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F. B. Meyer

A few days before his death, Dr. F. B. Meyer wrote a very dear friend these words: “I have just heard, to my great surprise, that I have but a few days to live. It may be that before this reaches you, I shall have entered the palace. Don’t trouble to write. We shall meet in the morning.”

Quoted in Consolation, by Mrs. C. Cowman, p. 70.
F. W. Woolworth

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
Face the Music

When you buy something for a song, you may have to face the music later on.

R. Cvikota, in the Wall Street Journal
Face to Face

Men inspired by the Bible have called death by many names-the destroyer, the last enemy, the angel who summons our souls, a deep dark river. But here is Paul's picture of death from the believer's perspective-a man gazing at first into a metal mirror, seeing only baffling reflections and the fantastic shapes of half-facts, who suddenly wheels around and then sees things as they really are. He sees his fellows as they are; he sees the Savior as He is, in all His beauty-that is death for the Christian. No more peering through the mists of human ignorance to try to discern the face of the Savior; but clear, immediate, direct vision-face to face. We shall see Him as He is, and be forever like Him.

Faces of Death

The haunting story of fourteen-year-old Rod Matthews serves as a warning to a culture gone adrift. Rod was not interested in the things that normally interest teenagers. Neither sports nor books were enough to quench his insatiable boredom. Only one thing excited him: death. He spent hours watching the video Faces of Death, a collection of film clips of people dying violently. Rod’s curiosity about death led him to want to see death personally, not just on the television or movie screen.

Eventually, he found a way to satisfy his curiosity. One winter afternoon he lured a friend out into the woods and proceeded to beat him to death with a baseball bat. During his trial for murder, the most telling remark was made by a child psychiatrist who was asked to give a clinical evaluation of Rod’s condition. The doctor’s assessment was that Rod was not insane in the conventional sense but that he simply didn’t “know right from wrong....He [was] morally handicapped” (emphasis mine)...”

Mark DeVries, Family-Based Youth Ministry, (Downers Grove, IL, InterVarsity Press, 1994, p. 53
Faces to the Coal

Don McCullough writes in Waking From The American Dream:

“During World War II, England needed to increase its production of coal. Winston Churchill called together labor leaders to enlist their support. At the end of his presentation he asked them to picture in their minds a parade which he knew would be held in Picadilly Circus after the war. First, he said, would come the sailors who had kept the vital sea lanes open. Then would come the soldiers who had come home from Dunkirk and then gone on to defeat Rommel in Africa. Then would come the pilots who had driven the Luftwaffe from the sky.

“Last of all, he said, would come a long line of sweat-stained, soot-streaked men in miner’s caps. Someone would cry from the crowd, ‘And where were you during the critical days of our struggle?’ And from ten thousand throats would come the answer, ‘We were deep in the earth with our faces to the coal.’”

Not all the jobs in a church are prominent and glamorous. But it is often the people with their “faces to the coal” who help the church accomplish its mission.

Don McCullough, Waking From The American Dream.
Facial Expressions

Charles H. Spurgeon was emphasizing to his class the importance of making the facial expression harmonize with the speech. “When you speak of Heaven,” he said, “let your face light up, let it be irradiated with a heavenly gleam, let your eyes shine with reflected glory. But when you speak of Hell—well, then your ordinary face will do.”

Source unknown
Facing Death with Courage

Even today, in this so-called advanced state of civilization, we hear of brave soldiers of the cross who lay their lives on the line when they bear a fearless testimony for Christ. Dear personal friends of mine, Costas Makris and his wife Alki, were Greek missionaries to Indonesia. As Costas labored in the jungles, more and more natives were converted and then baptized. The chief became so disturbed about his people turning to Christ, especially the young people, that he decided to do away with Costas. He lined up his spearmen in front of this dedicated young missionary. In the distance Costas' wife and three small sons stood watching their husband and father about to be executed for the cause of Christ. How would you feel in their place? But the face of this missionary shone with a heavenly glory that puzzled these savage people. How could a man face death with a smile? Of course, his wife and many others must have been praying. As the men lifted their spears for the kill, the chief called out "Stop!" He walked up to Costas, embraced him, and told him that a man who could face death with such courage and with such a smile on his face had something that they themselves needed.

Facing Fear

As a child it was fun to watch the movies about the swamp monster that ate an entire city, or the space alien that tried to conquer New York or Tokyo. These movies were fun because you could be afraid for an hour or so, and then it was all over. The monster was killed; the aliens were fought off.

It is not fun to be afraid in the "real" sense. Fear is that emotion that is so well known. It is produced by a sense of danger, impending calamity or some dire emergency, or even by walking into a dentist's office. It is a powerful emotion that can damage both the physical body and the personality. Fear can even block the thought processes.

John Madden, of CBS Sports crisscrosses the country many times each fall in a customized bus because he is afraid of flying. A few years ago, one first-round draft choice in the NBA quickly ended his career with an unconditional release by his team because of his paralyzing fear of flying.

Several years ago, a televised circus act with Bengal tigers was broadcast live. The tiger trainer went into the cage with several tigers to do a routine performance. The door was locked behind him. The spotlights highlighted the cage, the television cameras moved in close, and the audience watched in suspense as the trainer put the tigers through their act. However, in the middle of the performance, the lights went out! For 20 or 30 seconds the trainer was locked in a dark cage with Bengal tigers, a whip and a chair. The tigers could see the trainer, but he could not see them!

After the event was over, in an interview, the trainer was asked how he felt about his situation in the cage. He first admitted to the chilling fear of the situation, but he pointed out that the tigers did not know that he could not see them. He said, "I just kept cracking my whip and talking to them until the lights came on. They never knew I could not see them as well as they could see me."

This story says something about many fears. Face them and go on doing the best you can. As a child you may have had a fear of the dark. As an adult you may fear failure or rejection, the future, some potential health crisis, or of your death or the death of a loved one. The Bible has the answer for our fears.

