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J. OSWALD SANDERS ON LONELINESS
J. Oswald Sanders once pointed out: "The round of pleasure or the amassing of wealth are [often] but vain attempts to escape from the persistent ache. The millionaire is usually a lonely man and the comedian is often more unhappy than his audience."
In his book, "Facing Loneliness," Sanders goes on to emphasize that being successful often fails to produce satisfaction. Then he refers to Henry Martyn, a distinguished scholar, as an example of what he is talking about. Martyn, a Cambridge University student, was honored at only 20 years of age for his achievements in mathematics. In fact, he was given the highest recognition possible in that field. And yet he felt an emptiness inside. He said that instead of finding fulfillment in his achievements, he had "only grasped a shadow."
After evaluating his life's goals, Martyn sailed to India as a missionary at the age of 24. When he arrived, he prayed, "Lord, let me burn out for You!" In the next 7 years that preceded his death, he translated the New Testament into three difficult Eastern languages!" He died at age 31!
(From a sermon by Davon Huss, Understanding the Law, 5/9/2011)
1 John 2:15-2:17
1 Kings 3:16-3:28
2 Corinthians 9:12-10:1
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ILLUSTRATION… Discipleship Journal, 11-12/92
A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:
5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness
5. (Tie) Sexual lust
Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when…
they had neglected their time with God (81 percent)
and when they were physically tired (57 percent).
Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent), avoiding compromising
situations (76 percent), Bible study (66 percent), and being accountable to someone (52 percent).
Wade Hughes, Sr
An old lady spent much of her summer setting and swinging in the old swing hanging on her front porch. Her husband had been dead several years and she had withdrawn from all but the closest family. Her lonely time grew and grew??
One spring day, the old lady went out in the garage and dug the old roto-tiller out from under the rusty tub that covered the engine. Seems the old lady had found a big bag of seeds that was a vine that would bear bright red flowers. The old lady loved bright red things. She made a decision, get out of the swing and grow beautiful flowers to enjoy.
With great excitement,she pulled real hard on the rope, and with great effort she finally got the old roto-tiller to run.
There was a wall of concrete blocks between her and the neighbors driveway. The blocks were laid...a block and a space, or a gap...then another block and a space all the way down the driveway,....all the way to the garage.
With great effort the old lady plowed betwen the driveway and the wall. She blistered her hands, her back hurt, but the jarring roto-tiller finished the task.
With feelings of accomplishment and pride, she got down on her knees and planted all the seeds in several rows along the wall.
The rains came, the Lord blessed the little seeds and the sun shine warmed the ground. One day the little old lady saw the heads of the plant break forth, and the vines grew and grew ....until the vines completely covered the wall. The vines so grew that the wall could not be seen. She would set daily in the swing and watch the progress of the vine. This was great joy to the old lady.
Beautiful vines ....but no flowers, zero. da nada, nothing. Where are all my bright red flowers?? One day after much dissapointment and great thought the lady decided...I planted those vines for flowers, bright red flowers and there are none. I am going to cut those dumb empty vines down and burn them.
She went down the drive way into the garage and got the rusty old hoe, sharpened the edge and started chopping the vines down.
About the third vine was chopped down and she grinned ear to ear. The neighbor pulling into his drive way, skidded to a halt and jumped out of his car and ran over to her .
He said, "What on earth are you doing?? I know this is your property and that is your vine, and you can do as you chose. But, why are you cutting down this vine??"
The old lady explained to the kind neighbor, "I planted this not for the vine but for the bright red flowers, and there are none. After all my sweat and blisters and watering, not one flower. I am cutting this down because there are no red flowers and that is why I planted them!!!"
Without one word the neighbor took the feeble old lady by the hand and lead her to the other side of the wall. And on his side of the fence, there were over a million of the brightest red flowers you ever saw, between every block were many of the brillant blossoms.
WHAT TO DO WITH LONELINESS
Lee Strobel writes: People today will admit any problem - drugs, divorce, alcoholism - "but there’s one admission that people are loath to make, whether they’re a star on television or someone who fixes televisions in a repair shop. It’s just too embarrassing. It penetrates too deeply to the core of who they are." People don’t want to admit that they are (sometimes) lonely. "Loneliness is such a humiliating malady that it ought to have its own politically correct euphemism: ’relationally challenged.’ Or its own telethon. Anything to make it safer to conf...
THANK YOU, DAD
Thank you Dad,
for giving us a very special gift.
Its the most important gift of all,
That only love can give.
You read us the Bible at bedtime
and taught us how to pray.
You made sure we made it to church every Sunday.
And even though
we acted like we didn’t hear a thing,
When I’m in church today,
I hear an old familiar ring.
I’ve learned alot through all these years,
through the good times and the bad.
I want you to know,
I thank God every night for you Dad.
I can’t imagine
how it would be to live life day by day...
Not knowing God, not knowing love,
not knowing how to pray.
It would be so cold, so lonely,
so sad a life I know.
And it’s all because of you, Dad.
God’s love - we’ve been shown.
So Dad we want to thank you
on this very special day.
Because of you - we now know
the true meaning of Father’s Day.
