The Old Fisherman

My Source: GarysList–by
October 27, 1998
Author: Unknown
File Under: REAL BEAUTY, 1 Samuel

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of JohnHopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out patients at the clinic. One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. Why, he’s hardly taller than my eight-year-old,” I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face-lopsided from swelling, red and raw. Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, “Good evening. I’ve come to see if you’ve a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there’s no bus till morning.” He told me he’d been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. “I guess it’s my face: I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments. . .” For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me. “I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning.” I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch.

I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. “No thank you. I have plenty.” And he held up a brown paper bag. When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn’t take long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He
told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury. He didn’t tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was prefaced with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer.

He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going. At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children’s room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favour, he said, “Could I please come back
and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won’t put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair.” He paused a moment and then added, “Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don’t seem to mind.” I told him he was welcome to come again. And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a
gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they’d be nice and fresh I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden. Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious. When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning. “Did you
keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!” Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear.

I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God. Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse, As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, “If this were my plant, I’d put it in the loveliest container I had!” My friend changed my mind. “I ran short of pots,” she explained, “and knowing how
beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn’t mind starting out in this old pail. It’s just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden.” She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. “Here’s an especially beautiful one,” God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. “He won’t mind starting in this small body.” All this happened long ago – and now, in God’s garden, how tall this lovely, soul must stand. (Source of article could not be traced.)
But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

Feelings or Convictions

Feelings or Conviction!

by  Lexie B. Ray

I read of a helicopter pilot who flew from an air­craft carrier in the Pacific who told the following story.

He said, “I was flying the helicopter back to the ship when a blinding fog rolled in. Flying at a low altitude, I knew that a single mistake would plunge my crew and me into the ocean.

Worse yet, I was experiencing a complete loss of balance, which is common for pilots flying by instruments. This loss of balance was so bad that despite the in­strument readings I was certain that I was lying on my side.

For 15 minutes, I flew the helicopter by its instruments, fighting the urge to turn it ac­cording to my feeling. When we finally broke out safely through the fog, I was deeply thankful I had been trained to rely upon my instruments, rather than on my feelings.”

That is what people who live by faith do – they re­member that feelings can be misleading, but the truths in God’s word are reliable, trust-worthy, and consistent. The Christian life, like walking on wat­er, is humanly impossible. It can only be lived through the power of the Jesus Christ.

Storms are going to come. When you’re in a storm with the wind raging and the waves pounding, and you feel like you’re sinking, remember this: the same Lord who allows the storm can still the storm!

Copied from: Sound Doctrine,   Fairdealing church of Christ

My SOURCE: The Pilot Oak Flier, 3/22/09

LA Past Posts

LemmonsAid Posts from the Past

From time to time we will be listing a few posts that were originally sent out on the LemmonsAid Email List, and then posted to my website.

  • A good place to begin would be an excellent outline presented by the late Wendell Winkler to our Prison Epistles Class back in 1981, entitled: “We CAN Understand the Bible.”  It was posted in two parts because of its length.  Part 1: H-E-R-E; Part 2: H-E-R-E.
  • I prepared a sermon for Dick Sztanyo’s class on Apologetics entitled: “Is the Sword Dependable?”  I have used it often.  Perhaps it could be helpful to you.  Find it H-E-R-E.
  • I like the lesson J.L. May pointed out from A SLICE OF BOLOGNA, which appeared in The Friend of Truth a few years back.  See what you think about it by clicking H-E-R-E.
  • John Gipson gave a great illustration regarding: “What’s in a Name,” H-E-R-E.
  • How I wish I knew who wrote the thought-provoking poem, “Little Barefoot Buford,” but to me it has remained anonymous.  What a powerful lesson it teaches about the importance of inviting others to gospel meetings!  H-E-R-E.

More to come later…

Tradition versus Reason

A new husband watched his bride prepare a ham for the oven.  he noticed she cut off a few inches of the end.  When asked by, she replied that the only reason she could give was that her mother had always done it that way.  They called her mother who admitted she always cut off a few inches, because “my mother did it that way.”  Finally, they consulted Grandma, who said, “Oh, I always did that because my pan was too small.”

This illustrates that we may follow customs without even considering if we are doing the right thing!

Even in religion, some follow family customs and traditions without real personal convictions.  Many have inherited their religion from their family instead of basing their faith upon the Word of God.

Friend, your mother and father could have been wrong in what they learned and what they taught you.  Study your Bible for yourself!

–From: the bulletin of THE SAKS CHURCH OF CHRIST, 11/16/08.


Shaped Below to Fit Up Here

Shaped Below to Fit Up Here

Shaped for Glory

During the Great Depression, a good man lost his job, exhausted his savings, and forfeited his home.  His grief was multiplied by the sudden death of his precious wife.  The only thing he had left was his faith, and it was weakening.

One day he was combing the neighborhood looking for work.  He stopped to watch some men who were doing the stonework on a church building.  One of those men was skillfully chiseling a triangular piece of rock.  Not seeing a spot where it would fit, he asked, “Where are you going to put that?”  The man pointed toward the top of the building and said, “See that little opening up there near the spire?  That’s where it goes.  I’m shaping it down here so it will fit up there.”

Tears filled this good man’s eyes as he walked away.  God had spoken to him through those words: “Shaping it down here so it will fit up there.”  He found new meaning in his difficult situation.

Some of you are going through terribly troublesome times.  You may be experiencing some heart-breaking sorrow.  Or perhaps you are enduring some painful physical illness.  Or it may be something else – maybe even too excruciating to talk to anyone about.  The blows of the hammer and chisel hurt.  But when they do, think of the builder’s words: Shaping it down here so it will fit up there.

–From The Friend of Truth, Greensboro Road church of Christ, Jonesboro, AR.

PDF Minister’s Monthly Index

Back in May of last year I posted a piece entitled: Minister’s Monthly. If you are interested you can go there by clicking H-E-R-E.

I here introduced a segment of my website which contains supplement files to the old Parson’s product: BIBLE ILLUSTRATOR. This program has now been replaced with what is called: “Sermon Builder 4.0.” I still use my Bible Illustrator program just about every day of my life. I regret that it is not compatible with the Windows Vista OS and thus I am prevented from using BI on my new desktop.

A fellow preacher recently contacted me about those supplement files and noted that he did not have the BI program, but did have several issues of The Minister’s Monthly. He was inquiring to see if there was some way for him to use those files. I told my brother that I would cut and paste the content into a document that he should be able to use. Out of this, there has now been uploaded to my site a PDF copy of the index. Of course, it is of limited value because it only indexes the issues of MM that I possess (59 issues). It is a document of some sixty plus pages, single-spaced (235k in size). This document can now be downloaded or viewed online and be searched for Scriptures treated or topics covered. You can find it by clicking or right-clicking H-E-R-E.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the LemmonsAid feed by pasting the following into your feed reader: You say you don’t have a feed reader? Step into the 21st Century by getting a good one for FREE at: You can learn all about RSS feeds by clicking H-E-R-E GOOGLE also has a great READER. THANKS!

Partially Committed

Partly Baptized…

Ivan the Terrible, one of the great rulers of Russia, wanted to marry Sophia, the daughter of the King of Greece.  When Ivan asked the King for his daughter’s hand, the King demanded that Ivan join the Greek Orthodox Church.  Ivan had gone to Greece with five hundred of his best soldiers, and when Ivan joined the church, they desired to join also.  A catechizer outlined the articles of the creed to the soldiers, and they gave assent to all of them with one exception.  One of the articles stated that if they joined the church, they could not be professional soldiers.  They asked the catechizer to give them time to think it over.  They pondered the problem: “How can we join the Church and remain in the army at the same time?”  They concocted a plan.  When they were to be baptized, they marched into the water, five hundred of them, together with five hundred priests.  Shortly before each priest took his candidate under, each soldier grabbed for his sword, and lifted it up in the air, and each soldier was baptized except for his fighting arm and a gleaming sword that jutted out of the water.  Those who witnessed the mass baptism spectacle said that they saw five hundred dry arms and five hundred glittering swords sticking out of the water.  The soldiers had fallen upon this plan: “We will join the church with our bodies, but we will allow our fighting arms to remain in possession of the state.”

***Calvin Warpula, “Growth Through Surrender.” In Growth: The Result of Our Assurance, pp. 185-201.  Edited by Jerry R. Whitmire.  West Monroe, LA: School of Biblical Studies, 1980.  Story from Angel Martinez.  REVIVAL AT MIDNIGHT.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1956.

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