Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Uncanny Valley - Pete Garcia -
Random Thoughts on Bible Prophecy: Part II
The uncanny valley is a concept that was first identified by a Japanese robotics professor named Masahiro Mori (phrase later coined by Jasia Reichardt) describing the eerie/creepy feeling you get when confronted by a humanoid robotic, computer simulation, or digital avatars that appear almost, but not quite human. There is also a similar feeling you get when watching a human act in non-human ways, such as in the cases of zombies, those under demonic possession, or someone high on hallucinogenic drugs.
Over the past four decades, a darkness has settled over our nation. This would be around the same time Roe v. Wade became the law of the land (1973). Since then the interest and access to the occult and horror has exploded onto every possible platform and medium. Adding fuel to that dark fire has been the resurgence of witchcraft and paganism (as religious movements) who have gained increasing popularity and normalization thanks in part to Harry Potter and festivals like Burning Man.
Nevertheless, we are fast approaching a time when technology will be married to this darkened spiritual realm. Virtual and augmented reality, as well as artificially intelligent beings and systems will be used to augment man's embrace of the dark arts. This will make it exceedingly difficult for people to know what is real or not (Strong delusion?). If a demon can possess a simple cardboard game like an Ouija board, how much more extensive could the deception run if these fallen entities possessed artificially sentient programs and robots? As believers, we know demons, fallen angels, dark powers, principalities, etc. exist (Eph. 6:12); it should not be a stretch to understand how they will take advantage of the increasingly ambiguous nature of reality and use it for their own nefarious purposes (Rev. 13:15). What makes it all so crazy is that we can already see this taking shape today. People are trying to become machines while making machines into people. Things are indeed becoming, very, very creepy.
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2nd Thessalonians 2:9-11
"But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase." Daniel 12:4
The book of Daniel would not make sense until the earth entered into the time in which it would make sense, i.e., the time of the end. This unsealing period began with the Dispensationalist movement in the 19th-century by men like John Darby, Cyrus Schofield, Sir Robert Anderson, and Clarence Larkin. These men rediscovered three fundamental biblical truths that had been buried by millennia of religious dogma and eschatological ignorance. The late Dr. Charles Ryrie would later succinctly codify these as the sine qua non (fundamental elements):
God does everything for His glory
The bible requires a consistently literal interpretation (using a normal or plain sense of the language)
The church is not Israel, nor did it replace her
The early church fathers, as well as those in the subsequent centuries leading up to the 18th-century had good grasp of biblical history. In fact, we owe much to what we now know to them. However, charting the future was next to impossible without national Israel back in her land.
Over a hundred years before Israel became a nation again, these dispensational pioneers understood (according to Scripture) that Israel would HAVE to become a nation again. They did not know when or how, but only that it would happen. They understood this in large part by taking a literal interpretation of both Old and New Testament passages such as Amos 9:14-15 and Romans 11:25. By doing so, the prophetic timeline began to make sense.
Unfortunately, while the dispensationalist movement began to take root and flourish, Satan, begun a three-pronged misinformation campaign around the same time (middle to late 1800s). These three categories have done more to kill, maim, destroy, and corrupt humanity than all else combined in the previous twenty centuries.
It is no accident that pseudo-Christian cults like Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses, etc. also began to explode upon the scene. These groups wildly depart from the orthodox positions held by Christians on topics such as salvation, the deity of Christ, and eschatology. Hundreds of millions of people have been led astray into these false movements. (See Matt. 24:3-5, Acts 20:27-31, and Jude)
Juxtaposed from the pseudo-Christian cults and movements, were the legacy orthodox churches/denominations (mainline churches), which remained committed to an Augustinian form of hermeneutics. What I mean by this is that they (as denominations-not necessarily as individuals) embraced the allegorical method of interpreting Scripture, which is highly inconsistent. So certain passages they would take literally, while others (primarily prophetic texts) they treated as subjective and only symbolic (which brings in significant confusion since we all have differing opinions). This led to many opposing views within Christendom, which unfortunately led to fracturing/division and weakening of the churches role in society. This also led to the teaching that everything that could have been prophetically fulfilled, already has been. While not necessarily heretical in the truest sense of the word, Augustinian-hermeneutics has had a significant deadening effect upon churches and seminaries. (See 2 Peter 3:3-6, Revelation 3:3)
Charles Darwin presents his theory on the evolution of mankind, which triggered many other aberrant views such as survival of the fittest (later coined as Social Darwinism) and eugenics. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (both atheists) created a social-economic concept known as Marxism, which would lead to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people in the 20th century. Modern secular psychologists (e.g., Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche, etc.) would go on to introduce atheistic "solutions" that would affect mental health for the next hundred (plus) years. All of these became supporting pillars for communist, socialist, and fascist movements turning the 20th-21st centuries helping make them the most violent and confused centuries in human history. (See Matt. 24:14, 2 Timothy 3:1-3)
Nevertheless, Dispensationalists would go on to publicize their divinely inspired understanding of not only of the differing stages of mankind, but how bible prophecy relates to it all. Regarding this, what sharply came back into focus was the "mother of all prophecies," the Seventy Weeks of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27). Once dispensationalists began to unpack this, many of the other prophetic events began to make sense. This unsealing introduced a rapid proliferation in the understanding of Biblical knowledge.
