"How Papa Alfred Stadem Came to a Saving Righteousness"

Part I:

Concerning the testing of Papa Alfred Stadem's spiritual bridge to heaven, an anonymously-authored (we trust!) story sent by email illustrates a point about two brothers who had been loving for many years but experienced a falling out.  How could they be reconciled, when the rift widened with every new grievance and the growth of unforgiveness in both brothers?  See how God's grace and mercy intervened to save two men from a fatal condition that could only get worse.



Two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict.  It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch.  Then the long collaboration fell apart.  It began with a small misunderstanding, and it grew into a major difference.  Finally, it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.
    One morning there was a knock on the older brother's door.  He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox.  "I'm looking for a few days work," he said.  "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there.  Could I help you?"  "Yes," said the older brother.  "I do have a job for you.  Look across the creek at that farm.  That's my neighbor, in fact, it's my younger brother.  Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us.  Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll go him one better.  See that pile of lumber curing by the barn?  I want  you to build me a fence, an 8-foot fence, so I won't need to see his place anymore.  Cool him down, anyhow."  The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation.  Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you."
    The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day.  The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing.  About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.  The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped.  There was no fence there at all.  It was a bridge--a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other!  A fine piece of work--handrails and all--and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched.  "You are quite the fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done."
    The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each  other's hand.  They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder.  "No, wait!  Stay a few days.  I've got a lot other projects for you," said the older brother.  "I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but I have many more bridges to build."



We use this story here as an illustration a lot of people can readily understand and relate to, for who hasn't had a falling out at one time or another with a friend, spouse, or neighbor? It is going to happen to us all, in one way or another, but the question is: how are we going to best bring about a reconciliation? Will we choose to remain at odds with the offended person, or will we find somehow a way to erect a bridge between us that can possibly bring us back together or at least to a resolution of the conflict or misunderstanding.

This poignant story of the bitter falling-out and later, by the act of a Christ-like third party, the reconciliation of two brothers depicts the bridge of forgiveness and God's grace and mercy.

 There are many kinds of bridges on this earth, but this particular bridge would effectively end all human conflict and wars between nations and peoples, if it were crossed by all the parties involved.

The good news is:  The bridge exists at present, it is fully available, but the sad news is that it is not being used by most people, as we can plainly see, either by looking at our own lives or at the lives of others.

 Papa Alfred Stadem crossed this fateful bridge, after suffering much personal loss and turmoil, and he was saved from bondage to a bitter root of unforgiveness and judgmentalism that was near to destroying him and his marriage and family before it was stopped.

 How was this bridge created? Specifically, it was constructed by the work of Christ on the Cross a little less than 2,000 years ago.  Please turn to the next page for an account of how the shed blood of Jesus Christ erected the bridge that won us, individually, the righteousness of God that saves a person from hell and condemnation and secures for him eternal life, free of the curse of the Law and sin's penalty of eternal punishment.

 The concluding part of this account is entited, "If the Blood has not been shed." 

Why not take for yourself the freedom from sin won by the precious Blood of Christ today, this moment, especially if you find yourself in the situation of the two brothers, with a creek of bitter words and bitter deeds flowing betwixt you and someone else?

 Do not put it off "for a more convenient time." How can you or anyone be guaranteed a more convenient time than the present? It doesn't exist, so don't count on it being there for you later, friend!  The creek soon will be a river, and then a raging flood that may carry you and your family away.  It has happened so to countless people and nations--but there is a means of escape--a bridge--provided by the master carpenter, Jesus Christ.  Turn to Him now, and He will give it to you. If you would like prayer, and need someone to pray with you, there is a link to us directly through the email address provided below. Also, the Praying for You link has the email address for your convenience. God bless you!

Part II:

Our Righteousness, just as Papa Alfred Stadem found out in mid-life, does not work! The Apostle Paul call his righteousness nothing but filthy rags in comparison to Christ's, yet how many of us know these scriptures that are following, and ignore them and set out to establish our own faulty righteousness that will never be accepted by God in place of His Son's! We would do well to heed Paul's admonition and these scriptures in Romans and avoid that terrible pitfall!

Romans 10: 1-10:

Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyonewho believes. Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them. But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down) or 'Who will descend into the deep' "(that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you: it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in hm will never be put to shame. For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Now once Papa Alfred Stadem got the truth of it through the severe lesson from God through in the tragic deaths of his son and his son-in-law in a plane crash, January 9, 1947, he built a bridge that today stands as a lasting legacy, which can carry many, and has carried many, safely to heaven's side. Can a man do this? Yes! Paul built such a bridge with his gospel. Millions have crossed that bridge. Life alone can tell us this truth: We each build a bridge that can either lead souls to safety in Christ or will lead them astray or even destruction. We know for certain that people will follow examples of other people, that is the trait of sheep as well as people. But let us build SAVING bridges! But we must always keep foremost in our minds that we can only build saving bridges that are solely established on Christ's righteousness! Anything else will not stand. Anything else will fall into the chasm, carrying any soul down to destruction who mistakenly trusts in a faulty bridge.


"The Bridge Builder" by Will Allen Dromgoole.

An old man, going a lone highway,

came at the evening,cold and gray,

to a chasm, vast, and deep, and wide,

through which was flowing a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim,

the sullen stream had no fears for him.

Buit he turned, when safe on the other side,

and built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim, near,

"You are wasting strength with building here.

YOUR journey will end with the ending day.

You never again must pass this way.

You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide--

Why build you the bridge at the eventide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head.

"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,

"There followeth after me today

a youth, whose feet must pass this way.

This chasm, that has been naught to me,

to that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.

He, too, must cross in the twilight dim.

Good friend, I am building the bridge for HIM."


Will Allen Dromgoole, Oct. 26, 1860-Sep. 1, 1934, an author and poet born in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Renowned beyond the South, her poem, "The Bridge Builder" is often reprinted. It is Public Domain. An excerpt appears on a plaque at the Bellows Falls Vermont Vilas Bridge, spanning the Connecticut River between southern Vermont and New Hampshire



For additional links: There is even an  on-line Bible school called The Emmaus Walk to help and encourage you in your Christian pilgrimage, whether just started or well on your way! We also heartily encourage you to go to the wonderful Billy Graham website for any information you need on how to walk godly and righteously before God and man in this life as a Christian.

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

"What if the Blood has Not Been Shed?"

The Prairie Farm Home Page

The Emmaus Walk

Please return to the Prairie Farm Home Page for more of life on its Golden Acres, or visit other vistas in the links provided, including those via the master directory, www.oaringintheriver.com

Excluding Dramgoole Poem and Email on the Bridge-building Carpenter, All other material here:

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