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Honesty

 

Cheating

The Baltimore Orioles of 1894~96 was the best team that baseball had seen up to that time, and also the craftiest. One of Baltimore’s favorite tricks was to plant a few extra baseballs in strategic spots in the tall outfield grass. Any balls hit into that area that looked as if they would go for extra bases were miraculously held to singles.

One day, however, an opposing batter drove a ball to left-center field, where one of those balls had been hidden. The left fielder picked up the hidden ball and threw it in. The center fielder, not seeing what his teammate did, picked up the hit ball and threw it in. The umpire, seeing two balls coming into second base, called time and then awarded the game to the visiting team by forfeit. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Deceit

A humorist told the story of a driver who put a note under the windshield wiper of a parked car. It read: “I have just smashed into your car. The people who saw the accident are watching me. They think I’m writing down my name and address. I’m not. Good luck.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Deceit

A little boy was lost during the Christmas shopping rush. He was standing in an aisle of the busy department store crying, “I want my mommy.” People passing by kept giving the unhappy youngster nickels and dimes to cheer him up.

Finally a floorwalker came over to him and said, “I know where your mommy is, son.”

The little boy looked up with his tear-drenched eyes and said, “So do I…just keep quiet!” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Deceit

In some resort towns in Arizona, it is the practice of various hotels or motels to spray-paint the grass green in the winter to lure tourists to what looks like a lust vacation spot. The problem is that the first spring rains wash the paint into the gutters, revealing how false was the image of the picture-perfect lawns.

That’s the essence of hypocrisy—pretending to be what we are not. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Deception

The story has been told of a woman who had acquired wealth and social prominence and decided to have a book written about her genealogy. The well-known author she engaged for the assignment discovered that one of her grandfathers was a murderer who had been electrocuted in Sing Sing. When he said this would have to be included in the book, the woman pleaded that he find a way of saying it that would hide the truth.

When the book appeared, the incident read as follows: “One of her grandfathers occupied the chair of applied electricity in one of America’s best-known institutions. He was very much attached to his position and literally died in the harness. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Deception

Several years ago on the Saturday Evening Post cover was a painting by Norman Rockwell that showed a woman buying a Thanksgiving turkey. The turkey was on the scales and the butcher was standing behind the counter. The customer, a lady of about sixty, stood watching the weigh-in. Each had a pleased look, but a quick glance at the painting shows nothing unusual going on.

Then we look closely at the entire cover. Rockwell has shown us their hands. The butcher is pressing down on the scales with a thumb while the woman is pushing up with a finger. Both would resent being called thieves, but neither saw anything wrong with a little deception. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Hypocrisy

Sometimes what's on the outside doesn't always coincide with what is on the inside.  During Mikhail Gorbachev's historic pre-Christmas meeting with Pope John Paul II, people were amazed to hear Gorbachev speak of religious freedom and the right of people in the Soviet Union to satisfy their spiritual needs.  The words which flowed from the mouth of the Soviet Communist Party leader were beautiful, as beautiful as the painting hanging over the two men's heads - the painting by Pietro Cannucci (Perugino), a famous painter of religious scenes - and also a renowned atheist. -- Contact, February 1990

 

Hypocrisy

In any great forest you will find many huge trees. They tower above other trees and appear to be the very picture of strength and maturity. However, loggers will sometimes not even bother to cut down these huge trees. At first one wonders, “Why leave them? After all, a tree that big must contain twice of thrice the amount of lumber as a smaller tree.”

The reason is simple. Huge trees are often rotten on the inside. They are the hollow trees that children’s picture books show raccoons living in. And they are the trees that are often blown over in a strong windstorm because, while they appear to be the picture of strength, in fact their hollowness makes them weak.

This is the essence of hypocrisy-appearing strong on the outside but follow and rotten on the inside. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Hypocrisy

On the French Riviera, it is such an important status symbol to have a balcony on an apartment that it is quite common to see balconies painted on the walls of apartment houses. People even paint wet laundry hanging on a clothesline, just to give it a touch of reality.

Hypocrisy is a façade painted just to give it a touch of reality. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy is like a pin. It is pointed in one direction, and yet as headed in another.

 

Hypocrisy

When Howard Carter and his associates found the tomb of King Tutankhamen, they opened up his casket and found another within it. They opened up the second, which was covered with gold leaf, and found a third. Inside the third casket was a fourth made of pure gold. The pharaoh’s body was in the fourth, wrapped in gold cloth with a gold face mask. But when the body was unwrapped, it was leathery and shriveled.

Whether we are trying to cloak a dead spiritual life, or something else, in caskets of gold to impress others, the beauty of the exterior does not change the absence of life on the interior. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Hypocrisy

A father complained about the amount of time his family spent in front of the television. His children watched cartoons and neglected schoolwork. His wife preferred soap operas to housework. His solution? “As soon as the baseball season’s over, I’m going to pull the plug.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Honesty

On his way to school one day, a young man found two canvas sacks lying in the street. When he looked inside he was amazed to see that the sacks were full of money-$415,000, in fact! When he returned the money to the Princeton Armored Service, he received a reward of $1,000. The youth, however, was unhappy and said he had expected a larger reward. “I don’t understand it,” he complained. “If I had to do it over again, I’d probably keep the money.”— Dallas Times Herald, March 11, 1979

 

Honesty

In 1924, Liberty magazine sent out a hundred letters to people selected at random throughout the U.S. Each letter contained a one-dollar bill and explained that it was an adjustment of an error that the addressees had complained of-which they had actually never done. Of the hundred recipients, only twenty-seven returned the dollar and said it was a mistake.

In 1971, Liberty conducted the same test. This time only thirteen returned the money. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Honesty

The story has been told of a bank employee who was due for a good promotion. One day at lunch the president of the bank, who happened to be standing behind the clerk in the cafeteria, saw him slip two pats of butter under his slice of bread so they wouldn’t be seen by the cashier.

That little act of dishonesty cost him his promotion. Just a few pennies’ worth of butter made the difference. The bank president reasoned that if an employee cannot be trusted in little things he cannot be trusted at all. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Honesty

Adam Clarke was an assistant in a dry-goods store, selling silks and satins to a cultured clientele. One day his employer suggested to him that he try stretching the silk as he measured it out; this would increase sales and profits and also increase Adam’s value to the company. Young Clarke straightened up from his work, face his boss courageously, and said, “Sir, you silk may stretch, but my conscience won’t!”

God honored Adam Clarke for being an embodied conscience by taking him from the dry-goods store and fitting him to write a famous commentary on the books of the Bible. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Honesty

Dr. Madison Sarratt, who taught mathematics at Vanderbilt University for many years, before giving a test would admonish his class something like this: “Today I am giving two examinations, one in trigonometry and the other in honesty. I hope you will pass them both. If you must fail one, fail trigonometry. There are many good people in the world who can’t pass trig, but there are no good people in the world who cannot pass the examination of honesty.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Integrity

In ancient China, the people desired security from the barbaric hordes to the north. So they built the Great Wall of China. It was too high to climb over, to thick to break down, and too long to go around. Security achieved!

The only problem was that during the first hundred years of the wall’s existence, China was invaded three times. Was the wall a failure? Not really-for not once did the barbaric hordes climb over the wall, break it down, or go around it.

How then did they get into China? The answer lies in human nature. They simply bribed a gatekeeper and then marched right in through a gate. The fatal flaw in the Chinese defense was placing too much reliance on a wall and not putting enough effort into building character into the gatekeeper. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Integrity

A pastor preached a sermon on honesty one Sunday. On Monday morning he took the bus to get to his office. He paid the fare, and the bus driver gave him back too much change. During the rest of the journey, the pastor was rationalizing how God had provided him with some extra money he needed for the week. But he just could not live with himself, and before he got off the bus he said to the driver, “You have made a mistake. You’ve given me too much change.” And he proceeded to give him back the extra money. The driver smiled and said, “There was no mistake. I was at your church yesterday and heard you preach on honesty. So I decided to put you to a test this morning.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Integrity

”Sen. Sam Not Convinced” read the headline. Former Senator Sam Ervin, who had presided over the Senate Watergate Committee, took note of H. R. Haldeman’s perjury conviction in commenting on the former White House aide’s book The Ends of Power》: “A man that would commit perjury under oath might possibly be tempted to commit it when he is not under oath…I would say that before I would accept his book as credible, I would want it corroborated by all the apostles, except Judas.”— Dallas Times Herald, February 17, 1978

 

Integrity

In 1959, 40-year-old Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox was suffering from a pinched nerve in his neck. “It was so bad that I could hardly turn my head to look at the pitcher,” he said. For the first time in his remarkable career, he batted under .300, hitting just .254 and only ten home runs. Williams was the highest salaried player in sports that year, making $125,000. The next year, the Red Sox offered him the same contract. “I told them I wouldn’t sign it until they gave me the full pay cut allowed, 28 percent. My feeling was that I was always treated fairly by the Red Sox. They were offering me a contract I didn’t deserve.” Williams cut his own salary by $35,000! ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

CHEATING

"Marathoner Loses by a Mustache." So read the headline of a recent Associated Press story. It appeared that Abbes Tehami of Algeria was an easy winner of the Brussels Marathon--until someone wondered where his mustache had gone! Checking eyewitness accounts, it quickly became evident that the mustache belonged to Tehami's coach, Bensalem Hamiani. Hamiani had run the first seven-and-a-half miles of the race for Tehami, then dropped out of the pack and disappeared into the woods to pass race number 62 on to his pupil. "They looked about the same," race organizers said. "Only one had a mustache." It's expected that the two will never again be allowed to run in Belgium.──  Today in the Word, Moody Bible Institute, Jan, 1992.