Despite the Satanic attempts to thwart this unsealing of Daniel, the proliferation of knowledge (in a much broader sense), would also explode. A markedly rapid and intense increase of knowledge began to spring up across all fields of study, more so than at any other time in history. This trend seems not to be abating, especially since the world entered into the Information Age from the late 1970s until today. Note the speed and intensity:
Buckminster Fuller created the "Knowledge Doubling Curve"; he noticed that until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II, knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today things are not as simple as different types of knowledge have different rates of growth. For example, nanotechnology knowledge is doubling every two years and clinical knowledge every 18 months. But on average human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. According to IBM, the build out of the "internet of things" will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours.
While much of Bible prophecy has become known in this age of unsealing, many future events (as depicted in Revelation) continue to baffle students of Bible prophecy. However, as we continue to press on into the apocalyptic age, advancements in technology present very viable options for just how the Antichrist will completely rule the earth (Revelation 13).
Previous despots and tyrants unsuccessfully tried to use only military and/or political might to control the nations, but NONE was able to control all of them. What was lacking then was not just the technological means to do implement control, but also the spiritual means (see Luke 4:5-6, 2 Thess. 2:7). However, here are three technologies today that will make this form of total control possible, once the spiritual restraints are removed.
Project Starlink: This is the ambitious plan by billionaires like Bill Gates and Elon Musk, to completely blanket the earth with high-speed internet (Wi-Fi) by using thousands of low-level satellites. This currently has the approval of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Billionaire Bill Gates and Airbus backs a separate but equally ambitious program (EarthNow). This would also blanket the earth with low-level satellites providing global surveillance for all nations. You can see how this would be very appealing to the Antichrist.
Digital Currency: In order to create a one-world economy with the implied intent to implement total control, the power(s) that be, would by necessity, need to absolutely control all buying and selling. This is impossible in today's world as every nation uses a different currency. Nations assign an artificial value (by fiat) to a particular currency, thus determining its strength or weakness against other currencies. This has been done numerous times in history when regimes collapse or are defeated in wars (ex. Confederate dollars, Reich marks), or when nations want to purge (demonetize) certain currencies (ex. Indian 500/1000 Rupee, Zimbabwe's 100 Trillion Dollar notes, etc.). However, the global standard for all national currencies is still the US Dollar.
This dependency on a single currency puts the world's economic markets in a highly precarious situation...more so now, then ever before. This is because so much of the world's banking is international, our corporations transnational, and the markets are connected through the internet. Digital cryptocurrency (encrypted) already exists (Bitcoin, Lite Coin, etc.), however, it is my belief that they (the world's international banking institutions) are going to wait for the right crisis to come along in order to force the nations impacted by the collapsing US Dollar to accept some global digital currency, or risk economic ruin.
Quantum Computing: Since the world is so heavily dependent upon the internet for everything these days, it only makes sense that the current limitations (unequal access, bandwidth limitations, control of content) cannot keep up with the two aforementioned goals, global Wi-Fi and digital currency. This is why they are not currently the norm, instead of just ambitious goals. Information processing is limited by our current constructs of binary digital electronic computers who use Ones and Zeros. Quantum computers uses qubits that can act as either Ones or Zeros. Only speaking to the US contenders, Google and IBM are pitched in a fast-paced race to see who can reach Quantum Supremacy first. Regardless of who wins, the Antichrist's beast system will absolutely depend on a computer network that has the processing power to control ALL the buying and selling on planet earth, and Quantum systems seem the only technology capable of doing this.
