Friday, June 1, 2018

Avalon Chronicles #89: Daily Discipline I

Avalon Chronicles #89: Daily Discipline I

allenbclark@aol.com

www.combatfaith.com     www.combatfaith.blogspot.com

Reference: God's Generals the Revivalists by Roberts Liardon Whitaker House 2008

Liardon's book has a short biography of several men of God, one being John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church. He made faith in Jesus relevant to the common people. He "...pursue(d) a doctrine of complete consecration and holiness in every area of life,..." (35). This pursuit of holiness focused on a legalistic approach to "rules and moral guidelines," but had to get to the point that he understood "being made truly holy came only through the acceptance of what Christ had accomplished on the cross." (35). Early in his life he had to come to the understanding that it was not works, but by "receiving the gift of God's saving grace by faith." (36). The key breakthrough occurred when a Moravian minister convicted him of the understanding that Jesus Christ saved him specifically and individually. The Moravians gave to him and his brother Charles the understanding of the new birth, with the message of John 3:16 "...that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." For us all, that decision gets us into eternal life. (54). He went forward and at the writing of Liardon's book there were seventy million Methodists worldwide due to the conviction, service, and commitment of one man.

His lay preachers were to ask the following questions of class members they oversaw: (Presumably they were not to answer verbally!) It was an audit of personal behavior. Good works and behavior follows acceptance of faith in Jesus.

1) What known sins have you committed?
2) What temptations have you overcome?
3) How did God deliver you?
4) What have you thought, said, or done that might be sinful?

The above is a most worthy daily exercise for us all. The following scriptures are an example of a guideline for Daily Discipline so that they answers to the above could be mild and benign.

King James Version

Psalm 51: 10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."

Romans 13:14: "But, put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."

2 Corinthians 10:5: "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"

If we stay cleansed, then we know the following can be achieved, especially each day in big and small needs, with which we need help. When something is troubling us, stop, and ask our Lord how to proceed. Try it, it works!

1 John 3:22: "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight."



Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Avalon Chronicles #88: "Old Soldiers, Young Stories"

by Allen B. Clark

allenbclark@aol.com

www.combatfaith.com

www.combatfaith.blogspot.com

After my 50th reunion at West Point, I pondered whether I would attend my 55th. This past weekend I did for a very emotional trip down memory lane. My 1963 class at West Point graduated 504 cadets, 134 have passed on, therefore we have 370 remaining. Approximately 100 attended this 55th celebration at our Alma Mater plus spouses, children, and even an adorable 5 year old grandchild, Cora. Our name tags had our cadet pictures. Nice touch and most helpful!

It was incredible! My class of 1963 can be defined as a "war class." The vast majority of us served in Vietnam as junior officers, lieutenants and captains, with 20 of us killed in Vietnam. At least one war widow attended plus several more of those married to classmates deceased in recent years. Our reunion included attendance by one very special person, a daughter, Christine, who came with her son, Ryan. She never knew her father, who was killed in action. This was her second to attend and throughout our days she was busily engaged, constantly visiting her father's friends and receiving many warm embraces. Our war deaths left about 20 children, who never knew their fathers. The twin sons of a company-mate of mine attended and both Linda and I spent some time with these two terrific guys, sons of proud parents. In a culture with high divorce rates it was heartening that the other four of my company-mates attending are married to the same women they dated as cadets!

Our final ranks as general officers, successful businessmen, or decorated combat warriors made no difference to any of us. We are all mellowed out. Some walked very haltingly, some were in wheelchairs, some talked about illnesses and injuries, some from our common war, but, we were all bound together in the commonality of our long ago cadet days and times at war, when we were young. Many of us produced sons and daughters and even grandchildren, who joined the "family business," our nation's military.

We have lost 30 since our 50th reunion. Our first event was the Memorial Service for our departed classmates, held in our magnificent Cadet Chapel, rising majestically high on the hillside above the cadet area. This was followed by many of us walking amongst the grave sites in the West Point Cemetery, where our classmates and friends are in their final places of eternal rest. Our last day at the Academy was, as always, very poignant and emotional. We stood in two ranks on the parade field, marched on by ourselves innumerable times as cadets, while our current Corps of Cadets passed in front of us, literally feet away. There were murmurings about how "young" they looked. One can but imagine in our graduation year of 1963, when the class of 1908 watched us at their 55th, and probably made the same observation about how "young" we looked.

