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Devotional Thoughts

 Devotional Thoughts
 The Spiritual Side of Our Website

This part of the site features monthly devotional thoughts by the Association's Chaplain, with the goal of encouraging Signal Corps OCS Graduates to be exceptional in their lives and to live life at a higher level. Our current Chaplain is of the Christian faith, so naturally, his devotionals are fashioned around his Christian beliefs. Your comments and suggestions are welcome and can be offered directly to the Chaplain by eMail at:

by LTC (R) Max Holt, Class 02-67

September 2014


LTC (R) Max Holt - TodayLTC (R) Max HoltLimitations in the English Language cause redundancy from year to year as we attempt to express the specialness of those we honor at our annual Reunion Memorial Services. Word-pictures become more difficult each time we speak of the OCS graduates who have gone on before us. The danger in repeating the use of words such as outstanding, excellence, integrity, moral character, bravery, and others is that we may view them as routine and mundane. But the deceased, whose numbers are growing at an alarming rate, were anything but routine and mundane. However,, there is an unusual scripture that may help keep us out any impending rut that would rob us of the essence of memorializing our deceased graduates.

It is in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes Chapter 7, verses 1-4:  A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth. It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. (NIV)

I will admit that this scripture doesn’t make sense to us in the context of what we normally desire and expect out of life. After all, in the New Testament book of John, Chapter 10, verse 10, Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and that they may have it to the fullest.” So, there must be something more than just the words over in Ecclesiastes. As I study what Solomon wrote in those verses I find 3 distinct things we can learn, especially from that last verse, “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.” In other words, it’s better to go to a funeral than to a party! I have a tendency to choose a party myself. So, let’s see what there is to learn in the house of mourning.

The first thing we learn in the house of mourning, like at a funeral, is that... time is short. To me it seems almost like yesterday that I was in formation with some of the guys we have honored over the years, making the turn at the end of the Ft Gordon parade field, with an M-14 at port arms, sweat coming from every pore of my body, wondering, "How did I get myself into this?”It seems like yesterday to us that we pinned on those gold bars and set off to change the Army and the world.  And it was just the other day that I got a message from Richard Green, our Association Chairman, about yet another graduate who has been added to our deceased list. Every day we were reminded that… time is short.  All of those things you plan to do, intend to do, need to do… stop making excuses and do them! There are people who need to be hugged, there are words that need to be said, and there is a God who wants a close personal relationship with you. As Nike says,….JUST DO IT!

The second thing we learn in the house of mourning is the value of a life well lived. Most of you knew someone on our Deceased List. I’ve heard some you speak of the special qualities you remember about some of these you served with. We don’t have problems remembering someone whose life was a picture of dedication and excellence. People like that are remembered and spoken of generations down the line. Those are the ones whose pictures are taken to school by their grandchildren on Show & Tell Day. They’ll say, “Let me tell you about my Grandpa... he was a great soldier.” There is great value in a life well lived.

The third thing we learn in the house of mourning is the Importance of love. Even the hardest, crustiest, meanest TAC Officer,..needs love! I believe an understanding of the love of God is crucial to our preparation for eternity. Thousands of our deceased were men of faith who experienced God’s love and leaned on that assurance in some critical times in their lives and maybe even as they died. They knew the reality that God loves us, no matter what. Romans 8, verses 38 & 39, says, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NIV)

We also need to understand the importance of love in our relationships. As we get older, expressions of love to those who are significant in our lives are more important. It has been said that the fuel of a full, complete life is contained in just three words, “I Love You.” I encourage you to begin now telling those in your life that you love them. Some of them may think you have gone off the deep end… but do it anyway.

So, the next time you find yourself at a funeral, thank God for another opportunity to be reminded that Life is Short, that there is Value in a Life well lived, and that Expressions of Love are so very important.


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