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Redeeming the Time

Is there a "family-time famine" in your home?  The Family Research Council, Focus on the family's branch office in Washington, D.C., recently released a survey showing that the average parent spent 30 hours a week with a child in 1965.  Today the average parent only spends 17 hours.  This year purpose to make more time for family meals, family outings, family walks or family vacations! ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Redeeming the Time

In A.W. Tozer's book Man:  The Dwelling Place of God, there is a reference to an Associated Press story about a British nobleman who died at 89 years of age.  He had inherited great wealth and therefore was free to do whatever he pleased.  According to the article, he "devoted his life to trying to breed the perfect spotted mouse."  Think of it!  Rather than using his privileged position in life, with its potential for serving the Lord and for ministering to human need, both material and spiritual, he devoted himself to perfecting spotted mice.  No mention was made of this being a scientific experiment to benefit mankind.  It seemed to be no more than a novel pursuit to satisfy his narrow interest.

  Now, let's make this personal.  When our life's work is ended, will we have to say, "Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and...indeed all was vanity"? Or will we be able to say, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness"? (2 Tim. 4:7,8).  We can if we put God first in all we do. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



When a young man sits next to a hot stove, a minute seems like an hour. But when a beautiful girl sits next to that young man, an hour seems like a minute. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Use of Time

A study revealed that an average seventy-year-old man has spent twenty-four years sleeping, fourteen years working, eight years in amusements, six years at the dinner table, five years in transportation, four years in conversation, three years in education, and two years in studying and reading.

His other four years were spent in miscellaneous pursuits. Of those four years, he spent forty-five minutes in church on Sundays, and five minutes were devoted to prayer each day. This adds up to a not at all impressive total of five months that he gave to God over the seventy years of his life.

Even if this man had been a faithful churchgoer who attended Sunday school and three one-hour services per week, he would have spent only one year and nine months in church!

If you have a question about the above arithmetic, sit down and figure out how you have been using your time. How large a portion of it is for the things related to God? When you finish this exercise, ponder what Jesus said: “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?…”(Matt. 16:26, NIV). ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



Time has been called a seamstress specializing in alterations. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



The Irish Potato Famine (1846-1851) resulted in a 30 percent drop in the population of the west of Ireland. The prolonged suffering of the Irish peasantry had broken the survivors in body and spirit.

John Bloomfield, the owner of Castle Caldwell in County Fermanagh, was working on the recovery of his estate when he noticed that the exteriors of his tenant farmers' small cottages had a vivid white finish. He was informed that there was a clay deposit on his property of unusually fine quality. To generate revenue and provide employment on his estate, he built a pottery at the village of Belleek in 1857. The unusually fine clay yielded a porcelain china that was translucent with a glass-like finish. It was worked into traditional Irish designs and was an immediate success.

Today, Belleek's delicate strength and its iridescent pearlized glaze is enthusiastically purchased the world over. This multimillion-dollar industry arose from innovative thinking during some very anxious times. 

Bits & Pieces, June 25, 1992.

We missed him. Our chance to change things came and passed and we did not know it was there. A dark-skinned little boy sat through Sunday School classes for three years at a great Baptist Church (First Church, San Antonio) but some one missed him. His name was Sirhan Sirhan, and at age 24 he shot and killed Senator Robert Kennedy. In a welter of words and the shudder of grief throughout our nation, the persistent thought keeps recurring...someone missed him. 

Dr. Jimmy Allen, former pastor of First Baptist Chruch, San Antonio, Texas in Pulpit Helps, May, 1991.

Some years ago an energetic young man began as a clerk in a hardware store. Like many old- time hardware stores, the inventory included thousands of dollars' worth of items that were obsolete or seldom called for by customers. The young man was smart enough to know that no thriving business could carry such an inventory and still show a healthy profit. He proposed a sale to get rid of the stuff. The owner was reluctant but finally agreed to let him set up a table in the middle of the store and try to sell off a few of the oldest items. Every product was priced at ten cents. The sale was a success and the young fellow got permission to run a second sale. It, too, went over just as well as the first. This gave the young clerk an idea. Why not open a store that would sell only nickel and dime items? He could run the store and his boss could supply the capital. 

The young man's boss was not enthusiastic. "The plan will never work," he said, "because you can't find enough items to sell at a nickel and a dime." The young man was disappointed but eventually went ahead on his own and made a fortune out of the idea. His name was F.W. Woolworth. 

