THE SORCERER'S STONE!

 CHAPTER ONE -CLOSE TO DEATH

Suddenly they hit! Shattering glass, mashing of steel. And then silence and the strong smell of leaking gasoline.

For a moment, both sat there stupefied, trying to gather their senses. Then, over the hill came headlights and screeching brakes.

“What happened? Are you all right?”

“We can’t get out and the car may explode!”

Len and Ruby Grant were returning from a visit to friends on an unfamiliar country road. It was late at night; when, rounding the top of a hill, Len saw a large deer directly ahead. Swerving to miss it, he went off the road and struck a tree.

“My baby! My baby!” screamed Mrs. Grant in the darkness. Suddenly she realized her infant son was no longer in her arms. He alone had no seat belt.

In the darkness, she leaned over—and felt warm cloth. It was his tiny shirt. Little Larry was laying on the floor. But there was no sound from his little body.

No longer worried about the danger of fire, Mrs. Grant pled with God to save her child.

Notified by a cell phone, a police car and an emergency vehicle arrived very soon. Warned in advance that the doors were jammed, they brought with them jaws of life, an extraction device.

“Folks, try to slide back from the door! We’re going to pull it off!” With a massive wrenching sound, the door was ripped from its hinges.

Sirens whined as the rescue vehicles sped down the road to the hospital. But the couple could think of only one thing: What had happened to their three-month-old son?

“You were fortunate to have seat belts on,” the doctor said. “You came away with only scratches. Please rest quietly now. The baby is in surgery.”

Given an empty hospital room in which to wait, hours wore away as the distraught parents sat there in an agony of suspense. Then a doctor entered the room.

“I am sorry, very sorry. But there seems to be something wrong. When your son hit the dash, his bones were terribly shattered and he may never recover. We are trying to do the best we can. Please be patient.”

More hours passed, and night turned into morning. All the while, as Mr. Grant blamed himself for the accident, his wife was on her knees pleading with God to save her baby.

“Oh, please, God, please, if Thou wilt save my child and restore him to normal, I will dedicate him to be Thy servant.”

At 10:30 a.m. the door opened once again. It was the same doctor.

“I—, I really do not understand—.”

Mrs. Grant could not speak. “Tell us; we’re ready for the worst,” stammered Mr. Grant, tears streaming down his cheeks.

“It seemed the child would either die or be a lifelong cripple. But,—but he is all right! I do not understand it. About half an hour ago, he began breathing normally and a natural pink returned to his body. New X-rays reveal no broken bones at all!”

The months passed and turned into years. Ruby Grant determined that God had miraculously returned her only child to her, and she would dedicate herself to raising him for God.

But her son, Larry, had to make that decision his own. Although she repeatedly told him of how God had saved his life, Larry did not share her concerns. Although not a bad boy, Jesus and obeying God were not the center of his life.

Then one afternoon when he was ten, Larry was busily exploring the limbs of a large maple tree behind the house.

Creeping out along one large one, he gripped another limb, just above, to help steady him. Larry was sure he had a good hold on it. What he didn’t know was that it was dead. With a loud crack, it snapped under his weight. Down they both went.

“Help me, God!” Larry cried. A large limb was below him, but somehow he missed it.

When he awoke, his mother was bending over him, weeping and praying.

“Larry! What happened? Are you all right!”

Fortunately, he had not hit any branches as he fell and a recent rain had softened the ground.

“Are you all right, Larry?”

Coming to his senses, the boy looked up into the face of his mother. It had been a close call, and he could not forget it.

Silently, Larry listened as a physician discussed his findings.

“You could have landed on the back of your head and been a paraplegic the rest of your life, without the use of your arms or legs. You could have landed on a rock and broken your back. Instead, you landed flat on fairly soft earth.”

Twice God had saved his life. Young though he was, Larry was convinced that if he did not dedicate his own life to God, the third accident might be his last. He owed so much to his parents and to God.

After the doctor left, Larry went alone into his bedroom and knelt by the bed.

“Oh, God, please accept me! I give You my life. Everything. Nothing held back. I give You everything. Please guide me and protect me. From now on, I belong to You!”

When he came out of that room, his mother could see he was a changed boy. Larry had made the dedication of so many years earlier his own.

But, unlike many conversion experiences which do not last, Larry decided he would not just be a fair-weather Christian. He had seen how other young people would ask God for help when they had problems and then leave Him the rest of the time.

Over the months and years which followed, Larry’s decision to remain close to God gradually produced in him great strength of character.

He would need it. Little did he realize what was ahead.

Just here, we need to pause a moment. We want to get into the action—and there’s a lot of it in this book. Larry has done many unusual things, and we’ll discover the first of them in this book. But before we start, we need to spend a brief chapter explaining why he was able later to take on challenges which even adults around him feared to tackle. 

CHAPTER TWO - BUILDING A SOLID FOUNDATION

 

After the accident, Larry was determined to deepen his experience. It was not enough to love God. He needed a closer connection with the source of wisdom and strength.

Larry already knew how to read fairly well. He now decided to only read worthwhile things; no more trash for him. He especially liked the Bible. He found that time spent with it did something for him that nothing else seemed to do. He was better able to handle the problems and challenges that each day at home and school brought. He recognized that this special Book must be his guide if he was to succeed in life.

