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ABANDON Steve Lyons will be remembered as the player who dropped his pants. He could be remembered as an outstanding infielder ... as the player who played every position for the Chicago White Sox ... as the guy who always dove into first base ... as a favorite of the fans who high fived the guy who caught the foul ball in the bleachers. He could be remembered as an above-average player who made it with an average ability. But he won\\\'t. He\\\'ll be remembered as the player who dropped his pants on July 16, 1990. The White Sox were playing the Tigers in Detroit. Lyons bunted and raced down the first-base line. He knew it was going to be tight, so he dove at the bag. Safe! The Tiger\\\'s pitcher disagreed. He and the umpire got into a shouting match, and Lyons stepped in to voice his opinion. Absorbed in the game and the debate, Lyons felt dirt trickling down the inside of his pants. Without missing a beat he dropped his britches, wiped away the dirt, and ... uh oh ...twenty thousand jaws hit the bleachers\\\' floor. And, as you can imagine, the jokes began. Women behind the White Sox dugout waved dollar bills when he came onto the field. \\\"No one,\\\" wrote one columnist, \\\"had ever dropped his drawers on the field. Not Wally Moon. Not Blue Moon Odom. Not even Heinie Manush.\\\" Within twenty-four hours of the \\\"exposure,\\\" he received more exposure than he\\\'d gotten his entire career; seven live television and approximately twenty radio interviews. \\\"We\\\'ve got this pitcher, Melido Perex, who earlier this month pitched a no-hitter,\\\" Lyons stated, \\\"and I\\\'ll guarantee you he didn\\\'t do two live television shots afterwards. I pull my pants down, and I do seven. Something\\\'s pretty skewed toward the zany in this game.\\\" Fortunately, for Steve, he was wearing sliding pants under his baseball pants. Otherwise the game would be rated \\\"R\\\" instead of \\\"PG-13.\\\" Now, I don\\\'t know Steve Lyons. I\\\'m not a White Sox fan. Nor am I normally appreciative of men who drop their pants in public. But I think Steve Lyons deserves a salute. I think anybody who dives into first base deserves a salute. How many guys do you see roaring down the baseline of life more concerned about getting a job done than they are about saving their necks? How often do you see people diving headfirst into anything? Too seldom, right? But when we do ... when we see a gutsy human throwing caution to the wind and taking a few risks ... ah, now that\\\'s a person worthy of a pat on the ... back. So here\\\'s to all the Steve Lyons in the world. Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm, Word Publishing, 1991 pp. 247-248.
ABANDONED During WWII six Navy pilots left their aircraft carrier on a mission. After searching the seas for enemy submarines, they tried to return to their ship shortly after dark. But the captain had ordered a blackout of all lights on the ship. Over and over the frantic pilots radioed, asking for just one light so they could see to land. But the pilots were told that the blackout could not be lifted. After several appeals and denials of their request, the ship\\\'s operator turned the switch to break radio contact--and the pilots were forced to ditch in the ocean. Today in the Word, MBI, October, 1991, p. 12.
ABILITY Use what talents you possess: The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best. Henry Van Dyke, Bits & Pieces, March 31, 1994, p. 16. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It is almost as presumptuous to think you can do nothing as to think you can do everything. Phillips Brooks. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there. Josh Billings.