John wrote: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear...." (1Jo 4:18). Christ's love is the perfect defense against the physical and mental effects of fear. Paul said it this way; "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phi 4:13). The phrase "fear not" is found at least 365 times in various forms throughout the Bible. The Hebrews writer says, "that we may confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid....'"

One writer said it this way: "The greatness of our fears shows us the littleness of our faith." We need to pray about our fears and our faith, and turn to the Lord for help to face our fears.

Facing Loneliness

In his book Facing Loneliness, J. Oswald Sanders writes, “The round of pleasure or the amassing of wealth are but vain attempts to escape from the persistent ache...The millionaire is usually a lonely man and the comedian is often more unhappy than his audience.”

Sanders goes on the emphasize that being successful often fails to produce satisfaction. Then he refers to Henry Martyn, a distinguished scholar, as an example of what he is talking about. Martyn, a Cambridge University student, was honored at only20 years of age for his achievements in mathematics. In fact, he was given the highest recognition possible in that field. And yet he felt an emptiness inside. He said that instead of finding fulfillment in his achievements, he had “only grasped a shadow.”

After evaluating his life’s goals, Martyn sailed to India as a missionary at the age of 24. When he arrived, he prayed, “Lord, let me burn out for You.” In the next 7 years that preceded his death, he translated the New Testament into three difficult Eastern languages. These notable achievements were certainly not passing “shadows.”

Our Daily Bread, January 21, 1994

Every hour 5417 people die.

Source unknown
Factors that Make for Impact

1. There needs to be frequent, long-term contact with the model(s)

2. There needs to be a warm, loving relationship with the model(s)

3. There needs to be exposure to the inner states of the model(s)

4. The model(s) need to be observed in a variety of life settings and situations

5. The model(s) need to exhibit consistency and clarity in behaviors, values, etc.

6. There needs to be a correspondence between the behavior of the model(s) and the beliefs (ideal standards) of the community

7. There needs to be explanation of life style of the model(s) conceptually, with instruction accompanying shared experiences

Larry Richards, A Theology of Christian Education , p. 84

The average human body is about 65% water.

20 percent of the weight of the average adult male is from his bones.

Source unknown
Facts of Life

It was time to tell my ten-year-old son the facts of life, so I took books out of the library and prepared myself for any questions he might ask. At the end of our lengthy chat, he looked confused. “If you have any questions,” I said, “please ask them. There are no silly questions.”

“Well, suppose I was married,” he said with some embarrassment, “my wife was pregnant and I had to rush her to the hospital. Okay?”

I nodded supportively.

He asked, “Can I go through red lights?”

Contributed by Crystal Lessard, Reader’s Digest, January, 1996, p. 160.
Failed to Kneel

Deeply immersed in meditation during a church service, Italian poet Dante Alighieri failed to kneel at the appropriate moment. His enemies hurried to the bishop and demanded that Dante be punished for his sacrilege. Dante defended himself by saying, “If those who accuse me had had their eyes and minds on God, as I had, they too would have failed to notice events around them, and they most certainly would not have noticed what I was doing.”

Today in the Word, March 10, 1993
Failing at His Job

A young preacher fresh from seminary went to the front as a chaplain. He announced to the soldiers that he would let them choose whether they wanted him to preach a sermon or tell them funny stories. A tall, blunt-speaking fellow arose and said, "If you have come three thousand miles to talk to a bunch of soldiers, some of whom are going into eternity within three days, and you don't know whether to preach to them or tell them funny stories, I suspect you had just better go ahead and tell something funny."

Failure Can Sound Like Success

Dear Mom and Dad,

Just thought I’d drop you a note to clue you in on my plans. I’ve fallen in love with a guy called Jim. He quit high school after grade eleven to get married. About a year ago he got a divorce. We’ve been going steady for two months and plan to get married in the fall. Until then, I’ve decided to move into his apartment (I think I might be pregnant). At any rate, I dropped out of school last week, although I’d like to finish college sometime in the future.

(On the next page the letter continued)

Mom and Dad, I just want you to know that everything I’ve written so far in this letter is false. NONE of it is true. But, Mom and Dad, it IS true that I got a C- in French and flunked my math class… and it IS true that I’m going to need some more money for my tuition payments.

Failure can sound like success. It just depends on the perspective. The measuring device we use to evaluate our success or failure is often more important than the success or failure, for to a large extent, it determines that success or failure.

Source unknown
Failure Not Final

Phillips Brooks became a teacher in Boston Latin School, a position for which he seemed preeminently qualified. He lasted only a few months. His headmaster commented that Phillips "had in him no single element of a successful school teacher" and set Phillips packing with the conclusion that he had never known a man who failed as a schoolmaster to succeed in any other occupation. He had failed at the age of 20. Phillips Brooks overcame that failure, however, to become one of the finest pulpiteers in all of American history. No failure need be final.

Failure to Get a Photo Authorization

During one of Franklin Roosevelt’s election campaigns his campaign manager was about to print 3,000,000 copies of his acceptance speech with an accompanying photograph. At that point, it was discovered that the photographer had never given his permission for the use of this photograph. According to the copyright laws, you can be fined a dollar per copy for publishing unauthorized photographs, and that’s roughly $3,000,000. The campaign manager was in a panic, but instead of wasting time finding out who slipped up, he shouldered the blame and cabled the photographer and said, “I have a plan that could mean a great deal of publicity for you. What’s it worth to you if I use your photo on this campaign material?” The photographer cabled back, “I can’t afford more than $250.00.” It was a deal.

Source unknown
Failure to Grow

“One of the reasons why mature people stop growing and learning,” says John Gardner, “is that they become less and less willing to risk failure.”

Eating Problems for Breakfast by Tim Hansel, Word Publishing, 1988, p. 32
Failures in Ministry

I hold very stern opinions with regard to Christian men who have fallen into gross sin. I rejoice that they may be truly converted, and may be mingled with hope and caution received into the church; but I question, gravely question whether a man who has grossly sinned should be very readily restored to the pulpit. As John Angell James remarks, “When a preacher of righteousness has stood in the way of sinners, he should never again open his lips in the great congregation until his repentance is as notorious as his sin.” My belief is that we should be very slow to help back to the pulpit men, who having once been tried, have proved themselves to have too little grace to stand the crucial test of ministerial life.

