Air Force Training and Service to My Country

My Air Force Training

My Years of Training in the United States Air Force

 After high school, I went to Air Force Basic Training in San Antonio, Texas, in the summer of 1984. Following basic training, I went to Colorado for Air Force Technical school. I was training to be a munitions system specialist. I would go on to handle, store, inspect, and deliver Aircraft munitions. After training, I went back to Bergstrom AFB and served 2 years there in the Air Force Reserve.
I made an attempt at living at home and commuting to the University of Texas. I majored in electrical engineering, big mistake. Physics class presented me the hardest course. I joined the Air Force ROTC which only made it harder because I had to take 15 to 18 hours a semester. Yet, I had too much fun in the ROTC. I especially enjoyed going to football games. Gradually, my grades started to reflect this and I had to drop out. I made the decision to go full-time active duty.

Going from Reserves to Active Duty

In 1986 after going active duty, I went to Tyndall AFB in Pensacola, Florida. This would be my first active duty assignment. I was a bit of a recluse there and I met my first husband while stationed in Florida in 1987. In August of 1988, I received orders to go to Korea for a remote tour. In February of 1989, I flew home to get married and returned to Korea to finish my tour and change my follow on assignment.
My husband returned to Florida and received his orders for Morbach Air Base, Germany. I distinctly remember putting in for a joint assignment knowing that God would answer this request. God indeed answered because I later received my orders to Hahn Air Base. By September 1989, I was in Germany. I found out that I was pregnant in October 1990. We were in Germany until his death in December 1990. I took a hardship assignment back to Bergstrom AFB.  My son was born in July 1991. I would be there until the base closed in 1992. As of July 15, 1992, I was honorably discharged from the military. God was with me every step of the way. He was my comfort and mainstay.

My Faith in God Sustained Me

It was times like this that I look back and see one set of footprints in the sand and know that Jesus carried me through. If it was not for my faith in Jesus, I am not sure how I would have managed to get through that time in my life. However, I am now blessed with a handsome young man that my son has become. I am grateful for the places and experiences that I went through as well as for all the people I met along the way. I leave you with this verse because God never wastes a hurt.
 
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
 Related Link: My Story
My disclaimer: I know that every believer’s relationship to God is different and unique. You may not have the same experiences and that is okay. I am sharing because I want to bring Him the glory for what He is doing in me and impart to you what I have learned from His Word.
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Prayer Can Be Brief

Our Brief Prayers Can Be Powerful
James 5:16b
The prayer of a righteous person has 
great power as it is working.
Jesus prayed a brief prayer on the cross Luke23:34. There are a number of examples of brief prayer Jabez, 1 Chronicles 4:10; Hezekiah, when sick, Isaiah 38:2-3; and Stephen, Acts 7:60.  A righteous person is one who is in right standing with God. One receives this right standing with God when one belies in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His death and resurrection.
Eccelesiates 5:2 reads, “Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.” I do believe the Rebecca St. James has a song about let my words be few.
Jesus spoke against the scribes and their pretense to make long prayers in Mark 12:38-40. When He taught the disciples to pray He told them not to heap up empty words for God knows what you need before you ask Him Matthew 6:7-8. Be specific in one’s prayers .
I learned a long time back that if I keep this acronym in mind it helps me to focus. ACTS for Adoration- Praising God for who He is, Confess- agree with God that what I did was wrong and seek His forgiveness, Thanksgiving-what I am thankful to God for, and Supplication- asking God for my needs and the needs of others. Turning a psalm into prayer is a great way to pray. Psalm 100 is short only 5 verses. It is great for praising God.
Psalm 100
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.
My prayer: Dear Father in heaven, Your are great and worthy to be praised. I confess that I have sinned against You and I ask for Your forgiveness. I thank You for Your steadfast love and that You are faithful to all generations. Thank You for my home and family that You have blessed me with. I ask that You would be with my father as his time draws near and I trust him into Your care. Comfort my family at this time. May those who read this be encouraged and grow closer to You. Your will be done. Amen.
 
