I’ve often likened my book Timeless Stories, God’s Incredible Work in the Lives of Inspiring Christians to the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, only with stories centered on clear Christian themes. Timeless Stories is a collection of true stories from the lives of ten outstanding Christian couples or individuals who ministered in the last three centuries: Billy and Ruth Graham; Corrie ten Boom; George Whitefield; John Wesley; George Muller; William and Catherine Booth; Hudson Taylor; Charles Spurgeon; Dwight Moody; Amy Carmichael.

From their commendable examples I’ve gleaned this collection of some 200 interesting and instructive incidents, grouped around eight primary themes: Family; Service; Faith; Prayer; Witness; Forgiveness; Stewardship; Adversity.  These stories encourage us on in each of those vital aspects of Christian living.

While visiting Christian Focus Publications (my primary publisher located near Fearn, Ross-shire, Scotland) last month, CFP invited me to share a sample story from Timeless Stories, as a way of introducing the book to people. Here’s that short feature on Timeless Stories which CFP recently released. 

Timeless Stories: God's Incredible Work in the Lives of Inspiring Christians by Vance Christie

I hope this brief presentation will whet your appetite to read this valuable collection of Timeless Stories. I think you’ll find it very enjoyable and beneficial to read, as I certainly found the writing of this book to be. 

Copyright 2019 by Vance E. Christie

Young John Wesley

Young John Wesley

While a young, spiritually-indifferent Oxford don, John Wesley met the college porter late one night. The porter was a poor but deeply pious man. The evening was cold, and he was poorly clad, so Wesley urged him to go home for a coat.

“I thank God for this the one coat I possess,” the porter replied, indicating the threadbare garment he was wearing. “And I thank Him for water, my only drink during the day.”

Intrigued by this response, Wesley queried, “What else is there for which you are thankful?”

“I will thank Him I have the dry stones to lie upon.”

“Please, continue.”

“I thank Him that He has given me my life and being, a heart to love Him, and a desire to serve Him.”

Modern Oxford porter

Modern Oxford porter

Returning to his room that night, Wesley realized he was a stranger to such sentiments. The porter’s ready thanksgiving for his many blessings, even in the midst of impoverished circumstances, revealed a genuineness and depth of Christian experience that Wesley knew he did not possess.

Though materially poor, the porter was spiritually rich. By focusing on the priceless blessings he had received from God – physical life, a spiritually-transformed heart, desire and opportunity to serve the Lord – he had much for which to be thankful. As his heart welled up with gratitude, he also sincerely thanked God for the provision of his basic material necessities.

The porter’s example is instructive and likely corrective to many Christians. Our primary focus should be on the countless, constant spiritual and non-material blessings that the Lord pours out on us. Maintaining such a focus will provide us with a continuous, overflowing source of thanksgiving and praise, even when physical or material circumstances are challenging. We’re also reminded that with regard to material blessings, we rightly thank God for His ever-faithful provision of basic necessities. To the degree that He blesses us beyond mere necessities, our gratitude should correspondingly increase.

*          *          *

This incident involving John Wesley is taken from my book Timeless Stories, God’s Incredible Work in the Lives of Inspiring Christians. That book contains a number of other helpful examples to encourage us in cultivating appropriate thankfulness to God for His innumerable blessings on our lives.

Copyright 2014 by Vance E. Christie

Nigerian child witnessing church burning

Nigerian child witnessing church burning

When we hear of fellow Christians facing intense persecution and even martyrdom in various parts of the world we sometimes wonder how they can bear up under it. We may contemplate whether or not we would stand strong in our Christian faith if subjected to such horrific treatment. Incidents from the life and ministry of Corrie ten Boom are instructive:

Corrie was once ministering in a small African country where a new government had come to power. Just that week the new regime had begun secretly, systematically putting Christians to death. As the people gathered at the little church where she was to speak that Sunday, fear and tension was written on every face.

Corrie first read to them 1 Peter 4:12-14 (Phillips Translation): “And now, dear friends of mine, I beg you not to be unduly alarmed at the fiery ordeals which come to test your faith, as though this were some abnormal experience. You should be glad, because it means you are called to share Christ’s sufferings. One day, when He shows Himself in full splendor to men, you will be filled with the most tremendous joy. If you are reproached for being Christ’s followers, that is a great privilege, for you can be sure that God’s Spirit of glory is resting upon you.”

