BY-WAYS - More about Robert Le Tourneau- June 17 -

Again, the By-Ways did not come through in time - although I sent it special delivery. This slow delivery of mail will cure me (I hope) of this everlasting procrastination. I hate to think how you folks have been robbed of your appetite and your peace of mind because there was no column this week. Now I'll try to tell you a little more about Robert Le Tourneau. For the benefit of those who do not have access to the Reader's Digest I'll give a few salient facts about him. If you have followed the war news closely, and have read the ads about these mammoth bull-dozers, you realize what a gigantic part they have played in carving out the roads to victory and peace. These great earth-moving machines are the children of "Bob" Le Tourneau's fertile brain. He is surely the world's greatest mechanical genius, in point of the magnitude of his designs. It is said that his scrapers and bull-dozers are credited with a major share in saving Guadalcanal. He belongs to a family of missionaries. At the age of 30, he, too, wanted to become a missionary. His pastor reminded him that God needs businessmen, too. So he decided to become "God's businessman." On Saturday night, June 3rd, he was principal speaker at a national convention in Cleveland of the delegates of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. He sat directly below the great choir loft, where a large choir, made up of ministers, gave forth some grand music, under the direction of a Dr. Brown who has his own radio choir.

Well, when they passed the offering plates, the choir was forgotten. But Dr. Brown picked up a big manila envelope for a collection basket, and sent it along the rows. But first he leaned over and nudged "Bob" Le Tourneau, and held the envelope under his nose. The latter grinned a broad grin - as much as to say "I'm cornered" - and put in a green back. It might have been a one, a drop in the bucket, compared to his contribution to missionary and evangelistic work. It is said that one year he gave 98 per cent of all his wordly possessions to the Le Tourneau Foundation, the world's largest exclusively religious foundation. His enthusiasm for God's work is boundless - and infectious. A big man - and homely - he leans 'way over the pulpit, and takes you into his confidence, and reaches right into your heart. Being no poseur at all, he talks like a Christian mechanic should talk, using mechanical terms to drive home his point. For instance, the law of leverage has to take into account that friction interferes with its lifting power. And friction interferes with our lifting power - lifting ourselves and others nearer to God. Selfishness is the monkey-wrench thrown into the machinery that stops all activity - all progress in God's direction. He told of a clever industrialist who sent for him - and offered him $50,000 for his patent on a certain invention. Mr. L. took the check (gasping with the realization that there was that much money in the world). He also agreed to work for this man. Then the man asked him to list all the machines in his possession. Mr. L. did - thinking he would choose just what he needed. But he bought them all. Mr. L. saw the man's plan. "He didn't want me dividing my interest - between his plant, and my own. So he engaged all of me. My wife and I decided to move near his plant - and for 18 months I worked 16 hours a day for him, giving him all that was in me." That man, by the way, is Henry J. Kaiser, the ship-building wizard. "The greatest industrialist in the world," says Bob Le Tourneau. Mr. L. used that little narrative to illustrate how God wants our whole allegiance. We cannot serve two masters. Robert Le Tourneau has made millions of dollars with his inventive and mechanical genius. But he gives it all back to God - except just enough to live on - because the power within in him came from God in the first place. Would that we had a whole army of Robert Le Tourneaus! Good-bye until next week.

Florence B. Taylor

Next - 6/22/44 - D-Day. Bob LeTourneau

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