My Grandpa’s WW2 Navy Experiences

My Grandpa, Norman Greenfield, is still alive at 96 and lives in Florida. We’ve always been proud of his service for our country during World War II. Some of that he relates below. In addition to the Normandy Invasion on D-Day he also served during campaigns in Northern Africa. In his account (below) he mentions his “girl,” Arline, who would become his wife and eventually my Grandma. Grandma went to be with the Lord in 1999, and shortly afterward Grandpa married “Grandma Pat.” Cute couple! 🙂

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Grandpa’s ship was a Landing Ship Tank, the USS Cheboygan County (LST 533). I remember Grandpa telling us they said LST stood for “large, slow target”!

USS Cheboygan County (LST-533)

Here’s two pictures of Normandy beach; Grandpa’s LST 533 is on the far right

Dropping anchor at Normandy:

Norman Greenfield’s Navy Experiences
November 1942–January 1946

As a boy growing up on the farm you had to sign up for the military draft when you reached the age of 18. I didn’t want to go in the Army so I signed up for the Navy…just after that I received a call to go to the Army. Too bad it was too late for the Army. In due time I was called to go to Lansing and join a group that was going to Detroit to be sworn into the Navy. Then we were sent to Great Lakes for six weeks of military training. A bunch of us were assigned to gunnery school in Gulfport, Mississippi for four weeks. During that time we were learning about different guns and went out on a ship practicing, etc.

Following the Gunnery school, we were put on merchant ships out of Newport News, Virginia for a year. Then we were sent to New Orleans to get on a Landing Ship Tank (LST 533) to go to France for the invasion at Normandy. We went in DAY 2 with a load of Army personnel, supplies, guns, tanks, etc. back and forth for a whole year. We couldn’t get very close to the shore because of obstructions hidden…back and forth the Germans above on the cliff were firing at the boys as they were being dropped off. They had to be let off in three feet of water and carrying 80 lb. packs on their back. The area was supposed to have been prepared to be free and clear but that took a while. It was hard seeing so many of the Army guys get injured so quickly and many died.

After getting back to the Armed Guard Center in New York for a week or so then we were transferred preparing to go to California to get on a destroyer in the South Pacific. On the way to California we were in a train wreck which delayed us to be on time in California and when I handed the papers of our group we were told we were AWOL. The railroad finally let them know and they were okay—nothing we could do about it anyway. I ended up in sick bay and couldn’t go when the group went even though I had looked forward to be on a destroyer. The powers that be looked over my time in the Navy and decided I had put enough time to be discharged. Norm’s feeling about that piece of news: “I never was so glad in my life when I got the word, I was told I was being transferred to go home. I had a girl waiting for me in Michigan.”

The Lord watched over me all the time, but I didn’t know the Lord then. The only Bible training I knew was when we were on the farm and in bed upstairs, my mother would sit on the stairs and read the Bible to us every night. I was the youngest of eight and the only one left.

Years later after Arline and I were married and had two of our three children, my daughter, Penny, wanted to go to Sunday School, so we let her. The pastor called on us and led us to the Lord. I thank the Lord for His watchcare over my life and for His continuing care even though some of my health isn’t too pleasant some of the time. Maranatha!

Mesopotamia

Not that Mesopotamia, but the Ohio Mesopotamia, called “Mespo” for short. 🙂

Last night I took my family for ice cream to Ohio’s oldest general store, End of the Commons. They have great sugar-free butter pecan ice cream! Afterward we wandered the area a bit.

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We made our way to the cemetery across the street from the store, and saw a number of interesting head stones. I liked this one–

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There was a cool old barn too–

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A fine summer evening, for which we praise the Lord.

Reminiscences of Grandma Scott

These are some memories my brother Tom and I had of our Grandma Scott, who went to be with the Lord in 2007. I shared these at her funeral.

I am Dan, and my brother Tom and I were Margaret Scott’s two grandchildren. I’ve been asked to give a testimony from the grandsons’ of our grandma. Please keep in mind that this reminiscence is from the grandsons’ point of view—not a friend’s or child’s!

This is important to keep in mind, because from the grandchildren’s perspective grandparents can do no wrong. Grandparents have the God-given responsibility of spoiling their grandchildren. I’d like to share a few things that we remember about our Grandma Scott.

