Ambush at Hawijah

I was watching the series Combat Zone the Ambush in Hawijah. Thirty soldiers outnumbered more than 3 to 1 on a mission to investigate a protest in a town that had at one time harbored Sudam Husein. I don't care much for the photography. They try to give you the "effect" of boots on the ground with the soldiers rather than just being a spectator. That is okay for a minute or two, but the constantly erratic camera angles, zooming in and out, are searing to the nerves. Setting that aside, though, this is a MUST see episode if you want to see how your prayers for our soldiers are working.

I had asked God not too long ago if it were possible for me to be able to see how my prayers were working for our soldiers. It is astounding how God answers prayers. He never ceases to amaze me. For some reason, we are now getting the Military Channel again. It just appeared one day earlier this year, then disappeared... sigh. Then last week, it reappeared. I did a search and programmed to record some favorites. Combat Zone was one that I stumbled across. Or I should say, God handed to me on a silver platter.

These soldiers walked into an ambush one day in 2004. The protest they were sent to investigate dispersed within a minute or two of their arrival giving rise to the suspicion that it was a ruse to get them there. After moving into position, all hell broke loose and bullets, IEDs, and rocket launched grenades began flying and bursting all around the men. With little cover, they inched forward, trying to push the insurgents up against the canal that divided the town.

Snipers on roof tops, AK47s aplenty, alleys filled with insurgents met them at every corner. A team of just 8 men reached an intersection with no cover but a concrete flower planter. Then when they pushed past this point, one of them was shot in the shoulder and in the leg which effectively stopped forward movement until medics could remove the wounded man. After a team moved into position to help them and the Humvee with medics made it to their position, they moved forward to complete their mission.

The mission was supposed to be an in-and-out with little more than an hour or two in the town. It turned into an 18-hour ordeal with not enough water and little or no food. Our finest, best of the best, dug in their heels and accomplished their mission with no casualties and just a few injuries. That was thirty men against 100 insurgents with basically unlimited firepower and ammunition. That is astounding in itself.

The miracles abounded that day. Just to name a few:
1. Flower box cover -- no injuries. Eight men left the area and flower box in crumbles.
2. At one point, the only cover four men had was a CARDBOARD box. "Somehow" the bullets made swiss-cheese holes in the cardboard, but never touched any of the four men.
3. A bullet ricocheted off a man's Kevlar up through his helmet knocking him to his back and his helmet five feet away. No scratches on him. He said there was no way he should be alive right now, except Someone up there was watching over him. (I make bold enough to say, and lots of Christians are praying for our soldiers.)
4. A grenade landed within two feet of eight men and did not explode.
5. Bullets splayed the concrete walls lining the streets and alleys, splayed the dirt at their feet but ricocheted away from all of them.
6. When it was over and our men, the finest soldiers on earth, had subdued the insurgents, AK47 ammunition casings littered the streets and alleys like sand on a beach. Our side had Zero casualties and just a few injuries. 

That was God at work being mindful of our prayers for our soldiers. Miraculous! 

Prayer works.

One Thousand Years of Peace

I look at the headlines and violence abounds. Not only violence, but bloodshed in accidents, and natural disasters, intrigues, and power struggles. This is our lot until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. When that will be, not even Jesus knew while He was with His disciples. We know several facts about when the second coming of Christ is, when He comes in wrath and cleaves bone from marrow with just His breath. It is precisely 3.5 years from the breaking of the written agreement between the Antichrist and the Jews. It comes on the day of the abomination of desecration. It comes 45 days before the beginning of the Millennium of Peace.  I believe Jesus is eagerly anticipating when He can come retrieve His Bride... but, for now, we live in a world of sin because the prince of this world is Satan.

What about after Satan is bound? What happens during that one thousand years? I do believe the Bible is literal in prophecies, and is actually clear when the Holy Spirit is the guide to understanding.

I have run across a few things in Isaiah to chew on... 

We know that the outer courtyard of the Temple was the only place Gentiles could go. The inner courtyard all the way into the Holy of Holies was reserved for the Jews. This is one reason it was so horrific to the Jews at what Antiochus Epiphanes did and later in 70 AD what Titus of Rome did...
So, in Isaiah 56:6-7 "6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant-- 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." 

Isaiah is speaking about a time in the future when the Gentiles are welcomed into the Temple to worship Jehovah and to offer burnt offerings and sacrifices upon His altar. This, of course, means another Temple will be built. We get a beautiful picture of that Temple in Ezekiel chapters 40-48, as well as some clues to the millennial sacrifices.

