Friday, November 29, 2013

Blessing Time - Thanksliving

"And the crowds were questioning Him, saying, "Then what shall we do?"  And He would answer and say to them, ‘The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.’"  (Lu. 3:10-11)

Hey Gang:  Thanksgiving is over and it is back to the grind or Black Friday shopping.  Thanksgiving was different at our house one year. There was no "over the mountain and through the woods to grandma's house we go".  There was no aroma of the fantastic feast that grandma spent days in preparing.  There was no planting the seeds of love into the trimmings and preparation for the day for when the cars drove up the driveway and deposited those we love the most.

And so I tended to live that Thanksgiving Season in the past. Reviewing my prayer log, I went way back into my early years and tried to relive some of those fantastic Thanksgiving days.  I remembered the year my daddy was injured in a coal mining accident and we did not have two dimes to rub together.  It was going to be a very bleak and sparse thanksgiving but God would not have it that way.  He laid it on my aunt's heart to share some of the bounty that He had blessed her family with.

I believe the seeds of giving were planting into my heart on that Thanksgiving Day.  When God opened the door for development of the Village, He made it clear that the foundation of the ministry would be based on giving.  I made a vow to Him that I would never turn away a child or family that was hurting and need of what He had blessed us with.

One of the high points that surfaced, in my recollections, was the years that the Village Chaplaincy Program provided food to more than a hundred families in the local area who would have been like my family when my daddy was injured.   Turkeys, potatoes, carrots, biscuits and pumpkin for pies were purchased.  The ladies prepared detailed instructions on how to prepare the foods, for we knew that many of the families did not have a clue how to roast a turkey.

So that year of no ‘over the mountain and through the woods to grandma's house we go’, we decided to seek out a family that was as we were, that year up on the mountain, and share our Thanksgiving with them.  

We thought about finding a ministry that provided a meal to the homeless or the down and outers and offering our services.  There was no lack of such places in our area, but each seemed to have all they need.   I thought, as I looked at the list of places, that it might be better to spread these meals out.  Perhaps a meal a week would provide for empty bellies.

 We then thought about finding a family that was hurting and we would provide a feast for them but we could not find one.   Food stamps, food banks seem to be meeting the needs of most but does getting food stamps from the government or a box of food at a local food bank seemed so cold to me. I liked the idea of the folks in New England that were hit by ‘Sandy.’ Families were encouraged to open their Thanksgiving feast to a family who lost it all.  That seems to me to be "Going into all the world", as JESUS COMMISSIONED US.

Sooooo, Thanksgiving Day did not have much meaning that one year.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I have been so very blessed in my life and so thankful to My Lord for his bountiful provisions.  But it would have been so much more fulfilling if we could have shared some of those bountiful blessing with someone.  I wonder if the government has not taken away the blessing of giving. 



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Give Thanks, For This is the Will of God

Did you notice the spelling?  Did you know this is probably the only time Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day?  When this happened  the last time, Thanksgiving had not yet been recognized as a Holiday.  Because of the difference in our calendar and the lunar calendar - the projection  for this to converge again is 79811! l 

"And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another is psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father” (Eph. 5:18-20).

Hey gang:  It is my sincere opinion that designating a day called ‘Thanksgiving’ is, in reality, designed for those who are non believers in the goodness of Jesus Christ.   Why do I say that?  Because Paul teaches us, in I Thessalonian's 5:18,  “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  In other words thanksgiving should not be a special day, but an on-going way of life for believers –Thanksliving”.  I have got good news for you, there is never a day goes by when God does not bless us in some way!

Let me put some meat on that statement.  We recently spent a month volunteering at Voice of Martyrs in Bartlesville, Oklahoma and had one week left on our commitment, but all went well and we finished our task a week early, so we packed up and returned home.  In the packing
I placed a notebook that contained financial records for the past ten years in the bottom of a box, without thinking. 

Later I needed something from the notebook and I could not find it anywhere.  We frantically looked in every nook and cranny with no success.  We even called the motel  in Branson, Missouri, where we had stayed during Veterans Week , but it was not there either.    My nerves were rapidly becoming frazzled.