Charles Spurgeon, quoted in Point Man, Steve Farrar, pp. 77-8
Fairy Tale

Frog + Princess = Handsome prince (this is called “fairy tale”)

Frog + 10 billion years = Handsome prince (this is called “science”)

Source unknown

Faith in many ways is like a wheelbarrow. You have to put some real push behind it to make it work.

Source unknown
Faith ‘unto’ Salvation

This “faith unto salvation” has been illustrated in many ways. If I stand on the twenty-seventh floor of a tall building and press the button for an elevator, I am confident (I have faith) that the elevator will arrive. Indeed, it does, and the door opens. I am now presented with a vehicle that, I am confident (I have faith), will take me to the ground floor, or to the top of that building, provided I step into it. When I do, my faith in that elevator takes the form of personal trust. It has become not only objective confidence but a personal reality to me. In the same way, the faith of the gospel—the truth of Christianity—becomes the path to my personal salvation when I exercise faith. This is accomplished by accepting Christ’s death as my way to right standing before God.

David Breese, Living For Eternity, Moody Press, 1988, p. 36
Faith Alone

The sole condition for receiving eternal salvation from hell is faith (trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ, Who died a substitutionary death on the cross for man’s sin and rose from the dead (John 3:16-18; John 6:47; Acts 16:31).

No act of obedience, preceding or following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, such as a commitment to obey, sorrow for sin, turning from one’s sin, baptism, or submission to the Lordship of Christ, may be added to, or considered as a part of, faith as a condition for receiving eternal salvation (Rom. 4:5; Gal. 2:26; Titus 3:5). This saving transaction between God and the sinner is simply the giving and receiving of a free gift (Eph. 2:8,9; John 4:10; Rev. 22:17).

Grace Evangelical Society Affirmation of Belief (brochure), Grace Evangelical Society, Irving, TX.
Faith and Obedience

Ralph Erskine, that eminent Scotch divine of the seventeenth century, put the relation of faith and works in a most revealing way when he wrote, "True faith is never alone, but still joined with Gospel-obedience: 'As ye have received, so walk.' He that would separate faith from obedience endeavors to walk with one foot, which is impossible. Faith and works, faith and holiness, are the two feet by which a man walks in Christ; when the Spirit of Christ promotes the one, He promotes the other also. If a man should try to go upon one foot, he could not walk but only hop, which would be impossible for him to continue long. Neither can obedience be consistent without faith, and such consistency will be the measure of the Gospel-walk."

Faith and Reason

An old writer says, "Faith and reason may be compared to two travelers: Faith is like a man in full health who can walk twenty or thirty miles at a time without suffering. Reason is like a child, who can only with difficulty accomplish three or four miles. On a given day Reason says to Faith, 'O good Faith, let me walk with thee.' Faith replies, 'O Reason, thou canst never walk with me!' However, to try their paces, they set out together, but they soon find it hard to keep company. When they come to a deep river, Reason says, 'I can never ford this,' but Faith wades through it singing. When they reach a lofty mountain, there is the same exclamation of despair; and in such cases, Faith, in order not to leave Reason behind, is obliged to carry him on his back; and, oh, how dependent upon Faith is Reason!" Why has God made faith the indispensable ingredient in man's approach to Him? Is it not precisely because man's reason can go only so far? Where reason comes up against an insurmountable obstacle, faith soars above it and apprehends God and heavenly mysteries by this divinely given faculty.

Faith and Sight

Pages in 1891 rule book: 2. In current rule book: 114.

U.S. News and World Report, 11-25-91, p. 9.







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From valley to valley out over the hilltops,

From sunshine to fog like the darkest of night;

So we follow the Lord down life’s winding pathway,

And walk much by faith and little by sight.

‘Twould be easy to see were His presence like lightning,

And easy to hear if like thunder His voice;

But He leads in the quiet by the voice of the Spirit,

And we follow in love for we’ve made Him our choice.

The path that we tread by the cross is o’er shadowed,

And the glory at times by pain is made dim;

Temptations assail and the spirit grows weary,

Yet we’re ever sustained by the vision of Him.

The years of our lives be they few or be many,

Will soon pass away as dreams of the night;

Then we’ll step through the portals on eternity’s morning,

And greet Him in glory as faith turns to sight.

Richard L. Baxter

Source unknown
Faith and the Power of God

It should be observed that, apart from the power of God, superficial decisions may easily be secured, and apparently great results accomplished; for some minds are so dependent upon the opinions of others that the earnest and dominating appeal of the evangelist, with the obvious value of a religious life, is sufficient to move them to follow almost any plan that is made to appear to be expedient. They may be urged to act on the vision of the way of life which the preacher possesses, when they have received no sufficient vision for themselves. The experience of thousands of churches has proved that such decisions have not met the conditions of grace in “believing with the heart”; for the multitude of advertised converts have often failed, and these churches have had to face the problem of dealing with a class of disinterested people who possess no new dynamic, nor any of the blessings of the truly regenerate life.

A few genuine decisions may occur among the many, and these have always justified the wholesale evangelizing method. There is, however, a very grave harm done to any who are thus superficially affected, and this harm might sometimes outweigh the good that is done. In reply to this it is argued that nothing can outweigh the value of one soul that is saved; yet when the harm of a false decision is analyzed, it will be seen that the after-state of bewilderment and discouragement which results in an attitude that is almost unapproachable and hopeless, has its unmeasured results as well.

L. S. Chafer, True Evangelism, pp. 74-5
Faith and Unbelief

Important lessons are given by this alternation of the two ideas of faith and unbelief, obedience and disobedience. Disobedience is the root of unbelief. Unbelief is the mother of further disobedience. Faith is voluntary submission within a person’s own power. If faith is not exercised, the true cause lies deeper than all intellectual reasons. It lies in the moral aversion of human will and in the pride of independence, which says, “who is Lord over us? Why should we have to depend on Jesus Christ?” As faith is obedience and submission, so faith breeds obedience, but unbelief leads on to higher-handed rebellion. With dreadful reciprocity of influence, the less one trusts, the more he disobeys; the more he disobeys, the less he trusts.

