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Welcome to LTWM Website - Veterans Page

Once again; toall our Veterans and friends greetings and blessings from LTWM. We pray you are all doing great in the Lord, and are walking in health and blessings. You may have seen this phrase a lot lately; “we are all in this together”. There may be a measure of truth to the statement; the word together is the key word here. When and/if adversity comes, confronting a known situation together is much better than few trying to do it all. I was thinking; what better group to handle the situation would there be than the military? They know how to put the pieces/people together to face a formidable enemy, that’s what they do routinely. I say, let the politicians stay out of it; give the task to the folks in uniform. This may sound like a spoof idea to many, but the truth is, this is taught in military training from day one, whether you’re in boot camp or West Point, strategies are learned to confront any and all enemies, bring it on.

We live in a unique time for sure, as many folks have been “sequestered”, not able to get out and about as often as before. I just read where more people are out of work right now than was during the Great Depression, makes sense, because there are a whole lot more people alive right now than there was back then. However once the pandemic dies down, most will return to work as before, the economy should respond very rapidly and hopefully we can all get back to a place of normalcy, whatever that is.

However challenging life can become, there are bright spots in the dark clouds. When in need we often find out who our real friends are, people helping people, that’s not just the American way, that’s God’s way as well. The Bible speaks of just such a thing in Acts 4, people sold or gave to others in need from their own private belongings. Statements are being made that speak louder than words in times like that. And what is that statement? People, poor people, yellow, black and white people are more important than “things”. The things in question are often temporal things, just stuff we have accumulated that we thought we really needed but are not really that important after all. The statement being made is; you are more important that things. I think when we can get to that place in life; you really are making a statement.

We at LTWM have placed a host of information at ones finger tips to receive just that, a daily Devotional, a Reflections page and a thought provoking Commentary monthly. If that isn’t enough, we also have many Bible Studies and single part studies on a multitude of topics. If you can’t find what you need, just drop us a line and we’ll see what we can do. Veterans reaching out to veterans; is what it’s all about. Special Blessings; to all our Service Members; God Bless you and yours, Tom.

The staff at LTWM are all Veterans. Our President and Founder Ryan DeStefano served in the Navy. We all hold a special appreciation for you all that have served this great Country, God Bless you. Don’t be surprised if you read articles on this Veterans page that look a lot like war stories, as I like to share some things that reflect upon my experiences during this great time in my life. I was no Purple Heart recipient, but I did faithfully serve and did what I was told. With that said, I would like to extend an open arms to all our Veterans that would like to be Members of our fellowship and have something they would like to share for all to appreciate. Almost everything is free on our web-site, if you don’t see what you are looking for, drop us line and we’ll see what we can do to help.

Here's A Thought

Once again; Welcome to; Light the Way Ministry. It is our sincere desire to be a help and be a blessing to all our Service members past, present and future. As an On-Line Church, we not only provide for a person’s spiritual needs/well being, but try to connect people in physical need with those that can provide the help. We feel we have much to offer at present but are ever expanding and we hope you will want to expand with us.

How about this thought; I was thinking the other day about who knows better about sacrifice than a veteran? I was watching a training video on TV about how the Navy Seals go through training, and man, I’m thinking; these guys are brutal, battle ready once they leave Paris Island, from what I saw. I thought I had it tough in the Army going through Fort Polk, La. in the summer time no less. It was hot, humid, rained daily, with bugs, snakes and who knows what all, this country boy had just about met his match in the bayou country was my thinking. I didn’t think it could get much worse, until I went to Tiger-Land. Some may remember the old tune back then; don’t ask me, I don’t give a dang, next stop is Viet Nam. Ok, that was over fifty years ago, amen, still here Lord. So back to the sacrifice part, I’m thinking if anyone should understand what being a Christian is all about, it ought to be the veteran. He knows how to take orders, been there and done that. He understands that a good commander over the men is a commander that will get the men home safe and sound from the mission. We all know men gladly follow a proven leader, one who has the best battle strategy/plan. Just like the battle field, we don’t leave the dead or wounded behind, care for our brothers is paramount to any mission. How many folks know that many have had to sacrifice their own well being in order to protect or recue a comrade in battle from time to time? It’s all part of the plan, these are our brothers, we fight together and we stick together. And at the end of the road there is a military parade, after big wars that is, we once again take our place among the faithful, a sense of pride, a job well done, something to feel good about. The same way it is with serving the Lord, one day in Glory, the words will  be spoken; well done thou good and faithful servant, enter in to the joy of the Lord. Yes, if anyone should know something about being faithful to task, sacrifice, maybe even being wounded in action, it would be the veterans. They could teach a lot of folks something you can be sure. Remember the part about leaving folks behind I mentioned? With that thought in mind, we are reaching out to our fellow veterans to point you to the Lord. You see, Jesus had a mission as well as us vets, His mission was to win the battle for the souls of mankind. He accomplished His mission and went back to Heaven to prepare a place for us and our families. Let us not miss out on such a great victory! Our website has much to offer in getting folks on the right track with the Lord. If you need some help with that drop this Ministry a line, or call, we would love to hear from you. Pastor Tom