 

CHEATING

Two baseball teams had battled to a five-all deadlock as darkness enveloped the diamond. In the last half of the ninth inning with the bases loaded and the count three and two, the pitcher called for a conference with the catcher. "I'll wind up and pretend to throw the next pitch. You wham your fist into your mitt like you'd caught a strike, and maybe the ump will call it that way. It might work." The catcher nodded. In the interim, though, the opposing coach cooked up his own stratagem, quickly relaying it to the batter. When play resumed, the pitcher wound up and apparently let fly. The batsman swung mightily and the crack of ball against bat (the coach's work) echoed through the park. The batter circuited the bases for a grand slam, and the game ended, 9 to 5. Sullenly the pitcher walked from the mound. Had he confessed that he'd failed to throw the ball, the runner on third would have scored on a balk.── Source Unknown.

 

CHEATING

During a runoff Senate primary fight with former Texas Governor Stevenson, early indications were that Congressman Johnson had lost. Six days later, however, Precinct 13 in the border town of Alice, Texas, showed a very interesting result. Exactly 203 people had voted at the last minute--in the order they were listed on the tax rolls--and 202 of them had voted for Johnson. While Stevenson protested, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black upheld the result, and Johnson squeaked by with an 87-vote victory. For this feat, columnist Drew Pearson gave Johnson the sobriquet Landslide Lyndon. It was not until July 30, 1977, that Luis Salas, the election judge in Alice, admitted that he and southern Texas political boss George Parr (who had killed himself in 1975) had rigged the election.── Source Unknown.

 

CHEATING

Baseball player Al Schacht slid into second base and felt a low thrown ball land under him. Under cover of the dust, Al quickly slipped the ball into his hip pocket. The opposing infielder vainly looked for the ball and finally figured it must have rolled into center field. As he and his teammates frantically searched for the ball, Al completed the circuit of the bases for a home run. But all good things must come to an end--and they did when Al trounced onto home plate and the ball dropped from his pocket. One $50 fine later and Al's laughter was tempered a little.── Source Unknown.

 

CHEATING

History remembers John Joseph McGraw primarily as the famed and ferocious longtime manager of the New York Giants. But as unrelenting as McGraw was as a manager during the first three decades of the 20th century, he had been even more unrelenting as a player in the 1890s. It was an era of dirty baseball, and the Baltimore Orioles delighted in being the dirtiest. The most pugnacious Oriole was McGraw, who played third base--"the toughest of the toughs and an abomination of the diamond," one sportswriter said.

McGraw was born in Upstate New York, the oldest of eight children of an Irish immigrant railroad worker. In 1884, when diphtheria swept through his village, he was a slight, eager 11-year-old whose proudest possession was a battered baseball he had been allowed to order from the Spalding catalog. He watched helplessly as, one by one, his mother and four of his brothers and sisters died. His father took out his grief and anger on his son, beating him so often and so mercilessly that at 12 he feared for his life and ran away from home. He supported himself with odd jobs until he won himself a place on the Olean (New York) professional team at 16 -- and never again willingly took orders from any man.

Although he was short and weighed barely 155 pounds, he held far bigger base runners back by the belt. He blocked them, tripped them, spiked them. When they did the same to him, he was usually not one to complain. "We'd spit tobacco juice on a spike wound," he remembered, rub dirt in it and get out there and play." McGraw had a face "like a fist," one reporter wrote, and he saw nothing to be ashamed of in his style of play:

"We were in the field and the other team had a runner on first who started to steal second, but first of all he spiked our first baseman on the foot. Our man retaliated by trying to trip him. He got away, but at second Heinie Reitz tried to block him off while Hughie (Jennings)...covered the bag to take the throw and tag him. The runner evaded Reitz and jumped feet first at Jennings to drive him away from the bag. Jennings dodged the flying spikes and threw himself bodily at the runner, knocking him flat.

"In the meantime, the batter hit our catcher over the hands so he couldn't throw, and our catcher trod on the umpire's feet with his spikes and shoved his big mitt in his face so he couldn't see the play."── U.S. News & World Report, August 29/ September 5, 1994, p. 63.

 

CREDIBILITY

There is a tale told of that great English actor Macready. An eminent preacher once said to him: "I wish you would explain to me something." "Well, what is it? I don't know that I can explain anything to a preacher." "What is the reason for the difference between you and me? You are appearing before crowds night after night with fiction, and the crowds come wherever you go. I am preaching the essential and unchangeable truth, and I am not getting any crowd at all." Macready's answer was this: "This is quite simple. I can tell you the difference between us. I present my fiction as though it were truth; you present your truth as though it were fiction." ── G. Campbell Morgan, Preaching, p. 36.

 

Cheating

The Baltimore Orioles of 1894~96 was the best team that baseball had seen up to that time, and also the craftiest. One of Baltimore’s favorite tricks was to plant a few extra baseballs in strategic spots in the tall outfield grass. Any balls hit into that area that looked as if they would go for extra bases were miraculously held to singles.

One day, however, an opposing batter drove a ball to left-center field, where one of those balls had been hidden. The left fielder picked up the hidden ball and threw it in. The center fielder, not seeing what his teammate did, picked up the hit ball and threw it in. The umpire, seeing two balls coming into second base, called time and then awarded the game to the visiting team by forfeit.

 

Deceit

A humorist told the story of a driver who put a note under the windshield wiper of a parked car. It read: “I have just smashed into your car. The people who saw the accident are watching me. They think I’m writing down my name and address. I’m not. Good luck.”

 

Deceit

A little boy was lost during the Christmas shopping rush. He was standing in an aisle of the busy department store crying, “I want my mommy.” People passing by kept giving the unhappy youngster nickels and dimes to cheer him up.

        Finally a floorwalker came over to him and said, “I know where your mommy is, son.”

        The little boy looked up with his tear-drenched eyes and said, “So do I…just keep quiet!”

 

Deceit

In some resort towns in Arizona, it is the practice of various hotels or motels to spray-paint the grass green in the winter to lure tourists to what looks like a lust vacation spot. The problem is that the first spring rains wash the paint into the gutters, revealing how false was the image of the picture-perfect lawns.

        That’s the essence of hypocrisy—pretending to be what we are not.

 

Deception

The story has been told of a woman who had acquired wealth and social prominence and decided to have a book written about her genealogy. The well-known author she engaged for the assignment discovered that one of her grandfathers was a murderer who had been electrocuted in Sing Sing. When he said this would have to be included in the book, the woman pleaded that he find a way of saying it that would hide the truth.

        When the book appeared, the incident read as follows: “One of her grandfathers occupied the chair of applied electricity in one of America’s best-known institutions. He was very much attached to his position and literally died in the harness.

 

Deception

Several years ago on the Saturday Evening Post cover was a painting by Norman Rockwell that showed a woman buying a Thanksgiving turkey. The turkey was on the scales and the butcher was standing behind the counter. The customer, a lady of about sixty, stood watching the weigh-in. Each had a pleased look, but a quick glance at the painting shows nothing unusual going on.

        Then we look closely at the entire cover. Rockwell has shown us their hands. The butcher is pressing down on the scales with a thumb while the woman is pushing up with a finger. Both would resent being called thieves, but neither saw anything wrong with a little deception.

 

Hypocrisy

Sometimes what's on the outside doesn't always coincide with what is on the inside.  During Mikhail Gorbachev's historic pre-Christmas meeting with Pope John Paul II, people were amazed to hear Gorbachev speak of religious freedom and the right of people in the Soviet Union to satisfy their spiritual needs.  The words which flowed from the mouth of the Soviet Communist Party leader were beautiful, as beautiful as the painting hanging over the two men's heads - the painting by Pietro Cannucci (Perugino), a famous painter of religious scenes - and also a renowned atheist. --Contact, February 1990

 

Hypocrisy

In any great forest you will find many huge trees. They tower above other trees and appear to be the very picture of strength and maturity. However, loggers will sometimes not even bother to cut down these huge trees. At first one wonders, “Why leave them? After all, a tree that big must contain twice of thrice the amount of lumber as a smaller tree.”

        The reason is simple. Huge trees are often rotten on the inside. They are the hollow trees that children’s picture books show raccoons living in. And they are the trees that are often blown over in a strong windstorm because, while they appear to be the picture of strength, in fact their hollowness makes them weak.

        This is the essence of hypocrisy-appearing strong on the outside but follow and rotten on the inside.

 

Hypocrisy

On the French Riviera, it is such an important status symbol to have a balcony on an apartment that it is quite common to see balconies painted on the walls of apartment houses. People even paint wet laundry hanging on a clothesline, just to give it a touch of reality.

        Hypocrisy is a façade painted just to give it a touch of reality.

 

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy is like a pin. It is pointed in one direction, and yet as headed in another.

 

Hypocrisy

When Howard Carter and his associates found the tomb of King Tutankhamen, they opened up his casket and found another within it. They opened up the second, which was covered with gold leaf, and found a third. Inside the third casket was a fourth made of pure gold. The pharaoh’s body was in the fourth, wrapped in gold cloth with a gold face mask. But when the body was unwrapped, it was leathery and shriveled.

        Whether we are trying to cloak a dead spiritual life, or something else, in caskets of gold to impress others, the beauty of the exterior does not change the absence of life on the interior.

 

Hypocrisy

A father complained about the amount of time his family spent in front of the television. His children watched cartoons and neglected schoolwork. His wife preferred soap operas to housework. His solution? “As soon as the baseball season’s over, I’m going to pull the plug.”

