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On October 2, 1864, one of the worst battles of the American Civil War was fought. 2800 Confederate soldiers squared off against 4500 Union soldiers. The battle is forever recorded in American history as one of the worst atrocities that has ever occurred on US soil. After a day of intense fighting, shots continued throughout the night muffling the cries of wounded Union soldiers. Later an eyewitness to the carnage reported that a Confederate renegade walked up to a wounded Union cavalry soldier identified as Crawford Hazelwood and asked him if he wanted to be shot in the face or the back. As the soldier pleaded for his life, he was shot in the face. With the intense fighting and the great loss of life, you would think that the battle had been fought for a great cause, fought for some great strategic value to shorten the war; but, the truth is, the battle was fought over a mineral. It was a mineral so valuable that more wars have been fought over it than gold. The battle was waged for salt. One of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War was fought over Saltville, VA--the largest supplier of salt to the Confederate army.
There’s an old story of a man who was walking at night, and saw another man searching for something near a lamp post. Approaching, he asked the man what he was looking for, and the man, without looking up, replied, “My watch”. The first man asked, “Well, precisely where were you standing when you dropped it?” Continuing his search, the man pointed a finger in the distance and said, “Over there somewhere.” Incredulous, the first man said, “Well then sir, why are you looking for it here?” Finally looking up in frustration and meeting the first man’s gaze, the searcher replied testily, “Because sir, the light is better here!”
The mother of four young boys often had difficulty curbing their energy, especially in church. But when her minister preached on "turning the other cheek," the boys gave him their undivided attention. “No matter what others do to us,” he said, “we should never try to ‘get even.’”
That afternoon the youngest boy came into the house crying. Between sobs he said he’d kicked one of his brothers, who then kicked him in return.
"I’m sorry you’re hurt," his mother said. "But you shouldn’t go around kicking people."
Still choking back tears, he replied, "But the preacher said he isn’t supposed to kick me back."
[Jane Vajnar, Tampa, Kansas. "Lite Fare," Christian Reader.]
How valuable is salt? 40 million tons are required each year to fill our needs. Homer called it divine. Plato called it a "substance dear to the gods." Shakespeare mentioned salt 17 times in his plays. Perhaps Leonard da Vinci wanted to send a subtle message about purity lost when he painted "The last Supper." In that painting an overturned salt cellar is conspicuously placed before Judas. In ancient Greece a far-flung trade involving the exchange of salt for slaves gave rise to the expression, "...not worth his salt." Special salt rations were given to Roman soldiers and known as "Solarium Argentums" the forerunner of the English word "salary." Thousands of Napoleon?s troops died during his retreat from Moscow because their wounds would not heal--their bodies lacked sal...
We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.
The Lord has called us to be salt and light. We are to bring every area of our lives into subjection under the lordship of Christ that people can see the difference that Jesus can bring to an individual, a family and to society. We have an incredible opportunity to show the difference that Jesus can make when we bring our marriages under the subjection of Jesus Christ.
Our Hindu neighbor Rina began to ask my wife Lenora about our family. She commented that she saw our marriage as good. She said she believed it was because of Christ and the Bible making a difference in our lives. This is exactly the kind of testimony we are hoping to have as we seek to bring our marriage under the Lordship of Christ.
Who would ever dream of amputating his own leg? Nobody-- unless that person had lost his mind or was faced with the grim choice of losing either his leg or his life.
That was Bill Jeracki’s terrible predicament, according to The Denver Post, when he was out fishing alone in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. He was trapped when a boulder fell on his leg, and he was unable to free himself.
Knowing that as night came on he might die of exposure, Bill did what he knew he had to do. Relying on his skill as an assistant to a doctor at a Denver hospital, he took a nylon rope out of his tackle box, tied it tightly above his knee, and cut off his leg with his knife. He then dragged himself to his car and drove 10 miles to the nearest town. He not only survived the trauma, but with an artificial limb he is out fishing again.
What a decision--your leg or your life! But what if the stakes were even higher? Suppose you had to choose between giving up some habit, ambition, or relationship, and giving up heaven. The Lord made the issue of following Him that decisive. He said, "What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" (Matthew 16:26). It’s a question you and I must answer. --VCG
Citation: Our Daily Bread, January 12, 1995
A LIGHT NAMED AL
On the morning of September 11, Jeannie Braca switched on the television to check the weather report, only to hear that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center.
Jeannie’s husband, Al, worked as a corporate bond trader for Cantor Fitzgerald. His office was on the 105th floor of Tower One.
Al had survived the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and had even helped a woman with asthma escape from the building.
Jeannie knew that Al would do the same thing this time, “I knew he would stop to help and minister to people,” she said, “but I never thought for a minute that he wouldn’t be coming home!”
A week later, like so many others who were in that building, Al’s body was found in the rubble. Al’s wife, Jeannie, and his son Christopher were devastated!
Then the reports began to trickle in from friends and acquaintances. Some people on the 105th floor had made a last call or sent a final e-mail to loved ones saying that a man was leading people in prayer.
A few referred to Al by name.
Al’s family learned that Al had indeed been ministering to people during the attack! When Al realized that they were all trapped in the building and would not be able to escape, Al shared the gospel with a group of 50 co-workers and led them in prayer.
This news came as no surprise to Al’s wife, Jeannie.
For years, she and Al had been praying for the salvation of these men and women. According to Jeannie, Al hated his job and couldn’t stand the environment. It was a world so out of touch with his Christian values, but he wouldn’t quit.
Al was convinced that God wanted him to stay there, to be a light in the darkness, and although Al would not have put it this way, to be a hero!
Al was not ashamed of Christ and Christ’s words…and he paid the price of taking up his cross daily. Al shared his faith with his co-workers….many of whom sarcastically nicknamed him “The Rev.”
And on that fateful day…on September 11, in the midst of the chaos, Al’s co-workers looked to him—-and...
At Least 75 Christians Killed In Manila Hotel Fire
August 20, 2001
By: Stefan J. Bos
Eastern Europe Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
MANILA, PHILIPPINES -- (ANS) -- An early morning fire that swept through a suburban Manilla hotel Saturday has killed at least 75 people, mostly participants at a weekend conference organized by Christian evangelists, Vatican radio reported.
Television footage showed people clustering at windows of the five story Quezon City Manor House as firemen swarmed up ladders in a desperate attempt to rescue them and to search for the missing, including a pastor and his wife.
General Francisco Senot, director of the Bureau of Fire Protection, told the Reuters news agency that rescue work was made difficult because his men found "obstructions to some fire escapes." Local media said that some of the fire escapes were locked and that the hotel lacked emergency lighting, despite recent warnings from local officials that it had violated some building codes.
Warren Bennis in "Why Leaders Can’t Lead", writes: "The flying Wallendas are perhaps the world’s greatest family of aerialists and tightrope walkers.... I was struck with (Karl Wallenda’s) capacity for concentration on the intention, the task, the decision. I was even more intrigued when, several months later, Wallenda fell to his death while walking a tightrope without a safety net between two high-rise buildings in San Juan, Puerto Rico.... Later, Wallenda’s wife said that before her husband had fallen, for the first time since she had known him, he had been concentrating on falling, instead of on walking the tightrope. He had personally supervised the attachment of the guide wires, which he had never done before." Often the difference between success and failure, life and death, is the direction we’re looking.