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Great at being humble...

A few years ago I went with a group of people on a sponsored walk to raise money for the charity Tearfund.  It was a 100 mile walk along Offa's Dyke, the ancient line of the Welsh border.  The walk took 5 days and as we camped each night we would sit around the campfire - well actually a gas cooker - and talk and play games.  One of the people was a genius at maths who loved maths games and puzzles of all kinds.  He was so good at them he couldn't be caught out.  Then one day round the stove I set him a puzzle he couldn't solve.  I put a pile of sticks on the ground and said "what number does that represent".  After a few goes at this everyone else except my mathematical friend could answer easily.  I was using the old trick of extending my fingers and placing them on the ground at the same time as I put the sticks down  in a pile.  Two fingers meant the number two, the sticks were irrelevant.  He didn't get it until I threw down the sticks and placed two hands on the ground with all fingers and thumbs extended while everyone shouted "ten!" in unison.  He loved it, he rolled over backwards in glee.  He was tickled pink at being fooled. At this moment the irritating boy genius became a much liked member of the group.  Just like Peter when he is humbled by denying Jesus (as discussed in the Good News Show on Tuesday) humility, paradoxically, can be a great asset.


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Jesus loves me! This I know
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

(Words by Anna B. Warner 1860; Music by William B. Bradbury 1861)
(Whitney Houston singing Jesus loves me: click here)

Is this simple song familiar to you? Did you ever sing it as a child? Kenneth Osbeck writes in 101 Hymn Stories, “Without doubt the hymn that has influenced children for Christ more than any other is this simply stated one, written in 1860 by Anna Bartlett Warner. Miss Warner wrote this text in collaboration with her sister Susan as a part of one of the best-selling novels of that day, a novel written by Susan entitled Say and Seal. Today few remember the plot of that novel…but the simple poem spoken by one of the characters, Mr. Linden, as he comforts Johnny Fox, a dying child, still remains the favorite hymn of children around the world to this day.” Osbeck writes that…