Payh Blog
Jesus Christ with crown of thorns against the sun
Mar 31, 2020

An Enigma

“The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and He sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road. And the crowds that went before Him and that followed Him were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’ And when He entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, ‘Who is this?’” -Matthew 21:6-10


He came in riding on a donkey’s colt, not a stallion like a conquering Caesar; no army, no legions, no bravado. There was a crowd shouting hosannas and waving palm branches, but the whole affair may have lasted little more than an hour. He did not go sit on a throne but went instead to the temple where He made Himself unpopular with the money changers and street sellers, with the High Priests, and rulers of the people. Jesus apparently wasn’t concerned with popularity.

This was the Triumphal Entry. It included the tears of a Savior who wept over the nonchalance of the people. Jesus was who He said He was, but this made no impact on this varied populace, who were by and large ignorant of the pertinent Old Testament prophecies of a coming Messiah – a Messiah who was now there. John told us succinctly, “He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him.”

Even His forerunner, John the Baptist, at one point sent messengers to ask Jesus if He was truly the One who was promised or if they should be looking for another. Jesus spent three years with His nearest disciples, and they could not quite grasp the essentials of who He really was – not until the resurrection and His appearances to them.

Jesus was so far out of the ordinary to men and women who had never experienced anything like Him, yet His telling them that He and the Father were one, that He Himself was God would not penetrate their understanding. This they could not grasp; they could not relate to it. He appears to be an ordinary, yet not so ordinary man, an enigma.

That is, until John was drawn up into heaven itself during his exile on the small island of Patmos and he witnessed with his own eyes the future return of the Lamb to the earth in power and majestic glory, and until Peter ate roasted fish on the beach of a lake with his resurrected Lord and engaged Him in animated and revealing conversation. Not until then did these followers of Jesus fully grasp who it was they were dealing with. Jesus was who He had told them He was, even though it had gone at first way over their heads.

When you come to acknowledge that He is no charlatan and that the promises and prophecies of His coming, stretched over millennia, were precisely fulfilled, when you listen carefully again to His words and teaching, consider His acts and miracles, look at the transformation of men and women through contact with Him, you cannot doubt who He is. He is exactly who He said He is.

No other before or after Him came as He did; in fact, He was the opposite. He claimed a unique and wholly other persona because He was. Jesus was God, but He was God in human flesh. This was an enigma to created, finite humanity. It still is to those who will not believe, to those, you can say, who will not believe because they choose not to believe.

But for those who believe what Jesus says about Himself, such followers must cling more heartily to His words, for His words are life itself. Believe in Jesus’ humanity that you might know that His actual death on the cross as man was not only real for your salvation, but His resurrection as man was just as real, ensuring the promise of your resurrection.

Believe in Jesus’ deity that you might truly fear to hear and obey all He has told you. Everything that exists does so because He holds it all together by the power of His word and being. I know you cannot grasp this in totality, but you can believe it by faith when His Word tells you it is so!

Jesus is who He says He is, and that is your never-ending salvation. Such is not comprehensible, but it is satisfying, in the very least, to your soul.


“O Lord, how shall I meet You, how welcome You aright? Your people long to greet You, my hope, my heart’s delight! O kindle, Lord Most Holy, Your lamp within my breast to do in spirit lowly all that may please You best.”

(First verse of Paul Gerhardt’s hymn, “O Lord, How Shall I Meet You,” 1653)


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Mar 30, 2020

This Month at PAYH: Monthly Newsletter, April 2020

Meet Them in Battle Nonetheless!

I’m a fan of fantasy, and I especially enjoy the works of JRR Tolkien, a devout Christian who wrote such classics as The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. His works are highly allegorical and are filled with tales of tremendous bravery, heroism, and self-sacrifice. One of my favorites is the story of King Théoden of Rohan.

In The Return of the King, Théoden and his armies were reeling from an enemy invasion. While they had utterly annihilated their foes, they were severely depleted. Before they could recover, a neighboring ally called for aid, as they too were under attack and on the brink of destruction. Despite their own poor situation, the armies of Rohan prepared for battle.

