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DAILY Dr. F.W. Boreham tells about his stay in a quaint old cottage in England occupied by a minister\'s widow. She had given him her bedroom and in the morning when he pulled up the blind, he saw that into the glass of the windowpane had been cut the words: \"This is the day.\" He asked the elderly lady about it at breakfast. She explained that she had had a lot of trouble in her time and was always afraid of what was going to happen tomorrow. One day she read the words of the above text. It occurred to her that it meant any day, this day. \"Why should I be afraid of the days if He makes them?\" So the widow scratched the words as well as she could in the windowpane, so that every time she drew her blind in the morning she was reminded that \"This is the day.\" Realizing the Lord made it, she was no longer afraid. Dr. F. W. Boreham.
DANGER In 1969, in Pass Christian, Mississippi, a group of people were preparing to have a \"hurricane party\" in the face of a storm named Camille. Were they ignorant of the dangers? Could they have been overconfident? Did they let their egos and pride influence their decision? We\'ll never know. What we do know is that the wind was howling outside the posh Richelieu Apartments when Police Chief Jerry Peralta pulled up sometime after dark. Facing the Beach less than 250 feet from the surf, the apartments were directly in the line of danger. A man with a drink in his hand came out to the second-floor balcony and waved. Peralta yelled up, \"You all need to clear out of here as quickly as you can. The storm\'s getting worse.\" But as others joined the man on the balcony, they just laughed at Peralta\'s order to leave. \"This is my land,\" one of them yelled back. \"If you want me off, you\'ll have to arrest me.\" Peralta didn\'t arrest anyone, but he wasn\'t able to persuade them to leave either. He wrote down the names of the next of kin of the twenty or so people who gathered there to party through the storm. They laughed as he took their names. They had been warned, but they had no intention of leaving. It was 10:15 p.m. when the front wall of the storm came ashore. Scientists clocked Camille\'s wind speed at more than 205 miles-per-hour, the strongest on record. Raindrops hit with the force of bullets, and waves off the Gulf Coast crested between twenty-two and twenty-eight feet high. News reports later showed that the worst damage came at the little settlement of motels, go-go bars, and gambling houses known as Pass Christian, Mississippi, where some twenty people were killed at a hurricane party in the Richelieu Apartments. Nothing was left of that three-story structure but the foundation; the only survivor was a five-year-old boy found clinging to a mattress the following day. Christian Values Qs Quarterly, Spring/Summer 1994, p. 10. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh recently reported that showers release toxic chemicals into the air. So while we merrily lather away and sing our hearts out, these chemicals in the water are quietly turning into vapors, exposing us to chemical concentrations up to 10 times greater than we would receive by drinking the water. If that doesn\'t scare you, look at another common activity: Handling money. According to two University of Louisville scientists, 13 percent of all coins and 42 percent of paper money carry infectious organisms. Bill Bryson, \"Life\'s Little Gambles\", The Saturday Evening Post, September, 1988 . -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A person on railroad tracks hears a train approaching, looks behind him, sees the train and then freezes on the tracks in fear. The train \"outruns\" its sound--which means that by the time you hear it, it is virtually on top on you. If a train engineer sees you on a track, he or she will blow the whistle. Often it takes more than one blast to get the average person\'s attention, say train engineers. But trains can\'t stop the way motor vehicles can. A freight train has about 100 cars, weights 12 million pounds, and takes a full mile to stop. An optical illusion happens with tracks. When you see a train coming, it looks as if it is traveling half as fast, and is two times farther away from you than it really is. For example, if it is going 60 miles per hour and is half a mile away, it looks as if it is traveling 30 mph and is one mile away. Dennis Heatherington, Operation Livesaver, in MSC Health Action News, Vol. XIV, No. 3, March 1994, p. 4. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Africa\'s Victoria Falls produces a cloud of mist that is often heavy enough to impair visibility. While I was walking the path that skirts the gorge into which the Zambezi River tumbles, I noticed a sign on the rim but could not make it out. Not wanting to miss whatever it might be noting, I slithered and slid through the mud out to the very brink only to read the message: \"Danger! Crumbling Edge.\" Glenn Cunningham in Reader\'s Digest. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Some time ago, zoo officials in Kirby, Misperton, England, had to pay visitors for articles stolen by monkeys. But what puzzled them was the favorite item the animals snatched: Eyeglasses. An investigation revealed the reason. The monkeys grabbed the glasses when visitors leaned over to read a small sign on the wall of the cage. The sign said: \"Beware! These monkeys steal spectacles.\" Leo Van Dolson in Vibrant Life. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DATING John Barrymore once played the role of a father who disapproved of the man his daughter planned to marry. In one scene, the daughter had to ask Barrymore what he thought of her fianc? who had just exited. Barrymore was supposed to answer, \"I think he\'s a dirty dog.\" One night, when the bridegroom-to-be walked off stage, he accidentally tipped over a pitcher of water. Barrymore watched in fascination as a puddle formed. A moment later, his daughter asked, \"What do you think of Tom, father?\" \"I think he\'s a dirty dog,\" Barrymore answered. Then he ad-libbed, \"And what\'s more, he isn\'t even housebroken!\" Bits & Pieces, December 13, 1990. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Statistics and Stuff A study at a Midwestern school showed that 80% of the women who had intercourse hoped to marry their partner. Only 12% of the men had the same expectation Robert J. Collins in the Chicago Tribune, quoted in HIS, February, 1976. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Humor I went over to my girlfriend\'s house, and found she\'d already gone out with her boyfriend. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DAY No illustrations, yet. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- IN a 24 hour period, if you\'re an adult of average weight, here is what you accomplish: Your heart beats 103,689 times Your blood travels 168,000,000 miles You breathe 23,040 times You inhale 438 cubic feet of air. You eat 3.25 pounds of food You drink 2.9 quarts of liquids You lose 7/8 pound of waste. You speak 4,800 words, including some unnecessary ones You move 750 muscles Your nails grow .000046 inch Your hair grows .01714 inch You exercise 7,000,000 brain cells. Feel tired? Source Unknown. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DAY CARE Only one long-term study has ever been done on the effects of day care and this by Moore in 1975. His findings were largely negative. Boys reared in substitute care were more aggressive, nonconforming and less interested in academic subjects than boys reared at home. Girls reared in substitute care were nostalgic about childhood, while girls reared at home by their mothers were active, positive in their attitudes toward the opposite sex and well adjusted socially. Even Harvard\'s Kagan, himself an advocate for day care, has said of day care\'s children, \"I think they will be different, but I can\'t say how.\" Brenda Hunter in Homemade, October, 1987. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DEATH Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. Mark Twain. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Last words: \"Our God is the God from whom cometh salvation: God is the Lord by whom we escape death.\" Martin Luther \"Live in Christ, live in Christ, and the flesh need not fear death.\" John Knox \"Thou, Lord, bruisest me; but I am abundantly satisfied, since it is from Thy hand.\" John Calvin \"The best of all is, God is with us. Farewell! Farewell!\" John Wesley \"I shall be satisfied with Thy likeness--satisfied, satisfied!\" Charles Wesley -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It is possible to live under a delusion. You think you are kind, considerate and gracious when you are really not. You think you are building positive stuff into your children when in reality, if you could check with them twenty years later, you really didn\'t. What if you could read your own obituary? How do people really see you? Here is the story of a man who did. One morning in 1888 Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite, awoke to read his own obituary. The obituary was printed as a result of a simple journalistic error. You see, it was Alfred\'s brother that had died and the reporter carelessly reported the death of the wrong brother. Any man would be disturbed under the circumstances, but to Alfred the shock was overwhelming because he saw himself as the world saw him. The \"Dynamite King,\" the great industrialist who had made an immense fortune from explosives. This, as far as the general public was concerned, was the entire purpose of Alfred\'s life. None of his true intentions to break down the barriers that separated men and ideas for peace were recognized or given serious consideration. He was simply a merchant of death. And for that alone he would be remembered. As he read the obituary with horror, he resolved to make clear to the world the true meaning and purpose of his life. This could be done through the final disposition of his fortune. His last will and testament--an endowment of five annual prizes for outstanding contributions in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace (the sixth category of economics was added later)--would be the expression of his life\'s ideals and ultimately would be why we would remember him. The result was the most valuable of prizes given to those who had done the most for the cause of world peace. It is called today, the \"Nobel Peace Prize.\" Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- John Wesley preached his last sermon of Feb 17, 1791, in Lambeth on the text \"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near\" (Isa 55:6). The following day, a very sick man, he was put to bed in his home on City Road. During the days of his illness, he often repeated the words from one of his brother\'s hymns: I the chief of sinners am, But Jesus died for me! His last words were, \"The best of all is, God is with us!\" He died March 2, 1791. W. Wiersbe, Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching and Preachers, p. 245. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Death is not extinguishing the light from the Christian; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When you\'re old as I am, there are all sorts of extremely pleasant things that happen to you...the pleasantest of all is that you wake up in the night and you find that you are half in and half out of your battered old carcass. It seems quite a tossup whether you go back and resume full occupancy of your mortal body, or make off toward the bright glow you see in the sky, the lights of the city of God. Malcolm Muggeridge, Christian Times, September 3, 1982. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In Valladolid, Spain, where Christopher Columbus died in 1506, stands a monument commemorating the great discoverer. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the memorial is a statue of a lion destroying one of the Latin words that had been part of Spain\'s motto for centuries. Before Columbus made his voyages, the Spaniards thought they had reached the outer limits of earth. Thus their motto was \"Ne Plus Ultra,\" which means \"No More Beyond.\" The word being torn away by the lion is \"Ne\" or \"no,\" making it read \"Plus Ultra.\" Columbus had proven that there was indeed \"more beyond.\" Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- On his deathbed, British preacher Charles Simeon smiled brightly and asked the people gathered in his room, \"What do you think especially gives me comfort at this time?\" When they all remained silent, he exclaimed, \"The creation! I ask myself, \'Did Jehovah create the world or did I?\' He did! Now if He made the world and all the rolling spheres of the universe, He certainly can take care of me. Into Jesus\' hands I can safely commit my spirit!\" Hudson Taylor, founder of China Inland Mission, in the closing months of his life said to a friend, \"I am so weak. I can\'t read my Bible. I can\'t even pray. I can only lie still in God\'s arms like a little child and trust.\" Our Daily Bread, January 1, 1994. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without a ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. from the book September. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In 1846 former president John Quincy Adams suffered a stroke. Although he returned to Congress the following year, his health was clearly failing. Daniel Webster described his last meeting with Adams: \"Someone, a friend of his, came in and made particular inquiry of his health. Adams answered, \'I inhabit a weak, frail, decayed tenement; battered by the winds and broken in upon by the storms, and from all I can learn, the landlord does not intend to repair.\'\" Today in the Word, April 11, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mark Twain, became morose and weary of life. Shortly before his death, he wrote, \"A myriad of men are born; they labor and sweat and struggle;...they squabble and scold and fight; they scramble for little mean advantages over each other; age creeps upon them; infirmities follow; ...those they love are taken from them, and the joy of life is turned to aching grief. It (the release) comes at last--the only unpoisoned gift earth ever had for them--and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence,...a world which will lament them a day and forget them forever.\" Mark Twain. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gen. William Nelson, a Union general in the Civil War, was consumed with the battles in Kentucky when a brawl ended up in his being shot, mortally, in the chest. He had faced many battles, but the fatal blow came while he was relaxing with his men. As such, he was caught fully unprepared. As men ran up the stairs to help him, the general had just one phrase, \"Send for a clergyman; I wish to be baptized.\" He never had time as an adolescent or young man. He never had time as a private or after he became a general. And his wound did not stop or slow down the war. Everything around him was left virtually unchanged--except for the general\'s priorities. With only minutes left before he entered eternity, the one thing he cared about was preparing for eternity. He wanted to be baptized. Thirty minutes later he was dead. Christian Times, October 3, 1994, p. 26. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thou oughtest so to order thyself in all thy thoughts and actions, as if today thou wert about to die. Labor now to live so, that at the hour of death thou mayest rather rejoice than fear. Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A few days before his death, Dr. F. B. Meyer wrote a very dear friend these words: \"I have just heard, to my great surprise, that I have but a few days to live. It may be that before this reaches you, I shall have entered the palace. Don\'t trouble to write. We shall meet in the morning.\" Quoted in Consolation, by Mrs. C. Cowman, p. 70. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I read that when a terrible plague came to ancient Athens, people there committed every horrible crime and engaged in every lustful pleasure they could because they believed that life was short and they would never have to pay any penalty. In one of the world\'s most famous poems, the Latin poet Catullus wrote, \"Let us live and let us love, and let us value the tales of austere old men at a single halfpenny. Suns can set and then return again, but for us, when once our brief light sets, there is but one perpetual night through which we must sleep.\" Morning Glory, January 29, 1994. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Alexander the Great, seeing Diogenes looking attentively at a parcel of human bones, asked the philosopher what he was looking for. Diogenes\' reply: \"That which I cannot find--the difference between your father\'s bones and those of his slaves.\" Plutarch. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- \"Here lies Jamie Smith, wife of Thomas Smith, marble cutter. This monument was erected by her husband as a tribute to her memory and a specimen of his work. Monuments of the same style 350 dollars.\" from Springdale, Ohio. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I was driving with my children to my wife\'s funeral where I was to preach the sermon. As we came into one small town there strode down in front of us a truck that came to stop before a red light. It was the biggest truck I ever saw in my life, and the sun was shining on it at just the right angle that took its shadow and spread it across the snow on the field beside it. As the shadow covered that field, I said, \"Look children at that truck, and look at its shadow. If you had to be run over, which would you rather be run over by? Would you rather be run over by the truck or by the shadow?\" My youngest child said, \"The shadow couldn\'t hurt anybody.\" \"That\'s right,\" I continued, \"and death is a truck, but the shadow is all that ever touches the Christian. The truck ran over the Lord Jesus. Only the shadow is gone over mother.\" Donald Grey Barnhouse. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Peter Kreeft tells us that in the Latin rite for the burial of an Austrian emperor, the people carry the corpse to the door of the great monastic church. They strike the door and say: \"Open.\" The abbot inside says: \"Who is there.\" \"Emperor Karl, the king of...\" The response from inside: \"We know of no such person here.\" So the people strike the door again. \"Who is there?\" asks the abbot. \"Emperor Karl.\" \"We know of no such person here.\" So they strike a third time. \"Who is there?\" asks the abbot again. \"Karl,\" say the people. And the door is opened. One World, May, 1982. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- \"You don\'t go look at where it happened,\" said Scott Goodyear, who starts 33rd [speaking of race-car drivers who have been killed in crashes at the Indianapolis 500]. \"You don\'t watch the films of it on television. You don\'t deal with it. You pretend it never happened.\" The Speedway operation itself encourages this approach. As soon as the track closes the day of an accident, a crew heads out to paint over the spot where the car hit the wall. Through the years, a driver has never been pronounced dead at the race track. A trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Racing Museum, located inside the 2.5-mile oval, has no memorial to the 40 drivers who have lost their lives here. Nowhere is there even a mention. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sarah Winchester\'s husband had acquired a fortune by manufacturing and selling rifles. After he died of influenza in 1918, she moved to San Jose, California. Because of her grief and her long time interest in spiritism, Sarah sought out a medium to contact her dead husband. The medium told her, \"As long as you keep building your home, you will never face death.\" Sarah believed the spiritist, so she bought an unfinished 17-room mansion and started to expand it. The project continued until she died at the age of 85. It cost 5 million dollars at a time when workmen earned 50 cents a day. The mansion had 150 rooms, 13 bathrooms, 2,000 doors, 47 fireplaces, and 10,000 windows. And Mrs. Winchester left enough materials so that they could have continued building for another 80 years. Today that house stands as more than a tourist attraction. It is a silent witness to the dread of death that holds millions of people in bondage (Heb. 2:15). Our Daily Bread, April 2, 1994. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thursday, December 21, 1899, after cutting short a Kansas City crusade and returning home in ill health, D. L. Moody told his family, \"I\'m not discouraged. I want to live as long as I am useful, but when my work is done I want to be up and off.\" The next day Moody awakened after a restless night. In careful, measured words he said, \"Earth recedes, Heaven opens before me!\" His son, Will, concluded his father was dreaming. \"No, this is no dream, Will. It is beautiful. It is like a trance. If this is death, it is sweet. There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go.\" Moody, December, 1993, p. 70. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In one of his books, A.M. Hunter, the New Testament scholar, relates the story of a dying man who asked his Christian doctor to tell him something about the place to which he was going. As the doctor fumbled for a reply, he heard a scratching at the door, and he had his answer. \"Do you hear that?\" he asked his patient. \"It\'s my dog. I left him downstairs, but he has grown impatient, and has come up and hears my voice. He has no notion what is inside this door, but he knows that I am here. Isn\'t it the same with you? You don\'t know what lies beyond the Door, but you know that your Master is there.\" Christian Theology in Plain Language, p. 208. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It is a poor thing to fear that which is inevitable. Tertullian, third-century church father, speaking about death. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The bitter news of Dawson Trotman\'s drowning swept like cold wind across Schroon Lake to the shoreline. Eyewitnesses tell of the profound anxiety, the tears, the helpless disbelief in the faces of those who now looked out across the deep blue water. Everyone\'s face except one -- Lila Trotman, Dawson\'s widow. As she suddenly walked upon the scene a close friend shouted, \"Oh, Lila ... He\'s gone. Dawson\'s gone!\" To that she replied in calm assurance the words of Psalm 115:3: But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. All of the anguish, the sudden loneliness that normally consumes and cripples those who survive did not invade that woman\'s heart. Instead, she leaned hard upon her sovereign Lord, who had once again done what He pleased. Charles R. Swindoll, Starting Over, Multnomah Press, 1977, p. 67. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Around 125 A.D., a Greek by the name of Aristeides wrote to one of his friends, trying to explain the extraordinary success of the new religion, Christianity. In his letter he said, \"If any righteous man among the Christians passes from this world, they rejoice and offer thanks to God, and they accompany his body with songs and thanksgiving as if he were setting out from one place to another nearby.\" Today in the Word, April 10, 1993. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Before his death in 1981, American writer William Saroyan telephoned in to the Associated Press this final, very Saroyan-like observation: \"Everybody has got to die, but I have always believed an exception would be made in my case. Now what?\" Today in the Word, April 11, 1993. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Edith Rockefeller McCormick, the daughter of John D. Rockefeller, maintained a large household staff. She applied one rule to every servant without exception: They were not permitted to speak to her. The rule was broken only once, when word arrived at the family\'s country retreat that their young son had died of scarlet fever. The McCormicks were hosting a dinner party, but following a discussion in the servants\' quarters it was decided that Mrs. McCormick needed to know right away. When the tragic news was whispered to her, she merely nodded her head and the party continued without interruption. Today in the Word, September 29, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When you have had a loved one go to be with the Lord, do not feel like you\'re the only person who has had this experience. There is an Eastern legend about a Hindu woman whose only child had died. She went to a prophet to ask for her child back. The prophet told her to go and obtain a handful of rice from a house into which death had not come. If she could obtain the rice in this way, he promised to give her the child back. From door to door she asked the question, \"Are you all here around the table -- father, mother, children -- none missing?\" But always the answer came back that there were empty chairs in each house. As she continued on, her grief and sorrow softened as she found that death had visited all families. Yes, death is universal; our painful experience is not the only one of its kind. Because God is faithful, because Jesus Christ is alive, so is your loved one and mine. Hugh Salisbury, Through Sorrow Into Joy, p. 58. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- John Bacon, once a famous sculptor, left this inscription on his tomb in Westminster Abbey: \"What I was as an artist seemed of some importance to me while I lived; but what I was as a believer in Jesus Christ is the only thing of importance to me now.\" John Bacon. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Howard Hughes: Worth 2.5 billion dollars at his death, he was the richest man in the United States. He owned a private fleet of jets, hotels and casinos. When asked to claim his body, his nearest relative, a distant cousin, exclaimed, \"Is this Mr. Hughes?\" He had spent the last 15 years of his life a drug addict, too weak in the end to even administer the shots to himself. His 6\'4\" frame had shrunk to 6\'1\" and he weighed only 90 lbs. Not a single acquaintance or relative mourned his death. The only honor he received was a moment of silence in his Las Vegas casinos. Time magazine put it this way: \"Howard Hughes\' death was commemorated in Las Vegas by a minute of silence. Casinos fell silent. Housewives stood uncomfortable clutching their paper cups full of coins at the slot machines, the blackjack games paused, and at the crap tables the stickmen cradled the dice in the crook of their wooden wands. Then a pit boss looked at his watch, leaned forward and whispered, \"O.K., roll the dice. He\'s had his minute.\" Time, December 13, 1976. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Napoleon Bonaparte: Responsible for the death of 500,000 French men in battle, approximately 1/6 of the population. Was exiled by the British for the last 6 years of his life on the Island of St. Helena. His wife Marie Louise never wrote him and married another man while he was still living. He never heard from his son again. he was confined to the house and grounds, needing the escort of a British soldier whenever he ventured anywhere on the island. The tombstone on his grave read simply, \"here lies.\" Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Adolph Hitler: Lived the last 4 months of his life in Berlin. It is believed that he went prematurely senile or insane. On April 29 he married Eva Braum and dictated his political testament in defense of his actions. On April 30 he said farewell to a few remaining military men, retired to his suite and shot himself while his wife took poison. Their bodies were burned in accordance with their instructions. Encyclopedia Britannica. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- God buries His workmen, but not His work. Henrietta Mears. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Before British actor Robert Morley died, he asked that his credit cards be buried with him. Since his funeral, the London Times\'s letters pages have been filled with the thoughts of readers pondering their own deaths and their perpetual needs. -Wrote M.L. Evans of Chester: \"In the unfortunate event of the miscarriage of justice and several thousand years ensuing before my sentence is quashed, I will take a fire extinguisher.\" -Heather Tanner of Woodbridge specified a good map. \"I have immense trouble finding my way in this life,\" she said, \"so am extremely worried about the next.\" -A pair of earplugs would accompany Sir David Wilcocks of Cambridge \"in case the heavenly choirs, singing everlastingly, are not in tune.\" -Maurice Godbold of Hindhead would take a crowbar, \"in case the affair proved premature.\" Even in the hereafter, there will always be an England. U.S. News & World Report, June 22, 1992, p. 26. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The last days of British statesman and colonial leader Cecil Rhodes were marked by grave disappointment. He died from heart disease at a time when he was beset by personal scandals and discredited by unwise political decisions. Lewis Mitchel, who was at Rhodes\'s bedside in his cottage near Cape Town, South Africa heard the dying man murmur, \"So little done, so much to do.\" Yet there\'s more than this to the story of Cecil Rhodes. He migrated to South Africa from Britain for health reasons. It was there that Rhodes made a vast fortune in gold and diamond mining. Even though he died feeling he had much more to do, he has left a lasting legacy because he used part of his fortune to endow the famous Rhodes scholarship program. Today in the Word, July 28, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A young soldier, while dying very happily, broke out in singing the following stanza: \"Great Jehovah, we adore thee, God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit, joined in glory on the same eternal throne: Endless praised to Jehovah, three in one.\" The chaplain then asked if he had any message to send his friends. \"Yes,\" said he. \"Tell my father that I have tried to eat my meals with thanksgiving.\" \"Tell him that Christ is now all my hope, all my trust, and that he is precious to my soul.\" \"Tell him that I am not afraid to die--all is calm\" \"Tell him that I believe Christ will take me to himself, and to my dear sister who is in heaven.\" The voice of the dying boy faltered in the intervals between these precious sentences. When the hymn commencing, \"Nearer, my God to thee,\" was read to him, at the end of each stanza he exclaimed, with striking energy, \"Oh Lord Jesus, thou are coming nearer to me.\" Also at the end of each stanza of the hymn (which was also read to him) commencing, \"Just as I am--without one plea, But that thy blood was shed for me, And that thou bid\'st me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come,\" he exclaimed, \"I Come! O Lamb of God, I Come!\" Speaking again of his friends, he said, \"Tell my father that I died happy.\" His last words were, \"Father, I\'m coming to thee!\" Then the Christian soldier sweetly and calmly \"fell asleep in Jesus.\" Anonymous Confederate soldier--1861-65/died in battle in the War Between the States. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I am not come hither to deny my Lord and Master. Anne Askew--July 16, 1545--burned at the stake after torture on the rack, at the age of 25. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Margaret Wilson, a Scottish girl of eighteen, was tied to a stake where the tide was due to come in. The water covered her while she was engaged in prayer; but before life was gone, they pulled her up till she recovered the power of speech, when she was asked by Major Windram, who commanded, if she would pray for the king. She replied that \"She wished the salvation of all men, and the damnation of none.\" \"Dear Margaret,\" said one of the by-standers, deeply affected, \"say God save the king.\" She answered with great steadiness, \"God save him, if he will, for it is his salvation I desire.\" \"Sir, they cried to the major, \"she has said it; she has said it!\" The major, approaching her on hearing this, offered her the abjuration oath, charging her instantly to swear it, otherwise to return to the water. The poor young woman...firmly replied, \"I will not; I am one of Christ\'s children! Let me go.\" Upon which she was again thrust into the water, and drowned. Margaret Wilson--Early 1680\'s--drowned for faithfulness to the Reformation. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Let me pass over the river and rest under the shade of the trees. General T.J. \"Stonewall\" Jackson--wounded by his own men, he died shortly after. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Neil Simon, who wrote The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park, was asked on the Dick Cavett Show whether making a lot of money concerned him. The studio went dead silent when Simon answered, \"No...what does concern me is the fear of dying.\" Leighton Ford, Good News is For Sharing, p. 31. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- According to an old fable, a man made an unusual agreement with Death. He told the Grim Reaper that he would willingly accompany him when it came time to die, but only on one condition--that Death would send a messenger well in advance to warn him. Weeks winged away into months, and months into years. Then one bitter winter evening, as the man sat thinking about all his possessions, Death suddenly entered the room and tapped him on the shoulder. Startled, the man cried out, \"You\'re here so soon and without warning! I thought we had an agreement.\" Death replied, \"I\'ve more than kept my part. I\'ve sent you many messengers. Look in the mirror and you\'ll see some of them.\" As the man complied, Death whispered, \"Notice your hair! Once it was full and black, now it is thin and white. Look at the way you cock your head to listen to me because you can\'t hear very well. Observe how close to the mirror you must stand to see yourself clearly. Yes, I\'ve sent many messengers through the years. I\'m sorry you\'re not ready, but the time has come to leave.\" Daily Bread, February 29, 1991. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When Corrie Ten Boom of The Hiding Place fame was a little girl in Holland, her first realization of death came after a visit to the home of a neighbor who had died. It impressed her that some day her parents would also die. Corrie\'s father comforted her with words of wisdom. \"Corrie, when you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?\" \"Why, just before we get on the train,\" she replied. \"Exactly,\" her father said, \"and our wise Father in heaven knows when we\'re going to need things too. Don\'t run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need--just in time.\" Today in the Word, MBI, October, 1991, p. 30. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Many accidental deaths result from taking risks. That\'s the conclusion of an organization in Canada that is seeking to decrease accidents between cars and trains. Roger Cyr, national director of Operation Lifesaver, puts most of the blame for fatalities on drivers who are risk-takers. \"Studies have shown that when people hear a train whistle their minds tell them to accelerate their speed,\" says Cyr. About 43 percent of the accidents occur at crossings equipped with flashing lights and bells or gates. Cyr also said that many drivers \"even have the audacity to drive around or under gates.\" They take the risk, thinking they can beat the train and somehow miss the collision--but with tragic consequences! Daily Bread, April 6, 1991. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When John Owen, the great Puritan, lay on his deathbed his secretary wrote (in his name) to a friend, \"I am still in the land of the living.\" \"Stop,\" said Owen. \"Change that and say, I am yet in the land of the dying, but I hope soon to be in the land of the living.\" John M. Drescher. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Adam, the first great benefactor of the human race: he brought death into the world. Mark Twain. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The bodies of those that made such a noise and tumult when alive, when dead, lie as quietly among the graves of their neighbors as any others. Jonathan Edwards. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Our civilization is founded on the shambles, and every individual existence goes out in a lonely spasm of helpless agony. William James. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In the 18th century, Archibald Boyle was the leading member of an association of wild and wicked men known as \"The Hell Club\" in Glasgow, Scotland. After one night of carousing at the Club\'s notorious annual meeting, Boyle deemed he was riding home on his black horse. In the darkness, someone seized the reins, shouting, \"You must go with me!\" As Boyle desperately tried to force the reins from the hands of the unknown guide, the horse reared. Boyle fell down, down, down with increasing speed. \"Where are you taking me?\" The cold voice replied, \"To hell!\" The echoes of the groans and yells of frantic revelry assaulted their ears. At the entrance to hell, Boyle saw the inmates chasing the same pleasures they had pursued in life. There was a lady he\'d known playing her favorite vulgar game. Boyle relaxed, thinking hell must be a pleasurable place after all. When he asked her to rest a moment and show him through the pleasures of hell, she shrieked. \"There is no rest in hell!\" She unclasped the vest of her robe and displayed a coil of living snakes writhing about her midsection. Others revealed different forms of pain in their hearts. \"Take me from this place!\" Boyle demanded. \"By the living God whose name I have so often outraged, I beg you, let me go!\" His guide replied, \"Go then--but in a year and a day we meet to part no more.\" At this, Boyle awoke, feeling that these last words were as letters of fire burned into his heart. Despite a resolution never to attend the Hell Club again, he soon was drawn back. He found no comfort there. He grew haggard and gray under the weight of his conscience and fear of the future. He dreaded attending the Club\'s annual meeting, but his companions forced him to attend. Every nerve of his body writhed in agony at the first sentence of the president\'s opening address: \"Gentlemen, this is leap year; therefore it is a year and a day since our last annual meeting.