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Friday, March 27, 2015

The Truth Will Set You Free

                 The Truth Will Set You Free

Will the Truth really set you free?  I can tell you from personal experience it can and it will.  The Bible says God’s Word is True and every man a liar. Towards the end of my Army career I had to decide if I really trusted the Word of God.  My superiors were determined to kick a soldier who was serving under me out of the Army.  I knew that the story and situation they were using to accomplish their goal was based on lies.  They informed me I had to go along with them or my career would be over.  It came down to a decision of which was more important, my integrity or my career.  Little did I know that just a couple of years down the road the choice I made would actually alter the course of my life.

At the time of the event I was serving as an Infantry squad leader in Germany.  I had spent my first ten years as a parachute rigger. The Army reclassified many people during the downsizing after Vietnam.  I was one of them.  Anyhow one of my men had been caught in possession of drugs.  The way he was caught was the issue.  My superiors violated regulations to catch and charge the man.  As a squad leader I knew he was guilty of what he was being charged with, but the Army had rules concerning search and seizure and those rules were violated to catch the man.  I had already warned him that I knew what he was doing and that if and when I caught him I would see that he was punished to the full extent of the law.  I also told him it would be perfectly legal and he would only have himself to blame for throwing away his career.

My view in the matter was that my men had to put their lives in my hands and be able to trust me.  My superiors said I was making too big of a deal out of the matter.   They said that we were not at war and so what did it not matter.  I argued that principals and integrity were the core values of leadership.  They ended up removing me from the man’s chain of command and proceeded on with his court-martial.  By removing me from the man’s chain of command I had no say so in his trial.  However I was allowed to act as a character witness at the trial. I knew before I walked in the door to that trial that if I did so my military career was over.

At the trial I was called in after the court martial was over.  The man had been found guilty and my superiors were sure they were going to kick the man out of the Army as they intended.  The judge asked me why I was willing to testify to the man’s character and not at the trial.  He asked me to explain in my words what had happened.  As I talked I saw him start to smile and it confused me.  When I finished speaking he said he had already found the man guilty and my only purpose was in determining what the exact punishment would be.  The judge explained to me that he knew I was telling the truth.  I asked how he could know that.  He stated that he had listened to five versions of the story during the trial.  My story was the only one that made sense of all their stories and he said therefore it had to be the truth.  Based on that revelation he decided that instead of kicking the man out of the Army he would fine him $25 and that would be the end of the matter.

Well it may have been the end of the matter for my soldier, but it was the start of a nightmare for me.  I had about 45 days left in Germany and my superiors made my life a living hell.  When it came time to leave they had to write my proficiency report.  Well they gave me one that was the worst I had ever seen.  They gave me a rating of 19 points out of a possible 125 points.  Not only that, they gave me a rating for the previous year at the same rating,  They had failed to do it when it was due.  The irony was that they had promoted me to staff sergeant in the period between the two reports.  To show the significance I had to write reports on a couple of soldiers that got kicked out of the service and I gave them a 75 and an 85 point reports.

After leaving Germany I went to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky for a year or so and then reenlisted for duty in the Panama Canal Zone, which just happened to be at the time of the Canal Zone Treaty.  For some reason I could not deal with the heat and humidity in Panama and it showed in my duty performance. I volunteered to the Department of the Army for discharge under the Qualitative Management Program way back in 1978.  I referenced the two bad efficiency reports from Germany as grounds for my application.  The Army was down-sizing after Vietnam and my request was approved.  I had received bad reports for not being physically fit for duty.  I did not know the irony of that, and that there was a reason, till almost forty years later.  Some time later in 2011 I found out many of my health problems were related to Agent Orange.  I started receiving disability in 2013.  The heat hadn't bothered me in Vietnam, but that was before I found out about Agent Orange and what it did to people. it never crossed my mind the that my inability to perform and my time in Vietnam might be connected.

There is another small irony in all this. Had I not taken typing in high school I may never have been drafted for temporary duty as a legal clerk and learned how to read and use the Army Regulations to my advantage.  I typed and submitted all the paperwork  myself for the Qualitative Management Program Application. I did not mention the fact that I had been promoted between the two EER's. that was sort of an 
"Ace in the hole" that I figured the review board would never see.  However when I filed for my Agent Orange Compensation I included it in the paperwork. I had intended to make a career of the Army, but my health was destroyed without my knowledge. Had I not met a retired Air Force officer and at a Bar B Q and our discussion had not come around to my health condition and my status, I may never have known to file the paperwork. I am sure hundreds of thousands of other people have also not filed because of not knowing.  The government does know who are qualified for the benefits but they have a sort of, don't tell, unless it is bought up policy. 