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Grace: There is No Sweeter Word

Grace No Sweeter Word

Grace: Without It, We Would All Be Lost

The acronym for today is GRACE. I have two for this one. One came from my pastor at Faith Lutheran and the other comes from Celebrate Recovery. Let’s look at them respectively. Grace is receiving unmerited favor.
God’s    
Riches  
At         
Christ’s  
Expense
You see grace is receiving that which we did not deserve. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, we have received God’s unmerited favor. It is like a man going before a judge and having his fees paid for without asking for help.
God’s gift
We are justified by His grace as a gift. (Romans 3:24)
Received by our faith
 For by grace you have been saved through faith. (Ephesians 2:8a) 
 Accepted by God’s Love
God loved us while we were still sinning. (Romans 5:8)
Christ paid the price
 In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7)
Everlasting Gift
And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
Grace is so amazing in that there is nothing we can do to add to or take away from it. It is a gift freely given. Christ paid a debt we could not pay and died a death we deserved. It is so simple but yet so many have a hard time accepting it. 

For you

Furthermore, Christ continues to make a difference in my life and I desire for others to know what I know about Jesus. I encourage you to spend time this Easter contemplating on what He did for you. On March 28th here in the Austin area, you are invited to see the Easter Passion Play at Manor High School click on the link, Easter Triumph Passion Play.
Here is something that I think that you will enjoy Acappella Singing of Amazing Grace.
Related link, if you like acronyms: H.A.R.D.
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Prayer: Make It Personal

Using the Lord’s Prayer
Matthew 6:7-13 (ESV)
 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.”
To make this personal one needs to change the pronouns. It is easy to read it with the plural of you but it reads differently when you change the pronouns to I and me in verses 11- 13. Try reading it this way.
My Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give me this day my daily bread,
12 and forgive me my debts,
    as I also have forgiven my debtors.
13 And lead me not into temptation,
    but deliver me from evil.”
I especially like how verses 12 &13 read in the Amplified version, 
“And forgive us our debts, as we (I) also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our (my) debtors.13 And lead (bring) us  (me) not into temptation, but deliver us (me) from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” 
I personalized this too. It gives one a better idea of what forgiving one’s debtor’s is to be like. I imagine prayer as a personal and intimate conversation with my Heavenly Father who loves me and care about me. Jesus prayed bold prayers and I can too. I have seen many answers to prayer that I have often felt like a spoiled Heavenly Daddy’s girl. Recently, God answered my prayer to sustain my earthly father so that I was able to visit with him last month as his health is failing him. On more the one occasion He has given me peace in my turmoil.
It is my hope and prayer that you will be encouraged to make your prayers more intimate knowing that God cares for you. I leave you with this verse.
  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18,
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
My disclaimer: I know that every believer’s relationship to God is different and unique. You may not have the same experiences and that is okay. I am sharing because I want to bring Him the glory for what He is doing in me and impart to you what I have learned from His word.

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Thankful Thursday

Oh Give Thanks to the Lord!
I did a search for the phrase ‘give thanks’ on Bible Gateway. It gave me 73 results. I particularly like
1 Chronicles 16:34, 
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever. 
King David was a very thankful servant of God. The Psalms are full of thanksgiving to the Lord. Last year when I studied the Servants of God, I learned a lot about David before he became King. He had a terribly rough time under King Saul and many times David’s life was threatened. Yet, David did not fail to give thanks to God.
The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah instructed the people of Israel to give thanks to the Lord.
 Isaiah 12:1-2, 
 You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
    for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
    that you might comfort me.

“Behold, God is my salvation;
    I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
    and he has become my salvation.”
 Jeremiah 33:10-11
“Thus says the Lord: In this place of which you say, ‘It is a waste without man or beast,’ in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man or inhabitant or beast, there shall be heard again 11 the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord:
“‘Give thanks to the Lord of hosts,
    for the Lord is good,
    for His steadfast love endures forever!’
For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord

Daniel gave thanks to the Lord after God revealed to him in a dream the mystery of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. 
Daniel 2:20-23, 
“…To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king’s matter.”
For me personally, something has changed in me for the better when I began to look at my hardships with thanksgiving in my heart to God. I read it somewhere that ‘you will not often find a strong person who has had an easy life.’ I am thankful for my scars because they have helped me to become stronger person for them. God has a purpose in all that happens in our lives. 
Hebrews 12:10,
For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness.
My challenge to you is to offer thanks to God for whatever He has brought you through and for what He is bringing you through now. An attitude of gratitude is life changing as well as an uplifting perspective to all that we go through in life. I invite you to leave a comment about what you are thankful for.

My disclaimer: I know that every believer’s relationship to God is different and unique. You may not have the same experiences and that is okay. I am sharing because I want to bring Him the glory for what He is doing in me and impart to you what I have learned from His word.
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Can You Find Jesus in Psalm 22?

