“1944, June 6 Tuesday: “D” Day Invasion of France begin. Still in training in Ireland.” (2nd Lt. H.D.Dow 21yrs old personal diary) [74 yrs ago]
(NOTE: D-Day Overlord invasion has continued for 11 days with slow progress. US First Army cuts off Cotentin Peninsula, trapping Germans in Cherbourg.)
“1944, June 17 Saturday – Flew practice navigation mission over Ireland.” (2nd Lt. H.D. Dow, diary)
NOTE: Day 12. Fighting is violent. German morale is low. The allied armada regroups offshore Cherbourg to support land forces. On the British front (north and northwest of Caen) the fighting is violent. The Allied airmen do not have enough territory to install advanced landing grounds. On the other hand, the German armored divisions are attracted to the east of Normandy, thus freeing the Americans on the western front. Beginning on June 18th, a new battle of great magnitude, located in the vicinity of Tilly, is supposed to break through the front.
“1944, June 18 Sunday – Navigation flight over Ireland.” (2nd Lt. H.D. Dow, diary)
NOTE: Day 13. Allied forces face major problems – bad weather – a hard storm hits the English Channel which has been building since June 17. This delays supplies (soldiers, equipment, ammunition, fuel, etc.) and air support. Waves are pounding the beaches – boats are sinking and running aground, floating bridges are breaking their moorings and floating away. Confusion abounds. Fighting continues but land advancement is obviously delayed.
Where is my Dad?
“1944, June 19 Monday – Another Nav(igation) flight over Ireland.” (2nd Lt. H.D. Dow, diary)
NOTE: Day 14. The storm is still raging in the Channel. Allied weathermen expect good weather within two days. Repairs are expected to be numerous. Supplies are still slow in coming, but the American forces continue their progression – difficult but onward. In the city of Valognes hard street fighting is taking place.
The Air Corp continue to bomb areas not controlled by American forces. Between Cherbourg and Valognes (near the town of Sottevast) the Americans find a huge construction site abandoned since D-Day. It is a V-2 rocket launching base.
“1944, June 20 Tuesday: More Nav. Flight training.” (2nd Lt. H.D.Dow, diary)
“1944, June 21 Wednesday – Flew Gunnery mission over coast of Ireland.”
“1944, June 22 Thursday – Packed up and was flown by C-47 to our combat base in England near Bishops Stortford (Great Dunmow).
“1944, June 23 Friday – Spent day settling down and getting things straightened out.”
“1944, June 24 Saturday – Attended lecture Start flying combat tomorrow.”
“1944, June 25 Sunday – Flew first 2 combat missions. In morning over ammo dump in woods near Argentan [France] (250 lbs) afternoon, Railroad at Ecconeis [Essones, FR south of Paris].”
(2nd Lt. H.D.Dow diary)
NOTES: D-Day Operation Overlord
June 26, 1944 – Day 20: There is no important German movement because of the allied aerial superiority. The British 8th Corps struggle to take Hill 112, of the Odon region, which is strongly defended by the Germans. The city of Cherbourg is officially liberated with a German surrender with only a few pockets of resistance.
June 29, 1944 – Day 23: East of Caen (Gravus) The Scots of the 15th Infantry Division secure the area with strong Panzer resistance. Hard fights take place and the Scots owe their salvation only to the systematic intervention of the Allied air forces for their great air superiority. The German tanks were annihilated by allied planes, which constantly harassed enemy movements.
The Germans take advantage of the opportunity to take Hill 112 point again, and hand-to-hand fights take place. The losses are horrific. Several thousand British soldiers (more than 4,000 on the evening of 29 June) have been put out of action since the beginning of operation, which began on 25 June.
“1944, June 29 Thursday: Flew third mission. Bombing gun emplacements on the tip of Cherbourg Peninsula. 2000 pounders.” (2nd Lt. H.D.Dow – diary)
“1944, June 30 Friday: Flew fourth combat mission. Bombed troop concentration on Bay of Biscay near St. Lo.” (2nd Lt. H.D. Dow – diary)
NOTES: D-Day Operation Overlord
July 4, 1944 – It has been 28 days since the allies attacked the beaches of France.
British Gen. Montgomery’s strategy begins to pay off. While the British fight the entrenched enemy at Caen, Canadian 3rd Infantry Division by-pass the city and seize the airport (Carpiquet about 1 mile east of Caen).