Reflections # 1

“Landmarks”

This Veterans Page is dedicated to our Veterans totally, with that, many of the articles and content will have a military thought behind it.

Once again another Memorial Day is upon us, another day to reflect upon the great sacrifice of the few that made the liberty we hold dear a reality for the masses. My hat is off and my heart goes out to the brave souls that that traversed lands far from home in places of peril and danger never meant for mortal man. From the swamps of the South Pacific to the frozen tundra of Europe to the parched sands of the Far East, our Patriots heeded the call to stand strong and be counted among the great Army against world tyranny. Yes this month we mark another great milestone; the 75th Anniversary since VE Day, victory in Europe. The VJ party would be on hold on for a few more months in celebration of our victory over Japan.

I remember well the time I spent in Europe during my time in service. Many times I wished the Army, our military leaders would have given us a guided tour of our military base, ye all of Europe to give us GI’s a glimpse of just what great battles took place just twenty some years prior in WW II. Our base was once a place where the feared German Panther tanks were stationed, our motor pool, was actually where the tanks were serviced during the war. Yes, memories are a very big part of the battle for the many who served. And with that; the old saying looms large; they that forget the past are destined to repeat it. I have read where General Eisenhower who was in charge of the European war effort, was surveying the “death camps” that were all over Germany said this; take as many pictures as you can and document all; there will be a day in the distant future that some will say these atrocities never happened. What incredible insight, no wonder he would be one of our most endeared Presidents. We see that in our day and time, where many say the Holocaust never happened.

And that is what I want to share in this brief article, Landmarks. It’s about things of great importance, things that act as markers along the way, many times a building or structure such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, a landmark invention, the computer or a landmark decision, an event, in many cases something that must never be removed. It stands as not only a landmark, but a hallmark, a benchmark, a standard if you will.

In the Bible an account is recorded in Joshua Chapter 4; where the Israelites had spent 40 years wandering the desert due to serious unbelief and disobedience. The time had finally come where they were ready to go forward with God and take the Promised Land as God had directed them. They would cross the Jordan River; during this crossing 12 rocks were to be retrieved, one for each of the 12 Tribes of Israel. Joshua would place the rocks in a place that would act as a visual reminder to their children and as a memorial for ever of the significance of this great crossing. What would they remember, the 40 years of stubbornness or finally heading to the Promised Land? Does it matter; the idea is to never forget. There are some things (landmarks) we just can’t let the sands of time cover up. The Cross of Christ; is one of them; there can no greater landmark, that even the calendars of time mark the date (BC, AD); it happened, His death, burial and resurrection, all happened. Far too many would like to see the Crosses gone, don’t mention the Name of Christ either, at work, at ball park invocation, at the opening of Government institutions and the like. Multitudes have died to make it possible for a free people to speak His Name. The defense of marriage is another landmark, the family unit initiated by the Lord Himself. I wish I didn’t have to mention this; but right here in the U.S. groups are rising up to have all Crosses removed from War Memorials, all across the land, and get this; all the military grave sites as well, even Arlington National Cemetery. Even our Flag, the symbol of our National Sovereignty, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, outlining the virtues/values we hold dear, is under attack. The UN is making a push for all Countries to give up their national borders, and accept their rule of government, I say no way. These landmarks are not out dated artifacts to be relegated to a Museum, but the very fabric of our/a society we hold dear.

When our children ask what all these grave markers mean this Memorial Day, we can tell them it’s a reminder that someone paid the ultimate sacrifice of life for someone else; we that are alive. Like the old saying; freedom is never free. With all these “lock downs” going on around the world, this should be a visual reminder and a wakeup call, that freedom can’t be taken for granted. Greater love hath no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends; John 15:13.

