“When Every Second Counts”: A story of self-sacrifice

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The story of Aron Ralston climbing through a canyon one day in 2003 was made into an Academy-award nominated movie. Aron was an experienced outdoorsman and confident of his wilderness skills. Perhaps too confident. Aron only planned to be out canyoning just for the day, and so he didn’t think it was necessary to tell anyone where he was going. 

Aron would soon regret that mistake when a boulder came loose while he was descending into a  narrow crevice. The large rock tumbled down and crushed Aron’s right hand against the canyon wall.

Aron spent the next five days unsuccessfully trying to move the 360kg boulder from his arm. He stayed alive by sipping on the small amount of water he had and slowly rationing the snacks he’d brought along for his day-trip.

By the fifth day, Aron Ralston scratched his name and date into the rock – assuming that would be his last day alive. In addition, he made a short video of himself with his camera, saying goodbye to his family. Aron didn’t expect to survive the coming cold night. 

During that night Ralston drifted towards death. He began to hallucinate and had a vision of himself playing with some future yet-to-be-born son. In his dream Aron had part of his right arm missing.

When he woke, alive, the next morning – Aron knew what he need to do in order to survive. The trapped outdoorsman began to cut his own arm off with a small, blunt knife he had in his kitbag. Without any anaesthetic and after 127 hours of being trapped, Aron Ralston hacked through his own skin, flesh, tendons, and bone to free himself. He then rappelled down a twenty metre wall one handed, and then walked ten kilometres out of the canyon. By the time he reached safety he had lost a quarter of his body’s blood.

Aron was crippled for life, but he was alive. A few years later Aron would be the father of a child he feels he dreamed about on the final night when he was trapped by the rock. This incredible story of survival was made into a Hollywood movie called “127 Hours”.

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The story of Aron Ralston has some parallels to the sacrifice of Jesus of Nazareth, although the major difference in the biblical story of redemption is that Christ’s sacrifice doesn’t free himself but instead frees us.

Let me explain: our Creator knew humanity was trapped by a metaphorical boulder called sin. No matter what we try we can’t free ourselves from the death our sins ultimately bring us. So, in order for us to truly live, Jesus came in human form – and in the process cut off a piece of His own divinity. 

Our Creator actually cut off a piece of Himself in order to rescue you and me – and His body shall forever show the scars of this sacrifice. 

The Apostle Paul understood this sacrifice when he penned the famous words: “Though Jesus was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to keep. Instead, Jesus cut off his divine privileges. He took the humble position of a servant and was born a human – and became obedient to death, even death on a cross – so you and I might truly live.” (Philippians 2:6-8)

Hollywood remembered the 127 hours Aron Ralston endured in a lonely canyon – and his sacrificial actions to survive – by making a movie. Even more so we should remember the sacrifice Christ made for us on a lonely hill called Calvary. As His children, we shall one day meet face-to-face the Father who sacrificed so much. It’s our Redeemer’s sacrifice that allows us to live this life free from the heavy stone of sin. 

It’s by His blood we can live eternally.

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and he lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read the strange story of how one orchestra member saved his colleagues from the wild temper tantrums of their world-famous conductor

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The Inspiring Story of the Writing of the Famous Hymn: “It Is Well With My Soul”

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Even though he was a faithful Christian, nineteenth century lawyer and businessman Horatio Spafford knew the deep pains of tragedy.

In the year of 1871 not only had Horatio’s four-year-old son suddenly died, but also the “Great Fire of Chicago” had wiped out most of his business investments. 

With some of the small savings he had left, Horatio Spafford arranged for a family holiday in Europe with his Norwegian wife Anna and their four daughters. 

As their departure date loomed Horatio did what many overly-focused businessmen still do today – he allowed a work emergency to take precedence over his family’s vacation. Horatio Spafford put his wife and daughters onto the boat and told them he would meet them in France after he had quickly sorted the business issue. 

