HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY 2022

As we honor all mothers on this June 8th, 2022, let us not forget to include in our gratitude the immmense contributions that fathers make in the care and raising of our children. Family is incomplete without them and does not start without them. Mothers bear a huge responsibility in raising boys to become the strong and thoughtful leaders and guardians needed by tomorrow’s families.

happy family mother and daughter read a book in the evening at home

Copyright 2022 Nancy Diraison/Diraison Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Remembering the Greatest Sacrifice and the High Price of Freedom

On this Passover season, 2022, let us remember that Freedom is never free. Whether on the highest spiritual plane, or the physical, someone has paid or is paying a price for us to have it. Let us imbibe the lessons and be thankful, even as we seek to do our part to regain, retain and share that freedom with others.

Let us be thankful for the ultimate sacrifice, but never fail in gratitude for the service of others, whether military, first responders, family, or the strangers we never meet who sacrifice that others may benefit.

BREAKTHROUGH LEADERSHIP — the solution to Action Paralysis

Determination, Resolve, Purpose = DRIVE!!!

One evening many years ago I was driving the long stretch of California’s coastal 101 Highway that connects the Bay Area to Los Angeles. Dense fog developed at twilight. There were few cars traveling that night. If I’d had a hunch the fog would be so dense, I would have taken the inland I-5 Interstate. Turned out I’d exchanged vehicle congestion for visual obscurity. Not fun. 

I was stuck, tired, and seriously wondering if I’d make it through without an incident. Any stopping would be a challenge as visibility was almost nil. I was tempted to pull over and wait it out, but saw no safe opportunity. All I could do was hold my course as it got darker, and darker, and darker.

Suddenly, out of the fog loomed a “miracle”. The tail lights of an 18-wheeler came dimly into view… straight ahead of me!

AHA! My salvation! With a seasoned semi driver in front of me, if I followed just far enough back not to lose sight, and not close enough to put myself at risk, I might be able to follow the truck to some logical stopping point. Anything in the way on the road would not be mine to deal with. I was sheltered from what little oncoming traffic might come struggling through the fog. This continued for several hours without a break, until the fog cleared. I wondered if the trucker had been aware he was being followed. I imagined he was. 

Sometimes we just need a light. And sometimes, the unexpected needs to happen when a situation is blocked.

BREAKTHROUGH LEADERSHIP IN TIMES OF IMPASSE

Decades after the driving episode I just related, the fate of the entire world is hanging at  one of the most precarious situations in history — at the brink of disaster on multiple fronts. Populations on all continents are victims of the accumulated political, economic and social manipulations of powers they have no control over. Every illusion of stability has crumbled. Leaders who should not have been trusted have misled, and those who would correct course meet with inconceivable opposition and grave dangers.

Hopes of prosperity and the pursuit of happiness have been replaced with helplessness, despair and cynicism. Some populations have been in that condition for a very long time; to others it is a shock. No one can see through the fog, and a deliberately orchestrated spirit of fear has prevailed for the past two years especially. 

Is there any hope?

Breakthroughs are made for impasses. In fact when all seems lost, the unexpected must rise to rescue. It is the only way.

THE COURAGE OF A MAN NAMED PHINEHAS

Among various historic parallels, one particularly comes to mind as an allegory to the present need. I never could have visualized the form this breakthrough would take, but it is reminiscent of what one single soldier named Phinehas accomplished at a time when the 12-tribe nation of Israel became unmanageable even under its powerful leader, Moses.

Who was Phinehas and what actions did he take to break the stalemate?

Phinehas was a grandson of the high priest Aaron and son of Eleazar (not to be confused with the vagrant, lawless son of Eli whose name was also Phinehas). 

The nation’s leadership had followed the false prophet Balaam into idolatry and immorality (Baal worship). By their example the entire nation was led astray. They had forgotten God and embraced many evils. On the surface it appeared that all was lost. At the time of the unexpected event a plague came upon the nation which killed 24,000 of the worst offenders (out of an estimated population of 1.5 Million).

