The Back Pew - March 2021
Submitted: Ernie Isbell, VLOA Chaplin
Hello to everyone. As I write this it is St Patrick's day and Linda and I are decked out in green, not that either one of us has any Irish in our family tree. However for all that claim to be of Irish descent, we wish you the best of luck.
Our luck has been great for a couple of 81 year old happily married retired folks. As of September 5th, we will have been married 62 years. We hope that everyone reading this is in good health and continues to live to be at least 100 years old. As for us, we have moved to the home that our daughter purchased for us and most everything is in its place or will be soon. Anyone traveling through the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex is hereby extended an invitation to drop in and say hello. The address is 10108 Serene Ct, Denton, TX 76207, telephone 214-529-3778. From time to time we go back to our home in Paducah, TX and check on things at that location. Fortunately, we were able to leave that home completely set up and it is ready to receive visitors, all we need is to buy fresh milk and turn on the TV.
Seems that the Covid pandemic is slowing in its spread and the many variations seem to be responding to the vaccines that have been developed. Linda and I have been diligent in taking advantage of the original vaccinations and the booster shots and we encourage everyone to do the same.
As I write this everyone is or should be very concerned with what Russia is doing to the people of Ukraine. For us veterans, the need to respond no longer concerns us personally, but as this crisis develops it could easily lead to another world war. Regardless of your political beliefs let’s all say our prayers each day so that this doesn't happen. We lost 58,000 plus during the Viet Nam war and I’m reminded of how unnecessary that fact is every time I buy something and look at the label where it says the article was made in Vietnam. Looking back over my lifetime and the results of WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, and Afghanistan I should hope that our political leaders are successful in keeping Russia in check without declaring war.
Enough comments. Linda and I wish each of you and yours the best of health and good fortune.
Ernie Isbell Chaplain, VLOA Spring 2022
What can the Chaplain do for me?
My primary job as Chaplain of the V. L. O. A. is to conduct the Sunday morning worship service at our reunions. In addition, should you have the need to talk with someone who has "been there, done that," I am available to listen.
Outlaws Devotional - February 2021
Pain Is Not Forever
2 Timothy 2:3
Accept your share of suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
About 11 years ago, I began having pain in my shoulders that grew progressively worse as the months past. Along with the shoulder pain, pain began building in my hips and soon matched the level of shoulder pain. Surely this was just the process of aging, and would soon subside and go away. Over the counter medication helped marginally, but wasn’t enough to divert my mental concentration on the pain. Finally, the pain progressed to the point that it limited my ability to function well, especially in getting dressed and caring for myself.
It became clear the pain was not going away by itself. Over the next four months, I was evaluated by two general practioners, a neurologist, and an orthopedic surgeon, none of which could identify the source of the pain even after an MRI, two CT scans, two sonograms, and numerous blood tests, but all had their own solution to mollifying the pain. Finally, my wife said that both of us had had enough of the pain, and found a rheumatologist who gave me an emergency appointment. He reviewed all the medical information, and diagnosed the problem as polymyalgia rheumatica. Prescribed medication relieved the cause of the pain in less than a month, but weaning me off the medication took another 11 months.
One night during the midst of my pain, I realized that my pain was insignificant compared to the pain and suffering Jesus Christ experienced during the 24 hours leading up to dying on the cross. We should never forget the earthly, physical pain Jesus felt in giving his life in atonement for our sins.
Submitted by Frank Estes