Dr. Sam Martin
It was one of those things I just could not get out of my mind! And driving to the office this morning I felt I had to share it with the staff in our devotional time, and I had to write it for the Blog, trusting it will be an encouragement and inspiration to all who read it.
Every week people place their garbage at the end of the driveway knowing that no matter the weather, the Garbage Truck will come along and the driver will get out and pick up the bags or boxes and empty the garbage into the truck.
The lady, looking at the garbage placed at homes along the street, began to think about ‘The Garbage Man.’ Yes the driver of the truck who week by week stops and picks up the garbage, throws it into the truck and moves on to the next home. She wondered if anyone ever took the time to thank him. Rather than just wonder, she decided to do something.
She left her home when she heard the garbage truck in the distance and walked down her driveway and stood beside the garbage. Slowly but surely, the truck stopped at where she was standing and the driver got out. The lady said, “excuse me can I speak with you please.” The driver walked towards her and she knew by his eyes he was not sure what was about to happen and no doubt he is wondering, ‘what have I done.’ When he reached her, she said “Hi, I just want to thank you for what you do each week, I know it can’t be easy and I want you to know I appreciate it, so again thank-you.”
He was somewhat taken aback. He took his gloves off, reached out his hand and as he shook the lady’s hand, he expressed his surprised thanks. They spoke for a few moments. He shared a little about his life and as he made to get back into the truck, the lady said, “By the way would you like a coke? And pulled a coke from her pocket and he was delighted to take it. He jumped in the truck and drove off waving.
Now I wonder how that garbage man felt? What impact did that simple act of kindness have on him? Why share this? Let me answer in three simple ways:
First of all, with a song I heard as a child back in Scotland:
If I can help somebody, as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song
Then, my living shall not be in vain!
Secondly, with a saying I heard somewhere in the past and which is wildly known:
‘One kind act can transform someone’s day, and sometimes it’s not what you say but what you do that can change people.’
Thirdly, and most importantly the teaching of Scripture. Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians Church these words (Chapter 9 v 13-14):
‘As a result of your ministry, men will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you.’
‘A Garbage man, a lady and a coke’ and a special but simple act of kindness and that brings to mind another old Gospel song:
Cups of cold water, given in Jesus' name,By the way, the Lady was and is my wife!
Cups of cold water are never given in vain.
Someday in heaven when we meet the Lord,
Each deed of kindness will bring a rich reward.
Dr. Sam Martin
Quite a few years ago I walked up to the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Port Au Prince in Haiti and I was struck by its size, its beauty in fact it was a lighthouse to the ships passing the Island, drawing them into Haiti. What struck me most was the fact that there was a beggar lying outside the door, a woman wearing only bits of a torn sack with, her hands stretched out looking for help.
My mind took me back to a story I had heard so many times, the story told in Acts 3. Peter and John were making their way to the temple. They made to go through what was called ‘The Beautiful Gate’ when they heard a man beg for help, he was lame and we are told he was carried to the gate every day and left there to beg, something he had done for 40 years (Acts 4:22). Here is what the scripture say:
“They looked at him intently, and then Peter said, 'Look here!’ The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting a gift. But Peter said, ‘We don’t have any money for you! But I’ll give you something else! I command you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’”
Peter was exercising his faith. He believed in the Power of the name of Jesus Christ and he knew that the beggar needed Jesus more than he needed money. Yes a miracle took place and we read in verse 8 “the man leaping up, stood up and walked and entered the temple with them” — ‘walking, leaping and praising God!’ Of course this is the message of the Gospel, what people need is nothing more, nothing less than Jesus!
This of course is the thrust of Missions to take the name of Jesus to the people of the world. However, I want you to notice a very important thing that happened that day, yes immediately following the release of the Power of God. Look at verse 7:
“And Peter took him by the right hand and lifted him up.”
Isn’t that interesting to say the least? Peter saw the power of Christ in action, he saw healing come and he said to the man, ‘walk.’ He and John could then have walked on into the Temple, but he stopped and helped the lame man up! Let me remind of what is said in James 2? “14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” Peter excreted faith, and then he went and helped the man! In John 11 verses 41 - 44 we read of the raising of Lazarus from the grave, and when he came out of the grave, Jesus said, “Loose him and let him go.” He had been raised from the dead, but he was still bound so Jesus says, “take of his grave clothes, set him free.” Again, this following the miracle!
