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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Rich (04/26/12)

TITLE: First Things First
By Kathy Stevens


Lela noticed Robert fiddling with the silver dollars in his pocket. He had just been paid for the month, and he had that “look” in his eyes. She had seen it in the past. Knowing this man who kept his ears open to hearing directives from God, she knew it would be “seed planting time” again.

Sowing money was always hard on the flesh, but if the couple knows anything, it is that you cannot get a harvest without planting the seed. Lela did not know how much would be required this time.

It was a beautiful Sunday morning in 1919. The young couple had just had their first child, and Robert had a job hauling wheat. They were better off than many, but still counting every penny.

Today the church is receiving donations for a building fund. As they are leaving the church, Robert turns and looks deep into the beautiful brown eyes he loves so well.

“God told me to give all I have,” he whispers softly.

She catches her breath.

“But honey, do you realize that’s all we have until you haul more wheat?”

Her mind is going in all different directions, from how will we pay bills, to what will we eat. These are all honorable questions, but God has a different answer.

When Robert hauls wheat, he always deducts a little from his pay for the wheat that blows off of the truck while on route. He is told that it happens to everyone, but he says, “No, I don’t want to be paid for something I didn’t earn.”

He has become known as “Honest Okie” because he is from Oklahoma. Everyone knows without a shadow of a doubt that they will get a square deal from this honest man. He was rare then, and would nearly be an extinct species in our modern times.

As the congregation files out of the church, Robert reaches into his pocket and takes out every last silver dollar. He places it all in the offering plate.

Lela releases a breath of expectancy as she sees the dollars leave Robert’s hand. She knows she must now rely on not what they have, but what is in God’s hand.

Unknown to Robert, Mr. James, the man who stood by the door and received the contributions was an officer in the town bank. The next morning, the bank was looking for someone to fill a position. They wanted someone honest.

Mr. James was praying, trying to think of someone -- someone who was a good man, full of integrity and honest. “Lord, You know there are so many who need this position, but there is one special person who would be perfect for us. Show me that man.”

He no sooner got the words out than he saw a face. It was Robert. He was all excited.

“I know! I know the very man we want. I don’t know his name, but I know he is called, Honest Okie. I wonder if the pastor can shed some light as to where I can find this man.”

Searching him out, they offered him a job that day as Commission Agent for Magnolia Petroleum. They paid him $3000 a month which was practically unheard of in those days. Robert stayed with what later became Mobilgas Corporation until he retired.

Robert and Lela knew the secret as they had seen it work well in their individual families and knew it would work for them too. Matthew 6:33 was on the lips of Robert and Lela continually. It says, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” (NKJV)

It was one of the first things they taught their ever growing family as they grew up -- “First things first.” We all knew what that meant, and as we follow that advice, it works well for us too.

This is a true story.

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This article has been read 358 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/03/12
This is a great story. I felt like I traveled back a hundred years and was watching it unfold with my own eyes. My son reminded me recently when I was worrying about money that it's not our money but belongs to God. I just love it when my kids humble me like that and here your story reminded me again.
Marina Rojas05/03/12
Oh, to step forward in such faithfulness as your MC did, brings riches beyond compare!

I love the truthfulness of the writing, the wife's concerns through the knowing that trusting God is more than all of that...

Wow, good piece.
Sandra Renee Hicks 05/04/12
Greetings -

Thank you.

I adored this story. Yes indeed. And to learn that it is true made me enjoy it more.

I love this that you expressed, "He was rare then, and would nearly be an extinct species in our modern times."

How right that is but how wonderful to know that there are still some folks who are credible and of solid character.

This story is a true delight!
C D Swanson 05/04/12
I can always almost tell immediately a true story. This one held the air of authenticity and it was confirmed at the end of this marvelous entry.

Fabulous story and one of which will stay with me for some time. Nicely done.

GOD bless~
Hiram Claudio05/07/12
This story was simply wonderful. I echo everything has said. It was so refreshing to see this level of simple honest and the honest reaction of the wife. Yet her trust in the Lord was stronger than her concerns about provision. So much to learn from there. Great piece!
Genia Gilbert05/07/12
Good story that shows well what true riches are. Thanks for writing this. It is a blessing.
Leola Ogle 05/09/12
Love, love, loved this story. So wonderful. God truly rewards the honest and faithful. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. God bless!
Edmond Ng 05/10/12
A powerful testimony and an encouraging piece. Thank you for sharing this. God bless.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/14/12
Congratulations for ranking 8th in level three and 25 overall!