Posts Tagged ‘Christ Figure’

Veterans Day 2017

November 10, 2017

veterans-day-2016

Veterans Day 2017 will be celebrated today on Friday, November 10 since November 11 occurs on Saturday this year. The underlying purpose of the Federal holiday is to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans. Originally known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I at 11 a.m. on the 11th Day of 11th Month of 1918, the present designation of Veterans Day occurred in 1954 when President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the recognition of November 11 as Veterans Day. Most appropriately, today’s blog post focuses on Veteran’s Day, a day of special significance to me in a number of ways.

It is a memorable occasion because it is my sister Cheryl’s birthday—she was born November 11, 1946—at that time it was called Armistice Day, as I well remember. Also November 11, 2000 was the day that her husband, Elliott Thompson, who was also a Veteran, was buried.  She has since remarried, and her husband, Thomas, is also a veteran.

Veterans Day is also special to me for another reason. I am a Veteran, having served two years in the US Army, from 1967 to the end of 1968 during the Vietnam era. Most providentially that experience which occurred 50 years ago is directly related to my present position as an adjunct professor at Carolina College of Biblical Studies in Fayetteville, NC.

I was born and reared in Gary, Indiana, and when I was about 13 or 14, I visited Purdue University, the first college campus I ever set foot on, and I decided at that time that I would attend Purdue and major in Pharmacy. When I graduated from high school in 1960, I enrolled at Purdue and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy in 1965, and subsequently became a registered pharmacist, working as a staff pharmacist at Methodist Hospital in Gary. I was enjoying the “good life” when I received my “greetings from Uncle Sam.” In 1967 I was drafted into the US Army. At the time I thought this was the worst thing that could have happened to me. Being drafted into the Army in the late 60s was not an ideal situation for a young African American male in light of the disproportionate number of black men sent to Viet Nam, many of whom did not return and others who were forever changed by that experience.

Today, I recognize more clearly than ever that what Satan meant for evil, God in His providence, transforms into something great and glorious. While I was in the Army, I rode the crest of the Jesus Movement and experienced a powerful conversion that introduced me to the transforming power of God through receiving the Holy Spirit and studying the Bible.

In January of 1967 after a tearful farewell with my parents, I boarded the bus that took me from Gary, Indiana to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, my first time ever setting foot in the State. Upon completing of my basic training, I was sent to Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio, Texas, where I was given option of working in a dispensary filling prescriptions, as I had done previously, or I could choose to become a pharmacy instructor and teach pharmacy technicians. The second option sounded intriguing since I had not done that before, and so I opted to become a pharmacy instructor, which turned out to be ideally suited to me and opened up a new world of classroom teaching which ignited a passion to teach. This passion eventually motivated me to pursue a Master’s degree in English from Emporia State University in Kansas and a Ph.D. in English from Indiana University. This passion continues to burn, even as I am teaching at CCBS.

Prior to coming back to North Carolina, I taught at a number of institutions in the Midwest, including Indiana Wesleyan University in Ohio and Kentucky. At that time I recognized a special Blue Grass connection that I would like mention as I pay tribute to one particular veteran from Kentucky whom I knew briefly while serving as a pharmacy instructor at Fort Sam Houston. He and I had a number of things in common: we were both drafted as pharmacists who opted to become pharmacy instructors so we went through the training at the Medical Field Service School together. There was one notable difference, however. I had not signed up for an additional year of service, despite the Army’s indication that I might not get a pharmacy position if I didn’t. My fellow serviceman, had signed up for the additional year, but we both received pharmacy positions. The additional year increased the likelihood that you might have to go to Vietnam if there were a pharmacy position that needed to be filled.

About nine months after we completed our training as instructors, my fellow instructor received orders for Vietnam, and by the end of the year, he was shipped overseas. In the early part of the next year, we received the news that he had been killed. The impact of that experience did not fully resonate with me until a few years ago when on Memorial Day I again looked up the name of this individual on the website for the Vietnam Memorial and recognized that he was from a small town in Kentucky. I was teaching a class at the IWU Louisville Center, and we had no classes on that holiday when I saw my colleague’s sacrifice in a totally different light. In literature there is term called a Christological figure or Christ Figure. The term refers to an object, person, or figure that represents Christ allegorically or symbolically, or any similar object, person, or figure with qualities generally reminiscent of Christ; one of the most notable qualities is “self sacrifice.”

