1 disliked the preacher, then there were 9
9 little Christians stayed up very late
1 overslept Sunday, then there were 8
8 little Christians on their way to Heaven
1 took the low road and then there were 7
7 little Christians chirping like chicks
1 disliked music, then there were 6
6 little Christians seemed very much alive
but one lost his interest then there was 5
5 little Christians pulling for Heaven's Shore
but one stopped to rest, then there were 4
4 little Christians each busy as a bee
but one got his feelings hurt, then there were 3
3 little Christians knew not what to do
1 joined the sporty crowd, then there were 2
2 little Christians, our rhyme is nearly done
differed with each other, then there was 1
1 little Christian can't do much 'tis true;
but brought his friend to Bible study -- then there were 2
2 earnest Christians, each won one more
that doubled the number, then there were 4
4 sincere Christians worked early and late
Each won another then there were 8
8 splendid Christians if they doubled as before
In just so many Sundays, we'd have 1,024
In this little jingle, there is a lesson true,
We belong, either to the building, or to the wrecking-crew!
Do You Love Me?
Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?
One Friday evening, a young man stopped to see the young lady who was the light of his life. He'd been working all week and they hadn't managed to connect with her. This evening when he saw her he thought this heart would burst with love. She greeted him with every sign of joy.
"Let's go for a walk this evening, just you and me and the moonlight!" he said to her.
"Oh no, I can't. " she said, pointing to her head wrapped in a multicolored towel. " I just washed my hair and I have to set it. I can't go out in the cold air !"
Disappointed he agreed and stayed talking a few more minutes, but she was obviously anxious to get back to her hair setting. As he left, he tried again.
"How about we do something tomorrow afternoon? We can have dinner and catch a movie."
"Oh, hon, I'm so sorry! I promised Melissa and Julie we could go shopping tomorrow in Capital City! Maybe on Sunday. We can catch the late service at church together. OK?"
The young man agreed to meet her at 11:00 AM in front of the church. She said he didn't have to pick her up at home although he offered.
"Hmmmm, Okay, hon! See you Sunday morning. I love you! " She caroled and waved gaily as she closed the door behind him.
Sunday morning couldn't come soon enough for the young man. He was sitting on the stone wall by the front steps as the congregation filed into Sunday School. He was sitting there as other members filed into the late service. He was sitting there when the file trickled to an end and he could hear the organist's call to worship from the sanctuary. He sat a few minutes more until he heard the choir begin the prelude to the message. Then he sighed and got up to go inside and find a seat on the side near the back.
When he arrived home, there was a message from his young lady. "So sorry, I missed you! We got home so late last night I slept through the alarm! We are all going to grandma's this afternoon. I'll call you when I get back. Love you! Miss you. Bye."
Sunday night around 10:00 he called her home only to be told that she had left her grandmother's with her cousin to go eat. They hadn't heard from her since. Her mom assumed she'd be back in a little while...
Another week went by, and another. The young man seized every opportunity to see the young lady that he thought so much of. He never ceased to try and find ways to entertain her and spend time with her. She was available a few times, but mostly her life seemed to be so full she had no time for him. Shopping, studying, girlfriends, parents, family, beauty treatments, all came in as reasons why she couldn't spend much time with him. But every conversation ended with the blithe promise, "I love you.!"
Finally the message was borne in upon him that his young lady simply didn't care as much for him as her gay assurances said she did. In disappointment, he "let her go her way."
I thought that this story portrayed a sad analogy to many modern Christians and the Lord. They loudly proclaim their love for Him. They tell Him so regularly. They tell their family and their church friends the same thing.
But they never have time for Him. No time to spend in quiet conversation and meditation. No time to spend in Bible reading. No time to spend being about the Father's business. Just a few snatched moments here and there to say a quick prayer or read a Bible verse and then they go their way. They go about many of the same things this young lady did. Working, shopping, friends, family. All legitimate things but all things that are coming before the Lord. Remember when you were first "in love" with your spouse? Remember how you planned to see them? I remember rushing through my work so I could be all clean and spiffed up when he was due to arrive. He and I both made a special effort to find time to be together. Nothing in the world was as exciting as talking to him---never mind that he liked rodeo and I liked to read. I went to rodeos with him. He sat and read books with me!
But my point is: that when we really LOVE someone we make an effort to be with them, to wear clothes we know they like, to cook the meals they like, to just sit and watch a dumb TV program together or sit on the porch being quiet.
Is that the way we are with the Lord? Or do we just keep saying "I love you." but never being available to spend quality time in His presence.
Let's stop and think about it...
then, do something about it...
if it need be...
Can You "Come Down"?
"While ye have light, believe in the light."
We all have moments when we feel better than our best, and we say - "I feel fit for anything; if only I could always be like this!" However, we're not meant to be. Those moments are moments of insight which we have to live up to when we don't feel like it. Many of us are no good for this workaday world when there's no "high hour". We must bring our commonplace life up to the standard revealed in the high hour.
Let's never allow a feeling which was stirred in us in the "high hour" to vanish. Let's not put our "mental feet" on "the mantelpiece" and say - "What a marvellous state of mind to be in!" Let's act immediately, let's do something, if only because we'd rather not do it. If in a prayer meeting God has shown us something to do, don't say - "I'll do it"; let's just do it! Let's take ourself by the scruff of the neck and shake off our incarnate laziness. Laziness is always seen in cravings for the high hour; we talk about working up to a time on the mount. We have to learn to live in the grey day according to what we saw on the mount.
Let's refuse to cave in because we've been baffled once---let's "get at it", again. Let's burn "those bridges" behind us, and stand committed to God by our own act. Let's never revise our decisions, but see that we make our decisions in the light of "the high hour".