Illustration results for delay
From studying the brain scientists have found that repeated thoughts actually create physical grooves in the brain. When we practice a skill, learn a sport or study facts, a little trench is carved into our brain tissue. This is another reason why it is hard to break a habit. A habit is truly physical. One must make a new brain groove to break a habit.
Repeated thoughts become not just brain grooves, but deeds and repeated deeds become concrete routines. This natural functioning condition of the brain helps us to learn in the best-case scenario. In a worst-case scenario these thoughts become ditches of self-doubt, phobias, obsessive thoughts, vices, misdeeds and worse.
SOWING THE SEED: A COMPARISON
In the 13th Century, Nicolo Polo (father of Marco Polo) was visiting the court of the grandson of Ghengis Khan - Kublai Khan.
Kublai Khan was the Emperor of China and he had never met Europeans before. He was delighted to meet this visitor from Venice AND he was strongly impressed by the religious faith of this man; therefore, he sent a letter back to Europe urging that some educated men be dispatched to instruct his people in the teachings of Christianity.
But, because of political upheaval and infighting that was taking place in Europe, there was a long delay in anybody coming. In the end, only 2 representatives of Christianity were sent and even they lost heart soon and turned back.
Because of the failure of the church of that day, Kublai Khan turned instead to Buddhism and that has been the predominant religion in the area from that day to this.
By contrast, just last Sunday, we baptized a father and son into Christ – Bill & Isaac. Bill was not the most promising of candidates for salvation. Most people pictured him more as the stony or weedy soil. He’s lived a hard life and had held God at bay for a number of years. His wife had faithfully planted seeds in his life, as have others in this congregation. But until last Sunday it seemed fruitless. But now he’s surrendered to Christ, and tonight he’s bearing fruit.
In Bill’s neighborhood, there have been a number of boys that Bill had created a “paintball” club for. But once Bill gave himself to Christ, he wanted to give Christ to these young boys he’d been working with. Three of them are being baptized tonight, and more may be turning to Christ in the near future.
SOURCE: Jeff Strite in "You Can’t Reap them All" on www.sermoncentral.com
“There is nothing so hardening as delay. When God speaks to us, He asks for a tender heart, open to the whispers of His voice of love. The believer who answers the ‘today’ of the Holy Ghost with the ‘tomorrow’ of some more convenient season, knows not how he is hardening his heart; the delay, instead of making the surrender and obedience and faith easy, makes it more difficult. It closes the heart for ‘today’ against the Comforter, and cuts off all hope and power of growth.” “The Holiest of All” – Andrew Murray, Revell, NJ
A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am." The woman below replied, "You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude."
"You must be an engineer," said the balloonist.
"I am," replied the woman, "How did you know?"
"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is, technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip."
The woman below responded, "You must be in Management."
"I am," replied the balloonist, "but how did you know?"
"Well," said the woman, "you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you exp...
Sermon Central Staff
CAN'T WIN FOR LOSING
A man named Fred inherited a huge land grant, but the will provided that he could choose land in either Chile or Brazil. He chose Brazil. Unhappily, if he had chosen Chile, he would have received his inheritance in land on which they had recently discovered uranium, gold and silver. But he chose Brazil.
When he arrived in Brazil he had to choose between receiving his inheritance in a coffee plantation or land with Brazil nut trees. He chose the nut trees, and immediately the bottom fell out of the nut market, but coffee futures went up two dollars a pound. The government took control of the nut farm for back taxes, and Fred was left destitute.
Fred pawned his Rolex watch for the money he needed to fly either to New York or Boston. He chose Boston. When the plane for New York taxied up, he noticed it was a brand new super Concorde with red carpets. After several hours delay, the plane for Boston arrived. It was a 1928 twin engine plane held together with bailing wire, and it was filled with cigar smokers and unattended crying babies.
Over the mountains one of the engines fell off, and Fred, frightened by his earlier bad choices and fearing for his life, asked for two parachutes. He jumped. As he fell through the air, he tried to make up his mind which ripcord to pull. He pulled the cord on the left, but nothing happened. He pulled the cord on his right, but it broke.
In desperation the poor fellow cried out, "St. Francis, save me!" A great hand from heaven reached down, seized him by the wrist, and left him dangling in mid-air. Then a gentle but inquisitive voice asked, "St. Francis, Xavier or St. Francis of Assisi?"
(Source: Dick Meyer, An Anchor in a Sea of Change, Faith@Work, Spring 2000, p.23; www.PreachingToday.com)
The poor guy couldn’t win for losing, but that’s life sometimes. Life is risky, because it’s full of choices where we don’t always know the outcome.
It’s the same with choosing to follow Christ. There is great risk involved, because we don’t always know how people are going to respond to that choice. Some may appreciate the choice because of the changes it brings into our lives. But others may very well reject us for choosing to follow Jesus, because they resent those very changes.
(From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Take A Risk, 11/5/2009)
AT CHRISTMAS ALL ROADS LEAD HOME
Marjorie Holmes writes, "At Christmas, all roads lead home. The filled planes, the packed trains and overflowing buses all speak eloquently of a single destination: home. Despite the crowding and the crushing, the delays, the confusion, we clutch our bright packages and beam our anticipation. We are like birds driven by an instinct we only faintly understand--the hunger to be (home)."
