"BRING ME THE BOOK"
DID YOU KNOW that in the United
States alone there are over 600* book publishers, publishing upwards of
30,000 books per year? (And that statistic is probably grossly out of date
now.) This ought to make Americans the most "well read" people in the world.
But did you also know that wise Solomon wrote of books like this: "...of
making many books there is no end" (Ecclesiastes 12:12). How strange then,
the request of Sir Walter Scott from his death bed. Turning to a friend,
he said, "Bring me the Book." When the perplexed bystander asked, "What
book?" he simply replied, "There is but one Book!" Isn't that true?! Let
fifty years pass bringing us a million and a half new publications, and
Walter Scott's words will still ring true: "There is but ONE Book!" The
Bible. Have you read it today? [*over 2,000 now, we are told]
THINK I'LL TAKE BOTH OF THEM"
ACTING out a lie can get you
into trouble, as this story illustrates.
Joe, the butcher, was just about to close his shop on Saturday night, when
his best customer, Mrs. Brown, came in and asked for a nice roasting chicken.
Joe had only one chicken left, so he got it out of refrigeration, put it
on the scales and said, "There! Two pounds and twelve ounces; that'll be
"That's a bit small," said Mrs. Brown. "Haven't you got one a bit heavier?"
He returned to the refrigerator, and emerged again--with the same chicken.
He put it on the scales and said: "Just three and a half pounds. That will
After a moment's thought, Mrs. Brown said, "I think I'll take both of them!"
ON SPEAKING TERMS
leaned on the fence as he watched the old farmer plowing with his mule.
After a while the visitor said, "I'm not telling you what to do, but it
looks to me like you could save yourself a lot of work simply by saying
'Gee' and 'Haw' instead of having to pull on the lines all of the time."
The old farmer pulled a big handkerchief from his
pocket and wiped his face. Then he said, "Reckon you're right, but that
mule kicked me five years ago, and I ain't spoke to him since."
The moral of the story: A grudge is harder on the
one who holds it than the one it is held against.
BLOODY SHEEP DOG
THE STORY is told of the farmer
who returned and found a dead sheep. His sheep dog was covered in blood.
He jumped to the conclusion that his sheep dog had killed the sheep, so
he got his gun and shot the dog. On his way to the barn to get a shovel
to bury the dog and the sheep, he discovered a dead wolf. The sheep dog
was bloody from the blood of the wolf he had killed.
How easily we can listen to bits of gossip and draw conclusions about someone.
Many a decent and good man or woman, like the sheep dog, has been wrongly
accused and hurt because someone jumped to conclusions without checking
the facts. How much damage and hurt could be avoided if we would take the
time to ascertain the facts before we do irreparable harm to an innocent
CHURCH AS A TEAM
THE STORY is told of a horse
pull in Canada. One horse pulled 9,000 pounds; another 8,000. Together
you would expect them to pull 17,000 pounds. Not so! When teamed together,
they pulled 30,000 pounds!
The principle is called synergism. By definition the simultaneous action
of separate agents working together has a greater total effect than the
sum of their individual efforts. More can be done in a team effort than
can be accomplished solo. In order for the principle of synergism to work
like it should there has to be teamwork.
Everything we do takes teamwork and trust. Every person in the local church
is valuable and needed. The church is a team and together we can build
for the Lord.
400 YEARS OLD FALLS
a huge tree in Colorado fell to the ground with a resounding crash after
having stood majestically on a hill for over 400 years. A mere sapling
when Columbus landed in San Salvador, over the centuries it had been struck
by lightening 14 times, braved great windstorms, and even defied an earthquake.
In the end, however, it was killed by some little beetles. Boring under
the bark, they chewed away its mighty fibers until one day that lordly
king of the forest came thundering down. So, too, apparently insignificant
sins often make substantial inroads into our spiritual lives, and if left
unchecked may cause our downfall. The idle word spoken, the prayer time
omitted, and the occasional fleshly pleasure indulged---these things "spoil"
the vineyard much more than we realize. If Satan gets an entering wedge
or inconsistency, the leverage he then exerts is greatly increased.
A MAN had seven sons who were
always quarreling. Some bad men looked forward to the death of their father
and planned to cheat them out of their property by creating a quarrel.
One day the good old man called his sons around him. He laid before them
sticks, which were bound together. He said, "I will pay one hundred dollars
to the one who can break this bundle."
Each one strained every nerve to break the bundle. After a long, but vain,
trial, they all said that it could not be done.
"And yet, my boys," said the father, "nothing is easier to do." He then
untied the bundle and broke the sticks, one by one, with perfect ease.
"Ah!" said his sons, "It is easy enough to do it so; anybody could do it
Their father replied, "As it is with these sticks, so it is with you, my
sons. So long as you hold fast together and aid each other, you will prosper,
and none can injure you. But if the bond of union be broken, it will happen
to you just as it has to these sticks, which lie broken on the ground."
INSULT IS LIKE MUD
AN OLD ENGLISHMAN,
as father Graham in his village, was loved very much because of his positive
influence. One day an angry man who had just been badly insulted came to
see father Graham. As he explained the situation, he said he was on his
way to demand an apology from the one who had wronged him. "My dear man,"
Graham said, "take a word of advice from an old man who loves peace. An
insult is like mud. It will brush off much better when it is dry. Wait
a little, till he and you are both cool, and the problem will be easily
solved. If you go now, you will only quarrel." The young man heeded the
wise advice and soon he was able to go to the other person and resolve
the problem. ¾Selected
Henry Ward Beecher: "Let me speak in the language of heaven
and call you Christians."
Albert Barnes: "These divisions should be merged into the
holy name Christian."
Martin Luther: I pray you leave my name alone. Don't you call
yourselves Lutherans, but Christians."
John Wesley: "I wish the name Methodist might never be mentioned
again, but lost in eternal oblivion."
Charles Spurgeon: "I say, of the Baptist name, let it perish,
but let Christís name last forever. I look forward with pleasure to the
day when there will not be a Baptist living."
The Apostle Peter: "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian,
let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf" (I Peter
The Apostle Paul: "Now, this I say, that every one of you
saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in
the name of Paul?" (I Corithians 1:12,13).
Luke: "ÖAnd the disciples were called Christians first in
Antioch" (Acts 11:26).
A FEW YEARS
ago at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or
mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash.
At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish
to run the race to the finish and win.
All, that is, except one boy who stumbled on
the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times and began to cry. The other
eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. They all turned
around and went back. Every one of them. One girl with Down's Syndrome
bent down and kissed him and said, "This will make it better."
Then all nine of them linked arms and walked
across the finish line together. Everyone in the stadium stood, and the
cheering went on for some time.
People who were there are still telling the
story. Why? Because deep down we know this one thing: What matters in this
life is more than winning for ourselves. What truly matters in this life
is helping others win too, even if it means slowing down and changing our
ELEPHANT TIED TO A STAKE
ELEPHANTS have been trained
and used by humans as work animals for as long as 4,000 years. How is it
possible for a 175 pound man to keep an 11,000 pound elephant in captivity?
When an elephant is very young, it is tethered to a four foot long
wooden stake driven into the ground. This stake is physically able to hold
the young, small elephant, despite the elephantís repeated attempts to
escape it. After unsuccessfully trying many times to escape, the young
elephant eventually comes to believe that escape is impossible. This belief
is carried into adulthood. When the elephant is full grown, it could easily
break free from the four-foot wooden stake, yet it never even attempts
to do so. This intelligent, powerful creature is held captive, not by any
physical restraint, but by its own thoughts.
Does it make you wonder what thoughts of your own might be holding
you back? Are you tethered to circumstances from which you could easily
break free, if only you knew you could?
Your thoughts can be your prison, or they can set you free to soar.
If you think you can, or if you think you canít, youíre absolutely right.
In order to do anything, or become anything, or have anything, you must
first believe that it is possible. It must exist in your mind before it
can come to pass.
Expectations become reality, so expect the best of yourself.?--Selected
YOU WANT THIS $20 BILL?
A WELL-KNOWN speaker
started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill.
In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?"
Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to
one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the $20
dollar bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were
up in the air. "Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped
it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe.
He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?" Still
the hands went into the air.
"My friends, you have all illustrated a very valuable lesson. No
matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not
decrease in value. It was still worth $20.
Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into
the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way.
We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or
what will happen, you will never lose your value in Godís eyes. You are
a being created in His image.
THOUGHT: Regardless who you are; regardless of your circumstance
or station in life, you are valuable in Godís sight---Donít
ever forget it!--Selected
PRAYER TO PRAY
IN VIEW OF GROWING OLDER
(Lightly Spoken as Derisive Wit)
thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and will
someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something
on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to try
to straighten out everybodyís affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody,
helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not
to use it allóbut thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the
"Keep my mind free from the recital of endless detailsÖgive me wings
to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing
and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go byÖI dare
not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of othersí pains, but help
me to endure them with patience.
"I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and
a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories
of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.
"Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not want to be a self-righteous saintósome
of them are so hard to live withóbut a sour old person is one of the crowning
works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected
places and talents in unexpected people. Give me the grace to tell them