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Intro: Illustrate: If You Can’t See the Water Line, It’s ... Time to Unload
When I was a child, my father, on leave from World War II, took my sister and me to the Liverpool dock yards to see the
merchant ships that brought us food.
"Brave men have risked their lives to bring us this precious cargo," he told us. I noticed a line painted around each vessel. "What’s that for?" I asked.
"To show the people loading the ship how much it’s made to carry," he said. "If they put too much on, the line disappears
below the water. The boat will sink. If they put too little inside, it won’t be full enough to do what it was made to do.
Each boat is made by its builder to carry just the right amount."
God has painted a water line in our lives… He will not give too much to bear… but would allow “too much” to cause us to need His help. My children enjoy help bringing in the groceries from the car. They prefer to carry in the candy and cookies…. But at times I would asked (make) them to carry in other items. My youngest of boys reaches for items unaware of the weight and if too heavy… says…, “You do this one daddy.” God allows for “things” to get to heavy for us so we can humble ourselves and say, “You do this one daddy.”
Jesus infuriated the Jewish leaders because He claimed to be the “stone which the builders rejected.” This is a reference to the building of Solomon’s Temple. It took 30,000 workmen over seven years to complete the temple. According to I Kings 6 all the stones were quarried far away from the building site, so there was no sound of hammering heard there. Jewish tradition says one day the building superintendent saw an unusual stone being delivered. Because it was cut in an odd shape, he thought it was flawed. He had it rolled away into the Kidron Valley where it lay untouched and unnoticed. Years later, the builder sent word to the quarry that he was ready for the main corner stone. The quarry master came and reported, “Why, I had that stone delivered years ago. When they began to search they discovered the discarded stone in the valley was the main cornerstone. It was covered with debris and moss. It took many men working hard to raise the massive stone out of the valley. When they raised it and set it, it fit perfectly! The chief cornerstone was the very rock they rejected.
~ Astronaut: "Nearer My God, To Thee"
~ Baker: "I Need Thee Every Hour"
~ Barber: "A Parting Hymn We Sing"
~ Baseball Batter: "Seek Thee First"
~ Builder: "How Firm A Foundation" and "The Church’s One Foundation"
~ Canoeist: "Flow, River, Flow"
~ Carpenter: "The Nail Scarred Hand"
~ Children’s Librarian: "We’ve A Story To Tell"
~ Chiropractor: "Awake My Soul, Stretch Every Nerve"
~ Civil Engineer: "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross"
~ Dentist: "Crown Him With Many Crowns"
~ Electrician: "O Joyful Light" and "Send The Light"
~ Fisherman: "Shall We Gather At The River?"
~ Golfer: "There Is A Green Hill Far Away"
~ Gossiper: "Pass It On," "It Is No Secret," and "Oh, For A Thousand Tongues"
~ Historian: "Tell Me The Old, Old Story"
~ IRS: "All To Thee (I Owe)" and "We Give Thee But Thine Own"
~ Jogger: "The Path Of Life"
~ Lifeguard: "Come To The Water"
~ Long-Distance Trucker: "On The Highways And Byways Of Life"
~ Mathematician: "10,000 Times, 10,000 Times"
~ Medical Technician: "Revive Us Again"
~ Mountain Climber: "The Rock That Is Higher Than I"
~ Newlywed: "I Need Thee Every Hour"
~ Obstetrician: "He Is Able To Deliver Thee"
~ Optometrist: "Open Mine Eyes That I Might See" and "When I Can Read My Title Clear"
~ Paratrooper: "Now On Land And Sea Descending"
~ Philosopher: "I Am Thinking Today"
~ Politician: "Standing On The Promises"
~ Real Estate Agent: "I’ve Got A Mansion"
~ Sailboater: "Deep River"
~ Sceptic: "Almost Persuaded"
~ Shopper: "Sweet By And By"
~ Speech Therapist: "He Never Said A Mumbling Word"
~ Steeple Builder: "Lift High The Cross"
~ Stonecutter: "Rock Of Ages"
~ Switchboard Operator: "There’s A Call Comes Ringing"
~ Tailor: "Holy, Holy, Holy"
~ Voice Teacher: "Sing Them Over Again To Me"
~ Watchmaker: "Take Time To Be Holy"
~ Watchman: "Silent Night"
~ Weatherman: "There Shall Be Showers Of Blessings"
Barna research shows:
That divorce in the church is just as commonas outside the church. In the church 33%, outside the church 34%.