Why have so many of our great prophecy teachers been taken from us right at the end? I have long wondered why the Lord would continue to graduate early, so many of the finest theological minds of our time. Many thought that the death of the Reverend Billy Graham would be the one to trigger our national judgement. However, if a death is the trigger such as was the case with Methuselah (divine timing), I believe it is someone else. Though these great warriors of the faith passed on with little fanfare from this fallen planet, I believe the heavens rejoiced exceedingly at their arrival. However, our world is much the lesser without them in it. Maranatha.
Noah Hutchins (1922-2015)
Charles Ryrie (1925-2016)
Dave Hunt (1926-2013)
Dave Breese (1926-2002)
Tim LaHaye (1926-2016)
Chuck Missler (1934-2018)
JR Church (1938-2011)
Mal Crouch (1938-2013)
Zola Levitt (1938-2006)
Stephen Yulish (1947-2012)
Grant R Jeffrey (1948-2012)
Jack Kelley (1942-2015)
Ron Graham (1951-2013)
Jack Kinsella (1952-2013)
Cris Putnam (1965-2017)
Satan's Plan to Steal Jerusalem - By Daymond Duck -
On May 14, 2018, the U.S. moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Jews were rejoicing in Jerusalem (dancing, praising God, etc.) and the Palestinians were rioting in Gaza (about 60 killed, more than 2,000 wounded, etc.).
A Christian friend called and asked, "What is the big deal?"
The big deal is that God has a plan for Jerusalem; and Satan is using Turkey, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinians and others to try to stop it.
The Bible mentions Jerusalem more than any other city on earth (over 800 times).
Prime Minister Netanyahu quoted Zech. 8:3 at the U.S. embassy Dedication Service. Here is Zech. 8:2-8 and what I think God said:
"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.
"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts.
"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness" (Zech. 8:2-8 KJV).
This has not been fulfilled. God's jealousy means God doesn't intend to let Satan have Jerusalem (Jesus was presented to God at Jerusalem; Jesus suffered and died at Jerusalem; Jesus ascended into heaven at Jerusalem; Jesus is coming back to Jerusalem; the Church began at Jerusalem, and more).
God's plan calls for Jesus to dwell in Jerusalem (on the Temple Mount), for Him to rule and be worshiped there, and for His Word to go forth out of Jerusalem during the Millennium (Isa. 2:1-2; Psa. 132:13; Isa. 2:3). Satan wants to stop this.
Satan wants to be worshipped. He doesn't want Jesus to dwell in Jerusalem, be worshiped and the Word of God to go all over the world. Satan doesn't want to be cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-3).
To fulfil His plan, God said He would bring the Jews back to Israel from other countries. He would cause Jerusalem to be rebuilt as a dwelling place for Jews of all ages. He said the return of the Jews and the rebuilding of Jerusalem will be marvelous in the eyes of the Jewish people (thus the rejoicing). But that is just a foretaste of the future because all Israel will be saved and He will be their God.
About 2% of the Jews are Messianic Jews and, as far as I know, they understand God's plan. Some of the Jews are religious, but they wrongly think they can go back under the Law (rebuild the Temple, resume the animal sacrifices, etc.) and fulfill God's plan. The remainder of the Jews are secular (not religious) and they have other ideas about what the nation should be doing.
Jerusalem occupies a unique position in two Bible timelines: the beginning and the end of the "times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24) and the beginning and the end of the "seventieth week of Daniel" (the Tribulation Period; Dan. 9:24-27).
The "times of the Gentiles" began with the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon in Old Testament times (Dan. 1:1-2; 2:31-45) and they will end when Gentiles can no longer influence the events in Jerusalem (at the Second Coming of Jesus (Zech. 14:1-4; Luke 21:24).
The "seventieth week of Daniel" (Tribulation Period) will begin when the Antichrist confirms a worthless treaty with Israel and many others for seven years of peace in Jerusalem and the Middle East (Dan. 9:27), and it will end when Jesus comes back to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem (Zech. 14:1-4).
The existence of Jerusalem was necessary to fulfill all of these prophecies plus another very important one, "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it" (Zech. 12:2-3).
