That Box in Your Life
ELAINE GIDDINGS Script Writer, Faith for Today
There's a Box in your life. On the front of this Box are four lenses. About three years ago you were one of the crowd, seen through a wide-angle lens. Each year that pre cocious infant, the television industry, has turned a longer lens to bring you more sharply into view. Are you ready for the Zoomar, the lens that singles you out at a distance, then inexorably brings you right in, a fish on a hook, in focus all the way, to be framed and examined with a critical eye by everyone who turns the right knob?
You think you'll have nothing to do with television? You're not even interested? Gentle men, I submit that you are already in focus, and hardly a one of you will escape the pene trating search of that longer lens, even if you never appear in a regularly scheduled television program.
Why? Because you're in public work. You're interested in 160,000,000 Americans who, for the sake of their own happiness and salvation, must hear, read, and understand this revelation of God's great plan for them. Your problem is —how can you reach them where they are?
Direct television is one way, but only one. You will reach them in your own personal way, of course, as you've always planned and studied for—no, not quite as you've always planned. For your audiences aren't where they were when you started studying and planning. Many of the plans and procedures you've hoped to follow, because they were successful, are now outdated—not because there was anything wrong with them, but because audiences now have different expectations. To meet them where they are, you have to find them. And I believe that they're a long way from where most of us as Adventists think they are.
Most of you are used to evaluating your audi ence in general. When you go into a new town Talk given at a chapel service of the S.D.A. Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C. to hold a series of meetings, you know the main industries and occupations, the most in fluential organization, the major community interest, the leading newspapers and their cir culation, the distribution of population, aver age income, the church affiliations, as far as you can ascertain. But when networks and adver tisers risk millions of dollars in television mar kets, random and general analyses aren't good enough. They want to know everything possible about their potential viewers, so that they can not only reach them but interest them, hold them, and use them as the nucleus of a circle ending only at a circumference called "satura tion." Saturation is the greatest audience that can be expected, now calculated at about eighty per cent. You can see why audience research is developing into a science with continually re fined processes. What does that have to do with us as minis ters and evangelists and gospel teachers? Just this: We have a wonderful chance to profit by their hard-earned findings, and to use their knowledge for the highest possible use—the propagation of the gospel of the love of Jesus Christ.
Distribution of TV Sets
Half of all the families in the United States own a TV set. There are about thirty million sets, or an average of nearly one to every five persons in this country. As a nation we have become a world phenomenon because we own so many cars. But the television industry at tained a business gross in three years that it took the automobile industry ten years to reach. The audiences we want for the preaching of the Word of God are sitting in front of their TV sets in approximately these percentages: In cities of 50,000 and over, 77 per cent of all families own a set. In the middle and upper income brackets, 55 to 58 per cent of the families own sets, as compared with 32 per cent in the lower brackets. And 58 per cent of the families with four or five members are in this class, compared with 38 per cent of those with one or two members. The regions of highest set penetration are, of course, the Northeast, the North Central, and the Pacific. Perhaps you're gazing wistfully toward farm ing sections, where the people are still "uncorrupted." But let me warn you that the pene tration of television sets among families on the farm and in cities under fifty thousand in creased by a greater percentage than all the other areas combined during the first half of 1953. Do the owners actually watch TV much? Or do they get over the thrill after the first six months, and leave it to the children? One sur vey that was made covered heads of families only. These owners averaged two hours' view ing a day, and the average went up seven min utes for those with sets over two years old. The highest group of owners is in the thirty- to thirty-nine-year age group, and all adults de voted more time to TV than to radio, news papers, and magazines combined.
Can We Compete With TV?
I believe you can compete—but not on the old terms, and not with comparable audiences. You can compete with TV, shamelessly appro priating from TV every successful technique, every valuable lesson, that years of experience have perfected, as long as it is in harmony with the dignity of your calling. Here are some of the lessons the television profession has learned the hard way:
Only performances of professional quality can get and hold an audience. Haphazard or slipshod or amateurish programs get neither approval nor sympathy. That's easy to under stand, for as people become familiar \vith a wider and wider range of professional accomplishment, their critical intelligence sharpens.
