The Soldier who was Asked Not to Serve

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Today I’m honoring a World War II Army medic who was born 94 years ago this week. A friend recommended I talk with him a few years ago and am I glad to have done so! What a story! I wrote this for a military publication I write for. It is commitment to his country like this that makes American soldiers great!

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During WWII, John Robert Myers of Berne, Indiana, was offered the unusual opportunity by the United States Army to not serve his country in battle.

“I had been the forward on our basketball team at Wilshire High School in Ohio,” he said. “While training as a nurse after basic training in Stanton, Virginia, Army hospital officials recognized my athletic skills and asked if I would play for the hospital’s basketball team. They said I would not have to go overseas.”

Myers refused the offer. “I knew I’d feel guilty later for not fighting,” he said. “I went into the war to do the best I could for my country.”

aaMyers John coat snow

Myers was born Dec 24, 1921, in Berne, Indiana. After graduating from high school in 1940, he worked on the family farm with his father.

Like so many young men, Myers’ routine was interrupted at the outbreak of war. Upon being drafted in 1941, Myers completed basic training at Fort Lewis, Washington, then was assigned more specialized training as a nurse.

He worked there until December 1944 when he was shipped to the Philippines. “Our ship was a former luxury liner with everything torn out and bunks added to accommodate soldiers,” he said.

In summer 1945 the emperor of Japan surrendered and the war was over. Most troops headed home but not Staff Sergeant John Myers. “I had not earned the required number of points to be discharged,” he said.

The required number of points was based, among other things, on time in service, battles fought, etc.

Myers remained in the South Pacific, serving six months in Manila on a hospital ship, the USS Yokohama. “We were set up to receive injured American soldiers and POWs,” he said.

aaMyers John St Luke fri

Myers also worked at St Luke’s International Medical Center in Tokyo. In addition to scrubbing floors and fixing windows, he volunteered to work on the sixth floor, an area other soldiers shied away from. “It was the contagious disease ward,” he said. “I chose to help there because I wanted to be where I was needed.” St. Luke’s hospital is still in existence today.

Soldiers on the sixth floor were afflicted with, among other things, hepatitis, cancer, meningitis, venereal diseases, and small pox. Unfortunately, working closely with patients caused Myers to contract hepatitis. “I hurt so much I wished someone would hit me over the head and knock me out,” he said. It took Myers a month to recover.

While overseas, Myers wrote letters to a female friend, Chloe, at home. She wrote back. John Myers was discharged and arrived back in Berne in May 1946. He and Chloe married four months later. They became parents to three daughters and later, 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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John returned to farming and attended Bethel Brethren Church in Berne. His story of being a medic in World War II has been recorded by local students.

Of his time in the Army during WWII, Myers said, “Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge on our trip home brought tears to my eyes! To live in a place like America is such a privilege. I was glad to help my country when I could.”

Sadly, Robert “Bob” Myers, 92, Berne, passed away Monday, February 3, 2014. I’m glad to have met him and that he shared his story with me.

Several WWII vets and other vets are among us.  Find a vet and tell him/her thanks for the service they provided to our country!

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

Make My Faithfulness Like a Double Shot of Espresso!

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And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping and said to Peter, “So you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?” (Matthew 26:40)

If there had been coffee shops during Jesus Christ’s time, I’m convinced He would have taken one look at Peter’s, James’ and John’s sleepy faces at Gethsemane and said, “Hey, I need your support in the next several hours and you look like you could use some help holding your heads up. I’ll get you each a super-large caramel latte with two extra shots to go at the Bohemian Bean in Jerusalem! Let’s go!”

Unfortunately, the disciples had no legal artificial stimulant to keep them awake. As a result, they fell asleep three times, even after Jesus implored them to stay awake. Thus, they lost valuable time with their best friend during the most difficult night of His life.

My tendency is to ask, “How could they disappoint Jesus?” Then I ask myself, ‘How many times have I disappointed Jesus?’

