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VETERAN’S DAY ~ 2013

Posted by on Nov 11, 2013 in Blog, Journal, Uncategorized | 8 comments

 

What does Veteran’s Day mean to you? Is it just a day to be off work? It is for some government workers, banks and post offices. For others it is a day to hit the stores and take advantage of all the sales.

Many towns will have parades, and some people will hang their American flags prominently. Most of us know it has something

Admiral Henry G. Taylor- USN My Grandfather

Admiral Henry G. Taylor- USN
My Grandfather

to do with honoring those who have served or are serving in the armed forces.

 America’s observance of Veteran’s Day originated with the ending of World War I, also referred to as “The Great War” or “the war to end all wars.” Sadly, we’ve been in numerous wars in the intervening 95 years.

The ending of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany took effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The United States Congress resolved that the recurring anniversary of this date “date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.”

 

Captain Joseph White - USN My Father

Captain Joseph White – USN
My Father

Veteran’s Day is a day of remembrance, and a day to honor and say thank you to all the men and women who have served, or are currently serving our country, often in difficult places and at great sacrifice.  It is also a time to honor the spouses and families of those serving, because “Those Who Wait also Serve”.

 

Some pictures of family members who have served in the armed forces.

I am thankful for them, and other family and friends, who have also served our country.

          

Sgt. Stephen White USAF My Brother

Sgt. Stephen White USAF
My Brother

                                                      On Monday, and every day,

remember to pray for our troops,

                                                   and give thanks for them.

 

My Sons - 2005 LCdr. Jeff Palmer - USN Capt. Jim Palmer - US Army Nat. Guard

My Sons – 2005
LCdr. Jeff Palmer – USN
Capt. Jim Palmer – US Army Nat. Guard

 

 

 

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GOD’S PROVISION IN TOUGH TIMES ~ Interview with Cynthia Howerter

Posted by on Oct 28, 2013 in Blog, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 1 comment

I am delighted to have an opportunity to introduce Cynthia Howerter, who collaborated with La-Tan Roland Murphy to write God’s Provision in Tough Times. While this is a book that will encourage and inspire anyone going through unemployment, underemployment, or financial difficulties, the underlying principles can help one experiencing trials of any sort.
 
I know the genesis of this book, Cynthia, came from your own personal experience. Could you briefly share with us those events which lead up to your desire to write it?
 
Actually, Janet, it wasn’t a story or book that I wanted to write because my family and I went through so many painful difficulties during the time of my husband’s unemployment.  However, after speaking with Publisher Eddie Jones of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas at a writers’ conference in May, 2012, Eddie encouraged me to write about my family’s experiences as a means of conveying hope to others who are going through unemployment, underemployment, or financial difficulties.  As I prayed about writing the book, it became very clear that my family’s experiences were meant to be shared.
God's Provision Book Cover
 
How did your association with Latan begin, and how did you come up with the idea and format for this book?
 
 After God put it on my heart that the book should be an anthology of stories written by numerous writers, I asked God to give me a co-author who could share the responsibilities and La-Tan’s name immediately came to mind.  Because I’d only met La-Tan briefly at two writers’ conferences, I had no idea until I phoned her that she and her family had also been through unemployment!  Truly, God’s hand is all over this book.
 
What was the process of finding the contributors, particularly in light of the sensitive nature of the book?
 
La-Tan and I prayed and asked God which writers we should approach because neither of us were aware of other writers who had experienced these issues.  When we contacted the writers whose names came to us, we learned that not only did each person have unemployment experiences, but they were happy to share what they’d gone through in order to help others.  Everyone experiences adversity, but when you learn what problems someone else went through and the ways in which God provided for them, it helps you realize that God is willing to help you, too.
 
Were there any particular challenges you faced in compiling a work with so many different collaborators and in finding a publisher?
 
