Henry Heinz, born in 1844, to German immigrants in Pittsburg, PA, helped support his family as a teenager by growing and selling vegetables in the family garden. After graduating from college and getting married, he started a business selling horse radish. In 1875, a national financial collapse drove the young company into bankruptcy. Despite the legal freedom bankruptcy gave him, Heinz regarded each of the company’s outstanding debts as a moral obligation and personally paid back every penny.
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.
One day a farmer grabbed his shot gun to shoot at a flock of pesky crows. Unfortunately, he didn’t see his sociable parrot that had joined the crows. After firing a few shots, he walked over to the fallen birds and was surprised to find his parrot badly ruffled with a broken wing. When the farmer’s children saw the injured bird, they asked, “Dad, what happened?” The farmer simply replied, “Bad company.”
A little boy said, “Dad, did Grandpa make you go to Sunday school when you were my age?”
His father said, “He sure did. We went every Sunday.”
The boy said sadly, “Well, I bet it won’t do me any good either.”
It is not enough to just go to church. We must apply the Bible to our everyday lives.
An elderly woman walked into a church. The friendly usher greeted her at the door and helped her up the flight of steps, “Where would you like to sit?” he asked politely.
“The front row please,” she answered.
“You really don’t want to do that,” the usher said “the pastor is really boring.”
“Do you happen to know who I am?” the woman inquired.
“No.” he said.
“I’m the pastor’s mother,” she replied indignantly.
“Do you know who I am?” he asked.
“No.” she said.
“Good,” he answered.
During Sunday school, the teacher asked her class of first-graders if anyone could describe a Christian. A little boy quickly raised his hand and stated, “Christians are nice people who never complain, argue, or talk back.” He then added, “My Daddy is a good Christian, but my Mommy isn’t.”
A Sunday school teacher was endeavoring to impress upon a class of boys the importance of living the Christian life. “Why do people call me a Christian?” the man asked.
After a moment’s pause, one youngster said, “Maybe it’s because they don’t know you.”
When native converts of the island of Madagascar used to present themselves for baptism, it was often asked of them, “What first led you to think of becoming Christians?” The answer usually was that the changed conduct of others who had become Christians was what first arrested their attention.
At the one-hundredth anniversary of the arrival of missionaries in Zaire, Christians gathered to celebrate from that part of Zaire that was once called the Belgian Congo. Near the end of the celebration, a very old man stood to give a speech. He said that he would die soon and that he needed to tell something that no other man still living knew.
As a schoolboy, I worked with my father during the summer months. Each morning we stopped to pick up the early edition of the newspaper at a small grocery store.
One morning when we got to work, my father found that by mistake he had taken two newspapers instead of one. He first thought of paying the man the extra price the next morning, but then after a moment’s consideration he said, “I had better go back with this paper. I don’t want the man at the store to think I’m dishonest.” He got in his car, drove back to the store, and returned the paper.
Prentice Henderson lived to be 100. He lived through the Great Depression, fought in World War II, and buried his wife.
He did not retire until he was in his 70s, and he taught Sunday School to 7th-grade boys for over 30 years at First Baptist Church. He had a simple little philosophy: “I chose to be happy.” His daughter testified that, “He was always positive regardless of the situation.”
This man influenced generations because he “chose to be happy.”
Source: Houston Chronicle, August, 21, 2009
An American Indian was asked to explain the grace of Jesus. He took a pile of leaves and an earth worm. He laid the worm in the leaves and set the leaves on fire—at the last minute he lifted it out and said, “That is the way Jesus saved me!”
Source: Junior Missionary Stories, Margaret Tyson Applegarth
After businesses were ravaged by bombs during World War II the owners would often clear away the rubbish and place a sign out front that said, “Business as usual.” When God saves us, His desire is that we would put out a sign that says, “Under new management.”
Late in his career, when the Yankees were comfortably ahead in the pennant race, Joe DiMaggio was asked why he continued to play so hard. He said, “Because there might be somebody out there who’s never seen me play.”
The Christian should live every day as if someone will see him who has never seen a Christian before.
Source: Summer of 49, David Halberstam
John Newton’s epitaph reads:
John Newton, clerk, once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy.
Grace did not free him to serve no master, but a new Master.
Source: Amazing Grace in John Newton: Slave Ship Captain, Hymn Writer, and Abolitionist, William E. Phipps
A young lady who was attempting to defend her attendance at questionable places of amusement told her friend that she thought a Christian could go anywhere. Her friend replied, “Certainly she can, but I am reminded of a little incident which happened last summer when I went with a party of friends to explore a coal mine. One of the young women appeared dressed in a dainty white gown. When her friends remonstrated with her, she appealed to the old miner who was to act as guide to the party. ’Can’t I wear a white dress down into the mine?’ she asked petulantly.
NBA player A. C. Green said that when he became a Christian he resolved to keep his purity. He said, “We all have the power of choice, but once used, our choice then has power over us. Condoms are hailed today as the answer for unwanted pregnancy and disease prevention, no one tells the kids they fail 15 to 36% of the time. Teen pregnancies have increased 87% since the government began it’s birth control crusade. We will never stop the AIDS epidemic until we stop promiscuity. Earvin was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and most of the team went in for testing. I didn’t.”
Lauren McCain was one of the students killed at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007. The freshman from Shawnee, Oklahoma left a powerful statement about her faith on her personal web site. The 20-year-old had written, “The purpose and love of my life is Jesus Christ. I don’t have to argue religion, philosophy, or historical evidence because I KNOW Him.”
Source: The New York Times
Winston Churchill planned his funeral before he died. His wishes called for a bugler, positioned high in the dome of Saint Paul’s to play the taps after the benediction. The taps were meant to represent that his physical life was over. But then came the most dramatic turn: as soon as the taps was finished, another bugler, placed on the other side of the great dome, played the notes of reveille—It’s time to get up. It’s time to get up. It’s time to get up in the morning. At the end of history, the last note will not be taps; it will be reveille.
After school one day, a first-grade boy said, “Mom, the teacher asked me today if I have any brothers or sisters who will be coming to school.” The boy’s mother replied, “That’s nice of her to take such an interest, Dear. What did she say when you told her you are an only child?”
“She just said, ‘What a relief!’”