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The Rev. John Gunn The Rev. John Gunn
The 20th Century produced many outstanding writers. One whose literary accomplishment stands as a living monument is the pastor, newspaper columnist and author, John R. Gunn (1877-1956). On a wide variety of subjects he left us an abundance of messages that warm the soul and touch the heart.

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Strong Faith

January 27, 2011

You remember the story of the children of Israel, how they wandered for years through the wilderness making their way slowly, painfully toward the promised land. Finally they completed their great trek through the wilderness and now stood on the very borders of Canaan.

A dozen picked men were sent out to reconnoiter the new country. They returned with a glowing account of a land that flowed with milk and honey, but some of the men returned in a state of fear and despair...We be not able to go against the people, they said, for they are stronger than we. The cities are walled and very great and there we saw giants and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers and so we were in their sight.

Here was a case of what we might call a 'grasshopper complex'; inferiority complex is the name for it in modern psychology. "Whatever you call it", writes columnist John R. Gunn, "it is a defeatist state of mind. It is a true saying that people take us at the valuation we place upon ourselves. If we consider ourselves grasshoppers, then we will be treated as such, but if we believe in ourselves and then go on to think and act courageously, we shall command respect."

There are walled cities to be scaled and giants to be encountered in all Canaans worth conquering and possessing, but our basic requirement is a strong faith and a purpose ribbed and edged with steel. Our state of mind with respect to ourselves, our place, our tasks, our purposes, our prospects...this largely determines the measure of our success in any given task.

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