The Inheritance

Charles John Huffam Dickens was born 7 February 1812 in Portsmouth, England. He was the second child of John and Elizabeth Hoffman Dickens. His parents went on to have five more children to join Charles and his elder sister, Fanny, two of whom died in infancy. The Dickens family was on shaky financial ground from the beginning. John Dickens did not have a particularly good head for numbers or finance, which was rather unfortunate, since he worked as a clerk in the Naval Pay Office. (He also dabbled in journalism, which influenced his young son but failed to bring the family much income.) The family moved frequently. By 1823, things had gotten bad enough that Dickens’s parents were forced to withdraw him from school because they could no longer pay the fees. The following year, 1824, was a nightmare for the whole Dickens family. On 9 February, two days after his twelfth birthday, Charles was sent to work at Warren’s Blacking Factory, a London operation that made the polish for boots. That same month, John Dickens was sentenced to Marshalsea Prison for his failure to repay a debt. Though young Charles tried desperately to raise the money to keep his father out of jail, on 23 February John Dickens reported to prison. The entire family – with the exception of Charles, who was still working at the factory, and his older sister Fanny – moved in to John’s prison cell. You don’t have to be a Dickens expert or a psychologist to see how deeply this experience affected Charles Dickens and influenced his fiction. The blacking factory was a miserable place. Living alone at a boarding house while his family was in prison was more than the sensitive 12-year-old Charles could bear. His depression and anxiety contributed to his sickly constitution. In May, John Dickens received an inheritance and was able to arrange to have the debt paid off. The family moved in together again at the boarding house where Charles had been living. By June 1824 he was able to go back to school at Wellington House Academy.

1 Peter 1:3-5



Men Have Forgotten God

Regarding atheism, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn declared:

Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”

Edward E. Ericson, Jr., “Solzhenitsyn – Voice from the Gulag,” Eternity, October 1985, pp. 23–4

God’s Instrument: The Story of Squanto

God’s Instrument
The Story of Squanto
By Charles W. Colson

Most of us know the story of the first Thanksgiving – at least, we know the
Pilgrim version. But how many of us know the Indian viewpoint?

No, I’m not talking about some revisionist, p.c. version of history. I’m
talking about the amazing story of the way God used an Indian named Squanto
as a special instrument of His providence.

Historical accounts of Squanto’s life vary, but historians believe that
around 1608-more than a decade before the Pilgrims landed in the New
World-a group of English traders, led by a Captain Hunt, sailed to what is
today Plymouth, Massachusetts. When the trusting Wampanoag Indians came out
to trade, Hunt took them prisoner, transported them to Spain, and sold them
into slavery.

But God had an amazing plan for one of the captured Indians-a boy named

Squanto was bought by a well-meaning Spanish monk, who treated him well and
taught him the Christian faith. Squanto eventually made his way to England
and worked in the stable of a man named John Slaney. Slaney sympathized
with Squanto’s desire to return home, and he promised to put the Indian on
the first vessel bound for America.

It wasn’t until 1619-ten years after Squanto was first kidnapped-that a
ship was found. Finally, after a decade of exile and heartbreak, Squanto
was on his way home.

But when he arrived in Massachusetts, more heartbreak awaited him. An
epidemic had wiped out Squanto’s entire village.

We can only imagine what must have gone through Squanto’s mind. Why had God
allowed him to return home, against all odds, only to find his loved ones

A year later, the answer came. A shipload of English families arrived and
settled on the very land once
occupied by Squanto’s people. Squanto went to meet them, greeting the
startled Pilgrims in English.

According to the diary of Pilgrim Governor William Bradford, Squanto
“became a special instrument sent of God for [our] good . . . He showed
[us] how to plant [our] corn, where to take fish and to procure other
commodities . . . and was also [our] pilot to bring [us] to unknown places
for [our] profit, and never left [us] till he died.”

When Squanto lay dying of a fever, Bradford wrote that their Indian friend
“desir[ed] the Governor to pray for him, that he might go to the
Englishmen’s God in heaven.” Squanto bequeathed his possessions to his
English friends “as remembrances of his love.”