I was overwhelmed by recognizing that my fellow instructor could be seen as “going in my place.” What transpired while I was in the Army culminated in an awareness of ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ who took my place and gave his life that I might live.

My whole experience in the military brings to mind my favorite verse in my favorite chapter of the Bible: Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for the good, to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.

We close our Veterans Day reflection with a moving tribute to veterans “Remember Me” compiled by Lizzie Palmer:

Reflections on Veterans Day 2015

November 11, 2015

Veterans Day 2015On Veterans Day, November 11, 2015, as I reflect upon the celebration of this particular national holiday, I am re-posting a devotional from last year, focusing on Veteran’s Day, a day of special significance to me in a number of ways.

What began as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, marking the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I on the 11th Day of 11th Month of 1918, was later renamed Veterans Day which commemorates all veterans. In 1954 President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the recognition of November 11 as Veterans Day.

November 11 is also a memorable occasion for me because it is the birthday of my sister, Cheryl Thompson Williams, who was born November 11, 1946. At that time it was called Armistice Day, as I well remember. Also November 11, 2000 was the day that her husband, Elliott Thompson, who was also a Veteran, was buried. She has since remarried, and her husband, Thomas, is also a veteran.

Veterans Day is also special to me for another reason. I am a Veteran, having served two years in the US Army, from 1967 to the end of 1968 during the Vietnam era. Most providentially that experience is directly related to my being in Fayetteville, NC, where I serve as an adjunct professor at Carolina College of Biblical Studies and at Fayetteville State University.

I was born and reared in Gary, Indiana, and when I was about 13 or 14, I visited Purdue University, the first college campus I ever set foot on, and I decided at that time that I would attend Purdue and major in Pharmacy. When I graduated from high school in 1960, I enrolled at Purdue and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy in 1965, and subsequently became a registered pharmacist, working as a staff pharmacist at Methodist Hospital in Gary. I was enjoying the “good life” when I received my “greetings from Uncle Sam.” In 1967 I was drafted into the US Army. At the time I thought this was the worst thing that could have happened to me. Being drafted into the Army in the late 60s was not an ideal situation for a young African American male in light of the disproportionate number of black men sent to Vietnam, many of whom did not return and others who were forever changed by that experience.

Today I recognize more clearly than ever that what Satan meant for evil, God in His providence, transforms into something great and glorious. While I was in the Army, I rode the crest of the Jesus Movement and experienced a powerful conversion that introduced me to the transforming power of God through receiving the Holy Spirit and studying the Bible.

In January of 1967 after a tearful farewell with my parents, I boarded the bus that took me to Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Upon completing of my basic training, I was sent to Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio, Texas, where I was given the option of working in a dispensary filling prescriptions, as I had done previously, or I could choose to become a pharmacy instructor and teach pharmacy technicians. The second option sounded intriguing since I had not done that before, and so I opted to become a pharmacy instructor, which turned out to be ideally suited to me and opened up a new world of classroom teaching which ignited a passion to teach. This passion eventually motivated me to pursue a Master’s degree in English from Emporia State University in Kansas and a Ph.D. in English from Indiana University. This passion continues to burn, even as I am teaching here at CCBS and FSU and at Indiana Wesleyan University where I teach classes online.

As I reflect upon Veterans Day, I pay tribute to one particular veteran from Kentucky whom I knew briefly while serving as a pharmacy instructor at Fort Sam Houston. He and I had a number of things in common: we were both drafted as pharmacists who opted to become pharmacy instructors so we went through the training at the Medical Field Service School together. But there was one notable difference. I had not signed up for an additional year of service, despite the Army’s indication that I might not get a pharmacy position if I didn’t. My fellow serviceman had signed up for the additional year, but we both received pharmacy positions. The additional year increased the likelihood that you might have to go to Vietnam if there were a pharmacy position that needed to be filled.

