Robert Kopp reminds us of Bronco Nagerski, the tough running back for the Chicago Bears in the 1930's. During one especially brutal game, Bronco broke four tackles on the way to the goal line, hit the goal post, spun around and ran into the brick wall just outside the end zone. Dazed and wobbly, he hobbled back into the huddle and said, "Boy, that last guy sure hit me hard!"
Kopp says, "Betrayal is like being blind-sided by a brick wall. When you least expect it, Bam! You're knocked for a loop. And it's usually someone you've trusted. That's why it hurts so much. We've all been betrayed. We've all said, "Boy, that last guy sure hit me hard!" (Kopp is Pastor of Logans Ferry Presbyterian Church, New Kinsington, PA)
DEATH - Finality of
David B. Young tells of the experience when a mother called to plead, "Please pray for my baby," but he could not.
"It was about 4:00 a.m. when I received the call that a child had been killed in a farming accident. When I met the child's mother at the hospital, she began begging me to pray for her baby. At first I was not sure I understood her. She had a tiny baby, so I thought that child must have been hurt, too. But no, she wanted me to pray for the child who was now dead.
"At that moment I would have given anything to have had an answer for her. But I could not pray for her little boy to live again. I prayed for her and her family, but it was too late for me to pray for the child who had died.
"However you face it, there is a finality to death that leaves us all helpless. While we are powerless, we are not without hope. We hope in Him who raised Jesus from the dead, and we trust that He will raise us up with Him on the last day. But we must put our hope in Him before it is too late." (Young is Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church of Lakewood in Tacoma, WA)
LOVE - Great motivator
Mom asked her seven-year-old son to clean her shoes. He meticulously cleaned and shined the shoes and was rewarded with a quarter. When she went to put on her shoes, the mother felt something in the toe of one. She reached in and found the quarter wrapped in a little note, which contained her little boy's scribbled words: "You can keep the quarter, I done it for love."
Larry Hatfield explains, " 'I done it for love' may raise no spire and build no steeple, but it is always a cathedral where God dwells. A choir can be assembled by persuasion and trained by expertise, but music is a child of love. A sermon can be drafted with calculation and delivered with precision, but a message from heaven is heard only where there's love." (Hatfield is Pastor of Grand Avenue Assembly of God, Chickasha, OK)
For many years in the late 1800's and early 1900's, the American Baptist Home Mission Society was led by Henry Lyman Morehouse, who had a great heart for missions and evangelism. As Morehouse neared the end of his life, the 1907 Northern Baptist Convention paid tribute to him. The most outstanding tribute came from the Indian chief, Lone Wolf. Speaking before the convention, Lone Wolf said, "Dr. Morehouse brought the medicine that made my people well." (Lathan A. Crandall, Henry Lyman Morehouse, p. 223). (Submitted by Mike Williams, Pastor of Trinity Hills Baptist Church, Benbrook, TX)
STEWARDSHIP - Reward for
Robert Leslie Holmes relates the legend of the wealthy man who stood at heaven's gate, where he was met by St. Peter to be directed to his new home. St. Peter led him down the streets of gold and through a magnificent area of mansions. The man paused, expecting to be shown his home there, but St. Peter continued on and the man followed.
Finally, St. Peter came to a worndown neighborhood. He stopped in front of a tiny shack and said to the man, "Here's your eternal home."
The man became indignant and said, "This cannot be! On earth I lived in the lap of luxury; I had everything anyone could desire. Now you want me to live in this hovel? Surely this is a mistake!"
St. Peter replied, "Sir, you must understand that all we had to build this house with was the material you sent to us while you lived on earth. We would have been happy to build you a spacious, well-decorated mansion, but you did not send us the proper materials."
Holmes says, "Heaven is a gift. What happens after we get there will be our reward. What on earth are you doing, for heaven's sake?" (Holmes is Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, CA)
THANKFULNESS - Sometimes forgotten
Accompanied by her five-year-old son, the lady came in the store to have her prescription filled. The pharmacist handed over to the woman her medicine, then gave a piece of candy to the little boy.
"What do you say to the pharmacist?" prompted the mother. The little boy replied, "Charge it."