Steady!—When the pressure of work is incessant, when men become weary and worn, but must still drive on with their tasks, tempers often become strained, and nerves sometimes snap. Feelings rise, and words that are inconsiderate sometimes come forth. Latent touchiness appears, and calm, dispassionate reason is superseded by questionable attitudes or decisions. That is the time to, hold steady and to pray earnestly for help. There is also a human element that will aid under such conditions. The saving grace of humor will often help us through many a tense experience. If we will only look for it, the humorous side of a situation will frequently keep us from being swept off our feet. The effects of a smile and a soothing word are sometimes miraculous. Try it. We must learn to hold steady when others are in danger of becoming immoderate in word and attitude.
Music Message!—As verily as we need a distinctive Adventist literature, instead of relying, upon Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, and other religious classics of the past generations, just so truly do we need a distinctive Adventist hymnology for our message. We employ some of the standard religious works of the past, written when those religious groups constituted God's true church for the time. But these alone do not suffice for today. They are not keyed to the advances of the hour. They do not contain the full reformation message of God for this hour. Similarly with the hymns of the centuries. Rich as they are, they are without those distinctive second-advent, Sabbath, sanctuary, and kindred truths that constitute the distinguishing contributions of this message to the world. We should sing the full message for today in hymn and special song, just as the Reformers did in their day, and caused Babylon to tremble with Reformation hymns keyed to the special truths of their times.
Confidentially!—Several times recently this writer has conversed with fine, consecrated, successful individuals whom it was a joy to meet. Their conversation was uplifting and inspiring. There was, however, one marring element : in their earnestness they spoke with force; but the breath that propelled their forceful words was anything but pleasant. Call it halitosis, if that sounds more euphonious, but it was, nevertheless, just plain bad breath. Whether from catarrh, bad teeth, or stomach, or what not, it was most unpleasant to the recipient. No one tells them, not wishing to offend. But some friend needs to draw this to their attention, And while we are discussing breath, some people have a fondness for fresh onions (and some even for garlic). These are unquestionably delectable to those who enjoy them—that is, firsthand. But the odor of onions or garlic as relayed by another's breath is most unpleasant when found upon a minister or Bible worker while in discharge of public or personal responsibilities calling for close contacts. A word to the wise should be sufficient.
Self-Deceived!--The most tragic aspect about fighting truth is that before one is aware, the distinction between truth and error becomes so blurred that a man actually thinks he is opposing error and exalting truth, when in reality he is doing the precise opposite. His spiritual senses become so blinded that he supposes darkness to be light, and light to be darkness. It will be a terrible thing to be found fighting against God. Such will say, "Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name," and in Thy name done many valiant deeds in exposing error? But He will respond, "I never knew you: depart from Me." The wrath of God will be as terrible in the day of His vengeance as is the greatness of His grace in this day of His mercy. Opposer of God's truth, if you read these lines, halt in your mad course, and rightabout-face. Seek God's forgiveness, that you may be hid in the day of His wrath. Self-deception is the gravest of all deceptions.
Leadership!—Constricted the vision and dwarfed the stature of one who, responsible for a group of workers, will selfishly urge a young man to continue on in mechanical lines, instead of entering the ministry to which his ministerial brethren are calling him, and to which he believes himself called. We should encourage youth with ambitions for God to move forward in line with opening providences. Never should immediate, selfish interests lead us to urge a young man not to advance. Generosity in sacrificing personal interests that youth may advance, will be rewarded in finding others of equal or greater talent; while a penuriousness of attitude will result in stagnation and loss even of what we have. Genuine interest in the welfare of youth is one of the basic evidences of true leadership.
Narrowness is inexcusable here.
L. E. F.