 

Honesty

On his way to school one day, a young man found two canvas sacks lying in the street. When he looked inside he was amazed to see that the sacks were full of money-$415,000, in fact! When he returned the money to the Princeton Armored Service, he received a reward of $1,000. The youth, however, was unhappy and said he had expected a larger reward. “I don’t understand it,” he complained. “If I had to do it over again, I’d probably keep the money.”—Dallas Times Herald, March 11, 1979

 

Honesty

In 1924, Liberty magazine sent out a hundred letters to people selected at random throughout the U.S. Each letter contained a one-dollar bill and explained that it was an adjustment of an error that the addressees had complained of-which they had actually never done. Of the hundred recipients, only twenty-seven returned the dollar and said it was a mistake.

        In 1971, Liberty conducted the same test. This time only thirteen returned the money.

 

Honesty

The story has been told of a bank employee who was due for a good promotion. One day at lunch the president of the bank, who happened to be standing behind the clerk in the cafeteria, saw him slip two pats of butter under his slice of bread so they wouldn’t be seen by the cashier.

        That little act of dishonesty cost him his promotion. Just a few pennies’ worth of butter made the difference. The bank president reasoned that if an employee cannot be trusted in little things he cannot be trusted at all.

 

Honesty

Adam Clarke was an assistant in a dry-goods store, selling silks and satins to a cultured clientele. One day his employer suggested to him that he try stretching the silk as he measured it out; this would increase sales and profits and also increase Adam’s value to the company. Young Clarke straightened up from his work, face his boss courageously, and said, “Sir, you silk may stretch, but my conscience won’t!”

        God honored Adam Clarke for being an embodied conscience by taking him from the dry-goods store and fitting him to write a famous commentary on the books of the Bible.

 

Honesty

Dr. Madison Sarratt, who taught mathematics at Vanderbilt University for many years, before giving a test would admonish his class something like this: “Today I am giving two examinations, one in trigonometry and the other in honesty. I hope you will pass them both. If you must fail one, fail trigonometry. There are many good people in the world who can’t pass trig, but there are no good people in the world who cannot pass the examination of honesty.”

 

CHEATING, STATISTICS AND STUFF

A survey performed for the IRS with 2200 people discovered: 23% admitted cheating by either underreporting income or overstating deductions. 52% think at least one in four of their fellow taxpayers is cheating too, and that cheating is becoming more prevalent. 63% say it is fear of getting caught that keeps people from cheating.── William Giese, Homemade, January 1986.

 

CHEATING

A recent poll of 5,000 students concluded that 46 percent of them would cheat on an important test. Thirty-six percent said they would cover for a friend who vandalized school property, while only 24 percent would tell the truth. Five percent would steal money from their parents if given the opportunity.──  Moody Monthly, June, 1990, p. 8.

 

CREDIBILITY

There is one cardinal principle which must always be remembered: one must never make a show of false emotions to one's men.  The ordinary soldier has a surprisingly good nose for what is true and what is false.── Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.

 

FAITHFULNESS
(see also PERSEVERANCE and ENDURANCE)

One of the most tragic events during the Reagan Presidency was the Sunday morning terrorist bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, in which hundreds of Americans were killed or wounded as they slept. Many of us can still recall the terrible scenes as the dazed survivors worked to dig out their trapped brothers from beneath the rubble.

A few days after the tragedy, I recall coming across an extraordinary story. Marine Corps Commandant Paul X Kelly, visited some of the wounded survivors then in a Frankfurt, Germany, hospital. Among them was Corporal Jeffrey Lee Nashton, severely wounded in the incident. Nashton had so many tubes running in and out of his body that a witness said he looked more like a machine than a man; yet he survived.

As Kelly neared him, Nashton, struggling to move and racked with pain, motioned for a piece of paper and a pen. He wrote a brief note and passed it back to the Commandant. On the slip of paper were but two words -- "Semper Fi" the Latin motto of the Marines meaning "forever faithful." With those two simple words Nashton spoke for the millions of Americans who have sacrificed body and limb and their lives for their country -- those who have remained faithful.

J. Dobson & Gary Bauer, Children at Risk, Word, 1990, pp. 187-188.


The time was the 19th of May, 1780. The place was Hartford, Connecticut. The day has gone down in New England history as a terrible foretaste of Judgment Day. For at noon the skies turned from blue to gray and by mid-afternoon had blackened over so densely that, in that religious age, men fell on their knees and begged a final blessing before the end came. The Connecticut House of Representatives was in session. And as some men fell down and others clamored for an immediate adjournment, the Speaker of the House, one Colonel Davenport, came to his feet. He silenced them and said these words: "The Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish, therefore, that candles may be brought."

Robert P. Dugan, Jr., Winning the New Civil War, p. 183.


Mark Hatfield tells of touring Calcutta with Mother Teresa and visiting the so-called "House of Dying," where sick children are cared for in their last days, and the dispensary, where the poor line up by the hundreds to receive medical attention. Watching Mother Teresa minister to these people, feeding and nursing those left by others to die, Hatfield was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the suffering she and her co-workers face daily. "How can you bear the load without being crushed by it?" he asked. Mother Teresa replied, "My dear Senator, I am not called to be successful, I am called to be faithful."

Beyond Hunger, Beals


It was a stormy night in Birmingham, England, and Hudson Taylor was to speak at a meeting at the Severn Street schoolroom. His hostess assured him that nobody would attend on such a stormy night, but Taylor insisted on going. "I must go even if there is no one but the doorkeeper." Less than a dozen people showed up, but the meeting was marked with unusual spiritual power. Half of those present either became missionaries or gave their children as missionaries; and the rest were faithful supporters of the China Inland Mission for years to come.

W. Wiersbe, Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching and Preachers, p. 242.


Norman Geisler, as a child, went to a DVBS because he was invited by some neighbor children. He went back to the same church for Sunday School classes for 400 Sundays. Each week he was faithfully picked up by a bus driver. Week after week he attended church, but never made a commitment to Christ. Finally, during his senior year in High School, after being picked up for church over 400 times, he did commit his life to Christ. What if that bus driver had given up on Geisler at 395? What if the bus driver had said, "This kid is going nowhere spiritually, why waste any more time on him?"

Max Lucado, God Came Near, Multnomah Press, 1987, p. 133.


One stormy night an elderly couple entered the lobby of a small hotel and asked for a room. The clerk said they were filled, as were all the hotels in town. "But I can't send a fine couple like you out in the rain," he said. "Would you be willing to sleep in my room?" The couple hesitated, but the clerk insisted. The next morning when the man paid his bill, he said, "You're the kind of man who should be managing the best hotel in the United States. Someday I'll build you one." The clerk smiled politely. A few years later the clerk received a letter from the elderly man, recalling that stormy night and asking him to come to New York. A round-trip ticket was enclosed. When the clerk arrived, his host took him to the corner of 5th Avenue and 34th Street, where stood a magnificent new building. "That," explained the man, "is the hotel I have built for you to manage." The man was William Waldorf Astor, and the hotel was the original Waldorf-Astoria. The young clerk, George C. Boldt, became its first manager.

Unknown.


Fred Craddock, in an address to ministers, caught the practical implications of consecration. "To give my life for Christ appears glorious," he said. "To pour myself out for others. . . to pay the ultimate price of martyrdom -- I'll do it. I'm ready, Lord, to go out in a blaze of glory. "We think giving our all to the Lord is like taking $l,000 bill and laying it on the table-- 'Here's my life, Lord. I'm giving it all.' But the reality for most of us is that he sends us to the bank and has us cash in the $l,000 for quarters. We go through life putting out 25 cents here and 50 cents there. Listen to the neighbor kid's troubles instead of saying, 'Get lost.' Go to a committee meeting. Give a cup of water to a shaky old man in a nursing home. Usually giving our life to Christ isn't glorious. It's done in all those little acts of love, 25 cents at at time. It would be easy to go out in a flash of glory; it's harder to live the Christian life little by little over the long haul."

Darryl Bell.


An elderly preacher was rebuked by one of his deacons one Sunday morning before the service. "Pastor," said the man, "something must be wrong with your preaching and your work. There's been only one person added to the church in a whole year, and he's just a boy." The minister listened, his eyes moistening and his thin hand trembling. "I feel it all," he replied, "but God knows I've tried to do my duty." On that day the minister's heart was heavy as he stood before his flock. As he finished the message, he felt a strong inclination to resign. After everyone else had left, that one boy came to him and asked, "Do you think if I worked hard for an education, I could become a preacher--perhaps a missionary?" Again tears welled up in the minister's eyes. "Ah, this heals the ache I feel," he said. "Robert, I see the Divine hand now. May God bless you, my boy. Yes, I think you will become a preacher." Many years later an aged missionary returned to London from Africa. His name was spoken with reverence. Nobles invited him to their homes. He had added many souls to the church of Jesus Christ, reaching even some of Africa's most savage chiefs. His name was Robert Moffat, the same Robert who years before had spoken to the pastor that Sunday morning in the old Scottish kirk. Lord, help us to be faithful. Then give us the grace to leave the results to you.

Unknown.


I recently read about an old man, walking the beach at dawn, who noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Catching up with the youth, he asked what he was doing. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun. 'But the beach goes on for miles and miles, and there are millions of starfish,' countered the man. 'How can your effort make any difference?' The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it to safety in the waves. 'It makes a difference to this one,' he said."

Hugh Duncan, Leadership Journal.


Dont' waste your time waiting and longing for large opportunitis which may never come. But faithfully handle the little things that are always claiming your attention.