ABORTION A professor in a world-acclaimed medical school once posed this medical situation -- and ethical problem -- to his students: \\\"Here\\\'s the family history: The father has syphilis. The mother has TB. They already have had four children. The first is blind. The second had died. The third is deaf. The fourth has TB. Now the mother is pregnant again, The parents come to you for advice. They are willing to have an abortion, if you decide they should. What do you say?\\\" The students gave various individual opinions, and then the professor asked them to break into small groups for \\\"consultation.\\\" All of the groups came back to report that they would recommend abortion. \\\"Congratulations,\\\" the professor said, \\\"You just took the life of Beethoven!\\\" We believe this was first reported in an Ann Landers column. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A recent poll of couples in New England revealed that, if they were able to know these things in advance, 1 percent of them would abort a child on the basis of sex, 6 percent would abort a child likely to get Alzheimer\\\'s disease, and an incredible 11 percent would abort a child predisposed to obesity. The Utne Reader, quoted in Signs of the Times, January, 1993, p. 6. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Some of you may remember the man who won a U.S. Supreme Court case over his right to obtain an abortion for his comatose wife. He argued at that time that an abortion could aid a possible recovery for his wife, Nancy, who was comatose as a result of a car accident in 1988. The abortion accomplished, Martin Klein now plans to divorce his wife. His comment was, \\\"Life changes, tragedy happens. It\\\'s all very complicated.\\\" He also said \\\"my commitment to Nancy continues to remain as strong as ever.\\\" We agree. His commitment to his wife is as strong now as it was previously. That is to say, not very. Credenda, Agenda, Volume 4/Number 3, p. 15. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Abortion is no more purely a medical problem just because the physician wields the curette than chemical warfare is purely a problem for pilots because they press the lever releasing the chemical. E. Fuller Torrey, taken from \\\"Abortion\\\", Dallas, TX: Christian Medical & Dental Society Journal, Summer, 1976, Vol. VII, Number 3, quoted in Sanctity of Life, C. Swindoll, p. 10. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical authorities determine a person to be \\\"alive\\\" if there is either a detectable heartbeat or brain-wave activity. With that in mind, it is eye-opening for some to realize that unborn children have detectable heartbeats at eighteen days (two and one-half weeks) after conception and detectable brain-wave activity forty days (a little over five and one-half weeks) after conception. What is so shocking is that essentially 100 percent of all abortions occur after the seventh week of pregnancy. Sanctity of Life, C. Swindoll, Word, 1990, p. 11-12. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Why are children aborted? The Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood) states: * 1% are victims of incest or rape * 1% had fetal abnormalities * 4% had a doctor who said their health would worsen if they continued the pregnancy * 50% said they didn\\\'t want to be a single parent or they had problems in current relationships * 66% stated they could not afford a child *75% said the child would interfere with their lives. Statistics cited in Rescue Update, June/July 1989, Southern California Operation Rescue, quoted in Sanctity of Life, C. Swindoll, Word, 1990, p. 12. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How many children are aborted? Worldwide, 55 million unborn children are killed every year. Around the world, every day 150,685 children are killed by abortion; every hour, 6278; and every minute, 105. Those are the reported cases. If you are an American citizen, no doubt your greatest interest is in your own nation, as is mine. Let me break the abortions down to a national statistic: 1,600,000 babies are aborted in these United States every year. Per day, that\\\'s 4,383; per hour, that\\\'s 183; per minute, there are 3. C. Swindoll, Sanctity of Life, Word, 1990, p. 13. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- C. Everett Koop, M.D., formerly the Surgeon General, states that during his 35-plus years of practicing medicine, \\\"Never once did a case come across my practice where abortion was necessary to save a mother\\\'s life.\\\" C. Swindoll, Sanctity of Life, Word, 1990, p. 23. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If our language has appeared to some strong and severe, or even intemperate, let the gentlemen pause for a moment and reflect on the importance and gravity of the subject... We had to deal with human life. In a matter of less importance we could entertain no compromise. The American Medical Association, 1981, in a report opposing abortion. Quoted in Marvin Olasky\\\'s The Press and Abortion, 1838-1988. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Percentage of women who chose an abortion because having a baby \\\"would; change their life (job, school)\\\": 76. Percentage who chose an abortion because of rape or incest: 1. Family Planning Perspectives, 7-8/88, reported in MS., 4/89. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Charles McCarry can claim a varied career. In addition to being the author of The Tears of Autumn and The Last Supper, he served as assistant to the Secretary of Labor in the Eisenhower cabinet and has done two stints in the CIA. But he almost wasn\\\'t born. Says McCarry, \\\"My mother became pregnant with me at the age of 39. She had nearly died while giving birth to my only sibling. Her doctor, who believed the second pregnancy was a serious threat to her life, advised an abortion. The advice made sense, but my mother refused to accept it. Just before she died at age 97, I asked her why. She replied, \\\"I wanted to see who you were going to turn out to be.