The inspiration for this website came from a Scripture song I heard over 10 years ago at a ladies retreat:
Like Apples of Gold in pictures of silver
A word fitly spoken shall be,
Like Apples of Gold in pictures of silver
Let my life bring glory to thee.
¶ A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Although some of the "stories" listed are made up, the Scriptural truths they illustrate are very real and can be of great benefit in a Christian's walk with the Lord and as illustrations for the lost.
It is my heart's desire that amongst the pages of this website, the Christian find words of encouragement and be spurred on to service for our Lord, and that seekers of the truth find Salvation in the timeless truths of God's Word for these troubled times.
Through the Eyes of a Bus Worker
Some see a fight, a push, and a shove.
I see a desperate cry for love.
Some see a brat; he acts so bad.
I see a boy who’s never met his dad.
Some see the messes and the trouble they give.
I see the poverty and the place where they live.
Some see a teenager that won't dress right.
I see a girl who has to protect herself at night.
Some see the disrespect and a smart mouth so loud.
I see a kid who gets made fun of in a crowd.
Some see a woman who comes just to use.
I see a lady who by a drunken husband is abused.
Some see a drug addict, withered and worn.
I see a soul that the Lord wants reborn.
Some see dirt, filth, and snot.
I see a kid who without Jesus, doesn't have a shot.
Some see a crook, who you don’t trust much.
I see a man who needs the Lord’s touch.
Some see a bunch of heathen that holler and yell.
I see kids with parents in jail.
Some see a teenager who gives a lot of flack.
I see a boy whose family is on crack.
Broken homes, broken lives, those with no hope.
They need compassion and God's grace to cope.
For every little girl that lies awake hungry at night,
Lord, help me to keep in the fight.
For every scared boy who sees his mommy get hit,
Lord, help me to be faithful and never to quit.
For every mama who needs a new start,
Lord, help me to show her how to ask You into her heart.
For every man on whom sin has a hold,
Lord, help me to make sure the "Old Story" is told.
The Lord sure has been good to me and mercy He's shown.
Lord, help me to reach out so that others may make Heaven their home.
May others judge gently when these kids they see.
If not for the grace of God, that's where we'd be.
- By Crystal Buchanan
Your lives are for children to view;
You are living examples- they’ll praise you or blame,
And measure the Savior by you.
WILLIAM DIXON couldn’t believe there was a God, and he would certainly not forgive Him for taking away his young wife about two years after they were married, and his little boy had also died. Dixon felt very desolate and bitter.
Ten years after Mary Dixon’s death a stirring event occurred in the little village of Brackenthwaite. Old Peggy Winslow’s cottage caught fire, and was burnt to the ground. The poor old woman was pulled out alive, though nearly suffocated by smoke, when the bystanders were horrified to hear a child’s pitiful voice. It was the voice of little Dickey Winslow – Peggy’s orphan grandchild. The flames awoke him and drove him shrieking to the attic window.
Onlookers were much distressed to see the child’s plight, but felt it was too late to save him, as the stair had already fallen in. Suddenly, William Dixon rushed to the burning cottage, climbed up the iron piping, and took the trembling boy in his arms. Down he came again, holding the child in his right arm, and supporting himself by his left, the two reached the ground in safety, amid the cheers, just as the smoking wall fell.
Dickey was not hurt, but the hand with which Dixon held on to the hot piping was terribly burnt. The burn healed, but left a deep scar that he would carry to his grave.
Poor old Peggy could not rally from the shock, and died soon after. Then the question was: What is to become of Dickey? James Lovatt, a most respectable person, begged that Dickey be given to him to adopt, as he and his wife longed for a little lad, having lost one of their own. To every one’s surprise, Will Dixon made a similar request. It was difficult to decide between the two. So a meeting was called, composed of the minister, miller, and others.
Mr. Haywood, the miller, said: “It is very kind of both Lovatt and Dixon to offer to adopt the orphan boy, but I am in a great perplexity as to which of them ought to have him. Dixon, having saved his life, has the first claim; but, on the other hand, Lovatt has a wife, and the care of a woman is necessary to a child.”
Mr. Lipton, the minister, said: “A man of Dixon’s atheistic notions cannot be a suitable guardian for a child; whilst Lovatt and his wife are both Christian people, and would train up the child in the way he should go.”
“Dixon saved the child’s body, but it would be a sorry thing for the boy’s future welfare if the one who took him from the burning cottage would be the means of leading him to his eternal ruin.”
