Memorial Day 2015

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“The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem.” — Aaron Kilbourn

Sacrifice is hard to comprehend and even harder to forget.

Our family knows only too well the ultimate sacrifice paid by those brave soldiers who answer the call to fight and defend our country but are killed in action. It is our obligation to honor and remember those we have lost today because they have truly done something that most of us would never consider and the cost was their lives.

Today, I honor Ray Joseph Hutchinson who was one of the finest young men and our nephew. I will add his Mother’s email signature at the bottom of this post. It has been over 11 years since Ray was killed in Iraq and yet it seems as if it occurred only moments ago. Some losses are hard to forget.

Remember today is more than a holiday. It is a day of remembrance and an opportunity to thank God for those brave enough to protect us.

I am sorrowful yet grateful.

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“Oh, my son! What an honor to be your mother…”
SPC Ray Joseph Hutchinson 101’st Airborne Screaming Eagles
2/502 Killed in Action December 7, 2003 Mosul, Iraq
~A TRUE HERO RESTS IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD~

Born Again…

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I am not afraid of birthdays. I embrace them. Today, I celebrate my 61st.

Many years ago, I was sitting at the funeral for one of my dearest lifelong friends, Paul Marshall May, and it just struck me that I would never complain about getting older. He was a young man who would not live to see his very small children grow up and enjoy years with his family.

I think of Paul often and I miss him dearly but I honor him on my birthday as a way to remember that our days are numbered as we wait to be cross over Jordan and head homeward. Paul was so full of the joy of life and while cancer robbed him of his earthly days, his faith guaranteed him an eternity of birthdays. His legacy is his faith, his family and the beautiful music he could create on the church organ. Paul was amazing.

We grew up in church together with our families and know what it means to be born again. On each birthday, on each day, I too am born again. I walk one step closer toward Jesus and that is just all right with me.

Happy 61st birthday Paul and thank you Jesus for the many gifts you have given to me…but most of all, for the gift of grace.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Don’t be so touchy!

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Everyone is so touchy and I mean that in a sad, ironic and bewildered way.

We live in a social media and communication savvy world where every word, every comment, every thought is digested and repeated and dissected until the pundits can pounce on a person’s thought process.

To be fair, not all comments are created equal. Not all people are smart enough to keep their mouths shut. We are all guilty of saying stupid things. But, and this is important…we have a right to do so.

The church is often stuck in the middle of this quagmire of judgmental commenting and can be quite touchy upon subjects in which they do not agree. Be careful, this is dangerous territory for those who love the Lord.

As for me, I choose to love. I may not agree but I don’t berate, belittle or hate people for their words. To do so is to place yourself in a position from which only God can stand in judgment. I am not going to spew hatred. That is totally contrary to the message of Christ.

I think back to the story of the woman who was an “untouchable” and was an outcast in society. As Jesus moves through the crowds a woman appears that is known as being untouchable and cursed. But this woman takes a leap of faith and makes a desperate grasp for the hem of Jesus garment in order to touch Him. She touches the Messiah and in an instant she is healed. The part of this story that really resonates with me though is that Jesus turns and asks “Who touched my clothes?” “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:30-34

I believe in my heart that Jesus knew who touched Him but He wanted the crowd to know. He wanted to make a bold and powerful statement. One person deemed totally untouchable was now recognized by the King of Kings and was healed. His touch saved her. It saves people today. What a powerful testimony, What a powerful savior.

As my Pastor once said “No one you lock eyes with is beyond the love and reach of God”. We all need His touch. Be a witness to that truth.

He touched me, Oh He touched me,
And oh the joy that floods my soul!
Something happened and now I know,
He touched me and made me whole.
Song by: Bill Gaither