Corrie ten Boom

Corrie ten Boom

Closing her Bible, Corrie proceeded to relate a conversation that took place between she and her father when she was a little girl. “Daddy,” she had said one day, “I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.”

“Tell me,” her father wisely responded, “when you take a train trip from Haarlem to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?”

“No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.”

“That is right,” he replied, “and so it is with God’s strength. Our wise Father in heaven knows when you are going to need things too. Today you do not need the strength to be a martyr. But as soon as you are called upon for the honor of facing death for Jesus, He will supply the strength you need—just in time.”

“I took great comfort in my father’s advice,” Corrie told her audience. “Later I had to suffer for Jesus in a [Nazi] concentration camp. He indeed gave me all the courage and power I needed.”

“Tell us more, Tante Corrie,” one grizzled old member of the congregation spoke up. All were listening intently, seeking to store up truth that would strengthen them for the day of trial.

So she shared an incident that had taken place at Ravensbruck. A group of fellow prisoners had approached her, asking her to tell them some Bible stories. The camp guards called the Bible das Lugenbuch—the book of lies. Death by cruel punishment had been promised for any prisoner who was found possessing a Bible or talking about the Lord. Despite her awareness of those potential consequences, Corrie retrieved her Bible and started teaching from the Scripture.

Suddenly she was aware of a figure behind her. One of the prisoners silently mouthed the words, “Hide your Bible. It’s Lony.”

Corrie knew Lony well. She was among the cruelest of all the women guards. Corrie, however, felt she had to obey God who had so clearly guided her to bring a Bible message to the prisoners that morning. Lony remained motionless behind her as she finished her teaching.

Corrie then said, “Let’s now sing a hymn of praise.” She could see the worried, anxious looks on the faces of the prisoners. Before it had been only her speaking but now they, too, were being asked to join her in singing. But Corrie believed God wanted them to be bold, even in the face of the enemy. So they sang.

Newsweek Cover - The War On Christians

Newsweek Cover – The War On Christians

When the hymn came to an end, Lony instructed, “Another song like that one.” She had enjoyed the singing and wanted to hear more. Heartened, the prisoners sang song after song. Afterwards Corrie even went to Lony and spoke to her about her need for Christ as her Savior.

“Let me tell you what I learned from that experience,” she now told her African audience. “I knew that every word I said could mean death.   Yet never before had I felt such peace and joy in my heart as while I was giving the Bible message in the presence of mine enemy. God gave me the grace and power I needed—the money for the train ticket arrived just the moment I was to step on the train.”

When the meeting came to a close the nationals stood to leave. The fear and anxiety was gone from their faces. Once again joy shown on their countenances and their hearts seemed filled with peace. Softly in the back of the room someone began singing an old gospel song:

There’s a land that is fairer than day,

And by faith we can see it afar.

For the Father waits over the way,

To prepare us a dwelling place there.

In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore,

In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.

Corrie was later told that more than half the Christians who attended that service subsequently met a martyr’s death.

If you know any Christians who are currently facing persecution, perhaps you could encourage them by sharing this story with them. This and a number of other true stories on Christians standing strong in their faith despite strong opposition can be found in the chapter on “Adversity” in my Timeless Stories book.

Copyright 2014 by Vance E. Christie

Enter below to win a copy of my book Timeless Stories (Christian Focus, 2010).

*Winners outside of the US will be awarded an electronic (.mobi or .epub) copy of the book.

Here are the men and women you’ll meet in the book:

Timeless Stories by Vance Christie

Timeless Stories by Vance Christie

About the Book:
The lives of great men and women of faith are replete with fascinating and beneficial stories. Not fictional stories; rather, actual events from the experiences of those believers. Some of those stories touch the heart – or the funny bone. Many touch the soul at a deep level by inspiring, instructing, encouraging, comforting or convicting. This book is a collection of such stories from the lives of ten outstanding Christian couples or individuals who ministered in the last three centuries: John Wesley; George Whitefield; George Muller; William and Catherine Booth; Hudson Taylor; Charles Spurgeon; Dwight Moody; Amy Carmichael; Corrie ten Boom; Billy and Ruth Graham. Their personal examples provide a treasure trove of illustrative material relating to a wide variety of life-related themes. Among the primary themes considered in this book are Family, Service, Faith, Prayer, Witness, Forgiveness, Stewardship and Adversity.

