[shoulders] SHOULDER TO SHOULDER #91 ---- 10/11/99

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From: lifeunlimited@...
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 1999 22:02:23 +0000
Standing Shoulder To Shoulder With You In The Trenches
As We fight The Good Fight

SHOULDER TO SHOULDER #91 ---- 10/11/99

TITLE:  "I Be Your Legs"

My Dear Co-Laborer in Ministry:

What a great time to be alive!  What a great time to be in vocational
ministry!  Have you thanked the Lord lately for how He has blessed you
and given you the opportunity to minister His Grace to others?  And to be
a recipient yourself of that same Grace day by day?

This has been a good but difficult week for me ---- filled with more
blessings and more reasons to praise God than I can count.  At the same
time I have experienced physical and mental weariness at an uncommonly
intense level, primarily because of the fatigue caused by my
long-lingering cold and necessary medication, and because of a very
hectic schedule filling my days and many of my nights.

Frankly, in spite of the joys and blessings, I'm looking forward to four
uninterrupted days with Jo Ann as we meet some special friends, Ben and
Sandie, in good old Branson, Missouri.  Ben was saved and surrendered to
preach under my father's ministry many years ago.  We became very close
friends.  He and I sang in a men's quartet together, and he was best man
in our wedding.  Now retired from the Air Force chaplaincy, he lovingly
pastors a church in Texas.

Jo Ann and I are really looking forward to catch our breath, put our feet
up, and just enjoy the moments.  We both need to be emotionally and
spiritually recharged.


Frankly, I was not prepared for the positive comments I got back on last
week's letter and the addendum I sent ---- it really didn't have much of
an "encouragement" tone to it.  Yet, it seems I'm not the only one who is
frustrated over irresponsible forwarding on the part of some of their
Christian friends.

Last Wednesday night the Minister of Worship at the church where I am
interim pastor shared a "Proctor and Gamble" letter from a major
denominational magazine addressing the problem.  Their report was
identical to mine.  Later that week the chairman of deacons in the church
forwarded me the following letter which has some good information, though
some of it is "tongue-in-cheek".  Hope you like it.


Subject: Thirteen Things Everyone Should Know:

1.  Big companies don't do business via chain letter. Bill Gates is not
giving you  $1000, and Disney is not giving you a free vacation.  There
is no baby food  company issuing class-action checks. MTV will not give
you backstage passes if you forward something to the most people. You can
relax; there is no need to  pass it on "just in case it's 
true."  Furthermore, just because someone said in the message, four
generations back,  that "we checked it out and it's legit," does not 
actually make it true.

2.  There is no kidney theft ring in New Orleans. No one is waking up in
a  bathtub full of ice, even if a friend of a friend swears it happened
to  their cousin. If you are bent on believing the kidney-theft ring 
stories, please see:

    And I quote: "The National Kidney Foundation has repeatedly issued 
requests for actual victims of organ thieves to come forward and tell 
their stories. None have."  That's "none" as in "zero." Not even your
friend's cousin. Besides, if you were to wake up in ice, you would die of

3.  Neiman Marcus doesn't really sell a $200 cookie recipe. And even if
they do, we  all have it. And even if you don't, you can get a copy at: 
http://www.bl.net/forwards/cookie.html   Then, if you make the recipe,
decide the cookies are that awesome, feel free to pass the recipe on.

4.  We all know all 500 ways to drive your roommates crazy, irritate 
coworkers,  gross out bathroom stall neighbors and creep out people on an
elevator. We also know exactly how many engineers, college students,
Usenet posters and people  from each and every world ethnicity it takes
to change a light bulb.

5.  If the latest NASA rocket disaster(s) DID contain plutonium that went
to particulate over the eastern seaboard, do you REALLY think this
information would reach the public via an AOL chain-letter?

6.  There is no "Good Times" virus. In fact, you should never, ever, ever
forward any mail containing any virus warning unless you first confirm it
at an actual site of an actual company that actually deals with
viruses.Try http://www.norton.com.  And even then, don't forward it. We
don't care. And you cannot get a virus from a flashing IM or email, you
have to download....ya know, like a FILE!

7.  If you're using Outlook, I.E., or Netscape to write email, turn off
the "HTML   encoding." Those of us on Unix shells can't read it, and
don't  care enough to save the attachment and then view it with a web
browser, since you're probably forwarding us a copy of the Neiman Marcus
Cookie Recipe anyway.

8.  If you still absolutely MUST forward that 10th-generation message
from a friend, at least have the decency to trim the eight miles of
headers  showing everyone else who's received it over the last 6 months.
It sure  wouldn't hurt to get rid of all the "" (or the >) that begin
each line.  Besides, if it has gone around that many  times -- we've
probably already seen it.

9. Craig Shergold (or Sherwood, or Sherman, etc.) in England is not dying
of cancer  or anything else at this time and would like everyone to stop
sending him their business cards. He apparently is also no longer a

10. The "Make a Wish" foundation is a real organization doing fine work,
but they have had to establish a special toll free hotline in response to
the large number of Internet hoaxes using their good name and reputation.
 It is distracting them from the important work they do.

11. If you are one of those insufferable idiots who forwards anything
that promises "something bad will happen if you don't," then something
bad will happen to you if I ever meet you in a dark alley.

12. Women really are suffering in Afghanistan, and PBS and NEA funding
are still vulnerable to attack (although not at the present time) but
forwarding an email     won't help either cause in the least. If you want
to help, contact your local    legislative representative, or get in
touch with Amnesty International or the Red Cross.

13. Febreeze does not kill or maim animals. Check with your local vet if
in doubt.

As a general rule, email "signatures" are easily faked and mean nothing
to anyone with any power to do anything about whatever the petition is
complaining about. (P.S. There is no bill pending before Congress that
will allow long distance companies to charge you for long distance when
using the Internet.) Bottom Line ... composing Email or posting something
on the Net is as easy as writing on he walls of a public restroom.  Don't
automatically believe it unless it's proven true...ASSUME it's false,
unless there is proof that it's true.

Got it?


You may feel I've taken far too much time and space on this subject, and
I may have.  However, I believe it is one practical  way in which we can
demonstrate clear Biblical instruction about our conversation as
believers ---- by simply taking time to check out the facts before we
forward any such document, refuse to forward anything unsubstantiated,
and write our findings back up the line from whence the letter came
asking them to do the same.

I am going to compile all the helpful information I have received into
one single condensed document which I can send to others who, in the
future, need to be informed.  If you would like a copy for your own use,
I'll be happy to send it.


Several weeks ago someone sent me the following story.  What a blessing
it was to me.


Bob Butler lost his legs in a 1965 land mine explosion in Vietnam.  He
returned home a war hero.  Twenty years later, he proved once again that
heroism comes from the heart.

Butler was working in his garage in a small town in Arizona on a hot
summer day when he heard a woman's screams coming from a nearby house. 
He began rolling his wheelchair toward the house but the dense shrubbery
wouldn't allow him access to the back door.  So he got out of his chair
and started to crawl through the dirt and bushes. "I had to get there,"
he said.  "It didn't matter how much it hurt."

When Butler arrived at the pool there was a three-year-old girl named
Stephanie Hanes lying at the bottom.  She had been born without arms and
had fallen in the water and couldn't swim.  Her mother stood over her
baby screaming frantically.  Butler dived to the bottom of the pool and
brought little Stephanie up to the deck. Her face was blue, she had no
pulse and was not breathing.  

Butler immediately went to work performing CPR to revive her while
Stephanie's mother telephoned the fire department.  She was told the
paramedics were already out on a call.
Helplessly, she sobbed and hugged Butler's shoulder. As Butler continued
with his CPR, he calmly reassured her.
"Don't worry," he said.  "I was her arms to get out of the pool. It'll be
okay.  I am now her lungs.  Together, we can make it."

Seconds later the little girl coughed, regained consciousness, and began
to cry.

As they hugged and rejoiced together the mother asked Butler how he knew
it would be okay. "The truth is I didn't know," he told her.  "But when
my legs were blown off in the war, I was all alone in a field.  No one
was there to help except a little Vietnamese girl.  As she struggled to
drag me into her village, she whispered in broken English:
'It okay.  You can live.  I be your legs.  Together, we make it.'  Her
kind words brought hope to my soul and I wanted to do the same for


There are simply those times when we cannot stand alone.  There are those
times when we need someone to be our legs, our arms, our friend.  Those
of us in vocational ministry like to think that we're somehow invincible
or vaccinated from personal hurts and injuries.  Even when something
generates irreparable damage, we still try to hobble along with limbs
missing, wounds gaping, and life draining from our battered selves.

There are times when we desperately need somebody to come along and be
our arms or our legs.  

We may be like the innocent little girl with no arms drowning in a pool
of despair or hopelessness, dangerously close to death and, in
semi-conscious state, cry out to God that someone may come along who can
pull us out of certain death and breathe the fresh breeze of the Spirit
back into our lives.

We may be like Bob Butler the brave warrior, caught in the middle of a
fire fight from which there is no escape without casualty, and we need
another brave soldier to come to our defense or a little prayer warrior
of a girl who will come along and through her intercession drag us out of
the line of fire and into the protection of a community of oppressed but
determined believers to protect us and restore us.

Do you need a Bob Butler, my friend?  Do you need a little prayer warrior
like that Vietnamese girl who knew Butler was not too big to carry to

I just want to take this letter to remind you of what you already know
---- you and I probably either need a Bob Butler, or we need to Be a Bob
Butler to someone else.

We just need someone's legs to carry us through.  Or, we need to be legs
for someone in order to help carry him through.

Either way, let's do it together.

"I Be Your Legs!"

In Christ's bond,

Bob Tolliver ---- (Rom 1:11-12)
Copyright October, 1999.  All rights reserved.

If this letter has blessed you and you know of someone else who needs to
be encouraged, feel free to forward it in its entirety to all such people
you know.

If you would like a list of past issues which you could receive upon
request, just let us know.

                              /  | \
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                         { (O) (O) }

        Hang in there!   I'm with you!

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