TRUST ONLY IN GOD -
Trust in yourself and you are doomed to disappointment;
trust in money and you may have it taken from you;
but trust in God, and you are never to be confounded in time or eternity.
CUTTING RAVEN WINGS
At the Tower of London
every afternoon at exactly 4:00 PM there is an interesting ceremony. The Beefeaters,
British royalty’s ceremonial guards, come out of the tower and feed the raven
on the front lawn. There is a legend that as long as the ravens are fed, London
would never fall to her enemies. During WW 2 and the Battle of Britain, when
London was being bombed by the Nazis, the ravens were frightened away. Prime
Minister Winston Churchill ordered the Beefeaters to secretly clip the wings
of the remaining ravens so they couldn’t fly. Why? To provide a sense of stability
and normalcy to Londoners in a troubled time.
DOUBT VS FAITH poem
Doubt sees the obstacles: Faith sees the victory!
Doubt sees the darkest night: Faith sees the day!
Doubt dreads to take a step: Faith soars on high!
Doubt questions, "Who believes?" Faith answers, "I."
DID HE BELIEVE? Ken
Davis, How To Speak To Youth, pp 104-106.
In college I was asked to prepare a lesson to teach my speech class. We were to be graded on our creativity and ability to drive home a point in a memorable way. The title of my talk was, "The Law of the Pendulum." I spent 20 minutes carefully teaching the physical principle that governs a swinging pendulum. The law of the pendulum is: A pendulum can never return to a point higher than the point from which it was released. Because of friction and gravity, when the pendulum returns, it will fall short of its original release point. Each time it swings it makes less and less of an arc, until finally it is at rest. This point of rest is called the state of equilibrium, where all forces acting on the pendulum are equal.
I attached a 3-foot string to a child's toy top and secured it to the top of the blackboard with a thumbtack. I pulled the top to one side and made a mark on the blackboard where I let it go. Each time it swung back I made a new mark. It took less than a minute for the top to complete its swinging and come to rest. When I finished the demonstration, the markings on the blackboard proved my thesis. I then asked how many people in the room BELIEVED the law of the pendulum was true. All of my classmates raised their hands, so did the teacher. He started to walk to the front of the room thinking the class was over. In reality it had just begun. Hanging from the steel ceiling beams in the middle of the room was a large, crude but functional pendulum (250 pounds of metal weights tied to four strands of 500-pound test parachute cord.).
I invited the instructor to climb up on a table and sit in a chair with the back of his head against a cement wall. Then I brought the 250 pounds of metal up to his nose. Holding the huge pendulum just a fraction of an inch from his face, I once again explained the law of the pendulum he had applauded only moments before, "If the law of the pendulum is true, then
when I release this mass of metal, it will swing across the room and return short of the release point. Your nose will be in no danger." After that final restatement of this law, I looked him in the eye and asked, "Sir, do you believe this law is true?" There was a long pause. Huge beads of sweat formed on his upper lip and then weakly he nodded and whispered, "Yes." I released the pendulum. It made a swishing sound as it arced across the room. At the far end of its swing, it paused momentarily and started back. I never saw a man move so fast in my life. He literally dived from the table. Deftly stepping around the still-swinging pendulum, I asked the class, "Does he believe in the law of the pendulum?"
The students unanimously answered, "NO!"
SIZE 9 SHOE
One woman says to another, "Poor Maisie really has suffered for what she believes in."
"And what does she believe in? "asks the other.
"She believes that you can wear a size six shoe on a size 9 foot."
FAITH WITHOUT ETHLENE GLYCOL
Ethylene glycol is the most common of the "permanent" antifreezes we use in our automobiles. Mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with water, it will protect your auto engine to about 30 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Some people feel that if a little antifreeze is good, then a lot is better. They put it in their car radiator straight. But pure antifreeze provides no protection for your engine - it becomes slush at around 32 degrees F. Without water it's ineffective.
This is what biblical writers tell us about faith. To be effective, the Gospel must be mixed with usefulness, with action. Jesus did more just talk about religion; He used his faith to get results. He delivered people from sin, disease, demons, fear, poverty, and other detriments. "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:26)
TOO CLOSE TO EDGE
A little boy fell out of bed one night. Asked by his parents what had happened, he replied: "I guess I slept too close to where I got in."
QUOTE: If there is no joy in your Christianity, there’s a leak somewhere in your faith. – Billy Sunday
QUOTE: Faith sees
the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible!!
DO YOU BELIEVE IN WIFE? Bishop James Pike A Time for Christian Candor p. 20
When a man says, "I believe in my wife," he is saying something different from "I believe that I have a wife." The latter is a verifiable fact, whether he is at home or away on a trip (thanks to the good offices of the telephone system). His 1st statement represents an act of faith. He is saying that he puts his trust in her, he has cast his lot with her. So when a man says, "I believe in God" he is saying, "I have bet my life on Him."
Psychologists tell us that the ability to live with uncertainty is a measure of mental health. Highly disturbed mental patients cannot live with unanswered questions. They must have answers for everything and the answers must be right. To achieve this state of perfection, however, they have to retreat into a world of fantasy.
THE MIDDLE CHAPTER OF THE BIBLE
Did you know that:
1) Psalm 118 is in the middle chapter of the entire bible?
2) Psalm 117, before Psalm 118 is the shortest chapter in the bible?
3) Psalm 119, after Psalm 118 is the longest chapter in the bible?
4) The Bible has 594 chapters before Psalm 118 and 594 chapters after Psalm 118.
5) If you add up all the chapters except Psalm 118, you get a total of 1188 chapters.
6) 1188 or Psalm 118 verse 8 is in the middle verse of the entire bible. Should the central verse not have an important message?
"It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man." - Psalm 118.8
BELIEVING, DISNEY STYLE
Driving southbound on Interstate 5 in Valencia, CA, the home of Six Flags Magic Mountain, is a large Disneyland billboard with a single word dominating 75% of the space. The word? Believe. That’s the Gospel message: Believe. It is the same word, but with different meanings. Disney is asking the public to suspend their disbelief for a time and enter into their enchanted Kingdom for a day of recreation. They want us to pretend, for a time, that make believe is worth believing in. That is not Gospel message. We don’t ask people to believe what isn’t true, rather, we want them to believe what know to be true!