No matter how many times I’ve disappointed Jesus, He’s given me second chances. We have a lot of lost time to make up for! Do you feel God has given you second chances? What can you do to show your love for Him?

Prayer: God, You are patient with me beyond measure. You know I’m weak and tired and don’t deserve Your patience or grace, but You extend them anyway. Give me wisdom to know when a circumstance needs my full attention for Your sake. Amen

Follow The Writers View for Practical Advice

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If you are a Christian who is a writer or feels God has called you to be a writer but you don’t know what to do first, I recommend you join TWV1 — The Christian Writers View Group on Yahoo.
I’ve followed it for many years and have found it to be informational, biblical and best of all, written by many professional writers from across the nation! You have to apply but as far as I know, nearly everyone is accepted. Subjects are posted weekly and anyone can reply w/ pertinent information to the topic. This is not a place to sell books blatantly, although if it pertains to the subject, such as marketing, then its OK.

You must adhere to the rules, such as keeping your answers brief and on topic. The column is monitored which makes it reliable for quality posts.
There is no cost to join.
I’ve pasted my recent response to a question posted this week about newspaper writing. Since I’ve written for newspapers– Ossian Sun Riser (column), Ft Wayne News-Sentinel Features, Bluffton News-Banner– for more than a decade, I felt I could give some insight.

Do you write for newspapers? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Please leave me a comment. I love newspapers as you’ll see in my responses below.

**
Hello, everyone. Let’s talk about writing columns for newspapers for the
next days.

For those of you who are writing columns for newspapers, how did you get
your columnist job? What is the biggest challenge you face in writing your
column? And how has writing the column benefited both your writing and your
overall brand as a writer?

If you are interesting in writing newspaper columns, what questions do you
have that we could answer to help get you on your way?

David Thomas, Journalism Panelist
http://www.DavidThomasBooks.com

My response to the group:

1. How did you get your columnist job?

I had written dozens of Feature stories for the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel
newspaper when a columnist for a smaller newspaper, Ossian (IN) Sun Riser,
died. I contacted the editor, asking if he could use my help and attaching
several sample stories. He took me on and I’ve written weekly stories about
people, events, places in a rural community close to me for four years. The
pay is nominal, but I get paid on time and the work is easy-people are
friendly, they like my stories, and I enjoy giving honest, generous people
their 15 minutes of fame.

2. What is the biggest challenge you face in writing your column?

My biggest challenge is not finding ideas-I think everyone has a good story
inside! I work in a school library and find it difficult to establish
time/energy to write at home. Rarely does this keep me from submitting a
story by deadline. My editor is great to work with and I’m eager to make his
job easier.

3. How has writing the column benefited both your writing and your overall
brand as a writer?

Since people in my community know me/my name, I have been asked to speak and
take my 11 children’s books for author talks. The regular pay has helped me
feel productive and disciplined. Last year I wrote two weekly stories for
two papers.

I love writing for newspapers because you see the story in print so quickly!
And I know my stories are items that people put in scrapbooks.

Friendship to Go!

Tulips offer hope for renewal as does our Christian faith in God for a better future!

Tulips offer hope for renewal as does our Christian faith in God for a better future!

And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping and said to Peter, “So you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?” (Matthew 26:40)

If there had been coffee shops during Jesus’ time, I’m convinced He would have taken one look at the sleepy faces of Peter, James, and John at Gethsemane and said, “Hey, you guys, I’m going to need your support in the next several hours. You look like you could use help holding your heads up. Let’s go to the Bohemian Bean in Jerusalem and order super-large caramel lattes with caffeine to go!”

Unfortunately, the disciples had no legal artificial stimulant to keep them awake. As a result, they fell asleep three times, even after Jesus implored them to stay awake. Thus, they lost valuable time with their best friend during the most difficult night of His life.

My tendency is to point at those men and ask, “How could you disappoint Jesus so?” Then I see three fingers pointing back at me and ask myself, ‘How many times have I disappointed Jesus?’

