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Book Release: 60 Years of Guide Anniversary Collection

60 Years of Guide Anniversary Story Collection 60 Years of Guide Anniversary Story Collection

Book Release: 60 Years of Guide Anniversary Collection

 Interview by V. Michelle Bernard

Guide is celebrating 60 years of ministry with a new collection of stories, 60 Years of Guide Anniversary Story Collection.

Over the years, that ministry has touched many, including editor Lori Peckham, who was 13 years old when Guide printed her poem “God’s Grandeur.” She says seeing her name in print propelled her into a career in Seventh-day Adventist publishing.

That career now includes 10 years of editing the “best of Guide” books, including the 60 Years of Guide Anniversary Story Collection.

Lori Peckham Lori Peckham

The collection covers some of the best stories, comics, columns and memories from the past 60 years.

Q: Why is Guide so special to you? How did it impact your childhood?

 A: Guide has been in my life for as long as I can remember. Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I picked up Guide at church and read it even before I was “of age.” And when I became a junior, I devoured Guide content, submitted my own writing, corresponded with Guide pen pals (one overseas), and became a regular Guide “groupie.” Now my 12-year-old son devours Guide every week!

Q: How long have you been working with Guide? What have your roles been?

 A: After that first poem, I went on to write stories and features for Guide. During my years as editor of Insight (1993-2002), our staff and the Guide staff formed a youth ministry team that prayed and worshipped together. And about 10 years ago, Guide editor Randy Fishell asked me to take on the responsibility of collecting standout stories to feature in the “best of Guide” books. This fun job has exposed me to all the wonderful true stories and columns that have appeared through Guide’s 60 years of publication.

Q: What is your favorite story in the book?

A: What I love about this collection is that it showcases all the wonderful kinds of true stories that have appeared in Guide (and continue to do so): adventure stories, miracle stories, mission stories, funny stories, school stories, surprising stories, temperance stories, angel stories, animal stories, sports stories, “ah-hah” stories, “ah” stories . . . So it might sound like a cop-out, but I love them all! In this collection in particular, you’ll also recognize many of the longtime Guide authors.

Q: How has Guide changed and remained the same over the years?

 A: Certainly the color and graphics have improved with technology, but I still see in every magazine the power of true experiences skillfully presented and edited. The stories and interactive elements still grab young people—and [those] much older!

Q: How have you seen Guide change lives or inspire since you’ve been working with the magazine?

A: Almost every time I visit a middle school classroom or camp meeting, I’m approached by kids telling me how much they love the Guide books and the stories in the magazine. As we know, this is a critical age in the spiritual development of young people, and I’m so glad that Guide speaks to kids powerfully and accurately about how much God loves them and how important it is to choose Him for themselves. It’s a weekly reminder for them to “remember your creator in the days of your youth” (Ecc. 12:1, NIV).

Click to the next page to read one of our favorite Guide stories from Randy Fishell, a member of Chesapeake Conference’s Willow Brook church in Boonsboro, Md.,.


by Randy Fishell


Drill sergeants and children share a unique characteristic. They demand a great deal of attention.

Following the lead of Gomer Pyle, I might have chosen a similar lifestyle as one of America’s best. But the Marine Corps, exhibiting true military intelligence, forbids the enlistment of 9-year-old combatants. So instead I joined the ranks of attention-seeking children.

My limited experience had already shown that there were relatively few situations that lent themselves to the practice of undisguised self-centeredness. There was one occasion, however, that did provide an opportunity to help satisfy my need for others to notice me—the annual church picnic.

This year the picnic committee chose scenic Riverview Park as the perfect spot for an afternoon of fellowship and festivities. Here men, women, and children alike were afforded an unobstructed view of a complete chemical waste transportation system. (In earlier times this was called a river.) Any church picnicker who so desired could munch a bunch of Fritos while watching endless varieties of chemical waste drift lazily by.

Of course, we youngsters were unaffected by such adult concerns as environmental hazards. It wasn’t long before most of us boys decided to cool off in the murky mess. Shortly the sounds of carefree summer delight filled the air.

“Watch out for this broken beer bottle over here.”

“Hey, what’s this brick doing in the water?”

“I just saw a snake!”

A snake! I didn’t actually walk on water, but a couple seconds later I was standing on the bank. A group of concerned picnickers gathered around, and questions and commentary came rapid-fire from the crowd.

“How long was it?” Mr. Hoover asked.

“I’m not really sure,” his son Mike reported, still trembling bravely in the water. “It was moving real fast!”

