21 May 2009

Letters from Iraq, Part 5

Shown on 3/11/2007
A father who is a veteran knows what it takes to keep the morale of his child on the upswing - when they are far away from home. He knows how to share stories where a father-son relationship is transformed into a “brotherhood.”

Dear Ryan, Jan and I went to see the movie “Amazing Grace” this past weekend. It has always been one of our favorite hymns, so that is what drove us both to go see the movie. When I hear it, especially being played by bagpipers, I feel our Scottish Logan, Cummings and Murray family heritage coming on full force. As you may know, we are descendents of Scottish knights who fought and died while carrying the heart of King Robert the Bruce thru the holy lands during the crusades of ancient times. It was supposedly written by a man by the name of John Newton. It first appears in a first edition publication known as Olney Hymns in 1779 and again in 1808. Here are the original six stanzas:

Amazing grace (how sweet the sound)
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ’d!

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promis’d good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be forever mine.

Some versions also include additional verses like this

Shall I be wafted through the skies,
On flowery beds of ease,
Where others strive to win the prize,
And sail through bloody seas

As you go about your duties in this “New Crusade”, I hope these words will be a comfort to you.
Dad and Jan

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