Tag Archives: never give up

Two Swords Among Them

Story of the Day for Saturday Sept. 15, 2012 

                Two Swords Among Them

 

                 So on the day of battle none of the people, except Saul and Jonathan, had a sword or spear in his hand. 

                                                                                              1 Samuel 13:22

 

Adolf Hitler was furious.

As the Third Reich trampled over the nations of Europe, Hitler offered Great Britain terms of peace, in exchange for surrender. When they refused to capitulate, Hitler ordered his military commanders to prepare for the invasion of England. In a top-secret letter, Hitler wrote, “Since England, despite its militarily hopeless situation, still has not shown any signs of being prepared to negotiate, I have decided to prepare a landing operation against England.”

Hitler was almost right about England’s “hopeless situation.” How, exactly, did the British intend to defend their homeland against the juggernaut of the German army? In those early days, when the Nazis prepared to pound the Brits into submission, English citizens stood on the eastern coast, armed only with hunting rifles, pitchforks, and, in some cases, golf clubs.

 

The Philistines, the perennial enemies of Israel, had developed a super-weapon: iron. The Philistines guarded their new technology so tightly that the Bible says there wasn’t a single blacksmith in all of Israel. “Otherwise,” the Philistines reasoned, “the Hebrews will make swords or spears.”

When the Philistines prepared to march into Israel, they were armed – not only with swords and spears, but with 30,000 chariots and 6000 horsemen, and foot soldiers “like the sand on the seashore.”  The Israelites managed to cobble together a militia of 600 men – with two swords among them.

 

So, what do you do when your days seem so dark and your situation hopeless?  Many simply cave in to depression and despair. They give up.

But the Lord reminds us that “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.”  When times seem bleak, we place our lives in God’s hands, suck up our courage, and refuse to give in to fear.

 

During the war, Winston Churchill spoke to the students at Harrow School. He recalled the Battle of Britain, and how “we were quite alone, desperately alone . . .” And then he reminded them that “We were poorly armed.”

“You cannot tell from appearances how things will go,” Churchill told them. “But for everyone, surely . . . this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing great or small, large or petty – never give in . . .”

 

German bombers pulverized the city of London, but the British refused to surrender, and, in the end, the plucky Englishmen hung their pitchforks back in their sheds and slammed their nine irons back into their golf bags.

 

The Philistine army was routed, and that small band of unsophisticated Hebrews stood victorious on the field of battle.

Do you believe that, in seemingly hopeless situations, the Lord is still at work? Then never give up. Never, never, never, never.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre) 

 

Throw Your Heart Instead

Story of the Day for Saturday July 30, 2011

Throw Your Heart Instead

                                      ”They gave as much as they were able to give. “

                                                                                2 Corinthians 8:3

 Tony Melendez is a talented singer and guitar player. He lives and often performs in Branson, Missouri. He sang the National Anthem for the fifth game of the 1989 World Series. And he has played a solo performance before the Pope.

 

We have more to say about Tony in just a moment, but if I may be so rude as to interrupt myself, I want to ask you a question.

If a quarterback is right-handed, he throws the bomb with his right hand. If a tennis player is left-handed she makes a serve by holding the racket in her left hand. But, in what sport are athletes forced to rely on their weaker hand as an essential part of their athletic performance?

Baseball, right? All the players on the field must put their gloves on their weaker hand to field the ball.

There’s nothing wrong with putting your best foot forward. But if that won’t work, any foot will have to do.

 

A mother in Nicaragua was prescribed medicine to calm morning sickness during her pregnancy.  At that time, they didn’t know that thalidomide could cause birth defects. Her son, Tony Melendez, was born without arms.

When he was older, they moved to Los Angeles where he was fitted with prosthetic arms, but the fake limbs only got in his way so he refused to wear them.

 

If you don’t have arms, there are things you can’t do.  Tony Melendez, however, didn’t focus on what he couldn’t do; he focused on what he could do.

He learned to play the guitar with his toes. When he sang and played for Pope Paul II, Tony was shocked as the Pope jumped down from the stage on which he was sitting and went over to Tony to give him a hug. “My wish for you,” the Pope said,” is that you continue to give hope to others.”

He does.

 

Want to know something? Right now, I don’t feel so much like bellyaching about all my ailments and the things I can’t do. Instead, I feel like thanking the Lord for what I have, and asking him to teach me how to use them well.

 

Toward the end of his life, Ernest Hemingway was diagnosed with a disease by which his body could no longer metabolize iron, and leads to mental deterioration.

His writing was declining.  Nevertheless, the great mystery writer, Raymond Chandler, voiced his admiration. He likened Hemingway to a champion pitcher in his declining years. “When he can no longer throw the high hard one, he throws his heart instead. He throws something. He doesn’t just walk off the mound and weep.”

                                     (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)