A Lesson from Alice Hertz Sommer

Alice Hertz Sommer, whose life was saved from the gas chambers because the Nazis loved her music said, “Music brings us peace, beauty and love. I’m full of joy.”

Alice Hertz Sommer

Alice Hertz Sommer

Until her death at 110, Alice played classical music on her piano each day in her small flat for two and a half hours. She became known as “The Lady in Number 6,” now an Oscar-nominated movie.

Born in Prague in 1903, Alice’s entire family was rounded up by the Nazis and sent to concentration camps. “I know about the bad,” she says, “but I look only at the good.”

Her mother and husband died in the camps.  She harbours no hatred for her losses. Alice Hertz Sommer 1She spent two years sleeping on a floor every night with her young son, who was five when they came face to face with their potential exterminators. She didn’t want her son to worry or be afraid so every day she chose to find good things they could enjoy. Most of the time she was the only one laughing. She felt it was important that her son hear her laughter then he wouldn’t be afraid.

She said, “It is good not to forget, of course.  There were terrible times in history. In the whole, people don’t learn. What did I learn? I learned to be thankful for everything, for seeing the sun, seeing a smile, a nice word from somebody. I learned to be thankful for everything.”

We think it’s impossible to be thankful in adverse circumstances. But, Alice Hertz Sommer teaches us that we can find hope and optimism in the blackest of times.

God has filled the world with beauty. Will you allow one tiny sliver of that beauty to penetrate your soul today? If you do, your thoughts will fill with the same optimism and hope that Alice Sommer experienced.

God’s plan for you is that your life be filled with joy.

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. I Thessalonians 5:17,18

There are so many things that happen to us that could embitter. But Jesus sets the example. Facing a horrible death, which He did not deserve, He nevertheless gave thanks. How could we do less in our hour of trial? Giving thanks in all things is not easy. It’s hard — at times, seemingly impossible. But gratitude must grow in our hearts or bitterness will take root and destroy us.” George O. Wood

Rose McCormick Brandon’s book, One Good Word Makes all the Difference, is available here.

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God’s Light Leads Forward

When you set up the seven lamps in the lampstand, place them so their light shines forward . . . Numbers 8:2 NLT

Missionaries Jonathan and Rosalind Goforth arrived in China in March 1888. Their assignment to open a new field in the northern section of Honan province was a daunting one. The young couple struggled to learn the language, adjust to the climate and raise a large family in primitive surroundings. They met many discouraging challenges, including the death of a child.
One day a letter arrived from Hudson Taylor, then a pioneer with China Inland Missions.

“We understand North Honan is to be your field; we, as a mission have tried for ten years to enter that province from the south, and have only just succeeded. It is one of the most anti-foreign provinces in China . . . if you would enter that province, you must go forward on your knees.”

The Goforths took Taylor’s advice. With persistence and prayer, they mastered the language. People began responding to their message of a loving Christ. A female convert filled their need of an assistant Bible teacher for women.
Through births, deaths, danger and hardship they moved forward. Rosalind Goforth wrote, “One of the blessed results of this life is not only the consciousness of Christ’s presence but the reality of His presence as manifested in definite results when, in the daily details of life, matters are left with Him and He has undertaken.”(1)
The same ‘reality of His presence’ that kept these missionaries moving forward over a century ago  is available to you. God’s light leads forward. Follow Him.

(1) How I Know God Answers Prayer, Rosalind Goforth, Bethel Publishing

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Assignments for 2018

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:5,6 When Jonah opened his in-box he found a … Continue reading

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Jesus is the Message of Christmas

At Christmas we think of Christ’s coming to earth as a baby, our Emmanuel (God with us). Today, let’s consider why Jesus came. From his jail cell, the apostle Paul carefully crafted a life-changing message to the Philippians. He didn’t … Continue reading

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Bethlehem: Good News for Nobodies

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A professional events coordinator would never have chosen Bethlehem for Christ’s birth. That tiny town off the beaten track was hardly fit for a king. Royalty without overnight accommodations? A pink slip first thing Monday morning for the secretary in … Continue reading

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Yes God Really Loves You

At a point in my life when it seemed that my challenges stacked themselves one on top of the other, I struggled to find answers. Had God tired of me? If he had, why? What had I done to offend … Continue reading

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Simple Instructions for Life

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18 Like a parent sending a child off to school – put your hat on, here’s your books, obey … Continue reading

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A Forever Point of View

He shall reign forever and ever (for the eternities of the eternities). Revelation 11:15(b) AMP Eternity. How easy it is to get lost in the here and now and forget about eternity, the forever and ever, that waits in the … Continue reading

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Living in the Present Tense

Someday everything will come together; all the stray ends of our imperfect lives will be gathered and tied into an elegant bow. So we wait . . . for perfection, for health, for money. We defer joy. A woman once … Continue reading

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The World’s Falling Apart . . . but

Are we living in the last days? That question comes up every time there’s a major disaster, like the massive hurricanes pounding the southern U.S. and outlying islands.  Financial meltdowns, marauding dictators, uncontrolled diseases – all these cause people to ask … Continue reading

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