Farewell & Welcome
John Doyle has been the VLOA Chaplain for more than 15 years now, and notified the VLOA leadership of his need to step aside and make room for someone else to fill this position. We owe John a great deal of thanks for jumping in to help form the VLOA by first searching for former Outlaws, Mavericks, Roadrunners, and affiliated unit members. Then, he was instrumental in getting the organization off the ground and volunteered to be the Chaplain and bring his more than 20 years as a Baptist minister to the VLOA. Now that he is stepping aside, Paul L. Martin (the Arkansas Paul) has agreed to be our VLOA Chaplain. Welcome aboard, Paul. We are grateful for your taking on this very important VLOA role. We look forward to seeing you at our biennial reunions and to your "Back Pew" devotionals in each of our quarterly Outlaw Newsletters.
What can the Chaplain do for me?
My primary job as Chaplain of the V. L. O. A. is to conduct the Sunday morning worship service at our reunions. In addition, should you have the need to talk with someone who has "been there, done that," I am available to listen.
I have been asked to initiate prayer requests using email from time to time. I thought it might be more effective to post prayer requests here on our web site. So if you know of a family or one of our own in need of our spiritual support, send a simple email request describing the need and the person or family in need, to me at the address below.
If you want to talk, call: 870-352-2446
Send Prayer Requests and other communications to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Paul L. Martin
Outlaws Devotional - July 2017
Ephesians 4:29. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
When I entered the U.S. Army in 1960, I quickly learned that getting straight to the point was the norm. Commanders were “old school;” give orders and demand soldiers execute them. In later years, younger military personnel were a “different breed of cat” and required more explanation before the order.
As a young commander, I wasn’t attuned to the fact that the “explanation” I gave might be perceived as blunt, harsh, or critical. My orders were more often than not very straight-forward, even though they contained some explanation. My Father-in-Law made a statement one time when we were hunting on his Florida farm that really hit home with me. He said: “Words are like a bullet shot from a pistol; once you pull the trigger, you can’t take back the bullet.” As my names imply, I have always been earnest and frank! My Father-in-Law’s words stuck with me as I grew older.
Some years ago, I forwarded an email I received criticizing a politician I didn’t support, only to get a return email from an Army buddy. “Good Christians don’t criticize others” he said in his lengthy response, but then he criticized me for criticizing others. I did a great deal of thinking about what he said.
Have you experienced someone that criticizes or disparages someone else in the written or spoken word, seriously or jokingly, knowingly or unknowingly? Just about everywhere we look in today’s society, there is an abundance of hate, offensive statements, Tweets, Facebook posts, TV reports, and newspaper articles that have clearly moved away from being Christ oriented in our words and deeds. This is the right time for all of us to take a step back and really see how our words and deeds are received by others. Maybe we should apply Ephesians 4:29 during this period where our country is trying to find who it is and what it stands for again as a world leader. Just maybe, some things might work better in our personal lives, our church, our community, and our nation.
My Prayer: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer. Amen.
Submitted by Frank Estes