Alexander Maclaren
Faith and Works

An old boatman painted the word “faith” on one oar of his boat and “works” on the other. He was asked his reason for this. In answer, he slipped the oar with “faith” into the water and rowed. The boat, of course, made a very tight circle. Returning to the dock, the boatman then said, “Now, let’s try ‘works’ without ‘faith’ and see what happens. The oar marked “works” was put in place and the boatman began rowing with just the “works” oar. Again the boat went into a tight circle but in the opposite direction.

When the boatman again returned to the wharf, he interpreted his experiment in these strong and convincing words, “You see, to make a passage across the lake, one needs both oars working simultaneously in order to keep the boat in a straight and narrow way. If one does not have the use of both oars, he makes no progress either across the lake nor as a Christian.

Imagine that you are out in the middle of a lake and there are two rowboats and you are standing with one foot in each boat. One boat, however, is filled with holes and is sinking fast. It is obvious that unless you do something you will soon be in the lake. The boat with the holes represents ourselves with all of the leaks caused by sin. The boat without holes represents Christ. It should be obvious that with one foot in each boat we shall end up in the same place that we would have ended up in we had had both feet in the boat marked “self.” The only safe place to be is to have both feet firmly planted in the boat marked Christ.

Or to change the picture, suppose that you were trying to cross from one cliff to another one which is a hundred feet away. It is five thousand feet down to the rocks below. You have, however, a one inch thick piece of rope which is capable of holding up several tons. There is a difficulty though, for you have only fifty feet or rope. I say, “Do not worry! I have fifty feet of thread. We can tie my thread to your rope and then tie that to trees on either cliff and then you can go across.” You decline my offer and I respond, “What is the matter? Do you not trust the rope?” “Yes,” you say, “I trust the rope but I do not trust the thread.” Then let’s change the story and make it ninety feet of rope and only ten feet of thread. You’re still not comfortable. Then suppose we make it ninety-nine feet of rope and only one foot of thread. One inch of thread? You see, if you have one inch of thread, you will be just as dead on the rocks below as if you tried to cross on a hundred feet of thread. The rope obviously represents what Christ has done and the thread represents what we have done. We must trust in Christ alone. As Charles Spurgeon put it, “If we have to put one stitch into the garment of our salvation, we shall ruin the whole thing.”

D. James Kennedy, Evangelism Explosion, 3rd edition, p. 101
Faith Healing by Works

When I become sick, I go to a certain doctor because I have faith in him and in his ability to make me well. What is the goal of placing my faith in the doctor?-my getting well. But is that faith enough?-no. I must also do all the things which the doctor asks me to do, take all the medicine, whether it is sweet or bitter. Just faith, abstract faith, will not reach its goal without my doing the things which the man in whom I place my faith asks me to do. As a result of that obedience I can reach the goal of my faith.

Faith In Action

When I was a small boy, I attended church every Sunday at a big Gothic Presbyterian bastion in Chicago. The preaching was powerful and the music was great. But for me, the most awesome moment in the morning service was the offertory, when twelve solemn, frock-coated ushers marched in lock-step down the main aisle to receive the brass plates for collecting the offering. These men, so serious about their business of serving the Lord in this magnificent house of worship, were the business and professional leaders of Chicago.

One of the twelve ushers was a man named Frank Loesch. He was not a very imposing looking man, but in Chicago he was a living legend, for he was the man who had stood up to Al Capone. In the prohibition years, Capone’s rule was absolute. The local and state police and even the Federal Bureau of Investigation were afraid to oppose him. But single-handedly, Frank Loesch, as a Christina layman and without any government support, organized the Chicago Crime Commission, a group of citizens who were determined to take Mr. Capone to court and put him away. During the months that the Crime Commission met, Frank Loesch’s life was in constant danger. There were threats on the lives of his family and friends. But he never wavered. Ultimately he won the case against Capone and was the instrument for removing this blight from the city of Chicago.

Frank Loesch had risked his life to live out his faith. Each Sunday at this point of the service, my father, a Chicago businessman himself, never failed to poke me and silently point to Frank Loesch with pride. Sometime I’d catch a tear in my father’s eye. For my dad and for all of us this was and is what authentic living is all about.

Bruce Larson, in Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p.124-5
Faith Lives Upon No Other

Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands,

For our offenses given;

But now at God’s right hand He stands

And brings us life from heaven;

Therefore let us joyful be

And sing to God right thankfully

Loud songs of hallelujah.

It was a strange and dreadful strife

When Life and Death contended;

The victory remained with Life,

The reign of Death was ended;

Holy Scripture plainly saith

That Death is swallowed up by Death,

His sting is lost forever.

Then let us feast this Easter Day

On Christ, the Bread of Heaven;

The Word of Grace hath purged away

The old and evil leaven.

Christ alone our souls will feed.

He is our meat and drink indeed;

Faith lives upon no other.

- Martin Luther

Source unknown
Faith More Powerful than Gunpowder
I remember at one of the meetings at Nashville, during the war, a young man came to me, trembling from head to foot. "What is the trouble?" I asked. "There is a letter I got from my sister, and she tells me every night as the sun goes down she goes down on her knees and prays for me." This man was brave, had been in a number of battles he could stand before the cannon's mouth, but yet this letter completely upset him. "I have been trembling ever since I received it." Six hundred miles away the faith of this girl went to work, and its influence was felt by the brother. He did not believe in prayer he did not believe in Christianity he did not believe in his mother's Bible. This mother was a praying woman, and when she died she left on earth a praying daughter. And when God saw her faith and heard that prayer, he answered her. How many sons and daughters could be saved if their mothers and fathers had but faith.
Moody's Anecdotes and Illustrations
Faith Plus Works

When a soldier was leaving to fight for his country, a minister said to him, "I shall pray constantly that you may win." The soldier replied: "I don't see the necessity of your prayers. If God wants to give us victory, then He will do it without your prayers. And if it is our luck to lose, do you think your prayers could prevent this?" The minister thought for a moment and said, "All right. Take off your helmet. Take off your uniform. Put your rifle away. Go and rest. It's not necessary for you to fight. Nor is it necessary for the other soldiers to fight. If God intends to defeat the enemy, He is going to do it anyway without your arms." The soldier got the point. God helps those who fight, not those who do nothing. The sower plants the seed. That is our job, to sow the seed in human hearts. But we must also pray that God will give the increase which is salvation. Then what a joy to witness the result and to give all the glory to God!

