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“May I give you something to read when you have the opportunity?” The black man on the elevator seemed appreciative when he read the title, “GOD’S SIMPLE PLAN OF SALVATION.” If I remember correctly, he said, “I am a Christian.” As we stepped off the elevator at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, I asked him if he had read about George Washington Carver? To my surprise, he told me he had not. Today, it seems we hear a lot about race, civil rights, black history and related issues. Unfortunately, many black Americans know little about truly great black Americans. For example, George Washington Carver was an accomplished artist, scientist, and inventor. In a speech at the Blue Ridge YMCA of North Carolina, Professor Carver in his own descriptive way gave this testimony:
Years ago I went into my laboratory and said, “Dear Mr. Creator, please tell me what the universe was made for?”
The Great Creator answered, “You want to know too much for that little mind of yours. Ask for something more your size, little man.”
Then I asked. “Please, Mr. Creator, tell me what man was made for?”
Again the Great Creator replied, “You are still asking too much. Cut down on the extent and improve the intent.”
So then I ask, “Please, Mr. Creator, will you tell me why the peanut was made?”
“That’s better, but even then it’s infinite. What do you want to know about the peanut?”
“Mr. Creator, can I make milk out of the peanut?”
“What kind of milk do you want? Good, Jersey milk or just plain boarding house milk?”
“Good, Jersey milk.”
And then the Great Creator taught me to take the peanut apart and put it together again. And out of the process have come forth all these products!
To the amazement of so many, George Washington Carver’s discoveries are practically innumerable. His discoveries, from the peanut alone, numbered over 300. Then there was the sweet potato with over 118 different discoveries and the list goes on. Mr. Carver found ways of making such things as cosmetics, lotions, vinegar, printer’s ink, rubbing oil, and even instant coffee from some of these items.
George Washington Carver was invited in 1921 to speak to the United States Senate Ways and Means Committee in Washington, D.C. He was asked to talk about the potential uses of the peanut and other new crops to improve the economy of the South. Given only ten minutes to speak, the committee was so amazed at what Mr. Carver was saying that at the end of the allotted time the Chairman said, “Go ahead brother. Your time is unlimited.”
Mr. Carver then proceeded to speak for one hour and forty-five minutes. At the conclusion of Mr. Carver’s address, the Chairman of the committee asked:
“Dr. Carver, how did you learn all of these things?”
Carver answered: “From an old book.”
“What book?” asked the Senator
Carver replied, “The Bible.”
The Senator inquired, “Does the Bible tell about peanuts?”
“No, sir” Dr. Carver replied, “But it tells about the God who made the peanut. I asked Him to show me what to do with the peanut, and He did.”
In another speech George Washington Carver gave these words:
“God is going to reveal to us things He never revealed before if we put our hands in His. No books ever go into my laboratory. The things I am to do and the way of doing it are revealed to me. I never grope for methods. The method is revealed to me the moment I am inspired to create something new. Without God to draw aside the curtain I would be helpless. Only alone can I draw close enough to God to discover His secrets.”
George Washington Carver made this comment about his successes:
“The secret of my success? It is simple. It is found in the Bible, ‘In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.’”
Amazing are the stories of African slaves that used trials to step up to triumph. One example is Phillis Wheatley. Brought to America when she was only eight years old, Phillis was allowed to study and developed an amazing talent for writing poetry. Incredibly, she became the second American woman to publish a book of poems. She was greatly influenced by the preaching of George Whitefield; and in her poetry, she thanked the Lord for allowing her to come to America where she accepted Jesus as her Saviour.
Did you know that America’s first foreign missionary was a former black slave named George Liele? Liele’s master was a deacon, and together they worshipped in the Baptist Church. George was gifted in expounding the Scriptures and was ordained possibly as the first black preacher in America. From his church in Savannah, Liele went to Jamaica to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in Kingston starting Jamaica’s first Baptist Church. In order to fund his missionary endeavor, Liele became an indentured servant. Incredibly he started the work of winning Jamaicans to Christ fifteen years before William Carey went to India and thirty-three years before Adoniram Judson sailed to Burma. George Liele’s pioneer church of four grew to 500 members in just eight years. God richly blesses his ministry society. From that endeavor, fifty Jamaican missionaries were sent to Africa and twenty missionaries to the United States.
 “Blame it” theology has become quite popular. “I was abused as a child so all my problems are not my fault- it was my parents.” “It’s my husband” or “it’s my wife.” “If I only had the money they’ve got.” “Don’t blame me, it’s so and so’s fault!”
Just suppose you were born a Negro slave. Certainly there’s no hope or expectations there. Then at age four your slave mama dies. That did it. You poor slave boy - you ain’t got a chance. The next year of life separates you from your papa and now, slave boy, you are all alone. No mama, no papa, no money, no education, or nothing but loneliness and hopelessness - is that not right? Well think about it. That poor orphaned slave boy learned by sheer determination to read and write by age seventeen. Then a move to Philadelphia landed him a job as a hod carrier. Next he became the janitor of a church. He enrolled in night school, took some correspondence courses and mastered both Hebrew and Greek. The church where he worked as janitor called him to serve as Pastor. That congregation grew under his ministry to a membership of 12,500. This poor orphaned slave boy preached weekly to huge throngs of Negroes, Whites, Jews, Italians, Germans, Norwegians, Mexicans and Danes. Along with his powerful preaching, Charles A. Tindley wrote the words and music for many gospel songs. Some of the favorites are “Nothing Between,” “By and By,” and “Stand by Me.”
When a troubled church member came by to seek Pastor Tindley’s counsel this was his advice: “Put all your troubles in a sack, take’em to the Lord, and leave’em there.” Out of that homespun comfort came the song “Leave It There.”

 If the world from you with-hold
 Of its silver and its gold,
And you have to get along with meager fare,
Just remember, in His Word,
How He feeds the little bird –
Take your burden to the Lord
And leave it there.

If your body suffers pain
And your health you can’t regain,
And your soul is almost sinking in despair,
Jesus knows the pain you feel.
He can save and He can heal-
Take your burden to the Lord
And leave it there.

When your enemies assail
And your heart begins to fail,
Don’t forget that God in heaven answers prayer;
He will make a way for you
And will lead you safely thru-
Take your burden to the Lord
And leave it there.

When your youthful days are gone
And old age is stealing on,
And your body bends beneath the weight of care,
He will never leave you then,
He’ll go with you to the end-
Take your burden to the Lord
And leave it there.

Poor old orphaned slave boy Charles Albert Tindley. He could have taken up “Blame it Theology.” However, I guess he didn’t know any better. He lived by “Leave It There” theology. By the way, it works every time!