Tom and I had a privilege that few grandchildren have had, one that I wish my children could enjoy—living right next door to our grandparents. Whenever—at any time—Tom and I could go over for any reason. Sometimes when we asked mom for a snack and did not get a favorable response, we’d just go over to grandma’s, grampa would say it’s probably time to take a break, and grandma would serve up the cookies and ginger ale!

When we’d come over to visit, it didn’t matter if we were little boys or adult men with our children. She would turn off the TV or stop what she was doing and give her full attention to us and say “well, how ya doin?” or “how’s my boy?” She would sit in her rocking chair either reading or knitting/cross-stitching; books stacked in the corner (I wonder where I picked that habit up from). When we left, she would always say “come again.”

Staying over night was always a treat—we’d pack our suitcases, walk over to her house, and have a great time. Before every meal Grandma would pray for God’s blessing. Afterwards she would read from the Scriptures, and close with prayer again. Later we would watch TV with her— Lawrence Welk, Billy Graham, and even King Kong!

Then there were the “extra-curricular” activities: Dinner at Fables; ice cream cones in the old Chevette; picnics at Coldwater, LakeOdessa, & Hastings’ parks.

We fondly remember our family gatherings, especially Thanksgiving, with her mashed potatoes and cranberry salad. Every Christmas, after a meal of spam buns and jello and opening presents we would enjoy a slide show of the previous year’s events. Tom and I of course would have to sneak out for a “break” of fudge, cookies, cake or other good things!

Grandma’s impact on my and Tom’s lives can be seen in many different ways:

  • Our wives are homemaker’s
  • As parents we saw her demonstration of love and we learned from her example
  • We both live in the country
  • We both have faith in Christ

Unlike the attitude of so many today, regular and faithful attendance at church services was extremely important to her—always, morning and evening services, and when she couldn’t go to every service she didn’t like it. When we would stay over as little boys she would take us to Ada Christian Reformed Church, and she always picked the pew that gave the best view of the organist. We would sit with a bunch of old ladies who gave us pink, chalky mints that didn’t taste too good!

Grandma was a Christian—she trusted in Christ alone for her salvation from sin and eternal judgment. On the basis of God’s Word she did not believe that she was saved by her works. In the margin of her Bible at Ephesians 2:8-10 she wrote “we are saved for good works, not by good works.” That passage says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before hand so that we would walk in them.

From Grandma Tom and I have a precious heritage of one who sought to walk in the ways of the Lord, a heritage that we hope our children will walk and follow in as well, a heritage we pray that you will follow in.

Daily Bale for October 2, 2012

Today started significantly different than most other days. Hannah is getting braces and that’s done at Case Western Reserve. It’s a lot cheaper but it isn’t exactly around the corner, being a good 45 minute drive away. Of course, there isn’t a whole lot around the corner where I live anyway! 😉

 

While Josiah and Lydia were doing school I worked on Wednesday evening’s Bible study, Proverbs 1:20-33. I’ve enjoyed the time in Proverbs the last few weeks, especially the opportunity to get back into the Hebrew. Mine’s definitely rusty, but there’s only one way to strengthen saggy muscles, and that’s work and exercise.

Several emails and phone calls, followed by dinner, pancakes and sausage! Yum, deeeelicious. Hannah and I rode around Ashtabula county for an hour while she continues to learn to drive. When we got home we then watched half of a creation video that was given to us.

Worked on what messages I’ll be teaching for a Bible Conference down at Morrow Bible Church November 9-11. Haven’t nailed down a nice sounding theme yet, but it will focus on End Times. Here is the basic gist of the messages I’ll be speaking on–

  • God’s Purpose and Plan in Human History
  • The Key to Interpreting Prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27)
  • Christ’s Prophecies for the End Times (the Olivet Discourse)
  • Christ’s Word to the Church in the End Times (Acts 1:1-11)
  • Christ’s Coming Kingdom

This will be the first Bible Conference I will be conducting and I’m looking forward to it! I’ll give more details once it’s finalized.

Continued plowing through the minutes of the Ohio Regional of the IFCA.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. 🙂

Relativisitic Parenting

There have been several “blockbuster” movies out lately, and I’ve been surprised at the number of Christians who not only are going to see these but who express (usually via Facebook) how “excellent” and “awesome” such were. So I’ve been mulling over this issue of what Christians consider good and excellent.

