Posted on: July 27, 2010 9:54 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2010 10:32 am

A Tribute To My Fallen Comrades

I subscribe to the Army Times, a weekly newspaper for soldiers.  In every edition, they post the names of the men and women who have been killed the previous week in support of Operations Iraqi, and Enduring Freedom.  I would like to start paying tribute to these men and women given the last full measure of devotion to their buddies, and their country.  My prayers go out to the families of these brave Americans.  May God be with them in their time of distress.

23 July-29 July

Afghanistan:  11 killed  139 wounded
Iraq:  1 killed  9 wounded

In Afghanistan:

Marine Lance Corporal Abram L. Howard, 21, Williamsport, PA.
Army Specialist Joseph A. Bauer, 27, Cincinnati, OH.
Army Private First Class Andrew L Hand, 25, Enterprise, AL.
Army Sergeant Daniel Lim, 23, Cypress, CA.
Army Staff Sergeant Conrad A. Mora, 24, San Diego, CA.
Marine Lance Corporal Frederick E. Vazquez, 20, Melrose Park, IL.
Navy Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Justin McNeley, 30, Wheatridge, CO.
Navy Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Jerod Newlove, 25, Renton, WA.
Army Private First Class James J Oquin, 20, El Paso, TX.
Marine Lieutenant Colonel Mario D. Carazo, 41, Springfield, OH.
Marine Major James M Weis, 37, Toms River, NJ.

In Iraq:

Army 1st Lieutenant Michael L. Runyan, 24, Newark OH.

Rest in peace my fellow comrades.
Category: General
Posted on: January 21, 2010 11:32 pm

Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with Grace in your hearts to the Lord."  Colossians 3:16

Music is a very important part of worship, and so I thought it would be cool to give you a spiritully uplifting song every day.  (at least that's the plan)  I truly hope it will serve as a source of encouragement for all of you.  Please, no debates.  That's not what this blog is for.  Anyway, I thought I would start with one of my favorites.

My Savior's love

Charles Gabriel

I stand amazed in the presence
of Jesus the Nazarene,
and wonder how he could love me
a sinner condemned unclean.

For me it was in the garden
He prayed not my will but thine,
He shed no tears for His own grief
but sweat drops of blood for mine.

He took my sins and my sorrows 
and made them His very own
He bore the burden to Calvary
an suffered and died alone.

When with the ransomed in Glory
His face I at last shall see
t'will be my theme through the ages
to sing of His love for me!

Oh how marvelous!  Oh how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
Oh how marelous!  Oh how wonderful!
Is my Savior's love for me!

Category: General
Posted on: April 11, 2009 12:25 am
Edited on: April 11, 2009 7:54 am

"Amazing Grace" indeed!

 I am putting this in my blog, so anyone who wants to read it can, and those who don't wish to read it don't have to.


I am here to tell you of the Wonderful Grace of Jesus, which has only recently been revealed to me.  First, I will give you a brief introduction of myself, then I will go into my testimony of how I was saved, and lastly, (but most importantly) I will tell you of how marvelous my Lords saving grace is.  If you do not want to hear of Jesus Christ, and his ultimate love for sinners, then you can leave now, but I urge you to read this anyway, because I want everyone to hear and know that the Lord shall save all who ask.  (Mat. 7:7)

