Sunday, March 16, 2014

Avalon Chronicles #26: "Our Inheritance"

Avalon Chronicles #26: "Our Inheritance"
by Allen Clark
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Psalm 19 (NIV) 1: The heavens declare the glory of God
                                          the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
                          7: The law of the Lord is perfect
                                          reviving the soul
                          8: The commands of the Lord are radiant
                                          giving light to the eyes
Colossians 1     12: thanks to the Father, who has qualified you
                                           to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

     What is your inheritance? One naturally thinks first about worldly goods. When family members die, wills grant inheritance to the beneficiaries, money, land, homes, possessions. These are material blessings. More important are the supernatural blessings, those of the soul and spirit. What is bequeathed falls into two categories, what in military terms is strategic and tactical.
     Strategic inheritance is from God, the Creator of all. We inherit, enjoy, and occupy a universe, mysterious, far-flung, and mostly unfathomable, understood only through the lenses of powerful telescopes, satellite pictures and moon missions. Closer to home is the inheritance we have for our very daily existence, this planet on which we subsist due to its abundant provision. This entire universe, but, especially our own abode, earth, is a part of the strategic inheritance of our God in Heaven Who created it all in its magnificent glory, provision, and richness.
     In the fields of earthly warfare, the generals, admirals, and politicians dictate and determine the course of the strategy against the enemy. The junior officers and senior non-commissioned officers carry it out area by area, sector by sector, geographic locale by geographic locale, village by village to prevail over the enemy.
     Forces in nature (the material) are positive or negative as are the forces in our own personal lives. In the supernatural strategic realm our Lord battles His ages long adversary, the devil, Satan, thrown from the higher spiritual reaches due to his original wrongdoing of expression of pride by the overthrowing of God's preeminence and installment of himself in God's position. From wherever they emanate, Satan has his army arrayed in an order of battle against us individually in the tactical arena. His troops are his demonic spirits, ready to pounce on us when the drawbridge in the heart of our personal castles is lowered by unforgiven sin, unforgiveness of others who hurt us, harboring of anger and bitterness, and commission of what we would call the sins of words and deeds.
     However, our Lord has bequeathed us an inheritance for our tactical challenges in the personal battlefields of our soul (our mind, emotions, and will). In the New Testament it is all there, all the ways to live in the light, a righteous, holy, and pure life of integrity full of and expressing the fruit of the Holy Spirit, love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, kindness, and faith.
     Our supernatural gift is both material in this grand earth on which we live and tactical on which we base our lives. This is our eternal inheritance. We can recognize it, receive it, and live our earthly lives in enjoyment of it so that upon our deaths we can reap the ultimate inheritance of living with God in Heaven, by, on earth, believing that God's Son, Jesus, sent to earth 2000 years ago, was Who He said He was.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Avalon Chronicles #25: "Lest We Forget"

Avalon Chronicles #25 "Lest We Forget"
by Allen Clark
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     Great Britai never forgets! The original purpose for our unforgettable visit to England in November 2013 was to participate in the Nov. 10, 2013 ceremonies in Norwich, England for Remembrance Day, Britain's national day when war deaths of their military and civilians are memorialized in country-wide events recalling the sacrifice especially of their military on far-flung foreign fields under fire.
     We were invited to be the guests of retired Air Force Colonel Chuck Walker and his wife wife Dede (Casad), our Dallas friends. Col. Walker was born at the end of WWI and he has been blessed with a long life. As mentioned previously he had been the commander of the Association of the 2nd Air Division of the 8th Air Force which flew bombing missions over Nazi Germany during WWII. Norwich is ringed by fourteen airfields from which those missions were flown. Col. Walker personally flew thirty five of those missions in his B-24 "Liberator" bomber. An incredible percentage of those bombers did not return after each sortie over Germany. He had been invited for several years to represent the Americans who served at those bases. With the utmost gratitude for the service and sacrifice of our Americans in protecting the freedom of the English during the war, Norwich under the leadership of a group of dedicated Englishmen has established a Trust that oversees in their city's Millenium Library a Memorial Library in honor of the 2nd Air Division.
     On Nov. 9th Andrew Hawker, the Vice Chairman of the Memorial Trust, toured us to Norwich places of worship. We were shown and held in our respectful arms the poppy wreath that Col. Walker would lay the next day at the city memorial in memory of the 6,881 Americans who flew from the Norwich bases and did not return. In addition 2,000 Americans became German Prisoners of War when their planes were shot down. When they did not return, their belongings in the quarters were immediately removed so as not to affect the morale of their fellow Army Air Corps members. There were 40-50 bombers with a crew of 10 each and 3000-4000 Americans at each base.
     On the evening of Nov. 9th we watched on television a magnificently touching national Remembrance Day ceremony, attended by Queen Elizabeth, in Prince Albert Hall in London. The morning of Nov. 10th dawned cool and crisp covered by a cloudy sky. On the way to the ceremony at the square in front of City Hall I happened by a group of young soldiers forming for the parade. Never one to miss an opportunity to introduce myself to strangers, I approached the leader and proudly introduced myself as an American soldier who was in Vietnam. The leader proceeded to gather his people around me and I vigorously proclaimed, "I am an American soldier and (recalling Britain's contributions as our ally in Iraq and Afghanistan) I thank you for being such loyal allies of the U.S. in the cause of freedom and peace," and then remembering that they had fought us 200 years previously in the War of 1812, I added, "except in the War of 1812." As we walked away, my host Tony Harmer, commented that the young soldiers probably did not even know what was the War of 1812!
     We viewed the parade and wreath-laying by many to include Col. Walker from the balcony of City Hall. The ceremony theme was "We will remember them." This they were doing again one year prior to the centennnial of the commencement in 1914 of the Great War (WWI). The solemn ceremony was most touching, preceded by a procession of military and veterans through a square and street lined with many citizens, young and old. Significantly, in contrast to the typically secularized ceremonies in the United States this ceremony included unabashedly Christian spiritual aspects. At exactly 11 AM after what was called the Last Post, there was a two minute period of total silence presided over by the Union Jack flag atop City Hall. Many poppy wreaths were laid, but we watched with especial interest and pride as Colonel Walker paced forward to lay his.
     The somber silence of the just ended observance in front of the Memorial, inscribed simply "Our Glorious Dead," was suddenly broken by the bark of a dog. Pigeons flew over the square reflecting in their flight the symbolism of energy again to the quietude of the setting. The smell of bread baking wafted throught he air, indicative of the aliveness of the Norwich community only decades before decimated by German bombing raids wreaking their death and destruction upon the Norwich citizenry. Afterwards we attended a very poignant and touching religious service in the Norwich Cathedral.
     A closing to Great Britain's Remembrance Day as well as our own annual Memorial Day is capsulized in  these words:
                                        When you go home
                                        Tell them of us and say
                                        For your tomorrow
                                        We gave our today

                                   WE MUST NEVER FORGET!