Why I Love America

Why I Love America

I have traveled to five continents on our globe and visited in many cities throughout these areas and never have I been to a city and met the people of a distant land where someone did not ask me if I could help them get to America. Why? It is a land of new beginnings, a land where you can dream, a land of millions of unselfish people with outstretched arms to embrace others. My land is a land of goodness, hope, joy and inspiration. Never have we fought a war where we kept the land of others, demanded payment for the price of our young men and women who have fallen in death. Always we come home leaving the land of struggle with new hope and greater dreams. I love America; it is my home, my joy and the legacy I leave to my children and theirs. Here freedom is real and dreams are always possible.

 

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Published in: on June 29, 2016 at 11:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

America

America, My Home

What is it that makes America great? I am sure that you could get a lot of answers by asking a lot of different people.  We all have our niche, that special portion of this wonderful country that makes it great in our hearts.

We certainly had a great beginning. Our founding fathers took huge risk and many of them paid with all of their wealth as well as their lives. They found themselves out numbered and out gunned, yet they won. They put their faces in the dirt and prayed that God would give His shinning approval to their work and their dreams.

We certainly had great test along the way. No one had tried a democracy like ours and those early years found us struggling but through it all and in spite of our enemies we prevailed. We fought within ourselves and watched more than a half of a million of our men die. We struggled to overcome the disaster and somehow with both sides lifting their hearts in prayer for their cause, God allowed His just cause to be victorious.

We defended our friends in great wars, watched our young men die, and put every American to work winning the battle against evil.

We walked on the moon, went to the bottom of the sea and climbed our economy until it was the great oak tree standing in the middle of the forest of nations showing others what it was like to be built on free enterprise.

We have before us our greatest challenge. Can we recover our character, remember our foundation, return to our values and realize the blessing of our Heavenly Father, founder and creator of, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

Tomorrow will be greater than today, the past will form our future, and it will be greater than our hearts dreams if we will but put our faces in the dust and call upon our founder to return us to our beginning and bless us once again.

The greatest task will be to begin on our knees and to humbly seek His face. America, my home sweet home.

Ivan

Published in: on June 29, 2016 at 12:40 am  Leave a Comment  

His Sleeping Spot

His Sleeping Spot

John got to his doctor’s appointment a few minutes early, this was not his first time here, and in fact this had come to seem like a regular stop on his journey of life these past four months.

He had seen several medical specialists, other doctors, had uncountable test run and now he was going to sit and listen to his long time physician and friend wrap it all up for him…

The staff treated John like one of the family; they kidded and teased him about coming so much they were going to name a chair after him. Shirley the doctor’s nurse called his name and led him back to the doctor’s office, not an examining room, but the office. He had been Dr. Welch’s patient for twenty years and they had long before now become good friends.

After the greeting John said, “Well what’s the verdict doc, give me the news.” The doctor put his hand on his friends shoulder and said, “How much do you want to know John?” “Everything doc, give me all of it.” Then the darkness came and time seemed to stand at attention, not moving, just silence in the ticking of the clock.

The doctor explained that it was indeed cancer and in fact it was by all of his experience and that of all the specialists he had seen, that there was little more than making him comfortable for them to do. With their knowledge and past cases of this cancer it was only a matter of time and not very much of that, maybe six months, maybe another month or two either way at the most.

“I am sorry my friend,” Dr. Welch said, “I sure have dreaded today and this conversation, but we are too close for me to do otherwise than to tell you the entire story John.” John thanked him they hugged, and then talked of what he might expect and what they could do about his pain. Since he lived alone what plans he needed to make and what choices the doctor could help him with.

The doctor let him out of the door that led directly into the hall across from the elevators. John spoke to himself inside his own soul as he rode down the six stories and walked to his car. As he drove away he said, “Well Lord you heard all of that, and I am sure you already knew, I sure am glad that we are friends and that you are going to be here to walk with me these next several months. Help me Lord to know that you are here, not to try to assign blame, to be bitter, and to leave with the same great friendship we have had over these last forty years. Going to need to be a bit closer Lord, but I know you won’t mind and when it is time Lord just touch my hand so that I will know to follow you.” Four months and six days later as John turned to find a sleeping spot in his bed he felt ‘His Hand’ and when the nurse came the next morning to check on him there he was in his sleeping spot.

Published in: on June 27, 2016 at 9:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Value of a Dad

The Value of a Dad

I have featured Fathers in my blogs this week and decided to end with some shocking statistics. These come from the Department of Justice:

90% of homeless and runaway children come from a fatherless home.

71% of school dropouts come from a fatherless home.

75% of teenagers in jail come from a fatherless home.

85% of rapists come from a fatherless home.

72% of teenage murderers come from a fatherless home.

Girls who are raised in a fatherless home are 164% more likely to become mothers outside of marriage.

Almost half of all children born today are born in a fatherless home.

‘America’ we have a problem.                                          

Dads you are more valuable than Gold.

inraley@yahoo.com

Published in: on June 23, 2016 at 11:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

How is Your Aroma?

How is Your Aroma?

And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:2

How do you smell to God? Strange question yet appropriate. When a father hugs his son after a hard fought football game, he does not smell the locker room odor, but rather the aroma of a well-played game, a battle on the field in which his son did his best.

God says walk in my love and I will be pleased with the aroma. The first thing that hit me when I walked from the airplane into the terminal was a thousand unsold, unused deodorant bottles. It did not get better when I hugged my friend Jim Allen as he waited for me after going through customs. It stayed with me the hour ride to the school but as the week progressed; homes were visited, classes taught, games played, sermons preached and heads buried in my chest as people poured out their hearts as they gave their lives to Christ; I forgot all about the unsold, unused, packages of deodorant.

