Every day when the sun rises over Washington DC, its first rays fall on the eastern side of the city’s tallest structure, the 555-foot Washington Monument. The first part of that monument to reflect the rising sun is the eastern side of its aluminum capstone, where these words are inscribed: Laus Deo, Latin for “Praise be to God.” This compact prayer of praise, visible to the eyes of heaven alone, is tacit recognition of our nation’s unique acknowledgment of the place of God in its founding and its continuance.
A converted Hindu gave the following address to a number of his fellow countrymen: “I am, by birth, of an insignificant and contemptible caste—so low, that if a Brahmin should chance to touch me, he must go and bathe in the Ganges for the purpose of purification; and yet God has been pleased to call me, not merely to the knowledge of the Gospel, but to the high office of teaching it to others. My friends, do you know the reason of God’s conduct?
The British minister, W. E. Sangster, began to lose his voice and mobility in the mid-1950s. He had a disease that caused progressive muscular atrophy. He recognized the end was near, so he threw himself into writing and praying. In the midst of his suffering he pleaded, “Let me stay in the struggle, Lord. I don’t mind if I can no longer be a general, but give me just a regiment to lead.”
Johann Sebastian Bach said, “All music should have no other end and aim than the glory of God and the soul’s refreshment; where this is not remembered there is no real music but only a devilish hub-bub.”
He headed all of his compositions: ”J. J.,” the initials for, ”Jesus Juva” which means “Jesus help me.”
He ended them “S.D.G.,” the initials for, “Soli Dei Gratia” which means “To God alone be the glory.”
Source: Light Steps, Timothy W. Bowes
An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended the big city church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.
“Well,” said the farmer, “It was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns.”
“Praise choruses,” said his wife, “What are those?”
“Oh, they’re okay. They’re sort of like hymns, only different,” said the farmer.
“Well, what’s the difference?” asked the wife.
When the great painter Benjamin West was a young boy he decided to draw a picture of his sister. He got out bottles of ink and succeeded in making a mess. When his mother got home she said, “What a beautiful picture,” and kissed him. Later in life he said, “That kiss made me a painter.”
The Duke of Wellington, the British military leader who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, was not an easy man to serve under. He was brilliant, demanding, and not one to shower his subordinates with compliments. Yet even Wellington realized that his methods left something to be desired. In his old age a young lady asked him what, if anything, he would do differently if he had his life to live over again. Wellington thought for a moment, then replied. “I’d give more praise.”
Source: Bits and Pieces, March 31, 1994
One morning Marion Gilbert opened her door and was surprised to see a small dog she had never seen before with her paper in its mouth. Delighted with his “delivery service,” she gave him some treats. The next morning she was horrified to see the same dog sitting in front of her door, wagging his tail, surrounded by eight newspapers. She spent the rest of that morning returning the papers to their owners.
Source: The Reader’s Digest, Volume 1444
I visited one who was ill in bed; and, after having buried seven of her family in six months, had just heard that the eighth, her beloved husband, was cast away at sea. I asked, “Do not you fret at any of those things?” She said, with a lovely smile upon her pale cheek, “O, no! How can I fret at anything which is the will of God? Let Him take all besides: He has given me Himself. I love, I praise Him every moment.”
Source: John Wesley's Journal, April 21, 1764
Submitted by the homiletics class of West Coast Baptist College
What various hindrances we meet
In coming to a mercy seat!
Yet who that knows the worth of prayer,
But wishes to be often there?
makes the darken’d cloud withdraw,
Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw,
Gives exercise to faith and love,
Brings every blessing from above.
Restraining prayer, we cease to fight;
Prayer makes the Christian’s armour bright;
And Satan trembles when he sees
The weakest saint upon his knees.
One morning R.C. Chapman, a devout Christian, was asked how he was feeling. “I'm burdened this morning!” was his reply. But his happy countenance contradicted his words.
So the questioner exclaimed in surprise, “Are you really burdened, Mr. Chapman?”
“Yes, but it's a wounderful burden--it's an overabundance of blessings for which I cannot find enought time or words to express my gratitude!”
A. J. Jacobs is the acclaimed author best known for completely immersing himself in his research. He read an entire set of Encyclopedia Britannica for his book The Know-It-All and spent another year living like an Old Testament Hebrew. Among his unique quests, he once embraced the original version of Thanksgiving. He came to realize it was quite a celebration with games, riddles, races, contests, and foods like eel and lobster.
A story is told of a famous violinist who was to perform at a concert hall of world renown. As he stood before the packed house that night and played his violin, he mesmerized the audience with his prowess and skill. As he lifted his bow off the string on his final note, the hall erupted with thunderous applause and he was given a standing ovation. He looked at the crowd for a moment and walked off the stage only to return to render an encore performance. To the amazement of the masses gathered there that night, his encore performance was even more beautiful and flawless than the first.