Had I not told the truth and stood up for the soldier in my squad in Germany it may not have had the same ending.  When I realized I could not do my job I might not have had those bad reports to fall back on.  I decided to get out of the Army and go to college because when I did re-enlist at Ft. Campbell two other NCO’s were denied reenlistment and not allowed to serve until they were eligible for retirement.  One had seventeen years and six months in the service and the other had seventeen years and ten months.  Army policy at the time said if you had eighteen years in the service you were locked in and they had to at least let you finish your twenty years for retirement. Had I served my time out I would have been at seventeen years and eight months and based on those two reports probably been denied re-enlistment.  My decision on leaving if I could was the best option.  One of the two men denied re-enlistment in the Army was based on something he did clear back on his first enlistment in the Army.  The example made clear to me that it might be better to leave, because I was not really good infantry material anyhow.

 Over the course of my twenty years in the trucking industry and going to court and fighting tickets that I felt were unjust and being willing to stand up for myself it became clear to me that many times the truth can and will literally set you free.  It might be good to add that over the years I got a few tickets when I did absolutely nothing wrong and had to pay the fine. It does not take much reflection on my part to know that in reality, I may have been innocent at that time, but many times I should have been busted but I got away with it.  My best friend calls it Karma, but I call it life.

All in all though I have lived a life I have enjoyed and in the end through no planning of my own I have been blessed with a decent income and no longer have to struggle to survive. The Bible says, "The steps of the righteous are ordered of the Lord"  I am not saying I am a righteous person, but I am saying the Lord has opened many doors in my life and made my paths straight, even when I didn't know I was on a path.  Things that I thought had no consequence or purpose served to open doors and give me opportunities that I never dreamed or envisioned and that worked out for my good in the end. From watching a skydiving demonstration by the Golden Knights in my home town, to becoming a skydiving instructor, serving on an Army exhibition parachute team in Europe, writing for a newspaper in the Army, and driving a truck for twenty years after learning to do so in Vietnam via OJT, while running from the Lord. Having four wonderful daughters, seven wonderful grand-kids and two great-grand-daughters that will melt the hardest heart.  Yep I am and have been Blessed beyond understanding.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

MONEY, Faith Based Financial Solutions

If Haggai 1:6 describes your financial condition, I challenge you to accept God's challenge given in Malachai 3:10. Might read 3:7-12 to get the whole picture. Believe me, you can not out give God. 

This is the MONEY POST,  I had been tagging my site to come to my search bar and put in MONEY and it was supposed to take you to those posts.  It came to my attention that was not working so to simplify the matter I got all the dates an posts and put them in this post to make it easier to find them.  This post will give you the dates for each post.  Then you can simply go to my history bar and pull up the article you are interest in.  Thanks for your time and patience.  Hopefully soon they will be out in a book format.

Those who take the time to read them I would love to hear your comments.  Both positive and negative as they can help me make the posts better, which will make the book better. All those who make comments will be on a page in the book thanking those who help for their comments.

Thanks again,  My email address is which is how I would prefer to read the comments.  You can leave them on line, but I have discovered sometimes I do not get them if you do.  Looking forward to hearing from you and your comments and suggestions.


MONEY Basics, Eating out for 4, for less than $10    2/17/2013

MONEY… Real Estate…Rentals versus Storage        12/10/2012      

MONEY …Living Money, Working Money              6/27/2012

MONEY, Victory over Stuffitis                      6/13/2012

MONEY, How You Get The Free Car                      1/27/2012

MONEY, Dump The Gas Hog and Get A New Car Free   1/26/2012

MONEY, The Secret Of Getting Is Learning To Give      1/21/2012

MONEY, When You Are Underwater on Debt, When Is It Time To Bail Out  1/12/12

MONEY, Starting Over With A Direction and a Plan       1/12/12

MONEY, Learning To Make It Work For You, Killing The Debt Beast  1/4/12

MONEY, Do You Work For IT, Or Does It Work For You    1/2/2012

MONEY, Business: Pricing, Dealing With Taxes and the IRS    4/29/11

MONEY, Finding A House, Working Smarter, Not Harder  4/22/11

Money, Business, Banks and Bankruptcy, from My Perspective   4/11/11

MONEY, Finding/Creating a Job and Money  4/10/11

MONEY, Stopping the Bleeding, Finding A Home          3/24/11
MONEY, Living One Month A Year Free   9/23/`11

MONEY, Spending Your Money Wisely     9/24/11

MONEY, Starting Your Own Business…Dealing With Banks    10/10/11

MONEY, Great Idea…But Are You Self Employable   10/13/11

MONEY, Investing For Retirement versus Reality    10/18/11

MONEY, Time for A New Game Plan     10/26/11

MONEY,   Getting Your Loan      10/27/11

MONEY, Cost of Driving           10/28/11

MONEY, Money How I Went From $150,000 to Nothing       2/6/12

MONEY, Trash to Treasures with Pictures       2/15/ 12

MONEY, Eating the Bear         4/27/12

MONEY,  Who Turned Off the Flow    5/3/12

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Fighting Fire with Fire, both Spiritual and Physical

Fighting Fire with Fire both Spiritual and Physical

   Epiphany’s can come from the strangest places and when you least expect them.  Recently I went to the birthday party of my twin three year old Great Grand Daughters, they are full of life. During the course of the party it became time to light the birthday cake.  There were probably a dozen people in the room and nobody had a light.  It was completely a nonsmoking group, which is good for my great granddaughters, but at that moment made me see how much America has changed over the years.  Had someone asked for a light at my daughter’s birthday party, and everybody had lit up at once, the emergency sprinkler system would probably have gone off. Finally someone went and got a lighter out of their car.

     One could take away from that experience that America is becoming healthier and it may be true physically.  The spiritual fire in America, however, is slowly going out. As churches close their doors and struggle to maintain membership the great commission is slowly becoming a sin of omission.  This fact really strikes home when we look at the world news and see brothers and sisters of faith being slain only because they are Christians.

     The sad part is that they are being slain by a group of people who claim to have faith in and believe in Abraham.  A group who knows nothing of the history of Abraham and have twisted and perverted the religion they say they believe in spreading a doctrine of hate.  Abraham did stand up for himself and Genesis 14 relates how he saved Lot when he was captured and taken away.  He protected his family, but he did not ruthlessly wage war on others. 

      The commandment in Genesis 9:5-6, which preceded Abraham and surely was followed by him, to not take life and that anyone who takes the life of another shall be killed. No man who murders another shall live.  ISIS has perverted the truth to do as they please.  Even Mohammed said he believed the prophets and Abraham and adhered to the God of Abraham.  That is the same God that Christians profess faith in.  The same one who spoke the Words of Genesis 9:5-6

     All Christians need to stand up for the faith they believe in and challenge the faith of Islam.  We need to stand up for what we say we believe in. Abraham and the prophets can’t be used to justify the actions of ISIS.  Not without perverting the Word of God.  The only way to defeat the enemy is with the truth of the Word of God. We can’t allow them to twist the truth.  We need to force those who say they do believe in God, Abraham and the prophets stop using lies and half-truths to justify their evil.

     When Abraham died his sons Ishmael and Isaac both attended his funeral and came together to mourn him.  Genesis 25:9 states that as a fact and so all those claiming to be heirs of Abraham came together.  In Genesis 13:15-16 God says he will propagate Abraham’s seed and they will become as the dust of the earth. God has been good to His Word.  Certainly a large portion of the earth and over a third of its population claim they descend and have faith in the God of Abraham. 

     Christians need to use the whole Word of God, not bombs and guns to defeat those professing false doctrine and Jihad. Make them see the error of their way.  Only then can those who use lies and deceit and do the works of the devil and Satan can be defeated. Christ did not protect the woman who was going to be stoned by physical violence.  He opened the eyes of those who would have punished her to see their own evil, just as he will those who are spreading the doctrines of evil in this day and age.

     It is time to engage the enemy and use the double edged sword of the Truth of God’s Word to vanquish our enemies.  Using bombs, guns and murder to overcome Islam, makes us just as evil as them.  We need to live by the doctrines we say we believe.