The renowned Scottish theologian George Adam Smith lived at the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth. Once, on a rather stormy day, he climbed the Weisshorn mountain, situated in the Pennine Alps, in Switzerland. Smith and his two guides climbed up the safest side of the mountain. When they reached the summit, around 4505 meters high, Smith stood on his feet on the top of the mountain and was almost blown away by the strong wind. One of the guides promptly seized him and pulled him back down, saying: "On your knees, sir! You will only be safe on your knees."
It was World War II, and the bombs were falling on the city of London, as a father and his 6-year-old daughter were hiding in a bomb shelter inside the basement of one of the large churches in the capital of England. Unfortunately, the mother of that little girl had recently died in one of the bombings led by Hitler's army, as did also Her two other brothers.
Once a young man who was beginning his journey with God asked me: "Why pray, if God loves me and knows all my requests and needs even before I seek Him in prayer? Why would it be necessary for me to ask him anything?" Perhaps those questions have gone through your mind. "Why pray if God knows everything?" "Why do I need to participate in a 50-day prayer project?" "How can I benefit from that?"
A public accountant did something that perhaps all of us should do. He decided to start writing a diary of his relationship with God. He began writing down everything that God had given him and everything that he had done for God. As the time went by he realized that his diary had become like an accountant book, a ledger, in which were recorded debits and credits with God. If anyone did him a favour, he registered that as a gift from God to him.
It was in one of the darkest moments during World War II, after the French collapse to Germany and prior to the United States joining the war, that British prime minister Winston Churchill, delivered a speech on June 18, 1940 at the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. In the last part of his speech, he said: "What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire."
If there was ever a day on which the worst of all wars was indeed about to begin, it was on Saturday, October 27, 1962. The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 caused a huge state of tension all around the world due to the threats between the United States and the Soviet Union, the two greatest powers at the time. This episode concerned nuclear weapons and left humanity at the edge of a new World War.
Charles Spurgeon, known as the "Prince of Preachers", begin his ministry as a preacher at the age of 16, one year after his conversion in 1850. Before he turned 20 he had already preached around 600 times. It is likely that Spurgeon preached to about 10.000.000 people during his ministry. 63 volumes comprise the 3.653 sermons published on a weekly basis from 1855, not only in London, but around the world. He also wrote and edited 135 books in 27 years.
A group of businessmen travelling by plane one day were suddenly gripped by fear, when their aircraft depressurized, oxygen masks fell from the ceiling and the pilot's quick maneuvering into a safe position, made those businessmen believe their end was nigh.
In panic one of them took off his mask and shouted: "Hey, Jerry! Didn't you use to go to church when you were little? Yup… Please pray now!" "Don't be silly!" shouted Jerry back at him. "The last time I prayed was twenty years ago!"
Majestic, imposing and astounding are just a few of the adjectives used to properly describe the mighty stretches of the Grand Canyon--the main touristic attraction in the state of Arizona, USA. Mountains, plateaus, gorges, deep grooves, cliffs and valleys constitute the wonderful Grand Canyon's topography, whose beauty is incomparable to any other natural architecture of the world. Once a father took his son to the Grand Canyon. The boy, upon approaching the edge of the cliff, said to his father: "Let me hold your hand." The father replied with a smile: "No, let me hold your hand."
On March 30, 1863, in the Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, the sixteenth North American president Abraham Lincoln wrote: "We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.
Paul Gustave Doré was a gifted painter, and the most productive and wellsucceeding French illustrator in the middle of the 19th century. In one of his trips in Europe, he lost his passport. When he arrived at the border, he tried to explain his situation to the guards. When he told them his name, Doré expected to be recognized and allowed to pass through.
The post-election violence that broke-out in Kenya in December of 2007 resulted in the deaths of more than a thousand people and the fleeting of about 300 thousand people to neighbouring countries like Uganda. Though catastrophic, the social and economic destruction, not to mention the loss of life, could’ve been bigger if it wasn’t for the mediation of peace led by the African Union, in January 2008.
When President Barack Obama visited Reverend Billy Graham on April 25, 2010, he became the 12th American president to meet with the most renown evangelist of the 20th century. Known as the Pastor for the White House, Billy Graham had personally visited with each of the American presidents since world war II.
In 1933, Dawson Trotman founded the ministry “The Navigators” that focuses on Christian discipleship, helping people to get to know God better and develop a more intimate relationship with the creator as they navigate through life. Reverend Billy Graham asked Dawson and his ministry for help right after his evangelical crusades at the end of the 40th century with those who accepted the calling to give their lives to Christ.
