Friday, November 22, 2013

Remembering President Kennedy

   It was the fall before I turned 16, November 22, 1963, and I was sitting on the school bus, ready to go home.  A kid got on the bus and said, "The president is dead--someone shot him!" Even as a teenage, I was pretty skeptical and just didn't believe it could be true.  It had just been about 5 months earlier that I stood in the rain with my family and about a gazillion other people to see this tall, handsome president when he spoke in Charleston, West Virginia.  I was from a Republican family, but we were all very impressed to see a president in person, and his speech made us proud to be West Virginians.

         Click this link to hear what he said that rainy day in 1963

 As we rode on the school bus that day, we had no cell phones to call and check the facts.  We just had to wait until we got home to turn on the black and white tv and see what was on the news.  But when the bus stopped at the Red House post office, I saw the flag had been lowered to half mast, and I knew it must be true.  We didn't have CNN with news around the clock, but we were stunned to see the news unfolding-- watching Jackie Kennedy's blood-stained pink suit, the funeral procession, little John Kennedy saluting his father, Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald--- it was all horrifying and terribly sad.

   This week at church, Pastor Tom brought a message from the book of Habakkuk. The prophet was giving a message from God that terrible times were at hand -- the Babylonians were going to conquer and take the people into captivity.  It was a devastating message to the people of Judah.

   Just like our country felt when President Kennedy was assassinated -- just like Habakkuk felt when the Babylonians attacked -- it seems that our country is in trouble again.  Nothing but bad news on tv. But the words from the Old Testament are still true today.
  Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Veteran's Wife

 During this Veterans Day weekend, I've been thinking about how God sustained me during those years of seeing my husband go off to war.  Sam was headed to Vietnam for his second tour of duty when we met.  He was a new Christian, and my faith was strong so I don't think I really realized the danger he was in. There was a scripture verse that I claimed --and all these years later, I can't seem to remember exactly what it said, but it said to me that he would come home safely, and I believed it.
      But after we were married and had children, it was a lot harder for me to see him go off to war.  We had no cell phones or Internet or Skype -- just letters that took forever to arrive.  I was grateful for our church and the messages of hope and encouragement that I heard during those months, and the book of Psalms was a treasure to me.  Here's a verse that I marked with a star:
Psalm 94:19." Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer. ."  I needed that one a LOT! Especially when weeks passed with no letters.
And Psalm 91 was a great comfort " He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God and I am trusting Him.....His faithful promises are your armor.....for He orders his angels to protect you wherever you go....I will be with him in trouble, and rescue him."
  I am so grateful and proud to be married to a man who was brave and strong enough to serve our country for many years.  And I am thankful for God 's protection over those years.  And when I was afraid or lonely or worried, I am so glad for the inexpressible comfort that came from the Scripture.
  So, on this Veterans Day, I am thankful for my Veteran and for my God who protected us during the Army years.  We are blessed!