A second important lesson is the increasing importance of time. Radio started conditioning people to well-timed programs of fifteen- and thirty-minute duration. With radio, however, people could do other things while still listening. Not so with video. When both physical and mental attendance is required, brave in deed is the program that goes beyond thirty minutes. It takes much variety, or much sus pense—and much money. The minister who goes very far beyond the thirty-minute limit today is on a lonely road, though he may be too engrossed in his subject to notice.
There's another axiom of television program ming that fits in with this one of timing—the axiom "Talks are dull." The fact that there is such a phenomenon as Bishop Sheen doesn't alter the general truth. (And he does use visual aids.) But politicians have to win votes by talking. What do they do? Can we learn from them?
Susanne Roberts pioneered in making political campaign platforms and ideologies vis ually effective. And she is considered instru mental in winning several of the most difficult political fights in the country. She has an in tensive background in radio, theater, and in dustrial education. I read her report on pro cedures and methods, and found a strong warning against having any talk "too long" without helpful visual aids in presenting ab stract ideas. I wondered what "too long" would be. I found that it was seven minutes. Is it possible that a straight seven-minute talk may lose those who aren't already on your side? People are more interesting than ideas. On the platform or before a group, a minister in his sincerity and earnestness is his own best visual aid. A fourth familiar lesson in the technique of persuasion is "Don't scatter your shot." It is dangerous to assume that people are cast from the same mold. Naturally, an ideal program or sermon would have uniform appeal, but we have to deal in realities. Every successful ap proach, then, is typed, and is beamed at a par ticular audience. Everything on that program is purposefully directed, for audience surveys have clearly indicated intellectual, economic, reli gious, occupational, age, and sex strata. Do you aim your sermon at struggling young couples with small children, at middle-aged men with settled convictions and incomes, at rebellious and lively teenagers, or at elderly women for whom the church is a comfortable solace?
At Faith for Today, one of the important ways in which we direct our message is not only by aiming at young people just starting a home, or growing families (with the greatest stake in the future), but by aiming it more frequently at the men's interests, knowing that the women will also be interested. It doesn't always work the other way. The last time we checked up, about twenty-five per cent of our mail came from men—which is excellent, for men are cer tainly less inclined to write, and apparently less inclined to religion.
The Main Event
In this purposeful direction of programming, building to the main event is important. In your services, as in ours at Faith for Today, the sermon is the main event. The prelimi naries, the transitions, the necessary items should be worthy of it, moving without falter ing and without lagging.
This message of ours is important, and preach ing is an important means of propagating it. Why have we waited for the television industry to show us how to cut and prune and slash so that the selling message takes its rightful place, with only an appetizer beforehand? Must we be bound by the traditions of the past? Our pioneers were successful in their generation. But their generation has gone, and we can't preach to this generation until we can reach it where it is now.
The sixth big lesson we can learn from those who influence millions through living pictures is this: Answer the viewers' legitimate questions and objections. That's not a new technique to you. Francois de Fenelon, a French archbishop and preacher of more than two centuries ago, wrote out some practical helps for effective preaching, in his Dialogues on Eloquence. He castigated speakers for riding heedlessly down the path of assertion. The fact that the audience subscribes to the convention of silence makes even heavier the speaker's responsibility to pre determine their point of view and give it the attention it deserves.
Framing and answering the questions of your audience not only gives you the advantage of first attack and favorable ground; this tech nique has in it the very essence of human in terest and audience attention-conflict. Of course television has not really taught us that conflict is a basic element of human inter est. Mrs. White speaks of it as having had its birth before time began, and ending only when time shall cease. It is not so much conflict be tween man and man in which we are inter ested. It is the conflict within each man. For "not only intellectual but spiritual power, a perception of right, a desire for goodness, exists in every heart. But against these principles there is struggling an antagonistic power. The result of the eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man's ex perience."—Education, p. 29.
