Day of Memories

I can only remember so far back…

pearl-harborAnd then before that first memory I rely on history books, news reports and others telling me what I never experienced. First hand reports are few and far between as I age. Those that could tell me far back into the past century are slowing passing on. I get what I can, from where I can, and then paint in the edges of the story with my mind.

That’s about all I can do. There is no time travel. This is one reason why I enjoy Historical Fiction – someone else paints the story and I simply get to enjoy from their research and imagination. James Alexander Thom is by far my favorite.

About 20 years ago the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall came through my neck of the woods when living in Texas. It was later in the evening that I finally stopped and wandered through those dark granite walls with the names of over 58,000 killed or missing in action. Dark. Muggy. Strategically placed spotlights. It was quiet and somber. I remember some weeping, and others stood solemnly. Thinking. Remember. Honoring.

This was the war of my age bracket. I remember former students coming back to class in Channelview and sharing their experiences, but I have no memory of a personal friend or family member never coming back. I was coming of age close to the ending of the war, and I knew I would join up if my draft number was ever called.

The draft ended just 2 weeks past my 18th birthday.

During the past 25 years I have been to the Pearl Harbor memorial a single time. There is someone named Gurley listed above the USS Arizona. I do not know them, and they may or may not be related. It’s so hard to tell. But I do have an uncle who was in the hills above Pearl on the day of infamy. He passed 5 years ago, just 2 days before the 70th anniversary of December 7th, 1941.

Memorials are for memories, lest we forget. Creating a memorial goes back thousands of years and I have read of them often in scripture and history. Instead of a memorial, I want to leave a legacy that heralds the future. We build the future on how we view the past, and the past is what I’m focusing on this month. But… prepare for the future so that future generations are better off with what you do today.

On this day in history, December 7th…

  • 1431 – Henry VI of England was crowned King of France in Paris.
  • 1775 – John Paul Jones received a commission as a first lieutenant in the Continental Navy.
  • 1787 – In Dover, Delaware, the U.S. Constitution is unanimously ratified by all 30 delegates to the Delaware Constitutional Convention, making Delaware the first state of the modern United States.
  • 1805 – Lewis and Clark temporarily settle in Fort Clatsop (One of my favorite studies!) near what is present day Portland, Oregon.
  • 1926 – The gas operated refrigerator was patented by The Electrolux Servel Corporation.
  • 1941 – Day of Infamy
  • 1941 – Texas native Doris Miller manned an unattended deck gun on the USS West Virginia. He later received the Navy Cross for bravery in battle for this actions. (Just one story of bravery from this date)
  • 1963 – The Singing Nun reaches the top spot on the US Pop charts with “Dominique”
  • 1972Apollo 17 was launched at Cape Canaveral. It was the last U.S. moon mission.
  • 1979 – Sara Beth Bareilles was born (one of my new found favorites)
  • 1982 – Charlie Brooks Junior, a convicted murderer, became the first prisoner in the U.S. to be executed by injection, at a prison in Huntsville, TX.

Since I’ve been on Facebook for over 8 years, my history shows I posted these thoughts.

Finally…. a few “12/7” scriptures:

Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. (Genesis 12:7 NKJV)

The wicked are overthrown and are no more, But the house of the righteous will stand. (Proverbs 12:7 NKJV)

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:7 NKJV)


Day by Day, Step by Step

How do we get to the end of the race?

day-to-day-christopher-columbusOne day at a time…One moment at a time…One step at a time.

I’ve driven over 1.5 million miles. Yes. Million. Give me an excuse to drive somewhere and I’m up for the challenge. I’ve driven in Scotland! Wrong side of the road, wrong side of the car, shifting with my left hand instead of my right hand… Great fun!

How do you get to the end of your trip? One mile (kilometer) at a time! How did Columbus get across the ocean to a place he only surmised existed? One nautical mile at a time, never knowing when he would arrive. Notice his concept about keeping a daily account of his voyage. Would it not be a good thing for us to daily record our passage through this life? It’s a great way to look back over our shoulder and see where things were bad, and how life improves, and to realize how far we have come!

A time of devotion could easily include a time of journaling…

How do I get to the end of the year blogging nearly every day? One Day at a Time. Perhaps you remember this song from Cristy Lane (just the chorus)…

One day at a time sweet Jesus
That’s all I’m asking from you.
Just give me the strength
To do everyday what I have to do.
Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine.
Lord help me today, show me the way
One day at a time.

