Tag Archives: World War I


William Andrew Dillard

Americans who claim to be Christians have a fairly strong conviction that they are indeed a thankful people. Perhaps that perception arises out of experiences of the past century. It was only one hundred years ago that the world was relieved by the ending of World War I, the war said to be the bloodiest of all wars. With that war ending, the nation entered an era of unparalleled prosperity in the roaring twenties. But so, soon was the rug yanked out from under the nation with the financial collapse of 1929, followed by a decade-long, Great Depression. Next, came World War II, then the Korean conflict, and Vietnam. Through these monumental events also came industrial, educational, and technological break-through in rapid advancement. The inflationary measures that now loom as a doomsday pitfall, was viewed as a blessing a half century ago, When, at last, people had some money. Production of material things flooded the markets for people to buy. There came new cars, new houses, new clothes, and a million other things. People were happy. People were thankful. Really?
Some pundit said that “America is the only country on earth where people will trample you to get to annual sales items on the day after they proclaimed they were truly thankful for what they have.” Somehow, that paints a mental picture that is oxymoronic, and far from the humble, grateful spirit – the attitude of gratitude – so prominent among the early pilgrims. They knew it was only by the grace of God that they survived the harsh obstacles of life in an undeveloped land.
But thankfulness is not an attitude franchised by the poor, deprived, and/or oppressed upon their achieving better circumstances. It is rather a vastly important plank in the platform of wisdom to those who seize and employ its model. Whether poor or wealthy, ignorant or educated, ill or healthy, the blessings of the Almighty are superabundant to those who look for them. And, the look need not be far. A peek deep down inside at a view restricted to the individual and God tells it all, and it does not lie. What is the scene? Is it spoiled, selfish longing for some self-exalting acquisition of popularity, power, or material thing that will ultimately contribute to ruin? Is it gratefulness to God for life itself? Is it the mountainous blessings afforded God’s children, and a heart of thankful realization upon confronting or hearing of so many unfortunate cases which evoke a soft, sincere, whisper: “There, but by the grace of God go I.” Truly, those who know Jesus the Christ on a personal basis should be the most thankful people on the planet. Introspection! How does it tell your story?

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308 – Nov. 04 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Christ the greatest Treasure of all


1870 – Henry Novotny entered seminary, and in his continuing studies of scripture, he arrived at Baptist convictions. He was immersed on Feb. 12, 1885, by Pastor Charles Ondra in the largest Baptist church in Europe in Lodz, Russian Poland. However, Baptist work in Yugoslavia has never featured much success in the way of numerical growth. At one point the Baptists of that country wanted to print Pilgrim’s Progress but didn’t have the funds when they received a large gift from the First Gypsy Baptist Church in Bulgaria. This church had been founded by Vinko Vacek, a native of Yugoslavia, who had immigrated to Detroit, Mich. to seek employment around the time of World War I. One evening his attention was aroused by the music and message from a street meeting, being conducted, by a Czech Baptist Church. He followed the crowd to the church building, where another service was held, and soon afterwards received Christ as Savior, and became active in that local assembly. After the War an appeal was made for missionaries to go to the Balkans and Vinko responded and was sent toYugoslavia, with his family by the Southern Baptist Convention Missions Agency. Vinko was called home at the age of fifty-eight, but not before he planted the Word in many hearts, including founding First Gypsy Baptist Church of Bulgaria. A Gypsy band broke into a home of a peasant family in Yugoslavia  but ran away when the farmer came back. All they got was a book. They searched in vain for money between the leaves, but found none. They got someone to read it to them, and found Christ instead, Who is the greatest Treasure of all. [Rushbrooke, James H., The Baptist Movement in the Continent of Europe (London: Carey Press, 1923), p. 165. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 602-04.]   Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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