Difference of opinion, the controversial as pects of questions, make for a stimulating and provocative program or sermon. Therein we can provide, as in life, the shifting balance be tween positive and negative, making our audi ence realize that religion is just an extension of everyday life and everyday thinking. And therein we make firm our own faith; for until we have answered honest doubts honestly, how can we be sure we are ourselves stormproof? Among other lessons in the art of modern communication, one is surely the decline in the value of the sensational. The spectacular and the glamorous are no longer persuasive attri butes of truth. Televisers have found that sin cerity pays off; that straightforward, able genuineness sells best. Even in commercials there is less pressure, a more natural style. The florid gesture, the overprojection of emotion, exaggerations of voice, are easily recognized as faking in the ruthless intimacy of that television lens.
Audiences Can Be Built
The most encouraging lesson that I have learned from the study of audience surveys is that audiences can be built, that supply can create the demand. People who never heard of cellophane, frozen orange juice, or cheap peni cillin can develop a taste that demands big production. People who (it was said) had no taste for good music can become an audience of ten million for a Philharmonic Symphony, when such a program is kept on until taste is stimulated and encouraged. Just such a deliberately purposeful program was carried on until now 40 per cent of all record sales are classical. All researches point to the same fact: people on every level have some dissatisfaction with the public fare they're getting. They can't iden tify all the improvements they'd like because there is such a big area in untouched, unformed tastes and interests.
Think of the thousands— yes, millions—who may become eager and de manding Bible readers, grounded in the truths of God, if they can only be exposed to those truths long enough to develop their interests! Let us now repudiate what Norman Cousins calls the "grotesque perpetuation of the fable about the intelligence of the average American: that it is somewhere on the level of the twelveyear- old child." Surely we, as well as radio and television, need a prodigious raising of sights, taking into account the phenomenal rise in the national level of education, and in general, "the increasing maturity (not high-browism) of the American people as measured by all avail able indices." This generation is ready to read Gad's Word as perhaps no other generation ever was. Now is the time to build audiences who will learn to "make God's Word their rule of life" and be ready for the testing time. We thank God for the tremendous projects in audience research instituted by the guard ians of "the Box," wiser in their generation than—some others. May our generation of the custodians of God's truth qualify to write an other book of Acts, in which the main character can once again be—The People.
God's Power Manifested
ARVO ARASOLA President, East Finland Conference
Revival is God's method to save men. Sal vation is not in the first place a dogma or a doctrine, but an act of the creative power of God. Learning the technical side of evange lization is good, but the most important point is the personal relation to God. The preacher is an instrument in the hand of God. He has more or less limitations, but "with God all things are possible" and "all things are possible to him that believeth" (Matt. 19:26; Mark 9:23).
The main reason for our failure is our un belief and divided motives. There are only a few who continually have a burden for souls and who trust God wholly, but there are many who are striving with the help of God to be come better evangelists. I belong to this latter group, and perhaps some of our experiences can encourage fellow workers to open their hearts to the grace of God. I had spent several years in the evangelistic work, but there was a feeling that the results should be greater. I usually baptized fifteen or twenty-five people every year, and the thought came to me that I did not have the gift of the evangelist. Then came the call for an effort in Tampere, a city of 100,000 inhabitants. I felt that the city was too big for me. There came a realization of a need of God's leading and a sense of heavy responsibility. At the same time there was another problem—my relation to the Spirit of prophecy. I believed in it, but not firmly. And therefore I had in two years read several thousand pages of this literature. The more I read, the deeper became my conviction that these writings were from God. A deep sense of sin filled my soul and the presence of the holy God forced me down to dust and ashes.
I surrendered all to God, and a new experience of salvation filled my soul. The wonderful light of the righteousness of Christ gave me a new vision of the work. How precious is the blood of Christ that washes away all sins! The Advent message is the gospel for this time. It is the faith of Jesus that gives love to the command ments of God. I began to pray for special power in the work. The Acts of the Apostles and the Spirit of prophecy gave much light on the question of receiving the power of the Holy Spirit. God gave me grace to believe and receive this ex perience. The whole church was renewed.
