he February 26,1974 edition of Insight told the story of Major William Martin, a British subject who is buried near Huelvo on the southern coast of Spain. Martin never knew the great contribution he made to the Allied success in the Second World War, especially in Sicily, because he died of pneumonia in the foggy dampness of England before he ever saw the battle front.
The Allies had invaded North Africa. The next logical step was Sicily. Knowing the Germans calculated this, the Allies determined to outfox them. One dark night, an Allied submarine came to the surface just off the coast of Spain and put Martin's body out to sea in a rubber raft with an oar. In his pocket were secret documents indicating the Allied forces would strike next in Greece and Sardinia.
Major Martin's body washed ashore, and Axis intelligence operatives soon found him, thinking he had crashed at sea. They passed the secret documents through Axis hands all the way to Hitler's headquarters. So while Allied forces moved toward Sicily, thousands and thousands of German troops moved on to Greece and Sardinia — where the battle wasn't.
Satan works with more cunning than even the Allied plan, getting us to fight many temptations in places where the real battle isn't. Often, temptations hurt us most where we least expect them.
— Vialo Weis Ardmore, Oklahoma
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n A View from the Zoo, Gary Richmond tells about the birth of a giraffe: "The first thing to emerge are the baby giraffe's front hooves and head. A few minutes later the plucky newborn calf is hurled forth, falls ten feet, and lands on its back. Within seconds, he rolls to an upright position with his legs tucked under his body. From this position he considers the world for the first time and shakes off the last vestiges of the birthing fluid from his eyes and ears.
"The mother giraffe lowers her head long enough to take a quick look. Then she positions herself directly over her calf. She waits for about a minute, and then she does the most unreasonable thing. She swings her long, pendulous leg outward and kicks her baby, so that it is sent sprawling head over heals.
"When it doesn't get up, the violent process is repeated over and over again. The struggle to rise is momentous. As the baby calf grows tired, the mother kicks it again to stimulate its efforts. . . . Finally, the calf stands for the first time on its wobbly legs. Then the mother giraffe does the most remarkable thing. She kicks it off its feet again. Why? She wants it to remember how it got up. In the wild, baby giraffes must be able to get up as quickly as possible in order to stay with the herd, where there is safety. Lions, hyenas, leopards, and wild hunting dogs all enjoy young giraffes, and they'd get it, too, if the mother didn't teach her calf to get up quickly and get with it. ...
"I've thought about the birth of the giraffe many times. I can see its parallel in my own life. There have been many times when it seemed that I had just stood up after a trial, only to be knocked down again by the next. It was God helping me to remember how it was that I got up, urging me always to walk with him, in his shadow, under his care."
— James R. McKee St. Louis, Missouri
onald Grey Barnhouse was driving his children to the funeral of their mother. A semi-tractor trailer truck crossed in front of them at an intersection, momentarily casting a shadow on the car, and Barnhouse asked his children, "Would you rather be struck by the semi or the shadow?" "The shadow, of course," they replied. "That's what has happened to us," said Barnhouse. "Mother's dying is only the shadow of death. The lost sinner is struck by the semi of death."
— George Maronge, Jr. Birmingham, Alabama
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n illustration of the balance between faith and works lies hidden within any tree. Leaves use up nutrients in the process of photosynthesis. As the leaves consume nutrients in the sap, a suction is formed, which draws more sap from the roots. Without the sap, the leaves and branches would die. But the continual flow of this sap comes only as it is used up by the work of the leaf. Likewise, through faith we draw life from Christ. But a continual supply of fresh spiritual nutrients depends on our willingness to "consume" the old supply through our acts of obedience, through our works.
— Ron Jensen Dodge, North Dakota
he Viet Nam Veterans Memorial is striking for its simplicity. Etched in a black granite wall are the names of 58,156 Americans who died in that war. Since its opening in 1982, the stark monument has stirred deep emotions.
Some visitors walk its length slowly, reverently, and without pause. Others stop before certain names, remembering their son or sweetheart or fellow soldier, wiping away tears, tracing the names with their fingers.
For three Viet Nam veterans — Robert Bedker, Willard Craig, and Darrall Lausch — a visit to the memorial must be especially poignant, for they can walk up to the long ebony wall and find their
own names carved in stone. Because of data-coding errors, each of them was incorrectly listed as killed in action.
Dead, but alive — a perfect description of the Christian.
— Craig Brian Larson
Arlington Heights, Illinois
he May 1987 edition of National Geographic included a feature about the arctic wolf. Author L. David Mech described how a seven-member pack had targeted several musk-oxen calves who were guarded by eleven adults. As the wolves approached their quarry, the musk-oxen bunched in an impenetrable semicircle, their deadly rear hooves facing out, and the calves remained safe during a long standoff with the enemy. But then a single ox broke rank and the herd scattered into nervous little groups. A skirmish ensued, and the adults finally fled in panic, leaving the calves to the mercy of the predators. Not a single calf survived.
Paul warned the Ephe-sian elders in Acts 20 that after his departure wolves would come, not sparing the flock. Wolves continue to attack the church today but cannot penetrate and destroy when unity is main-ained. When believers break ranks, however, they provide easy prey.
— John R. White Manitowoc, Wisconsin
t was a 99° September day in San Antonio, when a 10-month-old baby girl was accidentally locked inside a parked car by her aunt. Frantically the mother and aunt ran around the auto in near hysteria, while a neighbor attempted to unlock the car with a clothes hanger. Soon the infant was turning purple and had foam on her mouth.
It had become a life-or-death situation when Fred Arriola, a wrecker driver, arrived on the scene. He grabbed a hammer and smashed the back window of the car to set her free.
Was he heralded a hero? He said, "The lady was mad at me because I broke the window. I just thought, What's more important — the baby or the window?"
Sometimes priorities get out of order, and a Fred Arriola reminds us what's important.
— Ray Tiemann Fredericksburg, Texas
ubel Shelly tells this story: Jason Tuskes was a 17-year-old high school honor student. He was close to his mother, his wheelchair-bound father, and his younger brother. Jason was an expert swimmer who loved to scuba dive.
"He left home on a Tuesday morning to explore a spring and underwater cave near his home in west-central Florida. His plan was to be home in time to celebrate his mother's birthday by going out to dinner with his family that night.
Jason became lost in the cave. Then, in his panic, he apparently got wedged into a narrow passageway. When he realized he was trapped, he shed his yellow metal air tank and unsheathed his diver's knife. With the tank as a tablet and the knife as pen, he wrote one last message to his family: I love you Mom, Dad, and Christian. Then he ran out of air and drowned.
A dying message — something communicated in the last few seconds of life — is something we can't be indifferent toward. God's final words to us are etched on a Roman cross. They are blood red. They scream to be heard. They, too, say, "I love you."
— Larry James Richardson, Texas
n Touch and Live, George Vandeman wrote: "A young stranger to the Alps was making his first climb, accompanied by two stalwart guides. It was a steep, hazardous ascent. But he felt secure with one guide ahead and one following. For hours they climbed. And now, breathless, they reached for those rocks protruding through the snow above them — the summit. "The guide ahead wished to let the stranger have the first glorious view of heaven and earth, and moved aside to let him go first. Forgetting the gales that would blow across those summit rocks, the young man leaped to his feet. But the chief guide dragged him down. 'On your knees, sir!' he shouted. 'You are never safe here except on your knees.' "
— Vailo Weis Ardmore, Oklahoma
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