Chief Joseph Medicine Crow

Grandpa_JoeChief Joseph Medicine Crow died yesterday at the age of 102, and an era of history died with him.  He was the last living War Chief of the Crow Tribe of Montana.

To be considered a War Chief by the Crow Tribe, an Indian must complete four tasks:

  • Lead a successful war party
  • Disarm an enemy
  • Touch an enemy without killing him
  • Steal a horse that belonged to the enemy

Chief Joseph Medicine Crow did all four of these and more during World War II; however, instead of stealing 1 horse, he was able to sneak behind enemy lines and steal 50 horses that belonged to the Nazi SS.

Over 44,000 Native Americans, Indians like Chief Medicine Crow, served during the second world war.  The story of their service is one of bravery, and I give thanks for their sacrifice.  Several of these men were awarded the Medal of Honor. NavMar

Herman Viola, curator emeritus at the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian, said it was hard to overstate Mr. Medicine Crow’s value as a link to history: “Joe personally knew four scouts that had been with Custer . . . it was unbelievable to meet someone who could really give you insights into that time period.”

As I read Viola’s statement, it reminded me of another eyewitness to historical events—the Apostle John:

[I am writing about] what existed from the beginning, what [a]we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life [the One who existed even before the beginning of the world, Christ]— and the Life [an aspect of His being] was manifested, and we have seen [it as eyewitnesses] and testify and declare to you [the Life], the eternal Life who was [already existing] with the Father and was [actually] made visible to us [His followers]— what we have seen and heard we also proclaim to you, so that you too may have fellowship [as partners] with us. And indeed our fellowship [which is a distinguishing mark of born-again believers] is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.  We are writing these things to you so that our joy [in seeing you included] may be made complete [by having you share in the joy of salvation] ~I John 1:1-4 Amplified

Historians like Viola get excited about Chief Medicine Crow’s “eyewitness” account, and rightly so, but shouldn’t they also give credence to other “eyewitness” of history like the Apostle John?

2015: A New Year of Decision

opportunity-knockingThe last chance to do something with the opportunities of 365 days of 2014 is gone, over, and lost.  The 8,760 hours have ticked-tocked themselves away, and they have joined Grandfather Time in the hallowed halls of history.

At the stroke of midnight, the future became present, and it gifted us with a new year full of fresh opportunities and precarious choices.   The challenge of 2015 is to recognize the divergent path that lies within each decision you will make.

This divergence is seen in the lucid language of David as he chronicles the lives of the blessed man and the ungodly.  Notice the distinctive contrasts between the two.  As you read this first Psalm on this first day of 2015, I hope it will inspire you to be discriminating in the decisions you make, and resolve to live the blessed life throughout this year.

Psalm One (Amplified Version) . . .

Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.

But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.

And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity].

Not so the wicked [those disobedient and living without God are not so]. But they are like the chaff [worthless, dead, without substance] which the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked [those disobedient and living without God] shall not stand [justified] in the judgment, nor [b]sinners in the congregation of the righteous [those who are upright and in right standing with God].

For the Lord knows and is fully acquainted with the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly [those living outside God’s will] shall perish (end in ruin and come to nought).