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Howland Spencer wrote an 8 word poem, “How odd Of God To choose The Jews.” And God did choose the Jews, in the person of Abraham.
Francis Havergal wrote many hymns in her life. She said she got most of her inspiration from small moments – defining moments. She said one of the strongest things she had ever seen was a painting of Jesus, wearing a crown of thorns with blood dripping down from the wounds. He is facing Pilate, and the caption of that painting was; ‘This, I have done for thee - - what hast thou done for me?’ When she got home, she wrote a poem about what that painting meant to her, but was so emotional when she read it; she threw it in the fireplace. Have you ever noticed that God intervenes in the most miraculous of ways? As she walked by the fireplace, she threw the poem in, but like most sheets of paper, it flew out and landed on the floor without her seeing it. Her father picked it up, read it, and encouraged her to put music to it. She did, and the result was the hymn, “Take My Life, and Let It Be.”
A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God) writes, “Like the eye which sees everything in front of it and never sees itself, faith is occupied with the Object upon which it rests and pays no attention to itself at all. While we are looking at God, we do not see ourselves—blessed riddance. The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One.”
Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth’s rite of passage? His dad takes him into the forest blindfolded and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not take off the blindfold until the ray of sun shines through it. He is all by himself. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience. Each lad must come into his own manhood. The boy in our story was, naturally, terrified. He could hear all kinds of noise. Beasts were all around him. Maybe even a human would hurt him. The wind blew the grass and earth and it shook his stump. But he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could be a man. Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was th...
William Engebretsen from Nebraska writes, “For three years, we had a sheep ranch in western Nebraska. Each year, we sheared some sheep, sold some, and butchered a few lambs for leg-of-lamb for our family and our cattle-raising relatives. In 1990, we moved to Indiana, so I could attend seminary. One Sunday, my three-year-old son Ian was learning about the Good Shepherd in his class. “Ian, your dad was a shepherd,” the teacher said. “What did he do with the little lambs?” She expected to hear about the care and protection I provided them. “He kills them and cuts off their heads,” was Ian’s blunt reply. The teacher was dumbstruck. Later, I “sheepishly” suggested that next time she could tie it in with Jesus’ role as the sacrificial Lamb.”
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, Ryan, 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say ‘Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait.’ Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “Okay, Ryan, you be Jesus”
That great ol’ preacher J.Vernon McGee writes, “I had an uncle who never came to know the Lord. My aunt used to weep and say, “Oh, he won’t listen” Do you know why? With her lived a sister, another aunt, and I used to go there sometimes on Sundays for dinner. Do you know what we had for dinner? Roast preacher One of my aunts went to the Methodist church, the other went to the Presbyterian church, and oh, boy, did they try to outdo each other, talking about the preacher and the fights that were going on. I used to watch my uncle. He would just sit there and eat. Then he’d get up to leave and go down to his club for the afternoon. When he would come home in the evening, he wasn’t drunk, but he sure had had several drinks. They never won him to Christ. There are a lot of people not being won today, my friend, because of the strife that is inside the church. This is an interesting thing: “the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.” And they still dwell in the land. They are right near your church, by the way. ”
George Washington said, “When there is an elder man and a younger man in the same room, the elder man should never mention it, but the younger man should never forget it.”
The Treasure, adapted from a story by Alice Gray as printed in "More Stories for the Heart" There’s a story I like about a little girl who fell in love with a string of plastic pearls. She had saved up all her money to buy these plastic treasures. After she bought them, she wore those pearls everywhere. She wore them to Sunday School, to kindergarten, even to bed. She only took them off when she took a bath or when she went swimming. This little girl had a daddy who loved her very much. He tucked her into bed every night and read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, “Do you love me?” “Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you.” “Then give me your pearls.” “Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess—the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She’s my favorite.” “That’s okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night.” And he brushed her cheek with a kiss. About once a week her daddy would ask her the same thing, “Do you love me?” and “Would you give me your pearls”. Every time she would offer to give him something else. Finally one night the little girl was sitting on her bed with tears running down her cheeks. With a little quiver, she finally said, “Here, Daddy. It’s for you.” With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny’s kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure. We get so attached to the things of the world. We are so reluctant to give them up. Abram had learned to say “no” to the King of Sodom. He traded in the old pearls. What he got in return was far greater.
Four things strike me about Abraham’s journey to where God was leading him:1. He knew there was a destination. 2. He took a known route. 3. He knew the goal. 4. But, he did not know the impact that it would have on him. Jim Kane