However, when Théoden mustered his forces, fewer than half the troops he expected reported for duty. His lieutenants urged him to abandon the fight. They knew the enemy’s strength and told him frankly that there was no hope of victory. In one of the manliest one-liners in all of fiction, the king agreed and stated simply, “We will meet them in battle nonetheless.”

Théoden had pledged to aid his allies in times of need, and he was unwilling to let unfavorable odds prevent him from fulfilling that oath. He knew that the price of inaction would be thousands of innocent lives and chose to make the ultimate sacrifice rather than break his word. His sacrifice bought valuable time, and the city was saved when another allied force arrived to finish what Théoden started. Though he didn’t live to see it, his legendary courage paved the way for victory where lesser men would have fled the field.

As human beings, we have no hope of defeating the armies of Hell. Like Théoden, we know that our own strength is not enough to carry the day. Unlike Théoden, who had no assurance of success, we know that our help “comes from the Lord” (Psalm 121:2). Scripture assures us that we will win, for “if God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). With such assurances, how can we do anything except “meet them in battle nonetheless?”

Stephen-Nichols-Signature

Stephen Nichols

Director of Communications

STORIES FROM THE HOME

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Still on Station!

Schools are out and many local businesses are closed, but the PAYH ministry is still moving forward. We’ve sent our office staff to work from home, Glenda and Stephen are laying low in the big house, and access to campus is restricted, but our administration (Ken & Betty) and our mentors remain on station. The PAYH young men are still receiving the care and guidance the Lord has called us to provide for them, we are still learning the Scriptures, and they are still progressing in school. We’re not going to panic. We are just taking common-sense precautions to keep these young men safe. It’s why we’re here!

Nate-McBride

Nate McBride Visits PAYH

University of Georgia linebacker and Vidalia native Nate McBride visited with our young men last month and took the time to share his testimony with them. He spoke about his walk with God, the importance of controlling your feelings rather than allowing them to control you, and the importance of regularly spending time reading God’s Word. As he finished up, he stated that Jesus is the answer to everything and that only Christ can get you through life’s difficulties.

Camden

Chick-fil-A Vidalia Road Race 2020

We held our 5th annual Chick-fil-A Vidalia Road Race on March 7th, with nearly 500 runners in attendance. It was a record-breaking year, with PAYH and Winshape camps each receiving half the proceeds, or just over $15,000 each. Several of our young men placed in their age category, while Camden, one of our most senior young men, won 1st place overall! To learn more about the race or to see a video recap of the day, visit RunVidalia.com.

A NOTE FROM THE COLONEL

Bayonet-Test

Finally, a skill from my past life that can be used today in these challenging times.

– Col. Ken Vaughn

GOOD NEWS

The Lord is constantly giving us reasons to praise Him, and we are making a concerted effort to give Him the glory He is due. We regularly post good news stories on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds and would love for you to follow us if you don’t already. Simply visit the following links to see our profiles on the platforms below:

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Unhappy Young Woman Sit On Windowsill Thinking
Mar 25, 2020

Fearful of the Dust

“When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, ‘Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: “Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians”? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.’ And Moses said to the people, ‘Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.’” -Exodus 14:10-13


Traversing the Christian life as a redeemed sinner is an adventure fraught with pitfalls: seemingly, at times, one step forward, two steps back. But as in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, there are the oases at critical moments in your journey to encourage and refresh your soul. The slippery slope of sin, illustrated dramatically in Psalm 73, does not always result in your sliding off a cliff but, rather, coming to the eye-opening realization of “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You” (Psalm 73:25).

The Exodus account of Pharaoh coming after the Israelites with his powerful and deadly army and the deliverance of all of them in such miraculous fashion are said in 1 Corinthians 10:6 to be examples for you today “to not desire evil as they did.” The valuable and necessary exercise of self-contemplation, of thinking seriously of your sin and its nature, is intended to lead you to what is called “the mortification of sin,” that is, putting your sin to death.

This may be a forty-day pre-Good Friday exercise each year or even any time in the year, but it is one that is life-long in the sanctification of a follower of Jesus who truly anticipates his soon-coming face-to-face encounter with the Savior.