In speaking with Publisher Eddie Jones, he and I both realized that it would be best to use multiple writers who’d experienced a wide variety of adverse unemployment situations because using only my story would provide too narrow of a focus.  After La-Tan agreed to be my co-author, she and I composed a list of story topics for the anthology and asked each of the contributing writers to select a topic for their article.  Having a co-author was a huge help because neither La-Tan nor I had previous experience writing and compiling an anthology.  All in all, the entire process flowed smoothly.  La-Tan and I worked very well together even though we were virtual strangers at the beginning of the project.  Our experiences with God’s Provision in Tough Times served to grow a strong bond and lasting friendship with each other.    
 
How long have you been writing and what particular genre do you like to write?
 
 I’ve been writing since I was a little girl, but began writing seriously during my husband’s unemployment period.  I love historical fiction, in particular the Colonial Period.
 
Are you working on any projects currently?
 I just finished the research for a novel I’m about to write.  It’s set shortly before the American Revolution began.
 
Where can readers find you and your books on the internet?
 
 I’d love to have readers visit my website “Soar With Eagles” at:  http://cynthiahowerter.com   I also post articles once a month at the Colonial Quills website:  http://colonialquills.blogspot.com   God’s Provision in Tough Times is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Christianbook.com .
 
 Thank you, Cynthia.
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity, Janet.
 
 Cynthia Howerter
CYNTHIA HOWERTER is a Pennsylvania girl who now lives in Virginia. Her love for history,  especially the American Revolutionary War period, along with being a member of the DAR  (Daughters of the American Revolution) and Colonial American Christian Writers, gives Cynthia a wealth of knowledge to use in her writing. She is currently writing an historical fiction novel, writes for her website Soar With Eagles, and is a contributing writer to the Colonial Quills website. Cynthia and La-Tan Roland Murphy are co-authors of God’s Provision in Tough Times, an anthology of 25 true stories of God’s provision during unemployment and financial despair.
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PRAYER

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Blog, Devotions | 2 comments

Prayer  ~ Webster’s defines it as a humble entreaty made to God. 
 
As Christians we learn from Jesus to make prayer a priority.
 
 He often withdrew to lonely places to pray. (Luke 5:16)
 He rose early in the morning and went to a solitary place to pray. (Mark 1:35)
 He reminds us that we should always pray and not give up (Luke 18:1) 
 He entreated believers to call out to Him day and night (Luke 18:7)
 He encourages us to not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present our requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)
 He assures us that He hears and answers our prayers. (Matt 7:7,8  Matt 21:22  John 16:23,24   John 15:7   1st John 5:14,15)
                                                                                       
Our response should be ~ to be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus.  (1st Thessalonians 5:16-1)
       
 
Prayer can take a variety of forms; it might be done privately or with others, silent, or with words or song. Communication is essential for a healthy relationship with people and with God. Prayer is communicating with our Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer and Savior. Some prayers come spontaneously from deep within; others may be inspired by the Holy Spirit and others may be prayers that have been passed down over the millennia. 
 
While I love to pray conversationally with God, I also appreciate the prayers of others. One of my favorites is the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. Francis, a thirteenth century saint who founded two religious orders; the Franciscan Order of monks and the Poor Clares, an order of nuns.   
Praying Hands -Bible, etc.
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
 
O Divine Master, 
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.  
AMEN
 

Michael Podesta Calligraphy

PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS   ~    Michael Podesta Calligraphy

Do you have any favorite prayers? 
This was a post of mine on Colonial Quills earlier this year.
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COMMUNITY BIBLE STUDY ~ A Fall Tradition

Posted by on Oct 9, 2013 in Blog, Devotions, Journal | 2 comments

There are many things I love about this season of the year, but one of my favorites might surprise you. For nearly thirty years I have taken part in Community Bible Study (CBS) classes. Each autumn when the new class starts, I’m eager to begin whatever course my class is studying that year. This year our class is delving into Galatians, Hebrews, and PhilippiansCBS Course Material

Community Bible Study in an interdenominational ministry that offers in-depth Bible studies available to all. It doesn’t matter whether one has never studied the Bible before or if they’ve been studying the Scriptures for years.  It’s a place where men and women, children and teens from whatever religious tradition or denomination can gather in a friendly, accepting setting and study God’s Word. As CBS states on its website, they “concentrate on the essentials of the Christian faith, not on denominational distinctives.”

Many churches graciously host the classes even though the ministry has no ties to any specific church or denomination. There are now about 700 classes around the United States and many additional classes offered in 70 countries around the world.  There are day, evening, student, teen, after school, Inprison, and international classes. In addition, many adult classes have programs for children of all ages. The children’s ministry curriculum alone has blessed so many families. There is nothing more adorable than watching preschoolers quoting Scripture or singing songs of faith that will be remembered forever.

Community Bible Study even has material available that can be purchased and used in home or church Bible studies.

Classes typically run for thirty weeks with a few weeks off in December and another week-long break in the spring. People can join anytime, not just in the fall.

Over the years I’ve been involved in many different classes; I’ve experienced, and watched others, form life long friendships as well as casual ones. I love passing on information to people moving to another area about the CBS classes in their new locale, since it’s a great way to make friends and also to learn more about the churches in the area.

There are many wonderful Bible studies available through other para-church ministries and churches; I just appreciate all I’ve witnessed at Community Bible Study. If this sounds like some thing you might be interested in check out http://www.communitybiblestudy.org/index.aspx.


Praying Hands -Bible, etc.Once on the website, there are a variety of menu choices so you can learn more about CBS, as well as find a class near you.

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REMEMBERING THAT AMERICAN HERO

Posted by on Sep 29, 2013 in Blog, Devotions, History | 2 comments

On Thursday I shared with you about when I, and many others, met and thanked returning Viet Nam POW Gary Thornton. Well, that wasn’t the last I’d hear about this American hero.

After the evening of the Seabee Ball in early March of 1973, my momentary life in the limelight ended. Gary Thornton had a lot of living to catch up on and I hoped only the best for him. Having been married to a Viet Nam vet, I was well acquainted with the many adjustments involved for people returning from the war, but for POW’s, reentry to family life and to living in the United States had to be incredible. 

While I can’t recall the exact date, I do recall praying that Gary was finding joy and peace with his new found freedom. Still living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I remember sitting on the floor of my apartment one Saturday listening to the radio, and involved in some craft, when a news broadcaster announced that Gary Thornton, one of the Viet Nam POWs, had just married a former Playboy bunny.

My heart was pounding, and my jaw probably dropped.  I had just heard on the radio an answer to my vague request that I’d had never even verbalized. Since I worked five days a week, what were the chances that I’d be home and listening to the radio at just the exact time that this somewhat obscure announcement was made? Yet I had an answer I didn’t really deserve. At that time in my life I thought it an amazing coincidence.

I married another military man and relocated to northern Virginia. Years passed, and in 1983 I entered a Redbook Magazine’ Great Embarrassing Moments Contest. The event I wrote about for the contest took place on an evening when I was being given the instructions on the protocol of the Seabee Ball that I referred to in my earlier post.  As I wrote the piece for the contest, it brought back so many memories of the Seabee Ball events I had participated in ten years earlier. Again, I wondered about how Gary Thornton was faring, and prayed that his life and marriage had been blessed.

Shortly after submitting my contest entry, I made my monthly trip to the Ft.Belvoir commissary to stock up on food and goods.  While there I spotted a free magazine called Ladycom, and for some reason, this time I picked one up.  After arriving home, stowing the food, and taking care of my young sons I sat sown to enjoy a cup of coffee and glanced through Ladycom.  As I tuned the pages I came to an article about how some Viet Nam POW families were faring ten years after returning home. Gary Thornton was one of five or six POWs, interviewed for the story. He was still married to the former Playboy bunny; they had a daughter and were living very happily.

I was struck by all the combined factors necessary for me to have an answer to my simple prayer.

~ It had only been a short time since I wrote the piece for the contest and prayed.

~ Ten and a half years had passed.

~ Of the 556 returned POWs, Gary Thornton was one of only six or so interviewed.

