Illustration results for poverty
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The Resurrection of the Dead
Avijah Powers felt moderately sure nobody would recognize him when he registered under an assumed name at the little inn. It was more than twenty years since he had left the town--a hard,
reckless boy, running away from a good father and a devoted mother because he hated goodness and loved lawlessness and his own way.
For years he had led the life of a vagabond. Then the spirit of adventure was aroused in him by the stories of the wealth of the Klondike. He joined one of the earliest parties, in that hazardous search for gold, and succeeded beyond his dreams. Now he had come back, with his old instincts, but with the wealth of a millionaire, and some strange compulsion led him to the village where he first drew breath.
He did not even know whether his parents were living or dead. It was altogether likely they were dead. With that conviction and without asking a question, he made his way in the August twilight to the graveyard, and to the spot where for three generations his ancestors had been laid.
Yes, there were new stones placed since he had been there. The sight moved him strangely. He bent to read the inscription on the first one. It was to the memory of his father, "Died, 1884. ’Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.’"
The date cut the man to the heart. His father had died a year after the only son had run away! And his mother had been left alone! But perhaps she had followed her husband mercifully soon. Again he bent to read, this time with tear-filled eyes, "Died, 1902. ’And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.’"
His mother had been alone for eighteen years! She was but just dead -- in poverty, perhaps; certainly in loneliness. He drew himself up as if to shake off a hideous dream.
But the other stone - whose grave could that mark? They had no relatives except some distant cousins. Perhaps some one of them had done for his mother what he ought to have done in her long, desolate years. Again he stooped to read - his own name. "Abijah Powers. Born 1870; died--. ’The only son of his mother, and she was a widow.’"
It was his own gravestone, set up by his mother when her hope of his return was dead. Out of the depth of his memory there flashed up the story of the widow of Nain, and the gracious presence which spoke the word of life to her dead son. How many times his mother must have read and re-read the page, and how frequently she must have prayed that her boy, bone of her bone, and flesh of her flesh, might be given back to her arms!
The thought was anguish to the graceless son, and it brought him to his knees beside his own empty grave. With his hand resting over his mother’s head he wept as he had not wept since he was a child. They were gracious drops. Out of the mother’s love, which had found its cold comfort in the words of scripture for the grave that was no grave, there came, indeed, the resurrection of the real, living soul.
The widow’s son went out of the graveyard that night a new man. The world wondered what had happened to him. Money did not often make a man over from a devil to a saint; but that miracle seemed to have been worked in Abijah Powers. Nobody knew that the transformation did not come from the touch of Klondike gold, but from the power of love -- reaching from beyond the vale, and speaking from the cold marble of a gravestone.
THE TREASURE OF THE CHURCH
St. Lawrence was martyred in 258 A.D., but we remember him not for his martyrdom. We remember him as the Archdeacon of Rome. His responsibilities included maintaining the sacred vessels of the small, struggling church and distributing alms to the poor. While he was Archdeacon, the Governor of Rome took Pope Sextus captive and demanded, "Where is the treasure of the church?" The Pope would not tell, and they tortured him to death.
Next the Romans took Lawrence captive. "Where is the treasure of the Church?" they demanded, threatening with the same fate that befell the Pope. Lawrence replied, "Governor, I cannot get it for you instantaneously; but if you give me three days, I will give you the treasure." The governor agreed. Lawrence left.
Three days later he walked into the governor’s courtyard followed by a great flood of people. The Governor walked out onto his balcony and said, "Where is the treasure of your church?" Lawrence stepped forward, and pointed to the crowd that accompanied him – the lame, the blind, the deaf, the nobodies of society – and said, "Here are the treasures of the Christian church."
[“The Witness Principles,” Homiletics, Luke 24:36b-48, 4/17/1994]
Michael De Rosa
Probably never heard of Hetty Green. She died in 1916 and left an estate with an estimated value of $100 Million Dollars(not pesos and not 1960 but 1916). ?Hetty regularly ate cold oatmeal because it cost too much to heat it. ?Her son had his leg amputated because she took so long to get him adequate care because she was looking for a free clinic.?Hetty died in the midst of an argument over milk, she argued that skim was best because it was the cheapest.?She was wealthy but she lived like a PAUPER. She never enjoyed nor benefited from the riches that were hers.??A second person I heard about lived on the West Coast of America living in poverty until one day he found out that he was the only living heir to a British Nobleman. What do you think this guy did when he found out? Went to the clothing store and bought the best suit he could find, bought a 1st class ticket to London and returned to England in style! ?HE BELIEVED WHAT HE HAD BEEN TOLD WAS TRUE AND HE BEGAN TO ACT UPON IT!!!
Posted by Guy McGraw at Sermon Central www.sermoncentral.com
Dr. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ tells this story of a famous oil field called Yates Pool:
During the depression this field was a sheep ranch owned by a man named Yates. Mr. Yates wasn’t able to make enough on his ranching operation to pay the principal and interest on the mortgage, so he was in danger of losing his ranch.
With little money for clothes or food, his family (like many others) had to live on government subsidy.
Day after day, as he grazed his sheep over those rolling West Texas hills, he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills. Then a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well, and he signed a lease contract.
At 1,115 feet they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. Many subsequent wells were more than twice as large. In fact, 30 years after the discovery, a government test of one of the wells showed it still had the potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day.
And Mr. Yates owned it all.
The day he purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he’d been living on relief.
A multimillionaire living in poverty.
During the American Civil War fought between the years 1861 - 1865, over
600,000 soldiers from the South died, but a heartfelt prayer that survived
was the Prayer of the Unknown Confederate Soldier, a soldier¡¦s unrequited but
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve,
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey...
I asked for health, that I might do greater things,
I was given infirmity that I might do better things...
I asked for riches, that I might be happy,
I was given poverty that I might be wise...
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men,
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God...
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life,
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things...
I got nothing that I asked for- but everything I hoped for,
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men, most richly blessed.
Oil was discovered on some Oklahoma property belonging to an elderly Indian. All his life he had been poverty stricken, just eking out a living. But the discovery of oil had suddenly made him a very wealthy man. The first thing he bought was a very big Cadillac. He wanted the longest car in the county, so he added four spare tires on the trunk. He would dress up in his new clothes and everyday he would take his Cadillac into the hot dusty little town nearby. He wanted to see everyone and he wanted everyone to see him. He was a friendly old soul. so when he was riding through town he would turn in all directions to wave at all the people as he rolled by. Interesting enough, he never ran into anybody nor into anything. The reason for this was that directly in front of that big beautiful auto was two horses harnessed to it and pulling it. There was nothing wrong with the car’s engine. It was because the old Indian had never learned to drive it. He had never learned how to insert the key into the ignition switch and turn it on. Under the hood was 100 plus horsepower ready and willing and raring to go, but the old Indian was content to use the two horsepower hooked to the front of the car.
The devil gets really happy (or as happy as a devil can get) when he can keep the believer chugging along in their Christian life on a two horse power faith level. At that rate, the spiritual progress is slowed down to a crawl, and this is what the devil is after in his warfare with us.
Zig Ziglar-- "See You at the Top."
In the Congo, poor people who have nothing to give when the Church offering is taken will dip their hand in the offering plate to symbolize the giving of themselves. There’s also a story of a little crippled girl with a crutch who came to church and saw everyone place their offerings in the offering bag. She had no money on her but wanted to give to God so much, that she gave the usher her crutch!
STUBBORN JOY--Communion Meditation
"No man had more reason to be miserable than this one – yet no man was more joyful.
His first home was a palace. Servants were at his fingertips. The snap of his fingers changed the course of history. His name was known and loved. He had everything – wealth, power, respect. And then he had nothing.
Students of the event still ponder it. Historians stumble as they attempt to explain it. How could a king lose everything in one instant? One moment he was royalty; the next he was in poverty.
