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Wednesday, September 4, 2019



1 Maccabees, Chapter 3, Verse 55-56
55 After this Judas appointed officers for the people, over thousands, over hundreds, over fifties, and over tens. 56 He proclaimed that those who were building houses, or were just married, or were planting vineyards, and those who were afraid, could each return home, according to the law.

Judas is confronted by a large Army so what does he do. He prays, fasts and calls on God’s mercy. Then he organizes all of the people into squads, platoons, companies, battalions, and regiments. Then he basically lets anyone who wants to go home go. To those that remain he says, “Arm yourselves and be brave; in the morning be ready to fight these Gentiles who have assembled against us to destroy us and our sanctuary. It is better for us to die in battle than to witness the evils befalling our nation and our sanctuary. Whatever is willed in heaven will be done.”

Judas only wanted real fighters. The mindset of Judas reminds me of the mindset of the early Antarctic explorers like Ernest Shackleton who wrote this famous advertisement for men of courage.

Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.

Loyalty-Sir Ernest Shackleton[1]



Sir Ernest Shackleton like so many of his generation were ultimate adventurers – part hero, part daredevil – fighting the elements and the odds, too far from civilization to call for help – laying it all on the line purely for the love of adventure. Shackleton led a doomed expedition to miraculous survival through the sheer force of his motivational leadership. In 1914, he set out with a crew of twenty-eight men on a quest to be the first to travel across the entire Antarctic continent by way of the South Pole. His ship, Endurance, became caught in ice and was crushed. After abandoning the ship, he and his men faced incredible hardship from a variety of brutal Antarctic conditions – from shifting weather to shifting ice, along with the trials of hunger, illness and discouragement – for more than a year. Yet every man got home safely, when the entire expedition would have perished under weaker leadership. Incredibly, the only casualty was frostbitten toes on one man. He had passion for the adventure of the mission, but he also had passion for the men he led. When he was forced to abandon his doomed ship and realized he would not achieve his goal of reaching the South Pole en route to the other side, he kept his disappointment to himself while he shifted his priorities to the well-being of his men. He said to another leader, F.A. Worsley, “It is a pity [to miss the crossing], but that cannot be helped. It is the men we have to think about. “He put his men above himself. He understood that the survival of them all might well depend on the quality of his leadership. He also realized that he could provide better leadership if he served as well as led. “Shackleton shared the physical labors as well as the watches…[He] would forego his own rations in order to feed the undernourished or the ill. And he often did so without anyone knowing it…Shackleton always put the needs of his men ahead of his personal comfort, and as a result he saved them all.” He realized that in order to survive they would have to stay healthy – mentally as well as physically. When we are trying to survive, having fun is the farthest thing from our minds. It may even be seen as trivializing the suffering. But during harsh tribulation it is more important than ever to find something to enjoy. During hard times we need to find a source of joy in order to maintain a healthy perspective. As a leader, Shackleton accepted responsibility for maintaining the spirits as well as the health of his men. Yes, they were brave adventurers just as Shackleton was, well able to take care of themselves. Still, Shackleton knew that as a leader he could provide a unique kind of influence that would be empowering, energizing and uplifting. He continually sought out ways to boost morale. He set aside time for recreation. They improvised various forms of entertainment. Several of the men had chosen books among the possessions they salvaged, and they read aloud to each other. They played soccer on the ice. “Humor…played a role, with Shackleton telling stories or teasing his men. What Shackleton was doing was keeping his men alive inside; by encouraging them to read or sing, he was keeping their spirits from sagging or dwelling on the inhospitalities that in other circumstances might have overwhelmed them.” He Inspired Loyalty. Shackleton’s passion for his mission and for his men, his passion for leadership, and his passion for motivation were a source of energy and courage during times of severe adversity. These virtues made him a leader that people wanted to follow. Even when his men may not have wanted to do something for themselves, they would do it for him. He inspired this kind of loyalty because he gave it to his men. They respected and trusted him because he respected and trusted them. They took care of him because he took care of them. They put him first because he put them first. He was a wonderful example of what a role model should be.


Shackleton dedicated South, the book he wrote about their extraordinary exploits, “To My Comrades.” In one especially moving passage he observed: “In memories we were rich. We had pierced the veneer of outside things. We had suffered, starved and triumphed, groveled down yet grasped at glory, grown bigger in the bigness of the whole. We had seen God in His splendors, heard the text that natures renders. We had reached the naked soul of man.” Sixty years after they had been rescued, the expedition’s first officer, Lionel Greenstreet, was asked how they had done it, how had they survived such a deadly misadventure. Greenstreet gave a one-word response: “Shackleton.”

The Ice is Nice and Chee-Chee is Peachy


Over 100 years ago Roald Amundsen on March 7, 1912 announced his success in reaching the Geographic South Pole to the world. This is the story about the construction of the South Pole Station in Antarctica in 1973-4 by Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB71), also known as the ICE Battalion, which the author was a member of. The difficulties encountered in the construction of the station were monumental; enduring temperatures reaching 45 degrees below zero with wind chill factors reaching 80 below. This station was comprised of a 52-foot-high geodesic dome, weather balloon launch station and an observation tower for monitoring auroral phenomena. This Battalion was on the ICE for almost five months and worked around the clock to complete the project. This was an amazing fact when you consider that most of the construction was completed in freezing temperatures at a high altitude; for the South Pole is nearly two miles high by construction engineers less than 20 years old. The physical and mental stresses of working in this "frozen desert" took its tolls on these young men. This story chronicles the authors experience in this hostile environment, with bawdy engineers; humorous antics; hard drinking and temporary insanities and the authors faith journey amid the beautify and grandeur of the earth's last frontier: Antarctica. The title of the book is also the motto of the ICE Battalion—it refers to our mission and our R&R (rest and recreation) in Christchurch, New Zealand. “THE ICE IS NICE AND CHEE-CHEE IS PEACHY”


If I were the Devil[2]


“If I Were the Devil” is a form of social criticism, an essay that postulates what steps the devil might take in order to corrupt human civilization (and the United States in particular) and lead it down the path of darkness — before delivering the catch that all the steps listed are phenomena that are already taking place in the world today. It was written and popularized by national radio commentator and syndicated columnist Paul Harvey. (Paul Harvy was born this day in 1918)

If I were the devil . . .
·         I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world;
·         I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man’s effort, instead of God’s blessings;
·         I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around;
·         I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue;
·         I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership;
·         I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies;
·         I would make it socially acceptable to take one’s own life, and invent machines to make it convenient;
·         I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that the life of animals are valued more than human beings;
·         I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a lawsuit;
·         I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them;
·         I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the mind of every family member for my agenda;
·         I would attack the family, the backbone of any nation.
·         I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable. If the family crumbles, so does the nation;
·         I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movie screens, and I would call it art;
·         I would convince the world that people are born homosexuals, and that their lifestyles should be accepted and marveled;
·         I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agenda as politically correct;
·         I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, and the Bible is for the naive;
·         I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional;
·         I guess I would leave things pretty much the way they are.

35 Promises of God[3] cont.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
-Matt 11:28-29

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Battle for the Soul of America-Day 19
·         Day 7 Novena to the Holy Face

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