Two boys were playing in the snow one day; when one said to the other, “Let us see who can make the straightest path in the snow.” His companion readily accepted the proposition, and they started.
The story is told of various church members and their attitude toward the midweek service:
Brother A. thought it looked like rain, and concluded that his family, including himself of course, had better remain at home. On Thursday evening it was raining very hard, and the same brother hired a carriage, and took his whole family to the Academy of Music, to hear M. Agassiz lecture on the “Intelligence of the Lobster.”
Maria Dyer was born in 1837 on the mission field in China where her parents were pioneer missionaries. Both her parents died when Maria was a little girl, and she was sent back to England to be raised by an uncle. The loss of her parents, however, did not deter her young heart from the importance of sharing the gospel. At age sixteen she, along with her sister, returned to China to work in a girl’s school as a missionary herself. Five years later, she married Hudson Taylor, a man well-known today for his life of ministry, faith, and sacrifice.
When he was appointed as the pastor a church in Cambridge, England, in 1783 Charles Simeon was delighted. The people of the church did not share his joy. Many of the prominent members of the church opposed his convictions on reaching the lost with the gospel.
One-third (35 percent) of Americans today say they have been through a breakup at least once in the past 10 years.
Americans under age 35 are twice as likely as those between 35 and 54, and nearly five times as likely as those 55 and older, to have split with a significant other in the past decade. In fact, 59 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 say they have recently experienced a breakup.
Although half of women (51 percent) say they initiated their most recent split, only 32 percent of men say their partner dumped them.
One of the most gifted speakers in church history was John Chrysostom—the name comes from a Greek word meaning “golden tongued.” John was sent from Antioch to what was then Constantinople where he preached fearlessly in the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. His denunciation of the lavish extravagance of the rich and ruling class and his condemnation of excess infuriated many, including Empress Eudoxia who arranged for him to be exiled.
William Booth was greatly stirred by the needs of the poor of London, and realized that most churches were doing nothing to reach the “undesirables”—drunkards, morphine addicts, prostitutes, and the poor. He set out to reach them with what he called the 3 S’s: soup, soap and salvation. Thousands were saved among those that most churches had no interest in reaching. Booth gave his life for the cause of reaching others.
Charles Spurgeon told this story of his grandfather James and his faith in God. “He had a large family and a very small income, but he loved his Lord, and he would not have given up his preaching of the gospel for anything.” One day the cow on which the family relied for milk for the children suddenly died. James Spurgeon’s wife was greatly concerned, but he said, “God said He would provide, and I believe He could send us fifty cows if He pleased.”
A missionary to Africa told the story of an elderly woman who was reached with the gospel. Though she was blind and could neither read nor write, she wanted to share her new found faith with others. She went to the missionary and asked for a copy of the Bible in French. When she got it, she asked the missionary to underline John 3:16 in red and mark the page it was on so she could find it. The missionary wanted to see what she would do, so one day he followed her.
Though he would later be acclaimed as one of the greatest inventors of history, Thomas Edison’s school career lasted three months. The teacher believed he was incapable of learning anything and sent him home. Edison’s mother taught him, and he was on his way to a lifetime of overcoming what seemed to be insurmountable obstacles. Among his most famous inventions were the commercial incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the fluoroscope. Most of his inventions required months if not years of dedication to overcoming obstacles before seeing any results.
In 1555, as part of her campaign to re-establish the Catholic Church in England, Queen Mary, also known as Bloody Mary, arranged for John Philpot, one of the leading Protestant ministers of the day, to be burned at the stake. When his death sentence was pronounced, Philpot said, “I am ready; God grant me strength and a joyful resurrection.” Philpot walked to the place of execution on his own, rather than having to be dragged to it, and when he reached it, he knelt and kissed the stake at which he would be burned.
In the 1840s, John Geddie left the pastorate of a church in Canada to take his wife and two small children to the South Sea Islands to begin a mission work there. After a voyage of more than 20,000 miles, they arrived in the New Hebrides Islands at Aneityum. The island chain was filled with cannibals, and more than twenty crew members of a British ship had been killed and eaten just months before the Geddies arrived on the mission field.
In the sixteenth century, there was a protestant reformer in England by the name of Hugh Latimer. He was known as a great preacher of his day and as a result he had many opportunities to speak. Once he found that he was to preach before the King Henry VIII of England. As he thought about his great responsibility to bring a message before the king he realized that the message that God laid on his heart was not the message that the king would want to hear.
The story is told about a little boy who had been invited to a friend’s birthday party. He was so excited and started counting the days until the party. But the morning of the party he was devastated when he found that a blizzard had struck their little town. The snow was falling in wet, heavy flakes, and the wind was howling. “I don’t think you should go to the party,” his father said. The little boy was so disappointed.
In 2005, the Guinness Book of World Records said that Percy and Florence Arrowsmith held two records—the longest marriage of a living couple (80 years) and having the largest married couple’s aggregate age (205 years).
Both Mr. and Mrs. Arrowsmith have since died, but they left good advice for those who want to have a lasting marriage. Florence said, “You must never go to sleep bad friends. If you’ve had a quarrel, you make it up. Never be afraid to say, ‘sorry’.”
When Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ford celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, a reporter asked them, “To what do you attribute your fifty years of successful married life?”
“The formula,” said Mr. Ford, “is the same formula I have always used in making cars—just stick to one model.”
Source: Walking Through Your Bible with H.M.S. Richards, H.M.S. Richards
The story is told that Andrew Jackson’s boyhood friends just couldn’t understand how he became a famous general and then the President of the United States. They knew of other men who had greater talent but who never succeeded. One of Jackson’s friends said, “Why, Jim Brown, who lived right down the pike from Jackson, was not only smarter but he could throw Andy three times out of four in a wrestling match. But look where Andy is now.”
Another friend responded, “How did there happen to be a fourth time? Didn’t they usually say three times and out?”
The famous and very successful football coach Bear Bryant often told reporters, "I’d croak in a month if I quit coaching." After twenty-five years as the head coach at his alma mater, Bryant announced he would be stepping down at the end of the season. On December 29, 1982, he coached his Alabama football team for the last time in the Liberty Bowl against Illinois. On January 26, 1983, he died of a massive heart attack.
Timothy Stackpole was a New York Firefighter, who was severely burned in a 1998 fire. After he recovered, he returned to the force despite the advice of some friends and family and the fact that he could retire comfortably.
He was a great fire fighter and passionate about his work and was soon promoted to captain. Timothy was one of the fire fighters that ran into the second tower to try to save some people. When he did, it collapsed and took his life. He knew his calling—to save people. The Holy Spirit has called us to a life of service. We should live for Him.
Charles Spurgeon preached to thousands in London each Lord’s day, yet he started his ministry by passing out tracts and teaching a Sunday school class as a teenager. He was eventually invited to obscure places in the country side to preach, and after that became known as one of the greatest preachers in England.
Spurgeon said: “I am perfectly sure, that if I had not been willing to preach to those small gatherings of people in obscure country places, I should never have had the privilege of preaching to thousands of men and women in large buildings all over the land.”