by Cynthia Ruchti

“The real test of the saint is not preaching the gospel [or writing a bestseller], but washing disciples’ feet, that is, doing the things that do not count in the actual estimate of men but count everything in the estimate of God…now who becomes broken bread and poured out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for others.”  Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

How many serious students of the God-centric life include in their morning or even routines–their spiritual aerobics–a reading from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest?

Considering this popular devotional hasn’t been out of print since it first released in 1927, and that it has been translated into at least 39 languages, and that some reread it annually, it’s brain-straining to calculate.

I spoke with a twenty-something young woman who had been given a leather-bound copy of the book with spaces for journal entries on each page. Reading Chambers’ straight-forward yet practical approach to obedience to Christ and abandoning ourselves to His purposes awakened a fire within her.

Simple truths expressed in profound ways.

I wonder how Chambers’ young widow felt when she transcribed the quote mentioned above. Her husband was the one gifted to preach, to move audiences, to influence others. After he died at 43 from complications from appendicitis, she continued transcribing his teachings from the shorthand she’d used to take notes. All she did was take notes.

We would have none of those words to inspire, nudge, and drive us deeper into God’s Word if his wife hadn’t used HER gift–lightning-speed shorthand–and if she hadn’t devoted countless hours to record Oswald Chambers’ messages.

In what ways have you become discouraged because of the humble tasks you’ve been assigned, the ones that “do not count in the actual estimate of men”? 

Even in the world of the novelist, if you’re helping tell others about someone else’s book, is it possible that one day someone who’s faith has grown from that other book will realize, “I never would have heard that story if my friend hadn’t ‘taken notes’ for me”?

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in HOPE. Information about her award-winning novels and nonfiction, as well her speaking topics for women’s events and writers’ workshops is available at or