Sunday, October 23, 2016

Avalon Chronicles #68: "Red, White, and Blue Night"

Avalon Chronicles #68: "Red, White, and Blue Night"

by Allen B. Clark  

     For five straight years now Linda and I have been privileged to be attendees at what unarguably is the most patriotic event staged in America to celebrate our nation and its patriots who serve in the military. SkyBall is a fund-raiser for a multitude of most worthy veteran and military causes, the most notable being Snowball Express, which is an annual gathering of the children and their surviving parent of our Killed in Action in the warfare since Sep. 11, 2001 and the Gary Sinise Foundation, which provides homes for severely wounded veterans. There are many others. A major sponsor is American Airlines in whose monstrous hanger at DFW Airport the event is held annually. Last night 3000 attendees were welcomed, seated and served by 800 volunteers, mostly American Airlines employees.The sponsoring organization is the Fort Worth Airpower Foundation, consisting of an incredible group of patriotic and public-spirited citizens of that terrific city to the west of my own Dallas. The honored group of military at last night's extravaganza was our Special Operations Command. This comprises our Army Special Forces; Navy SEALS; Air Force Commandos; Marine Force Recon units; Army Rangers; and the 160th Aviation Brigade, the "Night Stalkers." There are others to include Delta Force, but readers get the picture! Jim Palmersheim, an American Airlines Captain, is the big sparkplug and organizer of the annual event.
     Linda and I were able to meet and visit with some amazing people. We met and conversed with five Medal of Honor Recipients beginning with Navy SEAL Michael Thornton, who gifted us a copy of his newly-published book, By Honor Bound, the story of his and fellow SEAL Lt. Tom Norris' actions in Vietnam, which led to their receiving the Medal of Honor. Mike Thornton is one of the most inspiring speakers I have ever heard. We also visited with other MOH Recipients like Bruce Crandall, the valorous helicopter pilot featured in the movie, "We Were Soldiers;" Paul W. Bucha, West Point class of 1965; Roger (and Norma) Donlon, my long-time fellow Vietnam veteran, who received his MOH for actions in 1964 in the defense of Nam Dong, a Special Forces "A"camp; and Gary Littrell, who served four years as President of the Medal of Honor Society. We met the forty year long President of the Metro Washington USO, Elaine Rogers; Tig Teigen, one of the featured combatants of the fierce fighting after the Benghazi outpost attack; and Lt. Gen. John Mulholland, retiring soon from many decades of service to our nation. We were blessed to be at a table with three young Navy SEALs, one of whom is my dear friend, Ryan Parrott, who oversees a charity for burn victims, Sons of the Flag. Tim McGraw was the featured headliner entertainer and at lunch we just "happened" to cross paths with his two sisters, one of whom is Tracey Jewell, a Desert Storm Army veteran, who oversees McGraw's charity. Our dear friend, "Maggie" (and wife Carol) Megellas, ninety nine years young, was in attendance, just as lucid and alert as ever. He received a Distinguished Service Cross with the 82nd Airborne Division in Europe in WWII.
     My dear wife Linda, capsulized what is always a special event for us, "The entire event was extraordinary! It represented all that is the best of America. We had breakfast with one of the Recipients. He is strong, stable, devout, an honest American hero. I could still be there listening and talking to him. He represented all that is good about this country and the kind of person who has made it great. The whole event was filled with good people. It was wonderful, just wonderful. We were able to see many people we knew and meet many more really sterling and outstanding people.This year's SkyBall was the best yet! I teared up during the program thinking how beautiful the true spirit of America is and that we are in danger of losing all of this, the land of the free because of the brave. My parents gave many of their young years during WWII (almost five years) to protect this land from the evil of their time. I was almost five years old before my father came home. They suffered much to give us what we have as many of their generation did."
     My own personal comments are, "We are a proud and strong homeland because of the sacrifices of blood, sweat, and tears of so many of our patriots, who went to countries, whose language we did not speak, to bring them freedom and protect our own. The spiritual dimension of our great land has strengthened and sustained our history. May we never depart from the spiritual and traditional values which have been our foundation. If we do, we will go the way of every great empire in the world's history, to the ash heaps in the history books."
     President Ronald Reagan once said, "Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it, have never known it again." Last night Linda and I were amongst those of true nobility, who have fought for those freedoms to be preserved.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Avalon Chronicle #67: "Focus: Flowers or Weeds?"

Avalon Chronicles #67: "Focus: Flowers or Weeds?"

by Allen Clark       

I do not have the original sources in many cases. They have been collected through the years.

     Next to my bedside table I have a laminated card I read when I arise. The most important sentence on it is, "Do not give nourishment to the bad weeds this day!" Yesterday I thought about focusing on the flowers each day. The most beautiful flower in my life is my wife Linda. I asked her what flower she would choose to be, if she were to be one. Before she answered, "lily," I thought of the lily as being appropriate for her. She asked me how I knew that. I said, "I guess I just know you well." I asked her why she chose a lily? She said because it is graceful, simple, and beautiful. That describes my Linda!
     I have other laminated cards in the books and daily meditations I read each day. I thought I would send to you randomly some of these that have been important enough to me through the years that I would have them laminated and recollect them each day.
     "Before you arise from your bed in the morning, I have already arranged the events of your day."
     Jeremiah 29:13: (KJV) "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord:...""
     "So determine in your heart today to be loyal toward God in every word you speak."
     "Holy Spirit, use me to pray for someone today. I offer you my measure of faith."
     "No prayer is ever lost, or any prayer breathed in vain.There is no such thing as prayer unanswered or unnoticed by God, and some things we see as refusals or denials are simply delays."
Horatio Bonar. Streams in the Desert  Jul 10.
     "The very instant you wholeheartedly turn away from every symptom of discouragement and lack of trust, the blessed Holy Spirit will reawaken your faith and breathe God's divine strength into your soul. Initially you may be unaware that this is happening, but as you determine to uncompromisingly shun every attack of even the tendency toward doubt and depression, you will quickly see the powers of darkness being turned away." Streams in the Desert. April 1.
     Prov 15:1 (KJV) "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."
     Psalm 51:10 (KJV): "Create in me a clean heart, O Go; and renew a right spirit within me."
     Romans 6:12 (NIV):  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires."
     2 Corinthians 7:1 (KJV) "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."
     Romans 13:14 (KJV) "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof." Note: (LASB) Tyndale page 1987: "We also must not give our desires any opportunity to lead us into sin. Avoid those situations that open the door to gratifying sinful desires."
     "This is the distinctive mark of the born-again child of God. He is no longer a slave of sin and Satan. He is a Son of God. As such, he possesses a new authority. He no longer succumbs to temptation or opposition. He meets and overcomes these things by virtue of the new life within him."
Derek Prince.
     "In the Name of Jesus, I commit myself from this day forward to live by my faith, and to live by the love of God. Decide today to give the devil no place."