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In Remembrance

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  • Stephen J. Hall
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY May 29, 2006 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 2, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      NOTES FROM THE VALLEY
      May 29, 2006

      "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
      I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Memorial Day. For many it means a long weekend, picnics and
      parades, and the running of the Indianapolis 500. According to
      Webster's Dictionary, a memorial is something designed or
      established to serve as a remembrance of a person or an event.
      Memorial Day is in fact, an American holiday, designated for
      remembering and honoring dead servicemen. Those men and women who
      paid the ultimate price, giving up their lives, so we could enjoy
      the freedoms we have today. Freedom of choice; freedom from tyranny
      and oppression. By now, you're probably beginning to see the
      parallel between the sacrifices of those heroic men and women and
      what Jesus did for us.

      According to the biblical account in Genesis, all of us were created
      to be God's children. He walked with our ancestors, Adam and Eve,
      in the Garden of Eden. He spent quality, close, personal time with
      them until sin required Him to separate from them. As the result of
      their sin, we all became captives to the law of sin and death,
      oppressed by the devil and separated from God.

      Jesus said He came to serve mankind and not to be served (Mark
      10:45). Then He laid down His life for us, paying the ultimate
      price for our sin so we could be freed again from the law of sin and
      death (the curse). Jesus gave us the Lord's Supper as a memorial to
      that act of sacrifice. So we would remember the high value God
      placed on us and His willingness to pay that high price to have us
      back in a right relationship with Him once again. Now, all the
      benefits of that freedom are available to us for the asking again.

      God created us to be free. Captivity is an unnatural state for
      God's children. But, in a sin dominated world, there are those who
      would enslave others for evil, personal gain. The forms of
      enslavement, the types of motivating gain may vary, but all are
      contrary to God's plan and purpose for His children.

      In the Genesis account, the devil enslaved and Jesus sacrificed all
      He had to oppose him and set the captives free. He committed the
      ultimate act of love in the fulfillment of God's plan. "Greater
      love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his
      friends." John 15:13 In the modern world, there are more than a
      enough tyrants still seeking to enslave God's children. And as
      Christians ("imitators of Christ") we are the ones now called to
      stand against them.

      I commend to all the reading of two marvelous books by Peter
      Marshall and David Manuel. The first is titled, "The Light and the
      Glory . . . Did God have a plan for America" and the second, "From
      Sea to Shining Sea . . . God's plan for America unfolds." The task
      may seem a bit daunting. The two books total over 800 pages and
      contain exhaustive research into original texts covering some four
      centuries of our nation's history. But the effort is very
      worthwhile to any who are interested in the truth, whether you are a
      believer or not. This is highly documented material that will
      probably never make it into any text approved by the public school
      system because it so clearly and exhaustively demonstrates God's
      hand upon this nation and upon those who have served Him by serving
      her. Men and women of deep and abiding faith who gave all they had
      to break the bonds of tyranny and build a nation where all men could
      be free. Free in God's "new Promised Land.." Men and women who, to
      this day, follow the example of Christ in laying down their lives so
      that we can continue to enjoy the blessings of that freedom. "For
      God's call on this country has never been revoked." It is those men
      and women we pause to honor on this Memorial Day.

      Among the many benefits of the freedom we enjoy is the opportunity
      to spend intimate, quality, personal time with God again. To talk
      with Him, learn from Him, and be comforted and protected by Him. To
      be His child again. To walk with Him in the garden in the cool of
      the evening and share with Him the excitement and needs of our day.
      To feel His pride at our accomplishments and the loving touch of His
      hand upon our shoulder. Huddled in a foxhole, trapped in rush hour
      traffic, on a quiet walk through the woods, or anywhere else you
      happen to be. You pick the time and place and He'll be waiting there
      for you. All you need to do is ask. It's God's greatest desire
      that you would ask. He'd like you to remember that above all else
      on this Memorial Day.

      Your brother and His very grateful child,
      Steve


      LOVE AND COURAGE
      (Author: David L. Kuzminski)

      Walking down a path through some woods in Georgia, I saw a water
      puddle ahead on the path. I angled my direction to go around it on
      the part of the path that wasn't covered by water and mud.

