Henry Feyerabend

1.The Son of a King

After the Second World War a young American teacher went to Europe on a teacher exchange program and was given a class of small boys. The boys were vivacious and full of energy, and it wasn't always easy to maintain the discipline of the school.

There was one little blue-eyed boy sitting in the front row that seemed to be different from the other boys. He was full of fun, but whenever there was a fight on the playground, he didn't seem to be involved. He was always offering to stay after school and help the teacher with whatever work there was in the classroom. She was deeply impressed with him.

One day after school, she said, "Johnny, you seem to be so different from the other boys. You must have wonderful parents. Would you take me home to meet them? I would love to meet your parents."

The little boy hung his head and didn't answer. She thought that perhaps he was ashamed possibly his parents were very poor and lived in a humble abode. She insisted. Then she noticed tears running down his cheek. "I can't introduce you to my parents," he said. "They are both dead."

She was sorry that she had opened the wound. She encouraged him to tell his story, and what a story it was! He told of how he had been living with his parents in a castle in one of the small countries of Europe. His father was a prince. But the war came, and with it the horrors of war. One day an enemy army marched into the palace and arrested his father and mother. They weren't interested in the child. As they led his parents away he followed behind. After walking a certain distance, Johnny's father asked permission to talk to his son. The commanding officer granted him five minutes. His mother ran to him, and swept him into her arms as she wept.

"Then my father came to me, stood at attention, clicked his heels, and saluted," Johnny told the teacher. "I stood at attention, clicked my heels and returned the salute just as he had always taught me. Then he knelt down and said, 'My boy, these men are going to take us away and kill us. But they aren't interested in children. Run away as far as you can. There is only one thing that I ask of you. Never forget that you are the son of a prince. Always act like the son of a prince."'

"The captain gave the signal. My parents began to march down the road. I saw the soldiers raise their weapons. I heard the shots. I saw my mother and father fall to the ground. I ran away. For days I traveled from place to place. Kind people have helped me, and now I have found a family that is taking care of me. Teacher, don't you know why I am different from the other children? My father was a prince, and I can't dishonor him."

Friends, we too have a great responsibility. We are sons and daughters of the King. Not just an earthly king, but of the King of kings and Lord of lords. He invites us to be born again, into the royal family. He offers us bountiful blessings if we will accept His invitation.

2. Is The Colonel Satisfied?

Just two months from the day that Britain entered the First World War, on October 4, 1914, the S.S. Flofizel loaded the first five hundred Newfoundland troops to sail for the battle front. They embarked to the playing of "Auld Lang Syne," and "God Be With You Till We Meet Again." The captain ordered the anchor hoisted and the vessel steamed slowly out through the narrows into the Atlantic.

Of all the places where soldiers from Newfoundland fought in two world wars, no other name means so much to them as Beaumont Hamel. On July 1, 1916, 753 Newfoundlanders went into action. By the next morning there were only 68 left to answer the roll call. They had been sent out against impossible odds. Someone later remarked that it was a wonder that any man could remain unhit more than a minute in the inferno of fire that swept over No Man's Land. The casualty list from that battle reached into every community of the island colony. From the city of St. John's down to the smallest remote outpost, there was scarcely a family that did not have the loss of some loved one to mourn. Every year while the rest of Canada happily celebrates July 1 as the anniversary of confederation, the people of Newfoundland renew their dedication in proud memory of those dauntless soldiers who fell in freedom's cause.

Brave Newfoundland soldiers faced one of the fiercest situations in the annals of human warfare. A young man named Frank Mayo Lind, in his last letter written from France on June 29, just before the awful massacre, said: "Tell everybody that they may feel proud of the Newfoundland Regiment." One of the stricken men, lying on his stretcher suffering the agony of bullet-torn flesh, his life ebbing away, left a deep impression on all who were near him. Notwithstanding the pain and agony, he showed his real concern, more important than anything else, when he asked the question, "Is the Colonel satisfied? Is the Colonel pleased?" More important than life itself was the question of whether he had come up to the expectation of his commanding officer.

What is your supreme concern, 0 Christian in the battlefield of life? God has an army of valiant soldiers who follow their Commander with unswerving loyalty.

3. Facing Death With a Smile

Dr. W. B. Mason, a pastor in Portland, Oregon, learned from his physician that his life on earth was limited. Knowing how troubled his faithful flock would be at the news, he entered the pulpit the next week, and with his vibrant Christian faith, he shared the news with his people.

Then he added: "I walked out where I live, five miles out of this city, and I looked at the river in which I rejoice, and I looked at the stately trees that are always God's own poetry to my soul. Then, in the evening, I looked up into the great sky, where God was lighting lamps, and I said, T may not see you many times more, but river, I shall be alive when you cease running to the sea; and stars, I shall be alive when you have fallen from your sockets to the great downpulling of the universe.

Henry Feyerabend was a missionary in Brazil for 11 years. He is currently evangelist and the director-speaker of It Is Written for Canada.