Faith Tested by Trials

Have you ever seen a blacksmith work with a piece of iron? He holds it in the fire to soften it and make it pliable. That is exactly why God permits the testing of your faith by temptations and trials. He wants you to acquire patience, to acquire pliability. If you and I are constantly out of the fire of affliction, we become stiff and useless. God wants to reshape us according to His image, for in the fall of Adam we lost our divine shape, our divine image.

Faith that Swims

I would recommend you either believe God up to the hilt, or else not to believe at all. Believe this book of God, every letter of it, or else reject it. There is no logical standing place between the two. Be satisfied with nothing less than a faith that swims in the deeps of divine revelation; a faith that paddles about the edge of the water is poor faith at best. It is little better than a dry-land faith, and is not good for much. - C. H. Spurgeon

Source unknown
Faith, a Necessity

Faith is a daily necessity whether one is getting married, taking a job, struggling with an illness, or overcoming a handicap. And faith in God is the cornerstone of all other faiths. As one psychiatrist says, "When I learn a patient has no faith in God, I dismiss the case. There is nothing to build on."

Faith, Hope, Love

One of the most memorable sermons was preached by the late Emil Brunner at the Fraumunster Kirche in Zurich, Switzerland. It was based on the phrase, "faith, hope, and love." The points were these: Every man has a past, a present, and a future. Every man has a problem in his past, a problem in his present, and a problem in his future. The problem in our past is sin, but God has an answer to that problem. The answer is faith-faith in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The problem in our future is death, but God has an answer to that problem also. The answer to that problem is hope-hope in Christ's return based on the fact of His historical resurrection and His promises. The problem in our present is hate, and God's answer to that problem is love. It is the love of Christ lived out in the lives of those who trust Him.

Faithful Church Attenders

A study once disclosed that:

If both Mom and Dad attend church regularly, 72% of their children remain faithful.

If only Dad, 55% remain faithful.

If only Mom, 15%.

If neither attended regularly, only 6% remain faithful.

The statistics speak for themselves—the example of parents and adults is more important than all the efforts of the church and Sunday School.

Warren Mueller in Homemade, May, 1990
Faithful Dog

How we admire the obedience a dog shows to its master! Archibald Rutledge wrote that one day he met a man whose dog had just been killed in a forest fire. Heartbroken, the man explained to Rutledge how it happened. Because he worked out-of-doors, he often took his dog with him. That morning, he left the animal in a clearing and gave him a command to stay and watch his lunch bucket while he went into the forest. His faithful friend understood, for that’s exactly what he did. Then a fire started in the woods, and soon the blaze spread to the spot where the dog had been left. But he didn’t move. He stayed right where he was, in perfect obedience to his master’s word.

With tearful eyes, the dog’s owner said, “I always had to be careful what I told him to do, because I knew he would do it.”

Our Daily Bread, January, 19
Faithful Father

A little boy was eagerly looking forward to the birthday party of a friend who lived only a few blocks away. When the day finally arrived, a blizzard made the sidewalks and roads nearly impassable. The lad’s father, sensing the danger, hesitated to let his son go. The youngster reacted tearfully. “But Dad,” he pleaded, “all the other kids will be there. Their parents are letting them go.” The father thought for a moment, then replied softly, “All right, you may go.” Surprised but overjoyed, the boy bundled up and plunged into the raging storm. The driving snow made visibility almost impossible, and it took him more than half an hour to trudge the short distance to the party. As he rang the doorbell, he turned briefly to look out into the storm. His eye caught the shadow of a retreating figure. It was his father. He had followed his son’s every step to make sure he arrived safely.

Source unknown
Faithful in This World

The student in the lower grades who is always idly dreaming of the time when he will be a senior, and thus neglects his present studies, will never be prepared to take his place with any distinction in his senior year. If we scholars in the larger school of life are so fascinated by revelations of the unseen world that we lose interest in the present one, we will never be prepared for its highest enjoyment.

Faithful Missionary

One of God’s faithful missionaries, Allen Gardiner, experienced many physical difficulties and hardships throughout his service to the Savior. Despite his troubles, he said, “While God gives me strength, failure will not daunt me.”

In 1851, at the age of 57, he died of disease and starvation while serving on Picton Island at the southern tip of South America. When his body was found, his diary lay nearby. It bore the record of hunger, thirst, wounds, and loneliness. The last entry in his little book showed the struggle of his shaking hand as he tried to write legibly. It read, “I am overwhelmed with a sense of the goodness of God.”

Source unknown
Faithful Servant

Milt Rood worked for years and years in Spokane as a car salesman. He was also very active with the Union Gospel Mission work with juvenile delinquents. Week by week he’d patiently teach the Word and pray with young boys in trouble. One week Milt went into the Hospital for exploratory surgery. The doctors found he was full of cancer. They sewed him up again and sent him home. He died within a week. After the funeral, Ron Kinley remarked, “It’s interesting that at the funeral no one ever asked how many cars he had sold!”

John Underhill, Spokane, WA
Faithful Stewardship

The faithfulness of a steward consists in his dispensing to the household exactly what has been committed to him; the faithfulness of a witness lies in his declaring with honesty and candour exactly what he knows, neither concealing part of the truth, nor distorting it, nor embellishing it. It is so easy to exaggerate, to give to others the impression that we have progressed further along the narrow way than we really have. We must have the honesty to confess the truth. We should not be afraid to say with the apostle, ‘not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect’ (Phil. 3:12, A.V.). The true witness is devoid of any suspicion of hypocrisy; he is transparently sincere.