QUOTE: The greatest undeveloped resource of our country is faith; the greatest unused power is prayer. – Roger W. Babson
1989 EARTHQUAKE SHAKES BAD FOUNDATIONS
On Oct. 17, 1989 a massive earthquake struck the San Francisco area and the people there gave a lot of thought to the foundation they were built on. Buildings built on solid ground sustained much less damage than those built on "filled in" areas. The south pier of the Golden Gate Bridge sits directly on top of the San Andreas fault! Yet it was undamaged in that quake because the weight of the bridge rests on the two towers deeply embedded into the rock beneath the sea. Remember that double-decker freeway in Oakland that collapsed? It was built on land that had been filled in. It all looked the same until the time of testing!
CAN’T FIX THE FOUNDATION OF TOWER OF PISA
. In 1174 the Italian architect Bonnano Pisano began work on what would become his most famous project: A separately standing bell tower for the Cathedral of the city of Pisa. The tower was to be eight-stories and 185-foot-tall tall. There was just one "little" problem: builders quickly discovered that the soil was much softer than they had anticipated, and the foundation was far too shallow to adequately hold the structure! And sure enough, before long the whole structure had begun to tilt... and it continued to tilt... until finally the architect and the builders realized that nothing could be done to make the Leaning Tower of Pisa straight again. It took 176 years to build the Tower of Pisa and during that time many things were done to try and compensate for the "tilt." Foundation was shored up; the upper levels were even built at an angle to try to make the top of the tower look straight. Nothing worked. The tower has stood for over 800 years, but it leans 18 feet away from where it should be. One day, experts say, it will fall. All because it wasn't built on the right foundation.
BUILDING SANDCASTLES (Adapted from Max Lucado, "More Stories From The Heart")
In the hot sun and salty air, the little boy builds sandcastles on the beach. He takes sand in a colored shovel, packs it into his red bucket, upends it and makes a castle tower. All afternoon he works, spooning out the moat, packing the walls. Bottle tops will be sentries, Popsicle sticks bridges. A sandcastle will be built.
A man at work shuffles papers, bends his back to the job, orders his life. He works his whole life, toiling and laboring, focusing on the job at hand, building riches and sandcastles. Do I make enough money each week. Am I prepared for retirement? Is my castle strong enough so I can have a good life?
Two builders of castles, the man and the child. They have much in common. They take granules and press them into being, they see nothing and try to make something out of it. They are diligent and determined, yet for both the tide will come in, trials will come and the end will approach.
Yet between child and man the similarities end. The man, foolish, as the tides come in hovers over his monument to protect it. "It's my castle", he snarls, "you can't have it". The ocean does not respond.
The boy sees the end while the man ignores it. The child, as dusk approaches, jumps to his feet and watches the tide come in. There is no sorrow, no fear, no regret. When the wave rises and crashes into his castle, he smiles and picks up his tools. He takes his Father's hand and goes home.
AN EAGLE IN DEATH
The Smithsonian Institute has a large display on the eagle. The information there claims that an eagle has an innate sense of its impending death. The eagle will leave its nest and fly to a high point, precipice or rock. He will then attach its talons to the rock and face the sun and die.
I have seen some eagles die. People of faith, fastened to the Rock, facing the Son and ready to die.
QUOTE: Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right." – Henry Ford
HE DIDN’T EXPECT TO PLAY - Herman L. Masin, The Funniest Moments in Sports
It was the first day of basketball practice at Wingate High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. Coach Jack Kaminer handed a ball to each player.
"Fellas," he said, "I want you to practice shooting from the spots you might expect to be in during the game."
The No. 12 sub immediately sat down on the bench and began arching the ball toward the basket.
DEPENDS ON WHO’S DRIVING
Two boys were talking about their Sunday School lesson about Elijah’s ascent in the chariot of fire. One boy asked the other: "Wouldn’t you be afraid to ride in such a chariot?"
"No," said the other, "not if God was driving."
LIFE SAVING FAITH IN AN ELEVATOR Uncle John’s Great Big Bathroom Reader
In 1850… the closest anyone ever came to an elevator was a hoist. This was simply a platform connected to ropes and a pulley that could be used to move heavy objects from one floor of a building to another. Guide rails running from floor to ceiling kept the hoist from swinging back and forth, but it was still very dangerous – if the rope broke, there was nothing to stop it from plummeting to the ground, killing anyone riding in it.. or standing nearby. Accidents were common.
In 1852, the hoist at the Bedstead Manufacturing Company in Yonkers, New York, broke and the superintendent assigned a master mechanic named Elisha Graves Otis to fix it. Otis had seen many brutal mishaps with hoists… So he decided to add a safety feature to the one he was building.
He took a spring from an old wagon and connected it to the top of the platform where the rope was tied. When the rope broke, the spring released and shoved too hooks into the guide rails, holding it in place and preventing it from falling.
Otis’ contraption was simple, and was intended primarily to carry freight. But it was actually the first "safety" elevator – the first one that could reliably carry human passengers.
Not long after… Otis lost his job…. Another furniture company hired him to build 2 new "safety hoisters." Two men had recently been killed using the old one.
(Shortly thereafter Otis opened a business selling his) "Patented Life and Labor Saving Hoisting Machinery." Unfortunately, Otis couldn’t sell even one more elevator. So he decided to demonstrate his contraption personally. He entered it in a exhibition on "progress in industry and the arts" at the Crystal Palace in New York City. When a substantial crowd had gathered, Otis climbed into his hoist, went up about 30 feet, and as onlookers gasped in horror, had his assistant cut the rope with a knife. The rope snapped, the hoist lurched briefly… and then stopped in place. "All safe, gentlemen, all safe," Otis called down to the crowd.
QUOTE: Never consent to creep when you feel an impulse to soar. - Helen Keller
IT MEANS NO BATTERIES R.Digest 10/98 p. 120 contributed by Rebecca L. O’Bea
When my 2 year old son asked me how to make his new toy helicopter fly, I told him he’d have to use his imagination. "Do you know what imagination is, Zachary?" I asked. He answered, "Yes, Mommy. It means no batteries."
FAITH CAN HELP YOU HEAL R.Digest 10/98 p. 109ff by Malcolm McConnell
In a study of 455 elderly hospital patients… Koenig (associate professor psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine) found that people who attended church more than once a week averaged about 4 days in the hospital. People who never or rarely attended church spent about 10 to 12 days hospitalized.
A Dartmouth Medical School study found that heart patients were 14 times more likely to die following surgery if they did not participate in group activities and did not find comfort in religion. Within six months of surgery, 21 patients had died – but there were no deaths among the 37 people who said they were "deeply religious."
Researchers in Israel studied 3900 people living on kibbutzim over a 16 year period. Their findings: the religious had a 40 percent lower death rater from cardiovascular disease and cancer than their secular peers.
A Yale University study of 2812 elderly people found that those who never or rarely attended church had nearly twice the stroke rate of weekly churchgoers.
Harvard Medical School associate professor Dr. Herbert Benson has brought new understanding of the physiology involved in such healing faith. He notes that 60 to 90 % of doctor visits are for stress related diseases – including hypertension, infertility, insomnia, and cardiovascular disease. But Benson has shown that the relaxed state brought on by prayer and meditation reduces the impact of stress hormones such as noradrenaline and adrenaline.
Repetitive prayer slows a person’s heart and breathing rates," he says. "It lowers blood pressure and even slows brain waves, all without drugs or surgery."
BECOMING A MONKEY FOLLOWER
A friend of ours once described an experiment with monkeys. Four monkeys were put into a room. In the center of the room was a tall pole with a bunch of bananas suspended from the top.
One particularly hungry monkey eagerly scampered up the pole, intent on retrieving a banana, he was hit with torrent of cold water from an overhead shower. With a squeal, the monkey abandoned its quest and retreated down the pole.
Each monkey attempted, in turn, to secure the banana. Each received an equally chilly shower, and each scampered down without the prize. After repeated drenchings, the monkeys finally gave up the bananas.
With the primates thus conditioned, one of the original four was removed from the experiment and a new monkey added. No sooner had this new, innocent monkey started up the pole than his (or her) companions reached up and yanked the surprised creature back down the pole. The monkey got the message - don’t climb that pole.
After a few such aborted attempts, but without ever having received a cold shower, the new monkey stopped trying to get the bananas. One by one, each of the original monkeys was replaced. Each new monkey learned the same lesson: Don’t climb the pole.
None of the new monkeys ever made it to the top of the pole; none even got so far as a cold shower. Not one understood precisely why pole climbing was discouraged, but they all respected the well-established precedent. Even after the shower was removed, no monkey ventured up the pole.
THEY JUST DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH INFORMATION
Tim Bowden, in his book One Crowded Hour about cameraman Neil Davis, tells about an incident that happened in Borneo during the confrontation between Malaysia and Indonesia in 1964. A group of Gurkhas from Nepal were asked if they would be willing to jump from transport planes into combat against the Indonesians if the need arose. The Gurkhas had the right to turn down the request because they had never been trained as paratroopers. Bowden quotes Davis’s account of the story:
"Now the Gurkhas usually agreed to anything, but on this occasion they provisionally rejected the plan. But the next day one of their NCO’s sought out the British officer who made the request and said they had discussed the matter further and would be prepared to jump under certain conditions.
"What are they?" asked the British officer.
"The Gurkhas told him they would jump if the land was marshy or reasonably soft with no rocky outcrops, because they were inexperienced in falling. The British officer considered this, and said that the dropping area would almost certainly be over jungle, and there would not be rocky outcrops, so that seemed all right. Was there anything else?
"Yes," said the Gurkhas. They wanted the plane to fly as slowly as possible and no more than one hundred feet high. The British officer pointed out the planes always did fly as slowly as possible when dropping troops, but to jump from one hundred feet was impossible, because the parachutes would not open in time from that height.
"Oh," said the Gurkhas, "that’s all right, then. We’ll jump with parachutes anywhere. You didn’t mention parachutes before!"
SCIENCE - THE FLOATING BALL Heno Head's Simple Science Object Talks
What to do: Take a hair dryer and ping pong ball. Set ball on nozzle of dryer. Turn dryer on. Ping pong ball should hover about 6 inches above nozzle. Gradually turn the hair dryer from straight up to 1 o'clock position. With a little practice you can even get it to the 2 o'clock spot.
SCIENCE - THE SINKING SODA Heno Head's Simple Science Object Talks
What to do:1. Fill a pitcher about 2/3 full of water (you can also use a large bowl or aquarium).
2. Set a can of regular soda in one of the pitchers. It will sink to the bottom. If it doesn't sink, tilt it to release any air bubbles caught beneath can. 3. Place the can of diet soda in the other pitcher. It will float to the top. (Not big time, but floating nonetheless).
What you say: I Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all of our worries upon God because He cares for us, He hears our prayers, and He is concerned for us. Today, I have 2 pitchers of water. And I have two soft drinks, a regular, and a diet. I'm going to put the regular one in this pitcher (it sinks). Now, let's put the diet soft drink in the other pitcher (it floats). What makes the difference? (pull a packet of sugar from your pocket) This little bag of sugar. That's how much sugar is in the regular soda . The diet doesn't have any. The sugar is like our worries. If we let them get the best of us, they weigh us down.
NEVER LET HIS FULL WEIGHT DOWN
Those who have difficulty trusting God are kind of like the man who wanted to take his Uncle Dudley on a plane ride. This was years ago, when planes were still a novelty. It was Uncle Dudley's 75 birthday and his nephew said "How would you like to go up with me?"
His uncle agreed and they went up and circled the old man's farm. When they set down, the nephew asked "Were you scared, Uncle Dudley?"
"No..., but I never did put my full weight down."
SINCE GOD DOESN'T SLEEP, I WILL
A young mother was putting her daughter to bed one night. Her husband was gone and they were there all alone, and while the moon was out, the wind howled menacingly in trees. Both the mother and daughter were uneasy, though the mother did her best to hide her fear.
Then the young girl asked her mother if the moon was God's night light.
"Yes, dear," the mother replied.
"Does God turn out his light when he goes to sleep?" the daughter continued.
"No honey, God never sleeps."
"Oh," said the child quietly. "Well then, if God's going to stay up all night, there's no sense both of us staying awake." And with the gentle faith of child, the girl turned over in bed, pulled her blanket up to her neck and fell asleep."
NOT TRUSTING FOR $5
A preacher was new to a town in Florida and had dropped by a dry-cleaning establishment on the far side of the town to pick up a suit. "That will be $5.50," the woman behind the counter said.
"Oh," replied the preacher. "I only have $5. And I really need to take the suit with me now. Would it be alright if I came back later with the rest?" "Yes," she replied "I'll trust for the 50
cents." Thankfully, the preacher headed for the door. And then a thought struck him and he returned to the counter.
"I'm curious," he said. "You just said you would trust me for 50 cents. What if I had
only the 50 cents... would you have trusted me for the $5?"
"Oh, no," she replied, "I couldn't have done that!"
"So, what you are really saying is that you didn't really trust me but you were willing to take a chance for 50 cents?"
QUOTE: "Forgiving means to pardon the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable, and hoping means to hope when things are hopeless." G.K. Chesterton
FAITH AND WORKS Poem by Hanna More
If faith produce no works I see
That faith is not a living tree.
Thus faith and works together grow;
No separate life they e'er can know;
They're soul and body, hand and heart -
What God has joined, let no man part.
THE POWER OF BELIEVING
A competent scientist reports the result of a test with three men in the British Army: "I asked the 3 men to submit themselves to a test designed to measure the effect of their mental attitude on their physical strength, this strength to be registered by a single gripping device operated by the right hand. In their normal state, these 3 men had an average grip of 101 pounds. When, under hypnosis, I told them they were very weak, their utmost effort registered only 29 pounds. But when, still keeping the men under hypnosis, I told them they were very strong, their average strength jumped back to the normal 101 pounds and then rose to 142 pounds. They were actually 40% stronger when the believed they were strong, and actually 70% weaker when they believed they were weak."
POINT OF LEAP
Lee Iacocca notes: "I once commented to a business associate, 'The trouble with you is that in college they taught you not to take any action until you had all the facts. You've got 95% of them, but it's going to take you another six months to get that last 5%. And by the time you do, they will be out of date.'
At some point you've got to take that leap of faith."
NAPOLEON'S REJECTION OF ROBERT FULTON
"What sir, you would make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her decks? I pray you excuse me. I have not time to listen to such nonsense."
WOMEN'S DEPRESSION, STRESS, LINKED IN STUDY by Paul Recer AP, Washington - Indianapolis Star 11/16/96
Stress and depression that send emergency hormones flowing into the blood stream may help cause brittle bones in women, infections and even cancer, researchers say.
A natural "fight or flight" reflex... is triggered daily in many people, keeping their hormones at constant hyper readiness, experts say. Some forms of depression bring on a similar hormonal state.
"In many people, these hormones, such as cortisol, turn on and stay on for a long time," Dr. Philip Gold of the National Institute of Health said Friday. "If you are in danger, cortisol is good for you.... But if it becomes unregulated, it can produce disease."
In extreme cases, this hormonal state destroys appetite, cripples the immune system, shuts down processes that repair tissue, blocks sleep and even breaks down bone, Gold said.
He spoke at a conference of the International Society for Neuroimmunomodulation, a group of experts who study the effects of stress and depression on disease.
Gold studied bone density among 26 women, half suffering from depression and half with a normal emotional state. The depressed women had high levels of stress hormones, he said.
Although all women were
age 40, he said, those with depression uniformly "had bone density like that
of a 70 year old woman. They were clearly at risk of fractures. The magnitude
of bone loss was surprising."
People who have high levels of stress hormones are at a greater risk of getting sick, said Dr. Ronald Glaser, an Ohio State virologist. Glaser said people who have weak immune systems caused by high stress hormone levels also are more likely to become infected with viruses linked to cancer.
THE JESUS LIZARD The Christian Reader 11/12 1996 p. 4
This small Central American reptile is the only animal known to walk - or more accurately, run - on water. The lizard slaps its foot hard against the water's surface, which widens the webs between is toes like an umbrella. Then it plunges its "snow shoe" into the water and swiftly pulls it back before the water covers it.
When asked if people could learn to walk on water, James Glasheen, the University of California at Berkeley professor who has studied the lizard answered, "No way! We're just too big and our feet are too small."
The disciple Peter gave it a try one stormy night but had to be rescued by Jesus. "you of little faith," Jesus nudged him, still standing on the water himself. "Why did you doubt?"
The incident taught Peter who Jesus was - and that he had come to usher in a New Creation not subject tot he old laws of decay and death. And he learned that it takes more than big feet to tread life's unsettling billows. It takes steps of faith.
COURAGE TO CLIMB Bits and Pieces 10/10/94
There are too many people praying for mountains of difficulty to be removed, when what they really need is courage to climb them.
1ST APARTMENT HOUSE FOLLY Ripley's Believe It Or Not - Great & Strange Works of Man
The 1st apartment house - constructed in New York City - erected on 18th Street in 1869 at a cost of $100,000 was built by Rutherford Stuyvesand and nicknamed "Stuyvesant's Folly" - because it was felt no one would be willing to share a home with strangers.
QUOTE: God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into the nest.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN THEN? Bill Gothard Seminar
A counselor once told of a woman who came to him in despair. She was an older woman whose son lived with her in a small apartment. Her son was lazy good for nothing free loader who did nothing all day but sit in front of the TV and sleep while she worked several hard hours a day just to meet their needs. When she would get home, he'd ask her what was for supper. She had just been to the doctor and had been informed that she MUST take time off and get bed rest and not do any significant labor if she was to regain her health. She came to the counselor frantically hoping he could help her figure her way out of her situation.
The counselor then asked if she was a Christian. "Yes," she replied.
"What will happen if you take the time off?" he asked.
"Well, we'll run out of money, our food will eventually run out and the rent will not get paid."
"Then what will happen?" he asked.
"I'll probably get sicker each day." she responded.
"Then what will happen?"
"I'll probably die!"
"Ok, then what will happen?"
She paused for a few moments considering this and then said, "I guess I'll go to be with Jesus."
He looked in her eyes & then asked, "If you're a Christian, isn't that an acceptable alternative?"
Somehow this gave her a new insight and courage to face her difficulties. She went home to her apartment and went to bed. Then her lazy son came home. Finding her in bed, he asked what was wrong.
"I'm sick," she responded.
"Well, aren't you going to work?"
"I can't. I won't be able to go back to work for some time?"
Taken back, he looked around and then asked "but how will be buy food?"
"I don't know, I guess we won't be able to get any."
"But we'll starve! What are we going to do?"
"I guess, we might die."
At this, he went out and got a job.
QUOTE: Feed your faith and your fear will starve to death.
THE SHEPHERDS' FAITH Luke 2:15-20
When Dr. Martin Luther was in safekeeping at Wartburg castle near Eisenach, he had time to write. In his Christmas Postil, which he had ready by the middle of November 1521, we find this exposition of Luke 2:15-20. Under nine headings he analyzes the shepherds' faith. The shepherds said, "Let us now go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which has come to pass." In connection with this Luther says: "The first and most important thing is faith. For if these shepherds had not believed the angel, they would not have gone to Bethlehem, nor would they have done anything else of that which is spoken about them in the Gospel. But if someone says: 'Well, I too would believe if an angel had spoken to me,' he fools himself. For he who does not receive the Word on its own merit will never receive it because of the preacher even though all the angels preached to him. And if he receives it to please the preacher, he does not believe the Word, nor does he believe God through the Word, but he believes in the preacher. Therefore his faith does not last" Translated from "Evangelisten"
QUOTE: Faith does not blind the eyes. It looks the difficulties square in the face and heaps them to one side of the balances. On the other side, it puts, simply and solely--GOD.
THE TIGHTROPE WALKER WAS HER FATHER
A stuntman pulled a tightrope across the waterfalls of Niagara and announced that he was going to walk across both ways. A crowd gathered for the event. He started walking and made it to the other side and the crowd applauded. Then he attempted to walk back; he made it again and every body applauded. People who said it couldn't be done suddenly became believers. Then he took a wheelbarrow and walked the wheelbarrow across. By this time everyone was a believer where some had been scoffers before. Then he asked, "Now before I take the wheelbarrow back once more, I'm going to ask for a volunteer. Who will ride in the wheelbarrow?" Applauding believers suddenly drew back. But one young child came forward, and climbed into the wheelbarrow. She demonstrated TRUST. "Of course, someone observed correctly, "the little girl trusts him. He's her father!"
PEOPLE SLEPT ON QE2 THROUGH 95 FEET WAVES By Colin Nickerson THE BOSTON GLOBE Dayton Daily News 9/17/95
MONTREAL - Even by the brutish standards of the North Atlantic it was a nasty night, with seas surging to 45 feet and 120-mile-per-hour winds battering the great ship. Nasty enough for Captain Ronald Warwick to have ordered the 1,200 passengers to stay below deck as the Queen Elizabeth 2 steamed into the shrieking maw of fading Hurricane Luis south of Newfoundland. Nasty enough for Warwick to cut speed from 25 knots to five as the liner surged through the spuming swells.
It was 2:10 a.m. Monday and Warwick was on the bridge. When out of the southwest
came hurtling a sea monster to haunt the worst nightmares of the saltiest sea dog: a 95-foot wave lashed up by the ferocious interaction of wind and water.
"It looked as if we were going straight into the white cliffs of Dover," said Warwick, who has spent 38 of his 54 years at sea, mostly on the North Atlantic. "A bit of white knuckle time, rather scary."
"Usually it is difficult to gauge the height of Waves, but this one was at eye level and the bridge is exactly 95 feet high," he said by ship-to-shore radio Friday.
Had this been Hollywood, catastrophe would have followed, perhaps with a tragic ending to the strains of Nearer My God to Thee. But the QE2 - measuring 963-feet in length, displacing 70,237 tons - is the only ocean liner afloat designed specifically for the rigors of the North Atlantic crossing, according to the British-based Cunard cruise line, its owner. "It seemed to take an eternity to reach us but it was in fact about a minute," recounted Warwick, saying that aside from a few tiny alterations at the helm there was nothing to do but ride out the fury of the huge wave. "It broke with tremendous force and washed over the ship."
A few bow railings were bent by the impact of hundreds of thousands of tons of water; some paintwork was scratched. Beyond that, the QE2 sustained no serious damage. Most passengers apparently slept through the encounter. There were no injuries reported.
MEDICAL REASONS TO BELIEVE Guideposts March 1993 p. 42
Among recent discoveries made by Dr. Larson and other researchers are:
- Men who attend church have much lower blood-pressure levels than those who don't.
- 13 out of 14 studies demonstrate the role of religious commitment in preventing
- 13 out of16 studies indicate that if a person is religious, the probability of suicide is significantly lower.
- People who are religious or come from religious families have a lower risk of experiencing mental illness, drug abuse and depression.
- Among elderly women recovering from hip fractures. those with stronger religious beliefs suffered less from depression and thus were more likely to walk sooner.
- When research was reviewed. religious commitment was found to be beneficial to physical health in more than 80% of cases.
FOR THIS I HAVE JESUS - TRUST
In an evangelistic meeting in Ireland the speaker was explaining what it means to abide in Christ and to trust Him completely in every trial. Concluding his message, he repeated several times, "It means that in every circumstance you can keep on saying, 'For this I have Jesus."' The meeting was then opened for testimonies. The young lady who had been at the piano stood up and said, "I have to leave shortly so I'd like to be the first to testify. Just a few minutes ago I was handed this telegram. It reads, 'Mother is very ill; take train home immediately.' When I saw those words, I knew that tonight's message was meant just for me. My heart looked up and said, ' For this I have Jesus.' Instantly a peace and strength flooded my soul." After pausing a moment, she continued, "I have never traveled very far alone, but for this I have Jesus. And for all the strain and suspense that goes with the thought of Mother's severe illness, I praise God that for this too I have Jesus."
Three or four weeks later the evangelist received a letter from the same woman. It read "Thank you again for the message you gave that day. Life has become an uninterrupted psalm of victory, for I have come to realize that no matter what life brings, for this I have Jesus."
CLIMB INTO THE WHEELBARROW
High above the Niagara Falls, a man rolled a wheelbarrow with 200 pounds of dirt back and forth on a tight rope across the falls. When the man shouted "How many of you believe I can roll a man across?" one observer excitedly answered, "I know you can do it!" The tight rope walker called back; "All right sir, you're first." However, the enthusiast disappeared in haste. Why? Though he said he believed, he didn't have enough faith to commit himself to the wheelbarrow in the balancing act.
THE PARADOXES OF FAITH
Upon first reading, these precepts gleaned from the gospels seem to defy human logic. A deeper study, however, will reveal that in them the Lord has outlined a wondrous pattern and a wise design for believers who want to enjoy a successful, overcoming life.
Note these paradoxes:
We see unseen things (2 Cor. 4:18)
We conquer by yielding (Rom. 6:16-18)
We find rest under a yoke (Mt. 11:28-30)
We reign by serving (Mark 10:42-44)
We are made great by becoming little (Luke 9:48)
We are exalted by being humble (Mt. 23:12)
We become wise by being fools for Christ's sake (1 Cor. 1:20, 21)
We are made free by becoming His bond servants (Rom. 6:10)
We wax strong by being weak (2 Cor. 12:10)
We triumph by defeat (2 Cor. 12:7-9)
We find victory by glorying in our infirmities (2 Cor. 12:5)
We live by dying (John 12:24,25; 2 Cor. 4:10,11)
SEEING THROUGH THE WALL
One day John Wesley was walking with a troubled man who expressed his doubt as to the goodness of God. He said, "I do not know what I shall do with all this worry and trouble."
At the same moment, Wesley saw a cow looking over a stone wall. "Do you know," asked Wesley, "why that cow is looking over the wall?"
"No," said the man who was worried.
Wesley said, "The cow is looking over the wall because she can't see through it. That is what you must do with your wall of trouble - look over it and avoid it." Faith enables us to get above circumstances and look to Christ who is over all, blessed forever.
There was a poor woman who earned her living by hard labor but who was a joyous triumphant Christian. "Ah, Nancy," said a gloomy Christian lady to her one day, "it is well to be happy now, but I should think the thoughts of the future would sober you. Only suppose, for instance, you should have a spell of sickness and be unable to work, or suppose your present employer should move away, and no one should give you anything to do. Suppose...
"Stop!" cried Nancy. "I never suppose. The Lord is my Shepherd, and I know I shall not want. You know, dear, it is all those supposes that are making you so miserable. You had better give them all up and just trust the Lord."
IMPRISONING A BUZZARD Centerville Christian Church at Centerville, IN
If you put a buzzard in a pen six or eight feet square and entirely open at the top, the bird will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of 10 to 12 feet. Without space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.
The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkably nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly until it reaches some point of elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then at once it takes off like a flash.
A bumble bee if dropped in to a tumbler, will be there until it dies unless taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists until it completely destroys itself.
In many ways, there are people which are imprisoned like these oddities of nature. These individuals sense a deep need and hunger for freedom from internal conflicts which beset them. They struggle to be happy, to enjoy life, to overcome sin. They push and shove, trying with all their strength to find a way out of their situation on a horizontal plane, but they are helpless. They overlook the obvious fact that the way out is up.
THEY DIDN'T TRUST THE BUILDER R.Digest 5/83 p.1
When architect Sir Christopher Wren designed the interior of Windsor Town Hall near London in 1689, he built a ceiling supported by pillars. After city fathers had inspected the finished building, they decided the ceiling would not stay up and ordered Wren to put in some more pillars.
England's greatest architect didn't think the ceiling needed any more support, so he pulled a fast one. He added four pillars that do not do anything - they don't even reach the ceiling. The optical illusion fooled the municipal authorities, and today the four sham pillars amuse many a tourist.
FOLLOWING HER WHEREVER R.Digest 5/78 p. 63
Students in the elementary school where I'm a library aide recently made their annual trip to the symphony. Each class had been reminded to remain with their teacher at all times.
After the house lights went down, one of the teachers quietly left her aisle seat and made her way to the ladies' room. As she her hand on the handle, she heard a noise behind her and turned around. Her entire class, obeying instructions exactly, had followed her all the way to the rest room.
JUST PLAYED IT SAFE
A Georgia farmer, ragged and barefooted, was standing on the steps of his tumbledown shack. A stranger stopped for a drink of water. "How is your cotton coming along?" he asked. "Ain't got none," replied the farmer. "Did you plant any?" asked the stranger. "Nope," was the reply, "afraid of bollweevils."
"Well," continued the stranger, "how is your corn?" "Didn't plant none," came the answer, "'fraid there weren't going to be no rain."
The visitor persevered: "Well, how are your potatoes?" "Ain't got none. Scairt of potato bugs."
"Really, what did you plant?" pressed the stranger. "Nothin'," was the calm reply, "I jest played safe."
QUOTE: "Some things have to be believed to be seen" by Ralph Hodgson from "The Skylark & Other Poems"
QUOTE: "Pessimism never won a battle." Dwight D. Eisenhower
HUMMINGBIRD OR VULTURE Steve Goodier
Both the hummingbird and vulture fly over our nation's deserts.
All vultures see is rotting meat, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet.
But hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead they look for the colorful blossoms of desert plants.
The vultures live on what was. They live on the past. They fill themselves with what is dead and gone. But hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new life. They fill themselves with freshness and life.
Each bird finds what it is looking for. We all do.
THE FOLLY OF OVERPREPAREDNESS Martin Buxbaum from Table Talk
A chicken hearted knight had to go on a long journey, so he tried to anticipate all problems. He carried a sword and armor in case he met someone unfriendly, a large jar of ointment for sunburn and poison ivy, an ax for chopping firewood, a tent, blankets, pots and pans, and oats for his horse. He rode off clanking, gurgling, thudding and tinkling; he was a moving
When he was halfway across a dilapidated bridge, the boards gave way, and he and his horse fell into the river and drowned. He had forgotten to pack a life preserver.
The moral of the story is that when we overburden ourselves with anticipation of trouble, life just laughs at us - providing us with troubles we could never foresee in our wildest dreams.
I believe that he who travels with faith, travels lightest and safest.
OYSTER OR EAGLE? Morris Mandel from The Jewish Press
When God made the oyster, he guaranteed his absolute economic and social security. He built the oyster a house, his shell, to shelter and protect him from his enemies. When hungry, the oyster simply opens his shell and food rushes in for him. He has freedom from want.
But when God made the eagle he declared: "The blue sky is the limit - build your own house!" So the eagle built on the highest mountain. Storms threaten him every day. For food he flies through miles of rain and snow and wind. But think of it, the eagle, not the oyster, is the emblem of America.
TRUST AND LIFE & DEATH ISSUES C.S. Lewis A Grief Observed
You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn't you then first discover how much you really trusted it?
WHERE IS GOD?... RIGHT HERE!
Reuben K. Youngdhal, in his book, "Live Today", tells the story of a little boy who asked his father if anyone could see God. "No," said the father, "we can't see God."
Disappointed and puzzled, the boy asked his preacher the same question one day and received the same answer.
Summer came, and the boy and an old fisherman became close friends. Drifting down the river one evening the sunset painted brilliant colors across the sky and tears came to the eyes of the old man. The boy reached over, touched the old man's arm and asked, "Can you see God?" His face radiant, the old fisherman turned to the boy and said, "Son, every day it gets more and more so that I don't see anything else."
QUOTE: "Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not to understand that thou mayest believe, but believe that thou mayest understand." Augustine
POLL ON FAITH AND ACTION "What Americans Believe" George Barna p.182
Only 47 percent of adults said that the Christian faith was relevant to the way they live their life. The women were better than men, with women showing 52 percent and men 42%. Perhaps the most staggering statistic is that only 55% of those who attend church regularly said that their faith affected the way they live. (Christian Standard article, 12/20/92)
10 COMMANDMENTS ibid. from "The Day America Told the Truth"
Today in America only 13 percent of adults believe in all 10 commandments. Forty % believe in 5 out of the 10. We choose which laws of God we believe in. There is absolutely no moral consensus in this country.
