Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

I Pledge Allegiance To The Flag
Of The United States Of America
And To The Republic For Which It Stands
One Nation Under God
With Liberty And Justice For All

I salute all who have lost their right arm in combat.
I salute all who have lost a leg in combat and cannot stand
at the beginning of a public event.
I salute all the families who sacrifice as much as
their loved ones in the military must sacrifice.
I salute all who have given their lives so that our flag
can fly above a free nation.
I am proud to be an American!
(arranged from a writing by Chaplain Patrick McGlaughlin)

Arlington National Cemetery

Memorial Day 2010
May 31

My family's record of service:
My maternal grandfather, Benjamin Harrison Blaine Capps, served in the US ARMY during WW1
His two sons, Cecil Capps and Eddie Capps, served in WWII, Uncle Cecil in the US ARMY and Uncle Eddie as a Seabee.
My paternal grandfather, Cecil Clyde Carver, was in the Reserves during WWII.
His son, my uncle Lynn Carver, was drafted into the US ARMY during WWII and went to India.
My father was rejected in the draft because of being born with a heart murmur.
All my family members survived the wars, dying of other causes...
My son Benjamin is a veteran of the Gulf Wars Era, having been in the US Marine Corps.
(hopefully I have not left anyone out...I need to do a more thorough history of my family!)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Get To It

"I must work the works of Him that sent me while it is day. The night cometh, when no man can work." -Jesus

"Lose this day loitering, -
'twill be the same story tomorrow...
and the next MORE dilatory.
When indecision brings its own delays
and days are lost lamenting o'er lost days.
Are you in earnest?
Seize this very minute-
What you can do- or dream you can-
Courage has genius, power, and magic in it.
Only engage
and then the mind grows heated...
Begin it
and the work will be completed."

"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."
Ecclesiastes 9:10

Saturday, May 22, 2010

No Pain, No Gain?

The cry of men's anguish went up unto God:
"Lord, take away pain!
The shadow that darkens the world Thou hast made,
The close-clinging chain that strangles the heart,
the burden that weighs on the wings that would soar --
Lord, take away pain from the world Thou hast made,
That it would love Thee the more."
Then answered the Lord
to the cry of His world:
"Shall I take away pain?
And with it the power of the soul to endure,
made strong by the strain?
Shall I take away pity that knits heart to heart,
and sacrifice high?
Will you lose all your heroes
that lift from the fire white brows to the sky?
Shall I take away love that redeems with a price
and smiles at its loss?
Can ye spare from the lives that would climb
unto Mine
the Christ on His cross?"
-author unknown

For it became him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Hebrews 2:10

And the God of all grace, who called you unto his eternal glory in Christ, after that ye have suffered a little while, shall himself perfect, establish, strengthen you. 1 Peter 5:10

Keep praying, Y'all!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Canticle of the Sun

St. Francis of Assisi died in 1226 at the age of 45. He wrote this lovely chant of praise to God that has been preserved for hundreds of years. He is probably most remembered for writing the prayer, "Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love..."  Do you know what "canticle" means? -a song or chant; specifically, a non-metrical hymn with words taken directly from a Biblical text; Middle English, from Latin, (ultimately) 'to sing'. Did you know that the Song of Solomon is also known as The Canticles?  This beautiful chant of praise is full of wonder of God's creations.

Canticle of the Sun

O most high, almighty, good Lord God,
to You belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing!
Praised by my Lord God for all his creatures,
especially for our brother the sun,
who brings us the light;
fair is he and shines with very great splendor;
O Lord, he signifies You to us!

Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon,
and for the stars, which He has set
clear and lovely in heaven.
Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind,
and for the air and clouds,
calms and all weather by which
You uphold life in all creatures.
Praised be my Lord for our sister water,
who is very serviceable to us and humble
and precious and clean.
Praised be my Lord for our brother fire,
through whom You give us light in the darkness;
and he is bright and pleasant
and very mighty and strong.