About 9 months after we completed our training as instructors, my fellow instructor received orders for Vietnam, and by the end of the year, he was shipped overseas. In the early part of the next year, we received the news that he had been killed. The impact of that experience did not fully resonate with me until about three years ago when I again looked up the name of this individual on the website for the Vietnam Memorial and recognized that he was from a small town in Kentucky. I was teaching a class at the IWU Louisville Center of Indiana Wesleyan when I saw my colleague’s sacrifice in a totally different light.

In literature there is term called a Christological figure or Christ Figure. The term refers to an object, person, or figure that represents Christ allegorically or symbolically, or any similar object, person, or figure with qualities generally reminiscent of Christ, one of whose most notable qualities is “self sacrifice.” I was overwhelmed by the reality that my fellow instructor went in my place. What transpired while I was in the Army culminated in an awareness of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ who took my place and gave his life that I might live.

My whole experience in the military brings to mind my favorite Bible verse: Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for the good, to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.

We conclude by listening to Major Jason Billington singing “The Eagle Cried,” a moving tribute to Vietnam Veterans:

Veterans Day Tribute

November 11, 2014

veterans (2)

Most appropriately, our devotional for today focuses on Veteran’s Day, a day of special significance to me in a number of ways.

What began as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, marking the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I on the 11th Day of 11th Month of 1918, was later renamed Veterans Day which commemorates all veterans. In 1954 President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the recognition of November 11 as Veterans Day.

November 11 is also a memorable occasion for me because it is the birthday of my sister, Cheryl Thompson Williams, who was born November 11, 1946. At that time it was called Armistice Day, as I well remember. Also November 11, 2000 was the day that her husband, Elliott Thompson, who was also a Veteran, was buried. She has since remarried, and her husband, Thomas, is also a veteran.

Veterans Day is also special to me for another reason. I am a Veteran, having served two years in the US Army, from 1967 to the end of 1968 during the Vietnam era. Most providentially that experience is directly related to my being in Fayetteville, NC, where I serve as an adjunct professor at Carolina College of Biblical Studies and at Fayetteville State University.

I was born and reared in Gary, Indiana, and when I was about 13 or 14, I visited Purdue University, the first college campus I ever set foot on, and I decided at that time that I would attend Purdue and major in Pharmacy. When I graduated from high school in 1960, I enrolled at Purdue and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy in 1965, and subsequently became a registered pharmacist, working as a staff pharmacist at Methodist Hospital in Gary. I was enjoying the “good life” when I received my “greetings from Uncle Sam.” In 1967 I was drafted into the US Army. At the time I thought this was the worst thing that could have happened to me. Being drafted into the Army in the late 60s was not an ideal situation for a young African American male in light of the disproportionate number of black men sent to Viet Nam, many of whom did not return and others who were forever changed by that experience.

Today I recognize more clearly than ever that what Satan meant for evil, God in His providence, transforms into something great and glorious. While I was in the Army, I rode the crest of the Jesus Movement and experienced a powerful conversion that introduced me to the transforming power of God through receiving the Holy Spirit and studying the Bible.

In January of 1967 after a tearful farewell with my parents, I boarded the bus that took me to Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Upon completing of my basic training, I was sent to Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio, Texas, where I was given option of working in a dispensary filling prescriptions, as I had done previously, or I could choose to become a pharmacy instructor and teach pharmacy technicians. The second option sounded intriguing since I had not done that before, and so I opted to become a pharmacy instructor, which turned out to be ideally suited to me and opened up a new world of classroom teaching which ignited a passion to teach. This passion eventually motivated me to pursue a Master’s degree in English from Emporia State University in Kansas and a Ph.D. in English from Indiana University. This passion continues to burn, even as I am teaching here at CCBS and FSU and at Indiana Wesleyan University where I teach classes online.

As I reflect upon Veterans Day, I pay tribute to one particular veteran from Kentucky whom I knew briefly while serving as a pharmacy instructor at Fort Sam Houston. He and I had a number of things in common: we were both drafted as pharmacists who opted to become pharmacy instructors so we went through the training at the Medical Field Service School together. But there was one notable difference. I had not signed up for an additional year of service, despite the Army’s indication that I might not get a pharmacy position if I didn’t. My fellow serviceman, had signed up for the additional year, but we both received pharmacy positions. The additional year increased the likelihood that you might have to go to Vietnam if there were a pharmacy position that needed to be filled.

About 9 months after we completed our training as instructors, my fellow instructor received orders for Vietnam, and by the end of the year, he was shipped overseas. In the early part of the next year, we received the news that he had been killed. The impact of that experience did not fully resonate with me until about three years ago when I again looked up the name of this individual on the website for the Vietnam Memorial and recognized that he was from a small town in Kentucky. I was teaching a class at the IWU Louisville Center of Indiana Wesleyan when I saw my colleague’s sacrifice in a totally different light.

In literature there is term called a Christological figure or Christ Figure. The term refers to an object, person, or figure that represents Christ allegorically or symbolically, or any similar object, person, or figure with qualities generally reminiscent of Christ, one of whose most notable qualities is “self sacrifice.” I was overwhelmed by the reality that my fellow instructor went in my place. What transpired while I was in the Army culminated in an awareness of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ who took my place and gave his life that I might live.

My whole experience in the military brings to mind my favorite Bible verse: Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for the good, to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.

Here is a video “Remember Me” compiled by Lizzie Palmer as a tribute to veterans:

Word for the Day: Daily Dose of Good Medicine.

January 2, 2012

During the first week of the first month of the New Year 2012, as I prepare a blog entry for Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe, I recall the early days of my first profession as a registered pharmacist. For more than 25 years I was a practicing pharmacist, but now as a writer and minister, I use my skills in poetry and prose while incorporating music and visual arts to “fill prescriptions” designed to minister to the heart and soul in this blog.

To become more faithful in blogging, I plan to post “Word for the Day: Daily Dose of Good Medicine.” I invite you to stop by and see what remedies I have been working on recently, as I continue to compound “After the Art of the Apothecary.”

To learn more about “Good Medicine” from Dr. J. click here.

Isaiah 62: New Theme for the New Year:

At the beginning of each year I select a theme and a theme verse(s) that become focal points for my Biblical study and spiritual exploration during that year. My first entry for 2012 relates to the theme restoration and redemption as revealed in Isaiah 62. This section from the Old Testament speaks of God’s covenant with His people. Though Israel is in captivity at the time of the writing of this passage, God promises to keep speaking and working until His purposes for Jerusalem are fulfilled.

Rob Philipps in his blog OnceDelivered.net, comments on this passage:

Isaiah likens Jerusalem’s future relationship with Yahweh to a marriage. Rather than being called Deserted or Desolate – names that accurately describe the city in the depths of judgment – Jerusalem will be named Hephzibah (“My Delight is in Her”) and Beulah (“Married One”). When a bride marries, she receives a new name. Even though Israel already is married to Yahweh, He will give her new names that describe her spiritual renewal and depict the Lord’s profound joy in her. Verse 5b reads: “… as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so your God will rejoice over you.” This description of Yahweh’s special relationship with the redeemed of Israel complements the relationship Christ, the bridegroom, has with His bride, the church. Together, Jew and Gentile believers will share in a glorious and everlasting relationship with God.

The context of the Isaiah 62 relates to the marriage relationship, whereby bridegroom and bride will ultimately be re-united in a magnificent manner.

A Living Illustration of Love:

Last week, my daughter, Melissa sent me an email with a link to a YouTube video of the wedding of a friend of hers whom she had recently contacted. The groom was Christopher Draft, former NFL player, who had married Keasha Rutledge in Atlanta on November 27 of last year. Unfortunately Keasha, who had been diagnosed with cancer a year ago, died three months after their wedding. As I watched the wedding ceremony, I was moved to tears.

Upon thinking about the New Year and my selected verses from Isaiah 62, I thought of the wedding of Christopher and Keasha and noted a parallel between Christ and his bride, the Church.  In literature there is term called a “Christ Figure.” The term refers to a person or figure that represents Christ allegorically or symbolically with qualities generally reminiscent of Christ, one of the most notable of which “self sacrifice.” Chris Draft is reminiscent of Christ, who so loved that he selflessly sacrificed his life for his bride . . . “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.”  Christopher, true to the name from which his is derived, certainly demonstrates unconditional love for his bride.

Here is the video trailer to Chris and Keasha’s wedding: 

http://vimeo.com/33307371

This is my first blog entry in the New Year, as Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe is now open and offering a “Daily Dose of Good Medicine.”