~By Terri Lewis~
Franklin Roosevelt’s closest adviser during much of his presidency was a man named Harry Hopkins. During World War II, when his influence with Roosevelt was at its peak, Hopkins held no official Cabinet position. Moreover, Hopkin’s closeness to Roosevelt caused many to regard him as a shadowy, sinister figure. As a result he was a major political liability to the President. A political foe once asked Roosevelt, “Why do you keep Hopkins so close to you? You surely realize that people distrust him and resent his influence.” Roosevelt replied, “Someday you may well be sitting here where I am now as President of the United States. And when you are, you’ll be looking at that door over there and knowing that practically everybody who walks through it wants something out of you. You’ll learn what a lonely job this is, and you’ll discover the need for somebody like Harry Hopkins, who asks for nothing except to serve you.” Winston Churchill rated Hopkins as one of the half-dozen most powerful men in the world in the early 1940’s. And the sole source of Hopkins’ power was his willingness to serve.” (Discipleship Journal, Issue 39, 1987, p. 5)
Quote from Anne Landers:
“ I’ve learned plenty, including most importantly what Leo Rostea had in mind when he said,
“Each of us is a little lonely, deep inside and longs to be understood.”
I have learned how it is with the stumbling tortured people in this world who have nobody to talk to. The fact that the column has been so successful underscores, for me at least, the central tragedy of our society. The disconnectedness, the insecurity, the fear - that bedevils, cripples, and paralyses so many of us.
I have learned that financial success, academic achievement, and social or political status open no doors to peace of mind or inner security.
We are all wanderers, like sheep, on this planet.”
Whoever Takes the Son
Many years ago, there was a very wealthy man who shared a passion for art collecting with his son. They had priceless works adorning the walls of their family estate.
One day, the nation was at war and the young man left to serve his country. After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram. His son had died. Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming Christmas holidays with sadness. The joy of the season had vanished with the death of his son.
On Christmas morning, a knock on the door awakened the depressed old man. He opened the door and a soldier, with a large package in his hands greeted him, “I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come in for a few moments? I have something to show you.”
The soldier mentioned that he was an artist and then gave the old man the package. It was a portrait of the man’s son. Though the world would never consider it the work of a genius, the painting featured the young man’s face in striking detail. Overcome with emotion, the man hung the portrait over the fireplace, pushing aside millions of dollars worth of art.
His task completed, the old man sat in his chair and spent Christmas gazing at the gift he had been given. The painting of his son soon became his most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in the pieces of art for which museums around the world clamoured.
Half a year later, the old man died. The art world waited with anticipation for the upcoming auction. According to the will of the old man, all the art works would be auctioned on Christmas Day, the day he had received the greatest gift.
The day soon arrived and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world’s most spectacular paintings. Dreams would be fulfilled that day.
The auction began with a painting that was not on anyone’s museum list. It was the painting of the man’s son. The auctioneer asked for an opening bid, but the room was silent. “Who will open the bidding with $100?” No one spoke. Finally someone said, “Who cares about that painting. It’s just a picture of his son. Let’s move on to the good stuff.”
The auctioneer responded, “No, we have to sell this one first. Now, who will take the son?” Finally, a neighbour of the old man offered $50 dollars....
Many years ago, a day was dawning on a battlefield in northern France, through a fog so thick that no one could see more than a few yards from the trenches. In the night the Germans had drawn back their lines a little and the French had gone forward. But between the two positions a lonely farmhouse was till standing. As the sun rose, heavy guns began to boom. But suddenly on both sides the firing ceased and there fell a strange, dead silence. For there in the green meadow, crawling on it’s hands and knees was a little baby. It appeared perfectly happy and contented and the baby’s laugh was heard as it clutched a dandelion. Not a shot was fired that day!
And when the babe of Bethlehem lay in his mother’s arms, it signaled the entrance of the Prince of Peace into a hostile world. His coming would eventually cause men to cease their hatred as they looked by faith to Him.
Frederick Baker II
"God’s Grace Shown To Us"
The Enemy of the world, Satan, was on the side of life’s road with a very large cage. The man coming towards him noticed that it was crammed full of people of every kind, young, old, from every race and nation."
Where did you get these people?" the man asked. "Oh, from all over the world," Satan replied. "I lure them with drinking, drugs, lust, lies, anger, hate, love of money, and all manner of things. I pretend I’m their friend, out to give them a good time, then when I’ve hooked them, into the cage they go. "And what are you going to do with them now?" asked the man.
Satan grinned. "I’m going to prod them, provoke them, get them to hate and destroy each other; I’ll stir up racial hatred, defiance of law and order; I’ll make people bored, lonely, dissatisfied, confused and restless. It’s easy. People will always listen to what I offer them and (what’s better) blame God for the outcome!" "And then what?" the man asked." Those who do not destroy themselves, I will destroy. None will escape me."
The man stepped forward. "Can I buy these people from you?" he asked.
Satan snarled, "Yes, but it will cost you your life."
So Jesus Christ, the Son of God, paid for your release, your freedom from Satan’s trap, with His own life, on the cross at Calvary. The door is open, and anyone, whom Satan has deceived and caged, can be set free.