F.B. Meyer.


Charles Spurgeon preached to thousands in London each Lord's Day, yet he started his ministry by passing out tracts and teaching a Sunday school class as a teenager. When he began to give short addresses to the Sunday school, God blessed his ministry of the Word. He was invited to preach in obscure places in the country side, and he used every opportunity to honor the Lord. He was faithful in the small things, and God trusted him with the greater things. "I am perfectly sure," he said, "that, if I had not been willing to preach to those small gatherings of people in obscure country places, I should never have had the privilege of preaching to thousands of men and women in large buildings all over the land. Remember our Lord's rule, "whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

W. Wiersbe, Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers, p. 221.


Lengthy Illustrations

Consider Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who wrote in 1762 the classic treatise on freedom, The Social Contract, with its familiar opening line: "Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains."

But the liberty Rousseau envisioned wasn't freedom from state tyranny; it was freedom from personal obligations. In his mind, the threat of tyranny came from smaller social groupings --family, church, workplace, and the like. We can escape the claims made by these groups, Rousseau said, by transferring complete loyalty to the state. In his words, each citizen can become "perfectly independent of all his fellow citizens" through becoming "excessively dependent on the republic."

This idea smacks so obviously of totalitarianism that one wonders by what twisted path of logic Rousseau came up with it. Why did he paint the state as the great liberator? Historian Paul Johnson, in his book Intellectuals, offers an intriguing hypothesis. At the time Rousseau was writing The Social Contract, Johnson explains, he was struggling with a great personal dilemma. An inveterate bohemian, Rousseau had drifted from job to job, from mistress to mistress. Eventually, he began living with a simple servant girt maned Therese. When Therese presented him with a baby, Rousseau was, in his own words, "Thrown into the greatest embarrassment."

His burning desire was to be received into Parisian high society, and an illegitimate child was an awkward encumbrance. Friends whispered that unwanted offspring were customarily sent to a "foundling asylum." A few days later, a tiny, blanketed bundle was left on the steps of the local orphanage. Four more children were born to Therese and Jean-Jacques; each one ended up on the orphanage steps. Records show that most of the babies in the institution died; a few who survived became beggars. Rousseau knew that, and several of his books and letters reveal vigorous attempts to justify his action. At first he was defensive, saying he could not work in a house "filled with domestic cares and the noise of children." Later his stance became self-righteous. He insisted he was only following the teachings of Plato: Hadn't Plato said the state is better equipped than parents to raise good citizens? Later, when Rousseau turned to political theory, these ideas seem to reappear in the form of general policy recommendations. For example, he said responsibility for educating children should be taken away from parents and given to the state. And his ideal state is one where impersonal institutions liberate citizens from all personal obligations. Now, here was a man who himself had turned to a state institution for relief from personal obligations. Was his own experience transmuted into political theory? Is there a connection between the man and the political theorist? It is risky business to try to read personal motives. But we do know that to the end of his life Rousseau struggled with guilt. In his last book, he grieved that he had lacked, in the words of historian Will Durant, "the simple courage to bring up a family."

Charles Colson, "Better a Socialist Monk than a Free-market Rogue?," Christianity Today, p. 104.


Clarence Jordan was a man of unusual abilities and commitment. He had two Ph.D.s, one in agriculture and one in Greek and Hebrew. So gifted was he, he could have chosen to do anything he wanted. He chose to serve the poor. In the 1940s, he founded a farm in Americus, Georgia, and called it Koinonia Farm. It was a community for poor whites and poor blacks. As you might guess, such an idea did not go over well in the Deep South of the '40s. Ironically, much of the resistance came from good church people who followed the laws of segregation as much as the other folk in town. The town people tried everything to stop Clarence. They tried boycotting him, and slashing workers' tires when they came to town. Over and over, for fourteen years, they tried to stop him.

Finally, in 1954, the Ku Klux Klan had enough of Clarence Jordan, so they decided to get rid of him once and for all. They came one night with guns and torches and set fire to every building on Koinonia Farm but Clarence's home, which they riddled with bullets. And they chased off all the families except one black family which refused to leave. Clarence recognized the voices of many of the Klansmen, and, as you might guess, some of them were church people. Another was the local newspaper's reporter. The next day, the reporter came out to see what remained of the farm. The rubble still smoldered and the land was scorched, but he found Clarence in the field, hoeing and planting.

"I heard the awful news," he called to Clarence, "and I came out to do a story on the tragedy of your farm closing." Clarence just kept on hoeing and planting. The reporter kept prodding, kept poking, trying to get a rise from this quietly determined man who seemed to be planting instead of packing his bags. So, finally, the reporter said in a haughty voice, "Well, Dr. Jordan, you got two of them Ph.D.s and you've but fourteen years into this farm, and there's nothing left of it at all. Just how successful do you think you've been?"

Clarence stopped hoeing, turned toward the reporter with his penetrating blue eyes, and said quietly but firmly, "About as successful as the cross. Sir, I don't think you understand us. What we are about is not success but faithfulness. We're staying. Good day." Beginning that day, Clarence and his companions rebuilt Koinonia and the farm is going strong today.

Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, Word Books Publisher, 1987, pp. 188-189

 

DECEIT

Thomas Edison was concerned about the way visitors to his office helped themselves to his expensive Havana cigars. Since he wouldn't lock them up, his secretary suggested he have cigars made from cabbage leaves and substitute them for the Havanas. Edison agreed, then forgot about it, and only remembered later when the Havanas started vanishing again. When he asked his secretary why the bogus cigars hadn't arrived, she told him they had arrived and had been given to his manager -- who, not knowing they were fakes, had packed them for Edison to take on a trip. "And do you know," Edison laughed, "I smoked every one of those cigars myself!" 

Today in the Word, December 16, 1992.


Bob Harris, weatherman for NY TV station WPIX-TV and the nationally syndicated independent Network news, had to weather a public storm of his own making in 1979. Though he had studied math, physics and geology at three colleges, he left school without a degree but with a strong desire to be a media weatherman. He phoned WCBS-TV, introducing himself as a Ph.D. in geophysics from Columbia U. The phony degree got him in the door. After a two-month tryout, he was hired as an off-camera forecaster for WCBS. For the next decade his career flourished. He became widely known as "Dr. Bob." He was also hired by the New York Times as a consulting meteorologist. The same year both the Long Island Railroad and then Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn hired him. 

Forty years of age and living his childhood dream, he found himself in public disgrace and national humiliation when an anonymous letter prompted WCBS management to investigate his academic credentials. Both the station and the New York Times fire him. His story got attention across the land. He was on the Today Show, the Tomorrow Show, and in People Weekly, among others. He thought he'd lose his home and never work in the media again. Several days later the Long Island Railroad and Bowie Kuhn announced they would not fire him. Then WNEW-TV gave him a job. He admits it was a dreadful mistake on his part and doubtless played a role in his divorce. "I took a shortcut that turned out to be the long way around, and one day the bill came due. I will be sorry as long as I am alive." 

Nancy Shulins, Journal News, Nyack, NY.


In late September 1864 Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest was leading his troops north from Decatur, Alabama, toward Nashville. But to make it to Nashville, Forrest would have to defeat the Union army at Athens, Alabama. When the Union commander, Colonel Wallace Campbell, refused to surrender, Forrest asked for a personal meeting, and took Campbell on an inspection of his troops. But each time they left a detachment, the Confederate soldiers simply packed up and moved to another position, artillery and all. Forrest and Campbell would then arrive at the new encampment and continue to tally up the impressive number of Confederate soldiers and weaponry. By the time they returned to the fort, Campbell was convinced he couldn't win and surrendered unconditionally! 

Today in the Word, June 27, 1993.


Christopher Columbus kept two records of the distances traveled on his first voyage to the New World in the Santa Maria. One was true, he thought, but he deliberately faked the other. Ironically, the fake log turned out to be the more accurate of the two. To alleviate his crew's fears that they were getting too far from home on an unknown sea, Columbus gave them a reduced mileage estimate. When, for example, he told them on Sept. 11, 1492, that they had covered 16 leagues, he recorded 20 leagues in his secret log. Though he didn't know it, Columbus' "true" distance records were overestimated by 9% on the average. His faked distances came out closer to the actual distances traveled. When the crew found out about his deception, they threatened to mutiny. Before they did, however, land--and a New World-- appeared. 

Parade Magazine, March 18, 1984.


In 1212 a French shepherd boy by the name of Steven claimed that Jesus had appeared to him disguised as a pilgrim. Supposedly, Jesus instructed him to take a letter to the king of France. This poor, misguided boy told everyone about what he thought he had encountered. Before long he had gathered a large following of more than thirty thousand children who accompanied him on his pilgrimage. As Philip Schaff records it, when asked where they were going, they replied, "We go to God, and seek for the holy cross beyond the sea." They reached Marseilles, but the waves did not part and let them go through dry-shod as they expected.

It was at Marseilles that tragedy occurred. The children met two men, Hugo Ferreus and William Porcus. The men claimed to be so impressed with the calling of the children that they offered to transport them across the Mediterranean in seven ships without charge. What the children didn't know was that the two men were slave traders. The children boarded the ships and the journey began, but instead of setting sail for the Holy Land they set course for North Africa, "where they were sold as slaves in the Muslim markets that did a large business in the buying and selling of human being. Few if any returned. None ever reached the Holy Land." Two cunning men enjoyed enormous financial profits simply because they were willing to sacrifice the lives of thousands of children. 

Steve Farrar, Family Survival in the American Jungle, 1991, Multnomah Press, pp. 60- 61.