\\\" In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, quoted in Reader\\\'s Digest, February 1990 . -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In Germany, they first came for the Communists and I did not speak up because I wasn\\\'t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn\\\'t speak up because I wasn\\\'t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn\\\'t speak up because I wasn\\\'t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn\\\'t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me and by that time, there was no one left to speak up. Martin Niemoller. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When you\\\'re raised in the country, hunting is just a natural part of growing up. For years I enjoyed packing up my guns and some food to head off into the woods. Even more than the hunting itself, I enjoyed the way these trips always seemed to deepen my relationship with friends as we hunted during the day and talked late into the night around the campfire. When an old friend recently invited me to relive some of those days, I couldn\\\'t pass up the chance. For several weeks before the trip, I had taken the time to upgrade some of my equipment and sight in my rifle. When the day came, I was ready for the hunt. What I wasn\\\'t ready for was what my close friend, Tom, shared with me the first night out on the trail. I always enjoyed the time I spent with Tom. He had become a leader in his church and his warm and friendly manner had also taken him many steps along the path of business success. He had a lovely wife, and while I knew they had driven over some rocky roads in their marriage, things now seemed to be stable and growing. Tom\\\'s kids, two daughters and a son, were struggling in junior high and high school with the normal problems of peer pressure and acceptance. As we rode back into the mountains, I could tell that something big was eating away at Tom\\\'s heart. His normal effervescent style was shrouded by an overwhelming inner hurt. Normally, Tom would attack problems with the same determination that had made him a success in business. Now, I saw him wrestling with something that seemed to have knocked him to the mat for the count. Silence has a way of speaking for itself. All day and on into the evening, Tom let his lack of words shout out his inner restlessness. Finally, around the first night\\\'s campfire, he opened up. The scenario Tom painted was annoyingly familiar. I\\\'d heard it many times before in many other people\\\'s lives. But the details seemed such a contract to the life that Tom and his wife lived and the beliefs they embraced. His oldest daughter had become attached to a boy at school. Shortly after they started going together, they became sexually involved. Within two months, she was pregnant. Tom\\\'s wife discovered the truth when a packet from Planned Parenthood came in the mail addressed to her daughter. When confronted with it, the girl admitted she had requested it when she went to the clinic to find out if she was pregnant. If we totaled up the number of girls who have gotten pregnant out of wedlock during the past two hundred years of our nation\\\'s history, the total would be in the millions. Countless parents through the years have faced the devastating news. Being a member of such a large fraternity of history, however, does not soften the severity of the blow to your heart when you discover it\\\'s your daughter. Tom shared the humiliation he experienced when he realized that all of his teaching and example had been ignored. Years of spiritual training had been thrust aside. His stomach churned as he relived the emotional agony of knowing that the little girl he and his wife loved so much had made a choice that had permanently scarred her heart. I\\\'m frequently confronted with these problems in my ministry and have found that dwelling on the promiscuous act only makes matters worse. I worship a God of forgiveness and solutions, and at that moment in our conversation I was anxious to turn toward hope and healing. I asked Tom what they had decided to do. Would they keep the baby, or put it up for adoption? That\\\'s when he delivered the blow. With the fire burning low, Tom paused for a long time before answering. And even when he spoke he wouldn\\\'t look me in the eye. \\\"We considered the alternatives, Tim. Weighed all the options.\\\" He took a deep breath. \\\"We finally made an appointment with the abortion clinic. I took her down there myself.\\\" I dropped the stick I\\\'d been poking the coals with and stared at Tom. Except for the wind in the trees and the snapping of our fire it was quiet for a long time. I couldn\\\'t believe this was the same man who for years had been so outspoken against abortion. He and his wife had even volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center in his city. Heartsick, I pressed him about the decision. Tom then made a statement that captured the essence of his problem...and the problem many others have in entering into genuine rest. In a mechanical voice, he said \\\"I know what I believe, Tim, but that\\\'s different than what I had to do. I had to make a decision that had the least amount of consequences for the people involved.\\\" Just by the way he said it, I could tell my friend had rehearsed these lines over and over in his mind. And by the look in his eyes and the emptiness in his voice, I could tell his words sounded as hollow to him as they did to me. Tim Kimmel, Little House on the Freeway, pp. 67-70.
