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“I NEVER THOUGHT IT COULD HAPPEN TO ME”

Success is always dangerous, and we need to be alert and avoid becoming the victims of our own success. Will we influence the world for Christ, or will the world influence us? Billy Graham.

When you hold your baby in your arms the first time, and you think of all the things you can say and do to influence him, it’s a tremendous responsibility. What you do with him can influence not only him, but everyone he meets and not for a day or a month or a year but for time and eternity. Rose Kennedy.

The people you surround yourself with influence your behaviors, so choose friends who have healthy habits. Dan Buettner.

Clarence Macartney wrote about the unbelief of Mark Twain.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) was one of our best-known American authors and humorists. His real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens. He is best known for his novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Mark Twain married Oliva Langdon. She was a simple and devout Christian, but he was not a believer. For a while after they were married, they had prayer at meals and read the Bible each day. But this was soon given up. According to a conversation she had with her sister, Oliva said she had given up some of her religious beliefs. Her faith was shaken by people, places, and philosophies to which she was exposed as she traveled the world with her husband.

Oliva’s pet name for her husband was, “Youth.” Their only son, Langdon, died in infancy and two of their three daughters – Susy and Jean – died as young women. During one of those sad times in their lives -it could have been after the death of one of their children – Twain said to Livy, “If it comforts you to lean on the Christian faith, do so.”

“But I can’t, Youth; I haven’t any,” she sadly replied.

Twain felt responsible for causing Livy to lose her faith and the thought came back to haunt him many times after her death in 1904.  Mark Twain loved Livy devotedly, but apparently his unbelieving attitude had an effect on her that even he didn’t want.     (Clarence Macartney, Macartney’s Illustrations, (New York and Nashville: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1945), p. 225).

The Bible warns against falling into the snares of Satan by distancing ourselves from the faith that we have in Christ…..

Romans 12:21  – Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.   1 Cor.15:33 – Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.   Psalm 101:3 I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.