I write letters to my granddaughters all of the time in trying to steer them into a Godly direction of life. I have included one to a special granddaughter that I love very much, in the writing below that I have titled,  "There is a lesson to be learned, in all of life". It will follow after my letter to her.

My Very Dear Granddaughter Heather,                                                                                                                                     10/29/2018                                                                                                                                         

Still thinking of how I can be a help in your life as you are going through this change now, to hopefully begin a whole new and different approach to life. One that will allow for a successful conclusion at its end. This writing below is what I just finished writing and have sent it in to be on our website. I believe there is things I write about that will give you motivation and encouragement to be doing some of the things that will cause that to happen. I have an episode of you in it too. I believe you have what it takes to do it, in the new environment you are coming into. My concern and a caution would be, not to line yourself up with the same crowd that you are leaving behind.

When I knew it was time for myself to get my act together and change the direction I had been going in, that led me down the road that led only to heartache and failure. I had to give notice to everyone in the area that I was born and raised in, that my harmful to my wife and family, drinking and party days were over. I had to cultivate a whole new set of friends in my circle that matched more in what I wanted to become.  My old longtime friends would still stop in and want me to have a beer with them, or to go out and raise a little hell, but I never did. So they one by one quit stopping in. It then became easier to stay on my new course of following the will and way of God.

Your brother Leith, my namesake, has been around our place quite a lot since he has come back to live in this area. We have had some really good long-winded conversations together. We have both enjoyed them a lot. He has mentioned more than once about how we have been blessed, and I have acknowledged it every time because I am well aware of that being true. I haven't told him, but I want you to know and to understand the cause of that happening. It is not by accident, I have been doing the best that I know how to do it, in following the word and way of God that I have been pointing out to you, for over a half century now. One big key can be found in Deuteronomy 28, the blessing and cursing chapter in the bible. Following the word and the way of God guarantees blessings. Turning away from following them and going against them brings on an automatic curse. I hope this will help you in what may very well become your last chance to achieve a happy, contented and peaceful heart and mind, that transcends all that this world has to offer.

With a word of caution here. Do not expect everything to immediately, in the blink of an eye, change overnight. It has taken you a quarter of a century to arrive here where you're at today. The sooner you begin changing directions in your life and life style that has caused you to be here, the quicker you will be able to see and feel as a totally different person, if you put God first in your life. Christ will come and live within you, and you will live and enjoy the benefits of living in Christ. It requires that we decrease ourselves and our all out importance, while at the same time, we need to increase the real and true importance of Christ in us.

I love you sweetheart,

Grandpa Cunningham

There is a lesson to be learned, in all of life

It is up to us individually to use that to our own advantage. A memory of long ago just popped into my mind, and it gave me pause, to linger on it longer than I should have. It opened up feelings of remorse and loneliness of a time and in a place far away from home and my new wife. I had been sent to Camp Rucker, Alabama to finish out my enlistment in the United States Army. I had been sent to Korea a year or so earlier to fight and die if necessary, for my country. I was a front line machine gunner against the brutal battle hardened North Korean Army and The Communist Chinese Army.

I didn’t have to die for my country, but because of the extreme and brutal below zero weather conditions and the U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur blunder of not ordering any warm winter clothing, and our food rations not catching up with us. Being on the front line sixty days straight and never getting inside out of the weather, it had drained about everything out of my body reserves that could be taken and remain alive. I was skin stretched over bone.

The military genius officers that they were, had taken away all of our sleeping bags and we didn’t have as much as a horse blanket to lay on or to cover up with. At the end of a grueling, exhausting day of kill or be killed wading through knee deep ice and snow, either chasing the enemy or being chased by them. Being so hungry you could eat the A-hole right out of a skunk, but instead when it became night and you couldn’t track down and kill the enemy, so, you just dropped down in the snow and ice bed where you already knew, that there would be no way to get any real sleep, only the never ending teeth chattering shivering that kept blood flowing and knowing for certain, we would have nothing to eat.