Who but God could so miraculously weave together the lives of a lonely
Indian and a struggling band of Englishmen? It’s hard not to make
comparisons with the biblical story of Joseph, who was also sold into
slavery-and whom God likewise used as a special instrument for good.

Squanto’s life story is remarkable, and we ought to make sure our children
and grandchildren learn about
it. While you’re enjoying turkey and pumpkin pie tomorrow, share with your
kids the Indian side of the
Thanksgiving story.

Tell them about Squanto, the “special instrument sent of God”-who changed
the course of American history.

(c) 1998 Prison Fellowship Ministries
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Christian Education: Foundations for the Future (Table of Contents)

Christian Education: Foundations for the Future, Copyright 1991, Moody: Chicago

Table of Contents:

Part 1: The Definitive Nature of Christian Education (chapters 1-5)

Part 2: The Teaching-Learning Process in Christian Education (chapters 6-14)

Part 3: The Ministry Is to People (chapters 15-24)

Part 4: The Church’s Strategies for Christian Education (chapters 25-35)

Part 5: The Church’s Allies for Christian Education (chapters 36-40)



Winston Churchill, upon being told of the modesty of a certain man, said, “Yes, well, he has a lot to be modest about.”


The Unforgettable Pete Maravich

It happened so suddenly. One minute he was enjoying playing basketball, telling a friend he felt

great. The next, he was sprawled on the floor, his body con vulsing in a seizure. An ambulance

whisked him to the hospital where doctors tried for fifty minutes to revive him. It was all in vain;

Peter Press Maravich, known to the world as “Pistol Pete,” slipped into eternity at 9:42 a.m. on

January 5, 1988 at the age of 40.


Pete was beloved by many, yet understood by few. He was a legend in his own time, one of the

greatest basketball players who ever lived, and probably the most colorful. The news of his sudden

death sent shock waves from coast to coast and brought back an avalanche of memories to his

many admirers, of whom I was chief. Few, if any, ever inspired me as he did. Pete left a deep and

lasting impression on me because of his commitment to excellence, his incredible intensity, and his

perseverance in the face of constant criticism and nagging problems.


The Amazing String Bean


I still vividly remember the first time I saw Pistol Pete play in person. I can see him now. It was

March of 1968. The coliseum at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee was packed to capacity. During

the warm up, I observed Maravich’s 6’5″ 170-pound frame, which resembled a cross between a

clarinet and a string bean, and I wondered if he could possibly live up to his lofty reputation. I

chuckled at the floppy socks that had slid to the bottom of his spindly legs. And of course, there

was his mop of shaggy hair.


But from the opening tip-off, the sophomore sensation from LSU quickly impressed me with his

behind-the-back dribbling, his long, feathery jump shots, and that amazing between-the-legs passing

that often caught his own teammates off guard. By the time the final buzzer sounded, he had poured

in a torrent of 44 points, his average–all in a losing effort!


While I was attending the University of Missouri, I read about Pete in the newspaper. He had just

become the top scorer in the history of college basketball and a three-time All-American. Then he

climaxed a brilliant amateur career by being selected Player of the Year in 1970.


In the pros, Pete soared to new heights. He led the league in scoring in 1977 with a 31.1 average.

His career spanned ten years, primarily with Atlanta and New Orleans, during which he became a

four-time all star and averaged 24.2 points per game. His highest point total for one game was 68,

but without a strong supporting cast it was difficult to win a title. The elusieness of a championship

disturbed him deeply.


A Misunderstood Genius


Criticism began to mount. Many thought he was a loser and questioned why he could not win at

least one championship. Pete was tormented. No matter what he did, or how hard he played,

people just didn’t understand this genius in sneakers. Though Pete played with a flair and intensity

never before seen, to his critics–and especially to himself–he was never good enough.


