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Observations On God, Country & Family (and a pinch of humor)

Observations On God, Country & Family (and a pinch of humor)

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Observations On God, Country & Family (and a pinch of humor)

Comprimento:
247 página
4 horas
Lançado em:
Mar 25, 2013
ISBN:
9781301404841
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

Observations contains 85 commentaries on a range of topics from religious to humorous. They include It's All Right To Laugh In Church, Do Lawyers Go To Heaven, The Trip, The Call Of The Wild Pecan, We Have Experiences, Telephone Recorders, The Mystery Of Women's Purses, Have You Read Your Water Bill Lately, Let Me Rise Again, Freedom Isn't Free and 75 more.

Lançado em:
Mar 25, 2013
ISBN:
9781301404841
Formato:
Livro

Sobre o autor

The author is a freelance writer and professional modelbuilder. He has also spent decades researching his family's genealogy. He has written three print books, several hundred articles and created several CD-ROM photo galleries. Along the way, he has produced well over 1,000 models for clients ranging from Aerospace companies to private collectors. A self-described aircraft/science fiction nut...ahem, enthusiast...he will and has built just about anything you care to name, depending on his client's requirements. A native Southerner who was born in Tennessee, he has spent most of his life in Texas (He got there as soon as he could.). He lives in Fort Worth with his wife, Nelda, his dog, Magnum, and more model kits than he'll ever be able to build in this life.


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Observations On God, Country & Family (and a pinch of humor) - Richard Marmo

Observations on God, Country & Family

(and a pinch of humor)

by Richard Marmo

Copyright 2013 Richard Marmo

Smashwords Edition

Smashwords Edition license statement.

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only and may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this ebook with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Table Of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1: 2001-2003

Chapter 2: 2004-2005

Chapter 3: 2006

Chapter 4: 2007

Chapter 5: 2008

Chapter 6: 2009

Chapter 7: 2010

Chapter 8: 2011-2013

About the author

****

Introduction

This collection of observations/commentaries/essays was written over a period of twelve years or so as a member of a local church in Fort Worth, Texas. Some were developed by request, but most are simply my thoughts on various subjects. They run the gamut from patriotic thru religious, inspirational and family to humorous. Several were the direct result of the 9/11 attack.

Over the years I've been asked how long it took me to write one of these essays, did I have to work on it for a couple of weeks? The short answer for the majority of them is no. Maybe 45 minutes or an hour. What I tell people is that I really don't know exactly what I'm going to write. An idea of the subject, yes, but beyond that, all I can say is that I start typing and it shows up. The only time it's taken longer is when I stop to research a date or statistic. As a result of that approach, many fit in more than one category and most have a more or less Christian slant.

In the process of creating this ebook, I've considered several different approaches. Alphabetizing by title doesn't work. Neither does categorizing by subject or type (humor, religious, patriotic, etc.) for the simple reason that what one person considers humorous or religious, the next person doesn't.

What I finally settled on is the chronological format, grouping them by the year they were written. This produced a mix of subjects in no particular order. By the way, you'll find multiple commentaries dealing with certain holidays/special days: Fourth of July, Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, etc. I make no apologies for this. All I ask is that you accept them for what they are.

****

Chapter 1: 2001- 2003

Armistice Day

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of all the combatants fell silent and WW-1...the war that was fought to end all wars...was over. One year later, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day. Two years after that, on November 11, 1921, the first unknown soldier was laid to rest in a tomb at Arlington National Cemetery. Armistice Day would live forever as the moment that war ceased to exist. To our sorrow, it didn't turn out that way.

Not only have wars not ended, in some ways they've gotten worse. Small wars that are frequently referred to as revolutions or wars of liberation often wind up being the precursors of larger wars, particularly when combined with totalitarian political dreams. The Bolshevik revolution that brought Lenin to power in Russia and the rise of the Nazi party that paved the way for Hitler's control of Germany are two prime examples.

Japan's insatiable thirst for power in the Pacific, combined with Hitler's in Europe, brought on WW-II. Since then, the world has endured Viet Nam, Korea, the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War, myriads of brushfire wars, Desert Storm, Kosovo and...most recently...terrorism that has led to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It won't end there, either. The only question is where the next battleground will be.

Through it all, Americans have sacrificed in ways too numerous to mention. Whenever a need has been publicized, we've come through. Money, blood, volunteerism to build houses for the needy. Prayers of all kinds. We pray for our leaders, for strength, for peace. And when there is no peace, or the situation is forced on us in the form of a surprise attack on innocent civilians, we pray for our military.

Another Armistice Day has come around, only now we call it Veteran's Day. No longer limited to WW-I, it is now a day that we honor all veterans...past, present and future. A day to let them know that we honor their sacrifices and that we will support them in every way, wherever they may be called to arms.

America was founded on faith in God by men who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. They had a duty to uphold and they did so...to the last breath in their bodies.

We can only pray that the same will be said of us by future generations. If our response to terrorism is any indication, they will.

****

Don't You Agree?

Another year has come and gone...and it's Mother's Day again.

