Thursday, November 11, 2010

April 20, 1947

Just double click on each 'letter' and it will open up full size on your computer screen.

March 30, 1947

Sunday afternoon
30 March 1947
Dear Mom,

“And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another comforter, that He may be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth Him, ye know Him, for He abideth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:16-17

How precious that reality of Christ’s willingness to die for my sins. That daily help book that the Lutheran’s put out – the one I usually get up at the base Chapel, the devotion book I should say – has been carrying through the book of John these past few months. I don’t recall if I sent you one or not. The one before was on the book of Acts. The writers of those books are certainly endowed with the spirit, just as is Dr. Meyers of the Lutheran Hour.

I was talking to Chaplain Menges this morning and he was telling me that a lot Navy Chaplains were being shipped out as a sort of surplus or something and at any rate Chaplain Andrews was being sent over to the Pacific again. Chaplain Stevenson was about to resign (I didn’t know you could resign from the Navy) because they are talking about sending him out too! If they all go Chaplain Albert is going to have to do all the preaching down at the Chapel which will sure keep him busy! The services at the hospital where Chaplain Menges is are quite small – from 10 to fifteen attend but It sure shows a lot of ear tickling up! Menges is not a tickler – he’s a good preacher and out for souls all the day long. All the top officers go down to Albert’s service. Maybe quick judgment – I’ll say estimate, sounds softer – but where there is quantity isn’t always quality, especially where God’s true religion is concerned.

I do feel that I got too much on my judgment – I hope though that it doesn’t go as far as condemning – but I do believe God wants us to form opinions to help Him especially when He reveals better ways of growing in Christian Grace. I guess maybe I should keep these ponderings in my noggin, but I get so many thoughts up there that sometimes I think it gets over loaded. I don’t know how I got way off on this tangent anyhow.

School has been wonderfully blessed to me – I slipped up again as it was pretty difficult. I’m still praying that this is a prep to NACP, because it is sure a grueler. After the first I’ll have 15 more days to know for sure! This old stuff about one step ahead of the Lord isn’t good at all and that’s one of my worst habits. We are getting a course that on the outside world would big tests which I will be boning for over the next few weeks and the Lord willing I’ll conquer flesh again and make 100% on them – I have to in order to graduate with of fair 90% average.

My attitude in class is going to be angelic. How I thank the Lord for that great Comforter and the Lord Jesus. I really have drawn close because of Human frailties. I had to and as usual it sure had paid, not in grades alone, but most important of gaining a deeper friendship with a Loving Savior. I ran into one of Moody’s quotes that other day that made me stop to think – A man too busy to pray and read God’s word is busier than God wants him to be. Ouch!

I found out through the grape vine last week that chances are I won’t be going back to Math! I’m not sure about TAF but I have a good idea that one of these days two very large boxes of gear are to be shipped homeward. I have accumulated two lockers full – 6 feet by 3 feet – back in the household again. Don’t shudder mom!!

I am guessing it is about time that I moved other places! I have been here some time, people must be getting tired of looking at me! It is rumored that billets might come through for some of the classes now for GCA school in Olaytha, Kansas. GCA is a highly radar technical Airplane controller device to take planes out of impossible conditions when planes otherwise would crack up or be grounded for flights. Otherwise I’ll be praying for a nearby place to home – airfield in Denver or California where I can be with my Auntie! The Lord will reveal it. I know it will b a blessing wherever – even Goo-Goo Moo Goo over in the Posy Sea! Maybe I would be the only one on the island and have to control one plane a year.

I had a wonderful letter from Al Watenpaugh and Praise the Lord but if some other ‘nut’ has I fear my friends have it doped out, has taken the Lord Jesus Christ as the only way through this life and the next. I remember how hesitantly I wrote afraid I’d just gain another pitier and imagine the rejoicing when I found he too! I also heard from George Gligorea. Floored me the first time. He is in a good place called Tillamook, Oregon with exceptionally good duty.