In Isaiah 66:18-24 we get another clue. Jehovah will gather all nations and tongues (Not just Israel) these are Gentiles that haven't "seen" the Glory of Jehovah... and it looks like God is going to use the Gentiles as "carriers" to bring the Jews to Jerusalem. Verse 20 this is done as an "offering" to the Lord, just "as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD." 

Since Jesus is our Sacrifice, and His blood covers our sins, and all our sins are paid for, then why sacrifices? What purpose do they serve? Can we even make sense of them if, perhaps, the sacrifices God requires are sacrifices of praise and prayer in His house of prayer? What is God talking about in Ezekiel? Isaiah?

Could this be speaking about a time when Jews and Christians will be like-minded and worship and pray together? -- maybe like the Jews who come to accept Christ? Hopefully those Christians will not denounce Christ as the Messiah and adopt Judaism, but is that really what is happening when sacrifices are made? 

I would welcome any insight you guys have. Hopefully over the next few days we can make some kind of sense from this muddle.

Can you fathom a $1 trillion??

If we were to get into HG Wells' time machine and go back 1 billion seconds, the year would be 1990. A billion minutes ago, the Roman Empire was doling out free wine and free food to every Roman citizen over the age of 14... male, of course. The Roman Empire lasted for another few centuries until 476 when Odoacer, the German deposed Romulus Augustus and that was the end of the western Roman Empire. Ten billion seconds ago give or take a few years, King Tut was born; and God was still king of the Israelite using judges to keep peace in Israel. That was only 3,160 years ago. One Trillion seconds ago, was 31,709 years ago. The dawn of man hadn't crested the horizon yet, biblically speaking..

One billion seconds is 31.69 years. One trillion seconds is 1,000 times that or 31,709 years.

Now that it's all in perspective... fast forward to 2021 and we can see things haven't changed much at all except Congress is now debating trillions of dollars instead of billions. I've posted this before, but I truly do not think anyone can possibly grasp how much $1 billion is much less $28.72+ trillion which happens to be our national debt at 11:15 am pm on Sept. 4, 2021.In the time it took to type that, the debt, increased more than a million dollars!

It would take longer to count to 1 billion because most of the numbers take longer to say than one second. Perhaps about 95 years to count to one trillion... say 485,732,394,723 real fast, three times. That's only 485+ billion.

A 1-inch stack of $100 bills equals $25,000.It would take three 18-wheeler trailers jam packed to the top to carry 1 billion dollars in $100 dollar bills.

Now, your great aunt Bertha died and left you $1 billion dollars but you must spend $1000 per day or you lose everything... do you have enough days left in your lifetime to spend it all? How long does it take to spend $1 billion dollars if you spend $1000 per day, which would be $30,000 + per month?

It would take 2,740 years to spend that much money.

One TRILLION dollars is 1,000 times that. So it's 274,000 years to spend it all at $1000 per day and 3,000 18-wheelers, and about 95,000 years to count.

But, our legislators spend far more than $1,000 every day... they spend your entire inheritance PLUS some in one day. That's scary.

We live in the land of milk and honey and it is down right scary that Congress doesn't seem to bat an eyelash at the national debt. The day I graduated from college back in December '05, my part of the national debt was $26,000 ... just a year later it was $28,351. Today my part (and yours each) of the national debt is


 The national debt is increasing $1.72 Billion per day. Kinda makes me sick at my stomach, actually.

One billion seconds ago, (1990) the national debt was


In 2006 the national debt was


On Sept. 4, 2021 at 11:45 am the national debt is

$28,721,149,000,000 in less than a minute it jumped way more than $500,000. In fact the numbers move too fast to give you an accurate account of the exact amount.

We are spending more than $2 million per minute when in 2011 we were only spending $500,000 per minute in this country of milk and honey.   

harumph! ONLY $500,000. How long will it take for the cow to run dry and the bees can't make enough to satisfy even the leanest request for a taste?

What part of STOP SPENDING is not comprehensible?

The very name entitlement gets my bile rising. No one is entitled to anything unless they work for it. Social Security and Medicare for senior citizens is a must since they have paid all their working lives into the fund. (Me included.) But there is enough fat on the steak it can be trimmed completely and we'll still have enough fat marbled in the muscle to show we're still a lean, mean working machine.

That is a Biblical principle that worked well for Paul and the Apostles and it should work well for us. But, like the Romans, some of us have become too fat and lazy to work for their supper. But these would rather reach into mailboxes for the government checks, not go to work, complain about no service at restaurants, not give tips, and eat bonbons by the TV when they aren't rioting in the streets chanting "Defund the police."

 Lately, the Democrats have made that possible. Unfortunately, if we are not careful, like the Romans, our money will be monopoly money and the free wine and free bread along with the daily free ham will drain us all dry. Once the masses are deprived of their freebies, they get really nasty. 