Results of Revival
We distributed five thousand handbills, and about four hundred people attended the first meeting. We were thankful to God. His pres ence was felt. After four meetings the attend ance doubled. A great interest arose. To get seats, the people came early to the meetings, and many times in the cold wintertime there was a long queue in the street before the door was opened. The revival began. The spirit of repentance was revealed. Many workers in the factories confessed their thefts; some went to the authorities and confessed their crimes. After the meetings many stayed and I had oppor tunity to pray with them one by one. We formed a prayer chain in the church of ninety-five members. At every hour, day and night through the whole winter, some of our members were praying. In the beginning of the meetings we had an hour of intercessory prayer, and many sick were healed. The wife of a well-known surgeon was near death when she asked us to pray for her. She was healed and gave her heart to God and was baptized. A boy with a withered spine, who had been bedfast for some years, was healed instantly. A woman who knew that we prayed for people at the beginning of the meet ings asked us to pray for her. The bite of a dog had resulted in blood poisoning. Her arm was very swollen and painful. We prayed for her at the same time she knelt in her home. In a moment she felt the pain leave her arm. She opened the bandage, and there before her eyes in a few seconds the swelling disappeared. There were other people who were healed of open wounds, tumors, tuberculosis, and other diseases. Very often we sent them, after their healing, to the physicians. The best advertise ments for the meetings are converted people and healed persons.
During the seven years we worked in this city we printed only two handbills and used very moderate advertising in the newspaper. The offerings were so liberal that they could pay all our expenses and the larger part of my salary. During some months the conference treasurer did not have to pay me anything, but we had to give him money. The conference first sent us a young sister as Bible instructor, and later another, and they did good work. When we began our meetings we had a little guitar choir. Our possibilities were not great. We had many meetings in cinemas, and one time when we went to the meeting there was a woman in the back row weeping. After the meeting a sister came to us and said that this woman began to weep because she felt the presence of God the very moment she entered. This is the secret of revival—the presence of God. During the first year we baptized and took into the church 120 souls, some of them from a small neighboring field. The church more than doubled in membership. In the second and third years we baptized 140 altogether. In six years the membership grew from 95 to 450.
In the first year the other denominations had many campaigns against us. We never attacked them, however. One day I was called to the general meeting of other denominations. The preachers asked what the Adventists believe. I answered: The main thing is that we, as they, believe that man is justified by faith without deeds. The difference is that they demand re pentance for the transgression of nine com mandments, but we demand repentance for the transgression of all the ten commandments. The way was thus opened, and at every oppor tunity I had to speak in these big general meet ings I lifted up Jesus. We gained many friends and won some converts from among them.
The attendance in the other churches was not good. A state church priest asked me to come to his chapel, and we had an inspiring meeting together. After the meeting he left the chapel, but the people remained. I went to them; sev eral persons gave their hearts to God and I prayed with them one by one. The priest took the offering with him, but we got the souls. The freethinkers asked us to come for a dis cussion meeting. There were eight hundred per sons present, and most of them were extreme liberals and freethinkers. Four atheists spoke in their turn, and another Adventist preacher and I answered them. They attacked the Bible and religion. Every time we answered we felt the wonderful power of God. It was a great victory for our message. The meeting lasted four hours, and at the end the people shouted "Amen" when we spoke, and the freethinkers were as the lion of Daniel 7 whose wings were plucked. A young man who was called to this meeting by the leader of the atheists was converted. God has given us a wonderful message. Our church is small and our resources are slender, but we have a great Saviour. All depends upon God and His power and upon our faith.
The Faith That Heals How Never to Be "Tired"
GEORGE E. VANDEMAN Associate Secretary, General Conference Ministerial Association
I can think of no better way to begin our message tonight than to read the promise that is found in Psalms 103, verses 2 and 3: "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases."
Think these words through carefully, friends, for they contain one of the most staggering promises to be found in the Scriptures. The average man vaguely feels that religion has some source of power available to him. Many, however, do not know any workable method for tapping that power, and that is what we are here to discover—the faith that heals. I suppose when some of you read the an nouncement of tonight's meeting, you did so with mixed feelings. You may have thought this would be a healing mission where hands would be laid on the sick amid excitement and public demonstration. Others may have reas oned, upon reading it carefully, that it sounded like a promise to understand themselves—"how never to be tired." Many, I am sure, looked longingly at this phrase and wondered how this ideal could be achieved. Some may have dis agreed that nervous breakdowns are not caused by overwork. Others oppressed by trouble pos sibly saw in the announcement a gleam of hope. Could this promise a way of relief for them? Whoever you are and whatever your need, will you quietly pray that God will bring you just the help you desire?
