Tag Archives: WWII

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #10

Pictures of Marines are all over the place on social media. Just as they should be since it is the birthday of the Marines Corps. Tomorrow is Veterans Day, and I know, there will be tons more posts of service men – as it should be.

I am thankful that my dad was both. He wrote a postcard home as he traveled to Parris Island. He was 26 years old, and he sounds every inch of it in this one sentence: “I’m sitting in Union Station waiting on the train, I’m headed for Parris Island Marine Corps. I’m an honest to goodness Marine.”

“…Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”~Josh 1:9

He left behind a wife, a son, a dog, and a twinkle that would be born six years later. No easy communication devices. No cameras snapping a multitude of pictures. So there were letters……lots of letters. Mom and dad had a suitcase full. A suitcase that a youngster once opened and started reading.

I don’t think I sat down for a week.

Years later, Mom had me read a few of those letters to her when her body had started to break, and she developed Macular Degeneration. A few years after that, my brother and I decided that those treasured memories were theirs and not the world’s. I did keep a few of them though – especially the ones that had poetry my father wrote just for mom. Mom was a singer, so she would write song lyrics to him. She would tell him that all he had to do was listen, and he would hear her singing to him.

Pretty romantic stuff. No wonder the twinkle became a dream come true for them, and a pain-in-the-butt for her big brother.

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, Thou dost save me from violence. “I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; And I am saved from my enemies.”~2 Sam 22:2-4

A while back I spent 100 Days writing about the little devotion booklet called “100 Rations”. Dad carried it with him to China and back home. His pocket-sized New Testament still sits on the book shelf behind my desk. He taught me to sing the Marine hymn almost as soon as I could talk. And while I haven’t been able to do it for years beyond memory, once upon a time, I could stand from a cross legged sitting position without even having to think about it.

Veterans are a blessing in this country. Men and women who are willing to sacrifice their time and comforts to protect and serve the rest of us – even unto death. It reminds me that Yeshua did the same thing – only He did it for the whole world.

Gratitude is an attitude. Everyday I need to be thankful for what Veterans have done for me. Thankful for what Christ did for me. I can almost hear my father’s voice reading the last sentence on the postcard: “So here we go. I miss you very much with lots of love and kisses. Boyd”

Love and kisses to all the Veterans and Marines out there tonight. Sweet dreams and thank you for blessing this country – each and every one of you who are reading this and those who are reading over my shoulder from a heavenly perch.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”~Jn 15:13

Advertisements

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #50

We are half-way through this little booklet of Rations. Hard to believe it has passed so quickly. The booklet is getting a little more beat up as the journey continues. Opening easily now to the last page I read, its binding is jut as solid as it was in 1945 when my father received it and carried it to China.
 
The evil that took my dad to the other side of the globe continues to shake the world today. Many men and women sacrifice their own lives and desires to travel half way around the world. Others sacrifice their own lives and desires to serve in their own cities and towns. Fighting evil is a constant in our world – everywhere. But just like then, God’s promises continue to shine, lighting a road where there was no road, and reminding us that although evil seems to be rampant and undeniably strong, He is greater.
 
Almost a month ago, I discovered the prayer of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles. ‘Jehoshaphat was afraid.’ As I read more deeply those OT stories, the more I appreciate the humanness of each one. They were like us. They were afraid of the evil and struggling to understand this “God of Abraham”. Jehoshaphat called for a day of prayer and fasting throughout all of Judah. His people came from far and wide to join him as he prayed: “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”~2 Chronicles 20:12.
 
In America during every time of war, there have always been calls by people of faith for fasting and prayers. In 1942 it was called America’s Prayer Minute. Today it continues under various leaderships. People of faith remind us that Christ and His Father hear and rejoice when we open the door to Them. What miracles await when we humble ourselves and seek Their face.
 
1942 Daily Ration:
Read: Matthew 12:31-37
 
‘The good man out of his good treasure bringeth forth good things; and the evil an out of his evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.’~Matthew 12:35
 
“Not one of us can for very long keep a mask of piety and good will over the abundance of impiety and ill will within us. The minute we are off guard our mask falls off and there we stand naked.
 
