When the massive Hurricane Charley slammed into Florida in 2004 with 145 mile per hour winds, it destroyed more than 12,000 homes. But a later study by a group of insurance companies found that almost all of those homes had something in common—they had been built prior to 2001. In that year, a strict new building code was adopted which required homes to be strengthened to withstand hurricane force winds.
Pierre Barlot was a gunner in the fort of Mont Valerin during the Prussian siege of Paris. One day he was standing by his gun when General Noel, the commander, came up and leveled his glass at the Sevres bridge. “Gunner,” he said, “do you see the Sevres bridge over there?”
“And that little shanty in a thicket of shrubs to the left?”
“I see it, sir,” said Pierre, turning pale.
“It’s a nest of Prussians; try it with a shell, my man.”
In 1999 John F. Kennedy Jr. flew his small airplane from New York City to his family home in Massachusetts for a wedding. On board were his wife Carolyn and her sister. Though Kennedy was a licensed pilot, he had not yet been approved for instrument flight (using only instruments to navigate). When their takeoff was delayed until after dark, Kennedy should have waited for daylight or sought a more experienced pilot to help. Yet, Kennedy took off into the darkness. The plane never reached its destination, and all three passengers were killed in the crash.
A recently licensed pilot was flying his private plane in a cloudy day. He was not very experienced in instrument landing. When the control tower was to bring him in, he began to get panicky. Then a stern voice came over the radio, “You just obey instructions, we’ll take care of the obstructions.”
Source: 365 Devotions, Standard Publishing
In one Peanuts comic strip Sally was struggling with her memory verse for Sunday. She was absorbed in her thoughts trying to figure it out when she remembered, “Maybe it was something from the book of Reevaluation.”
She never did find the memory verse, but we should always read the Bible with the intent of reevaluating our attitudes and actions to make sure they are in line with the truth of God’s Word.
A missions director once met with the mother of one of his agency’s missionaries and spent some time getting to know her. She prepared tea for the director in her parlor and as they drank the tea, she explained to him the difficulty of having a daughter on the mission field of China and a son as a missionary in Sudan. She loved and missed them dearly, but as she explained, her love for God allowed her to let them follow His will for their lives. The mother went on to describe the burden her son had for the Sudanese people.
Arabian horses are trained rigorously in the middle eastern deserts. The horses must learn to fully obey their master. This obedience is tested by depriving the horses of water for many days and then turning them loose near water. As the horses get to the edge of the water, and just before they drink of the much needed water. The trainer blows his whistle. If the horses have learned to obey they turn around and come back to the trainer who then gives them as much water as they need.
Mendelssohn once visited the cathedral at Fribourg, and having heard the great organ, went into the organ loft and asked to be allowed to play it. The old organist, in jealousy for his instrument, at first refused, but was afterward prevailed on to allow the great German composer to try the colossal “thunderer” of the cathedral. After standing by in an ecstasy of delight and amazement for a few moments, he suddenly laid his hands on the shoulders of the musician and exclaimed: “Who are you? What is your name?”
“Mendelssohn,” replied the player.
When Adoniram Judson graduated from college and seminary he received a call from a fashionable church in Boston to become its assistant pastor. Everyone congratulated him. His mother and sister rejoiced that he could live at home with them and do his life work, but Judson shook his head. “My work is not here,” he said. “God is calling me beyond the seas. To stay here, even to serve God in His ministry, I feel would be only partial obedience, and I could not be happy in that.” Although it cost him a great struggle he left mother and sister to follow the heavenly call.
A father and son arrived in a small western town looking for an uncle whom they had never seen. Suddenly, the father, pointing across the square to a man who was walking away from them, exclaimed, “There goes my uncle!”
His son asked, “How do you know when you have not seen him before?”
“Son, I know him because he walks exactly like my father.”
If we walk in the Spirit, the world should know us by our walk.
Source: The Gold Mine, Lee Roberson
Submitted by the homiletics class of West Coast Baptist College
Archibald Rutledge tells about a man who worked in one of the great forests of the South. His faithful dog burned to death in a great fire that had swept through the forest. Rutledge said the little dog had been left under a tree to guard his master’s dinner pail and wouldn’t leave it even when the flames roared around him. The worker was brokenhearted when he found the charred remains of his little friend.
During the civil war Abraham Lincoln met with a group of ministers for a prayer breakfast. One of the ministers said, “Mr. President, let us pray that God is on our side”. Lincoln’s response showed far greater insight, “No, gentlemen, let us pray that we are on God’s side.”
Roger Staubach, who led the Dallas Cowboys to the Super Bowl victory in 1971, admitted that his position as a quarterback who didn’t call his own signals was a source of trial for him. Coach Landry sent in every play. He told Roger when to pass, when to run, and only in emergency situations could he change the play. Even though Roger considered Coach Landry to have a “genius mind” when it came to football strategy, pride said that he should be able to run his own team. Roger had a decision to make. Would he allow pride to rule his life and ignore his coach, making himself the star?
A businessman well known for his ruthlessness once announced to writer Mark Twain, “Before I die I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the Ten Commandments aloud at the top.”
”I have a better idea,” replied Twain. “You could stay in Boston and keep them.”