His bed became, at best, a borrowed pallet – and usually the hard earth. He never owned even the most basic mode of transportation and was dependent upon handouts for his income. He was sometimes so hungry he would eat raw grain or pick fruit off a tree. He knew what it was like to be rained on, to be cold. He knew what it meant to have no home.
His palace grounds had been spotless; now he was exposed to filth. He had never known disease, but was now surrounded by illness.
In his kingdom he had been revered; now he was ridiculed. His neighbors tried to lynch him. Some called him a lunatic. His family tried to confine him to their house.
Those who didn’t ridicule him tried to use him. They wanted favors. They wanted tricks. He was a novelty. They wanted to be seen with him – that is, until being with him was out of fashion. THEN they wanted to kill him.
He was accused of a crime he never committed. Witnesses were hired to lie. The jury was rigged. No lawyer was assigned to his defense. A Judge swayed by politics handed down the death penalty.
They killed him.
He left as he came – penniless. He was buried in a borrowed grave, his funeral financed by compassionate friends. Though he once had everything...
Mother Teresa visited Australia. A new recruit to the Franciscan order in Australia was assigned to be her guide and “gofer” during her stay. “Thrilled and excited at the prospect of being so close to this woman, he dreamed of how much he would learn from her and what they would talk about. But during her visit, he became frustrated. Although he was constantly near her, the friar never had the opportunity to say one word to Mother Teresa. There were always other people for her to meet. Finally, her tour was over, and she was due to fly to New Guinea. In desperation, the friar spoke to Mother Teresa. “If I pay my own fare to New Guinea, can I sit next to you on the plane so I can talk to you and learn from you?” Mother Teresa looked at him. “You have enough money to pay airfare to New Guinea?” she asked. “Oh, yes,” he replied eagerly. “Then give that money to the poor,” she said. “You’ll learn more from that than anything I can tell you.”
ILL. Dennis said, "I don’t think I’ve ever experienced greater culture shock than what I experienced at the very first Thai village we visited. This was a village which the missionaries had not yet reached with the good news of Jesus. The people were still living with all their superstitions & fears.
"The missionaries tried to prepare us. They told us over & over again, `You need to understand, these people are very poor & very frightened of the evil powers they feel are all around them.’
"But there were no words to prepare us for what we were about to see. We expected to see poverty, but nothing like the deprivation & filth that we saw.
"We saw the most humble of dwellings made of bamboo & thatch, with none of the simplest sanitary conditions & certainly none of the modern conveniences that you & I take for granted every day.
"We saw people wearing filthy, tattered clothing, listlessly going about their tasks, with faces that were usually dirty because they had no reason to clean themselves up.
"We looked into the faces of children, with beautiful eyes & dark hair. And yet the children just stared vacantly into the distance. Yes, they were children, but already their lives had become a drudgery of work, & they had no hope of ever getting out of their present existence.
"Because, you see, the only hope that the Thai people think they have to get out of their poverty is education. But the government only provides education through the 4th grade. After that they have to pay, & the people have no money. So after the 4th grade they work in the fields or do whatever they can do, just to exist.
Dennis said, "I think that’s what hit me more than anything else. I kept wondering, ’What if I woke up tomorrow morning & found myself a member of this village? What if I should go out my front door & see those children standing there, & they’re my children? And I look into their dirty little faces & realize that we will live here all of our lives, & that their children will live all of their lives here, too.’
Dennis said, "After we came back to the missionaries’ house I felt so depressed & began to pour out my feelings. I felt like somehow I wanted to gather them all up & take them home, & wash their faces, & put good clothes on them, & give them good beds to sleep on, & good food to eat.
"But then I faced reality & said, ’There is no hope for these children. They can’t receive an education. There is no way they can get out of this awful life that they’re in. There is just no hope for them.’
"Then I heard a two-sentence missionary sermon. ‘There is hope,’ I was told. ‘Their hope is Jesus.’