If things are this bad when the well isn't completely dry with riots, pillaging, murders, and stealing without prosecution, what will it be like when the well is dry? 

However, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord and render to Uncle Sam what is Uncle Sam's and render to God what is God's. That has worked really well so far. God promises something beautiful when we bring the tithes into the storehouse. He wants us to test Him, try Him, prove Him and the blessings, unmeasured blessings He will pour out on us.

Obama's first 9 months. Joe Biden right beside him

Remember this? Hiden'Biden was standing beside Obama when these things happened!

If you even half way watch the news, you will recognize every one of these below which came to me via email from a friend in Texas. What is not on the list are these:

Appointed Czars that are advisors who have direct access to him with no point/counterpoint who, for the most part, are militant liberals with diverse socialist and facist agendas in their backgrounds.

Antagonized the Press Pool (because of the White House ban of Fox News) to the point that the entire pool refused to attend a WH press conference. I never thought I'd see that.

I am wondering if your Congressmen know just how you feel about these things? Anyone who believes that just one voice can never make a difference, should remember just a few...

Martin Luther
Mother Theresa
Buddy Holly

Thank goodness, One voice rises above them all. Jesus. It doesn't matter how good or bad a message is, one voice can make a huge difference because there is one thing that lies within every one of these voices (and I'm sure you can think of many more): Passion. When you believe something passionately, then your voice gains a vibrance and resonance all its own and can shake the world. One voice added to many and you've got a movement much like a fully loaded freight train which once it is traveling 60 mph, it is extremely hard to stop.

Obama 's First Nine Months' Accomplishments:

1. Offended the Queen of England
2. Bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia
3. Praised the Marxist Daniel Ortega.
4. Kissed Socialist Hugo Chavez on the cheek.
5. Endorsed the Socialist Evo Morales of Bolivia 
6. Sided with Hugo Chavez and Communist Fidel Castro against Honduras' Constitution, Congress and Supreme Court.
7. Announced we would meet with Iranians with no pre-conditions while they're
building their nuclear weapons.
8. Gave away billions to AIG also without pre-conditions.
9. Expanded the bailouts.
10. Insulted everyone who has ever loved a Special Olympian.

11. Doubled our national debt.

12. Announced the termination of our new missile defense system the day after North Korea launched an ICBM.

13. Released information on U.S. Intelligence gathering despite urgings of his own CIA director and the prior four CIA directors.

14. Accepted without comment that five of his cabinet members cheated on their taxes and two other nominees withdrew after they couldn't take the heat.

15. Appointed a Home land Security Chief who identified military veterans and abortion opponents as "dangers to the nation."

16. Ordered that the word "terrorism" no longer be used and instead refers to such acts as "man made disasters."

17. Circled the globe to publicly apologize for America 's world leadership.

18. Told the Mexican president that the violence in their country was because of us.

19. Politicized the census by moving it into the White House from the Department of Commerce.

20. Appointed as Attorney General the man who orchestrated the forced removal and expulsion to Cuba of a 9-year-old whose mother died trying to bring him to freedom in the United States .

21. Salutes as heroes three Navy SEALS who took down three terrorists who threatened one American life and the next day announces members of the Bush administration may stand trial for "torturing" three 9/11 terrorists by pouring water up their noses.

22. Authorized low altitude photo shoot of Air Force One over New York City that frightened thousands of New Yorkers.

23. Sent his National Defense Advisor to Europe to assure them that the US will no longer treat Israel in a special manner and they might be on their own with the Muslims.

24. Praised Jimmy Carter's trip to Gaza where he sided with terrorist Hamas against Israel

25. Nationalized General Motors and Chrysler while turning shareholder control over to the unions and freezing out retired investors who owned their bonds. Committed unlimited taxpayer billions in the process.

26. Backed a huge energy tax in the House that will make American industry even less competitive while costing homeowners thousands per year.

27. Announced nationalized health care "reform" that will strip seniors of some Medicare benefits, cut pay of physicians, increase taxes by billions, and eventually put many if not most on rationed care with government bureaucrats deciding who gets care and who doesn't.

28. Floated the idea of military veterans being responsible for their own health care to save money for the country they sacrificed for and served.

29.Announced that the war in Afghanistan was "the war of necessity," then met with the general Obama appointed to be in charge of that theater only once in the first 70 days and dithered and delayed in following the general's recommendation for increased troops while American soldiers and civilians were dying there (yet had the time to flit around the globe making apologies for the US, going to plays and playing golf, and getting involved in very minor matters..Bloomberg: Daschle says, "Health care reform will not be pain free. Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them," while former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm says seniors have "a duty to die."