Immediately upon seeing the dust of Pharaoh’s chariots coming fast behind them, the Israelites ripped into Moses for delivering them from their cruel taskmasters. At that point, they strangely preferred the bitter slavery experienced under the Egyptians to the milk and honey freedom of the Promised Land. All this because they saw the threat of Pharaoh’s army as more feared than the God they worshipped.

The purpose in introspectively considering your sin is that you might know that God is truly greater than all your sin. It is seeing the breadth and depth of your sin by an inward focus on all of it as the Holy Spirit creates an uncanny awareness. Then, and only then, you might bring it fully to the cross to be covered completely by the blood of Christ.

To the Israelites, Pharaoh was more powerful, real, and terrifying than their God who had visited all those plagues on the Egyptians, moved their slave owners to lavish them with their gold and silver, and finally let them go. Nevertheless, they could not get their eyes on God alone. They could not measure His greatness; they could not acknowledge His amazing love.

The reason for you to contemplate your sin is so that you might see the mercy of God in forgiving every single bit of it in Christ and that you would so come to hate it in seeing it for what it is in all its destructiveness. Then, you might flee to Christ for refuge.

The parting of the Red Sea and the drowning of the Egyptian army along with Pharaoh should have caused the Israelites to never again forget God. But within mere days they had, and they were whining and griping again. This is exactly what God wants to deliver you from.

If you can today grasp the gravity of your sin in the light of the cross and see and feel the reality of God’s forgiveness, then you will be moved to grasp God’s power as witnessed in the parting of the Red Sea and see Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith, and believe that your God is the consuming fire of your sins and your enemies (Hebrews 12:28).

So, take the invaluable time to look inward, see your sin in all its various masks and deceitfulness, and set your face instead on Jesus.


“Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling. Naked, come to Thee for dress. Helpless, look to Thee for grace. Foul, I to the Fountain fly; wash me, Savior, or I die.”

(Third verse of Augustus Toplady’s hymn, “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me,” 1776)


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The Cross Symbol Of Christian And Jesus Christ
Mar 17, 2020

Much or Little?

[Jesus said] “‘A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered, ‘The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.’ And He said to him, ‘You have judged rightly.’ Then turning toward the woman He said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.’ And He said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Then those who were at table with Him began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this, who even forgives sins?’ And He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’” -Luke 7:41-50


There are many who ignore the season of the church year called Lent. That is okay if its practice is being lived out anytime throughout the year, but is it? What reminds you to think about what Lent encourages? The mere busyness of life excludes other reminders. Possibly the keeping of a seasonal schedule is a spiritually healthy marker of who you truly are before a holy God: a sinner in need of forgiveness.

Lent encourages a contemplative forty days for the Christian in a non-contemplative world. In the midst of our technological world, a world of constant entertainment, a period of unceasing Internet and social media availability, an era of modernity eschewing silence and little if any encouragement for a quiet, introspective discipline, how many truly sacrifice personal time to pursue something so “odd” as meaningful, silent, and focused contemplation?

The story Jesus told the Pharisee named Simon after an unnamed woman had anointed His feet with expensive ointment, wet them with her tears, and dried them with her hair may turn your thinking to the question of whether you yourself have been forgiven much or little. This is the point of Jesus telling this story. I dare say that the answer really lies in the heart and mind of the one seeking forgiveness. Is your own forgiveness due to many sins or few?

The apostle Paul confessed to the world that he was the greatest of all sinners. Even knowing he once persecuted the church, making havoc for many believers’ lives, this is still a humble confession from this apostle and slave of Jesus. It took the prophet Nathan telling a convicting story of King David to bring exposure of his great sin. Nathan stated directly to David, “You are that man!” This is what it took for David to see his sin clearly, repent, and tearfully and painfully ask for forgiveness. The thief on the cross, seeing who Jesus was, lamented his own life of sin, asking in essence for forgiveness in the excruciating finality of his life so that he might be ushered into Paradise with Jesus. He was indeed forgiven much.

Lent is a forty-day period of time prior to Good Friday to ask yourself the questions, “Am I a sinner? If so, am I truly forgiven? Have I been forgiven much or little?” Jesus says that your answers will indicate the level of your love for a Savior who makes your pardon possible with His own blood.

