Larkin Spivey Finding Faith In War

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Vietnam Book Wins Award

The Military Writers Society of America has just announced that Stories of Faith and Courage from the Vietnam War has been awarded a Gold Medal. Recognition from this great organization is indeed appreciated.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Great Marine

Col. Bruce Livingston on the right
My last blog post was about a young Marine's experience in the Korean War. A few days ago I was honored to meet with Col. Bruce Livingston, USMC(retired) and to present him a copy of Stories of Faith and Courage from the Korean War Col. Livingston is a true hero of the Old Corps and served in three wars. He now lives in Jamestown, Rhode Island with a view of the Narragansett Bay as shown in the photo above.

Korean War Devotional

Lt. Bruce Livingstgon in Korea
Following is a daily devotional from my recently published book on the Korean War. It is about a Marine lieutenant named Bruce Livingston. My next post will be more about this great Marine.

Hand Guns

Early in the Korean War the Marines learned some hard lessons about nighttime security. During Chinese attacks men were bayonetted in their sleeping bags, and some were even captured as enemy troops dragged them away like bagged game. Word of this soon filtered back to the Officers’ Basic School at Quantico, Virginia, where Lt. Bruce Livingston was undergoing training. A Korean veteran on staff strongly suggested he obtain a handgun to take to Korea, since officers were only issued the M-1 carbine, a lightweight rifle. Livingston was able to heed this advice when his father gave him a German Luger 9mm pistol he had brought home from World War I. Livingston kept this weapon by his side every night, even though he fortunately never had to fire it from inside a sleeping bag.
One of my weapons instructors once discussed the relative merits of rifles and handguns, pointing out a simple truth: “A rifle is obviously a superior weapon in every way . . . unless you’re fighting in a phone booth.” With a pistol’s small size and simple operation, there is a time and place where it has the advantage.
There have been times I felt as if I were in a phone booth with the wrong weapon—during religious discussions with unchurched friends. Even though I knew the truth of the gospel, I still felt I was losing the theological argument. At such times, I have learned to go to a simpler weapon: my own story. When you tell someone what has happened in your life, there is little room for argument. A brief explanation of what you were like before Jesus and what you are like since Jesus can have a profound effect on someone who puts up barriers. Just keep it simple, keep it short, and— make it heartfelt.

When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. ~1 Corinthians 2:1–2

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Korean War Book Released

My book on the Korean War has been released recently by AMG Publishers, timed to coincide with the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War ceasefire. This book is a devotional in the style of my previous books on World War II and the Vietnam War. I have interspersed individual stories related to the war with a history of Korea and this conflict, to explain to veterans and their families the nature of what was accomplished 60 years ago by their service and sacrifice. I hope all readers will be inspired spiritually by these stories of faith under the extreme conditions of war. The book is available on Amazon and Christian Books, and I have a special offer to Korean War veterans of an autographed copy for $15 sent to my mailing address: PO Box 3744, Myrtle Beach, SC 29578.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Heroes Remembered

Our trip to Washington, DC with forty Korean War veterans was highly successful. The Heroes Remembered event on July 27 at the Korean War Memorial was moving and historic. The thousands of veterans present heard from the President of the United States and representatives of the South Korean government concerning the amazing nature of what these men and women accomplished over sixty years ago. South Korea has developed into one of our closest allies and one of the foremost democratic and prosperous nations on earth. At every point of the trip, our veterans were honored--upon our departure, arrival in Arlington, and upon return to Myrtle Beach. On behalf of the veterans and the staff who participated, thanks to all who contributed prayers, funds, and their own time to support and help this cause.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Faith of Our Fathers

With warmer weather in South Carolina our attention is turning to spring and new life. A story from my soon-to-be-released book, Stories of Faith and Courage from the Korean War, seems appropriate for this season of reawakening. It tells of men in miserable circumstances looking up for comfort and renewal:

"The prisoners at Camp No. 5 endured the horrendous North Korean winter, suffering from malnutrition, untreated sickness, and exposure to extreme cold. The coming of spring seemed to bring a ray of hope with the warmth. Sixty men slowly gathered at 6 a.m. on March 25, 1951, to watch the sun rise and to celebrate Easter. The half-starved, foul-smelling group gathered on the steps of an old, partially destroyed church with stark Korean mountains as a backdrop. As they sang a beautiful old hymn, the words seemed to pour out, expressing their deepest feelings:

     Faith of our fathers, living still
     In spite of dungeon, fire and sword,
     O how our hearts beat high with joy
     Whene’er we hear that glorious word!
     Faith of our fathers! Holy faith!
     We will be true to thee till death.

     Our fathers, chained in prisons dark,
     Were still in heart and conscience free;
     And blest would be their children’s fate,
     If they, like them should die for thee;
     Faith of our fathers! Holy faith!
     We will be true to thee till death."

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. ~1 Peter 4:12-13
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. ~1 Peter 5:10-11

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Day

During World War II Myron Maycock was a member of the British Northhampton Regiment. He unfortunately spent much of the war in prisoner of war camps. During his many trials he was comforted by a short poem:


I see not a step before me
As I tread on another year,
But I’ve left the past in God’s keeping
The future his mercy shall clear,
And what looks dark in the distance
May brighten as I draw near.

He explained what the poem meant to him: "Through the difficult days of captivity this verse was constantly before me, suggesting, as it did, a brighter path in the distance, to which the course of time—with faith—must ultimately lead me. The full beauty of these words came to me at the close of my last hour of freedom."

This poem is appropriate for any day, but is especially perfect for this day. This is the time to look forward and not back. The past cannot be changed no matter how hard we wish it, and is truly in God’s hands. Neither do we know what lies ahead, and it is just as useless to worry about that. Jesus’ instruction on this point is crystal clear: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” What we can do is concentrate on our actions in the present and look forward to the future with a joyful hope. Even though we have problems looming ahead, we don’t have to face them alone. Our Savior walks with us and guarantees us the strength to endure and to overcome. There is no darkness that will stand against the light of his presence.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all…if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:5,7)

(This story is from Battlefields & Blessings: Stories of Faith and Courage from World War II)