, weeks and days until he gets back. While he will be back in February sometime, he has to be demobilized in Wisconsin which will take a month or so, so I won’t actually get to see him until at the earliest April of next year. He’s worth the wait though. :)

My mom said that this is not a man I would have chosen for myself had I just seen him walking down the street but that this is a man who fits me perfectly and she’s right. That’s why I'm so thankful for eHarmony, they got so in depth into what I was looking for and chose the match and who would have guessed that on a whim and a prayer that I would have ever found someone like Dan? He has a true heart of gold and really tries hard to live a true Christian life and not just be a Christian In Name Only – and that’s what matters to me.

So, as Paul Harvey says…

Now you know…the rest of the story.

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for you I always pray with joy. Phil 1:3-4

The Lord will keep you from all harm, He will watch over your life. Ps. 121:7

If God is for you who can be against you? Rom 8:31

Here are some pictures of Dan and I and Dan and Emily and, well, just Emily b/c she’s so precious!


Dan and me at the house

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Dan and me the morning he leaves

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Me in Dan’s shirt – a little big for me don’t ya think? LOL!

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Dan and Emily

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My little angel – isn’t she sweet?

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Em on her first day of kindergarten…my baby’s getting so big…SNIFF-SNIFF!

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

In "Other" Words - Tuesdays at CWO

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
~Albert Einstein~

I'm sure that most participants in this week’s “In Other Words” Meme have something profound to write about regarding difficulty with a child who is born with a handicap, whether physical or mental or a parent who has fallen into the twilight years and is struggling with horrible diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or cancer or something like that. I commend each and every one of them for their dedication, love and hard work in persevering through their own tough times and pushing on through to the opportunity that abounds for them.

Mine is a little different. I don’t have a child or a parent that I am struggling with. Both of them, my child and my mother, are pretty close to perfect. I am blessed.

My difficulty is finding the one person who so perfectly fits me and having to send him back to Iraq for another 8 months. In the midst of everything else in my life, finding someone who is that someone really special is a blessing, having to let him go again so soon is really, really difficult, but in the end, it all works out to multiple opportunities. I will try to explain what I mean.

op•por•tu•ni•ty (ä-p&r-'tü-n&-tE)
n. pl. op•por•tu•ni•ties
a. A favorable or advantageous circumstance or combination of circumstances.
b. A favorable or suitable occasion or time.

2. A chance for progress or advancement.

Synonyms: opportunity, occasion, opening, chance, break
These nouns refer to a favorable or advantageous circumstance or combination of circumstances. Opportunity is an auspicious state of affairs or a suitable time: “If you prepare yourself... you will be able to grasp opportunity for broader experience when it appears” (Eleanor Roosevelt). Occasion suggests the proper time for action: an auspicious occasion; an occasion for celebration. An opening is an opportunity affording a good possibility of success: waited patiently for her opening, then exposed the report's inconsistency.

So, now we all know the definition of “Opportunity”, but how does this apply to my situation regarding this meme?

I have the opportunity to teach my daughter what true patriotism is about, instead of this watered down, anti-American, anti-country version that is being peddled out there by those who don’t understand that this country is founded on Christian principles, or if they do understand it, don’t want to remember or acknowledge it because it goes against their “personal beliefs” of which we are all “entitled” to hear ad-nauseum from them, while we are not “allowed” to talk about ours in public forums because of this 1% of the country who lives here and hates it thinks that they know better than the rest of the 99% of us who live here and love it.

I have the opportunity to teach my daughter what the forefathers of this country fought and died for – freedom – because it is the same cause that the man I love is fighting for for others in a foreign country.

I have the opportunity to teach my daughter about sacrifice, even in the face of love. She will learn what it means to love someone enough to let them go, even when you want to keep them there and safe.

I have the opportunity to teach my daughter about staying strong and being faithful, even when circumstances aren’t optimal. How hard is it to love someone and be physically separated for months on end with the possibility of not have contact or communication with that person for days or even weeks? How does a relationship survive those circumstances? Love is a choice, not an action. We can choose to stay faithful and to love someone when those circumstances are difficult.

I have the opportunity to teach my daughter what it means to lean on the Lord and hold fast to His promises. For those who are in Christ, there is no true “goodbye”. Even if I never have the chance to see my brave soldier again here on this earth, I am greatly comforted by the knowledge that I will see him again in heaven. That is a promise in the Bible that God has given to all of us who have trusted Christ as our savior.

I have the opportunity to teach my daughter that true love endures through tough times, through difficult circumstances and that true love waits…for the other person, for marriage, for God’s best. I was looking for Mr. Right, not Mr. Right-Now and I found Mr. Right, by the grace of God. How can I not honor God’s promises and commandments to me and instead shun them and push them aside? My daughter will learn from me at my house what it means to be pure and chaste until marriage because she is being shown the other side of the coin at her father’s house where he is expecting a baby with his girlfriend and has no foreseeable plans to marry her in the future. That in itself is an opportunity to really shine in the midst of these sets of difficulties. When God brings you His best, why would you want to tarnish and sully it? I learned the hard way many years ago, and now I'm doing it God’s way, which, through learning by experience, is ALWAYS the ONLY way to go.

I have the opportunity to show my daughter what it means to support someone on all sides, at all times, in all ways by loving them, praying for them, communicating with them, sending them affirmations of that love and support and keeping the “home fires” burning.

There are so many more opportunities that I have to teach my daughter various character building and character enhancing values that I can’t begin to list them all. They are endless. She’s almost five. She’s a sponge. She can absorb them all.

And, if I don’t use these opportunities to teach during these difficulties in our lives, then how is my daughter going to learn what God’s will is if she doesn’t learn it from my teaching and my examples?

Beloved, let us love one another for love is from God… 1 John 4:7

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Sunday, August 13, 2006

This WAR is for REAL!

You will start seeing an emerging theme on my blog in the weeks to come. Having "D" here and having to send him back to Iraq for 8 more very long months has really brought so many things home for me. As most of you know, I am pro-America, pro-military, pro-family and pro-God and having a loved one in this war has driven several truths that I have always believed to the forefront of my life. Here is a wonderful letter from a retired US Air Force Major General that he wrote to his state Senator. It is powerful and is a no-holds barred message to everyone out there. WAKE UP AMERICA! Stop politically correcting us to death - literally.
October 25, 2005

By: Major General Dr. Vernon Chong, USAFR

This WAR is for REAL!

To get out of a difficulty, one usually must go through it. Our country is now facing the most serious threat to its existence, as we know it, that we have faced in your lifetime and mine (which includes WWII).

The deadly seriousness is greatly compounded by the fact that there are very few of us who think we can possibly lose this war and even fewer who realize what losing really means.

First, let's examine a few basics:

1. When did the threat to us start?

Many will say September 11, 2001. The answer as far as the United States is concerned is 1979, 22 years prior to September 2001, with the following attacks on us:

* Iran Embassy Hostages, 1979;
* Beirut, Lebanon Embassy 1983;
* Beirut, Lebanon Marine Barracks 1983;
* Lockerbie, Scotland Pan-Am flight to New York 1988;
* First New York World Trade Center attack 1993;
* Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Khobar Towers Military complex 1996;
* Nairobi, Kenya US Embassy 1998;
* Dares Salaam, Tanzania US Embassy 1998;
* Aden, Yemen USS Cole 2000;
* New York World Trade Center 2001;
* Pentagon 2001.

(Note that during the period from 1981 to 2001 there were 7,581 terrorist attacks worldwide).

2. Why were we attacked?

Envy of our position, our success, and our freedoms. The attacks happened during the administrations of Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton and Bush 2. We cannot fault either the Republicans or Democrats as there were no provocations by any of the presidents or their immediate predecessors, Presidents Ford or Carter.

3. Who were the attackers?

In each case, the attacks on the US were carried out by Muslims.