      As I reached the puddle, I was suddenly attacked! Yet I did nothing
      for the attack was so unpredictable and from a source so totally
      unexpected. I was startled as well as unhurt, despite having been
      struck four or five times already. I backed up a foot and my
      attacker stopped attacking me. Instead of attacking more, he hovered
      in the air on graceful butterfly wings in front of me. Had I been
      hurt I wouldn't have found it amusing, but I was unhurt, it was
      funny, and I was laughing. After all, I was being attacked by a
      butterfly!

      Having stopped laughing, I took a step forward. My attacker rushed
      me again. He rammed me in the chest with his head and body, striking
      me over and over again with all his might, still to no avail.

      For a second time, I retreated a step while my attacker relented in
      his attack. Yet again, I tried moving forward. My attacker charged
      me again. I was rammed in the chest over and over again. I wasn't
      sure what to do, other than to retreat a third time. After all, it's
      just not everyday that one is attacked by a butterfly.

      This time, though, I stepped back several paces to look the
      situation over. My attacker moved back as well to land on the
      ground. That's when I discovered why my attacker was charging me
      only moments earlier. He had a mate and she was dying. She was
      beside the puddle where he landed.

      Sitting close beside her, he opened and closed his wings as if to
      fan her. I could only admire the love and courage of that butterfly
      in his concern for his mate. He had taken it upon himself to attack
      me for his mate's sake, even though she was clearly dying and I was
      so large. He did so just to give her those extra few precious
      moments of life, should I have been careless enough to step on her.
      Now I knew why and what he was fighting for.

      There was really only one option left for me. I carefully made my
      way around the puddle to the other side of the path, though it was
      only inches wide and extremely muddy. His courage in attacking
      something thousands of times larger and heavier than himself just
      for his mate's safety justified it. I couldn't do anything other
      than reward him by walking on the more difficult side of the puddle.
      He had truly earned those moments to be with her, undisturbed. I
      left them in peace for those last few moments, cleaning the mud from
      my boots when I later reached my car.

      Since then, I've always tried to remember the courage of that
      butterfly whenever I see huge obstacles facing me. I use that
      butterfly's courage as an inspiration and to remind myself that good
      things are worth fighting for.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in
      time that men have died to win them. Franklin D. Roosevelt

      _____________________________________________________________
      ___________________________

      Copyright © 1998 - 2006 by Stephen J. Hall - Notes from the
      Valley and Humor from the Valley are meant to brighten your day and
      encourage you along the way. If you are blessed by them, please
      feel free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you
      have something you'd like to contribute to a future edition or would
      like to ask us a question or make a comment, please contact us at:
      steveh.rbis@...
      _____________________________________________________________
      ___________________________


      Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling
      everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of
      your love . . . (Psalm 89:1-2 The Message)
    • Stephen J. Hall
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY Memorial Day 2007 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no
      Message 2 of 8 , May 24, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        NOTES FROM THE VALLEY
        Memorial Day 2007

        "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
        I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        Memorial Day. For many it means a long weekend, picnics and parades,
        and the running of the Indianapolis 500. According to Webster's
        Dictionary, a memorial is something designed or established to serve
        as a remembrance of a person or an event. Memorial Day is in fact,
        an American holiday, designated for remembering and honoring dead
        servicemen. Those men and women who paid the ultimate price, giving
        up their lives, so we could enjoy the freedoms we have today.
        Freedom of choice; freedom from tyranny and oppression. By now,
        you're probably beginning to see the parallel between the sacrifices
        of those heroic men and women and what Jesus did for us.

        According to the biblical account in Genesis, all of us were created
        to be God's children. He walked with our ancestors, Adam and Eve, in
        the Garden of Eden. He spent quality, close, personal time with them
        until sin required Him to separate from them. As the result of their
        sin, we all became captives to the law of sin and death, oppressed by
        the devil and separated from God.

        Jesus said He came to serve mankind and not to be served (Mark
        10:45). Then He laid down His life for us, paying the ultimate
        price for our sin so we could be freed again from the law of sin and
        death (the curse). Jesus gave us the Lord's Supper as a memorial to
        that act of sacrifice. So we would remember the high value God
        placed on us and His willingness to pay that high price to have us
        back in a right relationship with Him once again. Now, all the
        benefits of that freedom are available to us for the asking again.

