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Sailors Goodbye Letter

When divers combed the wreckage of the Kursk (the destroyed Russian nuclear submarine on which 118 sailors perished), they found a letter written by Lt. Dmitri Kolesnikov. The handwritten note was addressed to his wife, Olga. It was penned after the explosion that sealed the sub's doom on August 12, 2000, in the Barents Sea and confirmed speculation that all the crew had not died instantly. A few hours after the submarine plunged to the bottom of the sea, Kolesnikov wrote, "All the crew from the sixth, seventh, and eighth compartments went over to the ninth. There are 23 people here. . . . None of us can get to the surface."

The note included a deeply personal expression of affection to his beloved Olga, who admitted that her husband had a premonition of death when he bade her goodbye before sailing out to the Barents Sea. Eerily, the last lines of the letter indicated that death was closing in. The auxiliary power had failed. Kolesnikov wrote unevenly in the pitch darkness: "I am writing blind."

What a terrible sense of approaching doom.

This sailor's despair and foreboding isn't all that different from what many people feel about this world.

The apostle Paul, blind and knowing that a martyr's death was near, also wrote goodbye letters. His letters, though, were filled with hope in Christ.

Greg Asimakoupoulos

Pillsbury Dough Canister Exploded Causing Fear Of Death

The Pillsbury Dough Boy. Cute. Cuddly. And wanted for attempted murder. Well, not exactly ...

A woman in Arkansas was sitting in her car in a parking lot last year when she heard a loud bang and then felt a sharp pain in the back of her head. She was holding her hands behind her head when someone walked by and asked, "Are you OK?"

The woman answered, "I've been shot in the head, and I'm holding my brains in."

Well, it wasn't her brains.

It was dough. A Pillsbury biscuit canister had exploded in the back seat, apparently from the heat, making a loud explosion and shooting the dough into the back of the woman's head.

Campus Life

Death...A Terrible Enemy

According to the Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune, in the span of one-year tragedy struck twice in one family. In 1994 Ali Pierce, the fourteen-year-old daughter of John and Anna Pierce of Massachusetts, was diagnosed with liver cancer. She fought the disease bravely for two years, but in November 1996 she passed away. Her parents of course were grief-stricken. To deal with his loss, the father sought a constructive way to help others. He started running and set the goal of entering the 1998 Boston Marathon. He intended to take pledges for his run in support of the cancer center where his daughter had died.

On October 11, 1997, Pierce entered a half marathon of thirteen miles in Hollis, New Hampshire. It was the longest race he had ever run. He was fifty-one years old, and so before the race he had a medical exam and was given a clean bill of health.

He almost finished the race. Just ten feet short of the finish line, wearing a baseball cap that said, "In Memory of Ali Pierce," John Pierce crumpled to the pavement, dead of a hear attach.

Death--what a terrible enemy!

Choice Contemporary Stories & Illustrations For Preachers, Teachers, & Writers
Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, p. 60.