Long Time Passing

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 “All flesh is grass,
And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.

The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.

The grass withers, the flower fades,…

Isaiah 40:6b-8a

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September 18, 1960

My father’s life was taken…in the prime of his life, 46, a Navy doctor, a career spiraling upwards, a lovely wife, 3 daughters(12, 10, 7).  The Navy was so special for and to him.  He served in WWII in the Pacific Theater as surgeon, infection control medical officer, doctor, user of Penicillin in its early days to cure Syphillis.  From 1946-1951, he became a part of the after-war Manhattan Project, serving as a Radiological Safety Officer, while he continued to practice medicine in the Navy.  He was on Bikini Island for Operations Crossroads in 1946, then on Eniwetok for Operations Greenhouse in 1951.  By early 1960, he was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer…a death sentence and now connected with radiation poisoning.

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Mama raised us girls and we cared for her in her old age.  January 30, 2013, Mama died of cancer coupled with vascular dementia and diabetes.  She was 98, never remarried.  Daddy was her true love.

We buried her ashes in Arlington National Cemetery (just this past Sept. 9, 2013) with the remains of her beloved Ralph after 53 years…an honor and a privilege to have our parents buried on such hallowed grounds as these.

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My mother was a hero too.  Not only was she a Navy officer’s wife, but worked during the war for the Naval Supply Depot, keeping the Navy in food and other supplies. She became a Gold Star Widow as we became Gold Star children.

     “They are the Gold Star children, war’s innocent victims, and their pain shimmers across the years pure and undimmed. They pass through life with an empty room in their hearts where a father was supposed to live and laugh and love.  All their lives they listen for the footstep that will never fall, and long to know what might have been.”  **

Yes.  That was me…still is.

My husband served in the Army 1967-1970 in the 101st Airborne, an Infantryman in Vietnam…1968-69.  Kenneth came home safely.

Heroes!  These parents of mine, my husband, and ALL the others who have fought to protect this nation over many wars and many years.
They each have a story, yet so many stories are quieted by death.  War is a terrible thing.  The gain is often so small.  The loss is so huge.

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Just prior to Memorial Day weekend, members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) place American flags at the graves of U.S. soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery, “Flags-In”… in memory and honor of these heroes.

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We remember…in many ways…flags, wreaths, flowers, small tokens, a poem, a song. 

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A poem from WWI, written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918, Canadian Army:

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In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

PoppySunset

When will we ever learn?  When will we ever learn?

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?  by Peter Seeger

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago

Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls have picked them everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time ago

Where have all the young girls gone?
Gone for husbands everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the husbands gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the husbands gone?
Long time ago

Where have all the husbands gone?
Gone for soldiers everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time ago

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Gone to flowers, everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago

Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls have picked them everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the flowers gone?  Long time passing.

 

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The glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

The voice said, “Cry out!”
And he said, “What shall I cry?”

“All flesh is grass,
And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.

The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.

The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.”

Isaiah 40:5-8

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One hundred fifty years ago in May 1864, the first military burials took place at Arlington National Cemetery, one month prior to its establishment as a national cemetery. The burials took place in the oldest section of the cemetery – section 27. 

Commemoration of this 150th anniversary as a national cemetery began this past week, May 20, 2014, with an Army wreath-laying ceremony at the gravesite of Army Pvt. William H. Christman, the first military burial at Arlington.
Pvt. William Henry Christman, 67th Pennsylvania Infantry, was the first military service man interred in Arlington.
Pvt. William H. McKinney, 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry, was the first to have family present at funeral.
Pvt. William Reeves, 76th New York Infantry, was the first draftee interred.
Pvt. William Blatt, 49th Pennsylvania Infantry, was the first battle casualty interred.
Privates Christman, McKinney and Reeves were interred May 13, 1864. Pvt. Blatt was interred May 14, 1864.

 

I am still…

BW sig dark blue

Caisson @ Arlington National Cemetery (Photo Courtesy: HBO, http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/section-60-arlington-national-cemetery/index.html)

Memorial Day Flags @ Arlington National Cemetery: http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/FdngYNPGdDt/Arlington+Cemetery+Decorated+250+000+Flags/FloG7f1oqSA

** Quoted in We Were Soldiers Once…and Young by Lt. General Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway, no credit given.

In Flanders Field: the story behind the poem @ http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/flanders.htm

Painting of Poppies between crosses in Flanders Field: unknown

Poppies @ Sunset:  http://viewedfromanotherangle.blogspot.com/2012/07/in-flanders-fields-poppies-grow-by-john_25.html

Last photo: Arlington National Cemetery/Cherry Blossoms dropping upon the graves http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=cherry+blossoms+dc&view=detail&id=2C08990B96757DE3E5C9DB4AF4A29A02FFD83B3F&first=181&FORM=IDFRIR

I Will Pour

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“But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!

