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Bloody Footprints in the Snow

Updated: Sep 22, 2019

With winter almost upon them...

General George Washington had to figure out how to pull his troops from their present encampment and move them to a more secure location for the coming winter.  On December 19, 1777, when Washington’s poorly fed, illequipped army, weary from long marches, staggered into Valley Forge, winds blew as the 12,000 Continentals prepared for winter’s fury.  Only about 1/3 of them had shoes, and many of their feet were leaving bloody footprints in the snow from the marching.  Undernourished and poorly clothed, living in crowded, damp quarters, the army was ravaged by sickness and disease killing 2,500 men that winter.  Those who barely survived fell into despair and hopelessness.

General Washington...

Knowing time was of the essence, knew he had to do something to bring hope… bring courage… bring steadfastness to his beleaguered troops.  In his possession was the key… a parchment… a simple pamphlet called “The Crisis”… paper and ink… inscribed one year earlier by a dear friend of his, Thomas Paine, on December 23, 1776.  The inspired words which jumped off the page spoke of “Times that try men’s souls”… “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered”… “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly”… “It is dearness only that gives everything its value”… was passed one by one, from soldier to soldier, and one by one, hope raised… courage renewed!  On June 19, 1778, the surviving 9,500, six months after its arrival, marched away from Valley Forge in pursuit of the British, who were moving toward New York.  The war would last for another five years, but Washington and his men had won a decisive victory simply by focusing on powerful words which inspired them to survive to fight another day.


Words written… words spoken… have the power to bring life or death over a situation.  Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue can bring death or life”, but it’s not the tongue… it is the words we choose to allow to roll off of our tongue which have the power to restore, or the power to destroy.  When our family was going through the difficult time when we were dealing with Donna’s battle with cancer, we purposed to keep the words we spoke… we texted… we emailed… full of light, life, love and power.  Darkness in any situation cannot be dispelled by more darkness… it can only be driven away by light.  When we are facing hurtful, devastating situations, it’s easy to speak judgment, condemnation, and death over the situation.  That’s just exactly what the enemy wants us to do.  That’s his plan in all of this… to steal, kill and destroy.  We cannot… we will not… let the enemy win!  He has already lost!  We will not speak his words of death and destruction.  We will only speak words of light… words of life… words of love and power… words to drive the enemy back to hell where he belongs! 


Our family members… our loved ones… at times, have left bloody footprints in the snow.  Remember, in those times of crisis, “These are the times that try men’s souls”, but,”despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loves us”.

John 8:32  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

John 10:10  The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Proverbs 18:21  The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Romans 8:37  No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

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