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There is a big difference between batting practice and playing ball. It is common for pro-ball players to describe the overwhelming power of the of the sound of thousands cheering them on. In a sense our life is the game and the cloud of witnesses, heroes, our audience cheering us on in a similar fashion.

(From Christopher Nerreauís Sermon "Don't Lose Heart")

 
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Davon Huss
 
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Tags: Abortion (add tag)
 
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UNTIL THE TRUMPET SOUNDS

A pro-choice feminist and a pro-life conservative were debating the relative merits of the sanctity of life issue. Sensing victory in the debate, the feminist declared, "You donít understand, weíve won in the White House, and weíve won in the courthouse. Face it, itís over, the fat lady has already sung."

The pro-lifer calmly replied, "Wrong, itís not over until the trumpet sounds."

 
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TRUE UNITY

Unity is not simply an intellectual exercise. We can believe the same things, recite the same creeds, belong to the same denomination, but that does not mean we have unity.

In his book Soul Talk, Larry Crabb writes:

"Which is worse? A church program to build community that doesnít get off the ground or one person sitting every Sunday in the back of the church who remains unknown? A Sunday school class that once drew hundreds but has now dwindled to thirty or a Sunday school teacher whose sense of failure is never explored by a caring friend? A family torn apart by the fatherís drinking, his wifeís frustration, and their third graderís learning disabilities or a self-hating dad, a terrified mom, and a lonely little boy, three human beings whose beauty and value no one ever discovers? A national campaign that fails to gain steam for the pro-life movement or a single woman on her way home from an abortion clinic in the backseat of a taxi, a woman whose soul no one ever touches?"

We may notice the unknown pew sitter, we wonder how the teacher of the now small class feels, we worry over each member of the torn-up family, and we feel for the guilt and pain of a woman who has ended her babyís life. But we do whatís easier. We design programs, we brainstorm ways to build attendance, and in our outrage over divorce statistics and abortion numbers we fight for family values.
These are all good things, but we donít TALK to the pew sitter; we donít ASK the teacher how heís feeling; we donít INVITE the dad to play golf, the woman to lunch, or the little boy to play with our children; we donít let the aborting woman know we CARE about her soul.

That response to hurting people, I would label disunity. Disunity is not just fighting over personal preferences. Itís not just leaving the church because someone hurt your feelings. Itís not just gossip that tears down other members of the body. Itís leaving needs unmet. Itís failing to love people the way God would have us love. Unity is lived out in caring concern for others.

(From a sermon by Bret Toman, Unity For the Glory of God, 1/3/2011)

 
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INDESCRIBABLE CHRIST

Dr. S.M. Lockridge was the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, San Diego CA from 1953 - 1993. He entered heaven in 2000. He is well-known for a passage out of his sermon titled ďHeís My KingĒ:


ďHeís enduringly strong, Heís entirely sincere, Heís eternally steadfast. Heís immortally graceful. Heís imperially powerful. Heís impartially merciful. Heís Godís Son. Heís a sinnerís savior. Heís the centerpiece of civilization. He stands alone in Himself. Heís unparalleled. Heís unprecedented. Heís supreme. Heís preeminent. Heís the loftiest idea in literature. Heís the highest idea in philosophy. Heís the fundamental truth in theology. Heís the miracle of the age. Heís the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously. He supplies strength for the weak. Heís available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He guards and He guides. He heals the sick, He cleans the lepers. He forgives sinners, He discharges debtors, He delivers captives, He defends the feeble, He blesses the young, He serves the unfortunate, He regards the aged, He rewards the diligent, He beautifies the meek. Do you know Him?

Well, my king is the king of knowledge, Heís the well-spring of wisdom, Heís the doorway of deliverance, Heís the pathway of peace, Heís the roadway of righteousness, Heís the highway of holiness Heís the gateway of glory, Heís the master of the mighty, Heís the captain of the conquerors, Heís the head of the heroes, Heís the leader of the legislators, Heís the overseer of the overcomers, Heís the governor of governors, Heís the prince of princes, Heís the king of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

His life is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Well. I wish I could describe Him to you. But Heís indescribable. Yes. Heís incomprehensible. Heís invincible, Heís irresistible. Iím trying to tell you, the Heavens cannot contain Him, let alone a man explain Him. You canít get Him out of your mind. You canít get Him off of your hands. You canít outlive Him, and you canít live without Him. Well. The Pharisees couldnít stand Him, but they found out they couldnít stop Him. Pilate coul...

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KEEPING PROMISES

It’s the story of a friendship forged during one of the worst battles of World War II, and a promise made almost 60 years ago, a promise that was finally kept Thursday, Aug. 2, 2001. HAROLD HUGGINS, a veteran of 10 major campaigns in World War II and the last survivor of his battalion, traveled halfway across the country by train on one last mission in memory of his best buddy.

"I had this on my mind for 57 years, trying to locate his sister and loved ones out there in California," says Huggins. "Part of him lives in me."

Huggins, from Albany, Ill., and Mack McClain from Marysville, Calif., were best friends in the army. They wound up together at Anzio Beach, Italy, scene of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. Mack had a premonition that he wouldn’t make it out of there alive, so he gave Harold some mementos, a belt, some photos, and said: "’Give this to my sister, tell her that I love her,’ Huggins recalls. ’You can even give her a kiss.’"

Harold promised if anything happened to Mack he would do what was asked. One day later, Mack was killed in an artillery barrage. After the war, Harold looked for Mack’s sister but he never found her until Harold’s daughter sent out e-mails to various veterans groups. Some California vets found Mack’s sister, Grace, whose last name changed when she married.

"We have always hoped and prayed that we would meet somebody that would tell us about Mack," says Grace.

Thursday, Aug. 2nd, at the place where his buddy’s name is engraved in marble at the veterans memorial in Marysville, Calif., Harold Huggins kept that promise he made 57 years ago, meeting Mack’s sister for the very first time and giving her that kiss that Mack asked Harold to deliver, turning over those mementos from his fallen friend.

SOURCE: Steve Shepherd.

 
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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 Ė Bill & Isaac. Bill was not the most promising of candidates for salvation. Most people pictured him more as the stony or weedy soil. Heís 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 heís surrendered to Christ, and tonight heís bearing fruit.
In Billís neighborhood, there have been a number of boys that Bill had created a ďpaintballĒ club for. But once Bill gave himself to Christ, he wanted to give Christ to these young boys heíd 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 Canít Reap them All" on www.sermoncentral.com

 
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LIFE LESSON:

Jaime Rodriguez, a schoolteacher in Chicago, Ill., was named as the worst offender on the cityís list of employees with unpaid parking tickets. After checking into things, he discovered it was actually his 26-year-old son, also named Jaime, who had run up $11,040
in unpaid tickets. Rodriguez Sr. paid off the 109 citations, though, to clear his name.

"My stupid kids," he said later. "They get the tickets and throw them away, and theyíre thinking they are going to go away."

...And sure enough, they did.

SOURCE: (Chicago Sun-Times)THIS is TRUE for 12 January 2003. Copyright 2003 www.thisistrue.com.

 
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WHAT IS YOUR COLT?

Bill Wilson pastors an inner city church in New York City. His mission field is a very violent place. He himself has been stabbed twice as he ministered to the people of the community surrounding the church. Once a Puerto Rican woman became involved in the church and was led to Christ. After her conversion she came to Pastor Wilson and said, "I want to do something to help with the churchís ministry." He asked her what her talents were and she could think of nothing---she couldnít even speak English---but she did love children. So he put her on one of the churchís buses that went into neighborhoods and transported kids to church. Every week she performed her duties. She would find the worst-looking kid on the bus, put him on her lap and whisper over and over the only words she had learned in English: "I love you. Jesus loves you."

After several months, she became attached to one little boy in particular. The boy didnít speak. He came to Sunday School every week with his sister and sat on the womanís lap, but he never made a sound. Each week she would tell him all the way to Sunday School and all the way home, "I love you and Jesus loves you."

One day, to her amazement, the little boy turned around and stammered, "I---I---I love you too!" Then he put his arms around her and gave her a big hug. That was 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon. At 6:30 that night he was found dead. His own mother had beaten him to death and thrown his body in the trash......."I love you and Jesus loves you." ....Those were some of the last words this little boy heard in his short life---from the...

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2002: a busy year for those who help in times of disaster

With barely two weeks left in the year, only six of the 50 states have
not needed what the American Red Cross calls a large-scale disaster
response, a new report says. The agency says, however, that 93 percent
of its responses are to house fires. The top five Red Cross responses
for 2002, based on severity of damage and size of area affected, with
the cost (in millions) of providing shelter, meals, crisis counseling,
medical attention, financial help, and other services to needy families:

Hurricane Lili/tropical storm Isidore (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama)
$15.8 million
Texas floods/tornadoes 13.5
Western wildfires (Arizona, Colorado, California, Oregon) 8.1 Veterans Day tornadoes (Ala-bama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee,
Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania) 3.7
Typhoon Chataan (Guam) 5.4

SOURCE: US Newswire. CITATION: 12/17/02 News Headlines from The Christian Science Monitor

 
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THE IF/THEN OF EASTER

Itís Easter time. Time to eat all the candy and marshmallow eggs. Time to pig out. Thereís gotta be a nicer word for pig out. A euphemism, as it were. Hey, try to think up a nicer word for euphemism. And while youíre at it, think up a shorter word for abbreviation. And a synonym for Thesaurus.

And why is it that doctors call what they do "practice"?
Why is it that to stop Microsoft Windows, you have to click on "Start"? Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons? Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker? Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour? Why isnít there mouse-flavored cat food? Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections? Why donít you ever see the headline, "Psychic Wins Lottery"? Why are there Braille labels at drive-up ATMs? Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together? Why canít women put on mascara with their mouths closed?

And why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ such a big deal?

I mean, thereís gotta be an if/then relationship. If Jesus rose from the dead ... then what? We deal with if/then statements every day. For example, Chris Baker said at one point in his life, "If I go to medical school, then I can be a doctor." Columbus said, "If the world is round, then I can get to the East by sailing west." Enrico Fermi said, "If we can just split the atom, then itís gonna produce a whole lot of energy." Bill Gates said, "If I copied the Apple-Macintosh desktop, then people would like Microsoft Windows more." Keith Hoerig said, "If I learn to play the bass guitar, then I can get hot chicks."

So ... whatís the big if/then statement for the resurrection? If Jesus rose from the dead ... then what? What are the implications? Does it affect my life more than the fact that I live in 2002 ďA.D.Ē? If Jesus Christ rose from the dead, then does that affect what time I get up in the morning?

If Jesus rose from the dead, then does it affect my situation at school or whatís going to happen at work tomorrow? If Jesus rose from the dead, then does it affect what T. Rex will do to Interstate 25, and what kind of season the Broncos will have this year?

SOURCE: Mike Sares in "The If/Thens of Easter" on www.sermoncentral.com

 
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