Saturday, May 31, 2008

More Muller Musings

In an address given to ministers and workers after his ninetieth birthday, George Muller spoke these words:

"I was converted in November, 1825, but I only came into the full surrender of the heart four years later, in July, 1829. The love of money was gone, the love of place was gone, the love of position was gone, the love of worldly pleasures and engagements was gone. God, God alone became my portion. I found my all in Him; I wanted nothing else. And by the grace of God this has remained, and has made me a happy man, an exceedingly happy man, and it led me to care only about the things of God. I ask affectionately, my beloved brethren, have you fully surrendered the heart to God, or is there this thing or that thing with which you are taken up irrespective of God? I read a little of the Scriptures before, but preferred other books; but since that time the revelation He has made of Himself has become unspeakably blessed to me, and I can say from my heart, God is an infinitely lovely Being. Oh, be not satisfied until in your own inmost soul you can say, God is an infinitely lovely Being!"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Extraordinary God

George Muller's life of explicit faith has caused many who followed after him to seek after a similar lifestyle.

Somehow we have made Muller into a folk hero who we try to emulate. That's exactly the opposite to what this ordinary man would have wanted. He would rather we seek to honor God, obey Him and simply trust Him with every detail of our lives.

We have set Muller on such a high pedestal that we could never rise to that same level.

And yet Muller said his faith was not extraordinary at all. He simply trusted God and took Him at His Word.

God has not changed. We can trust Him too and..."those who trust Him wholly, find Him wholly true."

Ordinary Men

The following appears on the web site for the George Muller Foundation. I'm so grateful that God often chooses ordinary men - like me - to accomplish His purposes.

Read on...

God often chose ordinary men, sometimes men with an inglorious and doubtful past, men who often mocked the faith and men with whom a great deal of patience was needed because of their reluctance to turn away from the 'good life'. George Muller had been all of these types.

George Muller was born in Kroppenstaedt, a Prussian village, on the 27th September 1805. The son of a Tax Collector, he did not become a

Christian until he was twenty years of age. His father wanted him to enter the ministry but only so that he could retire to the ease of his son's manse. Despite kindness and generosity continually shown by his father, George Muller was an habitual thief, inveterate liar and indeed he later said there was almost no sin into which he had not fallen. He even had the audacity to become a confirmed member of the Lutheran Church and take Communion in spite of being well aware of his sinful ways.

George Muller's conversion was dramatic! Many of his sinful ways he relinquished at once and as understanding of the Christian way of life increased so he dedicated his life to Jesus Christ. When he came to England in 1829 he formed a friendship with a quiet, godly and scholarly Scotsman named Henry Craik. This became a life-long friendship and under God's guidance they formed a great spiritual partnership in the Gospel and in children's work.

Through the work of the Orphan Homes and the Scriptural Knowledge Institution, both of which Mr Muller founded, many responded to the gospel and heard the call to dedicate their lives to God. The work continues today on the same principles - and the witness to God's faithfulness is still used to the glory of God.

Note: The George Muller Foundation is headquartered in the pictured house. This museum displays many artifacts from Muller's life of faith. I had the pleasure of visiting the Muller House in 2007 and spent an afternoon with Julian Marsh the Executive Director.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Modern Day Mailbox Miracles

The mail box at my office often seems to be the centerpiece of my life. Our livelihood depends on what the mailman deposits there. Epistle Sports Ministries trusts God to meet our needs through the kind and generous gifts of His people.

Recently I was speaking to one of my colleagues who shares our office complex. I had stressed the dire necessity that something substantial by way of support for our ministry be in the mail box that morning. Then I added, “if there’s nothing there, the Lord can still send someone into my office with a donation.”

Several minutes later I went to check the mail and returned dejected. Nothing! Not even junk mail! Now what would I do?

Within a matter of minutes a dear friend knocked on my door, came in and began to tell me about an unexpected cheque he had just received. The mailman had been good to him at least. He said, “I’m just going to sign it and give it to you.”

Being an emotional guy who wears his feelings close to the surface, tears came quickly. I felt that my friend needed to know about the conversation I had only moments before.

He was encouraged, my financial need that was pressing that morning was met and all parties involved were blessed. God was glorified in the transaction and that’s what matters most.

Does God still work in miraculous ways? There’s no doubt in my mind. Trust Him to do what you could never do on your own. He’s waiting to show Himself strong on your behalf.

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward Him.” ~ 2 Chronicles 16:9(a) (ESV)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Early Refreshing

"How different, when the soul is refreshed and made happy early in the morning, from what it is when, without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials, and the temptations of the day come upon one!" - George Muller

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Muller Moments

Here are two more quotes from George Muller. Be encouraged as you read these, dear friends. God has never failed us yet and HE WILL NOT! - David

"If the Lord fails me at this time, it will be the first time."

"To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings."

An Orphan's Story

In 1939 my mother died; I was eight at the time. There were four children in our family, and we lived in Highley Nr Bridgenorth in Shropshire . It was war time and my father was in his sixties. He was too old to look after us and needed to find somewhere for us to go together to be looked after. My Aunty went to church at a little Mission Hall in Birmingham where they supported an orphanage called George Müller's Homes. My Aunty felt this would be the right place for us to go and persuaded my father to send us there. My brother and one sister went in 1939 and I followed a year later in 1940. My other sister stayed home with them.

I arrived at Müller's very excited and wondering what life would be like, but missing my mum and my other sister, as we had been very close. I had been fostered for a year, which had been a very unhappy experience when I often went hungry. George Müller's Homes seemed like heaven to me, with regular meals, plain and simple, clean clothes, baths (I hadn't had many of them) good shoes, discipline and education.

We read the Bible and sang children's songs. We had our own hymn book, a copy of which I still have today. I did not know anything at all about Jesus. I was so hungry for love and in such need of reassurance that as I heard the stories of Jesus, who loved me, a little orphan, my heart just opened up to him. I was nine then, and Jesus and those truths are still with me at the age of 74.

What was life really like there? Fun and hard. It was wartime, and we had to share everything. We slept 60 to a dormitory, made our own beds, scrubbed and polished floors, worked in the laundry (for about a thousand children and the staff). Imagine the washing for all of us! We were taught to clean our own shoes, brush our hair, knit our own stocking and socks darn them too. We used scrubbing boards in the laundry, learned how to lay tables, wait at table, clean silver and polish furniture. We learned how to make our own clothes, stitch samplers, write letters, to sing and recite poetry, march to music, skip to music, sing the alphabet and other songs.

My favourite was reciting poetry, and I write it and love it to this day thanks to Mullers dedicated teaching staff. People came from far and wide to see us perform. We were taught to write properly with nib pens and ink Although the teaching staff could not really show affection because they mustn't be seen favouring one more than another they were very kind. We did miss out on cuddles which made me miss my mum more, but I was fortunate I had a big sister and a brother in the boy's department who we saw once a month. When we left Müller's it was hard to get close to him as we'd missed out on the growing up and together times.

The highlight for me was Sunday afternoons when the book cupboard was opened. I was an avid reader then and still am. We were encouraged to read all good books and it taught me to choose carefully what things I read and I vetted all my children's books and comics as they were growing up. I read 'Pilgrim's Progress', and 'The Holy City' by John Bunyan, and was fascinated in later life to see the cage on Bedford bridge where he was imprisoned. I now have my own copy of 'The Holy War'. I always had a copy of 'Pilgrims Progress' as we were given a Bible and a copy of Pilgrims Progress when we left the home.

There is so much more I could tell! Such is my love for Müller's and the happy times I had there that I go up there every year to our reunion and am on the committee which runs it. Old boys and girls come from all over the world. George Müller and his Faithful God live on in his family, of which I am proud to belong. We sing the song 'We Love This Family of God' and one line in it says 'We are family, we are one' - and that's how we feel!

Another Muller Quote

"At last I saw Christ as my Saviour. I believed in Him and gave myself to Him. The burden rolled from off me, and a great love for Christ filled my soul. That was more than fifty years ago (at age 20). I loved Jesus Christ then, but I loved Him more the year after, and more the year after that, and more every year since." - George Müller