As you may or may not know, Mother's Day, as a designated day in each calendar year when we honor motherhood...usually by the giving of gifts to our Mothers...is a relatively recent event.

Beginning as a local observance, the first Mother's Day occurred in 1907 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Seven years later, in 1914, an Act of Congress established Mother's Day on a National basis and the rest, as they say, is history.

So, now, the second Sunday of May is a flurry of activity when many Mothers are treated to fabulous buffets or dinners at the trendiest restaurants. Roses by the dozen...at $40 per dozen plus FedEx delivery...criss-cross the country. Telephone calls by the tens of millions are made...with a substantial number coming from grown children who never give their Mothers a second thought the rest of the year. In short, Mother's Day has become as commercialized as Christmas.

Think not? Consider that former first lady Barbara Bush would prefer not to be wished a happy Mother's Day for exactly that reason.

Mothers deserve far more than a bunch of expensive flowers or a night out at a fancy restaurant once a year. Let's take a look as what Mothers really do.

Once a woman brings that bundle of joy into the world and she becomes a Mother, her life changes forever. That child ...you and I... becomes the most important thing in the world. Whatever dreams and plans she ever had... perhaps a particular career or travel... frequently winds up on the shelf.

Her child...or children...becomes the hub around which her life revolves. She worries and prays over every illness, injury or broken heart. And she goes without even the little things that she'd like to have...just so the children won't have to.

No sacrifice is too great for that child...or that grown child. Mothers would literally walk over burning coals for the sake of their children.

It's been said that once a Mother, always a Mother...and those are probably some of the truest words that have ever been spoken. Keep in mind that just because you have become an adult, it doesn't mean you've quit being your Mother's child. You'll always be her baby and you will also never age in her sight. If she lives to be 100 and you're 81, you'll be forever young.

You need to enjoy your Mother while you can, because the years have a way of slipping away. Once day she'll be gone to a better place, leaving you to wonder if you should have done more for her or treated her better. Well, if you want to play the could've, should've blame game, we all could've or should've done better. I would suggest that that really doesn't matter if you've done the best you could by your Mother. We're all human and anything but perfect.

What really matters where our Mothers are concerned, whether you choose to call her Mother, Mom, Ma, Sarah, Ruby or whatever name you're comfortable with, is that she has your undying respect, devotion and love. That's really all Mother's ask of their children.

As I said earlier, Barbara Bush complains about Mother's Day being too commercialized...and she's right. Instead of your Mother getting a deluge of attention on one day and frequently ignored or taken for granted the rest of the year, every day should be Mother's Day.

Let her know from time to time that you really do love her. Take her to a movie or a stage play, maybe go to the zoo...just because. Remember, it's the little things that matter...and they don't have to cost you a dime.

Finally, don't put it off. One day you'll wake up and find out 40 years have gone by. Your Mother will be in a nursing home, deaf, blind, maybe in the final stages of dementia or Alzheimer's, unaware that you even exist and you will have lost your chance to tell her how much you really care about her. Yep, every day should be Mother's Day.

Don't you agree?

****

Heritage

On July 4, 1776, at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, what is arguably the single greatest document ever conceived by mortal man was adopted. Slightly less than a month later, August 2, 1776, fifty-six courageous men signed that document and set in motion events that would culminate in creation of the greatest Nation this world has ever seen.

You know that document, the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America. If you've forgotten how it begins, let me refresh your memory:

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

If you have ever thought, even for a moment, that the Declaration was dashed off in the heat of the moment by a group of angry men, listen to the closing paragraph. They knew exactly what they were doing, had given much sober thought to the consequences and were willing to make whatever sacrifice necessary to attain their goal. Listen.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by authority of the good people of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of the Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor.

Was that pledge just empty words? Hardly. Most, if not all of them, died poor or penniless; their fortunes used to support the cause of freedom. Some lost their lives. But their Sacred Honor? That was never lost.

And it wasn't just the Founding Fathers who were responsible for the creation of this Nation. All who chose to side with the Revolution had a part in it. Nathan Hale, moments before being hanged for treason against the British, said I regret that I have but one life to give for my country. And don't forget Molly Pitcher who, when her husband fell in battle, took command of his Artillery unit, continuing to fire at the Redcoats.

Through the decades and centuries this Nation grew, ever greater and stronger. When the British sacked Washington, D.C. in 1814, we were not deterred. The tragedy of our Civil War only made us stronger and the Indian Wars taught us Guerrilla Warfare. WW-1 came and went, then WW-II, Korea and Viet Nam. And let's not forget the Cuban Missile Crisis when we were closer to destroying the entire planet in a nuclear holocaust than anyone cares to admit. Finally, Desert Storm.

It's been 226 years and America has endured. But now it's time to ask some questions. Today, we seem to have forgotten our history. As a matter of fact, American History is frequently not taught in school and children have no interest in learning about history. Video games and movies based on those same games have the attention of many.

Drug use, immorality, apathy, an attitude that is best summed up with the phrase What's in it for me? Many people plan their entire lives around a single question. How much money am I going to make? is seemingly all that matters.