“We will hear what the applicants themselves have to say,” said Mr. Haywood, “then put the question to the vote, Mr. Lovatt.”
Mr. Lovatt replied: “Well, gentlemen, my wife and I lost a little lad of our own not long ago, and we feel this child would fill the vacant place. We would do our best to bring up the lad in the fear of the Lord. Besides, a child so young needs a woman to look after it.”
“Good, Mr. Lovatt; and now, Mr. Dixon.”
“I have only one argument, sir, and it is this,” answered Dixon quietly, as he took the bandage off his left hand, and held up the sadly scarred and injured member.
For a few moments there was quiet in the room, the eyes of some were dimmed. There was something in the sight of that scarred hand which appealed to their sense of justice. He had a claim on the boy by reason of what he has suffered for him. So, when the question was put to the vote, the meeting decided by a majority in favour of William Dixon.
So a new era began for Dixon. Dickey never missed a mother’s care, for Will was both father and mother to the orphan boy, and lavished all the pent-up tenderness of his strong nature upon the child he had saved.
Dickey was a clever boy, and quickly responded to his adopted father’s training; he adored him with all the fervour of his loving little heart. He remembered how “daddy” had saved him from the fire, and had claimed him because of the hand so dreadfully burnt for his sake. It moved Dickey to tears, with kisses on the hand that had been scarred for him.
One summer there was a great exhibition of pictures in the town and Dixon took Dickey to see them. The boy was greatly interested in the pictures and the stories daddy told about some of them. The picture that impressed him most was one of the Lord reproving Thomas; underneath which were the words:
“Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands”- John 20:27.
Dickey read the words and said, “Please, daddy, tell me the story of that picture.” – “No, not that one!” – “Why not that one?”
“Because it’s a story I do not believe.”
“Oh, but that’s nothing”, urged Dickey; “you don’t believe the story of Jack the Giantkiller, yet it’s one of my favourites. Do tell me the story of the picture – please, daddy.” So Dixon told the story, and it interested him greatly.
“It’s like you and me, daddy,” said the boy. “When the Lovatts wanted to get me, you showed them your hand. Perhaps when Thomas saw the scars on the Good Man’s hands he felt that he belonged to Him.”
“I suppose so,” answered Dixon.
“The Good Man looked so sad,“ said Dickey, “I ‘spect He was sorry that Thomas did not believe at first. It was horrid of him not to, wasn’t it, after the Good Man had died for him? “
Dixon did not answer, and Dickey went on, “It would have been horrid of me if I’d contradicted like that when they told me about you and the fire, and said I didn’t believe you had done it; wouldn’t it, daddy?”
“I don’t want to think about him, my boy.”
“But perhaps he loved the Good Man after that, though – like I love you. When I see your poor hand, daddy, I love you more than millions and millions.”
Tired little Dickey fell asleep before he had measured the amount of his grateful affection; but Dixon’s rest was sorely disturbed that night. He could not get out of his thoughts the picture of that tender, sorrowful Face which had looked down on him from the walls of the exhibition. He dreamed of Lovatt and himself contending for the possession of Dickey; but when he showed his scarred hand the boy turned away from him. A bitter sense of injustice surged up in his heart.
He did not yield to this influence at once, but his love for Dickey had softened his heart, and the seed that was dropped in it that day did not fall upon stony ground. Dixon was an honest man, and he could not fail to see that the argument he had employed to make Dickey his own, rose up in judgment against him whilst he denied the claim of those scarred Hands which had been pierced for him; and when he saw the child’s warm hearted gratitude for the deliverance which his adopted father had wrought for him, Dixon felt that he cut a sorry figure beside his boy.
So, after a time, Dixon’s heart became as that of a little child. He found out by reading the Book, that as Dickey belonged to him, so he belonged to the Saviour who had been wounded for his transgressions, and he gave himself up body, soul and spirit – into the keeping of those blessed hands which had once been pierced for him.
“He was despised, and we esteemed Him not…. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities.” – “Who His Own Self bare our sins in His Own body on the tree” – 1 Pet. 2:24.
“The blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanseth us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:7.
“In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” – Eph. 1:7.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12.
Take Refuge in the Only Haven of Rest
Cling to The Only Lifeline!
After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church’s pastor slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit and, before he gave his sermon for the evening, briefly introduced a guest minister who was in the service that evening. In the introduction, the pastor told the congregation that the guest minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the service. With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak,
“A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific Coast when fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to shore. The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright, and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized.” The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story. The aged minister continued with his story, “Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life … to which boy he would throw the other end of the life line. He only had seconds to make the decision.