After Sabbath school, a mom wanted to know if her young son was paying attention to what the teachers were saying, and so she asked him “ What did you learn in Sabbath school today my son?”. The young boy responded: “ I learned today that God’s name is Blessed!” “Blessed? What do you mean? Who told you Gods name is Blessed?” “ Well mom, its written in the bible! I read it today! It says: Dear Lord in heaven, Blessed is thy name!”
When mother Teresa of Calcutta travelled to the United States in hope of expanding and establishing the missionaries of care ministry, she was working in big concentrated areas and in the streets of the cities. She once declared in her home country that India suffered great poverty of material things, but in the United States she discovered an even worse type of poverty: the poverty of loneliness.
A pastor was observing the passionate prayer of a little boy. He was impressed not only to see the little boy praying, but because during the prayer that boy repeatedly said “Tokyo! Tokyo! Tokyo!” When the little boy finished his prayer, the pastor approached him and said: “Hi there, I’m so happy to see you devotedly praying, but tell me, why do you keep saying ‘Tokyo’?”
In his book “God’s psychiatry”, Charles Allen talks about an interesting story. When the Second World War was approaching its end, the allied army took in a lot of hungry orphans. They were put in places where they were well fed. Despite the excellent treatment, they couldn’t sleep well. Those kids seemed nervous and afraid. Finally, a psychologist came with a solution.
How many of you have someone you need to forgive?” This was the question that a pastor started his sermon with some time ago, and about 80% of the church raised their hands. Displeased with the response, the pastor asked once again, this time more enthusiastically. “Be honest with yourself, how many of you here today need to forgive someone?”.
That afternoon, she was not allowed to swim…mom had made it very clear! However, when he got home, his hair and his swimming trunks were wet. And so that mom scolded her son, “Fernando, didn’t I tell you you couldn’t go swimming today?!” “But mom, I couldn’t help myself!” he tried to justify it by saying “the water was so inviting!”
The philosopher and Anglo-Irish politician Edmund Burke, portrayed in a unique way one of the sad realities of humanity: "Higher the power, higher the danger of abuse". One of the most known people to abuse power were the Romans.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta was an inspiring woman. Her personal selflessness and dedication to those around her is something to be greatly admired. Something that few people know about Mother Teresa, is that she was a woman of prayer. For her, "Prayer was not asking. She said: “To pray is to put yourself in God's hands, at His disposal, and hear His voice at the bottom of our hearts."
George Harrison was one of the members of one of the greatest and most influential bands of all time, the Beatles. Harrison experienced fame, wealth, pleasure, and so many other things that music gave him.
Paul Brand was a brilliant physician, he was a pioneer in the treatment of leprosy. He received the Albert Lasker Award. The Queen of England made him Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He served as the only Westerner in the Mahatma Ghandi Foundation, and many medical procedures received his name as a tribute for his contributions.
I’m sure You've probably heard the song "The Prayer”, which circled the world by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. Weddings, birthdays, concerts, and many other gatherings have included this song, which is actually a prayer through music. But what you may not have heard yet is Celine Dion’s adaptation of that song: “The Mother’s Prayer”.
Mark Lowry was inspired by God to write poetry, one day as he was sitting he penned the lyrics to the Christmas song I’m sure many of you have heard. Mary Did You Know? In a special way he compares the fragile Christ Child baby Mary was holding with the greatness of the Creator of the universe, that He was, what a mystery, what a song:
Just a few words. That's right, if Christ does not return, our life will be reduced to a few words on our grave, the epitaph. "Here lies Isaac Newton." "Here lies Fernando Sabino, father,son."
The University of Michigan in the United States conducted a survey a few years ago. They asked girls between 11 and 18 years of age, how they wish they would to be like when they reached adulthood.
In a certain small town there were no shops that sold alcoholic beverages. But after some time, a nightclub was built near the city's main street. The members of one of the churches were pretty upset with that new place, they decided then to conduct prayer meetings. They cried to the Lord for something to happen, that sin would not spread and that iniquity would be destroyed.
"One day, everyone will be entitled to 15 minutes of fame." I think you've heard that phrase. It is attributed to Andy Warhol, an entrepreneur, painter and North American filmmaker. He would have said that phrase in the 60s, anticipating a phenomenon that we see happening every day more often.
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Socrates Ouch, I think Socrates really dug deep here! But I cannot say that I disagree with him. You see One of the first steps before a fall & failing, is having a prideful spirit, believing that you have more to teach then to be taught.
