Archive for May, 2010


I believe the most sacred place in all of America is Arlington National Cemetery.  It is the resting place for thousands of Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.  Last November I had an opportunity to visit Arlington with more than 200 World War II Veterans from South Carolina through a program called Honor Flight.  Honor Flight is a national group that sends WWII Vets to Washington to visit their National Memorial on the Mall.  I’ve visited Arlington numerous times, but my trip there in November is the most memorable.  When I get back home I plan to take Janie, Jordan and Tuck to Arlington.  It’s important we teach our children and grandchildren the true cost of freedom.  Nothing will help them better understand what it means than by walking them through the green hills of Arlington.  In honor of all the men and women who gave their lives for our Country I would like to post the words to one of my new favorite songs.  I heard it yesterday at Chapel.  The song is by Trace Adkins and it’s called Arlington.  You can also watch Trace perform it here.
I never thought that this is where I’d settle down,
I thought I’d die an old man back in my hometown,
They gave me this plot of land, me and some other men,
for a job well done.

There’s a big white house sits on a hill just up the road,
The man inside he cried the day they brought me home,
They folded up a flag, and told my mom and dad, ‘We’re proud of your son’.

And I’m proud to be on this peaceful piece of property,
I’m on sacred ground and I’m in the best of company,
I’m thankful for those thankful for the things I’ve done,
I can rest in peace, I’m one of the chosen ones,
I made it to Arlington.

I remember daddy brought me here when I was eight,
We searched all day to find out where my granddad lay,
And when we finally found that cross,
He said, ‘Son this is what it cost, to keep us free’.
Now here I am a thousand stones away from him,
He recognized me on the first day I came in,
And it gave me a chill, when he clicked his heels, and saluted me.

And I’m proud to be on this peaceful piece of property,
I’m on sacred ground and I’m in the best of company,
And I’m thankful for those thankful for the things I’ve done,
I can rest in peace, I’m one of the chosen ones,
I made it to Arlington.

And every time I hear, twenty-one guns,
I know they brought another hero home, to us.

We’re thankful for those thankful for the things we’ve done,
We can rest in peace, ’cause we were the chosen ones,
We made it to Arlington, yea, dust to dust
Don’t cry for us, we made it to Arlington.

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Healing Hearts & Minds the Movie!

05/30/2010 1 comment

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America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee)…

This morning at Chapel we opened our Memorial Day weekend service with one of my favorite American Hymns, America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee).  I have always loved America’s first national song, but singing it for the first time since I’ve been here makes it more meaningful.  I couldn’t finish the first verse without getting a little misty eyed.  I think this is a common emotion for war-time Soldiers.  I hear from other Vets that the love of the American Flag, patriotic songs and freedom will only grow more intense in your heart.  It should.  After all, putting your life on the line for others (total strangers) in the name of liberty is a life changing experience.  On this Memorial Day weekend please take time from your picnics and barbeques to thank a Veteran for their service.  Take a moment to honor the more than 1.2 million Americans who gave all in the name of freedom.  Pray for our Soldiers and their families who  are currently in the struggle to keep the torch of Liberty lit for future generations.

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For the Least of These…

05/29/2010 1 comment

Operation Outreach Afghanistan conducted its first humanitarian mission today to distribute shoes, clothes and school supplies to the Afghan people.  The gifts came from donations made by our family and friends back home.  Our first mission occurred in a village east of Kabul.  Two local elders whom we have worked with for the past few months helped us coordinate the event with the people of their village.  These elders invited the poorest of the poor, the lame, crippled and blind to participate in today’s event.   It was like a seeing a scene from the Bible unfold before my eyes.  One by one more than 170 Afghan women, children and boys came forward to receive their special gift.  It was powerful!  Remember in Luke when the people crowded around Jesus so that they could touch Him and receive healing?  It was like that!  In fact, it’s safe to say Jesus was there today.  For it is written in the Scriptures, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  Amen!

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Do it for Liberty’s Sake…

I’m more than 7,300 miles from home, but news still travels fast when it involves South Carolina politicians.  Imagine my surprise the other morning when I read about the latest political scandal involving Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Nikki Haley and S.C. political blogger Will Folks in the Stars & Stripes.  Only Nikki Haley and Will Folks know if Mr. Folks is telling the truth.  Regardless, he and all these other young political upstarts who are overly consumed with power, money and fame are making a mockery of my State and damaging America’s freedom brand around the world.  Is this the image we want the world to have of Freedom?  Is this the kind of Republic we want oppressed people around the world to aspire to?  Is this what the people of Afghanistan want for their country?  The answer is No!  I’m disappointed by what’s going on politically back home.  It’s petty and it’s childish.  It’s also so small when compared to the greater problems we face as a state, nation and world.  It’s time for the politicians and their political hacks, campaign consultants and bloggers – their hired guns, to grow up and act responsibly.   Do it for Liberty’s sake!

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Toot Berries?

All potty humor aside, my kids love the word toot.  It’s one of those words that just sounds funny.  All you have to do is say the word and Tuck and Jordan will fall on the floor laughing.  Believe it or not but the boy in the picture is in a tree that produces toot berries.  I know this because my interpreter told me so.  I couldn’t help but chuckle at the name.  I wonder why they’re called toot berries?  Then again, maybe I don’t need ask!

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The Jesus Diet…

05/26/2010 1 comment

A few years ago a new diet book came out on the market called “The Jesus Diet.”  The book called for a diet of nuts, raisins, dates, etc. — foods that Jesus would have eaten.  My Dad thought it would be a great idea to try this diet some time ago.  He lost some weight.  He also got diverticulitis.  Our Afghan guests love to serve foods similar to those in the Jesus Diet.  Today at a meeting with Afghan elders I was offered a plate with almonds, dates (This was my first time eating them), dried raisins and pistachios.  It was real tasty.  I’ll let you know if I start having abdominal pains!

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