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A church that has passion is a church where "Discouraged folks cheer up, dishonest folks fees up, sour folks sweeten up, closed folk, open up, gossipers shut up, conflicted folks make up, sleeping folks wake up, lukewarm folk, fire up, dry bones shake up, and pew potatoes stand up! But most of all, Christ the Savior of the entire world is lifted up."
Sermon Central Staff
WALT DISNEY'S LEADERSHIP
Walt Disney was a remarkable man of vision. He never gave up. Early in his career a newspaper fired him because they thought he had "no good ideas". That just made Disney try harder. When he was starting out in Kansas City he couldn't sell his cartoons. Some hinted that he had no talent but Walt Disney had a dream so he set out to conquer his foes. He found a minister who paid him a small amount to draw advertising pictures for his church. Disney had no place to stay, so that the church let him sleep in the mouse-infested garage. One of those mice which Disney nicknamed Mickey, became famous -- as the world knows.
The early days were tough; but that remarkable, creative visionary refused to give up. Walt would occasionally present some unbelievable, extensive dream to his board about and idea he was entertaining. Almost without exception, the members of his board would gulp, blink, and stare back at him in disbelief, resisting even the thought of such a thing. But unless every member resisted the idea, Disney usually didn't pursue it. Yes, you heard me correctly. Unless everyone RESISTED the idea he would not take it. The challenge wasn't big enough to merit his time and creative energy unless they were unanimously in disagreement! Is it any wonder that Disneyland and Disney World are now realities? This type of faith is required for visionaries in business -- but also for us as Christians. Like Disney we need to dream big and trust in God for the impossible.
When Walt Disney World in Orlando ,FL. opened in 1974, Mrs. Disney was sitting beside Walter Cronkite. Walt Disney has passed away a few years earlier. Walter Cronkite wanted to say just the right thing to Mrs. Disney, so he leaned over to her and said, "Wouldn't it be great if Walt were here to see this today." Mrs. Disney wisely replied, "If Walt had not first seen this you would not be seeing it today."
(From a sermon by Stephen Sheane, Dry Bones, 8/18/2010)
Itˇ¦s so easy to criticize what others are doing. If you look diligently enough you can find something wrong with everything. A farmerˇ¦s neighbor was so negative, criticizing everything and anything. The farmer bought a new plow, the neighbor said it would rust soon. The farmer remarked how it was good to have more rain this year, and the neighbor lamented that his crops would rot at the root with all this rain. It went on ad nauseam.
The farmer determined he would find something to cheer up this bottomless pit of despair. He went out and purchased the finest hunting dog, and secretly trained him to fetch by walking on the water, instead of swimming.
When hunting season came the farmer invited his sour neighbor to go with him. When the first flock passed by, the farmer and his friend shot several ducks each. The farmer yelled to the dog, Fetch! The hound darted, his feet barely skimming the surface of the lake. He scooped up four ducks from the water and was back in an instant, dry as a bone. How ˇ¦bout THAT? questioned the farmer. Remarked olˇ¦ sourpuss, Cainˇ¦t swim, can he?
# John Stafford tells about an old well that stood outside the front door of their family farm house in New Hampshire. The water from the well was remarkably pure and cold. No matter how hot the summer or how severe the drought, the well was always a source of refreshment and joy. The faithful old well was a big part of his memories of summer vacations at the farmhouse.
The years passed and eventually the farmhouse was modernized. Wiring brought electric lights, and indoor plumbing brought hot and cold running water. The old well was no longer needed, so it was sealed for use in possible future emergencies.
One summer day, years later, John Stafford had a desire for cold, pure water. He unsealed the well and lowered a bucket for a nostalgic taste of the delightful refreshment he remembered. He was shocked to discover that the well that once had survived the severest droughts was bone dry! He asked local residents why their well had gone dry. He learned that wells of that sort were fed by hundreds of tiny underground rivulets which seep a steady flow of water. As long as the water is drawn out of the well, new water will flow in through the rivulets, keeping them open for more...
Norman Cousins was diagnosed as having an incurable disease. He was bedridden & the doctors gave him no hope at all. So he decided on his own treatment. His family got a movie projector & rented all the Charlie Chaplin & Abbott & Costello movies that they could find - movies where you just sit back & laugh because they are genuinely funny.
He ran one movie after another, & the more he watched the more he laughed. The more he laughed, the better he felt. First thing you know, the doctors could find no evidence of the incurable disease.
Last week, on the editorial page of the Valley Morning Star, Paul Harvey stated that for the last 10 years Norman Cousins has been on the staff of the UCLA School of Medicine & is pioneering a new medical discipline: "pyschoneuro-immunology."
The article states, "Carefully controlled experiments conducted by Cousins & his associates demonstrate that you - just by controlling your mind set - can alter your temperature, your blood pressure & your blood chemistry in a matter of minutes."
It goes on to say, "There is now evidence that cancer patients - liberated from depression - can actually activate the anti-cancer capability of the immune system. ’The human body,’ contends Cousins, ’is far more robust than people have been led to believe. A strong will to live, along with the other positive emotions - faith, love, purpose, determination, humor - boosts disease-fighting immune cells.’"
