North Strand American Legion Post 186

Chaplain’s letter – September 2022 

This month we enter a new season moving from Summer to Fall. In this area, the change can be dramatic for a day or two, but in Pennsylvania, my home State, it brings another dimension to God’s glory. The leaves begin their dramatic change from mostly green to a multitude of colors. Did you know that Pennsylvania has over 108 species of trees?  It exceeds New England, yet everyone flocks there to enjoy the phenomenon. I was part of a Southern Gospel group from Southeastern PA, and we traveled to Vermont just as the change was occurring. Two weeks later, we traveled to Morris, PA, in the upstate, and we saw another spectacular event. Are you a foliage chaser?  We didn’t intentionally plan these two events for our music ministry, but I’m blessed to have had the experience. There’s a beautiful reminder of what happens in our life found in Proverbs 16:9. “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” How many times in your life have you set your sights on a goal, only to have God change what you thought should happen? God moved me to make a decision based upon the climate of Pennsylvania.  I came in after snow blowing my driveway and my neighbors in 2013, and said to my 1st wife, Arlene, I can’t handle another winter.  She and I agreed to look South. We started looking in the Ocean City, MD area; moved down to Virginia Beach; went into the Outer Banks; and found what we could afford in Little River, SC. We left behind our family and a wonderful church family. Why did we wind up in Little River? Because God knew what was going to change medically for Arlene.  As many of you knew, she developed a neurological condition that crippled her.  If we had stayed in Pennsylvania, she would have been house bound during the Winter. Moving down the coast, you still must contend with snow and ice until you hit South Carolina, where there is an occasional short time frame of slick conditions. When we left Pennsylvania, she was fit as a fiddle. I didn’t know, but God did that by living in Little River, she would be able to sit by the ocean in the middle of Winter and enjoy the view she had known since a child. Leaving the area where our family was located was bittersweet, but seeing Arlene have the freedom to be outdoors almost year-round was according to God’s plan. As you know, I left the area when she died to live with my daughter and son-in-law as I looked for a place near them.  I found a beautiful senior apartment, and they called and said it’s ready.  I thought about staying, but God encouraged me to return to South Carolina. Why, because He had plans for me to meet my new bride, Nita. She has been a new blessing in my life, and I now know why He sent me South.  
I don’t know what is going on with you but understand that God does.  There’s a beautiful old hymn that is titled, “I take all my troubles to Jesus”. In the Bible it says: Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help in time of need.” With boldness, not with Hat in hand, but standing upright and sharing what’s on your heart. Shalom 
 
Revman 
 
Sick call as of 9/26/22: None                                           
Taps as of 9/26/22:  Richard A. Medwid; William Jagoe 
 

Post 186 Chaplain’s letter – August 2022 

August contained some interesting events.  On the 4th day of 1790, the U.S. Coast Guard was established.  This is one branch of our military that gets very little recognition but serves a vital role around the world. We generally think of them defending our Nation, but its mission is far reaching.  On the 7th of 1782 the Purple Heart Medal was established, and in 1964, the Vietnam War officially began.  We were involved many years before this date, but we were not allowed to fire upon the enemy without South Vietnam’s permission.  That was the rule and soldiers paid a price.  On the 14th of 1945, Japan surrender bringing about the end of WWII.  August 16th is recognized as our National Airborne day. 
So often we hear people say it’s hotter than hell.  This month has been one of those times. Since no one has ever returned from heaven or hell, we cannot accurately give a description based on firsthand experience. The bible describes a place called a lake of fire where people are cast because of their sinful unrepenting nature. It is spoken of through multiple verses. In Luke 16:19-31 it speaks to the fact that coming back from the dead would serve no purpose of convincing someone to change their lives.  It requires a repenting heart, which happens when a person accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. 
This month, our Honor Guard is preparing to travel to Washington D. C. to receive training by the Arlington Cemetery Honor Guard, which includes the “Tomb of The Unknown Soldier”. Very few units are privileged to receive this training. Our Captain, Carl McCloud, worked with the office of Sen. Tim Scott, and other agencies to fulfill this goal.  I’m sharing this with you because you may not be aware that our Post has such a unit. Every Veteran member of our Post, and any Veteran or active-duty non-member is eligible of having them provide full honors at their funeral. Please share with members of your family that they may call the Post and request them to be part of your service. 
Our Nation is groaning under the weight of debt imposed upon it by our government.  Do not allow your pride to prevent you from applying for help with your budget.  There are many ways to get assistance, and you need to ask, if you want to survive.  Our Post has a service officer who knows how to start the process. You may be eligible for VA assistance which has a ton of benefits. One thing that is available is a program for food.  Each State has a plan in place. There are organizations who distribute food. Go online and research this for yourself. If you need housing, ask.  Locally, there are tiny houses being built for Veterans.  You don’t have to live under a bridge when there is a bridge to a place of warmth and comfort. I see too many Veterans on the street panhandling who refuse help.  I don’t know why they refuse help, but I’m sharing that all they need to do is ask. God is our provider, and he has given man an awareness to reach the lost and hurting. Shalom. 
Revman 
Sick call as of August 26th:  None                                   Taps as of August 26th : None 

 

Post 186 - Chaplain’s letter, July 2022 

The United States turned 246 years old this month.  Unfortunately, for the first time in seven years, the American Pride march could not be held because of severe storms. Had it been held; hundreds of flags would have been flying on the beach and lining the walkway leading to the stage area for the closing ceremony. What a difference from what we see in the news of people who are standing on our flag or burning it. If they only knew the story of the “Star Spangled Banner”.  The flag never hit the ground when the British were bombarding Fort McHenry.  Not because the flagpole hadn’t been hit time and time again, but because men held the pole up and died doing it. To disrespect what men, women, and children have fought for is pitiful to say the least. When our politicians refuse to defend it, that’s a travesty. We face a major decision this year as to how our Country will be governed. Having served my Nation for four years, I want to see God honored and our Flag flying high.  I’m sure each of you have the same sentiments. We are truly blessed to live in a land that offers freedom. Will we be asked to defend it again to stop the radical leftist from altering the path God intended for this Nation? Possibly. Does God instruct us to sit back and remain uninvolved? I know it says in Romans 13:1 “that we are to submit ourselves to the governing authorities”. I don’t think He intended us to remain silent when the Government is totally immoral. He has allowed it to happen as is so often recorded in the Old Testament, but at some point, He gives instruction to take back what the heathen have stolen. Usually, His instruction was to annihilate the enemy. That’s a severe consequence, but He will not tolerate iron fisted rule where people are placed into subjugation. 
I held my Bible Study on July 19th, and all I heard were crickets. I know there was a plague of locust that God brought on the earth to punish Pharaoh. Oh wait, you already knew that since you’re a biblical scholar.  I’m sorry, that’s a bit of hint that God calls us to equip ourselves. In 2nd Timothy, 2:15 it says: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.” (NKJE) The verse that follows is a caution of what transpires when we try to make life happen on our own. 2nd Timothy, 2:16 it says: “But shun profane and idle babblings, for it will lead to further ungodliness.” (NKJV) It’s my hope that each of you are attending a Christ centered church that encourages bible study. If not, please give every consideration to finding a place. Life is too short to be caught off guard.  Shalom. 
Revman 
 
Sick call as of July 30th: none 
 
Taps as of July 30th: none 
 
 

Post 186 – Chaplain’s letter, June 2022  

June will forever impact six high school juniors who were selected to attend the Palmetto Boys State convention this year. From shared reports of previous attendees, it is life changing. Yes, many famous American men and women have been nurtured by this program. It teaches the principles of government. How a person applies this teaching will be based on their moral compass. If they want to apply right thinking, then they need to have God at their headship. In Proverbs 22:6, it states clearly that it rests with those giving instruction, parents, religious instructors, teachers, friends, etc. As a parent, you are the primary instructor.  You are responsible for the right thinking, and if you have been impacted by wrong thinking, how do you think your child will go? Thankfully, some children overcome wrong thinking, and go on to become productive citizens, not destructive citizens. Yes, outside influencers will mold your child.  Be vigilant to know what your child is learning and challenge the messenger. Here’s what this Proverb says: “Train up a child in the way he/she should go; even when he/she is old he/she will not depart from it.” The Old Testament does not include the word she, because during that time they only recognized the male when the scriptures were written. Yes, it was a guy thing, but it put full responsibility on the male to lead the family. I would recommend today’s men think Old Testament. Then apply New Testament thinking regarding the female being equal. To protect her and respect her. Thought I was going to let you strut your stuff. Sorry, I have nearly 55 years of married life behind me, and I know the importance of shared responsibility.  Yes, women, you are to respect and protect him. Do you get where I’m going? Regardless of your relationship, friend, plutonic friend, steady, dating, engaged or married, think with that Aretha Frankin mentality. R E S P E C T. It’s become a thing of the past, and because of it, marriages average only 8 years in today’s society. Do you understand the impact on the children? 
 
This month we remembered D-Day.  Sadly, our president had to be reminded. He totally overlooked it last year. Apparently, he was not taught the importance of this event as a child, or he is like the prodigal son, and has walked away from all that holds value. Pray that his heart will be changed, and he will adhere to the teaching of his Church and be the leader this Nation needs. This battle could be summed up by the poem of “The Charge Light Brigade”; “Into the valley of death rode the six hundred.” This beach is the resting place of more the 2,700 allies. We must never forget Mr. president. 

Revman 

Sick call as of June 29th: None

Taps as of June 29th: Kenneth Parker

 
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. 
Revman 
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.    

Revman 

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. 

Revman 

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)   

Revman 

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. 

 Blessings 

Revman 

 

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

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