Praised be my Lord for our mother the earth,
who sustains us and keeps us and brings forth
various fruits and flowers of many colors, and grass.
Praised be my Lord for all those who pardon
one another for His love's sake,
and who endure weakness and tribulation;
blessed are they who shall peaceably endure, for You,
O Most High, will give them a crown.

Blessed are they who are found walking
by Your most holy will,
for the second death shall have no power
to do them harm.
Praise and bless the Lord, and give thanks to Him
and serve Him with great humility.

- St. Francis of Assisi

I would call this a Psalm...

Monday, May 17, 2010

If It Is Right

"If it is right, there is no other way."
Brave words to speak
and braver still to live,
A flag to guide the battle of each day,
A motto that will peace and courage give.

"If it is right, there is no other way."
Wise words
that clear the tangle from the brain.
Pleasure may whisper,
doubt may urge delay,
And self may argue,
But it speaks in vain.

"If it is right, there is no other way."
This is the voice of God, the call of truth;
Happy the man who hears it to obey,
And follows onward, upward
from his youth.

-Priscilla Leonard
(this is the "pen name" of Emily Perkins Bissell,
who brought Christmas Seals to the United States)

"O Thou who art the Father
of that Son which hast awakened us
and yet urgeth us out of the sleep of our sins,
and exhorteth us that we become Thine,
To Thee, Lord, we pray,
Who art the supreme Truth,
for all truth that is, is from Thee.
Thee we implore, O Lord Who art the highest Wisdom,
through Thee are wise, all that are so.
Thou art the supreme Joy,
and from Thee all have become happy that are so.
Thou art the highest Good,
and from Thee man derives his understanding.
To Thee, O God, we call and speak...
We seek Thee,
We follow Thee,
We are ready to serve Thee.
Under Thy power we desire to abide,
for Thou art the Sovereign of all.
We pray Thee to command us as Thou wilt.
Through Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord,
-prayer of King Alfred the Great of England
849-899 AD

Monday, May 10, 2010

Remembering the Ascension

In 1827, a volume of religious poetry and hymns was published called 'The Christian Year'. It was written by John Keble, a sensitive and pious man whose mind was continually occupied with the search for religious truth. He wrote poetry as a means of revealing the spiritual meaning behind everyday experiences. Keble was a leader of the Oxford Movement, a crusade to return the Anglican church to its traditional roots. He believed that the only truth was religious truth, and that anything that threatened to obscure that truth threatened the existence of man. Here is part of a lengthy poem from one he titled 'Fourth Sunday After Easter'.

My Saviour, can it ever be
That I should gain by losing Thee?
The watchful mother tarries nigh
Though sleep has closed her infant's eye,
For should he wake and find her gone,
She knows she could not bear his moan.
But I am weaker than a child,
And Thou art more than mother dear;
Without Thee heaven were but a wild;
How can I live without Thee here?

"Tis good for you that I should go,
You lingering yet awhile below" -
Tis Thine own gracious promise, Lord!
Thy saints have proved the faithful word,
When heaven's bright boundless avenue
Far opened on their eager view,
And homeward to Thy Father's throne,
Still lessening, brightening on their sight
Thy shadowy car went soaring on,
They tracked Thee up the abyss of light.

Thou bidd'st rejoice; they dare not mourn,
But to their home in gladness turn,
Their home and God's, that favored place
Where still He shines on Abraham's race,
In prayers and blessings there to wait
Like supplicants at their monarch's gate
Who, bent with bounty rare to aid
The splendor of His crowning day,
Keeps back awhile His largess made
More welcome for that brief delay.

John Keble 1792-1866

Jesus Christ ascended to heaven 40 days after Easter Sunday, so the event happened on a Thursday. In the United States, the Ascension usually is celebrated on the Sunday following that Thursday. This year it will be May 13.

