Monday, May 31, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

We spent last week on the beach, in Destin, Florida.  These flowers were everywhere.  I thought they would make a nice change of pace for a Ruby Tuesday post.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day, Remember Those Who Gave Their All

Thank A Veteran For Your Freedom
By J. L. Sager
It was a veteran, not a reporter,
Who guaranteed freedom of the press.

It was a veteran, not a poet,
Who guaranteed freedom of speech.

It was a veteran, not a campus organizer,
Who guaranteed freedom to demonstrate.

It was a veteran, not a minister,
Who guaranteed freedom to worship.

It was a veteran, not a salesman,
Who guaranteed freedom to own property.

It was a veteran, not a travel agent,
Who guaranteed freedom to travel.

It was a veteran, not a politician,
Who guaranteed freedom to vote.

It is a veteran who salutes the Flag,
Risks it all for the Flag,
And who is buried beneath the Flag.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.
The story of Memorial Day begins in the summer of 1865, when a prominent local druggist, Henry C. Welles, mentioned to some of his friends at a social gathering that while praising the living veterans of the Civil War it would be well to remember the patriotic dead by placing flowers on their graves. Nothing resulted from this suggestion until he advanced the idea again the following spring to General John B. Murray. Murray, a civil war hero and intensely patriotic, supported the idea wholeheartedly and marshalled veterans' support. Plans were developed for a more complete celebration by a local citizens' committee headed by Welles and Murray.
On May 5, 1866, the Village was decorated with flags at half mast, draped with evergreens and mourning black. Veterans, civic societies and residents, led by General Murray, marched to the strains of martial music to the three village cemeteries. There impressive ceremonies were held and soldiers' graves decorated. One year later, on May 5, 1867, the ceremonies were repeated. In 1868, Waterloo joined with other communities in holding their observance on May 30th, in accordance with General Logan's orders. It has been held annually ever since.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

Just a little something from the archives.  I think this is from Christmas 2008.  It was taken on the town square.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Skywatch Friday Thoughts

Tuesday afternoon was gorgeous, so I took some time off and we took the boat out for her maiden voyage.  WOW!  That was fun.  The temperature was in the mid-seventies.  There was a nice breeze, and, as you can see, the sky was beautiful.  The water was clear and almost no one was on the lake...just the way I like it.  Everything about the boat performed perfectly.  I tried out the fish locator, the live wells, the trolling motor.  We even put the cover on, just for practice.  I can honestly tell you, I am LOVING this boat.  The ride is amazing and the seats are the most comfortable that I have ever sat in.
Next week we will be on vacation in Destin, FL.  We have rented a condo with my Brother-in-law and Sister -in-law.  I will have a Ruby Tuesday and possible a Wordless Wednesday scheduled to post.  But, I doubt I will get around to doing a Friday post.  Have a great week, and I'll see you back here right after Memorial Day.
Moving right along, it's now time for the inspirational song of the week.  Monday night the Men's Ministry at our church sponsored a Men and Boys event.  Special guests were fishing pro, Hank Parker and Christian singer/songwriter, Russ Lee.  It was a wonderful, inspirational evening.  Both men have truly amazing testimonies.  Russ is the lead singer for NewSong, a group that I have enjoyed for many years.  So, departing from the normal southern gospel selection, I give you Russ Lee and "Love Is A Cross."  Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Night of Southern Gospel Music

ast night my wife and I went to the  1st  Annual Brumley Music Fest in Bentonville, AR.  If you visit this blog very often, you already know that I am a fan of Southern Gospel music.  There were three groups that I really wanted to see, Karen Peck/New River, The Dove Brothers, and Brian Free/Assurance.  They did not disappoint.  The venue was the high school gym, which made acoustics a major issue.  However, it was still a good evening of gospel music.  Here are samples of what we heard last night.  Enjoy.

Karen Peck and New River opened the concert. Her voice is a little more country than some, but the harmony of this group is great and the message in the music is clear.