Then today there is an article at msnbc titled, “Babies at ‘Batman?’” relating the outrage some have expressed toward parents who bring young children to see “Batman Rises.”

Not surprisingly, the overall tone of the article seems supportive of parents who do so, finishing it off with this–

So when is a child ready to see a PG-13 movie? It really depends on how your particular kid is hardwired, making it one of those difficult, but deeply personal parenting choices.

Dr. Susan Samuels, a pediatrician and assistant professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, tells parents to look at how their children respond to day-to-day events or other potentially scary triggers that they encounter in their ordinary life to determine their ability to tolerate violent or alarming movies.

At the end of the day, this is just one of the decisions that only you can make for yourself, your child, and your family.

There you have it, parents. How should you train, rear, and bring up your children? It depends on your child! That, however, is completely opposite of what God says:

Train up a child in the way he should go (Prov 22:6)

Bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4)

How can such entertainment accomplish the purposes God sets forth here?

Please note–Scripture does not say, “train up a child in the way he wants to go” or “bring them up according to the dictates of humanistic psychologists.” God says, “in the way he should go,” which God sets forth in his Word.

“It depends on how your kid is hardwired.” Well, every one of my kids is hardwired with depravity; training their minds and hearts by these things does not lead them to salvation in Jesus Christ (2 Tim 3:15)!

Why would I base my parenting on the level of violence and alarm a child can “tolerate?” How does that square with the kind of mind we should have (2 Cor 10:5; Phil 4:8)?

How does such “entertainment” not conform us to this world? How does it transform our minds so that we may be able to discern God’s will (Rom 12:2)?

In what way do the world’s amusements help believers in their pursue of that holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Heb 12:14), or aid in cleansing the defilement of the flesh and spirit and perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord (2 Cor 7:1)?

Christian parents should not be relativistic parents, and that applies for all Christians!

Leaving the Nest

Parents have kids. Kids grow up. Kids leave. This is the usual, normal cycle of things, and it’s a cycle that began for us waaaaay back in 1990 when Trish and I left the homes we grew up in and established our own home. Then the kids came–in 1992, 1994 (2 for 1!), 1996, 2002, and 2005.

Every time I held a new little blessing in my arms after he/she was born, I thought and prayed, “Lord, you’ve entrusted me with this little one. Someday he will grow up and leave our home to start his own. Help me over these next years to love, care, protect, guide, discipline, instruct, and nurture him the best I can by Your help so he loves You and lives for You.” Honestly, I did. This baby will someday be an adult. I’ve got a small window of time to prepare him for it. Don’t blow it.

Our own cycle of the kids starting to fly the coop began a year and a half ago when Ashley went to college. Man, that was tough. Just looking at the pictures is tough. But it was exciting and thrilling because she was ready for it and has been growing more like Christ while there.

We’re getting ready to do the college-drop-off thing again in less than six months, but with a bit of a twist compared to the first time. This time there will be three of them, Ashley, Andy, & Meagan. I’m gonna cry a lot, for sure!

And, Andy will be there only for a short time, because on January 14, 2013 he’ll head off to Parris Island for 13 weeks of Marine boot camp. This is something we’ve been talking and praying through for almost a year. Not everyone can be a Marine, but he’ll do great. In fact, he took his ASVAB yesterday and scored very high in both the overall and technical aspects. I’ve told him he’d better be the best in his class! 🙂

Trish recently shared with me a profound thought: This coming Christmas could be the last one our family will have as presently constituted. Wow, that makes the eyes moist!

I can honestly say I am both thankful and proud of my kids. Thank you, Lord, for this great privilege!

Watch the Door

Received this encouraging note yesterday from one of the men in our church:

He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress,
and for his children it will be a refuge. (Prov 14:26)

Only through the Lord can we be assured that our family is protected from outside influences, personal lapses, and breeches in our defenses.  In “barnspeak” that translates to, “If you leave your barn door open, a barn animal is going to get out.”
To which I would add, “Don’t give predators an open door.”