“All of us have had the experience of realizing that on this or that occasion we have let down our guard and have been seen or heard for what we really are. We have known them, too, that the pity of it all is that we should have ever had the need of the mask in the first place, or that we could ever have imagined that in having the mask we could be a genuine friend, brother, or father.
 
“Christ’s coming into the world meant that a new note was struck in the life of mankind. He came and met mankind in order that we might all have the ‘Kingdom Heart’.
 
Prayer: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within e. Cast me not away from they presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold e with thy free spirit.’ Amen. “

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #43

Rations took on new meaning the past couple of days in NC. Due to a leak in the supply chain, gasoline is in short supply. Neighbors are using social media to pass information back and forth on which stations have gas and which ones don’t. While newscasts focus on the expected length of the disruption, and the changes companies are making to re-route and “fix” the shortage.

I pulled out that WWII Ration books that Mom and Dad saved tonight. The covers are well worn with paper so soft it feels almost like cloth. Most of them are empty – just names, dates and tabs where the stickers once were. Dad, Mom and even my Big Brother had their own (I was still just a twinkle in their eyes). In the last one, there were still a couple sheets of stamps. Needless to say, it made me wonder how we would do if we had to ration almost everything in our lives like they did during WWII?

And then I remembered: ‘ ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ~Mk 12:31

Rationing is never easy. (I know this because I have to ration my money at the end of every month.) BUT – and this is one huge BUT (so to speak) – praying for those waiting in that line at the gas pump, gives us an opportunity to get – and to give – more than just a tank of gas. Even if that underground tank ends up empty before our own car gets a drop of gas, we’ve accomplished something special.

Rationing in our needy society hurts, but it also is a chance to grow in wisdom and faith. As long as we never Ration our prayer blessings towards others – towards our country – or even towards our enemies, we will be blessed beyond measure. It is after all, one of the greatest commandments.

1942 Daily Ration:  Read:  Luke 10:30-37

” ‘Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? ‘And he said, ‘He that shewed mercy on him.’ Then said Jesus unto him, ‘Go and do thou likewise.’ “~Luke 10:36-37

“In the summer of 1916 there remained in a certain mission station in China a young English missionary whose four brothers were in the British army, then in combat. About a quarter of a mile from the mission station, two German businessmen had recently moved into a Chinese house. They had come there because of the unfriendly atmosphere in the settlement in which they had been living.

“One morning, one of the German men went for a hike into the hills, and failed to return. His friend could not speak Chinese, and was at a loss to know what to do. The news finally reached the English missionary. This young man knew that all the surrounding hills were infested with mines against the expected approach of the army of a rival war lord. Nevertheless, he went in search of the lost man, and did not give up until he recovered the body.

“That night several of the Chinese Christians were discussing the event. ‘Brethren,’ said one of them, ‘our missionary is a good preacher, we are all agreed; but he never has preached, and never will preach, a sermon like the one he has preached today. Though we should forget every word he has ever said, we can never forget this thing he has done. He has made the gospel live before us.’

“Prayer: Lord, teach us to love and to minister to the needs of all mankind, no matter how they may differ from us or with us. So may we prove that we are thy disciples. Amen.”

BLESSING TRIAD #13-15

12227650_10153846624651320_8539315362822057837_nThe Thirteenth Blessing

The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” Gen 4:10

Today, November 13, 2015, and I – I am thankful. Thankful that I have read the last page of the WORD. Thankful that Our Father sees and weeps over Paris tonight. Thankful that Chirst walked this same terror-filled path to bruise the head of the evil one.
While the cloak of darkness swirls around this foreign city whose streets I walked long ago. Parisians huddle in their homes. Borders closed. Travel curtailed. Lights darkened. A state of emergency declared

Submerged shadows silhouetted within sadness, suspicion, sorrow, stigma’s scars.

The good news?

Submerged shadows always surrender to sacred sword of salvation held within Son’s light.

12193871_1654218544836987_7021168084671431001_nAll they need to do is remember. Remember to seek the Son’s Light. Remember to throw open the church doors and get down on their knees. Afterall, this is the home to many people who have read the end of Our Father’s book as well. They know that the outcome of a battle is not the outcome of the war.This is the home of the French Resistance where cells of strong liberty loving men and women changed the course of WWII with their resilience and strength of conviction. They stood on the Rock, and hopefully, will do so again.

Tonight I have added the people of Paris and France to my ever growing list as I watch the Son’s Light grow.The Light Who doesn’t wait for morning to come. The Light that shows the ugliness of evil and lights the way back to the Garden. I am praying they remember to seek the Son’s Light as they go forward in the next few days.
Blessings!Be!

The Fourteenth Blessing1476480_10201044455582450_1754701491_n

No matter how black, dirty, shameful, or terrible our sin, God will forgive. We may be at the very gate of Hell itself, but He will be reaching out in everlasting love.” Rev. Billy Graham p 95 “Where I Am”

Today has been a thoughtful day – a prayful day. As shocking as it is to see the statistics or images of Paris flashing across our screens, my mind kept returning to the attacks that have been going on in Israel, the downing of a Russian plane, or the bombings in Lebanon – not to mention all the murders that have been happening daily in our own country. Ever look at the stats of murdered people in the USA on a daily basis?

I changed my cover and profile pictures away from France because this is not about one country. It is about our world. A world lost and spinning erratically – morally – truthfully – spiritually.

Last night, before I heard the news of Paris, I pulled out my battery operated window candles. I love them because they automatically come on at dusk and turn off at dawn. I put these up about this time every Christmas. Their flickering lights welcome me home on those rare nights I am coming home after dark. Usually their small light is enough to keep me happy until I finally get to decorate for Christmas (yea).

This morning, however, it was not enough. Putting on my coat and shoes, I dug through the piles of boxes in our now over-stuffed-getting-ready-to-move shed until I found the box I needed. Gently, I pulled the Millennial Creche out of its hiding place. It is the last nativity set my mother bought for me right before Y2K. We had this thing of giving each other nativity sets. I gave her a small white plastic set my first year of teaching. She brought me a set of olive wood ones from Israel. One year, the kids and I gave her one that we had hand-painted from plaster casts. When she gave me the Y2K creche by the Roman company, it became the special one because it was her last gift to me.

Today, I needed to see the visual of that promise – a promise made so long ago – a promise of mercy and salvation.

Flag_of_Israel.svgOur world needs that promise more than ever. We have watched our world become smaller and smaller. Talk of global businesses, currency, governments float through our consciousness without much thought. Last night the talk was of global murder. Flag_of_Lebanon.svgDepending on the media presentation – some terror attacks we hear little-to-nothing about – others attacks are all over mainstay media and social media. How many FB profiles do you see that are the blue/white Star of David or the red/white Fir tree flags (I could have mentioned Russia’s flag but it is the same as France but with horizontal strips instead)?

Today, November 14, 2015, I am thankful for the creche that sits in my cabinet. Itmillenial creche 2015 reminds me of Our Father’s promise, and our world needs to remember the promise born in a tiny manger long ago. Our world needs to remember that no matter how ugly we act or how warped our thinking may be, Our Father has already shown us a path that will lead us back to the Garden. He gave us His own Son’s Light to guide us on our journey. He waits for us to remember our promises.

“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”~Is 55:7

The Fifteenth Blessing

November 15, 2015, I am THANKFUL. Thankfut for God’s blessings too numerable to mention. Thankful for Our Father’s unending promises. Thankful that prayer gives me a chance to talk with Him. Thankful for His holy day of rest. Thankful for His Son’s sacrifice and resurrection. Thankful for the Holy Spirit’s discerning voice in my life.

And ——–

thankful that that I found this video –

OKAY –

Are you ready?

NEWSIES fans – here we go. I’m still smilin’ and am ready to listen to it again. Hmmmm…I really, really miss singing acapella – although I still like mixed voices best. After the past couple of days, we do need to “Seize the Day”.

[Google images]

BLESSINGS TRIAD #10-12

thanksgiving2A TENTH BLESSING OF THANKSGIVING

“I will sing the LORD a new song –
To praise Him-
To bless Him –
To bless the LORD –
I will sing His praises while I live
All of my days.” – Simple Song from Bernstien’s Mass

Today, November 10, 2015, I am thankful for a new day. A new day to sing a song to my LORD. A new day to offer praise that bubbles over in Joy. A new day in my walk of faith, stumbling over rocks others have place in my path and falling into pits that I have dug myself. A new day to pull myself upright once again and stand upon His rock. A new day to bless Him with all that is in me. A new day to gaze upon all that is around me. A new day of reflection, gleaning wisdom where I can. A new day to bend my knees (as painful as it is at times) and wonder, “I Can Only Imagine”. A new day in Christ who has forgiven me over and over and over…..

“Lauda, lauda, laude, lauda, lauda di da di day
All of my days……”

A ELEVENTH BLESSING OF THANKSGIVINGl721flag

“…the LORD Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’… ‘and I will return to you,…’ Do not be like your ancestors…”

Today is one of those days that warm my heart. The posts supporting our current and past veterans brought a smile to my face and tears to my heart. I love looking at my father’s photos from his time in China during WWII. I love looking at the pictures of my uncles and the elders of the small rural town where I grew up.

daddy 1945 (2)The “Greatest Generation” are the men and women that set a standard before me as they wove the stories of their lives into my mind around the Thanksgiving table. They are the ones that showed up for every volunteer community program – built youth buildings, led scout troops, played Santa, inspired my brother, cousins and classmates to serve our country as well.

Today has been one of the few areas where our country appears to still be united. For the most part – on this one issue – we are not Hyphenated Americans. For this one day, I am thankful to feel that rare concept that used to be the fabric of our everyday life: We are all Americans – united.

This was the miracle of the day. God granted me a second miracle of the day as well. I got to play with the Grands all morning. Teach a little piano. Teach a little math (see, God, I got the hint). Walk the land with the pups and get home to find a third miracle – God has already answered a prayer – in an “impossible” manner, natch (as my mom would say) – that had been at the back of my mind all day.

Today, November 11, 2015, I am thankful for 3 miracles. God is moving. Believe. Blessings!Be!

“…this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ “…”Proclaim further: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.’ ”~Zech 1:3a, 4b, 17

A TWELFTH BLESSING OF THANKSGIVING

“We gather together to ask the LORD’s blessing…”

2 weeks from today will be Thanksgiving. The football games will still be on the TV. In many homes, the bellies will be way over-filled. In others, the bellies will be112913turkeydinners-1p - Copy a little fuller than usual. Churches or community centers will be cleaning up after feeding many of homeless and heading home. Cell phones and/or video games will be whirling away in hands of children and adults alike. People will be crowding into the theatre to see the newest release. Others, like the family I married into, will probably be still playing cards. While Christmas music and movies will appear on a more regular basis – except for Hallmark station which is already playing them non-stop. And some overly excited shoppers will be adding to their personal debt, supplynng more totals of early “Black Friday” stats.

1671301-slide-inline-norman-rockwell-freedom-from-want-thanksgivingIt just makes me sad. Somewhere, our culture has lost the history behind the day. I still remember when every story, gas station, and banks were closed on a holyday. For that matter, they were closed every Sunday. The roads were empty unless you had gas in the tank and wanted to visit family or just go for a drive. I don’t remember the TV being on at any of our Thanksgivings until I was in high school. After all – it was cousin time. Games to be played. Plays to produce. Music to sing and elders that sat around playing guitars and banjos. It was Thanksgiving. People remembered.

