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Showing posts from October, 2018

Heart ‘e-Value-ations’

This was written by my wife Bessie for The Hammer magazine. I posted it here several years ago, but I am posting it again.
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.” (Luke 16:14-15)God knows our hearts! This can be either a comforting or a terrifying thought. Jesus first analyzed the Pharisees’ attitude (“You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men”) before He told them that God knew their hearts. Then He clarified it even more by saying that this attitude before men was a very poor standard because what men put a high value on was detestable in God’s sight.

What is highly valued among men? Perhaps by itemizing some of the things men value we will see that we have, in some cases, allowed the world to press us into its mold. However, we can, by His grace, stop this and inste…

The Goodness of God

Today I wish to declare to you the goodness of God.

"Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?" (Romans 2:4).

God is wealthy in kindness, tolerance, and patience. His kindness to you will help you turn to him.

You may be fighting in your heart. You may think your fight is with your spouse or your parents or someone else. Your fight is against God. He is your true friend. He is the one who sent the Lord Jesus to this earth to die for sinners.

Most religions, and most people, think you have to be good to go to Heaven. If that were true, none of us would make it, because no one is good. However, the Bible says in Romans 5:6, "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6).

We have to be ungodly to qualify for Heaven. He died in place of us to make us godly by forgiving our sins.

Please pray to God and ask Hi…

Suggestions for Christian Married Couples

Here are a few suggestions for Christian married couples who have been married at least ten years. These are in order of my thinking of them, not in order of importance. I am not thinking specifically of my own marriage or any one other marriage.

• Any occasion where the wife dresses up is an occasion (e.g. church, going out to dinner). The husband should also dress up for the same occasion. He may not want to; it is out of love and respect to dress accordingly.
• By this time, you both have put on a few pounds around the middle. The husband may accept it as normal in himself, but he does not like it in his wife. Take action on your own pounds right away for your health (both of you) and because you do not want to go to bed with a fat wife or husband.
• Husbands, pick up your socks, skivvies, pajamas, etc. Any dirty clothes—put them when they belong. Hang up what is not dirty.
• Husbands, offer to help with dishes often and really do them some of the time.
• If your wife is not well…

Musings on Words

Over the years I have listened to a lot of people. I have heard different dialects of English. I have listened to grammar when it is normal for the person using it. I have also heard poor grammar when the person using it thought that it was good grammar. There are uses that change over the years. A few years ago many, many people began sentences with the conjunction, “but.” Eventually “but” disappeared, and new sentences began with the conjunction, “so.” I would like to say, “So what?” Another word that has crept in is the word “like.” It will appear as many as five times in one sentence.

Luke 6:45 tells us that the mouth overflows with what is good or bad in the heart. My last two years in high school I worked in the Union stock yards in Omaha, Nebraska. The language was foul. Then I enlisted in the Navy. It did not improve. I thought that when I got to the Naval Academy, the language would improve. It did not. Then I hoped the language would be better with commissioned officers. It …

Missions Letter: Bessie Dodds, 1951

Recently, my granddaughter, Rachel and her husband Luke visited the Billy Graham Museum in Wheaton, Illinois. The museum is about much more than just Billy Graham. They had much correspondence of my wife’s correspondence from her time as a missionary. This is one of her ministry newsletters. Everyone mentioned has long ago died. These were written when I had seriously entered her life. At this date, Bessie knew she was going to marry me.

Newsletter #8

Ask of Me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

221 Bluff
Yokohama, Japan
July 16, 1951

Dear Friends:

You have not been overburdened with prayer letters from me have you? I see my last one is dated January 22nd and it was only the seventh letter written in my two and a half years in Japan.

When I last wrote I asked for prayer for the Bible Training School which was to open in April. Before the war we had a well-equipped school that was completely destroyed durin…

Raising Children: Setting Priorities

Dear S,

The best spiritual and physical security for your children is for them to know that you both are very close, that you love each other and respect each other.

The children should never hear, firsthand or secondhand, any differences between you: no arguing in their presence. You may have differences, but they should be unaware of them.

All teaching from the Scripture to the children should be backed up in the life of their parents. “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6).

It appears to me that you have been very diligent in doing what you think is right. However, you are more of a “doer” than you are a “be-er”. Because of this, some of the “right” things you do come out of the wrong kind of “being,” and consequently some of the “right” things you do turn out to be wrong. Because your “being” is not holy, some of the things you do and say are not holy. “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

Somewhere along the line, you b…

Are You a Christian?

Dear L,

At the end of our meeting on Monday you made the suggestion that you might not be a Christian. It is important to find out because if you find out you are not a Christian then it is possible to become a Christian. If you think you are already a Christian, it is impossible to become one. Jesus said it this way at the end of John 9: “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains" (John 9:41).

In the weeks that I have listened to you, you say more things that describe you as not a Christian. The evidence has piled up so that it seems to me you are not a Christian. I may be wrong, but if I am, you will have to show evidence by confessing and preaching the following:

1. Anger: Even if it is righteous anger, it may not last past sundown. You have been angry for years.
2. Lack of self-control: You admit that, but not in repentance.
3. Love yourself: You admit that, but not in repentance.
4. Brutal: You admit that, but not in repen…