There is a true story
of a Baltimore "Skid Row bum" who had really hit rock-bottom.
He was usually penniless, and had lived on the streets for a long
time. What little money that ever came into his hands was usually
spent for alcohol. Then one day in December, the man happened
to find a significant amount of cash which apparently had been
dropped by a careless person. the down-and-out man was amazed
at his good fortune, and immediately began thinking about what
he would do with the money. He decided that he would buy several
of his fellow "Skid Row" friends each a bottle of wine
to celebrate the Christmas holiday.
As he was making
his way down the streets toward the liquor dealer, he passed by
a sporting goods store that had a high quality baseball bat in
the window on display. He stopped in his tracks as he remembered
how badly he had always wanted a baseball bat like that when he
was a kid. His family had never had the money, and he had longingly
watched the luckier kids who had their very own bat and glove.
He thought about
the money in his pocket, and looked back up at the shiny baseball
bat in the window. Then he knew what he wanted to do. He hurried
into the store, and spent all that he had buying that bat. Then
he headed out of the store in the direction of St. Mary's "home
for boys" [as it was known].
As he approached
the building, he slowed down trying to make sure no one noticed
him. He walked quietly up to the gate, leaned the bat against
the front door, banged the door-knocked a few times, and then
headed off into the busy pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk hoping
no one saw him. He trusted that Brother Matthias would give the
bat to some deserving orphan for Christmas.
Brother Matthias saw to it that the bat was given to a young boy
named George who had come there to live at age 7. George showed
some athletic ability, and everyone knew he needed the encouragement.
And did he ever take to that bat! George played baseball enthusiastically
at St. Mary's with that bat, and began to get really good. He
got so good, that within 10 years he was playing on the Baltimore
Orioles major league baseball team! George's poverty was a thing
of the past now, for he became one of the greatest home run hitters
in American history. His full name? George
Herman Ruth, known affectionately from his St. Mary's time
as "the Babe." his single season home run record stood
for over 30 years, and his lifetime home run record stood almost
What would have been
the outcome if the "Skid Row bum" had decided to be
selfish and had spent all his money on himself? Who knows what
would have happened to the kid named George. Instead of becoming
Babe Ruth, would he have become just another juvenile "gone
bad"? It is my speculation, but I believe the prison population
would have eventually had one more angry young man added to it.
Many of the life-changing events that have altered the course
of an individual have come from the hands of a single, selfless
person who made a difference by caring in some "small"
The amazing thing
is that we all have the potential to alter the course of the lives
around us every day in a good direction or a bad direction.
The choices with our words, actions, and giving are affecting
people for eternity all the time. The "Skid Row bum"
and you and I all have the potential to make a difference
in a positive way. The "seeds" that we plant with our
words, actions, and finances all have the ability to produce an
"oak tree" perhaps a Babe Ruth. Or perhaps a
Hudson Taylor, a D.L. Moody, a Billy Graham, a Mother Teresa,
or another man or woman of God to impact a generation of men and
If we think one person
can't make a difference then we have never read the Bible!
In fact, how many committees are famous for having made a difference
God gives us information
in His Word that can help us change people's lives. And He has
given up opportunities in abundance. The "harvest is
plentiful, but the laborers are few." People need to
get a vision for ministering to others. Eternal lives are at stake.
Based on a Moody press book titled This
Blue Planet, about 500,000 people die every day world-wide.
With less than one-third of those people being born-again, that
means over 13,000 people are dying and going to Hell every hour.
So during an average eight hour work day, 100,000 people went
to Hell for eternity.
God has shown me
principles for successful ministry that every person can apply
(whether or not you are called to full-time ministry). I made
this into an eight-tape teaching series that I have called, How
to Start, Survive, an Succeed in Ministry. Some
of the individual audio cassette tape titles include: Getting
Started in Ministry, Overcoming the Challenges of Ministry,
Dealing With Disappointment and Burnout, How to Increase
Your Anointing, Principles of Guidance in Ministry,
and Spiritual Warfare in Ministry.
Regardless of whether
you simply want to be involved in God's work, or perhaps feel
called to full-time ministry of God's Word, this teaching series
could be a real help to you. It could assist you in making a difference
for Jesus in this earth both immediately and over the rest
of your life.
Ministering for Jesus,