So the proverb is true. If you’re joyful in your heart, then that is good medicine. But if you’re not joyful, if your spirit is broken, then it dries up your bones. You become old & tired, & a person no one wants to be around.
It is the imagination which makes the world seem new to us every dayIt is the imagination which wakens the dry bones of any subject to sing about the mystery of creation.
The Summer 2008 California Wildfires (Northern CA Lighting Series):
"The fires broke out after three years of below-normal rainfall dehydrated much of California’s forests and woodlands, making them prone to wildfires. Spring 2008 for California was the driest on record for many locations; for example, San Francisco registered only 0.007 inches (0 cm) of rain out of a normal of 6.18 inches (16 cm) from March to May. As vegetation turned into bone-dry tinder in early June, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought for the first time in over a century. Dry thunderstorms and lightning, rarely seen on the California coastline in June, rolled onshore on the weekend of June 20 - June 21. The storm unleashed 25,000 to 26,000 dry lightning strikes across Northern and Central California, igniting more than 2,000 fires. The same thunderstorms also caused fires in Oregon. High daytime temperatures facilitated the spread of the fires and the number of wildfires skyrocketed in the days after the thunderstorm.
A heat wave commenced on July 7, with temperatures in inland locations, such as the Central Valley soaring above 115 °F (46 °C). Lake Berryessa recorded a high temperature of 126 °F (52 °C), prompting weather agencies like the National Weather Service to issue high fire danger warnings. These near to record-breaking temperatures concerned many firefighters, who feared that the high heat, low humidity, and high-elevation winds could make firefighting more strenuous."
Overall, over 1.5M acres were lost to the blazes, have to go back the "Great Fire of 1910" dubbed the "Big Blow-Up or the Big Burn" to have a fire of a larger scale (burnt up Montana & Idaho, 3M acres).
Transition: And I have seen homes and families burnt up because of the same type of burning.
WILDFIRE: Wildfires begin in dry places, at the same time, rage erupts in dry places and in dry people. If someone is only getting a sprinkle of God’s wisdom, a sprinkle of God’s love, I will show you a person who could become a wildfire.
"WHAT MAKES A GOOD CHURCH?"
If all the lazy folks will get up,
And all the sleeping folks will wake up,
And all the discouraged folks will cheer up, And all gossiping folks will shut up,
And all the dishonest folks will confess up,
And all the estranged folks will make up,
And all the disgusted folks will sweeten up,
And all the lukewarm folks will fire up,
And all the dry bones will shape up,
And all the sanctified folks will show up,
And all the leading folks will pay up,
And all the true soldiers will stand up,
Then, and only then, we have a good chu...
THE WORD AND THE SPIRIT WORKING TOGETHER
Why does Satan hate Jesus? Why does He not even want to hear His name? Why does that which is evil hate that which is good? Maybe it has something to do with graveyards? Yes, you heard me right graveyards.
Jesus loves to go into graveyards and raise the dead -- He loves to break up funerals and death. He loves to trample on top of Satan and spoil his grave sites of torment. Jesus loves to replace fear with hope and happiness. He loves to remove the scary things of death and replace them with the joy of the resurrection of the believers. He just loves to trample on top of Halloween with the word "Hallelujah! He is risen!"
So you see it does have something to do with the Word of Life blowing through a graveyard of hopelessness and bring the dry bones back to life. Dry bones come back to life by His Word and by His Spirit! The two combined together bring life to the dead, they enter graveyards and bring everlasting life and resurrection power!
Richard Deem states, "The Blessedness of the Plan is found in the Word of God and the Spirit of God. These two work in tandem to bring life out of death -- victory out of defeat! The very dry bones found scattered upon the valley floor have been miraculously returned to life by the Word and the Spirit!"
HENRY M. STANLEY THE GREAT EXPLORER AND DAVID LIVINGSTON THE GREAT MISSIONARY FROM ENGLAND DID A VAST WORK IN AFRICA.
Henry Stanley was the explorer and he was telling an African Chief about Jesus, when the African chief started crying and desired to know more.
That night Stanley was pacing the floor, and decided to write a letter for missionaries to come to Africa.
There was no telegraph, no mail, no trains, and Stanley did not know what to do? Stanley had a Frenchman that was home sick, so Stanley gave the
letter to him to take back to England.
The young man took the dangerous trip down the Nile River.
The natives caught him and killed him, they robbed him, and left his body not buried.
The corpse rotted on the hot dry sand.
Months passed and the message for missionaries was doomed.
One day English soldiers just happened upon the body and his boots were near his bones. They found the letter written by Stanley, and sent it to the Governor
of Egypt. The Governor forwarded the letter to England.
7 months from the day it was written in was printed in THE DAILY TELEGRAM IN LONDON.
HERE WAS PART OF THE MESSAGE PRINTED:
KING MUTESA OF UGANDA HAS BEEN ASKING ME ABOUT THE
WHITE MAN’S GOD. ALTHOUGH I HAD NOT EXPECTED TURNING
MISSIONARY, FOR DAYS I HAVE BEEN TELLING THIS BLACK KING ALL THE BIBLE STORIES I KNOW ---HE HAS FURTHER CAUSED THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AS WELL AS THE LORD’S PRAYER AND TH...