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Archive for March, 2011

In the account of the WW II bomber “Lady Be Good”, we learned that the crew members parachuted into the frightening darkness of that April night in 1943, landing in the inhospitable desert. The eight men that found each other in the desert after they reached the ground quickly realized their critical need of water and the absolute necessity to carefully conserve what they had. They found they had only a half canteen of water for all of them.

They began their trek across the dessert, limiting themselves to only a single tiny canteen capful of water each day. That was less than a tablespoon full of water! Think about that a moment. Out in the desert where the temperature would drop to the mid 30’s at night, rise to near 130 during the daytime, with the wind constantly blowing sand in their faces . . . . . and with only one capful of water to try to exist on each 24 hours!

As I recalled this incident I was again reminded of the vital need the human body has for food and water. We simply will not live long without them. Our physical bodies cannot do without it.

I could not help but wonder how many Christians attempt to walk through the hardships of life, trying to exist on only a capful of the “water of life”? Even though we are reminded that our Lord gives an inexhaustible supply of water to all who are thirsty and will simply ask of him!

What happens to the Christian who attempts to go through life in this manner? Or could a Christian even expect to make it, going through life like that?

After only a few days, the bomber crew members found it necessary to limit themselves to simply wetting their tongues on the water remaining in their canteen. Think about that—only wetting their tongue once each day! We all realize that life cannot go on in that manner—death results.

Should we expect our spiritual life to be any different? If we walk into life with only a half canteen of the life-giving water Christ holds out to each of us, we are quickly going to be at the point where we find ourselves only wetting our tongues each day. To put it bluntly, spiritual death will ultimately come.

In Revelation 21:6 we find these words: To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.

You and I learn that our thirst is quenched as we spend time reading the Bible, as we pray to our Heavenly Father, and as we spend time quietly listening to His voice. You noticed, I’m sure, that this water is a gift; it is given to us without cost. And with it comes life everlasting!

Prayer: Father, thank you for the gift you offer to each of us—the gift of the water of life. Thank you for the times of refreshing you provide us as we read your Word, pray and spend time listening to your voice. Thank you, Lord for loving us so much you never want us to be thirsty! In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

 

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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NO HELP

The nine crew members of the B-24 bomber who had parachuted into the darkness at 2 AM, that early spring morning in April of 1943, found themselves landing in the harsh desert of Libya. Rather than the waters of the Mediterranean they had believed they were over, their feet came down in sand. After recovering from the shock of discovering where they were, they no doubt began to yell out to each other in the darkness and soon eight of the crew had found each other. They would never find the ninth member of the crew. They had no way of knowing his parachute had failed to open properly and he died when he struck the ground less than half a mile from where the other crew members congregated in the night.

The eight began to walk north toward the sea and civilization, hoping it was not far away. They walked hour after hour, day after day, taking brief periods of rest. They suffered in extreme temperatures during the daytime and cold temperatures that were probably in the 30’s at night. By Friday, April 9th, five of the crew could go no further and collapsed. They had walked 78 miles from their starting point, and were close to what is called the Calanscio Sand Sea with its tall, menacing dunes.

Now let’s continue with the diary…….

On day seven the writer of the diary stated "Still having prayer meetings for help. . . . Nights very cold. No sleep."

Day eight: "Still waiting for help, still praying. . . . . Could make it if we had water; just enough left to put our tongue to."

On the ninth day the entry read only, "No help yet, very cold night."

There were no further entries in the diary.

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The crew members of the bomber, Lady Be Good, were no doubt feeling something close to complete despair as they realized they had seen no sign of anyone searching for them nor had they seen any hint of civilization. More than likely, they had seen no other living thing, except each other. But even with that last entry in the diary, there is still a hint that hope is present: “No help yet”.

You and I live in a world where there are multitudes of people who have very little hope. It seems that life had struck them some terribly cruel blows and they find it very difficult, if not nearly impossible, to look to their future with any hint of anticipation or eagerness. If you and I are a part of a Spirit filled church, we have a product that we can provide such individuals; it is called “hope!”