Now, wherever I am, morning or night, I talk to God, You see, He’s my best friend and I’ve failed him in the past, but He’s given me a second chance. Now we have a lot of lost time to make up for!

Prayer: God, You are patient with us beyond measure. You know we are weak and tired and don’t deserve Your patience or grace, but You extend them anyway. Give us wisdom to know when a circumstance needs our full attention for Your sake.

Does God Listen to Poor Kids?

Tulips can remind us of God's promise of renewed lives.

Tulips can remind us of God’s promise of renewed lives.

If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

As a 10-year-old child, Joe thought life was one long struggle.

For five years his parents had moved their 14 children throughout the United States picking fruits and vegetables. One-room cabins with no heat or indoor plumbing, located in camps on the wrong side of town, offered shelter, but no safety or comfort. In these camps Joe saw violence and corruption. He asked God for a safer place to live, but nothing changed. Joe learned to trust no one.

Then a friend invited Joe to attend an evangelistic crusade at the high school football field. Joe didn’t want to go, but he gave in. There he heard the preacher say that Christ could make a difference in a person’s life if he surrendered his will to God.

Tough Joe made my way down to the front and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. He had arrived at the meeting with hate and anger, but left with peace. God had changed his life.

Today, Joe tells people that God can use them if they will surrender their will to His. That is a big statement, coming from someone who used to think God didn’t listen to poor kids.

The End

God, help me to remember there are lost souls who just need to hear the Word of God spoken to them once for them to turn to You. Help me to show people what You can do for them if they will surrender their lives to You.

Do you look for miracles in life?

Every Sunday I post a devotion that reflects my belief in God and His place as Lord of my life as a Christian.

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And when Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” (Acts 12:11 New American Standard Bible)

 

Peter wasn’t expecting a miracle, but he got one that saved his life. Situations don’t always happen the way we want them, but we need to believe God is working everything for His glory. If and when His plan is revealed to us, we can thank Him for making it happen.

 

Last week, my neighbor was despairing over his recent diagnosis of a debilitating disease. If he couldn’t work, he couldn’t make a house payment. Our families prayed together. The next day, he received an unexpected check in the mail, enough to make two house payments! God makes miracles!

 

Recently, a friend confided that he needed a drummer for his Christian band. Being a non-musical person, I couldn’t recommend anyone. In fact, the only – and best – thing I could do was pray for his need, which I did. The next morning my sister emailed me. In the message she mentioned the talents of a mutual friend: “Did you know Rui plays bongos?” I hadn’t known. After a flurry of emails, the two musicians connected. God makes miracles!

 

God, sometimes we don’t expect enough good things from you. Help us to continue to believe in your goodness and power. Amen.

What miracle do you need from God today?

What’s In Your Bag?

My purse is always stuffed with supplies for my family and a book to read!

My purse is always stuffed with supplies for my family and a book to read!


“…Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. Luke 12:33

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It scared the wits out of me for years. ”They knock your feet right out from under you,” said one friend. “Don’t walk in alone,” advised another. “Go with a gang.”

Each fall a certain manufacturer of colorful, stylish cloth handbags, backpacks, luggage, and coin purses, conducts an outlet sale at a location close to my home. This event attracts hundreds of thousands of shoppers each year looking for deals.

Despite the proximity, I had avoided attending the outlet sale. Every woman knows being stampeded by female shoppers looking for good deals is 10 times worse than being stampeded by male shoppers looking for good deals! However, last year I decided to attend and purchase items for Christmas presents. I left a note at home, so if the other shoppers trampled me to death, my husband would know where to find me.

Needless to say, I survived. The experience was even somewhat pleasant. Customers shopped companionably beside each other with no fighting over a particular handbag.

While walking to my car after making my purchases, I wondered about the fuss. Jesus warned against obsessing over items that have no eternal significance and which would eventually wear out. Why did he mention purses in particular? Was it because He knew women would love them for centuries to come?

Prayer: You know my wants and desires so well, Father. Please help me to control my spending habits so they honor you.