“I’ve heard there are water moccasins in this part of the river,” another person chimed in.

I was no herpetologist, but I was pretty sure water moccasins weren’t shoes especially designed for performing certain miraculous feats in a river.

Finally, Mr. Hoover, apparently unconvinced of the threat of real danger, told Mike that if he saw the snake sneaking back into the area, he should just leave it alone. “He won’t bite anybody unless you give him a reason to,” he informed us all.

Snakebite, huh? My wheels of creativity churned into motion. It would make quite an impact on my friends and family if they thought I had actually been bitten by a snake. Especially a water moccasin.

Suddenly I envisioned Dad kneeling at the foot of my deathbed. His eyes full of sorrow, he repented and begged forgiveness for the myriad times he had unjustly administered the board of correction to me.

Mom would weep openly, admitting her wrongness in asking me to perform such unreasonable and slavish tasks as picking up my clothes. But still I would lay prone.

Then the door would gently open, and Jennifer Walker would enter. Between sobs, she’d speak. “If only I’d had a chance to tell him how much I cared,” she’d lament. “I was even going to sit next to him on the bus tomorrow.”

The plan was a go-ahead. But I would have to make it look good. Fortunately, my fertile mind had already conceived an idea.

Making my way toward the rear of the crowd, I slithered over to a nearby picnic table and sat down. A brief glance around confirmed that nobody had seen me. I closed my eyes and opened my mouth. In a remarkable display of senselessness, I proceeded to bite down on my right kneecap.

Based on the amount of pain I experienced, I knew that my immediate goal had been accomplished.

“Yeoooww!” I screeched, grabbing my indented knee.

All heads turned in my direction. Mom and Dad dropped their potato salad and came running. So far, so good.

Pulling up beside me, my father anxiously asked, “What’s the matter with your leg, son?”

Too scrupulous to tell an out-and-out lie, I whimpered and pointed to the well-embedded tooth marks adorning my knobby kneecap. Then, in an honest attempt to lead Dad and the other onlookers down a path of gross deception, I spoke. “Well, I didn’t actually see the snake,” I groaned, “but . . .”

Mother’s face turned a shade of reptilian green. “Martin!” she shrieked. “Our son’s been bitten by a snake!”

Right on cue. Perhaps the task at hand was going to be easier than I had originally thought. Although I was reasonably certain Dad had bought the story hook and line, his face registered a small sinker of doubt. Eyes narrowed, he leaned in close and surveyed my wound.

“You know,” he said, stroking his chin, “there’s something not quite right about this bite.”

I squirmed, sensing a potential crack developing in the foundation of my fabrication.

Then he added, “And I think I know what it is.”

My little sweat glands began pumping big-time perspiration. Given the situation, I knew that silent prayer would be inappropriate. Perhaps Dad would see fit to make this our little secret.

But pointing to the mark on my knee, he went on. “It’s the way these tooth marks are laid out,” he explained to the whole world. His convicting gaze now rose to meet my guilt-ridden face. “As nearly as I can tell,” Dad espoused, “if the ‘snake’ that bit you were to grin real big, he’d have a gap between his two front teeth that perfectly matches that of another snake in the grass I happen to know of.”

Pausing for effect, he then finished by adding, “Need I say more?” (The rough translation of which is “Your goose has been cooked.”) His examination finished, Dad stood upright and crossed his arms in confident triumph.

I looked over at Mom, back at Dad, then down at the bite. How could I have overlooked such an obvious thing? In my haste to fake the snake, I had neglected to take into consideration the fact that I had inherited my grandpa Covault’s irregular incisors. My two front teeth made Bugs Bunny’s grinders look like dental perfection. For the first time in my adolescent experience, I wished I’d spent more time in the dentist’s chair. But alas, that was all fluoride under the bridge now.

Lifting my head, I looked up at Dad. An angelic, lip-parting smile crossed my face. Perhaps this heartrending look of innocence would call forth a sympathetic response. Only too late did I realize that my beaming countenance merely revealed the crowning evidence of my guilt.

I haven’t been back to Riverview Park for quite a while now. But its memory will linger on in my nightmares for years to come. As for my father, I eventually forgave him for his role in bringing my counterfeit bite to light. Jennifer Walker, on the other hand, probably married someone more secure than I. (And undoubtedly less exciting.)

All told, I did manage to glean a kernel of truth from my otherwise regrettable experience. Of course, had I been a little more shrewd, I might have already discovered that “the wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception” (Proverbs 14:8).

In other words, there are some things in life you just shouldn’t sink your teeth into. They can cause you too much ’tention.




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