My Veterans Day salute 2013

Today I would like to do my part in honoring the military veterans of our great country. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice – all gave some and some gave all.


As a veteran, I have several thoughts and reflections that are going through my mind. I served three years as an Infantry mortar man of the 10th Mountain Division in Ft Benning, Georgia. In my 3 years, I earned the rank of Sargent, was Airborne qualified, field medic certified, trained in Alaska and spent many days carrying an oversized rucksack in the field as a light-fighter. I am thankful to God that there was not a military conflict while I was in the service, and so abundantly grateful to those who had engage in combat.

I have at least four veterans that have made a huge impact on my life, and I try to honor them this day when possible.

  • My cousin Chuck is a few years older than me. He was a Marine, and while I was floundering in college he came to visit one time right after his basic training. The change of discipline I saw in him influenced me to see that the military might be a good thing for me.
  • Wes is my buddy and as close as a brother to me. We didn’t know each other before, but joined the 10th Mountain at the same time – from the same hometown. The three years in the Army was only the beginning of a lifetime of friendship. We experienced life in many ways over the years – good and bad times, hard and fun times, even in life and death. Sometimes I would talk to Wes and he would just know what I need – without me asking.
  • Jeff is a friend I met through work around twelve years ago. We were both veterans and had so many things in common with each other. We worked together for years, but were separated by three hours and a state line. Jeff taught me integrity through golf and the value of a friend when needed.

The last person I want to honor is my grandpa – JB Grigsby.JB Grigsby He was the first veteran I ever knew, and the one I never appreciated until after his death in 1990. Grandpa fought in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII, and was among very few who came home alive from his platoon. He never spoke of his military service and I never really asked. Oh how I wish I could ask him just a few questions today, and thank him for the sacrifices he made.  I wish I had took the time to lean from his wisdom, but I was just too foolish at the time.

JB grave

Military service is not for everyone.
For those who do volunteer for service to our county I am grateful. I am thankful that men and women still love this country enough to sacrifice themselves and serve in our military. I also know this fact to be true:

All will give some
Some will give all

Remember freedom isn’t free.
God, please continue to bless and heal this great nation of ours.

Yes, Work is good

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters

Colossians 3:23

Before sin came to our world there was work.  Did you ever realize that?

In Genesis 2:15 we read that God put man in the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.  I think God intended Adam to gather fruit and vegetables daily to provide for nutritional needs.  Harvesting was work, but in a good way.  Imagine loving to do work!  Work brought Adam joy, food for life and a sense of accomplishment.

Then we see that when sin came along that same work became toilsome.  In Genesis 3:17-19 God said that the ground then would produce thorns and thistles – competition in several ways for healthy plants.  God also said that work then would cause us to sweat – to make us give a lot of effort.  Those same fruits and vegetables now became more difficult to harvest because of the weeds choked them out.

Split Wood
Austin and Spud split wood

Most people in our lifetime look at work as something that is hard and a duty they don’t look forward to doing.  Commercials, TV shows and movies all give work a bad name.  But we should realize that God created us for work, and by realizing that is part of our human design accept work as a way of glorifying God!  Work is another way to worship God!

So if you work in retail you are serving a customer, but you are working to please God – that’s how He designed you.  If you stack, ship, move or manage for a living – do your tasks to please God.  If your job is to make widgets, then make them as if God paid you.  If mowing, cleaning, chores and the like is your thing – do them all to be pleasing God!

Below is one of my favorite quotes that gives a great description of what somebody looks like that loves working and is bringing glory to God.

“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.”

James A. Michener

Good ain’t good enough

Buddy – How are you doing?
Me – Good.  How are you?
Buddy – Good
Me – Good

GoodWho is good and what really is good any more?

The above conversation happens all too often in my life it seems.  And I for one am ready to put an end to it.

Webster’s defines good in several ways:

of high quality;of somewhat high but not excellent quality; correct or proper; of a favorable character or tendency; free from injury or disease; not depreciated; commercially sound

So which is it – how are you really?

And then to hear it is good that I am good.  Well that is just good to hear.

I think.

I propose a new wording for our greetings.  What if we greeted each other with something other than good?  And how about how I am doing is something other than good?

I have tried in the past few weeks to eliminate good from my greeting vocabulary.  It is hard at times because good is just so ingrained in our minds to respond when asked how you are doing.  But I am trying.

Here are some of the responses I have been providing:

  • I am well.
  • I’m just fine.
  • Doing better than I deserve!
  • Really swell.

Does anyone feel the way I do?  Am I on my own on this one?

Will somebody stand with me?

It sure would be good if you did!



My son planned a cookout and bond fire at our home this past Friday night.  He contacted his friends and made food plans with his mom.  Then he and I prepared the yard and fire pit for the evening.

A couple of his buddies came over early to help us finish off the last details of moving cinder blocks and gathering wood.  Each of them were giddy and willing to do just about anything I asked them to do as we prepared.  Why?  Anticipation

They each anticipated who would show up for the event.  What conversations they would have. Maybe a new friendship would develop.  For sure, somebody was going to do something so funny that the whole school would be talking about it Monday morning!  That’s the beauty of anticipation – it is hoping for something great that is unseen and uncompleted.

Their anticipation reminded me of two great anticipations that I have on my mind:

1st – I am anticipating the new acquaintances, friendships and adventures I will have as a result of writing and maturing this blog.  The ability to purposefully share my thoughts and adventures makes me just giddy!  God is giving me wisdom as I journey, and I am so glad to share with anyone who will listen.

2nd – I am also anticipating the glorious meeting I will have in Heaven with my Savior!  I know in Heaven there will be a great reward for the things I do for the glory of God here on earth.  Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  I have never seen Heaven, but I sure do have faith that it will be a wonderful place to be for the rest of eternity!


My son and his buddies did not know for sure who was coming to the cookout or what kind of fun it would be.  But they anticipated a really good time.

This blog and eventual book journey are certainly uncharted for me, and I know will include many highs and lows.  But I do anticipate how it will change me and my future.

My personal journey toward Heaven will be tough at times, but will also include many mountain top experiences.  Best of all I anticipate the final reward when I meet Jesus face to face!!!

So how about you?  What are you giddy about or greatly anticipating in your life?

In the beginning

In the beginning I wrote a blog.  Why would I do such a thing?

This is the beginning of a journey I have been wanting to take for some time.  I have wanted to write a book about the life lessons I learned while picking blackberries with my grandma.  She died in October of 2008, but I had begun to record my thoughts a few years earlier.  I said when she died I would finish this book.      Ok, better late than never.  I am starting to put it together.

So this blog will be my preparations for the writing of the book.  I hope to journal this journey, learned life lessons, and some adventure.

Thank you to those who will start out with me early on the journey.  I pray you will be able to say it was beneficial to you as well.

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