My friends this is a dimension that many within the Evangelical Church have forgotten or missed, we have to put our faith into action. Not only meet the spiritual needs, but the physical, the material. It is important we preach, teach Christ - He is the only way to God, He is our salvation! But when a person trusts Christ, we cannot just walk away! We need to learn from this, we need to grasp the truth that the whole Gospel is for the whole man and this is what The Arms of Jesus seeks to do, put faith into action! We share, we live by the ‘whole gospel for the whole man!’
When I was a student at the University of Manchester, there was an outreach to Street people on a Saturday night, this in the center of the City. I decided as a Christian, I wanted to get involved and I assumed many of my fellow evangelicals would be present. I was shocked that when we gathered, I was the only ‘evangelical.’ I asked the leader, ‘Where are the born again believers?’ The answer came loud and clear: ‘They don’t want to get their hands dirty!’ Half a gospel!
My friends, let’s never simply preach and then walk away. If Peter and John had done that, perhaps the lame man would still be sitting begging! Think about it please! Be willing to get your hands dirty for Jesus!
Dr. Sam Martin
I was driving home from the office and to get a break from the news, I switched to the Classic Country station on the car radio. Playing was a real old song and as I listened to it, the message touched me and I felt led to share it with you. It is called ‘Teddy Bear’ and I trust you will read the lyrics below.
I was on the outskirts of a little southern town
Tryin' to reach my destination before the sun went down
The old CB was blarin' away on channel 1-9!
When there came a little boy's voice on the radio line
And he said: "Breaker 1-9! Is anyone there?
come on back, truckers and talk to Teddy Bear!"
Well, I keyed the mike and said: "You got it, Teddy Bear!"
And a little boy's voice came back on the air
"'Preciate the break, Who we got on that end?"
I told him my handle, and, then he began:
"Now, I'm not supposed to bother you fellows out there
Mom says you're busy and for me to stay off the air
But you see, I get lonely and it helps to talk
'Cause that's about all I can do, I'm crippled, and, I can't walk!"
I came back and told him to fire up that mike
And I'd talk to him, as long as he liked
"This was my dad's radio", the little boy said
"But I guess it's mine and mom's now, 'cause my daddy's dead!"
"Dad had a wreck about a month ago
He was trying to get home in a blindin' snow
Mom has to work now, to make ends meet
And I'm not much help, with my two crippled feet!"
"She says not to worry that we'll make it alright
But, I hear her crying, sometimes late at night
You know there's just one thing I want more than anything else to see
Aw, I know you guys are too busy to bother with me!"
"But, you see, my dad used to take me for rides when he was home
But, I guess that's all over now, since my daddy's gone
Not one breaker came on the old CB
As that little crippled boy talked with me
I tried hard to swallow a lump that just wouldn't stay down
As I thought about my boy back in Greenville Town
"Dad was going to take mom and me with him later on this year,
Why,l remember 'I'm saying: 'Someday this old truck will be yours, Teddy Bear!'
But, I know I'll never get to ride an 18-wheeler again
But, this old base will keep me in touch with all my trucker friends!"
"Teddy Bear's gonna back on out now and leave you alone
'Cause it's about time for mom to come home
But, you give me a shout when you're passin' through
And I'll sure be happy to come back to you!"
Well, I came back and I said: uh! "Before you go 10-10
What's your home 20, little CB friend?"
Well, he gave me his address and I didn't once hesitate
'Cause this hot load of freight was just gonna have to wait
I turned that truck around on a dime
And headed straight for Jackson Street, 229
And as I rounded the corner, oh, I got one heck of a shock
late wheelers were lined up for three city blocks!
Why, I guess every driver for miles around had caught Teddy Bear's call
And that little crippled boy was having a ball
For as fast as one driver would carry him in
Another would carry him to his truck and take off again
Well, you better believe I took my turn at riding Teddy Bear
And then I carried him back in and put him down in his chair
And buddy if I never live to see happiness again
I want you to know I saw it that day, in the face of that little man
We took up a collection for him before his mama got home
And each driver said goodbye and then they all were gone
He shook my hand with a mile-long grin
And said: "So long, trucker I'll catch ya again!"