QUOTE "Every tomorrow has 2 handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith." Dwight D. Eisenhower.
HEARING HIS FATHER'S VOICE R.Digest 1/79 p.63
At our church, the sermons are recorded on cassettes. Some of us then deliver them to members of the parish who are ill or house bound.
I live near the preacher and his wife, and sometimes keep their children overnight when they need a baby-sitter. When I had their 2 year old son not long ago, he woke up at 4:30 a.m. crying for his daddy. I didn't know what to do until I remembered the tape player. I got up and plugged it in. Together we listened to one of his dad's sermons. The little fellow knew it was his father's voice, and went back to sleep.
BEYOND HOPE R.Digest 1/78 p.184
After passing through the Idaho hamlets of Hope and East Hope, I noticed a sign in the midst of a small cluster of buildings. It read: "Beyond Hope."
I MIGHT BE WRONG
Philosopher Bertrand Russell, asked if he was willing to die for his beliefs, replied: "Of course not. After all, I might be wrong."
ATHEISTS WILL BELIEVE IN ANYTHING
G.K. Chesterton once said it is often supposed that when people stop believing in God, they believe in nothing. Alas, it is worse than that. When they stop believing in God, they believe in anything.
ATTITUDES MORE IMPORTANT THAN FACTS Riley L. Walker in Pulpit Helps 10/93
When you cannot change the facts of an unwanted circumstance, you can change your attitude. Dr. Karl Menninger once observed, "Attitudes are more important than facts.
The Bible supplies us with a host of people who rose above their circumstances with wholesome attitudes. These people are easily recognized because of their great faith. The faith they possessed in God's power was so strong that they moved on to victory. Moses led Israel out of Egypt with a stick (Ex. 14). David killed a giant with a sling and a rock (I Sam. 17). Gideon and 300 men attacked and put to flight 135,000 Midianite soldiers with trumpets and torches (Judges 7:8). Facts are not always important; attitudes are.
Paul was of the opinion that he could do all things through Christ who gave him strength (Phil. 4:13). So can you!
If you are always looking at yourself, most likely you are concerned about the facts. Keep your eyes on Jesus and the facts will not matter. In Jesus you can be more than a conqueror because of the love He has for you. You will be able to rise above the facts because attitudes are more important.
STRONG FAITH MAKES GROWING OLD EASIER AFA Journal Feb 94
Researchers at Southern California College have found that elderly who actively practice their religion tend to be more optimistic and cope with illness better then their non-religious peers. In a study of senior citizens, with an average age of 73, more than 90% said prayer was important, and God was a source of strength and support in hard times; 84% said their relationship with God helped prevent loneliness.
GOD WON'T LET YOU DOWN R. Digest JUNE 1973
My husband was an Air Force pilot, and on his last leave before going overseas I reminded him to keep his trust in the Lord no matter how bad the situation became. Upon his safe return a year later, my first grateful words were: "I told you that God wouldn't let you down."
He grinned and said, "I know. But He sure left me dangling there a couple of times."
KNOWING HOW THE BOOK ENDS SE Leadership Conference 3/94
A young boy was reading one of his favorite westerns one night, when his Father overheard him in his room saying "You're gonna get it... you're gonna get it." Curious, the father opened his son's door and asked why he kept repeating that phrase.
"Oh," replied his son, "the villain in this story always seems to get the best of the good guy, and it so disturbed me that yesterday I turned to the back of the book and read the last chapter. The hero wins. Now whenever I read about the bad guy beating up the hero it makes me feel better to yell 'You're gonna get it.'"
He who knows the end of the story isn't concerned about how the plot develops.
LOVE & FAITH r.digest July 1974
Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.
COUNTRY BOY'S BIRDS r.digest December 1973
Wally Cox was a country boy with a city mind. Pure quicksilver and sweeter than Michigan snow. He was an ace at bird-calling. When he owned a farm in Connecticut, chickadees fluttered in his hands every morning. It wasn't just for food, it was also conversation - some sort of matutinal ceremony with Wally as dominie. One human visitor wanted so badly to receive a chickadee in her palm, she practiced for weeks. No go. They chirped but wouldn't approach. Then she got smart. She put Wally's fedora on her head and wrapped herself in his mackinaw. Seconds later, she was festooned with birds. Wally's clothes could be trusted, and all God's creatures knew it.
KEEPING EYES ON THE STAR
Many people have heard of the outstanding exploits of Blondin, the tightrope walker. Blondin amused and amazed thousands of people as he made his way over Niagara Falls on a slender rope stretched from shore to shore. He never faltered or failed. But Blondin had a secret. As he made his way over the rope, he would keep his eyes fixed on a large silver star which he had erected at the far end. The star was the center of his attention and guided him to the other side.
In running the heavenly race the believer must look to his Star -- the bright and morning Star, the Lord Jesus. He has run the race and now bids his followers to run the race, keeping their eyes fixed on himself as the goal.
STRAIGHT LINE IN THE SNOW
The snow covered the ground where three lads were playing. A man came along and said to them, "Would you like to try a race and the winner receive a prize?"
The boys agreed and the man told them that his race was to be different. "I will go to the other side of the field," he said, "and when I give you the signal, you will start to run. The one whose footsteps are the straightest in the snow will be the winner."
The race commenced and the first boy kept looking at his feet to see if his steps were straight. The second lad kept looking at his companions to see what they were doing; but the third boy just ran on with his eyes steadfastly fixed on the man on the other side of the field.
The third lad was the winner, for his footsteps were straight in the snow. He had kept his eyes on the goal ahead of him.
I BELIEVE IN:
The sun when it is not shining
The wind when it is not blowing
& God when He is silent
QUOTE: We need passion in our faith! Instead of praying, "If I should die before I wake," we should pray, "Lord wake me up before I die!" -- Tony Campolo
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON'S WALK TO FAITH
In the later years of his life Robert Louis Stevenson was a man of deep and profound faith. It was not always like that, however. Like many young people he rebelled against his upbringing. He was raised in Scotland in a very strict Calvinist home. As a college student he quickly shed his rigid upbringing, which he called "the deadliest gag and wet blanket that can be laid on a man," and adopted a thoroughly Bohemian lifestyle. He called himself a "youthful atheist." As he became older, however, he began to have "doubts about his doubts." He came to see that for all its claim to wisdom, the world had no satisfying answers to the deepest questions of life. Later Robert Louis Stevenson would write, "There is a God who is manifest for those who care to look for him." Still later he would describe his own religious outlook as a "cast iron faith."
