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Jesus, help us to control our desires. May a thirst for knowing You and a longing to please You become our strongest passion, like it was for Mary Frances Housley.

Let me tell you a true story. MARY FRANCES HOUSLEY was born October 12, 1926 in Knoxville, Tennessee. She grew up in Fountain City and attended Central High School where she was a member of the Bowling Club, Science Club, and Glee Club, and a member of the honor society. She attended the University of Tennessee for one year but left to get married. She was soon divorced, then worked as an office assistant for doctors in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1950, she applied for a job as a stewardess, and was hired the next day. She and another stewardess, Peggy Egerton, found an apartment in Jacksonville. Mary Frances had acquired the nickname Frankie by now. Peggy recalled how Frankie was loving life and loving people. She truly was a loving person!

Frankie Housley was like Jesus. He loved us and showed it! On Saturday, January 13, 1951, Frankie called Peggy from the Jacksonville airport and said, "I've got to work. Some girls were sick." On Sunday, January 14, she was on National's Flight 83, a DC4, from Newark to Norfolk with an intermediate stop in Philadelphia. Rain and snow swirled around the slushy runway as they approached the Philadelphia airport. The 25 passengers and three-person crew landed on the 6,000-foot runway but overran it and plunged through a fence. The left wing was severed, high-octane fuel tanks ruptured and the fuel ignited. Frankie Housley wrestled open the cabin door and looked down at the ground 8 feet below. Women and children were screaming behind her. Down there was safety, and Frankie could have been the first to jump. Instead she went back to her passengers. Working swiftly she released the seatbelts of frantic passengers. She had no thought for herself, only for her passengers. She was absorbed in seeking their good and welfare.

Frankie Housley was like our Lord Jesus. Even in the hour of death, He had no selfish concern for Himself.

Frankie made 10 trips from the door into the cabin, guiding frightened passengers to the door and urging them to jump. Some were reluctant and she shoved them. The pilot and the co-pilot were out, unscathed and unburned, as were most of the passengers. She had not failed to do what had to be done for the good of her passengers. Jesus, despite the pain of judgment, did not fall short of what He needed to do either.

Let's get back to the story of Frankie Housley. Frankie Housley had made 10 trips into that burning plane... to help passengers get out. Then a passenger on the ground screamed, "My baby, my baby!" Somehow this passenger had left her baby behind on the plane. Flight attendant Frankie Housley turned back into the plane to find the baby, and that was the last time anyone saw her alive. When the debris cooled they found Frankie Housley's body over the 4 month-old baby she tried to rescue.

TIME magazine captioned her picture with these words, "She could have jumped." Saving lives in a burning airplane is a job for strong men in asbestos suits, not for pretty 24-year-old girls. But Mary Frances Housley went back into the flaming wreckage 11 times. [Frankie Housley, Wikipedia]

What made her do it? Simple! She thought about the needs of others instead of her own. What about you. Who are your attempting to rescue from the flames of Hell?

(From a sermon by Dennis Davidson, The Victory Accomplished, 6/28/2010)

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