Religion and Our Physical Being
Perhaps the most important thing I can say at the outset is this: The trouble with most people is that they do not realize that religion is concerned with their bodies as well as their minds. They do not permit the renewing power of God to actually get down into their nerves and their tissues. You may ask, What do you mean?
Simply this: There is a direct and living connection between the mind and the stomach, the bloodstream, the tissues, and the nervous system. We shall see that the question of how God heals is vastly bigger than the laying on of hands on those who are desperately ill. The laying on of hands is in God's plan, but only a comparatively few are in need of this blessing. Evangelistic sermon presented in the New Gallery Centre, Regent Street, London. Page 28 The majority, however, daily face the need of the vital issues that we shall discuss tonight. One further word: We can thank God that Jesus was the Great Physician. We hear more about His healing than His teaching. Please notice 3 John 2: "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health,- even as thy s.oul prospereth." That is news to many people. One's health equal to one's Christian experience? Yes, that is what it says. God desires that you should fee radiantly healthy. There is a way to achieve this end. .What is it?
God says, "Come unto me, . . . and I will give you rest." Some think that this means spiritual rest only. They fully expect a rest in the hereafter, but many have made up their minds that they must put up with weariness and exhaustion here. "How never to be tired" obviously needs a little qualification. There is first of all a tired ness that comes from physical labor. In John 4, verse 6, we are told that Jesus became wearied and sat down to rest. The wise man said that the sleep of a laboring man is sweet. Yes, friends, the normal result of a day's labor brings a wholesome tiredness that induces sound sleep and is good for anyone. Then there is a tiredness that comes from disease and a tiredness that comes naturally from old age, but aside from these three natural qualifications it is possible never to be "tired." Bodily weariness from hard work can be balanced quickly.
The energy lost during the day can be built up with a good night's sleep; in fact, doctors tell us that there can be no fatigue debt. It cannot be carried over from day to day and from week to week. In other words, if you are tired after twenty-four hours of complete rest, your trouble is the tiredness of mind or spirit. It is not physical, but spiritual. A six months' holiday, a three months' holi day, is not needed to get rested physically. A change is good, to be sure, but one gets tired resting! If after a few days one is not rested, he worries that he is not rested, and then he is not rested because he worries.
Causes of Nervous Breakdown
You ask, What about nervous breakdowns? Contrary to popular belief, those who know tell us that nervous breakdowns are not caused by overwork. Dr. Austin F. Riggs said, "Hard work and plenty of it, whether physical or mental, never in itself produced one single case of nervous exhaustion." Dr. A. A. Brill agrees, "No one ever suffers a nervous breakdown from overwork. These maladies simply do not exist."
Then Dr. Paul Dubois also gives an unquali fied statement so rarely spoken by great physi cians: "Of all my nervous cases I never found one that could be traced to overwork." And then as if to settle the matter, Dr. Ira Wile says, "Unconditionally, there is no such thing as a breakdown from overwork." What then is the cause? you are no doubt asking. Two things might be listed to embrace the total cause. First, too much thinking about what will produce a breakdown will sometimes actually lead to a nervous collapse. These minds of ours have powers of suggestion to which the body responds intimately. One famous preacher planned ten consecutive sermons on how to avoid a nervous breakdown, and he ended up with one. Unfortunately he so brooded over the negative aspect that it weakened his own nerv ous resistance. It is psychologically true that whatever gets your mind gets you. I feel it is wise to attack these problems with a positive offer of help. There is a faith that heals. Let's think of that and we will be able to walk away from, and not into, a head-on collision with a nervous breakdown.
Second, and perhaps more important, there is some conflict at the bottom of every such col lapse. The cause of that conflict must be dis covered and adjusted. Please don't misunder stand me. These pains and breakdowns are not imaginary, they are all too tragically real, but they are caused, not by overwork, but by wrong mental and spiritual attitudes.
What are these wrong mental and spiritual attitudes that lead to trouble? We might list five of them, as follows:
Selfishness makes you tired. A self-centered person is usually an exhausted person. He is trying to live in an impossible way and he cannot be happy. No self-centered person is truly happy. We were not constituted that way, and no amount of inactivity will rest a selfish person.
Worry makes you tired. A prominent minis ter was riding in the cabin of an airplane. Dinner had been completed, and the captain strolled back through the plane. He asked our friend whether he had enjoyed his lunch, and when he had assured him that he had, our friend in turn courteously inquired whether the pilot had. "No, I have an upset digestion," the pilot replied. "What are you worrying about?" was the inquiry. The pilot looked surprised and then said, "Yes, I am worrying. I am afraid they are going to put me on a run I don't want to go on. So I am worrying." The minister replied, "That's what is the matter with you— worry is upsetting your digestive system." Please note Ecclesiastes 11:10, Moffatt's trans lation:* "Banish all worries from your mind, and keep your body free from pain." There was an ulcer known as Dunkirk ulcer, which was developed on a large scale by those who waited anxiously to be evacuated from the beach. Another thought-provoking text is found in Proverbs 17:22, Moffatt: "A glad heart helps and heals: a broken spirit saps vitality." Yes, behind much exhaustion is worry.
Fear makes you tired. "Worry is general, fear is specific," and thus even more dangerous. A great doctor sat in a restaurant opposite a woman who wore a golden cross. "If more people believed in and lived for what that cross stands for," he remarked, "I would have nothing to do. I see from seventy-five to one hundred patients a day, and the things they suffer from most are fear, loneliness, and selfishness."
Emotions and Disease
A friend of mine, the dean of a medical school, writes, "Emotions may be more impor tant than physical factors as a cause for disease." He points out that an emotion such as fear automatically stimulates the adrenal gland, which in turn throws adrenalin into the blood stream. This circulates in the blood, increasing the rate of heartbeat and contracting the blood vessels, thus increasing the blood pressure. It also stimulates the liver so that increased amounts of blood sugar are poured into the blood. It also increases the rate of breathing and temporarily puts a stop to the activities of the digestive organs. "An emotion such as fear," he says, "is the normal reaction of the body to meet an emergency." The body is physically poised ready to leap. That is the reason that in re sponse to fear a person is able to accomplish feats that would otherwise be impossible. Unfortunately, anger and resentment produce about the same reaction, and when these emotions are habitually brought into play without the necessity of a crisis, functional disturbances are the result. One young man with a gastric ulcer found his stomach in spasm at mealtime. It was discovered that throughout his early years the dinner gong was the signal for an habitual family quarrel around the table. Please notice that the Bible is ahead of its time in describing the situation. Psalms 6, verse 7, says: "Trouble wears away my strength, / age under outrages" (Moffatt). Also Proverbs 14:30 according to Moffatt says, "A mind at ease is life and health, but passion makes man rot away."
Did you know that these verses were in the Bible? How clearly they describe the ill effects of wrong mental attitudes! Do you suppose for one moment that the God of heaven will lay His hand of healing promiscu ously upon men and women who, through unconsecrated living, bring illness upon them selves and who would use their new strength in dissipation? Does God heal only to restore, so that we may disregard the laws of health and continue to disobey Him? Of course, God for gives, and in many cases has saved a man in spite of the past, but not without leading that man to repentance and at least to an under standing of God's will. Jesus continually said, "Thy sins be forgiven thee," when He healed the sick. Do you see now why Jesus approached the matter in this way? He wished to remove the cause and teach a better way to the one who was healed.
And last, guilt makes you tired. The burden of sin creates fear, distrust, and a desire to escape from the realities of life. Guilt produces conflict between that which is right and that which is wrong, and conflict makes you tired. Psalms 38:3 is quite pointed: "There is no health in my limbs, thanks to my sins" (Moffatt). Sin is like a germ—cover it up, and it grows. It festers and makes the body sick. Jesus invites you to confess your sin, for He is faithful and just to forgive that sin and to cleanse from all unrighteousness. Read those words in 1 John 1:9 again and again, and Christ's forgiving power will be felt in your life.