Find Jesus

Find Jesus’ Crucifixion in Psalm 22

Psalm 22:1a,16-18 (NIV)
 
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
 15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
you lay me in the dust of death.
16 For dogs encompass me;
a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet—
17 I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
18 they divide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”
I remember reading this psalm back when I was still in the military at Bergstrom AFB. For me, it was amazing to see Jesus in this. It was like visiting the cross myself. This Easter, I hope that you would take the time to consider what Jesus went through so that you might not perish but have everlasting life. Therefore, I want to encourage you to study it for yourself. The following references are taken from the NIV. To clarify, I am listing the verse from the Psalm  and then where I have found the similarity in the New Testament.
22:1 – Jesus cried out, “My God , My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
22:15 – Jesus was weakened from loss of blood from sweating blood and from the flogging. (Luke 22:44; Mark 15:15)Jesus complains of thirst from the cross. (John19:28)
22:16 – The Roman soldiers mocked Jesus and drew lots for his clothing. (Matthew 27:27-31) Jesus’ hands and feet were pierced. (John 20:25b-26)
22:17 – The chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked Him. (Matthew 27:41-43)

The Purpose for the Cross

After all, Jesus willing went to the cross for everyone. Hebrews 12:2b-3 explains it so beautifully,
“For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

For You to Consider

Celebrate this Easter with joy and thanksgiving to our risen Lord and Savior! Be sure to go and see the Easter Triumph Passion Play if you are in the Austin, Texas, area.
 
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Where I Have Lived Growing Up

My Many Travels as a Child

I remember living in South Carolina, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania in my early elementary years. Sadly, some of the memories that I have from these moves were not pleasant. I was an easy target for bullying and teasing. We moved back to Texas after my 2nd grade year. I remember  having to attend speech therapy because I was sounding like someone from the northeast and not like a true Texan (LOL).

My next move came in my 6th grade year when we moved to Terrell, Texas. Again, there are some not so pleasant memories. I often got off the school bus in tears more often than not. I had the unfortunate experience of having had the chicken pox that year. It was here that my youngest brother was killed.


My 7th grade year, we moved to Gresham, Oregon. This was a good year. The school was a year around school which I happened to like and I made a good friend with whom I am now connected to on Facebook. Living in Oregon was great. It was beautiful with lots of waterfalls to see. Sadly, we would move again and just before Mount St. Helen erupted.
We moved across country to Spartanburg, South Carolina. We would live there til the middle of my junior year. I have many found memories. We often went camping in the mountains and my favorite place was and still is Table Rock State Park. I was a member of the marching band in high school. We had sharp uniforms and good supervision. When returning to campus from an away game we would sing the Alma mater song. My brother and I had many friends in our neighborhood. 
Our last move would be to Georgetown, Texas, in the middle of my junior. I regretted the move. I was not fair to my parents because I held on to that regret through the remainder of my high school years. The marching band was one of the best in the state but was so vastly different from the one I left. It was lenient in the discipline and unsupervised on the buses when we went to away games. The band director was a great leader and had high expectations of the members. Georgetown High School had clicks, groups with special members, and if you were not in one then you were considered an outcast. I had a few friends but I was not a part of a click.
So why do I share this with you, you might ask? Well so you know where I am coming from and what my life experiences are. Though it was tough God saw me through it all and He used these experiences to shape me into the person that I have become and that I might share the comfort that He has given me with others.   
2 Corinthians 1:3-4, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
My disclaimer: I know that every believer’s relationship to God is different and unique. You may not have the same experiences and that is okay. I am sharing because I want to bring Him the glory for what He is doing in me and impart to you what I have learned from His word.
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Mining Psalm 81

