For “Scripture Sunday”:
D-Day and Divine Intervention
“On this 75th anniversary of D-Day, a crucial event in the push to Allied victory in World War II, we look back on the remarkable miracle of its success—an answer to prayer and the fulfillment of destiny.
Imperial War Museum
With the Normandy beachhead secured, vast numbers of Allied troops and military vehicles flood ashore.
It’s been 75 years since D-Day, June 6, 1944, when Western Allied forces during World War II launched the largest invasion in history with nearly 7,000 ships of all sorts and more than 11,000 planes, crossing the English Channel and landing more than 150,000 troops (and more over the days that followed) on the beaches of Normandy to free France and the rest of Europe from Nazi tyranny.
German leader Adolf Hitler had prepared a vast defensive network of artillery, gun emplacements, mines and other deadly obstacles stretching from the west coast of France up to Norway. This “Atlantic Wall” had to be breached for the Allies to press forward and defeat this evil, genocidal regime that with its Axis partners was intent on continuing the carnage of many millions while trying to conquer the world.
Famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle, who arrived at Normandy the day after D-Day, noted that the Allies achieved victory “with every advantage on the enemy’s side and every disadvantage on ours.” Yet, as he wrote, the total Allied casualties “were remarkably low—only a fraction, in fact, of what our commanders had been prepared to accept.” Pyle concluded, “Now that it is all over, it seems to me a pure miracle that we ever took the beach at all.”
What was miraculous about D-Day, and why would God have intervened?
The weather and other surprises—flukes or God’s handiwork?
Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander (and later U.S. president), said later on the 1952anniversary of the operation launch: “This day eight years ago, I made the most agonizing decision of my life. If there were nothing else in my life to prove the existence of an almighty and merciful God, the events of the next twenty-four hours did it … The greatest break in a terrible outlay of weather occurred the next day and allowed that great invasion to proceed, with losses far below those we had anticipated.”
The Allies had tried to plan for every eventuality, but they had no control over the vital weather. They hoped for good weather to make the 100-mile sea crossing to Europe, as had miraculously occurred in the mass evacuation from Europe at Dunkirk early in the war. What they didn’t realize was that bad weather—the windiest in 20 years—would hand them success beyond all expectation.
D-Day was originally scheduled for June 5 and could only be postponed for the short term to the 6th or 7th, while the tides were still low and the moon was full for visibility (along with clear weather), especially for clearing or avoiding mines in the surf. Otherwise it would have to have been put off a good while later.
With the terrible weather that sprang up on June 5, it looked like the operation was a no-go, but meteorologists reported a break was about to occur in the weather to allow the 17-hour crossing, though there was as yet no sign of any calming. Eisenhower made the agonizing decision for the ships to launch on the 5th (to arrive the next day) in the face of severe winds. As it turned out, the weather was only marginally better on the 6th, yet enough for the invasion to succeed even with weather-related losses.
What really helped win the day was that the Germans could not believe the Allies would cross the English Channel in such awful weather, and they were caught completely unprepared. They had stood alert at low-tide and full-moon days in May, but they now did not see the need. Half the German division commanders and a fourth of the regiment commanders left for war games exercises in Brittany. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, in charge of the Normandy defenses, decided to travel 500 miles to Germany to celebrate his wife’s birthday. He came back at word of the invasion, but it took him all day—by then too late.
Also, Adolf Hitler and other leaders under him were convinced by Allied ploys and their own theories that the Allied invasion was going to be further east. And when it arrived they assumed it was a diversion, with the real landing to take place elsewhere—a belief that Hitler bizarrely clung to up through August!
Meanwhile, most of the Luftwaffe (German air force) planes based in Normandy had been relocated to Germany to defend against increasing Allied bombing. With that and the bad weather, German planes were not patrolling the English Channel. Moreover, this was the only night the German U-boat submarines did not patrol it. So the Allies encountered hardly any enemy forces on the way.
Confusion among German defenders
A key early step in the invasion was for paratroopers to come in gliders at 100 mph with no guiding lights and to land secretly next to two critical guarded bridges and secure them—to keep the Germans back and prevent the Germans from destroying them so the Allies couldn’t use them. The weather helped in this too, hiding the gliders in the low clouds as they flew by stopwatches until they dropped out at 200 feet, when the pilots could then see.
The first paratroopers to land were stunned, British platoon leader Maj. John Howard later stating: “When we came to our senses, we realized there was no firing. There was no enemy firing. It all seemed quite unbelievable.” The 22 paratroopers trotted over the bridge, the terrified guards dove into the bushes, and the garrison was taken in 10 minutes. But two German tanks arrived, with four more on the way. The paratroopers had only a single anti-tank gun, and with one chance succeeded in hitting the tank right in the middle, setting off all the ammunition inside—the burning tank now blocking the German advance and enabling lost paratroopers to be reoriented.
The Germans were not then able to counterattack there or across the wider area. They now had only two panzer (or tank) divisions near the Normandy landings. Early in the morning, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt ordered these to move in, not believing such a large-scale invasion could be a deception.” Continued at: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-magazine/d-day-and-divine-intervention
The Power of Pentecost
The story of the first Pentecost contains powerful insight for Christians today.