Dr. John Hagee delivered the closing benediction at the U.S. embassy service. Among other things, he said, "It was You oh LORD who gathered the exiles from the nations and brought them home again. It was You who made statehood possible. It was You who gave a miraculous victory in 1967 when Jerusalem was reopened to worshipers of all faiths.
"Jerusalem is the city of God. Jerusalem is the heartbeat of Israel. Jerusalem is the place where Abraham placed his son on the altar of the Temple Mount and became the father of many nations. Jerusalem is where Isaiah and Jeremiah penned principles of righteousness that became the moral foundations of western civilization. Jerusalem is where Messiah will come and establish a kingdom that will never end."
He added, "Let the word go forth from Jerusalem today that 'Israel lives.' Shout it from the housetops that 'Israel lives.' Let every Islamic terrorist hear this message: 'Israel lives.' Let it be heard in the halls of the United Nations: 'Israel lives.' Let it echo down the halls of the presidential palace in Iran: 'Israel lives.' Let it be known to all men that 'Israel lives' because He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps."
Just prior to Dr. Hagee's words, Prime Min. Netanyahu told the gathered dignitaries they had come to Jerusalem "at a time when Israel is a rising power in the world."
That reminds me of something Jesus said, "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled" (Matt. 24:32-33).
The fig tree (Israel) is putting forth leaves. It is a rising power. The U.S. has moved its embassy to Jerusalem. Two more nations (Guatemala and Paraguay) followed suit before the week was over.
On Monday, May 14, 2018, Gaza was in turmoil. Hamas terrorists and Palestinians were being killed. Turkey's Pres. Erdogan recalled his ambassadors from the U.S. and Israel.
On Wednesday, Turkey's Pres. Erdogan said, "We will continue to be with our Palestinian siblings not only with our hearts, but with all our resources." He added, "We will never allow Jerusalem to be stolen by Israel."
On Thursday, a Turkish newspaper with ties to Mr. Erdogan was calling for the creation of an Islamic army to attack Israel, and Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei said, "Palestine will be liberated from the enemies and Jerusalem will be its capital."
God's kingdom on earth is approaching. The Jews are rejoicing. Satan is raging. Israel's enemies are deceived. Jerusalem is a burdensome stone.
Israel is not trying to steal Jerusalem from the Palestinians. Satan is trying to steal Jerusalem from God. And He has already assured us that we win.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
News from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries - Hal Lindsey -
Last week in Santa Fe, Texas, a boy of 17 shot and killed eight of his fellow high school students and two teachers. He wounded 13 others.
Panicked television commentators spent the weekend telling us how dangerous America's schools have become. They are scaring parents and children alike.
They are correct that America's schools have become more dangerous, but shootings are not the biggest danger. Let's take a little closer look.
CNN declared that this was "the 22nd school shooting in the US in 2018." That's 22 shootings at more than 140,000 institutions. That's a little more than .0001%, or just over one-ten-thousandth of one percent.
Those 22 incidents include all shootings on all school campuses (including massive, mega-universities) that result in injury. One of those incidents involved an adult who was shot in a school parking lot long after school hours. Another involved a kid shot by a BB gun.
These facts do not relieve the pain and fear of the injured students or those who escaped. They do not lessen the anguish of the families and friends of those who died. But they do give the situation some context.
The chances of your child or grandchild being shot at school are infinitesimal. As I have said before, your child has a far greater chance of being killed or injured on the way to or from school. America's schools are still just about the safest places for our children to be each day.
But, Santa Fe does remind us that America has a huge problem here. It is true that the number of mass shootings has risen dramatically. And that should serve as a wake-up call for us. Something has gone terribly wrong. Why is our society suddenly producing this many teen-aged mass killers?
Part of the answer goes back to the classroom. Guns do not pose the greatest danger in our schools. I believe radical teachers, propagandized textbooks, and modern curricula take that prize.
America has banned all acknowledgment of God from its schools. That leaves our schools teaching a worldview known as "nihilism." Google defines "nihilism" as, "The rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless."
It's only common sense. When we reject God, moral principles begin to fluctuate according to current opinion and fashion. Without God, we have no objective moral truth. It's all subjective. In other words, what is right and wrong is just a matter of opinion.
When that happens, then life has no true meaning. And no real value.
Entertainment reinforces those beliefs. Films, television, music, and video games ridicule the idea of God. They substitute emotion for meaning.