Horatio would never see his four young daughters again. 

A week after leaving New York  the ship Horatio’s family was travelling in was hit by another boat in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. The large passenger ship sank in a matter of minutes, and Horatio’s wife Anna was one of the few to survive. Anna was found unconscious in the ocean, floating on a beam of wood. 

Hundreds of other passengers were lost – including Horatio’s four daughters. 

Many of those who drowned in the tragedy might have been saved  – but for the fact the lifeboats had recently been repainted and the drying paint had caused them to become glued to the side of the ship. 

When Anna’s rescue boat arrived in Cardiff nine days later she sent a telegram to Horatio: “Saved alone. What shall I do?” Horatio Spafford immediately left Chicago to go to his now childless wife and bring her back home. 

On the ocean voyage to Europe, the captain of the ship Horatio was on knocked on the Christian businessman’s cabin door. The captain informed Horatio they were currently passing over the same spot the accident had happened only a few weeks’ previously. Horatio Spafford thanked the captain, spent a moment in prayer, and then picked up his pen to write down some of his thoughts.

In that cabin, in the middle of a cold North Atlantic Ocean, Horatio Spafford wrote the words to the famous Christian hymn of hope: “It is Well With My Soul”

“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

And the reason Horatio Spafford – in the midst of his grief – could write those words “It is well with my soul” is:- Horatio Spafford had faith he would see his children again. 

Horatio believed the promises of Christ that there is a day coming when the Lord returns where there shall be a glorious resurrection and death shall be no more. The Bible calls this “The Blessed Hope”.

The final verse of Horatio’s song describes this hope well:

“And Lord, haste the day when our faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.”

How is your soul today in the face of life’s difficulties?

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The four Spafford daughters who died when the ship SS Ville du Havre sunk in 1873

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read of why one olympic rower stopped in the middle of his race.David speaking 2

Defending the Innocent

On May 2, 1962, a strange advertisement appeared in an American newspaper – the San Francisco Examiner. The ad read:

“I don’t want my husband to die in the gas chamber for a crime he did not commit. I will therefore offer my services for ten years as a cook, maid, or housekeeper to any leading attorney who will defend him and bring about his vindication.”  

One of San Francisco’s most famous attorneys, Vincent Hallinan, either read or heard about the ad and contacted Gladys Kidd, the woman who had placed it. Her husband, Robert Kidd, was about to be tried for the killing of an elderly antique dealer. Kidd’s fingerprints had been found on the murder weapon – a bloodstained ornamental sword in the victim’s shop.

During the trial, Vincent Hallinan – the famous lawyer – proved that the antique dealer hadn’t even been killed with that sword, and that Kidd’s fingerprints were on the sword because Kidd had inspected the sword a few weeks before the murder when he was out shopping.

At the conclusion of the trial the jury found Robert Kidd not guilty.

It was Robert Kidd’s desperate wife Gladys who did whatever she could to secure a top class advocate and gain her husband’s freedom – even being willing to work for nothing for ten years.

In the same way we have Jesus Christ who did whatever He could to secure our spiritual freedom. His sacrifice was to become one of us, and then die on a cross in order that you and I might have eternal life.

The Bible says: If anyone has sinned – we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is our sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.” (1 John 2:1-2)

By the way, the lawyer in the story – Attorney Hallinan – refused Gladys Kidd’s offer of ten years’ servitude. Just like the fact Jesus requires nothing from us to benefit from His sacrifice – only that you simply place your faith in who He is: the Saviour of the world.

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Vincent Hallinan once ran for the office of President of the U.S.A.

 

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read of one man’s sacrifice on the Kwai River in Burma.David speaking 2

“The Man Who Stopped For Ducks”

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Henry Pearce – “Bobby” to his friends – was destined to be a champion rower.

Bobby had the family background for rowing. His father and grandfather were both Australian champion rowers, with Bobby’s dad even representing Australia in the world championships in 1911 and 1913.

