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Just One Generation Away
By Joel Osteen - Jun 10, 2011
A while back, I read a story about Al Capone's lawyer, Easy Eddie. Al Capone was the leader of the Mafia in Chicago many years ago. Easy Eddie did whatever he had to in order to keep Capone out of jail. He had no integrity, was extremely successful and was compensated greatly for it.

Easy Eddie had a young son. With his great wealth and influence, he could give his son the best of everything. But there were two things he could not give his son, and it really bothered him. He could not give him a good name or a good example. Easy Eddie got to the point where he just couldn't live with himself. One day, even though he knew the consequences would be extreme, he turned himself in to the authorities. He was trying in some way to salvage his reputation and teach his young boy that integrity and honor were most important. He ended up testifying against the mob, and as most people expected, within a year his life ended in a hail of gunfire outside his home.

Many years later during World War II, a young U.S. Airman was flying on a mission in the South Pacific. Not long after takeoff, he realized his fuel tanks were never refilled. He knew he couldn't complete the mission, so he dropped out of formation and headed back to the ship. On his way back, he saw a squadron of enemy aircraft speeding toward the fleet he just left. Without him, his fleet was totally defenseless. He had no way to contact them. The only thing he could do was to distract these planes and keep them from going after his comrades.

Even though he was outnumbered ten to one, he charged toward the enemy aircraft, darting in and out like a madman. He dove at their wings and tried to clip their tails. Of course, they were firing at him and smoke was everywhere. It looked like he didn't have a chance. But finally, these enemy pilots got so confused and frustrated that they turned around and left. This young man spared his fleet all by himself.

For this incredible act of bravery, he became the Navy's first pilot to be awarded the Medal of Honor. A year later, this young man, Butch O'Hare, was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His hometown would not let his heroics be forgotten. Today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named after him. But what makes this story more significant is that Butch O'Hare was Easy Eddie's son. This family went from having a shady reputation with no integrity and no respect to a family of incredible respect, honor and lasting admiration just one generation later.

Today, you may be just one generation away from seeing God honor your family like you've never even dreamed of. Most people aren't like Easy Eddie, but maybe there's an addiction you want to break or a stronghold you don't want to pass down. When one person rises up and says, "I'm going to live a life that honors God. I'm going to be a person of excellence and integrity. I'm not going to compromise;" that's when God will come in and fight your battles. When you do what you can to make things right, not only will God honor you, He'll honor generations after you. 

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold (Proverbs 22:1, NIV).
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