A Word From Ben

A Word from a Founding Father

A Word from Ben

(Speaking of the writing of the Declaration of Independence and war for independence)

To our founding fathers in the dawn of the birth of our nation: A statement that we as all Americans need to hear once more: From Ben Franklin.

“In the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. – Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor.

I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?

(Speaking of the writing of the Constitution)

To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: “-

From me –

The events of recent days remind us of the danger of leaving God out of our national dealings. Let each of us on our knees before God thank Him for the answer He gave to our founding fathers and humbly beseech Him to hear our prayer of confession and our desire for forgiveness and our call for His help in our moving forward as a great nation. Not for our greatness but that in our strength others might be strengthened, and through our power others might enjoy the fruit of freedom and faith in God.


Published in: on May 27, 2016 at 1:35 am  Leave a Comment  

John Had it Right

John Had It Right

John had worked for my dad all of my life.  I never remembered going to the compress that John wasn’t there.  He often worked in our yard, was around a lot, visited my father when he was sick and attended his funeral.  I had preached in his church on a special Sunday and knew that he was a very involved servant of our Lord.

When his church decided to honor him they invited me to be one of the guests and to say a few words about John.

You can imagine how I rose to the occasion, I put all the crowns I could on John and sincerely thank him for his friendship to my family and especially to my dad.

When John rose to speak he said something like, ‘I be grateful to Mr. Ivan for them nice words but he be a lot nicer to me than I be worth. Now he be right I did love Mr. Raley, but then all I ever did was what God spected (sp) me to do. I just do what be my job as a Christian.

John sure had it right.

Published in: on May 25, 2016 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Cost of Freedom

Pointe du Hoc

At 4:30 AM on June 6, 1944 225 men of the 2nd Ranger Battalion under the command of Lt. Col. James Earl Rudder made their way toward the point of land which separated Utah and Omaha beaches the two primary beaches to be assaulted by the American forces on D-Day. Due to high wind and seas the Higgins boats were off course and delayed until the element of surprise was removed from the battle. Their mission was to scale the more than 100 foot cliffs all at ninety degrees and put out of action the more than 300 Germans and the six 155 mm guns which they manned on top of the cliffs. These guns had a range of almost 15 miles and could strike both Omaha and Utah beaches as well as the ships brining the men to shore. They had to be taken.

The Higgins boats were armed with rocket launchers designed to fire the grapnels hooks to the top of the cliffs but because of the water soaked condition of the ropes many of the hooks failed to reach the top of the cliffs but the men made their assault and climbed to the top and took the Pointe. A side note that one of the Frenchmen at Pointe Du Hoch told Carole and I about when we visited in April was that the Germans did not know what the grapples were and thinking them to be some kind of bomb did not pull them loose and thus keep the Rangers from reaching the top.

The Rangers learned on reaching their destination that five of the guns had been removed and taken about a mile inland to an Apple Orchard in order to protect them from the navy shelling. The Rangers found them, and put all of the six guns out of commission and the battle.

Relief did not come for the 2nd Battalion as planned on that day and by the time it did arrived on June 8 there were only 90 of the 225 men left. Out of water and low on ammunition Lt. Col. Rudder and his men held on to their position and saved countless American lives from the German forces at the top of the Pointe. Thus the name, “The Greatest Generation”. Thank you men of the 2nd Battalion and countless others who did their best and gave their all that I might write this in a free country and send it across our world.


Published in: on May 24, 2016 at 11:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

On The Porch

I always knew that while my parents might dislike what I had done, be disappointed in my actions, and hurt by my decisions they would still always love me and long to see me.

When I lived in Waynesboro, Tennessee I use to call home and let mother know that I was coming up to visit them in Jackson. Mother said that when she would tell dad that I was coming that he would go out on our porch at 246 South Lindsey Street, sit in the swing and wait for me to come home.

She would say ‘Pop you know how Ivan is; it might be three or four hours before he gets here. He might not leave on time and he might stop a dozen times. You don’t need to sit out here and wait on him.’ Dad would say ‘I know, but I would just like to be here when he turns off of Lexington on Lindsey; I would just like to see him coming down the street.’

She would often say ‘well you could have a lot done by the time he gets here.’ But he would just smile and say ‘but I would just like to see him turning down the street.’

When I would make the turn from Lexington onto Lindsey I would see him way down the street sitting on the porch at 246 South Lindsey, looking my way waiting for me to come home. I think Jesus must be that way about us, there in glory he looks down the long road of time and says, “Ivan’s coming home, and I’ll wait to greet him.”


Published in: on May 23, 2016 at 10:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Silent Greatest Generation

The Silent Greatest Generation

All of us love to pay tribute and give honor to the more than 16,000,000 men and 640,000 women who served in our armed services in the second world war and the almost half of a million men who never came home, and we call them members of the ‘Greatest Generation’, and certainly we should for with their sacrifice they purchased for us freedom from those who would have destroyed our very way of life.

However we somehow have forgotten that remaining portion of the greatest generation, those who stayed on the home front and furnished our men and women everything they needed to win the victory.

By the day after Pearl Harbor Americans were moving toward a ‘war awareness’ that called upon all to save the items that could be used to build materials needed for victory. Farmers worked twice as hard to raise the food and even children gathered tin cans for the ‘victory drive’.

Before the war came to a finish almost 90% of the single women and 80% of the married women had worked in some way for the victory. Six million women who had never worked outside the home took those skills and learned new ones and kept our ‘boys’ supplied. “Rosie the Riveter” was joined by millions.

In that time they built 564 Destroyer Escorts, 387 Destroyers, 87 Cruisers, 9 Battleships, 87 Cruisers, 151 Air Craft Carriers, 126 Submarines and 2,751 Liberty Ships. No other nation in the entire world could have achieved such goals. With these they built 100,000 aircraft and 100,000 tanks plus millions and millions of rounds of ammunition. To put it in light neither Germany nor Japan build even one ship during that time. They never replaced a ship we sunk at the Battle of Midway.

Hitler accused his generals of lying to him when they told him they had shot down 40 planes in one night and the next night we had just as many over Germany. His generals told him that each time they shot down one, we build two more.

So stand up ‘Working People’ of America, take a bow and join your rightful place in ‘The Greatest Generation.’


Published in: on May 22, 2016 at 8:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

That Made My Day

That Made My Day

One of the nice things about being my age is you don’t have to do a lot to ‘make my day’.

For example; watching my grandson receive his degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga – that made my day. Running into a grand son and his wife, they looked great – that made my day. Seeing so many people for the Tennessee Baptist Children’s’ Home attending the graduation of one of their residence, made my day.

Eating lunch with my son and his family in a fancy restaurant, made my day – watching a grandson and his date attending the Navy Ball – made my day. Seeing him in full dress uniform receiving his completion of NAPS and his orders to the United States Naval Academy from a three star Admiral, made my day.

Eating with all of the family on a pier in Newport – made my day. Holding hands with Carole over dinner in a delightful place with a view of all the sail boats – made my day.

Having Sunday brunch with Carole, something we almost never do – made my day.

Watching another grandson walk across the stage and receive his high school diploma – made my day. Then eating dinner with all of them before driving home to Byrdstown – made my day.

Coming in the back door and having Max jump all over me saying where have you been, why did you stay so long – made my day.

Knowing that even without me our church had a glorious day – that made my day.

Walking into the shell and hearing several of them asking, ‘where have you been’ – that made my day.

Coming into the Dixie and seeing James Hill home from the hospital, first I said thank the Lord, and then thank you Dr. Mason for another miracle – really made my day.

See I told you -That Made My Day.


Published in: on May 16, 2016 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Call Me

Call Me

Call to Me, and I will . . . tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3

The teacher told us on the first day of school that if we needed help, had a question, or had a concern about his class to just come to him and he would be happy to assist us.

