Category Archives: Nuggets

Nuggets of wisdom taken from both published and nonpublished sources. Sources will be stated where appropriate.

From Wayne Augden’s collection of Quotes and Illustrations

 

Daily Actions

 

“It is the bubbling stream that flows gently,” observes Barnes, “the little rivulet which runs along day and night by the farm-house, that is useful, rather than the swollen flood or warring cataract. Niagara excites our wonder; and we stand amazed at the powerful greatness of God there, as He pours it from the hollow of His hand. But one Niagara is enough for the continent of the world, while the same world requires thousands and tens of thousands of silver fountains and gently flowing rivulets, that water every farm and meadow, and every garden, and shall flow on every day and night with their gentle, quiet beauty. So with the acts of our lives. It is not by great deeds, like those of the martyrs, good is to be done, but by the daily and quiet virtues of life.”

 

From “In the Eye of the Storm” by Max Lucado

     I loved this.  I thought you might enjoy it, too.
 

Abandon

Steve Lyons will always be remembered

ABANDON

Steve Lyons will be remembered as the player who dropped his pants.

He could be remembered as an outstanding infielder … as the player who played every position for the Chicago White Sox … as the guy who always dove into first base … as a favorite of the fans who high fived the guy who caught the foul ball in the bleachers. He could be remembered as an above-average player who made it with an average ability.

But he won’t. He’ll be remembered as the player who dropped his pants on July 16, 1990.

The White Sox were playing the Tigers in Detroit. Lyons bunted and raced down the first-base line. He knew it was going to be tight, so he dove at the bag. Safe! The Tiger’s pitcher disagreed. He and the umpire got into a shouting match, and Lyons stepped in to voice his opinion.

Absorbed in the game and the debate, Lyons felt dirt trickling down the inside of his pants. Without missing a beat he dropped his britches, wiped away the dirt, and … uh oh …twenty thousand jaws hit the bleachers’ floor.

And, as you can imagine, the jokes began. Women behind the White Sox dugout waved dollar bills when he came onto the field. “No one,” wrote one columnist, “had ever dropped his drawers on the field. Not Wally Moon. Not Blue Moon Odom. Not even Heinie Manush.” Within twenty-four hours of the “exposure,” he received more exposure than he’d gotten his entire career; seven live television and approximately twenty radio interviews.

“We’ve got this pitcher, Melido Perex, who earlier this month pitched a no-hitter,” Lyons stated, “and I’ll guarantee you he didn’t do two live television shots afterwards. I pull my pants down, and I do seven. Something’s pretty skewed toward the zany in this game.”

Fortunately, for Steve, he was wearing sliding pants under his baseball pants. Otherwise the game would be rated “R” instead of “PG-13.”

Now, I don’t know Steve Lyons. I’m not a White Sox fan. Nor am I normally appreciative of men who drop their pants in public. But I think Steve Lyons deserves a salute.

I think anybody who dives into first base deserves a salute. How many guys do you see roaring down the baseline of life more concerned about getting a job done than they are about saving their necks? How often do you see people diving headfirst into anything?

Too seldom, right? But when we do … when we see a gutsy human throwing caution to the wind and taking a few risks … ah, now that’s a person worthy of a pat on the … back.

So here’s to all the Steve Lyons in the world.

From Wayne Augden’s collection of Sermon Illustrations and Quotes

     Something to think about. 

The Most Dangerous Kind of Actions

 

There are three sorts of actions: those that are good, those that are bad, and those that are doubtful; and we ought to be most cautious of those that are doubtful, for we are in most danger of these doubtful actions, because they do not alarm us. And yet they insensibly lead to greater transgressions, just as the shades of twilight gradually reconcile us to darkness.

 

From “2000 Bible Illustrations” selected by Wayne Augden

     Just a gentle reminder of why it’s important to keep Christ as our focus. 

 

Keep Christ Central in Christmas

 

It is a principle of art that in the composition of a picture, all the parts shall be so arranged as to lead the eye inevitably to the central figure or feature. Whatever prevents this is a capital defect. Accessories are only important as they help this end.

