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WITandWISDOM(tm) – October 29, 2007
ISSN 1538-8794

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom; mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” - Lao Tzu

Source: Maximum Impact, http://www.maximumimpact.com


A Survivor’s Tale
By James H. Harris as told to Minnis M. Coe
Part 1 of 2 [October 29, 30]

I was born in northern California to a wealthy family. My father was the son of a Methodist minister, and my mother came from a godly Presbyterian family. But when they married they left God completely out of their lives. My four brothers and I were raised without knowing God. We did not pray or go to Sunday school, church, or any religious service. I didn't see a Bible until I was 19 years old.

As a young man I joined the military and took courses in engineering at Boeing Aircraft in Arizona. At the nearby Army Air Corps base I met a young Baptist who urged me to read the story of Charles Fuller, speaker of the radio program Old Fashioned Revival Hour. The book gave me my first inkling about Christianity, but it had no lasting impact.

Then my new friend invited me to prayer meeting. After he left I put on my uniform and started across the parade ground to the post chapel. As I walked I distinctly heard a Voice say: "I want you to be a minister." The sensation stunned and shocked me. When I got to the chapel I saw my friend and four other guys sitting on the front row discussing the book of Matthew. I listened about 10 minutes then jumped up and ran back to the barracks.

During World War II I was a flight engineer, flying B-17 bombers from England to Germany. On June 21, 1944, our plane was damaged during a bombing run over Berlin, taking eight direct hits. With two direct hits in the nose and one in the fuselage, three engines failed. Flak came at us in 200-foot increments. Our tail gunner reported its progress: "Six hundred feet, 400, 200," then it hit us.

One shell went through our left wing and exploded above us, leaving a hole about eight inches in diameter that released about 500 gallons of 100 octane fuel into the wing. By every law of physics it should have exploded, but it didn't.

We kept the plane in the air another 90 minutes on one engine. The previous day Nazi Air Chief Hermann Goering, in a move to save munitions, had ordered fighter planes not to attack seriously damaged bombers, believing they would eventually be destroyed by crashing. Consequently, even though any number of enemy planes could have destroyed us, they all turned away.

The pilot flying our P-38 escort radioed: "I don't know how you fellows are staying in the air. You look like a kitchen sieve to me."

About two hours from Berlin we flew into more flak, lost control of the plane, went into a power dive, and bailed out. I went into a very tight spin and headed for the ground head-first at a 45-degree angle. When my parachute opened, my shoulders took the blow, fracturing some vertebra in my neck.

Farmers in the countryside began shooting at our crew and me as we floated toward the ground. I drifted into a walnut tree that cushioned my fall. When I got on the ground, three civilians surrounded me and began beating me with clubs. They had received tremendous devastation and suffered much from our bombers, and they vented their anger on me as one of those responsible for it.

We were the first GIs they had captured. After the local burgomaster was summoned, my buddy, Pratt, and I were forced to stand about 25 feet from 10 men selected to be a firing squad.

The burgomaster gave the command: "Ready, aim . . ."

(To be continued tomorrow.)

Submitted by Mary

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

Dick Armey is a Texan, an economist and a former college professor who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 18 years, eventually becoming Majority Leader. Over the years he collected folksy observations about life. Along the way, Armey offers a fascinating collection of stories and axioms drawn from his years in Congress as well as his life in Texas.

Here are some of his axioms:

Tattoos last forever

You can't stand on principle with feet of clay

You can't get ahead while you're getting even

You can't get your finger on the problem if you've got it to the wind

If it's about your power, you lose

If you insist on center stage, you get the tomatoes

No man can ever lose his daddy's spurs

The wise hen doesn't cackle until the egg is laid

You can't hunt with the big dogs dressed like a bone

Don't go back and check on a dead skunk

From: Armey's Axioms: 40 Hard-Earned Truths from Politics, Faith and Life

Source: Leader Links, http://www.leaderlinks.com


"Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards. If you disgrace yourself, well you can always write a book." - Ronald Reagan

Source: Leader Links, http://www.leaderlinks.com

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

Mansfield, Ohio — Mark and Karen Cline marked their 27th anniversary on Thursday, October 25, 2007, but earlier they already received the perfect gift: the wedding pictures they couldn't afford when they married as teenagers. Their photographer showed up last week at the diner where Karen Cline works and surprised her with a photo album from her big day in 1980.

"About a month ago, I was just cleaning out some of my old things and I found it," said photographer Jim Wagner, who's now 80. "I knew she didn't have any money back then, and I just thought she might like to have it."

She recalled being a new bride at 18 and admiring the pictures, but feeling heartsick because she and her husband, Mark, who was 19 at the time, didn't have $150 to pay for them. All these years, the Clines have had just one wedding picture that someone else took, of her walking down the aisle.

Jim Wagner said he was able to track down Karen Cline after running into her stepfather a few weeks ago.

When the Jim showed up in the diner Karen said, "I just stood there and cried and cried and hugged him." Karen then wrote him a check for $150 and that's when he cried.

Source: Fox News, http://www.foxnews.com/

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