ABSENT-MINDED Dr. Harold C. Urey, Nobel prize winner in Chemistry, was walking along a sidewalk one day when he ran into another professor. They chatted for a few minutes, then, as they parted, Dr. Urey asked the other: \\\"John, which way was I going when I met you?\\\" \\\"That way,\\\" said the other, pointing. \\\"Oh, good. That means I\\\'ve already had my lunch,\\\" muttered the professor as he walked away. Bits & Pieces, August, 1989.
ABSOLUTES At a recent gathering of seminary professors, one teacher reported that at his school the most damaging charge one student can lodge against another is that the person is being \\\"judgmental.\\\" He found this pattern very upsetting. \\\"You can\\\'t get a good argument going in class anymore,\\\" he said. \\\"As soon as somebody takes a stand on any important issue, someone else says that the person is being judgmental. And that\\\'s it. End of discussion. Everyone is intimidated!\\\" Many of the other professors nodded knowingly. There seemed to be a consensus that the fear of being judgmental has taken on epidemic proportions. Is the call for civility just another way of spreading this epidemic? If so, then I\\\'m against civility. But I really don\\\'t think that this is what being civil is all about. Christian civility does not commit us to a relativistic perspective. Being civil doesn\\\'t mean that we cannot criticize what goes on around us. Civility doesn\\\'t require us to approve of what other people believe and do. It is one thing to insist that other people have the right to express their basic convictions; it is another thing to say that they are right in doing so. Civility requires us to live by the first of these principles. But it does not commit us to the second formula. To say that all beliefs and values deserve to be treated as if they were on a par is to endorse relativism -- a perspective that is incompatible with Christian faith and practice. Christian civility does not mean refusing to make judgments about what is good and true. For one thing, it really isn\\\'t possible to be completely nonjudgmental. Even telling someone else that she is being judgmental is a rather judgmental thing to do! Richard J. Mouw, Uncommon Decency, pp. 20-21. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There is no repose for the mind except in the absolute; for feeling, except in the infinite; for the soul, except in the divine. Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In the evening of life, we shall be judged on love, and not one of us is going to come off very well, and were it not for my absolute faith in the loving forgiveness of my Lord, I could not call him to come. Madeleine L\\\'Engle, The Irrational Season, p.77.
ABUSE A recent survey on marital violence reports that approximately one in every seven American couples has used some form of physical abuse during an argument within the past year. National Institute of Mental Health, in Homemade, June, 1990. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sexual abuse of children is more widespread than previously assumed, according to a recent study. Who are the victims? Between 15% and 34% of all girls in this country; between 3% and 9% of all boys. More than 90% of the abusers were adult males. University of New Hampshire, in Homemade, August, 1985. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Children who see physical violence between their parents are six times more likely to abuse their own spouses after they marry. If those children were also hit by their parents as teenagers, they are 12 times more likely to abuse their spouses. Bottom Line, in Homemade, Nov, 1985.
ACCEPTANCE In 1900, the Daughters of the American Revolution elected social reformer Jane Addams to honorary membership. But Addams\\\'s antiwar stance during World War I and her insistence that even subversives had a right to trial by due process caused them to expel her. She commented that she had thought her election to the DAR was for life, but now knew it was for good behavior. Today in the Word, March 26, 1993. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Keith Hernandez is one of baseball\\\'s top players. He is a lifetime .300 hitter who has won numerous Golden Glove awards for excellence in fielding. He\\\'s won a batting championship for having the highest average, the Most Valuable Player award in his league, and even the World Series. Yet with all his accomplishments, he has missed out on something crucially important to him -- his father\\\'s acceptance and recognition that what he has accomplished is valuable. Listen to what he had to say in a very candid interview about his relationship with his father: \\\"One day Keith asked his father, \\\'Dad, I have a lifetime 300 batting average. What more do you want?\\\' His father replied, \\\'But someday you\\\'re going to look back and say, \\\"I could have done more.\\\"\\\'\\\" Gary Smalley & John Trent, Ph.D., The Gift of Honor, p. 116.
