Blog 113 for 5-25-2019
REMEMBER THE FALLEN MILITARY
MONDAY, MAY 27, 2019
May I share a little history of (USA) Memorial Day? It’s a federal holiday in the U.S. for remembering the people, men and women, who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. Many reading this blog, may remember that it used to be called DECORATION DAY, when people would go to cemetaries and place flowers or flags on the graves. Charles remembers this well.
Memorial Day is considered the official start of summer vacation in the U.S.; while Labor Day, the first Monday of September, marks summer’s end. Cemetaries are visited on Memorial Day to honor those who died in military service. You’ve seen, as have I, beautiful National Cemetaries adorned with American Flags on each grave.
In 1966, WATERLOO, N.Y., was declared by the Federal Government to be the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo first celebrated this special day on May 5, 1866; and, hosted lots of annual events in the ensuing years, remembering the occasion. Businesses would close; residents would decorate the graves.
The Civil War, which ended in 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history; and, it required the establishment of the country’s first National Cemetaries. So on May 5, 1868, the leader of an organization for Northern Civil War Veterans, General John A. Logan, called for a special National Day to honor those who died serving their country. He said that May 30th would be designated for the purpose of decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country. “Those bodies lay in almost every city, village, and hamlet church graveyard in the land,” he said.
On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETARY, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 UNION and CONFEDERATE soldiers buried there.
By 1890, many Northern states had made Decoration Day an official STATE HOLIDAY. On the other hand, Southern states continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I. It was during and after World War I that the holiday began to recognize and honor all American Military Personnel, who died in ALL wars, not just the CIVIL War.
Two other days celebrate those who serve or have served in the armed forces; VETERANS DAY (Nov. 11, 2019) and ARMED FORCES DAY (celebrated May 18, this year).
Most of this information came from Wikipedia and googling Memorial Day - History. May God bless all those who serve, past and present. It’s a blessing to go to a cemetary and see the decorated tombs of those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice. MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA.
Blog 112 for 5-18-2019
IS YOUR CONFIDENCE IN JEHOVAH, STRONG TODAY?
Several days ago, I sat down with pen and paper, hoping for inspiration for this blog. Day after day, I struggled, as to what to write. I guess I’ve had “writer’s block.” I certainly drew a blank for many days. But, time's up...Duane called…”where’s your blog?”
So, here I go again, trying to write something that will not only encourage and bless you, but encourage me, as well. I was sitting on the couch with notebook in hand, when my eyes glanced at a small plaque on the side table. It read, “The Lord Himself watches over you. The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.” Psalm 121:5
After doing a little study of this chapter 121, and the surrounding chapters, I discovered that beginning with Psalm 120 through Psalm 134, they are called “Songs of Degrees,” or “Songs of Ascents” or “Songs for the Goings up.”
These Psalms are called Pilgrims' Songs, suggesting that these were sung by those pilgrims who went up to Jerusalem to worship. They were songs of desire, hope, and approach. Listen to some of what they were singing, and let your confidence in Jehovah build.
Ps. 120 - “In my distress I cried unto the Lord, AND HE HEARD ME…”
Ps. 121 - “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills...MY HELP COMETH FROM THE LORD.”
Ps. 122 - “I was glad when they said unto me, LET US GO INTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.”
Ps. 123 - “UNTO THEE LIFT I UP MINE EYES…”
Ps. 124 - “IF IT HAD NOT BEEN THE LORD WHO WAS ON OUR SIDE…”
I could go on through Ps. 134, and may do that in another blog.
Can you visualize the pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem to worship, singing songs of confidence, help, hope, praise, assurance, and thanksgiving, remembering from where God had brought them? By the time they arrived, they were filled with STRONG CONFIDENCE IN JEHOVAH GOD. While exile was difficult, their hearts were filled with confidence in a God who cares, a God who provides, a God who answers, a God who supplies.
Are you needing help from the Lord today? He’s only a prayer away. Think on the miracles He’s done for you and your family. Think of His great faithfulness. Think of His awesome love. Read Ps. 121.
Blog 111 for 5-11-2019
I AM SO THANKFUL!