4. What is the Muslim population of the World?


5. Isn't the Muslim Religion peaceful?

Hopefully, but that is really not material. There is no doubt that the predominately Christian population of Germany was peaceful, but under the dictatorial leadership of Hitler (who was also Christian), that made no difference. You either went along with the administration or you were eliminated. There were 5 to 6 million Christians killed by the Nazis for political reasons (including 7,000 Polish priests). (see
http://www.nazis.testimony.co.uk/7-a.htm )

Thus, almost the same number of Christians were killed by the Nazis, as the six million holocaust Jews who were killed by them, and we seldom heard of anything other than the Jewish atrocities. Although Hitler kept the world focused on the Jews, he had no hesitancy about killing anyone who got in his way of exterminating the Jews or of taking over the world - German, Christian or any others.

Same with the Muslim terrorists. They focus the world on the US, but kill all in the way -- their own people or the Spanish, French or anyone else. The point here is that just like the peaceful Germans were of no protection to anyone from the Nazis, no matter how many peaceful Muslims there may be, they are no protection for us from the terrorist Muslim leaders and what they are fanatically bent on doing -- by their own pronouncements -- killing all of us "infidels." I don't blame the peaceful Muslims. What would you do if the choice was shut up or die?

6. So who are we at war with?

There is no way we can honestly respond that it is anyone other than the Muslim terrorists. Trying to be politically correct and avoid verbalizing this conclusion can well be fatal. There is no way to win if you don't clearly recognize and articulate who you are fighting.

So with that background, now to the two major questions:

1. Can we lose this war?

2. What does losing really mean?

If we are to win, we must clearly answer these two pivotal questions.

We can definitely lose this war, and as anomalous as it may sound, the major reason we can lose is that so many of us simply do not fathom the answer to the second question - What does losing mean?

It would appear that a great many of us think that losing the war means hanging our heads, bringing the troops home and going on about our business, like post Vietnam. This is as far from the truth as one can get. What losing really means is:

We would no longer be the premier country in the world. The attacks will not subside, but rather will steadily increase. Remember, they want us dead, not just quiet. If they had just wanted us quiet, they would not have produced an increasing series of attacks against us, over the past 18 years. The plan was clearly, for terrorist to attack us, until we were neutered and submissive to them.

We would of course have no future support from other nations, for fear of reprisals and for the reason that they would see, we are impotent and cannot help them.

They will pick off the other non-Muslim nations, one at a time. It will be increasingly easier for them. They already hold Spain hostage. It doesn't matter whether it was right or wrong for Spain to withdraw its troops from Iraq. Spain did it because the Muslim terrorists bombed their train and told them to withdraw the troops. Anything else they want Spain to do will be done. Spain is finished.

The next will probably be France. Our one hope on France is that they might see the light and realize that if we don't win, they are finished too, in that they can't resist the Muslim terrorists without us. However, it may already be too late for France. France is already 20% Muslim and fading fast!

If we lose the war, our production, income, exports and way of life will all vanish as we know it. After losing, who would trade or deal with us, if they were threatened by the Muslims.

If we can't stop the Muslims, how could anyone else?

The Muslims fully know what is riding on this war, and therefore are completely committed to winning, at any cost. We better know it too and be likewise committed to winning at any cost.

Why do I go on at such lengths about the results of losing? Simple. Until we recognize the costs of losing, we cannot unite and really put 100% of our thoughts and efforts into winning. And it is going to take that 100% effort to win.

So, how can we lose the war?

Again, the answer is simple. We can lose the war by "imploding." That is, defeating ourselves by refusing to recognize the enemy and their purpose, and really digging in and lending full support to the war effort. If we are united, there is no way that we can lose. If we continue to be divided, there is no way that we can win!

Let me give you a few examples of how we simply don't comprehend the life and death seriousness of this situation.

President Bush selects Norman Mineta as Secretary of Transportation. Although all of the terrorist attacks were committed by Muslim men between 17 and 40 years of age, Secretary Mineta refuses to allow profiling. Does that sound like we are taking this thing seriously? This is war! For the duration, we are going to have to give up some of the civil rights we have become accustomed to. We had better be prepared to lose some of our civil rights temporarily or we will most certainly lose all of them permanently.