Until the squad leader in the morning kicked you in the ribs yelling, “Saddle Up”. Not having anything at all to wrap up and take along with us, we were instantly on the move, it was by far the greatest, most difficult, mind numbing, and ghastly experience I have ever had to endure just putting one foot in front of another, attempting to spot your enemy before he spotted you. So, you could let him die for his country, instead of the other way around. I hope I never have to experience it again. I look forward to that future day when Christ returns to earth to establish the government of God on earth, known as the world ruling “Kingdom of God”. To end all wars, for all time.

My feet had been frostbitten at the end, on March the 7th 1951 and on this certain day, the squad leader kicked me in the ribs with his normal, “Saddle Up”. But, I couldn’t get up, and stand on my feet, they had been frostbitten to the point that my toe nails were sliding back and forth on top of my toes. My assistant machine gunner at the time was a black man that had been in WW11 and as soon as He seen my feet he recognized them as being frostbitten, and told me I needed to see our company commander about going to the rear for aid. Thanks to him, my feet never got as bad as some other soldier’s feet did.

I had gone to see the company commander, and we were always shorthanded and he didn’t much like the idea of letting me go, but finally said. “OK, you go ahead and go, then get your f---ing ass right back up here”. And then pointed out the direction I should go to find the aid station. I had to turn in all of my weapons, ammunition, machine gun and grenades and the like, down to just the clothes I was wearing. I couldn’t go very fast because of the condition my feet were in and the knee-deep snow I had to wade through. A fairly long time had passed and I begin to wonder if I had become turned around. I had hunted most all of my life from about age 10 or 12 years old. I knew how easy it was to get turned around.

Up until now having been surrounded with other soldiers in my outfit, all loaded down with deadly weapons to defend ourselves with, I began to feel really alone and completely vulnerable. Like I was the only one left on earth, and maybe my time was up too. I couldn’t move very fast and could have easily been tracked down and killed like a wounded animal. Or, worse yet, be captured and taken to an enemy prisoner of war camp. As these things played out in my mind, I became more and more concerned about what might be around the next corner or over the next ridge. I was beginning to get paranoid and became super vigilant to what was going on around me.

I suddenly begin hearing what sounded like a tank, and all kinds of yelling and screaming in an oriental language. The hair raised up on the back of my neck as I begin to imagine the worst, and especially so as the sounds were getting closer. I looked around for a possible escape route. I knew it would be futile to even try in my condition, I would just have to face the music. Within a short time, an M-24 American tank came into view, being covered with all of the wounded American soldiers it could hold. It was a giant relief and one of the most welcome sites I have ever seen.

The tank was pulling a Korean Army truck behind it filled to over-flowing with wounded Korean soldiers that had accounted for the yelling and screaming in an oriental language. There weren’t any such things as roads in the area, the terrain was uneven, rough, and with knolls, trees and pot holes to try and maneuver around. The tank pulling the Korean truck had dumped the wounded Korean soldiers off their stretchers in the back of the truck and into the ditch. The wounded American and allied soldiers on the tank that were able, helped me up on the tank as we then proceeded on to the aid station. They had told me what had happened when they dumped the Korean soldiers out of the truck behind them. They were all in pretty bad shape from being jostled around and being reloaded again.

I ended up making it to the rear to a MASH outfit, where they ripped the rotten and embedded with grunge of every nature clothing off me, from going weeks without any change of clothing. I must have smelled like an outside toilet. I had some North Korean Army Tank attendants finger bones that I had taken out of T-33 Russian tank that we had put out of commission, as a souvenir that they found in my pockets and threw them away. They put me on a stretcher in a warm tent for the first time being inside and getting warmed up after 60 consecutive days on the battle field. With other more severely wounded and mangled men, where I lay thanking God for being out of hell on earth. As the wounded men lay in severe pain, crying out for some relief, that for some only death could bring.

I lay there after being cleaned up and having a change of clean clothing for two days. Before they sent me on to Osaka, Japan to an Army Hospital, to stabilize my body from lack of warmth and food. Where the agonizing and mournful cries of more severe frostbite cases trying to hold their blackened legs up to the knees and beyond off their mattress, to be able to somewhat get some relief from the excruciating pain it caused to let them rest on the sheets. Those images for some reason have been etched as in granite on my mind and in my heart.