Learn more at www.vancechristie.com/books/timelessstories

Timeless Stories: God's Incredible Work in the Lives of Inspiring Christians by Vance Christie

Several of my recent website “Perspectives” have featured incidents from the lives of prominent Christians of the past which are included in my book Timeless Stories: God’s Incredible Work in the Lives of Inspiring Christians. Here are six quick reasons I think this book is well worth reading and sharing with others:

1. The lives of great men and women of faith are replete with fascinating and spiritually-beneficial stories. Not fictional stories; rather, actual events from the experiences of those committed Christians. Some of those stories touch the heart – or the funny bone. Many touch the soul at a deep level by inspiring, instructing, encouraging, comforting or convicting. The stories in this book are grouped into eight chapters, each having to do with some practical, primary aspect of living out one’s Christianity: Family, Service, Faith, Prayer, Witness, Forgiveness, Stewardship and Adversity.

2. This book features stories from the lives of ten eminent Christian couples or individuals who ministered in the last three centuries: John Wesley; George Whitefield; George Muller; William and Catherine Booth; Hudson Taylor; Charles Spurgeon; Dwight Moody; Amy Carmichael; Corrie ten Boom; Billy and Ruth Graham. Timeless Stories is an enjoyable way to get acquainted (or reacquainted) with many interesting and instructive incidents from the lives of those outstanding Christian servants. Hopefully this book will whet the appetite of many individuals to read more about these (and other) remarkable believers and to gain much further benefit from their personal examples.

3. Timeless Stories is a treasure trove of illustrations that can be used with great benefit by Christian pastors and teachers. Each chapter in the book contains 20-25 true stories that model various aspects of the life-related theme treated in that chapter. Throughout my own ministerial career I have shared hundreds of such historic anecdotes (along with plenty of contemporary illustrations) to profitably flesh out scriptural principles being promoted. This book also includes a helpful Scripture Index, as over fifty of the stories in the volume include references to specific Bible passages.

4. These stories can be used with great profit as a supplement for family devotions. Once when my three daughters were very young I offered to tell them a story before bedtime prayer. That was a periodic feature of our nighttime family devotions, and they knew the type of tale I often shared. So they spontaneously started chanting, competition-like, the names of two individuals about whom they had heard a number of stories. “Moody! Moody!” shouted two. “Hudson! Hudson!” countered the third with equal enthusiasm. Some families have read clear through Timeless Stories (a few stories at a time) as part of their family devotions. Kids will enjoy and benefit from these stories if we will but share them.

5. This is an easy book to read, even for people who don’t read a lot. The stories are short and interesting, so they tend to engage the reader’s attention. If the book is set aside for a time, it’s easy to pick up on the theme of a chapter when one gets back to it. It’s easy to read a few or several stories in a short period of time. Before a person knows it, he or she has finished another chapter, then the entire book.  This is the kind of book (not heavy but very worthwhile) that’s a pleasure to read during a relaxing afternoon or evening at home, at bedtime, while traveling or while on vacation.

6. Timeless Stories makes a great gift book. Even people not acquainted with historic Christian biography will find these stories engaging, relevant and beneficial. Christians of various maturity levels can profit from the positive models and life-lessons communicated in this book. I have not hesitated to share this book with non-Christians too, knowing that they’ll read of the Gospel and of people coming to faith in Christ through its pages.

If you’ve not read Timeless Stories, I hope you will. If you have read it, I would enjoy hearing how it encouraged and helped you.

Copyright 2014 by Vance E. Christie

Three of Amy Carmichael's Orphan Girls

Three of Amy Carmichael’s Orphan Girls

As part of her ministry in Dohnavur, southern India, Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) helped rescue children who had been sold as slaves and prostitutes for use in the immoral practices that commonly took place in Hindu temples.  Early in her years in India, she began rescuing young girls from that fate, then caring for them at her Christian orphanage.  Only slowly did she become aware of the fact that young boys, too, were sold and used in those same degraded ways.

She spoke to her ministry colleagues about the boys’ plight, only to be told why it was impossible for her to do anything about it:  Her hands were already more than full.  Boys were harder to rear than girls.  Boys’ and girls’ work had to be kept separate in India.  Where were the men who were needed to help with ministry to boys?  Surely God would have to raise up someone else to lead a boys’ work.