The afternoon has wings, so I’d best drip (it’s raining – trip) on.

May His love suffice and lead you in His oceans of peace,

Love in him,

March 30, 1947 - Dear Dad

Sunday afternoon
30 March 1947

Dear Dad,
Today the earth itself is a great open Bible to me – an eminent proof of God’s love for man to give him such a glorious place to live in. Of course it is raining outside and I’m sitting within watching the rain come tumbling down and I can talk. But, oh! How much grumbling I do when things don’t go my way and the Lord has such a hard time teaching me all the important lessons.

I surely got a big surprise today – has to do with my old weakness – chow! But when I was over to the chapel at the Hospital today, I decided everything would click better if I had dinner over there cause NATTC’s chow halls don’t open until later – Right in the middle of Radio Church Hour. I’d never eaten over there before and didn’t know the score. I walked in a well decorated chow hall, air conditioning and all! There were real slick tables, linoleum decks, and instead of mess cook swabies there were negro servers. Honestly I thought I had gotten into Officer’s Mess! Instead of heaping it all in the middle of the tray we had white plates and muffins (unheard of in NATTC.) All the food you could eat and not be a hog and side serving tables. I just marveled – stupefied and all, which is a condition not hard for me to get in! It is aggravating though even though I do thank the Lord for that which I get how even if a Hospital section is known to be about the most efficient operating Naval unit why in an ordinary Chow Hall instead of treating the men like one herd of beasts and tossing the chow at them it can’t be done as it was there. In other words a meal is enjoyed somewhat more if the surroundings are feasible.

Say, you sure would like the phase of school that I’m in now, knowing you. We are having Link Trainers and if you aren’t careful when you are under the hood with your eyes glued on about a dozen instruments and forget to look at one of them often enough – ZING! You are in a Spin! They are really some kind of airplane! And I really like flying them. The rest of school has eased into less work but I’m going to be plenty busy to battle my way through the finals especially the CAA (Civil Aeronautics Administration) tests for qualifications for my Tower Controller’s Certificate.

Speaking of chow, it’s about time or they will close on me - - tonight’s salad and cheese night – I think that cheese is a 100 years old but I sure do like it. Onions too!

Anyhow, write soon? If you find a chance I’d sure appreciate a little farm news.
May our mighty Lord keep you always safe and guide you each day.

Love in Christ,
Your son Stephen

March 16, 1947 - Dear Dad

Sunday Night
16 March, 1947
Dear Dad,

“Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief.” 1st Timothy 1:15

How well I remember that day, when after trying and being defeated in every good thing that I might try by the evil desires of my own heart, when the Lord Jesus smiled upon me and acknowledged Him!

Now, as I have started school, I’ve found that the Lord can give me every power that man can have. I’ve found a true peace and joy in this life. Life isn’t a spree , it is only a stopping place to determine where we will spend eternity.
But the most wonderful story of love that was ever shown was when Jesus left his mansions of Gold and Splendor on high to come down and live as a plain ordinary person, not only showing how to live but dying and suffering the most cruel murder there ever was, Crucified on the Cross. I’m glad there was a Jesus or I might still be wandering out there lost.

A lot of the fellows that I meet and talk with during the day either don’t believe in God at all, can’t see this idea of giving it all to Him, or think that they are hiding something from the eye that no man could hide from. This school is a proof that there is a God to me and that His guidance and the acknowledgment of Him is needed.

We have a lot of flying planes on airways where the pilot is flying in the fog and he cannot see any direction about Him. But in that air there is a beam which is sent out by radio. Someone has to be at the end of that beam to assure that it goes out correctly. Say that we have a pilot and he decides to take his own route when he can’t see stars or two feet ahead of him. He may think he sees a lot of glimmering things from which he can flit to and from and get bearing or a mark off of, but each time that glimmer fades quickly if not immediately away and the further he gets from the beam, the most definitely lost he is. Soon he runs out of fuel and crashes into unknown ground and is gone.

