Monday, May 29, 2006

Decoration/Memorial Day

The following post was written by my Aunt (see the article below) to her grandchildren. Since William Ray Frederick was my grandfather, I (with permission) changed it to first person for posting here.
My father, your grand father, William Ray Frederick, was drafted and taken into the Army in World War I. He served in France and his life was spared when the Armistice was signed and the war was officially over. He was in Co. K, 352nd Inf., 88th Division. His division stayed on in France after the war to do clean up work and fill trenches, etc.

When he had been back farming for a year or two, the American Legion was formed and he was a charter member of the Cyclops Post 109 in Lisbon. One of the things the Legion did was to hold military services for those who died after they were out of the service. But, they also went to cemeteries on Decoration Day and held memorial services for those buried in different cemeteries. Daddy play the bugle and was the official bugler to play taps for any kind of memorial service. One of those times was for Decoration Day which was on May 31 every year.

To commemorate Decoration Day, at our home, it started the day before. Daddy washed the car so that when we went to the services he and his family arrived in a clean car.

On Decoration Day we got up early, but did not go with Daddy to the first service. He, several men of the Legion who were on the firing squad, one who carried the American flag and several other Legionnaires, went to the Andre Cemetery. That cemetery was, and still is, in the country east of Lisbon. The men held a service, the firing squad did the salute by firing guns in unison at least 3 times and then Daddy played taps.

After he got back from that service we all got in the car and drove to the Lisbon Cemetery. Mama had cut flowers from our garden, usually they were iris and peonies, and we took them along to the cemetery. We all 4 helped and put flowers on the graves of our family members. The American Legion Auxiliary had already been to the cemetery and had put a red poppy on the graves of all of those who had served in the Civil War and World War I. Then we added our flowers, but we also put them on all the graves of our relatives buried there.

We had to hurry to get that done as we could hear the Lisbon High School Band coming from down town and marching to the cemetery. There was a program after they got there. One of the things was the president of the senior high school class spoke The Gettysburg Address, and then there was a special speaker, the firing squad and then Daddy played Taps. Usually they had another person who played bugle stand some distance away and play taps when Daddy finished. That was called the "echo" and was quite impressive.

We went home from there, but later in the day we again took flowers and drove down to the little village of Sutliff. It is south of Lisbon and on the Cedar River. This service was held on the bridge that crossed the river. It was held at sunset and honored those who died at sea. The Auxiliary had most of that service, but the Legion men helped. Since I was a charter member of the Junior Auxiliary I was also there. But I would have been there anyway as families were all there. All of the children that were there had little bouquets of flowers. One of the American Legion Auxiliary members recited a poem. I can still remember it.
"As sure as the rivers flow down to the sea
Our reverent love will follow and find thee
As sure as swift rivers flow down to the ocean
So swift and so sure is our heart's devotion."
Then we threw our flowers over the edge of the bridge and watched them float away on the current of the river. Then Daddy played Taps. When he finished the other bugler, who was down at the end of the bridge, played the echo. It was timed so well that when he finished the echo, the sun was also going down out of sight. It was so quiet and peaceful and very impressive.

It was especially meaningful to our family as my Mama's first cousin, Otis Beese, had been in the Navy. His ship went down in what is now called the Bermuda Triangle. There has never been a trace found of it. He was serving on the USS Cyclops. The American Legion Post in Lisbon was named for him and his picture hung in the meeting hall of the Post.

Now of course, poppies are put on the graves of those from World War II, Korean Conflict, and all other conflicts in which our country was and is involved. There was so much respect for the flag also. I will close with a verse from a poem that I heard Mama say so often.
"Hat's off! Along the street there comes
The sound of the bugle, the ruffle of drums.
A flash of color beneath the sky,
Hat's off! The flag is passing by!"
Additional comments. In the early years of Decoration Day services, the Legion men wore their service uniforms. I think that was stopped when they could no longer get in to them. Also, from my side of the house you have 12 ancestor grand fathers who were in the Revolutionary War; 3 great-great grandfathers in the Civil War, your great grand father in World War I, your grandfather in World War II, and your Uncle Leo in the Korean Conflict.

Sent with love from your Aunt, proud daughter of Cpl. William Ray Frederick.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sitting in with the Porch

The call came on Thursday night over 1 week ago. They were in desperate need for a bass player. Not doing anything else that weekend, I was available!

I called and was, as it turned out, privileged to help! Solomon's Porch is a new (5 months old) church in Broomfield. They are building worship teams but, with new and limited resources, are borrowing from other churches. Northern Hills has been willing to help out in many ways I hear. I am just one of those ways.

They have been doing a series called "Loosing my Religion" but I think I caught the last one... Their sermons are available on line from their website (but not on iTunes) .

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Breaking Growth Barriers....

The paper starts...

The average church size in the USA is 70, and
there are enough small churches that one would
think, upon reflection, that perhaps people have
chosen to cluster in small churches because of
specific benefits; these would include the following:
  • Intimate and tightly-knit
  • Like a small town: easy to know what others
  • are doing and what they are learning
  • Spiritually close
And continues on from there. has a post about this .pdf available in their "Breaking Growth Barriers" posting.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


My friend Chang just started blogging... Check him out at Optional(g).

Ninja's and Superheros

With Kyle taking karate, he has a large fascination with Ninja, sort of a Japanese superhero but actually "agents of espionage and assassination in feudal Japan and in popular fiction".

Recently, I was talking to our worship leader Dave and some others and we mentioned how thrilling it could be to watch a "true to life" movie of King David in the Bible. One of my favorite stories (leading into the superhero theme) is not him killing Goliath but the story of three of his main guys.

