March 31, 2009

Travel Blog – Day 7

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 10:31 pm

Today we visited The Alamo.  Wow!  What a moving historical event transpired on that spot back in 1836.  Prior to visting the actual site, Luanna and I viewed the IMAX film on the Alamo.  This film really helped us understand the significance of that historical battle.  I was moved as I learned of the sacrifice that men made for the freedom I enjoy today in America.

William B. Travis was quite a hero.  I love the determination that he had for freedom and for his country. On February 24, 1836, during Santa Anna’s siege of the Alamo, Travis wrote a letter addressed “To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World“:

Fellow citizens and compatriots;
I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual Bombardment and cannonade for 24 hours and have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country. Victory or Death.

William Barret Travis, Lt. Col. Comdt.

Oh that we could have more men and women today who would live their lives with this this kind of determination.  Determination to serve God, even if they are the only ones serving Him – and determination to fight for the freedom  we have in America.  I was very moved emotionally after seeing the film and walking around the site that has been historically preserved.  We do have some men who are still willing to fight for our freedoms.  I’m thankful for them.  I desire to be a soldier Jesus can count on!

We left San Antonio at 3:40 and arrived in Kansas City about 7:40 PM.  We made it home to our house in Gardner, KS around 9:15 PM.

God was very good to us and we thank Him for His protection and provisions during our vacation.


March 30, 2009

Travel Blog – Day 6

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 9:18 pm

Today we visited the San Antonio Zoo.  What a great day for a “zoo trip.”  The weather forecast called for a high of 83o F today.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  The zoo here is very nice.  We spent most of our day there.  The girls absolutely loved the animals.  They’ve always been animal lovers, so I knew the zoo was a good pick.  The zoo was also the thing that gave us the most “bang for the buck!”  We rode the train around Breckenridge Park.  Karson was absolutely a doll again today, and Julianna was quite the little trooper.  She did a good job walking around the zoo.  When we finally got on the train, about 16:30, she fell asleep on the train ride!

I left the zoo long enough to take Charity to the airport for her flight home.  Shawna and the kids stayed there to make sure they could see everything there was to see.  Poor Charity – her flight was delayed, which made her sit at the airport in SAT for quite awhile and it also gave her a longer layover in Dallas!  I had done my best to get her a ticket that would get her to KCI as soon as possible!  My best plans failed.

Travis called Shawna this evening.  He was moved today to a different squadron.  He is now “stuck” with bunches of guys who are “held over” for some reason. He is what is called a “medic holdover.”  Today was a very rough day for him.  These guys that he is with are not supervised near as closely as they were before graduation.  This means, the language is much rougher and the environment is totally different.  We do need to continue praying for Travis and Charity.  The separation and her departure this weekend was very hard for both of them.

Tomorrow will be the last day of our trip!  What a bummer.  I don’t want it to end, but that is part of life.  We hope to visit the Alamo and the Rivercenter Mall before heading to the airport.  Our flight to KCI leaves SAT at 15:40 and we are scheduled to arrive at KCI by 19:50.  We do have about 1 ½ hours of layover in Dallas.

God has certainly been very good to us this past week.  I give Him all of the praise for His goodness to us!

Thanks to each of you who have prayed for Travis and our family.  Thanks also for those of you who have read our blog and sent us kind responses.  It is always a special treat for me to hear from others!

With love, Michael

March 29, 2009

Travel Blog – Day 5

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 6:54 pm

Today we went to church with Travis at the AFB.  They have 5 Protestant services every Sunday…identical service each time.  It takes that many services in order for all of the interested participants to have an opportunity to attend.  The Chaplain preached on the Family of Believers, using 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 as his text.  He made many comparisons between the body of Christ and the military.  The Chaplain preaches the same 8-9 week sermon series over and over for those in training.  The Sunday after graduation marks the last church service for the trainees.  Travis will now attend a different service in the future since he has graduated.

It was quite moving to look across a sea of service men and women…Shawna and I estimate 400-500 in this service that we were attending.  Most all of these men and women were dressed in their fatigues…many of them were lifting their hands in praise to God.  I’m very thankful that our US Military sees that there is still value in allowing our young men and women to worship God and have services on Sunday.  Unfortunately, Sunday is basically just about like any other day of the week on the base.  Travis said they did have a more relaxed schedule but there are still details that must be taken care of, even on Sunday.  We did see some flights out working on their drill routines today and marching around the base.

Following church, we ate dinner with Travis and Charity and spent the afternoon at the base hanging out with Travis until he had to go back to his squadron by 6 PM.  Saying goodbye to Travis was an emotional time for us.  We shed tears as we hugged him and told him bye.  At this time, Travis has no idea when he’ll be able to return to KC for a visit, nor when he’ll get to see Charity again.  We need keep both Travis and Charity in our prayers.