God is the beam of our lives. His direction is the best for our lives. In our life we see a lot of things out in the world that look pretty good. Many of us go out and leave the beam, find the thing is not cracked up to what it’s out to be, see that the beam is quite a ways behind us, and instead of returning let excuse and desire turn us from what we know is right. God is merciful and sends His beam out after us though and tries to help us in. That ever loving God will try until we vex Him and he miserably casts us into the Lake of Fire to torment for eternity.

What have we to lose? We have all to gain! Maybe you get tired of hearing me tell the same old thing over and over again, but I’m happy, Dad, because even though I was once a stray sheep, Jesus the good Shepherd stepped out and saved me, no matter what a mess I was. It is truly wonderful.

How has everything on the ranch been going along? I hear the snow has been quite deep. Has all the skunk perfume gone away yet? Boy, What a deal! There is a chance that I might get home in April, providing the Lord doesn’t want me shipped back to TAF to teach. Have you seen Jason much?

This school that I’m in is really a humdinger. They don’t have a tower at Sheridan but maybe you have seen a few here and there. At any rate, your little son, will soon be, Lord willing, telling planes how to come in and land and take off. The school is a still one as I’ve told Mom, but the Lord has given me wonderful senses and the studying I can do now is nothing like that old stuff I used to horse around with in high school. I really have a zeal and even though I’m a pretty dumb kid the Lord can do wonders if I only yield completely to Him.

Well, it is just about Tap Time, and I have a shower to jump in and then chalk up some ‘Sack Time’ so as I’ll be a fit student of the Lord tomorrow. Write?

May the Lord bless you and guide you each day.
Love in Him,
Your son, Stephen

Thursday, October 14, 2010

March 16, 1947

Sunday afternoon
March 16th, 1947

Dear Mom,
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. Titus 1:4
But sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear.
I Peter 3:15

I don’t know why that verse is so preeminent this weekend – it is my 78th verse and I truly thank God for it. I’ve used it in several letters today and yesterday. For me it has removed a great deal out of my haughty spirit that I have anything over anyone else. I too was a sinner, now, praise God I’m a sinner saved by Grace! Thank God for that privilege of witnessing to others about that wonderful life that only Jesus can give.

So far on my tests, I have missed four on one, one on the another, and two perfect papers. I learned more from those errors that I did in the right ones. Every time I’d get self sufficient, the Lord would take me down a notch and down to my knees. But it is an honor to kneel before a gracious Lord and have Him forgive one! When I arise, I feel as if someone has promised me everything this world and plus, and what do you know, that’s how it is!

The true victory that I have in studying in contrast to that so-called studying I did in High School and even after I got into the Navy is amazing. I only regret that I’d not called upon the Lord before this! I never realized that Jesus could live within me, but he DOES! The Lord give me every need I could want. Prayer time, Bible study time! I think I’ve read more, I guess because I felt such a dire need of it than I ever did when I was in TAF taking my vacation! (That was what the Lord was giving me there….a vacation!)

I have a good quiet places to study every night. I’m not bragging so please don’t misunderstand me, I’m rejoicing! I don’t want to feel as if I’m bragging because I do way to much complaining to brad. Surely Christ is ever living.

I haven’t heard amy thing about the Bond deal. It is evident thought that the Navy is still re-establishing it’s resources and in the rearranging had to cease that point for a while. Just take the notice as it is, I guess.

You are right in a great many ways about my always wanting to change everyone’s religion into my own. I catch myself at it continually and it is definitely not a good idea. I try not to argue ever though because in that you either aggravate the individual or if he wins your case is lost. It seems that you follow the National Sunday School lesson form right along. I have the small hand book that contains all that and is it ever a honey!

