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Chaplain’s Corner

                                    Heart Shield Bibles

I write this article on the anniversary of D-Day, a day for us to remember the thousands of Americans and their allies who left England to retake Europe from Hitler’s grip.  As a Chaplain who served with the 82nd and the 101st Airborne Divisions, I can only imagine the courage it took to board those aircraft to make that jump behind enemy lines in Normandy.  God bless those men and those who followed on ships to land and fight for a toehold in France. 

One of the items carried by many of our heroes was a small New Testament that had been printed at the request of President Roosevelt.  Most soldiers carried these Bibles in their left breast pocket, near their heart.  They were correctly named “heart shield Bibles”.

President Roosevelt included a personal message that was printed on the first page of these Bibles.  It said, “As Commander-in-Chief I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible… Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel, and inspiration.

One soldier named John Phillips, recorded that while walking though knee-deep snow during the Battle of the Bulge, he walked into an ambush.  In a burst of gunfire, he was hit several times.  Lying in the snow, he instinctively reached for his heart to search for the wound he knew was there.  Instead, he found his Bible with a round lodged in it.  He credited his survival to his heart shield Bible.

Phillips was not the only soldier who gave witness to being spared by their Bibles.   In reality, those little Bibles could not stop a bullet, but the fact is, they did.  Miracle?  Chance?  I know what I believe!

As I write today, I grieve that what Roosevelt did would not be done today.  Our nation has changed significantly since the days of our fathers.  But I take hope in the fact that the power of God’s Word is still strong.  Those who take refuge in Him will not be put to shame (Psalm 25:3). His Word is still powerful.  His Word has not changed.  His Word still offers wisdom, counsel and inspiration.


Spring 2023

Part of the Army training that remains with me is doing some sort of morning PT.  My days of running two miles, push-ups and sit-ups are long gone.  However, I still try to walk at least 1.5 miles four to five times a week.  No pressure on you!

During my walks I listen to music and use the time to meditate and pray.  One of the songs on my list is the great hymn, “This is My Father’s World”.  The arrangement I listen to is by a group called, Glad, five men who sing acapella.  They are amazing.

This hymn was written by a Presbyterian pastor, Rev, Maltbie D. Babcock, in 1901 shortly before his death.  It reminds me daily, that regardless of what is going on in this world, either good things or tragic things, we are not alone.  We do not have to face things alone.  There is One who is the Ultimate authority, who Rules and is ever watchful over His creation.

I encourage you to read and consider these words:

            This is my Father’s world,

            And to my listening ears

            All nature sings, and round me rings

            The music of the spheres.

            This is my Father’s world:

            I rest me in the thought

            Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas---

            His hand the wonders wrought.


            This is my Father’s world:

            The birds their carols raise,

            The morning light, the lily white,

            Declare their Maker’s praise.

            This is my Father’s world:

            He shines in all that’s fair;

            In the rustling grass I hear Him pass

            He speaks to me everywhere.


            This is my Father’s world:

            O let me not forget

            That though the wrong seems oft so strong,

            God is the Ruler yet.

            This is my Father’s world:

            Why should my heart be sad?

            The Lord is King: let the heavens ring!

            God reigns, let earth be glad!


The composer ends the hymn with the words, “Sing Joyfully”!  I obey his admonition. 

May the LORD richly bless you and yours this day and throughout 2023.


CH (COL) Ron Crews, USAR Retired

Daniel 11:32b "The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action."


                                          Chaplain’s Corner

            Preachers Rock | HikeTheSouth
                                    (View from Preacher’s Rock)

One of the many things my wife and I love about living in north Georgia is being close to mountains.  My brother told me that we do not live in the mountains, but we can see them from our yard, and indeed we can.  We have a goal to see as many waterfalls as we can, even if it means climbing some amazing trails to get there.  As long as the LORD grants us strength, we will pursue this goal.

This past week we climbed a portion of Blood Mountain and were rewarded with an amazing vista at what is known as “Preacher’s Rock”.  Some legends say a local preacher would come here to practice his sermons and others would come to listen.  Others say it is so named because it would be a great place to serve as a pulpit to preach to those in the valley below.  As a preacher myself, I love either possibility, and I did in fact share a bit about “The Chosen”, our favorite TV show about Jesus and His disciples.

One of the reasons I love the mountains is because of the way mountains are portrayed in Scripture, Like Psalm 121:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

It is not that our help comes from the mountains, but that mountains are a picture of the strength, the majesty, the power of God.  Psalm 125 makes this clear:
Those who trust in the LORD as like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the LORD surrounds His people.
from this time forth and forevermore.

I don’t know about you, but I need this assurance right now. It seems our world is shaking; things we once thought permanent are being challenged.  So, I look at our magnificent mountains.  They remind me of my unchanging God.  He never changes.  He is always here and always near.  My eyes and my soul find rest as I look on Him.


                                 For God and Country!

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