Monday, July 22, 2019

Avalon Chronicles #102: "Wounded Soldier, Healing Warrior"

Avalon Chronicles #102: "Wounded Soldier, Healing Warrior"

by Allen B. Clark

West Point class of 1963.
Assigned to Army Special Forces Vietnam 1966-1967. Recipient Silver Star, Purple Heart, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Double leg amputee from mortar shrapnel.

“Allen’s story has the potential to touch many lives. It is a message of struggle, perseverance, courage, and hope,’ noted Ross Perot in the foreword to Allen’s book, Wounded Soldier Healing Warrior. (Note: Ross Perot died this month. He was always so supportive of me in many of my endeavors. My autobiography for which he wrote the Foreword officially is out of print, but some copies are still offered on Amazon, new and used).

Personal note: I had a large print run made of the following verbiage in color print format with photos. I distribute it at my presentations and to veterans and military. If anyone desires multiple copies of the tract, let me know at email above and I will mail without charge.

Twenty-two years in active military service or in service to veterans in the Department of Veterans Affairs are a part of my life. imagine I have heard the width and breadth of military experiences; the sheer terror when under fire, the sadness for those killed beside us, the regrets of the medics because not all were saved. Also, we recall the agony of the battlefield memories, the sleepless years, the triggers of war, wives talking about the weapons close at hand and the explosive tempers. There never seems to be any real lasting relief and many suffer until their deaths, albeit with counseling, psycho-therapy, group sessions and years of pills. Each of us has our own demons. In 1968 I had my own personal brush with Post Traumatic Stress after losing both legs below the knees in a mortar attack on my Special Forces camp in Vietnam. I had been back eight months and was stressed out with fears of ever walking with artificial legs, of ability to have and raise children, and of having gainful employment upon my release from Brooke General Hospital amputee ward at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. I harbored anger and sadness.

Without sleep for four days I had to be admitted to a closed psychiatric ward for fourteen weeks in duration and required individual psychotherapy for the next five years until 1973, but, by the grace and healing power of God and the love and caring of Jesus, I have needed neither anti-depressants nor a psychiatrist since then (forty years ago as of this writing). 

There are two elements that are critical to our healingresiliency and identityOur resiliency is our ability to bounce back and recover from setbacks. We have two identities, one as a patriotic, loyal, and courageous warrior. The second, and more important, is our identity as a person of faith. My own identity is as a committed and faithful Christian. This identity is reflected in four ways: 1. We all have sinned and broken God’s laws. 2. We deserve to be punished for our sins. 3. Jesus Christ died for our sins. He paid the penalty for all the guilt and sin we have committed and provided a gift to us. 4. We can only receive this gift by personal acceptance of Jesus as Savior.

Warfare of and by itself is an ultimate case of warfare of our soul and spirit, but we have the choice of allowing our healing to proceed through our religious/spiritual maturation. However, many of us turn instead to the abuse of substances to mask our problems. We succumb to the wrong choices to self-medicate.

Ultimately our ability to be healed, if not at least being able to cope with our issues, will be based upon a spiritual healing. One of the most important things we must do is forgive ourselves and others for mistakes encountered in “the fog of war.” We cannot even have a chance for healing unless we recall the issues from our military service (and before and after) that continue to be a burden to us. We must not harbor bitterness, anger, or unforgiveness to all others whose actions impacted our lives. We all have sins in our lives besides the “stupids” we committed. Unless we ask forgiveness for our sins through confession, we will not have our decks cleared to receive God’s forgiveness and begin our opportunity for spiritual healing. In God’s word it is written, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” Matt. 6:14-15. It is assured that I want my sins forgiven.

A method I use for the healing process (suggested to me by minister Liberty Savard) is to audit three arenas of my life: unhealed hurts, unmet needs, unresolved issues. These are evident in all lives but especially those of us who have been to war. Once these are listed, then we must list in another column what it would take to heal the hurt, meet the need and resolve the issue. Then column three very simply is to pray that column two is satisfied. It is simple and can be a guide for all of us.

Jesus allowed me to be saved from my battlefield wounds to return and be able to live my life again. I now know He was there and with me through all my recovery and rehabilitation which continues even today as I seek to follow Him in all my ways. I have accepted Him as Savior, and know I live only by the grace of God. The rest of the story: not only have I grown in my faith over the years, but also in my height from 5’9” to 6’2” with new artificial legs!

