Wednesday, April 27, 2011


The text was short and sweet this morning coming from Marvin Bliss, father of Chelsea, fiance of Spc. Don Nichols....."there is a candlelight vigil tonight at Veterans Memorial Hall".  This was some of the best news in recent weeks, so I had to find out more.  Here's what I found out in an article from the Waterloo Courier. 

"WATERLOO-Black Hawk County employees will hold a candlelight vigil at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Veterans Memorial Hall, West Fifth Street and the Cedar River.  The event is designed as a tribute for U.S. Army National Guard soldiers Don Nichols and Brent Maher. The two were killed in action in Afghanistan recently in separate incidents.  For information about the event, call 319-215-7104."

I'm certain the name of Staff Sgt. James Justice of Grimes will be added to the list.  News came to us Sunday of his death recently in Afghanistan.  Funeral arrangements are pending.

Several days ago, I blogged about the "time for prayer vigils is now".  I'm convinced of that notion even further today.  I've reached out to a number of clergy, military officials and citizens who agree.  The first step will be taken in Waterloo tonight.  I can not thank the employees of Black Hawk County enough for their efforts .  Their action is further proof of the patriotism that exists in Northeast Iowa.   Pictures and words can not begin to describe the outpouring of respect that was shown for Spc. Don Nichols and his family this past Saturday.

Respect and Vigils Go Hand in Hand
Here is an immediate need we have.  One of the comments we received regarding prayer vigils suggested a website where people could go and sign up for a specific hour to pray for our soldiers.  It was a great idea!!  So what we need is a website person who can help us put that together.  It shouldn't be difficult, but I'm not a very technical savvy person.  If you have those skills, pray about it and see where the Lord directs you.  There are a number of other ideas percolating....stay tuned.  If you have ideas of your own, bring them forth....I'm all ears.  PLEASE REMEMBER, this vigil concept is for our soldiers who are in the fight of their life against forces seen and unseen.  Prayer is their lifeline.......


This past weekend, "My Father's Voice" was named as a finalist for the top Military Parent Blog by Milbloggie Awards.  As much as it would be an honor to win this award, I feel a need to push ahead with helping set up a prayer vigil network.  I do have a favor though.  A good friend of mine, Nancy Davin, of "My Yellow Ribbon" is also a finalist.  I'd would like you to consider voting for her.  As a fellow Iowan and parent of a deployed soldier, Nancy has worked tirelessly in her blogging efforts.  I've supplied the link to the voting process.

Here are some words of encouragement I'd like to leave you with today......

Climb Till Your Dream Comes True
Often your tasks will be many,
and more than you think you can do.
Often the road will be rugged,
and the hills insurmountable, too.
But always remember the hills ahead
are never as steep as they seem,
And with faith in your heart, start upward
and climb till you reach your dream.
For nothing in life that is worthy
is ever too hard to achieve.
If you have the courage to try it
and you have the faith to believe.
For faith is a force that is greater
than knowledge or power or skill,
And many defeats turn to triumphs
if you trust in God's wisdom and will.
For faith is a mover of mountains-
there's nothing that God cannot do-
So start out today with faith in your heart
and climb till your dream comes true.

From "A Collection of Encouragement"  by Helen Steiner Rice

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
( Proverbs 3: 5-6 )




  1. There will be a Mass said for the safe return of deployed on Sunday May 8 @ 7:00am. St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church 1224 5th Street S.E. Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401-2697.

    I am not a tech savvy person. I will continue to pray though.

  2. That's great!! I think we have an answer to our computer question....but until it all comes together, please keep us in your prayers. Thanks Cedar Rapids!!

  3. Many thanks for the good PR, John! I voted for My Father's Voice.

  4. I like your blog John and think you could design a webiste. You were successful in designing this blog. I am praying for Kris and his fellow troops,so are 92 of my email friends.
    As your wife or her sisters send me information about your son, I make sure I share it with prayer warriors and we keep the prayer going only more specifically for needs they have now. Thanks for sharing John.