Hebrews 6:19 reminds us that, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”

It is up to you and me to share that hope with those around us.

Prayer: Father, thank you that, as Christians, we all have a very real hope; a hope that rests firmly in our relationship with you. Help me to share that hope with friends and family members and others you will place in my path as I travel through this life. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

 

 

 

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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THE DIARY

The wreckage of the B-24 bomber, bearing the name “Lady Be Good” on its nose, had been located by an oil prospecting team more than 17 years after it had disappeared in April 1943. The plane and its nine-man crew had been on a mission to bomb enemy positions at Naples, Italy and were returning to their base in Libya. The wreckage was found deep in the inhospitable, harsh and desolate environment of the desert, far from any human habitation far south of the air base. Then, nearly a year later, another oil research team came upon the remains of five members of the crew. A diary found by the body of one of the crew members helped tell part of the story, including the fact they had become lost in the darkness upon returning from their mission to Italy. The plane had run out of gas and the crew had parachuted into the darkness at 2 AM…..

The first entry in the diary included the words, “ . . . . No one badly hurt. Can’t find John. All others present.”

The second day of the diary contained the following, "Started walking northwest. A few rations and 1/2 canteen of water, 1 cap full per day. Sun fairly warm, night very cold. No sleep. Rested and walked."

The third day read, "Rested at 11:30. Sun very warm, no breeze . . . no planes, etc., rested until 5:00 PM. walked and rested all night. 15 minutes on, 5 off."

On day four the author noted, "Same routine, everyone getting weak, can’t get very far, prayers all the time."

The following day: "Hit sand dunes, very miserable. Good wind but continuous blowing of sand, everyone now very weak."

On the Sixth day the writer noted that three of the crew ". . separated and try to go for help, rest of us all very weak, eyes bad….all want to die. Still very little water. . . . . Nites are about 35 degrees. …no shelter….”

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That statement on Day Six really got my attention: “…all want to die.”

These men were in such desperate condition, so discouraged, so emaciated physically and suffering so terribly that they had reached the point where death seemed better than life. They appeared to have reached the point where they had lost hope of rescue and were simply hoping the end would come quickly.

A person doesn’t have to be in such dire conditions as these flight crew members found themselves in to be at a point of utter hopelessness. Someone reading this may have been at such a point in their lives at one time, or may find themselves at such a place in the future. And there could be someone there right now. Let me assure you that, no matter how terrible the situation we may find ourselves in, there is always Jesus. Always! We may not understand why we have to experience whatever it is that we are going through, but we can hang onto Jesus; he will never leave us nor forsake us. Never!

There is a song titled, “When Answers Aren’t Enough” that was written by Scott Wesley Brown a number of years ago. Look at these words:

You have faced the mountains of desperation

You have climbed, you have fought, you have won

But this valley that lies coldly before you

Casts a shadow you cannot overcome

And just when you thought you had it all together

You knew every verse to get you through

But this time the sorrow broke more than just your heart

And reciting all those verses just won’t do.

Chorus:

When answers aren’t enough, there is Jesus

He is more than just an answer to your prayer

And your heart will find a safe and peaceful refuge

When answers aren’t enough, He is there

Instead of asking why did it happen

Think of where it can lead you from here

And as your pain is slowly easing, you can find a greater reason

To live your life triumphant through the tears.

Chorus:

When answers aren’t enough, there is Jesus

He is more than just an answer to your prayer

And your heart will find a safe and peaceful refuge

When answers aren’t enough, He is there.

You and I will not have the answer to all our questions this side of Heaven, but you can trust in God for every moment of your future, if you have placed your life in His hands.

Psalm 66:9 reminds us: “Our lives are in his hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling.”

Prayer: Father, thank that, no matter what I am facing or what I am going through, I can trust in you, for my life is in your hands. Don’t ever let me forget that, Father. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

 

 

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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