Monthly Archives: July 2014

Edward Kimball

Edward KimballYou’ve probably heard of Billy Graham, and you may have heard of D.L. Moody.  But have you ever heard of Edward Kimball?  Probably not.  But his story is worth knowing, and hopefully it will encourage you when you’re fearful about sharing your faith.

Edward Kimball was a simple, everyday person, just like you and me.  He also happened to be a Sunday school teacher.  One day Edward Kimball decided to visit one of the young men from his Sunday school class where the student worked – in a shoe store.  He wanted to talk with this young student about what Christ had done for him and about his need to receive God’s free gift of salvation.  But as he approached the store, he got cold feet and almost chickened out.  Mustering up just enough courage, he went into the shoe store, explained the gospel message to his young Sunday school student, and then promptly walked out of the store.  This young student was so impressed by Edward Kimball’s courage, conviction, and care that he gave his life to Christ right then and there.  The young student’s name was D.L. Moody.

D.L. Moody went on to preach the gospel to about 100 million people throughout North America and Europe during the late 1800’s.  During a trip to Europe, Moody preached in a little chapel pastored by a young man named F.B. Meyer.  In his sermon, Moody told the story about a Sunday school teacher who personally went to every student in his class and led each of them to Christ.  That message changed Pastor Meyer’s ministry, inspiring him to become an evangelist like Moody.

Meyer eventually came to America, and while speaking in Northfield, Massachusetts, a young man heard Meyer ask the question: “If you are not willing to give up everything for Christ, are you willing to be made willing?”  That remark led J. Wilbur Chapman to respond to the call of God on his life.

During Chapman’s evangelistic work, a young professional baseball player named Billy Sunday served as his assistant for a brief time, helping to organize his evangelistic meetings.

Billy Sunday held an evangelistic campaign in Charlotte in 1924, and a men’s prayer and fellowship group, known as the Charlotte Businessmen’s Club, grew out of those meetings.  This group was later instrumental in inviting an evangelist named Mordecai Ham to Charlotte for some meetings in 1934.

During the Mordecai Ham 1934 Charlotte meetings, a lanky teenage boy attended, with a dose of reluctance and at the gentle persuasion of some loved ones.  He felt as though Ham was speaking directly to him, and during one of the meetings, he decided to surrender his life to Christ.  His name was Billy Graham.  He would go on to proclaim the gospel message face to face to more people than anyone else in history.

Such is the ripple effect of a common and somewhat timid Sunday school teacher named Edward Kimball, who one day decided to share the gospel message with one of his students.  He didn’t let his fears outweigh his desire to share the message of salvation with others.

I can never hope to be like Billy Graham or D.L. Moody.  But just maybe I could be like Edward Kimball.  And maybe you can too!

An Unknown Ripple

RippleLike a pebble tossed into a pond, our daily lives send countless ripples out into the world, some clearly seen by us and others totally unknown.

Jay Davis’ were the second kind.

Jay’s life briefly intersected mine when we were tenth-grade classmates.  As he sought to bring me to Christ, I sensed that I was more than his evangelism project – I was truly his friend and someone he loved.  He met me right where I was, and he gently shared the gospel message with me.  His life and his words possessed an attractive integrity and vulnerability.

Throughout tenth grade, I remained resistant.  But finally that summer, I decided to place my trust in Christ.  To be honest, it was partly to get Jay off my back, but the other part was very genuine.

Shortly after that, Jay and I lost touch with each other for more than thirty years … until just a few years ago.

After calling about 50 other Jay Davises, I finally found him.  “Thank you,” I told Jay, “for changing my life forever!”  He was totally blown away to discover that his life mattered in someone else’s life.

Are there people who have impacted you along your spiritual journey to Christ who may not know and may need some encouragement?

Could there be people in your world for whom you have made a significant impact and have no clue, just like Jay?

There just might be some unknown ripples from your life as well!

Hymn of Good News

O love of God, for us His own –Hymn

Born of His splendor, ne’er to end.

Such wondrous love can ne’er be known,

Tis far too great to comprehend.

Amidst all God-made galaxies,

God calls us His own masterpiece;

Such boundless love shall never cease

Nor can it waver or decrease.


O sin of man, such subtlety

            With which our rebel’s heart is shown –

Upon my heart’s throne I crown me;

            I leave God’s path and choose my own.

The sinner God fore’er adores,

            But holy God, our sin abhors.

From God our sin now separates,

            And so eternal death awaits.


O cross of Christ, such scand’lous death,

            His blood was shed to purchase me;

When God in flesh took His last breath,

            His death atoned sin’s penalty.

Upon that cross He bore my sin

            When all God’s wrath bore down on Him,

That in exchange I bear God’s best –

            His own resplendent righteousness!


O heart of man, in Christ alone

            Place all your trust forevermore,

Come to the cross, make Christ your own –

            Find what you’ve been created for.

You have a Savior to believe,

            A free salvation to receive –

Swing wide the door, accept God’s grace,

            Make your own heart His dwelling place.


O life in Christ, such glorious gain,

            Such an inheritance divine;

Because the Lamb of God was slain,

All of God’s promises are mine –

A child of God, forgiven sin,

            Eternal life, God’s power within,

A confidence God’s in control,

            Knowing the One who loves my soul!