I never did understand why anyone failed his class; he stood on the first day and told us how to receive all the help we needed.

I think God may feel the same about us. He must surely say, “Why did you not call on Me?”

He made it so clear in His Word that He was searching for us, desired to know us, to enter into a relationship with us, and provide a way for us to be forever together.

Our world certainly has a lot of problems, we need a lot of help, we need to see moral values better, and we need to understand what right is all about.

He will provide the answer if we will but call upon Him but remember even though He stands at the door and knocks He will not open the door, the latch is on the inside and we must open the door of our heart and invite Him to enter.

We cannot last as a nation in the way we are going, we must see how serious the moral values of our land have been reduced and we must return.

If we choose not to invite Him in then who is going to win the battle, not us!


Published in: on May 15, 2016 at 10:06 pm  Comments (1)  

Nine Days

Nine Days

Today continues my special nine days of spring which began last Saturday as I attended the graduation of my grandson Blake Raley from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Blake will continue living and working in the area.

I also got to see my grandson Lt. Josh Sholly and his wife who were there for some of her friends as well as a number of people from the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home as they were attending the graduation of one of our residents. Great time great visit, everyone’ looked so young.

Today we go to Newport, RI where grandson J R Osborn IV will be graduating from the United States Naval Academy Preparatory School. He will be home a couple of weeks and then report for duty at the Naval Academy where he will begin his journey to completing his education, playing football, and becoming an officer in the Navy.

Sunday will be graduation for Isaac Vaught from high school; he plans to continue his education at David Lipscomb University in Nashville.

So a wonderful nine days for this old man, they all look so much like kids. They are kids and even their parent’s look like kids… I am in the wrong world.


Published in: on May 10, 2016 at 10:47 pm  Comments (1)  

A Pillow For Jesus

A Pillow for Jesus

Come and lay your head in my lap, come and rest awhile with me. I will be so much the stronger to know that you found me worthy of just holding your head for even a moment.

I visited in their home when I was stationed in San Diego. They were one of the few older couples in our church at Balboa Park and always invited the sailors to go home with them for lunch on Sunday.

The house was small and humble but neat and well appointed a welcomed break from the sterile environment of the Navy quarters.

I noticed this beautiful, but well worn pillow on a table in the hall and asked the lady what was the special meaning that had to be attached to a pillow in such a place of honor.

She explained that the first time she hear the scripture that Jesus had no place to lay his head that she went home and cried all night. Her mother being full of wisdom got her this pillow and told her to put it in the bed and each night as she prayed for her to close her prayer by inviting Jesus to lay his head on the beautiful pillow.

She said she knew as she grew older that it was a bit crazy but I always wanted Him to know He had a place in my heart.

WOW, what a heart.


Published in: on May 9, 2016 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Broken Nation

A Broken Nation.

My grandfather, Arthur Raley, was about six feet tall and all the time I knew him his hair was whit like snow. I asked my grandmother once why his hair was so white and she said, “Your grandfather is like Jesus, he is a really good man.”

Years later as I read this passage I realized where she got her answer from and smiled that after all of those years together she still could call him a really, really good man

Yesterday I watched as person after person praised their mothers. I did the same in my message. My family had the joy of being in that age when parents were right, when they stuck it out through hard times and when in spite of all the faults and failures they still found the best in their partners.

My mother loved my dad all of those years and he returned that love. I am sure they had their moments of conflict but they never had a moment that not being together was even a question.

Remember the rhyme from your childhood, Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall and all the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men could not put Humpty together again. We have a broken nation and the pieces are scattered most of all in our families. Until we allow our Lord to put our families together again our world will remain broken, pieces that cannot be put together by all the Kings Horses and all the Kings men, only God can put together a shattered nation and it will not start in Washington, it must start in our homes.


Published in: on May 8, 2016 at 9:05 pm  Comments (2)