And don't worry that it is a slippery slope. We gave up plenty of civil rights during WWII, and immediately restored them after the victory and in fact added many more since then.

Do I blame President Bush or President Clinton before him?

No, I blame us for blithely assuming we can maintain all of our Political Correctness, and all of our civil rights during this conflict and have a clean, lawful, honorable war. None of those words apply to war. Get them out of your head.

Some have gone so far in their criticism of the war and/or the Administration that it almost seems they would literally like to see us lose. I hasten to add that this isn't because they are disloyal. It is because they just don't recognize what losing means. Nevertheless, that conduct gives the impression to the enemy that we are divided and weakening. It concerns our friends, and it does great damage to our cause.

Of more recent vintage, the uproar fueled by the politicians and media regarding the treatment of some prisoners of war, perhaps exemplifies best what I am saying. We have recently had an issue, involving the treatment of a few Muslim prisoners of war, by a small group of our military police. These are the type prisoners who just a few months ago were throwing their own people off buildings, cutting off their hands, cutting out their tongues and otherwise murdering their own people just for disagreeing with Saddam Hussein.

And just a few years ago these same type prisoners chemically killed 400,000 of their own people for the same reason. They are also the same type enemy fighters, who recently were burning Americans, and dragging their charred corpses through the streets of Iraq.

And still more recently, the same type enemy that was and is providing videos to all news sources internationally, of the beheading of American prisoners they held.

Compare this with some of our press and politicians, who for several days have thought and talked about nothing else but the "humiliating" of some Muslim prisoners -- not burning them, not dragging their charred corpses through the streets, not beheading them, but "humiliating" them.

Can this be for real?

The politicians and pundits have even talked of impeachment of the Secretary of Defense. If this doesn't show the complete lack of comprehension and understanding of the seriousness of the enemy we are fighting, the life and death struggle we are in and the disastrous results of losing this war, nothing can.

To bring our country to a virtual political standstill over this prisoner issue makes us look like Nero playing his fiddle as Rome burned -- totally oblivious to what is going on in the real world. Neither we, nor any other country, can survive this internal strife. Again I say, this does not mean that some of our politicians or media people are disloyal. It simply means that they are absolutely oblivious to the magnitude, of the situation we are in and into which the Muslim terrorists have been pushing us, for many years.

Remember, the Muslim terrorists stated goal is to kill all infidels! That translates into ALL non-Muslims -- not just in the United States, but throughout the world.

We are the last bastion of defense.

We have been criticized for many years as being 'arrogant.' That charge is valid in at least one respect. We are arrogant in that we believe that we are so good, powerful and smart, that we can win the hearts and minds of all those who attack us, and that with both hands tied behind our back, we can defeat anything bad in the world!

We can't!

If we don't recognize this, our nation as we know it will not survive, and no other free country in the world will survive if we are defeated.

And finally, name any Muslim countries throughout the world that allow freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, equal rights for anyone -- let alone everyone, equal status or any status for women, or that have been productive in one single way that contributes to the good of the world.

This has been a long way of saying that we must be united on this war or we will be equated in the history books to the self-inflicted fall of the Roman Empire. If, that is, the Muslim leaders will allow history books to be written or read.

If we don't win this war right now, keep a close eye on how the Muslims take over France in the next 5 years or less. They will continue to increase the Muslim population of France and continue to encroach little by little, on the established French traditions. The French will be fighting among themselves, over what should or should not be done, which will continue to weaken them and keep them from any united resolve. Doesn't that sound eerily familiar?

Democracies don't have their freedoms taken away from them by some external military force. Instead, they give their freedoms away, politically correct piece by politically correct piece.

And they are giving those freedoms away to those who have shown, worldwide, that they abhor freedom and will not apply it to you or even to themselves, once they are in power.

They have universally shown that when they have taken over, they then start brutally killing each other over who will be the few who control the masses. Will we ever stop hearing from the politically correct, about the "peaceful Muslims"?

I close on a hopeful note, by repeating what I said above. If we are united, there is no way that we can lose. I hope now after the election, the factions in our country will begin to focus on the critical situation we are in, and will unite to save our country. It is your future we are talking about! Do whatever you can to preserve it.

After reading the above, we all must do this not only for ourselves, but ourchildren, our grandchildren, our country and the world.

Whether Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal and that includes the Politicians and media of our country and the free world!

Please forward this to any you feel may want, or NEED to read it. Our "leaders" in Congress ought to read it, too.

There are those that find fault with our country, but it is obvious to anyone who truly thinks through this, that we must UNITE and stand as ONE!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

In "Other" Words - Tuesdays at CWO

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.”

~Emily Kimbrough~

The joy of a friend. The absolute comfort, cheer, warmth, unvarnished truth and unconditional love of a close friend.

I have stumbled more times than I care to count. That I cringe when I think about counting. Just when I think I'm on the right road, going the right way, doing the right thing…WHOOPS(!)…there goes my attention from the One on whom my full attention should be focused and that cursed bump in the road pops up from nowhere and trips me up. Sometimes the stumbles are very minor, resulting in nothing more than a stubbed toe, but, then sometimes the stumbles are fairly major, resulting in numerous scrapes, wounds, and deep cuts. Usually to the heart and the spirit.

On either kind of stumble there is the comfort of a couple of good friends that I can count on to reach out their hand and help lift me back up and on my feet. On the more serious one, there are three friends here in town and three online who are there to offer advice, counsel, love and prayer.

To use an analogy, I was in defensive driving many years ago and was told by the instructor that all it takes to create a deadly head-on collision is to turn the steering wheel just 2 degrees toward oncoming traffic. The drift will put you into the path of the other vehicle and *BAM*…it will result in a fatal accident even at a relatively slow rate of speed. 2 degrees seems so small, but it is a vital 2 degrees which can bring serious consequences. Such is the case with mistakes we make in our lives that cause us to stumble either small or big.

Admittedly, there are mistakes I have made that are a result of my own stubborn nature and foolish pride and those are the ones that usually cut the deepest and during those times it is a blessing to have those friends there to love, to listen and to care.

That being said, I am not a person of many friends. Oh, I have a whole bunch of acquaintances, but I have learned from the folly of my youth in having too many “friends” of the wrong sort. These days, I have a select few friends that I trust implicitly, all for different reasons and for different things.

Have you ever had friends that you counted on for different things? My friends are all wonderful for different reasons. I have three friends that I can tell pretty much any of the nitty-gritty of my stumbles to and they have wonderful advice on the “dirtier” parts of my mistakes that help get my head straightened out. I have three other friends, who are better at handling the more spiritual aspects of the mistakes I have made and do not “need” to know the grittier parts of the serious mistakes I make. They are there to help get the spiritual aspect of me back in line when I have started to make that dangerous 2 degree drift and want to “pull the steering wheel” back in line in order to avoid making a devastating mistake.

Proverbs 18:24 says: A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. The first part of that verse is a case of too many cooks spoiling the stew. How many different pieces of advice from different areas does it take to turn one’s head completely upside down? How many people does it actually take to help you with your stumbles? The answer is in the second part. …but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Really, there should be only one person you depend on to help you through your struggles and stumbles because He is the only one who will NEVER steer you wrong. Human friends are wonderful to have, especially Christian ones, to help you through the tough times, but they are, after all, only human and are prone to the same foibles and follies that you are.

Your heavenly friend, Jesus, is the best kind because He will ALWAYS be there for you, will always comfort you, always be ready to forgive you and will always have His hand out for you to hold. All you have to do is take it. And if you are walking hand in hand with the One you should be walking in tandem with anyway, there is less opportunity for stumbles and that 2 degree drift because He will be beside you all the way, keeping your paths straight.

Job 23:11 says “My feet have remained steady on His path; I have learned from His ways and have never swerved aside.” Would that we all followed that bit of Biblical advice!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Monday Meanderings - Are We There Yet?

