Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989
Every morning during the year 2018 I read one page from Ruth Tucker’s STORIES OF FAITH: Inspirational Episodes from the Lives of Christians. Dr. Tucker is a church historian who has taught for years at Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music and serves as visiting professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Moffat College of the Bible in Kijabe, Kenya. The author has a great heart for missions, church history, and Christian women over the centuries. This aptly titled book combines all of those interests.
For each day of the year Tucker tells the story of a different Christian, well-known or unknown. There’s also a Scripture reading related to the story of the day. The individuals Tucker has chosen come from different periods of church history, as well as from a variety of backgrounds, countries, and denominations. Some are missionaries, evangelists, and pastors. Others are martyrs from the distant past. Still others are humble believers who have up to now been almost completely undiscovered. However, all of them serve as wonderful examples to us in one way or the other.
I wholeheartedly recommend to you this book of 365 devotions, whether you are looking for something to enhance your own daily quiet time or something to give to a friend. (See one excerpt below.)
Daily Devotional for October 23rd, “THE WISDOM OF THE WORLD IS FOOLISHINESS”
Scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 3:18-23
What appears to be foolish in the eyes of society is often that which is most effective in the work of the kingdom. The ignorant, the uneducated, the despised of the world are sometimes God’s choicest servants. So it was with Sophie “the scrubwoman” Lichtenfels, “whose sermons rose out not from an exalted podium or pulpit but from calloused hands and knees and with the rhythm of a lowly washtub and scrub brush.”
Sophie was a German-born house maid, who found faith in Christ at the New York Gospel Tabernacle under the preaching of A. B. Simpson. She spoke with a thick accent, and her appearance was often comical. “In her work clothes she appeared like a character from a comic valentine – wearing an oversize bonnet profusely trimmed with red flowers, a dress of the waterfalls style of bygone days with a well-worn shawl across her shoulders.” Her testimony was simple:
“God called me to scrub and preach. I was born a preacher, but since I was poor I had to work. My work is good and I can be trusted, so they want me. But if they have me they must hear me preach. No preach. No work. I scrub as unto the Lord and I preach to all in the house. When I am out of work I tell my father. He is the best employment office. You don’t have to pay or wait.
“How many in my family? Four – Father, Son, the Holy Ghost, and me. Once I saved up $300 but a rascal learned about it and talked me into marrying him. Foolishly, I did. In three weeks I lost both my man and money. Good riddance. Guess I got off cheap at that …
“Sometimes I pray so foolish. For 12 years I prayed the Lord make me a foreign missionary. One day I prayed like that and my Father said, ‘Stop, Sophie. Where were you born?’ ‘In Germany,’ I replied. ‘And where are you now?’ ‘In America.’ ‘Well, aren’t you already a foreign missionary?’ Then He said to me, ‘Who lives on the floor above you? A family of Swedes.’ ‘And above them?’ ‘Some Swiss.’
“Yes, and in back are Italians, and a block away Chinese. You have never spoken to them about My Son. Do you think I’ll send you a thousand miles away when you’ve got foreigners, even heathen, all around you?’”