2 Samuel 23:14-17 (The Message) reads:
One day during harvest, the Three parted from the Thirty and joined David at the Cave of Adullam. A squad of Philistines had set up camp in the Valley of Rephaim. While David was holed up in the Cave, the Philistines had their base camp in Bethlehem. David had a sudden craving and said, "Would I ever like a drink of water from the well at the gate of Bethlehem!" So the Three penetrated the Philistine lines, drew water from the well at the gate of Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But David wouldn't drink it; he poured it out as an offering to God, saying, "There is no way, God, that I'll drink this! This isn't mere water, it's their life-blood--—they risked their very lives to bring it!" So David refused to drink it.

This is the sort of thing that the Three did.
This particular story reminds me of the fighting we saw in "Lord of the Rings" or chronicless of Narnia". Full abandon to make sure their leader was safe an comfortable.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

What to wear today?

I am not, by any means, fashion conscious. I don't know why this popped into my head but I was wondering what I, as someone trying to follow Jesus, should be wearing. A trip to BibleGateway yielded this list (no particular order). I do not believe it is exhaustive.
  • Righteousness (Job 29:14).
  • God's Strength (Isaiah 52:1)
  • Praise (Isaiah 61:3)
  • Christ's life (Galatians 3:27)
  • Incorruption (1 Corinthians 15:54)
  • "The New Man" - us renewed (Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10)
  • The Armor of God (Ephesians 6:11)
  • Love (Colossians 3:14)
Interesting list.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

More on Randall Balmer

As I read through "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory", I have seen a lot of truth in his observations.

In the latest section I read, he is talking about a "Bible Camp" that he observes and his experiences as a child. I found his observations interesting as he was talking.

"This differed, I suspect, from the message that brought my parents into the evangelical fold. They heard about their sinfulness, yes, but the complementary element of the law is God's grace, which saves us in spite of ourselves. Therein, as Luther realized, lies true freedom and liberation -- not in the observance of tiresome moralistic schemes, but the celebration of deliverance from sin in Christ. In time, first-generation evangelical converts learn the canon of evangelical taboos, but only after their experience of grace. For their children, however, the sequence often is reversed. As an evangelical parent, if you are concerned (understandably) about the spiritual welfare of your children, you will establish guidelines for them so they will grow up in the faith, or, more accurately, grow up with all the trappings of godliness. Their "conversions" then become adolescent (or pre-adolescent) rites of passage, often accompanied by fabricated emotions in order to convince their peers, their parents and most important, themselves of their sincerity." (page 106)
As often joked, I resemble that remarked, although I may be third or fourth generation. Reading this, then, there is no surprise that many of those that I grew up with are living lives where their childhood faith influences them very little.

My challenge, then, are to show the aspect of Grace, not rules, to my son!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Favorites not on the profile.

Blogger does a minimal job of trying to create networks, MySpace is much better but, as the media has pointed out, there are a lot of potential problems with that.

Favorites that they don't make room for on the profile are things like favorite Bible verse, chapter and book. I have been thinking about this lately and have come up with this list.

Verse: Isaiah 43:31
Chapter: Psalm 150
Book: Romans

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A quick reminder....

Today, I was listening to the April 30 message from LiquidChurch. They started their message with this clip.

The reason I am posting it is because I was reminded of my friend Scott's post back in Novemeber titled "The Secret Agent Form of Christianese".

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Pushing out the sides of the box

Wednesday, my friend & worship leader Dan had lunch together (Thanks Dan). During lunch, one of the topics of conversation was "some of the outrageous things God has asked his people to do" and how our society would look at them.

In the evening, our other worship leader, Dave, talked about personal worship, the rules that the Apostle Paul (Saul) grew up under and how, with those rules & expectations, it is so easy to put God in a box. Then he asked us was are we living expectantly or with expectation, looking for God to show himself to us.

First, lets look at a couple of the what we may think of as "outrageous" moments in the Bible.
  • In Gen 22:1-14, Abraham was told to sacrifice his son Isaac. Not a "Focus On The Family" moment by any means. In fact, if someone told us they were going to do this because "GOD TOLD ME TO", you'd call the police, have them arrested and their child put into foster care.
  • In Isaiah 20:2-3, we see God telling Isaiah to walk around naked and barefoot for 3 years as a sign against Egypt and Cush (Northern Africa). Just to give you our view of that, I was downtown on the Mall shuttle a few years ago on the way to work and saw a guy stripping off his clothes and throwing them on the awning of the store he was in front of. My assumption was that it was not a command from God and "wasn't quite normal".
Does God ask us to do "outrageous" things these days? I think he does. I don't, however, think we listen well. I recently heard a podcast where the speaker was telling about meeting a guy who's mission was to become homeless to minister to the homeless in that city.

So, if you are asked (or prompted) by God to take a risk, how can you tell if it is from God or not. One of the best ways I know is to check it out against what God says in the Bible. Not to see if it has ever been done but to see if it is against what he says. Then, check it out with your family or church or a friend.

I decided I want to live on the edge of my seat... Take the box off my head. LIVE EXPECTANTLY!

Friday, May 05, 2006

To Blog...

One of my all time favorite movies is "The Princess Bride". The funny thing about the phrase "To Blog". It reminds me of the phrase when Wesley is at Miricle Max's.

The dialoge is as follows...

(to Westley)
Hey! Hello in there. Hey! What's so important? What you got here that's worth living for?

And he presses lightly on Westley's chest.

... tr ... oooo .... luv...

Everybody stares at Westley lying there on the bench.

True love. You heard him. You could not ask for a more noble cause than that.
Sonny, true love is the greatest thing in the world. Except for a nice MLT, a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe. They're so perky, I love that. But that's not what he said. He distinctly said "to blave." And, as we all know, "to blave" means "to bluff." So you're probably playing cards, and he cheated --
-- Liar -- LIAR-LI-A-A-AR --