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WITandWISDOM(tm) - December 19, 2001

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

Golda Meir:

Not being beautiful was the true blessing. Not being beautiful forced me to develop my inner resources. The pretty girl has a handicap to overcome.

Source: Inspire, http://www.inspirelist.com/

Subjects: Beauty, Handicaps


By Victor M. Parachin
Baptist Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - When World War I erupted in 1914 launching the first great European war of the 20th century, soldiers on both sides were assured they would be home by Christmas to celebrate victory. That prediction proved to be false.

The men on the fronts did not get home for Christmas as the war dragged on for four years. During that time 8.5 million men were killed, with hundreds of thousands more injured. The "war to end all wars" took a horrific human toll and transformed Europe.

However, on Christmas Eve in December 1914 one of the most unusual events in military history took place on the Western front. On the night of Dec. 24 the weather abruptly became cold, freezing the water and slush of the trenches in which the men bunkered. On the German side, soldiers began lighting candles. British sentries reported to commanding officers there seemed to be small lights raised on poles or bayonets.

Although these lanterns clearly illuminated German troops, making them vulnerable to being shot, the British held their fire. Even more amazing, British officers saw through their binoculars that some enemy troops were holding Christmas trees over their heads with lighted candles in their branches. The message was clear: Germans, who celebrated Christmas on the eve of Dec. 24, were extending holiday greetings to their enemies.

Within moments of that sighting, the British began hearing a few German soldiers singing a Christmas carol. It was soon picked up all along the German line as other soldiers joined in harmonizing.

The words heard were these: "Stille nacht, heilige nacht." British troops immediately recognized the melody as "Silent Night" quickly neutralized all hostilities on both sides. One by one, British and German soldiers began laying down their weapons to venture into no-man's-land, a small patch of bombed-out earth between the two sides. So many soldiers on both sides ventured out that superior officers were prevented from objecting. There was an undeclared truce and peace had broken out.

Frank Richards was an eyewitness of this unofficial truce. In his wartime diary he wrote: "We stuck up a board with 'Merry Christmas' on it. The enemy stuck up a similar one. Two of our men threw off their equipment and jumped on the parapet with their hands above their heads as two of the Germans did the same, our two going to meet them.

"They shook hands and then we all got out of the trench and so did the Germans," Richards said.

Richards also explained that some German soldiers spoke perfect English with one saying how fed up he was with the war and how he would be glad when it was all over. His British counterpart agreed.

That night, former enemy soldiers sat around a common campfire. They exchanged small gifts from their meager belongings - chocolate bars, buttons, badges and small tins of processed beef. Men who only hours earlier had been shooting to kill were now sharing Christmas festivities and showing each other family snapshots. The truce ended just as it had begun, by mutual agreement. Captain C.I. Stockwell of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers recalled how, after a truly "Silent Night," he fired three shots into the air at 8:30 a.m. December 26 and then stepped up onto the trench bank. A German officer who had exchanged gifts with Captain Stockwell the previous night also appeared on a trench bank. They bowed, saluted and climbed back into their trenches. A few minutes later, Captain Stockwell heard the German officer fire two shots into the air.

The war was on again.

For more on this story visit:

Submitted by Debbie Yauch

Subjects: Christmas, War, Music, Gifts

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

Part 1 of 2 [Dec 19, 20]

Can you separate fact from fiction in the Christmas story? Test your knowledge by answering "T" or "F" to each statement.

1. There are no records of Joseph speaking in the Christmas story.

2. The wise men were three kings from the orient.

3. The little drummer boy came to the manger after the other shepherds.

4. The star did not appear above the manger.

5. Jesus' ancestors include a prostitute, an adulterer, and a non-Israelite.

6. The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary first and then he appeared to Joseph.

7. Mary rode a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

8. Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem because of a decree by Caesar Augustus.


1. (T) There are no records of Joseph speaking in the Christmas story. - I'm sure he said something, but there is absolutely no record of him speaking at all.

2. (F) The wise men were three kings from the orient. - The number of wise men is not mentioned. They were not kings.

3. (F) The little drummer boy came to the manger after the other shepherds. - What little drummer boy? There is no mention of a drummer boy in the Bible.

4. (T) The star did not appear above the manger. - It appeared above the house
where Joseph's family was living (Matthew 2:9-11).

5. (T) Jesus' ancestors include a prostitute, an adulterer and a non-Israelite. - Rahab was a prostitute, David & Uriah's wife were adulterers, and Ruth was from Moab. Matthew 1:3,5,6.

6. (F) The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary first and then Gabriel appeared to Joseph. - Trick question. Mary was first, but we don't know the name of the angel who appeared to Joseph (Matthew 1:20). It might have been Harold. You know, "Hark the Harold Angel Sings."

7. (F) Mary rode a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. - A donkey does not appear any where in the Biblical account.

8. (T) Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem because of a decree by Caesar Augustus. - Yes. Luke 2:1-5.

Source: Sermon Fodder, Sermon_Fodder-subscribe@onelist.com

Subjects: Christmas, Test


"His habit is kleptomania, and when it gets bad, he takes something for it."

By Neil Eskelin in Neil Eskelin's Daily Jump Start(tm), Copyright (c) 2001, http://www.neileskelin.com

Subjects: Stealing, Habits

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

Where did Band-AidsŪ (the registered trademark of the Johnson & Johnson Corporation) come from?

Earle Dickson developed what would become the Band-Aid in 1920 for his accident-prone wife, Josephine. Earle was in the habit of attaching small pieces of the sterile gauze produced by his employer Johnson and Johnson, to the center of strips of surgical tape. A colleague of his encouraged him to pitch his invention to the boss. The company became intrigued after Earle demonstrated how easily the bandage could easily be applied by oneself, as opposed to the clumsy gauze available at the time.

The original bandages Johnson and Johnson produced, were not only handmade, but were rather large in size at 2 1/2" in width, and 18" in length. But by 1924, Johnson and Johnson revamped the production process of what was now called the Band-Aid by using machines, and by cutting down the size of the product. Sales skyrocketed, and Earle's vision became a reality.

By the time of his death in 1961, after being rewarded by Johnson and Johnson with a token vice-presidency and later with a seat on the Board of Directors, sales of the Band-Aid exceeded $30,000,000, and production to date exceeds one hundred billion. All of this wealth can be attributed to a frustrated husband with an idea, a clumsy, accident prone wife, a piece of sterile gauze, and a piece of surgical tape.

Source: ArcaMax Trivia, http://www.arcamax.com

WITandWISDOM™ Copyright © 1998-2001 by Richard G. Wimer - All Rights Reserved
Any questions, comments or suggestions may be sent to Richard G. Wimer.