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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pearl Harbor - 65 years ago



Sixty-five years ago today, in 1941, the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was attacked. The bombing killed 2,388 Americans, put much of the Pacific fleet out of commission, and came while the Japanese ambassador in Washington was preparing for a diplomatic appointment at the State Department. Among the losses was the battleship Arizona, which went down with nearly all hands on board. It is still there as a national shrine.

In President Roosevelt's speech to Congress the next day asking for a declaration of war, he called Dec. 7 "a date which will live in infamy." Congress responded promptly with a declaration of war against Japan. It followed up on Dec. 11 with retaliatory declarations of war against Germany and Italy. World War II was the last time the United States has declared war, though it has fought three major wars (Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan-Iraq) and numerous minor ones. Not many Americans are old enough to remember the events of 65 years ago.

One of the best books ever written that explains the details of that day is a book entitled "At Dawn We Slept". I purchased my copy when I visited Hawaii many years ago. The name of that book explains it all. We were sleeping when Japan initiated a surprise attack on that December day.

I've always felt that title "At Dawn We Slept" would be a good moniker for the Church. So many people lost and dying without Jesus and the Church just sleeps, not realizing that Satan is trying to destroy as many as possible. We need to wake up and rally the troops. All hands on deck. This is not a time to be asleep at the wheel. God has called the Church to sound the trumpet to reach a dying world with the saving message of Jesus Christ.

My question to you are as follows.

Have you ever led someone into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ?
When was the last time you shared your faith?
When was the last time you brought a visitor to church?
When was the last time you bought a Bible for an unsaved acquaintance?
When was the last time you parked in the off site area and rode the shuttle?
When was the last time you fasted for a lost friend?
When was the last time you gave a sermon CD to a fellow employee?
When was the last time you thought about moving to Saturday night to free up more room for visitors who usually attend on Sunday morning.
When was the last time you cried over someone being lost?
When was the last time you wept over a soul?
When was the last time you invited your neighbor to church?

If Jesus came today...
If Jesus came tonight...
If Jesus came in the morning...

Could they say of the church?
Could they say of you?
Could they say of me?

At Dawn We Slept.

1 comment:

Dru Morgan said...

I grew up in Hawaii, and, as a kid, did not understand the significance of this national monument. But, visiting it recently, I learned that there are still people in that ship. It is actually their burial ground. All the more, it should remind us that we are not promised tomorrow. Our lives can be taken from us in a moment.

I thank God for a pastor like yourself who asks the hard questions of each of us. When was the last time we went out of our way to verbally share our faith with someone we didn't know?

I also thank God for a church that provides training in evangelism, like the class coming up next Saturday, so we are all equipped to share the reason for the hope within us.

If you don't mind, I am going to post your questions on my blog as well, as we should all be asking them of ourselves.