Monday, September 23, 2019


The great seminary professor Fred Craddock once met a man in a mountain restaurant in East Tennessee. The man told Dr. Craddock that he had been born and reared just a few miles from that restaurant. He explained that his mother was not married when he was born. The criticism directed at her also affected him. The boy learned to stay to himself at school, fearing the insults of his classmates.

When he was 12, a new pastor came to their little community church. The boy was fascinated by the preacher, but was too shy to approach him. One Sunday after worship, the boy felt a big hand on his shoulder. He turned around and looked up into the face of the preacher. The preacher said, “Son, who are you? Whose boy are you?” The boy’s heart sank, but before he could utter a word, the preacher said, “Wait a minute. I know who you are. The family resemblance is unmistakable. You are a child of God!” With that he patted the boy on the back and added, “That’s quite an inheritance. Go and claim it!”

The man in the restaurant then said to Dr. Craddock, “That one statement literally changed my life.” The man talking with Dr. Craddock was Ben Hooper, and he had been elected twice as governor of the state of Tennessee.


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