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More than a thousand years before anyone had heard about radio, or telephones, native peoples in Africa were able to speak to each other over long distances by means of talking drums.

I don't mean that they had drums that could speak as you and I speak; yet they talked just the same! You see, in every village, men were trained to play the drums so skillfully that messages could be sent by the sound that the drums made. 

Some of the drums were so large that their sound would travel as far as twenty miles or more. And as soon as the drums would begin to sound in one village, the drummer in the next village would pick up the message and begin to sound it out on his drum. So from village to village the word would go until the whole countryside had heard it.

When really big things happened, the news would be sent in this way all across the whole great continent.

It is said that when Queen Victoria died, and the news was cabled from England to West Africa, natives living hundreds of miles from railways and telegraph lines immediately began talking of the death of the "Great White Queen." They heard the news even before government officials, by means of the talking drums.

When the city of Khartoum fell and General Gordon was killed, natives in Sierra Leone, thousands of miles away, talked about it the same day!

The largest drums are made from huge, hollowed-out tree trunks. Sometimes these measure as much as twelve feet long and five feet wide. Think of a drum that size! No wonder the sound of it carries twenty miles!

Wouldn't you like to hear drums like this being played? Someone who heard them all his life has said: "Shuddering down the wind come their voices. . . . Boom-tap-boom! Dumm . . . dum. . . t-rat . . . t-t-r-r-rat! Bo-o-o-o-om!"

You can almost hear them, can't you? I wonder what they are saying? Perhaps some awful disaster has happened, a flood or a fire, or some great chief has died.

The drums of Africa are still talking today. Perhaps you will hear them someday.  


But I am thinking of other drums. We might call them God's drums. And they are talking very loudly, bringing news, not only of things that have happened, but of things that are going to happen.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

"Shuddering down the wind come their voices."

Yes, all the terrible things that are happening in the world today, all the suffering of so many people, all the sorrows of so many fathers and mothers and little children, all the crime and cruelty, all the little wars and big wars, are shouting a message to us.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The deep, resonant sounds circle the whole great globe. "Wake up!" they say to us. "Wake up! Be on the watch for something that is coming soon!" 

"Watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is!"

Jesus knew all about these things, and He told us that there would be "talking drums" in these days; only He called them by a different name. 

"There shall be signs," He said, "in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." Luke 21:25, 26.

In the last days of earth's history, said Jesus, everything would talk to us—the sun, the moon, the stars, the sea, the people, the heavens, and the earth. Talking drums thundering out their warning of His coming! 

And He added, "When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." Verse 28.

What a wonderful thing it is that God is trying to tell us now! Are you listening? Can you hear the drums? And if we can hear them, and their warning message, what shall we do about it?

Shall we not look up into His face and say to Him, "Jesus, I'm glad that You are coming again. I am so anxious to see You. I want to live in the beautiful land of peace You are preparing for those who love You. I love You too. And I want to be ready to meet You when You come. Please make me ready. Take all sin out of my heart. Help me to be good today and every day until You come again." Won't you say that? And say it now?

If you do, there will be no doubt about what will happen in that great day, for we are told that "He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Matthew 24:31.

That means that they will be looking for you! The angels looking for you! How very wonderful! And they will find you. I know they will. And they will take us all home to that beautiful land where there will be no more war and "no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain." Revelation 21:4.



How that youngest boy of mine used to love the sea! You should have seen him holding the wheel of one of those little motorboats they have at some seaside resorts. Was he happy!

When I took him in a big speedboat one day and left him all alone on the back seat, the look of perfect bliss on his face was something wonderful to behold.

Many years ago, as we were driving through British Columbia, I happened to say that we might be going on a big steamer soon.  Alas, for our peace!

"When are we going on the big steamer, Daddy?" he asked.

"How many funnels does it have? Will it have lots of smoke? Will it go very fast? Shall we go far, far away? Will it be the Queen Mary?"

But the chief question was always, "When are we going, Daddy? Will it be tomorrow?"

"No son, not tomorrow."

"Then how soon?"

"Very, very soon."

"Oh, dear, I can hardly wait!"

So the days went by, with the same questions being asked over and over again, the inquiry always ending with that plaintive plea, "Will it be very soon now?"

Purposely I did not tell him the exact day for fear he would become too excited about it. So I kept saying, "Soon, very soon now."