On the Cotentin Peninsula, the Americans pursue La-Haye-du-Puits. North of St-Lo, extreme violent fighting involves 7th Corps and the 83rd and 90th infantry divisions. The American losses are very heavy.
“1944, July 4 – Tuesday – On a raid over St. Lo in Northern France. Carrying 250 pounders. Tony killed in Ireland on first training flight.” (2nd Lt. H.D. Dow – diary)
NOTE: D-Day Operation Overlord
July, 5, 1944. 3rd Canadian Infantry finishes wrestling the airport out of the hands of the 12 SS Panzer division. The problem is a group of fanatic soldiers of the Hitlerjugend who defend every farm and crossroad until death. Progress is slow.
On the American front, the troops of the 7th Corps lose 1,500 soldiers as they advance the length of two football fields. Saint-Jores is liberated by soldiers of the 90th American Infantry Division.
“1944, July 5 – Wednesday – Flew 6th combat mission. Bombed fuel dump in Northern France. Had two day leave so went to London with Herb and Epp.” (2nd Lt H.D.Dow diary)
(Don Epstein (P), Herb Zweig (CP), H.D.Dow (B/N) )
NOTES: D-Day Operation Overlord
July 6, 1944 Day 30
Gen. Montgomery is blocked at Caen. It remains in the hands of the Germans. The Germans bury their Tiger tanks, making it difficult for the allied air forces to knock them out. Gen. Montgomery decides to intensify the bombing before future attacks.
The Americans are also stopped by German forces in southern Cotentin. The American troops move on to the towns of St. Lo and Periers south of Cotentin.
The 30th US Infantry Division is approaching the village of St.Fromond and its strategic bridge over the Vire-Taute canal. The infantry takes possession of the small town of Airel, located in the immediate vicinity of St.Fromond.
“1944 July 6 – Thursday – Buzz Bombs too hot so left London and went to visit Wesley Hill at Bury St. Edmunds.”(2nd Lt H.D.Dow diary)
NOTES: D-Day Operation Overlord
July 7, 1944 Day 31
As Gen. Montgomery again prepares to take Caen, allied artillery bombards German positions around the city. The 12th S.S Panzer Division is entrenched, heavily attacking Canadian troops who have progressed from the east with difficulty. Surrounding houses (in Buron) have been transformed into impregnable fortresses. The fight lasted a whole day, and the losses on both sides were great: Canadians lost more than 260 soldiers at the end of the day. The village is still not under control. The British artillery bombed Buron throughout the night.
American 30th Infantry attacks the village St. Fromond. After violent fighting, the American soldiers cross the Vire-Taute canal to secure access to the bridge. This victory allows the Sherman tanks to progress towards St. Lo. The Germans are ‘jostled,’ but soon regroup and stop the American’s forward movements.
The Germans have recorded a total of 80,783 soldiers out of the fight (wounded, KIA, MIA, or POW) between June 6th and July 7th.
“1944 July 7 – Friday – Left Bury St. Edmunds and went back to Base at Great Dunmow.” (2nd Lt H.D.Dow diary)
NOTES: D-Day Operation Overlord
July 8, 1944 Day 32
Northern Caen is carpeted with 6,000 tons of bombs reducing it to ashes. The 7th German Army continues to resist Allied attacks. Despite the heavy losses of the previous day the Canadian forces manage to seize Buron and push the enemy back. Harsh fighting against German Hitlerjugend Division finally results in the liberation of the village of Authie. Today 160 Canadian soldiers are removed from action and 7 Sherman tanks are destroyed.
The Americans are slowly progressing across the bridges on the Vire river.
“1944 July 8 – Saturday – Rested up some more just sitting around playing ‘Gin Rummy’. ” (2nd Lt. H.D.Dow diary)
“1944 July 9 – Sunday –Flew 7th Combat mission over Orleans after fuel storage warehouse.” (2nd Lt. H.D.Dow diary)
NOTES: D-Day Operation Overlord
July 10, 1944 Day 34
The plan was to occupy Caen on the evening of June 6th. 34 days later only the northern section of the city has been liberated. It has been a stalemate. The 8th British forces now decide to focus their efforts on the key position of Hill 112 (approx. 3 miles SW of Caen) and cross the Orne River. Hill 112 is defended by 2nd SS Armored Corps, who are aware of the tactical importance of this position and continue to defend the southern section of Caen, held by the Panzer group of Eberbach. The 43rd British Wessex Inf Div heading SW toward the village of Maltot and meet heavy resistance.
