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Veterans Day: gratitude is more than words

By November 11, 2015
(Photo courtesy Faith Comes By Hearing/MilitaryBible Stick)

(Photo courtesy Faith Comes By Hearing/MilitaryBible Stick)

USA (FCBH/MNN) — In the fall of 1963, President John F Kennedy made this unique observation about our military veterans: As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

For the most part, people think that giving discounts and free meals is a way to honor the service of a veteran. Faith Comes By Hearing thinks there’s a more long-term investment to consider: a military BibleStick. They’re so sold on this idea that they launched an October Giving Challenge to supply military BibleSticks for veterans. Though October is over, the funds are still rolling in, and, says FCBH spokesman Bill Lohr, “We’re very close to [the goal] we’re trying to hit: 14,000. That’s quite a few BibleStick: $25 each in terms of cost, but that is really an amazing outreach that we’ve had within our churches.”

As the saying goes, “Many hands make light work,” and FCBH has been developing partnerships with churches. $25 from one person gets a BibleStick into someone’s hands, but Lohr wonders what could happen if $25 were multiplied by 100 people…or even 1,000 people. “Believe it or not, over 9,000 churches have participated over the last five or six years–many of them, two, three, four, and now even, this year, five times: the fifth year that some of these churches have participated.”

Thousands of believers have found a way to put their appreciation into action for what the military is doing. After all, it’s hard not to be grateful when you realize “somebody is putting their life on the line for our freedom, for our security, so that we can live in the way that we do here in this country, and people see that.” Lohr goes on to say God’s Word offers peace and comfort in highly stressful combat situations at just the moment they need it.

(Image courtesy FCBH/Military BibleStick)

(Image courtesy FCBH/Military BibleStick)

Chaplains distribute and use Military BibleSticks– digital players pre-loaded with recordings of the Audio Drama New Testament and specially selected Psalms –in pre-deployment briefings, counseling sessions, Bible studies, weekly chapels, and other spiritual services.

With the anti-religious tone present in some branches of the military, getting God’s Word out can be tricky. How to do it is the key, Lohr adds. “It’s much like what the Gideons do in providing a New Testament and handing people a printed Bible; that’s all that we’re giving them, so there really is no issue in terms of proselytizing and the other things that many of these other groups are talking about and pushing.” Chaplains and soldiers request the BibleSticks. That’s not to say it’s not without challenge. “We’ve had chaplains who have contacted and chaplains who we’ve provided BibleStick for who have come under fire and possibly looked at situations where they’re going to be removed from the military.”

When that happens, Lohr explains, ”It really isn’t a situation of [us or anybody else out there] trying to convert everybody to Christianity. We’re simply trying to give them God’s Truth in His Word so that they can make a choice for themselves.”

Here’s just one story of the impact a BibleStick makes:

I am a disabled American Army Veteran. I want to thank you for this gift. The BibleStick is the key to me keeping my spirituality. I have PTSD, major depression disorder, and bad knees and back. This is very painful and makes it difficult to get to church. This BibleStick gives me hope.

The BibleStick is very beneficial for Veterans returning from a combat zone. It distracts your mind from where it wants to go. The BibleStick gives me positive reinforcement in life. It is very convenient. I can relax and listen, or ride and listen. It gives me comfort and assurance.

Thank you so much for sending this New Testament audio stick. I am an Army Ranger Veteran with 14 years of service. This technology helps me listen to the words of Jesus between classes and while traveling.

Thank you so much for the BibleStick. It is very uplifting hearing the Words of God.

(Photo courtesy FCBH)

(Photo courtesy FCBH)

It’s Veterans Day. Lohr says there are two things to come away with from this story. First, “Pray for our soldiers everyday…. They need to know that we’re covering them and that we’re there for them. And we ask that you’ll just join us in those prayers.”

Second, remember those who have served in World War II, Korean War, Balkan War, Vietnam War, and Gulf War. “There [are] a lot of folks that have served in the past,” says Lohr, and BibleSticks are very helpful to those in Veterans Homes.

Learn more at MilitaryBibleStick.com.

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