North Strand American Legion Post 186


Post 186 - Chaplain’s letter, May 2022

Proverb 17:22 says, "A Merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones". When this verse refers to dry bones, it is speaking about the marrow which produces the red blood cells in your body. It is your lifeline.  
In our current National situation, every day we read that our economy is tanking, our border is porous, and CYA is running amok among our politicians. This verse gives us an alternative to the garbage that we see every day on the news. We need to fill our lives with laughter. We need to understand that God has everything under His control. If you are one of His children, He will not allow anything to harm you. Remember, when Moses took the people out of Egypt, they did not have sufficient food or water. For 40 years they survived and died a natural death unless they were part of the crowd that built the golden idol. I cannot give you a better example to assure you that our Father is our provider. I can testify that in my lifetime my family income was down to the last dollar, I leaned back in the arms of my Father and He provided a solution. Was that the first time or the last time, no. I want you to see how your situation may seem desperate, but when you cast your cares upon our Lord and Savior, he will provide a solution. Part of what we need to do is reassess our budgets and determine what can be kept and what must be set aside until our Nation is restored. My daughter has a business, and for the people that cannot afford to pay her fee for her service, she barters. It's the earliest form of exchange among humans. Do you have room in your backyard to build a victory garden? Yes, this is what my daughter also has, and she preserves what she grows and has her shelves stocked for the winter. Her husband and the children are all hunters, and they are very successful. Each family benefits. She has learned to make many dishes that takes out the gaminess of the deer they kill.  


Can you carpool? Can you do without a car for each person in your house? Assess, assess, assess. Then breathe and laugh.  It has an extremely restorative value. 
I am deeply honored to be elected to serve as your Chaplain for the seventh year.  I am always available to anyone connected with our Post. Any hour of the day or night. Each segment of our Post elects a Chaplain, and it is their responsibility to meet the needs of those members. I will cover if requested. I am an ordained Minister, so if you want to get married or renew your vows, I’m available.  
This month, we pause to remember those who gave their lives since the first death in the Revolutionary war. That soldier was Isaac Davis, a gunsmith from Acton, Mass. Following his death, 646,596 have died in battle, and 539,000 from other non-combat related causes. Over 1.8 million Americans, men, women, and children, have sacrificed for our freedom. 
Sick call as of 5/27/22: None 
Taps as of 5/27/22: None 


Post 186 Chaplain’s letter – April 2022 

The old saying, “April showers bring May flowers”, depend upon where you live. How you live depends upon how you are planted. If the soil is not fertilized by the Word of God, you’re not going to grow into a healthy person Spiritually. Physically, you may be strong as a bull, but are you trying to bull**** your way through life? Let me share from my own experience, it doesn’t work. You need to be fed, so here are two concerns.  
1.       How are you doing in your Church walk?  Walking towards the Lord; walking sideways trying to figure Him out; or walking away because you had a bad experience at a Church?  If your focus is not vertical, you see man’s plans, because he’s horizontal. There’s a song titled, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus”. Part of the lyrics says this: “and the things of the world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace”.   
2.       Are you married or thinking of marriage? Here’s what it takes. 

C – Christ 

P – Prayer 

R – R E S P E C T Yeah, that Aretha Franklin kind of respect. 

The physical relationship of a marriage is part of the equation, but the emotional, Spiritual, and psychological segments are the glue that holds things together.  Without them, arguments without answers break out; attitudes of selfishness enter in; my way or the highway prevails; wandering eyes and thoughts creep into your psyche.  Soon the harsh words; looks of disdain; snide remarks; questionable behavior; etc. become an everyday occurrence.  
With Christ at the headship of your relationship, you will be quickened to realize that what you say and do has a direct bearing on the health of your marriage. Scriptures that you have read or heard point to what is right and wrong in how you relate to each other, and if we are to please our Lord and Savior, we are gently reminded to “not let the sun set on our anger” when we’ve had a bad day.   
Prayer is absolutely part of the daily exercise needed to refresh how you relate to each other. Praying together often allows you to share thoughts that you might not express in casual conversation. Praying for others and their marriages extends the prayer field.   
Finally, respect your spouse by tempering your words.  How you talk to each other will make or break your marriage.  Ask for a clarification of something that was said if you’re not sure of how it was intended.  Do you know that the war against Japan was extended because the Emperor misunderstood a sentence spoken in the initial surrender talks?  Maybe the atomic bomb would never have been used?   If you don’t want things to go nuclear, chill.  Know that God’s love is unconditional. If we are to be more like Jesus, our love needs to be unconditional. Shalom. 
Sick call: None as of 4/27 
Taps: None as of 4/27 


Post 186 – Chaplain’s letter, March 2022 

The old saying in March is: “Out like a lion, in like a lamb” as we enter April. Well, man’s sayings don’t always go according to plan, so we could have any type of weather pattern arrive.  I’ve been through gentle cycles and harsh cycles.  One thing is consistent, and that’s God’s Word. In 2nd Timothy 3:16, 17 it says: “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good thing.” Think of it like field stripping your riffle.  At first it seems impossible, but as you listen to and watch your DI demonstrate how to do it, you eventually learn to do it in your sleep.  Christians have an instructor to help reveal God’s word, and that is the Holy Spirit who Jesus said He would send after His resurrection.  In John 14:15-17 it says “If you love me, keep my commands.  And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to help you and be with you forever-the Spirit of truth.”  There is great comfort in knowing you have someone to talk to through prayer who hears you and loves you unconditionally.  Someone walking along side you listening to every conversation.  Jesus said: Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30). As Arlene and I pioneered a church in Frederica, DE, in 1997, these verses inspired us to name the church “His Resting Place.” Easter is going to be celebrated April 17th this year.  Have you fallen away from the church, or have you never attended a church?  Come and find rest this year.  There is a sunrise service held at the point in Cherry Grove each year starting at 6:00am.  A different Pastor leads the service and as many as 1500 people have attended.  If you don’t want to get up that early, I would like to invite you to attend the church that Nita and I are attending, It’s Faith Wesleyan Church in Little River, on Rt. 90 near the Robert Edge parkway.  Our service begins at 10:30am. 

I trust you have enjoyed the many activities held by our Post this month.  How Irish were you for a day?  Do you know that the North Myrtle Beach parade is the fourth largest on the East coast? Were you one of the fortunate golfers to get into the Auxiliary Tournament? It sold out. Each month the Post is filled with activities of many varieties. Hope you’re taking advantage of them. The old saying is “He who hesitates is lost”, as those who were late with their golf entry form found out.  

We are in the season of Lent.  What did you give up? He gave His life for us. Let the Easter celebration renew your relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Continue to pray for the situation in the Ukraine. Pray for our President as he makes a decision impacting our situation on our Southern border.    


Sick call as of March 31st:  None 

Taps as of March 31st: Richard Stevenson Sr.; William T. York, Jr. 


Post 186 – Chaplain’s letter, February 2022 

Ah yes, February, the month of flowers, candy, and cards to express our love for a special person.  Do you remember making the cards at school cut out of colored paper, or buying a sack full of frilly little cards with mushy sayings?  Of course, every girl or boy in your class got one just in case one of them might be interested in you.  Then there were the parties with spin the bottle and pin the tail on the donkey.  I still haven’t figured out the connection. At that age, it didn’t matter.  You were there for the ice cream and cake usually shaped like a heart. Then there was that first kiss that was so much different than Aunt Bessy’s lipstick special that took four tissues to wipe it off the side of your face.  For years, you sought after that one special valentine person until the day came when you found your true love.  Today, you enjoy the person who shares your life, or you recall the one who has been called home to be with the Lord.  Perhaps you never connected with someone, and that’s OK.  There is one love that is forever, and that is from our Father in heaven.  It is unconditional and it comes with a requirement, and that is to love Him with all your heart, mind, body, and soul.  How are you doing with that expectation?  I know, some of you say I cannot love what I cannot see.  Look around, He’s everywhere.  Do you see the person stopping to talk with a homeless Vet?  How about the little child who picks a dandelion and hands it to a complete stranger?  Why’s that lady praying with that teenager who has tears streaming down his face?  God is everywhere in different forms using us to demonstrate His love in so many ways.  He is a mystery, but He is omnipresent.  He asks us to do the impossible through His Word.  “You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Mt. 19:19B).”  You’ve got to be kidding Lord?  You don’t know my neighbor, or you wouldn’t ask me to do that.  And He looks down and says, “yes I do, trust me and I will show you a miracle.” How shall we love one another?  Let me count the ways. “But now abide faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1st Cor.13:13).”  Here’s your assignment this week.  Read this entire chapter.  It’s been used many times at weddings.  

As a member of the military, this verse exemplified our thinking: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for a friend (Jn. 15:13).” Jesus Christ did this on the cross.  Ooh Rah. 


Sick call as of 2/28: none 

Taps as of 2/28: none 


Post 186 - Chaplain’s Letter, January  2022 

It’s the end of the month, how are you doing with the New Year’s resolutions?  I can’t hear you. Oh, you have decided that they are too hard to follow, especially trying to lose that weight you put on from all the Christmas dinners, and lunches, and snacks. Have you quit smoking?  That’s usually a big one on the menu we choose from. How about alcohol?  Did you know that these are not found in the bible as sins, unless your eating habits boarder on gluttony and you drink alcohol and become a drunkard?  There are multiple diseases associated with gluttony, smoking, and excessive use of alcohol.  

How else can we abuse our body?  Fail to get some form of exercise; sit in the sun too long; don’t get sufficient sleep; the list goes on.  How about your mind? Are you filling it with inappropriate thoughts? Do you sit with a Gameboy and play violent action videos? Do you conjure up ideas about hurting someone you have built a hatred towards? Do you put yourself down because you think you failed to accomplish a goal you set for yourself? And this list goes on.   

What is in the bible is a reference to your body being the temple of the Holy Spirit.  It’s found in 1st Corinthians 3:16, 17. “Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are (NAS bible)”.  Not only is sin destructive, but what we do physically can be destructive. 

Here’s God’s plan for you to follow so you may enjoy life. His Son, Jesus, said this in John 10:9, 10, “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they may have life, and might have it abundantly (NAS bible)”.  What is being taken from you because of your life style? “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves (2nd Cor. 13:5)   


Sick call as of January 31, 2022: None 

Taps as of January 31, 2022:  Donald E. Critz; Douglas Croote  



Shared with Your friends 

I am sure some of you wonder what do I get out of being a Chaplain? Do I get paid, do I get points, do I get my name up in lights? None of these. I do it to honor a fellow veteran for his or her service, whatever their need may be. Yes, I would go to the ends of the Earth if necessary. In my case, I trained, studied and was ordained to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I began as a Pastor of a church that Arlene and I pioneered in Delaware. God called me out and had me begin a music Ministry where for 14 years our Jazz Ensemble performed in five states, mostly outdoors. Now, I am beginning the sixth year of serving Post 186 in Little River, as their Chaplain. There may be a day when God calls you to do something for Him. Your response should be, "here am I, send me." Do not back away and tell yourself you are not prepared or you're not worthy. That is the enemy trying to keep you from doing something that will change the life of someone else. Throughout the Bible, there are those God called out who were the least and did the most. As an example, Paul had blood on his hands as he watched the slaughter of Christians, yet God made him the voice of the New Testament. You see, God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick. This Country is desperate to hear the good news. It is groaning from the pressure of those who want God to disappear. Stop thinking that there is no way to change this direction. Remember the scripture that says, "greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world". That means, satan has no authority but what we allow him to have. Take back what God gave us, the greatest Nation to ever exist. It will not happen if you are standing there wringing your hands saying woe is me. What you need to say is, whoa, it's me, step aside satan, you're no longer welcome in this great Country. I take authority over you. 




Sick call as of May 30, 2021: Peggy Massy, Aux. 

Taps as of May 30, 2021: William McGackin; Steven Smith (April 10th