She then remembers a Christmas during the Great Depression when her Dad was out of work and the rest of her siblings were scattered across the country and unable to return home for Christmas. But then just days before, each sibling conspired with the others to make it home no matter what to surprise their parents. When she arrived at the door, she writes, "I'll never forget (my mother's) eyes or the feel of her arms around me." The next morning she was awakened by the sleigh bells hanging on the front door as her siblings each arrived. "Together. (We realized) it was the best Christmas gift we could give one another."
Many years later, her husband had to travel to Florida to perform a vital surgery which would separate them for Christmas. They had agreed that this would be the way it is for Christmas this year but then at the last minute, Marjorie and her daughter hopped a train and headed to Florida. On the way, she saw a sailor in his uniform with his sea bag on his shoulders and she knew here was another so immutably driven to "Come home." And then she writes, "There must be some deep psychological reason why we turn so instinctively toward home at this special time. Perhaps we are acting out the ancient story of a man and a woman and a coming child, plodding along with their donkey toward their destination. It was necessary for Joseph to go home...The Child who was born on that first Christmas grew up to be a man, Jesus. He healed many people, taught us many important things. But the message that has left the most lasting impression and given the most hope and comfort is this: that we do have a home to go to...a place where every day will be Christmas, with everybody there. At home."
THE JEWELED LADY OF POMPEII
Of the 20,000 inhabitants of Pompeii, some 2,000 lost their lives, among them a woman who loved finery above all else. As the deadly rain of fire came down, she decided to run to the harbor and escape by ship. That was wise, but this rich and beautiful woman stayed behind just long enough to collect as much jewelry as she could carry. Snatching up her rings, she hastily thrust them on her fingers. There was no time to hunt for a box or a bag in which to cram her ornaments, so she picked up as many as she could hold, and rushed into the street, clutching her pearls and diamonds, her rubies and sapphires, her gold brooches and her earrings--a wealth of finery that would be placed at thousands of dollars today.
But she delayed too long. The poisonous fumes overcame her as she ran; and with all her trinkets she stumbled, fell, and died, clutching the things she prized so much.
There, under the ashes of Pompeii she lay; and when the excavators found her, she was still lovely, and her hands were still laden with jewels.
— Prairie Overcomer, Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations
AND – do you know what is really sad – this lack of prayer in the church that we see today – this putting not just on the back burner, BUT in the garage the POWERFUL weapon of prayer – has been a problem in the church for a very long time…hundreds of years…
Fenelon a French writer of the late 1600’s writes;
“Of all the duties enjoined by Christianity, none is more essential and yet more neglected than prayer. Most people consider the exercise a fatiguing ceremony, which they are justified in abridging as much as possible. Even those whose profession or fears lead them to pray, pray with such languor (lethargy, sluggishness) that their prayers far from drawing down blessings, only increase their condemnation.”
E.M. Bounds writes in his book, “Purpose in Prayer”
“When we calmly reflect upon the fact that the progress of our Lord’s kingdom is dependent upon prayer, it is sad to think that we give so little time to the holy exercise. Everything depends on prayer, and yet we neglect it – not only to our own spiritual hurt, but also to the delay and injury of our Lord’...
Dr. Larry Petton
Forbes Magazine states that early risers are the most successful people. The discipline of getting up early produces many positive results, such as:
1. More proactive approach to life
2. The ability to anticipate problems better
3. Better goal-setting
4. Time for exercise
5. Sleep is much better when we go to bed early and get up early.
6. More optimism
7. Time to focus
8. More time for family
Abraham would have been listed in Forbes Magazine. Genesis 22:3 says that "he got early and loaded his donkey." There was no sulking, no pity party, no depression and no delay for this man of God. He purposed his his heart the night before to obey God, even if he did not fully understand. If you purpose in your heart before temptation comes, you can win the battle ahead of time. If you wait until the last minute and allow doubt, delays and distractions to steal your time...you will forfeit the victory.
I once heard a humorous story about the Pope who was on a visit to America for a period of time. On his last day of the visit, he was delayed due to meetings and was unable to break away to catch a flight.
Since he couldn’t depend on his Pope Mobile, he phoned for a limousine. When the limousine arrived, the driver was joyfully surprised that it was the Pope who called for him. The driver became nervous and was beside himself. He proceeded to drive very slowly. The Pope became nervous and told him to hurry up. It did not make a bit of difference. The driver went slower; he wanted to keep the Pope in his limousine as long as he could. The Pope could not be delayed any longer so he asked to drive the limo himself. The Pope sped off and reached the speed of 85 miles an hour. The policeman who stopped him was shocked when he discovered the famous personality behind the wheel. He frantically phoned his police chief and said, “Chief, I have stopped a very important figure for speeding. I don’t know what to do?”
--“What do you mean? Give him a speeding ticket!”
--“Sir, in all honesty, I can’t.”
--“Why can’t you? The law is the law. Who is it anyway that you stopped? Is it the mayor?”
--“Is it the governor?”
--“Is it a congressman?”
--“Is it the president?”
--“Well, then, who is it?!”
--“I don’t know sir! All I know is that the Pope is driving him to the airport.”