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Darkest Hour
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

After watching "Darkest Hour" the other day with my family, I am reminded of this quote by Winston Churchill:

"...Still, if will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival.  

There may even be a worse case.  You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish, than to live as slaves."

Amen.  We need more Winston Churchills today, and no more Neville Chamberlains.

Friday, December 29, 2017, 05:14 PM

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December 26
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

What is the day AFTER Christmas like for you?  A day to take unwanted presents back to the store? A day to clean up or go back to work or just a day to lazily putz around the house? It was none of that on December 26.....1944 for the US Army around Bastogne Belgium.  

The famous Battle of the Bulge was been raging in the deep snows of Belgium for the past ten days.  A force of 250,000 Germans surprise attacked a weak American sector and blasted a hole 100 miles wide and 60 miles deep.  A small force of US Army troops were surrounded in the key town of Bastogne.

On December 23rd the German commander, Fritz Bayerlein, ordered the Americans to surrender.  Of course, you know how the American general, General Tony McAuliffe, answered.  "Nuts!" was his famous reply.  He was prepared to fight to the death against the Nazis.

The Germans launched attacks for the next several days, but could not penetrate the American defenses.  Fortunately, General Patton's tanks and infantry were on the way to lift the seige of Bsstogne!  They marched, and drove, and slid, and fought over 100 miles of snow and ice to get to Bastogne.

Finally, on December 26 they made it!  They punched their way through Nazi lines to rescue the trapped American troops!  It was the turning point in the battle, and the beginning of the end of Hitler's empire. 

The next time you take a present back on December 26, or have time to play with your new toy the day after Christmas.... remember that a major reason why you have that freedom is because of US troops who were fighting and liberating in Belgium on that day in 1944.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017, 10:45 PM

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Christmas 1942
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

What a difference a year can make.  Only twelve months before the United States and Britain were reeling from massive defeats at the hands of the Japanese.  The Pacific was a Japanese lake.  The Germans were at the gates of Moscow, and the British army was barely hanging on in North Africa.

But the same time the next year, things were different.  The Japanese navy had suffered an incalculable defeat at Midway, their army had been soundly defeated on Guadalcanal, and the US military was making great headway in their "island hopping" campaign in the Pacific.  Still, they had a long, bloody road ahead of them.  The Japanese were not giving up any time soon.

In Europe, the entire German Sixth Army was completely surrounded by the Soviets at Stalingrad.  In another six weeks, some 250,000 German soldiers would be removed from the battlefield in Russia, and Hitler's empire would never recover from the loss.

In North Africa, the Allies had launched Operation Torch.  America had landed in North Africa and was quickly linking up with British forces to finish off the once invincible Afrika Korps of General Rommel.  Things were looking better.  Not finished, but better for the Allies.  

Think about that today when you think about cleaning up the mess in Washington DC or fighting Islamic jihadism or facing down North Korea.  It took years of determination, planning, blood and sweat...and a whole lot of prayer to bring down the evil empires of the Nazis and Imperial Japan.  It will take years to do the same against the problems we face today.  Hang in there.  

Tuesday, December 19, 2017, 10:25 PM

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The Ghosts of Christmas Past -- 1941
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

It was not a merry Christmas.  Pearl Harbor was still digging out from the drubbing the Japanese Imperial Navy had delivered to our Navy and Army.  The Japanese were running rampant all over Asia, and our Army in the Philippines was being pummeled by crack Japanese troops.  There were no rescue operations on the books, and within five months 10,000 US troops (and 40,000 Filipino troops) would surrender and be marched off into brutal captivity.  

It was not a merry Christmas.

And on the other side of the globe the German army was at the gates of Moscow.  It seemed that the Soviet Union (the Allies newest ally) would be finished off by the Nazis.  In North Africa, Rommel's panzer divisions were rolling over British troops.  It seemed as though darkness was going to win.  Time to give up, right?

That was not the attitude in America.  Americans were so enraged at Japan's treachery that even three weeks after Pearl Harbor there were lines wrapping around city blocks...filled with young men eager to defend America and defeat the Axis powers.

It was not a merry Christmas.  But soon enough, in a few years, a merry Christmas would return.  

Wednesday, November 29, 2017, 02:39 PM

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The Ghosts of Christmas Past--1776
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

On July 4, 1776 our nation the United States of America was born.  It sure was a great day.  Followed by months of relentless defeat.  Under the command of General Washington, the Continental Army was driven out of New York and New Jersey in a series of disastrous battles. By December the Americans were down to just over 2000 armed troops and they were hunkered down in a miserable encampment in Pennsylvania.  Enlistments were soon to expire.  General Washington had to do something dramatic to inspire his men to keep fighting.

So he hatched a plan to take his men on a three pronged attack across the Delaware River on the night of Christmas Day and attack the Hessians (German mercenaries hired by the British) the next day.  

So how do you spend the Christmas season and Christmas Day?  Grumbling about the crowds and crass materialism?  Whining about the presents you didn't get?  Washington and his little army spent their time crossing an ice choked river, then marching through an actual blizzard in near white-out conditions to get to their destination.  

Next time you're tempted to complain, remember the bloody footprints in the snow left by Washington's men as they marched to face down the Hessians in battle.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 07:16 PM

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Past Posts

December 26
Christmas 1942
The Ghosts of Christmas Past -- 1941
The Ghosts of Christmas Past--1776
Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation (Part 2)
George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation
The Contributions of Luther's Reformation
The Valley of Vision
Why ISIS Lost in Syria and Iraq...For Now

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