ACCIDENT Rowland V. Bingham, founder of the Sudan Interior Mission, was once seriously injured in an automobile accident. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. The following day, when he regained consciousness, he asked the nurse what he was doing there. \\\"Don\\\'t try to talk now, just rest,\\\" she replied. \\\"You have been in an accident.\\\" \\\"Accident? Accident!\\\" exclained Dr. Bingham. \\\"There are no accidents in the life of a Christian. This is just an incident in God\\\'s perfect leading.\\\" Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Response to an insurance company) I am writing in response to your request for additional information. In block #3 of the accident form, I put \\\"trying to do the job alone\\\" as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully, and I trust that the following details will be sufficient. I am a bricklayer by trade. On the date of the accident I was working alone on the roof of a new six story building. When I completed my work, I found that I had about 500 pounds of brick left over. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which fortunately was attached to the side of the building at the 6th floor. Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out, and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 500 pounds of brick. You will note in block #11 of the accident report that I weight 135 pounds. But to by surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull, and broken collar bone. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were 2 knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind, and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of my pain. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground, and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel then weighed approximately 50 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in block #11. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, and the lacerations of my legs, and lower body area. The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks, and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked. I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks, in pain . . . unable to stand . . . and watching the empty barrel six stories above me . . . I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope. The empty barrel weighed more than the rope, so it came back down on me, and broke both my legs. I hope I have furnished the information you have required. Source Unknown.
ACCOMPLISHMENT The concert impresario, Sol Hurok, liked to say that Marian Anderson hadn\'t simply grown great, she\'d grown great simply. He says: \"A few years ago a reporter interviewed Marian and asked her to name the greatest moment in her life. I was in her dressing room at the time and was curious to hear the answer. I knew she had many big moments to choose from. There was the night Toscanini told her that hers was the finest voice of the century. There was the private concert she gave at the White House for the Roosevelts and the King and Queen of England. She had received the $10,000 Bok Award as the person who had done the most for her home town, Philadelphia. To top it all, there was that Easter Sunday in Washington when she stood beneath the Lincoln statue and sang for a crowd of 75,000, which included Cabinet members, Supreme Court Justices, and most members of Congress. Which of those big moments did she choose? \"None of them,\" said Hurok. \"Miss Anderson told the reporter that the greatest moment of her life was the day she went home and told her mother she wouldn\'t have to take in washing anymore.\" Alan Loy McGinnis in The Friendship Factor, p. 30. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We have got but one life here...It pays, no matter what comes after it, to try and do things, to accomplish things in this life, and not merely to have a soft and pleasant time. Theodore Roosevelt. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ministry that costs nothing, accomplishes nothing. John Henry Jowett.
ACCOUNTABILITY A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them: 1. Materialism. 2. Pride. 3. Self-centeredness. 4. Laziness. 5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness. 5. (Tie) Sexual lust. 7. Envy. 8. Gluttony. 9. Lying. Discipleship Journal. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when they had neglected their time with God (81 percent) and when they were physically tired (57 percent). Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent), avoiding compromising situations (76 percent), Bible study (66 percent), and being accountable to someone (52 percent). Discipleship Journal, November / December 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In Rebuilding Your Broken World, Gordon MacDonald suggests twenty-six questions to help develop accountability and invite feedback. If we desire to grow, we should submit our selves to a spiritual mentor and answer these questions honestly. 1. How is your relationship with God right now? 2. What have you read in the Bible in the past week? 3. What has God said to you in this reading? 4. Where do you find yourself resisting Him these days? 5. What specific things are you praying for in regard to yourself? 7. What are the specific tasks facing you right now that you consider incomplete? 8. What habits intimidate you? 9. What have you read in the secular press this week? 10. What general reading are you doing? 11. What have you done to play? 12. How are you doing with your spouse? Kids? 13. If I were to ask your spouse about your state of mind, state of spirit, state of energy level, what would the response be? 14. Are you sensing spiritual attacks from the enemy right now? 15. If Satan were to try to invalidate you as a person or as a servant of the Lord, how might he do it? 16. What is the state of your sexual perspective? Tempted? Dealing with fantasies? Entertainment? 17. Where are you financially right now? (things under control? under anxiety? in great debt?) 18. Are there any unresolved conflicts in your circle of relationships right now? 19. When was the last time you spent time with a good friend of your own gender? 