Korean Air Lines flight KE007 was shot down by Soviet fighter-jets on September 1, 1983. On that fateful night, 240 unsuspecting passengers and crew members were shot down like an innocent sparrow in flight. The trigger-man for the Soviet Union was Major Osipovich, a pilot who wasn’t originally scheduled to be in the air during this international travesty.
When Dr. Broadus was a boy in a little town he was converted to Christ. He had been attending some meetings, and he went to one of his playmates, Sandy Jones, a red-haired, awkward chap, the next day and said to him: “I wish you would be a Christian. Won’t you?”
And Sandy said, “Well, I don’t know, perhaps I will.” And sure enough, after a little while, one night in the little church, Sandy Jones accepted God. Straightway he stalked across that little meeting house, held out his hand and said, “I thank you, John, I thank you, John.”
Four years after the Titanic went down, a young Scotsman rose in a meeting in Hamilton, Canada, and said, “I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting alone on a spar that awful night, the tide brought Mr. John Harper, of Glasgow, on a piece of wreck near me. ‘Man,’ he said, ‘are you saved?’
‘No,’ I said, ‘I am not.’
He replied, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.’
The waves bore him away; but, strange to say brought him back a little later, and he said, ‘Are you saved now?’
During the Battle of Spotsylvania in the Civil War, Union general John Sedgwick was inspecting his troops. At one point he came to a parapet, over which he gazed out in the direction of the enemy. His officers suggested that this was unwise and perhaps he ought to duck while passing the parapet. “Nonsense,” snapped the general. “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” As the words left his mouth, Sedgwick fell to the ground, mortally wounded.
Corrie Ten Boom and her family resisted the Nazis by hiding Jews in their home. They were ultimately discovered and sent to a concentration camp. Corrie barely survived until the end of the war; her family members died in captivity. Seared by this terrible trial by fire, Corrie’s faith in God also survived, and she spent much of her time in the post-war years traveling in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, sharing her faith in Christ.
Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.com, was ten years old when he saw a commercial stating that every puff a smoker took on a cigarette shortened his or her life by two minutes. He was quite a math whiz, so he began adding up how many minutes a long-time smoker like his grandmother had lost to cigarettes. To his surprise, Jeff’s grandmother began to cry when he announced that she had lost sixteen years of her life to smoking. His grandfather took him aside for a talking to. To Jeff’s surprise, his grandfather was not angry, nor did he attempt to punish him.
Mamie Adams always went to the same post office in her town because the postal employees there were friendly. She went there to buy stamps just before Christmas one year and the lines were particularly long. Someone pointed out that there was no need to wait in line because there was a stamp machine in the lobby. “I know,” said Mamie, ‘but the machine won’t ask me about my arthritis.”
Source: Bits and Pieces, December, 1989
The brilliant Scottish writer, Thomas Carlyle, lived on a farm in Dumfriesshire, which he called “the loneliest nook in Britain.” Each day he climbed a ladder to his attic, where he worked until dark. His devoted wife Jane was left alone. One evening at dinner, Jane asked why he had never expressed appreciation for the food she lovingly prepared for him. “Woman,” Carlyle barked, “must you be paid for everything you do?” With that, he stamped off to his attic workshop. Years later, when his wife died, Carlyle found her diary.
“We understand, of course, that there are times the Bible uses figurative language. For example, Jesus is called the Lamb of God 28 times in the book of Revelation. This does not mean that He is a literal lamb. The term lamb, in reference to Christ, is intended to give us a symbolic picture of Christ as our atoning sacrifice. But the symbolic use of lamb does not eliminate the literal truth of Christ as our atoning sacrifice.”
Likewise, the use of language that is sometimes figurative in relation to the end times does not rob it of its literal meaning.
When the great painter Benjamin West was a young boy he decided to draw a picture of his sister. He got out bottles of ink and succeeded in making a mess. When his mother got home she said, “What a beautiful picture,” and kissed him. Later in life he said, “That kiss made me a painter.”
The Duke of Wellington, the British military leader who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, was not an easy man to serve under. He was brilliant, demanding, and not one to shower his subordinates with compliments. Yet even Wellington realized that his methods left something to be desired. In his old age a young lady asked him what, if anything, he would do differently if he had his life to live over again. Wellington thought for a moment, then replied. “I’d give more praise.”
Source: Bits and Pieces, March 31, 1994
“Over a period of five years I have taken part in meetings in Italy, Holland, Jamaica, Canada, and the United States. I have observed old-fashioned Pentecostals and Neo-Pentecostals. I have been in small meetings in private homes as well as in mammoth public meetings. I have seen such different cultural settings as are found among Puerto Ricans of the Bronx, the snake handlers of the Appalachians, and the Russian Molakans of Los Angeles. . . . I have interviewed tongue speakers, and tape recorded and analyzed countless samples of Tongues.
A reporter once asked a bank president what his secret of success was. the president replied, “Two words.”
“And what are they?”
“How are right decisions made?”
“What is that?”
“How do you get experience?”
“What are they?”
Source: Reader’s Digest, December, 2003
A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird’s mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity.
John tried and tried to change the bird’s attitude by consistently saying only
polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to “clean
up” the bird’s vocabulary.
Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even ruder.
On a windswept hill in an English country churchyard stands a drab, gray slate tombstone. The quaint stone bears an epitaph not easily seen unless you stoop over and look closely. The faint etchings read:
this stone, a lump of clay,
Lies Arabella Young,
Who on the twenty-fourth of May,
Began to hold her tongue.
Thousands of Tasmanian Devils have died from a rare type of cancer Devil Facial Tumor Disease. Scientists discovered that the cancer began in the mouth of a single devil and spread through the bites of that devil. Tasmanian Devils bite each other around the mouth very frequently, and this cancer spread through those bites. Over the course of several years, over forty percent of the Tasmanian Devil population has died because of this cancer.
The April 29, 1992 issue of the Chicago Tribune reported: “A stripped gear in the propeller controls of a commuter plane caused it to nosedive into the Georgia woods last April, killing former U.S. Senator John Tower of Texas and twenty-two others, the government concluded Tuesday. A gear that adjusted the pitch of the left engine’s propellers was slowly worn away by an opposing part with a harder titanium coating, the National Transportation Safety Board said.
A careless word may kindle strife,
A cruel word may wreck a life,
A bitter word may hate instill,
A brutal word may smite and kill,
A gracious word may smooth the way,
A joyous word may light the day,
A timely word may lessen stress,
A loving word may heal and bless.