        God created us to be free. Captivity is an unnatural state for God's
        children. But, in a sin dominated world, there are those who would
        enslave others for evil, personal gain. The forms of enslavement,
        the types of motivating gain may vary, but all are contrary to God's
        plan and purpose for His children.

        In the Genesis account, the devil enslaved and Jesus sacrificed all
        He had to oppose him and set the captives free. He committed the
        ultimate act of love in the fulfillment of God's plan. "Greater love
        has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
        John 15:13 In the modern world, there are more than a enough tyrants
        still seeking to enslave God's children. And as Christians
        ("imitators of Christ") we are the ones now called to stand against
        them.

        I commend to all the reading of two marvelous books by Peter Marshall
        and David Manuel. The first is titled, "The Light and the
        Glory . . . Did God have a plan for America" and the second, "From
        Sea to Shining Sea . . . God's plan for America unfolds." The task
        may seem a bit daunting. The two books total over 800 pages and
        contain exhaustive research into original texts covering some four
        centuries of our nation's history. But the effort is very worthwhile
        to any who are interested in the truth, whether you are a believer or
        not. This is highly documented material that will probably never
        make it into any text approved by the public school system because it
        so clearly and exhaustively demonstrates God's hand upon this nation
        and upon those who have served Him by serving her. Men and women of
        deep and abiding faith who gave all they had to break the bonds of
        tyranny and build a nation where all men could be free. Free in
        God's "new Promised Land.." Men and women who, to this day, follow
        the example of Christ in laying down their lives so that we can
        continue to enjoy the blessings of that freedom. "For God's call on
        this country has never been revoked." It is those men and women we
        pause to honor on this Memorial Day.

        Among the many benefits of the freedom we enjoy is the opportunity to
        spend intimate, quality, personal time with God again. To talk with
        Him, learn from Him, and be comforted and protected by Him. To be
        His child again. To walk with Him in the garden in the cool of the
        evening and share with Him the excitement and needs of our day. To
        feel His pride at our accomplishments and the loving touch of His
        hand upon our shoulder. Huddled in a foxhole, trapped in rush hour
        traffic, on a quiet walk through the woods, or anywhere else you
        happen to be. You pick the time and place and He'll be waiting there
        for you. All you need to do is ask. It's God's greatest desire that
        you would ask. He'd like you to remember that above all else on this
        Memorial Day.

        And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them,
        saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of
        me." Luke 22:19

        Your brother and His very grateful child,
        Steve


        Love and Courage
        (Author: David L. Kuzminski)

        Walking down a path through some woods in Georgia, I saw a water
        puddle ahead on the path. I angled my direction to go around it on
        the part of the path that wasn't covered by water and mud.

        As I reached the puddle, I was suddenly attacked! Yet I did nothing
        for the attack was so unpredictable and from a source so totally
        unexpected. I was startled as well as unhurt, despite having been
        struck four or five times already. I backed up a foot and my attacker
        stopped attacking me. Instead of attacking more, he hovered in the
        air on graceful butterfly wings in front of me. Had I been hurt I
        wouldn't have found it amusing, but I was unhurt, it was funny, and I
        was laughing. After all, I was being attacked by a butterfly!

        Having stopped laughing, I took a step forward. My attacker rushed me
        again. He rammed me in the chest with his head and body, striking me
        over and over again with all his might, still to no avail.

        For a second time, I retreated a step while my attacker relented in
        his attack. Yet again, I tried moving forward. My attacker charged me
        again. I was rammed in the chest over and over again. I wasn't sure
        what to do, other than to retreat a third time. After all, it's just
        not everyday that one is attacked by a butterfly.

        This time, though, I stepped back several paces to look the situation
        over. My attacker moved back as well to land on the ground. That's
        when I discovered why my attacker was charging me only moments
        earlier. He had a mate and she was dying. She was beside the puddle
        where he landed.

        Sitting close beside her, he opened and closed his wings as if to fan
        her. I could only admire the love and courage of that butterfly in
        his concern for his mate. He had taken it upon himself to attack me
        for his mate's sake, even though she was clearly dying and I was so
        large. He did so just to give her those extra few precious moments of
        life, should I have been careless enough to step on her. Now I knew
        why and what he was fighting for.