So it was no surprise when Bobby Pearce entered a rowing race at the age of six and finished second. What was a surprise was that the race was for fifteen and sixteen year olds!

Bobby earned selection for the Australian team in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Games – and even carried the Australian flag an the opening ceremony. At well over six feet tall and close to 100kgs of muscle – Bobby was one of the favourites for the gold medal in the single rowing sculls race.

The Australian rower won his opening two races with ease. It was in his third race, the quarter final race against a French rower – that something happened that became front page news around the world.

In this 1928 Olympic quarter final Bobby Pearce was comfortable leading the race, and here’s what happened next… in Bobby’s own words:

“I had beaten a German and a Dane in earlier heats and I was racing a Frenchman when I heard wild roars from the crowd along the bank of the canal. I could see some spectators vigorously pointing to something behind me, in my path. I peeked over one shoulder and saw something I didn’t like, for a family of ducks in single file was swimming slowly from (one side of the) shore to the other, and they were in my lane.

It’s funny now, but it wasn’t at the time for I had to lean on my oars (and stop my boat) and wait for a clear course, and all the while my opponent was pulling away to a five length lead.”

Bobby let the ducks with their little ducklings pass safely and then he started to row again, trying to chase down his competitor. In an amazing effort that would have been considered impossible for anyone else, Bobby caught and then passed the Frenchman. Bobby won the race in a time faster than the three other quarter finals.

Bobby’s kindness towards a family of ducks made front page news around the world.

Bobby Pearce would win his next two races and the Gold Medal for Australia in those  1928 Olympics – and he won in a record time that wouldn’t be beaten for another 34 years.

This story from Olympic sporting annals is a superb illustration of the simple act of kindness.

Success in any field doesn’t have to be at the expense of care and concern for others in God’s creation. The world may say a soft heart always finishes second, but it’s not true. There is a way to win without wounding.

The story of Bobby Pearce stopping for ducks proves it.

 

 

“When God our Saviour revealed his kindness and love to us he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. The Lord has washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” (Titus 3:4-6)

 

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read what the Duke of Wellington can teach us about taking Communion.David speaking 2

Billy Graham… Incognito

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Pastor Billy Graham would sometimes tell the story of a time he travelled to a city in Canada for one of his famous public evangelism campaigns. He arrived a day early and went along to a church service where he sat incognito.

For decades he was one of the most famous Christian communicators, but on his impromptu visit to a Canadian church Pastor Graham was wearing a hat and dark glasses, and no-one recognised him as he sat at the back of the congregation.

As Billy sat alone, he noticed an older gentleman sitting in front of him who was listening intently to the preacher’s words. At the end of the presentation the preacher invited people to come forward to the alter as a symbol of public commitment to Jesus Christ.

In an act of personal evangelism the famous preacher leaned forward and touched the shoulder of the older man sitting in front of him. Billy asked the gentleman:  “Would you like to accept Christ? I’ll be glad to walk down the front with you if you’d like.”

Pastor Graham says the elderly gentleman looked at him, thought for a moment, and then responded: “No, I think I’ll just wait for the big gun Billy Graham to come tomorrow night.”

While the story is funny in a small way, it does underline a bigger issue – the problem of Christians thinking the job of evangelism is for the “Big Guns”; famous preachers in large auditoriums. But for thousands of years the kingdom of God has expanded one soul at a time. The Gospel has mainly spread through one person’s willingness to extend themselves to someone else.

Rather than “evangelism” being the job of the Big Shots in large auditoriums and stadiums, the spreading of the Gospel is often the result of the small sacrifices of humble followers of the Saviour.

How is God wanting to use you as an agent of his grace today?

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read what the Duke of Wellington can teach us about taking Communion.David speaking 2

When Success Comes Through Helping Others

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Every athlete dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal in their chosen event, but even among professional athletes very few have the privilege of standing on the highest dais when the medals are presented.