Phinehas’s intervention is recorded in the Old Testament book of Numbers, chapter 25. More illuminating details, well worth reading, are found in the corresponding account of  the ancient historian Josephus (“Antiquities of the Jews”, Book 4, Chapter 6, sections 10-12). It is not within the scope of this short article to reprint those passages, but readers are strongly encouraged to verify them as they bear a remarkable comparison  to the circumstances we face today. As King Solomon said: “There is nothing new under the sun.” The past repeats itself, a good reason to study history. 

The blistering question that struck me many years ago about this matter of Phinehas was: “WHY wasn’t Moses doing anything?” He was still the leader of his nation. His faith was not tarnished and God’s power not diminished. The former Prince of Egypt was locked in a state of political “action paralysis”, but why? What was needed to change the situation?

Josephus’s account clarifies the situation. The corruption problem was so large, like a massive infection, so deeply embedded, that an incomplete action would only have rebounded into larger problems. All possible actions had been contemplated and deemed inadequate. Anything Moses tried was going to backfire. And as today, when enemies are dominant and ruthless, woe to the one who tries to expose and oppose them. Like a cancer that must be eradicated 100%, there needs to be a complete overturning of the wrong course, and the people must be involved for change to be effective. They have to be motivated to act, and numbers matter.

But the people need a light, maybe something to lead them through the fog. Maybe some trucks?

The historian Josephus records the precise moment when Zimri, leader of the tribe of Simeon, spews an outrageously insolent public speech against Moses (details in the Josephus text), and the honorable Phinehas has had enough. He does not ask permission, and he is not rebuked later for his action, but he takes control. Later he and his posterity are greatly honored for what he initiates. As one man, Phinehas “spearheads” the clean-up of the nation. He rises up under righteous inspiration and eliminates the arrogant prince and his complicit companion, and the snowball rolled from there… because the people got on board.

Also the plague was stopped in its tracks, after the evil was purged, and Phinehas was granted God’s “covenant of peace” for his actions and leadership of the other men who joined him. The nation entered a new beginning. The plague marked the end of the first generation after the Exodus, and a new census was taken to mark the rebirth of the nation. It was a turning point before entering the Promised Land (Number 26)

So in 2022, when all seemed at a standstill, and the people had suffered under unconscionable wrongs done against them, the truckers hit the road, and others joined, and others helped, and many more prayed… because the zeal of Phinehas was in their hearts to deliver their families, their people, and their nations from the grip of tyranny.

May we never forget…

Copyright 2022 Nancy Diraison/Diraison Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Sharing of this article for its intended purposes is permitted with appropriate credits. 

See our blog The Power of One” for individual encouragement.

Photo Credits:

Blue semi in lead:  Photo 120663639 @ Carolyn Franks/Dreamstime.com

Dense fog: Photo 9704268 @ Trinuch Chareon/Dreamstime.com

Truck in fog: Photo 18465616 @ Prochasson Frederic/Dreamstime.com

“Moses mountain”:  Photo 120663639 @ Carolyn Franks/Dreamstime.com

Trucks/cars in snowstorm: Photo 18080732 @ Karen Foley/Dreamstime.co

VETERANS DAY 2021

VETERANS DAY 2021 is a day for remembering that peace and freedom are not free. It is also a day to be thankful our military is pledged by oath to defend our Constitution above all. The high costs of winning and maintaining peace and freedom can only be vindicated through eternal citizen vigilance and the accurate teaching of history. Those who forget are doomed to repeat.

US Army soldier with US flag at a military parade

The methods of war have changed, dulling humanity’s ability to recognize the onset of oppression and tyranny. The erosion of FREEDOM takes many forms, the most dangerous of them psychologically subtle. Losses include: (1) the power or right to act, speak or think free of despotic oppression; (2) the sly onset of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government, (3) increasing fears or acts of being imprisoned or enslaved for exercising natural and Constitutional freedoms. These points alone should register loud and clear this 2021 Veterans Day.

The fight for freedom has never been confined to distant shores where so many of our soldiers have sacrificed; it is wherever we reside, work, and in the schools we send our children to. We can best honor our veterans by courageously entering the battles closest to us. The power of one is immense. Remembering John F. Kennedy’s words: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” By this time in 2022, we will know what we have won or lost.

For related reading, see this site’s article, “The Power of One”.

Copyright 2021 Nancy Diraison/Diraison Publishing. Sharing permitted with credits.

