A Costly Lesson Pays Off!
BEFORE going on to the year 1937, I'd like to backtrack again for just a moment to point out some very important lessons.
Our Sons Start School
By September, 1935, we were living in a small church-owned house on West Sixth Avenue in Eugene, Oregon, as I have recorded earlier. At this time my wife decided to start both our boys in school together.
"Dicky" (Richard David) was then six, and to reach his seventh birthday in October. "Ted" (Garner Ted) had reached five the preceding February. We might have started "Dicky," as we then called him, in school in September of 1934. He was then within about six weeks of reaching six. But Mrs. Armstrong had her mind set on starting the two boys in school together. They each had little sailor dress suits -- "whites" -- and of course we thought they looked very cute together. They really were pretty "sharp" in those neat and immaculate white suits.
I did not think well of putting both boys in school together. The matter had first come up in August of 1934. We discussed it a great deal. Both Mrs. Armstrong's sister and one of her brothers were school teachers -- her sister of first grade. They advised strongly against putting the two boys in school together.
I am mentioning this, because the problem might confront some of our readers, and I should like to help them to profit from our experience.
My wife's brother and sister advised definitely against starting little "Teddy," as he was then called, when he was barely past 5½ years -- and also against putting the two boys in the same grade when one was a year and four months older than the other. Had they been twins, it would have been different, of course.
Although I thought it unwise, it seemed to mean so much to Mrs. Armstrong to see the two boys starting off to school together that I acquiesced. So, on what probably was the morning after "Labor Day" in September, 1935, I saw my very pleased wife walk with her two smartly attired little boys on the way to school.
However, we did come to feel, later, that it had been a serious mistake to start the two boys, more than a year apart in age, in school together. Most of the reasons for this I shall relate farther on. Little "Teddy," during the growing years, was much shorter than his brother "Dicky." Richard David was at least of normal height for his age -- but Garner Ted was short for his age -- until maturity, when at last he grew up to exactly the same height as his elder brother.
Because he was so "little" during those years, his women teachers thought "Teddy" was cute, and he was continually pushed to the front. This, naturally, resulted in giving "Dicky" an inferiority complex.
Later, during noon hour the day the boys started Junior High School, they themselves changed their names to "Dick" and "Ted." And at age 13, I took Dick in tow with me at the time we were starting on the air daily, in Hollywood, and managed to apply a treatment that snapped him completely out of his feeling of inferiority. That, however, I shall leave to be related when we come to it. It was a most interesting experiment. And it worked!
The Costly Lesson
I have already mentioned how Jesus Christ, the real HEAD of this work, had said in advance (Rev. 3:8) that, at this time, He would OPEN DOORS that His Message might go to the world IN POWER! And, further, how, after first opening the MIGHTY DOOR of radio -- just the narrowest start of an opening first, in January, 1934, on one smallest-powered station -- I had lacked the FAITH to walk on through when it opened a little wider, in November of the same year.
Instead of trusting God fully, I wanted the assurance of MEN. I sent out letters to our few Co-Workers, asking MONTHLY pledges. I have mentioned how that door then swung shut, and did not again open to us for two and a half years.
But that was not all. We were really punished much more than that. I didn't recognize it as punishment at Christ's own Hand, then. It seems plain, looking back on what happened, now.
God says, plainly, "Whatsoever is not of faith is SIN" (Rom. 14:23). And "without faith it is impossible to please Him" (Heb. 11:6). Of course this was not knowing or deliberate sin -- but it certainly did not please God, and He impressed the lesson.
Not only was the expansion of the broadcasting withheld two whole years, but The Plain Truth was suspended from publication, also! After I failed to TRUST GOD by going on KXL when He opened its door to us, we were allowed to print and send out only two more issues of The Plain Truth -- March and July issues, 1935 -- AND THEN The Plain Truth WAS ENTIRELY SUSPENDED FOR TWO AND A HALF YEARS!
After the issue of July, 1935, there was not another issue that year. There was not a single issue of The Plain Truth during 1936. There was not one number of The Plain Truth all during 1937. Not until January, 1938, did The Plain Truth appear again!
We were dramatically reminded of the lesson that GOD EXPECTS HIS PEOPLE TO TRUST HIM IN LIVING FAITH!
The Lesson Applied Before YOUR Eyes!
We learned our lesson! That is one reason why, today, the radio log shows many very powerful and leading radio stations broadcasting The World Tomorrow, worldwide.
Our living and guiding HEAD, Jesus Christ, has begun opening radio doors more rapidly than ever before. He has also been opening other doors for the expansion of this work in an amazing, breathtaking manner! Even in times of economic recession -- WHEN OUR FAITH HAS BEEN MOST SEVERELY TRIED! Even when we have felt the imperative need of reducing expenditures in the work, not increasing them. God has provided the means.
When a radio station agrees to accept our program, and clears a definite time, that means TAKE IT -- walk through that opened door NOW -- or the door will be slammed SHUT -- perhaps forever! Forty years of experience has taught that stern lesson. Every time I glance at the current volume number of The Plain Truth and see those two years missing, I have to be reminded that GOD TAUGHT ME A STERN LESSON -- when He opens such doors He expects me to walk on through, TRUSTING HIM!
Would you say this takes COURAGE? Well, not exactly. Not after so many years of experience learning that GOD CAN BE TRUSTED!
It's a mighty PRACTICAL lesson!