        There was really only one option left for me. I carefully made my way
        around the puddle to the other side of the path, though it was only
        inches wide and extremely muddy. His courage in attacking something
        thousands of times larger and heavier than himself just for his
        mate's safety justified it. I couldn't do anything other than reward
        him by walking on the more difficult side of the puddle. He had truly
        earned those moments to be with her, undisturbed. I left them in
        peace for those last few moments, cleaning the mud from my boots when
        I later reached my car.

        Since then, I've always tried to remember the courage of that
        butterfly whenever I see huge obstacles facing me. I use that
        butterfly's courage as an inspiration and to remind myself that good
        things are worth fighting for.

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in
        time that men have died to win them. Franklin D. Roosevelt

        ______________________________________________________________________
        ______________________

        Copyright © 1998 - 2007 by Stephen J. Hall - Notes from the Valley
        and Humor from the Valley are meant to brighten your day and
        encourage you along the way. If you are blessed by them, please feel
        free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you have
        something you'd like to contribute to a future edition, would like to
        ask a question or make a comment, please contact us at:
        steveh.rbis@...

        ______________________________________________________________________
        ______________________

        The LORD is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The LORD
        is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid? When evil
        men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my
        foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege
        me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even
        then will I be confident. Psalm 27:1-3 (NIV)
      • Stephen J. Hall
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY May 26, 2008 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil
        Message 3 of 8 , May 22, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          NOTES FROM THE VALLEY
          May 26, 2008

          "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
          I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          IN REMEMBRANCE

          Memorial Day. For many it means a long weekend, picnics and parades,
          and the running of the Indianapolis 500. According to Webster's
          Dictionary, a memorial is something designed or established to serve
          as a remembrance of a person or an event. Memorial Day is in fact,
          an American holiday, designated for remembering and honoring dead
          servicemen. Those men and women who paid the ultimate price, giving
          up their lives, so we could enjoy the freedoms we have today.
          Freedom of choice; freedom from tyranny and oppression.

          According to the biblical account in Genesis, all of us were created
          to be God's children. He walked with our ancestors, Adam and Eve, in
          the Garden of Eden. He spent quality, close, personal time with them
          until sin required their separation from Him. As the result of their
          sin, we all became captives to the law of sin and death, oppressed by
          the devil and separated from God.

          Jesus said He came to serve mankind and not to be served (Mark
          10:45). Then He laid down His life for us, paying the ultimate
          price for our sin so we could be freed again from the law of sin and
          death (the curse). Jesus gave us the Lord's Supper as a memorial to
          that act of sacrifice. So we would remember the high value God
          placed on us and His willingness to pay that high price to have us
          back in a right relationship with Him once again. Now, all the
          benefits of that freedom are available to us for the asking.

          God created us to be free. Captivity is an unnatural state for God's
          children. But, in a sin dominated world, there are those who would
          enslave others for evil, personal gain. The forms of enslavement,
          the types of motivating gain may vary, but all are contrary to God's
          plan and purpose for His children.

          In the Genesis account, the devil enslaved and Jesus sacrificed all
          He had to oppose him and set the captives free. He committed the
          ultimate act of love in the fulfillment of God's plan. "Greater love
          has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
          John 15:13 In the modern world, there are more than a enough tyrants
          still seeking to enslave God's children. And as Christians
          ("imitators of Christ") we are the ones now called to stand against
          them.

          I commend to all the reading of two marvelous books by Peter Marshall
          and David Manuel. The first is titled, "The Light and the
          Glory . . . Did God have a plan for America" and the second, "From
          Sea to Shining Sea . . . God's plan for America unfolds." The task
          may seem a bit daunting. The two books total over 800 pages and
          contain exhaustive research into original texts covering some four
          centuries of our nation's history. But the effort is very worthwhile
          to any who are interested in the truth, whether you are a believer or
          not. This is highly documented material that will probably never
          make it into any text approved by the public school system because it
          so clearly and exhaustively demonstrates God's hand upon this nation
          and upon those who have served Him by serving her. Men and women of
          deep and abiding faith who gave all they had to break the bonds of
          tyranny and build a nation where all men could be free. Free in
          God's "new Promised Land.." Men and women who, to this day, follow
          the example of Christ in laying down their lives so that we can
          continue to enjoy the blessings of that freedom. "For God's call on
          this country has never been revoked." It is those men and women we
          pause to honor on this Memorial Day.

