Category Archives: Harvester

Harvester

Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

GodBlessAmericaFrom a speech made by Captain John S. McCain, USN (ret) who represents Arizona in the U.S. Senate and, when this speech was made was running for President of the United States.

As you may know, I spent five and one half years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. In the early years of our imprisonment, the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) kept us in solitary confinement or two or three to a cell. In 1971, the NVA moved us from these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to a room.
This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result of the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POWs 10,000 miles from home.

One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike Christian. Mike came from a small town near Selma, Alabama. He didn’t wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old. At 17 he enlisted in the US Navy.

He later earned a commission by going to Officer Training School. Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and captured in 1967.
Mike had a keep and deep appreciation of the opportunities this country and our military provide for people who want to work and want to succeed.

As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners to receive packages from home. In some of these packages were handkerchiefs, scarves and other items of clothing. Mike got himself a bamboo needle.

Over a period of a couple months, he created an American flag and dewed it on the inside of his shirt. Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike’s shirt on the wall of the cell and say the pledge of Allegiance.

I know the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important part of our day now. But I can assure you that in that stark cell it was indeed the most important and meaningful event.

One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically, and discovered Mike’s shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it. That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and for the benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple of hours.

Then, they opened the door of the cell and threw him in. We cleaned him up as well as we could. The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which we slept. Four naked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room. As I said, we tried to clean up Mike as well as we could. After the excitement died down, I looked in the corner of the room, and sitting there beneath that dim light bulb with a piece of red cloth, another shirt and his bamboo needle, was my friend, Mike Christian. He was sitting there with his eyes almost shut from the beating he had received making another flag.

He was not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better. He was making that flag because he knew how important it was to us to be able to pledge our allegiance to our flag and the country.

So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never forget the sacrifice and courage that thousands of Americans have made to build our nation and promote freedom around the world.

Your must remember our duty, our honor, and our country.

 

Thank You

NeverForgettheirserviceSome veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.  Others may carry the evidence inside them;  a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg — or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul’s ally forged in the refinery of adversity.  Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.  You can’t tell a vet just by looking.

What is a vet?

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t run out of fuel.

He is the loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

He or she is a nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another — or didn’t come back at all.

He is the Quantico drill instructor that has never seen combat, but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs.

He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb of the Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose ballot dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket—palsied now and aggravatingly slow—who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being —a person who offered some of his life’s most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and   say “Thank You.”  That is all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any     medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Five little words that mean a lot,  “THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.”

Voicemail in Heaven

voicemailVoice mail is a necessary part of modern life. Have you ever wondered “What if God decided to install voice mail?”

Imagine praying and hearing this:

Thank you for calling my Father’s House. Please select one of the following options:
Press 1 for Requests
Press 2 for Thanksgiving
Press 3 for Complaints
Press 4 for Suicide Counseling
Press 5 for all Other Inquires

What if God used the familiar excuse — “I’m sorry, all of our angels are busy helping other sinners right now. However, your prayer is important to us and will be answered in the order it was received, so please stay on the line.”
Can you imagine getting these kinds of responses as you call out to God in prayer?
If you would like to speak to
Gabriel, Press 1
Michael, Press 2
For a directory of other Angels, Press 3
If you would like to hear King David sing a Psalm while holding, Press 4
To find out if a loved one is in heaven, Press 5,
Enter his Social Security number, then press the pound key. (If you get a negative response, try area code 666.
For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, the age of the earth and where Noah’s Ark is, you will be required to wait until you arrive.
Our computers show that you have already prayed once today, please pray again Monday after 9:30 am. If you need emergency assistance when this office is closed, try your pastor.

Faith, One Tick At A Time

clockIn his sermon entitled “How to Worry” Ralph Phelps tells about a clock that had a nervous breakdown. This new clock that was ticking away on the shelf two ticks to the second, as any good, self respecting clock should tick, when it began to think about how many times it was going to have to tick. “Two ticks to the second means 130 ticks per minute,” it mused. “That’s 7,200 ticks per hour, 172,800 ticks per day, 1,209,600 per week for 52 weeks and a total of 62,889,200 per year.” Horrors!! Straightway the clock had a nervous breakdown.

The clock was taken to a psychiatrist who patched up the mainspring as well as he could, then asked, “Clock, what is your trouble?”

“Oh, doctor, wailed the clock, “I have to tick so much. I have to tick two ticks to the second and 120 ticks per minute and 72,000 ticks per hours, and ……..”

“Then let me make a suggestion,” replied the doctor. “You go home and try ticking one tick at a time. Do not even think about the next tick until it is time. Just tick one tick at a time. That you can do.”

Faith is ticking one tick at a time. Knowing that God will give us strength for the next tick. According to I Peter I:8 “Whom having not seen, ye love; in who, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Yet just like those oppressed and persecuted Christians to whom Peter was writing, we need to remember that this joy will never come through external stimulus. Only through our internal mindset— one of faith —-one of ticking one tick at a time, knowing that God will give us strength for the next tick.

The Pastor’s Cat

This story just made me laugh…and each time I think of it, the vision of the poor cat amuses me to no end.  I hope it will leave a bright spot in your day, and we can see that God does have a sense of humor!

This is a true story about a pastor that had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down.  The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, and treats, but the kitten would not come down.

The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and drove away so that the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten.

That is exactly what he did, all the while checking his progress in the car.  He then figured if he went just a little bit further the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten.  As he moved the car a little further forward, the rope broke.

The tree went “boing!” and the kitten instantly sailed through the air out of sight.  The pastor felt terrible.  He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they had seen a little kitten.  No.  Nobody has seen a stray kitten!  So he prayed, “Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping,” and went about this business.

A few days later he was at the grocery store and met one of his church members.  He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food.  This woman was a cat hater and everyone knew it, so he asked her, “Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?”

She replied, “You won’t believe this, preacher!”  She told him how her little girl had been begging for a cat, but she had kept refusing.  Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the Mom finally told her “Well, if God gives you a cat, I will let you keep it.”

She related to the pastor, “I watched my child go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask God for a cat.  And really,  Preacher, you won’t believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes.  A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky with it’s paws outspread, and landed right in front of her.

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF GOD AND HIS UNIQUE SENSE OF HUMOR!!