I am reading a book by a cool guy named Rick Sizemore that attends Church at the Grove right now. He is a gifted writer and I am enjoy his book Advertising God: Shamelessly Promote and Share Your Faith with Anyone, Anytime, Anyplace. You can check out his site at Advertising God here.
We spent Sunday talking about being “Lion-Chasers” and glorifying God with our lives as men.
Rick tells a story about two “lion-chasers” in his book. Its about two traveling salesmen, John Nicholson and Samuel Hill.
While sharing a room in a crowded hotel one night in 1898, both men discovered they were Christians. Later that evening, after reading the Bible and praying together, they discussed forming a Christian association for traveling salesmen. Their schedules, however, forced the new friends to part ways the next day before any ideas could be solidified. Unknown to them, God’s hand was at work. After meeting up again the following year, the two salesmen renewed their talk of creating a Christian association, and subsequently, along with William Knights, founded the Gideons.
At one of the association’s early meetings, someone made the bold suggestion that the Gideons place a Bible in every single hotel room in the United States so traveling men would always have a Bible to read. The challenge was accepted and in 1908, the Gideons delivered their first Bible. Twenty years later, the association had distributed one million Bibles. Today, according to their website, the Gideons place more than 59 million Bibles annually in hotels, hospitals, shelters and prisons in over 181 countries and in 82 different languages. That’s an astonishing 112 Bibles every minute!
From random encounter to lofty idea to seizing the opportunity God placed before them, these three men and their army of “silent witnesses” played a major role in introducing millions of people around the globe to the love, teachings and salvation grace of Almighty God. Just how effective are the Gideons’ efforts? Some years back, a Fodors survey revealed that 23% of American travelers had read a Gideons Bible in their hotel room. Talk about following the command of the Great Commission, that’s advertising God with extreme passion! (pp. 16 & 17)
That’s Chasing Lions!