Friday, November 4, 2011

Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2011

Veteran’s Day is 11-11-11 this year. It is always November 11th, so why does adding an extra “11” make this year’s Veteran’s day more special than the other Veteran’s Days from previous years. First guess is because of the 9/11 disaster in 2001 and the 10th anniversary marking that occasion should be used to make all holidays in 2011 that honoring military service special too. While the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is a milestone the country should reflect on, it does not have a connection to 11-11-11. To discovering the significance of this year’s Veteran’s Day one needs to look at history and how Veteran’s Day came to be.

Before it was Veteran’s Day, November 11 was an international day of remembrance called Armistice Day. This was the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War One (WWI). The war formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (11-11-11) in 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice. Armistice Day was commemorated the following year by President Woodrow Wilson, and many states made it a legal holiday. A resolution passed by Congress in 1926 urged all Americans to observe the day and it was made a legal holiday in 1938.

On November 11, 1953 a band of rebels in Emporia Kansas staged a daylong celebration of “Veteran’s Day” in lieu of the Armistice Day remembrance. Congressman Ed Rees, the representative for Emporia, later introduced legislation into the House of Representatives requesting the name be changed officially from Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day. The name change became permanent with Kansas native and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signing of HR7786. It was enacted on June 1, 1954 to honor those who served in all American wars. This day has since evolved as a time for honoring living veterans who have served in the military honorably during wartime or peacetime.

This federal and state holiday is formally observed mostly by government offices and banks. Just like the Columbus Day holiday in October, most schools and business stay open and operate on their regular schedules. Because businesses and schools are open most public transit systems operate on a regular schedule even though being run by local governments. Businesses and schools cite the holiday’s proximity to Thanksgiving, when many close for a four day weekend, as the main reason for staying open. This results in Veteran’s Day becoming just another government holiday that you don’t get your mail and can’t do any banking.

There are 25 million military veterans in the United States. In or out of uniform, retired, discharged or still serving, American Veterans deserve our THANKS for each and every moment they stood in service to their country protecting our freedoms. They deserve this day! They deserve this day, this day of HONOR!

Friday, October 21, 2011

What Happened to Tennessee???

Growing up in Texas I have always held a special place in my heart for the folks in Tennessee. Sitting in Texas History class images of Davey Crockett and the brave volunteers from Tennessee standing shoulder to shoulder giving their lives at the Alamo filled almost a full page of our text books still come to mind. The brave folks from Tennessee coming all the way to San Antonio to fight and give their lives for Texas and for Freedom So when I came across this news story “Tennessee Becomes First State To Fight Terrorism Statewide”

I was not surprised and thought “Good for them, I would expect nothing less from the proud, brave folks in Tennessee.” Then I read the article.

“Tennessee, What the HELL are you thinking?!?!?!?!”

Tennessee became the first state to deploy Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) jack booted, blue uniformed thugs to five weigh stations and two bus stations across the state. “Tuesday's statewide "VIPR" operation isn't in response to any particular threat, according to officials.”, then why they hell are you doing it??? I think the answer to that question is found in the following statement found in the article…

“Agents are recruiting truck drivers, like Rudy Gonzales, into the First Observer Highway Security Program to say something if they see something.”
Okay, let’s start with getting truck drivers to start spying and reporting suspicious activities to the “Blue Shirts”, then we can get the car drivers to report people texting while they drive, or for not turning on their turn signal when they change lanes?!?!

Have we not seen this before in history? Have we only changed from the “BROWN SHIRTS” to now the “BLUE SHIRTS???”

At least the Tennessee Highway Patrol has not lost their focus…

“The random inspections really aren't any more thorough than normal, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott who says paying attention to details can make a difference. Trott pointed out it was an Oklahoma state trooper who stopped Timothy McVeigh for not having a license plate after the Oklahoma City bombing in the early 1990s.”

Shame on you Tennessee… Shame.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Death of Jesus

At the age of 33, Jesus was condemned to the death. At the time crucifixion was the "worst" death. Only the worst criminals were condemned to be crucified. Yet it was even more dreadful for Jesus, unlike other criminals condemned to death by crucifixion Jesus was to be nailed to the cross by His hands and feet.

Each nail was 6 to 8 inches long.

The nails were driven into His wrist; not into His palms as is commonly portrayed. There's a tendon in the wrist that extends to the shoulder. The Roman guards knew that when the nails were being hammered into the wrist that tendon would tear and break, forcing Jesus to use His back muscles to support himself so that He could breath.

Both of His feet were nailed together. Thus He was forced to support Himself on the single nail that impaled His feet to the cross. Jesus could not support himself with His legs because of the pain. So He was forced to alternate between arching His back and then using his legs just to continue to breath. Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, the courage.

