Tom with kids in Kuwait

Tom with kids in Kuwait
Tom with kids in Kuwait

Monday, October 21, 2013

Charged but acquitted

Twice in the course of my Marine Corps career, I was accused of being tactful.

I was acquitted on both counts.

It should be of no surprise today that I do not preach to itching ears.

Semper Fidelis.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

And open letter to a president or two

The following was submitted to President Bill Clinton and President Barrack Obama.  It is doubtful that it will reach either man, so I offer it hear as an open letter to the president and to all elected government leaders.

Dear Mr. President,

When Barrack Obama was elected as our nation’s president, I signed up for the White House electronic newsletter.  I did not vote for Mr. Obama, but he was elected and therefore he became my president and received my prayers and respect.

I was surprised that because I signed up for this newsletter from the president I was also put on every electronic mailing list for the Democratic Party.  This in itself was not something that I would expect from the office of the president, but worse than the deluge of emails from various democratic sources was the vitriolic tone of them all.  I would not have been privy to such acrimonious attacks on fellow public servants if not for the presumption that all people who signed up for the president’s newsletter were Republican-hating-Democrats.

This mindset has killed the attitude that our elected officials are public servants.  The Republican Party and the Tea Party are equally as acrimonious in their communications, but when I sign up for a candidate’s newsletter, I know that I will receive a dose of partisan horsehockey.  The same should not be true when I sign up for something from my president.

At any time I could have opted to be deleted from the mailing list that I was unilaterally placed upon, but I followed the discourse promulgated to see if it might finally put the American people and their needs ahead of selfish political interests.  My optimism was quickly dismissed as the vitriolic diatribe increased its venomous barrage.

I send this to you as perhaps the only living President or national leader from the Democratic Party that might be able to speak to today’s leaders that are addicted to extreme rancor and disdain for any thinking other than their own.  Senator Dole has issued some similar remarks to the Republican Party.

It is time to move beyond divisiveness and into true statesmanship.  I request that you take an active part in this effort on a national scale.

Semper Fidelis,

Tom Spence

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Through the storms

The day has come despite the storms of the night.
People so scared and in hiding just hoping for light.
But then the storm passes and you are alive.
Is it wrong to feel thankful when others did not survive?

How often we forget that today is a gift.
Tomorrow’s not promised—just this day to live.
But too often we forget the blessings of this day.
Until tragedy strikes and takes lives away.

It is a hard question to answer, but we still ask ‘why.’
Why must bad things happen, why must innocents die?
But until the story is finished and God says it’s complete,
We will still have sorrows and tears and things seem incomplete.

But there will come a day with a trump and a sigh,
Following silence in heaven as a short times passes by.
Then Jesus will come and claim all of his own.
And wipe tears from our eyes for every sadness we’ve known.

But until that day we must walk by faith and not sight.
We must shine in the darkness and bring forth his light.
Through storms and quakes and when disasters abound,
We must be still and know that God’s always around.

For those who have lost loved ones, property, and more
Don’t be discouraged for he knocks at the door.
And says come to him when you are burdened and he will give you rest.
For he desires that your heart not be troubled, but that it be blessed.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mission to Kenya - To Equip the Saints

From 4 May to 16 May 2013, Tom Spence and Rick Ellis deployed to Kenya from Burns Flat, Oklahoma to lead a conference of pastors and church leaders in the areas of evangelism, discipleship, and leadership.  The two also visited a refugee camp, two schools for orphans, and some homes.

These are pictures from Eldoret, Kenya and the surrounding areas.

Africa - May 2013

Some pics from Kenya

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Load Paper

It has been a crazy week as I am down to single digits on my calendar before I head to Eldoret, Kenya to speak at a conference of about 300 pastors.  I am very excited about doing this.

I am also working on preparing materials for my presentations and preparing worship bulletins and children’s bulletins for use on the home front while I am away. For the past several days I have been greeted repeatedly with the same words by my printer and my copier.


At some point, I started to feel a little burdened about continually having to reload the paper tray.  Then late on Friday night following a somewhat exhausting but very productive fund raiser for this mission trip, I loaded a congregational survey that the Board of Missions asked us to complete.  It was 9 pages long and would take a while.  It could do its work overnight.

Just as I was ready to exit the church building, I noticed that the copier noise that I had grown to know so well over the past few days was absent.

I investigated, knowing full well that I had loaded the paper, but wondering if I had repeated that drill so many times that I just thought I had loaded it.  There was only one way to find out.  I reentered the copy room and was greeted with the message:


It couldn't be, but it was.  I have cleared a few jams before and they always involved placing big hands through small openings to remove even smaller bits of paper that somehow register on the machine’s sensor network and tell the device to cease all operations.

It wasn't he worst of jams, but when you have been poured out like a drink offering and can hardly wait for God and a good night’s rest to fill you back up; it was surely the last thing I wanted to do.

The following day, I resumed my copying frenzy and sure enough, the machine demanded more paper several times that day.

With each LOAD PAPER command that the machine issued to me, I responded with Hallelujah!

Load paper meant that everything was working fine.  Nothing was broken or malfunctioning.  All was proceeding along the course set for me.

It is hard to see how I could have ever seen such a simple task as a burden when it was really a blessing.