Monday, May 27, 2013

“A true hero enshrines his individual identity by surrendering it . . .”

Thus wrote historian David A. Smith, in the Dallas Morning News, May 27, 2013.

Cook Third Class Doris Miller, a mess attendant on the battleship U.S.S. West Virginia at Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941 became the first black man awarded the Navy Cross for heroism in combat

With his ship under attack, burning and holed by two torpedoes, Miller moved wounded sailors to safety and manned a machine gun against enemy planes. A year later he died when a Japanese submarine sank another ship in which he served. 

Citizens in Waco, Texas, have designed a memorial to Miller on the banks of the Brazos River.

Author Smith concluded, 

“Memorializing someone isn’t merely an act of remembering them. To memorialize is to allow the memory of a person to adjust the way we live our lives.” 

Friday, May 24, 2013

“. . . the future is here. It just doesn’t go real fast.

Dallas Morning News, Staff Photo by Robert Wilonsky, used with Permission
The SolarImpulse, a sun powered plane landed at DFW Airport, Texas yesterday morning at 1 a.m. after an 18-hour flight from Phoenix, Arizona, traveling about 26 miles per hour. The flight set a distance record for solar powered flight says Robert Wilonsky writing for the Dallas Morning News.

On the progress of solar powered transportation Wilonsky commented, “the future is here. It just doesn’t go real fast.”

His words recall to me the promise of Christ: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Present tense. Matthew 10, verse 7.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Present tense. Matthew 5, verse 3.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5, verse 10. Again, Jesus uses the present tense.

Jesus offers His followers present encouragement – not just pie in the sky in the sweet by and by - and this in the midst of trouble.

Of course, the kingdom of heaven is coming fully in the future. Jesus also made this plain: “. . . Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25, verse 34.

As history moves to that wonderful conclusion, I pray that the people devastated by natural disasters receive strength and comfort both from Jesus’ present and future promises of the kingdom. I am thinking of the people who have been through tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri, Granbury, Texas and Moore, Oklahoma.

Also, I pray that  Christians persecuted unmercifully at many places in the world receive strength and comfort from the same present and future promises of the kingdom.

As the Dallas Morning News writer said, “. . . the future is here. It just doesn’t go real fast.”

The principle he stated applies not only to air travel, but also to the unfolding of history.  When the future promised by Christ arrives, and Him with it, I know the awful wait will prove to have been worthwhile.