You just have to step up to the task, and do whatever it takes. Today. Do not groan about yesterday, or stress about tomorrow… Today. Right now. Do it…

On this day in history, December 6th…

  • 1768 – 1st edition of “Encyclopedia Britannica” published in Scotland
  • 1790 – The U.S. Congress moves from New York City to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. DC came in the future.
  • 1865 – 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution is ratified, abolishing slavery.
  • 1877 – First recording made of the human voice – Thomas Edison reciting “Mary had a little lamb” – just 12 years after the 13th Amendment.
  • 1844 – The Washington Monument is completed – and I still haven’t been in it. I is present closed until 2019 as they continue
  • 1922 – 1st electric power line commercial carrier in US, Utica, NY – we’re not even 100 years later!
  • 1923 – 1st US Presidential address broadcast on radio by President Calvin Coolidge
  • 1941 – President FDR telegraphs Japanese Emperor Hirohito with the request that “for the sake of humanity,” the emperor intervene “to prevent further death and destruction in the world.” Intelligence suggested the Japanese fleet was headed to Thailand, and not the United States.
  • 1957 – 1st US attempt to launch a satellite fails-Vanguard rocket blows up
  • 1964 – “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” 1st airs on TV
  • 2011 – Dobie Gray, American musician and singer (“Drift Away”), dies at 71 – some favorite songs by this singer!

So… A favorite 12/6 scripture is:

The words of the LORD are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times. (Psalms 12:6 NKJV)

And I posted several blogs on Facebook in the past:

If I could share one additional thought… Do not give up because you have a bad day… Tomorrow is just around the corner and you have another opportunity to aim for a better outcome.

Another Day, Another Dollar

Another day and still much to do before the day is done.

another-day-dear-godMost folks think about another day down the long succession of days and they often align with the view of where they have been, and where they are going, and putting a bit of their situation into the equation.

In fact, many can finish the phrase, “Another Day, __________”.


  • Another Dollar
  • Another Blessing
  • Another Day at the Office
  • Another Chance at Life
  • Another Dollar, Another War, Another Tower / Went up where the homeless had their home. (Jewel)

The list is lengthy, but one unknown quote sort of shares my concept”

Life may not be perfect, still, I thank the Lord God for another day.
Another opportunity to take my life a notch closer to what my goal is.

Today is December 5th and, once again, I’m enjoying thinking about all the things that happened over the centuries.

  • 1782 – The first U.S. born president was born, Marin Van Buren
  • 1791 – Mozart dies
  • 1839 – George Armstrong Custer was born
  • 1876 – The first practical pipe wrench (Stillson wrench) was patented by D.C. Stillson
  • 1901 – Walt Elias Disney was born
  • 1932 – Albert Einstein was granted a visa making it possible for him to travel to the U.S. from Germany
  • 1933 – Prohibition came to an end
  • 1945 – The Lost Squadron (5 bombers, 14 flyers) disappeared and were never heard from again as they began a training mission at the Ft Lauderdale Naval Air station.
  • 1951 – The first push button controlled garage opened in Washington DC

And, since as of yesterday I was on Facebook for 8 years, today I became “friends” with several. Some I have never met, and some have been really good friends for a long time. Maybe it’s you?

And, I’ve posted several other blogs this day over the years.

And, I love this quote I posted today in 2012.

“My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior.” ~John Newton

Finally, as 12/5 scripture for the day…

Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.
(Acts 12:5 NKJV)

Constant prayer. This is the power of the church. “We will never be what we can be unless we become a praying church.” ~Brett Jones

First Sunday in December – 2016

December 4th, 2016…

december-4-2016It’s been a long day that began about 4:30 this morning. Prepping for church, going to church, and then returning home exhausted. Lunch of leftovers – Gumbo from Saturday. Excellent! Power Nap. Then playing catch-up with all the things I did not have time to do earlier this morning…

Still. It may not be the best excuse to be tardy…

On this date, December 4th, a lot of important things happened. Some personal. Others impacted a lot of people.

  • 1563 – Council of Trent holds last session, after 18 years, countering the Protestant Reformation
  • 1619 – 38 colonists from Berkeley Parish, England disembark in Virginia and give thanks to God. Considered by many the first Thanksgiving in the Americas.
  • 1843 – Manila paper (made from sails, canvas & rope) patented, Mass
  • 1952 – Killer fogs begin in London, England; “Smog” becomes a word
  • 1954 – The first Burger King is opened in Miami, Florida, USA
  • 2008 – I joined the Facebook crowd, the rest is history!
  • 2011 – James Alton Gurley passes away

My disclaimer is still that many things happened today in history, and these few will probably bring a chuckle, or a bit of news not previously heard.

