Hitting the beaches
I just finished reading a book, The Far Shore by Admiral Edward Ellsberg, about the Normandy D-Day Invasion in June 1944. Ellsberg was a Navy Captain who was in charge of the artificial harbor (Mulberry) that was constructed off Omaha Beach on June 6th which allowed ships to offload tanks, artillery, and tons of munitions and other vital supplies. The Americans, British and Canadian armies needed a port to offload the massive numbers of tanks, trucks, heavy artillery and supplies that they would need to defeat the 15 German Panzer divisions that were defending the French coast. They had plans to capture the port at Cherbourg, but the Germans demolished that before the Americans captured the city. That left the Mulberry Artificial Harbor, made with a sunken ship breakwater, along with massive concrete box structures that were sunk to form another breakwater, two “floating” piers, with steel truss roadways to the beach, as the only way to get these supplies ashore.
My father Forrest was in the 2nd Armored Division (Hell On Wheels), and he told me that his company drove their tanks ashore at Omaha Beach on June 8th. I never thought to ask him if he used the Mulberry or drove from the LST directly onto the beach.
Adm. Ellsberg described in detail the brutal reception that the first and second waves received from the battle harden Germans troops that were manning the defenses. The Americans bombers pause two-three seconds unloading their bombs which were to fall on the beach defenses- they didn’t want any to fall short on the invading infantry. As a result, the bombs fell miles behind the beaches. The naval barrage also aimed long to avoid “friendly fire” causalities. The 90 tanks that were supposed to “swim” ashore with their floatation skirts and provide support for the infantry foundered in the heavy seas. Only seven made it ashore. The rocket barrage from the landing craft also fired long, hitting farmland behind the beaches. Thus the infantry arriving in the landing craft were on their own, and the German machine guns, mortars, and artillery decimated much of those first two waves.
Have you ever seen the first 25 minutes of Steven Spielberg’s movie The Saving of Private Ryan? It is about the first wave that hit Omaha Beach. It is the most graphic cinema depiction of combat I have ever seen. German machine gun bullets, mortars, and artillery are flying everywhere. Americans are being cut down as the leave their landing craft. Many drown in the high surf. Whole companies in that first wave are decimated. Hundred were killed and wounded in the first and second waves
Eventually the stunned and disheartened soldiers began picking themselves up and advancing on the bunkers. Individual heroism was commonplace, as small groups of soldiers from various companies combined and attacked German machine gun positions. Two American destroyers came in very close to the beach and began firing on the German positions that they could see. That gave the survivors a chance to advance, and after about four hours of hell, troops began to overcome the Germans and move inland.
Approximately 57,000 Americans came ashore on Omaha and Utah beaches that day, and its estimated that 2500 of them died, and over 10,000 were wounded. It was the bloodiest battle in American History.
Somehow these soldiers were able to throw themselves into the largest invasion in history to eventually defeat one of the evilest nations in history. They knew their chances of getting killed was high, but the fight for freedom was worth the risk. The bloody battle on Omaha beach resulted in the defeat of the German Army and the eventual capture of Berlin.
My father Forrest was a tank driver, then tank commander in the 2nd Armored Division, nicknamed “Hell On Wheels” and one of the first Americans to enter Berlin in July 1945. The Second Armored fought from North Africa, through Sicily, across France, into Germany, finally meeting the Russian Army on the Elbe River in eastern Germany. Forrest told me that of the 120 guys in his company that started the war in 1942, there were only three left when they got to Berlin.
Sobering sacrifices, all for the cause of freedom. Common ordinary men rose to the occasion and gave it all for the cause.
As a member of the Kingdom of God, we have a worthy cause and a worthy leader who wants all to be saved and spend eternity with Him. Our battle against spiritual darkness is raging, intensifying and escalating. Can you sense it? Its not a political or even a cultural fight. We are dealing with spiritual forces that are waring against the people of God.
And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Revelation 12:7-9
So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 12:17
The Bible is very clear that this is a spiritual battle that we are in. The stakes are high- eternal life for many of our family, friends, neighbors, and other whom God has placed in our circles. What will be our response as we get hit with the machine gun attacks of the enemy? Will we cower or will our warrior spirit rise up? Do we consider the cause worthy enough to give our lives for? Fortunately, our Savoir, and Lord has answered that question for us. He gave His life for us so that we all would live eternally.
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16-17
May the warrior spirit rise up in us all. May we be filled with love for others this Valentine’s month, and every month. May we take up our calling and allow God to use us as He planned when He put us on this earth. May we serve all who come across our paths. May we be loyal faithful friends to all and may our random acts of kindness be a bright shining light so that many will encounter Jesus through us.
