In the early years of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln became so angered at the
inactivity of Union commander George McClellan that the president wrote his commanding
general this one-sentence letter: "If you don't want to use the army, I should like
to borrow it for a while. Respectfully, A. Lincoln."
Today in the Word, July 18, 1993.
Between the great things we cannot do and the small things we will not do, the danger
is that we shall do nothing."
Sam Jones was a preacher who held revival services, which he called "quittin'
meetings." His preaching was directed primarily to Christians, and he urged them to
give up the sinful practices in their lives. Sam's messages were very effective, and many
people promised to quit swearing, drinking, smoking, lying, gossiping, or anything else
that was displeasing to the Lord.
On one occasion Jones asked a woman, "Just what is it that you're
quittin'?" She replied, "I'm guilty of not doing something -- and I'm
going to quit doing that too!" Even though she had no bad habits to give up,
she wasn't actively living to please God.
Daily Bread, September 6, 1992.
One day a young man moved into a cave to study with a wise man. He hoped to learn
everything there was to know. After giving his student a stack of books, the wise man
sprinkled itching powder on his student's hand and left. Every morning the wise man
returned to the cave to monitor his student's progress. "Have you learned
everything there is to know yet?" the wise man asked.
And every morning his student said, "No, I haven't." Then the wise man would
sprinkle itching powder on the student's hand and leave. This was repeated for months. But
one day, as the wise man entered the cave the student took the bag of itching powder and
tossed it into the fire.
"Congratulations!" said the wise man. "You've graduated.
learned you don' t have to know everything to do something positive. And you've learned
how to take control over your life and stop the itching."
Today in the Word, May 1, 1992.
Perhaps you recall the scene from the movie Patton. General Patton was
pacing back and forth on the balcony of an English mansion. General Eisenhower had him set
up as commander of an entirely fictitious army, complete with fake air traffic. The
Germans are fooled and do not rush to the defense of the beaches of Normandy, thinking
that the real invasion will be at Calais, headed by Patton. Of course Patton is extremely
upset. He can't believe that he is being kept out of the most glorious war of the century.
He says to a subordinate that he feels God has some great calling for him, some great army
to move, but General Bradley, of all people, is in charge of the only army then going
Sermon Illustrations, 1999.