Thursday, July 12, 2012


In 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II was in power in Germany. He was hugely in favor of a strong military and had built up the nation’s arms over several years. Wilhelm, however, turned out to be Germany’s last Kaiser.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand
In June of 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by a Serbian terrorist group. Kaiser Wilhelm encouraged Austria-Hungary to take revenge on Serbia for the assassination. The situation began to spin out of control and with multiple nations taking sides, World War I followed.

Some actually point to Kaiser Wilhelm’s urging Austria-Hungary for revenge as one of the main catalysts for the onset of World War I. However, the Kaiser almost didn’t get the chance to influence anything. He was fortunate enough to dodge a bullet many years before.

Kaiser Wilhelm II
Not long after the Kaiser was crowned, he attended a show in which there was trick shooting exhibition. A young lady named Phobe was planning to perform a few trick shots with her gun. The Kaiser emerged from the crowd and challenged her to shoot the ashes off his cigarette while he was smoking it. The young lady agreed, but was a bit nervous because of the Kaiser’s lofty position.

She paced off the distance and turned to aim. She said later that as she began to aim, she began to regret the whiskey she had consumed the night before. Since she was famous herself, pride took over and she decided to shoot.

The Kaiser lit his cigarette, placed it in his mouth and waited. Phoebe raised her gun and took aim. She only hesitated a second and then fired. The sound of the rifle rang out and to the delight and roar of the crowd, the ashes of the cigarette flew off. She had done it! Of course, she had done it! She was Phoebe Ann Moses! Perhaps you know her better by her stage name, Annie Oakley! The show was Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and Kaiser Wilhelm II dodged a bullet that day.

After World War I broke out, Annie never forgot that day. She wrote, “If I shot the Kaiser, I might have saved the lives of several million soldiers.” In fact, Annie’s husband, Frank, wrote to the Kaiser and told him that his wife wanted the opportunity to take a second shot at him. The Kaiser never replied.

Annie Oakley
This was a regret in Annie’s life. However, the fact of the matter is, we cannot know the future. If we knew what was going to happen years from now we might avoid pain, but we might miss other blessings that God has in our path.

We are not supposed to look back with regret on the things we have done wrong or mourn over missed opportunities. We are called to do the best we can as Christians today and look to the future with Christ as our guide. We don’t know what the future holds, but we follow the One who does!

Regret, grief, remorse, and pain of the past will always rob you of your joy in Christ. We must ask forgiveness for past sins and give them to God, who washes them away, never to be remembered again. God wants to wipe the slate clean and give you a new start. Give Him your past, present and future!

This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds. Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. (Hebrews 10:16-17)

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