WoW! Issue 6, that feels good to say.
Today I am reminded that 61 years ago more than 130,000 Allies flew, glided, jumped and boated their way to France and onward. President Dwight D Eisenhower gave the following words on June 6, 1944:
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Forces: You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely. But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory! I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory! Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
I am currently reading We Will Prevail, a book of President George W. Bush’s speeches and remarks since September 11, 2001. There are so many inspiring and notable quotes it is hard for me to pick one. One I like is on page 55. “We have a renewed appreciation of the character of America. We are a generous people, a thoughtful people who hurt, and share the sadness when people lose their lives or when people are hurt… We have shown in difficult times that we’re not just a world power, that we’re a good and kind and courageous people.” And I like his resolve when he says, “We will not fail.” Certainly a man cannot say things like this without being a man of great faith. I say this because I know of all the failure in my life. All the striving I have done to try and make something of myself and prove myself, and in the end I know the truth of the Proverb that says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”
My time here in the desert has been one that has helped me get in touch with God in a way that I could not do back home. Too many distractions. I continually learn to even greater extents how badly I need my perfect father (God), and how much I need each of you. How many different ways I have attempted to make my life into something, my many attempts to survive the wounds of life. All that striving only caused more pain, or death as the Proverb puts it. I have not always been a man of faith. In fact I would have to say in my 33 years I have only lived 2 years in actual faith living. But I believe the same thing Presidents Eisenhower and Bush believe, I cannot accept anything “less than full victory.” I “will not fail.”
For instance, since Sunday I have felt a spirit of heaviness on me. Many attacks have come it seems lately, to the point that at times I just want to give up the fight. But that’s not my style. Tonight, it was made clear to me. I began a “band of brothers,” which is a group of men who gather to recover who they are as men made in God’s image. At the meeting one of the guys says, “I have just felt this spirit of heaviness on me since Sunday.” And it hit me, like I was talking to myself. We need to go to battle. So we did. As brothers we charged into the fray agreeing and casting that spirit off and into it’s judgment. I feel so much better. It is gone. The power of God to take us into the battle and defeat the enemy on our behalf. Can I say it again, I cannot accept anything “less than full victory;” I “will not fail.”
This week so many things. All off base activity has been cancelled for the chapel staff. It seems that it has just gotten too dangerous to go off base. We are all disappointed, but not afraid. The picture is of me and a SSgt who works at the CASF (Contingent Aeromedical Staging Facility). The CASF holds patients who are scheduled to go to a hospital in the rear. We fly several missions a week, and I usually wind up staying up past 2 a.m. just to help them onto airplanes. It is very rewarding. These are our nation’s best. They stay at the CASF a day or two until their flight comes in. So we get to see all those who are injured in Iraq before they move to hospitals in different places in the world. As I made my rounds I met one man who was hit by a mortar. In all of his brokenness and pain, he mostly just wanted me to pray for his wife who would be traveling to meet him. He continued to ask me, what he did wrong to get hit. He was the only one in his group to get injured by the blast. He was so simple in his question and so much like I see God looking at us. How childlike I must seem to God when I speak to him. How loving he treats me in return. Of course I continued to tell the man that this was not his fault and that he could rest assured he was not doing anything wrong. Please pray for his recovery. You do not need his name, God knows who I am speaking of.
Also, be in prayer for my band of brothers. They will experience incredible attack this week because the enemy certainly does not want them to get free from his hold on their life. I have already seen one person get free and is on the road to recover his true self and I know there will be others to follow. Speaking of recovery. The hospital staff finally got rid of whatever was in my system making me sick for the last month. A little cypro will do you wonders… J
Well, I am going long this week so I better close. Yours in freedom, thanks to the lives of many who paid the price. May we not forget them on this day.
ABPnews will publish one entry a week from the journal then-Capt. Charles Seligman kept while deployed to Iraq as an Air Force chaplain in 2005. Now a major, Seligman currently serves as the deputy wing chaplain for the 59th Medical Wing at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. He is endorsed by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.