~ I lived three thousand miles away from where I did on the evening of the Seabee Ball

~ I rarely went to the commissary and even less often picked up Ladycom.

Some people call it serendipity; others call it luck or coincidence. By that time in my life, I gave no credence to coincidence. I’d had the eyes of my heart opened enough times to see how God reveals Himself, and how He works in our lives and in the lives of others. It was such a simple request, yet I was delighted for His generous gift.  Once again, I could only thank Him and praise Him for His faithfulness.

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HONORING AN AMERICAN HERO

Posted by on Sep 26, 2013 in Blog, Commentary, Journal, Uncategorized | 11 comments

A couple of days ago, an old friend sent me an e-mail with a you Tube attachment about a 40th reunion documentary for the POW’s held captive during the Viet Nam War. It brought to mind an unexpected encounter I had with one of those POW’s shortly after their release, which in a surprising way, was an answer to prayer.

Early in 1973 my father startled me with an idea he, and I suspect my mother, hatched to stretch my social skills. They knew the previous year had been a very difficult and painful time in my life and they were concerned that I had cut myself off from people, content to go to work and avoid all other social contact.

Seabee emblemMy father and maternal grandfather had been career naval officers, both serving in the Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), also known as the Seabees. Each year Seabee Balls were held at various locations around the country. Retired officers as well as those currently on active duty would frequent these festivities with their spouses or dates. It was always a fun time for them to connect with old friends. A queen, often the daughter or wife of one of the engineers, was selected to “reign” over these festivities.

Dad had put forth my name and I was selected as the 1973 Seabee Queen for the Western Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command. I knew my selection had absolutely nothing to do with me, or any of my accomplishments, attributes, or abilities; it was merely a way of honoring my father and grandfather for their sixty years of combined naval service.

When my father told me what he had done I was stunned. Always shy, the quintessential wall flower, I had never even been asked to a prom in high school. How would the Lord help me carry off this royal role and be the center of attention for an entire evening?

The weeks leading up to the Seabee Ball were exciting, but for an entirely different reason. In January 1973, the Vietnam War turned a corner. With the Paris peace accords signed, negotiations progressed to free the remaining 658 POW’s held captive. Like most people, I watched the return of these American heroes on television. It was humbling and so moving to see these men arrive on American soil, some who had been absent from our shores for six and seven years. Vietnam was still a raw and very real memory for me. It had taken a toll on many of us, directly or indirectly. But now, those who had survived captivity were coming home.

March 7th, the day of the Ball arrived and I was the only one there without a date. Somehow I Seabee Queensurvived everything associated with the ceremony, though I felt unbelievably awkward seated at the elevated head table with the Admiral, his wife and several other dignitaries, including my parents. From there I could easily see a room full of people enjoying each other in conversation. As I sat on the dais and watched the smartly dressed assembly, I tried not to let my self-consciousness show.

Then I glanced to the opposite side of the room and noticed a man standing in an open doorway. He was wearing a khaki uniform, definitely not the dress uniform or dark suit the other men were wearing. One of the guests went to the door, spoke with the young man a moment and headed quickly to the Admiral seated beside me. The man standing in the doorway with the “deer in the headlights” look was Gary Thornton, one of the POWs who had just returned from six years of captivity. He was suddenly being ushered into the room, and as news spread throughout the room, a receiving line automatically formed. Everyone wanted to shake Gary’s hand and welcome him home, including me. When everyone finished greeting Gary, shy Janet forgot herself, and asked him to dance. I have never seen such a joy-filled face; here was a person who understood freedom more than anyone else there. I no longer feared being the center of attention because I wasn’t  it wasn’t about me ― it was about him and a well deserved tribute to an American hero. God had the evening well under control and it turned out so much better than I could have ever imagined.

Come back later this week for a shorter postscript to learn how God answered two more of my prayers concerning Gary Thornton.  

Referenced youTube attachment http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=LemllfcAY8A&sns=em                       

See more about Gary Thornton and a photo http://projects.militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=23959

 

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