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There was once a man who, resisting the cost of oats he fed his mule, decided to gradually substitute sawdust in its diet. Everything went fine for a while - but by the time the mule was satisfied with sawdust, he died.

The same is true of the Truth. The changeover from truth to error is sometimes a slow process, and some brothers don't always know the difference. But, before you know it, they are spiritually dead.

If you have ever lived in or visited a large city, you probably have had the chance to watch a skyscraper under construction. For the first six months or so of the project, all the workmen do is make a great hole in the ground. To build a tall building by starting below the surface level seems absurd, even crazy. Buy as you would suspect, there is a good reason for the large hole. To build a mammoth building, it is first necessary to dig down until a strong foundation can be built, one that is capable of supporting the skyscraper.

A doghouse needs no foundation, and an ordinary house can be built on little more than a concrete slab. But a skyscraper, that's different. It requires a deep and solid foundation.

So it is in our Christian life. Our upward potential is totally dependant on the foundation underneath it.

Johnny Fulton was run over by a car at the age of three. He suffered crushed hips, broken ribs, a fractured skull, and compound fractures in his legs. It did not look as if he would live. But he would not give up. In fact, he later ran the half-mile in less than two minutes.

Walt Davis was totally paralyzed by polio when he was nine years old, but he did not give up. He became the Olympic high jump champion in 1952. Shelly Mann was paralyzed by polio when she was five years old, but she would not give up. She eventually claimed eight different swimming records for the U.S. and won a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.

 

Lou Gehrig was such a clumsy ball player that the boys in his neighborhood would not let him play on their team. But he was committed. He did not give up. Eventually, his name was entered into baseball's Hall of Fame.

Woodrow Wilson could not read until he was ten years old. But he was a committed person. He became the twenty-eighth President of the United States.

He who angers you, controls you!

When doors around you close, listen carefully and you'll hear the sound of all those that are opening.

There was once a wealthy businessman who was fascinated by the microscope. Looking through its lens to study crystals and the petals of flowers, he was amazed at their beauty and detail. He decided one day to examine some food he was planning to eat for dinner. Much to his dismay, he discovered that tiny living creatures were crawling in it. Since he was especially fond of this particular food, he wondered what to do. Finally he concluded that there was only one way out of his dilemma - he would destroy the instrument that caused him to discover the distasteful fact. So he smashed the microscope to pieces!

"How foolish!" one might exclaim. But many people do the same thing with Jehovah's Word, the Bible. They hate it and would like to get rid of it because it reveals their evil nature.

At the end of World War II, Robert Woodruff, president of the Coca-Cola Company from 1923 to 1955, had a mission. "In my generation," he declared, "it is my desire that everyone in the world have a taste of Coca-Cola." With a vision and dedication rarely matched in corporate American culture, Woodruff and his colleagues spanned the globe with their soft drink.

Why is it all right for people to feel that passionate about a soft drink but not about taking the good news to the world? Are there no people who seek meaning and purpose for their lives? Are there no families in crisis that need Jehovah's love and understanding? Are there no young people at risk because their lives lack a solid spiritual and moral foundation? The apostle Paul felt a passion. He was on a mission, which was to win as many people as possible to the Truth

The man huddled on the cabin floor was slowly freezing to death. It was high in the Rockies in southwestern Alberta, and outside a blizzard raged. John Elliott had logged miles that day through the deep snows of the mountain passes. As he checked for avalanches and as dusk and exhaustion overcame him he had decided to "hole-up." He made it wearily to his cabin but somewhat dazed with fatigue, he did not light a fire or remove his wet clothing. As the blizzard blasted through the cracks in the old cabin walls, the sleeping forest ranger sank into oblivion, paralyzed by the pleasure of the storm's icy caress. Suddenly, however, his dog sprang into action, and with unrelenting whines, finally managed to rouse his near-comatose friend. The dog was John's constant companion, a St. Bernard, one of a long line of dogs famous for their heroics in times of crisis. "If that dog hadn't been with me, I'd be dead today," John Elliott says. "When you're freezing to death you actually feel warm all over, and don't wake up because it feels too good."

This moving story illustrates the spiritual condition of many people. They are cold spiritually, and sadly oblivious to their true condition. Thank Jehovah for all the ways in which He arouses such sleepers. He sends elders or other brothers to nudge them awake. Sometimes the methods used to awaken them are drastic, but always for their good. Let us not imagine that because He shakes us, He therefore hates us. He awakens us from lethargy because He loves us, and wants to save us.

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