My prayer was very simple and to the point, "Lord, I do not need this frustration at this time.”  Later that day we headed to town for a dinner engagement and , as I pulled out of the driveway, I heard a noise in the back of the car. When I checked, the box that contained the notebook, along with other materials, fell over and opened!  Now wasn't that lucky?  No way, Hosea!

Several years ago, I was pulling my recreation vehicle home from a weekend in the woods. We were on a back road, doing around fifty miles an hour, when a car pulled out of a driveway about five hundred feet in front of us.  Corrective action prevented my hitting the car, but shortly after that the driver slammed on the breaks and began a left turn off the roadway!  There was no way in the world I was going to keep from plowing into the car, but, somehow,  not only did I not hit the car, but did not shake up the contents of the coach! 

I have thought about that incident each time I drive by that spot and thank God for what he did that day.  Have you ever taken the time to sit down and make a listing of the times God blessed you with a very special blessing?  Have you ever considered the times He may have saved your life and you knew nothing about it?  Are you one who tends to use the phrase, “Boy that was lucky”?

If the will of God in Christ Jesus is to give thanks to God in everything, every believer should know why we should give thanks and be grateful at all time.  Gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation for everything that Almighty God is doing in our daily life. 

Soooo, young colleagues, may I suggest that sometime in the leisure of your Thanksgiving celebration, take your Bible and concordance and do a word study on thanksgiving and gratitude.  You will find many such references in both Old and New Covenants for it is God’s will. 

George Washington’s First Thanksgiving Proclamation
            Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly implore His protection aid and favors…
            Now, therefore, I recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these states to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be that we may them all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind of care and protection of the people of this country, and for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

Blessings this Thanksgiving day,


Monday, November 25, 2013

The Pain and Agony of Failure

"And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living" (Luke 15:1`3).

Hey Gang:  Did you ever wonder why number one, three, six or number ten child chooses to go his own way? All were brought up under the same roof, with the same boundaries, with the same moral code, the same love and security their siblings?

 A daughter, who grew up the same home as  her two brothers and sister - now all successful in their personal lives and have raised children who have followed in their parents footsteps, left the family teaching to go her own way.

She was the last of the litter and made it very clear in her life that she was going to do it her way, no matter how badly that way turned out to be.  She was bound and determined to try every- thing, no matter how her parents tried to guide her.

When you look at the road she choose to travel, the questions of ‘why’ becomes paramount, especially in the hurt that is experienced by the parents who did it right. Perfect?  No!  But perfect enough that the other three siblings choose to follow in their footsteps and today are reaping the benefits of their modeling the right road.      

We all know the story of the prodigal that Jesus taught:  A young man that had the world by the tail, yet choose to hit the Bourbon Street route and trip the life fantastic.   When I see this scenario in action in the life of a rebel, I think of Merlin the magician who also believed he was more powerful than God and choose to prove it.  He climbed to the top of a high tower and stood on the edge and announced to the world that he could fly.  He then jumped off and flew for a few seconds and came to a very abrupt stop.

Prodigals seem to follow Merlin's lead and believe they can do something so many others have tried and failed ie., beating the odds.  Isaiah described the prodigal perfectly when he wrote, "all of us like sheep have gone astray, each to his own way?" (Is. 53:6) 

But there is a significant difference in Jesus’ story of a prodigal and many  prodigals I have met.
Jesus tells us that one day, when the prodigal’s stomach felt like his throat, had been cut and he was standing knee dip in pig slop and dung, it dawned on him that back home, the servants were eating a hardy meal and sleeping in warm beds and enjoying the fruits of their labors. 

Now for the key!  "So he came to himself…went  home to his father".  Now notice the yearning of a father’s heart for a prodigal;  "While he was far off the father spotted him and felt compassion for him and ran and embraced him and kissed him" (vs. 20). Jesus was telling the crowd, this is the way Father God looks for us.

 In my work with multitudes of prodigals I can attest to the truth there are two types  of prodigals:  First, there is the prodigal who will not get out of the pig slop, no matter how deep and smelly it may be.   But I have also been blessed to see some, who recognized there was no way out of the pig slop, except through the open arms of the Father, and seek forgiveness.