All of this leaves a generation of children without any ethical mooring or spiritual compass in a vast, seemingly empty universe. Conscience withers. Restraint disappears.
And that is the biggest danger looming inside America's classrooms.
On May 14, 1948, America, led by President Harry Truman, became the first nation to recognize the new nation of Israel. 70 years later, America, led by President Donald Trump, became the first nation to, in essence, acknowledge Israel's true sovereignty and open its embassy in Israel's capital of Jerusalem.
Of course, as in 1948, the opposition has been fierce and violent. The imams in Gaza, working with the terrorist government of Hamas, bussed more than 35,000 Gazans to the border of Israel in an attempt to breach it.
Hamas and the imams knew that Israel would be forced to defend itself. They knew there would be casualties. They did it anyway.
In fact, that's why they did it. The deaths of those Palestinians served only one purpose: to give Hamas and the Palestinians a talking point for the world media. They sacrificed their young in a public relations ploy!
And the mainstream media bought it hook, line, and sinker.
Only later did Hamas admit that more than 50 of the 62 who died were actually Hamas soldiers and operatives. And some of the others were from other Islamic terror groups. Business as usual for the Palestinians and the media.
President Trump recently announced that the United States is pulling out of the nuclear agreement with Iran. Though he had campaigned on that promise, the final nail in the coffin may have been when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly revealed the existence of Iran's "atomic archive."
Israeli intelligence operatives inside Iran located a hidden cache of Iran's most closely guarded secrets. But they didn't just expose the existence of the archive, they physically stole it and hauled it back to Israel!
In a televised presentation, Prime Minister Netanyahu revealed to the world the truth that Obama's "deal" with Iran was based totally on lies and deceit.
Iran insisted, and President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry agreed, that Iran had never sought, was not seeking, and would not seek to develop nuclear weapons. Netanyahu played videos of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif all making those declarations. Many times.
They all insisted that Iran wanted nuclear energy for peaceful and domestic purposes.
But the purloined atomic archive proved that all of those statements were bald-faced lies. Iran has, indeed, been working feverishly for years to develop and perfect nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them.
Apparently, that sealed the deal, so to speak, for President Trump and a few days later he made it official. America was done with the charade.
As you know, the American Left and the Europeans went apoplectic. The European Union has vowed to continue with the farce. So America stands to lose nothing by pulling out. But Iran will lose the United States and several other nations as trading partners. Should they choose to withdraw from the agreement themselves, then the Europeans will be forced to reinstate the sanctions against Iran.
That may well drive the mullahs back to the bargaining table and a better agreement may yet be struck. Either way, it will be a win for the US.
In all of this, though, Iran continues to move further into the arms of Russia. And that fits Bible prophecy to a tee.
Speaking of Bible prophecy. Planet earth is in a death dive.
Not only do the words of the prophets and Jesus Himself predict this, but every day's headlines confirm it.
Look around and you'll see the rise of deceiving spirits, the move toward a one-world government, environmental degradation, the spread of disease and plagues throughout the world, starvation on a mass scale, the worsening conflict in the Middle East, and increasing international tumult.
Jesus said that in these days men will be "fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world...." (Luke 21:26)
The truth is that people in the know are already scared silly.
They know our world runs on electricity, but the world's electrical grids are feeble and vulnerable. They know that the number of nations working feverishly to develop atomic weapons is rising dramatically. They know that weaponized biological substances exist in military laboratories right now that could decimate humanity in a matter of months. They know the dangers of artificial intelligence and other new, exotic technologies. They know that the world's economic house of cards could fold at any time. They know that our freshwater supplies are growing dangerously scarce and that our reservoirs are extremely vulnerable to terrorists. They know that even a small asteroid striking the earth could be an extinction-level event.
I could go on with the list, but you get the idea. We're a disaster away from "men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world...."
Most people don't want to think about these things. Many of us have allowed ourselves to become numb to the great drama unfolding in our time. But if you are a Christian, that's a mistake. The scripture is adamant. Stay alert. Keep watching.
Paul warned that "the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night ... so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober." (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 6)
We should be telling the world, "Keep watching!" It's a warning to those who don't know Christ and an inspiration to those who do.
Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com . Check your local listings.
More Than Baseball and Hot Dogs - Jack Kinsella -
Editors Note: From 2009, but still very relevant today.