\" After the meeting, he mounted his house to ride home. Next morning, his horse was found grazing quietly by the roadside. A few yards away lay the corpse of Archibald Boyle. The strange guide had claimed him at the appointed time. Paul Lee Tan. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The story is told of a nobleman who had a lovely floral garden. The gardener who tended it took great pains to make the estate a veritable paradise. One morning he went into the garden to inspect his favorite flowers. To his dismay he discovered that one of his choice beauties had been cut from its stem. Soon he saw that the most magnificent flowers from each bed were missing. Filled with anxiety and anger, he hurried to his fellow employees and demanded, \"Who stole my treasures?\" One of his helpers replied, \"The nobleman came into his garden this morning, picked those flowers himself, and took them into his house. I guess he wanted to enjoy their beauty.\" The gardener then realized that he had no reason to be concerned because it was perfectly right for his master to pick some of his own prize blossoms. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- On a bitterly cold January day several years ago, five-year-old Jimmy Tonglewicz chased a sled onto the glazed ice of Lake Michigan. In a blink of the eye he disappeared beneath the ice. The last words his dad heard were: \"Save me, Dad!\" Jimmy\'s panic-stricken father plunged into the freezing water, but the cold quickly rendered him helpless and he left the scene in an ambulance. For over twenty minutes Jimmy remained submerged beneath the icy waters. When his limp, lifeless body was pulled from the lake by divers, he had no pulse. But he had a lot going for him--especially the cold water! Scientists call what happened the \"mammalian diving reflex.\" The shock of the cold water allowed Jimmy to live without breathing an abnormally long time. Slowly he came around, and today Jimmy lives a normal life. Today in the Word, May, 1990, MBI, p. 9. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The courage of Civil War leader Stonewall Jackson in the midst of conflict can be a lesson for the believer. Historian Mark Brinsley wrote: A battlefield is a deadly place, even for generals; and it would be naive to suppose Jackson never felt the animal fear of all beings exposed to wounds and death. But invariably he displayed extraordinary calm under fire, a calm too deep and masterful to be mere pretense. His apparent obliviousness to danger attracted notice, and after the first Manassas battle someone asked him how he managed it. \"My religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed.\" Jackson explained, \"God (knows the) time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter where it may overtake me.\" He added pointedly, \'That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave.\" Mark Brinsley. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- All ends with the cancellation of forces and comes to nothing; and our universe thus ends in one vast, silent, unappreciated joke. Stephen Leacock, Canadian humorist, writer, professor. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Victoria Principal, a star of the Dallas, television program was nearly killed in an automobile accident when 19 year old. Upon recovering she said she had a new sense of her mortality, and rather than turning her thoughts to eternity, she abandoned herself to hedonistic living for the next two to three years. She didn\'t want to die having missed any of life\'s experiences. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When I moved to the U.S. I was impressed with the number of total strangers who visited my home to wish me well...they all sold insurance! One day my visitor was talking about the necessity to be prudent in the preparation for all possibilities. \"If something should happen to you, Mr. Briscoe--\" he started to say, but I interrupted with, \"Please don\'t say that. It upsets me.\" He was a little startled, but tried again, \"But with all due respects, sir, we must be ready if something should happen to us.\" \"Don\'t say that,\" I insisted. He looked totally bewildered and said, \"I don\'t understand what I said to upset you.\" \"Then I\'ll tell you,\" I replied. \"It upsets me that you talk about (Life\'s) only certainty as if it\'s a possibility. Death isn\'t a possibility, it\'s a certainty. You don\'t say \"if,\" you say \"When,\" whenever death is the subject.\" D. Stuart Briscoe, Spirit Life. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- George McDonald wrote to his sorrowing wife when their daughter died. He began by telling her that she wouldn\'t find consolation in lovely but empty sentiments that he called \"pleasant fancies of a half-held creed.\" He then pointed out that the Great Shepherd had gone before and prepared the way for their daughter. McDonald reminded her that they were both moving along day by day toward that same destination. In closing, he said, \"We seek not death, but still we climb the stairs where death is one wide landing to the rooms above.\" George McDonald. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Christian railroad engineer was speaking to a group of fellow workers about heaven. He said, \"I can\'t begin to tell you what the Lord Jesus means to me. In Him I have a hope that is very precious. Let me explain. Many years ago as each night I neared the end of my run, I would always let out a long blast with the whistle just as I\'d come around the last curve. Then I\'d look up at the familiar little cottage on top of the hill. My mother and father would be standing in the doorway waving to me. After I had passed, they\'d go back inside and say, \'Thank God, Benny is home safe again tonight.\' Well, they are gone now, and no one is there to welcome me. But someday when I have finished my \'earthly run\' and I draw near to heaven\'s gate, I believe I\'ll see my precious mother and dad waiting there for me. And the one will turn to the other and say, \'Thank God, Benny is home safe at last.\'\" Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In one of his lighter moments, Benjamin Franklin penned his own epitaph. He didn\'t profess to be a born-again Christian, but it seems that he must have been influenced by Paul\'s teaching of the resurrection of the body. Here\'s what he wrote: The Body of B. Franklin, Printer: Like the Cover of an old Book Its contents torn out, And stript of its Lettering and Guilding, Lies here, Food for Worms, But the Work shall not be wholy lost: For it will, as he believ\'d, Appear once more In a new & more perfect Edition, Corrected and amended by the Author. Benjamin Franklin. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The hymn writer Fanny Crosby gave us more than 6,000 gospel songs. Although blinded by an illness at the age of 6 weeks, she never became bitter. One time a preacher sympathetically remarked, \"I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when He showered so many other gifts upon you.\" She replied quickly, \"Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I should be born blind?\" \"Why?\" asked the surprised clergyman. \"Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior!\" One of Miss Crosby\'s hymns was so personal that for years she kept it to herself. Kenneth Osbeck, author of several books on hymnology, says its revelation to the public came about this way: \"One day at the Bible conference in Northfield, Massachusetts, Miss Crosby was asked by D.L. Moody to give a personal testimony. At first she hesitated, then quietly rose and said, \'There is one hymn I have written which has never been published. I call it my soul\'s poem. Sometimes when I am troubled, I repeat it to myself, for it brings comfort to my heart.\' She then recited while many wept, \'Someday the silver cord will break, and I no more as now shall sing; but oh, the joy when I shall wake within the palace of the King! And I shall see Him face to face, and tell the story--saved by grace!\'\" At the age of 95 Fanny Crosby passed into glory and saw the face of Jesus. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In his excellent little book When Loved Ones Are Taken in Death, Lehman Strauss made some interesting comments about the Greek word translated \"departure.\" He wrote, \"It is used metaphorically in a nautical way as when a vessel pulls up anchor to loose from its moorings and set sail, or in a military way as when an army breaks encampment to move on. In the ancient Greek world this term was used also for freeing someone from chains and for the severing of a piece of goods from the loom. This is what death is as described in the Bible. Here, we are anchored to the hardships and heartaches of this life. In death, the gangway is raised, the anchor is weighed, and we set sail for the golden shore. In death, we break camp here to start for heaven.\" Lehman Strauss, When Loved Ones Are Taken in Death. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Statistics and Stuff John Climacus, a seventh-century ascetic who wrote \"Ladder of Divine Ascent\", urged Christians to use the reality of earth to their benefit: \"You cannot pass a day devoutly unless you think of it as your last,\" he wrote. He called the thought of death the \"most essential of all works\" and a gift from God. \"The man who lives daily with the thought of death is to be admired, and the man who gives himself to it by the hour is surely a saint.\" \"A man who has heard himself sentenced to death will not worry about the way theatres are run.\" Gary Thomas, in Christian Times, October 3, 1994, p. 26. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Late faith is unavailing. There\'s little use accepting arks once the rain begins to fall. Death is such an instant storm that by the time you reach for an umbrella, you already need your water wings. Calvin Miller, The Valiant Papers, p. 20. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Every hour 5417 people die. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Humor A bank in Binghamton, New York, had some flowers sent to a competitor who had recently moved into a new building. There was a mix up at the flower shop, and the card sent with the arrangement read, \"With our deepest sympathy.\" The florist, who was greatly embarrassed, apologized. But he was even more embarrassed when he realized that the card intended for the bank was attached to a floral arrangement sent to a funeral home in honor of a deceased person. That card read, \"Congratulations on you new location!\" Our Daily Bread, May 25, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A young business owner was opening a new branch office, and a friend decided to send a floral arrangement for the grand opening. When the friend arrived at the opening, he was appalled to find that his wreath bore the inscription: \"Rest in peace.\" Angry, he complained to the florist. After apologizing, the florist said, \"Look at it this way -- somewhere a man was buried under a wreath today that said, \'Good luck in your new location.\'\" Bits & Pieces, June 23, 1994, p. 4. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- An evangelist asked all who wanted to go to heaven to raise their hands. Everyone in the audience did so, except one elderly man sitting near the front of the auditorium. The preacher pointed his finger at him and said, \'Sir, do you mean to tell us that you don\'t want to go to heaven?\' \'Sure I want to go, but the way you put the question, I figured you were getting up a busload for tonight!\' Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- \"It\'s not that I\'m afraid to die, I just don\'t want to be there when it happens.\" Woody Allen. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Poems I have no wit, no words, no tears; My heart within me like a stone Is numbed too much for hopes or fears; Look right, look left, I dwell alone; I lift mine eyes, but dimmed with grief No everlasting hills I see; My life is in the falling leaf: O Jesus, quicken me. My life is like a faded leaf, My harvest dwindled to a husk; Truly my life is void and brief And tedious in the barren dusk; My life is like a frozen thing, No bud nor greenness can I see: Yet rise it shall--the sap of Spring; O Jesus, rise in me. My life is like a broken bowl, A broken bowl that cannot hold One drop of water for my soul Or cordial in the searching cold; Cast in the fire the perished thing, Melt and remould it, till it be A royal cup for Him my King: O Jesus, drink of me. Christina G. Rossetti. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DEBT -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Statistics and Stuff Young Families in Debt: Spending habits of young married couples with children (both spouses 18 to 25): Average after-tax income, $19,783. Average annual spending, $21,401. (They are spending around 8% more than they make.) Family Economics Review, quoted in U.S.A. Today, May 20, 1991, p. D1. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Personal debt in the U.S. is increasing at the rate of $1000 per second and consumer installment debt has mushroomed to a point where it takes approximately $1 out of every $4 that consumers earn after taxes to keep up the payments--not including the home mortgage. For over 250,000 Americans, the burden of debt is so great that he/she declares bankruptcy. There are even more serious consequences of this financial tension created by debt: 56% of all divorces are a result of financial tension in the home. Howard Dayton in Homemade, June, 1986. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Humor A man called the police and reported that all of his wife\'s credit cards had been stolen. Then he added, \"But don\'t look too hard for the thief. He\'s charging less than my wife ever did.\" Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The only reason a great many American families don\'t own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A man was once boasting to an acquaintance, \"We have a whole room full of furniture from France that goes back to Louis the 14th.\" \"That\'s nothing,\" replied the other. \"We\'ve got a whole house full of furniture from Sears that goes back to Harry on the first.\" Source Unknown. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DECADENCE Meanwhile, decadence and despair haunt many of America\'s youth. Perhaps fourteen-year-old Rod Matthews represents the most horrible extreme. Uninterested in baseball or books, Rod found one thing that did stimulate him: Death. His curiosity was intensely aroused by a rental video, Faces of Death, a collage of film clips of people dying violently. He wanted to see death happen in real life. So one winter day Rod lured a young friend into the woods and hammered him to death with a baseball bat. At Matthews\'s trial a child psychiatrist testified that the boy was not conventionally insane. He just \"doesn\'t know right from wrong...He is morally handicapped.\" Charles Colson, Against the Night, pp. 21-22. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Statistics and Stuff Social critic Russell Kirk has defined decadence as the loss of an aim or object in life. \"Men and women become decadent when they forget or deny the objects of life, and so fritter away their years in trifles or debauchery.\" Charles Colson, Against the Night, p. 56. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DECAY 15 pieces of trash and when they will disintegrate: Paper traffic ticket: 2-4 weeks Cotton rag: 1-5 months Degradable polyethylene bag: 2-3 months Piece of rope: 3-14 months Wool stockings: 1 year Bamboo pole: 1-3 years Unpainted wooden stake: 1-4 years Painted wooden stake: 13 years Wooden light pole: 15-36 years Railroad crosstie: 30 years Tin or steel can: 100 years Aluminum can: 200-500 years Plastic six pack cover: 450 years Glass coke bottle: unknown Source Unknown. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DECEIT Thomas Edison was concerned about the way visitors to his office helped themselves to his expensive Havana cigars. Since he wouldn\'t lock them up, his secretary suggested he have cigars made from cabbage leaves and substitute them for the Havanas. Edison agreed, then forgot about it, and only remembered later when the Havanas started vanishing again. When he asked his secretary why the bogus cigars hadn\'t arrived, she told him they had arrived and had been given to his manager -- who, not knowing they were fakes, had packed them for Edison to take on a trip. \"And do you know,\" Edison laughed, \"I smoked every one of those cigars myself!\" Today in the Word, December 16, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bob Harris, weatherman for NY TV station WPIX-TV and the nationally syndicated independent Network news, had to weather a public storm of his own making in 1979. Though he had studied math, physics and geology at three colleges, he left school without a degree but with a strong desire to be a media weatherman. He phoned WCBS-TV, introducing himself as a Ph.D. in geophysics from Columbia U. The phony degree got him in the door. After a two-month tryout, he was hired as an off-camera forecaster for WCBS. For the next decade his career flourished. He became widely known as \"Dr. Bob.\" He was also hired by the New York Times as a consulting meteorologist. The same year both the Long Island Railroad and then Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn hired him. Forty years of age and living his childhood dream, he found himself in public disgrace and national humiliation when an anonymous letter prompted WCBS management to investigate his academic credentials. Both the station and the New York Times fire him. His story got attention across the land. He was on the Today Show, the Tomorrow Show, and in People Weekly, among others. He thought he\'d lose his home and never work in the media again. Several days later the Long Island Railroad and Bowie Kuhn announced they would not fire him. Then WNEW-TV gave him a job. He admits it was a dreadful mistake on his part and doubtless played a role in his divorce. \"I took a shortcut that turned out to be the long way around, and one day the bill came due. I will be sorry as long as I am alive.\" Nancy Shulins, Journal News, Nyack, NY. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In late September 1864 Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest was leading his troops north from Decatur, Alabama, toward Nashville. But to make it to Nashville, Forrest would have to defeat the Union army at Athens, Alabama. When the Union commander, Colonel Wallace Campbell, refused to surrender, Forrest asked for a personal meeting, and took Campbell on an inspection of his troops. But each time they left a detachment, the Confederate soldiers simply packed up and moved to another position, artillery and all. Forrest and Campbell would then arrive at the new encampment and continue to tally up the impressive number of Confederate soldiers and weaponry. By the time they returned to the fort, Campbell was convinced he couldn\'t win and surrendered unconditionally! Today in the Word, June 27, 1993. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Christopher Columbus kept two records of the distances traveled on his first voyage to the New World in the Santa Maria. One was true, he thought, but he deliberately faked the other. Ironically, the fake log turned out to be the more accurate of the two. To alleviate his crew\'s fears that they were getting too far from home on an unknown sea, Columbus gave them a reduced mileage estimate. When, for example, he told them on Sept. 11, 1492, that they had covered 16 leagues, he recorded 20 leagues in his secret log. Though he didn\'t know it, Columbus\' \"true\" distance records were overestimated by 9% on the average. His faked distances came out closer to the actual distances traveled. When the crew found out about his deception, they threatened to mutiny. Before they did, however, land--and a New World-- appeared. Parade Magazine, March 18, 1984. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In 1212 a French shepherd boy by the name of Steven claimed that Jesus had appeared to him disguised as a pilgrim. Supposedly, Jesus instructed him to take a letter to the king of France. This poor, misguided boy told everyone about what he thought he had encountered. Before long he had gathered a large following of more than thirty thousand children who accompanied him on his pilgrimage. As Philip Schaff records it, when asked where they were going, they replied, \"We go to God, and seek for the holy cross beyond the sea.\" They reached Marseilles, but the waves did not part and let them go through dry-shod as they expected. It was at Marseilles that tragedy occurred. The children met two men, Hugo Ferreus and William Porcus. The men claimed to be so impressed with the calling of the children that they offered to transport them across the Mediterranean in seven ships without charge. What the children didn\'t know was that the two men were slave traders. The children boarded the ships and the journey began, but instead of setting sail for the Holy Land they set course for North Africa, \"where they were sold as slaves in the Muslim markets that did a large business in the buying and selling of human being. Few if any returned. None ever reached the Holy Land.\" Two cunning men enjoyed enormous financial profits simply because they were willing to sacrifice the lives of thousands of children. Steve Farrar, Family Survival in the American Jungle, 1991, Multnomah Press, pp. 60- 61. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As physics professor at Adelaide University in Australia, Sir Kerr Grant used to illustrate the time of descent of a free- falling body by allowing a heavy ball suspended from the lecture-theater roof trusses to fall some 30 feet and be caught in a sand bucket. Each year the bucket was lined up meticulously to catch the ball -- and each year students secretly moved the bucket to one side, so that the ball crashed thunderously to the floor. Tiring of this rather stale joke, the professor traced a chalk line around the bucket. The students moved the bucket as usual, traced a chalk mark around the new position, rubbed it out and replaced the bucket in its original spot. \"Aha!\" the professor explained, seeing the faint outline of the erased chalk mark. He moved the bucket over it and released the ball -- which thundered to the floor as usual. Reader\'s Digest, Contributed by D.G. Dewar. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- \"Marathoner Loses by a Mustache.\" So read the headline of a recent Associated Press story. It appeared that Abbes Tehami of Algeria was an easy winner of the Brussels Marathon--until someone wondered where his mustache had gone! Checking eyewitness accounts, it quickly became evident that the mustache belonged to Tehami\'s coach, Bensalem Hamiani. Hamiani had run the first seven-and-a-half miles of the race for Tehami, then dropped out of the pack and disappeared into the woods to pass race number 62 on to his pupil. \"They looked about the same,\" race organizers said. \"Only one had a mustache.\" It\'s expected that the two will never again be allowed to run in Belgium. Today in the Word, Moody Bible Institute, January 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Deception has been a part of warfare since the Trojan horse. During WWII, it became high art. Members of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops used special \"weapons\" like dummy planes, tanks, antiaircraft guns, and amplified recordings that created war sounds to fool the German high command. To enable a combat unit to change positions or even attack when the Germans thought it hadn\'t moved at all, the 1800 men of the 23rd impersonated entire divisions. They would move in at night, change insignias, and inflate their rubber decoys. Meanwhile, the troops they were replacing sneaked away. Such deception was a major factor in the success of the Allies\' D-Day invasion, as the German 15th Army waited elsewhere for an assault that never came. Today in the Word, November 10, 1991. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Once, when a stubborn disputer seemed unconvinced, Lincoln said, \"Well, let\'s see how many legs has a cow?\" \"Four, of course,\" came the reply disgustedly. \"That\'s right,\" agreed Lincoln. \"Now suppose you call the cow\'s tail a leg; how many legs would the cow have?\" \"Why, five, of course,\" was the confident reply. \"Now, that\'s where you\'re wrong,\" said Lincoln. \"Calling a cow\'s tail a leg doesn\'t make it a leg.\" Bits & Pieces, July, 1991. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. A. Lincoln. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Men can always be blind to a thing so long as it is big enough. G. K. Chesterton. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- One summer morning in the 1920s, a Scotsman names Arthur Ferguson stood idly in London\'s Trafalgar Square. As he watched, an obviously well-to-do American began admiring the statue of Admiral Lord Nelson and the column it rested on. Struck with a sudden inspiration, Ferguson put his remarkable selling ability to work and \"sold\" Nelson\'s column to the American for about $30,000--lions included! Not one to rest on his laurels, Ferguson went on from there to sell the famous clock Big Ben to another American for $5,000 and took $10,000 from yet another as down payment on Buckingham Palace. By the time justice caught up with him, Ferguson had added the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty to the list of his amazing \"sales\"! He spent several years in prison for his remarkable deceptions. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It is reported that in the late 1860s, President Ulysses S. Grant gave a cigar to Horace Norton, philanthropist and founder of Norton College. Because of his respect for the President, Norton chose to keep the cigar rather than smoke it. Upon Norton\'s death, the cigar passed to his son, and later it was bequeathed to his grandson. It was Norton\'s grandson who in 1932 chose to light the cigar ceremoniously during an oration at Norton College\'s 70th anniversary celebration. Waxing eloquent, Norton lit the famous cigar and proceeded to extol the many virtues of Grant until...Boom! The renowned cigar exploded! That\'s right- over sixty years earlier Grant had passed a loaded cigar along to a good friend, and at long last it had made a fool of his friend\'s grandson! Today in the Word, July, 1989, p. 39. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Statistics and Stuff It is estimated that 500,000 Americans have counterfeit diplomas or credentials. Prokope, July-Aug, 1988. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DECEPTION OF SELF Jessica Hawn, former church secretary who committed immoral acts with Jim Bakker (former host of the PTL Club), and later brought down the PTL empire, said today (9-28-87) that God gave her \"real peace\" about granting an interview to Playboy magazine and posing for topless pictures. On 9-29-87 the news reports that she still considers herself a Christian, but goes to God \"one-on-one,\" not through any church or organization. Also: she doesn\'t consider herself a \"bimbo.\" But her mother does. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Some early studies concerned with prejudice show that we\'re quite capable of reordering our perceptions of the world around us in order to maintain our conviction that we\'re right. A group of white, middle-class New York City residents were presented with a picture of people on a subway. Two men were in the foreground. One was white, one was black. One wore a business suit, one was clothed in workman\'s overalls. One was giving his money to the other who was threatening him with a knife. Now as a matter of fact it was the black man who wore the suit, and it was he who was being robbed by the white laborer. But such a picture didn\'t square with the prejudices of the viewers. To them, white men were executives, black men were blue collar workers. Blacks were the robbers, whites the victims. And so they reported what their mind told them they saw--that a black laborer was assaulting a white businessman. As human beings who desperately desire our lives to be consistent and untroubled, we\'ll go to great lengths to reject a message that implies we\'re wrong. Em Griffin, The Mindchangers, Tyndale House, 1976, pp. 48-9. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A school teacher lost her life savings in a business scheme that had been elaborately explained by a swindler. When her investment disappeared and her dream was shattered, she went to the Better Business Bureau. \"Why on earth didn\'t you come to us first?\" the official asked. \"Didn\'t you know about the Better Business Bureau?\" \"Oh, yes,\" said the lady sadly. \"I\'ve always known about you. But I didn\'t come because I was afraid you\'d tell me not to do it.\" The folly of human nature is that even though we know where the answers lie--God\'s Word--we don\'t turn there for fear of what it will say. Jerry Lambert. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DECISION (see also CHOICE) Former president Ronald Reagan once had an aunt who took him to a cobbler for a pair of new shoes. The cobbler asked young Reagan, \"Do you want square toes or round toes?\" Unable to decide, Reagan didn\'t answer, so the cobbler gave him a few days. Several days later the cobbler saw Reagan on the street and asked him again what kind of toes he wanted on his shoes. Reagan still couldn\'t decide, so the shoemaker replied, \"Well, come by in a couple of days. Your shoes will be ready.\" When the future president did so, he found one square-toed and one round-toed shoe! \"This will teach you to never let people make decisions for you,\" the cobbler said to his indecisive customer. \"I learned right then and there,\" Reagan said later, \"if you don\'t make your own decisions, someone else will.\" Today in the Word, MBI, August, 1991, p. 16. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- During World War II, Winston Churchill was forced to make a painful choice. The British secret service had broken the Nazi code and informed Churchill that the Germans were going to bomb Coventry. He had two alternatives: (1) evacuate the citizens and save hundreds of lives at the expense of indicating to the Germans that the code was broken; or (2) take no action, which would kill hundreds but keep the information flowing and possibly save many more lives. Churchill had to choose and followed the second course. Klyne Snodgrass, Between Two Truths - Living with Biblical Tensions, 1990, Zondervan Publishing House, p. 179. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn. David Russell. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When in charge, ponder. When in trouble, delegate. When in doubt, mumble. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go on. Andrew Jackson. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It may be true that there are two sides to every question, but it is also true that there are two sides to a sheet of flypaper, and it makes a big difference to the fly which side he chooses. Traditional. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In my search for an assistant, I had narrowed the applicants to two women. One had more experience; the other was more personable. I headed for my boss\'s office, still undecided. Realizing I needed help, he produced a quarter, saying, \"Heads, It\'s experience. Tails, it\'s personality.\" He flipped the quarter into the air and then asked, \"Quick! What are you thinking?\" \"Tails,\" I blurted. It was true. I had been wishing it would come up tails. The quarter landed in his palm and without looking at it, he said, \"Call Personnel with your executive decision.\" Donna Paciullo, in Reader\'s Digest. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A husband and wife, prior to marriage, decided that he\'d make all the major decisions and she the minor ones. After 20 years of marriage, he was asked how this arrangement had worked. \"Great! in all these years I\'ve never had to make a major decision.\" Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A farmer hired a man to work for him. He told him his first task would be to paint the barn and said it should take him about three days to complete. But the hired man was finished in one day. The farmer set him to cutting wood, telling him it would require about 4 days. The hired man finished in a day and a half, to the farmer\'s amazement. The next task was to sort out a large pile of potatoes. He was to arrange them into three piles: seed potatoes, food for the hogs, and potatoes that were good enough to sell. The farmer said it was a small job and shouldn\'t take long at all. At the end of the day the farmer came back and found the hired man had barely started. \"What\'s the matter here?\" the farmer asked. \"I can work hard, but I can\'t make decisions!\" replied the hired man. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In April, 1986, Larry Burkett (on his radio program) spoke of a young couple who wanted to buy a home, but felt it to be too expensive for them. They told God, \"If you want us to buy it, 1) have the contractor accept only 1/2 of what he\'s asking for the down payment, and 2) have the bank approve our loan. Both events happened and they bought the home. They soon began to go into debt. The problem: what to do now, since God \"directed\" them to do this! Larry Burkett. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I remember one winter my dad needed firewood, and he found a dead tree and sawed it down. In the spring, to his dismay, new shoots sprouted around the trunk. He said, \"I thought sure it was dead. The leaves had all dropped in the wintertime. It was so cold that twigs snapped as if there were no life left in the old tree. But now I see that there was still life at the taproot.\" He looked at me and said, \"Bob, don\'t forget this important lesson. Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst mood. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.\" Robert H. Schuller, Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do!, Thomas Nelson. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Irving Janis lists some of the symptoms of groupthink in his study of high-level governmental decision makers: -Prime among these is the sharing of an illusion of invulnerability which leads to over optimism and causes planners to fail to respond to clear warnings of danger and be willing to take extraordinary risks. -Secondly, the participants in groupthink ignore warnings and construct rationalizations in order to discount them. -Third, victims of groupthink have an unquestioned belief in the inherent morality of their in group actions, inclining the members to ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions. -Fourth, victims of groupthink hold stereotyped views of the leaders of enemy groups. They are seen as so evil that there is no warrant for arbitration or negotiation or as too weak or too stupid to put up an effective defense. -Fifth, victims of groupthink, says Janis, apply direct pressure on any individual who momentarily expresses doubts about any of the group\'s shared illusions, or questions the validity of the arguments. -Sixth, unanimity becomes an idol. Victims of groupthink avoid deviating from what appears to be the group consensus; they keep silent about their misgivings and even minimize to themselves the importance of their doubts. Victims of groupthink sometimes appoint themselves as \"mindguards\" to protect the leader and fellow members from adverse information. Janis quotes Robert Kennedy as having taken one of the members of the group aside and told him, \"You may be right or you may be wrong, but the President has made his mind up. Don\'t push it any further. Now is the time for everyone to help him all they can.\" Janis also lists some of the symptoms of the resulting inadequacy of problem-solving. Among these are the limitation of discussion to only a few alternative courses of action, the failure to reexamine some of the initially preferred and now discarded courses of action, and the failure to seek information from experts within the same organization who could supply more precise estimates of possible losses and gains from alternate courses of action. K. Menninger, Whatever Became of Sin?, pp. 96, 97; Irving L. Janis, \"Groupthink,\" Psychology Today, 5:43 (November, 1971). -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Statistics and Stuff The words of Eleanor Roosevelt ring true: One\'s philosophy is not best expressed in words. It is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility. Tim Kimmel, Little House on the Freeway, p. 143. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Years ago a professor at Stanford devised a check lest of nine questions that can be applied to any problem. Used as a self- quiz, the questions spur imagination. They are: 1. Is there a new way to do it? 2. Can you borrow or adapt? 3. Can you give it a new twist? 4. Do you merely need more of the same? 5. Less of the same? 6. Is there a substitute? 7. Can the parts be rearranged? 8. What if we do just the opposite? 9. Can ideas be combined? Bits & Pieces, February, 1990, p. 20. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- While an open mind is priceless, it is priceless only when its owner has the courage to make a final decision which closes the mind for action after the process of viewing all sides of the question has been completed. Failure to make a decision after due consideration of all the facts will quickly brand a man as unfit for a position of responsibility. Not all of your decisions will be correct. None of us is perfect. But if you get into the habit of making decisions, experience will develop your judgment to a point where it is better to be right fifty percent of the time and get something done, than it is to get nothing done because you fear to reach a decision. H.W. Andrews. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Actually, a manager needs the ability not only to make good decisions himself, but also to lead others to make good decisions. Charles Moore, after four years of research at the United Parcel Service reached the following conclusions: 1. Good decisions take a lot of time. 2. Good decisions combine the efforts of a number of people. 3. Good decisions give individuals the freedom to dissent. 4. Good decisions are reached without any pressure from the top to reach an artificial consensus. 5. Good decisions are based on the participation of those responsible for implementing them. Charles W.L. Foreman, \"Managing a Decision Into Being,\" from the Management Course for Presidents, pp.3-4. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What kind of person is best able to involve others and himself in good decision making? J. Keith Louden lists seven qualities: 1. The ability to look ahead and see what\'s coming -- foresight. 2. Steadiness, with patience and persistence and courage. 3. A buoyant spirit that in spite of cares generates confidence. 4. Ingeniousness, the ability to solve problems soundly yet creatively. 5. The ability to help others. 6. Righteousness, the willingness to do the right thing and speak the truth. 7. Personal morality of a quality that commands the respect of others.** J. Keith Louden, \"Leadership,\" from the Management Course for Presidents, pp 10-11. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Poems To every man there openeth A way, and ways, and a way. And some men climb the high way, And some men grope below, And in between on the misty flats The rest drift to and fro. And to every man there openeth A high way and a low; And every man decideth Which way his soul shall go. John Oxenham. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DEDICATION (see also COMMITTMENT) Bertoldo de Giovanni is a name even the most enthusiastic lover of art is unlikely to recognize. He was the pupil of Donatello, the greatest sculptor of his time, and he was the teacher of Michelangelo, the greatest sculptor of all time. Michelangelo was only 14 years old when he came to Bertoldo, but it was already obvious that he was enormously gifted. Bertoldo was wise enough to realize that gifted people are often tempted to coast rather than to grow, and therefore he kept trying to pressure his young prodigy to work seriously at his art. One day he came into the studio to find Michelangelo toying with a piece of sculpture far beneath his abilities. Bertoldo grabbed a hammer, stomped across the room, and smashed the work into tiny pieces, shouting this unforgettable message, \"Michelangelo, talent is cheap; dedication is costly!\" Gary Inrig, A Call to Excellence. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Plato wrote the first sentence of his famous Republic nine different ways before he was satisfied. Cicero practiced speaking before friends every day for thirty years to perfect his elocution. Noah Webster labored 36 years writing his dictionary, crossing the Atlantic twice to gather material. Milton rose at 4:00 am every day in order to have enough hours for his Paradise Lost. Gibbon spent 26 years on his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Bryant rewrote one of his poetic masterpieces 99 times before publication, and it became a classic. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In his book One Crowded Hour, Tim Bowden describes an incident in Borneo in 1964. Nepalese fighters known as Gurkhas were asked if they would be willing to jump from airplanes into combat against the Indonesians. The Gurkhas didn\'t clearly understand what was involved, but they bravely said they would do it, asking only that the plane fly slowly over a swampy area and no higher than 100 feet. When they were told that the parachutes would not have time to open at that height, the Gurkhas replied, \"Oh, you didn\'t mention parachutes before!\" Our Daily Bread, January 30, 1994. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I think of David Livingstone, the pioneer missionary to Africa, who walked over 29,000 miles. His wife died early in their ministry and he faced stiff opposition from his Scottish brethern. He ministered half blind. His kind of perseverance spurs me on. As I run, I remember the words in his diary: Send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. Sever me from any tie but the tie that binds me to Your service and to Your heart. Joseph Stowell, Through The Fire, Victor Books, 1988, p. 150. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Former pro basketball star Bill Bradley tells that at the age of 15 he attended a summer basketball camp that was run by Easy Ed Macauley, a former college and pro star. \"Just remember that if you\'re not working at your game to the utmost of your ability,\" Macauley told his assembled campers, \"there will be someone out there somewhere with equal ability who will be working to the utmost of his ability. And one day you\'ll play each other, and he\'ll have the advantage.\" Daily Bread. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Persistence paid off for American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the planet Pluto. After astronomers calculated a probable orbit for this \"suspected\" heavenly body, Tombaugh took up the search in March 1929. Time magazine recorded the investigation: \"He examined scores of telescopic photographs each showing tens of thousands of star images in pairs under the dual microscope. It often took three days to scan a single pair. It was exhausting, eye-cracking work--in his own words, \'brutal, tediousness.\' And it went on for months. Star by star, he examined 20 million images. Then on February 18, 1930, as he was blinking at a pair of photographs in the constellation Gemini, \'I suddenly came upon the image of Pluto!\" It was the most dramatic astronomic discovery in nearly 100 years. Today in the Word, November 26, 1991. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nothing that is valuable is achieved without effort. Fritz Kreisler, the famous violinist, testified to this point when he said, \"Narrow is the road that leads to the life of a violinist. Hour after hour, day after day and week after week, for years, I lived with my violin. There were so many things that I wanted to do that I had to leave undone; there were so many places I wanted to go that I had to miss if I was to master the violin. The road that I traveled was a narrow road and the way was hard.\" Fritz Kreisler. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It does not take great men to do great things; it only takes consecrated men. Philipps Brooks. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Not long ago Newsweek magazine reported on what it called the new wave of mountain men. It\'s estimated that there are some sixty thousand serious mountain climbers in the U.S. But in the upper echelon of serious climbers is a small elite group knows as \"hard men.\" For them climbing mountains and scaling sheer rock faces is a way of life. In many cases, climbing is a part of their whole commitment to life. And their ultimate experience is called free soloing: climbing with no equipment and no safety ropes. John Baker is considered by many to be the best of the hard men. He has free-soloed some of the most difficult rock faces in the U.S. with no safety rope and no climbing equipment of any kind. His skill has not come easily. It has been acquired through commitment, dedication and training. His wife says she can\'t believe his dedication. When John isn\'t climbing, he\'s often to be found in his California home hanging by his fingertips to strengthen his arms and hands. Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p. 236. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- At a meeting of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Bobby Richardson, former New York Yankee second baseman, offered a prayer that is a classic in brevity and poignancy: \"Dear God, Your will, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Amen.\" Bobby Richardson. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Johnny Fulton was run over by a car at the age of three. He suffered crushed hips, broken ribs, a fractured skull, and compound fractures in his legs. It did not look as if he would live. But he would not give up. In fact, he later ran the half-mile in less than two minutes. Walt Davis was totally paralyzed by polio when he was nine years old, but he did not give up. He became the Olympic high jump champion in 1952. Shelly Mann was paralyzed by polio when she was five years old, but she would not give up. She eventually claimed eight different swimming records for the U.S. and won a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. In 1938, Karoly Takacs, a member of Hungary\'s world-champion pistol shooting team and sergeant in the army, lost his right hand when a grenade he was holding exploded. But Takacs did not give. up. He learned to shoot left-handed and won gold medals in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics. Lou Gehrig was such a clumsy ball player that the boys in his neighborhood would not let him play on their team. But he was committed. He did not give up. Eventually, his name was entered into baseball\'s Hall of Fame. Woodrow Wilson could not read until he was ten years old. But he was a committed person. He became the twenty-eighth President of the United States. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In the December 1987 Life magazine, Brad Darrach wrote: \"Meryl Streep is gray with cold. In Ironweed, her new movie, she plays a ragged derelict who dies in a cheap hotel room, and for more than half an hour before the scene she has been hugging a huge bag of ice cubes in an agonizing effort to experience how it feels to be a corpse. Now the camera begins to turn. Jack Nicholson, her derelict lover, sobs and screams and shakes her body. But through take after take--and between takes too-Meryl just lies like an iced mackerel. Frightened, a member of the crew whispers to the director, Hector Babenco, \'What\'s going on? She\'s not breathing!\' \"Babenco gives a start. In Meryl\'s body there is absolutely no sign of life! He hesitates, then lets the scene proceed. Yet even after the shot is made and set struck, Meryl continues to lie there, gray and still. Only after 10 minutes have passed does she slowly, slowly emerge from the coma-like state into which she has deliberately sunk. Babenco is amazed. \'Now that\', he mutters in amazement \'is acting! That is an actress!\'\" Total dedication amazes people. How wonderful to be so dedicated to Christ that people will say, \"Now that is a Christian!\" Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- C.T. Studd, the famous English cricketer and member of the English XI cricket team, gave away his vast wealth and became a missionary a century ago. His slogan was, \"If Jesus Christ be God, and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for him. C.T. Studd. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In 1912 William Borden, a graduate of Yale University, left one of America\'s greatest family fortunes to be a missionary to China. He got as far as Egypt and died of cerebral meningitis. He died--and was only in his 20s--but there was \"no reserve, no retreat, no regrets\" in his consecration to God. Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When D.L. Moody was visiting England he heard Henry Varley say, \"the world has yet to see what God will do with a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to the Holy Spirit.\" Moody would later comment, \"He said \'a man.\" He did not say a \'great man\' nor \'a learned man\' nor a \'rich man\' but simply \'a man.\' I am a man, and it lies within the man himself whether he will or will not make that entire and full consecration. I will try my utmost to be that man.\" Source Unknown. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A woman rushed up to famed violinist Fritz Kreisler after a concert and cried: \"I\'d give my life to play as beautifully as you do.\" Kreisler replied, \"I did.\" Bits & Pieces, Vol. F, No. 41. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A wife who is 85% faithful to her husband is not faithful at all. There is no such thing as part-time loyalty to Jesus Christ. Vance Havner. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lt. Col. Terence Otway, commander of the 9th Parachute Battalion of the British 6th Airborne Division, has an assignment to destroy the four powerful guns of a coastal battery in Merville, overlooking Sword Beach. If the 9th could not complete the task on time, naval gunfire would try. The bombardment was to begin at 5:30 a.m. Otway had an elaborate strategy to overrun the guns, but the plan misfired. An initial air attack was a total failure, and then his battalion was dropped across almost 50 miles of the countryside. Of his 700-man battalion, Otway could find only 150 soldiers. Nevertheless, the men improvised brilliantly. They cut gaps through the outer barricade of the gun battery with wire cutters. One group cleared a path through the minefields, crawling on hands and knees while feeling for tripwires and prodding the ground ahead with bayonets. Now they waited for the order to attack. Otway knew casualties would be high, but the guns had to be silenced. \"Everybody in!\" he yelled. \"We\'re going to take this bloody battery!\" And in they went. Red flares burst over their heads, and machine-gun fire poured out to meet them. Through the deadly barrage, the paratroopers crawled, ran, dropped and ran some more. Mines exploded. There were yells and screams and the flash of grenades as paratroopers piled into the trenches and fought hand to hand with the enemy. Germans began surrendering. Lt. Michael Dowling and his men knocked out the four guns. Then Dowling found Otway. He stood before his colonel, his right hand holding the left side of his chest. \"Battery taken as ordered, sir,\" Dowling declared. The battle had lasted just 15 minutes. Otway fired a yellow flare -- the success signal -- a quarter of an hour before the naval bombardment was to start. Moments later Otway found Dowling\'s lifeless body. He had been dying at the time he made his report. Reader\'s Digest, June, 1994, pp. 196-197. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Govern my heart, that I may be willing and even eager to profit, lest the opportunity which thou now givest me be lost through my sluggishness. Be pleased at the same time to root out all vicious desires of seeking thee. Finally, let the only end at which I aim be so to qualify myself in early life, that when I grow up I may serve thee in whatever station thou mayest assign me. John Calvin.
DEFEAT Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure. B.E. Woodberry. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Remember Vinko Bogatej? He was a ski-jumper from Yugoslavia who, while competing in the 1970 World Ski-Flying Championship in Obertsdorf, West Germany, fell off the takeoff ramp and landed on his head. Ever since, the accident has been used to highlight \"the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat\" on ABC\'s \"Wide World of Sports.\" Bogatej was hospitalized after the spill, but he recovered and now works in a foundry in Yugoslavia. Doug Wilson, a producer for ABC, interviewed him last year for a special anniversary edition of the show. \"When we told him he\'s been on the program ever since 1970,\" says Wilson, \"he couldn\'t believe it. He appears on Television 130 times a year.\" Thomas Rogers in N.Y. Times, quoted in Reader\'s Digest, December, 1980. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It was a dark and dreary day in 1916, a day well suited to the most brutally devastating rout in all of football history. One look at the two teams showed trouble ahead. On the Georgia Tech side were semi-human monsters, gorilla-like behemoths trained by John Heisman, the man football\'s highest award was later named after. Heisman was a fanatic. He would not let his Yellow Jackets use soap or water because he considered them debilitating. Nor could they eat pastry, pork, veal, hot bread, nuts, apples, or coffee. His reason? \"They don\'t agree with me,\" he growled, \"so they\'d better not agree with you.\" The Yellow Jackets, with eight All-Southern players, were intent on building their reputation. They lured lowly Cumberland to the game with a $500 guarantee. The Cumberland team had several players who had never played football before. The official who accepted the offer had long since graduated and left the team in the hands of the team manager. Even the trip to Atlanta had been a disaster: Cumberland arrived with only 16 players. Three were lost at a rest stop in Nashville. The game began. Georgia Tech scored 63 points in the first quarter, averaging touchdowns at one-minute-and-twenty-second intervals. Even after such a lopsided start, the rest of the game was filled with tension and drama! No one questioned who would win, of course. But could Cumberland players be convinced to finish the game? The manager, George Allen, paced the sidelines, exhorting the team to \"hang in there for Cumberland\'s $500.\" They did, and with it collected the honor of the worst loss in college football history: 222-0. Cumberland also left posterity one of its most memorable football plays. A Cumberland kickoff returner fumbled, probably from sheer weariness. He yelled to a teammate, \"Pick up the ball!\" Replied his teammate, \"Pick it up yourself! You dropped it!\" Source Unknown. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DEFENSE The Great Wall of China is a gigantic structure which cost an immense amount of money and labor. When it was finished, it appeared impregnable. But the enemy breached it. Not by breaking it down or going around it. They did it by bribing the gatekeepers. Harry Emerson Fosdick.
DELAY Dr. George Sweeting wrote in Special Sermons for Special Days: \"Several years ago our family visited Niagara Falls. It was spring, and ice was rushing down the river. As I viewed the large blocks of ice flowing toward the falls, I could see that there were carcasses of dead fish embedded in the ice. Gulls by the score were riding down the river feeding on the fish. As they came to the brink of the falls, their wings would go out, and they would escape from the falls. \"I watched one gull which seemed to delay and wondered when it would leave. It was engrossed in the carcass of a fish, and when it finally came to the brink of the falls, out went its powerful wings. The bird flapped and flapped and even lifed the ice out of the water, and I thought it would escape. But it had delayed too long so that its claws had frozen into the ice. The weight of the ice was too great, and the gull plunged into the abyss.\" The finest attractions of this world become deadly when we become overly attached to them. They may take us to our destruction if we cannot give them up. And as Sweeting observed, \"Oh, the danger of delay!\" Dr. George Sweeting, Special Sermons for Special Days. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The cost of not putting a finger in the dike: For most of the last decade, Chicagoans who worked in the Loop, the booming downtown business district, could easily ignore the city\'s budget crisis; Washington\'s cutback of aid to cities didn\'t seem to hurt business. Last week, they learned one price of neglecting the underpinnings of all that economic growth. A quarter billion gallons of murky Chicago River water gushed into a 60-mile network of turn-of-the-century freight tunnels under the Loop and brought nearly all businesses to a soggy halt. It turned out that a top city official had known about the leak, but, acting for a cash-strapped government, had delayed repairs costing only about $50,000. The final cost of the damage could run higher than $1 billion. U.S. News & World Report, April 27, 1992. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The lesson of Munich was: When it is necessary to confront an expansionist dictator, sooner is better than later. As Douglas MacArthur said, in war all tragedy can be summarized in two words, \"too late.\" Too late perceiving, too late preparing for danger. George Will, August 5, 1990. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DELIVERANCE Faith for my deliverance is not faith in God. Faith means, whether I am visibly delivered or not, I will stick to my belief that God is love. There are some things only learned in a fiery furnace. Oswald Chambers in Run Today\'s Race. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- John Paton was a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station, intent on burning out the Patons and killing them. Paton and his wife prayed during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see their attackers leave. A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what had happened, Paton asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, \"Who were all those men with you there?\" Paton knew no men were present--but the chief said he was afraid to attack because he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords circling the mission station. Today in the Word, MBI, October, 1991, p. 18. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DEMOCRACY In 1883 in Allentown, New Jersey, a wooden Indian -- the kind that was seen in front of cigar stores -- was placed on the ballot for Justice of the Peace. The candidate was registered under the fictitious name of Abner Robbins. When the ballots were counted, Abner won over incumbent Sam Davis by 7 votes. A similar thing happened in 1938. The name Boston Curtis appeared on the ballot for Republican Committeeman from Wilton, Washington. Actually, Boston Curtis was a mule. The town\'s mayor sponsored the animal to demonstrate that people know very little about the candidates. He proved his point. The mule won! Our Daily Bread, November 3, 1992. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DEMON POSSESSION As I mentioned earlier, the faith teachers maintain that when Adam sinned, the world was turned over to Satan. The devil became the legal owner of the planet. The faith teacher\'s position accommodates the Gnostic view (particularly evident in Zoroastrianism, a Persian Gnostic religion), in which a good god rules the spiritual world and a bad god rules the physical realm. In such a philosophy the problem of evil is solved by blaming everything that goes wrong on the bad god (the devil); the good god is seen as no more than a counterbalance. One is left with the impression that the two gods each possess equal power both in quality and quantity. Everything that is wrong in the world is the fault of the bad god. And it\'s up to the initiate or believer to make sure the good god wins. When Jimmy Swaggart defied the orders of the Assemblies of God to refrain from preaching for one year, he assured the public that he was free of moral defect, for, he said, Oral Roberts had cast out the demons from his body over the phone. Oral Roberts confirmed Swaggart\'s report, insisting he had demons and their their claws deeply embedded in Swaggart\'s flesh. Now that the rascals were gone, Swaggart and Roberts asserted, Swaggart could get on with preparing the way for Christ\'s return. Evidently, personal responsibility for sin can be dismissed by blaming it on an external force. Yet Flip Wilson\'s famous quip, \"The devil made me do it\" is hardly comedy when we\'re talking about the biblical view of sin. For these metaphysical evangelists, even personal sins can be attributed to the bad god, since he is, after all, sovereign over this earthly realm as the good god is relatively in charge of the spiritual domain. Here again, then, is the echo of the Gnostics of old. When that heresy was revived toward the end of the medieval period, Calvin said, \"They made the devil almost the equal of God.\" In this way, the problem of sin is replaced with the problem of Satan. It is facing Satan, not my own sin and rebelliousness, that becomes the great task of the Christian life. I\'m not the problem -- the Devil is! The Agony of Deceit by Michael Horton, Editor 1990, Moody Press, pp. 132-133. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DEMONOLOGY True story. A Christian leader -- we\'ll call him Steve -- was traveling recently by plane. He noticed that the man sitting two seats over was thumbing through some little cards and moving his lips. The man looked professorial with his goatee and graying brown hair, and Steve placed him at fifty-something. guessing the man was a fellow-believer, Steve leaned over to engage him in conversation. \"Looks to me like you\'re memorizing something,\" he said. \"No, actually I was praying,\" the man said. Steve introduced himself. \"I believe in prayer too,\" he said. \"Well, I have a specific assignment,\" said the man with the goatee. \"What\'s that?\" Steve asked. \"I\'m praying for the downfall of Christian pastors.\" \"I would certainly fit into that category,\" Steve said. \"Is my name on the list?\" \"Not on my list,\" the man replied. Common Ground, Vol. 10, No. 7. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Statistics and Stuff The Bible teaches that the origin of false doctrines (1 Timothy 4:1) and the origin of all false religion is demonic (1 Corinthians 10:19-20). This explains the frequency of demon possession among people of false religions and the strong demonic opposition of missionary work in so many places throughout the world. Touch the World. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------