Also, the south is second in the nation in divorce. The south has a divorce rate of 35%, just behind the west (38%), and leading the Midwest (32%) and Northeast (28%).
Another striking percentage for us as Baptists is that we lead the nation’s major denominations in divorce rates at 29%. Protestant churches overall is at 25%.
The divorce rate amongst the generations is also a bit of surprise:
Seniors (73+) = 18%
Builders (53-72) = 37%
Boomers = 34%
Busters = 7% (Most of these are not old enough to
What does this say about marriage in America? Is it old fashioned. One scholar said that long term marriage commitment isn’t good for mode...
Years ago on a variety show, a guest appeared that was a body builder. As he entered the stage with his huge muscular body the crowd went crazy as the body builder began to flex his muscles and show his power. The first question asked of him was this: “What do you use all those muscles for?” Without answering, the body builder again stood up and began flexing his muscles while the crowd cheered wildly.
A second time, the question was asked, “What do you do with those muscles?”
Again, the body builder flexed his muscles and the crowd became almost ecstatic.
After asking three times, “What do you do with all those muscles?” the body builder just sat in silence and had no answers.
The man was all power but his power had no purpose other than to show off and bring attention to himself.
Isn’t it strange that princes and kings
And clowns that caper in sawdust rings
And common people like you and me
Are builders for eternity?
Each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass, a book of rules;
And each must make ‘ere life is flown,
A stumbling block or a stepping stone. (#465)
What are we doing with the tools God has given us?
In his book The Youth Builder, Jim Burns talks about the importance of building up young people with affirmation and trust. What he says about criticism applies to every age group: For every critical comment we receive, it takes nine affirming comments to even out the negative effect in our life. Most young people receive more critical comments a day than encouraging ones. You can have a very positive, life transforming effect when you develop a ministry of affirmation.
Charles E. Fuller once announced that he would be speaking the following Sunday on “Heaven.” During that week, a beautiful letter was received from an old man who was very ill. The following is part of his letter:
“Next Sunday you are to talk about Heaven. I am interested in that land, because I have held a clear title to a bit of property there for over fifty-five years. I did not buy it. It was given to me without money and without price. But the donor purchased it for me at tremendous sacrifice. I am not holding it for speculation since the title is not transferable. It is not a vacant lot. For more than half a century I have been sending materials out of which the greatest architect and builder of the universe has been building a home for me which will never need to be remodeled or repaired because it will suit me perfectly, individually, and will never grow old.
Termites can never undermine its foundations for they rest on the rock of ages. Fire cannot destroy it. Floods cannot wash it away. No locks or bolts will ever be placed upon its doors, for no vicious person can ever enter that land where my dwelling stands. It is now almost completed and ready for me to enter in and abide in peace eternally, without fear of ev...
Several years ago, James Eads built the first steel bridge in America. It spanned the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri. No one believed that it would support its own weight.
Eads ordered 14 locomotives to stop on the bridge at the same time. The people then trusted the integrity of the bridge. But, its builder already had faith that it would stand and remain standing.
Some weeks ago I was watching the Health Channel on TV. They showed and described different types of plastic surgery procedures. I was amazed at the things that plastics surgeons can do now-a-days. If you need more luscious lips, they can inject collagen and make your lips downright pouty. If you would like higher looking cheekbones, you can get a tug here and a lift there and presto – cheeks bones to rival Sofia Loren. If you wanted your derrière to be less wide, the plastic surgeons can slim it up. If you need just a bit more here or there, they can augment most parts of your body.
A body builder thought that nature slighted him by giving him calves that were too skinny. I’ll be darn tootin’ if they didn’t put calf implants in his legs in order to make them shapelier. You name it, and they can make it, cut it out, lift it up, push it over, fill it in or tighten it up.
This show really got me thinking. Why would people want to go through the suffering involved in cosmetic surgery? The poor guy with the calf implants limped around for a month because of the pain. Recovery from some of the plastic surgery procedures is downright grueling. Why would people endure all of that? It’s obviously not always a matter of necessity. Most of the procedures are elective. Most of the people are not actors or actresses that depend on their looks to make a living. So why? Some say vanity. But on the show I watched, some of the people interviewed seemed to doubt that they were OK the way they were. They thought that they didn’t quite measure up.