Posts tagged ‘Navy’

March 20, 2012

Dogs and Sonar

by pastortimfowler

 

The city we live in is going through our neighborhood and getting rid of the above ground utilities and putting everything underground. For the last few weeks they have had our road down to a one lane road most of the day. Yesterday they were drilling under our yard and I just happened to be home when they started. There was a guy who had a portable sonar that he was using to detect water and sewage lines so that they did not drill through them as they buried the power lines. As he was walking toward our fence, our dogs began to bark and so I went outside to assist. The guy told me that he needed to walk through our yard to monitor the drilling and asked if the dogs would bite. I quickly said yes, but not if I am here. So I stood there as he slowly walked, following this drill that no one else could see. And he could only see what his instrument said was there, but he seemed to trust it.
I was in the Navy for 9 years and I understand sonar. It uses sound waves find objects that are either under water or under ground or in some cases, in a belly. It always amazes me how clear and detailed the pictures that can be gotten from using sonar. If you have ever seen the face of a baby in the mother’s womb, you are familiar with what I am talking about. But for whatever reason I was not confident in the device, especially as they were getting to close to my water and sewage lines.
Needless to say, my concerns were short-lived and they passed under our lines with no problems. My dogs held true to my statement that they would not bite while I was there and we still have a few more weeks of a one lane road. In the end we will not have poles with power lines running up and down our road and I am sure that everyone will be thrilled with that.
This morning I was thinking about this and it reminded me of this verse from the Bible: 1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD told Samuel, β€œDon’t look at his appearance or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. God does not see as humans see. Humans look at outward appearances, but the LORD looks into the heart.” So many times we think that what we feel can’t be seen by anyone, but that is not true. God has the ability to see our hearts. No, I am not talking about our physical heart, but that part of every human that desires to know that someone cares.
We spend our lives in search of someone who cares about us. We want someone to understand who we are and what we are feeling. Often we find a friend or a family member who understands us and sympathizes and we feel comforted. But sometimes we feel as if no one is there that can truly know what we are going through. I believe that God has put that feeling inside of us in hopes that we will turn to Him. He can understand because He can see our hearts.
God uses many ways to try to reach out to people. He uses His people, but people often fail. He uses nature, the old theory that says that where there is a creation there must be a creator. But we are often to busy to see the obvious. But then that is the heart and the heart cannot be denied. Something deep inside that says that there has to be more than this.
My old mentor use to say that God calls and we often turn and walk away, so when all else fails, He will put us flat on our backs so that we have no other choice but to look up. Of course those who look at things as half empty will say that God is cruel to let someone get that low. But knowing what we all know about human nature, we are stubborn and hard-headed, sometimes people who love us have to yell scream and eventually grab us and shake us to get our attention and they do it because they love us. God loves us more.
Not being able to see God makes it difficult to trust God. I could not see the water and sewer lines running under my yard. I had an idea that they were there and knew the general location but they were deep inside the ground. Someone with a power that I did not have, was able to clearly see what I could not and understand my concerns, and control the situation to help me feel better about something that I didn’t even tell them was bothering me.
Because God can see the hearts, He is able to do things that no one else can. He can guide us through the troubled times and make what is on the inside that worries us become nothing but a story of how He fixed what we could not. But there is something that could have changed it all.
Remember the dogs. Like a mail carrier, this guy could have chosen to not come in my yard because of the dogs and the whole thing would have been delayed. Sure, eventually they would have caught me at home, probably by leaving a note on the fence telling me of the situation, but that would have made the other problem of a one lane road go on longer. Sometimes we have dogs to protect us and that is okay, but when that protection becomes a hindrance to someone who can help us with a problem that the dogs can’t prevent, we need to make the right decision to call off the defenses and let that person in. So stop letting the dogs out every time that God wants to help and let Him in. You can keep the dogs, but don’t let the dogs keep you from meeting a God who only wants to help.

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December 8, 2011

Spending Time With Kids

by pastortimfowler

Tomorrow I am heading to Washington DC to see the Army/Navy football game being played there Saturday. This will be the second year in a row, and I am stoked to get to do it again. Being a Navy veteran and the son of a Navy veteran, it has always been a special game for me. What makes it even better is that my son is going with me again. It would be great if both of my sons, and even my daughter, could go, but that just isn’t possible.
I have been blessed to have a great relationship with my adult children. We can talk about most anything. Our favorite subject is their mother, but that is another blog for another time. We enjoy hanging out and have fun when we do. And this all started when they were small children.
I was definitely not the perfect parent when they were little. But I had a desire to spend time with them and to try to be. From the time my daughter was in preschool, we went to dances and father/daughter date nights and I rarely missed a game that she cheered for. My boys and I fished, play video games and I coached their teams when they played sports. I even played “roady” for my youngest son’s band for a couple of years. My wife and I tried to take vacations that had us all spending time together rather than finding a place to entertains us as individuals. Sure we had some vacation nightmares, but for the most part, we always enjoyed our time together.
So now that they are adults, we still find time to hang out. What is cool is that I see them spending time with their children now. Taking them to ballgames, cool vacations, and special events of music and plays. I can’t tell you how special that is because I know that these times spent bonding now will last a lifetime and will grow into a habit of spending quality time together for years to come.
Don’t think that your children don’t want to spend time with you. Parents don’t have to be best friends in everything, but they do need to be examples of how to have a good time with the one’s you love. Those things are priceless lessons that embed in the heart and grow to be memories that never fade and continue to be made every time you get a new chance to spend a special moment together. If parents teach children how to have a good time, then they won’t have to learn it from other kids who have no parental influence in their lives.
So tomorrow there won’t be a blog. I will be driving to DC with my oldest son to spend Saturday at the stadium watching a game that I have loved ever since I was a kid watching it with my dad. GO NAVY! BEAT ARMY!

December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor

by pastortimfowler

70 years ago today, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, drawing the USA into World War 2. For those who survived it, the memories are still crystal clear and the emotions can be triggered in a flash. Fewer and fewer of these people are alive today and there will soon be a day when the only people who remember it will be the ones who have heard about it through the stories passed down.
I had the privilege of serving in the Navy for 9 years and 4 of those were spent in Hawaii, stationed at Pearl Harbor. Every year there is a parade of the ships past the memorials of the sunken ships. The USS Arizona is the most popular of these and that ship has never been decommissioned due to the over 1000 sailors who make it their final resting place. There is a crew that raises and lowers the American flag every day, same as on any other ship. It is an amazing piece of American history.
This parade of ships is quite the spectacle. They dress out the ships with all of their flags and the crews line the rails in full dress uniform. As they pass by the Arizona, all hands come to attention and render a hand salute and a minute of silence passes before the whistle to return to parade rest. As you continue around Ford Island, which is in the middle of Pearl Harbor, you continue to pass by the other ships that were sunk on that day. After about an hour, the parade is finished and work goes about as normal. But the rest of the day is filled with talk of how special that parade was and the memories of all those who died that day.
Every year this event is marked as a national day of remembrance. It isn’t tangled in politics and it isn’t clouded with rumors of vast conspiracies. It doesn’t have dark clouds of race or ethnic hatred. Other than naming the country that attacked, it is simply a reminder of a day that will live in infamy. It is a day where most Americans reflect on the fragile state of this world and its ability to be a dangerous and violent place and the fact that when and if that ever happens, we have brave men and women in the Armed Forces, ready to defend us even before the first shot is fired.
Today, Pearl Harbor is a beautiful place where thousands of sailors and Marines serve and live. Each day, hundreds of tourists visit and see the Memorials and barely notice the ones who are serving daily, just like those who were serving there 70 years ago. They did not expect to have such an event, but when it happened they gave all. The same would be true for those who serve today, and many of them have been in battle due to the conflicts in the middle east. But none will be remembered like those who were there on Dec. 7, 1941.
If you see someone today who has served or is serving in the military, thank them for what they do. If you are fortunate enough to know someone who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor 70 years ago, talk to them and hear it from them and thank them. Every day the fine men and women of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Reserves, Guards, and Coast Guard, are ready to defend and protect us from any threat the world can offer. God bless them, and God bless the United States of America!