The father knew that his son was a Christian and he also knew that his son’s friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves. “As the father yelled out, ‘I love you, son!’ he threw out the life line to his son’s friend. By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of night. His body was never recovered.”
By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old minister’s mouth. “The father,” he continued, “knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus, and he could not bear the thought of his son’s friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save his son’s friend. How great is the love of God that He should do the same for us. Our heavenly Father sacrificed His only begotten Son that we could be saved. I urge you to accept His offer to rescue you and take a hold of the life line He is throwing out to you in this service.” With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room.
The pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal. Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man’s side. “That was a nice story,” politely stated one of the boys, “but I don’t think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son’s life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian.” “Well, you’ve got a point there,” the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible.
A big smile broadened his narrow face, and he once again looked up at the boys and said, “It sure isn’t very realistic, is it? But I’m standing here today to tell you that THAT story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His Son for me. You see … I was that father and your pastor is my son’s friend.”
I’ve Gone Home
I’ve gone home to see my Father,
I’ve gone home, so don’t you cry
I’ll be waiting for you in Heaven,
In my mansion prepared on high.
No more sickness, no more sorrow,
No more pain, and no more grief.
I’ve gone home to be with Jesus
Though my sojourn here was brief.
I’ve gone home to live in Heaven
With all the blessed saints of old,
Here with Abraham and David
To stroll through streets of gold.
But there’s something else more beautiful,
So precious, beyond this crystal sea,
As I wander through realms of glory
I find my Saviour walks with me.
I’ve gone home to be in Heaven
Where there’s no sadness, and no night.
There is joy and peace unending,
In this blissful land of light.
I’ve gone home to be in Heaven,
Though you miss me, and tears abound,
Just keep believing in God’s promises,
And listening for that trumpet sound.
Because one day in God’s timing
When the Lord calls out your name
Look to the skies in awe and wonder -
We’ll see each other again.
Written August 1st, 2000.
(Dedicated to Tammi Dawson)
This poem was later turned into a song to the tune of
I Know Who Hold Tomorrow
by Leann Rimes
I don’t know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
And I don’t borrow from the sunshine
‘Cause the skies might turn to grey.
There are many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.
Yes I know who holds my hand.
And I don’t worry about the future,
‘Cause I know what Jesus said,
And today I’m gonna walk right beside him
‘Cause he’s the one who knows what is ahead.
There are things about tomorrow
That I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.
And each step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb.
And every burden is getting lighter
And all the clouds, their silver line.
And, I’ll bet the sun it’s always shining
And no tears will ever dim the eye
And the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains, they touch the sky.
If you were to die today, do you know for sure, based on God’s Word – the Bible, that He would allow you into His Heaven?
This poem could be written of Tammy Dawson because she had accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour. She knew she had a home in God’s Heaven based on God’s Word, not her feelings, or her church, or being good enough, or because she “thought” she “might” go there. She had complete assurance of being God’s child.
Do you? If not, please visit God’s Simple Plan of Salvation. There is no other decision in your life that matters more than where you will spend eternity.
Click Here to download the sheet music to “I’ve Gone Home” in Adobe pdf format.
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(This link takes you to a website outside of EarnestlyContending.com)
- Through the Eyes of a Bus Worker
- The Contest
- Patriotism Without Religion?
- Disappointment – His Appointment
- Notes About Mothers
- Taking Hold of Your Legacy
- The Law of Sowing and Reaping
- “…We will serve the LORD.”
- Spiritual Vitamins
- My Attorney
- What I learned from Noah’s Ark
- The Quiet Sermon
- Phil. 4:13
- Beatitudes for the Home
- Fasting and Feasting
- Open Book
- The Brick
- Differences Between the Doctor and the Pastor
- God’s Will
- Reminder of Our Existance
- The EN-CROWD
- Queen Victoria
- The Room
- Just As I Am
- C.H. Spurgeon
- George Mueller
- My Times Are In Thy Hands
- So Little Time
- It Is Well With My Soul
- How Firm a Foundation
- Jesus Loves Me
- He Paid My Debt!
- H.G. Spafford
- John Newton
- Philip Paul Bliss
- Amazing Grace
- Ira Sankey
- Billy Sunday
- C.T. Studd
- Lester Roloff
- Gipsy Smith
- John R. Rice
- D.L. Moody
- Abraham Lincoln
- Curtis Hutson
- Fanny Crosby
- Quilt of Holes
- Tools For Sale
- Thank Him for Your Thorns