Amy would not settle for that verdict.  Instead, in 1911, she began to pray fervently about the matter.  One day while walking in the forest she pondered the perplexing problem of men being needed for a boys’ ministry.  She paused by a waterfall.  Then, as she watched the ceaseless cataract pouring down from above, she “heard a voice from heaven, the voice of many waters” saying: “Can I who do this, not do that?”  She later revealed, “Spiritually, in that hour, the work for boys began.”

Seven years of ceaseless prayer passed before the first baby boy was entrusted to the care of Amy’s orphanage.  She immediately took action by surveying a field next to the girls’ compound, then coming up with a design for a boys’ orphanage that could be located there.

She also asked the Lord for a specific sign that His blessing was on the new venture—a donation of 100 pounds.  She shared that request with her ministry associates.  The very next day a legacy of exactly 100 pounds was received in the mail.

Eight years later, in 1926, between seventy and eighty orphan boys were being cared for at Dohnavur. By the summer of the following year, plans were also being made to build a hospital at Dohnavur.  It was to be named “Place of Heavenly Healing,” and Amy Carmichael insisted it be not only functional but also an attractive, even beautiful, facility.

“Do you think we could manage without a maternity ward at first?” queried the compound’s new doctor, May Powell.  Dr. Powell strongly desired to include such a ward but was well aware that steep construction costs might require corners to be cut.  Her nursing staff thought it would be absolutely necessary to include maternity facilities.  So they decided to leave the matter to God’s providential guidance.  If He desired them to have one He would cause the money to be sent.

Amy and her colleagues sometimes celebrated family feast days with the children entrusted to their care.  On one such day the children sat on the floor with delicacies piled on a green leaf plate in front of them.  Garlands of bright flowers festooned the walls.  Presently a child ran up to Amy with a yellow envelope in her hand.

Opening it immediately, the missionary found a check and a short note that said simply, “One thousand pounds for maternity ward.”  She later admitted, “I stood like Rhoda, and opened not the gate for gladness” (Acts 12:13-14).

*          *          *

These are just two of many examples of trusting God that appear in the chapter on “Faith” in my book Timeless Stories, God’s Incredible Work in the Lives of Inspiring Christians. The incidents in that chapter illustrate that we can trust the Lord, for His own glory, to supply various needs that we have as we seek to live for and serve Him: finances and other material needs; spiritual fruit; ministry workers; healing and health; strength to face overwhelming difficulties; even weather intervention. I believe our own faith in our almighty, attentive God can be stimulated and strengthened as we prayerfully ponder these outstanding instances of exercising strong trust in the Lord.

Copyright 2014 by Vance E. Christie

William Booth

William Booth

In August, 1886, William Booth delivered a stirring challenge at London’s Exeter Hall, encouraging support of the Salvation Army so it could expand its ministries around the globe.  In the audience sat Salvation Army Major John Carleton, a one-time Irish textile executive.  He was surrounded by wealthy “civilians” who jotted lavish sums on their “canaries,” the Army’s term for the yellow pledge cards individuals submitted.

Carleton was already living on a shoestring budget.  Unlike the well-to-do people all around him, he had no discretionary funds with which to work.  Suddenly he was struck with an idea of how he could contribute to this special offering.  On his pledge card he wrote: “By going without pudding every day for a year, I calculate I can save 50 shillings.  This I will do, and will remit the amount named as quickly as possible.”

This offer touched Booth more deeply than any of the generous pledges made that day.  But the thought of one of his officers skimping on his meals for an entire year did not set well with him.  The next morning he burst into the office where his son Bramwell and Major Carleton were working.  He had come up with a unique plan of his own.  No member of the Salvation Army should have to go without something for an entire year.  Instead, they could all unite to deny themselves some normal expense for a week and donate the money saved to Army funds.

The first Self-Denial Week was confined to the United Kingdom and raised a whopping 4,820 pounds (equaling over $24,000).  To Booth’s delight, the bulk of that amount came in pennies and halfpennies.  His aides were troubled by the scarcity of gold coins but the General stated enthusiastically, “Never mind! There is plenty of copper.”  He realized that many had given their coppers at greater sacrifice to themselves than when gold and silver coins were contributed by wealthier individuals.

William & Bramwell Booth

William & Bramwell Booth

Self-Denial Week became an annual event in the Salvation Army.  It was observed wherever Salvationists ministered throughout the world and came to be held one week each spring.  Booth always contributed ten pounds to the special offering.  Despite his overwhelming schedule, he kept bees and invested the proceeds from the honey sales to the cause.  Bramwell and his family lived on bread and water for a week to support the fund.  Officers trimmed each other’s hair to save a sixpenny which could then be donated.