The class of 1908 graduated 108 cadets. Their 55th would have been sparsely attended, but, just as our "young" stories were of the Delta, Cu Chi, Parrot's Beak, Dak To, Ashau Valley, and Tet '68, theirs would have been of the Punitive Expedition to Mexico under General Pershing chasing Pancho Villa, the Moro Expedition to the Philippines, the trenches of Europe in WWI with the Expeditionary Force, Meuse-Argonne, Soissons, China, and Siberia. Some of them served in World War II. Our training camp at West Point is Camp Buckner, named after one of their grads as well as Hickam Air Force Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, also a namesake of a class member of 1908.

When I boarded the bus after lunch in our massive dining hall, where we ate beneath the time-honored mural of past military history, I scanned across to Trophy Point and Battle Monument, dedicated to the 2,230 Regular Army officers and soldiers, who died for the Union in the Civil War. Amidst captured cannon from the Revolutionary War to the Spanish-American War, there are links of the original chain laid across the Hudson River to deny passage up the Hudson River to the British in our American Revolution, so they could not separate our colonies. Many memories flashed through my mind of when we were young, but I exulted in the current reflections of my fellow "old soldiers" and classmates and wondered, if I would be able to attend the 60th. My Lord willing, I will walk again the sacred grounds of this bastion of our nation, knowing that I was a proud soldier of the United States of America, bloodied in war, but, a soldier, who did my Duty as I was called to fulfill it for my personal Honor in service to my Country.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Avalon Chronicles #87: "Words"

Avalon Chronicles #87: "Words"

By Allen B. Clark

allenbclark@aol.com

www.combatfaith.com

www.combatfaith.blogspot.com

Throughout our lives words have had incredibly significant meanings and impact. We have been inspired by words spoken to us personally, words from pulpits, words sometimes even from political rhetoric, words we read, and words we hear from movies and television. But, the most memorable words have been those spoken to us or those we have spoken to others, sometimes in anger or bitterness. Some have lifted us up and, unfortunately, we recollect most vividly those that hurt us.

In our conversation today my dear wife Linda recalled at this exact time in 1994 when her husband, Jack Frost, was in the final days of his life., which ended on New Year's Eve 1994. He was visited by his minister, who suggested to him that in these final days of his life, that he tell Linda all the positive things he remembered and appreciated about her. That he did and Linda has kept those words close to her heart all these many years. We need not await our final days to accomplish this.

We probably recollect all the negative and cutting words spoken to us moreso than the positive ones. The negative and cutting ones stick with us and deeply affect us. We find it very challenging to forgive those, who spoke them, and we neglect speaking the positive ones to those, who mean something to us.

Many of us will be with family over the Advent season. This may be the special time to relate to those we love all the positive attributes and uplifting experiences we have shared. Also, it is a good time to express regrets and ask for forgiveness of those we have hurt.

Some relevant scriptures in the King James Version by Tyndale House in their Life Application Study Bible:

Matthew 24:35 in the words of Jesus, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Neither will ours!

James 3:6, "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell."

Footnote: "A few words spoken in anger can destroy a relationship that took years to build. Before you speak, remember that words are like fire-you can neither control nor reverse the damage they can do."

This a poem written by Linda.

ARE YOU SURE?

Are you sure you really want to say this to me?
Have you thought it over carefully?
Once your words have fallen on my ears,
I may carry their pain for years.

Are you sure? Are you sure?

Words pierce my heart like no other can.
Words are the greatest weapon known to man.

Beyond the grave, the echo of words remain;
They kill life or cause it to renew again.

Are you sure? Are you sure?

Will the cost to me be too great?
These words that you contemplate,
Tossing carelessly into my life
Bringing into my heart this strife.

Please reconsider your thoughts,
Perhaps some kindness can be brought.

Rather than pain, some encouragement
To give some vision to which I might aspire;
For virtue, set my heart ablaze with desire.

Help me lift from earth's weary realm,
With eagle's wings into the light.