July 4, 2021 – INDEPENDENCE DAY – “Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!”

On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry made a stirrring speech at the Second Virginia Convention at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. His speech addressed the burdens of foreign oppression which subsequently crystallized into the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.

Photo 201885997 / 1776 © Elena Zakharova /dreamstime_xxl_201885997
Photo 47768877 © Georgios Kollidas /dreamstime_xxl_47768877
PATRICK HENRY (1736-1799) on engraving from 1835. American attorney, planter and politician. Engraved by E. Welmore and published in National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans Volume II ,USA,1835.

Patrick Henry’s speech closed with the famous words: “...give me liberty or give me death”. The sentence preceding those words stated: “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!”

Oppression” — “chains and slavery” —  incorporate many forms of abuse, some physical, and inescapably always psychological. The process is usually gradual, lulling the unwary into submission.

In 1775 Patrick Henry recognized that the colonies were already at war. It had crept upon them in myriad forms. Most turned a blind eye, others prepared to fight. The entirety of the speech is a valuable read and highly recommended at this junction in history (links below) .

In 2021 the Constitutional Republic formed 245 years ago faces renewed and parallel challenges, though more subtly cloaked in the tactics of modern warfare, less tactical, and more psychological. The weight of responsibility rests on all shoulders to do all that is possible and necessary to vindicate the sacrifices paid previously in the fight for freedom. For the sake of our children it must be done. Fate is at the door and time does not wait.

Peace can only be maintained through strength, and the strength of America was bequeathed to its people. That strength can (must) never be delegated to others without maintaining constant watchfulness. As often quoted: “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” Therein lies the nation’s Achille’s heel, and the answer to reclaiming appropriate power. The fight is for everyone. For the children.

The immortal words of Patrick Henry merit renewed scrutiny.

2021 is 1776.

Photo 187697836 © Famveldman | Dreamstime_xxl_187697836

Links to Patrick Henry’s full speech:
https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/patrick.asp

NATIONAL POLICE WEEK 2021 — COPS: FRIENDS NOT FOES

May 12, 2021

This week as we mark National Police Week, we think it appropriate to preface our annually republished account with some details of the origin of the day.

Never in the history of this nation have law officers faced the degrees of ingratitude, opposition and violence we’ve witnessed in recent years. Sincerely serving officers are menaced, faced with deliberately provocative situations. They have been rewarded with defunding, personal attacks, treachery from within and without their ranks, unsupportive courts and the loneliness that comes from feeling helpless while law and order collapse. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This has to end. This is not the way things used to be.

May 15 was first proclaimed “National Peace Officers Memorial Day” by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. The expanded week-long observance pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. Those who sacrifice in domestic law enforcement, and their families, share similar woes as those who lose their lives in fighting abroad for the preservation of our freedoms.

Peace officers. That is what they should be. That is what our republished blog is about. Friends, not foes.

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Photo credit 116669338@Chris Dorney/Dreamstime.com

President Kennedy as the 35th President of the United States was a leader who loved his country and its people. He famously stated: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” He lived up to his words; he lost his life. Regarding his honored military service, Kennedy had said: “Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, “I served in the United States Navy…” (he wrote in August, 1963). Kennedy was honorably discharged in 1945 after his service during World War II. He received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal (the highest non-combat decoration awarded for heroism) and the Purple Heart. Those who have read can never forget his courage during the PT-109 incident, among others (worth the search to read about).

Some paid the ultimate price. Some continue to serve and fight to protect and to serve.

The flame that burns for one burns for all.

We hope the following true story, which spanned several dates from 1999 to 2000, will serve to remind and encourage those who never give up, both the fighters and those who support them.

Authored October 9, 2018 / Nancy Diraison

Every time I hear of another police officer shooting, I ache. Deeply. I grieve for all those affected by these tragedies. There are no words sufficient to solace the devastated family members, no way to replace the missing husband, father, son, brother, uncle — or wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt — all the personal roles filled by those who risk their lives every single day to keep law and order in our increasingly challenged society. That is not to minimize the suffering endured by friends and co-workers, which is also intense.

Maybe I grieve more easily than others due to losses sustained in my own life, but it’s hard to imagine what those close to law enforcement and first responders go through every day of their lives knowing the bad news could come. For those who perpetrate these events on purpose, there are no suitable words at all. 

We used to respect law enforcement. They were our friends. For many that recollection is still strong. We cherished and appreciated the protection and unending services rendered. Cops were heroes, like firemen and all other rescuers. Children looked up to them, aspired to the professions, even if they never paid as much as they should. Many of the small services rendered were never officially known or recognized, but at least there was gratitude expressed. We certainly did not fear the police, and hatred was unheard of. 

Too often these days gratitude is supplanted by grief. Why? Perhaps the breakdown of family in general, and the absence of fathers in far too many homes encourages a transfer of blame and resentment to authority figures. Nothing sane warrants that. Staying on the right side of the law of course, helps frame our approach to law enforcement.

In my life as a parent, there came a day when I had to teach my occasionally belligerent son a vigorous lesson about respecting officers of the law. This is the story I share today, because what children learn early, and mostly from their parents, will form their values and views for the rest of their lives. Everything we do as parents matters. We can have a huge impact, but we need to be present in their lives and cannot delegate the responsibility.

On a day like all others, I and my two children left the post office where I’d just conducted some minor business. As we walked the few yards to our parked car, a Deputy exited the Sheriff’s Department half a block away. The officer was walking towards us.

Out of the blue, my angry little man said: “I’m going to go over there and kick that police officer!” 

“Oh???” Hm! My five-year-old was about to learn something about his mother.

“I have a different idea,” I said. “That officer, like most officers, spends his entire day helping people, sometimes with really bad problems, and instead of kicking him you need to go over there and APOLOGIZE for having such a terrible thought about him!”

My son cringed in fear and his face contorted in protest. Since he wasn’t cooperative, I took his arm to help him walk a little faster. 

When we reached the officer, I explained the minor problem I needed help with. The officer grinned and got down closer to the sidewalk so as to not intimidate this increasingly terrified kid. Later my son would tell me he thought he was going to go to jail! Maybe that was a good thing!

My boy never did get any words out, so after a few minutes the officer smiled, stated he’d see far worse problems that day, and we parted ways. I forgot to ask his name.

Well, for those who do not believe there is a God who desires to participate in our parenting, the rest of this story may seem entirely coincidental; for others it will be far more encouraging. 

I was deeply regretful at my son’s behavior and prayed silently for him to be helped with his thinking.

Driving home, less than ten minutes later, the two-lane highway was slowed due to a bad roll-over accident, off our side of the southbound lane. I was about to get my first answer to the prayer for my son. In the moment I could take to study his face in the back carseat, I saw him craning his neck in disbelief as he noticed the officer on location and urgently assisting the accident victims was the very one he had just slighted back in town. 

Ouch! 

When we got home, I said nothing, letting my son think. To my surprise a short while later, he came to me sadly, saying, “Mom, I made a mistake. I should have apologized to that police officer.” I was a bit stunned. However we had a problem, how to fix the mistake? How to recover the situation? I did not know the officer’s name.

My suggestion was that we pray together for a chance to once again encounter the  officer. We had no idea how or if it would happen, but my son prayed with me, visibly burdened with his mistake.

One more week passed, and it happened. At a small Independence Day outdoor concert where we had seated ourselves, the officer appeared, walking around the crowd to reach his own family. I wondered if my boy would have the courage to follow up on his intentions, but he amazed me. 

It still makes me proud, when I think about it, watching my son shake hands in the distance with the officer, who he boldly approached on his own. When he came back he was beaming.

Mission accomplished, the breach healed, I was satisfied, but the story was just beginning. For the next two years, it seems we never stopped encountering the Deputy. I sensed the awe my son felt for the bond being renewed every time he met the man; he did not have a good role model in our home so each contact sunk deep. The officer would not have known that.

The last event was unforgettable, given as I heard later the Deputy was soon afterwards  transferred to another part of the State. 

We had been traveling back to our Rocky Mountain town from the desert southwest, making our way along the barren two-lane highway of the Southern Rockies, past the sand dunes and not much else.

That was when the car broke down. And it wasn’t going anywhere. 

With no way to call for our towing service, and many miles from the nearest town on the map, the situation was worrisome. No cars passed for what seemed like a long time. And it was very, very hot.

