from Matthew 6:1-7:27 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1. Do the right things for the right reasons. [6:1-8, 16-18]
2. Pray God's agenda, not your own. [6:9-13]
3. Relationships will make or break you. [6:14-15]
4. Prioritize eternal things, not temporal things. [6:19-24]
5. Don't sweat the small stuff. [6:25-31,34]
6. God's Kingdom is paramount - seek it first [6:32,33]
7. Judge yourself before you judge others. [&:1-6]
8. If you need something, ask; if you have something, give it. [7:7-12]
9. Stay true to your convictions; don't wander from the narrow path. [7:13-20]
10. Obedience to God is the only sure foundation for life. [7:21-27]
IF you're still not convinced that Jesus gives a list of core values here, look at Matthew 7:12, where He summarizes the Law in a single statement.
'Victory Rule' for commenting here
..... (Borrowed from Anita Moore at V for Victory) ..... I welcome comments, including comments critical of me. However, I am the King and Tyrant of this blog, and as such, I have the absolute right to not publish any comments that I find objectionable for whatever reason, including, but not limited to, vileness, colossal stupidity, or failure to stick to the subject of a post.Though some of you may not believe it, I may neglect to publish comments for charitable reasons, namely, to prevent the commenter, who has failed carefully to read what he is commenting on, and/or not thought his words carefully through, from further embarrassing himself. Furthermore, I do not owe anyone explanations as to why I have not published, or have removed, a comment. And if I fail to apologize for something I said that you don't like, you may assume I stand by what I said. .....
Please, mommy - don't
One particular "second chance" is witnessed in the life of the mother who decides AGAINST taking her unborn child's life. She is our hero. She will be championed here.There are many excellent 'Pro-life' blogs. May I recommend Dawn Eden's'the Dawn Patrol' and'Pro Life Blogs'.
Born & raised in NW Ohio - now a Hoosier;
Married w/three kids and four grandkids;
BBA [10 years night-school] University of Toledo;
worked in truck transportation industry 21 years;
a partner in a small automotive repair enterprise (manager and janitor);
involved in RC parish church, and in Ecumenical Charismatic Covenant Community;
volunteer in soup kitchen, homeless shelter, ringing bells for Salvation Army, Youth ministry, youth and adult faith formation, Boy Scout Troop Committee Chairman;
occasional speaker at retreats and gatherings and prayer meetings; commenter on others' blogs;
Go to bottom of page to read a love-story from my parents.
Do I know you? #1, #2, #3, #4, #5
Second chances happen all around us. Most we might attribute to coincidence and circumstance. Some really are providential.
- - - #1 The war was years old already. It needed to end soon. Europe was a hot bed of action, but when the attack struck Pearl Harbor it became personal. Pearl was OUR base, OUR boys. American men and women were answering the call. - - - San DiegoCalifornia was a great place to be in the early winter of 1943-1944. Because it was a MAJOR Naval center, the holiday streets were buzzing with enlisted men and women. Groups of guys checking out the gals ... the gals checking out the guys. Most of them were awaiting assignment overseas ... somewhere in the South Pacific ... somewhere we could get close enough to Japan and make them pay - big-time!
A group of Seabees, a name given to Naval personnel assigned to a Construction Battalion - CB's, were finishing training for deployment to the Island of Saipan. Of course they didn't know their destination - their orders were sealed and their known destination was only "somewhere in the South Pacific". They had 3 months of construction training to go, so it seemed a long way off. When training was complete, they would do the regular Armed Forces shuffle known as “Hurry-up and wait!” The holidays were upon them and a night on the town was the order of the day. - - - As the group walked through the nite-club area of San Diego, they were eyeing a group of Navy W.A.V.E.S. [Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service] coming toward them. W.A.V.E.S. were female Naval enlisted personnel. They were doing a lot of the jobs the men would normally be doing IF the men hadn't been needed on the front. These patriotic young women were becoming machinists and welders and whatever else was needed to free up the men. These men, Seabees, were needed to construct airfield landing strips on the islands of the South Pacific. It was from these lava planed surfaces that OUR boys were going to make it possible to end this thing, this war. They ogled each other and snickered and whistled and made flirtatious remarks toward one another. One of the W.A.V.E.S. spoke directly to one of the Seabees. "Do I know you?" A common enough pick-up line, but there was an earnest tone in her query. The young man looked her over and decided that if she did know him, he might get lucky. If she in fact didn't know him, well, maybe she'd get to. A few quick Q&A's determined they were in fact both from the same city in the mid-west. Another query and they discovered they were from the same High School. Another question about common acquaintances and they established that their families lived 3 blocks from each other. As this played out, they finally split off from their friends and went to have dinner together. - - - They were a couple of thousand miles from home and a couple of years out of school - both with a short period of time in the service. They were serving to end a war. They had gone to the same large high school, had common acquaintances, lived and grew up blocks from each other and, other than to pass each other in the busy halls at school, had never met.
Now they had their second chance.
- - - #2 The next several of months seemed to pass too quickly. That first chance meeting ... that first dinner together ... that first walk back to the base without all the other guys or gals ... that first realization that time was passing quickly, training was almost over, deployment was only around the corner. Mr. Seabee and Miss WAVE had found companionship where they never expected. Companionship doesn't fill all the voids of military life and training, but the two months since their meeting were much more tolerable than it was for many of their friends. The war was in the forefront of their minds. Thoughts of the days and weeks and months, and maybe the years, ahead were cloudy. Who knew what they would bring.? Would their relationship still be there after deployment to the South Pacific?
Reality has a way of bringing home the big questions. They both sought to understand what had happened to them in the months since they met. Their answer was soon confirmed by a Justice of the Peace. The two of them moved into off-base rental housing. They worried for each other, they loved each other, they told each other over and over how they'd be there for the other when this war was over.
He was waiting to travel by ship to his new duty station "somewhere in the South Pacific”. They stayed in that small apartment. She continued to report for 'work' each day as a welder and riveter. He reported to base every day and his unit spent time pre-fabricating various items they would take with them. She'd had a husband for a few several months, now. Waiting to ship him off to war was rather nerve racking. Surely that was the cause of the sleepless nights and the wrenching, churning, abdominal discomfort. When she was 3 weeks late, she wired home and told everybody the news. The message was double-edged – he’d received his orders. His unit was to deploy in the next 5 days.
Spring was almost over; summer was coming. She was pregnant. He was deploying to somewhere in the South Pacific. What an exciting turn of events. They made the most of it and spent extra time together.
She applied for a discharge. While waiting for it to go through, she continued to work. It came through and she was put-out, honorably, the first part of July. She returned home to the mid-west. Her family would look after her while her husband served his country – and tried to stay alive. - - - He arrived in the South Pacific on the Island of Saipan. A base camp and all the associated support buildings were erected. The preliminary excavations began for the airstrip at the same time - time was a critical factor. The Generals and Admirals back home had plans the men knew nothing about. Speed, as well as quality, were paramount in their efforts.
Volcanic mountains formed the island. The hills were full of caves and caverns and Japanese soldiers who had been holed up there for months before the arrival of the American Seabees. On the 15th of June, the Japanese came out of the hills and the Battle of Saipan was begun. The superior forces of the Americans won out. It took about a month and the Island belonged to the Americans.
Many of the Japanese infantrymen who survived were able to find refuge in the many unknown caves in the hills around the base and on more remote parts of the Island. They created sniper problems for the men working on the 'out-in-the-open' air strips. Others of them surrendered and had to be put in a makeshift POW camp facility. That meant using men as guards who were needed on the construction work. Just a part of the costs of being 'victorious'. Island natives also took a heavy toll during the battle. To escape the fighting, they hid in the caves, too. Women and children and babies were found in the caves...some still alive.
Letters were starting to arrive on a regular basis. The supply and cargo carrying ships that were arriving almost daily brought contact from home and loved ones. Our Mr. Seabee usually received stacks of letters all at one time - as did most of the sailors on base. They were opened in no particular order, and had to be done during breaks - the airstrip work took priority. After dark, they had to keep lanterns and other illumination at a minimum - light produced sniper fire, which produced injured and dead sailors.
All of this coincided in the middle of June and early July. The battle for the island was waged and over before he read a letter telling him his wife was now back home living with family. He needed to survive this, no matter how long it took. He was going to be a daddy.
He was really going to need a lot of 'second chances' to make it home to meet his new family...someday. - - -#3 Snipers had become a real problem of late. The U S Marines bivouacked on the island spent their time in a continuous mop-up operation. While they continually searched the hills during the day, the renegade combatants put-up resistance. At night, the Marines would watch the hills for signs of life and sniper fire. Come daylight, those areas were searched and hit hard.
The seabees worked in the open all daylight long. They felt like sitting ducks. The airstrips were high priority and needed to be finished. Seven days a week was needed and the men needed to be rotated in and out so they had adequate rest. Recreation took various forms. Celebrations were greatly enjoyed. Birthdays took particular priority in the scheme of fun times.
The party included an announcement over the base P.A. system, followed by someone’s rendition of “Happy Birthday to You”. The cooks usually came up with a special dessert.
The P.A. system was also used to make general camp announcements, give some news about the war efforts in the South Pacific as well as in Europe, news from back-home, and play music as a diversion from the noisey business of building an airfield and all of the related facilities.
Our soon-to-be new dad wasn’t at all bashful announcing his birthday was coming. - - - Summer had passed by quickly and Fall presented its own opportunities. The girls in the family all knew how to sew and knit. So, a fair amount of time was spent making gender-neutral baby clothes. Baby names were bantered about. Life was starting to be a little routine, but certainly not boring.
Her parents had a small garden out back, and several fruit trees – one apricot, one plum, and one pear. Fall always meant cooking and canning. Everyone pitched in. This too helped pass the time between letters that came irregularly. While things had quieted down on the island, there were plenty of things to make her feel concerned for his safety.
All in all, focus was slowly turning to the birth of the baby. Mid-November was the due date. When everybody had just gotten used to October, the calendar changed over to November. Things were starting to get anxious.
It was time to get this over with. Anytime now would be alright with her. - - - #4
Timing is everything. Mr. Seabee had a wonderful birthday celebration that Saturday evening. Mail-call that day brought an especially welcome package from home. The missus had the foresight to mail the package almost 4 weeks early. She never would have bet that it would arrive on the exact day. It contained pictures, letters, and now almost stale cookies triple wrapped in wax paper. His favorite was the pictures. In one she had pulled up her blouse to expose a huge bare belly. "She's the size of a county-fair prize-winning watermelon," he thought. He slept well that night - the warm beer really helped.
Now Sunday was not a day off, but they did get to sleep in. Church services were on the beach for those who wished to attend. Breakfast was served, but not until 10am. The whole day moved to a different clock. The Seabees appreciated the break. After breakfast it was back to work. Those who partied late Saturday night were dragging. - - - Knowing the baby was due the middle of November, she tried to stay ahead of things - like putting together a package to send for his birthday. She had good family support, but she really wished he was there. Days were getting a little hard to endure.
Her mother kept a keen eye on the shape of the belly and the position of the baby. Days passed and mom knew the time for delivery was near. The family doctor made sure he stopped by the house and checked on her every week. Today's visit confirmed mom's suspicions - baby was coming soon. He commented to the mother-to-be about her size, but told her he could only hear one heartbeat, so nothing to worry about. She was relieved, but was starting to be concerned about the size of this kid. After all, it was her first baby.
It had been a little over 11 months since they met. The fact they had been neighbors before enlisting without knowing it had been the strangest of their discoveries. When she came home, she immediately made contact with his family. Her mother now put his family on alert as to the imminent birth of the grandchild. - - - The doctor had been at her house just 3 days ago. Things were changing. Mom knew it was time to go. Late evening or not, she knew to call the doctor. He instructed them to head for the hospital. He would be there shortly.
On arrival, she was taken into an examination room, then to a labor room not much bigger than the gurney she was on. The nurses assured her the doctor was on his way. The head nurse was not only a nurse, she was a nun. The hospital was operated by an order of Roman Catholic Sisters - nuns. She was a no nonsense nun and ran the department with a strict sense of order and professionalism - and she was as sweet as could be. She kept checking for movement of the baby to the birth canal - and for the heartbeat - and for dilation - and mother's vitals - and time between contractions - and...
When the doctor arrived, he and the Sister had a conference in the corner of the room. They decided it was time to take the new mother-to-be to a delivery room. In very short order they had her prepped, draped and ready to go. She noticed that the room was filling with medical people. She was wondering what it meant. Did it always take this many people to deliver a baby?
She asked the doctor, "Is everything alright?" "It certainly is," he said. "I don't want you to be concerned at all. Sister, here, is really good at what she does ... and she thinks she hears multiple heartbeats."
- - - #5 American and Japanese troops were engaging each other all over the South Pacific. It became obvious to the seabees and Marines on Saipan that the U. S. was getting ready to invade Japan. The types of weapons and supplies that were coming into Saipan were not just for flight support. It made more than a few of the men nervous. They were here because they believed in the cause, but they still hoped for some resolution other than land invasion. That would cause too many civilian and soldier casualties.
Also obvious was that it didn't matter what they thought. They needed to have everything ready so when the word was given, they'd be moving! - - - She wanted so badly to have this baby quickly, easily, pain free. Right now, 'quickly' was in jeopardy - contractions had slowed down. The nurses were coaching her; the docs were ready to go; she wanted, with every ounce of nerve and courage she could muster, to do this thing - NOW!
Just before midnight they got going in earnest again. She breathed and she pushed...and she pushed...and she pushed. Something was moving down hard. It took all she had in her to stay focused. Finally, at 12:20am, she delivered a beautiful little boy. Now, she could get her breath back.
Not to be.
Sister - dear sweet Sister - in her most 'in command' tone said, "Sweety, you gotta keep going - there's another one that wants to get out of there, too." The words hung heavy in the air. Even the doctor was taken back slightly - right up to delivery of the first one, he still could only pick-up one fetal heart beat. Sister really knew her stuff. Right away they all got busy.
