Tag: World War II

The War Is Over

Onoda-youngHiroo Onoda, who died on January 16, 2014 at the age of 91, was the last Japanese soldier to leave the Philippines after World War II was over.  Lt. Onoda held his post on the remote island of Lubang until 1974 – 29 years after the official end of the war. During this time he and his comrades killed over thirty Filipinos still believing them to be the enemy.

Lt. Onoda refused to believe the war was over even though leaflets declaring this (he believed they were enemy propaganda) were dropped on his island. It was not until his former commander made the trip from Japan to Lubang island did he understand that he had been fighting a war that had ended years before. After his commander officially relieved him from duty, Lt. Onoda met President Marcos in Manila, presented his sword and surrendered. President Marcos returned his sword and issued a pardon for the men he had killed after the war had ended.

Hiroo Onoda received a hero’s welcome when he returned to Japan. When interviewed about those 29 years and asked what was on his mind during that time, he said, “Nothing but accomplishing my duty.”Japanese_Surrender_at_Tokyo_Bay,_2_September_1945_A30427

It is possible to admire Hiroo Onoda for his commitment to duty for his country but it is also a reminder that his purpose during and after the war – up until the time he understood the war was over – was to kill his enemy.

Satan and his demons have been waging war against God and His soldiers for thousands of years. There is no honor in their fight – only evil. They continue to fight a war that has officially been won by Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Bible tells us that the war is over, but they refuse to quit or surrender, continuing to bring death and destruction until they can do no more harm. Unlike Lt. Onoda, there will be no pardon.

But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool (Hebrews 10:12-13). Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war…He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses (Revelation 19:11, 13). “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels’ (Matthew 25:41).

A Legacy of Faith

Frank Ballard Grave 002Today my Dad would have been 96. He lived through the Great Depression and World War II. God allowed him to live to 90. Had he kept a diary, it would have recorded an incredible amount of changes during his lifetime.

Dad had a love for family, a frugal nature and an abiding faith. “A life lived for love of God and c547396_3527358137646_407129404_nountry” was engraved on his tombstone.

When I went through his belongings after he died, it was like a journey back through my own life. He kept every picture, every letter, every gift I had ever given him – sometimes making notations of how he felt when he received them. My dad took special care to express his love to me – especially in his later years.

Like many of his generation, Dad watched every penny. He didn’t replace things. He fixed them. If he needed something, he often built it out of materials he already had. When my husband discovered Dad had repaired the seat in his recliner with a piece of plywood, he bought Dad a new one. Dad would probably have never purchased a new one even if he had the money.

Frank Ballard, WWII photoHis mother instilled in him a love for God that dominated everything he did. As far back as I can remember, Dad was looking for the second coming of the Lord Jesus. He felt confident it would happen in his lifetime. His favorite biblical subject was prophecy and he poured over every reference in the Old and New Testament to it. He was in his eighties when he wrote a book, The Unveiling: How the Symbols of Prophecy Reveal What Happens in the Last Days. 

I miss my Dad. His legacy lives on. I will see him again.

I will always remember that his favorite verse was Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).