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  Terry Hodge, minister of First Christian Church, Nacogdoches, Texas placed this article in their weekly newsletter.  Our son, Dan, is associate minister in the church there. I liked the article and what to share it with you.

  “The author Ron Lee Dunn tells the story of two altar boys.  One was born in 1892 in Eastern Europe. The other was born just three years later in a small town in Illinois. Though they lived very separate lives, in very different parts of the world, these two altar boys had almost identical experiences.  Each boy was given the opportunity to assist his parish priest in the service of communion. While handling the communion cup, they both accidentally spilled some of the wine on the carpet by the altar.  There the similarity in their story ends.
  The priest in the Eastern European church, seeing the purple stain, slapped the altar boy across the face.  Then he shouted, “Clumsy oaf. Leave the altar.”   The little boy grew up to become an atheist and a communist. His name was Marshall Josip Tito – dictator of Yugoslavia for 37 years.  
The priest in the church in Illinois upon seeing the stain near the altar knelt down beside the boy and looked him tenderly in the eyes and said, “It’s alright son.  You’ll do better next time. You’ll be a fine priest for God someday.”  That little boy grew up to become the much-loved Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.”

  We have a tendency to say, “Do as I say, not as I do.”  But, that is not where the rubber meets the road.  It is our example, our daily living, that people see and are influenced by. 
The Apostle Paul spoke these words:  “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst. But, for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.”    I Timothy 1:15-16  

   The Apostle Paul told Timothy: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 
2 Timothy 4:12   

“I’d rather see a sermon
than hear one any day.”

“I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye is a better pupil, more willing than the ear;
Fine counsel is confusing, but example is always clear,
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see a good put in action is what everybody needs.

I can soon learn how to do it if you will let me see it done;
I can watch your hand in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do.
For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give,
But there is no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.

When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles, and a strong man stands behind
Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.
And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today
Is not the one who tells them, but the one who shows the way.

One good man teaches many; men believe what they behold;
One deed of kindness noted is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,
For right living speaks a language which to everyone is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.”

–Author unknown

  Can you say with the Apostle Paul: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ”?
I Corinthians 11:1

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