How Much Dynamite To Blow Out Stumps?


June, 2001

Dear Ministry Friends,

I heard on the radio a story that happened several decades ago. In those days, dynamite could still be purchased at big city lumber yards for construction purposes. An ambitious young man who was somewhat deceitful purchased some with a plan to make money removing stumps from fields for farmers. He had no training with dynamite, but thought it might be a fast way to make some big money. He apparently convinced the lumber yard that he was legitimate, then loaded his pickup truck with the dynamite and launched out for the country. After selling his scheme successfully to the first farmer to give him approval, the young man set about preparing the charge. Having never actually used dynamite before, the young man was not sure how much to use for any given stump. But not wanting to look like he didn't know what he was doing, he confidently went about his business making sure he put enough dynamite under the stump to guarantee its removal.

The old farmer watched with interest as the young man lit the fuse and had them both move a good distance away to watch the results. There was a huge explosion causing the big old stump to literally fly through the air. Up, up, and away arched the big projectile as the young man realized he had used too much dynamite. The stump was heading in the direction of his parked pickup truck. Down the stump came right on top of the cab of the young man's truck, crushing it in all the way down to the seat. The old farmer, somewhat amused at his realization of the young man's lack of expertise, said, "Don't worry son. With a little more practice, you'll be able to drop those stumps right into the bed of your pickup."

My wife went to a Christian university in the 1970's. There was a quiet saying among the ambitious students there that, "if you can't make it, fake it." And there was a lot of "faking it" on that campus. I feel that there is way too much falseness and pretension in the Body of Christ. Even some ministers have yielded to the temptation to be fake. Some have swelled up reports of their ministry results to impress their potential donors.

I once investigated the testimony of two "financial miracles" from a faithful follower of a well-known television evangelist who raises millions of dollars. I was at that particular meeting, and wrote down detailed information from the follower's "testimony." I independently made phone calls to see what I found out, and discovered the story was not true. I was concerned for the reputation of the evangelist, and personally communicated the results of my investigation to him. Instead of the truth being appreciated by this evangelist, I found myself being rebuked for investigating the facts! I discovered that this evangelist was more concerned with looking good to his TV audience than whether every "testimony" was valid. The Bible says that God "desires truth in the innermost being" (Psalm 51:6). Furthermore, the Bible says there will be "men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself." (1st Timothy 6:5). And there will be some "who have strayed concerning the truth... and they overthrow the faith of some." (2nd Timothy 2:18). "And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed." (2nd Peter 2:2).

That last verse says, "many will follow their destructive ways." Sadly, those who slightly bend and polish "the truth" many times end up with larger numbers of followers and donors. That's because you can promise anything and please anyone if you are not limited by sticking to the truth! The apostle Paul was obviously highly favored by God, yet people gave him all kinds of trouble. In Galatians 4:16, Paul lamented, "Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?"

God included in the Bible a huge number of scriptures addressing the importance of the truth in our lives. Just a few examples include the following:

  • 1st Corinthians 5:8 says we are to keep God's laws in "sincerity and truth."

  • 1st Corinthians 13:6 says we are to "rejoice in the truth."

  • 1st John 3:18 says "let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth."

  • 2nd John 1:4 says, "I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father."

There are also some sober warnings to the unsaved as well as the saved about the consequences of not hungering for the truth:

  • 2nd Thessalonians 2:10 -12 says there will be "unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

  • 2nd Timothy 4:4 says some "will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables."


  • 1st Timothy 2:4 says God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." and...

  • James 5:19-20 says "Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins."

We need to be people that diligently seek the truth, both to know it and to practice it. We have to be on guard against deception which can so easily overtake a person. We have to guard against receiving deception, and also guard against deceiving others (which causes us to reap deception). We also need to financially support those that are totally committed to the truth, because speaking and teaching the truth is an uphill battle for those who engage in it. We need all the help we can get to continue proclaiming the truth! Thank you for your prayers and financial offerings which enable our ministry to continue changing our nation and the people we communicate with.

Contending for the Truth,

Dale Leander


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