My Dad passed away just a couple of days before his birthday in 2019. A casual thing to some who were not really close to this great man, but to others, a devastating moment that the patriarch of our tribe was gone from our eyes.
He was normally a man of few words, a quiet man that spoke volumes in his own way. He left us with towers of wisdom that one can only see by looking back. Now after some time of healing and reflection of a life that most definitely stands out, we can see that he touched a great many lives in a unique way.
He took in many to shepherd them over the years and in most cases was taken advantage of, even by his family and closest friends at times. He never stopped trying to help people and he always had a soft spot in his heart for children.
I never worried about things when I was growing up; all I had to do was ask my Dad. We never had much, but we were always blessed and our actual needs were always somehow met. His entire family helped each other out and was a reflection of a generation all but gone now.
Marshall Andrew Turner, Specialist 5 US Army
Well today on the anniversary of his birth, I wish to honor the man, the Dad, the soldier and my earthly shepherd.
A shepherd's job is to feed, lead and meet needs.
It wasn't always easy, and sometimes it looked like there wasn't a way but we made it through.
God is the ultimate source for everything, but He does it through people. My Dad was definitely one of them.
Thank you Dad for who you were and for everything you did for us, and still doing today. The sacrifices, the long hours and the patience to endure the things that you really were unable to change.
In the words of an old Brad Paisley song... "I hope I'm at least half the dad that he didn't have to be"
When one of my daughters was competing in gymnastics a few years ago, I used to deliver this montra to stick in her head. “Practice and Polish” I’d say. Over and over and over again. (yes, montra not mantra, stick with me here)
Now I did this to get her to think, “what does he mean?”
Well, let’s simply look at the definitions of these two words.
Practice - Noun
1. the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, as opposed to theories relating to it.
2. repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.
1. perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one's proficiency.
Polish - Verb
1. make the surface of (something) smooth and shiny by rubbing it.
Side note: rubbing it meaning:
1. to apply pressure and friction to (something) with a circular or backward and forward motion
2. to move (something) with pressure along, over, or against (a surface) [friction]
3. to chafe or fray [because of friction again]
4. (tr) to bring into a certain condition by rubbing [friction]
Some common synonyms of practice are custom, habit or usage.
Common usage of polish is “To refine or remove flaws from; to perfect or complete”
So, in short what I was trying to teach her is to train and develop a good habit of training and to train often. (practice) Learn the steps (routine), forwards, backwards and sideways. Look at your technique and improve. Muscle memory, like a dance step. Invest. Be able to do it in your sleep. Learn to understand. Observe. Find your strengths and weaknesses. Understand to improve. Prepare your brain to meditate in the midst of activity.
Look for the little things that your competition may be better at than you and work on those until those little bumps become smooth. (polish) Be flexible, listen to others observing you (coach) and be humble enough to take in what others offer. Learn to be objective and continue to improve. (refine).
Practice = the journey, the rough into something resembling greatness. A reflection of the effort.
But the surface still has a texture, with small bumps along the way.
So, Polish the surface into something so smooth there is a reflection of excellence that all can recognize.
I say all of this to ask; Are you Training?
Seek your crown in everything you do. Firearms, safety, awareness and knowledge of spiritual things.
Be Everything you were created to be!
Source: definitions from Merriam-Webster
Marine Lance Cpl. Carlos A. Aragon
Died March 1, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom.
Thank you for your service and your dedication to give the ultimate sacrifice for this country and it's interest in removing evil and tyranny in this world.
Although I never met this young man, I did serve with his Step Dad during the Kosovo conflict over a decade earlier.
Years later I happened to catch his Step Dad giving an interview for some show I was watching on Memorial Day. I was shocked to hear of the event he was describing and and that it had hit so close to home for him.
I reached out as we had not stayed in touch too well. He was bitter and had a lot of anger and wished he could go back in service himself and destroy life. I understood entirely as I had lost some fellow brothers in arms myself though not family members in that sense.
Everyone says time is a healer but I disagree. Time does march on but it doesn't heal anything. It just makes the scabs of life a little more numb and tolerable. There is only one healer of this pain.
Recently I saw my friend Brad on another interview, this time a PBS broadcast and although I am not sure of the year it was recorded, it was obvious that he and his wife had found a peace of sorts. The question of why always lingers, but in peace at least you can remember the life instead of the death and actually celebrate the life that was sacrificed.
Just wanted to pay a little gratitude to my friend Brad and his family.
Storms uncover what you are built on…. Your foundation
Foundations have to be built a certain way and on certain types of soil. It has to have the right ingredients and in the right amounts to be strong and long standing.
The ideology of a great Nation has to be founded on something solid and its people have to believe in the ideology. A common set of beliefs and theories lived out with a purpose and a destiny.
Over the years, this country has been tested by wars, conflicts and internal strife. Usually when a storm came in the face of a war or conflict, the patriot would arise from inside and differences, dreams and visions were put aside and everyone united would defend our core values in the face of injustice to right a wrong in the form foreign aggression.
“Stop them over there” was a common theme of doctrine to generate public interest and levy support. But ultimately, the fear behind all of this was “stop them over there before they come here and take away our foundation”.
The major purpose of the internal strife historically has been from this same fear, only there is no “over there…”
Are these storms teachable moments for our nation? Perhaps all the nations?
Decline v/s Fall
If you look up the definition today of ideology, you will note that there is a side note stating “archaic” in front of some of the definitions.
Words of our language have been given a new definition to suit each current generation, an act or process of moving or changing the place, position or posture of the thought or meaning. In other words, it no longer fits, its outdated or old fashioned… “archaic”.
Is a foundation ever really out of date? Or let’s ask, have I neglected that foundation and allowed it to decay right under my very presence? Was I so focused on other things that I allowed the foundation to slowly erode away? Or were we “reading between the lines” and picked apart our foundation from within grain by grain while we were still standing on it?
God will encourage a storm just to see if you truly meant it when you said Amen. The storm either causes you to forget and move on or stir a remembrance of your foundation.
Thus; “united we stand, divided we fall”. We tear into and focus on the gray areas and try and fill in the perceived gaps between the lines and allow the basis of the foundation to waiver.
“Knowledge makes arrogant…” I Cor 8:1-3
The Apostle Paul spoke concerning principles about the gray areas of life… “Good grace elevated the welfare of others over my freedom”. Just because I have the knowledge that I am free to do this, it doesn’t mean I should do it just because I am free to do so. What you do affects others.
Your foundation determines your future.
Have we become the very thing that our forefather fled from in the beginning?
Is your foundation God or your own wisdom? Recall to your mind the purpose behind “the last best hope of earth”, our Union.
It is the word of God that will get us through the times and the storms that will come! The true source and foundation to a confident free life. (remember the ingredients and amounts)
This Memorial Day, let’s get back to basics and reflect on what this day actually means beyond the celebration or remembrance of this who died in battles foreign and domestic, and look a little deeper as to the “why“ they died opposing the tyranny of this world and those men bent on pure dominance and self gain with hate in their heart.
"The warrior above all others prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars or wars" (sic) Gen Douglass Macarthur
In ancient nautical times, when a large sea faring vessel intended to port a lot depended on the time of day due to the tide and also the wind direction or lack thereof.
In times of low tide or lack of a correct wind, a forerunner was used to deliver the ships anchor to a particular point where the ship wanted to be, its final destination concerning this port. The forerunner would deposit the anchor in the shallow water at that precise point. Later, the ship would haul itself in the direction of the anchor by heaving on the large cordage (rope) that connected the Ship to its Anchor.
Circa 1300, Middle English literal rendition of Latin praecursor, was used in reference to John the Baptist as the antecedent or forerunner of Jesus Christ. Later Old English had foreboda (act as a warning) and forerynel (modern “Forerunner”) as similar uses of the word and meaning.
Jesus was described as an anchor, reminding us of a boat secured by Him in a storm, or the dinghy strengthened against the drift of the tide. Jesus is that for us in eternity too, an anchor and He alone stops the drift and secures our soul. Jesus alone is seated in heaven securing our place.
So in a sense, he was the forerunner as well as an Anchor. A precursor of something more to come.