All this lays upon us who are called to be witnesses to Christ the solemn obligation to take heed to ourselves, and not to neglect the culture of our own soul, lest we become dumb witnesses and have nothing to say. Truly the apostles were right to give themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word, for preaching without prayer is an empty mockery. There is no greater need for the preacher than that he should know God. I care not about his lack of eloquence and artistry, about his ill-constructed discourse or his poorly enunciated message, if only it is evident that God is a reality to him and that he has learned to abide in Christ.

The preparation of the heart is of far greater importance than the preparation of the sermon. The preacher’s words, however clear and forceful, will not ring true unless he speaks from conviction born of experience. Many sermons which conform to all the best homiletical rules, yet have a hollow sound. There is something indefinably perfunctory about the preacher of such sermons. The matter of his sermon gives evidence of a well-stocked, well-disciplined mind; he has a good voice, a fine bearing, and restrained gestures; but somehow his heart is not in his message; it can not be said as a young clerk in a dry-goods store once said about Peter Marshall, ‘He seems to know God, and he helps me to know Him better.’

Catherine Marshall, A Man Called Peter (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1952), p. 43.
Fake Injury

F. E. Smith was a capable lawyer with a quick wit who served as the British attorney general from 1915 until 1919. On one occasion he cross-examined a young man claiming damages for an arm injury caused by the negligence of a bus driver. “Will you please show us how high you can lift your arm now?” asked Smith. The young man gingerly raised his arm to shoulder level, his face distorted with pain.

“Thank you,” said Smith. “And now, could you show us how high you could lift it before the accident?” The young man eagerly shot his arm up above his head.

He lost the case.

Today in the Word, July 1995, p. 27
Fake Photo

Remember putting your face above a headless frame painted to represent a muscle man, a clown, or even a bathing beauty? Many of us have had our pictures taken this way, and the photos are humorous because the head doesn’t fit the body.

If we could picture Christ as the head of our local body of believers, would the world laugh at the misfit? Or would they stand in awe of a human body so closely related to a divine head? - Dan Bernard

Source unknown
Fake Physicians

An estimated 10,000 physicians have phony foreign medical degrees that brought one broker of fraudulent diplomas $1.5 million over three years, a congressional panel was told Friday. Claude Pepper, Democrat-Florida, said many American citizens may be receiving medical treatment from doctors who lied on their medical school loan applications, and used the money not to go to school but to pay a broker for fake documents claiming they completed school and training. Pedro DeMesones, now serving a three-year prison sentence for mail fraud and conspiracy, told the panel that in three years of “expediting” medical degrees, he provided about 100 clients with false transcripts showing they had fulfilled medical requirements of schools they didn’t attend.

“Clients paid me from $5225 to $27,000 for my services,” DeMesones said. “In all I earned about $1.5 million in those three years. I only got to keep about $500,000 of this total. The rest went for bribes and expenses.”

Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA, 12-8-84.
Fall of Roman Empire

Edward Gibbon, author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, has attributed the fall of the Empire to:

1. The rapid increase of divorce; the undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society.

2. Higher and higher taxes and the spending of public monies for free bread and circuses for the populace.

3. The mad craze for pleasure; sports becoming every year more exciting and more brutal.

4. The building of gigantic armaments when the real enemy was within, the decadence of the people.

5. The decay of religion—faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life and becoming impotent to warn and guide the people.

Quotes from the tape “Our Godly Heritage” by Wallbuilders, Inc., PO Box 397, Aledo, TX 76008 817-441-6044
Fall of the Roman Empire

Edward Gibbon, author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, has attributed the fall of the Empire to:

1. The rapid increase of divorce; the undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society.

2. Higher and higher taxes and the spending of public monies for free bread and circuses for the populace.

3. The mad craze for pleasure; sports becoming every year more exciting and more brutal.

4. The building of gigantic armaments when the real enemy was within, the decadence of the people.

5. The decay of religion—faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life and becoming impotent to warn and guide the people.

Source unknown
Fallen Leaders

Any decision to hire such an individual (guilty of sexual misconduct in the past) should be based on a full consideration of several factors, including the following: (1) the nature and severity of the previous misconduct; (2) the frequency of the previous misconduct; (3) how long ago the misconduct occurred; (4) whether the minister received counseling; (5) the competency and effectiveness of any counseling received; (6) the prognosis of the counselor; (7) the likelihood that the minister will repeat the same type of misconduct now; (8) the possibility of legal liability if a jury concludes, on the basis of all the evidence, that the church was negligent in hiring the minister.

The same considerations apply if a church learns of previous incidents of misconduct after hiring a minister, since a jury might conclude that the church was negligent in retaining the individual.

Church Law & Tax Report, March/April, 1993, p. 13
Falling Short of Our Potential

After physicist Richard Feynman won a Nobel prize for his work, he visited his old high school. While there, he decided to look up his records. He was surprised to find that his grades were not as good as he had remembered them. And he go a kick out of the fact that his IQ was 124, not much above average. Dr. Feynman saw that winning the Nobel prize was one thing, but to win it with an IQ of only 124 was really something. Most of us would agree because we all assume that the winners of Nobel prizes have exceptionally high IQs. Feynman confided that he always assumed that he had. If Feynman had known he was really just a bit above average in the IQ department, we wonder if he would have had the audacity to launch the unique and creative research experiments that would eventually win him the greatest recognition the scientific community can give. Perhaps not. Maybe the knowledge that he was a cut above average, but not in the genius category, would have influenced what he tried to achieve. After all, from childhood most of us have been led to believe that ordinary people don’t accomplish extraordinary feats. Most of us fall short of our potential because of little things we know or assume about ourselves. And the most self-defeating assumption of all is that we are just like everyone else.