It doesn’t take Lent, necessarily, for you to consider your sin, repent, and ask for His mercy; such is a continual, year-round need in your life. However, if there is not a season in which this is the intended focus, it may be too easily brushed aside or forgotten.

Do you really think often of the sinfulness of sin? The Bible makes no bones about its great depravity and its continual erosion of your soul and spirit. It is no trivial matter and must never be treated as such. If you do not think so, then you simply do not know the true nature of sin and its deceitful use in your life by Satan.

Your soul enters into the worship of Jesus and tracing His footsteps because you are overwhelmed by all He has done for your salvation. One who humbly recognizes his great sinfulness appreciates far more the magnificence of the redemption he has received. Such forgiveness, recognizing the true burden removed from you, brings a deeper, more treasured love for the One who accomplished it.


“But drops of grief can ne’er repay the debt of love I owe; here, Lord, I give myself away, ‘tis all that I can do.”

(Fifth verse of Isaac Watts’ hymn, “Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed,” 1707)


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Man standing and looking at sunrise with fog. Cold morning by th
Mar 11, 2020

Life Facing the Unknown

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” -James 4:13-16


Serving in Vietnam as an Infantry Officer, I began my days not knowing if I would see nightfall. As anywhere, I had not one day promised to me, but in mortal combat your life expectations were not high. As soldiers drew close to the day they rotated home, their demeanor would perceptibly change. Others called them simply “short” because their time in the combat zone was becoming short and getting shorter by the hour.

As if they could, they tried harder to keep anything from happening which might take their life in those final weeks or days. The stories were rife, true or not, of those whose lives were snatched in their last weeks or last couple of days. Of course, it was a crazy way to live, but such happened because of increasing and enervating fear of an unknown.

This illustrates the very nature of the unknown. For instance, we do not know the day of our death. Those with terminal illness may be told by a doctor that their end is near, approaching within weeks or even days. As we left the hospital for the final time, I was told that my wife had probably a week or perhaps more. She actually had less than two days before cancer took her last breath at the age of 49. But a teenager or young person especially has little expectation of death on that day when rising from their bed in the morning.

We simply do not know the moment or day ordained for us (Psalm 139:16). Truly, your future, whether years or moments, is fully unknown. In combat, I knew my survival was certainly suspect, but in peace, we are not normally expecting to die that very day when brushing our teeth in the morning. Yet the Bible clearly states, “Man is appointed to die once and, after that, the judgment.” We just do not know when that appointment has been scheduled.

According to God’s Word, your death has already been ordained. Does this surprise you? God has determined the day of your birth as well as your death. Psalm 139 says, “Every day formed for you was written before one of them came to be.” Such knowledge is kept from you.

Is this fair? Does God have the power to give you a hundred years of life more or less? Yes, of course He does! Do you trust Him enough to give you exactly what is best for you? How can God give just five years to some but a hundred years to another? The question really revolves not around fairness but rather in the unique nature of God. He is infinitely wise and infinitely loving.

There is a righteous purpose for the unknowns in your life. They are intended to positively impact how you live your life today. Contemplating the unknown is an exercise intended to draw you closer to the One who is sovereign over your life. When you seriously consider your unknowns, you are constrained to purposefully draw nearer to the One who knows what you do not and to both fear and love Him who actually holds your life in His hands.

Many treat the unknown with an attitude of nonchalance or of an unthoughtful confidence that all will continue tomorrow the same as yesterday. They seldom say, “If the Lord wills, I will do such and such tomorrow or next week.” They just plan and believe their plans will be uninterrupted, certainly not with death.

Yet, everything you do or plan to do is subservient to God’s plan, whether you acknowledge it or not. It is a far, far better thing for you to earnestly seek God’s will in whatever you do and then ask Him for the days required to accomplish it. Always appreciate that you are the servant of the Lord first in everything you do or say, praying unceasingly to Him the prayer He taught us: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

If such is the manner of your life, you will always be prepared for God to fulfill His plan, and you will never be shocked or unaccepting of it. The death of a loved one or an acquaintance will not cause you to turn against God or hate Him. You will grieve, of course, but in your grieving, you will accept your Lord’s sovereign will because of who you know He is.

