The Flying Fortress

In honor of Memorial Day here in the states, I am shining a spotlight on the B-17 Flying Fortress of World War II.

Over the years Pilot and I have visited museums and air shows with static displays of these magnificent airplanes. Several years ago, however, we had the amazingly cool experience of flying in a B-17 Flying Fortress.

Let me tell you, walking on the ground looking up at a B-17 is nothing like flying in one.

The B-17 Flying Fortress was an Army Air Corps heavy-duty bomber. Armed with .50 caliber machine guns and five thousand pounds of bombs, these four-engine aircraft flew strategic bombing missions over Europe. 13,000 B-17s were produced over the course of the war. Only 13 airworthy B-17s remain today.

The first B-17s saw combat in 1941 when the British Royal Air Force took delivery of several B-17s for high-altitude missions. As World War II intensified, the bombers needed additional armament and armor.

In the Pacific, the planes earned a deadly reputation with the Japanese who dubbed them “four-engine fighters”. The Fortresses were also legendary for their ability to stay in the air after taking heavy artillery attacks. These planes sometimes limped back to their bases with large chunks of the fuselage shot off. If you saw movies like Memphis Belle, you get the idea of what these planes went through.

Sitting inside that bomber and flying over south Texas, gave me a greater appreciation for what the men who flew those birds dealt with in a very small way. While it was totally impressive to sit in the bombardier seat at the nose of the plane and watch the ground sail passed, I was not facing enemy fire. I flew in an uncluttered sky with no threat of artillery fire heading my way.

I truly cannot imagine what it was like to be in that plane during wartime. I especially cannot imagine what it was like to fight from the ball turret. My hat is off to all the brave men who flew their missions, and to the support crews who kept them flying.

So, I’m thinking…is there any spiritual application to all this B-17 business? Yep.

Just as the Flying Fortress was heavily armed, fought many a battle, was often beat up by the enemy, and limped back to base, life can be the same with us.

Every day we go out to battle the Enemy. We face flak and ack-ack from all sides. We take some costly hits, and end up with chunks taken out of us. Exhausted, we limp back home.

Our plane is patched up, and we live to fight another day. We get back inside our plane and go back at it until the day Christ returns, our enemy is thrown into darkness, and the Great War is over.

The only way we are able to win the battle is if God goes before us. God is not our co-pilot. He is the pilot in command. He is our Strength. He is our Shield. He is our Rock of Salvation. God alone is our Mighty Fortress.

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I look to the mountains;where will my help come from? My help will come from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Gluten-free Tamale Casserole Recipe

This gluten-free Tamale Casserole can be made with packaged or homemade tamales. Pilot used packaged.

  • 8 tamales
  • 8 oz enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup shredded cheese

Place tamales in 8 X 8″ baking dish. Cover with enchilada sauce, onions, and cheese.

Bake 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Enjoy!

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry – Begin the Day With God

Begin the day with God!

Horatius Bonar

Begin the day with God!

He is your Sun and Day!

His is the radiance of your dawn;

To Him address your day.

Sing a new song at morn!

Join the glad woods and hills;

Join the fresh winds and seas and plains,

Join the bright flowers and rills.

Sing your first song to God!

Not to your fellow men;

Not to the creatures of His hand,

But to the glorious One.

Take your first walk with God!

Let Him go forth with thee;

By stream, or sea, or mountain path,

Seek still His company.

Your first transaction be

With God Himself above;

So will your business prosper well,

All the day by love.

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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You can find my May Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

Cauldron of Inner Turmoil

Have events in your life threatened to push you into a cauldron of inner turmoil?

Job’s inner turmoil and loss led him to the point of wishing he’d never been born. Moses’ inner turmoil over the Israelites behavior led him to complain to God about these people of yours. The psalmists often poured out their hearts from the middle of a cauldron of inner turmoil. Jeremiah wasn’t called the Weeping Prophet for nothing, you know.

However, like the psalmists, the sooner we bring our inner turmoil to God, remember who he is, what he has done for us, and what he is capable of doing, the sooner our joy can be restored.

This past Saturday Pilot received a call from a sweet friend telling us her uncle, who had been her substitute father all her life, died in a freak bicycling accident. At the same time, I received news my oldest sister, California Girl, died.

Cauldrons of inner turmoil? You bet.

In the week leading up to California Girl’s imminent death, Sissy and I shared photos with our nephew of his mother. As soon as Pilot hung up from his phone call, our friend began texting us pictures of her with her uncle.

The sharing of these positive memories softened the turmoil’s sting. It didn’t completely remove the pain. It lessened it. It encouraged us to keep pressing in and pressing on.

I believe the same happens when we remember all the positive memories of times God stepped in and was there for us. I don’t mean in a global, “Oh, yeah. God’s been with me.” way. I mean in a specific, “I remember the exact way God showed up, showed out, and quieted my inner turmoil.”

Maybe, in a similar way to looking at old photographs that bring smiles to our faces, we should write down all the many times God rescued us. Then we will have a reminder the God who was with us at those cauldron of inner turmoil times, is with us now. And smile.

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But, O my soul, don’t be discouraged. Don’t be upset. Expect God to act! For I know that I shall again have plenty of reason to praise him for all that he will do. He is my help! He is my God! Psalm 42:11 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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How Long Will You Forget Me?

Lately, I’ve found myself reading through the Book of Psalms. I do that when, like David, I ask, “O my soul, why be so gloomy and discouraged? Trust in God! I shall again praise him for his wondrous help; he will make me smile again, for he is my God! (Psalm 43:5 TLB)

In Psalm 13 David asks the Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you turn your face from me and allow my enemies to gloat?

David prayed for God to give him light in his darkness. David asked God to once again shine his face on him.

At the end of David’s lament, he reaffirmed his trust in God’s mercy, and thanked him for his blessings.

Have you ever felt like David did? As if the Lord has forgotten you and turned his face away? Has it seemed as if enemies, however they manifest themselves in your life, gloat over your powerlessness to defeat them?

At the time David wrote Psalm 13, he and his ragtag band of misfits lived in caves and roamed the hills trying to avoid Saul’s constant attempts to kill them.

David wasn’t afraid to pour out his hurt and pain before the Lord. He wondered why, as God’s anointed king-in-waiting, he faced such persecution and opposition while his enemies prospered.

David prayed for enlightenment. He asked God to shine his face on him. To bring insight into his problems.

During this time of world-wide confusion, unknowns, and concerns, God invites us to come to him with all our feelings, emotions, and questions. As we come, we can ask God for enlightenment, understanding, and for his face to shine into our darkness.

By coming before God with our questions, we acknowledge he alone has the answers. In those times when God delays providing answers, we are moved to trust him all the more.

After we pour out our questions and confusion before the Lord, we can trust in his mercy. We can sing praises to God because he has blessed us so richly.

We can praise God even in those times when we ask, how long will you forget me, Lord? Forever?

How have you found this to be true in your life?

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How long will you forget me, Lord? Forever? How long will you look the other way when I am in need? How long must I be hiding daily anguish in my heart? How long shall my enemy have the upper hand?

Answer me, O Lord my God; give me light in my darkness lest I die. Don’t let my enemies say, “We have conquered him!” Don’t let them gloat that I am down.

But I will always trust in you and in your mercy and shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because he has blessed me so richly. Psalm 13

I wish you well.

Sandy

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You can find my May Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.