Making A Difference One At A Time

By Patrick Dennis, Coffeyville, Kansas

There is a story about a young man who was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man in the distance.

As he grew nearer he noticed that the local native kept leaning down, picking something up, and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean.

As the young man approached even closer, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had washed up onto the beach, and one at a time, he was throwing them back into the ocean.

The young man was puzzled. He approached the man and said, "Good evening friend, I was wondering what are you doing?" And he replied, "Iím throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, itís low tide right now and all these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I donít throw them back into the sea, they will die from the lack of oxygen."

"I understand," my friend replied, "but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach and you couldnít possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many and donít you realize that this is happening on hundreds of beaches up and down this coast . . . canít you see that you canít possibly make a difference? The local native smiled, bent down, picked up yet another starfish and as he threw it back out into the sea, he replied, "It made a difference to that one!"

When we read in Matthew 28:19 where Jesus tells us to, "Go you therefore, and teach all nations, and baptize them teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you," does that seem daunting to you? Does it seem like an almost overwhelming responsibility? Thankfully no one of us is charged with the total responsibility for fulfilling Matthew28:19. However, God is looking for intercessors, people who will make a difference in the lives of others.

Just like the man in the story above who understood that he was making a difference one starfish at a time, we need to understand that we can make a difference in the lives of people all around us one life at a time. Television programs and radio programs have their place and can be very effective but they cannot replace that one-on-one experience where there is an interpersonal exchange between you and another human being. It could be something as simple as offering someone a booklet on a subject you tell them you found interesting and thought they might also. As the millennium approaches many people are beginning to think about some of the larger issues of life.

God inspired the prophet Isaiah to write about a man God was searching for, a man who would intercede or make a difference in the lives of those He loved. Isaiah writes in chapter 59 verse 16 Ö "And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. Verse 17 Ö For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak."

This passage is speaking about the Savior Jesus Christ who brought salvation and righteousness to humanity. We are to represent that same kind of salvation and righteousness to the world and put on that same kind of armor as Paul tells us in Ephesians 6.

The Churches of God Outreach Ministries, who sponsors the Fountain of Life Magazine, has many free booklets available on the great spiritual questions of life. We invite you to send for these booklets. Multiple copies are even available so that you may begin making a difference in someone elseís life. God is looking for intercessors. Put on your armor and join us, making a difference one life at a time.

Patrick Allen Dennis ,   Patrick Dennis  ,


A Tribute to Pat Dennis by JarvisWindom

Pat died in Coffeyville KS in May 2005 with the funeral services in Tulsa, OK.  Pat was a fine pastor and a good friend.  He died from a blood clot on the brain stem.  He is survived by his wife Aletha and 3 married children.  Pat was raised in Wellington KS and after marriage moved to Coffeyville, KS where he was in various sales type businesses and owned many rental properties.  He raised his family in Coffeyville.  All 3 children have post graduate degrees and some have his grandchildren.  I was his best man and later he was my best man in our weddings, so he was a close friend for a long time. May we all meet again in the Kingdom of God.