Years later his old boss lamented, "As near as I can figure it, every word I used in turning Woolworth down has cost me about a million dollars!" 

Bits and Pieces, Vol. F, #41.

In 1269 Kublai Khan sent a request from Peking to Rome for "a hundred wise men of the Christian religion...And so I shall be baptized, and when I shall be baptized all my baron and great men will be baptized, and their subjects baptized, and so there will be more Christian here than there are in your parts." The Mongols were then wavering in the choice of a religion. It might have been, as Kublai forecast, the greatest mass religious movement the world has ever seen. The history of all Asia would have been changed. 

But what actually happened? Pope Gregory X answered by sending two Domnican friars. They got as far as Armenia, could endure no longer and returned home. So passed the greatest missionary opportunity in the history of the church. 

R. Dunkerly, in Resource, No. 2.



An airline pilot flying over the southeastern U.S. called the local tower and said, "We are passing over at 35,000--give us a time check." The tower said, "What airline are you?" "What difference does it make? I just want the time." replied the pilot. The tower responded, "Oh, it makes a lot of difference. If you are TransWorld Airline or Pan Am, it is 1600. If you are United or Delta, it is 4 o'clock. If you are Southern Airways, the little hand is on the 4 and the big hand is on the 12. If you are Skyway Airlines--it's Thursday." 

Peter Dieson, The Priority of Knowing God, p.91.

Better three hours too soon than one minute late. 

William Shakespeare.

In his youth, Andrew Carnegie, the famous steelmaker, worked for Thomas A. Scott, the local superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Carnegie was employed as a telegrapher, secretary, and general factotum at $35 a month.

One morning a serious railroad accident delayed the passenger trains and shunted freight trains onto the sidings, unable to move in either direction.

Scott could not be located, so Carnegie plunged into the breach -- knowing what had to be done, but also aware that an error could cost him his job and perhaps criminal prosecution. He signed Scott's name to the orders and got the trains moving with no mishaps. When Scott arrived at the office, Carnegie told him what had happened. Scott carefully looked over everything that the boy had done, and said nothing. "But I noticed," Carnegie said, "that he came in very regularly and in good time for some mornings after that." 

Bits & Pieces, April 30, 1992.



No illustrations, yet.

IN a 24 hour period, if you're an adult of average weight, here is what you accomplish:

Your heart beats 103,689 times
Your blood travels 168,000,000 miles
You breathe 23,040 times
You inhale 438 cubic feet of air.
You eat 3.25 pounds of food
You drink 2.9 quarts of liquids
You lose 7/8 pound of waste.
You speak 4,800 words, including some unnecessary ones
You move 750 muscles
Your nails grow .000046 inch
Your hair grows .01714 inch
You exercise 7,000,000 brain cells.

Feel tired?

Source Unknown.



Time of the Mad Atom

This is the age
Of the half-read page.
And the quick hash
And the mad dash.   

The bright night
With the nerves tight
The plane hop
With the brief stop. 

The lamp tan
In short span.
The Big Shot
In a good spot

And the brain strain
The heart pain.
And the cat naps 
Till the spring snaps --

And the fun's done!

Reprinted from The Saturday Evening Post, 1949, The Curtis Publishing Co., Courage - You Can Stand Strong in the Face of Fear, Jon Johnston, 1990, SP Publications, p. 143.

Time is the inexplicable raw material of everything. With it, all is possible; without it, nothing. The supply of time is truly a daily miracle, an affair genuinely astonishing when one examines it. You wake up in the morning, and lo! your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of the unmanufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours. It is the most precious of possessions... No one can take it from you. It is not something that can be stolen. And no one receives either more or less than you receive. Moreover, you cannot draw on its future. Impossible to get into debt! You can only waste the passing moment. You cannot waste tomorrow; it is kept for you. You cannot waste the next hour; it is kept for you.

You have to live on this twenty-four hours of daily time. Out of it you have to spin health, pleasure, money, content, respect, and the evolution of your immortal soul. Its right use, its most effective use, is a matter of the highest urgency and of the most thrilling actuality. All depends on that. Your happiness -- the elusive prize that you are all clutching for, my friends -- depends on that.