My name is David Kimball.  I was born in 1986 in Oklahoma City, and was the second of my parents six children.  My parents were devout Christians, and from an early age, I was taught that I was a sinner, and had no good in me.  (Rom. 3:23)  They took me to church on Sundays in the morning and evening, and also on Wednesday nights, so since before I can even remember, God, and spiritual things had a great influence on my life.  When I was 14, I was monitored for about a year for testicular cancer, and like many had a "religious experience" because I was afraid of going to hell.  I took comfort from Romans 8, but especially verse 28.  "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.  To them who are the called according to His purpose."  (Rom. 8:28 kjv)  I soon realized that I had never repented of my sins, but I was too proud to do or say anything, so I convinced myself that I was alright.  I eventually began drifting further and further away, because my conviction grew stronger, and the stronger my conviction grew, the harder I tried to deny that I was not saved, and the more prideful I became because I did not want to admit that I was a fake to myself or anyone else.  During high school, I became a real military history fanatic.  I loved to read personal accounts of combat experiences, and quickly became amazed at some of the stories of men who would act without hesitation to save one or more of his buddies, even when they knew that they would die themselves.  Logically, I made the connection between that, and Jesus Christ's death on the cross, but it really meant nothing to me.  Certainly not as much as the men who willingly gave their lives for their friends.  After I graduated, I felt that I needed to show my gratitude to these young men by joining the Army National Guard.  (because by that time, my father was in very poor health, and I wanted to stay close for my mother should anything happen to dad)  My dad was in the late stages of hepatitis C, and there were many issues that divided our family from dad's parents and siblings.  One side believed one measure should be taken concerning dad, and the other thought that another course of action was best.  Since both sides believed they knew best, neither side relented until finally it was too late.  My father went home to be with the Lord on Dec 14, 2006, leaving both sides devastated, and the situation completely beyond resolve.  As the months passed, I began to hate the very verse that had given me so much comfort when I was 14.  It got worse from there as began to question everything I had ever been taught.  Soon I was treading on very dangerous ground by angrily demanding that God show me how my family was better off now, and that He tell me why in the (blank) He let all man fall into sin because the sin of one man (Adam)  But then, God began showing me how wicked and sinful I was for not believing Him.  The Holy Spirit really hit me hard with just how awful my sin was in the face of God, and how my life was in his hand, to save me, or cut me off forever.  I became very depressed, thinking that there was no hope for me.  I even considered taking my own life at one point.  I cried to The Lord for mercy, and suddenly, he led me to a man and his wife who had recently suffered great loss, and yet gave thanks to God for his mercy and loving kindness.  They showed me faith that I had never seen before.  I knew a lot of scripture, since I had been raised in a Christian home and immediately thought of Romans 4:3.  "And Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness."  (Rom 4:3b kjv)  I knew at once that the Lord had heard my cry, and had showed me an example of the saving faith that this couple possessed.  A week later, I got a call from a family friend, who told me that he would like to meet me for breakfast sometime.  I agreed to meet him that Saturday morning.  When we met, he told me plainly, that he didn't know why, but that the Lord had placed me on his heart.  I was astounded that the Lord would put me on the heart of someone who I had not spoken to for sometime.  I knew for certain, that the Lord was working in me, seeing that He had brought my need of Him to these people who I had not even asked that they would pray for me.  Surely God moves in mysterious ways!  I know now that the Lord has heard my cry, and has delivered me from my sin!  This week, we will commemorate  the crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus.  If you have never taken the time to consider how great this salvation is, then consider it now.  We are sinners, having no good in ourselves  (Rom. 3:23) who must pay for our sins, either by keeping all of His commandments  (which is impossible[Rom. 4:3]) or by Jesus.  God sent His Son down to us, to live among us who are worthy of God's eternal wrath, and to take the sins of all those who believe,  (Matt. 1:18-25) and die on the cross, a horrible and shameful death, so that those that believe will live.  (John 3:16)  Not only did He suffer an agonizing death, He endured the wrath of His Holy Father that we so rightly deserve!  What amazing love!  John 14:13 (kjv) says,  " Greater love hath no man than this,that a man lay down his life for a friend."  I was amazed by the love that men could have for each other by giving their lives for others, and now I am transfixed by the love that Christ had for me.  For I deserved nothing but death because I had sinned against Him, and yet He took the sins that I had committed against Him, and Him only, and gave me His righteousness, for I had none.  (Eph. 2:8-10)  To God be the Glory!



Category: General
Posted on: January 23, 2009 12:34 am

Friend or foe? Russian roulette in Iraq

The one thing that irritates me more than anything, is how some people can demonize our troops.  They see in the news that a soldier shot an unarmed civilian, and assume that this soldier (and all soldiers) are murderers without taking the time to consider why something like that may happen.  Picture this:  You're a 19 year old private first class, barely a year out of high school.  This is your first deployment and you have a girlfriend back home who you plan to marry when you get back.  You've been in country for two months, and have been attacked several times.  Two weeks ago, your good friend was killed by a suicide bomber, so you are understandably jumpy.  Today you are manning a .50 cal. machine gun at a security check point.  Hundreds of cars pass through your checkpoint, and nothing has happened.  Then, you notice a car coming toward your position at an unusually high rate of speed.  There are signs in English and Arabic warning drivers to stop and wait until they are called forward, but the driver ignored them.  You signal him to stop, but he keeps coming.  You point your gun directly at the driver as a show of force.  Still no response.  Your mind is racing at a million miles an hour now.  Your thinking maybe he cant read, and he just didn't see me.  Keep in mind that this is all happening within 5-7 seconds, so you have no time to lose.  Either you fire, or gamble with your life and the lives of every one at the checkpoint, and hope this guy is a good guy.  You decide to fire, the driver is killed, and the car rolls to a stop.  Later that day, your command determines that....there was no threat.  Oops.  As far as the media, and human rights groups are concerned, you're toast.  You fired without warning and killed an innocent man.  Never mind that you followed the rules of engagement, and the driver made no attempt to stop.

Now consider another scenario:  Your the same person.  19 years old, girlfriend back home ect...  This time you're looking for a weapons cache in a Baghdad neighborhood.  You are conducting a house to house search and on the third house, your team leader is shot, but not severely hurt, although it was enough to shake you and every one else up a bit.  Four houses later, your rush into a room and are immediately confronted with an angry man, who rushes you.  With less than one second to deem this guy as friend or foe, (remember you are shaken up from that fourth house down)  you determine that this man intends to harm you in some way, and you fire your weapon, killing him.  Once the house is declared secure, you can tell that this man was not armed.  Once again, you were forced to make a split second decision, and you were wrong.

Can you honestly say that you would have held your fire in both situations?  Do you still say this soldier was wrong,and deserves to be punished?  You say that it was clearly over the top to open fire?  Would YOU bet your life on it?  That's basicly what some of you expect our soldiers to do.  I can tell you that it is better to shoot and be wrong, then to hesitate and be wrong, because when that happens, some one is going to die.  I think I could live with shooting and being wrong, but I would never forgive myself if I hesitated and one of my friends died because of it.  Better them, than us I say.  That is how you must think if you want you survive  in combat.  Better them, than us.

Category: General
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