 

When Varelst, the Dutch painter, made his tulips so glorious that they drew attention away from the face of James II, in whose portrait he had placed them, he violated this canon. So did Haydon when, in his picture of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, he made the figure of the beast on which the Master rode more attractive than the person of Christ.

 

So does the theologian or the metaphysician or the logician, who fascinates by his argument and rhetoric, or the preacher and liturgist, who stresses his forms of worship and symbols of religion.

 

It is not the swaddling-clothes of ceremonialism, but the Christ of the simple gospel story consistently lived, that shall span the continents with love and make Christmas perpetual in the heart of man.

 

As told by the American Poet Edwin Markham

     This is an old tale that’s been around for years, but I enjoy it, and it never fails to make me think of what Christmas is really all about.  My prayer for myself and for you is that you’ll try to be like the cobbler in this story.

The Shoemaker’s Dream

One of the most beautiful of all Christmas stories was told by the American poet, Edwin Markham, about a cobbler, a godly man who made shoes in the old days. One night the cobbler dreamed that the next day Jesus was coming to visit him. The dream seemed so real that he got up very early the next morning and hurried to the woods, where he gathered green boughs to decorate his shop for the arrival of so great a Guest.

He waited all morning, but to his disappointment, his shop remained quiet, except for an old man who limped up to the door asking to come in for a few minutes of warmth. While the man was resting, the cobbler noticed that the old fellow’s shoes were worn through. Touched, the cobbler took a new pair from his shelves and saw to it that the stranger was wearing them as he went on his way.

Throughout the afternoon the cobbler waited, but his only visitor was an elderly woman. He had seen her struggling under a heavy load of firewood, and he invited her, too, into his shop to rest. Then he discovered that for two days she had had nothing to eat; he saw to it that she had a nourishing meal before she went on her way.

As night began to fall, the cobbler heard a child crying outside his door. The child was lost and afraid. The cobbler went out, soothed the youngster’s tears and, with the little hand in his, took the child home.

When he returned, the cobbler was sad. He was convinced that while he had been away he had missed the visit of his Lord. Now he lived through the moments as he had imagined them: the knock, the latch lifted, the radiant face, the offered cup. He would have kissed the hands where the nails had been, washed the feet where the spikes had entered. Then the Lord would have sat and talked to him.

In his anguish, the cobbler cried out, “Why is it, Lord, that Your feet delay. Have you forgotten that this was the day?” Then, soft in the silence a voice he heard:

“Lift up your heart for I kept My word.

Three times I came to your friendly door;

Three times My shadow was on your floor.

I was the man with the bruised feet.

I was the woman you gave food to eat,

I was the child on the homeless street.”

 

 

From “Illustrations of Bible Truth” by Harry A. Ironside

 

     Opportunities should be taken advantage of.  This is a reminder that we should give them as well take them when they come.    

 

A LOST OPPORTUNITY

As thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone” (

1Ki_20:40).

Ambassador Wu Ting Fang was one of the most colorful oriental diplomats ever accredited to Washington. He came as the representative of the Chinese Empire and for several years occupied that post in this country. When he was recalled to China, it was announced that he would leave for his native land from New York City at a given date. Noticing that he would be in the metropolis over the Lord’s Day, the pastor of the Chinese Church on the East Side sent him a polite letter inviting him to attend one of their services on that occasion.

The ambassador replied at once. In his letter he told how, when he first came to America, he had been intensely interested in the Christian religion, as he felt that it was in some very definite way the real source of the enlightened civilization of this great country. He said he then and there made up his mind that he would never refuse an invitation to attend a Christian service, if it were at all possible for him to accept. “I have been in this country six years,” he wrote, “and yours is the first such invitation I have ever received!”

What a tragic commentary on the indifference of Christians to the need of those who are strangers to the gospel! Who can weigh aright the guilt of Christians who were acquainted with this great statesman and never once attempted to win him for Christ? Let us all remember the admonition, “Redeeming the time (buying up opportunities) for the days are evil.”

From 2000 + Illustrations (Source Unknown)

     This is something that as a people, and as a country, we should give some thought to.  Definitely something to think about.

Extremes

Many times we are caught in the trap of running to extremes. God’s will has been revealed and needs to be understood the way God intended it to be.