Help me set my life aright
But don't bring into my heart the night.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Avalon Chronicles #86: "Massacre and Veterans-Part 2"

Avalon Chronicles #86: "Massacre and Veterans-Part 2"

by Allen B. Clark  

allenbclark@aol.com

www.combatfaith.com

www.combatfaith.blogspot.com

It is time to get down to the core issue and the incident of pure evil of the Texas church shooter. My good friend and fellow veteran, Everett Cox, is the founder of Deliverance Ministry in Oklahoma City, where on Mondays he conducts training on deliverance, and individuals from all over the country travel to receive ministry by him and his team. His web site is www.delmin.org. He has been a guest in my home twice. At my age and at this stage of the final quarter of a life for which I am most grateful, especially after witnessing the horrors of my war in Vietnam and the atrocious events of death and suffering all over our country and the world, it is time to go past timidity and "political correctness." I believe decisively and unequivocally in strategic spiritual warfare, "demonization," and spiritual attacks on all us humans by the "tormenters" doing the bidding and orders of Satan. I will return to Cox's response to this massacre.

My dear readers, we are way beyond "touchy feely" and attempting to analyze wrongdoing by man's secular standards, environmental explanations, and conditions by skating around issues that have impacted all humanity since the fall in the Garden of Eden.

It has been my privilege in past years to have been a guest of chaplains serving the Warrior Transition Battalions of our ill and wounded military. I have sometimes been cautioned in my presentations about relating my own walk of healing from my wounds to refrain from direct proselyting of my Christian faith. It is agonizing for me not to tell the truth and the whole truth. So, this is how I approach the issue. I say, "I know there are in the audience Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, atheists, and Christians. If you desire healing, utilize whatever is your own faith methodology for your healing. As for me, it is my Christian faith that accomplished my healing from the body, soul, and spirit of agonies I faced."

In my Christian faith I recognize first and foremost the strategic war in the heavens above between God and Satan. I recognize that demonic spirits, the soldiers of Satan, have the assignment and authority at the tactical (personal level) to work us over to keep us separated from living a Godly life. These are the "tormenters" in our lives, who are allowed by God the authority to work us over if we have unconfessed sin and any lack of forgiveness. One of my favorite ministers is Derek Prince (now deceased). He was a prominent teacher worldwide and wrote prolifically. I have read twice his book titled They Shall Expel Demons. He wrote, "Demons continually seek to invade a person, but when the person is healthy spiritually, the spiritual 'immune system' within the person identifies and attacks the demons, and they are not able to move in and take control. Any kind of unhealthiness or emotional weakness, on the other hand, makes a person vulnerable to demonic attack."

I will say unarguably that all wrongdoing or instability in our lives is not necessarily due to sin, but can result from faulty choices. Also, all mental disturbances are not reflective of sin or demonic influence. Obviously, man's science through pharmacology must be utilized to heal or contain certain emotional and mental conditions.

In 2 Corinthians 7:1 (KJV) it is written, "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." In the Perry Stone New Testament KJV Hebraic Prophetic Study Bible his commentary on this passage is: "Sin affects the flesh and spirit, and it is manifested in our attitudes and actions. Some of the sins of the flesh are adultery, fornication, murder, stealing and so forth; but sins that corrupt the spirit are envy, jealousy, bitterness, unforgiveness, strife, and unbelief. Sins of the spirit affect our thinking, work against the mind, and defile a person's spirit. Fleshly sins are often visible, but sins of the spirit are internal and may not be seen, yet they are just as destructive." The shooter in Texas embodied many of the above characteristics.

Now, back to my friend Everett Cox and his conclusion on the church murderer. He says, "The only answer to this is he was demonized. Even President Trump says this was an 'evil act.' And more than likely in the '10% Group' as we call it where the demon (s) are in total control. We have had several cases lately of when the demons were manifesting, the person later had to be told what happened. No person in their right mind could go in and start shooting even children. Demons are the only answer. That being the case, we do have authority to shut demons down if we will use it. (Luke 10:19). Quite likely this was a demon of murder manifesting. I heard of a situation recently of where a man with a gun came in to a convenience store, the Christian clerk said, 'In Jesus' Name ...GO.' The man left even leaving his gun on the counter." Being disabled I have always reminded myself that this spiritual technique must be my weapon, if ever confronted by a bad guy.

For all of us, for ourselves, and in analysis of worldly evil and misdoings by ourselves and others, this is my conclusion. Evil or instability may have a medical basis that requires psychotherapy and pharmacology, but with the Christian spiritual dimension then especially necessary. It may require our own reflection and audit requiring our own confession of sin and imparting of forgiveness. But, it may require what is utilized by Catholics and formally exercised through exorcism or through a deliverance ministry such as that directed by my friend Cox. It is time in our lives to grasp the totality of mental illness, depravity, and sin in our own lives and in the world to grasp and take hold of these various means of addressing the issues. We veterans especially need these techniques for our healing.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Avalon Chronicles #85: "Massacre and Veterans-Part 1"

Avalon Chronicles #85: "Massacre and Veterans-Part 1"

by Allen B. Clark

www.combatfaith.com

www.combatfaith.blogspot.com

allenbclark@aol.com

When the first reports came in about the massacre at the small church in a tiny town near San Antonio, I was numbed, devastated, and tearful. At 75 these emotions come over me more often in today's world. I had just returned from my own worship service and I pictured a group of faithful Christians in a rural Texas town worshiping our Lord, when someone entered and shot and killed 26 of them and wounded 20 more.

Information trickled in over the past two days about the murderer who is: from New Braunfels; a former Air Force member; apparently a legal purchaser of three weapons (for which the Air Force is possibly responsible by omission from reporting criminal charges it is stated he faced while on active duty); and in a dispute with a relative by marriage, who lived in the community.

Someone commented to me that as a "veteran" he should have had counseling. If he committed a crime while on active duty, he would not have been honorably discharged and therefore would not have been eligible for veteran benefits, ie: no counseling, which at any rate would have primarily involved extensive medications as it does for all of us in VA therapy. If he had been placed in a mental institution from which another report indicated he escaped, he was supposedly mentally impaired.

Veterandom with its sometime attendant impairment of body, soul, and spirit, is a condition of which I have had extensive personal experience. Allow me to relate again my Army and Veterans Affairs background and my and other's healing process from our military experiences in wartime and other challenges of life. My Army psychiatrist treated me with antidepressants and "therapy" only of a secular nature. There was no "spiritual/religious" therapy as I later recognized was critical and essential to my healing from a distinctive spiritual Christian perspective. After my medical retirement from the Army due to wounds in Vietnam, necessitating the amputation of both my limbs below the knee, I continued to be treated by civilian psychiatrists until about 1975. Since then I have required no psychiatric therapy nor drugs, purely because I got my faith act together and Jesus healed me. Fast forward to the late 1990s when I was employed at the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center. I attempted a personal outreach to the Mental Health section to inquire about meeting with their patients to relate my healing journey from my spiritual walk. I was refused, as I was also refused by the top medical center chaplain when I offered my service to him. He said I would need to be ordained to visit with patients. I was too old for that. I inquired as to whether one of his ordained staff chaplains could accompany me in any gatherings I might conduct to satisfy this understandable policy. Without inquiring for any volunteers from his staff, he categorically and immediately proclaimed that none of his chaplains could be a part of my outreach offer. As an aside, one of my veterans friends, a Marine combat veteran from Khesanh in Vietnam, who was also in the meeting, told me later he was ready to come across the table to punch that chaplain. Righteous indignation perhaps? Obviously, there is no "religious" element to the healing process of our military and veteran patients through the medical systems established to treat us.

A very close and valued friend of mine is a retired psychiatrist with experience in both Army and veteran mental health environments. He was officially denied the opportunity to impart any Christian element to his therapeutic endeavors. The deck is stacked against us to heal from our traumas derived from our challenges and pressures of military service and all the ancillary issues of family, finances, and anger management.

Stay tuned for Part 2 to follow. Part 1 indicates the challenge. Part 2 will portray what I perceive to address the solution, psychotherapy, deliverance, or spiritual.
   

Monday, August 21, 2017

Avalon Chronicles #84: "Divine Encounters-Part Two"

Avalon Chronicles #84: "Divine Encounters-Part Two"

by Allen B. Clark

allenbclark@aol.com

www.combatfaith.com

www.combatfaith.blogspot.com

The most "divine" and auspicious of all our multitude of "Divine Encounters" occurred in the village of St. Margaret's-at-Cliffe, three miles from Dover, which is situated only nineteen miles from the French coast across the English Channel. This is the shortest distance to France across the Channel. The village literally sits on the high ground above the iconic landmark of the "White Cliffs of Dover."
(We learned that in late May and early June 1940 Dover and the surrounding coastal locations were where more than 800 small fishing and pleasure vessels departed to cross the channel along with Royal Navy ships to to accomplish the epic evacuation back to England of 338,226 Allied soldiers, who had been pinned down at Dunkirk, France after the lightning attack of the Germans across northern Europe. The allied troops had been pinned down and surrounded at Dunkirk. I have already seen the new movie "Dunkirk." It is very graphic in violence so be forewarned, but it was timely for me after my return from the English coast."

Upon checking in to our hotel we decided to walk around the quaint old village we visited. It was August 9th, one day before the second anniversary from 2015 of the untimely and sudden death of Linda's only child, Vincent. It was anticipated by us both that August 10th would be very emotional for Linda. But, on its eve in that ancient village, the Lord provided and exceptional, poignant, and memorable "Divine Encounter" that was very healing for Linda.

Across the road from our lodging there loomed on the high ground, covered from the road by many trees, foliage, and vines, a large granite structure, dwarfing all the village buildings. We saw a sign that indicated it was the Anglican Church of St. Margaret of Antioch. We walked though its cemetery, populated by old tombstones. The church itself was locked, but the notice indicated the key could be obtained just down the road at a village store. We decided to obtain the key later in the day. After supper we decided to walk to obtain the key and observed a woman entering the grounds. We asked her if the church would now be open for us to visit. She said yes and we would be welcome as the choir was there for their weekly choir practice. We followed her with much gratitude. Linda proceeded to kneel and pray inside and I, as is typical for me on visits to English churches, sought out the ever-present memorial plaques to the military service deaths of the congregants of that church. In this church there were thirty one names from World War I and ten names for World War II. (The casualty list for World War I bore out what a worshipper told us in Brighton when we attended a service at its Anglican St. Nicholas Church. He said in some villages after World War I all the young men were killed in combat leaving the locale bereft of any young males. This obviously was the case here.) After a few minutes the choir director asked us to join the choir in the practice and sing with them!

We joined the choir for only one hymn, which they had been rehearsing. It was "Be Still For the Presence of the Lord." It is a beautiful hymn! Before we joined them in the singing, I stood at the back of the fifteen or so members and was touched as the joy of the Lord was evidenced in the choir members as they sang. They reflected such warmth and peace and contentment. I was touched emotionally to the point of tears. There are numerous renditions on You Tube, but I am especially drawn to the one dated 6/20/14 , a Christian Music Programme.

 A partial recounting of some the words include: "We stand on holy ground Be still for the presence of the Lord The Holy One is here. Be still for the power of the Lord is moving in this place. No work too hard for Him In faith receive from Him."

I was blessed to have the opportunity to say a few words to the choir and introduced ourselves as Anglicans from Texas. I announced we were decided  Anglophiles and had been met on our trip with much warmth from the English people with whom we had been in contact. As we departed one of the men hugged and embraced Linda. It was an incredibly amazing experience to help Linda face the emotion of the next day. We consider it the highlight of our entire visit to England.

Our Lord blessed us immeasurably throughout our visit. In faith we received from Him blessings and the knowledge that He can answer all prayers and no work on our behalf is too hard for Him. It is up to us to ask Him to perform the work. We just pray and step back. He fulfilled the "Divine Encounters" for which we prayed! Since our return I have listened and watched several renditions of this hymn on You Tube. Never do I cease to be touched. Perhaps you too will be?


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Avalon Chronicles #83: "Divine Encounters-Part One"

Avalon Chronicles #83: "Divine Encounters-Part One"

by Allen B. Clark

allenbclark@aol.com

www.combatfaith.com

www.combatfaith.blogspot.com

Linda and I recently returned from a seven day voyage on the Queen Mary 2 from New York City to Southhampton, England with further travels by rail to Portsmouth, Winchester, Brighton, Dover, Canterbury, and London. We always begin our travels with a prayer for "Divine Encounters." It is my hope that the following account of the "Divine Encounters" we experienced on this trip will be  a source of inspiration as to how our dear Lord answers all prayers, big and small.