In a few weeks they sent me home to Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Cheek, Michigan, where I spent the most part of a year recovering and gaining back a little weight. From there I finally because of my feet, received duty in a warm climate, and was sent to Camp Rucker, Alabama. Where this story began. I very seldom left the post alone without one or more buddies, but on this certain afternoon I had gone into Ozark, a little town in the area. I had, had a beer or two and hadn’t run into any of the guys from the post, and I began to think of home and my new wife that I loved with all of my heart and soul. I wanted in the worst kind of way to be home with her, but couldn’t. Uncle Sam always had to come first at that time.

It had gotten dark early that day in Ozark, Alabama, and I had lost track of time, as I walked through the deserted streets of this little town. I remember vividly about a chilly wind that was blowing papers, debris and objects swirling around in the air. I don’t ever remember of feeling so all alone, there wasn't as much as even a dog barking and I was flat broke, except, I had one penny left. As I walked along heading out of town and back to Camp, I noticed a penny scale setting by a store front.

I had gone over and discovered it was one of those scales that also told your fortune. First you had to put in the penny and it would answer the question that you could see on the scale. You put the penny in and a shield slid back and you could read the answer. I took my time until I came to the exact thing I wanted to know, right at that moment in time. The question I had asked was, “WHERE CAN I FIND HAPPINESS?” I put the penny in, anxiously awaiting an answer. The shield slid back and there it was. The answer was, UNDER H IN THE DICTIONARY. It didn’t solve my problem but it did sort of make me chuckle to myself. I had then gone on back to camp, thinking that I had gotten my money’s worth.

In due time I was discharged from military service to our country, during October 1952. My new wife Nancy and myself begin then on working and establishing ourselves as a family. Because of my war demons and the boggled mind and after effects of war and all its many atrocities, I very quickly developed a self- medicating problem with alcohol. Along with it came all of the expected and unexpected problems that go with it. After about 10 years of struggle, then losing everything we had worked for and earned three different times. I had been worked over, pounded down, punched and pummeled around on the potter’s wheel of God, to make me realize a powerful truth. A quote from Albert Einstein who said, “Insanity is, doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a change to take place”.

God was beginning to get my attention, there is a definite way to do things that cause a person to be blessed by God. At the exact same time there are certain other things that we do that causes God to instead of blessing us. He sends curses upon and against us. There is no reason at all to be overly concerned about it though, because He spells them out to and for us in Deuteronomy 28. Giving us the chance to get out from under the curses.

The blessing and cursing chapter. It becomes a no brainer to some, they just ask themselves, which do I want my life to be regulated by? Do I want God to bless or curse me? If we want God to bless us, just read the first 15 verses of Deuteronomy, then expect by following them to begin being blessed almost beyond belief by God. If we are happy and content in going against the first 15 verses, then read the last 52 verses on the curses of God, and if we are doing them all or a part of them, then expect the curses to remain and to continue on. Time marches on and passes by quickly, until one day we end up at the toll booth..

We had raised our family and our kids were having families of their own now. A responsible person should never outgrow being a parent once they have begun to take on that roll in life. Life should have given us valued wisdom, knowledge and understanding that should in turn be counted as priceless to our offspring, and the off spring on down the line, for so long as we live. And that is, regardless of what our offspring along the way may be thinking about it. That is the way that God has meant it to be. Once we have given our asked for advice or advice that we have learned well over time is good advice. Then we have fulfilled our God given right and responsibility. They can all chose to accept or reject it as it suits themselves. There-by either being blessed for following the word and way of God, or being cursed from failing to, and going our own way.

I have given my children, grand children and great grand children a ton of what I believe is good God centered advice. For the most part they are very respectful and once in a while I notice they are applying the principles that I gave them. I plan on continuing doing this as long as I am physically and mentally able to do so, I believe it pleases God. Animals are born with a 6th sense that guide them through life in everything they do. A beaver for example will always build a dam, he will never decide for himself after noticing how much fun the crows are having flying around in the air or living in nests in trees, to change his course in life and start to build nests in trees. No more than a crow would start building dams.

Mankind on the other hand, comes into this world dumber than a box of rocks. He or she has to be taught everything they will eventually need to know to survive. Once a person has grown in physical and spiritual maturity to a point that they have the ability to accept or to reject what is being allowed in their mind as the truth of God. This is a significant and extremely important factor for you the reader to understand, and if possible, to follow. Once a person has arrived at a point where they are totally and spiritually aware and feel the pull of the Holy Spirit in their lives. My advice is do not try and squelch it, roll with the punches.

You may be given the opportunity to make the personal commitment to accept, believe and follow the word and way of God. And in all sincerity if you feel ready for a change in your life. To ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life and to teach you the truth of God. At that point you belong to God, Jesus Christ is in you and you are in Christ. He will never ever leave nor forsake you. The Holy Spirit has been called by some as the 6th sense of spirituality. It will eventually bring everything that you will ever need or would like to know, both in this physical body life, and the immortal, spirit life to follow.

This brings me to my final and third episode of feelings of being all alone. Our granddaughter Angela had been a favorite of mine and grandma when she was growing up. We had a lot of enjoyable fun activity with her along the way. Grandma called her, “Her little Baby Sniggle-Fritzen”. She spent a lot of time at our place growing up and she at one time helped me build a deck along the back of our home. I really appreciated her help and I would tell her she could quit and go play with her two sisters that were at our place also, but she wouldn’t do it. She would tell me, “I’ll quit when you do”. I now have a bronze plaque on that deck that reads, “Welcome to Grandpa and Angela’s deck”.

Time had gone by and Angela grew up to become a rebellious teenager on into an adult. A sign of the times in our liberal society that has all but totally relegated our creator God out of mind and out of heart. At nearly 21 years of age, Angela’s teeth caused her to look really old, they had begin rotting because of drug use. She had done to many things to her body that she looked and acted much older than she was. She had gotten into some trouble and asked me to bail her out of jail for the authorities catching her with drugs of some sort on her. I reluctantly had gone over to jail and had a conversation with her. Under certain circumstances I would bail her out and let her live with us. All of which she readily agreed to.

She had been at our place about 10 days and I was taking her back and forth to Traverse City for pee tests for any drugs, but things went along well until one evening we were all watching TV together and, on the break, I had asked her about her drug problem. She told us she had been on drugs since and during high school. I reminded her of our agreement of getting her out of jail for the express purpose of helping her to overcome her drug addiction. I asked her the name of the person supplying the drugs, and she refused to tell me. To me, that only meant she was still intent on doing more business with the individual person or persons. I told her unless she did reveal that to me, I would be taking her back to jail as recommended by the officer that had release her to me.

She left and went to her room in a huff. I had no problem with that, I figured she needed some time to reflect upon what she had said, and to cool off for a while. In the mean time I had called a long-time law enforcement officer friend of mine and ran the whole scenario in front of him, and asked for his input on the situation that he might offer, different than mine. He was of the same mind as I was, so I continued watching TV with Nancy for a while, until it seemed that to much time had passed, and I needed to go look for her, to see what she might be up to. I couldn’t find her and became concerned to what she was doing.

I thought she might possibly have decided to walk over to her mother’s place several miles away. I got in my car and drove slowly over to our daughters’ home, looking along the road for her on the way. She wasn’t there, and her mother and I decided to drive back to our place to see if she had come back or to see her along the road. Our daughter took one way back and I took another, to see if we could spot her. I had gotten back first and turned the corner off the main road into our yard, and was in no way prepared to see the sight that met my eyes. Angela, was hanging by the neck, in the big white pine tree in our yard.

She had gone in the dark into our garage where she knew I kept a big long one inch in diameter hay rope, about a hundred-foot-long and dragged it up into the tree. I don’t know how she managed to do it, it was heavy and awkward to handle. There was a lot of excess rope she had to contend with, and probably by that time had become tangled up. But she managed to tie the rope around her neck and the other end around a big limb. Evidently when she jumped, it took up a lot of slack because her knees were touching the ground when I found her. But, the knot had drawn tight. I immediately checked her pulse and she was dead and was turning cold. I didn’t want her mother who was close behind, seeing her in that position, so I ran quickly into the house and got a knife that I always kept really sharp, because I knew the hay rope would be hard to cut through.

Marty, our daughter, Angela’s mother, came in just as I got her cut down. That is when the image that will always be etched indelible in my mind, body, heart and soul, took place. As Marty ran to Angela’s body on the ground. She, by that time was out of her head in sorrow, anguish and grief. She picked Angela’s upper body up and cradled her in her arms, rocking back and forth sobbing her eyes out with a great flood of tears flowing down her sad and grimacing face. My wife Nancy being witness to it all, and always believing myself to be to much of a disciplinarian, ran back and forth across the yard where Angela’s body was lying, yelling out at the top of her lungs, “You killed her, you killed her”.

At that instant in time as life itself seemed to be sucking itself right out of my body and soul, it was as the world had come to an end. The police had come and attended to the legal aspects and in the process, asked me if she had left a suicide note. I told them I didn’t know but they were welcome to look over her room to see for themselves. The officer in charge found a spiral bound note book where she had written her last notes in. They took it with them as evidence. It read in part. My grandpa is an ass hole, no one is going to make me do anything that I don’t want to do”. Again, as many times before, I felt like a total outsider, that life as I had known it could never be the same again. I felt all alone at that moment of time.

I just wanted to be alone and went in and laid down in my bed. The only one at the time who had the sympathy, compassion or empathy to help me in any way, was Angela’s sister Shelly. Shelly came and laid in bed with me, holding onto me and hugging me, talking softly from time to time but mostly letting me know she was there and gave me comfort that I will never forget. Now it is fifteen or so years later and life moves on, a lot of water has gone under the bridge. The authorities had called me into their office a few weeks later, to go over things. I knew from being aware of how law enforcement works, that they just wanted a chance to play good cop, bad cop with me and somehow have me to incriminate myself by not being able to remember exactly what I had told them that night.

I never went into see them, I had to hire an attorney to deal with it for me, which cost us several thousand dollars. That along with all of Angela’s funeral and burial expenses. You may be asking yourself, why am I writing about all of this now. Things that happened in my life a long time ago? I will tell you why. I believe that all that God either sends into our lives, or doesn’t stop it from coming into our lives, becomes a teachable lesson to those with open minds to accept it and realize that God is in charge of all things, and all of the time. All of my life experiences reflect, and yours have too, what we have become in life. Have they driven us to do good and to achieve, or have they caused us to wither and die inside, blaming God for our failures? I am not alone in having these things happen in my life. All that God either causes to happen to us, or fails to stop what is happening to us is for our own good. He has meant everything for our good and in the grand finale of things to come, we will all benefit from it. Most cannot understand this truth, because Christ has kept it hidden from them.

But God has given me the ability and wherewithal to bring it in front of the eyes of others. To let us all, know that we are never really alone in having to suffer things, once we have come to accept, believe and follow the word and way of God, and then taking the next step as one of His disciples. God has called me to be an ambassador for Jesus Christ and the soon coming world ruling Kingdom of God to establish His government here on earth. Since Christ has already told us that He will never ever leave nor forsake us, it should give us the assurance that we indeed will never, ever be alone, as Christ lives in us and we live in Him.

I have watched people die, I have helped move and been around multiple thousands of dead soldiers stacked on top of each other, where the weight of their bodies caused blood and body fluids to ooze out on the ground around them and the stench of death in their deteriorating flesh bodies stank to high heaven, making a person glad it wasn’t them. I had handled way too many dead bodies of my comrades killed in action during the Korean War, defending our right to live in peace and plenty, as well as others throughout life.

I held the hand of my closest brother Glade as he gurgled, coughed and choked out his final breath of air, after a botched operation to remove a brain tumor the size of an orange from his head, in a VA hospital in Durham, North Carolina. After which His spirit returned to God who had given it. Then a few years later on, I was with my granddaughter Heather as I gave her support as we stood together and she held her little brother Jimmy’s hand as he lay on the gurney in the hospital emergency room that he had just died on, after being hit by a truck.

Heather told him everything she wanted him to know, death is difficult to deal with. God will bring it all to an end, where the only thing left is life. Immortal, spirit life. We will all have life like God and Christ have life. God in mankind is reproducing Himself. Genesis 1:26 God says, let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness. This physical life journey is as a snap of the fingers compared to eternity. It is a training ground for maggot like humanity in comparison to God, to learn to become like He is. Jesus Christ emptied Himself of all divinity to come here to earth to experience being like us, so that we could all be as He is.