The fact that there are so many unknowns ought to cause you to seek God more earnestly and with more frequency that you might know Him better, love Him more, and patiently wait for Him. You do not need to know an unknown prior to its occurrence in order to weather it; you just need to be near to God.

You cannot figure out all the answers to an unknown, so leave the answers to Him. Pursue instead what you can be certain of: that God is consistently the same, the planner of every unknown. Intimate knowledge of Him will eliminate the fears of all you do not know.


“Father, I know that all my life is portioned out for me; the changes that are sure to come I do not fear to see. I ask Thee for a present mind intent on pleasing Thee.”

(First verse of Anna L. Waring’s hymn, “Father, I Know That All My Life,” 1850)


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Young Man With Magnifying Glass Near Eye, Close Up
Mar 04, 2020

Your Motivation This Morning

“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God…” -2 Peter 3:8-12


The question may often arise: Why do I want to do anything this morning? Another day, another hour, another mission, my next step? What gets my motor going? It is a question worth asking yourself. There are a whole variety of answers; some are significant, some not so much, but something drives your train.

Your answer may be very pedantic. I need to get paid. I left stuff undone yesterday. My spouse revs my motor. My children need me. Others are relying on me. I can’t stay in bed all day. I do what is expected of me. What can you say?

There are many motivations for what you do and whether you keep doing it, whatever your age. Your health, sustenance, relationships, and responsibilities to others all play a part. But is this enough? Is this all there is?

The book of 2 Peter focuses on both the present and the future, with heavy emphasis on the future. It addresses your chief motivation for doing or wanting to do whatever it is you do. Why do I want to get up this morning? How should I order my day? Maybe you don’t think too much about this, you just do it. But you should! You need to meditate on it. There ought to be specific purpose in your intent rather than just automatically doing what comes next.

The whole purpose of Peter’s writing is about this very concept: Why do we do what we do? In fact, the whole purpose of the writing of the entire Bible is about this. If all that the Bible has to say is indeed true, the Bible then asks what sort of person you ought to be in light of what it says. What should galvanize your mind, your soul, your spirit for today, tomorrow, or the next day?

That which was the chief motivator to inspire the disciples’ perseverance and their sacrifice, up to and including martyrdom, was the promised, momentous, and fully-believed return to earth of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It would be a cataclysmic, sudden, completely unannounced return, just like an unexpected robbery of your home in the dead of night and as quick as the flash of a lightning bolt across the expanse of sky.

This pronouncement rests upon every saint in every age with the same weight of immediacy and gravity. It rests on you today just as it rests on me. This is a total mystery to our present minds while yet equally true in its existential reality. Yes, two millennia have passed since the warning was first given, but Peter says such is just like a mere two days in God’s timing, and it is His timing which counts. The Bible tells you that when you wake in the morning, it could be the day Jesus returns. Peter asks you what kind of person you should be knowing the return of Jesus is imminent.

In your own estimate, you could act and think like the scoffers of Peter’s day or today. What do you mean, “The return of Christ is imminent?” Nothing happens day after day. Everything remains the same. Peter warns that such conjecture is deadly. If you live your life thinking this, it will not go well for you in the judgment which is soon coming.

We can hardly get our minds around this all-encompassing prediction, but we must. The Scriptures speak truth. It is well that you believe them, even in the face of Satan lulling you into unwitting disbelief.

One day, sooner rather than later, you will actually tremble at the thought, I almost did not believe God’s Word and act on it. But the Bible directs you to align your thoughts and focus your motivation. You do what you do because you expect Jesus could come today! You want to be ready and anticipating meeting Him face-to-face.

Consequently, you must persevere to hate sin and sacrifice to keep yourself from it. You must love the Lord your God with all your mind, strength, and heart. You must strive to do what you do with concentrated excellence in all your efforts as unto the Lord. You desire to please the Lord of Glory with everything in you; this is your foremost motivation. You will rise in the morning to meet the day with all it may bring because your Savior may actually come today, and if He doesn’t, then there is tomorrow. In any case, “Come, Lord Jesus! I am ready and waiting!”