Thus says the LORD who made you,
who formed you from the womb and will help you:
Fear not, O Jacob my servant,
Jeshurun whom I have chosen.

For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.

They shall spring up among the grass
like willows by flowing streams.” 

Isaiah 44:1-4

 

יָצַק

yatsaq

to pour, to pour out, to flow, to cast, being firmly established


There is a covenant between God and His chosen ones of everlasting promises to which they receive His benefits.  These chosen ones are God’s servants and as they serve Him He stands by them. They are His chosen.  He will hold them under His protection. They are His creatures. He made them, brought them into being; He formed them from the womb and cast them into shape.  He will help them over their difficulties and aid them in their services.

The covenant blessings are secured by God for these chosen ones and theirs.  Those who would the “theirs” are the generations to come including you and me for we have been adopted in Christ.  God will supply abundantly to those who thirst, who thirst after righteousness.  Seeking God and not the world will bring the rich waters that flow to overflowing.  We shall be filled.  When we feel dry and parched, God’s grace will flood our barren lands with His living water.  That water is God’s Spirit (He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.  Luke 7:38-39).  God will pour out this water without measure, without a determined amount, upon the seed, that is, Christ (Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.  Galatians 3:16).   All the seed of the faithful, even those who wrestle as Jacob did, God will flood the fields through Christ.  Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”…. Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.  The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  John 4:10, 13-14  

God sent His Son, Christ the Servant, and upheld Him.  He will send His Spirit to uphold us.  The Holy Spirit is the blessing upon blessings, Old and New Testament.

“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.  You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.…
  Ezekiel 36:26-28

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13.

How much more could we ask then to be poured out upon by and firmly established in the living God?

 

 

graphic:     http://www.kirtondrawnback.org

Put Off ἀπεκδύομαι … Put On ἐνδύω

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ἐνδύω

endyō

to sink into (clothing), put on, clothe one’s self

ἀπεκδύομαι

apekdyomai

wholly put off from one’s self

denoting separation from what is put off

wholly to strip off for one’s self (for one’s own advantage)

despoil, disarm

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.  They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.  They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.  But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.  Ephesians 4:17-24 ESV

 

God’s Word teaches me that in my accepting Jesus as my LORD and Savior, I have been born anew.  In that rebirth, I have come from the cocoon, once a caterpillar, but now a butterfly, a completely different creature.  I have new clothes.  I have a new way to be in this world.  I no longer crawl upon the ground but must dry my new wings in the warmth of God’s sunlight, spread those beautiful new wings and take flight.  I am here for a short while, but I am to spread the beauty of the LORD wherever I am., wherever I go.  God feeds me the nectar of His flowers…to be nourished and refreshed.  He has produced new life in me, being the image of Christ as I grow in Him.  I am brand new.  I am to completely put off the old Linda who is no more, and put on the Linda that God has made anew through Christ Jesus.  Oh, Hallelujah!

 

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Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:9-17

O, LORD, look at all that I can put on and all that can come off.  The character I am to live is wholly in You, my LORD.  There is nothing I can do or be apart from You, precious LORD.  Mold me and make me fresh and new, filled with the kindness, meekness, patience, and compassion that is You.  Fill me with love and peace that reflects You to this world.  I pray that I can wear the new clothes which I have been given with confidence that I am a becoming creature for You and for You alone. The world will know You by me if I live by Your will and Your way.  I pray this be so.  Amen.  

 

 
first photo/Scripture:  http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/383.html

second photo: (c) Linda Gill @ http://beingwoven.org

These Have No Root

And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.  Luke 8:13

From Charles Spurgeon’s Morning, January 11th:
“These have no root.”

Luke 8:13

Am I rooted in sincere fidelity and love to Jesus?  If my heart remains unsoftened and unfertilized by grace, the good seed may germinate for a season, but it must ultimately wither, for it cannot flourish on a rocky, unbroken, unsanctified heart.  Let me dread a godliness as rapid in growth and as wanting in endurance as Jonah’s gourd; let me count the cost of being a follower of Jesus, above all let me feel the energy of his Holy Spirit, and then I shall possess an abiding and enduring seed in my soul.  If my mind remains as obdurate as it was by nature, the sun of trial will scorch, and my hard heart will help to cast the heat the more terribly upon the ill-covered seed, and my religion will soon die, and my despair will be terrible; therefore, O heavenly Sower, plough me first, and then cast the truth into me, and let me yield thee a bounteous harvest.”

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O Heavenly Sower, plough me first.  Make my soil ready for Your Truth and then cast Your Truth into me.  May I then yield You a bountiful harvest, a field of golden grain.  May I be softened for You that any seed of Yours that is planted, that falls upon this soil of Linda, be able to be fully grown to become a plentiful harvest.  In the Name of Christ I pray.  Amen.   

 

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Photo of ploughing/horses:  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Farmer_plowing_in_Fahrenwalde,_Mecklenburg-Vorpommern,_Germany.jpg

Photo of field of grain:  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grain-field.jpg