Bits & Pieces, September 17, 1992, pp. 7-8
False Doctrine

A flood of false doctrine has lately broken in upon us. Men are beginning to tell us “that God is too merciful to punish souls for ever...that all mankind, however wicked and ungodly...will sooner or later be saved.” We are to embrace what is called “kinder theology,” and treat hell as a pagan fable...This question lies at the very foundation of the whole Gospel. The moral attributes of God, His justice, His holiness, His purity, are all involved in it. The Scripture has spoken plainly and fully on the subject of hell... If words mean anything, there is such a place as hell. If texts are to be interpreted fairly, there are those who will be cast into it...The same Bible which teaches that God in mercy and compassion sent Christ to die for sinners, does also teach that God hates sin, and must from His very nature punish all who cleave to sin or refuse the salvation He has provided.

God knows that I never speak of hell without pain and sorrow. I would gladly offer the salvation of the Gospel to the very chief of sinners. I would willingly say to the vilest and most profligate of mankind on his deathbed, “Repent, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be save.” But God forbid that I should ever keep back from mortal man that scripture reveals a hell as well as heaven...that men may be lost as well as saved.

Anglican Bishop J.D. Ryle, about 100 years ago. Quoted in The Berean Call, April, 1993
False Hopes of Families

A Hope for No Tensions (If one can be sweet, surface, cheerful, then tensions can be avoided. So niceness is necessary.)

A Hope for No Differences (If one can be agreeable, compliant, adaptable, then differences can be erased. Since differences are dangerous.)

A Hope for No Criticism (If one can communicate cautiously, with questions, cleverly with concealed or indirect messages, then criticism can be escaped. Since comments are criticism.)

A Hope for No Anger (If one can hide, suppress, deny, or defer anger, then negative feelings can be eliminated. Since angeris attack.)

A Hope for No Weakness (If one can hide pain, stifle tears, conceal sadness then one will appear strong and invulnerable. Since sadness is weakness.)

A Hope for No Disobedience (If one can gain another’s love, they will have to be loyal, obedient, conforming to the lover’s demands. Since love is control.)

A Hope for No Craziness (If one can keep all debate perfectly reasonable, then all feelings can be kept in their place. Since logic is the last word.)

A Hope for No Failure (If one can strive to be completely adequate, successful, perfect, one is safe. Since failure is final.)

David Augsberger, When Enough is Enough, (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1984), p. 106, 109-130
False Measurements

A little boy came running to his mother, shouting, "Mother, I am nine feet tall." His mother responded, "Don't talk such nonsense." "But," he said, "I really am nine feet tall. I measured myself." "Well, how did you measure yourself?" asked his mother. "I took off my shoe and measured myself with that. It is the same size as my foot, and I really am nine feet."

With a smile the mother replied, "Now I understand, my son, but I have to tell you that your measure was not the right one. We do not measure ourselves by the size of our own feet, but we must use a 12-inch ruler."

A lot of people are like the little boy. They are proud of something about which there is really no glory.

False Testimony

The great attorney, orator, and statesman Daniel Webster was such an imposing figure in court that he once stared a witness out of the courtroom. Apparently Webster knew the man was there to deliver false testimony, so he fixed his “dark, beetle-browed” eyes on the man and searched him. According to the story, later in the trial “Webster looked around again to see if [the witness] was ready for the inquisition. The witness felt for his hat and edged toward the door. A third time Webster looked on him, and the witness could sit no longer. He seized his chance and fled from the court and was nowhere to be found.”

Today in the Word, Moody Bible Institute, Jan, 1992, p. 31
False Values

Though we do not face a pantheon of false gods like the Israelites did, we face pressures from a pantheon of false values—materialism, love of leisure, sensuality, worship of self, security, and many others. The second commandment deals with idols. This may be something that most of us can’t relate to—unless we include life goals that revolve around something other than God Himself. What is the object of our affections, our efforts, and our attention? Where does the majority of our time go? On what do we spend the greatest amount of our resources?

Today in the Word, June 14, 1989
Famed Violinist

A woman rushed up to famed violinist Fritz Kreisler after a concert and cried: “I’d give my life to play as beautifully as you do.” Kreisler replied, “I did.”

Bits and Pieces, Vol F, #41
Familiarity Vs Intimacy

Familiarity and intimacy are not the same. Each has a value in life, certainly in married life, but one is no substitute for the other. If one is confused for the other, we have the basis for major human and marital unrest. In marriage, familiarity is inescapable. It happens almost imperceptibly. Intimacy is usually hard to come by. It must be deliberately sought and opened up and responded to. Familiarity brings a degree of ease and comfort. Intimacy anxiously searches for deep understanding and personal appreciation.

Gordon Lester, Homemade, V. 4, # 11
Familiarize Yourself With Your Weapon-the Bible

In spiritual warfare as in physical warfare, the effectiveness of any weapon is directly proportionate to the efficiency of the one operating it. For this reason, during a late, great war, the U.S. Army assigned a new recruit one rifle which he kept throughout his training. It was called his "piece," and it became a part of him. The recruit handled the piece continually, disassembling and reassembling it. He cleaned it. He conducted basic maintenance. He carried it 12 hours a day. When crossing rivers or streams his head might have gotten wet, but his piece had to stay dry.

Six months later in the heat of battle, the soldier knew every inch of it-every mechanism. He understood things that could malfunction and how to remedy them. He could break it down and reassemble it in just seconds, blindfolded. Man and weapon had become a synchronized and deadly, efficient fighting machine.

The spiritual warrior's proficiency with his basic weapons should be no less remarkable. But quite sadly, if believers had to rely on their own Bible familiarity in life and death situations, the majority would helplessly perish.

Family and Civilization

In Charles Swindoll’s new book, The Quest for Character (Multnomah), “sociologist and historian Carle Zimmerman, in his 1947 book Family and Civilization, recorded his keen observations as he compared the disintegration of various cultures with the parallel decline of family life in those cultures. Eight specific patterns of domestic behavior typified the downward spiral of each culture Zimmerman studied: Marriage loses its frequently broken by divorce; traditional meaning of the marriage ceremony is lost; feminist movements abound; there is increased public disrespect for parents and authority in general; an acceleration of juvenile delinquency, promiscuity and rebellion occurs; there is refusal of people with traditional marriages to accept family responsibilities; a growing desire for, and acceptance of, adultery is evident; there is increasing interest in, and spread of, sexual perversions and sex-related crimes.”

