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WITandWISDOM(tm) - August 10, 2001
There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, and no slave who has not had a king among his. - Helen Keller
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
ELLIE AND ROLF
By Rebecca Manley Pippert
Throughout history God's people have been willing to pay the price for truth and loyalty. A gray-haired woman of sixty with a heavy German accent spoke to a congregation in Tennessee. She was a Jew who had been captured as a teenager and sent to a prison camp during the Second World War. Her story was not unlike others of the tragic suffering of prisoners inside German concentration camps.
After months of abuse and malnutrition that led to starvation, she realized that if she had any hope of escaping she had to do it while she still had some strength. Having just graduated from high school, she saw women just a few years older than she was who already looked elderly. She plotted an escape carefully and tried to leave no detail to chance.
On the night of her escape she had maneuvered every challenge successfully. There was only one hurdle left-a literal one. She had to scale a barbed wire fence to get outside the compound. She was halfway up the fence when the S.S. guard on duty spotted her. He screamed for her to stop, and at gunpoint demanded that she drop down. She did, her knees and legs badly bleeding. She began sobbing, realizing that her only hope of escape had just vanished.
But to her astonishment she heard the guard say, "Ellie? Is that you? It can't be possible!" She looked into his face and realized it was Rolf, a fellow classmate who had been her best friend in middle school. They had shared so many secret dreams and aspirations then. But now it was wartime, and they were on opposite sides.
"Oh, Rolf, go ahead and kill me. Please! I have no reason to live! I have lost all hope. Get it over with and let me die now. There's nothing to live for anyway."
"Ellie, you are so wrong. There is everything to live for so long as you know who to live for. I'm going to let you go. I'll guard you until you climb the wall and get on the other side. But would you promise me one thing?"
"Ellie looked at him incredulously, thinking he must be joking, but she could see his intensity and knew he meant every word. "What is it Rolf?" she asked.
"Promise me when you get on the other side and become free, that you will ask one question continuously until someone answers it for you. Ask, 'Why does Jesus Christ make life worth living?' Promise me, Ellie! He's the only reason to live. Promise me you'll ask until you get the answer."
"Yes, I promise, I promise!" she shouted. As she furiously climbed the fence she felt guilty. I would have said anything, she thought to herself, to get out of this hellhole.
As she dropped to the other side into freedom, she heard several deafening shots. She turned to look as she ran, convinced that Rolf had changed his mind and amazed that his bullets had missed. It was to her horror, that she saw that other S.S. guards, having realized that Rolf allowed and aided her escape, had killed him on the spot. It was as she ran to her freedom that it dawned on her that Rolf died for her that she might know this Jesus. She wondered who this Jesus Christ was, that someone would lay down his own life so that she could know him.
Source: A Heart Like His: The Shaping of Character in the Choices of Life, by Rebecca Manley Pippert, Copyright (c) 1996, ISBN: 0891077693, http://isbn.nu/0891077693/price
Submitted by Sharon Hamel
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
NO EXCUSE SUNDAY
To make it possible for everyone to attend church on Sunday, we are proposing to have a special 'No Excuse Sunday.'
Cots will be placed in the foyer for those who say, " Sunday is my only day to sleep in."
Blankets will be furnished for those who say it is too cold and fans for those who say it is too hot.
There will be hearing aids for those who say," The pastor speaks too softly," and cotton for those who say, " He preaches too loudly."
Some relatives will be in attendance for those who like to go visiting on Sunday.
There will be TV dinners for those who can't go to church and cook dinner too.
Golf clubs will be available for practice swings for those who like to golf on Sunday.
We will have steel helmets for those who say, "The roof would cave in if I ever came to church."
Finally, the sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for those who have never seen the church without them.
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
When our grandson Kevin was about 5 years old he was sitting in church with his family. He was dressed in his best clothing, and because it was a hot summer day he had already taken off his suit coat. During the sermon he tugged at his mother's sleeve and whispered rather loudly, "Mama, can I take off my tie? I'll put it back on when Jesus comes!" - Pearl Martin, Punta Gorda, Florida
From: Adventist Review, Copyright (c) September 2000
Submitted by Nancy Simpson
What do we mean when we talk about "a wing and a prayer?"
If you've ever done something that you were hopeful would succeed (although unlikely), you may have said that you were doing it on a "wing and a prayer." Saying this, you're harkening back to a tradition dating to World War I and the very infancy of aviation. It was a time when airplanes were still a novelty and certainly untested in wartime. "A wing and a prayer" was first uttered when an American flyer came in with his aircraft so badly damaged that nobody could believe he'd actually made it back in said aircraft with so much damage - his fellow pilots and mechanics were amazed he didn't crash. Reportedly, the fellow replied he was praying all the way in. Another pilot chimed in that "a wing and a prayer brought you back." The phrase stuck and eventually made it into common usage referring to any sort of longshot dream.
Source: ArcaMax Trivia, http://www.arcamax.com