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Many years ago two young men were working their way through Stanford University. At one point their money was almost gone, so they decided to engage the great pianist Paderewski for a concert and use the profits for board and tuition. Paderewski’s manager asked for a guarantee of $1,000. the students worked hard to promote the concert, but they came up $400 short. After the performance, they went to the musician, gave him all the money they had raised, and promised to pay the $400 as soon as they could. It appeared that their college days were over. “No, boys, that won’t do,” said the pianist. “Take out of this $600 all your expenses, and keep for each of you 10 percent of the balance for your work. Let me have the rest.”
Years passed. Paderewski became premier of Poland following World War I. Thousands of his countrymen were starving. Only one man could help—the head of the U. S. Food and Relief Bureau. Paderewski’s appeal to him brought thousands of tons of food. Later he met the American statesman to thank him. “That’s all right,” replied Herbert Hoover. “Besides, you don’t remember, but you helped me once when I was a student in college.”
The principle of liberality set forth in Proverbs 11:25 finds its origin in God. He is overflowing in His goodness, lavish in His mercy, and abounding in His grace. How inconceivable that we His creatures, especially His redeemed children, could be greedy and selfish! Remember, liberality is part of God’s way of taking care of us.—D.J.D.
Take the year 1809. The international scene was tumultuous. Napoleon was sweeping through Austria; blood was flowing freely. Nobody then cared about babies. But the world was overlooking some terribly significant births.
For example, William Gladstone was born that year. He was destined to become one of England’s finest statesman. That same year, Alfred Tennyson was born to an obscure minister and his wife. The child would one day greatly affect the literary world in a marked manner.
On the American continent, Oliver Wendell Holmes was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And not far away in Boston, Edgar Allan Poe began his eventful, albeit tragic, life. It was also in that same year that a physician named Darwin and his wife named their child Charles Robert. And that same year produced the cries of a newborn infant in a rugged log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky. The baby’s name? Abraham Lincoln.
If there had been news broadcasts at that time, I’m certain these words would have been heard: “The destiny of the world is being shaped on an Austrian battlefield today.” But history was actually being shaped in the cradles of England and America. Similarly, everyone thought taxation was the big news—when Jesus was born. But a young Jewish woman cradled the biggest news of all: the birth of the Saviour.
Adapted from Charles Swindoll
Mark Twain was known for his wit. A Mormon acquaintance once pushed him into an argument on the issue of polygamy. After long and tedious expositions justifying the practice, the Mormon demanded that Twain cite any passage of Scripture expressly forbidding polygamy.
“Nothing easier,” Twain replied. “No man can serve two masters.”
Robert Redford was walking one day through a hotel lobby. A woman saw him and followed him to the elevator. “Are you the real Robert Redford?” she asked him with great excitement.
As the doors of the elevator closed, he replied, “Only when I am alone!”