APPROPRIATION OF RESOURCES
It was 1916, and Hattie Green was dead. Hattie's life is a sad demonstration of what it
is like to be among the living dead. When Hattie died, her estate was valued at over $100
million; yet Hattie lived in poverty. She ate cold oatmeal because it cost money to heat
it. When her son's leg became infected, Hattie wouldn't get it treated until she could
find a clinic that wouldn't charge her. By then, her son's leg had to be amputated. Hattie
died arguing over the value of drinking skim milk. She had money to meet her every need,
but she chose to live as if it didn't exist.
Turning Point, March, 1993.
One foggy night in London, many years ago, a ragged unkempt man shuffled into a little
music shop, owned by a Mr. Betts. Clutched under the man's arm was a violin. "Will
you buy this old violin from me?" the man muttered. I'm starving. I need money to buy
something to eat." "Well, I already have several violins," Mr. Betts
replied. "But I don't want to see you go hungry. Will a guinea ($5.00 at the time)
help you out?" "Oh, yes," said the man. "Thank you. Thank you."
He took the money and disappeared into the night. Mr. Betts picked up the violin, took the
bow and drew it across the strings. The violin gave forth a deep mellow tone. Surprised,
Mr. Betts took a light and peered into the inside of the violin. He could hardly believe
what he saw. There, carved into the wood were these words: "Antonio
Stradivari...1704." Mr. Betts ran out into the street to find the old man, to pay him
more for the violin. But he had gone.
Morris Siegel was a street person in Los Angeles. He lived like most street
people--roaming about in back alleys, sleeping out- of-doors, carrying everything he owned
in an old shopping cart. He was found in an alley, dead of natural causes, perhaps heart
trouble. The interesting thing about Morris is that he had $207,421 in the bank at the
time of his death. It seems that Morris' father died and left him the money ten years
earlier. When Morris did not claim it, the Division of Unclaimed Property tracked him
down, and his family forced him to accept it. He took only enough of the money to buy an
old car, where he slept in bad weather. Relatives rented an apartment for him, but he
never went there. He died December 14, 1989, with three dollars in his pocket and an
untouched fortune in the bank.
A poor old widow, living in the Scottish Highlands, was called upon one day by a
gentleman who had heard that she was in need. The old lady complained of her condition,
and remarked that her son was in Australia and doing well. "But does he do nothing to
help you?" inquired the visitor. "No, nothing," was the reply. "He
writes me regularly once a month, but only sends me a little picture with his
letter." The gentleman asked to see one of the pictures that she had received, and
found each one of them to be a draft for ten pounds.
This is the condition of many of God's children. He has given us many "exceeding
great and precious promises," which we either are ignorant of or fail to appropriate.
Many of them seem to be pretty pictures of an ideal peace and rest, but are not
appropriated as practical helps in daily life. And not one of these promises is more
neglected that the assurance of salvation. An open Bible places them within reach of all,
and we may appropriate the blessing which such a knowledge brings.
Moody's Anecdotes, p. 115.
Vivian H., for 2 and a half years lived in a home without running water. She had to
drive to a spring and load up five gallon jugs to haul back home. All the while there was
a perfectly good well with a 600 gallon reservoir on her property. The water was there,
she didn't know it could be used.
In a seminary missions class, Herbert Jackson told how, as a new missionary, he was
assigned a car that would not start without a push. After pondering his problem, he
devised a plan. He went to the school near his home, got permission to take some children
out of class, and had them push his car off. As he made his rounds, he would either park
on a hill or leave the engine running. He used this ingenious procedure for two years. Ill
health forced the Jackson family to leave, and a new missionary came to that station.
Jackson proudly began to explain his arrangement for getting the car started, the new man
began looking under the hood. Before the explanation was complete, the new missionary
interrupted, "Why, Dr. Jackson, I believe the only trouble is this loose cable."
He gave the cable a twist, stepped into the car, pushed the switch, and to Jackson's
astonishment, the engine roared to life. For two years needless trouble had become
routine. The power was there all the time. Only a loose connection kept Jackson from
putting that power to work.
November 4, 1983 -- While a $100,000 fire truck stood by unused because nobody knew how it operated, fire
destroyed a power plant in the tiny village of Akiachak, Alaska. Damage to the plant was
estimated at $250,000.