If one cannot arrange that an income of twenty-four hours a day shall exactly cover all proper items of expenditure, one does muddle one's whole life indefinitely. We shall never have any more time. We have, and we have always had, all the time there is.

Arnold Bennett, Bits & Pieces, March 4, 1993, p. 18-20.

No Time to Play

My precious boy with the golden hair
Came up one day beside my chair
And fell upon his bended knee
And said,
Oh, Mommy, please play with me!?/font>

I said, Not now, go on and play;
ve got so much to do today.?br> He smiled through tears in eyes so blue
When I said,
Well play when I get through.?/font>

But the chores lasted all through the day
And I never did find time to play.
When supper was over and dishes done,
I was much too tired for my little son.

I tucked him in and kissed his cheek
And watched my angel fall asleep.
As I tossed and turned upon my bed,
Those words kept ringing in my head,

Not now, son, go on and play,
ve got so much to do today.?br> I fell asleep and in a minutes span,
My little boy is a full-grown man.

No toys are there to clutter the floor;
No dirty fingerprints on the door;
No snacks to fix; no tears to dry;
The rooms just echo my lonely sigh.

And now Ive got the time to play;
But my precious boy is gone away.
I awoke myself with a pitiful scream
And realized it was just a dream

For across the room in his little bed,
Lay my curly-haired boy, the sleepy-head.
My work will wait
til another day
For now I must find some time to play.

Dianna (Mrs. Joe) Neal.

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.

 Henry David Thoreau.

The great 19th-century naturalist and Harvard professor Louis Agassiz was once approached by the emissary of a learned society and invited to address its members. Agassiz declined the invitation, saying that lectures of this kind took up too much time that should be devoted to research and writing. The man persisted, saying that the society was prepared to pay handsomely for the lecture.

"That's no inducement to me," Agassiz replied, "I can't afford to waste my time making money."

Today in the Word, June 4, 1992.

If you had a bank that credited your account each morning with $86,000 that carried over no balance from day to day...Allowed you to keep no cash in your account, and every evening cancelled whatever part of the amount you failed to use during the day, what would you do? Draw out every cent every day, of course, and use it to your advantage! Well, you have such a bank, and its name is TIME! Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it rules off as lost whatever of this you failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balances, it allows no overdrafts. Each day it opens a new account with you. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against tomorrow.

Source Unknown.

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12.

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.

Carl Sandburg.

What if you were given $1440.00 at the start of each day to use as you see fit, the only stipulation being that you must give back what you haven't spent by the end of the day?

Source Unknown.

Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once.

Source Unknown.

We master our minutes, or we become slaves to them; we use time, or time uses us.

Source Unknown.

More time is wasted not in hours but in minutes. A bucket with a small hole in the bottom gets just as empty as a bucket that is deliberately kicked over.

Source Unknown.

Common advice given to people who want to improve their use of time is to focus on what contributes most. The inverse, however, is also a worthy pursuit. What does not contribute but only wastes time? Try listing all the "time wasters" in a typical week and then rank them on the basis of their degree of time misuse. Ask questions: "What would happen if I didn't do this? Would it make a significant difference? Can I delegate this?"

Bits and Pieces, May 1990, p. 18.

Parents rate their inability to spend enough time with their children as the greatest threat to the family. In a survey conducted for the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Corp., 35 percent pointed to time constraints as the most important reason for the decline in family values. Another 22 percent mentioned a lack of parental discipline. While 63 percent listed family as their greatest source of pleasure, only 44 percent described the quality of family life in America as good or excellent. And only 34 percent expected it to be good or excellent by 1999. Despite their expressed desire for more family time, two-thirds of those surveyed say they would probably accept a job that required more time away from home if it offered higher income or greater prestige.

Moody Monthly, December, 1989, p. 72.

We are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end.


Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Susan Ertz.

When as a child I laughed and wept, time crept.                                                                                 When as a youth I dreamed and talked, time walked.                                                                           When I became a full grown man, time ran.                                                                                       And later as I older grew, time flew.                                                                                                   Soon I shall find while traveling on, time gone.

Source Unknown.

How often have you talked with someone on the telephone who seemed to be in a hurry and wanted to get on with more important business? Or visited with someone on the street and received that same hurried feeling? You've undoubtedly experienced it...and didn't enjoy it. And, perhaps, you have also been guilty of this. If you have, why not decide to tithe time, save up chunks, bits and pieces of it, and give them away to people who interrupt your pre-established plans?

