Editor: Richard (Dick) Innes
Published by: ACTS International
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Vol. 18 – No. 1816 April 30, 2016
Thought for the week: "The measure of a life is not its duration but its donation." – Corrie Ten Boom
Have you ever felt helpless in light of the seemingly overwhelming problems we face in today's world—either at home or abroad? The truth of the matter, however, is that one person can make a world of difference to at least one other person and, more often than not, to a host of other persons. For instance:
One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream.
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.
One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal.
One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam can light a room.
One candle can wipe out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.
One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.
One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what's true.
One life can make the difference,
You see it's up to YOU!
– Author Unknown
As another has said, "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of one small candle." And as Edward Everett Hale so eloquently said, "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do."
Don't ever forget how very important you are in your world and remember too, that "One person is very
important to God, too." Most of his work on earth has been started by one person. God is always looking for
people who will do his work on earth. Will you be the one he is looking for today?
According to a television documentary, the cheetah survives by outrunning its prey. It can sprint up to seventy miles per hour, but only in short bursts. While it has a very lithe body that is built for speed, it has a tiny heart which gives it no staying power. Unless it catches its prey in its first burst of energy, it has to give up the chase.
When it comes to serving God and doing his work there are many "cheetahs." They start well with great enthusiasm and great vigor but finish poorly. As soon as the way gets rough and life tough, they tire and abandon the cause and drop out of the race. What is needed is not more speed but more staying power.
We all need bigger hearts for the greater abilities of stick-ability and dependability.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me not to be a 'cheetah,' but rather to have staying power to be what You want me to be and do what You want me to do. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
The dictionary defines a hero as "a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life." A "personal hero" is someone you or I hold in especially high esteem. For me, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is both a national and personal hero.
I have no illusions that he was a flawless man. I simply have the conviction that his virtues far outweighed his faults and that this nation is a better place because of him.
When I read his speeches and weigh them in the context of his times, and consider his ability and courage to pursue his aggressive, but nonviolent, humanitarian principles, despite enormous pressures from those who thought he was going too far, as well as those who thought he wasn't going far enough, I conclude that he was an extraordinarily inspirational leader with uncommon vision and strength.
Dr. King didn't simply talk about his dreams; he went to the battle lines time and time again to fight for them. Before he was finally murdered at the age of 39, his home had been bombed and he knew he put his life at risk continuously to advocate social justice, human dignity, and an end to racism and bigotry.
We have not yet fully reached Dr. King's Promised Land, where all people will be judged by the content of their character, but we are certainly closer to it because of him.
"Then [King] Agrippa said to Paul, 'Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?' Paul replied, 'Short time or long—I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.'"1
Governor Nash stepped out of his office and, for a moment, out of his role as Governor of Ohio. He tucked his large, black Bible under his arm and made his way down the hallway of the State Penitentiary, in Columbus, Ohio. As a Christian, his heart burned with desire to share Christ with a certain young man waiting on "death row." Guilty of first-degree murder of his girlfriend, the condemned one sat in his cell, just hours away from his appointment with the electric chair. Upon seeing the elderly man with a dark suit and Bible under his arm, he thought him to be a minister or the prison chaplain. His anger boiled over and he cursed as he sent the man away. A guard standing nearby could hardly believe his eyes. "You fool," he said,"don't you know who that was?"
"A preacher, I guess," was the reply. "No, that was the Governor, the only one who could set you free, and you sent him away." The young man died a few hours later, guilty not only of murder, but of sending away his only hope for freedom and life.2
You and I may never have committed any major crime, but in God's sight we are all guilty sinners facing God's judgment which is eternal separation from God in the place the Bible calls hell—whatever and wherever that may be. Because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross to pay the penalty for all your sins and mine, he is the only one who can give us the hope of a full and free pardon with God's gift of eternal life in heaven forever. If you have never accepted Jesus Christ's pardon, whatever you do don't turn him away today and in so doing fail to accept his offer of a full and free pardon.
In the words of William Shakespeare: "There is a tide in the affairs of men / Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune / Omitted, all the voyage of their life / Is bound in shallows and in miseries."
NOTE: To accept God's Invitation for a full and free pardon go to: http://tinyurl.com/6k49w or for further help read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank You enough for giving Your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to pay the just penalty for all my sins. Please help me to be sure that I have accepted Your free pardon and am a true Christian. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
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Oprah Winfrey: "Books were my pass to personal freedom. I learned to read at age three, and soon discovered there was a whole world to conquer that went beyond our farm in Mississippi." – Oprah Winfrey
Books by Dick Innes, Editor of Weekend Encounter You Can't Fly With a Broken Wing How to Mend a Broken Heart I Hate Witnessing—A Handbook for Effective Christian
Healing, Wholeness & Happiness by Dick Innes
Loving & Understanding People by Dick Innes
I Hate Witnessing by Dick Innes
God's Formula for Success by Dick Innes
Damaged Emotions by David Seamands
Healing of the Memories by David Seamands
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