But there is one very special award given at each Olympic Games to only one athlete. It’s the “Pierre de Coubertin International Fair Play Trophy” – named after the French founder of the modern Olympic movement.

The Fair Play Trophy is given to one athlete every four years who is deemed to have exhibited the spirit of fairness, compassion, and good-sportsmanship.

The first ever Fair Play Trophy was awarded to an Italian bobsledder named Eugenio Monti in the 1964 Innsbruck Olympics. It was for a gesture that exhibited incredible selflessness. Monti was representing Italy in the two-man bobsled event at the 1964 games, and was the competition’s leader after his final run. The only competitor with a chance to beat Monti was a British bobsledder named Tony Nash.

As Nash and his teammate prepared for their final run, they discovered that a critical bolt on their sled had snapped at the last moment. Without the crucial part the Great Britain team couldn’t make their final run and the Italian team would win gold.

Eugenio Monti of Italy was informed of his competitor’s problem. Without thought or discussion, Monti immediately took the corresponding bolt from his own sled and sent it up the mountain to Nash.

Nash fixed his sled with Monti’s part, then came hurtling down the course to set a record and win the gold medal.

He may have came second, but Monti won the hearts of his nation and was awarded the first ever Pierre de Coubertin International Fair Play Trophy.

This Olympic story from over half a century ago reminds me of the Apostle Paul’s words in Scripture:  Let nothing you do be done through selfish ambition or greed, but in humility let each of you think more about others than yourself. Let each of you constantly look out for the interests of others. When you do this you will have the same approach to living as that of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:3-5)

Jesus says that for those who live a selfless life as they surrender daily to Him their “reward in heaven is great” (Matthew 5:12). May Christ’s promises be the award and recognition you seek.

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series of short stories – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read the story of the link between monkey catchers in Africa and losing one’s soul.David speaking 2

“The Gift of One Minute”

Fyodor Dostoevsky, the famous Russian writer from the nineteenth century, is one of the most celebrated novelists of all time.  

Dostoevsky describes an experience when he was 27 as a major turning point in his life. Even though the celebrated author was born into a privileged family in imperial Russia,  Dostoevsky committed himself to helping the poor under-classes who were being deliberately oppressed throughout society.

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Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821 – 1881)

Dostoevsky joined a progressively-minded group of writers and teachers in St. Petersburg, but was then arrested by Emperor Nicholas I. The Russian Emperor feared Dostoevsky and his friends would cause a revolution. 

The arrested group of writers and academics were placed in a fortified prison where conditions were deplorable. For over a year Dostoevsky and his fellow prisoners survived in damp cells without much light. They were continually tortured and interrogated to hand over more names of people who might be a threat to the Emperor and the status quo in Russia at the time.

One cold December morning, all of the prisoners were taken from their cells without explanation and taken to the town square. The sentence of death was read out to them, and they were tied to stakes in front of a firing squad. The condemned men waited in front of raised rifles to be shot. They waited for a minute when unexpected one of the Emperor’s messengers rode in on a horse. The messenger had a royal proclamation, and he announced the Emperor had changed the sentence from death to life-long exile. The prisoners were untied, taken back to the prison, and soon after sent to Siberia.

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A 19th-century sketch of the ‘mock execution’ of Dostoevsky’s “Petrashevsky Circle” in St. Petersburg in 1849

Later, in a letter to his brother Mikhail, Fyodor Dostoevsky described how that single minute of waiting for death changed his outlook towards life. Dostoevsky told his brother: “When I look back on my past and think how much time I wasted on nothing, how much time has been lost in futilities, errors, laziness, incapacity to live; how little I appreciated it, how many times I sinned against my heart and soul – then my heart bleeds. Life is a gift,” 

The Russian author concluded, “And every minute can be an eternity of happiness.”