The Pharisees had this problem. They even had everyday life defined to the point where it was hard for a person to live. On the Sabbath day, they had problems with different concepts such as “work.” On the Sabbath you were to cease from work, and the Pharisees decided to define what God intended by this. Here are a few examples:

  1. You could not turn over in bed more than seven times or that was considered work.
  2. If you wanted to borrow something from your neighbor, you could not put your hand through the threshold of the door to receive it, nor could the neighbor do that. This would be considered work. If you both met halfway, it was not considered work.

Jesus said in

Mat_15:6

, speaking to the Pharisees, “…And thus you invalidated the Word of God for the sake of your tradition.” For the sake of their definitions which they had made law, their extremes, they made void the Word of God. We laugh at the Pharisees and wonder how they could have been so ignorant. But if Jesus were here physically today, what would He say of us? Let us not run to extremes; let us seek what God intended and do it. Either extreme of a truth is no longer truth.

From “Moody’s Anecdotes and Illustrations” by Dwight L. Moody

     This is a very beautiful illustration of what true love really is.  I can’t imagine how anyone wouldn’t want to be loved like this.

True Love.

One day when I was in Brooklyn, I saw a young man going along the street without any arms. A friend who was with me, pointed him out, and told me his story. When the war broke out he felt it to be his duty to enlist and go to the front. He was engaged to be married, and while in the army letters passed frequently between him and his intended wife. After the battle of the Wilderness the young lady looked anxiously for the accustomed letter. For a little while no letter was received. At last one came in a strange hand. She opened it with trembling fingers, and read these words: “We have fought a terrible battle. I have been wounded so awfully that I shall never be able to support you. A friend writes this for me. I love you more tenderly than ever, but I release you from your promise. I will not ask you to join your life with the maimed life of mine:” That letter was never answered. The next train that left, the young lady was on it. She went to the hospital. She found out the number of his cot, and she went down the aisle, between the long rows of the wounded men. At last she saw the number, and, hurrying to his side, she threw her arms around his neck and said: “I’ll not desert you. I’ll take care of you.” He did not resist her love. They were married, and there is no happier couple than this one. We are dependent on one another. Christ says, “I’ll take care of you. I’ll take you to this bosom of mine.” That young man could have spurned her love; he could, but he didn’t. Surely you can be saved if you will accept the Saviour’s love. If God loves us, my friends, He loves us unto the end. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

From 2000+ Illustrations (Source Unknown)

     Great wrongs happen by degree. 

Tracing Character to Its Source

During a thunder storm that contained high winds, a giant oak tree was blown down. The tree was thought to be in perfect health; that is, from outward appearance it seemed to be in good health since it was almost perfectly shaped and full of green leaves. However, the massive tree could not withstand the stress of the high wind because of deterioration on the inside. What started as a tiny corruption at the center of the tree had spread until that tremendous tree was so weakened that it was toppled by the wind.

One may reach a point where he forsakes God altogether. It is because he (like the tree) has decayed on the inside. Perhaps the deterioration started with a little lie or one small drink of beer or forsaking the assembly to go fishing or camping. Long before our feet carry us where we ought not go, and our hands do what they ought not do, the desire is in our hearts (Psa_119:9-11). With pure hearts we will be able to stand the stress of temptation and the stress of everyday living.

 

From Illustrations & Poems selected by Wayne Augden (Source Unknown)

     Character is developed not by the things that happen to us, but by what we do with the things that happen to us.  It’s what we take from our circumstances, and how we use what we experience to benefit ourselves and others that reveal our character. 

Building a Noble Character

In a great cathedral in Europe, there is a window made by an apprentice out of the bits of stained glass that were thrown away as worthless refuse when the other windows were made; this is the most beautiful window of all. You can build a noble character for yourself, in spite of all the hurts and injuries done consciously or unconsciously by others, with the fragments of the broken hopes, joys and the lost opportunities that lie strewn about your feet. No matter how badly others have hurt and marred you, they cannot prevent you from building a beautiful character for yourself; conversely, others by their best work cannot cause you to build a beautiful character. The fine character of your father or mother is not yours; you’ve got to build your own.