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Purpose: To show family members that faith is the force for all human actions.


The Lesson


Little by little we subtract
Faith and Fallacy from Fact,
The Illusory from the True,
And starve upon the residue.
Rag-Bag, II, Observation Stanza I


Faith is the substance
Of things hoped for,
The evidence
Of things not seen.
Hebrews XI, 1


If you see a beautiful apple high in a tree, do you climb up and get it?


Well, if you are a twelve-year-old boy and half monkey, you climb the tree and get the apple.


If you’re an old man with a cane, you just sit under the tree and wait for it to fall down.


So what’s the difference?


The difference is faith.


The young boy knows he can climb the tree. He has a ton of faith in himself. In fact, he knows he can get the apple if he doesn’t have to reach too far for it.


The old man once could climb trees like the boy. But now he is too old to climb. He hopes the wind will come and shake the tree, causing the apple to fall to the ground so that he can eat it. He has no faith in his ability to climb. In fact, at some point in time he lost his faith in his ability to climb. Perhaps back then, he could still climb the tree. That is, he still could have made it. But he lost his faith and negated his ability to climb.


Faith promotes action.


The boy climbs the tree, grabs the apple and puts it in his pocket, then climbs down the tree. On the ground, he enjoys the fruits of his faith and labor. He eats the apple.


The old man waits for the wind. He looks mournfully at the beautiful red apple. The wind does not come and the apple does not fall. The old man goes hungry.


Yes, there was a time in the old man’s life when he could still climb the tree, but even then he would have gone hungry because he had lost faith in his ability to climb.


Thomas Edison


Thomas Edison was a brilliant scientist even though he was not highly educated in science. He made numerous discoveries and filed many patents because of what? Well, for one thing, he had imagination.  The other thing that he had was FAITH.


Consider the light bulb. He envisioned that electricity could be used to light the homes, factories, and streets of America. He quickly learned that a vacuum was needed to protect the filament in the light bulb. He knew—which simply means he had FAITH—that there was some material in the world that would work as a filament. In trial after trial the test filaments flickered or didn’t flicker, but none was stable enough to withstand the heat generated by the resistance of the material to the electric current.


Edison seldom slept. He took cat naps when he had to. He forced himself to put forth the WORK that would verify his FAITH.


You’ve probably heard the statement, FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD.


Edison certainly proved that statement. He finally found that carbon would give limited life to a light bulb. Later he found what he was after. Tungsten gave him what he knew because of his faith was there. The lights were on!


Faith is the basis for all action.


The old testament implies that the world was created from nothing. I e-mailed the author of A Short History of Time and told him that if the Big Bang Theory of the creation of the universe was based on collapsed matter with a subsequent explosion, it was wrong. As you probably know, Dr. Hocking is in a wheelchair and speaks through a computer. He had one of his graduate students answer my query. He said to my amazement:


The universe was created from nothing


The universe was created everywhere at the same time.


In a way, that’s like Thomas Edison creating the light bulb.  


Didn’t Edison start from nothing but a dream and a vision?


Dr. Hocking says there is room for God in the universe.


I think there is room for God outside this universe too.


He envisioned this universe and He created it through His faith and His power.


What do you think as family members? What is God up to now?


So you want to be a lion tamer?


I use to tell my sons and my daughter to get an elephant. People will look up to you!


I told them to choose a profession that was difficult to obtain to decrease the competition of others unwilling to make the sacrifices required.


My oldest son is a neurosurgeon, my second son is a pediatric anesthesiologist, my daughter left college when her husband graduated (he is now an anesthesiologist on a heart team), but she is an accomplished portrait artist, my third son is a veterinarian, and my youngest son has one more year of law school.


They each got their elephant, didn’t they? It wasn’t easy, but they did it.


Incidentally, I told my children to choose professions that helped others so that they would enjoy there work.


I also told them to choose a profession that would permit them to go into business for themselves if they so desired.


What do you tell your children? Your advice is as good as mine. After all. They are your children. All children are different, are they not?


You can become that lion tamer!


First envision yourself with the lions, whip and chair in hand and gun on the hip. Imagine the crowds clapping and shouting over your performance with the big cats. Stick your head into the mouth of a big male lion, his massive head ready to tear you apart. But the lion is really your friend and you trust him. You have faith that he will not clamp his jaws on your neck. You are a lion tamer, The Great You!


So how do you obtain this dream?


I’m not sure! But I would guess you would have to find an animal trainer that would allow you to practice under his jurisdiction. Maybe you would have to work your way up by cleaning the cages and feeding the lions. Maybe you would have to travel far and wide with a circus to reach your goal. Maybe at first you would only be allowed to hand things through the cage bars to the trainer during his act. Maybe you would only be allowed to set up the props in the cage. Maybe next, you could bring the lions in and get them on their stools but then the lion tamer would come in and do the rest of the show. But at some time, you would get the opportunity to have an act of your own.


Your faith brings the dream and the reality.


I’m sure you know now that faith is the prime mover in our lives. We wouldn’t get out of bed if we didn’t believe that we would make it through the day.


If you generate faith, you will generate Accomplishment and Success.


Now would be a good time to discuss faith, dreams, goals, and objectives that will bring harmony to your family and success and happiness to each family member. DREAM ON!




Mother Robin laid four blue eggs in the top of the big mulberry tree in Mary’s back yard. Everyday Mary looked up in the tree to see if the eggs had hatched. One day Mary ran into the house and yelled excitedly, “Mother, the robins are feeding babies!”


Mother said, “How wonderful, Mary. Now you can watch them grow up and fly away.”


Everyday, Mary looked up into the tree. At first she couldn’t see the baby birds, but after a few days she saw the babies raise their heads to get a worm from their mother or father. Pretty soon, one of the robins climbed out of the nest and perched on a limb. The parent robins fed the bird on the perch. Two of the other robin babies left the nest too, but one robin baby would not leave the nest.


Mary asked her mother, “Why won’t that last baby get out of the nest?”


Mother smiled and said, “The little bird is afraid. Maybe it didn’t get as much food as the other three babies. It is staying in the nest until it gets bigger.”


The nest day, the three birds outside the nest began to fly from limb to limb. There parents followed them, feeding them where ever they landed. The poor little bird still in the nest wasn’t getting much attention.


Mary thought that the little bird would never leave the nest. But one day it stood on the edge of the nest and then gingerly stepped onto a branch. The mother bird came and gave it a worm.


The little bird sat on the same perch for two days, never trying to fly. The parent birds tried to get the little bird to fly, but it just sat there.
Mary said, “Mother, why won’t the little bird fly?”


Mother handed Mary a cookie and said, “The little bird will fly when it has enough faith in its ability to fly. Then it will fly away like the other birds.”


Mary bit into her cookie and said, “What does that mean?”


Mother gave Mary a pat on the head and said, “Do you remember the little train?”
“Oh!” Mary said, “Now I know what it means. The little train said, ‘I know I can.’ When the little bird can say that, it will fly away.”


Mother and Mary went outside into the yard. Mary said, “Mother, the little bird is flying away!”


“Yes, Mary. The little bird got enough faith in its ability to fly, to fly away.”


“Now I know what Faith is,” said Mary.


Mother said, “Keep watching, Mary. The robins may lay another hatch.”


Mary looked up into her mother’s kind face, “What’s a hatch mother?”


Copyright©2002-2012 by John Taylor Jones, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

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