Despite intensive bombing, the Americans are making slow progress at Periers and St. Lo as they engage in slow “hedgerow warfare”.
“1944, July 10, Monday – Loafed Around.” (2nd Lt. H.D.Dow diary)
“1944, July 11, Tuesday – Flew 8th mission. Used path finder on ammo dump in Northern France.” (2nd Lt. H.D.Dow diary)
[Pathfinders were target-marking squadrons. They located and marked targets with flares which a main bomber force could aim at, increasing the accuracy of their bombing.]
NOTE: The Bombardier was entrusted with the care and use of a top secret instrument: The Norden Bombsight. It was a mechanical computer used to calculate time and range angle of the bombs. By simply dialing in the aircraft’s altitude and heading, along with estimates of the wind speed and direction (in relation to the aircraft), the computer would automatically, and quickly, calculate the aim point. It was not to fall into enemy hands, therefore the bombardier was responsible to destroy the bombsight if necessary.
July 12, 1944 – Wednesday – The page is BLANK.
[At a later date in 1945 2nd Lt. H.D.Dow will record these words: “Shot down at 2200 on French Coast South of Boulogne. Picked up immediately by Germans. 9th Bomb Mission.]
The drawing above was drawn by H.D. while a POW. It was his remembrance of the crash site. They were flying over the English Channel – returning to base – when they were shot down. They were carrying 2 – 2000 lbs bombs which they did not get to drop due to cloud coverage. It was with great skill and steadiness of hand that 2nd Lt Donald M. Epstein (Pilot) and 2nd Lt Herbert W. Zweig (Co-pilot) “softly” and safely landed their B-26 between active land mines, barbed wire and sea barriers, thus saving the lives of all crew members. I am confident that the God of heaven and earth was watching over these men on that terrible day.
Lt Dow was told by his interrogator, “For you, the war is over.”
He will spend the next 10 months as a German POW; But that’s another story.
Noah Webster defined “Almost” as “very nearly but not completely.” After hearing words of “truth and soberness” (Acts 26:25), King Agrippa said to Paul, “Almost thou persuades me to be a Christian” (Acts 26:28). The America Standard Version says “with but little persuasion thou wouldest fain make me a Christian.” Paul’s word’s obviously made sense to Agrippa, but it was not enough to sway his heart to obedience.
Many people read articles printed on blogs. Many people smile and seem to agree with the message, but like King Agrippa, are unwilling to surrender themselves to Christ’s teaching. King Agrippa was an “Almost Christian.” Maybe you are too! Paul answered the King’s excuse, “I would to God, that whether with little or much, not thou only, but also all that hear me this day, might become such as I am” (Acts 26:19). Paul was willing to offer more “persuasion” if Agrippa would listen and obey. The same attitude prevails in the heart of true Christians today. Won’t you please become a Christian TODAY!
Through this avenue I hope to reason with my friends concerning “righteousness and self-control” and often find the same response as Paul. “Felix was terrified, and answered, Go thy way for this time: and when I have a more convenient season, I will call thee unto me” (Acts 24:25). Sadly, “convenient seasons” rarely come. Please don’t be an “Almost Christian.” Arise and obey God today, for today is the day of salvation! (2Cor. 6:2) If you have problems with Bible teachings “come now let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). Our soul’s salvation is at stake! How much do you value your soul? The old hymn rings true: “Almost cannot avail; Almost is but to fail; Sad, sad, that bitter wail – ALMOST – but lost.” — Daniel S. Dow
“Thou art not far from the king of God.” (Mark 12:34)
“Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath of God: for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19). We live in a time when vengeance is seen by verbal, law suits, fist fights, and even murder. The Christian mustn’t be fashioned after the world (Romans 12:2), he must realize that vengeance belongs to God. Paul continues to write: “Render to no man evil for evil. Take thought for things honorable in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men. Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath of God: for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord. But if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him to drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:17-2).
Jesus clearly teaches how the disciple is to respond toward those who are mean spirited. He doesn’t expect us to ‘cuss’em’, ‘deck’em’, or ‘sue’em’. Listen carefully… “Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, resist not him that is evil: but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also” (Matthew 5:38-40). The wicked will receive their just punishment when Jesus returns (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
Revenge and retaliation are products of the fleshly works: “enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties, envyings” (Galatians 5:20-21). Be warned, such conduct will not inherit the kingdom of God.
This past week Diana and I were blessed with another addition to our family. Our fifth grandchild, a precious little boy, was born into this world. Throughout the past 30 years I have witnessed the birth of each one of my seven sons, as well as being able to be a part of some of my grandchildren’s early years. Each time I hold these tiny children in my arms I am moved to tears, deep thoughts and prayers concerning their new life. I think about God’s wondrous grace, His tremendous power and marvelous design of life. On several occasions I have even written about these stirring moments. They are not necessarily new thoughts, but thoughts I am reminded of and provoked by these little people. They teach me valuable lessons of God. I last wrote of these things about three years ago. Today I reflect again.
I briefly held Josiah around 3 AM. He was roughly two and a half hours old. I was sleepy, and he was asleep, but I took the time to notice all the little details that were possible to take in and remember. I did this with each one of my sons. I stared at each little feature, and considered the family resemblance; He reminded me of his daddy. I was thankful to God for this new little addition to our family.
I looked at his little mouth, chubby cheeks and cleft chin. I noticed His sweet little nose and thick dark black hair – Where did that come from? Such delicacy and detail. He was perfect. “Fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-14).
He is a precious soul made in the remarkable image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). This adorable child is priceless – a precious gift given by our Great Creator.
I think about the words of the Psalmist: “Lo, children are a heritage of Jehovah; And the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, So are the children of youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them…” (Psalm 127:3-5). I held in my arms one of the greatest physical gifts God has ever given man. It made me think about the tremendous challenge laid before my son and precious daughter-in-law. They have a great work to train and spiritually prepare their little boy, and then shoot that little arrow forth into a vast world of sin and darkness. I am very confident that with the Lord’s help they will be successful in teaching him to love and respect God.
His sweet innocence and complete trust placed in my feeble arms to hold him up made me think of Jesus’ words: “Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for to such belongeth the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:13-14). “Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4). Is this how the heavenly Fathers looks at me? Is it possible (even as a sinner), that I am as strongly loved and as precious in God’s sight as Josiah is in mine? I believe so. I must strive to be more childlike.
As I look upon the face of my new grandson, I am reminded that although I may not be his father, I am his father’s father and I am responsible to keep God’s Word ever before him. As Moses said, “… Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes saw, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life; but make them known unto thy children and thy children’s children” (Deuteronomy 4:9). Therefore, I will strive to help his parents any way I can and do my best to be an example before him at all times.
“Children’s children are the crown of old men; And the glory of children are their fathers” (Proverbs 17:6). I love you Josiah – welcome to our family!
Four hundred ninety-eight years ago a German Roman Catholic priest defiantly nailed a document (“Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences”) on the massive doors of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The document contained 95 questions and theses of debate. The priest, Martin Luther, vigorously condemned the Catholic Church’s practice of selling “indulgences” to absolve sin. These 95 different theses basically set forth two central ideas: 1) The Bible is authoritative and 2) Man is saved by faith and not works. This was the starting point of the Protestant Reformation.
Luther seems to pursue an honest and open discussion; he desired the Catholic body to repent. Although provocative, the document appears to be written by a humble spirit – questioning rather than accusing. Consider a few of the theses:
- When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.
- This word cannot be understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, that is, confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.
- The man who actually buys indulgences is as rare as he who is really penitent; indeed, he is exceedingly rare.
- Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.
- For the graces of indulgences are concerned only with the penalties of sacramental satisfaction established by man.
- They who teach that contrition is not necessary on the part of those who intend to buy souls out of purgatory or to buy confessional privileges preach unchristian doctrine.
- Any truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without indulgence letters.
- It is vain to trust in salvation by indulgence letters, even though the indulgence commissary, or even the pope, were to offer his soul as security.
- Injury is done to the Word of God when, in the same sermon, an equal or larger amount of time is devoted to indulgences than to the Word.
- Christians should be exhorted to be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, death and hell.
Although, condemning of the Pope’s behavior, Luther still believed in the hierarchy of the Catholic “papal” apostasy, as well as many other scriptural perversions and man-made additions.
Historically, the Catholic Church slowly emerged as the New Testament church drifted further and further into apostasy. Paul wrote of this coming digression in 1 Timothy 4:1-3 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4. It seems to have come to a head around in the 7th century when Boniface III was proclaimed to be the first “universal father” or “pope” in 606 A.D. Since the Pope is an essential feature of the Catholic Church, it must be noticed that there is no mention of a “pope” in the New Testament. Certainly the apostle Peter, was never called by such a name; Nor was he ever referred to as ‘Father’ (c.f. Matthew 23:9) or ‘papa’.
In the first century, each church was under a plurality of elders/bishops (Acts 14:23 Phil 1:1 Titus 1:5). We always see one church under many elders, not many churches under one bishop/elder. We must be honest with the Bible and ourselves. We must return to the Bible
In 1518 Martin Luther got his debate. For three days he refuted Cardinal Thomas Cajetan in Augsburg, Germany resulting in absolutely no changes. On November 9, 1518, the pope condemned his writings. Refusing to recant his 95 theses, Martin was excommunicated from the Catholic Church by Pope Leo on January 3, 1521.
Martin Luther was looking in the right direction, but failed to move further ahead. Luther sought to reform or alter the Catholic Church. In so doing he began adding to the thousands of denominations that exist today; each a little different from one another, but all the offspring of the apostate Church. Sadly, Luther wrote: “I pray you leave my name alone and not call yourselves Lutherans but Christians.” They did not heed his admonition. “In none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) We must seek to restore the New Testament order. We must desire to follow the Biblical pattern of Christ’s church. For Christ’s church is the glorious body of the redeemed, divinely designed and established. “Unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:21)
A faithful and godly family does not just happen. Yet, a family does not go through a daily ‘ritual’ or ‘ceremony’ to become more spiritual. Godliness and spirituality comes through careful planning and determined cultivation. It becomes a way of life.
A spiritual family begins with godly parents who, before the birth of their first born, are determined to “nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4) This couple begins their marriage with the primary thought that God will always abide in their home. They acknowledge the Truth: “Except Jehovah build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” (Psalm 127:1) If you want a spiritual family, you must first allow God to be a part of your family by allowing Him to lead and direct. We must relinquish our will to His.
A spiritual family spends time together. Godly families eat, play, study, and worship together. The wise and experienced Solomon warns the parent, “A child left himself causeth shame to his mother.” (Proverbs 29:15) Children desperately need the parent’s time and attention. Through inspiration he also pointed out the benefits of family companionship in Ecclesiastes four. “There is one that is alone, and he hath not a second; yea, he hath neither son nor brother; yet is there no end of all his labor, neither are his eyes satisfied with riches. For whom then, saith he, do I labor, and deprive my soul of good? This also is vanity, yea, it is a sore travail. Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, and hath not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone? And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Eccl. 4:8-12) Godly families will enjoy and appreciate one another’s company.
A spiritual family eats together. This time is used for conversation concerning events of the day, and it will most likely involve Bible discussions. We find out what our children did during the day, and what mother and father did during their day. Plans for future events might be discussed. Family talk should be cherished by all – your children will remember these days. This is obviously a time to pray together and be thankful to God for the families’ dependence upon God and prosperity (John 6:11). This time can be used to read the Scriptures if a family so determines it to be prudent. Remember the words of Moses as he instructed the family heads of Israel, “Love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates.” (Deut. 6:4-9)
A spiritual family plays together. This is manifested in a simple ‘game night’ or maybe a trip to the zoo. God reminds us life is to be enjoyed. “Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of thy life…” (Eccl. 9:9) “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thy heart, and in the sight of thine eyes; but know that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.” (Eccl. 11:9-10) A godly family will benefit from laughing and have fun with one another. The wise king said, “A glad heart maketh a cheerful countenance…” (Prov. 15:13) Of course, all the ‘fun’ must be considered in light of God’s Word. Is it right? Would it cause me or others to sin? How will it affect our influence? Etc.
A spiritual family works together. The family that cooks a meal together, cleans the house together, or does yard work together derive great benefits. The responsibility of chores, the accomplishment of a job well done and the loving instructions from a parent can go a long, long way to making our families what they ought to be spiritually (Eccl. 9:10 1Thess 4:11 2Thess 3:10-12 Eph. 4:28). The Lord teaches us, “Even a child maketh himself known by his doings, Whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” (Proverbs 20:11) This work might involve helping others, therefore teaching a valuable lesson of selflessness. “Not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others.” (Phil. 2:4)
A spiritual family worships together. Whether at home or at the church building the family is together. They attend services together thus provoking “love and good works.” (Heb. 10:24-25) (1) Worship services and Bible studies take priority over all things: work, school, sports, vacations, etc. (2) We must also take the time to prepare for study and worship. This means we will equip our children with their Bible and lesson and book. We will prepare them for their Bible classes by reading and helping the prepare lessons or memorize texts. (3) This obviously requires parental awareness and involvement. Attend area Gospel Meetings together as a family. Not only do you learn God’s Word, but conversation is provoked, new friendships can be established in other congregations, and brethren are encouraged by your family’s visit. Study the Bible together at home. We cannot expect two 30 – minute classes at the church building to fully equip our children for life. It is the parent’s responsibility to teach their children God’s Word. We must take the time to read together, study together and pray together.
Pray diligently for your family. Pray that it be faithful, godly and spiritual. Then, execute God’s plan for the family in your life and it will come to pass. “For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of Jehovah, to do righteousness and justice…” (Genesis 18:19)
Daniel S. Dow
We are an “ON-THE-RUN” people. We eat on the run, read on the run, study on the run, shave and apply make-up on the run, talk on the run and even cook on the run. The trouble is, too often we “RUN” past the important things that really deserve our time and attention.
Many people are so busy running around they have no time for God. Too busy to give attention to reading and studying the Bible. Too rushed. Too tired. Too busy to think about eternal preparation of the soul. We pass by , opportunities and invitations to obey the Lord. One day, those opportunities will be no more. Day by day we seek only those things that appeal to the flesh, thinking nothing about the value of our soul. We have a command to teach the gospel to those of this world (Matthew 28:19 Mark 16:15), but too often we excuse ourselves from that great work because we are just too busy with other things. Jesus reminds us of what is most important; “Seek ye first the kingdom, and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33)
Many parents run past their children on the way to work, on the way to social gatherings and community affairs. They have no time to play catch, hear their problems, help with their projects – no time to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4 Deuteronomy 6:6-9). Constantly on the run, we have no time to pray with our children. No time to help them learn the Bible or talk about spiritual subjects. We certainly give them spending money, automobiles, televisions, stereos and clothes – we just don’t have any time to spare.
On the run! Too busy! No time! Is this really the problem? No. These are merely scapegoats to excuse ourselves. We determine the priorities in our lives. Most of us can do what we want to do, and we take the time for the things what we want to do. Amazingly, we can find time to hunt, play ball, and attend social events, but suddenly we are helpless to find time for God or our families. We need to stop deceiving ourselves. Time is a resource to be invested as we choose. “Look carefully how ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). Time is to be our slave, not our master! We must use our time in view of eternity. Slow down! As they say, “Take time to smell the roses” and prepare for heaven.
“Come now, ye that say, To-day or to-morrow we will go into this city, and spend a year there, and trade, and get gain: whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. What is your life? For ye are a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall both live, and do this or that.” James 4:13-17
Do you have a sincere and honest heart? Such a heart is necessary if you expect to be pleasing to God. The sincere and honest heart diligently searches the Scriptures for God’s Way, and once finding it, abandons all the vain paths which are not of God. Concerning the honest and good heart, Jesus said, “having heard the word (they) hold it fast” (Luke 8:15). “Holding it fast” emphasizes the importance of pattern and authority. Today, many people hear the word, but are not honest and sincere in their “holding to it”. Of those, Jesus said, They “honoreth me with their lips; But their heart is far from me” (Matthew 15:8) And what of their eternal reward? “Then will (Jesus) profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23)
We must be sincere with the Scriptures. When they specify certain commands we need to learn not to tamper with or add to them. When God is silent on a matter, we need to respect His silence and not “barge in” establishing new and improved commandments. Let us also realize this; If God said it, I must do it. Many of the commands of God go unheeded simply because man doesn’t want to do them. The Roman Christians “became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching…” (Romans 6:17). That form of teaching is spoken of in verses 1-9. It refers to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and the likeness of our salvation through death to sin, burial in water, and a new spiritual life. The majority of people (Matthew 7:13) do not have the integrity to submit their hearts to God Almighty. They continue to follow the paths of men. “Ye are they that justify yourselves in the sight of men; but GOD KNOWETH YOUR HEARTS: for that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15)
Do you have a sincere and honest heart?
Years ago, while browsing around a religious book store, I picked up a little blue paperback book entitled, “The Truth About The Church of Christ”. Needless to say, my interest was piqued. I wanted to know the truth, so I bought it! As I began to read, I immediately noticed a common sentiment that permeated throughout the book. Statements like: “They are completely warped doctrinally….” , “…warped and utterly confused on the Bible” and “They are glaringly ignorant…” OUCH!!
The author referred to the church of Christ as a “modern cult”. Although he never defined “cult”, I knew it wasn’t good. I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “cult” I think of groups like the Branch Davidians, who blindly followed their leader, David Koresh, to their fiery deaths (1993). Or I think of Jim Jones and the People’s Temple which ended in a mass poisoning of adults and children followers (1978). The robes, flowers and shaved heads of Sun Myung Moon’s ‘Moonies’ (or The Unification Church) come to mind (1974). In 1997 there was the “Heaven’s Gate” mass suicide led by Marshall Applewhite in San Diego, California.
A secular group named, The Watchman Fellowship, Inc. has compiled an index of cults. They define Cult “by its primary dictionary definition, the term cult just means a system of religious beliefs or rituals. It is based on a farming term in the Latin meaning cultivation. In modern usage, the term cult is often used by the general public to describe any religious group they view as strange or dangerous. Thus, cult can describe religious leaders or organizations that employ abusive, manipulative or illegal control over their followers’ lives. In addition to these usages, Christians generally have a doctrinal component to their use of the word. Cult in this sense, is a counterfeit or serious deviation from the doctrines of classical Christianity.”
Christ’s church is included on their list. I assume it is included because of the final definition “serious deviation from the doctrines of classical Christianity”. Christ’s body does not resemble the Catholic church, nor any other popular denomination. Are we strange? Some may think so. The Bible teaches us to be a peculiar and holy people (1 Peter 2:9). We are sanctified or set apart from this world (2 Corinthians 6:17). We are different. Are we dangerous? Not in any physical way. We are not abusive, manipulative or criminal, but spiritually we pose a great threat to those who follow the traditions of their fathers and man-made creeds (Matthew 10:34-38; 15:8-9 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 Galatians 1:6-10 1 Peter 4:3-4). We shine God’s light upon those who are in darkness (John 3:19-20). Such false teachers and infidels do not like the illumination. So, men may insult us. They might call us names and try to demean the body of Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:11 Acts 24:14 1 Peter 4:12-16), but we will continue to stand firm on our plea to return to the New Testament and restore Christ’s pattern (1 Timothy 3:14).
I would hope no one believes the church which belongs to Christ Jesus is a cult; but if you do, why not be a friend and study God’s Word with us. There is nothing to fear, for Truth will always prevail! (John 8:31-32)
Have you ever changed your life when you saw it needed changing? Suppose you had a bad habit that was ruining your health, wouldn’t you reverse you eating, smoking or drinking habits to save your life? This change is called “conversion”. It is a changing of your thinking and living.
While a conversion of our lives is good, in order to save our physical life, the most important change you can make concerns your spiritual life. Jesus taught a group of people who needed to convert spiritually in Matthew 13:15. These people had closed their eyes, ears and hearts to the Word of God. They were set in their religious traditions and refused to change or be converted. They were comfortable. The results? They lost their soul.
Dear friend, what about you? Are you comfortable in the knowledge you have of God’s truth? When you hear truth taught from God’s word that you have not previously known or practiced, are you willing to change? If not, you are numbered among those whom Jesus spoke. Never quit studying, learning and changing when you see you are wrong. Be converted to the truth by diligent study.
“For this people’s heart is waxed gross, And their ears are dull of hearing, And their eyes they have closed; Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And should turn again, And I should heal them.” (Matthew 13:15)