As I retell this story of a nineteenth century Russian novelist’s experience of waiting one minute for what he thought would be his death, I’m reminded of the words of Jesus Christ. He told the listeners during His Sermon on the Mount: “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries” (Matthew 6:34). Jesus continued by telling His listeners that we are simply to focus on the tasks and travails of the day we’ve been given. 

Each day is a gift from God. Maybe that’s why it’s called the present.

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read the inspiring story of how one soldier’s sacrifice changed an entire prisoner-of-war camp during World War II.David speaking 2

Martin’s Half Coat

As a young boy Martin knew would one day he would be compelled to join the military. He was the son of a senior army officer during the time of the Roman empire, and it was expected he would follow his father’s career by the age of fifteen. Martin was always obedient to his family’s wishes – except for one thing…..

At the age of ten, young Martin started attending a Christian church and began contemplating the claims of Christ. This practice disappointed his parents, and while they hoped Martin would grow out of this interest in Christianity, they stopped short of forbidding him from attending Christian worship services.

The story is told of Martin as an 18 years old, riding with his army colleagues into the city of Amiens, in modern day France. On that bitterly cold winter’s day the soldiers were grateful for the exercise that was keeping them warm.

Martin was not just young in years compared to his seasoned army compatriots, but Martin was also young in the Christian faith. During his teenage years he’d been intrigued by the teachings of this man named Jesus and the idea that a Creator God could love mankind so much that He would become one of them in the person of Jesus.

As Martin rode along that freezing day his attention was diverted to a figure on the side of the road – just outside the city gates. An old man sitting and shivering in the cold – wearing only threadbare and torn clothing, insufficient at pushing back against the sub-zero conditions.

Martin stopped and pulled out his sword. The soldiers riding behind Martin stopped, thinking their comrade might put the wretch by the side of the road out of his misery. Instead, Martin took off his soldier’s coat and – using the sword – cut his coat in two from top to bottom. He gave one half of the coat to the beggar, and wrapped the other half around himself. Martin rode on, and behind him heard the sniggers of the other soldiers.

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Martin and the beggar. Martin cut his coat in two, giving the beggar half.

 

As Martin slept that night he had a dream. In his vision he saw the risen Jesus who was standing before in heaven in all His glory wearing only half a coat. In the dream Martin saw an angel ask Jesus where he’d obtained the coat from: “My friend Martin gave it to me” was Christ’s response.

The dream had a dramatic effect on Martin. He was baptised a short time later and went on to devote his life to the Lord, becoming a bishop in the early Christian church

Martin’s action over 1,600 years ago when he was young Roman soldier echoes the words Jesus found in Matthew 25: “Whenever you feed and clothe and visit and help someone else you are feeding and clothing and helping me.”

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A statue at Höchster Castle (central Germany) of Martin cutting his cloak into two parts

Today, as you continue your walk with Jesus and find yourself helping someone in need, remember this story and the need to interact with others as if you’re helping the very Creator of the universe.

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read the inspiring story of how one soldier’s sacrifice changed an entire prisoner-of-war camp during World War II.David speaking 2

 

 

“THE GREAT BUNDEENA MILK-CRATE HEIST”

You’d think that cleaning out a shed would be pretty dull. But lurking in ours was a dark and dastardly family secret……

A few year ago, while helping to clean out my grandparents’ garage, I came across a few dozen plastic milk crates that were being used as stackable storage boxes. Over lunch, I innocently asked my grandmother where my grandfather might have collected them from. My grandmother looked thoughtful, then paled, and then a shocked expression stole across her face.  She let out a breathless “Oh, my goodness!!”

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Over the next hour she related a crime so shocking, so disturbing, so heinous, that Oprah would barely believe it…. so I’ll tell you instead.

During the 1980’s, when the world was young and unspoiled, life was simple in the sleepy township of Bundeena, a community far enough south of Sydney to avoid both hustle and bustle.

That is until THE SCANDAL broke.