But then came the surprise. Glancing in the rear view mirror, I saw a black and white Chevy Blazer approaching. It pulled up behind us and stopped. Was this help or trouble?

Out stepped our friend, the Deputy. Unreal. Absolutely unreal. Still hours from home. My son’s eyes lit up in total astonishment. Of course the Officer wanted to help, but since he was transporting prisoners he could not offer us a lift. Instead he used his authority to call a road crew we didn’t know was anywhere around, and instructed one of the vehicles to tow us to the next town. From there we could call our towing service. 

We were saved. Saved by a friend who made helping his full-time job, his mission in life.  It was dangerous then but nothing like now, when even the close communities they serve harbor dangers never encountered in the past. 

We can all help. We can influence and teach. We can change opinions. I don’t need to pose the question, whether my kids ever had a wrongful thought about police officers after the Post Office incident and its sequel. I’m just happy I seized the moment when it arose. I showed my son how easy it was to turn a stranger into a friend, by becoming one himself. 

Copyright 2017 Nancy Diraison/Diraison Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

[Photo credit: Dreamstime stock photo, Kelly Boreson Charland]

On FAITH, WAR and STEALTH – Lessons from DUNKIRK

DUNKIRK

Why Lessons from History

are Lessons for Today 

It has been wisely said that the best way to study history is by studying the lives of those who lived it. Of course there are those who lived through history, and those who lost their lives in the process. Both need to be remembered.

Autobiographies are great sources of information coming from the actors themselves (even if written with the help of diligent ghost-writers). Biographies also include helpful insights and quotes from historical figures. Either way the advent of digital publishing has altered the integrity of many accounts. When editing and republishing books was done by the traditional process, entailing the many hours and costs of hard-copy reprinting and distribution, it was harder to tamper with truth. Too much is taken for granted that internet sources hold all the original information! They do not! Hard-copy reading also used to provide more opportunity for contemplation, meditation and time to correlate the contents with the present. That is in contrast to the multi-tasking blitzkrieg of information most online readers are distracted with today.

Connecting history to the present takes thought!

So why bring up Dunkirk? What is/was Dunkirk? 

Operation Dynamo, as it was called, still ranks as the biggest evacuation in military history. Wars are not generally won by evacuations, but despite the necessarily crushing abandonment of huge numbers of vehicles and equipment involved in the process, redeeming the priceless asset of well-trained soldiers was key to the eventual victories.

This blog is not intended to provide a detailed history. Links to informative articles will be provided at the end and many more are easily found.  The purpose here is to draw a parallel between the wisdom, courage, stealth and miracles required to pull off the events which saved over 335,000 Allied troops from a certain death trap on the northern coast of France in 1940. It is to point to what natural and supernatural miracles were involved in the success of the venture.

It is important to place Dunkirk in context with the duration of World War II, which began in September, 1939 and did not officially end until September, 1945. Failure at the point of Dunkirk so early in the conflict would have changed all outcomes. In fact it would have been immediately devastating.

Photo 100447035 copyright Timawe/Dreamstime.com

Quoting from Winston Churchill when contemplating the unexpected encirclement of the deployed 200,000 plus British Expeditionary Force by the Germans: “I thought — and some good judges agreed with me — that perhaps 20,000 or 30,000 men might be reimbarked [out of close to 400,000 at risk including French, Belgian and other allies]. The whole root and core and brain of the British army… seemed about to perish upon the field, or to be led into ignominious and starving captivity.” 

The only plan being proposed seemed almost as risky as doing nothing… but nothing is not an option.

For purposes of geography, Dunkirk is a town and beach located on the northern coast of France, east of the port of Calais. Its beaches face the inevitably choppy, never calm waters of the English Channel. The three nautical routes from Dunkirk to  Dover, England varied from 39 miles to 55 and 87, each bearing different risks.

When inland troops were instructed to drop everything and march towards that location, most had no idea where it was. But march they did.

Landscape approaching Dunkirk ID295979135 copyright Phillipehalle/Dreamstime.com

The beach at Dunkirk is comprised of an extremely shallow shelf stretching a long distance to waters deep enough to accommodate naval destroyers, quite beyond the breakwater. The only access from deep waters to the actual shore is by very small craft, usually fishing boats, or by walking and wading. One very long boardwalk, referred to as the “mole”, was able to accommodate three to four soldiers walking abreast. It provided the only shortcut to directly boarding larger ships. All others needed to be rescued directly from the beach.