RESTING WHOLE WEIGHT ON GOD
When John Paton was translating the Bible for a South Seas island tribe, he discovered that they had no word for trust or faith. One day a native who had been running hard came into the missionary's house, flopped himself in a large chair and said, "It's good to rest my whole weight on this chair." "That's it," said Paton. "I'll translate faith as 'resting one's whole weight on God.'"
QUOTE: Go as far as you can see, and when you get there you will always be able to see farther.
SINCERE = WITHOUT WAX
True Christians are characterized by a genuine faith. A good synonym for the word genuine in 2 Timothy 1:5 is the word sincere. If you look in a dictionary that lists word origins, you'll find that it comes from two Latin terms -- sine and cere, meaning "without wax."
Years ago, a potter would often put his seal, or stamp, upon a completed vessel with the words sine cere. This meant that to his knowledge there was no flaw in that work. If a potter did crack a vessel, he would carefully patch that flawed vase or bowl by filling in the crack with wax. Then he would glaze it over. But it did not merit the stamp sine cere, "without wax," because it was not a flawless piece of pottery.
QUOTE: Paul Harvey has rightly said, "If you don't live it, you don't believe it."
LOOKING FOR THE TREASURE = JOB
The sign in the window read: "Boy Wanted". Young John Simmons, though he was lazy, saw his opportunity and applied. He was quickly hired by elderly Mr. Peters. The pace was leisurely so he enjoyed the job. Toward the middle of the afternoon however, he was sent up to the attic -- a dingy place full of cobwebs and infested with mice. "You will find a long, deep box there," explained Mr. Peters. "Please sort out the contents and see what should be saved." John was disappointed. It was a large container, and there seemed to be nothing in it but old junk. After a few minutes he went back to the ground floor. Asked by the proprietor if he had completed his work, he replied, "No, sir, it was dark and cold up there and I didn't think it was worth doing." At closing time he was paid and told not to return. The next morning the old sign "Boy Wanted" appeared in its usual place. Crawford Hill was the next to be employed. When he was asked to tidy up the same box, however, he spent hours separating the usable nails and screws from the things to be discarded. Suddenly he raced down the stairs all excited. "At the very bottom I found this!" he exclaimed, holding up a 20-dollar bill. At last the store owner had discovered a conscientious boy to whom he could entrust his business when he retired. Years later Mr. Peters said, "This young man, who is now my successor, found his fortune in a junk box!" Then, correcting himself, he added, "No, he actually found it in his mother's Bible because he heeded the verse she made him memorize: 'He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much!'"
FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH - KOREAN WAR
One of the more heroic stories to come out of the Korean War involved a young sergeant by the name of Gardolibov. He had been engaged in the severe fighting on Heartbreak Hill. When the shooting had subsided, a rescue team was dispatched to the area to aid the wounded. The sergeant was found dying, but they discovered something very unusual. Although his hands were paralyzed, he had clenched between his teeth the two ends of a communication wire that had broken. In that moment when one would expect his every thought and concern to be directed toward his own needs, he was still doing what he could to keep the messages going through. He was faithful unto death! Many so-called "soldiers of the cross" are put to shame by his noble example. Sad to say, when the going gets rough, the demands too great, the sacrifice too costly, or the shame of the cross too much to bear, they desert their post and flee back of the lines where it's more comfortable and secure. Some even go AWOL.
"THE LORD WILL PROVIDE"
It seems that down south, some recent excavations for a new highway had contributed to causing a flash flood. Volunteers risked their lives to rescue victims stranded in the deluge. One old man was up to his knees in the fast-rising waters when a rowboat came. "Hop in, we'll save you!"
"No thanks, the Lord will provide."
A short while later, a motor boat was sent to save him. By this time the swirling waters were over his waist, but again he declined: "No thanks, the Lord will provide."
Soon the water was up to his chin, so a helicopter was dispatched at the last minute. "Climb aboard, this is your last chance!"
"Thanks anyway, but I don't need you, the Lord will provide."
Before the helicopter returned home, the old man was mad as a hornet, banging on the Pearly Gates. He bitterly complained to St. Peter, "The last thing I remember I was in trouble, praying up a storm, so why did you let me drown?"
St. Peter looked at him, shook his head, and explained: "We sent you two boats and a helicopter. What more do you want?"
BIG GODDERS AND LITTLE GODDERS
Every follower of Jesus Christ needs to understand that Christ has power over both life and death -- otherwise we have no news that is ultimately Good News. John Huffman in his book, "Who's In Charge Here?", tells about Robert Dick Wilson, a great professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. One of Dr. Wilson's students had been invited back to preach in Miller Chapel twelve years after his graduation.
Old Dr. Wilson came in and sat down near the front. At the close of the meeting the old professor came up to his former student, cocked his head to one side in his characteristic way, extended his hand, and said, "If you come back again, I will not come to hear you preach. I only come once. I am glad that you are a big-godder. When my boys come back, I come to see if they are big-godders or little-godders, and then I know what their ministry will be." His former student asked him to explain, and he replied: "Well, some men have a little god, and they are always in trouble with him. He can't do any miracles. He can't take care of the inspiration and transmission of the Scripture to us. He doesn't intervene on behalf of his people. They have a little god and I call them little-godders. Then there are those who have a great God. He speaks and it is done. He commands and it stands fast. He knows how to show Himself strong on behalf of them that fear him. You have a great God; and He will bless your ministry." He paused a moment and smiled, and said, "God bless you," and turned, and walked out.
LIMITING USE OF GOD'S POWER
The story is told of a Welsh woman who lived in a remote valley in Wales. She went to a great deal of trouble to have electrical power installed in her home. They noticed she didn't use very much electricity at all. In fact, her usage was minuscule. They sent a meter reader out to check on the matter. The man came to the door and said, "We've looked at the amount. Don't you use electricity?" "Oh yes" she said. "We turn it on every night to see how to light our lamps and then we switch it off again."
This sounds like the way many Christians apply the power of God in their lives.
FORMULA FOR SPIRITUAL SUCCESS
If you want to be distressed -- look within.
If you want to be defeated -- look back.
If you want to be distracted -- look around.
If you want to be dismayed -- look ahead.
If you want to be delivered -- look up!
FAITH TO MOVE ME Guideposts, Sept. 1981
Dear Lord, I ask not for a faith that will move a mountain, but for a faith that will somehow move me. - Mildred N. Hoyer, Brooklyn New York