Tiny Melton was a truck driver from Missouri. Tiny got his nickname in boot camp after his drill instructor took one look at his 6'4" 220lb frame and said, ''From now on, son, your name is Tiny.''
The name stuck. Tiny looked like a body-builder, but it was just the way he looked, he didn't work at it. And as big as he was, he was as gentle as a lamb.
Tiny always put me in mind of Clint Walker's character, "Posey" in the 60's war movie, "The Dirty Dozen."
Lynwood Richardson was from Alabama. Lynn was black, his skin a deep, rich ebony color. He was rechristened by his drill instructor as 'Snowball'.
Richardson was a great runner, but a lousy athlete. It was a dirty little secret then, but I suppose it's safe to admit it now.
In those days, it was fairly common for the drill instructor to cheat a little in order to squeeze somebody by some parts of the physical fitness test.
The tester was a drill instructor from another platoon. Snowball couldn't do the requisite number of pull ups -- my DI had me wear his sweatshirt and do them for him. (Snowball did the 3 mile run wearing my sweatshirt while I wore Pvt. Brunson's and did his situps)
Sherman Latchaw was a little bitty guy from Pennsylvania -- he didn't weigh 95 pounds dripping wet. He wore great big, oversized glasses that made him look like the little kid 'Sherman' from the Mr. Peabody cartoons.
But, since his name was ALREADY Sherman, we called him 'Poindexter.' Poindexter looked like a stiff wind would knock him over. But he whipped every guy he was matched up with in hand-to-hand combat training. Poindexter, the little guy with the big glasses, graduated at the top of his boot camp class.
Terry Severance was from Pennsylvania, as well. For some reason, he and I didn't hit it off that well at first. One of the duties shared by each recruit in boot camp was 'firewatch' duty. Each recruit in turn pulled a one-hour patrol of the barracks at night, before waking up the next man.
Terry fell asleep and when he woke me, it was halfway through my turn. Somehow, we ended up having a fight in the shower room -- me barefoot in my skivvies, he in full dungaree uniform and combat boots.
I don't remember who won, but I remember we were friends from them on.
My drill instructor was a guy named S/Sgt. J. R. James. When he found out I was Canadian, he nicknamed me 'Wacky Jack' -- whenever another DI stopped by, Sgt. James would invite him to inspect 'his pet Canadian' whereupon I would race to the center of the squadbay to be 'inspected.'
They'd look me over and say things like, "No wonder the Canadians sent him down here." and, "they don't grow 'em too sturdy up there, do they?" and other kind words of encouragement. (I kept part of the nickname -- I dropped the 'Wacky' part and only had to put up with it when I ran into somebody from my old platoon)
Mike Tuscan was a decent guy, quiet, steady, and somebody you knew you could count on when the chips were down. He was a fairly nondescript looking guy, you'd pass him on the street without a second glance.
The last time I saw him, he had made it to S/Sgt in less than three years -- quite an accomplishment for a Marine so bland that HIS nickname was 'Mike'.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)
Memorial Day began as "Decoration Day" shortly after the end of the Civil War. Prior to that war, veterans and their war service were most frequently honored as part of the annual Independence Day celebrations.
In the aftermath of the Civil War many cities and communities began a tradition of marking the graves of their war dead. Eventually, the observance became a national phenomenon and began to be observed nationwide on May 30.
With time, the observances came to include the dead of other wars. In 1967 the observance was officially recognized as a federal holiday -- Memorial Day.
Memorial Day was recently marked with controversy as some school districts have taken Memorial Day off their school holiday calendar. In North Carolina alone, there were twenty school district that held classes on this Memorial Day.
Explained Charlie Wyant, Catawba County Schools Board of Education chairman;
"The legislators have put us in a bind," Wyant said. "We have only so many days to get 180 instruction days in, plus teacher workdays, plus holidays. People want their Easter vacation and Christmas break, so when we did the calendar for this year, we chose to keep those and take away Memorial Day."
The two holidays being reconsidered as ordinary school days are Memorial Day and Veteran's Day. Why not Martin Luther King Day? Why not President's day, (since it no longer honors any particular president?)
Martin Luther King Day celebrates the murder of a great social leader. President's Day honors the presidents who led the nation in times of war.
Memorial Day honors those ordinary men and women who volunteered to stand in harm's way so that the rest of us wouldn't have to. They paid the price for freedom with their blood, their sweat, their tears, and, too often, with their lives.
They did so while living on salaries below the federal poverty line, leaving their families to the tender mercies of their self-absorbed countrymen, many of whom were subjected to verbal abuse and insults as a reward for their sacrifices.
Memorial Day is arguably one of America's most important holidays, since it celebrates the ongoing willingness of young Americans to sacrifice themselves in the name of freedom, on behalf of an increasingly ungrateful nation.
I took this Memorial Day off. I spent the day remembering.
I remembered Tiny Melton, Lynn Richardson, Terry Severence, Sherman Latchaw and all the rest. To the many veterans among our membership, I apologize on behalf of the ignorant among us. And to all the millions before and since, I add my heartfelt thanks.
There is a bumper sticker out there that sums it all up nicely;
"If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them."
Daily Jot: Honoring the keepers of liberty - Bill Wilson -
Some time ago, I was re-watching the movie "Midway." Six months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, they were trying to set a trap for the US Navy and destroy it. The American commanders actually set a trap of their own and the highly outnumbered US forces won a decisive victory. I am always humbled by the selfless and heroic efforts made by the World War II generation. They sacrificed their lives for something they believed was bigger than them. They knew the value of family; the power of God; and that life and liberty was foundational to being an American, and it was worth fighting for. They were defined by their courage and character, their dedication to what was right and good.
For me, Memorial Day was always a solemn day first, and a day of great celebration second. Growing up, our 4-H horse club always participated in the Memorial Day Parade that wound through Rootstown, Ohio and ended up at the cemetery. There, we faced the graves of those who served their country, many who died that we might live free. Our horses were to stand at attention, and we were to sit on them, also at attention, our hats removed, as the speakers honored America's finest. Afterwards, we would load up the horses and head back to the farm, where we had a cookout, usually with Warren and Sue McCarthy, Gene and Betty Flynn, Bob and Doris Harris and their families.
Warren and Gene served on D-Day. They survived it. And they were decorated war heroes. Not much of what they did was ever discussed. But you somehow knew that they were special. My dad, who was a farmer during the war, was best friends with these men. He knew what went on, but would never say. They were among the finest men I knew growing up. My uncle Bob Harris served in the Philippines. There were times when he had flashbacks. My dad would get a call from my aunt and he would find Uncle Bob, talk him down and hold him until the terror passed. He, too, was a decorated hero. All these men knew the price of freedom and they understood their civic duty to their families, their God and their country.
I'm sure you have stories as well about the brave men and women who served in our nation's armed forces. President Ronald Reagan remembered veterans in his speech May 26, 1986. He said, "If we really care about peace, we must stay strong. If we really care about peace, we must, through our strength, demonstrate our unwillingness to accept an ending of the peace. We must be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to protect it where it does." To me, there will never be peace on earth until the Lord returns. Jesus said, however, in Matthew 5:9, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Many have sacrificed themselves that we may have peace and freedom. Let us honor their deeds.
Daily Devotion: Suffer for the Right Reasons - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. -Daniel 6:4
So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. (Daniel 6:4 NKJV)
In the Old Testament we read of a man named Daniel, who was envied by other leaders in the kingdom. They were jealous of his position of authority, and they wanted to trip him up. But Daniel lived such a godly life, they couldn't find anything wrong with him. They scrutinized him. They watched him. But he walked on the straight and narrow.
Finally they recognized that they could find nothing wrong with Daniel unless it was concerning him and his God. They knew that every day, Daniel would pray and face Jerusalem. So they had the king draft a law forbidding everyone from praying to any god except the king. The law was decreed, but Daniel's enemies knew he still would pray.
Thank God when your enemies have to make up lies about you because there is nothing else to hang their accusations on. There was nothing wrong with Daniel, so his enemies had to lay a trap for him.
Could that be said of you or of me? Jesus said, "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:11-12 NKJV). If people are going to say things about us, then let them be lies-and not because we're failing to live godly lives.
How we need more people like Daniel, who fearlessly proclaimed the word of God to Nebuchadnezzar, and then to his grandson, in spite of the potential harm to his own life.
I pray that in our day, we'll have more real Christians who will turn their world upside down, who will impact their culture in a positive way.
FROM THE HEART
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