I was lucky. I grew up in a family that knew history and told stories. I wasn’t wise enough to always listen. My brother was much wiser that way. But thanks to a couple of marvelous history teachers, including my dad, I learned the basics and began adding to those as I grew wiser. History points the way if we are smart enough to remember.

Today, November 12, 2015, I am thankful for Thanksgiving. A day set aside to remember. A day when two different races — two different cultures — sat down to eat a meal together. Each honoring their Creator. Each coming from a differnt space and finding each other. For a moment in time, the gates of the Garden were thrown wide open, so that we might learn and remember how to give thanks to the One that breathed into our nostrils the breath of life. It is time to remember.

Blessings!Be!

[google images]

Dawn

1955d60 years ago, my mom sat at the dining room table writing in her 1955 Year Book OHIO calendar.  She didn’t write much.  She was the mother of a 12 year old boy and a 3 year old little girl.  With such a busy day ahead, she just jotted a line in the Morning box.  “Boy Scouts going to Columbus – ” Dawn broke the horizon and she was off into her day.

For all that cries for consolation,  For every law that we have spurned, For sins that stain our generation, For evil deed our Fathers learned, For all our country’s bitter passion…”

The 25th was a Tuesday in 1955.  Why my brother’s boyscout troop went to Columbus, I don’t know, but it was important enough for mom to note it.  That 1955bnight and for the rest of the week, my father worked, with a bunch of other volunteers, on finishing the new Youth Building after he had worked a full shift at our local bus factory.  As I grew up, that same Youth Building served as the place where I learned to dance on my father’s feet, sweep the sand off the floor at the end of the evening’s dance, go to girl scouts meetings, work on projects, celebrate birthdays, and, much later, take my children to get their childhood vaccinations. Memories brought forward by cryptic lines written in haste.

“Pray ye with tears the while we live, O God of Might, of thy compssion, Mayst Thou forgive! Mayest Thou fogive!” ~Khomyakov, 19th century 

The neat thing about reading historical journals is finding buried treasures amid khomyakovthe daily recordings.  A newspaper clipping, a quote that inspired, a poem that touched deep within the spirit.  Who knows where Mom found the poem that I quoted here or whether she knew exactly who Khomyakov was.  But then again – this is the lady who I found reading my green Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia when I had awakened from a one bad dream or another. Maybe she did know that Aleksey Khomyakov was a 19th century philosopher/theologian/poet; I certainly didn’t until I Googled him.

This poem called deep to deep in me as well as it did my mom. In fact, it sounded as if it could have been written today.  Oppressed by Tsar Nicholas, Khomyakov never grew rich from his pursuits or writings.  A retired calvery captain, his greatest contribution was something he referred to as sobornost which basically means “togetherness” or “symphony” [Aleksey Stepanovich Khomyakov. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/316824/Aleksey-Stepanovich-Khomyakov]  He felt the church was missing the point when it did not concentrate on the faith and love that Christ embodied.  We haven’t progressed much since the early 1800’s, have we?

In 1955, Dad had been home from WWII for almost 10 years.  It makes me wonder mom 1950'Swhat was it that touched Mom’s spirit as she copied this poem on to her journal cover?  I know why it touched mine today as I read it.  Khomyakov believed that, “…the task of the church was to teach mankind how to live in unity and freedom.” (Ibid) So many years later and claims of so much progress, the church and mankind seem even further away from that philosophical viewpoint.  It made me wonder… if we pray in love, practice the faith of Peter… partake of the His bread each day… percieve the Spirit of God within us… we will… just maybe… find sorbornost of which Khomyakov wrote.  An idea my mother discovered in 1955 –  an idea that re-appear into my world 60 years later – an idea that one day – could become our new “DAWN”:

A timeless borderline you are
That God twixt night and day put down;
He clothed you in a scarlet gown,
He gave you a companion in the morning star.
When in the heavenly azure
You give off light and calmly fade,
I look at you and ruminate:
We are like you, the Dawn of day—
A mix of blazing flames and cold,
Of heaven and the underworld,
A blend of light and shadows grey. ~Khomyakov

1955c