Tag Archives: Romans 8

A Pickle for the Knowing Ones

Story of the Day for Friday May 4, 2012

A Pickle for the Knowing Ones

                          Joseph said, “You meant to do evil against me, but God meant it for good.” 

                                                                     Genesis 50:20

Timothy Dexter was deprived of a formal education. Born in Malden, Massachusetts in 1747, he worked the farm since he was eight. When he turned twenty, he gathered his life savings of eight dollars and moved to Newburyport.  A few years later, he met a wealthy widow in her early thirties, and married her.


Timothy would soon learn that his contemporaries resented his newly acquired social status, and worked to ruin him. They encouraged him to invest in stocks and led him to buy large amounts of worthless Continental currency.

Once they realized his naivety, they offered outrageous “business tips.” One merchant told Dexter that the West Indies was desperately in need of warming pans and mittens. Poor Timothy, not realizing that the West Indies was a hot, tropical climate, bought 40,000 New England warming pans and 40,000 pairs of mittens, and shipped them to the West Indies.

Newcastle, England was the center of Great Britain’s coal mining industry. Businessmen urged Dexter to “carry coal to Newcastle.”  Timothy hired scores of ships to sail across the Atlantic with inferior Virginia coal to sell to the coal mining district of England.

Dexter was not only a dim bulb, he was a bit of a goof. He took to calling himself “Lord Dexter,” and celebrated his brilliance by writing a book about himself, entitled: A Pickle for the Knowing Ones. He proclaimed, among other things, “Ime the first Lord in the younited States of A mercary Now of Newburyport it is the voise of the peopel and I can’t Help it and so Let it goue Now as I must be Lord there will foller many more Lords pretty Soune . . .” Lord Dexter neglected to include any punctuation in his book.


Joseph knew what it was like to have others envy and hate him and plot his harm. He was sent as a slave to a foreign land, was falsely charged with a crime and imprisoned.

It’s when we sit in our prisons, with rats gnawing at our toes, that we compose our most eloquent tirades about God’s unfairness.

But Joseph’s story wasn’t over. And neither is ours. God is able to collect all the nastiness of an evil world and use it for good in the end.


Timothy Dexter, who was tricked into buying worthless stock, found that the Hamilton funding system reinvigorated its value and made him a fortune. He sent warming pans to the West Indies – where they discovered they were ideal molasses scoops for making sugar. A fleet of Russian ships arrived in the West Indies at the same time his mittens did, and he sold them all at a healthy profit.

It turned out there was a miner’s strike at Newcastle when Lord Dexter’s coal shipments arrived, and he sold it all – making him one of the wealthiest nitwits on earth.

Oh, yeah – and his book. It’s so painfully awful, it’s now a valuable collector’s item.

                              (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

A Kick in the Pants

Story of the Day for Monday November 28, 2011

A Kick In the Pants

                 Those who suffer according to the will of God should entrust their lives to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. 

                                                             1 Peter  4:19

The most famous person to die in World War I was not a solider.  She was an English nurse by the name of Edith Cavell (sounds like “gravel”).

When the German forces overran Belgium, Edith left England and traveled to Belgium to work for the Red Cross.   The Berkendael Institute was converted into a hospital to treat wounded soldiers of all nationalities.

Edith Cavell, however, did more than treat the wounded; she also helped soldiers – both British and German – to escape to neutral Holland.

After guiding 200 Allied soldiers to safety, she was caught and arrested on August 3, 1915.  Cavell was thrown in prison for ten weeks.


The German military, fearful that higher authorities might grant her clemency, made the quick decision to deliver the death sentence.  Edith’s pastor, the Reverend Stirling Gahan, an Anglican chaplain was allowed to see her the night before her execution.  Cavell received Holy Communion and calmly told him, “I must have no hatred or bitterness toward anyone.”  Then they softly sang “Abide with Me.”

The next day she faced the firing squad.


The German military acted quickly to execute this troublemaker before the German high command had the opportunity to release her.   A shrewd move, it would seem.

But it was a major miscalculation.  News of the execution spread swiftly.  The United States, who had not yet entered the war, was outraged, and sentiment shifted to the Allied cause. In Great Britain,  morale soared.  Edith was extolled in countless newspaper articles, pamphlets, posters, and books. As men learned of this woman’s bravery, recruitment doubled in Great Britain.

In the end, Edith’s execution turned into an enormous blunder for the German cause.


Edith Cavell was fully aware of the danger of helping wounded soldiers to escape.  Her final words to a Lutheran prison chaplain, Paul Le Seur were to reassure her loved ones that her soul was safe.

We easily forget that, if we have nothing worth dying for, we have nothing worth living for.  When we commit our lives to God’s will, let’s understand that it often involves suffering.

But there are far worse things than suffering.  One of them is spending your life in a frantic attempt to avoid suffering. When we do that, life has no purpose other than the puny goal of seeking to engineer our own personal comfort.

Go for it.  Find what God has called you to do.  What a kick in the pants it is to charge into life to do good, and leave the results to the faithful Creator.

                                               (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)