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Keeping Darkness At Bay

In J. R. R. Tolkien’s book The Hobbit, the wizard Gandalf explains why he has selected a small hobbit like Bilbo to accompany the dwarves to fight the enemy. He says, “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”

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A Word For The Struggler

There is an old adage that says, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” It’s wise not to take on more responsibilities than we can handle. At some time, however, we will likely feel overwhelmed by the size and difficulty of a task we have agreed to do.

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Our Foundation

The Bavarian city of Nördlingen is unique. It sits in the middle of the Ries Crater, a large circular depression caused by the impact of a huge meteorite a long time ago. The immense pressure of the impact resulted in unusual crystallized rock and millions of microscopic diamonds. In the 13th century, these speckled stones were used to build St. George’s Church. Visitors can see the beautiful crystal deposits in its foundation and walls. Some might say it has a heavenly foundation.

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Following The Master

At a dog show near my home, I watched a Cardigan Welsh corgi named Trevor perform. At his master’s command, he ran several yards away and immediately returned, he jumped fences, and he identified objects using his sense of smell. After finishing each exercise, he sat down at his master’s feet and waited for more instructions.

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Believing In Advance

In a German prison camp in World War II, undiscovered by the guards, some Americans built a homemade radio. One day news came that the German high command had surrendered, ending the war. Because of a communications breakdown, however, the guards did not yet know this. As word spread among the prisoners, a loud celebration broke out. For 3 days, they sang, waved at guards, and shared jokes over meals. On the fourth day, they awoke to find that all the Germans had fled. Their waiting had come to an end.

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Is Somebody Singing?

From 200 miles above Earth, Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut and commander of the International Space Station, joined in song with a group of students in a studio on Earth. Together they performed “Is Somebody Singing,” co-written by Hadfield and Ed Robertson.

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Walking Billboards

Pete Peterson’s first contact with Vietnam was in the Vietnam War. During a bombing raid in 1966, his plane was shot down and he was taken prisoner. Over 30 years later he returned as US Ambassador to Vietnam. One press article called him “a walking billboard for reconciliation.” He realized years ago that God had not saved his life for him to live in anger. Because he believed this, he used the rest of his life and his position to make a difference by pushing for better safety standards for children in Vietnam.

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Is There Hope?

I sat quietly at the graveside of my father, waiting for the private family burial of my mother to begin. The funeral director carried the urn that held her ashes. My heart felt numb and my head was in a fog. How can I handle losing them both within just 3 months? In my grief I felt loss and loneliness and a little hopeless facing a future without them.

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Life-Giving Rain

During the August heat of 1891, R. G. Dyrenforth arrived in Midland, Texas, determined to blast rain from the sky. Known as a “concussionist,” he and his team launched and detonated huge balloons filled with explosive gases, fired cannons, and exploded piles of dynamite on the ground—shaking both earth and sky. Some believed he made it rain a little, but most said all he caused was noise. The explosive power was impressive but ineffective.

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Example That Encourages

The story is told that in the late 1800s a group of European pastors attended D. L. Moody’s Bible conference in Massachusetts. Following their custom, they put their shoes outside their room before they slept, expecting them to be cleaned by hotel workers. When Moody saw the shoes, he mentioned the need to others because he knew their custom. But he was met with silence. Moody collected all the shoes and cleaned them himself. A friend who made an unexpected visit to his room revealed what Moody had done. The word spread, and the next few nights others took turns doing the cleaning.

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20 thoughts on “Example That Encourages

  1. godgaveusfreedom says:

    European Pastors was to be on the defense. “Did they not realize they were in a different country, and they would need to adopt the ways of their new environment. Many times I have been culprit to this sin. Lord thank you for making me aware of my sin and help to change it and adopt humility to my brother who may used to different things.

  2. godgaveusfreedom says:

    While reading today’s meditation, I was reminded of how sinful I am. My first reaction to the customs of the European Pastors was to be on the defense. “Did they not realize they were in a different country, and they would need to adopt the ways of their new environment. Many times I have been culprit to this sin. Lord thank you for making me aware of my sin and help to change it and adopt humility to my brother who may used to different things.

  3. tapmout says:

    @poohpity,
    Well said!..All you really need is humility, love and the desire to serve the Lord to help others. Although some parts of ministry or service does require some spiritual education and careful ,some things like cooking a meal for a widow, cleaning a yard or a home for a disabled person,running an errand, visiting and praying for someone who is ill,there are many simple but very important needs to be fulfilled.We don’t always have to be the CEO or church leader, although very important positions, to be a part of Gods servants.

    1. tapmout says:

      My typing!lol.. Careful consideration.

  4. markg says:

    Selfless service verses all other distractions. D. L. Moody’s example of Christ like service was powerful and reminded others of the importance of selfless service. Distractions are a real challenge to Christian service. Distractions have always been around but our way of life has them like no other. Paul reminds Timothy and all Christians to stay focused. While many distractions are relaxing and helpful our Godly challenge is to remember to stay focused upon the wishes of Christ.

  5. princessdee says:

    It is important as christians that we humble ourselves.Paul said in 1 Cor 15:10 that “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
    When we are doing excellently in our careers, in our businesses, when we are making a lot of money, please let us still humble ourselves and not feel like super stars because we are what we are by the grace of God.We must never look down on anyone that is yet to achieve what we have achieved in life.We must never boast in ourselves but in God.God bless you all!

  6. ktbsu says:

    Humility is not only knowing God but also thirsting for God. It is when we quench this thirst for God through His word and prayer that we transformed into His image. Blessings

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