The Invocation Kris wrote and delivered at the "Salute To Our Armed Services" ball at the Inauguration
In service to and respect for, President and Mrs. Trump and
Vice President and Mrs. Pence. Let us pray.
Our Father in Heaven, look down upon this most significant occasion, look upon this assembled brotherhood, and lay your divine Blessing upon each and every soul, without consideration of rank, office or privilege. And our Father, supreme over all, Patron of order, Fountain of justice and Protector in all ages of the world of virtuous liberty, continue Your blessing upon this Nation.
We ask you, Father, to include those absent in death from this gathering, those who freely answered your call as we read in Isaiah 6:8, “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then said I, ‘Here I am. Send me.’” In that most holy assembly, I include my son, a fallen Army Ranger. I include every soul for whom a Gold Star is worn and for whom tears are daily shed. I include those fallen heroes who responded first and gave the last full measure of themselves, those fearless men and women who run into the storm of tribulation, not from it. Into Your Peace we commend them, one and all.
Almighty God, bestow Your blessing upon those we honor who are with us still but have sacrificed a portion of themselves by injury or wound. Heal the heart first, and then comfort the body.
Father God, we hold up for Your Blessing, Grace, Forgiveness and Guidance our Commander in Chief, his family and protectors, the Vice President and his family and protectors, that this great Nation may prosper in Your glory, remain at Peace through Your strength, and be ever vigilant in Your righteousness.
And finally from the depths of our hearts Father, watch over every man and woman in uniform who hold the line between peace and chaos, bless every First Responder, every Police Officer, every Fire Fighter, every Sargent upon whom the Army rolls, every Gunney in the heart of every Marine, every Seaman standing watch and every Chief in charge for the Coast Guard and the Navy, and every Airman and pilot who touch the face of God.
We ask these things, In Christ Jesus name, And everyone says, AMEN.
This 15th Anniversary of the deplorable events of September 11th 2001 remind me why this park . . . these granite and steel structures are so vital to our nation, to our very souls.
Absent a personal connection – the loss of a family member, a dear friend, a colleague . . . time can diminish the clarity of events even as horrible as those of 9/11.
On February 22nd 2007 my son, Army Ranger SSG Joshua Ryan Hager, was killed in action in Iraq. His desire to deploy was part of the response our nation took in the aftermath of 9/11. I will never forget the very moment I heard the words, “We Lost Him” and knew Josh was gone, but even my memory of the events and horror of September 11th have faded with time.
I need this place so I know my son gave his life and then his death to protect us all. I need this granite and steel so my resolve stays firm when depression lurks, for the anguish of losing my son never gets better . . . it gets different.
I need to remember so I can teach my son Carson, now 7 years old, how his brother Lived and Died. It is for our children and grandchildren that this place must stand strong and is blessed!
In a 5 year time period I lost a wife to breast cancer, found new love, lost everything in a bankruptcy, my son was killed, my father passed away, I was blessed with my son Carson, my mother-in-law died of cancer and we fought to rebuild our lives.
Through this I realized that the only way to survive was to live in the moment . . . to live 5 minutes at a time.
Whether your world is crumbling and you can only make it for 5 minutes more OR life is going well and you don't want to miss a precious moment, being present is VITAL!
This led to a personal realization . . .
We must USE the tragedies and pain . . . for if we don't “Use It” the adversity will have been for naught.
So let us treasure the precious moments and USE the tragedy of 9/11 and all the joys and sorrows that followed to shape a better America . . . a land where “In God We Trust” is once again our foundation.
In honoring those who lost there lives on September 11th 2001 and those who gave and give their lives fighting for this great nation, let us teach and inspire generations to strengthen their love of God, Family and Country. . . to never forget and always remember!
God Bless America!
The Quotes of Steven Wright:
1 - I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
2 - Borrow money from pessimists -- they don't expect it back.
3 - Half the people you know are below average.
4 - 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
5 - 82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
6 - A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.
7 - A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
8 - If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.
9 - All those who believe in psycho kinesis, raise my hand.
10 - The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
11 - I almost had a psychic girlfriend, ..... But she left me before we met.
12 - OK, so what's the speed of dark?
13 - How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?
14 - If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
15 - Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
16 - When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
17 - Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
18 - Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.
19 - I intend to live forever ... So far, so good.
20 - If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
21 - Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
22 - What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
23 - My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
24 - Why do psychics have to ask you for your name
25 - If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
26 - A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
27 - Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
28 - The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.
29 - To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
30 - The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
31 - The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.
32 - The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.
33 - Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don't have film.
34 - If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
35 - If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?
By Kris Hager
I watched a bird fly in a breeze,
That other birds would not.
And with each beat of fighting wings,
I wondered why it fought.
Fought so hard against a wind,
That kept it so it must begin,
From where it just begun.
And then the words came back to me.
"Faith though small as a mustard seed,
Will lead us safely home."
Click below to watch a great video from when Kris attended the "Leap of Faith" coordinated by Operation Support Our Troops. An amazing healing event where Kris was able to let go of Josh's remaining ashes while floating in the air. Thank you for all those who made this possible!