Dunkirk beach in good weather Photo 119012658 copyright Massimo Santi/Dreamstime.com

The English channel turbulence was eventually the reason for the development of hovercrafts, vessels encased and buoyed up with inflated tubes to allow a level of coasting above the waves, but in 1940 it was a flotilla of approximately 850 small volunteer citizen ships, all small craft, which courageously contributed to Operation Dynamo’s success. They were ready to venture before they had any idea what remarkable events were to render their task even possible. Of those rescued, 239,465 were able to board larger ships via the mole, but another 98,761 were rescued directly from the beaches by the small boats. 

If the small armada had faced typical English Channel waters, the Operation Dynamo would have had a different story to tell.

The English Channel acting up, British side:

Rough seas Sussex/Photo 107354575 copyright Philip Bird/Dreamstime.com

The usual expectation for rowers of small boats, even on a good day:

Rowing rough seas on English Channel/Photo 66608613 copyright Pjgibson/Dreamstime.com

There is an enormous difference between what was possible in terms of stealth and planning in 1940 versus the challenges involved in today’s digital/social media era wherein all information is at risk and considered to be promiscuously “everyone’s business” (which it is NOT!). Similar to the Dunkirk event, the D-Day invasion itself, in June, 1944, had to be pulled off in great secrecy in order to succeed. Mistakes not allowed. Life and death scenarios at play for thousands and eventually, millions.

What changed the outcome to victory at Dunkirk

Clearly, what faced the British Empire in May of 1940 was a time of grave crisis for the entire civilized world. But several factors changed the odds “against all odds”. In fact there were FOUR such factors.

First, His Majesty King George VI, recognized as a godly Sovereign, requested that Sunday, May 26 be observed as a National Day of Prayer. In a stirring broadcast, the King called all people of the Empire to commit their cause to God. It is recorded that an extraordinary and historic response took place, in that churches, synagogues and mosques were filled beyond capacity with people praying on the designated day. 

Second, what was to be considered the first miracle (but really was the second if one counts the response of the people to prayer!), was that on the same day the people of Britain were praying, Hitler mysteriously halted the advance of his armored columns within ten miles of where the allied troops needed passage to escape. Winston Churchill penned in his memoirs his speculation that Hitler’s arrogance may have led him to believe he could simply wipe out the vulnerable assembly of soldiers once it gathered with his presumed superior air power. In a way, the Dunkirk idea may have looked to him like the proverbial “sitting duck”.

However, higher powers can produce other results!

The next (or second/third) miracle, is that a storm of enormous power broke out over Flanders on Tuesday, May 28th, completely grounding the German Luftwaffe and allowing the British army formations which were at a point eight to twelve miles from the beach, to continue their progress on foot, without any threat from overhead. 

The next phase of the miracles was the extraordinary stillness of the water on the English Channel spanning Dunkirk at the Strait of Dover, described as “still as a mill pond” or “like a bathtub”. Something never seen before. It was the stillness which enabled the vast armada of little ships to cross and recross with their rescues. For days the methodical exodus went on undetected. Dunkirk itself was easy to segregate from wrong landing areas by the huge cloud of black smoke rising straight up into the grim, windless sky, emanating from oil tanks which were ablaze just inside the harbor. Also in addition to the heavy cloud layer, smoke from German bombing activity elsewhere was coaxed by breezes into the Dunkirk arena, further shrouding visibility. 

But that was not all. Some German squadrons did venture through the storm. Reports surfaced afterward that troops who had been lying on the beaches and targeted by the enemy aircraft were miraculously shielded. Up to 400 at one point were strafed with gunfire by as many as 60 enemy aircraft. Of all those machine-gunned, NOT ONE suffered wounds. Not. One. One of the survivors was a military chaplain who testified that the sand where he had been lying was pitted with bullet holes after the incidents.

As a sequel to the deliverance of the 335,000, a National Day of Thanksgiving was declared in England for Sunday, June 9, 1940. Churchill, not a religious man, boldly referred to the victory as a “miracle of deliverance”. 193,000 of those rescued were British and another 140,000 were predominantly French and Belgians, with mention of Canadians and others. 

