The Truth... What is it?

Another Special Life in Christ

These testimony lives are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the role model!
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!

One Sunday he was so caught up in the service that he forgot to slip out early. Suddenly he felt a big hand on his shoulder; and, as he whipped around, he saw the face of the pastor. The preacher said, "Who are you, son? Whose boy are you?" His heart sank at the dreaded question; but then the preacher went on: "Wait a minute. I know who you are. The family resemblance is unmistakable. You are a child of God!" With that he patted the boy on the back and added, "That's quite an inheritance, son. Go and claim it!"

The man in the diner with the story then said to Dr. Craddock and his wife, "That one statement literally changed my life." He explained that his name was Ben W. Hooper (1870-1957) and that he had become a lawyer and had been elected to two consecutive terms (1911-1915) as governor of the state of Tennessee. His had been a responsible and respected life made possible by a person who cared enough to encourage a little boy.

Whoops! On 4/4/2004, an e-mail came to me from James Bell asking for verification. I found some interesting info on an "urban legends" site, "". Gov. Hooper was born illegitimate 13 October 1870 to Sarah Wade in Newport, Tenn....the father being Dr. L. W. Hooper who wouldn't marry Sarah because he was already engaged to another. In several years, after Sarah's father died (her support), Ben wound up in an orphanage in Knoxville. When Ben was about 9, Dr. Hooper learned of the situation. He and Mrs. Hooper having lost one child at a very young age, they adopted Ben. Unlike the above story, Ben tended to answer insults with his fists. It is said (I haven't actually read it) that his autobiography never mentions anything like the above story. Ben was baptized into the Christian faith at age 15 and remained a staunch Baptist throughout his life.

From his autobiography (I think that is the quote source), Gov. Hooper said, "Instead of my supposed handicap generating an inferiority complex, it motivated a spirit of ambition and determination that furnished the impetus to carry me over many a hill in my young days. I began to understand that sensible people might appraise a man upon his character and attainments rather than upon the accident of birth or the merits of his antecedents. This possibility furnished a great incentive to effort."

Even though the story is partly  (apparently) fictitious, do you feel insignificant? Are there people who think life has very little in store for them, but whose lives can be transformed by your words of encouragement? You are a child of God. That's quite an inheritance. Go and claim it, and help others to do the same!

On 10 June 2006, Robin forwarded an e-mail to me from his preacher cousin (Paul Wayne C.) in Oklahoma that stated that the above story is true...that Dr. Craddock had been his preaching professor in seminary. "It is such a good illustration, it has been one of the most memorable stories we heard from him.  There is a book called "Craddock Stories" that has this one and about 200 more of his stories.  Even though he is now retired, he is now the founder of the Craddock Center in northern Georgia.  They work with a wide variety of children who are mostly underprivileged.  My dad is a big fan of his as well.  He preached at my ordination service.  He is just a very neat man.  Thought you'd like to know."



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(posted March 2002; latest addition 15 December 2008)


You have just read a very brief example of the powerful, supernatural transformation of a person's life which is possible through the acceptance of Jesus as your savior. Are you tired of life as it now is for you? He will accept you just as you are right this second! Consider accepting Jesus now [check it out]!