          Among the many benefits of the freedom we enjoy is the opportunity to
          spend intimate, quality, personal time with God again. To talk with
          Him, learn from Him, and be comforted and protected by Him. To be
          His child again. To walk with Him in the garden in the cool of the
          evening and share with Him the excitement and needs of our day. To
          feel His pride at our accomplishments and the loving touch of His
          hand upon our shoulder. Huddled in a foxhole, trapped in rush hour
          traffic, on a quiet walk through the woods, or anywhere else you
          happen to be. You pick the time and place and He'll be waiting there
          for you. All you need to do is ask. It's God's greatest desire that
          you would ask. He'd like you to remember that above all else on this
          Memorial Day.

          And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them,
          saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of
          me." Luke 22:19

          Your brother and His very grateful child,
          Steve



          LOVE AND COURAGE
          (Author: David L. Kuzminski)

          Walking down a path through some woods in Georgia, I saw a water
          puddle ahead on the path. I angled my direction to go around it on
          the part of the path that wasn't covered by water and mud.

          As I reached the puddle, I was suddenly attacked! Yet I did nothing
          for the attack was so unpredictable and from a source so totally
          unexpected. I was startled as well as unhurt, despite having been
          struck four or five times already. I backed up a foot and my attacker
          stopped attacking me. Instead of attacking more, he hovered in the
          air on graceful butterfly wings in front of me. Had I been hurt I
          wouldn't have found it amusing, but I was unhurt, it was funny, and I
          was laughing. After all, I was being attacked by a butterfly!

          Having stopped laughing, I took a step forward. My attacker rushed me
          again. He rammed me in the chest with his head and body, striking me
          over and over again with all his might, still to no avail.

          For a second time, I retreated a step while my attacker relented in
          his attack. Yet again, I tried moving forward. My attacker charged me
          again. I was rammed in the chest over and over again. I wasn't sure
          what to do, other than to retreat a third time. After all, it's just
          not everyday that one is attacked by a butterfly.

          This time, though, I stepped back several paces to look the situation
          over. My attacker moved back as well to land on the ground. That's
          when I discovered why my attacker was charging me only moments
          earlier. He had a mate and she was dying. She was beside the puddle
          where he landed.

          Sitting close beside her, he opened and closed his wings as if to fan
          her. I could only admire the love and courage of that butterfly in
          his concern for his mate. He had taken it upon himself to attack me
          for his mate's sake, even though she was clearly dying and I was so
          large. He did so just to give her those extra few precious moments of
          life, should I have been careless enough to step on her. Now I knew
          why and what he was fighting for.

          There was really only one option left for me. I carefully made my way
          around the puddle to the other side of the path, though it was only
          inches wide and extremely muddy. His courage in attacking something
          thousands of times larger and heavier than himself just for his
          mate's safety justified it. I couldn't do anything other than reward
          him by walking on the more difficult side of the puddle. He had truly
          earned those moments to be with her, undisturbed. I left them in
          peace for those last few moments, cleaning the mud from my boots when
          I later reached my car.

          Since then, I've always tried to remember the courage of that
          butterfly whenever I see huge obstacles facing me. I use that
          butterfly's courage as an inspiration and to remind myself that good
          things are worth fighting for.

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in
          time that men have died to win them. Franklin D. Roosevelt

          ______________________________________________________________________
          ______________________

          Copyright © 1998 - 2008 by Stephen J. Hall - Notes from the Valley
          and Humor from the Valley are meant to brighten your day and
          encourage you along the way. If you are blessed by them, please feel
          free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you have
          something you'd like to contribute to a future edition, would like to
          ask a question or make a comment, please contact us at:
          steveh.rbis@...

