Illustration results for Confusion
AN EXTREME CASE Here is an extreme case of a human being so convicted of doing right that he helped criminals.
The father of the famous German philosopher, Emanuel Kant, was and old man and was traveling on a perilous journey through the forests of Poland. On his way the encountered a band of robbers who demanded his valuables, finally asking, ˇ°Have you given all? They only let him go when he replied, ˇ°All.ˇ± When safely out of sight his hand touched something hard in the hem of his robe. It was his gold, sew there for safety. He had forgotten it in his fear and confusion. He hurried back and confessed to the robbers that he had not told them the truth. They did not take his gold, but gave it back to him along with his purse, his prayer book and then helped him on his mount. They asked his blessing as he rode away.
ROY RIEGELS: DON'T GIVE UP
On New Year’s Day, 1929, Georgia Tech played the University of California in the Rose Bowl. A UC player named Roy Riegels, who was their center, recovered a fumble for California and in the confusion of evading some of the Georgia Tech tacklers, started running sixty-five yards… in the wrong direction. Just before Riegels was about to score for Georgia Tech one of his own teammates tackled him landing on the one yard line.
As half-time came to an end everyone but Riegels got up to leave the locker room. He didn’t budge. Reportedly he said to his coach, "Coach, I can’t do it. I’ve ruined you, I’ve ruined myself, I’ve ruined the University of California. I couldn’t face that crowd to save my life." To which the coach replied, "Roy, get up and go back out there — the game is only half over."
(Sources: Dr. Reed Lessing. © 2010 by Creative Communications for the Parish. creativecommunications.com; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Riegels)
If you were the coach of that team, what would you have done? Benched him for poor play or to collect himself? Or would you have kept him in the game reminding him that the game was only half over?
If you have been Riegels, what would you have done? Decided to stay in the locker room and give up? Reject the coach’s words as mere platitudes? Or would you believe him and get up and go play the second half? (Which he did with distinction, losing to Tech 8 to 7.)
Riegels went on to serve our nation during World War 2 in the Army Air Corp, owned his own company, coached football at the High School level and also coached Cal at one point. He died in 1993 at the age of 84.
Would he have accomplished any of these things if he would have given up that day?
Sermon Central Staff
POSITION VERSUS DISCIPLESHIP
C. Gene Wilkes, in his book Jesus on Leadership, says, "Confusion arises when you equate higher 'positions' with leadership . . . As long as 'position' is honored above discipleship -- being a follower -- church leaders will honor the ambitious over the obedient." We often tend to think that those who appear promising, or who say they will go, are the ones who are great in God's kingdom and His service. Keep in mind, however, that even though someone may seem incredible and obedient, it doesn't mean they really are, for appearance can be deceiving.
An individual might say they have great faith in God, but when it all boils down do we see the evidence? James 2:17 and 19 says, "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead . . . You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe and tremble!" Just believing in God is not enough to exhibit your obedience, because even the demons believe in Him, and we know they don't serve the Lord. Proclaiming to others, or even telling the Lord, that you have great faith in Him and are willing to serve Him doesn't make you faithful. An individual is not faithful until they actually go as commanded. The late Rich Mullins said, "Faith without works is about as useless as a screen-door on a submarine."
(From a sermon by Damian Phillips, Faith Seen in Action, 8/20/2012)
THE EMPTY GIFT
"I was enjoying 1st grade to the fullest until one day in December when the little girl behind me set "it" on her desk. It was the tiniest Christmas present imaginable, less than an inch on each side with white glossy paper tied up with a sliver of red cellophane. Immediately I was captivated. I had never seen anything so exquisite. Day after day the tiny gift caught my eye, and my active imagination tried to guess what miniature treasure might be inside. It had to be something wondrous beyond description.
I longed for that object with all the power a 5-year-old can muster. Finally, I became convinced that it should be mine. I deserved it because I desired it. Since I rode an early bus to school, it was a simple matter to slip into the empty classroom one morning. My hands eagerly tore open the tiny present. Inside I found - nothing.
Staring at the destruction in my hand, anticipation dissolved into disappointment and confusion. Gradually my stunned mind grasped the fact that the little package had been nothing more than a hollow decoration. I sat at my desk with the empty paper and an empty feeling, sickened by the knowledge of my guilt.