Thank you for taking your valuable time to read this. God Bless. If anyone would like to share something along this line please see our contact page; Blessings; Pastor Tom

Reflections #2

Suicide Watch

I have read where many Veterans Affairs/Hospitals and even the Police Departments are now helping folks that have high levels of battle fatigue or other type of mental stress in trying to cope or overcome these ills. In many tragic incidences, some folks have succumbed to this mental stronghold and taken their life. The way I see it is, one soul taking their life is one soul too many. When I was in the service the 60’s just about all our Company was going to Viet Nam. There wouldn’t be too many volunteers of course; however we weren’t asked if we wanted to go, we were sent. As a result some brought harm to themselves, some fatally. I often thought about that, why or how could folks do that? It is with that thought; that I want to present some thoughts of my own after many years in Ministry now that I feel may be of benefit here.

This month I want to share something that happened to me over fifty years ago. While I may not be a Doctor, I can share some thoughts from a Pastoral perspective that may go a long way in shedding some light on a very real and dark problem. In my early years of work life, I worked for a Company that did welding and machine shop work at a major ship yard. I was in the machine shop part of it. We would work on shrimp boats from 48 feet long to huge ships over 700 ft long. For a young guy, this was a great job, except for a few things, the pay, when I started was $1.50 an hour and the other was allergies. When we were working in the hold of those huge ships or barges the welding fumes would just about kill me.

There was one more thing that I wasn’t too crazy about, that was working on high places. We had a contract to keep the conveyor belts running down at the river terminal. The conveyor belt ran from the basement to the top of a 210 ft. square tower. From time to time we would have to work on top of that thing. That meant going up a 2 man elevator to the 160 ft. level, getting off and go the rest of the way up a vertical wall ladder to the top of the building. Once at the top while holding onto the ladder, you removed the trap door to the roof that was fastened by a latch and throw the door behind you onto the roof. Then you climbed out to the roof. Since the hole in roof was in one corner of the tower; that means two sides of that opening went straight down 210 ft to the parking lot below. Man I hated being up there, NO guardrails, nothing to hold on to. O well, that was life, we worked up their quite often on the conveyor belt or the buckets, or cover lid, always something. On one particular day when we had to work up there on the roof, I was the first guy to have to go up the ladder and remove the door and go out on the roof. The other guys were still coming up the elevator or getting the tools ready to come up.

This is where I share the account that happened to me while I was on that roof that morning. I was the only one up there at the time. All of a sudden I heard this voice, it said; walk off this roof! I’ll never forget that voice, a low but very clear and distinct voice. I’m thinking, what am I stupid, not in a million years am I doing that. Then again; walk of that roof! And again; walk off that roof! This is the bazaar part, it was like I was in a trance, I actually started to walk to the edge, it was like I was zombied out; it was as if I had no control to stop myself. This is the amazing part, I was right at the edge, 210 ft. straight down,  I taken the last step, a hand suddenly grabbed me by the arm, and said; where do you think you are going? All of a sudden, I like came to my senses and realized l had taken my last step and was would have been heading down, had not one of the welders been there to grab me!!! That was over fifty years ago it happened, but I still get the chills thinking about it. And the guy that grabbed me, we never talked about it that I can remember. How this guy got up there so fast is a mystery still to this day. For a long time I never talked about it, until somewhat recently. I’ve shared this in Christian circles; all agree the Lord had a hand on me, thank you Lord.

What did I take away from this? For one, what or who is behind that voice? Guess what, I heard that voice again. I would be driving my car down the interstate, that same voice would say; speed up and hit that overpass support column! And yet again; speed up and hit that overpass column! Thankfully I didn’t take the bait this time. I knew the dark side was behind this, but how, why me? I’m a nobody; right? Having been in the Lord’s service now for over four decades, I can see patterns now and have the ability to connect the dots on some of this stuff. Here is a good point to share, since I have been a Christian, I have not heard that voice tell me to take myself out.

I found something in God’s Word, the Bible that opened my eyes to see what was behind this “walk off that tower voice” from long ago. In both Mathew and Luke’s Gospel, the 4th Chapter, the Lord Jesus has a confrontation with none other than the devil, (the head fallen Angel). The scene takes place in the wilderness; Jesus had just spent forty days and forty nights in prayer and fasting. It was at that point, the devil shows up, and in one of his attempts to derail the Lord Jesus in His earthly ministry, the devil presents some “temptations”. The first was to turn some stones into bread, as he knew Jesus was hungry, of which the Lord did not do. The next was the devil took the Lord to the top of a high mountain, and told Jesus, if you will bow down to me, I will give you the kingdoms of the world; the Lord didn’t take this bait either. Here’s the one that got my attention. Since the Lord didn’t fall for the first two temptations, this last one has to work. The devil takes Jesus to the top of the high pinnacle of the Temple, and said; if thou be the Son of God, “cast thyself down from hence”, for it is written; He shall give His Angels charge over Thee. Did you see what was being presented to the Lord, “commit suicide”, end it all right now! And also notice, jump off a tall building/pinnacle in doing so. As we know the Lord didn’t do that either. Incredible, even the Lord Himself was tempted along those same lines like many folks nowadays.