As physics professor at Adelaide University in Australia, Sir Kerr Grant used to illustrate the time of descent of a free- falling body by allowing a heavy ball suspended from the lecture-theater roof trusses to fall some 30 feet and be caught in a sand bucket.

Each year the bucket was lined up meticulously to catch the ball -- and each year students secretly moved the bucket to one side, so that the ball crashed thunderously to the floor. Tiring of this rather stale joke, the professor traced a chalk line around the bucket. The students moved the bucket as usual, traced a chalk mark around the new position, rubbed it out and replaced the bucket in its original spot. "Aha!" the professor explained, seeing the faint outline of the erased chalk mark. He moved the bucket over it and released the ball -- which thundered to the floor as usual.   

Reader's Digest, Contributed by D.G. Dewar.


"Marathoner Loses by a Mustache." So read the headline of a recent Associated Press story. It appeared that Abbes Tehami of Algeria was an easy winner of the Brussels Marathon--until someone wondered where his mustache had gone! Checking eyewitness accounts, it quickly became evident that the mustache belonged to Tehami's coach, Bensalem Hamiani. Hamiani had run the first seven-and-a-half miles of the race for Tehami, then dropped out of the pack and disappeared into the woods to pass race number 62 on to his pupil. "They looked about the same," race organizers said. "Only one had a mustache." It's expected that the two will never again be allowed to run in Belgium. 

Today in the Word, Moody Bible Institute, January 1992.


Deception has been a part of warfare since the Trojan horse. During WWII, it became high art. Members of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops used special "weapons" like dummy planes, tanks, antiaircraft guns, and amplified recordings that created war sounds to fool the German high command. To enable a combat unit to change positions or even attack when the Germans thought it hadn't moved at all, the 1800 men of the 23rd impersonated entire divisions. They would move in at night, change insignias, and inflate their rubber decoys. Meanwhile, the troops they were replacing sneaked away. Such deception was a major factor in the success of the Allies' D-Day invasion, as the German 15th Army waited elsewhere for an assault that never came. 

Today in the Word, November 10, 1991.


Once, when a stubborn disputer seemed unconvinced, Lincoln said, "Well, let's see how many legs has a cow?" "Four, of course," came the reply disgustedly. "That's right," agreed Lincoln. "Now suppose you call the cow's tail a leg; how many legs would the cow have?" "Why, five, of course," was the confident reply. "Now, that's where you're wrong," said Lincoln. "Calling a cow's tail a leg doesn't make it a leg." 

Bits & Pieces, July, 1991.


You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. 

A. Lincoln.


Men can always be blind to a thing so long as it is big enough. 

G. K. Chesterton.


One summer morning in the 1920s, a Scotsman names Arthur Ferguson stood idly in London's Trafalgar Square. As he watched, an obviously well-to-do American began admiring the statue of Admiral Lord Nelson and the column it rested on. Struck with a sudden inspiration, Ferguson put his remarkable selling ability to work and "sold" Nelson's column to the American for about $30,000--lions included! Not one to rest on his laurels, Ferguson went on from there to sell the famous clock Big Ben to another American for $5,000 and took $10,000 from yet another as down payment on Buckingham Palace. By the time justice caught up with him, Ferguson had added the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty to the list of his amazing "sales"! He spent several years in prison for his remarkable deceptions.

Source Unknown.


It is reported that in the late 1860s, President Ulysses S. Grant gave a cigar to Horace Norton, philanthropist and founder of Norton College. Because of his respect for the President, Norton chose to keep the cigar rather than smoke it. Upon Norton's death, the cigar passed to his son, and later it was bequeathed to his grandson. It was Norton's grandson who in 1932 chose to light the cigar ceremoniously during an oration at Norton College's 70th anniversary celebration. Waxing eloquent, Norton lit the famous cigar and proceeded to extol the many virtues of Grant until...Boom! The renowned cigar exploded! That's right- over sixty years earlier Grant had passed a loaded cigar along to a good friend, and at long last it had made a fool of his friend's grandson! 

Today in the Word, July, 1989, p. 39.


Statistics and Stuff

It is estimated that 500,000 Americans have counterfeit diplomas or credentials. 

Prokope, July-Aug, 1988.

 

DECEPTION OF SELF

Jessica Hawn, former church secretary who committed immoral acts with Jim Bakker (former host of the PTL Club), and later brought down the PTL empire, said today (9-28-87) that God gave her "real peace" about granting an interview to Playboy magazine and posing for topless pictures. On 9-29-87 the news reports that she still considers herself a Christian, but goes to God "one-on-one," not through any church or organization. Also: she doesn't consider herself a "bimbo." But her mother does.


Some early studies concerned with prejudice show that we're quite capable of reordering our perceptions of the world around us in order to maintain our conviction that we're right. A group of white, middle-class New York City residents were presented with a picture of people on a subway. Two men were in the foreground. One was white, one was black. One wore a business suit, one was clothed in workman's overalls. One was giving his money to the other who was threatening him with a knife. Now as a matter of fact it was the black man who wore the suit, and it was he who was being robbed by the white laborer. But such a picture didn't square with the prejudices of the viewers. To them, white men were executives, black men were blue collar workers. Blacks were the robbers, whites the victims. And so they reported what their mind told them they saw--that a black laborer was assaulting a white businessman. As human beings who desperately desire our lives to be consistent and untroubled, we'll go to great lengths to reject a message that implies we're wrong. 

Em Griffin, The Mindchangers, Tyndale House, 1976, pp. 48-9.


A school teacher lost her life savings in a business scheme that had been elaborately explained by a swindler. When her investment disappeared and her dream was shattered, she went to the Better Business Bureau. "Why on earth didn't you come to us first?" the official asked. "Didn't you know about the Better Business Bureau?" "Oh, yes," said the lady sadly. "I've always known about you. But I didn't come because I was afraid you'd tell me not to do it." The folly of human nature is that even though we know where the answers lie--God's Word--we don't turn there for fear of what it will say. 

Jerry Lambert.

 

DEPENDABILITY

For an extraordinary pitcher he performed few extraordinary feats. Though a veteran of 21 seasons, in only one did he win more than 20 games. He never pitched a no-hitter and only once did he lead the league in any category (2.21 ERA, 1980). Yet on June 21, 1986, Don Sutton rubbed pitching elbows with the true legends of baseball by becoming the 13th pitcher to win 300 Games. His analysis of his success is worth noting. "A grinder and a mechanic" is what he calls himself. "I never considered myself flamboyant or exceptional. But all my life I've found a way to get the job done." And get it done he did. Through two decades, six presidential terms, and four trades, he consistently did what pitchers are supposed to do: win games. With tunnel vision devotion, he spent 21 seasons redefining greatness. He has been called the "family sedan" of baseball's men on the mound.

Source Unknown.

 

DISHONEST

The drunk husband snuck up the stairs quietly. He looked in the bathroom mirror and bandaged the bumps and bruises he'd received in a fight earlier that night. He then proceeded to climb into bed, smiling at the thought that he'd pulled one over on his wife. When morning came, he opened his eyes and there stood his wife. "You were drunk last night weren't you!" "No, honey." "Well, if you weren't, then who put all the band-aids on the bathroom mirror?"

Source Unknown.


Statistics and Stuff

How common is employee dishonesty? According to one recent survey: Falsifying time sheets was admitted by 5.8% of workers. Stealing merchandise was admitted by 6.6%. Among people working in retail stores, 57% said they abused their employee-discount privileges. 

Dr. John Clark, in Homemade, November, 1985.

 

DISHONOR

Take Edwin Thomas, for instance. Edwin Thomas Booth, that is. At age fifteen he debuted on the stage playing Tressel to his father's Richard III. Within a few short years he was playing the lead in Shakespearean tragedies throughout the United States and Europe. He was the Olivier of his time. He brought a spirit of tragedy that put him in a class by himself. Edwin had a younger brother, John, who was also an actor. Although he could not compare with his older brother, he did give a memorable interpretation of Brutus in the 1863 production of Julius Caesar, by the New York Winter Garden Theater. Two years later, he performed his last role in a theater when he jumped from the box of a bloodied President Lincoln to the stage of Ford's Theater. John Wilkes Booth met the end he deserved. But his murderous life placed a stigma over the life of his brother Edwin. An invisible asterisk now stood beside his name in the minds of the people. He was no longer Edwin Booth the consummate tragedian, but Edwin Booth the brother of the assassin. He retired from the stage to ponder the question why? Edwin Booth's life was a tragic accident simply because of his last name. The sensationalists wouldn't let him separate himself from the crime.

It is interesting to note that he carried a letter with him that could have vindicated him from the sibling attachment to John Wilkes Booth. It was a letter from General Adams Budeau, Chief Secretary to General Ulysses S. Grant, thanking him for a singular act of bravery. It seems that while he was waiting for a train on the platform at Jersey City, a coach he was about to board bolted forward. He turned in time to see that a young boy had slipped from the edge of the pressing crowd into the path of the oncoming train. Without thinking, Edwin raced to the edge of the platform and, linking his leg around a railing, grabbed the boy by the collar. The grateful boy recognized him, but he didn't recognize the boy. It wasn't until he received the letter of thanks that he learned it was Robert Todd Lincoln, the son of his brother's future victim. 

Tim Kimmel, Little House on the Freeway, pp. 105-106.

 

HONESTY

In the early 1900s George Riddell acquired the sensational London newspaper The News of the World. Meeting British journalist Frederick Greenwood one day, Riddell mentioned that he owned a newspaper, told Greenwood its name, and offered to send him a copy. The next time they met, Riddell asked Greenwood what he thought of The News.