It is a great principle of love that people don't interrupt, not really. Perhaps there shouldn't even be such a word as interrupt; for when people come into your existence, even for a brief time, that is a wonderful moment of experience for both of you. Relish it. Probe it. Invest some of the time you have tithed. We can't afford to indulge in the luxury of "being too busy and important" for another person.

We have time for such inanimate things as pieces of mail, vast sprawling shopping centers, the television program which starts at 7:30. But what about relationships with people? Isn't that a great deal of what life is all about--loving other people? Remember Jesus? How he raced about, hurrying from one city to another, collecting great crowds on the way to give them a few minutes of hurried heaven-data, then dashing on to the next place?

No, that is not the picture of Jesus the New Testament gives. He had time for people. In a crowd, a woman touched his robe. Lots of people were probably pushing against him, touching his robe, but he discerned the urgency in this particular touch. He stopped, taking valuable time for this "interruption." His disciples were full of fire and computer-like- efficiency. They wanted to get on with the task of getting something done, even if they didn't always know what that "something" was.

Once a bunch of small, grimy-fingered kids came along and wanted to climb on the Master's lap. "Get those kids out of here," thought the goal-oriented disciples.

"No, let them stay. Let's enjoy them and let them enjoy us," thought the true-goal-oriented Man from heaven who knew and expressed the great worth of the individual.

The next time a person "interrupts" you, think not of your work and your deadlines; rather, think of that person's needs, of his covert compliment in desiring to spend a few moments with you. Your meeting may be a significant point in each of your lives, because it is an encounter with another person God has created. you may impart something crucial to his fulfillment--or he to yours.

Paul prayed: "May God, who gives patience, steadiness, and encouragement, help you to live in complete harmony with each other--each with the attitude of Christ toward the other" (Rom. 15:5, TLB). Are you caught up on your time-tithe?

Monte Unger, NAVLOG, January, 1975.

In a lifetime the average American will spend:

Six months sitting at stoplights
Eight months opening junk mail
One year looking for misplaced objects
2 years unsuccessfully returning phone calls
4 years doing housework
5 years waiting in line
6 years eating

Survey of 6000 people polled in 1988, U.S. News and World Report, Jan 30, 1989, p. 81.

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for it is the stuff life is made of.

Benjamin Franklin.

I have so much to do today that I shall spend the first 3 hours in prayer.

Martin Luther.

What happened to Time?

o When as a child I laughed and wept, time crept.

o When as a youth I dreamed and talked, time walked.

o When I became a full grown man, time ran.

o And later as I older grew, time flew.

o Soon I shall find while traveling on, time gone.

Source Unknown


TIME, wasted

How would you like to spend 2 years making phone calls to people who aren't home? Sound absurd? According to one time management study, that's how much time the average person spends trying to return calls to people who never seem to be in. Not only that, we spend 6 months waiting for the traffic light to turn green, and another 8 months reading junk mail. These unusual statistics should cause us to do time-use evaluation. Once we recognize that simple "life maintenance" can chip away at our time in such huge blocks, we will see how vital it is that we don't busy ourselves "in vain" (Ps 39:6).

Psalm 39 gives us some perspective. In David's complaint to God, he said, "You have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You" (V. 5). He meant that to an eternal God our time on earth is brief. And He doesn't want us to waste it. When we do, we throw away one of the most precious commodities He gives us. Each minute is an irretrievable gift--and unredeemable slice of eternity. Sure, we have to make the phone calls, and we must wait at the light. But what about the rest of our time? Are we using it to advance the cause of Christ and to enhance our relationship with Him? Is our time well spent?

Source Unknown.



.  Praise. “ I will bless the Lord at all times” (Psalm 34:1).

.  Trust. “ Trust in Him at all times” ( Psalm 62:8).

.  Righteousness. “ Blessed……he that doeth righteousness at all times” (Psalm 106:3).

.  Longing. “ My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto Thy judgments at all times” (Psalm 119:20).

.  Friendship. “ A friend loveth at all times” (Prov.17:17).

.  Zeal. “ Good to be zealously affected at all times” (Galatians. 55:18,R.V.).

.  Peace. “ The Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times” (2 Thess.3:16,R.V.).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings