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Remembering D-Day: My World War II Experiences in the Navy

By Clifford Reeves - Posted at Wisconsin Christian News:

Editor’s Note: Clifford Reeves passed away April 6, 2015 at age 89. The following memoirs were read during his funeral service, a poignant reminder of that “Greatest Generation” of American heroes.

My military experience began at Great Lakes Naval Training Station, and went as follows...

After being logged in and given a serial number that would be our permanent identification number, we were immediately sent to get our first haircut. The barbers were friendly and asked what kind of a cut we would like -- after they ran the clippers down the center of our heads.

Next we were assembled in a large room where we were told to take off all our civilian clothes that we arrived in and put them in a box to send them home in. There we were, naked as a jay bird, when the commanding officer told us to line up for a physical, and I mean physical.

They checked places I didn’t even know I had. After that we were issued our Navy uniforms. From our skivvies right on up to our Navy coat that was called a pea coat. I am still trying to figure out why they called it that. Later on when we were in combat, some got so scared they wet their pants but their pea coats stayed dry. They also gave us a large canvas bag that was called a seabag, to put our clothes in and a much smaller bar bag for our personal gear, such as soap, razor, tooth paste and so on. This they called a dittie bag.

Later that same day we were assigned to our barracks and met the Chief Petty Officer that would transform us from land lubbers to seamen. The first thing he told us was to forget our first names. Everyone was called by their last name and the title “Mr.” was a thing of the past for us, but when you talk to an officer you better remember to say “Mr.” to him or get ready to do extra duty. I know that we were still in the United States, but the language sure became foreign.

The Chief assigned us to bunks that were three high. When he called our names he would say “your bunk is on the starboard side” or “on the port side” of the building. Then he said to put our gear in the lockers that were along the bulkhead, “That’s ‘wall’ to you landlubbers.” The doors became hatches, the ceiling was the overhead, the halls were companion ways. Don’t ask me why but the toilet area was called the “head.”

I thought if I joined the Navy I would not have to march and do close order drills like the army -- makes sense doesn’t it? Wrong! We marched on the drill fields, we marched to the mess hall, we marched to the rifle range and where ever they wanted us to go. I might add that many of the drills were in double time. I don’t know what the hurry was because we always had to stand and wait after arrival.

Those of us who survived boot camp went on to serve in the regular Navy and were placed where ever the greatest need was at the time. I was sent to Norfolk, Virginia for combat training -- you know, climbing walls, running obstacle courses under fire, crawling on your stomach through a muddy field with miles of barbed wire everywhere. (Crawling under barbed wire really teaches you to stay low).


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By Bob Smietana - Posted at Christianity Today:
Former leaders have accused the church of failing to adequately address several allegations against Hybels, including inappropriate comments, private meetings with female staffers in his hotel room and at his home, intrusive hugs, and, in one case, an unwanted kiss.Megachurch pastor “accelerates” October retirement weeks after former colleagues went public with misconduct allegations.

Bill Hybels has stepped down as senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, the Chicago-area megachurch he founded over 40 years ago, citing the controversy over recent allegations against him.

Many in the wider Christian community have been confused by those allegations, he said, and the controversy has distracted his church’s leaders from their mission and has hurt the church’s ministries. “They can’t flourish to their fullest potential when the valuable time of our leaders is divided.”

Hybels, who previously planned to retire in October, revealed the…

The Gospel Is The Remedy For Racism

By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog:

Racism is sin. There can be no hedging or qualifying here. To regard another image bearer as inferior because of his ethnicity is sin and has no place in the church of Jesus Christ. God’s Word is clear about the only remedy for racism: the good news of Jesus Christ.
But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. (Galatians 3:23–29; NASB). N…

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By Jordan Standridge - Posted at The Cripplegate:

Funerals are a gift from God. I know that sounds crazy, but they are a God-given tool to force us to reflect on the brevity of life, and how finite we are as human beings. I truly do believe that humans should attend as many funerals as possible during their lives, it is that good for your soul.

I have the privilege of attending two last Friday, and they could not have been more different from each other.

The first was of a believer. One of the sons (who is an elder at our church) gave the eulogy, and the other son, who is a Presbyterian pastor, gave the message. At least 100 people were there.

The second was of a non-believer. I had the privilege of giving the message at this one to a crowd of 10 people at the local funeral home.

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