A father and a son decided to take care of their house garden. At the middle of the lawn there was a large stone. “Lucas”, said the father, “please, do not forget to remove the stone.” Lucas tried hard for a long time to move the stone, but it did not budge. “Father, I can’t.”
In 1980, the New York Mayor Ed Koch took part in a television program in the midst of a major financial crisis in the city. He had spent more than a quarter of a million dollars to put bike lanes in Manhattan, which ended up being a complete disaster. Nobody respected the bike lanes and they hindered very much the traffic flow. Many people were angry with the situation. The journalists wanted to explore that matter as much as possible, because the Mayor was about to launch his reelection campaign.
Two disciples asked their master what was the difference between knowledge and wisdom. The master said to them: Early tomorrow morning, place inside your shoes twenty grains of beans, ten on each shoe. Then, climb the mountain that stands by the village to its highest point, with the beans inside your shoes.
Oscar Wilde was an Irish writer. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of the most popular playwrights in London in 1890. Today he is remembered for his epigrams and pieces, and the circumstances of his arrest, which was followed by his untimely death.
"What a person is when, in secret, he is on his knees before God is who he really is, and nothing more." This quotation from John Owen is really phenomenal. The question remains is: how is your prayer life?
As they walked down the street three Bible scholars discussed deeply about theology. The issue in question was prayer. To be more specific, they discussed about the most effective prayer position. The conversation was so engaging that they stopped in the middle of the sidewalk. They did not realize it, but they were under a pole, where there was one person working on the telephone wires. Well, he could not avoid listening to the discussion.
Prayer without vigilance is hypocrisy!" Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon went straight to the point! The last thing Nehemiah would be was a hypocrite! "But we prayed to our God and put men to stand watch against them day and night." Nehemiah 4:9
Stories of overcoming, motivate and encourage us. The Bible is full of such inspiring stories of comebacks, and one that fascinates me, is the story of Jonah. The cancer of the sin of disobedience to God, had already sprawled into his life, to the point that he felt that death would be his final destination.
The sky is full of answers to prayers that no one bothered to look for." This sentence by Billy Graham made me wonder how, most often, we do not prioritize prayer. Most of the times we do not seek, as we have no faith that anything can really happen. Other times we are so confident in ourselves, that we have no room for trust in God. The reality is that heaven is waiting for a single request in order to pour out blessings that are reserved for humans.
Cornelia ten Boom was a Dutch Christian lady who, along with her father and other members of her family, helped save many Jews from the Nazi Holocaust during World War II. She was eventually arrested, but survived to write her autobiography "The Hiding Place". One of her famous quotes is: "We never know how God will answer our prayers, but we can expect Him to involve us in His plan of response.
One day a close friend told Plato that some people were accusing him of something very terrible. Knowing that this was not true, the sincere friend asked the philosopher: "What shall we do" Plato response was priceless: “We simply must live so that all people recognize that this is a lie.”
Early American Indians had a somewhat interesting to train their young. From small they were taught to hunt, fish, fight, among other essentials for survival. However, on the night the boy completed the age of thirteen, he passed the final test to adulthood. He had to spend an entire night alone in the woods.
The great Scottish reformer John Knox, was very weak because of a serious illness. One day he called his wife and asked: "Read to me that portion of scripture where I first cast my anchor." She opened the Bible and read to him the priestly prayer of Christ.
Story is told of amongst those living in the courts of Alexander the Great, was a brilliant philosopher, who had financial challenges. One day he asked the general for financial aid. Alexander said he could take what he needed from the imperial treasury. But when the philosopher asked for the equivalent of $ 120,000 dollars, the treasurer refused to give him such a large amount, without first getting authorization.
During World War II, Hitler ordered that all religious groups to join so he could control them. At the meeting of the brothers, half upheld the order of Hitler and the other half refused. Those who accepted the order had an easier life. Already those who refused the order, faced harsh persecution. In almost all the families of those who refused to obey Hitler, someone died in a concentration camp.
Are most people happy? Well, Dennis Wholey, author of "Are you happy? "Reportsthat according to expert opinion, less than 20 percent of Americans are happy.These experts would probably agree with the ironic definition of happiness offered by psychiatrist Thomas Szasz , who said : "Happiness is an imaginary condition, once attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children and by children to adults "
John Newton was the author of many hymns, including "Amazing Grace", found in our Adventist hymnal. It is amazing to see how Grace and transformation breathed out from his poetry. In one of his most admired thoughts Newton wrote. “I am not what I ought to be. Ah! How imperfect and deficient! I am not what I wish to be. I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to what is good. I am not what I hope to be. Soon, soon, I shall put off mortality, and with mortality all sin and imperfection.