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Dear Members and Friends, 

As I told you Sunday morning when I recited the following story from a twenty-something year old memory, this is a great story!  I found it on line from a First Baptist Church in West Virginia the day after I preached about it.  This is too great to keep to yourself, and it is to true not to learn something from it, also.

Keep Climbing that Mountain, Pastor Dan Williams

Matthew Sands was a heartbroken father, on his knees praying. In his hands he held a telegram which read, “Your son David reported missing, believed dead.” Matthew Sands was inarticulate as he quietly recalled the life of his son, a pilot in the Air Force. At last he turned the telegram over and wrote on the back of it, “All that I have and all that I am, I give to God for His service.”

These words of recommitment brought comfort to his harrowed heart. Presently the telephone rang. It conveyed the interest of a neighboring university in Matthew Sands, a retired pastor. En route to the university for an interview, he came upon an abandoned church. Beside it a sign read: “For sale by auction.” He entered the church to pray and while there decided to buy it and restore it to its holy mission.

Later, another man entered, Andrew Jelks. He had come to appraise the property. If acquired, Jelks planned to turn the building into “Andy’s Amusement Arcade.” Sands determined to write the trustees and make them an offer.

When the day of the sale arrived, a curious group of people gathered about the church. Matthew Sands, standing among them, put his hand into his pocket only to find the letter addressed to the trustees. In his confused state of mind, he had inadvertently enclosed the wire from the War Office instead of his offer. He was disappointed and disgusted with himself, but it was too late. Anyway, he decided to stay for the auction.

The man in charge of the sale finally announced that the church had been sold to Matthew Sands, declaring that his was the highest offer. He then read aloud the bid: ‘All that I have and all that I am, I give to God for His service’.”

Love asks how much can I give? Legalism asks how little can I give?