Psalm 81:5b-12
What Can We Mine from This for Us Today?
 I heard an unknown voice say:
“I removed the burden from their shoulders;
    their hands were set free from the basket.
In your distress you called and I rescued you,
    I answered you out of a thundercloud;
    I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
Hear me, my people, and I will warn you—
    if you would only listen to me, Israel!
You shall have no foreign god among you;
    you shall not worship any god other than me.
10 I am the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
11 “But my people would not listen to me;
    Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts
    to follow their own devices.
 A couple of weeks ago, I did a post on what if God had a cell phone. Verse 7 mentions that in Israel’s distress they called out to God and He rescued and answered them. As followers of Christ, God hears and answers our prayers. He gives us strength to weather the storms in our lives. It is by His grace that we come through them only made stronger for it. Yet in this Psalm, God warns His people to listen to Him. God is a jealous God and wants know other god to be in His place in our lives. He is our Lord and there is no other. When Israel would not listen to Him, He gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. He does this today for He wants us to love Him and be devoted to Him because we choose to and not a forced following. 
This is what I find to be so amazing about God. He is so astoundingly patient with us and He so willing lets people choose whom they will follow even though following God is the better choice. He never changes and is always faithful waiting for people to accept His gracious gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, who paid a price that was meant for all man to pay. I am forever thankful for what Jesus did for me. There is  nothing that I could do to earn my way into heaven for Jesus has done it all for me. This is so simple and beautiful yet people can’t seem to accept it for what it is, a gift freely given. May you contemplate on this as Easter is approaching and remember that Jesus died for you so that believing in Him you would be saved and have eternal life. I heard it said that eternal life is a changed life now and living forever with Him in the next.

Rejoice in the Lord today and always for He is good! What do you have to be thankful for this day?
My disclaimer: I know that every believer’s relationship to God is different and unique. You may not have the same experiences and that is okay. I am sharing because I want to bring Him the glory for what He is doing in me and impart to you what I have learned from His word.
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Conflict Resolution Acronym

Conflict

Think of H.A.R.D. When It Comes to Conflict Resolution

This is one of my favorites from Bible Study Fellowship days. Personal conflict was something that I often dreaded. I actually had an opportunity to put this into practice.
Honest – Be honest with the person(s) that you are wanting to talk to.
Appropriate – There is no need to make a scene. Find the right time and place.
Respectful – Keep in mind that each person has the right to be treated with respect.
Direct – Do not beat around the bush. Get to the point promptly.

What Does the Bible Say?

Matthew 18:15-17 is a passage that, in my experience, is often abused and not explained nor modeled. There was a sermon on this very passage at my church by Pastor Ted Doering sometime ago that I found to be quite helpful. The passage reads as follows from the ESV, If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
Therefore, we are to make every attempt to reconcile our differences. Yet, if someone refuses to be reconciled we ought to treat the individual as we would an unbeliever thus not giving up on that person but continuing to extend grace and mercy in order to win the person back. This is what the sermon taught me. As a result, one can learn to resolve a conflict.

Personally, I want to learn to resolve a conflict.

For me, it is a challenge to be direct because I want to please people. I want them to like me. Yet, I have come to learn that it is better to be direct and leave the rest to God. I am to do my best, to be honest, appropriate, respectful, and direct with others. Either I keep a friend or part agreeably.
Yet, I should not neglect prayer because it gets my heart in the right frame of being in order to do this with someone who matters to me. I have had the opportunity to put this acronym into practice and I am thankful for having learned this. Hence, some of my relationships have improved.
With whom could you use to put this into practice? Does this person matter to you? Would you prayerfully consider acting on this?
My disclaimer: I know that every believer’s relationship to God is different and unique. You may not have the same experiences and that is okay. I am sharing because I want to bring Him the glory for what He is doing in me and impart to you what I have learned from His Word.
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New Self: A Change in Our Hearts

Change in our hearts

Our Hearts are Keys to the New Self.

This is the final part in a series on the New Self of which this makes 5. In part 4 of this series, Characteristics of the New Self, I discussed Colossians 3:11-13. We learned what we were to put on. This part we will discuss the change in our hearts as a result of Jesus in our lives.
“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:14-17 ESV.
Here we are instructed to put on love which binds things together, to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts and be thankful. In verse 16 we find the how to, through letting word of Christ dwell in us going on to teach and admonish one another.
The key here is that it is a matter of the heart. First, we are to let the peace of Christ and His word rule in our hearts and second being thankful in our hearts to God.

My Personal ExperienceHearts changed

Ephesians 4:21-32 is another passage on putting on the new self. I particularly like verse 29, Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (ESV) This means that one should be mindful of what comes out of one’s mouth as not to hurt or harm others. One ought to think of something to say that would build the other person up instead.
God has often afforded me the grace to hold my tongue at times. He helped me to remember that once words are spoken I cannot take them back. I also think of how I would want to be treated and try my best to be kind. Again, I may not always get it right but I do my best to promptly admit when I do wrong and ask for forgiveness.
In conclusion, as a follower of Christ, I am called to live differently.  By the grace of God, the power of the Holy Spirit and study of God’s word I can be the light in this dark world. I am changed from the inside out and I like who I have become in Christ.
May you grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Tomorrow I will have another acronym for your consideration.
 

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