How God Heals
Now may I make one thing clear? God is still healing today as He did through Christ so many years ago. He heals in various ways and through different channels and methods, but in every case it is God who heals. We clear the way; God does the healing. No doubt you are asking, How does God heal? It is not lack of faith to say that God heals through physicians and surgeons. Luke was a physician; and Jesus remarkably often used simple remedies, such as a poultice for the eyes. We are only now discovering that some of the most potent remedies are to be found in the earth and plants. Then again, God heals through mental suggestion. A balanced, sane outlook on life, wholly trusting God, will relieve us from many a fear of sickness. One business man traveling on a plane became seriously ill. His heart actually fluttered. He could not get his breath. The altitude was too high, he said. A doctor seated nearby, attempting to help, asked him where he lived. The businessman replied that he lived in Mexico City. When the doctor explained that Mexico City was 7,500 feet above sea level, and that the plane at that moment was only 2,000 feet above sea level, the man got well immediately. Medical science is proving that there are "blind men with perfect optic nerves, paralyzed men as sound in wind and limb as the doctor himself, lame men who have never received a wound, deaf men who have never been to the front." Why then the illness? Because their mentality became twisted; their faith had been in themselves and not in God. Somewhere, sub consciously, their wires were crossed. God heals through education. I believe in a program of better living. There would be fewer requests for special prayer for the sick if we knew how to take care of these bodies and these minds. Clear, wholesome mental attitudes based on an understanding of God's love and His power are one very practical way in which God heals.
God heals through deliverance from fears, loneliness, selfishness, resentments, and guilt. God also heals through the touch of the Spirit. Tonight we wish to answer the following ques tions: How can we conquer fear, worry, and anxiety? Where is there deliverance from selfish ness, loneliness, resentment, and guilt? How can a man bring his life into harmony with the life-giving Source of restoring, healing power?
The answer is brief but important. It is by faith. The Place of Faith "Oh!" you say, "I was afraid of that. This is where I am defeated before I begin. I have no faith, and if I had, I wouldn't know how to use it." Take courage, friend. Altogether too long we have been told to "have faith." I would like, however, to attempt to show you how to have faith and how you may acquire spiritual skill in developing a strong and effective faith— a faith that can completely change every crip pling thing that interferes with your well-being. "Ah!" you say, "I would give anything for such a faith." It can be developed by two simple steps. The first involves the practice of simple, but heartfelt prayer, and daily devotion and medi tation, reading God's Word. Henry Drummond was one of the superior Christian intellects of his time. Yet his secret was so simple that any one can put it into practice: "Ten minutes spent in Christ's society every day, aye, two minutes, will make the whole day different." Multiply this practice day by day and you benefit by the cumulative effect of habit and changed mental outlook. We have all known men, strong and radiantly happy, who lived as "from a great depth of being." When you examine their daily program you will find that it reveals these regular periods of meditation.
The Scripture says, "Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace." Sit still just long enough "to let the cream rise to the top." This simple practice will give control over fears and weak nesses and build in you a deep and abiding faith. If you plead that there is no time, just remember that we always have time for what we want to do. A trial will be rewarding. Bishop Cushman wrote these penetrating lines: I met God in the morning, When my day was at its best, And His presence came like sunrise, Like a glory in my breast. All day long that presence lingered; All day long He stayed with me; And we sailed in perfect calmness O'er a very troubled sea. Other ships were blown and battered, Other ships were sore distressed, But the winds that seemed to drive them Brought to us a peace and rest. Then I thought of other mornings, With a keen remorse of mind, When I too had loosed the moorings With the presence left behind. So I think I know the secret Learned from many a troubled way: You must seek Him in the morning, If you want Him through the day. Jeremiah 2:32 says: "My people have for gotten me, days without number!" (Moffatt). Little faith or no faith at all grows out of such forgetful living. Paderewski said that if he missed his piano practice one day, he could tell the difference in his playing. If he missed his practice two days, his family could tell the difference. If he missed it three days, his friends recognized it, and if he missed it a week, the public would know the difference. This illustrates the dangerous and subtle loss of in timate power and control a man suffers when he neglects this quiet time with his God. If we miss that quiet time one day, we know the difference, and the more we miss it, the larger the circle widens, to our' family, our friends, and our acquaintances. I beg of you, hold that time sacred.