I have been asked if I feel guilty about our granddaughter Angela committing suicide and blaming it on me, and the answer is an unequivocal no I do not. All of life and death is the responsibility of Jesus Christ alone. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior that willingly took upon Himself the responsibility to follow the purpose and plan that God the Father and Himself laid down before the world began. As we can see again in Genesis 1:26 To make all of mankind in His likeness and image. Something He promised us before the world began, as we can see in Titus1:2. Our individual lives were laid out in a distinct and exacting measure. We have been given just so many days and we will not live one minute more than the time that God has ordained it to be. 

It was time that God alone determined that Angela’s physical life should end, it had been recorded down before her birth, she herself had nothing at all to do with it. It was the hidden forces from behind the scenes that God has put into motion before the world began. To help us understand more fully of what I am telling you according to the word and way of God, I have just begun to practice something myself, to bring it home to me on a regular basis. Remember this true point well! It is all about God None of us, not a single one of us can do anything apart and except by and through God.

To help me come to grips with that, when I drive down the road or look at all of the amazing man-made things that comes into my line of vision. The cars, the trucks, the boats, the sky-scrapers, the concrete ribbons we call highways, rocket ships to go to other places in space. The massive building reaching high into the sky, along with super planes that carry several hundred people around the world nonstop. Our military might with smart bombs and the like and other things we don’t even know about yet.

I will look over and tell Nancy, look at all that God has made for us. The human mind has been called the greatest agency in the universe, for a reason. Because we human beings are reflecting and using the mind of God. We are creators just like our Father God. We have inherited the family business. Without God we can do nothing. With God all things are possible. God tells us that the flesh profits nothing. If the prettiest, most gorgeous, drop dead beautiful woman who ever lived, dropped dead in the morning, by the end of the day she would stink to high heaven and maggots would be eating her flesh.

-God has this to say about it-

Job 14:5-7 (NLV) A man’s days are numbered. You know the number of his months. He cannot live longer than the time You have set. 6 So now look away from him that he may rest, until he has lived the time set for him like a man paid to work. 7 For there is hope for a tree, when it is cut down, that it will grow again, and that its branches will not stop growing.Psalm 139:16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

In like manner, we are cut down, we die and our spirit returns to God who gave it to us. Our spirit to be absorbed back into God from whence it came, waiting on the resurrection’s. Whether it be months, years, or multiple centuries, there will be no conscience thought of it in our minds that are as dead as a door nail. From our death to our resurrection will be as a snap of the fingers, no matter the length of time between the two. It will be as in the same instant of time, from our death to our resurrection.

How many days do I have left? How many days do you have left? I don’t know. No one does, except God. He knows the exact number of years, days, hours and seconds that I will occupy my address on Planet Earth; the exact moment that my death will occur.

Now that may not seem like a cheery thought to you, and in fact, most people would find that sobering, at best, and frightening, at worst. Not me. I find great comfort and security in knowing that God has my life so ordered that I will neither die a day sooner nor live a day longer than what has already been recorded in his book. You see, life and death are far above my pay grade, so I will happily let Father God take care of that department, thank you very much.

So, if I truly and correctly understand this profound truth, then I am freed from the fear of death to fully live the life that God has planned for me. I can enjoy an intimate walk with the One who is intimately involved in each minor detail of my day.

So, let us all learn the lessons of life that God brings into our lives on a regular daily basis. Don’t work overtime trying to dig out the negative aspect of everything that happens to you, or is a constant irritation. God has sent it into your life to see what your response will be, like some folks see a glass half full while others see it half empty. Two little kids at the waters edge, a big wave comes in and splashes them both really good. One little boy jumps up and down and is happier that a woodpecker in a lumber yard, because it tickled him so much. The other little boy through himself down on the ground in a fit of rage and begin pounding the ground. Because he didn’t want to get wet. We need to learn to roll with the punches.

-Let everything God brings into our lives, serve its intended good purpose-

What is your approach to life?