“O Lord, how shall I meet You, how welcome You aright? Your people long to greet You, my hope, my heart’s delight! O kindle, Lord Most Holy, Your lamp within my breast to do in spirit lowly all that may please You best.”

(First verse of Paul Gerhardt’s hymn, “O Lord, How Shall I Meet You,” 1653)


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Mar 02, 2020

This Month at PAYH: Monthly Newsletter, March 2020

Be the Right Kind of Man!

Before coming to the Home, I was afforded the immeasurable blessing of being allowed to be a soldier for most of my adult life. As a matter of fact, of all the time I have spent on Earth, I have spent more time in uniform than not.  When I think back over my time with them, I am reminded over and over that while the American Soldier can be filthy, profane, and violent, he can also be the noblest of souls. He often has a relationship with his God that only other soldiers can understand.

The chopper pilots who we flew with across the border for a recon mission into Iraq test fired the weapons as we cleared the border. We were roaring along about 60 feet off the ground at about 160 knots and over the headset I heard the pilot say to the chief on the right side sixty machine gun “coming up on the right, got him?” The chief responded “Roger, got ‘em.” I was expecting them to open up on some enemy target, but instead, as we passed over a small Arab family camped out in the desert, they dropped candy and small toys rigged with tiny, hand-made, orange parachutes from VS 17 panels to the children who were waving below.

Then at one of the sites we reconned I saw a civilian contractor, an oversized American who had come over to Iraq to be a part of the tax free gold rush that the war had become for so many, snatch a small carton of milk from a little local man who was working in the chow hall, chastising him loudly for taking it. The local, obviously now very frightened, only wanted something to drink. A soldier stepped in between the two and, without a word took the milk and handed it back to the little man and gave the civilian a look something like we used to see Clint Eastwood give bad guys, wordlessly daring the abusive blowhard to make the slightest move.

Later, just before the drive into Iraq, I became aware of the fact that my gunner, originally from Great Britain, had found in the PX tent and immediately bought two cases of English candy bars of a particular brand that he had loved madly during his childhood but not seen since. He packed them like gold in his rucksack for the trip, during which he would pull security for us from the gun pedestal as we became the first vehicle of the division to cross the berm into Iraq. In spite of the fact that there is a strict policy prohibiting the giving of food to civilians, when we arrived at our destination, after passing miles and miles of waving, begging Arab children, I learned that my gunner’s candy supply was all gone. Tossed away a bar at a time.

Then, a day or two later, at a place called Camp Scania, I met the camp dog. There was a prohibition against adopting pets too, so someone I suppose might have eventually been held accountable for the dog, who lived off a steady diet of beef jerky and MREs, as did her six small puppies, all of whom wore American flea collars as they slept peacefully in the small doghouse hand made from ammo crates, just outside the back gate.

And last, and perhaps most touching was the afternoon as I was near the back gate of our forward operating base. An army ambulance was there, just inside, manned by a couple of solder-medics from the Alabama National Guard, the back doors open. As I neared, I saw that the couple was assisting someone into the back, no doubt to be “evacked” for treatment to the camp clinic. It was not a soldier being placed in the ambulance, but a local man and his little girl, wrapped in a blanket, obviously very sick. This was another violation of another policy from another office back somewhere in the land of clean sheets and hot showers. One of the medics saw me and as they were closing the doors to the back of the ambulance, he gave me the ‘Shhhh’ sign, placing one finger over his lips. I motioned for them to go. I hope they found out what was wrong with the little girl.

All these heroes and others with whom I served were what might have been called “men’s men,” in a less politically correct time. Paul Anderson was another “man’s man.” He had an imposing presence, unrivalled strength, but also had compassion and an obviously deep relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

In a time when manhood as we knew it is often derided and sometimes even vilified, we here at PAYH are challenging our young men not only to be strong in mind, body and spirit, but to also love their God and their neighbor. We charge them daily to become prepared to accept their Providentially ordained role as leaders in their home, their church, and their community. If that kind of masculinity is toxic, as the Feminists assert, then we intend to brew poison by the gallon!