My peace and hope is found in Jesus ChristJesus offers all who believe/trust in Him forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life. The Bible says,“For God loved the world so much that he gave His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Trust/believe in Christ today and receive His peace. You can tell Him through a prayer like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin, and that You rose from the dead to give me the gift of eternal life. I now trust in You as my Savior.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you...Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." Jesus. (John 14: 27).

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Avalon Chronicles # 101: "Boot Camp for Healing and Addressing Life's Stressors"

Avalon Chronicles #101: "Boot Camp for Healing and Addressing Life's Stressors"

by Allen  B. Clark

New International Version Life Application Study Bible (NIV-LASB)
Tyndale House and Zondervan (Rev. Ed. 1983).

SUMMARY:  The following is a simple five step program for getting and keeping our lives in order and balance. This methodology also establishes us in the strong and Godly spiritual condition that allows the potential of divine healing to occur as described in the previous writing.

STEP ONE: Confess all your sins of thought, word and deed (known and unknown).

"If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:9 (NIV-LASB)

STEP TWO: Forgive all others who have ever wronged or hurt you. Especially, forgive yourself for your own mistakes and errors in your past.

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."
Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV-LASB).

STEP THREE: On a sheet of paper list the following on the left column;
Unhealed Hurts
Unresolved Issues
Unmet Needs
(This is a spiritual audit taught by Liberty Savard in her book, Shattering Your Strongholds).

STEP FOUR: In column two on the same page write down what it would take to heal the hurt, resolve the issue, and meet the need.

STEP FIVE: In column three list a specific prayer to God the Father in the Name of Jesus by the Holy Spirit that the issues in column two would be answered through your specific prayers. Call down the power of Heaven to make things happen!

Avalon Chronicles #100: "Healing"

Avalon Chronicles #100: "Divine Healing"

by Allen B. Clark

Reference: Lake, John G. (1870-1935). Divine Healing: A Gift From God. CreateSpace. 2016.
Page 31.

"Oh, beloved, when you pray, something is happening in you. It is not a myth; it is the action of God. The almighty God, by the Spirit, comes into the soul, takes possession of the brain, manifests in the cortex cells, and when you will and wish (either consciously or unconsciously) the fire of God, the power of God, that life of God, that nature of God, is transmitted from the cortex cells of the brain, throbs through your nerves, down through your person, into every cell of your being, into every cell of your brain and blood and flesh and bone, into the million, five hundred thousand cells in every square inch of your skin, and they are alive with God. That is divine healing.

Men have treated the Gospel of Jesus Christ as though it were a sentiment and foolishness. Men who posed as being wise have scorned the phenomenon taking place in the Christian every day. But beloved, no dear old mother ever knelt before the throne of God and raised her heart to Heaven without demonstrating the finest process of divine wireless transmission. In these days, they are now able to transmit by wireless from six to seven thousand miles and even twelve thousand miles recently. Once again, they have been able to demonstrate that in one-tenth of a second they can transmit the first section of thought twelve thousand miles. Think of of it! There is practically no such thing as time; it is practically done instantaneously. This explains instantaneous salvation and instantaneous healing. Beloved, the very instant your soul moves with your heart cry and your nature yearns after God, it registers in the soul of Jesus Christ, and the answer comes back. So Jesus said, 'What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.' (Mark 11: 24). and 'While [ye] are yet speaking I will hear.' (Isaiah 65:24).

I said to them, 'Gentlemen, I want you to see one more thing. You go down in your hospital and bring the man who has inflammation in the shinbone. Take your instrument and attach it to his leg; leave space enough to get my hand on his leg. You can have it attached on both sides.' So when the instrument was all ready, I put my hand on that man's shin, and I prayed just like Mother Etter prays, just as you all pray. No strange prayer, but the cry of my heart to God. I said, 'God, kill the devilish disease by the power of God. Let the Spirit live in him; let it move in him.' Then I said, 'Gentlemen, what is taking place?' They replied, 'Every cell is responding.' Beloved, all there is to healing is that the life of God comes back into the part that is afflicted, and right away the blood flows, the congested cells respond, and the work is done. That is again God's divine science in healing."

The legacy of the John G. Lake Ministry is continued in the John G. Lake Ministries in Plano, Tx.

Avalon Chronicles #99: "Civility-Part 2'

Avalon Chronicles #99: "Civility-Part 2"

by Allen B. Clark

The source for this message is the same as the previous message: my 1956 pamphlet from Gonzaga Jesuit High School in Washington, D.C., Manners and the Man. The following is quoted without an edit or paraphrase from the pamphlet in total. Admittedly these precepts and teachings may be "whistling in the wind" at a time in our culture when anything goes and the standards of behavior have taken a significant downward plunge, but without guidelines and standards to live by, we are only weeds blown about by whichever way the winds whip us.

"Good morals are always good manners; bad morals can never be good manners. Christ and His Blessed Mother had perfect manners. They are your models; imitate them and you will be refined and good. Always remember that you are a child of God and an heir of Heaven, that you were made by God to know Him, love Him, and serve Him in this life, and by this means to save your soul.

Beware of bad companions; they will ruin you. In speaking of evil associates, Christ Himself said this through His apostle St. Paul: 'Evil communications corrupt good manners.' (I Cor. 15, 33). Your companions are of the wrong kind if you are less good because of your association with them. General Robert E. Lee was known to all for his good manners. May you always remember the advice which he gave his son: 'Never do a wrong thing to make a friend or keep one.'

There is nothing manly about sin; it is an act of disloyalty to Christ, an act of surrender to His enemy, the devil. Always be loyal to Our Lord and to His service. There is something manly about virtue; in fact the very word is derived from the Latin word virtus, which signifies manliness. There never was, and there never will be a substitute for goodness; you must have the real article.

To be a boy or a man after the heart of Christ, you must be clean and pure in thought, word, and deed. The clean of heart are dear to God. Of them He said, 'Oh how beautiful is the chaste generation with glory. For the memory thereof is immortal, because it is known with God and with men...It triumpheth crowned forever, winning the reward of undefiled conflict.' (Wisdom: 4; 1, 2).

Purity in Thought. Keep your mind clean, and your words and deeds will be pure. Improper magazines, pictures, 'movies,' and shows have ruined the souls of many boys through the impure thoughts which they have caused. At times improper thought will come to your mind against your will. Never entertain them or dwell upon them, but say a short prayer and turn your thoughts to other things; keep yourself busy with work and wholesome play. God condemns impurity of thought: 'Evil thoughts are an abomination to the Lord.' (Proverbs: 15, 16).

Purity in Word. Never say a word or tell a story that will stain your soul or the souls of your companions, boys or girls. There is nothing manly about a dirty story or suggestive remark; on the contrary, improper conversation marks a man as improper company for any decent boy or girl. Listen to these words of Our Lord: 'Pure words, most beautiful, shall be confirmed by Him.' (Proverbs: 15, 16). 'He that loveth cleanliness of heart, for the grace of his lips shall have the king as his friend.' (Proverbs: 22, 11). 'Be you also in all manner of conversation holy.' (I St. Peter: 1, 15).

Purity in Deed. Nothing more becomes a manly boy than purity of action. At all times and in all places, whether alone or with others, be clean of heart. Always remember that any girl in your company is in your protection. Never by the slightest word, suggestion, or action make her less modest or less good. She is a child of Mary---and so are you. Drink and 'parked automobiles' have ruined the innocent friendship of many young people. May you always prove true to the ideals that you have been taught at Gonzaga; may you always be a ' knight without reproach.' You are a sodalist of Mary, you are a knight of Christ; through frequent prayer to her, and throughout frequent, even daily, reception of Him in the Blessed Sacrament, and through your manly cooperation with grace, you will always be a worthy knight of Gonzaga, Gonzaga will be proud of you; Mary will bless you; Christ will reward you for He said: 'Blessed are the clean of heart for they shall see God.' (St. Matthew: 5, 8).

Brave and chivalrous like the knight, Sir Gareth, in Tennyson's Idylls of the King, may you live and die with his ideals:

     'Man am I grown, a man's work must I do;
                Follow the deer? Follow Christ the King;
      Live pure, speak true, right wrong, follow the King--
                 Else, wherefore born?'"

Monday, July 1, 2019

Avalon Chronicles #98: "Civility-Part One"

Avalon Chronicles #98: "Civility-Part One'

by the Honorable Allen B. Clark

It was a privilege for my ninth and tenth grades (1956-1958) to have been a high school student at a Catholic high school, Gonzaga, at Eye and North Capitol St., just a few blocks north of the U.S. Capitol bldg. in Washington, D.C. I was one of only a handful of non-Catholics in the school. It was an extraordinary educational experience and I will always be grateful with the greatest admiration for my Jesuit instructors. When we first became freshman, we all received a pamphlet from the school titled "Manners and the Man." We were an all boys school. I have kept the pamphlet all these years and just came across it again recently. It would be apropos for young ladies also. My own personal comments are bracketed.

There are chapters on good manners: in church; introductions; personal appearance; school; library; auditorium; table; restaurant; theater; miscellaneous; and most importantly, good morals. Some of the most striking, important, and relevant information include the following below noted, which will be direct quotes, admittedly without permission, but I am assuming my former school authorities will be pleased to have attention directed to some of their teachings besides academics.

"The most precious minutes in your life are those when Christ is really, truly, and substantially present in your heart in Holy Communion....Adore Him, pray to Him, talk with Him."

"Mention first the name of the person to whom you are introducing someone: 'Mrs. Smith, this is Mr. Jones.' You are introducing Mr. Jones to Mrs. Smith....Men are always introduced to women...Single men are introduced to married men...Young are introduced to older...Men always rise, if they are seated, when an introduction is made..."

"Whether fairly or not a man is often judged by his personal appearance...Your personal appearance is your identification card in the business world and your card of introduction to new friends...Your face should always be clean-shaven." [Obviously facial hair should be neatly trimmed]. "Do not appear in public in slovenly dress."

"A truly educated person has good manners. Your knowledge will benefit you very little in the business and social world if you are without good manners...Boorish people are shunned by others: selfish people are disliked...refinement makes a man of strong character...The strongest character and the greatest refinement were found in Christ...Learn to profit by your mistakes...If you think there has been some misunderstanding in your regard, do not raise the issue in the class room; see the teacher after class and then courteously talk to him." [A tenet of leadership and interpersonal relationships is to praise in public and admonish in private].

"The boy who has cultivated a taste for good books has possession of a habit that will bring him untold pleasure in later years. Don't read trash. It is a waste of time to read cheap and vulgar magazines and books; it is dangerous; and in some cases may be sinful. Keep your mind clean and pure." [In today's world there are even more arenas in which one may indulge in areas in the internet especially that are definitely demeaning, vulgar, and sinful by God's standards].

'Dining is a fine art. To dine graciously is a mark of distinction...The well-bred man by his ease and grace will give the impression that the actual eating of food is a matter of secondary consideration."

"Grace should be said in every Catholic home before all meals...The hostess is the first to start eating...In general at a formal course dinner, you use the silver, beginning withe farthest from your plate and working in. Never, never pass any comment on the food...(except) a (short) complimentary word....Chew with your lips closed...Never use a toothpick in public....Never speak with food in your mouth...In all things or anywhere be the man of manners. If you are, you will always be a welcome guest and long remembered as a man of culture and refinement."

"Always be respectful to your elders. Any person is lacking in good manners who has not the proper respect for age.... Maintain the greatest respect for and love of your country. When the national anthem is played or when the flag passes by, stand at attention with your head uncovered." [And your hand over your heart].

"A woman precedes a man on entering an automobile, a street car, or train; the man leaves first and assists a woman to alight...Never discuss private family affairs even with your best friends...[especially where anyone nearby can overhear you]....Always answer correspondence promptly, whether it is business or social correspondence...If you have been an overnight guest in some friend's home, you should write a note of thanks."

[ Always send a written or email note with gratitude for being a guest at a meal, upon receiving advice or feedback, or receiving any item worthy of a courteous response. Cancel engagements with as much advance notice as possible. If it is obligatory that a negative message or letter is to be sent, wait at least overnight to be certain it is merited].

In this age and time of incredible incivility and ill manners, especially in our media, public life, especially in the political arena, and in our daily expressions of conduct in actions and words, good and high-minded behavior and discourse will always serve one well in daily life. One's good manners will always set one above the level of the common and mundane in society. Graciousness will always be appreciated and be a worthy attribute.

Pray daily that one would be bound to the character and attributes of God: Righteousness, Holiness, Integrity, and Purity.