Not to be forgotten… There were approximately 80,000 troops who were not rescued, half British and half French. Some later escaped but many more perished under the cruelty of German captivity. Many of those had been holding the perimeter for those who did escape. There are always heroes who never get to go home. 

Cemetery near Dunkirk/Photo ID198267617 copyright Philippehalle/Dreamstime.com

What can we take away from Dunkirk

1. Never underestimate the power of prayer. Especially the power of the many. Churchill himself, not a religious person, asked Brittons to pray for just one minute a day during the war. Just one minute a day — prayer for the nation for God’s protection. Can be done anywhere. No excuses not to.

2. Pray for the guidance of right-minded leaders.

3. Faith, hope and courage are tested in many ways but perhaps no more aggressively than in time of war. The war could be spiritual, material or a combination of both. Action must accompany where possible. Every small boat counts.

4. Storms can be good.

5. Stealth is mandatory for success.

6. Never be deterred by choppy waters. They may be only illusions.

7. Peace is not free. Never forget the valiant ones who fight for all the others. Every day some are doing it, unseen and too often unthanked.

Dunkirk at Sunset. Restless waters. Photo ID119012658 copyright Massimo Santi/Dreamstime.com

Copyright 2021 (March 30, 2021) Nancy Diraison/Diraison Publishing. All Rights Reserved. (Sharing permitted only with full publication credits).

Suggested reading links:

Time-Life new special edition, WORLD WAR II: DUNKIRK

http://www.guideposts.org/inspiration/miracles/gods-grace/the-four-miracles-of-dunkirk

What happened to those left behind? 40,000 French and 40,000 Brits https://time.com/4869347/dunkirk-aftermath-history/

Also of interest: Trilogy entitled ‘The Trumpet Sounds for Britain’ written by Rev. David E Gardner, who died just before the trilogy was republished. Whilst serving in the Royal Navy during WW2, an emergency in a submarine caused him to recognize the miraculous deliverance of God.

2021 — Will Justice Prevail in America?

We are turning the page from 2020 to 2021. In contrast to a year ago, dark moods prevail. Except for where the light shines.

What is the light? This has been a year of doubts, fears, never-before-seen forced attacks on our nation’s Constitutional Republic. Citizens, cities and businesses have suffered economic attacks and setbacks unrelated to the prior vigorous health of the economy. Most of the inalienable rights enumerated in the Constitution have been jeopardized and infringed upon to shocking degrees. No one has been spared the consequences, directly or indirectly.

In the midst of storms, trials, difficulties, wars, the only coping mechanism (not an easy one), is to cling to light. Often that light is nothing more than hope. Without truthful information to encourage, hope itself loses hope. Think of what POWs endure, or populations stuck in never-ending wars, with no idea if and when freedom will ever come. Their hardships are likely physical as well as psychological. Americans have been spared most of those experiences, and also the lessons. Emotions strain to the breaking point, or must be numbed in order to endure. Many are at that point as we end 2020, without the just-described situational extremes. Coping skills are low.

The question to ask is, “Where is Light?” How do we find it? For that answer we must often look to the past. WHEN did things feel better? And WHY? What changed? How can we recapture what illuminated our path and our mood before? Feeling free to go out when we felt like it? Dining out with friends or family? Accomplishments and interactions at schools and work? The freedom to think and speak (in a civil manner) without fear of reprisal? Especially for inane reasons? The list is long.

Who or what is responsible for robbing us of positivity? Look carefully. The media has always known how to manipulate moods through the subjects they dwell on and the music they use for background. Watch a frightening movie scene without sound and the effect of fear is very much less, or even absent. Try it. Watch an uplifting movie, or a good comedy, and the aftermath is completely different. Who is dictating the narrative? Who is running (and ruining) your life?

One sure clue as to where light is not found is in the sensation of FEAR. Fear is destructive. And deceit is its bedfellow. Fear is the most powerful tool for manipulating people. It is the basis for abuse in relationships; it’s the basis for abuse in tyrannical governments. If fear is governing, something is wrong. We must look away from the fear and search for an antidote. And we must fight for it. Find someone who is not fearful to communicate with. They might know something. The light must shine in the darkness. In fact light is the only way to dispel darkness. It won’t go away by itself.