I can say definitively that the source of our temptation in bringing harm to oneself is the dark side, alias the devil and/or his bunch. This makes sense since the Lord says in John 10:10; that the thief cometh not but for to kill, steal and destroy, that is the devil’s MOP, (method of procedure). We live in a day and time when many in the professional realm don’t want to consider the spiritual realm or ramifications of this equation. I mentioned prior that I was nobody special, why would the devil want to take me out? Maybe he knows that down the road God has special plans for you/me, maybe he knows people are praying for you, not sure of what that may lead to. The Lord says this concerning our lives; For I know the thoughts that I  think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and hope). If you feel the urge to do yourself harm, or if that devil is literally speaking to you as he did me, you need some help. This is where the Good Lord comes in, pray, seek His help. If you have trouble getting through or need help, drop this Ministry a line, or call us, the number is on our contact page.

Thank you for taking your valuable time to read this. God Bless.

If anyone would like to share something along this line please see our contact page

Blessings; Pastor Tom.

What We Offer

Commentary

This Month’s Commentary is about; “This is a Test”? Our Commentary this month will explore some thoughts concerning a; behind the scenes look at the purpose/s for a test and what does one intend to do with such evaluation. I provide some very thought provoking insights gleaned from a multiplicity of sources.

These truths and insights should make for a good read (I hope). Hopefully you find it worth sharing with family and friends via the many social outlets. Blessings to all from Tom.

If more information is needed about these articles, please drop this Ministry an e-mail or call us on the number in our contact page.

Daily Devotions

The theme for May’s Devotional is; “The Return of Christ”.  The world and the Church have heard this message for a long time. Unfortunately many have turned off their ears, saying; we have heard that all our lives. I have also heard that one day, the “Big One” is going to hit California, and they say it’s imminent, it will not matter whether you are ready or not. The same with the Lord’s return; how close, not really sure, but; be ye therefore ready; for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh, (Mathew 24:44). Great insights are gleaned from not only God’s Word but from practical and personal insights, it should be good.

Once again, our web-site is designed to be a soul-winners paradise. We have much free material to download and use to start your own outreach and/or Bible Study. If you have a particular area of study need not posted on the site, just drop us a line on our contact page and we’ll see what we can do to help.

These insights are designed to give a daily bread connection to the Word of God, and get our day off to a good start. After all, thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee. Isaiah 26:3

Connector Services

Who doesn’t love dogs, this group of folks has a ministry of connecting service dogs with military vets for lifelong friendships
Also being offered is a little book written by a Pat Gavros.  She is a spokesperson at Veterans affairs meetings, sharp lady. The book is; “101 Amazing Facts about Military Working Dogs”. It’s a good read, she shares stuff most folks never heard of before. Can be obtained from our web-site.
Companions For Heroes HQ
620 Sea Island Road, Suite 148,
Saint Simons Island, GA 31522-1767

To help every American hero and save every shelter or rescue animal from euthanasia.

Mission Recognition

Companions for Heroes (C4H) provides companion animals, companion dogs, and on a case-by-case basis, service dogs, obtained from shelters, rescues and humane societies, who might otherwise be euthanized, free of charge to active duty military personnel, military veterans, first responders, military spouses and children, and Gold Star Families recovering from the psychological challenges they suffered during service to our country. C4H increases public awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other challenges confronting our country’s heroes; and rally’s support for animal welfare and the adoption of shelter and/or rescue animals.

C4H is a non-clinical and non-facility based organization that places special emphasis on creating mutually beneficial opportunities for shelter and rescue animals, some who might otherwise be euthanized, and our nation’s service men and women by accessing the expertise of medical care professionals and animal welfare organizations. C4H is an Animal Assisted Activity (AAA) program that recognizes the incredible power of the human-animal relationship and seeks to support those suffering from psychological stress as they pursue recovery with the unconditional love of a pet.

C4H (Companions For Heroes) is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. C4H’s federal ID number for donations is: #27-0648741.

LINKS:
CONTACT:


Light The Way Ministries
P.O. Box 2943
Land O Lakes, Florida 34639

Phone: 352-807-6500

Email: lightthewayministries@yahoo.com

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