20. What kind of time have you spent with anyone who is a non-Christian this month? 21. What challenges do you think you\'re going to face in the coming week? Month? 22. What would you say are your fears at this present time? 23. Are you sleeping well? 24. What three things are you most thankful for? 25. Do you like yourself at this point in your pilgrimage? 26. What are your greatest confusions about your relationship with God? Paul Borthwick, Leading the Way, Navpress, 1989, pp. 171-172. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- But too often we confuse love with permissiveness. It is not love to fail to dissuade another believer from sin any more than it is love to fail to take a drink away from an alcoholic or matches away from a baby. True fellowship out of love for one another demands accountability. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- John Wesley was so concerned with building a righteous fellowship that he devised a series of questions for his followers to ask each other every week. Some found this rigorous system of inquiry too demanding and left. Today, the very idea of such a procedure would horrify many churchgoers. Yet some wisely follow just such a practice. Chuck Swindoll for example, has seven questions that he and a group of fellow pastors challenge each other with periodically: 1. Have you been with a woman anywhere this past week that might be seen as compromising? 2. Have any of your financial dealings lacked integrity? 3. Have you exposed yourself to any sexually explicit material? 4. Have you spent adequate time in Bible study and prayer? 5. Have you given priority time to your family? 6. Have you fulfilled the mandates of your calling? 7. Have you just lied to me? C. Colson, The Body. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My greatest thought is my accountability to God. Daniel Webster.
ACCURACY Time technicians at the National Institute of Standards & Technology (Formerly the National Bureau of Standards) set a new level of precision in 1949 by inventing the atomic clock. It counted the oscillations of the nitrogen atom in an ammonia molecule--and was reliable to within one second in three years. More recently, NIST switched to an atomic clock based on the vibrations of cesium atoms. It will need 300,000 years to gain or lose a single second. But NIST scientists are working on a still-better model: a single mercury ion will be trapped in a vacuum by laser beams and cooled to its lowest possible energy level. The atom\'s oscillations will then be so stable that the new timepiece should be accurate to within one second in 10 billion years--the total life span of stars similar to our sun. Business Week, reported in Resource, Mar/April, 1990. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Maria Fedorovna, the empress of Russia and wife of Czar Alexander III, was known for her philanthropy. She once saved a prisoner from exile in Siberia by transposing a single comma in a warrant signed by Alexander. The czar had written: \"Pardon impossible, to be sent to Siberia.\" After Maria\'s intervention, the note read: \"Pardon, impossible to be sent to Siberia.\" The prisoner was eventually released. Today in the Word, July 14, 1993. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Once when President Franklin D. Roosevelt was preparing a speech, he needed some economic statistics to back up a point he was trying to make. His advisers said it would take six months to get accurate figures. \"In that case, I\'ll just use these rough estimates,\" FDR said, and he wrote down some numbers in his text. \"They\'re reasonable figures and they support my point. \"Besides,\" he added as an afterthought, \"it will keep my critics busy for at least six month just to prove me wrong.\" Bits & Pieces, June 25, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In the New York Times last year: \"The \'Candidates on Television\' listing yesterday misspelled the name of the Vice President in some editions. It is Quayle, not Quale. The Times regrets the error.\" Reader\'s Digest. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Accuracy is the twin brother of honesty; inaccuracy of dishonesty. Charles Simmons. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- OTHER If 99.9 percent is good enough, then... - Two million documents will be lost by the IRS this year. - 811,000 faulty rolls of 35mm film will be loaded this year. - 22,000 checks will be deducted from the wrong bank accounts in the next 60 minutes. - 1,314 phone calls will be misplaced by telecommunication services every minute. - 12 babies will be given to the wrong parents each day. - 268,500 defective tires will be shipped this year. - 14,208 defective personal computers will be shipped this year. - 103,260 income tax returns will be process incorrectly this year. - 2,488,200 books will be shipped in the next 12 months with the wrong cover. - 5,517,200 cases of soft drinks produced in the next 12 months will be flatter than a bad tire. - Two plane landings daily at O\'Hare International Airport in Chicago will be unsafe. - 3,056 copies of tomorrow\'s Wall Street Journal will be missing one of the three sections. - 18,322 pieces of mail will be mishandled in the next hour. - 291 pacemaker operations will be performed incorrectly this year. - 880,000 credit cards in circulation will turn out to have incorrect cardholder information on their magnetic strips. - $9,690 will be spent today, tomorrow, next Thursday, and every day in the future on defective, often unsafe sporting equipment. - 55 malfunction automatic teller machines will be installed in the next 12 months. - 20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions will be written in the next 12 months. - 114,500 mismatched pairs of shoes will be shipped this year. - $761,900 will be spent in the next 12 months on tapes and compact discs that won\'t play. - 107 incorrect medical procedures will be performed by the end of the day today. - 315 entries in Webster\'s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language will turn out to be misspelled. InSight, Syncrude Canada Ltd., Communications Division Communicator, p. 6.