There is a reason why freedom of religion has been at the forefront of this past year’s struggles. Those who promote fear, seek to remove all forms of solace, whether spiritual or social. Given dominance they would destroy it all.

“With liberty and justice for all…” The bedrock of freedom.

Peace and prosperity are dependent on a just society. Nothing destroys trust and joy faster than injustice and nothing creates fear faster than the destruction of a reliable Rule of Law. This is why the United States was founded on deeply thought-out legal and moral principles. When followed and adhered to faithfully, they stabilize government, the economy, and the expectations of the population to freely pursue their goals of life, liberty and happiness. The power to retain everything bequeathed to them resides with the people. Our founding fathers warned they had given us the toolbox, basically, to stay free for 200 years or more, but then we’d have to fight for it again. Because ignoble individuals arise. It is the simple lesson of history.

We must defend the Constitution and the principles it was founded on. Sadly, the minimizing of respect for the Ten Commandments has been much at the core of the disintegration of our justice system. If “Thou Shalt Not Steal” is thought to be archaic, the door closes for respect of personal property ownership and for its defense. The door opens for the destructive tenets of socialism, where individual and national sovereignty do not exist, where everyone becomes homogenized into one miserable, government-controlled utility, and freedom dies for all. Perhaps forever.

2021 is when and where the rubber meets the road.

Where will YOU be?

Copyright 2020 Nancy Diraison/Diraison Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

All photos Dreamstime photo credits.

20-20 in HINDSIGHT? WILL THERE BE CLEARING AFTER THE STORM?

As 2020 draws to a close, we wish to thank our realwomenfightback.com followers for liking and sharing our posts and articles. We also apologize for our lighter than planned website activity as many factors contributed to draining our energies in other directions. Not unlike what happened to most Americans. 

Who would have known? Who could have foreseen, what 2020 would be like? 

Who would like a continuation of 2020, national demise, or a change for the better?

2020 has been fraught with unprecedented challenges, not unforeseen to all but a shock to most. America’s Constitution was previously under attack but what had been brewing for decades finally surfaced. And it was not good. 

As per the old saying, “Those who forget history are bound to repeat it.” America which has been a defender of freedom, is now fighting to retain its own, and the reasons for its weakening are not without explanation. 

Reviewing some of our past blogs and articles, we posted and recommend several subjects relevant to this past year’s ongoing difficulties. The Power of One” addressed the power and importance of the single courageous voice and action taken in spearheading change. We encourage courage.

“Can We See Farther in the Dark?” reflected on a life-changing insight the author gleaned from a past period of personal life darkness that has enabled hope to endure through many other difficulties, including the present national challenges. The article answers the title, and the answer is “yes”.

And then we have the subject of the acorn, “Training Children to be Leaders with Vision…” — something President Truman often referred to which we know to be a prime reason traditional families are the key to stable societies and nations. Most people only see the acorn, not the tree, not the forest, not the panorama of consequences for immediate actions, either good or bad. Seeing beyond the acorn is vital for leadership. With traditional family under attack for several generations, it is no wonder we see the blind leading the blind, those without understanding eager to pull the foundations out from under our Constitutional Republic. Most have NO IDEA what they are doing or the disasters they are begging for. Hence the repudiation of our national heritage, contempt for the flag, the anthem, authority in general — all that others before us have toiled to build and defend, all of which can be torn down in no time at all. 

We have much more to write and contribute, but presently await the fate of many things including the questionable future of media forums. Pending various outcomes, we hold the line. We have spoken for what we stand for. We do not believe in failure. We do not support weakness. We do believe in fighting to the finish line. May God bless all engaged in the battle. 

Quoting from Winston Churchill: “Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

IF WE wish to live in freedom, we must learn the lesson of vision. And try not to forget it again. It must be passed on diligently from generation to generation. We must choose.

All photos Dreamstime stock photos. Words on “Faith and Freedom” eagle/flag Nancy Diraison.

2021 is up to “We the People”. One nation under God, or not!

Copyright 2020 Nancy Diraison/Diraison Publishing. All Rights Reserved.