Two men were being considered for the pastorate of a certain church. Both preached on the subject of hell. One preached in a cold and threatening way, the other in a compassionate and caring way. The congregation unanimously called the latter as their pastor. Their reason was that the first man left the impression that he didn't mind if people went to hell, but the second preached as one who was deeply grieved that anyone should miss the love and forgiveness of God.
A woman wrote to RBC Ministries about her mother who went home to be with the Lord. She was much loved and a blessing to everyone who met her. The writer shared what her 7-year-old son said about the homegoing of his grandmother. Expressing his great love and admiration for her, he remarked with childish glee, "I'll bet Jesus was glad to see Grandma!"
Devotional writer Henri Nouwen wanted people to know God intimately through Jesus Christ. Once, when participating in a conference on art and the spiritual life, Nouwen was at a table where a woman complained that she had quit going to her church because she disagreed with its policies.
Is it selfish to thank God for special blessings He has bestowed on you or your loved ones? This question was raised in our community several years ago. A powerful tornado had demolished a store, but the owner and several people had escaped unhurt. The businessman said he prayed, thanking God for keeping them safe. A local minister, though, responded by saying he thought such a prayer was selfish, especially since others in the area had been killed or injured.
Astronaut Shannon Lucid had been on the Russian space station Mir for more than 4 months when hurricanes and equipment trouble forced NASA to delay her scheduled ride home. She had to wait another 7 weeks before the space shuttle Atlantis could be launched to bring her back to earth.
Years ago a man who didn't like having smoke blown in his face developed a way for nonsmokers to fight back. He called his product "Revenge." It was a foul-smelling disinfectant that came in a pocket-size spray can. The spray gave cigarette smokers a dose of their own medicine—bad air.