Meanwhile, his life seemed to be falling apart. His mother committed suicide, for which he felt

responsible. His social drinking became more frequent and intense. Worst of all, Pete had no inner

peace. Maybe a championship was all that was necessary. But season after season passed, and no



At last he had the opportunity to win that coveted crown. He was traded to Boston in 1980 for his

final season. His mind knew exactly what to do, but his tired body refused to cooperate. For once,

the Celtics didn’t win the title, and Pistol Pete was finished at 33.


Life Beyond the Court


Retirement was almost more than Pete could handle. Basketball had been his life, even his god, for

over 25 years. Searching for peace and fulfillment, he dabbled in astrology, mysticism, survivalism,

and UFOs. He even contemplated suicide as he raced his Porsche over a bridge at 140 mph.


Then in November of 1982, as Pete tried to sleep one night at his home in Metairie, Louisiana, the

weight of his sin against a holy God almost crushed him. What the Bible said about sin was true: “All

have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans3:23), and “the wages of sin is death”

(Romans 6:23).


At that moment the light of God’s mercy shone brightly in his heart, and he realized “God

demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans

5:8). Pete remembered the biblical promise, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved”

(Acts 16:31). Rolling off his bed and kneeling there, he repented of his sin and trusted Jesus Christ

to give him eternal life.


Before long, Pete was sharing his testimony with anyone who would listen. He spoke about the

emptiness of his former life without Christ, despite possessing all the material benefits a young man

could ever desire.


Not long before his death, he told his former coach, Richie Guerin, that his desire was to be

remembered as a good Christian, a good husband, and a good father. Speaking before 35,000

people at the Billy Graham Crusade in Columbia, South Carolina just a few months before his

death, he said, “Next week I’ll be inducted into the Hall of Fame. . . (but) I wouldn’t trade my

position in Christ for a thousand NBA championships, for a thousand Hall of Fame rings, or for a

hundred billion dollars.”


For those of us who loved and admired Pete, his place in sports history is quite secure. But more

important, his standing before a holy God is eternally secure. Pete Maravich was a winner whose

end was greater than his beginning, for he had come to know His great God and Savior, the Lord

Jesus Christ. After all, a relationship with Christ, not a championship, was what Pete really needed.


Though Pistol Pete died suddenly, he was prepared. What about you? Do you have peace with

God through the Lord Jesus Christ? Has He changed your life? If not, trust Him now for the

forgiveness of your sin, for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans



Ed Cheek


Like Pete, I know that I am a sinner and that I need God’s forgiveness. I believe that Christ died in

my place to pay the penalty for my sin and that He rose from the dead. I now trust in Jesus Christ

alone as my Savior and receive His gift of eternal life.


If you have made this decision and desire help, please contact us through the methods mentioned at

the bottom of the page.


For a free sample of this gospel tract, call American Tract at 1-800-548-7228 .


Getting Rid of the Rodent

Years ago, in the pioneer days of aviation, a pilot was making a flight around the world. After he had been gone for some two hours from his last landing field, he heard a noise in his plane, which he recognized as the gnawing of a rat. He realized that while his plane had been on the ground a rat had gotten in. For all he knew the rat could be gnawing through a vital cable or control of the plane. It was a very serious situation. He was both concerned and anxious. At first he did not know what to do. It was two hours back to the landing field from which he had taken off and more than two hours to the next field ahead. Then he remembered that the rat is a rodent. It is not made for the heights; it is made to live on the ground and under the ground. Therefore the pilot began to climb. He went up a thousand feet, then another thousand and another until he was more than twenty thousand feet up. The gnawing ceased. The rat was dead. He could not survive in the atmosphere of those heights. More than two hours later the pilot brought the plane safely to the next landing field and found the dead rat. Worry is a rodent. It cannot live in the secret place of the Most High. It cannot breathe in the atmosphere made vital by prayer and familiarity with Scripture. Worry dies when we ascent to the Lord through prayer and Word.

Quoted from Questions Jesus Asked in Illustrations Unlimited by James S. Hewett