          ______________________________________________________________________
          ______________________

          The LORD is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The LORD
          is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid? When evil
          men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my
          foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege
          me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even
          then will I be confident. Psalm 27:1-3 (NIV)
        • Stephen J. Hall
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY May 25, 2009 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil
          Message 4 of 8 , May 22, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            NOTES FROM THE VALLEY
            May 25, 2009

            "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
            I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            IN REMEMBRANCE

            Memorial Day. For many it means a long weekend, picnics and parades, and the running of the Indianapolis 500. According to Webster's Dictionary, a memorial is something designed or established to serve as a remembrance of a person or an event. Memorial Day is in fact, an American holiday, designated for remembering and honoring dead servicemen. Those men and women who paid the ultimate price, giving up their lives, so we could enjoy the freedoms we have today. Freedom of choice; freedom from tyranny and oppression. By now, you're probably beginning to see the parallel between the sacrifices of those heroic men and women and what Jesus did for us.

            According to the biblical account in Genesis, all of us were created to be God's children. He walked with our ancestors, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden. He spent quality, close, personal time with them until sin required their separation from Him. As the result of their sin, we all became captives to the law of sin and death, oppressed by the devil and separated from God.

            Jesus said He came to serve mankind and not to be served (Mark 10:45). Then He laid down His life for us, paying the ultimate price for our sin so we could be freed again from the law of sin and death (the curse). Jesus gave us the Lord's Supper as a memorial to that act of sacrifice - so we would remember the high value God placed on us and His willingness to pay that high price to have us back in a right relationship with Him once again. Now, all the benefits of that freedom are available to us for the asking.

            God created us to be free. Captivity is an unnatural state for God's children. But, in a sin dominated world, there are those who would enslave others for evil, personal gain. The forms of enslavement, the types of motivating gain may vary, but all are contrary to God's plan and purpose for His children.

            In the Genesis account, the devil enslaved and Jesus sacrificed all He had to oppose him and set the captives free. He committed the ultimate act of love in the fulfillment of God's plan. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 In the modern world, there are more than a enough tyrants still seeking to enslave God's children. And as Christians ("imitators of Christ") we are the ones now called to stand against them.

            I commend to all the reading of two marvelous books by Peter Marshall and David Manuel. The first is titled, "The Light and the Glory . . . Did God have a plan for America" and the second, "From Sea to Shining Sea . . . God's plan for America unfolds." The task may seem a bit daunting. The two books total over 800 pages and contain exhaustive research into original texts covering some four centuries of our nation's history. But the effort is very worthwhile to any who are interested in the truth, whether you are a believer or not. This is highly documented material that will probably never make it into any text approved by the public school system because it so clearly and exhaustively demonstrates God's hand upon this nation and upon those who have served Him by serving her. Men and women of deep and abiding faith who gave all they had to break the bonds of tyranny and build a nation where all men could be free. Free in God's "new Promised Land.." Men and women who, to this day, follow the example of Christ in laying down their lives so that we can continue to enjoy the blessings of that freedom. "For God's call on this country has never been revoked." It is those men and women we pause to honor on this Memorial Day.

            Among the many benefits of the freedom we enjoy is the opportunity to spend intimate, quality, personal time with God again. To talk with Him, learn from Him, and be comforted and protected by Him. To be His child again. To walk with Him in the garden in the cool of the evening and share with Him the excitement and needs of our day. To feel His pride at our accomplishments and the loving touch of His hand upon our shoulder. Huddled in a foxhole, trapped in rush hour traffic, on a quiet walk through the woods, or anywhere else you happen to be. You pick the time and place and He'll be waiting there for you. All you need to do is ask. It's God's greatest desire that you would ask. He'd like you to remember that above all else on this Memorial Day.

            And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." Luke 22:19

            Your brother and His very grateful child,
            Steve



            LOVE AND COURAGE
            (Author: David L. Kuzminski)

            Walking down a path through some woods in Georgia, I saw a water puddle ahead on the path. I angled my direction to go around it on the part of the path that wasn't covered by water and mud.

            As I reached the puddle, I was suddenly attacked! Yet I did nothing for the attack was so unpredictable and from a source so totally unexpected. I was startled as well as unhurt, despite having been struck four or five times already. I backed up a foot and my attacker stopped attacking me. Instead of attacking more, he hovered in the air on graceful butterfly wings in front of me. Had I been hurt I wouldn't have found it amusing, but I was unhurt, it was funny, and I was laughing. After all, I was being attacked by a butterfly!