The Big 4-0

Last December 2009 I turned the big 4-0. So this year, anticipating launching headlong into the 40s, I thought I’d scan my daughter Meagan’s tribute/gift to me from last year. Make sure you read through her list of “40 things I love about my dad–some of them are pretty funny!” I especially enjoyed her little logos or whatever under that complementary picture of me. Read the list and the logos will make sense! 🙂

And for the record, I never did #8–I would take it apart, but never remove the stickers. That’s too much work. 😉

Greenfield Family Computer Use

I worked through the following with my family two weeks ago, and so I thought I would make it available for others. Your contributions and improvements are always welcome! A PDF is available here.

Greenfield Family Computer Use

The following are biblical principles and practical application of using the computer, especially with regard to things such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other similar social networks. Practical points and applications are subject to change at our discretion.  🙂

1. Initial Thoughts

1)     This is a privilege, not a right

2)     There are dangers and opportunities

3)     As exposure to the world and unbiblical thinking can and will influence us, we must saturate our minds with God’s Word and have a vibrant relationship with him (i.e. be Spirit-led)

4)     What follows touches mainly on social networking, but there are times when I “bleed over” into general use of the internet and other forms of amusement and entertainment

2. Principles

1)     Remember the power of speech, James 3:2-12

2)     Your communication reveals what’s in your heart.

Matt 12:34 “the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart”

3)     Our communication should—

a.     Be edifying

Eph 4:29 “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear”

b.    Be gracious

Col 4:6 “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt”

c.     Never be unchristian

Eph 5:4 “there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks”

Col 3:8 “put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth”

4)     You become like your friends.

Prov 22:24-25 “Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, or you will learn his ways and find a snare for yourself”

1 Cor 15:33 “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals’”
2 Cor 6:14-17 “Do not be bound together with unbelievers…therefore come out from their midst and be separate, says the Lord, and do not touch what is unclean”

5)     What you think on affects you.

Phil 4:8-98Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

6)     Never trust yourself.

Rom 7:18 “I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh”

7)     Remember the lion.

1 Pet 5:8 “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

8)     Always be ready to pray.

1 Pet 4:7 “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer”

9)     Don’t be conformed to the world but be transformed.

Rom 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

10)  Always have a ministry mindset.

a.     Lost – help them trust in Christ

b.    Christians – help them grow more like Christ

11)  Make the most of the limited time God has given you, Eph 5:16; Col 4:5

12)  Compare the quality, intimacy, and depth of your relationship with “friends” with that of your Creator and Savior

13)  The internet (like the telephone or even letter-writing) is can be a helpful tool, but like so many other things can easily become a snare, stumbling block, or idol. Beware!

Are you “on the alert” for the Lord’s return (Mark 13:33-37; “alert and sober,” 1 Thess 5:6), or would you have to admit that you are more alert to emails, posts, updates, etc.?

14)  Given the deceptiveness of our sin nature, the utter depravity of the world, the eternal significance of our souls, and the need to glorify God and please Christ, can we really be too careful about this?

3. Practically

1)     Never “say” anything on the web that you would not want plastered on every billboard in the world—it is called the worldwide web, after all!

So, use the “billboard” test – if you think, “I’m not sure if I’d want that seen everywhere,” then you shouldn’t hit the “send,” “submit,” “comment,” or “post” button

2)     I will need your password for all social networking, as well as be in your “network” of friends. Occasionally I may “look over your shoulder.”

3)     All computer use must be in a public location. As well, you must pay $2 a month to cover the cost for our filtering and accountability software (Covenant Eyes). Covenant Eyes will send me a weekly report of what sites you visit and give a “grade” for each one

Rom 13:14 “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts”

4)     At any time your computer privileges may be “put on hold” (the old fashioned word is “grounded”)

Matt 5:29 “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell”

5)     Given the absolute necessity of a close walk with the Lord, I would like to have weekly talks with each of you to see what you’re reading in Scripture, what you’re praying about, your sermon notes, and will occasionally ask you to read a book (gasp!).

6)     As this is a privilege, it necessarily does not come before responsibilities (especially items in #6, as well as cleaning your room, chores, homework, etc.)

You may think “Dad’s gone overboard again!” I hope that’s not the case; I hope that my concern is for the health of your soul (perhaps even its destiny) and for the Cause of Christ! IOW, I love you, Jesus Christ, and desire to see God’s will known and fulfilled.