Well, I hit the Interstate with tears in my eyes
I turned on the radio and I got another surprise
"Breaker 1-9!" Came a voice on the air
"Just one word of thanks from Mama Teddy Bear!"
"We wish each and every one, a special prayer for you
'Cause, You just made my little boy's dream come true
I'll sign off now, before, I start to cry
May God ride with you, 10-4, and goodbye."
To be honest, I realize this blog is somewhat different from others, but I believe it is a challenge to all of us. Like Breaker 1- 9 (Truck Driver) we are all travelling Life’s highway and on that journey we hear cries for help. Yes many times from children. Some who are crippled physically, others who are crippled socially and emotionally. People who read this blog, who visit our WEB site or Facebook page and read our Magazine must hear such cries from children needing help but too often they change channel when they could stop and make a little boy, or girl’s dream come true.
So often as you read the Scriptures you see Jesus ‘pulling over as it were’ to meet the needs of others. I think of His journey on the road to the Mount of Olives (Matthew 25) where He pulled over and taught the people some very important lessons, including:
“When you did it to these my brothers, you were doing it to me.”
May the Lord be with you, 10-4!
Dr. Sam Martin
It was a beautiful Sunday evening and my wife, along with our son and his wife went for a walk through a trailer park at a Christian Retreat Center. As we walked, we commented on the trailers, the beauty of the place, and then we saw a handwritten sign with toys either side of it. We stopped and read the words written obviously by a child. It said:
“If you want to play with me please knock the door.”
We stood for a moment looking at the sign and the teddy and doll laying on it, and speculated that a youngster was living in the trailer but had yet to find a playmate. It was a sad moment. It seemed so unfair, so out of place and yet it was real! Was the child watching us and perhaps those who passed by from a window? As we walked on, there was silence for a little while, and a real sense of sadness as we thought of the child who had made the sign.
A day has passed but it is still on my mind. However I am thinking of the children, families who look out from the doorway everyday asking us to help, children saying “who will sponsor me.” They watch the children go to school, they hear I am sure the stories about the things they did, and as their parents approach our staff and ask if there is anyway they can get their child into the program, a child stands holding them and in his/ her eyes there is the longing to become like the other children. I don’t think it is a stretch to say, they are asking:
“If you can help me get to school, please tell my Mom!”
All it takes is $35.00 a month. This gives the child hope for the future, brings them into a family that will care for them, yes and play with them. Children like:
Dylan from Guatemala & Kesneidine Francois from Haiti
Listen and you might hear them say:
“If you want to sponsor me please pick up the phone and call 905.492.5007”
Dr. Sam Martin
It is a wonderful privilege for me to represent the Mission and this includes meeting with families, Individuals, Churches and various groups. Needless to say, it is an honor to meet and share with so many wonderful people from all kinds of backgrounds, and all ages united in their love for God and for the children of the world.
Last Sunday it was thrilling to be the guest preacher at ‘Celebration Church’ in Barrie Ontario, part of the Anglican network in Canada, led by pastor Brian McVitty. Whenever my wife and I walked into the Church, we could sense the presence of God and were blessed by the vitality, warmth and friendship of the congregation. They were so interested, so appreciative and encouraging, it was a blessing to be with them.
After the service we had a wonderful meet and greet time, during which a visiting Anglican Priest spoke with me. He shared his struggles with what is happening in the Church world today and said something that was deeply profound and caused me to think/ He said:
‘The Church is no longer the Church of God,
It has become
The Church of the People!’
I knew what he meant. It seems the Church today is more given to please people than it is to pleasing God. More concerned about being politically correct than biblically correct! And I believe that is why so many are walking away from the Church, why they feel the Church is failing them. Of course that raises the question: ‘What are the marks of The Church of God?’
Obviously it would take pages to answer that, but let me list a few characteristics of the Church of God for you to consider.
Firstly, there will be an absolute commitment to the authority of Scripture expressed in a life-style that is pleasing to God.
Secondly, there will be a commitment to worship. Worship that is God-centered, Christ honoring!
Thirdly, there will be pure doctrine, a commitment to Holy living and a growing knowledge of truth.
The Church is the Church of God. He is the Head, and we His people should be seeking to fulfill His Mission. We should be living to please Him and we should do all to please Him! When we fail to recognize this then we will become a Church of the people and not the Church of God! The result? Consider the picture below: