Antithesis of a Warrior

Today President Bush awarded the Medal of Honor to a fallen soldier. I was surprised to learn that it is the first one given out for the war in Afghanistan. (Two have been given for the war in Iraq.)

What did he do to deserve it? Gave his life up for another, which reminds me of John 15:13.

Follow this LINK for the amazing story of Lt. Michael Murphy.

I also found this information interesting about the Medal of Honor:

The Medal of Honor confers special privileges on its recipients, both by tradition and by law. By tradition, all other soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen—even higher-ranking officers up to the President of the United States—initiate the salute. In the event of an officer encountering an enlisted member of the military who has been awarded the Medal of Honor, officers by tradition salute not the person, but the medal itself, thus attempting to time their salute to coincide with the enlisted members’. By law, recipients have several benefits:

  • Each Medal of Honor recipient may have his or her name entered on the Medal of Honor Roll. Each person whose name is placed on the Medal of Honor Roll is certified to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as being entitled to receive the special pension of US$1027 per month. The pension is subject to cost-of-living increases.
  • Enlisted recipients of the Medal of Honor are entitled to a supplemental uniform allowance.
  • Recipients receive special entitlements to air transportation under the provisions of DOD Regulation 4515.13-R.
  • Special identification cards and commissary and exchange privileges are provided for Medal of Honor recipients and their eligible dependents.
  • Children of recipients are eligible for admission to the United States military academies without regard to the quota requirements.
  • Recipients receive a 10% increase in retired pay.
  • Those awarded the medal after October 2002 also receive a Medal of Honor Flag. The law also specifies that all 143 living Medal of Honor recipients receive the flag along with all future recipients.
  • As with all medals, retired personnel may wear the Medal of Honor on “appropriate” civilian clothing. Regulations also specify that recipients of the Medal of Honor are allowed to wear the uniform “at their pleasure” with standard restrictions on political, commercial, or extremist purposes; other former members of the armed forces may do so only at certain ceremonial occasions.

Relax, Refresh, and Refuel

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you…
while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

-John Muir

This weekend Starr and I had the opportunity to getaway for a church leadership meeting in Ruidoso, NM. (All the pastors, elders, and deacons come to Ruidoso, NM once a year for a special time of refreshing and renewal. Being that I’m new to the church, it was my first time to attend.) I use the word ‘getaway’ because the conference/meeting allowed for many hours of free time. It’s been a great refresher for Starr and I. We found some excellent childcare for the kids back in Lubbock, and being alone for the first time in months we’ve been able to sit and talk for hours, look at the beauty of God’s creation, and spend time getting to know some new friends.

Yesterday we took the 12 mile drive through the Sierra Blanca Mountain range, and I realized how much I am inspired by nature. There were some amazing vistas to behold, and the photos taken do not begin to do the scenery justice. After the hour of looking at the beautiful scenery, I felt as if my soul was full. Gazing on God’s beautiful creation makes me feel close to him. Every time I’ve ever saw something that took my breath away, I would think of Psalm 24:1‑2, Psalm 95:1‑7, and Romans 1:19‑20.

We’ve had a great time, and today we’re headed back to the flatlands of West Texas. Which holds beauty in it’s own special way.

Give It Away, All of It

Last night on the new ESPN show E:60 (kind of a 60 MINUTES for Sports); Starr and I watched the gut-wrenching story of Jason Ray. He was the UNC Mascot who was killed last March on his way to a basketball game. When his parents knew that there was no chance for his survival, they chose to honor their son’s wishes and put all his organs up for donation. In death Jason Ray contributed to the lives of over 50 people. Make the time to watch this 15 minutes video. You can also read about his story HERE.

Starr and I promised each other that we would also contribute to this cause if fate ever brought this choice upon us. God Forbid.

Good to Great Morning

I had a breakfast meeting this morning. These are rare for me, but I really needed to meet with someone about the Sunday Morning happenings in our Elementary area, and the only time we could meet was early this morning at the local IHOP. So I got up 30 minutes earlier than normal, and dropped Ryan by the school for early drop off care. I’m not a big fan of early mornings, but I’ve hit on something with this meeting. It’s so nice to get something out of the way before even heading into the office for the day.

In honor of my early rise, I want to make two wake-up song recommendations. Music inspires me and leads me in a good direction. A good song in the morning can effect my whole day for the positive; and catching a bad one in the morning might have me humming lyrics to an 80’s Bangles song all day long!

  • The first recommendation is the appropriately titled ‘Good Morning Song’ off the Phil Joel Deliberate Kids CD. I use this every Sunday Morning to signal the kids at church that we are about to begin service; and I play it often when taking my own kids to school. If you can’t tap your foot to this song, then have someone check your pulse.
  • The other song recommendation is ‘New Day’ off the newest Robbie Seay Band CD, Give Yourself Away. It’s a great positive song for starting your day. It would be a great song for those recovering from something, whether it be an addiction or death of a loved one.