 The word tells me the angels rejoice when those who are lost grab hold of their backside (he had no bootstraps) and truck on out of the pig sty and come to the Father and says, "Father "I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, I am no longer worthy to be called your son" (vs. 21). 

Sooooo, Take it from an old salt who has locked many prodigals into little rooms with bars, simply because they turned their backs on the love of their heavenly Father and love of their earthly father.  Is there any way to prevent a prodigal in your family?  Yes, pray together, eat together, shut the boob-tube down and fellowship together as a family- and get involved in your church and love the sox off of each one of them.



Friday, November 22, 2013

Are You Up to Speed on What is Happening in Our World?

"For the day of the Lord draws near on all the nations, As you have done, it will be done to you.  Your dealings will return on your own head" (Obadiah 1:15).

Hey Gang:  I am truly amazed that in this day, when all of the promises made in the Bible are becoming more clear, increased numbers of people have chosen to "go their own way". 

We just returned from volunteering for a month at Voice of Martyrs, a ministry that seeks out, encourages, and provides support for believers who are in the midst of persecution. In Chapel, there, we hear from so many and it is just amazing that in the midst of persecution they say, “Don’t pray that I be freed from prison, beatings or persecution, but that my faith will stand the test and my witness will lead my persecutors to the knowledge of Jesus Christ”,.

In training for the underground pastorate, one of the courses taught is ‘How to Conduct Yourself when  Imprisoned’ as a witness for Christ – often times requires discrete and creative methods. Those who become Christ followers know it is not a question of if you go to prison but when and for how long.

 As I listened to the various speakers who present the morning messages at the chapel services, I found myself asking, “If I were threatened with death, if I did not recant my love and faith in Christ, would I stand firm on the Rock that is my Savior?”

I find it absolutely amazing that where persecution is the worst the underground church is growing the fastest!  When one of the underground pastors was asked, “Why does the church in the United States not grow as the churches in the communist and Muslim nations?”  His response, "Because there is no persecution.”  In other words, the American church is unaware of what it means to sacrifice for the Lord who loved us so much He sent His only Son to die on a hideous cross for us. We are too comfortable and not dependent enough on Father God..

As I listened to speaker after speaker the message was very clear, they had a clear understanding of what Jesus meant when He said, "There is no greater love in the world than a willingness to lay down one’s life for their brethren." (I John 3:16).

As we were driving home from Bartlesville, Oklahoma, the home of Voice of Martyrs, I had hours to review what many of these folks shared with us.  We were also ahead of the storm that hit Illinois with the force of many hammers. I sense God has been sending our Nation messages that it is time to get our house in order.

My greatest concern is not what is happening in our country today, even though that is of concern, but rather that our country appears to be saying to Israel, “Give up your Covenant Land or else…" and that my friends that is a dangerous stand to take.  Joel makes it clear that those that turn their back on Israel will pay the piper.  Joel 3:2 clearly states.  "I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat.  Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, "WHOM THEY HAVE SCATTERED AMONG THE NATIOHS AND THEY HAVE DIVIDED UP MY LAND".      

Sooooo,  my friends and neighbors, have you noticed the tremendous fires we experienced this summer, the record numbers of violent tornadoes, the many floods, drought and other weather conditions.  Do you think it is time for the Church of America to wake up and humble them selves before the Lord and pray and put away all of those things that grieve the Holy Spirit? (2 Chron. 7:14).  Notice: that challenge is addressed to - not the world but "MY PEOPLE!



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Wonderful Reprieve

"An excellent wife, who can find?  For her worth is far above jewels.  The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life" (Pro. 31:10-12)   

Hey Gang:  Our family, friends and neighbors think we are kind of strange.  We often drive more than two hours for breakfast.  Is the food the motivational factor, not in your sweet bippy.   Our destination for breakfast is in the tiny Amish Community of Shipshewana, Indiana.   There is no question the cinnamon rolls are out of sight, but going to Shipshewanna is like entering a different kind of atmosphere.

Many years ago, in the early years of development of the Village, we were visited by the feared agent from the Internal Revenue Service..  I wondered at the time why they would chose to come to Hersey, Michigan, to a one- house program that did not have two dimes to rub together.  However, I learned another chapter of "God does work in mysterious ways".

