A Roman Catholic priest in Belgium rebuked a young woman and her brother for reading that “bad book” pointing to the Bible. “Mr. Priest,” she replied, “a little while ago my brother was an idler, a gambler, a drunkard, and made such a noise in the house that no one could stay in it. Since he began to read the Bible, he works with industry, goes no longer to the tavern, no longer touches cards, brings home money to his poor old mother, and our life at home is quiet and delightful. How comes it, Mr.
One of the most destructive weeds that crop farmers must deal with is the Canadian thistle. It has an extensive root system that makes it extremely difficult to eradicate once it is established. The root structure can reach a depth of fifteen feet, and the roots can also spread out the same distance horizontally. These prolific roots crowd out the plants. Just twenty thistles in one square mile of field can reduce barley yield by a third or alfalfa yield by one half! Canadian thistle is also very damaging to feed crops, as livestock will not graze near it.
When Adoniram Judson graduated from college and seminary he received a call from a fashionable church in Boston to become its assistant pastor. Everyone congratulated him. His mother and sister rejoiced that he could live at home with them and do his life work, but Judson shook his head. “My work is not here,” he said. “God is calling me beyond the seas. To stay here, even to serve God in His ministry, I feel would be only partial obedience, and I could not be happy in that.” Although it cost him a great struggle he left mother and sister to follow the heavenly call.
A number of years ago, the Associated Press released a study done by an agricultural school in Iowa. It reported that production of 100 bushels of corn from one acre of land, in addition to the many hours of the farmer's labor, required 4,000,000 lbs. of water, 6,800 lbs. of oxygen, 5,200 lbs. of carbon, 160 lbs. of nitrogen, 125 lbs. of potassium, 75 lbs. of yellow sulphur, and other elements too numerous to list. In addition to these things, which no man can produce, rain and sunshine at the right time are critical.
A Philadelphia congregation watched as three 9-year-old boys were baptized and joined the church. Not long after, unable to continue with its dwindling membership, the church sold the building and disbanded.
Mr. Kimball, a Sunday school teacher, in 1858 led a Boston shoe clerk to give his life to Christ. The clerk, Dwight L. Moody, became an evangelist and in England in 1879 awakened evangelistic zeal in the heart of Frederick B. Meyer, pastor of a small church. F.B. Meyer preaching on an American college campus, brought to Christ a student named J. Wilbur Chapman. Chapman, engaged in YMCA work, employed a former baseball player Billy Sunday, to do evangelistic work. And the list goes on.
An old preacher was met one of his deacons, whose face wore a very resolute expression.
“I came early to meet you,” he said. “I have something on my conscience to say to you. Pastor, there must be something radically wrong in your preaching and work; there has been only one person added to the church in a whole year, and he is only a boy.”
Jim Elliot was one of the martyred missionaries in 1956. He was a passionate Christian who journaled many of his thoughts and prayers. One such entry addressed his concern about impact. He wrote, “Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” His impact continues on even though he died over fifty years ago at the age of twenty-nine.
Source: Shadow of the Almighty, Elisabeth Elliot
Diamonds are formed under great pressure and heat. If these conditions do not exist, they are simply not formed. It is not that they will be low quality, or smaller in size, but they will not form. God brings His refining fire into our lives to create in us what He sees fit. When He sees our lack of character, He will bring into our lives what we need. So next time a fiery trial comes, thank God. He is producing exactly what He knows you need in your life. The only difference between a diamond and a piece of coal is pressure.
Strawberries are my favorite fruit. I even love strawberry plants, for once they preached a powerful sermon to me which I've never forgotten. I was on my hands and knees in my garden pulling weeds, when suddenly I noticed something I had seen hundreds of times before but never caught the lesson. It was the "runners" on the berry plants. From the main vine a number of slender shoots extend like arms in all directions. They are thin, green stems creeping along the ground, being pushed out by that mysterious power in the mother plant.
We ought to know better than to despair over the visible result of spiritual endeavor. During a recent visit to Johannesburg I spent a day at one of the gold-mines. There was immense activity, gangs of workers, clouds of dust, hissing steam, deafening stamps, heaps of quartz, torrents of water and cauldrons of slime; but I came away without having seen a single speck of gold. The engineer touched the bottom of a turbid stream, and exclaimed, “There is a particle!” It was however, as invisible to me as the same metal usually is on the collection-plate.
Some of the greatest missionaries of history devotedly spread the seed of God's Word and yet had to wait long periods before seeing the fruit of their efforts. William Carey, for example, labored 7 years before the first Hindu convert was brought to Christ in Burma, and Adoniram Judson toiled 7 years before his faithful preaching was rewarded by seeing his first converts.