When the Salvation Army came to Zululand in South Africa’s eastern republic of Natal, an elderly, half-blind Zulu widow named Maria begged a local farmer for a single week’s work hoeing Indian corn.  Touched by her strong faith and desire, he eventually consented, stipulating that this woman in her eighties could work in the fields for a week at the same rate as the village girls—sixpence a day and her food.

During the service at the Army hall the following Sunday morning, the presiding officer invited congregants to present their Self-Denial offering envelopes at the altar.  Led by the hand by a young girl, Maria made her way to the altar with an envelope containing her week’s wages.  Kneeling, she lifted her largely sightless eyes heavenward and prayed:  “Lord Jesus, take my gift.  I wish it were more, but it is all I have.  May this help You to send light to people who are in greater darkness than I am.”

*          *          *

Timeless Stories: God's Incredible Work in the Lives of Inspiring Christians by Vance Christie

Timeless Stories by Vance Christie

My book Timeless Stories, God’s Incredible Work in the Lives of Inspiring Christians contains a chapter on “Stewardship.” The chapter is full of inspiring and instructive examples of how committed Christians viewed their material possessions and sought to use them to the glory of Christ and in the service of His kingdom.

Copyright 2014 by Vance E. Christie

Young Charles Spurgeon

Young Charles Spurgeon

When Charles Spurgeon skyrocketed to prominence in London as a young preacher in his early twenties, he had many critics. Not a few of his detractors were Christians.  One of those was the Rev. James Wells of Surrey Tabernacle, an eminent minister who was then at the apex of his career.  Wells wrote an editorial in a Christian publication, expressing doubts about Spurgeon’s conversion.  He warned that, though Spurgeon spoke some truth and had a partial moral influence, his hearers were likely to be fatally deluded.

After Spurgeon’s mighty Metropolitan Tabernacle was built several years later, he and Wells were church neighbors.  One day they chanced to meet on the street, and Wells asked Spurgeon if he had ever seen the inside of Surrey Tabernacle.  The younger minister responded that he had not, but would very much like to someday.

Wells, with seeming goodwill, said that if Spurgeon would come some Monday morning he would show him round his church.  But he added insultingly that there would then be time enough to thoroughly ventilate the church premises before the following Lord’s Day!

Charles Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon

Spurgeon in turn asked Wells if he had ever been inside the Metropolitan Tabernacle.  Wells admitted that he had looked in one Saturday and gave the specific date.  “Ah,” replied Spurgeon, “that accounts for the delightful fragrance of the services the following Sabbath!”

On a later occasion Dr. Newman Hall, another prominent pastor in Spurgeon’s day and author of the immensely popular book Come to Jesus, was sharply ridiculed in a volume that was published anonymously.  Though he knew who the author was, Hall patiently bore the ridicule for a time.  But as the caustic volume began to circulate more widely, Hall wrote a letter of protest which was even more insulting than the book that had attacked him.

Newman Hall

Newman Hall

Hall took the letter to Spurgeon and asked his opinion of it.  Having carefully read the correspondence, Spurgeon handed it back, declared it was excellent, agreed that the book’s author deserved it all, but then added that the letter lacked one thing.  Hall, being quite gratified with Spurgeon’s response, was all ears to his further suggestion.

“Underneath the signature, ‘Newman Hall’,” coached Spurgeon, “you ought to put the words, ‘Author of Come to Jesus’.”

The two godly men gazed in silence at each other for a moment.  Then Hall tore his critical letter in pieces.

*          *          *

My book Timeless Stories, God’s Incredible Work in the Lives of Inspiring Christians contains an entire chapter of incidents like these, showing how outstanding servants of Christ responded to the trials and even persecution they faced as they sought to live for the Lord. Their examples have much to teach us about handling hardship and opposition in ways that honor Christ and serve as a powerful testimony to others. I’d love to hear from you if you would care to share a valuable lesson the Lord has taught you about properly processing adversity.

Copyright 2014 by Vance E. Christie

George Muller

George Muller

Over the course of several decades, George Muller (1805-1898) directed a faith-based ministry that cared for thousands of orphans in Bristol, England. Many were the occasions when Muller and his loyal staff prayed with great faith and urgency for the Lord to supply the pressing needs of their orphanages. Often those prayers were answered in dramatic fashion.