The Queen Mary 2 announces for each day's schedule the time and location for gatherings of affinity groups. We attended the one for "Christians" our first day on the Atlantic. At this gathering we became acquainted with a pastor and his wife. He is involved with an international prayer ministry in the spiritual warfare arena. His wife teaches drama at a Christian high school. Linda has offered up prayers that there would be opportunities for younger women to take on the mantle of presenting the programs she has dramatized for twenty years of Women of the Bible (http://voices.name). The pastor's wife is eager to introduce Linda's scripts to her drama classes.

On the Sunday of the voyage an Anglican priest (passenger also) conducted an Anglican eucharist service which Linda and I attended. It went past the time at which a ship's non-denominational worship service was to begin. Attending late I went to the back of the auditorium and seated myself with some difficulty on a chair where my legs would be comfortable. There was only one other attendee in that section. Noting I did not have a program, she offered hers and went to obtain another one. The ending hymn was "Eternal Father, Strong to Save" with its prayer for protection "For those in peril on the sea." Most important through the centuries for all who sailed the "mighty oceans." Having observed my disability as I took my seat when I arrived, she approached me at the end of the service to inquire about my disability. As the conversation developed I learned she had been a British Royal Navy nurse assigned to a civilian ship converted to a hospital ship in Gibraltar. It sailed from Gibraltar in deployment to the Falkland Islands (east of Argentina) in 1982 when Argentina had invaded the Falklands and the British went to war over the incident. She served in the ship's operating room for the surgery of the war wounded amputees! Obviously we had much in common and met later twice with Linda to discuss her maiden name, Pugh, which was the maiden name of Linda's mother. She filled Linda in on much of the Pugh family history in Wales and England. Nicci Pugh is the author of White Ship-Red Crosses, the documenting of the Falklands War and its casualties.

In one of our destinations we enjoyed a delightful lunch after which the co-owner, an Englishman, whose family had been originally from Iran came to our table and a thirty minute conversation ensued. He said his deceased father had been a most generous gentleman, who provided much help to those in need. After the Iranian revolution of 1979 his mother returned to Iran and barely made it back to England safely due to a threat on her life. He said she took off her scarf she had always worn and threw it away never to wear it again. He related that the vast majority of Iranians/Persians do not support the mullahs in control of the country and said he wished our president would lift up the Iranian people for support in contrast to the leaders, believing this support might prove helpful for the people to rise up and overthrow the dictatorship. When we finished the conversation, he hugged us both! Very warm-hearted gentleman. We prayed for the success of his entrepreneurial endeavors. He offered us a drink on the house, but we declined since we do not drink any alcohol.

On the tour in England we worshipped at services in three cathedrals, Winchester, Canterbury, and St. Paul's. At Winchester Cathedral during the service I was in awe of the physical majesty of the edifice, but more importantly, my heart was filled with the overwhelming emotion that I was in worship in a place wherein my fellow Christians had been worshipping for over 1000 years.

At Brighton I read a Christian history of the town and discovered it was on a Brighton beach that Hudson Taylor received his inspiration to begin his China Inland Mission that has borne so much fruit in the propagation of our faith in that country.

At Canterbury we took a river ride on a small boat such as we know from Venice. On this one our boatman "punted" with a pole that propelled us through the shallow river meandering through the ancient city, originally visited by St. Augustine to introduce the Christian faith to England. He spoke about having been raised a Christian, but he did not worship today. He was still smarting from an experience in his youth when dissension in his church caused a split. I took this opportunity to define by being a Christian it was not necessary to attend public worship, nor adhere to legalism, but rather, in believing that Jesus is the Savior, Who gifts us eternal life, when we accept his purpose in coming to earth and dying on that Calvary cross. It was a simple rendition of our Gospel truth.

When we were at the Atlanta airport ready for the final flight home, we were at the location where I asked for a wheelchair to navigate security more comfortably and obtain transport to our gate. We observed a young man, who walked as I do, very haltingly as a double leg amputee also. He said he lost his legs in a train accident. He was at least half my age. Linda spent some time talking to him and gave encouragement to him in navigating his future life by pointing out the example of the richness of my life after fifty years as an amputee. I must declare that much of my richness is due to the blessings of my life companion, my dear spouse Linda.

Stay tuned for Part Two.