Friday, October 6, 2017

الذي انقطم

عن الذي قد انقطم لم يسألوني..
عن الذي قد انقطم لن أُجِب..

Can God move a mountain? Jesus insisted that he can, and many stories attest to this being literally fulfilled. Unfortunately, many of those stories sound invented. After I posted one such story [see the bottom] on my "Questionable Illustrations" I received an email from a pastor in Pennsylvania who had read a similar story that contained some fascinating details. They were especially fascinating to me, because the church in question was only one mile from my home!
His version originated in a book by Leslie B. Flynn: "19 Gifts of the Spirit" on page 140. The name of the church is not given in the book, but it is "Grace [Baptist] - The Church On the Mount." The church was built in 1973 on top of Kingtown Mountain near Netcong, New Jersey. I received a booklet from the church titled, "1943-1973: From Maple Avenue to the Mount." On page 29 is a chapter called "Faith to Move Our Mountain." It reads in part:
The finishing of the area around the church was completely up to the local people. There began to be some serious thinking about the parking lot. Not that there had not been some thinking already done, but we had been told by the Roxbury Planning Board that they would not grant permanent occupancy until there was sufficient parking in the rear. It did not have to be black-topped, gravel would do. ...
It became evident that even with all the fill needed in front of the church, we had a problem of far too much dirt. In fact IT WAS A MOUNTAIN WHERE A SECOND AND THIRD PARKING LOT SHOULD BE [emphasis is theirs]. The cost of removing this mountain would be prohibitive for the church. But wait, had not the Lord promised that a mountain would be moved by faith? The next Sunday morning Pastor Crawford reminded the congregation of Christ?s promise, "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard see, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you" (Matt. 17:20). Then he added, "If you believe that, come on Wednesday night to pray with me that God will move this mountain in back of our church."
The next morning the phone rang. It was the telephone company. They were planning to erect a new building just east of us and they needed fill for a large swampy area. Could we sell them some dirt? Well of course! And Pastor Crawford was sure our dirt would have the right proportions of clay, sand and rock for the fill they needed. In about a month the phone company had hauled away 40,000 square yards of our dirt, for which they paid the church $25,400, and also leveled the ground for the required three parking lots and prepared them for paving. The Lord makes good on His promises and He knows where to find the answer we need. [italics throughout is theirs]
Two photos accompany the chapter. One shows a two-story white house with a pile of dirt on two sides. The dirt seems to go up to the top of the first story. The second picture shows the house sitting about ten feet above a parking area. "Mountain" is certainly a stretch but 40,000 square yards is a fair amount of dirt. Pastor Crawford died several years ago; in the fifteen years I have been in the area, the Church on the Mount has grown from 200 to more than a thousand in attendance.
Rev. David Holwick
November 12, 2004