Transcript of YouTube: https://youtu.be/hYCTexnIs4M
[Darris McNeely] “If there’s one event in the plan of God that gives you and I the key to dealing with the challenges of our lives, making a successful life for ourselves and our families it’s probably the day of Pentecost. The meaning of that day with the giving of God’s Holy Spirit and power to the disciples of Jesus Christ. In the book of Luke chapter 24, the days that were leading up to that very powerful day of Pentecost, Christ was resurrected, He appeared to His disciples, and he began to instruct them out of His word. He began to show how the scriptures all pointed, many of them to His own life, to His life, His death, His resurrection, and the aspects surrounding that.
In Luke chapter 24, a lot of this is brought out. He walked with some disciples who were on their way to the village of the Emmaus. They were talking about God and Christ came up alongside of them and they began to talk with God. In time, they found out that they were actually talking with the resurrected Jesus Christ. But they were talking about God and the things of God, and they were conversing with God, which is an important key for you and I to understand regarding that relationship towards success and toward power. That we must have that contact with God.
Christ brought them into remembrance of many of those things. Christ also showed through that example of the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus that we have to invite Him into our life just as they had to invite Him into their home. And when they did, that they had their eyes open to to the Scriptures, and to the role that Christ was now going to play in their own lives. We have to invite Christ into our life. That is a key to opening the meaning of scriptures for us in our life.
But Jesus said in verse 49, at that time as He was with the disciples, He told them to wait. He said, “I will send the promise of My Father upon you but tarry,” which means to wait, “in the city of Jerusalem until you are imbued with power from on high.” And, He was pointing ahead to actually the day of Pentecost, one of the festivals of God. When we turn over to the book of Acts chapter 1, we find that in the last days of Jesus among His disciples before His final ascension, in the time leading up again, to the day of Pentecost, He repeats this promise that He will give them power. In Acts 1:7, He tells them, “Look, don’t worry about my return and trying to figure all that out, the Father knows when that is going to happen.” But in verse 8, He said to his disciples, and He’s talking to us, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”
Putting all the pieces of the story, talking to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, appearing to the disciples in the room after again all of His resurrection, instructing them, revealing himself and His word. There are two critical factors here for us to understand in terms of this power, and what we need.
First of all, it is a correct understanding of the Word of God. In that understanding there’s power, there is power of truth, there is power of conviction.
Secondly, there is the Spirit of God, the very presence of God the Father and Jesus Christ, the spirit of both in us and that’s what Pentecost points us to. Because in chapter 2 of Acts, when they were gathered on the day of Pentecost, God poured that out to them, flames of fire appeared, wind came rushing through. The gift of the Holy Spirit was now available to those who would repent and in faith accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. The very power of God, they promised would be there from the Father in doing us, living within us, not only making us able to witness for the Word of God, but also to have the power to succeed, the power to deal with life, the power to overcome and to have a relationship with God. That’s the power of the Spirit of God.
That’s the meaning, part of the deep meaning of the festival of Pentecost. You should look into that, you should look at what your scriptures tell you about the key to having that relationship with God and leading to a successful life. It is having that power live within us, the very power of God through His Holy Spirit.” From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-daily/the-power-of-pentecost
The one and only time my girlfriend and I played hooky from school, it turned out to be D-Day. We walked to shops on the main street in Golders Green, a suburb of London, and suddenly there were so many planes going overhead we couldn’t hear each other speak. We were used to planes but this time there were so many. Then we ran into my grandmother so that was the end of that hooky adventure, but that day marked the beginning of the end of the war.
It looks like the sale of my house and mini-house (guest house) will go through, but I don’t dare commit myself to anything, like the senior apartment, until it is a done deal.
Two more trips to the chiropractor, and my hip and back are still no better, so now x-rays are ordered.
On Friday, I made several large dishes for two church potlucks because Pentecost, another Holy Day, was the day after the Sabbath. I made one crockpot with organic lamb chili, and another crockpot had wild rice and beans. Apparently barley is a customary food for Pentecost, so for dessert I made barley, with milk and honey, (which was to be in the promised land), but I added cinnamon, apples and raisins. That recipe was in great demand. There were lots of other dishes, and we had enough leftovers from the Sabbath, so that we wouldn’t be cooking on Pentecost.
On the Sabbath, the Bible readings were Psa 22, 23, 24, Exo. 21:1-22:4, Jer. 34:1-4, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, and all of Matt. 20. The Teaching was about Pentecost. On Sunday, The readings were Exo. 19:1-20:23, Num. 28:26-31, Exe. 1:1-28 and all of Matt. 21, and the Teachings was about The Oil of Spirit and Anointing.
This last week was so busy and time slipped away from me. Last Sunday, when I was supposed to publish this, a mechanic was working on my little Mercury station wagon, the Puddle Jumper, again. I was in the driver’s seat trying to start it while he hoped to diagnose it’s problem. It is not getting gas to the new fuel filter so we think it is the fuel pump, which is in the gas tank as far as we can determine. That will get fixed on a later day.