Category Archives: Decisons

Decisions – wrong based on assumptions, Part II

The previous blog listed four military decisions based on assumptions.  Each led to disaster.  This blog emphasizes the spiritual lessons Jesus would surface.

Re:  the blackout on all Japanese ships in the Pearl Harbor attack.  When God doesn’t answer prayer, or respond to need, or help us when we need him most…don’t immediately decide that:  God has lost interest; God doesn’t care; God has changed how he responds to human need and human sin; God has forgotten something we wanted him to remember.  His own time-table and sovereign grace determine how he supplies our needs, not our perceived crises.

Re:  the Union Army’s slow progression up the Peninsula to Richmond.  Since retreat expends less energy than attack, if Satan seems in retreat, he may be simply conserving his energy.  When we go past his “flight” distance to his “fight” distance, back he storms.  Then, as McClellan discovered in the Seven Days Campaign, Satan unleashes frontal and flank attacks that find us reeling from confidence to despair.

Consider the Allies planning for the invasion route Germany would take if invading Belgium in 1940.  If Satan can’t find one way to defeat us, he’ll find another.  He often humbles people we think are invulnerable to his temptations.  He uses the intellectual pride of scholars to dispute with Jesus instead of submitting to Jesus.  He uses religious people to lash out at what they consider lifestyles they can’t tolerate.  Satan never lacks ways to come at us. Just when we think we’re finished with him, UP he shoots, like the target at a shooting range.  Jesus never failed to discern Satan’s behavior, strategy and tactics.  Or lacked a response to any Satanic probe.

Consider the Battle of the Bulge.  Never assume that Satan no longer has the will or resources to retaliate after being beaten.  Jesus never assumed Satan was defeated after the wilderness struggle.  Though he flattened Satan like a pancake.  Though he beat him black and blue.  Jesus won the spiritual war in that conflict but knew that many battles remained to be fought during his ministry— and since.

Luke says that Satan left Jesus “until an opportune time.”  Which came through the leaders:  how dare Jesus heal on the Sabbath; how dare Jesus feast on fast days; how dare Jesus claim to be Lord of the Sabbath and God’s Son!  Which came through his family: who refused to consider him a true prophet John 7:2-5; who considered him at best mentally unbalanced Matthew 12:46-50.  Which came through his disciples:  who pledged faith in him as God’s Son, then challenged his right to determine its meaning Matthew 16:16, 21-23.  ETC. How often do we pledge fealty to him as Lord, then decide that his word means only what we consider true? 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New book:  The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

Decisions – wrong based on assumptions, Part 1

In late 1941, American intelligence officers in Hawaii had only Japanese radio transmissions to determine the approximate location of their carrier groups.  By the middle of October they put them in home waters.  Which, as Rear Admiral Edwin T. Layton wrote, was wrong.  That very day Admiral Yamamoto addressed the six-carrier task force in Saeki Bay before they steamed to the remote Kurile Islands on their journey to Pearl Harbor.  The massive carrier force maintained complete radio silence throughout that journey.  To mislead American snoopers, Yamamoto kept sending messages to his Second Fleet—which American agents assumed were with the carriers. Which they were not.   And I Was There, 184-185

. . . . . .

The Union Army under McClellan toiled slowly up the peninsula towards Richmond in 1862, a relentless juggernaut of men and weapons.  Union hopes were high that they would take Richmond and end the Civil War.  A soldier wrote to his father that he hoped to be home by the end of summer so he could teach school in the fall.  Another soldier wrote that the Federals had the Rebels in so tight a corner they didn’t run because they couldn’t.  Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, 145.  Not so fast!  Robert E. Lee had yet to be elevated as commander of Confederate forces.

. . . . . .

In 1939 Anglo-French military planners created Plans D and E.  If Germany invaded Belgium, Plan D would advance Allied troops to the Antwerp-Dyle-Meuse Line.  Plan E called for the Allies to meet a German thrust at the Scheldt River.

Neither plan envisioned what the Germans decided:  to surprise everyone by invading through “nearly impenetrable” Ardennes—which the Allies assumed were much too difficult for offensive operations and too much a threat to invaders.  Encyclopedia of WWII, 499

. . . . . .

In the Battle of the Bulge, December, 1944 (a neighbor of our family in Lincoln, Illinois lost a son in the battle), Allied security imposed a 48 hour blackout on all news reaching America.  That didn’t keep the Germans from listening to all American traffic conversations.  And from knowing how many troops we had, where they were stationed and how fast they could counter-attack against their panzers.  Battle of the Bulge, 149.

–  End Part I –

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 

New book:  The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

Decisions – for holiness must be reinforced

A news account in December, 2008 noted that teens who took a virginity pledge until marriage were just as likely to have pre-marital sex as those not making the promise.  In addition, the kids taking the “pledge” were less likely to use contraceptives.  Did they expect their earlier commitment to sexual purity to protect them from pregnancy even as they broke their promise?

A news story in May, 2009 noted that unwed moms, mostly in their 20s and 30s, amounted for 40% of new births.  All races saw the increases, with Hispanics leading the statistics.  San Diego Union-Tribune

The stats aren’t surprising.  While making a commitment to any lifestyle is necessary, reinforcement of the commitment is as necessary.  Remember our decision last January to lose weight?  Have we?  Or our intention to begin an exercise program?  Have we?

This is particularly true in any spiritual pledge.  We’re natural sinners, even after our baptism.  We instinctively break any promise to God.  Only the most assiduous effort keeps spiritual goals alive and functioning.  Only the Holy Spirit’s presence provides protection against the humanity that SEEKS and DESIRES opportunities to betray our most sacred oaths to Jesus Christ.

Yours for a discipleship that volunteers to build a Christ-honoring lifeAnd like sentries watching sleeping soldiers, GUARDS our intention to completion.