While one team took care of baby 'A', the rest of those in the room started working on birthing baby 'B'. It didn't take long either. Baby 'B' was well into the birth canal by the time the team gave her the first "Breathe - push" command. The doctor, the nurses, the mom - they all had a role to play and they played it well. At 12:31 am, baby 'B' was born...another boy.
Once cleaned up, it was very obvious to all observers, they were identical - identical twin boys...born 11 minutes apart on, let's see, "What is the date today?" - oh, yes...on 11/11.
Eleven eleven!?! The new mother of these two beautiful identical twin boys gasped. "Today is their father's birthday!" Identical twin boys, born eleven minutes apart...on their father's birthday - 11/11/1944 [Armistice Day - WWI 11/11/1918].
If the birth of children is recognized as another chance for the continuation of the human race, then this one would go into the books as a 'first chance' and a 'second chance'.
The word got to the waiting room very quickly, where there was a gathering of two families. All were amazed at the wonders of God's timing. Wait 'til their dad hears about this. Wait 'til he gets home to see them. - - - About two weeks after the celebration of his birthday, during the evening meal, the base P.A. system crackled to life. When the new dad heard the words "Congratulations ... identical twins ... born two weeks ago ... Toledo ... on November 11 ..." he about dropped his load right there in the mess-hall [now that woulda been a mess].
Everyone set on him and congratulated him. He, he just wanted to go home and be with his wife - and his twin boys. Uncle Sam and Japan had other plans for him, though. - - - Little Jacky and Jimmy had lots of attention...and they had each other for crib partners. They played, they cried, they messed their pants - they learned to crawl, they learned to stand-up and hold onto things, they learned to pull things over - and break them. That first Winter found them indoors. Then Spring came and they got used to being in the fresh air and sunshine. Mother and family took lots of pictures ... they wrote lots of letters ... they waited for daddy to come home. - - - Good news came on the war front. Around the end of April, 1945, it looked like the war in Europe was close to ending. Then on May 8, 1945 [VE Day - Victory in Europe Day], the German parties signed the declaration of surrender. The Allies had won. Now they had the opportunity to shift all that equipment and manpower to the Pacific theatre of action. They were going to get after Japan full-force. That is what all this island buildup effort was about.
BUT, before the land attack, there were high-level meetings going on. A new Top-secret weapon had been tested. The decision had been made to use it.
On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Japan. Then on August 9, 1945, the second was delivered. Modern warfare had been changed for all-time.
On August 15, 1945 [VJ Day - Victory in Japan Day], the Japanese government signed the articles of surrender. The war was over. The men on Saipan, and indeed all the South Pacific islands would be going home. It would take time to put it all together. Cleaning up the bases, arranging troop transport for thousands of sailors and soldiers from both the European and Pacific theatres would take time. But time was now on their side. - - - Back home, families were celebrating as never before. Babies had grown up while dads were serving their country. The twins would finally get to meet the man whom they would call 'dad'. And so it happened. Around the holidays in 1945, dad arrived home. His boys were over a year old ... and he wasn't planning on leaving them again - ever.
Together, a man and a woman started a family on a wing and a prayer. High-school classmates - strangers - became lovers...and second chances abounded every way you could see. Oh, they'd have problems - every family does. But, for now, life was full - and intentional - and wonderful. - - -
The STARS of "Do I Know You?"
The events depicted [see post above] are about my parents.
DAD born November 11, 1921 place Huntington, INdiana died November 11, 1995 place Toledo, OHio WW-II service in U S Navy Construction Battalion aka: SeaBees [CB's] Honorable Discharge
picture taken late 1943
MOM born December 3, 1922 place Toledo, OHio died January 4, 1993 place Toledo, OHio WW-II service in U S Navy W.A.V.E.S. - ratings AS, S2c, AM3c Honorable Discharge
Iam one of theidentical twins they brought into this world. My older twin sibling and I are very proud to be part of the family they raised. The 5 brothers and sisters behind our lead are all just as proud to call them 'Dad and Mom', our parents. Not only were my brother and I born on dad's birthday, dad died on ours ... and mom died on our younger brother's birthday.
I hope you will remember in prayer all our armed service members of today, wherever they are in our world. I share these fond memories of my parents as a way of honoring them for their life-giving courage. Their 'second chances' made it possible for me and my siblings to continue the traditions and patterns of life we learned at their knee.
[Note: certain writer creative liberties were taken in this depiction. Activities and events during this time of war were based on 'stories from dad' and actual historical renderings of these same events and similar events. Stories of life at home also come from 'stories from mom', and others, and consolidations of numerous similar activities and events in their lives.]
Thank you for reading their story.
With Compassion for Others - We Build - We Fight - for Peace with Freedom