“Mom, would you tell me how I can better understand the Bible?”

“Sure Son, as soon as I finish the dishes, I’ll sit down and show you a few things.”

Quickly, Larry helped dry and put them away. He found that getting the work done was more fun than trying to avoid it.

Sitting by the dinner table, Mother said, “Well, Son, there’s one thing you’re already doing; you’re taking time each morning and evening to read in the Bible.”

“I’ve found that if I miss just one day, something starts telling me I don’t have time for it. You know how it is.”

“Yes, that’s how the devil works, Son. He tempts us to stay away from God. It’s a pity that so many people don’t believe Satan exists. He laughs because they’re serving him and don’t really know it.”

“Well, what I want to know just now is how to find things better in the Bible.”

“One way is the cross references in the center margin,” replied Mother. “You probably already know about them. And here’s another way.”

Walking over to the bookshelf, Mother brought back a large book and showed it to Larry.

“This is Strong’s Concordance. It will help you find what you are looking for. It’s far better than Cruden’s Concordance because it is complete; Cruden’s isn’t. Larry, It makes me happy that you love the Bible.”

Larry was silent for a moment. Then he said,

“About all that a lot of kids at school are interested in, is listening to wild music, playing games, arguing about something, or reading stories about people doing bad things. I want something better than that.”

“Larry, God is going to give it to you. The Bible is the best place to start. Make it the foundation of your life, and God will give you wisdom to meet what is ahead.”

Larry thought a moment and then said softly, “You know, Mom, I fell because that branch had a rotten heart.”

“That’s right, Son.”

“I have to live so I won’t have a rotten heart or I’ll fall again.”

Larry’s conversion had changed him in other ways also. He decided he was not going to let his mother wear herself out while he sat around idle.

When not involved with school studies or reading God’s Word, Larry spent his spare time carrying on a variety of duties around the home. He took total charge of keeping the house clean, hauling in wood to the woodstove, sweeping off the porches, and carrying out the garbage. Larry thoroughly enjoyed work.

A few months had changed Larry into a studious, hard-working son. He was gaining valuable lessons in self-reliance. He was also learning to tackle obstacles, overcome them, and carry a job through to the end.

Before long, Larry had learned to use a chain saw, split wood, and drive vehicles off-road. Whenever there was work to be done, he pitched in. Gradually he learned a lot about carpentry, plumbing, and a smattering of electrical work by helping a man who lived nearby.

Someone might think all this made Larry a dull person. Far from it. The kids at school found he was fast becoming a clear-thinking leader they could rely on. Yet Larry knew the source of His increasing ability: trust in God, regular study in the Bible, silent prayer when he needed guidance, and a cheerful willingness to get in and do what needed to be done.

“Mom, how can I build my body and get stronger physically?”

Laughing, his mother replied, “Well, you’re doing pretty well already! Working about the place is one way—and you’re already doing that.”

“Is there anything else I can do?” asked Larry.

His mother could see he was serious, so she thought a moment and then suggested a few things.

“Well, Son, from what I’ve read, professional body builders eat very carefully of solid, nourishing food. They eat no junk food. They do not eat between meals. They have regular times to eat and work and rest. In other words, except for emergencies, they stay on schedule. They make sure they get enough sleep at night. They do little extras like drinking a couple glasses of water an hour before meals. They even take vitamin and mineral supplements.”

“If that will help me build a stronger body, that’s what I want!” said Larry.

“As a result, they wake feeling refreshed every morning and ready for a hard day’s workout, whether it be work or a sport.”

Larry listened thoughtfully, jotting notes as she spoke.

“Okay, Mom, no more Krispy Kibblers for me. No more junk food. No more soft drinks. No more white sugar. No more candy. And no more eating between meals.”

“Whatever you want, Son; it’s your life.”

“It’s my life, Mom, and I’ve got to get ready.”

“Ready for what,” Mother asked, puzzled.

“I don’t know. But I’ve given my life to God, and He’ll have something for me to do; I’m sure of that. It’s my part to get ready. It’s His part to give me the assignments.”

Larry began a regular exercise program that started to build muscle and physical endurance. He found that this meant eating a little more. But, since it was all good food, he found he did not need to overeat. In fact, he quickly discovered that trying to stuff his body, to help build muscle, only drained him of energy. Moderate, careful, scheduled living was the answer.

Going to the library, Larry checked out several books on body building and started taking vitamin and mineral supplements. But he avoided the pitfall of a high-protein diet.

Checking it out, he also discovered that taking steroids to build muscles was a way to ruin yourself. Not only do they eventually damage body organs in various ways, but when a person stops taking them, he generally gets fat.

Within a couple months the kids at school began noticing that Larry not only had a clearer mind than they had, but he was becoming stronger.

While others thought that entertainment was the greatest object in life, Larry had a plan of action. Youth is the time to build a foundation, and that was what Larry was doing.

By the time Larry was twelve, he divided his spare time between studying in the Bible and in history and science topics.

“Why do you want to learn so much?” asked his mother.

“History explains the past, so we won’t have to repeat its mistakes. And science is a field of special interest.”

“What are you going to do when you grow up, Son?” asked his mother.

“I’m not sure yet, but I want to be ready for whatever God has for me.” 

GO TO CHAPTER 3

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