By the way, I took my father to see Private Ryan. In that first scene of the Omaha beach landing, I was flinching from the realistic depiction of the machine gun bullets coming at me-- literally moving from side to side in the theater seat. It was intense. Finally, I looked over at Pop. He was sitting perfectly still, with a calm look on his face. I will never forget the look of an experienced warrior.
I think about that moment often.
Our team in Nicaragua has delivered many sacks of food and seeds. They have done a tremendous job, and we are now ready to begin the repairing of our schools.
We lost roof panels and window screens to the heavy winds of Hurricanes Eta & Iota.
We even had two doors blown off one school building.
This school lost the entire roof.
There has been some water damage to desks and chairs, as well as school supplies. Most of our buildings will need some serious attention before we open classes this month.
Thank you for participating with us in tis relief effort.
Please make a donation or go to our secure PayPal page at www.seekthelamb.com.
The simplicity of having One Source , one King, one Lord, and one Authority that runs the Universe and my personal life is a reality that behooves me.
I was given a music box this Christmas. It was and is one of my favorite gifts ever . I turn a knob and it plays for me,
“Jesus Loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so,
Little ones to him belong they are weak and He is strong . Yes Jesus loves me . Yes Jesus loves me . Yes Jesus loves me . The Bible tells me so.”
My life is ruled by this one fact: I am loved by the God who knows me, designed me, sees me, soothes me, hears me and gets me. He calms my soul and comforts my heart . He exudes life, truth and power. He embodies the essence of Love, Light, wisdom, eternal blessings and ultimate sacrifice in relationship. He literally gave up his life so I could live and eventually be free from sin and it’s decomposing effects upon my life and the world at large. Amidst the chaos in my life, I look to his divine nature to help me enter His character, ways and presence . I need him. His protection is secure and I am safe and abundantly taken care of by my Heavenly Father.
He knows, cares and can do all things in honor of his own character which is perfect and not according to any of my own merit or demerits. I am floored every time I reflect upon this fact and all the ways God has rescued me in great and small ways. He is such a big blessing upon blessing .
I went to our church, Central Assembly here In Vero Beach this weekend which we have been part of for 30+ years. A few years ago at this church I had a vivid experience of “seeing“ in my minds eye a vision that rocked me . Over the years I have recalled this vision over and again to encourage my own heart mostly, but have shared it with a few people when we happen to be on the topic of “A miraculous move of God “ . Yesterday in worship we had a prophetic word given that lined up with the vision I saw and my heart leapt with excitement. I was also excited by the message which was also very encouraging regarding we the Church getting busy with bringing the culture of heaven down to earth. We the Church have unfortunately have not looked or acted much differently than the world at large. We have been challenged in this time to get back to the basics of our beliefs and putting into practice.
In my vision, I saw in the front of the church a big iron black caldron. It was beautiful and big and sitting right at the front of the church. During the worship service I notice that smoke started to appear going upward toward heaven and I sensed the pleasure of the Lord receiving His praise and glory. We continued praying and acknowledging the Lord and soon it was like the smoke started to drizzle out like dry ice spilling out faster and faster. The smoke went up and overflowing out Into the church itself and as it touched the people worshipping there was a visible change in those it touched . It was like each person was being intoxicated by this smoke that represented the presence and power of God.
Many just fell to the floor resting in this Incredible calm and peace. As people started to leave the building the smoke trailed behind them and still rested upon them. As they went about Into their respective communities, offices, work place they brought this presence that had an obvious effect on all those coming Into this presence ... the smoke still lingering upon them and having its positive intoxicating effect on those that shared the same air space .
Since we began this season of 2020 the word that resonated within my soul has been to refine my focus upon the Lord, humble myself constantly under his mighty hand, repent from my sins, make His goals for my life and press hard to hear God’s voice and be willing to do whatever he says.
He was constant to remind me that he was in control and totally in charge regardless of the circumstances.
“Trust Me, Hear Me and just obey My Voice. Fear is rampant and my perfect love for you casts out all fear. There is no fear in Love . I am Love personified and I will waste nothing. Not even you catching this flu.”
My prayer for a spiritual awakening has been constant and real and I am looking forward to see what my Creator God shall do in the midst of it all
Pray with us for a worldwide move of the Holy Spirit like we have never seen before .
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Classes begin this month, and the needs are great to get this year off to a good start.