 He informed me he would be with us for a day and half and have a closure meeting at noon the next day.
But the next day closed with his announcement that he would be there one more day.  Fear and trepidation suddenly invaded me from my tippy toes to the longest hair on my head.  Was he finding some hidden discrepancy in the books?

 Day three arrived and went in the same manner, with the announcement he would return tomorrow and finish by noon.  Needless to say, by noon on the fourth day I was in a tizzy.  To those of you who know me, you know I tend to be a little - well maybe a lot - hyper when things, out of my control, are happening. 
 The hour of departure had finally arrived and  Mr. IRS was packed and ready to depart, but I would have no part of that until he told me why he extended his time from a day and half to three days.  

Wow, what a blessing God gave to me that day! He said, "I have done audits on hundreds of non-profit agencies but when I came here I felt something very different than the others.”   I asked, “What was that difference?’ He said this place is more than a program or agency, it is like driving into an atmosphere.

 For years  I had forgotten that experience  but memory came just when I needed it.  Things were not going well in the development of the Village and now I had something to hang my faith and belief on; we were indeed in the will of God!

 When I drive into Shipshewana I get that same feeling.  I feel like I am driving into an atmosphere that has overcome the rapid pace and coldness of the world.   I love to hear the clip clop of the horse drawn carts.  I love to see the people in their plain dress.  And I love to see the families working together, playing together and on Sunday mornings to see the line of buggies heading to their Elder’s home for worship and fellowship.    
 An Old Amish farmer was asked, "How come there are so few divorces among the Plain People.  He responded in a half amusing and half very serious way. "Well,” he said,” when I am out plowing all day behind the animals, when I get home at night my bride looks real good! But the real reason is we make a ‘lay-down- your-life commitment to the one God sent into our lives. To leave them or forsake them would be a slap in our heavenly Father’s face for He chose her for me and  He is all wise.

Soooo,  my young, and not so young friends, if you feel the walls closing in on you and the alligators snapping at your heals - take a day and go to Shipshewana, just sit on one of the many benches,  placed for sojourners from the fast paced  world outside, listen to the clip clop of the horses,  and enjoy the ladies in their bonnets and long plain dresses and the men and boys in their common attire.  It is good for your mind, physical body, and even better for your soul as you stop and enjoy God’s beauty in the Simple things.                                             



Monday, November 18, 2013

Common Sense Adage

"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves.  Or do you not recognize this about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you - unless indeed you fail the test?" (Galatians 1:5)

Hey Gang,   Did you get the last Gramps Morning Thought and put it up on your bathroom mirror, refrigerator and rear view mirror of your car?  Nooooo!  Let me share a neat little story that I read in a book on prayer.  It was written by Dr. John DeVries, founder of Mission India:

 “Imagine that it’s Sunday morning about ten minutes before worship time at your church and that I’m going to be preaching there.  You notice me pushing a big old car down the road.  It dawns on you that I am the guest preacher, and it’s clear that I’m not going to be there on time.  I’m right in front of a gas station about a five minute drive from the church and I’m passing the station!   You slam on your brakes, hop out of the car, and ask me, “What’s the matter? Why are you pushing your car?

I reply that my car happens to be out of gas.  “Why, then, are you pushing it past the gas station?” you ask.  “Push it into the gas station and fill it up.”  But I protested “I don’t have time to stop for gas, I have only ten minutes left to get to church.  I can’t be distracted by anything.  I must be on my way!”

Do you get the message?  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, those who come to me I will in NO WAY cast out”.  Twenty words that have absolutely no meaning until you plug in your power cord, that was installed when God breathed life into you at conception. 

Years ago, as we were teaching the Seed Planting Parable in a parenting class - that you will reap in your marriage and your children what you sow- a rather rough looking father came up to me and said, "I don't believe in that stuff".  I ask him what stuff that he did not believe, to which he could not give me one example.  My reply, “You don't believe, but you have no idea what is in God's Word then obviously you have not tried the Perfect Parenting Plan,

The point: The gas station has an abundance of what you need at that moment but if you  choose to bypass that source and go your own way, you are going to pay the Piper.  God cannot pull out of you what you need, at that moment, if you have put nothing into your gas tank.