            Having stopped laughing, I took a step forward. My attacker rushed me again. He rammed me in the chest with his head and body, striking me over and over again with all his might, still to no avail.

            For a second time, I retreated a step while my attacker relented in his attack. Yet again, I tried moving forward. My attacker charged me again. I was rammed in the chest over and over again. I wasn't sure what to do, other than to retreat a third time. After all, it's just not everyday that one is attacked by a butterfly.

            This time, though, I stepped back several paces to look the situation over. My attacker moved back as well to land on the ground. That's when I discovered why my attacker was charging me only moments earlier. He had a mate and she was dying. She was beside the puddle where he landed.

            Sitting close beside her, he opened and closed his wings as if to fan her. I could only admire the love and courage of that butterfly in his concern for his mate. He had taken it upon himself to attack me for his mate's sake, even though she was clearly dying and I was so large. He did so just to give her those extra few precious moments of life, should I have been careless enough to step on her. Now I knew why and what he was fighting for.

            There was really only one option left for me. I carefully made my way around the puddle to the other side of the path, though it was only inches wide and extremely muddy. His courage in attacking something thousands of times larger and heavier than himself just for his mate's safety justified it. I couldn't do anything other than reward him by walking on the more difficult side of the puddle. He had truly earned those moments to be with her, undisturbed. I left them in peace for those last few moments, cleaning the mud from my boots when I later reached my car.

            Since then, I've always tried to remember the courage of that butterfly whenever I see huge obstacles facing me. I use that butterfly's courage as an inspiration and to remind myself that good things are worth fighting for.

            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them. Franklin D. Roosevelt

            ____________________________________________________________________________________________

            Copyright © 1998 - 2009 by Stephen J. Hall - Notes from the Valley and Humor from the Valley are meant to brighten your day and encourage you along the way. If you are blessed by them, please feel free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you have something you'd like to contribute to a future edition, would like to ask a question or make a comment, please contact us at: steveh.rbis@...

            ____________________________________________________________________________________________

            The LORD is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. Psalm 27:1-3 (NIV)
          • sossteve2005
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY May 30, 2010 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil
            Message 5 of 8 , May 28, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              NOTES FROM THE VALLEY
              May 30, 2010

              "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
              I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.

              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              IN REMEMBRANCE

              Memorial Day. For many it means a long weekend, picnics and parades, and the running of the Indianapolis 500. According to Webster's Dictionary, a memorial is something designed or established to serve as a remembrance of a person or an event. Memorial Day is in fact, an American holiday, designated for remembering and honoring dead servicemen. Those men and women who paid the ultimate price, giving up their lives, so we could enjoy the freedoms we have today. Freedom of choice; freedom from tyranny and oppression. By now, you're probably beginning to see the parallel between the sacrifices of those heroic men and women and what Jesus did for us.

              According to the biblical account in Genesis, all of us were created to be God's children. He walked with our ancestors, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden. He spent quality, close, personal time with them until sin required their separation from Him. As the result of their sin, we all became captives to the law of sin and death, oppressed by the devil and separated from God.

              Jesus said He came to serve mankind and not to be served (Mark 10:45). Then He laid down His life for us, paying the ultimate price for our sin so we could be freed again from the law of sin and death (the curse). Jesus gave us the Lord's Supper as a memorial to that act of sacrifice. So we would remember the high value God placed on us and His willingness to pay that high price to have us back in a right relationship with Him once again. Now, all the benefits of that freedom are available to us for the asking.

              God created us to be free. Captivity is an unnatural state for God's children. But, in a sin dominated world, there are those who would enslave others for evil, personal gain. The forms of enslavement, the types of motivating gain may vary, but all are contrary to God's plan and purpose for His children.

              In the Genesis account, the devil enslaved and Jesus sacrificed all He had to oppose him and set the captives free. He committed the ultimate act of love in the fulfillment of God's plan. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 In the modern world, there are more than a enough tyrants still seeking to enslave God's children. And as Christians ("imitators of Christ") we are the ones now called to stand against them.