I know, that's all been said before…usually every generation. In spite of the perceived decadence, those previous generations have answered the call when it came and this country has wound up the better for it.

On September 11, 2001, the call came again. Many have responded just as our forefathers did. America has united against a common foe.

Will we remain united for as long as it takes to vanquish the terrorists? How will we react when the next attack occurs in this country…and it will. Do we have the resolve for a years long struggle, complete with many casualties, both military and civilian?

I believe that we will stay united and resolute. After all, that is our heritage.

What do you believe?

****

High Flight

When WW-II began in 1939, America declared herself a neutral nation and would remain that way until the attack on Pearl Harbor. By 1940, England stood alone against the Nazi onslaught. With their backs to the sea, the British were determined to defend their island nation to the bitter end. That defense would become known as the Battle of Britain.

Despite America’s neutral status, many patriotic young Americans were determined to help the English in their struggle. To get around the neutrality restrictions, they traveled north and enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force. From there, the next stop would be England and the cockpit of a Supermarine Spitfire fighter plane. John Gillespie Magee, jr. was one of many.

In December, 1941, Pilot Officer Magee, a 19-year old American serving with the RCAF in England, was killed when his Spitfire collided with another airplane inside a cloud. Discovered among his personal effects was this sonnet written on the back of a letter at the time he was in flying school at Farnborough, England.

Since that time, the poem has become a favorite of pilots, being recited frequently at their funerals. And if you think back, you’ll recall it being quoted on television after the Challenger Shuttle explosion.

It’s been said that there are no atheists in foxholes. You won’t find many at high altitude either, especially alone in the unheated cockpit of a fighter plane, surrounded by the magnificent beauty of God’s creation.

There are precious few poems that even get my attention, but this one – called High Flight- I’m in love with. I think you’ll understand why.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

And danced the sky on laughter-silvered wings.

Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things

You’ve not dreamed of…

Wheeled and soared and swung,

High in the sunlit silence.

Hov’ring there, I’ve chased the shouting wind along,

And flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up, along delirious burning blue,

I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grade,

Where never lark or even eagle flew.

And while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

****

It Was A Miracle

Many years ago, a preacher told his congregation the story of Christmas and the miracle of Christ's birth. How God thought so much of his people that he appeared amongst them, manifested in human form as the Christ Child. The miracle began at the moment of the Immaculate Conception, was first demonstrated to us at the moment of Christ's Virgin Birth and would continue for thirty-three years when the ultimate sacrifice would be made. A sacrifice that would not only provide a means of salvation for all who accept Christ as their Lord, but stand forever as proof positive of the greatest love ever known.

Throughout the telling of the story, a young girl…about 8 or 9 years old …listened closely, enthralled by what she heard. Despite her attraction to the tale, a part of her wondered. Did it really happen that way? Was it really a miracle? Making matters worse, her friends laughed at her questions. Just fiction, they said, a fairytale.

Unable to put the questions aside, she wrote a letter to the pastor. Please, Sir, she wrote, some of my friends say that the Christmas Story is only a fairytale, no more real than Santa Claus. I asked my parents but they said I should ask you, that you would be able to explain it best. Is it real? Was it a miracle?

When the pastor received the letter, he was moved to tears. How, he thought, could anyone think the Christmas Story was only a fairytale? After the pastor had composed himself, he put pen to paper and tried to reply to the girl's questions. Finally, after many false starts, this is what he wrote:

"My dear little sister, your friends are indeed wrong. I'm sure you know that that there ARE fairytales and there's nothing wrong with that. Fairytales, for the most part, ask you to imagine things that are not real…cannot be real. Imagination is a wonderful thing and we would be the poorer without it. But that doesn't mean everything that's difficult to conceive of is a fairytale.

We can't see wind or heat, yet we can certainly feel and observe their effects. Trees move, stormclouds build, our bodies are warmed or chilled by these invisible forces. Even though we can't see these forces, no one doubts their reality.

In the same way, God is just as real. He's everywhere and always has been. Everything we can see, touch, feel or observe was created by Him. As we were. And since we are his creation, his children, he also loves us with a love that never ceases…even when we disobey.

Because of that love, a love greater than any of us can imagine, he became human, took on the form of an ordinary child, so that he could spend time among us, teaching us, so that we could become closer to Him.

When He was born of a Virgin and took his first earthly breath in a lonely stable, I DO believe it was a miracle. A miracle of love.

Merry Christmas!

****

It’s Here Again!

Well, folks, it's here again…it being another year. Yep, another year where we can try to get it right for once. Or not, as the case may be. Believe me, the way most people celebrate, that's a lot easier said than done.

The history of New Year's is really quite fascinating, with the first celebration occurring 4,000 years ago in Babylon, coinciding with the Vernal Equinox…otherwise known as the first day of spring. It's path from Babylon to the present day is convoluted in the extreme, but considering some of the modern methods of celebrating, it makes you wonder if things have changed that much.

Even in the United States, New Year's Eve is frequently a wild and wooly affair. Fireworks, guns fired into the air, private parties where the object seems to

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