Remember the angels told the disciples to look for Jesus to come again in the same manner he had gone away...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Better Late Than Never

I never got to post my pictures from Easter Sunday!!! I would much rather say Resurrection Sunday, but everyone knows what I mean. We got to go to Louisiana to see my Carver relations, and a lot of my Kelly relations showed up, too! Not everyone is in these oldest brother, Nathan, was unable to be with us all due to his longstanding illness, and my two oldest Carver nephews were not available.  You know, when I was a child, back home in THE SOUTH, all the little girls wore white dresses on's a picture of the little girls in my Sunday School class one Easter- I am second from the left.

(While I'm at it, here is ALL of the young people of our little church! In this picture I am wearing the hat.)

 I followed the tradition of wearing white for Easter after my marriage and having children of my own, but now with my matronly figger, white seems to make me look huge-er than I am!!LOL I do make my girls wait until Easter to wear white shoes. Some of this tradition probably came from the Catholics wearing white robes after Lent for baptism...I have read up on this some, but as I'm not Catholic ( in this sense of the word) I can't discourse on this with very much eloquence. I am catholic in the sense that the Church of God is worldwide and all who are born again are members of it.  But here we are outside the little Church of God Chapel in Shreveport, in our Easter "finery" ! May we all have on the white robes of righteousness in our souls!
My mother, son Ben in his Dress Blues, me, my brother Jonathan, sister-in-law Cindy, little David in front, back row to nephew Regan, nephew Colin, hubby Galen, little Julia in front, and daughter Alison.

Ben, brother-in law Brent, Dad Kelly, David, sister-in-law Angela, Mom Kelly, Julia, nephew Kyle, sister-in-law Kathy, neice Andrea, brother-in-law Rodney, me, neice Karissa, Galen, daughter Alison.

Resurrection Prayer
O God,
You have glorified
our victorious Savior
with a visible, triumphant
resurrection from the dead,
and ascension into heaven,
where He sits at Your right hand;

Grant, we beg You,
that His triumphs and glories
may ever shine in our eyes,
to make us more clearly see
through His sufferings,
and more courageously endure our own;

being assured by His example,
that if we endeavor
to live and die like Him,
for the advancement of Your love
in ourselves and others,
You will raise our bodies again,
and conforming them to His glorious body,
call us above the clouds,
and give us possession
of Your everlasting kingdom.

-John Wesley

No matter that the date of Easter is passed - - Christians can celebrate the resurrection all the time, and every Sunday!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

An Expression of Trust

Phillips Brooks once said, "A prayer in its simplest definition is merely a wish turned Godward."  I like this sentiment! Brooks was the author of the famous Christmas carol, 'O Little Town of Bethlemen.' I did a post about that back at Christmas time, but since then I have found a prayer by Brooks that is a wonderful expression of trust in God.  

(Brooks was a very famous American clergyman.  According to Wikipedia, his death in 1893 was a major event in the history of Boston. Harvard students carried his body on their shoulders. All barriers of denomination were down; all felt that a great man had fallen.)

A Prayer

O Lord,
by all Your dealings with us,
whether of joy or pain,
of light or darkness,
Let us be brought to You.
Let us value no treatment of Your grace
simply because it makes us happy
or because it makes us sad,
because it gives us or denies us what we want;
But may all that You send us
bring us to You;
that knowing Your perfectness,
we may be sure in every disappointment
You are still loving us,
in every darkness
You are still enlightening us,
and in every enforced idleness
You are giving us life,
as in His death You gave life to Your Son,
our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

-Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Beautiful Things

These are the things I prize
and hold of dearest worth:
Light of the sapphire skies,

Peace of the silent hills,

Shelter of the forest,

Comfort of the grass,
Music of birds,
Murmur of little rills,

Shadows of clouds that swiftly pass,
after showers,
the smell of flowers
and of the good brown earth-
And best of all,
along the way,
friendship and mirth.

-Henry Van Dyke

A thing of beauty is a joy forever;
Its loveliness increases;
it will never pass into nothingness,
but still will keep a bower quiet for us,
and a sleep full of sweet dreams,
and health,
and quiet breathing.
-John Keats

Truth is beautiful.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wishing you a day full of beauty!