Then there is Clinton and an Obama advisor who said. "We're going to have to, if you're very old, we're not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It's too we're going to let you die."

If this does not sufficiently raise your ire, just remember that the President, Senators and Congressmen have their own special gold plated health care plan which is guaranteed the remainder of their lives and they will not subject to any new law passed by them. Please use the power of the Internet to get this message out. Talk it up at the grassroots level. We have elections coming up in one year and one month where we can reverse the dangerous direction of the Obama administration and its allies..

Crowns of the Believers

Book Cover jpeg

Study about the 
Crown of Protection... 
The Crown of Separation ... 
The Crown of Insolence ... 
The Crown of Lovingkindness and Crown of Tenderness ... 
and the other crowns of the believers.

It's finally here! It's available on Amazon, and other eStore book stores.

...and for Kindle, too.

Grab your copy

I did a lot more digging using the Hebrew and Greek lexicons. Then, I taught this study to my Thursday morning Bible study class. Wow! When I updated it with more in depth research you won't believe what I found. There are more than 7 crowns that we receive. Isn't that amazing? There's several crowns of the same type, but of different kinds. There is also a crown of insolence... and yes, Christians can wear this crown.

This has been such a popular post, I decided to use my updated notes and write a book.

It isn't long, and it isn't expensive.
Author Gina Burgess
I ask you to purchase the book, and let me know what you think! Give me your insights, discuss what you discover as you study the crowns. I hope to keep updating the book as time goes by so that many believers will know what, how, and why we have these rewards.


Paul was very fond of using The Race as an analogy for the Christian Lifestyle. To the Corinthians, he espoused this theme pointing to the victor in the race receives a crown of corruption. That was a wreath of leaves of laurel which soon withers. In fact the runner coveted the victory much more than the crown. Paul immediately points out that believers’ crowns are incorruptible, lasting forever, being the proof of victory in Christian living.

I have heard studies on “the five crowns” we receive, but there actually are more than five crowns. Believers have already received two of these crowns, which are worn daily.

Gina Burgess discusses in depth the facets and purposes of each crown. She gives you the tools to carry on your own study of other biblical subjects and issues that may intrigue you. Please invest in your understanding and wisdom concerning God's precious word.

Crown of Separation – find out what this crown means, had how to find it in Scripture. 

Crown of Protection - is found in Psalm 5:12 translated surround. The Bible tells us there are several different kinds of this crown type. Find out which ones they are, and how we receive this crown.

Crown of Insolence is first mentioned in  Isaiah 28:1. The derogatory term, Crown of Insolence, stems from how the Samaritans took great pride in the work of their own hands. Find out how Christians today acquire this type of crown. 

Crown of Incorruptibility – Of course Paul describes this crown. Find out how this crown applies to believers today.

Crown of Rejoicing -- Who actually will receive this crown? How does it apply to Christians, and are believers the only ones who wear it?

Crown of Righteousness -- Another crown that Paul describes. We think we know what this one means, but it goes a lot deeper than just being justified by the blood o Christ.

Crown of Life -- Both James and Christ speak of this crown. When do believers start wearing this one?

Crown of Glory -- Peter describes this crown. Does everyone receive this crown? Does anything about our gifts indicate who will receive this one?

Here is the exhortation: We should always be working, using our gifts toward the edification of the body. Setting on a pew hatching nothing restricts the work God has planned for His children to do on earth. Utilizing our gifts ensures we bring God glory and honor.

The Crowns of the Believers gives you precious insight into the real purpose of the crowns. It heightens your insight and opens the doors to in depth study of God's word. I urge you to invest in your copy of this book today. It is well worth the money and your time invested to study this beautiful facet of God's enduring grace and His glory.

Major Steve Long--honoring a 9/11 fallen hero

 Major Steve Long
A Memorial Day Tribute

Also a tribute to the victims of 9/11. On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers joined together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person paid tribute to a single victim. I don't know how many blogs that were alive in 2006 which have since ceased to exist or have morphed into something else. As for me and my blog, we are here today to honor this fallen hero, Major Steve V. Long.

We honor the victims by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers.

This post you will see every year to pay tribute and honor to Army Major Steve V. Long. I pray that others will come back and post comments each year so we can learn more about this dedicated Army officer, husband and father.

On September 11th, he was at his post at the Pentagon, doing his job, and he gave his life for his country. He was 39 years old; and he was from Georgia. Maj. Long was serving as Secretary of the General Staff, Office of the Commanding General, U.S. Total Army Command. He was married with two children. I have continued my search over the years about his life and work. As time goes by, I find out a little more as his family, friends, and soldiers he worked with leave comments.