"I looked at it and then I put it in the wastepaper basket," said Greenwood, "and then I thought, 'If I leave it there the cook may read it,' so I burned it." 

Today in the Word, November 3, 1993.


During his time as a rancher, Theodore Roosevelt and one of his cowpunchers lassoed a maverick steer, lit a fire, and prepared the branding irons. The part of the range they were on was claimed by Gregor Lang, one of Roosevelt's neighbors. According to the cattleman's rule, the steer therefore belonged to Lang. As his cowboy applied the brand, Roosevelt said, "Wait, it should be Lang's brand."

"That's all right, boss," said the cowboy.

"But you're putting on my brand," Roosevelt said.

"That's right," said the man.

"Drop that iron," Roosevelt demanded, "and get back to the ranch and get out. I don't need you anymore. A man who will steal for me will steal from me." 

Today in the Word, March 28, 1993.


A rancher asked a veterinarian for some free advice. "I have a horse," he said, "that walks normally sometimes and limps sometimes. What shall I do." 

The veterinarian replied, "The next time he walks normally, sell him." 

Al Schock, Jokes for All Occasions.


When Fred Phillips, retired public-safety director and police chief of Johnson City, Tenn., was a regular police office, he and his partner pulled over an unlicensed motorist. They asked the man to follow them to the police station, but while en route they spotted a North Carolina vehicle whose license plate and driver matched the description in an all-points bulletin.

The officers took off in a high-speed chase, and finally stopped the wanted man's car.

Minutes later, as the felon was being arrested, the unlicensed motorist drove up. "If y'all will just tell me how to get to the station, I'll wait for you there," he said. "I'm having a heck of a time keeping up with you."

John Newland in Johnson City, Tenn., Press, quoted in Reader's Digest, June, 1992, p. 145.


Bob Harris, weatherman for NY TV station WPIX-TV and the nationally syndicated independent Network news, had to weather a public storm of his own making in 1979. Though he had studied math, physics and geology at three colleges, he left school without a degree but with a strong desire to be a media weatherman. He phoned WCBS-TV, introducing himself as a Ph.D. in geophysics from Columbia U. The phony degree got him in the door. After a two-month tryout, he was hired as an off-camera forecaster for WCBS. 

For the next decade his career flourished. He became widely known as "Dr. Bob." He was also hired by the New York Times as a consulting meteorologist. The same year both the Long Island Railroad and then Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn hired him. Forty years of age and living his childhood dream, he found himself in public disgrace and national humiliation when an anonymous letter prompted WCBS management to investigate his academic credentials. 

Both the station and the New York Times fire him. His story got attention across the land. He was on the Today Show, the Tomorrow Show, and in People Weekly, among others. He thought he'd lose his home and never work in the media again. Several days later the Long Island Railroad and Bowie Kuhn announced they would not fire him. Then WNEW-TV gave him a job. He admits it was a dreadful mistake on his part and doubtless played a role in his divorce. "I took a shortcut that turned out to be the long way around, and one day the bill came due. I will be sorry as long as I am alive."

Nancy Shulins, Journal News, Nyack, NY.


As professional golfer Ray Floyd was getting ready to tap in a routine 9-inch putt, he saw the ball move ever so slightly. According to the rule book, if the ball moves in this way the golfer must take a penalty stroke. Yet consider the situation. Floyd was among the leaders in a tournament offering a top prize of $108,000. To acknowledge that the ball had moved could mean he would lose his chance for big money.

Writer David Holahan describes as follows what others might have done: "The athlete ducks his head and flails wildly with his hands, as if being attacked by a killer bee; next, he steps back from the ball, rubbing his eye for a phantom speck of dust, all the while scanning his playing partners and the gallery for any sign that the ball's movement has been detected by others. If the coast is clear, he taps the ball in for his par. Ray Floyd, however, didn't do that. He assessed himself a penalty stroke and wound up with a bogey on the hole.

Source Unknown.


In the last 1980's in Columbus, Ohio, an armored car spilled $2,000,000 on the freeway. Only $400,000 was ever recovered, the rest disappeared with the throngs of people who stopped and scooped up the cash. Some folks were honest enough to return what wasn't theirs: Melvin Kaiser gave back $57,000. Those who have studied human personality say that if we know the people who lost the money, we'll generally give it back. However, if we don't know them, 75% of the time we'll keep the cash.

Source Unknown.


In his early years, American landscape photographer Ansel Adams studied piano and showed some talent. At one party, however, as Adams played Chopin's F Major Nocturne he recalled that "In some strange way my right had started off in F-sharp major while my left had behaved well in F-major. I could not bring them together. I went through the entire nocturne with the hands separated by a half-step."

The next day a fellow guest gave Adams a no-nonsense review of his performance: "You never missed a wrong note!" 

Daily Walk, May 14, 1992.


Coming from a big city, my friend David wasn't prepared for the approach rural Maine businessmen take toward their customers. Shortly after David moved there, he rented a rototiller. The store owner showed him how it worked and explained that the charge was not based on how many hours he had it out, but rather how long it was actually used. Looking over the tiller for some king of meter, David asked, "How will you know how long I've used it?" With a puzzled look, the owner simply said, "You tell me."

Loren Morse, Reader's Digest, March 1991.


I recently saw the story of a high school values clarification class conducted by a teacher in Teaneck, New Jersey. A girl in the class had found a purse containing $1000 and returned it to its owner. The teacher asked for the class's reaction. Every single one of her fellow students concluded the girl had been "foolish." Most of the students contended that if someone is careless, they should be punished. When the teacher was asked what he said to the students, he responded, "Well, of course, I didn't say anything. If I come from the position of what is right and what is wrong, then I'm not their counselor. I can't impose my views." 

It's no wonder that J. Allen Smith, considered a father of many modern education reforms, concluded in the end, "The trouble with us reformers is that we've made reform a crusade against all standards. Well, we've smashed them all, and now neither we nor anybody else have anything left." 

Senator Dan Coats, Imprimis, Vol. 20, No. 9, September 1991.


A number of years ago the Douglas Aircraft company was competing with Boeing to sell Eastern Airlines its first big jets. War hero Eddie Rickenbacker, the head of Eastern Airlines, reportedly told Donald Douglas that the specifications and claims made by Douglas's company for the DC-8 were close to Boeing's on everything except noise suppression. Rickenbacker then gave Douglas one last chance to out-promise Boeing on this feature.

After consulting with his engineers, Douglas reported that he didn't feel he could make that promise. Rickenbacker replied, "I know you can't, I just wanted to see if you were still honest."

Today in the Word, October, 1991, p. 22.


The little boy was sent by his mother to buy a 65 cent loaf of bread. While the baker was putting the bread into a bag, the boy noticed that the loaf looked rather small. "Isn't that a small loaf of bread for 65 cents?" 

"You'll have less to carry," replied the baker. The boy put 50 cents on the counter. "You're 15 cents short," said the baker. 

"That's right, " replied the boy. "You'll have less to count."

Source Unknown.


A USA Today poll found that only 56% of American teach honesty to their children. And a Louis Harris poll turned up the distressing fact that 65% of high school students would cheat on an important exam. Recently a noted physician appeared on a network news-and-talk show and proclaimed, "Lying is an important part of social life, and children who are unable to do it are children who may have developmental problems." 

Daily Bread, September 23, 1991.


The first governor-general of Australia was a man by the name of Lord Hopetoun. One of his most cherished possessions was a 300 year old ledger he had inherited from John Hope, one of his ancestors. Hope had owned a business in Edinburgh, where he first used this old ledger. When Lord Hopetoun received it, he noticed that it had inscribed on its front page this prayer, "O Lord, keep me and this book honest!"

Source Unknown.


Back in Boston in the mid-1960s, Bill Russell was the star basketball center for the world-champion Celtics. It was fun watching him and his team play at the Boston Garden. He dominated the boards, and with effortless ease, he seemed to take charge of the whole court once the game got underway. The whole team revolved around his larger-than-life presence. Sports fans watch him from a distance, respecting his command of the sport. Then, in a radio interview, I heard a comment from Russell that immediately made me feel closer to him, though I have never met the man. 

The sports reporter asked the all-pro basketball star if he ever got nervous. Russell's answer was surprising. He said, in his inimitable style of blunt honesty, "Before every game, I vomit." 

Shocked, the sportscaster asked what he did if they played two games the same day. Unflappable Russell replied, "I vomit twice." 

C. Swindoll, The Grace Awakening, Word, 1990, p. 203.


Last winter, a lowly paid waiter in a major city found a briefcase containing cash and negotiables in a parking lot--and no owner in sight. No one saw the waiter find it and put it in his car in the wee hours of the morning. But for the waiter, there was never any question of what to do. He took the briefcase home, opened it, and searched for the owner's identity. The next day he made a few phone calls, located the distressed owner, and returned the briefcase--along with the $25,000 cash it contained! 

The surprising thing about this episode was the ridicule the waiter experienced at the hands of his friends and peers. For the next week or so he was called a variety of names and laughed at, all because he possessed a quality the Bible holds in high regard: integrity. 

Today in the Word, July, 1989, p. 18.


In 1930, the mighty Yankee, Babe Ruth, was offered $80,000 a year. Some folks objected, pointing out that President Hoover made only $75,000. Said the Babe, apparently unperturbed, "I had a better year."

Herm Albright in Beech Grove, Ind., Perry, Township Weekly.


Some are honest only because they have never had opportunity to be dishonest.

Traditional.