The Dove Brothers were the third group to appear last night. They are a little more traditional Southern Gospel quartet. They have a great base singer.

The final group of the night was Brian Free and Assurance. These guys are simply wonderful. They are in my top five favorite groups. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

SkyWatch Friday Thoughts

 Stormy Weather

The weather this week has been unpredictable, with storms coming and going...kind of like life. And, just like life, when the storm passes, we have great appreciation for the calm, clear, fresh air that follows.  It is like a new beginning.  I believe that our most recent 'life storm" is about over and the skies are clearing.  In fact, I believe that "I Saw the Light".  Enjoy!  Have a great week-end.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Thirty-six Years and Counting

Well, this is NOT a typical Ruby Tuesday post, as you can see, but there's just enough red in the photo to qualify.  Tuesday, May 11, is our thirty-sixth wedding anniversary.
Words cannot begin to express how fortunate that I am to have married the woman at my side.  She is everything to me, and without her, I am nothing.  A couple of years ago I posted "What's The Secret."  How do you stay married thirty-something years.  It is no secret.  It works like this.

So what's the secret to being married for thirty-six years and looking forward to celebrating number fifty one day? All I can tell you is that our marriage is centered around our faith and that the message from God's Word is critical to the happiness that each of us enjoys.

First of all, God loves us and everything He does for us is for our benefit. He created the institution of marriage to be enjoyed by a man and a woman and to bring each of them happiness. The Bible tells us that God loved us so much that He gave His Son to die on a cross for us so that we might, through faith, have eternal live. Christ tells the husband that he is to love his wife with the same love that Christ loves the church and gave himself for that church (Ephesians 5:25). If I love my wife with that kind of love, then everything I do, I do because I love her and I want her to be happy. I want her to be pleased with this relationship. I want my Lord to be pleased with me as a man who loves his wife and realizes that his wife is a gift from God created especially for me and for my happiness.
Secondly, marriage is a partnership. Like any relationship, it takes work to maintain that relationship in peak condition. A happy marriage doesn't "just happen". Both of us are committed to the relationship and to each other because we love one another and it is our desire that our partner be happy in this relationship. No major decision in this relationship is made without prayer and conversation. God is not the author of confusion, therefore He will not give my wife a different answer to an issue than the one that He gives me. Again, God created the institution of marriage for our benefit, not for our demise.
Finally, I married a woman far better than I deserve. I thank my Lord and Savior for her every day. My wife is the most thoughtful, caring and giving person that I know. Proverbs 31:10-12 says, "An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." I have found that woman. Proverbs 31:25-30 further states, "Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and teaching of kindness is on her toungue. She looks well to the ways of her houselold, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." I married such a woman.
So, back to the original question, "What's the Secret?" The answer is, you have to give yourself to the marriage. You have to give yourself to your spouse. Whatever you have within you, you have to "Give it Away."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Skywatch Friday Thoughts

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Clearing to the West

We can begin to see the clearing of some of the clutter in our lives.  We've spent a good deal of the past six months taking care of  Dad's affairs, after his passing.  His affairs were actually in pretty good order, it just takes time to deal with the details.  Last week there was an estate sale and now the house is on the market.  That will close the largest chapter in the events following Dad's death.  I honestly could not have gotten through any of this without my wife.  Her understanding of financial issues and her organizational skills kept me sane.  Without her, I would have been LOST.  Thank you Lord, for the gift of a wife that you have blessed me with.
Next Friday we will take in night one of the new Brumley Music Fest in Bentonville, AR.  One of the groups appearing will be the Dove Brothers.  They are a pretty traditional Southern Gospel Quartet.  That's okay with me.  Here is a sample of their work.  enjoy.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

June 6, 2004 - Age 2 1/2

May 1, 2010 - Age 8 1/2

"Big Blue" (look at those eyes) has been the subject of Ruby Tuesday in the past.  She seems to get prettier each year.  We are blessed to have happy, healthy grand kids.  They are just the best.