Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Names and Reputations in Chicago

An interesting article from about Chicago. This follows this post about court rulings in the U.S. This follows this post about climate change. This follows this post about Star Wars. For a free magazine subscription or to get the books recommended for free click HERE! or call 1-888-886- 8632.
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A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches ,” (Proverbs 22:1, NKJV).  While Christians should agree with that statement in Proverbs, do we really believe it?  To make my point, let me tell the stories of two names that illustrate two different lives, but both speak to the truth of Proverbs 22:1.
Many years ago when Al Capone virtually owned Chicago he had a lawyer nicknamed “Easy Eddie.”  Capone was notorious for spreading throughout Chicago every kind of vice from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.  Eddie was Capone's lawyer because Eddie was very good – in fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering kept Capone out of jail for a long time. Consequently, Capone paid him very well and made him a partner in many of his “legitimate” businesses.  Over time it became obvious even to those close to Capone that it was only a matter of time until Federal prosecutors brought the Capone empire down.  Easy Eddie decided to go to the authorities and help them with their case against Capone – more to save his own skin than anything else.  Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended at a Chicago intersection – shot several times with big-game shotgun slugs.  This was November 1939.
The second story involves an Army Air Corps pilot during WWII named Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare.  Butch was the section leader of Fighting Squadron 3 on February 20, 1942, one of six Wildcats sent into the air to protect the U.S.S. Lexington from Japanese bombers.  O'Hare and his wingman spotted the enemy planes first.  The wingman's guns jammed, however, and the other four planes were too far away, so O'Hare faced 9 twin-engine Japanese bombers alone.  He shot down five of them and damaged a sixth before other U.S. fighters arrived.  No enemy bombs made it to the Lexington.  For his bravery Butch was awarded The Medal of Honor citation will called his actions “… one of the most daring, if not the most daring, single action in the history of combat aviation …”  Butch was killed in November of 1943 during the battle for the Gilbert Islands in the South Pacific.  He was accidentally shot down by another American plane during a night mission.
What is the point of these two very different stories from two very different lives and priorities?  Easy Eddie’s real name was Eddie O’Hare – father to Butch.  Eddie is all but forgotten in spite of his part of that violent chapter in Chicago’s history, but because of the heroics of Butch, the city of Chicago decided to name their then new airport after him – O’Hare International Airport.
The following verses in Proverbs summarize these two different men succinctly.  “ The rich and the poor have this in common, the Lord is the maker of them all.  A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.  By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life, ” (Proverbs 22:2-4).  The choices for us are as simple as the choices that Eddie and Butch faced – a life lived for short term wealth and power or a life lived to serve others for a greater purpose.  As Moses recorded God’s instruction in Deuteronomy 30:19-20, “ I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days….” 
What reputation and what life will we chose?

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