So, tomorrow "D" comes down to Texas for the rest of his leave. Am I excited? You bet I am! I am looking forward to spending more time together and seeing if the chemistry of the past couple of months and a week ago will carry over for more of an extended time together. I'm also nervous. Extremely nervous b/c after this coming Saturday, "D" goes back to Iraq for 8 more long months. Then he gets demobilized for another month or so. I don't know exactly what this time will bring, if it will create a bond to last a lifetime or will it be another heart break. Will we have the gumption to go the distance or will it fizzle out? I am hoping FOR the former, of course, and really praying against the latter.

This week will bring "D" into contact with the three people who mean the most to me: Emily, my mom and MC. I'll update after it's over with pictures, I hope. In the meantime, I alternate between really, super excited and kind of super nervous. I hope I'll know what he has in mind before he goes back to Iraq. "D" is a fun, wonderful, kind, Christian man. Whatever the outcome I'm blessed to know him.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thankful Thursday - Revisited

~1 Thessalonians 5:18~ Give thanks to God in all circumstances (no matter what they may be), for this is God's will for you (who are) in Christ Jesus.

My Peace I Leave With You

Thankful Thursday: What Nic is thankful for this week

Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness that comes from our Creator.
Peace that flows from above.
An open audience with God whenever, wherever just by talking to Him.
Wonderful, great big hugs from someone very special.
First meetings that are better than anticipated.
Someone who fills that empty place inside and makes me comfortable.
Friends who listen, encourage and support at all times.
Understanding that God knows the desires of my heart and trusting Him to give me the best.

Links to other Thankful Thursdays:
Unicorn Child (new "home" of ThT and code)
A Child of God
A Revision
Anna's Place
As My World Turns
Friday's Child
Imagine Bliss
Journaling Through the Valley
LadyBug Crossing
Momma's Life
Mommy Does It All
Mommy Needs To Vent
Show Them Through Me
Sting My Heart
Uzi's Musings
Yellow Rose's Garden

(If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below; or, you can post in the comments)

Click here for the Thankful Thursday code

Click here for Chrixean's blog

Trackbacks, pings, and comment links are accepted and encouraged!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

In "Other" Words - Tuesdays at CWO

"There are two kinds of people:
those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,'
and those to whom God says,
'All right, then, have it your way.'"
~ C.S. Lewis ~

How many times have we, in the human state, barged in and said "I'm going to do what I want, when I want and nobody can stop me"? The Bible says that our spirit is willing but our flesh is weak, and nowhere is that more evident than when we are in a relationship with another human.

To speak frankly for a moment, for those of us who haven't always followed God's plan for our lives, the flesh has a tendency to outweigh the spirit. Nowhere does Satan tempt us more easily than the flesh, except maybe in our pride.

When we decide that we are not going to "turn our eyes upon Jesus" as the hymn states that we should, the things of this earth do not have a chance to grow strangely dim in the light of His Glory and Grace. We trade in our offering of Pure Gold from our Savior for a pittance of Fool's Gold from the Deceiver.

When we continually flaunt our ugly, second best decision in our Creator's face, because we are determined to be in control of our own lives, many times He has no choice but to literally "let us have it" until we learn our lesson, many times a painful lesson whether with our bodies or our hearts and lives, and realize that God's Way is the best way.

Our will is a curious thing. God gave us free will, so every choice we make is OUR choice. Not the Flip Wilson response "the Devil made me do it". Satan can't make us do anything. He can tempt, he can lure, he can dangle our fleshy desires in front of us, but in the end, it is OUR decision, OUR choice. WE are the ones to make those choices and we can CHOOSE to give in or we can CHOOSE to obey God's will for our lives.

When we instead turn our back upon the lures and snares that Satan lays out for us and instead indeed decide to turn our eyes upon Jesus, our heavenly Father delights in giving us His best and His best will alway outweigh in every way the cheap, tawdry, second best decisions that we always tend to make on our own, apart from God's will.

Believe me, I have learned from that painful experience that God's way is the BEST WAY rather than my own fumbling, feeble, rebellious way that I flaunt in the face of the beautiful, bountiful gifts that God is waiting to give to me, but that can only be mine by submitting to God's will for my life.

*><>* BTW, to see a picture of the most recent gift of God in my life, please read the post below this one! :) *><>*