Confident Living, November 1987, p. 34.
Family Betrayal

No treachery is worse than betrayal by a family member or friend. Julius Caesar knew such treachery. Among the conspirators who assassinated the Roman leader on March 15, 44 B. C. was Marcus Junius Brutus. Caesar not only trusted Brutus, he had favored him as a son. According to Roman historians, Caesar first resisted the onslaught of the assassins. But when he saw Brutus among them with his dagger drawn, Caesar ceased to struggle and, pulling the top part of his robe over his face, asked the famous question, “You too, Brutus?”

Today in the Word, August 13, 1992
Family Councils

Family councils often lead to fair solutions of problems between members. Draw up a list of rules for family council meetings that are agreeable to all, such as:

1. Anyone can tell parents how he/she feels, and ask for a meeting.

2. At the meeting, everyone can say that he/she thinks about a situation.

3. Instead of fixing blame, the council must try to understand why there’s a problem.

4. The council will try to create a solution that’s fair to all. Purpose: to encourage family participation in rule making and problem solving.

Paul Lewis, Homemade, Vol. 11, No. 2
Family Devotions

Source unknown

For family devotions, Martin Luther once read the account of Abraham offering Isaac on the altar in Genesis 22.

His wife, Katie, said, “I do not believe it. God would not have treated his son like that!”

“But, Katie,” Luther replied, “He did.”

The Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers, W. Wiersbe, p. 191
Family Heirloom

In January, 1984, I was painting the home of an 89-year-old lady in Spokane. She had a large family Bible prominently displayed on the coffee table and remarked that it was 116 years old and a priceless heirloom. I commented on how remarkable that was, and added, “It doesn’t matter how old the Bible might be, what’s on the inside is what matters.”

She immediately replied, “Oh, I know. That sure is the truth. Why, we have family records and births and marriages and deaths that go so far back, all recorded in that Bible; we could never replace them.” - John Underhill

John Underhill, Spokane, WA, 1984.
Family Reunion

At the annual family-reunion picnic, a young bride led her husband over to an old woman busily crocheting in a rocker. “Granny,” she said, touching the old woman’s hand affectionately, “this is my new husband.” The woman eyed him critically for a long moment, then asked abruptly, “Do you desire children?”

Startled by her bluntness, the young man blushed and stammered, “Well-uh-yes, I do very much.”

“Well,” she said, looking scornfully at the large tribe gathered around the six picnic tables, “try to control it!” - Colleen Pifer

Source unknown
Family Statistics

Families in 2000 will average 1.81 children, down from 1.84 today.

Some 60 percent of kids born in the ‘80s will live for a time with one parent;

One kid in four will live with a stepparent by age 16.

One third of all households will be childless. . .

Supporting a teenager still at home will cost $12,000 a year against $7,000 now.

Kids who head to college in 2000 will need upwards of $100,000 for each bachelor’s degree.

U.S. News and World Report, December 25, 1989
Family Worship

1. If both your parents worshipped with you regularly while you were growing up, there’s an 80 percent likelihood that you’ll worship God regularly as an adult.

2. If only your mother worshipped regularly with you, there’s only a 30 percent probability that you’ll worship regularly as an adult.

3. If only your father worshipped regularly with you, the likelihood that you’ll worship regularly as an adult increases to 70 percent!

Fathers have an enormous impact on their children’s faith and values. One of your most important ministries is worshipping with your kids!

On the Father Front, Christian Service Brigade, Spring, 1995, p. 4
Family—the Strength and Foundation of Society

The evidence is convincing that the better our relationships are at home, the more effective we are in our careers. If we’re having difficulty with a loved one, that difficulty will be translated into reduced performance on the job. In studying the millionaires in America (U.S. News and World Report), a picture of the “typical” millionaire is an individual who has worked eight to ten hours a day for thirty years and is still married to his or her high school or college sweetheart.

A New York executive search firm, in a study of 1365 corporate vice presidents, discovered that 87% were still married to their one and only spouse and that 92% were raised in two-parent families. The evidence is overwhelming that the family is the strength and foundation of society. Strengthen your family ties and you’ll enhance your opportunity to succeed.

Zig Ziglar in Homemade, March 1989
Famous Actress

While she was enjoying a transatlantic ocean trip, Billie Burke, the famous actress, noticed that a gentleman at the next table was suffering from a bad cold.

“Are you uncomfortable?” she asked sympathetically. The man nodded.

“I’ll tell you just what to do for it,” she offered. “Go back to your stateroom and drink lots of orange juice. Take two aspirins. Cover yourself with all the blankets you can find. Sweat the cold out. I know just what I’m talking about. I’m Billie Burke from Hollywood.”

The man smiled warmly and introduced himself in return. “Thanks,” he said, “I’m Dr. Mayo from the Mayo clinic.”

Bits & Pieces, March 3, 1994, p. 24
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 and Pieces, December 9, 1993, pp. 12-13
Famous Athiest

A little over a month before he died, the famous atheist Jean-Paul Sartre declared that he so strongly resisted feelings of despair that he would say to himself, “I know I shall die in hope.” Then in profound sadness, he would add, “But hope needs a foundation.”

Our Daily Bread, April 17, 1995
Famous Churchman Gave His Son Away

Peter Abelard, one of the most famous churchmen of the 12th century, sired a son born to his teenage mistress Heloise. After childbirth, the mother recovered in a convent near Paris. Peter gave the infant to his sister for upbringing, insisting that such drudgery was not suited to him. Said Abelard: “Who intent upon sacred and philosophical reflection could endure the squalling...and constant dirt of little children?”

On the Father Front, Vol. 4, No. 3, Fall, 1991