On Sunday Mom and I went to the First Baptist Church in Venice. I enjoy the traditional style and Pastor Tom Hodge gives a great sermon. This past Sunday one very important line jumped out at me. He was preaching about David and Goliath and read a verse from 1st Samuel that began with the words, "One day." After years of normal life, things were going to change for David and in the Bible the verse identifies that transitional kind of event as, "One day."
Wendy and I have had more than a few "One days." Some were days of joy and great blessing. One day we knew the day had come for Carson to be born. However, some were the worst of days. When you have someone you love deployed in a combat role, the possibility of sorrow grows significantly. One day, my daughter in law called and Josh was gone. That day, the world turned upside down. One day a few months later, my brother called and my father had passed away. One day, Wendy's mom had slipped out of awareness and later that day, she passed away. One day, I heard a voice on the radio that wanted a call from interested people in being on the radio. I called and now "5 Minutes at a Time with Kris and Wendy" is a reality.
One day everyone's day will change. I pray your days are changed for the better, but we all know that isn't how it always works. what I know is you can focus 5 minutes at a time and you will survive the hard days and thrive in those that are blessed. Don't waste the joy by missing it and experience the sorrow for that is just the other side of the same coin.
I hope today is the first day of the rest of your life that you stay in the moment and LIVE 5 minutes at a time.
From Andy Hooker (Specialist 5th Class U.S. Army, President Sarasota County Veterans Commission, Proud Member of Alpha Company of the Vietnam Brotherhood).
As I ponder as to what I was going to say on this Veterans Day, my twenty one year old daughter had recently sent me an essay she was working on for my review. After reading the following . . . tears rolled down my cheeks. I would like to share with you today an excerpt of her essay.
"I walk out my front door. I do not hear gunfire. I do not hear bombs drop. I do not hear warfare. I am not afraid to step outside. I do not live in fear. I maintain good relations with my imagination. I say what I feel. I write what I feel. I paint what I feel. I am not afraid to step outside of the box. I do not live in fear. It is that very notion - the freedom to be myself - that instills within me a grand reverence for our nation's soldiers. I owe my liberties to the soldiers who have fought in the past, who fight in the present, and who will fight in the future to preserve the independence of this majestic country."
"I remember sitting in my high school history class, watching a movie about war. I imagined my father, not much older than me, as one of the soldiers. As I watched, tears welled up in my eyes, knowing that my father really had experienced this. He had felt the brutality of the battle field. He had lost his closest comrades in the blink of an eye. He had endured the paranoia of impending casualty. In that moment, I realized how fortunate I am to have life in this world. The sheer conviction of these cinematic images instilled a stately pride within me. This emotional catharsis gave me a respect, not only for my life, but also for my father and a new-found patriotism for my country and all its military veterans."
"I am thankful that I can walk down the street and not fear for my life. I am thankful that I can pick up a paint brush and not fear censorship. I am thankful that I live in a country, where I can pursue my educational aspirations and not fear persecution. To my father and to all of the other valiant men and women who fought yesterday, who fight today and who will fight tomorrow to protect my homeland - I send my gratitude. For because of you - I do not live in fear - I live in freedom."
Some may ask how we can pay tribute to those who have chosen a path of service to our country. Michael Hill sums it up in his new military tribute song THESE DAYS.
How do we repay the strongest and the brave.
What can we do for them when they're so far away.
And what about the loved ones, the daughters and the sons left behind when the troubles come.
Give thanks to those who answer the call, Give thanks to those who offer their lives, For those who march in silence and those they left behind, A nation hears the thunder, Another world away, Let's open up our eyes right now, And help them; we've got to help them through these days.
Sometimes a simple Thank You for your service to a veteran, service man or woman is all that is needed.
God bless our service men and women. God bless you. God bless our veterans and God Bless America.
Type this into your search engine and take a look.
It is a wonderful packet we should all read!
Look up this poem and realize each 5 minutes make an amazing difference.
"At The End of The Row"
by Kris Hager
When I’m asked for directions,
Where the visitor might go,
I say, “Through the main gate,
Past the brick building, very slow.”
On the right, just a bit,
A wood stair you will see,
It leads to the lake,
And a bench by a tree.
Directly across, to the left side of the way,
Park your car, and get out,
By the green and white sea.
The green is the grass, always mowed and trimmed,
And the white are the markers,
Too many, and him.
His spot is just there,
A few steps more,
He’s with the fallen heroes,
At the end of the row..
I thought the row finished, my sorrow laid to rest.
I thought the hallowed ground fixed, all heroes blessed.
Then Dad died.
He spent little time remembering the war.
He flew gliders I knew, really not much more.
Yet as he cried, “Was I a good father?”
I told him he had done so much more.
Our Freedom he bestowed.
And now beside his Grandson,
In a sea of green and white.
The bookends of my life, for eternity unite.
There is no place for me with these,
These heroes of our land.
Father, son, friend and foe,
At the end of the row.