Friday, May 13, 2011


The final arrangements are just about complete for the Prayer Vigil set for this Sunday at 2 p.m. on the west side of the Iowa State Capitol.  The day has been set aside for the 2,800 Iowa National Guard Troops who deployed to Afghanistan some nine months ago. And it's for their families, the ones who have worried, sacrificed, and prayed for their safety.

Soon, it will be time to turn over the event to some tremendously talented and gifted people. God has used me as an instrument in getting this project off the ground.   Now, you'll see their gifts at work.  My gosh, they are SO gifted.

Put Any Name You Want Here...They All Apply
I'll give you a rundown of the who and what without letting you in on the entire program. The prayer vigil emcee will be Brooke Bouma of WHO-TV Channel 13 in Des Moines.....we are so excited to have her directing our steps, especially considering the short turnaround time we were under.  Our three speakers, Chaplain Michael Crawford, Rosemary Giunta and Ed Vos will provide great insight with their perspectives of military life either on the inside or out. Chaplain Crawford officiated Spc. Don Nichols funeral in Waverly, Iowa several weeks ago. His experiences in seeing community come together will be part of the sharing.

Rosemary Giunta, mother of Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta will sketch a prayer profile she and her family and church followed while her son was deployed, while he was shot and then events leading up to his eventual Medal of Honor recognition. Vos served our nation for over twenty years, completing multiple deployments with the United States Marines and the Air National Guard. His final deployment was to Afghanistan in 2008, where he provided "outside the wire" tactical security for Air Force, Navy and Army Chaplains to villages and outposts. A portion of his words will touch on reintegration of troops as they return to American soil.

Musically, I can not think of a better lineup locally to offer. Patricia Payne-Wiggins will sing "Somebody's Praying". She couldn't have picked a more appropriate song. Linda Juckette and John Cheatem are going to offer a couple of numbers....which I'm not at liberty to say by name. You'll just have to come and listen. During prayer time, Matt McNeece will provide the proper mood with his acoustical talents....and then there are a couple of our state's youth stepping up.

Brothers Jonathan and Jacob Demastus will lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Jonathan is Battalion Major and Jacob is Sergeant 1st Class in Batallion S1 in the Central Campus JROTC in Des Moines. And last....because that's where she always performs, is Bugler Kelly Kilbride of Sac City, Iowa. Kilbride, 14, is the youngest female bugler in Buglers Across America.  It doesn't take much imagination to know what she'll perform.

I said weeks ago in my mention of this prayer vigil becoming a reality...that it's purpose was for "prayer". Why?  Because "PRAYER CHANGES EVERYTHING".  Come Sunday and see "why" for yourself.



I've had several people mention PSALM 91 to me this week for prayer. I think it's rather fitting.

You who sit down in the High God's presence, spend the night in Shaddai's shadow,
Say this: "God, you're my refuge.
I trust in you and I'm safe!"
That's right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you're perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.

Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
drop like flies right and left,
no harm will even graze you.
You'll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God's your refuge,
the High God your very own home,
Evil can't get close to you,
harm can't get through the door.
He ordered his angels
to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they'll catch you;
their job is to keep you from falling.
You'll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
and kick young lions and serpents from the path.

If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God,
"I'll get you out of any trouble.
I'll give you the best of care
if you'll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times;
I'll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I'll give you a long life,
give you a long drink of salvation!"


  1. Chris and I weren't sure that was you when we saw the news story on 13, but now I am.

    Thanks for the sacrifices you and your family have made and continue to make.

    I will add your family, to my prayer list that includes all those that put their lives on the line to protect this country.

    Best wishes and take care

  2. J, great to connect with you again. Thanks for putting the soldiers on your list!!! How you feeling these days??? and are you taking good care of Chris??

  3. I'm hanging in there thanks.

    Most of my efforts go toward my mother, she's dealing with 2 different kinds of cancer.

    It's a struggle, but she's tough.

    Chris is the best thing to happen to me, celebrated 21 years of marriage earlier this month.

    If you need anything let us know.

    Don't forget to take care of yourselves.

    I've had your blog to my blog links.

  4. Thanks, so much. You got a blog?

  5. I started it in 2006, after the Register said they'd print my letters to the editor and then didn't.

    It gets their attention on the hill in Des Moines and D.C.

  6. we are connected on each sites now....nice!!!