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Archive for October, 2011

God’s Purpose

One day a woodcutter took his grandson into the forest for his first experience in selecting and cutting oak trees. These they would later sell to the boat builders. As they walked along, the woodcutter explained that the purpose of each tree is contained in its natural shape: some are straight for planks, some have the proper curves for the ribs of a boat, and some are tall for masts. The woodcutter told his grandson that by paying attention to the details of each tree, and with experience in recognizing these characteristics, someday he too might become the woodcutter of the forest.

A little way into the forest, the grandson saw an old oak tree that had never been cut. The boy asked his grandfather if he could cut it down because it was useless for boat building – there were no straight limbs, the trunk was, short and gnarled, and the curves were going the wrong way. “We could cut it down for firewood,” the grandson said. “At least then it will be of some use to us.” The woodcutter replied that for now they should be about their work cutting the proper trees for the boat builders; maybe later they could return to the old oak tree.

After a few hours of cutting the huge trees, the grandson grew tired and asked if they could stop for a rest in some cool shade. The woodcutter took his grandson over to the old oak tree, where they rested against its trunk in the cool shade beneath its twisted limbs. After they had rested a while, the woodcutter explained to his grandson the necessity of attentive awareness and recognition of everything in the forest and in the world. Some things are readily apparent, like the tall, straight trees; other things are less apparent, requiring closer attention, like recognition of the proper curves in the limbs. And some things might initially appear to have no purpose at all, like the gnarled old oak tree. The woodcutter stated, “You must learn to pay careful attention every day so you can recognize and discover the purpose God has for everything in creation. For it is this old oak tree, which you so quickly deemed useless
except for firewood, that now allows us to rest against its trunk amidst the coolness of its shade.

“Remember, grandson, not everything is as it first appears. Be patient, pay attention, recognize, and discover.”

Nobody Made It

Many years ago Sir Isaac Newton had an exact replica of our solar system made in miniature. At its center was a large golden ball representing the sun, and revolving around it were small spheres attached at the ends of rods of varying lengths. They represented Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and the other planets. These were all geared together by cogs and belts to make them move around the “sun” in perfect harmony.

One day as Newton was studying the model, a friend who did not believe in the biblical account of creation stopped by for a visit. Marveling at the device and watching as the scientist made the heavenly bodies move on their orbits, the man exclaimed, “My, Newton, what an exquisite thing! Who made it for you?”

Without looking up, Sir Isaac replied, “Nobody.”

“Nobody?” his friend asked.

“That’s right! I said nobody! All of these balls and cogs and belts and gears just happened to come together, and wonder of wonders, by chance they began revolving in their set orbits and with perfect timing.”

The unbeliever got the message! It was foolish to suppose that the model merely happened. But it was even more senseless to accept the theory that the earth and the vast universe came into being by chance. How much more logical to believe what the Bible says, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” The Word also declares, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God”. (Psalms 14:1)

Miracles Come From Faith

A small congregation in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains built a new sanctuary on a piece of land willed to them by a church member. Ten days before the new church was to open, the local building inspector informed the pastor that the parking lot was inadequate for the size of the building. Until the church doubled the size of the parking lot, they would not be able to use the new sanctuary. Unfortunately, the church, with its undersized parking lot, had used every inch of their land except for the mountain against which it had been built. In order to build more parking spaces, they would have to move the mountain out of the back yard.

Undaunted, the pastor announced the next Sunday morning that he would meet that evening with all members who had “mountain-moving faith.”  They would hold a prayer session asking God to remove the mountain from the back yard and to somehow provide enough money to have it paved and painted before the scheduled opening dedication service the following week. At the appointed time, 24 of the congregation’s 300 members assembled for prayer. They prayed for nearly three hours. At ten o’clock the pastor said the final “Amen”. “We’ll open next Sunday as scheduled,” he assured everyone. “God has never let us down before, and I believe He will be faithful this time, too.”

The next morning as he was working in his study there came a loud knock at his door. When he called “Come in,” a rough-looking construction foreman appeared, removing his hard hat as he entered. “Excuse me, Reverend. I’m from Acme Construction Company over in the next county. We’re building a huge new shopping mall over there and we need some fill dirt. Would you be willing to sell us a chunk of that mountain behind the church? We’ll pay you for the dirt we remove and pave all the exposed area free of charge, if we can have it right away. We can’t do anything else until we get the dirt in and allow it to settle properly.”

The little church was dedicated the next Sunday as originally planned and there were far more members with “mountain-moving faith” on opening Sunday than there had been the previous week.

Some people say faith comes from miracles. But others know: MIRACLES COME FROM FAITH.