Col. Ken Vaughn

Col. Ken Vaughn

Chief Operating Officer

STORIES FROM THE HOME

Isaiah-Finishes-Flight-School

Isaiah Finishes Flight School

Isaiah, one of our 2018 Alumni, is making good on his aviation plans. He has completed a series of certifications, including his Instrument Rating, CFI, CFII, Commercial, Multi-Engine Commercial, and most recently Multi-Engine Commercial Instructor. This past Friday, Isaiah officially graduated ATP flight school, and is now working on logging the 1,500 required hours to apply to become a commercial airline pilot.

Amazon-Wishlist

Amazon Wishlist

Last month, we published a wish list on Amazon containing numerous items the young men had requested to make their jobs in the kitchen a bit easier. We weren’t sure what the response would be, but over the next couple of weeks we were inundated with a flood of kitchen items. The response was truly overwhelming, and we are thankful to be able to say that our kitchen is now that much better equipped. Thank you to everyone who contributed. You have truly been a blessing!

Gala

Warren C. Crawley Gala

On February 4th, 6 PAYH representatives attended the Warren C. Crawley Gala, hosted by Brewton-Parker College. The dinner was held to honor the selfless sacrifice of the late Mr. Crawley, an African-American man who donated land to help start the college in 1904, despite the fact that in those days of segregated education, he and other African-Americans were barred from admission. The guest speaker was challenging and entertaining, the food was incredible, and the musicians gave a fantastic performance. Thanks to BPC for our continued partnership in ministry. To learn more about BPC and its Christ-centered academic programs, visit bpc.edu.

Dennis-Gardin

GFBF President Addresses PAYH Young Men

Dennis Gardin, president of the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation, shared his powerful story with the PAYH young men. As a teenager, Gardin was burned over more than 70% of his body in a gas tank explosion and was not expected to survive. However, God had plans for Dennis and, after more than 50 surgeries and an 8-month hospital stay, he was released. At first, he questioned why God would allow this to happen to him, but over time he learned to rediscover his confidence and self-worth. Now, he travels the world sharing his message of hope, inspiration, and faith in God. Quoting his grandmother, who was a major source of strength to him during his ordeal, Gardin stated that he has learned “Don’t give thanks FOR everything – give thanks IN everything.” To learn more about Mr. Gardin or the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation, visit gfbf.org.

Bryce-Kevin

Doubloon Mania Hits PAYH

There is a new currency being issued and spent at PAYH – the doubloon. A doubloon is a coin issued by or on behalf of the Chief Operations Officer for jobs well done or good deeds observed. They are then redeemable for rewards that are otherwise not available, such as lunch off-campus, a movie, a day to sleep in, and other highly sought-after things. Since the establishment of the program, our young men have been doing their best to be noticed “getting it right” and are being rewarded for doing so. In an act of exemplary servant leadership, our class leader, Bryce, observed a fellow classmate, Kevin doing something right and issued Kevin his own doubloon that he had won himself. This is an act of unselfishness that did not go unnoticed and Bryce will be rewarded double for it. Unlike consequence-based approaches that solely emphasize punishment for mistakes, we are focused on looking for the positive that we believe exists inside all our young men and on reinforcing and rewarding it…and it is working!

UPCOMING EVENT: CHICK-FIL-A VIDALIA ROAD RACE

Chick-Fil-A-Race-2020-Promo

Whether you’re a competitive runner or enjoy a casual stroll, whether you like to compete with a team or do your own thing, or if you simply want a chance to spend your morning supporting a worthy cause, there’s a place for you on March 7th, 2020 at the 5th Annual Chick-fil-A Vidalia Road Race. Sponsored by Zorn Insurance, Spivey Orthopedic, Altamaha Bank and Trust, and Pineland Telco, proceeds from this year’s race will benefit both PAYH and Winshape Camps in Vidalia. We are expecting over 600 runners this March – don’t miss your chance to be one of them. Sign up at RunVidalia.com and visit our Facebook page atFacebook.com/RunVidalia.

We can’t wait to see you there!


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