For nearly 30 years I was on the Speaker’s Tour. During that time I averaged 38 weekends a year. We called it ‘THREE UNUSUAL DAYS‘, because they were three in number (Friday through Sunday), the lessons were UNUSUAL, and the days were wonderful. The schedule took me into all 50 states, and overseas, in 27 countries. It was a smashing good time, good crowds, focused attention and the sale of my books, long play albums and tapes.
Words, words, words, and more words. The average meeting lasted a full hour and a half. The weekend was seven hours of dynamic teaching. But now the words are no more. They were said, and now said no more. Public speaking is powerful at the moment, but when the weekend was done or more than 1400 meetings were complete, the inspiration of the moment was silent.
The power of writing is far different. I may read an average of six books every three weeks, but they are still there. You can read them again, reference them, put them in your library and read them again next year or the years to follow. They are words on printed page. The oldest book in my personal library is published in Whitehall, England, May 23rd, 1679. The simple forward read, “This book entitled, (The History of the Reformation of the Church of England” by Gilbert Burnet, D.D. Printed by T.H. for Richard Chifwell, at the Rofe and Crown in St. Paul’s Church-yard, MDCLXXXI (1681 A.D.).
“John Dillinger, ace bad man of the world, got his last night – two slugs through the heart and one through the head. He was tough and he was shrewd, but he wasn’t as tough and shrewd as the Federals, who never close a case until the end. It took 27 of them to end Dillinger’s career, and their strength came out of one weakness – a woman.” Reported by Jack Lait for the International News Service, July 23, 1934.
Where were you when you read the following clip: “Death and destruction has been the fate of San Francisco. Shaken by a trembler at 5:13 o’clock yesterday morning, the shock lasting 48 seconds, and scourged by flames and raged diametrically in all directions; the city is a mass of smoldering ruins” – The San Francisco Call ; April 19, 1906.
“In the darkness of night and in water two miles deep, the Titanic, newest of the White Star fleet . . . sank to the bottom of the sea at twenty minutes past two o’clock yesterday morning.” New York Herald, April 15, 1912.
“Steel nerved Alan B. Shepherd, Jr. rode a rocket into space today. . . To the wiry, 37 year old navy commander, the historic adventure obviously was no more frightening than many earlier flights he had made in experimental aircraft. . . Then his nonchalance gave way to excitement as he declared, “Boy, what a ride.” – Ralph Dighton for the associated Press, May 5, 1961.
“War broke with lightning suddenness in the Pacific today when waves of Japanese bombers attacked Hawaii this morning. . . Japanese bombers, including four-engine dive bombers and torpedo-carrying planes, blasted Pearl Harbor, the United States naval base, the city of Honolulu and several outlying American military bases on the Island of Oahu. There were causalities of unstated numbers.” New York Times, December 8, 1941.
It makes you wonder why God revealed himself in words. He left no pictures – just words and stated “The Spirit is the one that gives life! Human strength can do nothing. The words that I have spoken unto you is from that life-giving Spirit . . . Now faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God . . .The message about the cross doesn’t make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God’s power at work. God says in the scriptures, “I will destroy the wisdom of all who claim to be wise, I will confuse those who think they know so much.” What happened to those wise people?