 Then one day we crossed the border into the United States, and drove to Seattle. There we stayed for the night, so as to be in good time to catch the boat in the morning. But we did not tell the boy. Oh, dear, no. He wouldn't have slept a wink. Neither would we. So when he asked again, as he went to sleep, "Are we going on the boat soon, Daddy?" I said, "Oh, yes, very, very soon now; at which his weary little head fell on the pillow as though he were quite content. Little did he realize that he was so near to the goal of his dreams.

Now, whether or not it was because he had slept within a quarter mile of that ship I cannot say, but he awoke early the next day with the certain conviction in his heart that the great moment had arrived.

Rubbing his little eyes and looking up earnestly into his mother's face, he said with an eagerness I shall never forget, "Is this the morning?"

"Oh, yes," I said, responding to the light of hope and joy blazing in his eyes. "Yes, this is the morning. This is the day you have been waiting for so long. Today we shall go on the big steamer and see the masts and the funnels and all the smoke and things, and ride over the great waves."

"Is this the morning?"

Ever since then the words have rung in my ears like a chime of lovely bells. I have thought of all the people who have been waiting such a long, long time for the glorious morning when Jesus comes, and how happy they will be when it breaks. There are some people alive today who have been waiting nearly a hundred years for Jesus to come. They have not known the time of His coming, but, oh, how they have longed for it! And they have comforted their old hearts by saying, It must be soon now; there's not much longer to wait!"

What joy will be theirs "in the morning"!

I have thought, too, of all the people who have endured sickness and pain, blindness and deafness, and all sorts of dreadful injuries, and how glad they will be "in the morning" when Jesus comes back to open the eyes of the blind, to unstop the ears of the deaf, and to make the lame man leap as a hart! How wonderful it will be to see their joy as they are suddenly healed by His wondrous power, never to be sick again!

I have thought also of all those who have put up with great hardship and poverty, rarely ever seeing trees or flowers or the beauty of the country or the sea, and what pure delight will be theirs "in the morning" when they discover that they will never be poor again, that Jesus has come to bring them riches enough to last forever and ever, and food enough so they will never know hunger again; oh, yes, and when they find that He has planned for them a new heaven and a new earth more lovely than any they ever imagined! 

I have thought, too, of all the exiles, the people who have been driven from their homes and countries by cruel tyrants, and how they must have cried again and again, as they wandered homeless over the earth, and how thrilled they will be "in the morning" to find that Jesus has made ready for them the very mansions that long ago He promised to prepare for His children, a home that shall never pass away. 

I have thought, also, of all the children of God who have gone to sleep in death through all the ages since sin first entered this old world, and how marvelous it will be when Jesus comes to wake them from their long slumber.

Hundreds and thousands of them were loving fathers and mothers who passed away, longing for their children; and countless others were children who died, longing to see their parents again; and one day soon upon their waiting ears will fall the voice of Jesus calling them from the grave. Can you not hear them all crying in glad and happy surprise, "Jesus, is this the morning?"

What a glad reunion there will be that day!

Many will be the martyrs of Jesus; men, women, and children who chose to be tortured and killed rather than give up their faith in Him. Lots and lots of them perished miserably in dungeons, waiting patiently for deliverance that never came. Can you not hear them crying, almost frantic with joy, as the Master for whom they gave up so much bends over them in tender love and calls them from the tomb to spend eternity with Him, "0 Jesus, is this the morning for which we have waited so long?"

Some people talk about the coming of Jesus as a day of darkness, gloom, and misery, but for all who love Him it is going to be the happiest day in history. That's why the apostle Paul calls it "the blessed hope." It's going to be the most wonderful, the most glorious, and the most joyous event that ever happened.

Everyone of us should be looking forward to it with the keenest joy, just as Jesus Himself must be longing, too, for the great day to dawn.

In my front garden, down by the gate, there used to be the trunk of a dead pepper tree. The top was flat and made a dear little seat, and there was a step so that one could climb up onto it.

For years this was my youngest boy's seat, where he would sit and wait for his daddy to come home.

It used to make going home so thrilling to think he would be there. When I was still a long way off he would see me and there would be a mighty yelling and a great waving of hands.

And it seems to me that this is how Jesus would have us await His coming, sitting high up on the pepper tree, as it were, looking eagerly down the road, waiting and watching for Him.

And I believe that just as I would take up my little boy and hug him because he was waiting there at the gate for me, so Jesus will gather us into His everlasting arms of love and tell us He is glad we did the same for Him.

Then in that glorious day we will all go in together to partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb," and to hear His kind voice say to everybody, "Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." And it will all be so wonderful, so unbelievably beautiful, that we shall cry out in rapture once more; "Is this the morning?"

And I am sure the angels will answer our question in a wonderful song of joyful assurance. THIS IS THE MORNING!

"But I'm afraid I won't be ready!"


It was Children's Day down at the church hall. The Sabbath school teachers had planned something very special for all the boys and girls, from the juniors down to the little tots in the kindergarten room.

Six-year-old Mary was so happy to go! She loved to be with other children, especially when they were all dressed up in their prettiest things.

What a good time they had together! Such jolly games. Such happy surprises! And such lovely food! Sandwiches and toasted buns and cookies and treats on sticks, and lots of lemonade to drink. Then the superintendent said that somebody special was going to talk for a little while, and would everybody please be quiet?

A sudden hush settled over the hall as the boys and girls sat down and stopped talking.

"Just a little thought for you to take home with you," said the man on the platform. "It's about two little words: BE READY." Then he walked over to a blackboard and wrote, BE READY TO HELP OTHERS.

"That's the first thing we should do," he said. "We should always be ready to help anybody in need. If we keep our eyes open we will see chances to help other people all the time."

Then he wrote on the board: BE READY TO STAND AGAINST EVIL.

"That is something else we must do. So often boys and girls are tempted to do things that are wrong, things that will get them into trouble, or hurt other people. Every time temptation comes let us be ready to stand against it."

Then he wrote: BE READY TO MEET GOD.

"This is the most important thing of all," he said. "Someday we must all meet God. To be ready to meet Him we must rid our hearts of everything that is unlike Him; everything that is unkind, unlovely, and unholy. And we can only do that by asking Jesus to live within us by His Spirit every day."

That was all. It was soon over. "Let's sing a little song," said the man. And they did. It was the beautiful prayer found in the song we often sing,

"Into my heart, into my heart,

Come into my heart, Lord Jesus;

Come in today, come in to stay,

Come into my heart, Lord Jesus."

When Mary got home that evening, Mamma asked her whether she had had a good time. "Oh, yes," she said. "I never enjoyed myself so much in all my life."

"But you look sad," said Mamma. "What's the matter?"

"Oh no, I'm not sad," said Mary, smiling. "I was just thinking. "

Next morning Mary came running downstairs.

" I'm ready! I really am ready!"

"Ready?" said Mamma. "Ready for what?"

"Ready to meet God," said Mary, "just as the speaker said yesterday afternoon. I've been singing, 'Come into my heart, Lord Jesus,' and He's come. I know He has. Isn't it nice to be ready, Mamma?"

Dear little Mary! She had discovered the secret of happiness and the keys to the kingdom of heaven!

  You can find Jesus too; Just tell Him that you want to be His forever and live for Him. Ask Him to forgive all your sins and come and live in your heart. HE WILL !


Jesus once said to His disciples: "In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:2, 3.

Ever since He went away He has been preparing beautiful homes for all the boys and girls who love Him. These homes are all ready, and when His gospel has been taken to every "nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people," He will return, gather His children together, and take them with Him to heaven.

What will that heavenly home be like?  

Certainly it will be peaceful. There will be no quarrelsome children there. Even the animals will stop fighting. "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock. . . . They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord." Isaiah 6 5 : 25.

There will be plenty to eat there. No one will ever go hungry. Poor little boys and girls who never had enough to eat before, will find that Jesus has a bounteous store of good things. "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more. . . . For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them." Revelation 7:16, 17.

Jesus will provide the best of everything for all His children. Everybody will be happy there. The ransomed of the Lord will come, we are told, "with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: . . . and sorrow and sighing shall flee' away." Isaiah 35:10.

So there will be no sadness there. No one will ever cry. There will be no naughty boys and girls to be spanked.  

Heaven will be the happy meeting place of all who have been separated by the sleep of death. Brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, who have believed in Jesus will then meet again, nevermore to part. "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain."

Won't that be a lovely home? Doesn't it make you want to live there? You do not have long to wait. Jesus is coming back soon to take us all there, if we are good and trust in Him. Let us ask Him to make us ready to meet Him when He comes.