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Sermon Central Staff
HANNAH AND MICHAEL: FINDING WHAT WAS LOST
Let me tell you what happened to Ted Forbes back in 1984.
While walking down a street in Chicago...Ted found a wallet. Being an honest Christian man he wanted to return it to its owner. So he opened it to look for identification. The wallet contained just $3.00. No driverís license...no Social Security card...no pictures...nothing to indicate who owned the billfold.
Looking through the wallet a little more, Ted found and an old envelope. It was wrinkled and looked as if it had been carried there for years. The only part of the writing on the envelope that could be read was the return address.
To find more information, Ted opened the envelope, and to his surprise, the letter was dated June 6, 1924. The letter had been written nearly 60 years before. It was a "Dear John" letter. It was written to a man named Michael, and it was from a woman named Hannah.
She explained that though she loved him, and she would always love him, her parents had forbidden her to see him any more.
Ted Forbes wanted to locate the owner of the lost wallet. He drove to the location listed on the return address. He parked the car and walked up to the door.
A woman answered the door. Ted asked the lady if she knew a Michael or a Hannah. He was told that 30 years ago she had purchased the house from a family whose daughter was named Hannah. She said that Hannah had placed her mother in a nursing home just a few blocks down the street.
Ted drove down to the nursing home. He explained the story to the Nursing Supervisor. She told Ted that the lady he was trying to find had died. However, she gave him a telephone number where he might locate Hannah.
Calling that number he learned that Hannah was not living there anymore. The person answering the phone said Hannah was now in an apartment house for the elderly.
Ted began to wonder why he was making such a big deal out of an old, lost wallet which contained only $3.00 and a crumpled up old letter. But he decided to keep looking until he ran into a dead end.
He finally tracked down Hannah and went to visit her at the elderly apartment house. She had an apartment on the 3rd Floor. Ted knocked on the door. A gray-haired, alert, bright eyed lady with a warm smile on her face answered the door. Yes, it was Hannah Marshall.
Ted told her about finding the wallet and, showing her the letter, asked if she knew someone named Michael.
Hannah took the letter. Tears filled her eyes. She told Ted that the letter was the last contact she had with Michael. She said that she had never married because she never met anyone she loved as much as Michael. Then she asked Ted if, when he found Michael, he would tell him she still loved him and that she thought about him every day.
Ted thanked her and left. As he was walking down the apartment house hallway, he was carrying the wallet in his hand. The janitor saw the wallet and stopped Ted in the hallway. "Let me see that wallet."
Ted handed it to him. "Why, thatís Mr. Goldsteinís wallet. Iíd know it anywhere. Heís always losing it." Ted asked where he could find Mr. Goldstein. The janitor said he lived in Apartment 6 on the 8th Floor.
So, Ted quickly made his way to the eighth floor. He found Apartment #6 and knocked on the door. Sure enough, an old man named Michael answered the door. Ted showed the wallet to the old man. He asked if it was his. Yes, it was. Ted admitted reading the letter to seek identification of the owner.
Mr. Goldstein asked, "You read it?" Then he told Ted that his life nearly ended many years ago when he lost Hannah. He had never married and had never stopped loving her.
Then Ted said, "Mr. Goldstein, I think I know where Hannah is."
The old man became very excited. Ted simply took him by the hand, led him to the elevator and down to the third floor to Hannah Marshallís apartment door.
When she opened the door, they looked at one another in disbelief. Michael Goldstein walked slowly to Hannah. He took her in his arms. And the 60-year separation evaporated in the warmth of their love.
About three weeks after Michael and Hannah were reunited, Ted got a call asking him to be their best man. They were to be married after years of separation.
It must have been some sight: a 79-year-old man and a 76-year-old woman acting like teenagers. A perfect ending to a tragic separation. They had every reason to celebrate.
(From a sermon by David Rigg, When a Lost Person Is Saved, 3/30/2011)
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Johann Sebastian Bach was born into the musical family of Bachs in 1685. By the age of ten, both of his parents were dead. Early in his friction-filled life, young Johann determined he would write music Ö music for the glory of God Ö and this he did.
Most of Bachís works are explicitly Biblical. Albert Schweitzer referred to him as The fifth evangelist, thus comparing him to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. At age 17 Bach became the organist at the church; soon thereafter he was given charge of the entire music ministry.
During his ministry in Weimar, Germany he wrote a new cantata every month Ö EVERY MONTH! And during one three-year period he wrote, conducted, orchestrated, and performed (with his choir and orchestra) a new cantata every week!
No one had any idea what a mark Bach would leave. His legacy lives on some 300 years later. You can hear his music at will.
At the beginning of every authentic manuscript one will find the letters ďJ.J.Ē This stands for Jesu Java (Jesus help me). At the end of each original manuscript you will find the letters ďS.D.G.Ē This stands for Soli Deo Gloria (to the glory of God).
Bach is a reminder that one who gives his life to Jesus and serves Him does not count it a loss. Mk 8:35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.
Mothers get the red carpet treatment on their day, with fabulous brunches and beautiful bouquets. For the fathers, however, retailers have cleverly priced almost everything under $9.99!
Case in point: the Talking Fly Swatter. Itís a lime-green fly swatter with a little speaker that says stuff like "Hasta la vista, baby!" "Flight canceled!" and "Die sucker!" every time you try to use it.
WHAT MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME
My mother taught me RELIGION: When I spilled grape juice on the carpet, she instructed, "You better pray the stain will come out of the carpet."
My mother taught me LOGIC: From her decisive words, "Because I said so, thatís why."
My mother taught me FORESIGHT: "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case youíre in an accident."