As I reflect on Mother’s Day 2019, I am so grateful that my 2 children belong to Jesus and are daily growing in His love and plan for their lives. The 2nd Sunday of May is always Mother’s Day. And this Sunday, as with the few recent Mother’s Days, I will be miles away from my wonderful children, Chuck and Micki, and their families; but, everyday I pray for them. Today will be no exception. They will be presented to the Throne with their challenges and needs.
Today, I want them to know how thankful and blessed I am to have been honored by each one's birth. That God would grant Charles & me, a boy and a girl, is so special. And we have enjoyed the journey. A son is special; a daughter is special. Baby Chuck came naturally, and was a delight with a great personality. Baby Micki came early by cesarean section and was a great joy. Oh, how I liked to dress up Micki. How I liked to fix her hair. Not sure either child liked me dressing them alike. And Micki had her own ideas about hair-dos. She didn’t choose my styles. These were wonderful days, as I reminisce today.
Life for any of us is not without challenges, obstacles, and hard spots. Hurts, needs, despair, and hope are in our passage of time. But, through it all, we can learn to trust in God. We can learn to depend upon His Word. We must everyday, put on the whole armor of God for standing.
I sure hope I’ve been the Mother in child rearing that I needed to be. I hope that in these present years, I remain strong, kind, and helpful to that grown-up son and grown-up daughter. May I still teach by example. May my influence for righteousness be that bright light that points Chuck and Micki to God.
Sacrifice and tears, as well as contentment and joy, are in our bag as moms. And in some instances, “It’s not an easy road.” But the key, the answer, the strength to carry on, is found in Jesus, His Godly Armor, and the Bible, God’s authoritative Word.
Mothers out there...Mothers reading this blog, YOU CAN MAKE IT. You can get through those teen years. You can get through whatever the challenge is. God has promised, “As our day, so shall our strength be” (Deut. 33:25b). He has promised “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). God will watch over our children.
Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers. And to my dear children, I am so thankful for you and your families and your faith in Jesus. Keep Him first. Trust His heart. He loves you with an everlasting love.
Blog 110 for 4-13-2019
It’s COLLEGE GRADUATION time for our youngest grandson, Chase Robert Luetkemeyer. He graduates with a two-year degree from Eastern Florida State University in Melbourne, FL, with an Associate of Arts Degree on May 9, 2019. How time flies. It seems like only yesterday, that he was a preschooler. Early on, he learned how to wash a car, assisted by his dad. And he’s kept on learning through the years. What a precious, delightful grandson he is, all grown up now. This year, he’ll turn 20 on June the 20th. His educational focus is in the technology field; pursuing an Information Technology Degree, as he, in his own time, completes the four-year degree..
It’s CONGRATULATIONS time for Chase. Congrats on this great achievement. Of course, he is a straight A graduate, having made the President’s List all through these first 2 years. Wow! I can’t claim that. I went to college, even graduated, but did not make straight A’s. I guess I was too interested in the extracurricular offerings.
We’re in the Mountains and won’t be able to be at his graduation, but our hearts are there. We love everyone of our grandsons, Kyle, Cody, Michael, and Chase. But this is Chase’s Day! Chase’s Graduation Day! We want to sing his praises. Chase has dreams, ambitions, & desires like anyone else; and, one day he will achieve his highest goals. He thinks working with big corporations like Harris, or Rockwell Collins as a SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR might be enticing. Go after it, Chase. We’re in your corner!!!
He has achieved much in his life, going to public school early on, but being home schooled most of the time, making straight A’s continually. He loves sports, and played basketball & soccer in high school, with soccer being his favorite. In his senior year, he received the MVP Soccer Award, and in basketball, he received the Defensive Player of the Year Award. He likes softball, too, and presently he plays Outfield (and second base sometimes) for his Medi-Share Christian Care Ministry Team.
During the summers and while in college, Chase worked part time at Medi-Share Christian Care Ministry...in the Information Technology department there.
Chase is a fine Christian young man. We are so proud of him. Glad God gave him to Bob and Micki, and thereby, giving him to us as a precious and priceless GRANDSON. Chase, we love you; congratulate you; and wish you the best life has to offer. “Be strong and of good courage…” Deut. 31:6; Josh.1:6; Josh.1:7.
“Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.” Ps. 27:14
We’re blessing the Lord for the gift of CHASE.
Grandpa & Grandma Kirby