Land Of Smoke

Guest Blogger: Dick Brogden

Greetings From the Land of Smoke,

A Christian handed a Bible to a Northern Sudanese Muslim Arab who declined to receive it saying, “I have a smoking problem. If I take the Bible, I will just rip out the pages, make cigarettes, and smoke them.”

Thanks be to God, the distributor did not stand on niceties and responded, “No problem, go ahead and rip the pages out to make your cigarettes. But before you roll them, make sure to read the page you ripped out.”

The Muslim man agreed, took the Bible and began to contemplatively smoke his way through the Gospels. Daily he would rip out a page, peruse it, then roll it into a cigarette and puff away. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all were read and then immolated. By the time the smoker had inhaled his way into John, the Holy Spirit had begun to draw as well. John 3:16 was the clincher—it was after smoking that chapter and verse that this Muslim man gave his heart to Jesus.

I guess it goes to prove that where there’s smoke, there is fire!

Dick Brogden and his family have served as missionaries in Sudan for 15 years.

How Noble Do You Want To Be?

Sometimes I find the most thought-provoking phrases buried in the middle of passages in the Bible that seem somewhat obscure. Take this line from the book of Nehemiah, where we read who’s rebuilding which section of the Jerusalem wall…

The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.

This chapter lists all kinds of people working on the wall: priests (including the high priest) … goldsmiths … perfume-makers … temple servants … mayors … even Shallum’s daughters. Everyone, it seems, was willing to pitch in except these nobles.

Many times in the Old Testament this Hebrew word for nobles is used to describe God Himself. In other words, these nobles thought they were far too important to put their shoulders to the work.

Jesus washed feet. The noblest of us all came to earth to serve even the lowest of the servants.

Which do you think was really the most noble?

How noble do you want to be?

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