Sooooo, what John DeVries was saying is a very simple analogy -in prayer-less lives, gas tanks are running on empty.  Now hear this old man – God knows our needs and the busyness of our lives. Getting up fifteen minutes early is a sacrifice that He loves and honors.  Make a commitment to find that time and fill your tank for the day even before you hit the shower.



Friday, November 15, 2013

He Made Them Get Into the Boat -an Afterthought

 "Then when they had rowed about three or four miles they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened.  But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid".  (John 6:19-20).

Hey Gang:  I was sitting outside my bride’s favorite store (Goodwill), when a thought suddenly popped into my think tank.  You know thoughts that suddenly pop into your think tank come from one of three sources - Abba Father, self, or the evil one.  That is why it is important to spend time each morning preparing your Armor for repelling the evil one and hanging additional cannon fodder from the Lord on the knobs that you developed in the past as a shield against the darts. 

The thought that popped in came in the form of a question?   How does the message of Matthew 14 fit into today's walk with the Lord?  In the story we have all of the ingredients of a very scary experience.  We have wind, very rough seas and the blackness of night.  I think if we each took a moment or two, we could recall a time when we, too, faced similar ingredients.

But they had something going for them, Jesus was on the mountain praying. He continues to intercede for us: and, if He tells us to immediately get into the boat and push out into harm’s way, He will never leave us or forsake us!  The story tells us He came at the exact moment when we were about to give up hope and face the reality that,  if something does not happen now, I mean "right now" they were going to have a face to face meeting with Davy Jones.  

Notice His first words: "Hey gang, don't be afraid".  Again, fix the picture in your mind, blackness of night, winds howling, seas swirling and He says "do not be afraid".  Tough? Yes!  And keep in mind they, the disciples had not had what one might call a great day filled with examples of their great faith.  It was to be a life changing experience, but at that very moment their thoughts were not on faith issues but on survival issues.  Been there, done that!  How about you?

And, in the midst of terrorizing experience, I find an unbelievable statement coming forth from the mouth of the impetuous one, Peter "Lord if it is really you, command me to come to You in  the water".  What kind of courage would it take to respond to Jesus’ command, "Come!"  Wow, Lord!

Peter heard one word from the Lord and he stepped out in faith: however, I suspect the ever- present "Slu Foot was there whispering in his ear.  ‘Peter, you can't do this, it is impossible. I mean look around you,  water under your feet, howling winds, swirling seas!’ And Matthew says, "Peter saw the howling wind and he became frightened and began to sink."  

There are so many wonderful lessons in this chapter that can be life changing experiences for you.  But there are two that most impacted on my life. First, when Peter cried out "Lord save me”, and the next words, "Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of Peter".    True he added a little rebuke to Peter, "You of little faith, why do you doubt?”  Then the second power verse "And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying,  You are certainly God's Son!"

 Soooo, my young friends, Several thoughts that I would challenge you to consider as you traverse this day:  First, are you secure in the boat that is Christ Jesus?  In our story the boat is a place of security in Christ.  Keep in mind the enemy has his dart gun loaded and ready for action.  Second, we have the call to “Go into the world and be witnesses” of God's great love. If we stay in the boat, we are going to be pummeled by the evil one; if we get out of the boat, we have His help and can then rise above the storm.   But, we have to follow Peter's example and be willing to "get out of the boat"!



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Immediately He Made Them Get Into the Boat!

"Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"  (Matt. 14:31)

Hey Gang:  Welcome back to the story of "Contrary Winds".  We left the last message at the point where the cleanup had been completed and the multitudes sent on their way home.  Time for some camp fire chatter and then into the arms of Morpheus, right?  But Jesus had something else in mind.

I remember times in basic training for the Air Force that after completing a day of physical, and often very rough training, the Tactical Instructor would inform us to fall out in full packs for a ten miles trip into the wilderness.  It seems he was not happy with our efforts that day.  I believe Jesus was not happy with the fruits of that day of growth and training on the part His chosen twelve. 

The disciples were about to learn a lesson that would stick to their gizzards like glue, one that would remain in their hearts when they, too, would  find themselves in the midst of storms.  Yes, He sent them into harm’s way but with a purpose, "To teach them that "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you"  (Heb.13:5). Wow,   Thank you Yeshua!