The secret is so simple, the results so grand, that it pays tremendously to guard well your quiet times. Quietly relax physically, then allow your rnind to relax, and consciously open the gates of your mind to God. Allow divine energies to flow through you as you spend a thoughtful period reading of Christ, His love and His power to save. "By beholding, we become changed." Trusting Rather Than Trying The second method for having faith is to surrender your life in childlike trust to the will of God. It is to believe by an act of trust. It is utter committal. Some people try hard to believe. That is not faith. It is anxiety trying to look like faith. You can say, however, "Lord, I believe; help Thou my unbelief. I trust You even though shadowy questions haunt my mind." As you hold positively and firmly to the truths you know to be sure, you will find your self triumphing over the weak doubts of an earthbound body. Then the release of God's forgiving grace and a conscious sense of inner strength are the most impressive phenomenon of all human experience. You are laying hold of the power that heals. Faith links you to it.
Not saved are we by trying, From self can come no aid. 'Tis on the Blood relying Once for our ransom paid. 'Tis looking unto Jesus, That Holy One and Just, 'Tis His great work that saves us, It's not try, but trust. Oh, yes! we need to cooperate with God, wholly and completely, but the largest blessing comes when we learn to cooperate by trusting rather than frantically trying in our own poor limited strength. The Japanese have discovered a method of tying the taproots of little trees that were destined to be forest giants. With their tap roots tied, however, they were never more than potted plants. Many Christians—unfortunately their number is legion—have been dwarfed in their efficiency, their freedom, and their power, all because the taproot had become tangled with selfishness, worry, fear, or guilt. These and many other crippling hindrances discourage and de feat our attempts for God and lead to illness. O friend! cut loose and let that taproot become firmly implanted in Christ, the Source of power and spiritual strength for consistent daily vic tory.
God Can Meet Your Need
I don't know who you are or what your par ticular need may be, but God does, and that is what matters tonight. Have you this evening heard the voice of God revealing the burden of guilt that should be washed away? Have you felt willing to exchange the almost familiar chains of secret sin for freedom and self-respect?
Is your personality troubled with conflicting claims? Is your life paralyzed by fear? Are there deep-rooted resentments poisoning your body? Do you see what God can do through forgive ness and guidance to a wholesome mental out look? And if I have not mentioned your need, but if, by God's Spirit, you have seen the way more clearly, would you be willing to accept it? How many tonight want to be remembered in prayer? How many desire more than anything else in this world to be healed and want the faith within to link you with that Power, Christ Jesus, and His healing peace? May God grant your desire. [Prayer followed.]
Nutrition in London Campaign
J. WAYNE McFARLAND, M.D. Associate Secretary General Conference Medical Department
Should you plan for a nutrition and cook- O ing school in connection with your church or your evangelistic effort, we are sure you would appreciate having a copy of the book used in our evangelistic effort in London. The name of this book is Family Fare, published by our Stanborough Press, England, in a very neat and attractive form. Mrs. Joan Shone, the author, was with us as the demonstrator of healthful cookery during the first campaign, and the help that she gave, along with Miss Mary Nobel's assistance, was a large factor in making our health message successful in the field of nutrition. In view of the following statement we need to re-emphasize our nutrition program in our evangelistic efforts: "As a people we have been given the work of making known the principles of health reform. There are some who think that the question of diet is not of sufficient importance to be included in their evangelistic work. But such make a great mis take. God's word declares: 'Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.' 1 Corinthians 10:31. The subject of temperance, in all its bearings, has an important place in the work of salvation."—Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 112.
You may send check or money order to the General Conference Medical Department, and Family Fare will be mailed to you. The cost is eighty cents each. This book will help not only you but also the program of health evangelism in the British Isles.