A recent poll of 5000 students concluded that 46 percent of them would cheat on an important test. Thirty-six percent said they would cover for a friend who vandalized school property, while only 24 percent would tell the truth. Five percent would steal money from their parents if given the opportunity. 

Moody Monthly, June, 1990, p. 8.


Dr. Madison Sarratt taught mathematics at Vanderbilt University for many years. Before giving a test, the professor would admonish his class something like this: "Today I am giving two examinations--one in trigonometry and the other in honesty. I hope you will pass them both. If you must fail one, fail trigonometry. There are many good people in the world who can't pass trig, but there are no good people in the world who cannot pass the examination of honesty." 

George Sweeting.


In his recent book Integrity, Ted Engstrom told his story: "For Coach Cleveland Stroud and the Bulldogs of Rockdale County High School (Conyers, Georgia), it was their championship season: 21 wins and 5 losses on the way to the Georgia boys' basketball tournament last March, then a dramatic come-from-behind victory in the state finals. But now the new glass trophy case outside the high school gymnasium is bare. 

Earlier this month the Georgia High School Association deprived Rockdale County of the championship after school officials said that a player who was scholastically ineligible had played 45 seconds in the first of the school's five postseason games. 'We didn't know he was ineligible at the time; we didn't know it until a few weeks ago,' Mr. Stroud said. 'Some people have said we should have just kept quiet about it, that it was just 45 seconds and the player wasn't an impact player. But you've got to do what's honest and right and what the rules say. I told my team that people forget the scores of basketball games; they don't ever forget what you're made of.'"

Ted Engstrom, Integrity.

 

LIE

Famous American Fibs

- The check is in the mail.

- I'll start my diet tomorrow.

- We service what we sell.

- Give me your number and the doctor will call you right back.

- Money cheerfully refunded.

- One size fits all.

- This offer limited to the first 100 people who call in.

- Your luggage isn't lost, it's only misplaced.

- Leave your resume and we'll keep it on file.

- This hurts me more than it hurts you.

- I just need five minutes of your time.

- Your table will be ready in a few minutes.

- Open wide, it won't hurt a bit.

- Let's have lunch sometime.

- It's not the money, it's the principle.

Bits & Pieces, December 9, 1993, pp. 12-13.


From the French Enlightenment essayist, Michel de Montaigne, based on a proverb traced to the fourth century church father Jerome:

Lying is indeed an accursed vice. We are men, and we have relations with one another only by speech. If we recognized the horror and gravity of an untruth, we should more justifiably punish it with fire than any other crime. I commonly find people taking the most ill-advised pains to correct their children for their harmless faults, and worrying them about heedless acts which leave no trace and have no consequences. Lying -- and in a lesser degree obstinacy -- are, in my opinion, the only faults whose birth and progress we should consistently oppose. They grow with a child's growth, and once the tongue has got the knack of lying, it is difficult to imagine how impossible it is to correct it. 

On the Father Front, Winter, 1992-93, p. 4.


Bob Harris, weatherman for NY TV station WPIX-TV and the nationally syndicated independent Network news, had to weather a public storm of his own making in 1979. Though he had studied math, physics and geology at three colleges, he left school without a degree but with a strong desire to be a media weatherman. He phoned WCBS-TV, introducing himself as a Ph.D. in geophysics from Columbia U. The phony degree got him in the door. After a two-month tryout, he was hired as an off-camera forecaster for WCBS. For the next decade his career flourished. He became widely known as "Dr. Bob." He was also hired by the New York Times as a consulting meteorologist. The same year both the Long Island Railroad and then Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn hired him. 

Forty years of age and living his childhood dream, he found himself in public disgrace and national humiliation when an anonymous letter prompted WCBS management to investigate his academic credentials. Both the station and the New York Times fired him. His story got attention across the land. He was on the Today Show, the Tomorrow Show, and in People Weekly, among others. He thought he'd lose his home and never work in the media again. Several days later the Long Island Railroad and Bowie Kuhn announced they would not fire him. Then WNEW-TV gave him a job. He admits it was a dreadful mistake on his part and doubtless played a role in his divorce. "I took a shortcut that turned out to be the long way around, and one day the bill came due. I will be sorry as long as I am alive."

Nancy Shulins, Journal News, Nyack, NY.


Lying seems to be a way of life for many people. We lie at the drop of a hat. The book The Day American Told the Truth says that 91 percent of those surveyed lie routinely about matters they consider trivial, and 36 percent lie about important matters; 86 percent lie regularly to parents, 75 percent to friends, 73 percent to siblings, and 69 percent to spouses.

Daily Bread, August 28, 1992.


While pursuing a story about equivocation in high office, I was told, "He gave an if-by-whiskey speech." My source, asked about his curious compound adjective, said he thought it was a Florida political expression possibly borrowed from a Minnesota Congressman. That triggered a call to Richard B. Stone, now a Washington banker, but a former U.S. Senator from Florida familiar with that state's political patois. He immediately recognized the phrase, meaning "calculated ambivalence," and provided the following anecdote: 

Fuller Warren, Florida's governor in the '50s, was running for office in a year that counties were voting their local option on permitting the sale of liquor. Asked for his position on wet-versus-dry, he would say: "If by whiskey you mean the water of life that cheers men's souls, that smooths out the tensions of the day, that gives gentle perspective to one's view of life, then put my name on the list of the fervent wets. But if by whiskey you mean the devil's brew that rends families, destroys careers and ruins one's ability to work, then count me in the ranks of the dries."

William Safire in New York Times Magazine.


When regard for truth has been broken down or even slightly weakened, all things will remain doubtful.

Augustine.


A USA Today poll found that only 56% of American teach honesty to their children. And a Louis Harris poll turned up the distressing fact that 65% of high school students would cheat on an important exam. Recently a noted physician appeared on a network news-and-talk show and proclaimed, "Lying is an important part of social life, and children who are unable to do it are children who may have developmental problems." 

Daily Bread, September 23, 1991.


A lie has no legs. It requires other lies to support it. Tell one lie and you are forced to tell others to back it up. Stretching the truth won't make it last any longer. Those that think it permissible to tell white lies soon grow colorblind. 

Austin O'Malley.


I would not tell one lie to save the souls of all the world.

John Wesley.


First, somebody told it,

Then the room couldn't hold it,

So the busy tongues rolled it

Till they got it outside.

Then the crowd came across it,

And never once lost it,

But tossed it and tossed it,

Till it grew long and wide.

This lie brought forth others,

Dark sisters and brothers,

And fathers and mothers--

A terrible crew.

And while headlong they hurried,

The people they flurried,

And troubled and worried,

As lies always do.

And so evil-bodied,

This monster lay goaded,

Till at last it exploded

In smoke and in shame.

Then from mud and from mire

The pieces flew higher,

And hit the sad victim

And killed a good name.

 

Source Unknown.

 


Writing letters of recommendation can be hazardous--tell the truth and you might get sued if the contents are negative. Robert Thornton, a professor at Lehigh University, has a collection of "virtually litigation-proof" phrases called the Lexicon of Intentionally Ambiguous Recommendations, or LIAR.

Here are some examples:

*To describe an inept person--"I enthusiastically recommend this candidate with no qualifications whatsoever."

*To describe an ex-employee who had problems getting along with fellow workers--"I an pleased to say that this candidate is a former colleague of mine."

*To describe an unproductive candidate--"I can assure you that no person would be better for the job."

*To describe an applicant not worth consideration--" I would urge you to waste no time in making this candidate an offer of employment." 

Larry Pryor in Los Angeles Times.


One never errs more safely than when one errs by too much loving the truth. 

Augustine.


The kings of Italy and Bohemia both promised safe transport and safe custody to the great pre-Reformation Bohemian reformer, John Hus. Both, however, broke their promises, leading to Hus's martyrdom in 1415. Earlier, Thomas Wentworth had carried a document signed by King Charles I which read, "Upon the word of a king you shall not suffer in life, honour, or fortune." It was not long, however, before Wentworth's death warrant was signed by the same monarch! 

Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 16.


No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar. 

A. Lincoln.


Those who think it's permissible to tell white lies soon become color-blind. 

Austin O'Malley.


Signals of lying: increased blinking and pupil dilation. A facial expression incongruous with what's being said. Increased body movement (especially hand gestures). Shorter sentences. More speaking pauses and errors. More negative words and extreme words. 

USA Today.


Men hate those to whom they have to lie. 

Victor Hugo.


The three most commonly told lies in this country: "Gee, you haven't changed a bit"; "I never got the message"; "I put that check in the mail to you yesterday." 

Bruce Keidan in Philadelphia Inquirer.


What upsets me is not that you lied to me, but that from now on I can no longer believe you. 

Friedrich Nietzsche.


A store manager hear his clerk tell a customer, "No, ma'am, we haven't had any for a while, and it doesn't look as if we'll be getting any soon." 

Horrified, the manager came running over to the customer and said, "Of course we'll have some soon. We placed an order last week." 

Then the manager drew the clerk aside. "Never," he snarled, "Never, never, never say we're out of anything--say we've got it on order and it's coming. Now, what was it she wanted?" 

"Rain," said the clerk. 

James Dent, in Charleston, W.Va. Gazette.


A manager was asked by his laziest employee for a recommendation for another job. The manager thought hard all night for something that would be honest without hurting the young man's chances. He finally wrote: "You will be lucky if you can get him to work for you." 

Greg Wetmore, in Reader's Digest.


As reported in USA Today, Jerald Jellison said, "Each of us fibs at least 50 times a day." He explained that we lie about our age, our income, or our accomplishments. And we use lies to escape embarrassment. A common reason for "little white lies," we're told, is to protect someone else's feelings. Yet in so doing, we are really protecting ourselves. According to Jellison, here are some of our most commonly used fibs: "I wasn't feeling well." "I didn't want to hurt your feelings." "The check is in the mail." " I was just kidding." "I was only trying to help."

USA Today.


The story is told of four high school boys who couldn't resist the temptation to skip morning classes. Each had been smitten with a bad case of spring fever. After lunch they showed up at school and reported to the teacher that their car had a flat tire. Much to their relief, she smiled and said, "Well, you missed a quiz this morning, so take your seats and get out a pencil and paper." Still smiling, she waited as they settled down and got ready for her questions. 

Then she said, "First question--which tire was flat?"

Source Unknown.


Two men worked on a large ocean-going vessel. One day the mate, who normally did not drink, became intoxicated. The captain, who hated him, entered in the daily log: "Mate drunk today." He knew this was his first offense, but he wanted to get him fired. The mate was aware of his evil intent and begged him to change the record. The captain, however, replied, "It's a fact, and into the log it goes!" 

A few days later the mate was keeping the log, and concluded it with: "Captain sober today." Realizing the implications of this statement, the captain asked that it be removed. In reply the mate said, "It's a fact, and in the log it stays!"

Source Unknown.

 

PROMISE

A man apt to promise is apt to forget.── Thomas Fuller.

 

PROMISE

Booker T. Washington describes meeting an ex-slave from Virginia in his book Up From Slavery : "I found that this man had made a contract with his master, two or three years previous to the Emancipation Proclamation, to the effect that the slave was to be permitted to buy himself, by paying so much per year for his body; and while he was paying for himself, he was to be permitted to labor where and for whom he pleased.

"Finding that he could secure better wages in Ohio, he went there. When freedom came, he was still in debt to his master some three hundred dollars. Notwithstanding that the Emancipation Proclamation freed him from any obligation to his master, this black man walked the greater portion of the distance back to where his old master lived in Virginia, and placed the last dollar, with interest, in his hands.

In talking to me about this, the man told me that he knew that he did not have to pay his debt, but that he had given his word to his master, and his word he had never broken. He felt that he could not enjoy his freedom till he had fulfilled his promise."── Douglas E. Moore.

 

The Fruit Of The Spirit - Faithfulness

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1. The seventh quality which Paul lists as the fruit of the Spirit is

   "faithfulness"...

   a. The Greek word is pistis {pis'-tis}

   b. In the NT, it is often used of a conviction or belief in respect

      to God and Christ

   c. But it also is used to describe the quality of "fidelity,

      faithfulness"

      1) "the character of one who can be relied on..." (THAYER)

      2) "faithful, to be trusted, reliable..." (VINE)

   d. William Barclay calls it "the virtue of reliability"

 

2. This virtue, unfortunately, is not too common...

   a. While many may claim it, the wise man declared it hard to find

      - Pr 20:6

   b. The Psalmist decried the lack of "faithfulness" in his day,

      describing a condition that sounds much like our situation today

      - Ps 12:1-2

   -- Yet, faithfulness is essential for those who would receive the

      crown of life - Re 2:10

 

3. To encourage the development of this virtue in our lives, in this

   study we shall...

   a. Look to Jesus and God as examples of faithfulness

   b. Suggest a few areas in which we need greater faithfulness

 

[Anyone who is led by the Spirit of God, will certainly be motivated to

produce the virtue of faithfulness in their own lives as they

contemplate...]

 

I. THE FAITHFULNESS OF JESUS AND GOD

 

   A. THE FAITHFULNESS OF JESUS...

      1. Jesus was faithful in fulfilling His role as the Son of God

         a. Just as Moses was faithful as a servant - He 3:1-2

         b. Jesus was faithful in carrying out the work given Him - Jn

            4:34; 5:30; 6:38; 8:29

      2. He is also faithful in the role of being our high priest - He

         2:17-18

         a. Faithful, because He understands our weaknesses - cf. He 4:

            14-15

         b. Faithful, because He richly supplies us with grace and

            mercy - cf. He 4:16

      -- Isn't it wonderful to have a Savior upon Whom we can rely?

 

   B. THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD...

      1. God has always been known as a God of faithfulness - Deu 7:9

      2. And toward those who are His children, He is faithful

         (reliable, trustworthy)...

         a. Not to allow us to be tempted beyond that we are able to

            bear - 1 Co 10:13

         b. To protect us from the evil one - 2 Th 3:3

         c. To complete His work of salvation in us - 1 Th 5:23-24

      -- Isn't it wonderful to know that God can be trusted in these

         and many other ways?

 

[But to fully benefit from the faithfulness of Jesus and God, we must

be faithful as well! - cf. Re 2:10-11,25-26; 3:11-12. With that  in

mind, consider some...]

 

II. AREAS IN WHICH WE NEED GREATER FAITHFULNESS

 

   A. WE NEED TO BE MORE FAITHFUL TO GOD AND CHRIST...

      1. In the way we use our "talents" (abilities and opportunities)

         - cf. Mt 25:21

      2. Too often, people are like the one talent man, burying their

         talent; this greatly displeases the Lord - cf. Mt 25:24-26

         a. Like Moses at the burning bush, they make excuses

         b. But for every excuse man can devise, God can provide a way

            for us to be faithful!

      3. We begin by being faithful in small things...

         a. As indicated in Jesus' comments in Lk 16:10

         b. If we can't be counted upon for the small things, how can

            we be expected to be considered reliable when the going

            gets tough? - cf. Jer 12:5

 

   B. WE NEED TO BE FAITHFUL TO THE CHURCH...

      1. The family of God always has need of people who are truly

         faithful (i.e., reliable, trustworthy, loyal)

      2. Lack of faithfulness to God's people can be seen in several

         ways:

         a. Forsaking the assembling of ourselves together - He 10:

            24-25

         b. Lack of participation in the family life of the church

            1) Neglecting opportunities to learn and grow together in

               God's Word

            2) Leaving it to others to carry out the work of the church

            3) Not concerned about the welfare of your brothers and

               sisters in Christ

         c. We cannot take such unfaithfulness lightly!

            1) We will be of little value to those who need us - cf. Pr

               25:19

            2) We actually undermine the work of the Lord! - cf. Pr

               18:9; Mt 12:30

      3. Do you need to have more faithfulness to the church?

         a. Ask yourself:  "If everyone were as faithful as I am, what

            kind of church would this be?"

            1) Would anyone be here, except for Sunday morning worship?

            2) Would there be any teachers for our children's classes?

            3) Would the church be growing, both numerically and

               spiritually?

            4) Would the church even exist?

         b. Consider this example of "faithfulness" to the church...

               Grandma Taw Bow, a resident of Thailand, does not

            impress strangers. She is small of stature, bent with age,

            her hands and fingers gnarled with arthritis. She often

            stands quietly to one side.

               Her name translated into English means "Always." Despite

            her unimpressive physical appearance, Grandma Always has

            inspired her missionary friends and Thai Christians by her

            faithfulness.

               A widow and over ninety years of age, she lives as a

            servant in a Thai home. Every Sunday she walks two miles to

            church.  Out of her income of five cents a day, she

            regularly gives one day's wages to the Lord every week.

               When her missionary friends drive her home from church

            services, she gets out, and bows her head in an audible

            prayer for the missionaries and the work of Christ in

            Thailand.

               One missionary says, "The thought of Grandma Always'

            faithfulness humbles and deepens us."  (A Dictionary Of

            Christian Illustrations, p. 121)

      -- What the church needs are more "Grandma Always", both young

         and old!

 

   C. WE NEED TO BE MORE FAITHFUL TO OUR FAMILIES...

      1. Fathers need to be faithful in fulfilling their spiritual

         roles - cf. Ep 6:4

      2. Mothers need to be faithful in fulfilling their family

         responsibilities - Ti 2:3-5

      3. Of course, husbands and wives need to be faithful to one

         another in their respective duties - Ep 5:22-33

      4. Children, you also have a need to be faithful - cf. Ep 6:1-3

      -- Do not our families deserve faithful spouses, parents and

         children?

 

   D. FINALLY, WE NEED TO BE MORE FAITHFUL TO OURSELVES...

      1. Shakespeare once described a man:  "He wears his faith as the

         fashion of his hat."

         a. Too often, some Christians are like that

         b. If it is fashionable to be a faithful Christian, then they

            are; if not, then they are not

      2. Those who are this way are only committing spiritual suicide

         and manslaughter

         a. That is, they are harming themselves

         b. And they are harming those who cannot rely upon them

      3. But for those who are faithful to themselves as well as to

         God...

         a. Will be preserved by the Lord:  "for the Lord preserves the

            faithful" - Ps 31:23

         b. And blessed by the Lord:  "A faithful man will abound with

            blessings..." - Pr 28:20

      -- Do we not owe it to ourselves to be faithful?

 

CONCLUSION

 

1. William Barclay ended his examination of this word in this way:

   a. "Pistos is indeed a great word. It describes the man on whose

      faithful service we may rely, on whose loyalty we may depend,

      whose word we can unreservedly accept."

   b. "It describes the man in whom there is the unswerving and

      inflexible fidelity of Jesus Christ, and the utter dependability

      of God."

 

2. Yes, the one who is being led by the Spirit of God, to produce the

   fruit of the Spirit...

   a. Will follow in the footsteps of the God and Savior he serves

   b. Those footsteps include the virtue of faithfulness, the virtue of

      reliability!

 

Will you not strive to be faithful, in your service to God, the church,

your family, even to yourself?

--《Executable Outlines