Jesus endured this reality for over 3 hours.

Yes, over 3 hours! Can you imagine this kind of suffering? A few minutes before He died, Jesus stopped bleeding. He was simply pouring water from his wounds. From common images we see wounds to His hands and feet and even the spear wound to His side... But do we realize His wounds were actually made in his body. A hammer driving large nails through the wrist, the feet overlapped and an even larger nail hammered through the arches, then a Roman guard piercing His side with a spear. But before the nails and the spear Jesus was whipped and beaten. The whipping was so severe that it tore the flesh from His body. The beating was so horrific that His face was torn and his beard ripped from His face. The crown of thorns cut deeply into His scalp. Most men would not have survived this torture.

He had no more blood to bleed out, only water poured from His wounds. The human adult body contains about 3.5 liters (just less than a gallon) of blood. Jesus poured all 3.5 liters of his blood onto the ground. He had three nails hammered into His members; a crown of thorns on His head and, beyond that, a Roman soldier who stabbed a spear into His Chest…

All these without mentioning the humiliation He suffered after carrying His own cross for almost 2 kilometers, while the crowd spat in his face and threw stones (the cross was almost 30 kg of weight, only for its higher part, where His hands were Nailed). Jesus had to endure this experience, to open the Gates of Heaven, so that you can have free access to God; so that your sins could be "washed" away. All of them; with no exception! Don't ignore this situation.


He died for you! It is easy to pass jokes or foolish photos by e-mail, but when it comes to God, sometimes you feel ashamed to forward to others because you are worried of what they may think about you. God has plans for you; show all your friends what He experienced to save you. Now think about this! May God bless your Life!

60 Seconds with God...
For the next 60 Seconds, set aside what you're doing and take this opportunity! Let's see if Satan can stop this.

All you have to do is:
1. Simply Pray for the person who sent this message to You.
2. Then, send this message to people.. The more the better.
3. People will Pray for you and you will make that many people pray to God for other people.
4. Take a moment to appreciate the power of God in your life, for doing what pleases Him.

If you are not ashamed to do this, please, follow Jesus' instructions.

He said (Matthew 10:32 & 33): “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before My Father in heaven; but whosoever denies Me
before others, I also will deny before My Father in heaven”.

Yes, I love God. He is my source of life and my Savior. He keeps me alive day
and night.
“Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him "I can do all things through Him
who strengthens me”. Philippians 4:13.
This is the simple proof. If you love God and you are a believer and trust in salvation through Christ Jesus, send this to all those you love

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Taking Care of My Golf Balls

This past weekend my wife was going in 100 different directions. She had so much to do and wanted to make everyone happy and not be a disappointment to anyone. She asked me, “How do you do it? How to you stay so calm? Doesn’t any of this ever get to you?”

I took her hands and looked into her eyes and simply asked, “What is the most important thing in your life?” And before she could answer I asked, “Do you know what the most important thing is in my life? Do you know the one thing in this world that I would give my life for without a second thought, it is you and our son? Family, that is what is important in my life. Everything else is just noise.”

She gave me an understanding hug, took a few deep breaths, re-prioritized her to-do list finishing only the most important tasks (most to do with the family) and saved the rest for another day.

What follows is from an email that showed up in my in-box this morning. I usually do not share email blasts but I have to think that there was a divine force that put this in my in-box at this time. It was also from my loving wife.

The Mayonnaise Jar

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day is not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and started to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up the empty spaces. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “YES!”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now!” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions, things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.”

“The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car. “

“The sand is everything else -- the small stuff. “

“If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.”

“If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.”

“So… Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner.”

“There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.”

“Take care of the golf balls first -- The things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. “I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thoughts of My Father

My best friend’s father passed away a few days ago. Not the sperm donor that made his mother pregnant and not the man she later married, but the man who taught him about life, God, country, right from wrong and how to be a man. He was a real man who drove a truck with a stock trailer in tow usually holding his favorite cuttin’ or ropin’ horse. A man that was respected and looked up to by other men as an example of what a person should strive to do with their own life. He wasn’t “the Duke” but he was as close a man I have ever met that could wear John Wayne’s boots. He will truly be missed by friends, family and everyone whose life he touched.

His passing brought back a flood of memories about my own father and how he influenced my life. Everyone has their hero’s and my father was mine. He was the strongest, bravest, kindest, and most caring man I will ever know. He never drank openly and the only curse words I heard him say were “Hell ‘o Jack”, a far cry from the litany of words you hear fathers espouse in the movies these days. He taught me how to be a husband, father, brother, neighbor, and friend. There is not a day that passes that I do not think of him and see how he has touched my life.

When I look at my friend I see his father and hope the same is reflected in me. But my biggest wish is that when someone looks at my son, it is a reflection of me and my father.