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May 9th, 2010

Story : True Believer

True Believer

This one is a true story of an incident that happened just a few years ago at USC (University of Southern California).

There was a professor of philosophy there (at the college) who was a deeply committed atheist. His primary goal was for one required class was to spend the entire semester attempting to prove that God couldn’t exist. His students were always afraid to argue with him because of his impeccable logic. For twenty years, he had taught this class and no one had ever had the courage to go against him. Sure, some had argued in class at times, but no one had ever really gone against him because of his reputation.

At the end of every semester on the last day, he would say to his class of 300 students, “If there is anyone here who still believes in Jesus, stand ” In twenty years, no one had ever stood up. They knew what he was going to do next. He would say, “Because anyone who believes in God is a fool. If God existed, he could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking. Such a simple task to prove that He is God, and yet He can’t do it.”  And every year, he would drop the chalk onto the tile floor of the classroom and it would shatter into a hundred pieces.

All of the students would do nothing but stop and stare. Most of the students thought that God couldn’t exist.Certainly, a number of Christians had slipped through, but for twenty years, they had been too afraid to stand up.

Well, a few years ago there was a freshman who happened to enroll. He was a Christian, and had heard the stories about this professor..He was required to take the class for his major, and he was afraid. But for three months that semester, he prayed every morning that he would have the courage to stand up no matter what the professor said, or what the class thought. Nothing they said could ever shatter his faith….he hoped. Finally, the day came. The professor said, “If there is anyone here who still believes in God, stand up!”

The professor and the class of 300 people looked at him, shocked, as he stood up at the back of the classroom.  The professor shouted, “You FOOL!!! If God existed, he would keep this piece of chalk from breaking when it hit the ground!”  He proceeded to drop the chalk, but as he did, it slipped out of his fingers, off his shirt cuff, onto the pleat of his pants, down the leg, and off his shoe.  As it hit the ground, it simply rolled away unbroken.

The professor’s jaw dropped as he stared at the chalk.  He looked up at the young man, and then ran out of the lecture hall. The young man who had stood, proceeded to walk to the front of the room and shared his faith in Jesus for the next half an hour.

Real faith is only active when it is exercised and put to the test. It is God, Himself, who brings the result, not our own efforts.

– – – submitted by Cecil James

May 8th, 2010

None Too Old To Witness For Christ

Witness For Christ

Bishop John Reed of Sydney, Australia, was preaching in Christ Church Cathedral one Sunday when a 75-year-old woman named Ethel Hatfield got saved. Mrs. Hatfield had attended that Anglican church for decades, but the message had never gotten through to her until that day. The following day she came to see Bishop Reed and said, “I could hardly sleep last night I was so excited about what happened. I want to do something to serve God with the few years I have left. I was wondering if I could teach Sunday School.”

Bishop Reed looked at this 75-year-old, white-haired lady and just couldn’t picture her controlling the rambunctious third or fourth grade kids. So he said, “I’m sorry, but we don’t have an opening in our Sunday School.” Her face fell. Bishop Reed said, “You mean business, don’t you? I don’t know what kind of service God may have for you, but let’s pray.” So they prayed for God to reveal His will for her.

The next day Mrs. Hatfield was out in her yard tending her roses when a Chinese student from Taiwan walked by. He stopped and complimented her on her roses and they began to talk. She thought, “He seems like a decent chap; I’ll invite him in for a spot of tea.” So she did and she told him her testimony. He found it an interesting story, so when he had to leave he asked if he could come back and talk further. She said, “Yes, and please bring a friend.”

He came back and brought a friend and she again shared how she had come to put her faith in Jesus Christ after all these years and how Christ had forgiven her sin and given her eternal life. These students came back and brought more friends, who brought even more. Within two weeks, Mrs. Hatfield was leading a weekly Bible study with 70 Chinese students in attendance! She led many of them to personal faith in Jesus Christ. That which seemed a hindrance to Mrs. Hatfield’s serving the Lord–her age–God turned into the key to reaching a group of people who respect old age!

None is too old to witness for Christ.

– – – submitted by Cecil James

April 13th, 2010

Am I Ready To Meet The Lord

Ready to meet the Lord

The burly miner blinked as he left the dark interior of the coal mine. Stopping at a faucet near the mine entrance, he washed the worst of the grime from his face and hands, then headed towards his home on the outskirts of the village. As he trudged along the dusty lane, he passed the open door of a little church. Inside, a small crowd listened intently as an energetic man gesticulated from the pulpit. Interested, the miner stepped to the door.

“Absolute surrender is what we must have,” the minister was saying. “Are you willing to surrender yourself absolutely into His hand? If not, you are not ready to meet your God.”

The minister paced back and forth on the platform. “We do not know how much longer our earthly probation will last. Tonight you are living; tomorrow may be too late. Ask yourself, I beg of you, ‘Am I ready to meet the Lord?'”

The miner, touched to the quick, slipped into the back pew. I am not ready to meet God, he thought. I have lived a careless, godless life. How can I make peace with Him? The meeting ended, and the people filed out. Still the miner remained in the pew, his head in his hands.

Finally, the minister touched him on the shoulder. “Brother, are you ready to meet the Lord?”

Blindly, the miner shook his head. “I know I am not. Oh, help me find peace!”

An hour passed as the minister shared the plan of salvation; yet something held the miner back from full surrender.

“It’s getting late,” the minister finally said. “Go home, and continue to seek the Lord.”

The miner shook his head. “Stay with me a little longer; it must be settled tonight.”

Once again the minister explained the way of salvation and prayed, but in vain. Another hour passed.

“You must go home,” the minister told him. “It’s late, and I cannot make it any clearer.”

“It must be settled tonight,” the miner repeated, his eyes burning with earnestness.

“Then we shall stay here together,” the minister agreed. Once more he spoke of Jesus, and shared promise after promise. Once more he prayed, but in vain. “I must go,” the minister finally said. “It will soon be morning. Go home, and return tomorrow night. Maybe then you will find peace.”

“Sir, I cannot leave this place until I find peace.”

The poor man’s voice trembled. “Tomorrow may be too late. It must be settled tonight.”

The minister could not resist his appeal. “By the help of God.” he said, “it shall be settled tonight.”

Again he explained the steps of conversion; again he prayed. As he spoke, the miner broke into sobs and tears, and at last the light pierced his darkness.

“I see it!” he cried. “I give myself absolutely to God, to His will, to do only what He wants. It is settled.

Praise His name, it is settled!” The two men knelt again, but this time to thank God for bringing light to a sinner’s soul.

The next morning the miner went to work as usual. During the day he was sent to a distant part of the mine to fetch some tools. When he did not return, his fellow workers went to look for him. They found that the mine walls had caved in on him, and he was buried in the debris. Working with pick and shovel, they began to dig. Finally, from the fragments of rock and rubbish and stone which hid him from sight, came a faint sound:

“Tonight —- would have been —- too late. Thank God —- it was settled — last night!”

Am I ready to meet the Lord?

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