The Pentagon lists his medals and awards and military training:
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  (with Arrowhead and Oak Leaf Cluster)
Armed Forces Service Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal
Army Commendation Medal
  (with "V" Device and Two Oak Leaf Clusters)
Army Non-Commissioned Officers Development Medal
  (w/ Numeral "2")
Army Service Ribbon
Army Superior Unit Award
Combat Infantry Badge
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Award
National Defense Service Medal
Overseas Service Ribbon
Parachutist Badge
  (with Bronze Star)
Purple Heart
  (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
Ranger Tab
Southwest Asia Service Medal
  (with Bronze Star)
Valorous Unit Award
 Major Long’s military training includes Infantry One Station Unit Training, the Primary Leadership Development Course, the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Jungle Warfare School, the United States Army Ranger Course, the United States Air Force Survival Training Course, the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course, Combined Logistics Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and the Petroleum Officer Course.
What kind of father he was, what kind of husband has slowly come to life with each post. I found the tears of a nephew... the tears of a sister, Nancy.

His mother, Sue Weaver, said he loved planting and gardening.

I did find this tribute:
I had the honor and pleasure of serving together with Steve back in 1997. Steve was a fellow officer in the 601st Aviation Support Battalion and he served as the headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander during a rotation to Bosnia. He epitomized the word dedication and duty. He was a loved husband and father to his family and he will be forever missed. My heart and prayers go out to him, his family, and to all others affected by this tragedy. I am proud to continue my service to my country. Special thanks go to all the men and women of the armed forces, past and present, for their contribution and daily sacrifices as well to their families who know pain and uncertainty on a daily basis. Sincerely, Ron Pacheco
And I found this tribute...

I first met Steve Long when he was a Captain, and I was a Second Lieutenant in my officer basic course at Fort Lee, Virginia. He gave an introductory brief on how we newly commissioned officers could "manage" our own military careers. I got in touch with him a year later, while I was stationed in Korea, on my next assignment back in the U.S.A. As a young 23-year-old officer, trying to balance the Army with a fiance who was also in the Army, I kept changing my mind. Over the course of a year and half, I asked Steve to amend my assignment THREE TIMES and he did! Branch managers like Steve get no credit for the unglamorous HR work they do, but for me it was a sterling introduction of what "taking care of Soldiers" meant. It was an example by DOING, not just TALKING about it. Years later, when I read his name in the Pentagon losses, I was so saddened to hear that the Army had lost such a great officer. I say a prayer for him on every September 11th.Melissa
*** Posted by Melissa on 2009-09-11 ***
In the comments section of this post are other tributes...

At the link on the title of this post, you can view the Arlington Cemetery resting place of Maj. Long, and see the tribute to him listed there. I have unashamedly copied part of that tribute below...

Floating down to the Caribbean island of Grenada, Specialist Steve Long pleaded with the enemy soldiers far below who were firing alarming numbers of bullets toward him and the other Army Rangers parachuting in during the 1983 U.S.-led invasion.
"I'm really a nice guy," Long kept muttering, according to his wife, Tina. "You wouldn't be shooting at me if you knew what a nice guy I am."
Long landed unharmed, but in a follow-up raid on a Cuban military camp, several Black Hawk helicopters carrying Long and other Rangers came under fire and crashed. "His roommate and best friend was killed," said Tina Long. "It hurt him greatly."
Long was injured in the crash but continued fighting and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Valor and the Purple Heart.
With the encouragement of his wife and commanders, he went to college and received a commission as an officer, and he later served with the 82nd Airborne Division during the Persian Gulf War. As a personnel officer, a job he took after injuries no longer allowed him to serve in combat, Long agonized over where to assign soldiers, knowing his decisions could harm careers or break up families. "Many a night he was losing sleep on where he was sending people," Tina Long said.
But he never regretted his service. "It was just his love of his country," she said. "I know it sounds simple, but that's the way he was."

I am so very proud to be able to honor one of our country's protectors. This man stood in the gap and took a hit from the bad guys. As for me, there are not enough words to honor him and the job he was doing. My grandchildren (when I have them) will be able to grow strong and sturdy without fear because of Maj. Long and others like him. My children will be able to sleep at night. And perhaps, one day I might get to shake his hand in heaven. Thank you, Steve, and I thank all the men and women who serve our great country so we can have the gift of freedom. Freedom is costly, but it is worthy.

Links for the whole Motivational Gifts Bible Study

One of the most popular post series on my blog is the Motivational Gifts. Here are the links to them.

7 Highly Effective Motivational Spiritual Gifts -