Three weeks later as I walked into the terminal for my flight home the strong pungent odor of my first entrance was gone; now it was the hearts of those who came to see me leave, the tears shared, the hugs of brothers in Christ. There was Jim with a lifetime of service to our Lord, Marko, the nine year old who had adopted me as his American father, and Big Foots ball the leader of the soccer team. Not only could God smell he aroma of changed lives but my large nose picked up each of the drops of the long days, hot nights, and lives beginning again. Thanks Lord for the new nose.

Ivan

Published in: on June 22, 2016 at 11:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

What’s a Dad?

What’s a Dad?

The two officers in car 197 received the call of a silent alarm going off at the rear door of a warehouse in one of the worst sections of town, they turned into the alley stopped and called for a backup to cover the front door, when they were in place they closed in on the back door and thought they saw something move behind the trash dumpster. They placed all of their lights on the dumpster, call out that they were the police and for whoever was behind the dumpster to come out showing their hands.

Nothing happened so they approached the dumpster from different sides with their weapons draw, all they could see was a large piece of cardboard, and one officer grabbed it and the other held his weapon and light on the figure of a small boy of about seven wrapped in a dirty blanket trembling with fear.

They hosted their weapons and pulled the child from underneath the cardboard, by now he was crying and asking them not to hurt him.

One of the officers called for a female officer and social worker. As they worked to assure him that he was not in trouble and that they had come to help him one of them asked where his dad was and the boy looking very confused asked, “What’s a dad?”

Could this be what is so wrong with America – we are missing dads.

Published in: on June 21, 2016 at 10:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

With Dad

With Dad

Dad got me up real early and said that we were going to see something really great but I would have to hurry.

Tom Stewart picked us up in the compress car and we went down to this large lot that the compress owned and dad showed me the two trains that were parked on the side tracks of the railroad, one was full of people and the other animals, it was the trains of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Baily Circus, they were coming to Jackson for a one night show.

We watched as the horses and elephants pulled the carts loaded with supplies down to the lot, they helped the men spread the canvas and put up the four tall posts which would provide for the main support of the great tent.

The canvas was spread and the poles where in place and about 20 elephants surrounded the tent each holding a rope leading to the center posts and on the command of the ‘tent boss’ they began to walk away from the canvas holding the ropes and we stood there spell bound as the great ‘Big Top’ began to raise into the air.

Workers like ants moved over the lot and soon all was in place for the great one night stand of the Greatest Show on Earth. This may well have been one of their last small town one night stands, it was a once in a life time experience for me.

After we had finished our gawking at the event dad suggested that we go up to the South Royal Café and have breakfast. I think this was one of the very few times that we ate out when I was a child. He ordered me eggs and bacon, toast and orange juice and we set on the stools at the bar having a great breakfast.

Of all the events of that morning nothing was as wonderful as eating breakfast at the South Royal Café with my father that was the event of the day.

See dad, it doesn’t take a lot to impress your child; in fact the most important thing it takes is you.

Ivan

Published in: on June 20, 2016 at 10:24 pm  Comments (4)  

Families

Families

So many faces yesterday in church, so many families, so many children there to say ‘Happy Father’s Day’ to their dads. It was wonderful!

I looked across those faces and prayed for all of the men, their lives and their families. How beautiful for the children to take a moment and come to the gathering of their families in the house of God.

We are not a perfect church, we do not have a perfect pastor, and yes all of our members are not perfect either, but we do have a loving church, a caring church and families that wrap their arms around one another and share that beautiful feeling of love.

Even at my age I would have loved to put my arms around my father and said one more time, Dad I love you, thanks for all the days you invested in your children.

Even in a fallen world life is still beautiful, with all of the problems, all of the hardtacks, life is still so very beautiful.

Thank you Lord for making us families, moms and dads, so that all of us would have a warm and wonderful feeling of being wanted and loved.

Like God, our parents see us, know us, and seek to save us from all of the wrong that life often hands to us.

Thanks God, for Your plan and Your purpose. Ivan

Published in: on June 19, 2016 at 9:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Missing Dads

Missing Dads

Hallmark furnished cards for all the prisoners to send to their mothers on Mother’s day, they ran out and had to order more and more. So for Father’s day they sent plenty, one for all of the inmates, they used 14; does that tell you anything?

Our world really does need a lot more fathers who care, who share, and who seek to make a real difference in their children.

Pray for Dads, ask God to give us men who are willing to get down on their knees in order to lift their children before the Lord.

Published in: on June 16, 2016 at 11:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

I Thought

I Thought I was a Good Dad

I thought I was a good dad until I watched a man care for his son who would never walk, a son whom so very few could understand his language; then I saw the love, devotion, eternal hope, and patience more than Job which he shared with the son he held.

I thought I was a good dad until a father called and asked if I could take him to a nearby county seat to get his daughter out of jail, he would need a couple of hundred dollars, so I shared it with him. Then I watched as he embraced her and told her how worried he had been and how very glad he was that she was unharmed and now at home.

I thought I was a good husband until I saw an old man coming into the nursing home, I had seen him before so I asked the nurse who he was and why he was there. She explained that he had come to see his wife, I asked about her health, and the nurse said she does not know him nor herself, and no one else, but he still comes each day.

I thought I was a good pastor until I saw a man who had pastored a church for 41 years, they paid him almost nothing, and when he was old they asked him to leave. He left telling them how wonderful the years had been and how he loved them.

I thought I knew what love was until I saw Him, God standing there with His back to the cross as His Son asked why and he whispered back to His Son, because Ivan a little boy coming someday to live at 246 South Lindsey Street needs you.

Ivan

 

Published in: on June 16, 2016 at 12:00 am  Comments (2)