My mother taught me IRONY: "Keep laughing, and Iíll give you something to cry about."
My mother taught me about STAMINA: "Youíll sit there ítil all that spinach is finished."
My mother taught me about WEATHER: "It looks as if a tornado swept through your room."
My mother taught me THE CIRCLE OF LIFE: "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."...
"YOU PROMISED ME"
Love always perseveres. Love never Fails.
In 1989, an 8.2 earthquake almost flattened Armenia, killing over 30,000 people in less than four minutes. Surprisingly, such tragedies often bring out the best in people. Let me show you the loving heart of a father.
In the midst of chaos and destruction, he rushed to his sonís school. But instead of a school, he found a shapeless heap of rubble. Imagine what went through his mind. In the case of this father, the sight of rubble and ruin made him spring into action. He ran to the back corner of the building where his sonís class used to be and began to dig. Why? What real hope did he have? What were the chances that his son could have survived such destruction? All he knew was that he had made a promise to always be there for his boy. It was this promise that animated his hands and motivated his heart.
As he began to dig, well-meaning parents tried to pull him out of the rubble saying: "Itís too late!" "Theyíre dead!" "You canít help!" "Go home!" "Thereís nothing you can do!" Then the fire chief tried to pull him off the rubble by saying, "Fires and explosions are happening everywhere. Youíre in danger. Go home!" Finally, the police came and said, "Itís over. Youíre endangering others. Go home. Weíll handle it!"
But this father continued to dig for eight ... 12 ... 24 ... 36 hours. Then, in the 38th hour, he pulled back a boulder and heard his son's voice. Immediately, he screamed, "ARMAND!" Back came the words, "Dad!? I told them! I told the other kids that if you were still alive, youíd save me! You promised me, youíd always be here for me! You did it, Dad!" (Taken from Max Lucadoís book, "He Still Moves Stones")
The story of Armandís dad is a wonderful image for Godís love. You find so many of the traits of love from 1 Corinthians 13 in that story. And you get the picture of a living and loving Heavenly Father that:
ē Steps in when everything else is stepping out.
ē Seeks solution when everything else says the situation itís hopeless.
ē Remains steady when everything else has shaken loose.
Who Is To Blame
We read in the paper and hear on the air
Of killing and stealing and crime everywhere.
We sigh and say, as we notice the trend,
ďThis young generation... Where will it end?Ē
But can we be sure it is their fault alone?
Are we less guilty, who places in their way
Too many things that lead them astray?
Too much money, too much idle time;
Too many movies of passion and crime.
Too many books not fit to be read;
Too much evil in what they hear said.
Too many children encouraged to roam;
Too many parents who wonít stay home.
Kids donít make the movies; they donít write the books.
They donít paint the pictures of gangsters and crooks.
They donít make the liquor; they donít run the bars.
They donít make the laws, and they donít make the cars.
They donít peddle the drugs that muddle the brain.
Thatís all done by older folks, greedy for gain.
Delinquent teenagers; oh how we condemn
The sins of the nation and blame it on them.
By the laws of the blameless, the Savior made known;
Who is among us to cast the first stone?
For in so many cases, itís sad, but itís true,
The title ďdelinquentĒ fits older folks too!
There is a game my parents used to play when we were on road long road trips in the car. The rules of the game went something like this. "The first one to talk loses." We called it the silence game. Have you ever played the game? I would bet that just about every parent has made up a game similar to this. When traveling in a vehicle and arguing continues, or complaining erupts, or the eternal question, "How much further?Ē is asked for the 100th time, we want silence. So we play the silence game. Sometimes, silence is golden.
Sometimes, though, silence is not golden. If you have ever felt the awkward pause in the conversation, or if you have ever had an angry spouse or parent give you the silent treatment then you know what Iím talking about. (Whisper) Sometimes silence can be deafening.
THE EVOLUTION OF MOTHERS
Being a parent changes everything. But being a parent also changes with each baby. Here are some of the ways having a second and third child is different from having the first.
1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your doctor
confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.
Preparing for the Birth
1st baby: You practice your breathing
2nd baby: You donít bother practicing because you remember that last
time, breathing didnít do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your 8th
1st baby: You pre-wash your newbornís clothes, color-coordinate them,
and fold them neatly in the babyís little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes
are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, canít they?
1st baby: At the first sign of distress--a whimper, a frown--you pick
up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your
3rd baby: You teach your 3-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.
2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the babyís bottle.
3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.
1st baby: You change your babyís diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.
2nd baby: You change their diaper every 2 to 3 hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to
complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.
1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
IN 1989, A LOS ANGELES TIMES JOURNALIST JANNY SCOTT TRIED [to explain evil], IN AN ARTICLE SHE WROTE IN GIL BAILIEíS BOOK ON THE LIFE AND EXECUTION OF SERIAL KILLER THEODORE BUNDY ENTITLED: VIOLENCE UNVEILED WHERE HER ARTICLE WAS QUOTED,ďTHE SCENE OUTSIDE THE STATE PRISON WAS THE WILDEST I HAD EVER WITNESSED. PARENTS BROUGHT CHILDREN, MEN BROUGHT WIVES. HUNDREDS OF REPORTERS CAMPED OUT IN A PASTURE. IT WAS LIKE A TAILGATE PARTY AT A NASCAR EVENT. WE ARE A VIOLENT SPECIES!!Ē
From Gene Edwardsí Sermon: Assassinating the Assassin
George Barna tells us that the emerging generation has no basic understanding of the Bible or even many of the stories of the Bible because their parents failed to teach them about the Lord and His Word. Their parents failed to take their kids to church and to role-model for their kids the value of church.