I didn’t mean to throw any condemnation upon the Seventh Day Adventist group. They are duping many people and think they are really pulling a fast one by the Voice of Prophecy. I’m not to judge, and because there are so many good Christian’s in a cult like that is it is the Tare and the Wheat parable all over again. Like one YFC speaker said, “I can’t judge but the Bible tells me to observe by their Fruits.”
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing , that ye may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

In Him, Stephen

March 4, 1947

Tuesday evening 4 March 1947

Dear Mom,

“And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 21:22

If I were only a worthy person of prayer, having a greater faith that our heavenly father could do all things how much more happier would I be. But in spite of my innumerable frailities, God does bless and I surely thank Him for it in my unworthy ways. I should take to heart more of what Christ said in Matthew 19:26 – “And Jesus looking upon them said to them – with men this is impossible but with God all things are possible.”

Nevertheless, here I am sitting through my second day in CTO school with my mouth wide open, never realizing things could come out so quickly. It is quite an abrupt change to me who thought he was working so hard but never really knew what hard work was. I really had it soft! Personally, I like being a student! Believe it or not, it’s nearly easier than being an instructor.

Things have been coming awfully fast in these last two days. We’ve had history of this and history of that, clouds and radios..OH! I could go on for days! Our instructor sure does! It seems my brain is very dull to really soaking in things; it never was too hot but I did notice today was a lot easier than yesterday. I truly praise the Lord even though some of the things are quite beyond me and I feel that I have reached my saturation point when I sincerely recognize the fact how weak I really am, I find real comfort in the Savior’s eyes. Today after school was over I went over to my old teaching room, got out my old guitar and went over few wonderful Rodeheaver hymns. My but the Lord just spoke right to me and even though I was rather disappointed in my ability the Lord gave me a real promise and my spirit leaped from the shadowy bounds.

You might be wondering how the CTO deal came about so quickly. I wonder too but I will give you a fairly good account of it. Remember I put in my first request just after I applied for NACP and the fellow that I had talked about it with went first. After he finished I was supposed to start but that was about Christmas time and the division didn’t want to begin any new men until after the first of the year. At the first of the year we got our first scare of instructors being shipped out, and that slowed down the issue quite a bit. I let it ride because I had other things to do. About that time we got a few extra instructors on hand and so I asked casually if I might start school now that we were ahead a bit. A try went forth but dropped short because they weren’t sending anymore temporary duty men through. The man I spoke with said to put a special request that I be sent to school and they would put it into the main office pre-requesting that upon graduation I would be sent back to TAF to Math as the only reason I was going was to get a rate so I could stay in the department. I put the slip in Monday, the same day I began Seaman school, hardly even expecting any results from it for weeks, having known I though, the general routine of the Navy. When I brought up the idea of the Lord sending me to Seaman school, and then to CTO, thinking I still am as far as NACP is concerned but late Thursday evening I found out that I was going to check out of ships company and back into student’s division so that I could attend CTO school.

As I told dad this was about the most unusual birthday I have ever spent but it was the one that I surely was happy about. Friday it rained all day, and the other two boys that I checked in with weren’t like me one bit (gave me two more boys to pray for though) I never noticed a thing for pure bliss and joy in my own heart. I didn’t receive the idea that I had only a 50-50 chance of getting back into TAF, when I was talking to our school officer who had gotten me in so well. But I do know that I’m in the most capable hands of humanity – the Lord’s!!

Whether I come out high man I can’t say. From the looks of things and the course, I’d say lowest man. The Lord would have me set my goal there high and keep it to myself and I know that if I fully yield myself to Him we can do all things to glorify Christ. Along I am nothing but in Him I can do all things.

I surely had a wonderful birthday. I think every time I turned around the Lord blessed me. There wasn’t an empty spot anywhere. I got the cake (what a delicious morsel that was) Friday evening. It came through in one piece and tasted like you had just cooked it. We had it Saturday night at the home plus a bit of sampling the night before. All day long I was with these two boys – one is about 29 or 30 so I can’t say he was a kid, and the other was about the same age as I was.

