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via TJC

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.  - 1 Corinthians 9:24

‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firmly, and carry them over with you and lay them down in the encampment where you will spend the night.’  Joshua said to them, “Cross again to the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel. This shall be a sign among you; when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’  -  Joshua 4:2-5

Sometimes, we may not recognize the small choices that can alter our legacy. A seemingly insignificant decision can change the destiny for many in our family.

Last weekend, The Joshua Commission held a Battlefield Summit at Gettysburg. I have never been on this battlefield without pondering Joshua Chamberlain, Colonel of the 20th Maine. Chamberlain was not a West Point graduate. In 1861, he was a professor of natural and revealed theology at Bowdoin College—hardly the stuff for making an insightful military commander.

In his request for a leave of absence from teaching to join the Union Army, he wrote the Governor of Maine: "I fear, this war, so costly of blood and treasure, will not cease until men of the North are willing to leave good positions, and sacrifice the dearest personal interests, to rescue our country from desolation, and defend the national existence against treachery."

During the second day of fighting at Gettysburg on July 2, Chamberlain's 20th Maine regiment occupied the extreme left of the Union lines at Little Round Top. His battle order was to hold that extreme end ‘unto the last.’ They could not allow the Confederates to break through. If that happened, the Confederate Army could flank the entire Union Army, crushing them.

The Confederates struck the 20th Maine multiple times. With many casualties and ammunition running low, Col. Chamberlain recognized the dire circumstances and ordered the southernmost half of his unit to "refuse the line" and form a new line at an angle to the original force to meet the Confederate's flanking maneuver. Withstanding several assaults and many of his soldiers now without ammunition, he ordered a downhill bayonet charge. This stunning move captured what was left of the 15th Alabama and secured the existence of the Union Army. 

Part of Joshua Chamberlain’s legacy is that on July 2nd, 1863, his decisions saved the Union Army.

Daily Battle Order: Let us pay attention to our choices and actions, for they shape the legacy we leave behind. Do not discount the day of small beginnings. Remind yourself that the little choices you make today can significantly impact your family in the future.



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