              I commend to all the reading of two marvelous books by Peter Marshall and David Manuel. The first is titled, "The Light and the Glory . . . Did God have a plan for America" and the second, "From Sea to Shining Sea . . . God's plan for America unfolds." The task may seem a bit daunting. The two books total over 800 pages and contain exhaustive research into original texts covering some four centuries of our nation's history. But the effort is very worthwhile to any who are interested in the truth, whether you are a believer or not. This is highly documented material that will probably never make it into any text approved by the public school system because it so clearly and exhaustively demonstrates God's hand upon this nation and upon those who have served Him by serving her. Men and women of deep and abiding faith who gave all they had to break the bonds of tyranny and build a nation where all men could be free. Free in God's "new Promised Land.." Men and women who, to this day, follow the example of Christ in laying down their lives so that we can continue to enjoy the blessings of that freedom. "For God's call on this country has never been revoked." It is those men and women we pause to honor on this Memorial Day.

              Among the many benefits of the freedom we enjoy is the opportunity to spend intimate, quality, personal time with God again. To talk with Him, learn from Him, and be comforted and protected by Him. To be His child again. To walk with Him in the garden in the cool of the evening and share with Him the excitement and needs of our day. To feel His pride at our accomplishments and the loving touch of His hand upon our shoulder. Huddled in a foxhole, trapped in rush hour traffic, on a quiet walk through the woods, or anywhere else you happen to be. You pick the time and place and He'll be waiting there for you. All you need to do is ask. It's God's greatest desire that you would ask. He'd like you to remember that above all else on this Memorial Day.

              And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." Luke 22:19

              Your brother and His very grateful child,
              Steve


              Love and Courage
              (Author: David L. Kuzminski)

              Walking down a path through some woods in Georgia, I saw a water puddle ahead on the path. I angled my direction to go around it on the part of the path that wasn't covered by water and mud.

              As I reached the puddle, I was suddenly attacked! Yet I did nothing for the attack was so unpredictable and from a source so totally unexpected. I was startled as well as unhurt, despite having been struck four or five times already. I backed up a foot and my attacker stopped attacking me. Instead of attacking more, he hovered in the air on graceful butterfly wings in front of me. Had I been hurt I wouldn't have found it amusing, but I was unhurt, it was funny, and I was laughing. After all, I was being attacked by a butterfly!

              Having stopped laughing, I took a step forward. My attacker rushed me again. He rammed me in the chest with his head and body, striking me over and over again with all his might, still to no avail.

              For a second time, I retreated a step while my attacker relented in his attack. Yet again, I tried moving forward. My attacker charged me again. I was rammed in the chest over and over again. I wasn't sure what to do, other than to retreat a third time. After all, it's just not everyday that one is attacked by a butterfly.

              This time, though, I stepped back several paces to look the situation over. My attacker moved back as well to land on the ground. That's when I discovered why my attacker was charging me only moments earlier. He had a mate and she was dying. She was beside the puddle where he landed.

              Sitting close beside her, he opened and closed his wings as if to fan her. I could only admire the love and courage of that butterfly in his concern for his mate. He had taken it upon himself to attack me for his mate's sake, even though she was clearly dying and I was so large. He did so just to give her those extra few precious moments of life, should I have been careless enough to step on her. Now I knew why and what he was fighting for.

              There was really only one option left for me. I carefully made my way around the puddle to the other side of the path, though it was only inches wide and extremely muddy. His courage in attacking something thousands of times larger and heavier than himself just for his mate's safety justified it. I couldn't do anything other than reward him by walking on the more difficult side of the puddle. He had truly earned those moments to be with her, undisturbed. I left them in peace for those last few moments, cleaning the mud from my boots when I later reached my car.

              Since then, I've always tried to remember the courage of that butterfly whenever I see huge obstacles facing me. I use that butterfly's courage as an inspiration and to remind myself that good things are worth fighting for.

              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them. Franklin D. Roosevelt

              ____________________________________________________________________________________________

              Copyright © 1998 - 2010 by Stephen J. Hall - Notes from the Valley and Humor from the Valley are meant to brighten your day and encourage you along the way. If you are blessed by them, please feel free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you have something you'd like to contribute to a future edition, would like to ask a question or make a comment, please contact us at: steveh.rbis@...

              ____________________________________________________________________________________________

              The LORD is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. Psalm 27:1-3 (NIV)
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