ACCUSATION, false John was driving home late one night when he picked up a hitchhiker. As they rode along, he began to be suspicious of his passenger. John checked to see if his wallet was safe in the pocket of his coat that was on the seat between them, but it wasn\'t there! So he slammed on the brakes, ordered the hitchhiker out, and said, \"Hand over the wallet immediately!\" The frightened hitchhiker handed over a billfold, and John drove off. When he arrived home, he started to tell his wife about the experience, but she interrupted him, saying, \"Before I forget, John, do you know that you left your wallet at home this morning?\" Our Daily Bread, October 2, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- One of the saddest and scariest stories I\'ve ever heard was about a young evangelist. He was just barely 21, on fire for God, effective in his preaching and soul-winning, and in great demand from local churches. He had preached several large crusades and was soon invited to an area-wide effort at which he would be the main speaker. Though he was not yet even out of college, he was a prot??of international evangelist, Sammy Tippit, and was admired and considered wise. Though he didn\'t have a steady girlfriend, he dated regularly at Bible college. Spiritually he was alert and mature. He was, however, naive. The first night of the crusade he headed up the counseling ministry in a large room near the pastor\'s study. A beautiful teen-ager asked if she could speak with him personally. He tried to assign her to someone else, but when she persisted, he agreed for her to wait until he was finished with the others. More than an hour after the meeting had ended, the rest of the counselors and counselees had left, and he was alone with the young girl. A few minutes later she burst from the room, screaming, \"He made a pass at me! He wanted to make love to me!\" That very night the pastor of the host church and a small group of the crusade planners confronted the young preacher and demanded an explanation. He denied the girl\'s charge but had no witnesses. The girl had seemed an upstanding young woman in the church, and there was no reason to disbelieve her story. \"What did happen in that room?\" the pastor demanded. \"To tell you that would to be to make an accusation behind someone\'s back,\" he said. \"Which is what happened to me. I ask only that I be allowed to face my accuser.\" The pastor and the others canceled the rest of the crusade and agreed that the young woman should be asked to face the preacher in their presence. Two nights later she showed up with her parents at a private board meeting. The pastor asked if she would care to speak about her charges against the preacher. \"She has already said all she has to say, \"her father said sternly, her mother nodding and glaring at the accused. \"Would you, son care to share your version of what happened in that room the other night?\" \"No, sir,\" the evangelist said. \"I see no future in that. Only she and I know the truth, and I cannot defend myself. I\'d just like to say this to her. Cindy, you know what happened and what didn\'t happen in that room. If you don\'t tell the truth, I will be branded and may never preach again. This will damage my reputation and that of this church, and even that of God. If I did what you say I did, I deserve no better, but we both know that is not the truth. I\'m begging you in the name of Christ to set the record straight.\" The silence hung heavy as the board and her parents watched her face contort into a grimace before the tears began to flow. \"I lied,\" she said quietly. \"I\'m sorry. I lied. He didn\'t make a pass at me; I made a pass at him. When he turned me down I was so embarrassed and ashamed and angry that I made up that story. I\'m so sorry!\" Jerry Jenkins, Hedges, 1989, Wolgemuth & Hyatt, pp 76-78.
