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U.S. Air Force Retirement

Major Douglas James Pietersma

May 22, 2015

Cheyenne, Wyoming

 

Lord of Hosts, Mighty God, unconquerable but merciful Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace, we bow acknowledging that You alone are our Creator, Sustainer, Provider, Savior and Protector.

Thank You for the abundance and liberty we enjoy. Thank You for the deliverances You have granted us when all hope had vanished at Valley Forge and in wars fought in every generation since our ancestors bravely launched this amazing American experiment. We continue to plead for Heaven’s endorsement upon our land, despite our faltering faith, frequent sins, and wicked pride. Too often, we forget that You created us with abilities and faculties, like sight and hearing, which our best technology cannot duplicate, but without which we would be reduced to abject dependency.

We are gathered today to honor the tenacity, character, and accomplishments of one of our warriors – a brave who outstripped his peers and advanced steadily to the esteemed rank of a chieftain. Thank You that long ago he humbly accepted the gift of forgiveness and Eternal Life, provided freely by Your payment of his sins’ penalty by Your blood sacrifice on the cross.

May today’s event fade into obscurity as he launches upon new adventures, fulfilling Your Divine plan. As he soars like a falcon to greater heights, give him supernatural lift and thrust, to attain and perform exploits and set new records of excellence in his chosen pursuits, so that generations to come will refer to the benchmark of his legacy as both a challenge to be sought after, and a foundation upon which to build.

Please Lord, continue and increase Your matchless blessings upon Major Douglas James Pietersma, his dear wife, their children and progeny until our Lord Jesus Christ returns in power and glory.

In Whose incomparable Name we pray, Amen.

-C.T.L. Spear

 

My grandfather, from the earliest age, made it his business to try to right wrongs and adopt his dad’s bitterness over injustices after his homestead was stolen by legal maneuvering and subterfuge.

Life continued to deal Granddad some very hard blows. His wife died at age 29, leaving him $60,000 in debt in 1926, shortly before the stock market crash, the great depression, and the dust bowl, which ravaged his crops.(Proverbs 19:19)

For most of his life, he could hardly speak a sentence without using profanity, vulgarity, and taking God’s Name in vain. I thank God that my mother’s prayers had a profound impact. Although I grew up on the farm spending time with Granddad every day, learning his angry vile epithets, I saw a better example in my pastors, who also influenced my dad to strive toward faithfulness in church, regular family devotions, and cleaner language.

Ravaged by emphysema, and dependent upon oxygen, my fighting Irish Granddad grew weaker and weaker. Not long before he died, he commended my desire to enter the ministry, and said, “Son, I’ve been saved a long time, but here lately, I’ve been saved to the uttermost!” What comfort that memory brings! God’s grace provided a blood sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, that paid for every sinful rage, every blasphemous oath, and every nasty rhyme and ditty.

How true it is that “the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20) What fools we are to allow the continual encroachment of vulgar language (lmao, etc) in personal conversation, and taking of God’s Name in vain in the media and social media (OMG, etc.) which steadily wears down strength of conviction, and undermines our children’s and grandchildren’s awareness of God’s Holiness. I hear preachers using language in pulpits for which my mother would have washed my mouth out with soap.

Surely the judgment of God is approaching, not because of our political leaders, but because mothers and dads have forsaken the Holy One. Fast food, sports, booze, recreation, and tawdry humor has replaced Sunday school, scripture memory, prayer, Bible drills, Bible quizzes, songs, hymns, spiritual songs, and sacrificial giving.

My Granddad was a product of post-millennialism, and the “roaring twenties.” Thank God, prayer prevailed and a generation or two made a serious, if not always whole-hearted, pursuit of godliness. But now, the world rushes headlong toward HELL, and the average Christian home remains mesmerized with technology and entertainment while the kids badmouth “old school,” and welcome more and more godlessness.

Granddad had a work ethic and debt-paying ethic instilled by a school system that still recited the Bible every morning. The twentieth century led Americans steadily away from the Bible and prayer. Granddad grew older and died shortly after the revolutionary 1960’s. He saw the rise of socialism and communism and warned against it. But, he waited too long to surrender his heart to the transforming Spirit of God, who could have given him a major influence, especially to the extended family.

Most of us have regrets. Most of us have suffered injustice and have struggled with bitterness. Most of us have employed some choice language that would not be welcome in Heaven. But who will beg God for tears of repentance? Who will accept the burden of being an example to the kids, and especially of bold prayer that unleashes Heavenly power to change lives and alter destinies.

Maybe my mother really believed the words of George Muller, “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”