Muller’s right-hand man in his Sunday School ministry to children was John Townsend. Townsend’s young daughter, Abigail, enjoyed visiting Muller at his home. Once while doing so she suddenly declared, “I wish Dod would answer my prayers like He does yours, George Muller.”

“He will,” Muller assured her.  Taking her on his knee, he quoted God’s promise: “What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24 KJV). After explaining the meaning of the verse, he asked, “Now, Abbie, what is it you want to ask God for?”

“Some wool,” she responded.

Little girl prayingClasping her hands to pray, Muller instructed her to repeat what he said, “Please, God, send Abbie some wool.”

“Please, Dod, send Abbie some wool,” she repeated in simple faith, then jumped down to go play, assured that the wool would come.

Suddenly the thought came to her that God did not know what kind of wool she wanted. So she ran back to Muller and told him she wanted to pray again.  This time he responded, “Not now, dear, I am busy.”

“But I forgot to tell Dod the color I want,” she persisted.

Won over, Muller again lifted her onto his knee and said, “That’s right, be definite, my child.  Now tell God what you want.”

“Please, Dod, send it wa-re-gated,” petitioned Abigail, who possessed a large vocabulary but could not pronounce her v’s.

The next day she was overjoyed to receive a package of variegated wool from her Sunday School teacher.  The teacher, who was aware of Abigail’s interest in knitting, knew her birthday was coming soon, although she was uncertain of the exact date.  God providentially allowed the package to arrive not on her birthday but on just the right day to assure this child that He hears and answers specific prayers.

May we be encouraged to present our requests to God in simple childlike faith. No need, desire or concern is too big or little to bring to Him. He delights to grant trusting, God-dependent prayers that honor Him, both for our blessing and for His glory.

*          *          *

This is just one of a whole chapter of instructive true stories on various facets of prayer found in my book Timeless Stories, God’s Incredible Work in the Lives of Inspiring Christians. If you’re able to read it, I think you’ll find fresh encouragement and guidance for your personal prayer life. I’d love to hear from you if you care to share an important prayer lesson the Lord has taught you along the way.

Copyright 2014 by Vance E. Christie

Books and CoffeeJust days after having tea with the royal family in Buckingham Palace in June of 1961, Ruth Graham was in Belfast, Ireland, for her husband Billy’s evangelistic crusade at Saint Andrew’s Hall. While there Ruth visited a former missionary to China whom she remembered from her own childhood on the mission field. The woman lived in a small apartment in a nearby rest home.

A quilt made of Chinese silk scraps covered her bed. Favorite well-worn volumes lined her bookshelves, and yellowed photographs of her family were neatly pasted on the walls. The packing crates that had carried her belongings back from China now served as furniture. On her desk – a card table – were carefully stacked boxes which would soon be shipped to missionaries in Africa to distribute to needy children. She was packing the boxes with empty plastic bottles, note pads made from greeting cards and paper, cans and trinkets.

“You certainly manage to keep busy and get a lot done!’ Ruth remarked.

The old missionary straightened proudly, looked Ruth directly in the eye and declared, “I don’t belong to meself.”

Ruth and Billy GrahamThat night Ruth wrote in her diary: “I couldn’t help remembering another room just five days before. It also had family pictures all around the wall, books, and a desk. And boxes piled on boxes. Red dispatch boxes. They were a world apart. But for all the royal elegance of one and simple poverty of the other, there was a similarity. And I couldn’t help but feel I had had tea with royalty twice in one week.”

The retired missionary’s statement, “I don’t belong to meself,” reminds me (Vance) of truths from the Apostle Paul’s letters to the Corinthians: “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Cor. 6:19b-20); “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Cor. 5:14-15).

We Christians do not belong to ourselves and we are not to live for ourselves. Rather, we belong to Christ who gave His very life to redeem us from our sin and the eternal judgment it deserves. It’s our great privilege and honor to expend our lives in loving obedience and service to Him.

*          *          *

My book Timeless Stories: God’s Incredible Work in the Lives of Inspiring Christians contains a whole chapter of instructive true stories (including this one) on various aspects of Christian service. I think you’ll find encouragement and guidance in your own service for the Lord if you’re able to read it.

Copyright 2014 by Vance E. Christie