Little did I know that morning that this scene would repeat itself many times in my life. As I grew up the world enticed me wi...
A father’s two daughters were begging him for permission to see the latest movie, which happened to be rated "R," with their friends. When he denied their request, their pleading only intensified. "It’s only rated R because it has just a little bad language and just a few scenes that are bad," they reasoned.
Later that night, the father baked some brownies for his daughters. They dug in and commented on how much they enjoyed them. "You like them, huh?" he responded. "Oh yes. They’re great," answered his daughters. "That’s interesting because I used a new recipe," he said, matter of factly.
"Oh yeah? What is it?" they asked.
"Well, I’ve always heard that, if you add a little dash of dog droppings to the brownies that it gives them a distinct taste that people love," he answered, straight-faced.
The daughters immediately stopped chewing and their faces transformed from enthusiastic smiles to panicked looks of confusion. "You’re kidding!" cried one as she spat her brownie out on her plate. "What in the world are you thinking?" complained the other.
The father explained that he would never serve such a dish because even just a small amount of some things is completely unacceptable. He went on to explain that God views sin in much the same way. It doesn’t matter how little it is, it still is so distasteful that God cannot look upon it.
The girls agreed with their father that rated "R" movies were not for them.
A WW2 story tells of how some soldiers brought the body of a dead friend to a French Cemetary. The priest asked if the dead man had been a catholic, but they did not know. The priest said that the man could not be buried in the graveyard. They men took their friend and buried him outside the cemetery fence. The next day they came back to see if the grave was all right, and to their astonishment they could not find it. They were about to leave in confusion when the priest came out. He told them that he had been so troubled about the event that he arose early in the morning and moved the graveyard fence to include the grave of the soldier who had died.
Did you hear about the college student who was taking the course in ornithology, which is a study of birds?
This class in ornithology had the reputation of being the most difficult class in the whole curriculum. And the professor was an extremely difficult professor. Everybody feared him. But it was a required course, & every student had to take it.
As the course began, the professor announced there would be a test in 40 days & it would compose a large portion of the grade. So you had to do well on that test. Everybody studied. They took copious notes. They made sure they understood everything the professor said.
On the 40th day the students filed into the lecture hall with sweaty palms, extremely nervous. On the stage was a table with 5 cages on it. Each cage had a cover & beneath the cover they could see the feet & spindly legs of a bird.
At the sound of the bell, the professor addressed the students, “Here’s the test. You can see there are 5 birds & they’re all covered except for their feet & legs. You must tell me the identity of each of those 5 birds by looking only at their feet & legs.”
Everyone had studied long & hard, but no one had anticipated such a test. And they were all sweating, trying to remember something, anything, that could help them pass the test.
Finally, one student stood up & said, “This is ridiculous. This is the craziest test I have every seen, & you’re the worst professor in this whole school.” He said, “I quit. I‘m out of here. I’m not going to take this test.” And he turned & walked toward the door.
“Just a minute young man.” said the professor. “Who are you? I demand your name right now.” The young man stopped, took a long look at the professor, & then pulling up both of his pant legs said, “You tell me."
Christmas was not celebrated during the 1st 2 centuries after Christ’s life on earth. In AD 245, when a group of scholars attempted to pinpoint the exact date of Christ’s birth, a church council denounced the endeavor, declaring it wrong to celebrate the birthday of Christ "as though he were a King Pharaoh." In spite of official disapproval, various attempts were made to pinpoint the nativity, resulting in a confusion of dates. Among the earliest: January 1st, 6th, March 25th, and May 20th. By the middle of the 4th century, December 25th was associated as the birthday of Christ. Pope Julius formally named December 25th as the day for Christmas in AD 349.
December 25th was widely celebrated day in the Roman world. On that date, citizens observed the Natalis Solis Invicti (the Birthday of the unconquerable Sun) in honor of the Sun god, Mithras. The festival took place just after the winter solstace of the Julian calendar. Many modern Christmas customs, such as decorating a house with greenery, exchanging gifts and enjoying festive meals, originated with this pagan celebration. Scholars believe that pope Julius selected December 25th as the date of the nativity in order to win followers of Mithras as well as giving Christians an opportunity to honor Christ on his birth date.
In 17th century England, puritans objected to Christian celebrations because they had no clear biblical basis. As a result, in 1643, the parliament outlawed Christmas, Easter, and other Christian holidays. However, December 25th was so popular as a festive day, that by 1660, the citizens reclaimed it. Their neglect of the religious aspects of December 25th resulted in a growing secularization of the holiday.
The Christmas tree tradition was started in Germany in the late 15th century. At that time a popular play depicted the expulsion of Adam Eve from Eden, by a fir tree hung with apples. Soon trees were placed in the homes of Christians who interpreted it as a sym...
The fact that God forgives us and blesses us when we don’t deserve it, and of course, we never really deserve it, is what makes grace such a risky thing.
Author Philip Yancey, in his book What’s So Amazing About Grace, calls these things loopholes. We all understand loopholes. Webster’s defines a loophole as a means of evading something unpleasant - a hole that provides a means of escape.
Yancey notes that in his book he provides what he calls "a one-sided picture of grace - portraying God as a lovesick father eager to forgive, and grace as a force potent enough to break the chains that bind us. He writes: "depicting grace in such sweeping terms makes people nervous, and I concede that I have skated to the very edge of danger. I have done so because I believe the New Testament does, too."
He then proceeds to tell the story of a friend of his he called Daniel. Daniel was about to leave his wife of 15 years for another woman, someone younger and prettier. He knew the personal and moral consequences of what he was about to do. But he had a larger concern - and he asked his friend "Do you think God can forgive something as awful as I am about to do?"
What a question, huh?
Yancey pondered, "How can I dissuade my friend from committing a terrible mistake if he knows forgiveness lies just around the corner?"
C.S. Lewis quoted Augustine, who said, "God gives where he finds empty hands." Then Lewis noted that a man whose hands are full of parcels can’t receive a gift. Then Yancey wrote: "Grace must be received. Lewis explains that what I have termed grace abuse stems from a confusion of condoning and forgiving. To condone an evil is simply to ignore it, to treat it as if it were good. But forgiveness needs to be accepted, as well as offered, if it is to be complete…and a man who admits no guilt can accept no forgiveness." Ultimately, Yancey told his friend that, yes, of course, God could forgive him. ut he also challenged him with these thoughts:
What we have to go through to commit sin distances us from God. We change in the very act of rebellion, and there is no guarantee we will ever come back. He said to his friend, "You ask me about forgiveness now, but will you even want it later, especially if it involves repentance?"
Consider what a tremendous risk God took by announcing forgiveness in advance. Yancey says that the scandal of grace involves a transfer of that risk to us.
- drawn from "What’s so amazing about grace" by Philip Yancey
One of the most disturbing and powerful films I have seen over the
last couple of years is Steven Spielberg’s movie, Saving Private
Ryan. The movie tells the story of an Army captain named John
Miller who having survived the carnage of the D-Day invasion at
Normandy Beach, portrayed in 28 minutes of intense, graphic and
gory detail, is ordered to find a solitary private among thousands of
displaced soldiers. He must return Private James F. Ryan home to
his mother, whose other three sons have just been killed in action.
However, due to some confusion in the invasion, it is not certain
where he is to be found; Private Ryan is a “needle in a stack of
needles”. The soldiers reluctantly set out on their daunting
mission. Almost immediately, they begin questioning the worth of
risking eight men’s lives in order to save one.
Captain Miller rationalises that each life lost in combat is supposed
to save 10 lives. Within that paradigm, how can their current
mission make any sense? The soldiers begin to detest their
mission to save Private Ryan, even hoping to find his name on one
of the dog tags taken from some dead soldiers.
Captain Miller and the small group of men assigned to him
successfully locate Ryan, but then are forced to defend a strategic
bridge against enemy tanks and troops. Captain Miller is fatally
wounded. In his dying moments, he reaches out to Private Ryan,
and with great emotion says, “Earn this! Earn this!”
Many years later as an old man, James Ryan stands in a military
cemetery tearfully looking at the small white cross that stands
where the man who saved his life is buried. He wonders aloud if he
has indeed earned the great gift he received.