News spread across back fences and through the community that someone, in the middle of the night, was stealing milk crates from the corner shop. Each evening, three or four crates that had been left by townspeople who had milk delivered to their door were being stolen in audacious night-time raids.

Many thought the innocence of the town was being shattered.

As always, the youth were blamed. Police were alerted and the little grocery store organised a safer way to return the empty crates. Over the years the township of Bundeena tried to move on – but many point to this incident as the first time people started locking their homes!

Little did they know that in their midst was a seventy-year-old man – my grandfather – harbouring a secret stash of stolen milk-crates. In fact, it was about forty of these “secrets”, and they were storing fishing line, old tennis balls, and gardening tools.

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Finally, the Great Bundeena Milk Crate Heist was no longer a mystery.  My very own grand-father was the culprit. As I pieced together the crime over lunch with my grandmother I felt like I was Sherlock Holmes.

But what was I to do now? What would we do with the family shame stored in all those crates? My grandmother made a tough moral decision.  She’d make me take them back.  “Because it’s the right thing to do”, she said – “We need to make things right!”

The way I saw it I had two options. One was to front up to the shop and try to explain the actions of my grandfather fifteen years previously, and explain that my grandmother now wanted them returned. The other alternative was to take them back in the middle of the night – like a coward – hoping no-one would see me.

So at midnight that night, I dropped the forty stolen milk-crates by the door of the shop and scurried home.

As I lay in bed late that night I imagined the look on the store owner’s face when he arrived for work the next day – and found milk crates not seen for a two decades. That’s a long time to keep milk, even in the fridge!

At least, as my Nan put it, ‘a wrong was made right.’

Do you feel like your life needs a clean out? Or, like my grandparents’ shed, are you storing some secret sin or mistake? And does that stored guilt need to be made right if possible – even if it takes an awkward apology, some kind of restitution, or even another attempt to re-start a relationship?

God Himself wants to make right this world – even though He didn’t cause the breakdown. Day by day He is working towards a new world, a world without selfishness, greed, arrogance, broken families, hurting children, the loss of loved ones to sickness and death.

That’s why He came as a baby 2,000 years ago.

And God also wants to make things right with you personally.

So, do you have any metaphorical milk-crates you’d like to give back to Him? It feels great when you do. Just ask my grandmother.

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read the inspiring story of how one soldier’s sacrifice changed an entire prisoner-of-war camp during World War II.David speaking 2

Benjamin Franklin: Let Your Light Shine

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Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Benjamin Franklin was a famous eighteenth century American thinker, writer, and inventor. One of his most well-known experiments was to prove that lightening was electrically charged – and Franklin did this by flying a kite in a storm with a metal key attached to the kite.

Benjamin Franklin lived in the U.S. city of Philadelphia and hoped to interest his fellow neighbours in the possible benefits of street-lighting at night. Ben Franklin didn’t simply try to persuade his fellow citizens by talking about street-lighting, what he did do was practically demonstrate the benefits. Franklin placed a candle in an ornamental lantern on a long bracket on the outside wall of his own home. He ensured the glass on his lantern was highly polished, and each day as the sun began to set Benjamin Franklin would personally light the lantern’s wick. His neighbours would see the light from a distance and how it helped them avoid obstacles and stepping on rocks near Franklin’s home. Soon, other people also began to place a lantern outside their own home and before too long street lighting took shape in the American city of Philadelphia.

Benjamin Franklin didn’t simply talk about the benefits of street lighting, he let others see how it would make a difference.

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In the same way, it’s not enough to only talk about the reality of Jesus Christ – our family and neighbours need to see how surrendering to our Saviour has made a difference in your life.

“You are the light of the world,” Jesus told His listeners in the famous ‘Sermon on the Mount’ – “so, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify the Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Allow your light to shine so a world in darkness may see our loving Creator more clearly.

 

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and he lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read the funny story of how one orchestra member saved his colleagues from their famous boss’s wild temper tantrums

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