Now. For a favorite 12/4 scripture.

And in that day you will say: “Praise the LORD, call upon His name; Declare His deeds among the peoples, Make mention that His name is exalted. (Isaiah 12:4 NKJV)

Building Blocks

Yes! Home from a short vacation trip in Southern Oregon!

But Life Continues, though the week was a busy, and restful, time. Snow. Mountains. Chalet. Temps into the teens… Felt like the way Home Should Feel Like!

building-blocks-1-2-3But Life Continues!

Today is the third day of a month full of celebration and family. Lest we forget, Life Happened this month that was not full of festivities. Or celebration. Tragedy. Struggle. Over-comers as well as those who were overwhelmed. These represent the events that represent Life as we have learned it.

  • 1586 – Sir Thomas Herriot introduces potatoes to England from Colombia
  • 1762 – France cedes to Spain all lands west of the Mississippi – the territory known as Upper Louisiana
  • 1776 – In the founding and establishment of this nation, George Washington has crossed the Delaware River on his way to Valley Forge. Those of us who remember history lessons have an idea of what this was all about. Cold. Beleagured. Ready to be over with the war, GW made a bold move – he burned his boats so the British could not follow!
  • 1839 – Future President Abraham Lincoln is admitted to practice law in the U.S. Circuit Court.
  • 1963 – Born: Terri Schiavo, who became the focus of a 15-year legal struggle over the question of artificially prolonging the life of a patient, Schiavo, whom doctors had diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state.
  • 1967 First human heart transplant by Dr Christaan Barnard (Excellent Biography called One Life). Quickly tell me: Where it happened? And name of patient? How long did he live?
  • 1973 – Pioneer 10 sends back the first color photos of Jupiter.
  • 1984 The Bhopal-Union Carbide disaster (Which country did this happen in?)
  • 1989 – George HW Bush and Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, announce the Cold War is coming to an end.
  • 1992 – A test engineer for Sema Group sends the world’s first text message, using a personal computer and the Vodafone network.

And my scripture for 12/3? Actually, there are several…

  1. Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3 NKJV)
  2. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. (John 12:3 NKJV)
  3. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3 NKJV)

One + One = Two

Second Day of December

december-2While I was thinking about the month of December, I realized there is more to share than what a blog should share. So, I am narrowing my focus on major world events that impacted the world. Now, we know about the Chaos Theory where a small event can have great influence around the world. (Also Butterfly Effect) So, I don’t want to discount small events or individuals that modified the future by their action, but we often cannot define what that one person did that created the flow of change.

Yesterday was the anniversary of Rosa Parks arrest, and we know it had wide ranging effects, but to think everything happened as a result of her, well, it would discount all the other events, and all the other folks who had something to do with change. 

In a reverse analysis, Thornton Wilder analyzes why six people had to die in his book, “The Bridge Over San Luis Rey”. Could a single event kept them off the bridge by slowing their path, or speeding up their options? Sure. But the end result can not be defined by life’s action. (Source) I remember reading this in a literature class but feeling total frustration that one could search for an answer and know there is no answer.

Some things just happen.

So. On December 2nd some events happened and if you follow them through to conclusion then you can see what their results were. That’s your job… My job is to simply jog your memory.

  • 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned Emperor of France in Paris
  • 1823 President James Monroe declares his “Monroe Doctrine”, a US foreign policy regarding Latin America
  • 1845 Manifest Destiny: US President James K. Polk announces to Congress that the United States should aggressively expand into the West
  • 1929 First skull of Peking man found, 50 km out of Peking at Tsjoe Koe Tien
  • 1941 Japanese Marshal Admiral Yamamoto sends his fleet to Pearl Harbor
  • 1976 Fidel Castro becomes President of Cuba, replacing Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado

Has anything happened on this date that affects you personally? It would be amazing to find the Chaos Theory at work that created a particular change for you…

Since this is 12/2, let me give you a favorite 12/2 Scripture…

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  (Romans 12:2 NKJV)

December Already?

It’s been in the news lately…

November closes its last sunset, 2016

And somehow it snuck up on me and said “Surprise!” and I said “Already?”

