The Aviator's Devotional - 31 Daily Inspirational Readings For Those Who Fly
Author: Terry Thompson
Hard Cover, 133+ pages, Copyright 2006
Dimensions: 5.67 x 8.78 x 0.55 inches (144 x 223 x 14 mm)
Table of Contents #1
Table of Contents #2
Table of Contents #3
Page 1 of Day 1
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Those of us who have followed our dream to fly have joined a special fraternity of aviators. Pilots and other airmen have a passion for adventure and a perspective on life that others can't fully understand.
Our romance with the skies is a microcosm of life itself and helps us celebrate the joys and cope with the challenges of each day. We can appreciate the creation and honor the Creator from a viewpoint not available to others.
This devotional book gives you 31 short, but meaningful, readings (one for each day of the month) that provide rich moments of meditation on the greater things of life from the distinctive view of the aviator. It will:
- Entertain you with unique insights into the adventurous world of aviation.
- Enlighten you with flying facts and trivia that you didn't know or had forgotten.
- Encourage you with Bible-based inspirational perception regarding God's nature relative to our needs.
Sample Page - Day 1
We who fly are blessed with a perception that few others have. We have a rare escape from the confines of the world’s troubles and pressures. We can rise above it all and view things from a vantage that just seems to bring all concerns into perspective.
The journey of life often requires us to walk through deep valleys where we get caught up in the pains and frustrations that are inevitable. We become engulfed and entangled because we cannot see beyond the issues at hand. We can soon lose our will to fight life’s recurring battles.
Several days after my first Air Force deployment overseas, I began questioning my reasons for being there. I was feeling awfully homesick for my family. Then, I was assigned a mission that took me across the awesome Alps. What a take-your-breath-away sight! I was overwhelmed by the blessing of living among the first generations of mankind to see such wonder from high above the snow-capped, razor sharp peaks. It awakened my spirit. My wife, Linda, and I flew over the grandiose scene again just a few months before this writing. The ageless panorama never ceases to renew my perspective of what life is all about.
Our view of the earth from the skies, high above the fray, is refreshing and reminds us of the relative insignificance of our worries. We can see our fate a little closer to the way God sees it. The majesty and glory of God’s awesome creation—the beauty of His handiwork—helps us realize that His plan for us is much bigger than our present strife. The moments of feasting on the “big picture” view from thousands of feet in the air are a gift from God to His special aviators. It is a healing opportunity that has only been given to the last few generations. Even though we are speeding along at 100 knots to 500 knots with constant crackle from the radios, there is a stillness—a quietness—that sooths our souls as the world passes by in slow motion.
We are allowed to see the sun rise before anyone else and the sun set after everyone else, both unrestricted by the interferences of natural and man-made obstructions. We see the horizons that no one else sees. A thousand ponds and lakes, the tops of the mountains, the meanderings of the rivers, the endless shades of greens and browns, all testify that our troubles are so small compared to God’s greatness. Our release from the bonds of earth to experience the expanse of our habitat simply reminds us that we can overcome anything in partnership with the maker of it all. We can do everything through the Lord who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13).
The World War II Royal Canadian Air Force pilot John Gillespie Magee, Jr. recognized this spiritual connection as he penned his famous poem, High Flight:
“Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds—and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of—wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence.
Hov’ring there, I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”
No one else can touch the face of God and relate to Him in the extraordinary way that has been reserved for the aviator. I believe God wants us to use this unique advantage of flight to draw ourselves closer to Him and to enjoy more of the true abundance of life that is ours.
The next time you are airborne, take a moment to just soak in the indescribable scene in your windscreen. Then relate all that is there to your cares and struggles. It will probably cause you to reassess your worries, readjust your focus, and reenergize your efforts to work through the difficulties. What a great God we serve!
…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
About the Author
Terry Thompson has been an aviator for over 40 years having earned his private pilot certificate at age 17. Completing U.S. Air Force pilot training in 1970, he flew T-37s and C-130s as a flight instructor. He served in the Pentagon, then as Vice Commander at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, and as Commander at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. He retired with the rank of colonel.
With about 5,000 hours in his log book, he now flies regularly with the Civil Air Patrol as a mission pilot in Cessna 172s and 182s including the G1000 model.
During his career with the Air Force, Terry served in leadership positions in numerous churches. After retirement, he continued following God's plan for his life and became a pastor on the staff of a large church where he is still active in various ministries.
His passion for flying is exceeded only by his passion for his Lord and his family. He and his wife Linda have four children, Mike, Chris, Holly, and Derick. Mike and Chris are pilots. Chris served in the Air Force flying F-15Es.
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The Aviator's Devotional
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