Travis told us today that he found out the very first week that he might not be able to continue a career with the Air Force.  So, for almost all of the 8 weeks of basic training he’s not known from one day to the next if he would be able to finish BMT or even continue once he graduated.  However, he continued with brute force, passionate about finishing and pursuing the military if it is God’s will.  I think that is commendable.  Obviously he is not a quitter!  Way to Go, Travis!

We are enjoying a relaxing evening at our motel.  Shawna and I are listening to Rev. Paul Gray preach from the Overland Park Church of God (Holiness).  We may listen to Pastor Paul Wolfe from Hobe Sound Bible Church later this evening.  Thank God for the internet and those churches who are using it for God’s glory!  It is sure a blessing for us to have access to these church services while we are on vacation.

Travel Blog – Days 3 & 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 7:39 am

We are enjoying some beautiful weather down here, deep in the heart of Texas!  I’m very thankful God is allowing us to have such an enjoyable vacation.  Our hearts were warmed as we learned of the winter storm that hit our hometown of Gardner, KS!  They had freezing rain and snow on Saturday while we enjoyed the beach along Padre Island!

Day 3 of our vacation was on Friday.  We started the day by attending the official graduation ceremony at Lackland AFB.  The ceremony lasted for about 50 minutes and started at 9 AM.  Following the ceremony, we were able to tour the squadron where Travis has stayed for the past 8 weeks.  It was very interesting to see how many beds they stack in one room!  It reminded me of my days at God’s Bible School as a dorm student.  I used to think dorm life at Bible College was rough, but there is no comparison to what Travis has had to experience in BMT.  Travis had a Town Pass for Friday afternoon.  We all went down to the historic San Antonio River Walk.  We ate supper along the river before Travis had to return to the base by 7:30 PM.   We also gave Travis the family gift from us all for completion of BMT.

Day 4 was on Saturday.  Shawna and I decided to spin off from the rest of her family and take the girls down to the beach.  We drove about 170 miles down to North Padre Island.  The northern end of Padre Island has been preserved as a natural, uncivilized beach.  It was very interesting to drive along the Gulf of Mexico and see the beach as God originally created it and as it has been allowed to change over the years.  We learned that the beach is constantly changing by Mother Nature.  Luanna, Esther, and Julianna enjoyed wading in the water, collecting sea shells, and playing on the sand dunes.  Karson even had a blast sitting in the very soft sand and running his hands through it!  We drove around Corpus Christi Bay and even got to ride a ferry at Port Aransas!  Shawna wanted to eat at Whataburger, so we did that for supper.  They have kind of an interesting story and they first opened in Corpus Christi!  We logged over 400 miles, but had a beautiful day for traveling.  Again, the kiddos were fabulous little travelers.  However, by the end of the day, Shawna was very thankful we hadn’t decided to try and drive all the way to San Antonio from Kansas City!

I purchased my first ever Garmin GPS system for use on this trip.  Now I’m wondering how I lived this long without one of these handy little gadgets!  We found our GPS very helpful as we navigated through areas we’ve never been before.  When we wanted to find the Whataburger, we were able to look it up right on the GPS and it guided us to the nearest one!  Very cool!!  In addition to navigation, the Garmin serves as a high-tech trip odometer.  It tells you your current speed, average MPH, fuel use, etc.  Very attractive to a geeky accountant!

As always, my brain never stops working.  I thought about the “GPS” system that we as Christians have access to every day.  Thank God for His Word and the Holy Spirit who is there to guide us through the constantly changing pathway of life.  One thing my Garmin would do when I made a wrong turn is recalculate the route.  The voice of “Samantha” in the GPS would gently tell me how to turn around and get back on track.  I thought about the gentleness of the Holy Spirit and His patience with me every day.  I did notice that if I ignored Samantha long enough, she would just give up and let me go the way I wanted to go!  Yes, God will also do this if we insist on doing things our own way.  However, that isn’t His will.  He desires to guide each one of His children and to keep us on the straight and narrow way which leads to heaven.   “Enter through the narrow gate.  For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14, HCSB).

I’m very thankful for God’s faithfulness to my life and for His patient guidance on this journey towards heaven.  May God help me to be among the few that find the narrow gate and the narrow pathway that will lead me and my family safely to Heaven!

March 26, 2009

Travel Blog – Day 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 9:01 pm

Today we visited Lackland Air Force Base for the first day of graduation activities for Travis (my brother-in-law).  The weather presented some challenges for part of the day with thunderstorms and steady rain.  However, in spite of that, it was overall a very good day and very interesting to see the pride and precision with which the Airmen performed their various ceremonial duties.  I was very impressed.

Lackland AFB specializes in basic military training (BMT).  You can read an overview of each week’s activities here.  I’m very thankful that God calls some to serve in our military, but I’m very thankful He didn’t call me!  My hat is off to anyone who has, is, or will serve our country by being in the military.  After learning more about what Travis has gone through I have a brand-new level of respect for military personnel.

The graduation events we saw today were the Airmen’s Run and the Coin Ceremony.  Travis was unable to participate in the run due to his recent health challenges.  However, we got to see others run and at least we know what it is all about.  The Coin Ceremony marks the time when the trainees become official “Airmen.”  Following this ceremony Travis was an official member of the United States Air Force and he was able to see his wife Charity and his family for the first time in 8 weeks.  He was granted about 5 1/2 hours of Base Liberty which meant he was able to go anywhere on the Base.  We had a very good visit with him.  We are very proud of him and his accomplishments.

Our children have been excellent little travelers!  Shawna and I are so blessed to have such well-behaved, flexible, and cooperative children.  The evening turned out beautiful here deep in the heart of TexasTomorrow morning we will attend the Graduation Parade after which we will tour Travis’s squadron (dormitory) and he will have a Town Pass until 7:30 PM.  We hope to spend some time together in the San Antonio area tomorrow afternoon.

Today my mind kept going back to the little children’s song I’ve known all of my life:

I’m in the Lord’s army.  I’m in the Lord’s army.  I may never march in the infantry, ride o’er the Calvary, shoot the artillery – I may  never zoom o’er the enemy, but I’m in the Lord’s army!

What a privilege to serve in the GREATEST army that has ever existed!  We heard them say today that the USAF is the “most powerful air army in the world” (or something to that effect).  Well, the army in which I’ve enlisted with the Lord is absolutely THE most powerful army!  I’m blessed to be able to serve my God and be in His army.

I’m thankful for those who fight for our freedoms every day all around the world.  God has recently shown me in a new way the importance of fighting for religious freedoms and our rights as U.S. citizens.  Oh God, help me to be a faithful and disciplined member of Your army!

March 22, 2009

Listen To God

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 7:00 am

Two of my devotionals from this week were especially meaningful to me.  I”m going to share those thoughts from The Word For You Today and let them speak for themselves.

“Your ears will hear a voice…saying, ‘This is the way.'” Isaiah 30:21 NIV
Listen to God (1)

Any time you step out in faith and try something, a voice within you will whisper, “You must be out of your mind. You’re not capable of this. Those little accomplishments you had before were pure luck; you just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Now you’re in over your head.” That voice will waken you in the middle of the night, sick to your stomach. You can hear it in every boardroom, living room and sidewalk. It’s the voice of fear, and it doesn’t play fair. It pulls the file on your past failures and preys on your deepest insecurities.

      But there’s another voice – God’s! It says: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isa 41:10 NKJV). Attuning your ears to God’s voice doesn’t mean your problems are automatically solved or that the other voice just fades away. No, it’s more like having an intimate conversation with a close friend in a noisy, crowded place. There may be other voices around you but you don’t hear them because you’re so focused on what your friend is saying. That’s how it is with God’s voice. Whether He speaks to you through the Scriptures, through a friend, or through your life’s circumstances, He’s always communicating with the heart that seeks Him. His promise to you is, “Your ears will hear a voice…saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'” One word from God, just one, can change your entire outlook. So today, take time to listen to God’s voice.

“Fear not, for I am with you.” Isaiah 41:10 NKJV
Listen to God (2)

      To be successful in anything God calls you to do, you must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit within you and learn to recognize when He speaks to you through the Scriptures.

      When the pressure is on and you’re tempted to move too quickly you’ll hear His voice saying: “You shall not go out with haste…for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard” (Isa 52:12 NKJV). God’s got you covered – front and back. How good is that? When you’re about to make a wrong turn or a bad decision He will remind you, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Pr 16:9 NIV). When you don’t have the ways and means to get the job done His voice will whisper: “The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail” (Isa 58:11 NKJV). You have an unfailing supply. When you run out of answers and don’t know what to do He will reassure you: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Ps 32:8 NIV). When the load becomes too heavy to carry you’ll hear His voice saying, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (Ps 55:22 NIV).

      Hearing God’s voice may mean you have to sacrifice lesser things and tune out other voices, but you must do it. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important than learning to recognize God’s voice when He speaks to you.

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