What, you ask? December…Quickly, I scan for images to post and everything revolves around snow, winter and the holidays. Stores have been stocking shelves since September, and their planning began back in January! Piped music has been festively holiday like since October.

So. How did it sneak up on me so quickly and ill-prepared?

What is December really all about?

I know some really special people who celebrate their birthdays and anniversaries this month, and yes, I know some who passed and were buried, but is December all about them? Every day of the year has a moment of History we can reflect on from prior years, or centuries, but is December all about them? Yes. I know. Winter starts this month, Christmas celebrates Christ’s birth, and the new year is anticipated as the old year passes into the history book…but is December all about these?

December actually clues into the number 10…but this is the 12th month of the year. Do you know why? I mean, did you know that the Roman new year originally started in March and December is their original 10th month, hence the name December (Latin for 10 is decem) (Source)

If we used Latin to name our 12th month then it may go like this: Duodecimber!

Our past is replete with changes on how we look at the days and years. For over 1500 years the Julian calendar (by Julius Caesar, of course) reigned as the premier numbering system of our days from 45 BC till 1582 AD. The Roman conquered world followed this Roman calendar. Until Pope Gregory XIII refined the calendar for numerous reasons (Source) and the last countries to migrate did so less than 100 years ago.

Of course, every other culture, country and continent (Jewish, Chinese, etc.) may have their own calendar system, but it is the Gregorian calendar that we all use to conduct business and commerce in the present world.

In the world of computers we used the Gregorian and a form of the Julian which simply numbered the days 1-365 so that it was easy to count how many days there were between corresponding Gregorian dates. A quick subroutine was called and Gregorian dates were supplied and the converted answer showed the number of days that transpired between the ranges.

So. December did sneak upon me honestly. It’s had a hard time over the past 2,000 years knowing who it truly was!

For the next 31 days I want to address some things about the Month of December. Reader, and writer, may grow weary of the exercise, but there are special reasons for every day of the this month and I do not want them to get lost in the hubbub of the frivolity of the season.

To gather the history of this day I will look for notable events and special occurrences. In no way will one event be a slight over a forgotten memory of others – it’s simply my time of research and space of writing, is limited.

Please remember, as I am an American much of my research may focus on American stories of history – and prior to Columbus sailing the ocean in 1492 there are not many stories found about the North American continent.

Today, December 1st…and surprisingly the the first thing I find of interest revolved around a presidential election!

  • In 1824 the US House of Representatives begins to settle the deadlock of a recent election for US President between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. Quick! Do you know who wins? A great time of party politics to study!
  • In 1862, Abraham Lincoln addresses the nation in his State of the Union address and reaffirms the necessity of ending slavery as ordered earlier in the Emancipation Proclamation. The Proclamation declared that slaves in territories still in rebellion as of January 1, 1863, would be free.
  • In 1913, the first drive up gas filling station opened, and Henry Ford introduced the continuous moving assembly line. Both with us today and the prices keep going up!
  • 1929 and Bingo is invented by Edwin S Lowe…
  • In 1955 (I am close to being 11 months old), Rosa Parks was arrested for not going to the back of the bus as Alabama law required. This led to the 1956 Supreme Court decision to ban segregated seating on public transportation, and a host of other paths to civil liberties being righted. (Source) We all know this did not end the problem because we still struggle with it today.
  • 1959 and we see the first color photograph of earth sent from space…
  • It’s 1964 and Houston’s Colt .45’s changes their name to the Houston Astro’s! The first thing on this list I remember and my first professional ball game to attend before the Astrodome was to see the Colt .45’s play in about 1962 or so.
  • In 1969, the US government holds its 1st draft lottery since WW II and I receive my number just four years later and they stopped the draft before me worrying about maybe having to go to the Vietnam war. Thanks to all those of you who served, and continue serving our country in military service.
  • 1973, the founding father of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, dies in Tel Aviv at 87
  • In 1982, Michael Jackson releases “Thriller”.
  • In 1987 the tunneling process to connect Britain to France begins, and they connect both sides in 1990 and is an important route between the two countries, fondly called the Chunnel.
  • It is 2001 and TWA flies it’s last and ceases operation after 76 years in Aviation.

I found a couple of interesting fact sites regarding the month that you may enjoy reading separately.

Facts from Britain 
Festive Facts
Kaplan’s Top 12 Facts About December

It’s time to close, but you are asked to share any other important events you may know about, or that impacts you specifically, or that you have feeling about a particular event…. It’s your moment to shine!

Perhaps this is what December is all about.