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I heard about a missionary who was trying to stir up interest to get people to go to a foreign country to preach the gospel. At the end of the service a woman dragging a little boy behind her, told the missionary, "I just feel like God is calling me to be a missionary." "He is, indeed" and pointing to the little boy, "And thereís the little heathen he wants you to preach to."
Taking the PlungeóReadersí Digest Online, As Kids See It, Stephen McCormack, St. Joachim, ON, 1997
To my five-year-old son, Alex, jumping off the diving board that first time seemed an insurmountable challenge. He was too timid to manage it that day. On the drive home I tried to bolster his courage with a personal confession."When I was a little boy," I began, "there was a huge slide in the park be-side my house. The first time I tried it, I was so scared that my father had to rescue me from the top. But the next time, I slid down, and each time after that, I had more and more fun. Do you know what Iím saying?" Alex nodded with en-thusiasm. At his next lesson, Alex approached the board with a new confidence. He strode purposefully to the end, then stopped. He tried again, and again pulled up short. Fi-nally he turned and made a beeline for where I was stand-ing. "Dad," he asked urgently, "do you know any other stories that might work?"
Have you ever seen the show American Gladiators?
Used to watch? Now its new again
I love to see the contestants get the best of these beasts of men
Me and the kids where watching the other day
And this small 5í10Ē 160 man got the best of this group of Gladiators
One of these guys was 6í8Ē 270 THATíS HUGE
You would think the contestant didnít have a chance against him
But the Gladiator didnít win simply because he was this huge monster of a man
Israel didnít achieve victory simply because they were Israel, the mighty conquerors of fallen Jericho
Just like we donít win victory simply because we are Christians.
We must be Christians striving after the holy mind and will of God if we would be over comers.
This defeat caused the nation of Israelís hearts to melt.
They lost all confidence.
Thus their defeat was complete.
THE GOOD NIGHT KISS
At the end of their first date, a young man takes the girl back to her home. Emboldened by the night, he decides to try for that important first kiss. With an air of confidence, he leans with his hand against the wall and, smiling, he says to her, "Darling, how íbout a good night kiss?"
Embarrassed, she replies, "Oh, I couldnít do that. My parents will see us!"
"Oh come on! Whoís gonna see us at this hour?"
"No, please. I would just die of embarrassment if someone saw us."
"Oh come on, thereís nobody around, theyíre all sleeping!"
"No way. Itís just too risky!"
"Oh please, please, I like you so much!!"
"No. I like you too, but I just canít!"
"Oh yes you can. Please?"
"NO, no. I just canít."
Out of the blue, the porch light goes on, and the girlís sister shows up in her pajamas, hair disheveled. I...
The story is told of a monastery in Portugal, perched high on a 3,000 foot cliff and accessible only by a terrifying ride in a swaying basket. The basket is pulled with a single rope by several strong men, perspiring under the strain of the fully loaded basket. One American tourist who visited the site got nervous halfway up the cliff when he noticed that the rope was old and frayed. Hoping to relive his fear he asked, "How often do you change the rope?" The monk in charge replied, "Whenever it breaks!"
THE GRAY AREA
I heard a story about a 90-year-old grandfather who was complaining to his grandson about getting old. He said, "The worst part is the diapers." He continued, "I donít mind weariní them, itís just the name I hate. Depends! If I have to wear a diaper, I donít want there to be any ídependsí about it. I want for sure!"
It would be good if everything was "for sure," but itís not.
When it comes to some things, it depends.
(From a sermon by Monty Newton, "Navigataing the Gray Areas" 1/30/2009)
Sermon Central Staff
I'M NOT BRAVE, HE'S NOT TAME
Writing in Moody Monthly, Carl Armerding recounted his experience of watching a wildcat in a zoo. "As I stood there," he said, "an attendant entered the cage through a door on the opposite side. He had nothing in his hands but a broom. Carefully closing the door, he proceeded to sweep the floor of the cage." He observed that the worker had no weapon to ward off an attack by the beast. In fact, when he got to the corner of the cage where the wildcat was lying, he poked the animal with the broom. The wildcat hissed at him and then lay down in another corner of the enclosure.
Armerding remarked to the attendant, "You certainly are a brave man."
"No, I ainít brave," he replied as he continued to sweep.
"Well, then that cat must be tame."
"No," came the reply, "he ainít tame."
"If you arenít brave and the wildcat isnít tame, then I canít understand why he doesnít attack you."
Armerding said the man chuckled, then replied with an air of confidence, "Mister, heís old--and he ainít got no teeth."
From a sermon by Jay Russell, Get in Their Faces, 3/29/2011
A member of Alcoholics Anonymous once sent columnist Ann Landers the following:
1. We drank for happiness and became unhappy.
We drank for joy and became miserable.
We drank for sociability and became argumentative.
We drank for sophistication and became obnoxious.
We drank for friendship and made enemies.
We drank for sleep and awakened without rest.
We drank for strength and felt weak.
We drank "medicinally" and acquired health problems.
We drank for relaxation and got the shakes.
We drank for bravery and became afraid.
We drank for confidence and became doubtful.
We drank to make conversation easier and slurred our speech.
We drank to feel heavenly and ended up feeling like hell.
THE IMAGINARY BALL
A golfer who had been playing badly went to a psychiatrist who told him to relax by playing a round of golf without a ball. "Do everything you would normally do, but use an imaginary ball."
The golfer tried it the next day. He stepped up on the first tee, imagined he got a 260-yard drive, made a fine approach shot to the green, then putted for a par.
The round went splendidly and as he approached the 18th hole, he met another golfer playing the same way--no ball.
The other golfer had seen the same psychiatrist. They decided to play the last hole together and bet $10 on the outcome.
The first golfer swung at his imaginary ball and announced that it had gone 280 yards right down the middle of the fairway. The second golfer matched his drive.
The first fellow then took out his 5-iron and after swinging at his imaginary ball, he exclaimed, "Look at that shot! It went right over the pin and the reverse spin on it brought it right back into the hole! I win."
"No you donít," said the second golfer. "You hit my ball."
I can remember as a young boy saying prayer for the family one Thanksgiving meal. In my prayer I included the phrase, "Dear God, I sure hope the Oakland Raiders make it to the Superbowl." I learned that wasnít really appropriate. As I grew, I also learned that real hope is not the kind of hope I mentioned in my prayer. Real hope is not a wish, but confidence in a certainty.