This week is a week of remembrance of Jesus as a Forerunner. Through His death and resurrection he has also become an anchor for our souls. Raised from the dead for our forgiveness, seated at the right hand of God, he secures our place in eternity. He lives to serve us in this way.
So, where is your anchor placed?
Voices in My Head
These things and many more go through our minds from time to time. These thoughts heavily influenced by our emotional state. Fairly normal for them to come and go… But when these thoughts are all you have or worse, they dominate your every moment, they can and will lead you down a dark and deep path.
if you personally or if someone you know is experiencing this, get help. Do not wait, most of us are not equipped to handle this ourselves and most do not know where to turn.
What is this? This is the voice of doubt, fear, discouragement, depression, and anxiety.
For us veterans, we were and are exposed to extra normal things that others may experience. Military Sexual Trama, Substance Abuse, Posttrauma Stress, Depression, and other Mental Health influences.
Let’s uncover their origin and how to interpret them – the purpose if you will.
Or call In Touch 800-789-1473 or 1-855-525-3210 to reach and receive the help you need
For Veterans and their loved ones, You are not in this alone!
The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring VA responders through a confidential, toll-free hotline, online chat, and text-messaging service.
Veterans and their families and friends can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Above all, reach out!
“Making something lawful for me doesn’t necessarily mean it will benefit me or be helpful or constructive to my fellow man” It doesn’t make it right or automatic in moving humanity along. paraphrased 1 Cor 6:12 ESV
Is it conscionable? – if it is an indulgence and can control you, best leave it alone because our conscience tells us to not always approve the crowds decision. My grandmother used to tell us, “don’t follow the crowd because they will lead you away from a basic understanding of right and wrong.” We all have "gut feelings" but most of the time we ignore them and never, well almost, do we seek to know where these feelings or core values come from.
“Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.” Augustine of Hippo
The question then becomes, are values truly outdated? You have to ask yourself, isn’t it the common values that allows us co-exist with each other on a very basic level and then enables us to seek and understand each other’s action and reaction to those values? Get this in the wrong order, and the values become lost and thus; the assimilation into one is lost.
Do you feel safe at your place of business or your employer’s site?
No? Well that doesn’t surprise us at this juncture of our history.
Smooth talk your management team into allowing us to perform a physical vulnerability assessment so you feel safe. If that is you, let us suggest improvements that can keep you, your employees and/or co-workers safe, secure and feeling content that all of you will go home at the end of the day the same way you arrived.
A core component of an assessment is the process of identifying, quantifying, and ranking the vulnerabilities in an existing security system or identifying the need for one. Examples of systems for which vulnerability assessments are performed include, but are not limited to buildings, sites, personnel access points in and out of the building or site, closed circuit security camera system (CCTV) placement and how to include it into a site security plan, energy supply systems, water supply systems, transportation systems, parking areas and communication systems. These assessments typically include information technology systems also but Survival Decision is not providing this service at the time.
These assessments may be conducted on behalf of a range of different organizations, from small businesses up to large regional infrastructures. Vulnerability from the perspective of disaster management means assessing the threats from potential threats to the operation, hazards to the employees and to infrastructure that provides life support and security. It may be conducted in the political, social, economic or environmental fields.
We offer a range of plans, to suit everyone from startups to large corporate.
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Do you remember those old open face fishing reels? It took quite some talent to know just where to put your thumb and just how much pressure to put on the reel when casting and when to apply more force or lessen up the force.
When loved ones pass on into their next journey and purpose, we have a feeling of loss. Obviously the time spent is cherished and non refundable, and worth the effort, but now there is void that can be felt and is very real. All that is left are the lessons, stories and the picturesque moments of a time with a Full Sail.
Time spent is much more valuable now and as the memories flood our minds in ebb and tide, we need to stay focused on the One that makes all of this possible. “Gone where?”, becomes the only question.
A ship passing by in the night, people are in our lives for only awhile and then they sail past the horizon never to be seen by our eyes again but other are welcoming her arrival.
The Rough Seas are over now …. “Her diminished size is in me, not in her”. Henry Van Dyke
Fair Winds and Following Seas my Friend