Notice what Jesus did immediately after launching them into the deep, He went up into the mountain to pray.  Does that make you feel good from tippy top to the bottom of your feet?  How do you fell this morning knowing Jesus, who came to earth to take your sin burden to the cross and open the way for you to be freed from the bondage of sin, sits at the right hand of the Father in intercessory prayer for you?

Notice the next step: " Just when it was at the apex of the crisis, the darkest hour, the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea" (v25).   How would you feel if, in the midst of crisis, you looked out and saw someone walking towards you that looked very much like a ghost?  But is that not the way we are, when we are up to our arm pits in alligators with our back against the wall? We tend to remember all those other times when we could not see the trees for the forest.  

Notice Jesus response to that terror: "Do not be afraid" (vs. 27).  Not an uncommon phrase used by our Lord.  Even today when we find ourselves in deep waters, He is saying, "Be not afraid, I AM the I AM that has been in your past, the I AM in your present and will be the I AM in your future.  (Gramps redition).

Notice the story of Peter, the impetuous one, but he did get out of the boat!  Would you have had the faith to step out of the boat that night in the midst of the tempest?  I wonder if I would have.  You do know we may all have to get out of the boat .....soon and stand firm for the sake of Jesus Christ and Truth!

Soooo, my friends, what is God trying to teach us in this message?  We find that bottom line in verse 33, "And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, You are certainly God's Son!.   Do you feel like singing a verse of How Great Thou Art?  Oh, go ahead,  I will sing along with you!



Monday, November 11, 2013

A Wonderful Story on this Veterans Day

"I urge, then, first of all that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone... Kings and all in authority... "I Tim 2:1

Hey Gang, we just returned from Branson where we celebrated with a whole barn full of Veterans from the various wars and police actions that we have fought   Today I am considered weird because I would fight to protect our “land of the free and the home of the brave”.  

When the tragedy of 9/11 hit our nation I wanted to call and volunteer to return to the military.  True, I was an old duck at the time but I still had the energy to sweep floors, do dishes and be an encouragement to those who would be asked to put their lives on the line.

I want to share a WW II story that is a favorite of mine, though I don’t remember where I read it..

“Tour boats ferry people out to the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii every thirty minutes. We just missed a ferry and had to wait thirty minutes. I went into a small gift shop to kill time.  In the gift shop, I purchased a small book entitled,  "Reflections on Pearl Harbor " by Admiral Chester Nimitz.

Sunday, December 7th, 1941--Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a concert in Washington D.C.  He was paged and told there was a phone call for him.  When he answered the phone, it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the phone. He told Admiral Nimitz that he (Nimitz) would now be the Commander of the Pacific Fleet. Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the Pacific Fleet.  

He landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941.  There was such a spirit of despair, dejection, and defeat--you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war. On Christmas Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.  Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters everywhere you looked.

As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the boat asked, "Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?"

Admiral Nimitz's reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice.  Admiral Nimitz said, "The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America.  Which do you think it was?"

Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, "What do you mean by saying the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes an attack force ever made?"

Nimitz explained: 

Mistake number one:  The Japanese attacked on Sunday morning.  Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave.  If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk--we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.

Mistake number two:  When the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships.  If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired.  

As it is now, The ships are in shallow water and can be raised.  One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America.  I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.

 Mistake number three:  Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is in the ground storage tanks five miles away over that hill.  One attack plane could have strafed  those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply.

 That's why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make or God was taking care of America. I've never forgotten what I read in that little book.  It is still an inspiration as I reflect upon it.

In jest, I might suggest that because Admiral Nimitz was a Texan, born and raised in Fredricksburg, Texas -- he was a born optimist.  But anyway you look at it--Admiral Nimitz was able to see a silver lining in a situation and circumstance where everyone else saw only despair and defeatism.

President Roosevelt had chosen the right man for the right job.  We desperately needed a leader that could see silver linings in the midst of the clouds of dejection, despair and defeat.”

There is a reason that our national motto is:  "IN GOD WE TRUST"

 Soooo,  Why have we forgotten?  PRAY FOR OUR COUNTRY and THOSE WHO SERVE in every capacity.

Blessings and pray daily for our Country,