I surely flowed over at getting your card and I got the card from the school tonight (yours). I surely do thank you all because it surely made my birthday wonderful.
I am contemplating staying on the base for the six weeks that I will be in school for a study and drawing nearer to the Lord as motive and aim. I’m praying about it as I don’t want to leave those at the home without any support after what they have done for me. Most likely I will for YFC Rally , get my washing done, go to church Sunday morning and come back out. I hate to leave all that wonderful fellowship but I have depended upon it too much and should get into some study on my own. I think I will abandon choir but leaving my heart open so that the Lord can speak to me and make me feel out of place if it is His will in any other place on Sunday morning.

I have oodles of notes to copy out. This typewriter is really efficient in that respect and is a lot easier on the eyes too! Oh Yes…The Lord answered more prayer. Ed Bundy was contacted out in California and was broken before the Lord. He has stopped ministry, starting a new, and wrote me just last week for forgiveness. Who says our Lord isn’t wonderful?!

Write when you can. I’ll try to make my next letter a little more CTO’ish.
May the Lord bless thee and keep thee in His abundant love.

In Him
Love, your son,

March 2, 1947

2 March 1947 Sunday Evening

Dear Dad,

“O Jehovah, thou has searched me and known me:
thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising:
Thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou searchest out my path and lying down,
And art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue,
But lo, O Jehovah, thou knowest all together.
Thou hast beset me behind and before,
And laid they hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.
It is high, I cannot attain unto it. “ Psalm 139:1-6

Isn’t it marvelous Dad, that no matter what we say or do that God has a plan of that- knows our steps before we even place our feet down on the sod. He knows exactly what we are going to say and wants us so badly to let it glorify Him even when we may be undergoing severe trials and temptations.

Even my best friend on earth doesn’t know me like God does! God knows me from my greatest virtue to my weakest faults and tripping point and as a result He continually places me before the utmost that I might be happy in His love. Yes, as that new song we sing at Youth for Christ goes “I’d rather have Jesus” and Praise the Lord for He did come on this old world to save me and give me real happiness to have the whole time of my life.

I know the Lord has had his hand in every pie and every birthday that I have ever had but this last one where I felt His presence and longed for it so was even more so! Everything seemed to happen on my birthday! First I was ‘warned’ late Thursday night that I was going to CTO school, a consistent prayer that I had offered and that I knew God would answer. He did in a marvelous way. I’m a student now only I expect to go back to TAF after school and make my rate so my address I left as before so as not to confuse. There is about a fifty – fifty chance that I will not go back to TAF, in other words, get shipped out. But whatever it may come out, I’ll be assured that it’s the Lord’s will! Wherever I go it’s where He wants work to be done.
I spent all day Friday moving and late into the evening Friday night getting all squared away. I have more gear to pack than ever now and in case I would ever have to leave here you would get about a car load of gear from me quick like! Friday I got my birthday cake too! I could only sample it as I still have to go easy on the sweets but by that I could enjoy more what the others were as I watch them sink their teeth into that marvelous hunk of cake. You should get mom to cook more of those! You’re missing something! Well, Friday was the most unusual birthday I’ve had yet. Walking along like an old man with a bag tottin’ on his back but it was one I wouldn’t exchange. The remembrance I got from home made it the best blessing and I really want to thank you for your card and your thoughts. It seems strange being as old as 19, and such a child in the things that count. I can boldly say, Praise the Lord, for He is good to a two – bit buy like me.

I received the money mom sent just in time to get the typewriter deal swung around at the same time, in fact, this is the typewriter now! It’s not as nifty as a Royal would be but after I get used to the gismo I’m sure I’m going to like it.
Time is past now and I want to be sure to get the idea of going to school in my mind and that is with the Lord. This school is one of the hardest of aviation schools and I can’t do this immense job of studying by myself at all. So I’ll make your pain short by making this letter short. Pray for me Dad, that I might success and do His will.

May the Lord bless you and keep you in all that you do and say always,

Your son,