Tag Archives: WWII



During World War II, a plant of parachute packers achieved notoriety because their parachutes only opened 19 out of 20 times. That’s an average of 95%, and although that will get you an ‘A’ in school, when you’re jumping out of a plane, it’s just not good enough. The manager of the plant developed a strategy to increase reliability. He required the packer to test the parachutes themselves. It wasn’t long until quality rose to 100%. That’s the principle of accountability at work.*


Read Joshua 24:21-22 from your Bible.


Parachute packers need accountability and so do the leaders of children. To whom are you accountable and why do you think it’s important?

Prayerfully consider what you have read today. Then take a few moments to pray for yourself, your students, and others with whom you serve in ministry.


The value of accountability is that it “pressures” us into right living. Try asking one or two of the following questions to those with whom you are serving this week.

Quiet Time

What are you reading this week in your daily time with God?

Scripture Memory

What verse have you been focusing on lately?


How have you seen God work in your prayer-life recently?

Attending Worship Service

What did you get out of the worship service today?


What is God doing in your life right now?

Get all 52 Children’s Leader Devotions HERE

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*A Children’s Leader Devotion, (Lake Forest, CA: Saddleback Church), Week 31.

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Love for the Unlovely

Ten Qualities of a Great Children’s Ministry Leader

During the next ten weeks we will examine ten qualities of a great leader. As you read this section, spend time examining your heart to see what the Lord desires to do in you and through you.

David said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139:23-24).

A “search” is never a quick process. Searching takes time. Take some time to sit quietly and let the Lord search your heart. Listen and then search His Word and let Him minister to you during this next season of your ministry.


John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn’t, the girl with the rose.

His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida library. Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin. The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind. In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner’s name, Miss Hollis Maynell.

With time and effort he located her address. She lived in New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World War II. During the next year and one month the two grew to know each other through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A romance was budding.

Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn’t matter what she looked like.

When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled their first meeting—7:00 p.m. at the Grand Central Station in New York. “You’ll recognize me,” she wrote, “by the red rose I’ll be wearing on my lapel.”

So at 7:00 p.m. he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he loved, but whose face he’d never seen.

I’ll let Mr. Blanchard tell you what happened:

“A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. Her blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her pale green suit she was like springtime come alive. I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose. As I moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips. ‘Going my way, sailor?’ she murmured.

“Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her, and then I saw Hollis Maynell.

“She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat. She was more than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes. The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld my own.

“And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible; her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My finger gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me to her. This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever be grateful.

“I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment. ‘I’m Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?’

“The woman’s face broadened into a tolerant smile. ‘I don’t know what this is about, son,’ she answered, ‘but the young lady in the green suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should go and tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test!’”

It’s not difficult to understand and admire Miss Maynell’s wisdom. The true nature of a heart is seen in its response to the unattractive. “Tell me whom you love,” Houssaye wrote, “and I will tell you who you are.”

In the last sermon recorded by Matthew (Matt. 25:31-46), Jesus told the story about the sheep and the goats and sets a spiritual thermometer through which to gauge a heart by a person’s concern for the undesirable.

Jesus has called us to love the least lovely as well as the lovely and to love those whom no one else will love.

You might say it is a test. A test to measure the depth of our character. The same kind of test Hollis Maynell used with John Blanchard. The rejected of the world wear the roses. Sometimes we, like John Blanchard, have to adjust our expectations. Sometimes we have to re-examine our motives. Had he turned his back on the unattractive, he would have missed the love of his life. If we turn our backs, we will miss even more.*


Read Mark 2:17 from your Bible.


In the story one has to admire how Ms. Maynell put him to the test to see what his heart was really like. We face similar tests every day. For example, who are you drawn to—even in your classroom? Well behaved kids? Or those whose actions are more difficult and yet present you with greater opportunities to minister to them because of it? Who are drawn to in life? People who are like you? People who are attractive? People who will give you a kind word and a loving touch? Or, are you drawn to those who need a loving touch, a gentle hug, and a kind word? Consider the people to which Jesus was drawn.

Prayerfully consider what you have read today. Then take a few moments to pray for yourself, your students, and others with whom you serve in ministry.


“The true nature of the heart is seen in its response to the unattactive. Show me who you love and I’ll tell you who you are.”**

Get all 52 Children’s Leader Devotions HERE

Find more children’s ministry resources and training at:

If these resources bless you, consider supporting this ministry:

*Max Lucado, And the Angels were Silent, (Portland, Oregon: Multnomah, 1992), p. 139-141, 144.

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Give Thanks

Thanksgiving Day – Family Devotion

This is a great story to share with family around the dinner table. It is also a great way to create an opportunity to share the Gospel with people in your family who may not know Christ.

Read the following story:

Ravensbrook, Germany 1944

(During World War II Corrie and Betsie Ten Boom were arrested by the Germans for helping people the Nazis were hurting. Both sisters were strong Christians. )

Corrie and Betsie Ten Boom, prisoners 66729 and 66730, were led into Barracks 28, past rows of worktables and into a large dormitory room filled with great square tiers stacked three high. Here they would sleep, squeezed among hundreds of other inmates at the concentration camp.

Fighting claustrophobia, Corrie and Betsie squirmed into an upper deck and found their assigned places on the reeking straw. Suddenly Corrie jerked up, striking her head on a cross- slat. Something had pinched her leg. The two sisters scrambled off the tier and dropped down in a narrow aisle. Moving to a patch of light they saw them—fleas! “The place is swarming with them!” Corrie groaned. “Betsie, how can we live in such a place?”

The insects were the last straw for Corrie. She and her sister had been starved and humiliated. They’d endured filth, cold and back-breaking labor. They’d witnessed unforgettable cruelties. And now to be infested with fleas…Corrie wondered how she could go on.

Betsie had an answer. She’d read it in the Bible that morning—in First Thessalonians, where Paul urged believers to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God…”

Betsie suggested they thank God for every single thing about their new barracks. Corrie stared around at the dark, foul-smelling room and couldn’t generate much gratitude. Betsie thought of two things to thank God for. They’d been assigned to this place together and they’d managed to hang on to their Bible. Corrie murmured assent.

Clutching the Bible, Betsie prayed, “Thank You for all the women, here in this room, who will meet You in these pages. Thank You for the very crowding here. Since we’re packed so close, thank You that many more will hear!” Corrie grudgingly murmured assent.

Betsie continued serenely: “Thank You for the fleas and for…”

This was too much for Corrie. “Betsie,” she interrupted, “there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.”

But Betsie insisted, “’Give thanks in all circumstances.’ It doesn’t say, ‘In pleasant circumstances.’ Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.”

There in the narrow aisle Corrie bit her lip and thanked God for the fleas.

Corrie and Betsie did find many women in Barrack 28 eager to hear from those pages. Each evening after receiving a cup of turnip soup they’d make their way to the rear of the dormitory where a bare light bulb cast a yellow circle on the wall, and they would read from the Bible. Soon a large group of women were gathering to listen.

The Ten Booms always read from the Scriptures. They translated their Dutch verses into German, and then eager listeners packed together on the tiers would pass the precious words back in French, Polish, Russian, Czech. To some it seemed a small preview to Heaven.

Night after night the meetings grew larger and yet no guard ever came near. So many wanted to join that the sisters started a second service after roll call. Guards patrolled everywhere at the camp; half-a-dozen always paced about in the center room of the barracks, yet for some reason none ever entered this dormitory. The women couldn’t understand it.

One day Betsie discovered exactly why they could enjoy their island of religious freedom. There was a mixup about sock sizes in her knitting group. They’d asked the supervisor to come and settle it. But she refused to step through the door into the room. None of the guards would either. They said, “That place is crawling with fleas!”*

Giving Thanks
God wants us to have thankful hearts and to give thanks in everything, not just when things turn out good or when they go the way we want. Because of who God is and what God can do, we can give thanks in every situation, no matter what.

The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Participate Go around your family and have everyone say something for which they are thankful.

SAY – Of all the thing for which we can give thanks, the greatest of all is that God loves each of us so much that he sent His Son, Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. The Bible says, “But God shows His love for us in this, that while we were yet sinner, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Depending on the situation, you might:

(1) Ask if anyone would like to share the story of how they gave their life to Christ.

(2) Share your story of how Jesus saved you and because of that how you know for sure that you’re going to Heaven.

(3) Simply conclude with a prayer of thanks.

CONCLUDING NOTE: Betsie Ten Boom continued living for Jesus in some of the harshest conditions imaginable until she died of illness in the Nazi concentration camp. She is said to have died with an angelic smile on her face. Corrie, her sister, was released because of a clerical error one week before all the women prisoners were executed as the war was coming to an end. Concerning her miraculous release she said, “God does not have problems. Only plans.” She became a very powerful Christian influence and speaker concerning the grace of God and her experiences during World War II. She continued to serve the Lord until her death in 1983 at the age of 91. To learn more about Corrie and her faith, visit www.tenboom.org.

*Steven R. Mosley, God a Biography, (Phoenix: Questar Publishers, Inc., 1988), p. 189-191.

Find more family devotions in:

72 Family Devotions for Spiritually Training Your Kids
ON SALE for $5.99. Regular price: $9.99 USD. Nonfiction.
Featuring 72 action-packed, easy-to-lead family devotions. Set aside a night or two each week for a “special time” where you and your kids can have family fun together and learn valuable lessons from God’s Word. No advanced planning is needed. Anyone can do this. The ebook contains devotions concerning a variety of topics including salvation, fear, trust, sin, forgiveness and much more.

Find more family resources at 330resources.org/family.

If these resources bless you, consider supporting this ministry:


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