ACHIEVEMENT Visiting a village school one day, King Oscar II of Sweden asked the pupils to name the greatest kings of Sweden. The answers were unanimous: Gustavus Vasa, Gustavus Adolphus, Charles X. Then the teacher leaned over to one little boy and whispered something in his ear. \"And King Oscar,\" volunteered the child. \"Really? And what has King Oscar done that\'s so remarkable?\" asked the king. \"I--I--I don\'t know,\" stammered the unhappy child. \"That\'s all right,\" said the king. \"Neither do I.\" Today in the Word, August 2, 1993. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Helping a person find out what he needs, then helping him find the best way to get it. I Thessalonians 2:11. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Super Bowl XVIII in Tampa, Florida, was billed as the ultimate game in the ultimate city. Several years ago, Duane Thomas, then playing with the Dallas Cowboys, was preparing for Super Bowl VI in New Orleans. \"If it\'s the ultimate game, how come they\'re playing it again next year?\" Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The nice thing about football is that you have a scoreboard to show how you\'ve done. In other things in life, you don\'t. At least, not one you can see. Football coach Chuck Noll. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Helen Hayes once said that her mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. Her mother advised her that \"achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that\'s nice too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.\" Bits & Pieces, August, 1989.
ACQUAINTANCE A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to. Ambrose Bierce. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The difference between a friend and an acquaintance is that a friend helps; an acquaintance merely advises. \"Calgary Bob\" Edwards.
ACTION Several years ago, I heard the story of Larry Walters, a 33-year-old man who decided he wanted to see his neighborhood from a new perspective. He went down to the local army surplus store one morning and bought forty-five used weather balloons. That afternoon he strapped himself into a lawn chair, to which several of his friends tied the now helium-filled balloons. He took along a six-pack of beer, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and a BB gun, figuring he could shoot the balloons one at a time when he was ready to land. Walters, who assumed the balloons would lift him about 100 feet in the air, was caught off guard when the chair soared more than 11,000 feet into the sky -- smack into the middle of the air traffic pattern at Los Angeles International Airport. Too frightened to shoot any of the balloons, he stayed airborne for more than two hours, forcing the airport to shut down its runways for much of the afternoon, causing long delays in flights from across the country. Soon after he was safely grounded and cited by the police, reporters asked him three questions: \"Where you scared?\" \"Yes.\" \"Would you do it again?\" \"No.\" \"Why did you do it?\" \"Because,\" he said, \"you can\'t just sit there.\" Leadership, Summer 1993, p. 35. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dr. J.B. Gambrel tells an amusing story from General Stonewall Jackson\'s famous valley campaign. Jackson\'s army found itself on one side of a river when it needed to be on the other side. After telling his engineers to plan and build a bridge so the army could cross, he called his wagon master in to tell him that it was urgent the wagon train cross the river as soon as possible. The wagon master started gathering all the logs, rocks and fence rails he could find and built a bridge. Long before day light General Jackson was told by his wagon master all the wagons and artillery had crossed the river. General Jackson asked where are the engineers and what are they doing? The wagon master\'s only reply was that they were in their tent drawing up plans for a bridge. Pulpit Helps, May, 1991.
ACTIVITY \"It is an old ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way.\" Rollo May. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement. Mable Newcomber.
ADAM Adam and Eve had many advantages, but the principal one was, that they escaped teething. Mark Twain.
ADDICTION Alan Lang, in his \"Substance Abuse and Habitual Behavior\" report to the National Academy of Science, identifies nine such characteristics: Impulsive behavior, Difficulty in delaying gratification, Sensation seeking, Antisocial personality, Nonconformist values, Sense of alienation, Deviant behavior, Heightened feelings of stress, Little regard for goals generally valued by society. Alan Lang, \"Substance Abuse and Habitual Behavior\".
ADJUSTMENT Life is a continuous process of getting used to things we hadn\'t expected.