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“Ken Walker writes in Christian Reader that in the 1995 college football season 6-foot-2-inch, 280-pound Clay Shiver, who played center for the Florida State Seminoles, was regarded as one of the best in the nation. In fact, one magazine wanted to name him to their preseason All-American football team. But that was a problem, because the magazine was Playboy, and Clay Shiver is a dedicated Christian.”
“Shiver and the team chaplain suspected that Playboy would select him, and so he had time to prepare his response. Shiver knew well what a boon this could be for his career. Being chosen for this All-American team meant that sportswriters regarded him as the best in the nation at his position. Such publicity never hurts athletes who aspire to the pros and to multimillion dollar contracts.”
“But Shiver had higher values and priorities. When informed that Playboy had made their selection, Clay Shiver simply said, ‘No thanks.’ That’s right, he flatly turned down the honor. ‘Clay didn’t want to embarrass his mother and grandmother by appearing in the magazine or giving old high school friends an excuse to buy that issue,’ writes Walker. Shiver further explained by quoting Luke 12:48: ‘To whom much is given, of him much is required.’”
“I don’t want to let anyone down,” said Shiver, “and number one on that list is God” (Larson, p. 53).
I received an e-mail the other day with the subject reading "How did we ever survive?" I donít know who authored it.
Looking back, itís hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have. As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup on a warm day was always a special treat. Our baby cribs were painted with bright-colored lead-based paint. We often chewed on the crib, ingesting the paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes we had no helmets. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. We played dodge ball and sometimes the ball would really hurt. We ate cupcakes, bread and butter and drank sugar soda, but we were never overweight; we were always outside playing. We had Little League tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didnít had to learn to deal with disappointment. Some students werenít as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade.
That generation produced some of the greatest risk-takers and problem-solvers. We had the freedom, failure, success, and responsibility, and learned how to deal with it all!!!
Are you a Risk-taker or a safety-seeker?
Responding to the increasing destructiveness of high winds in the Midwest, one developer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, offered an optional tornado-safe room in the new homes he was selling. It cost an additional $2,500 for the room—which can also be used as a closet, bathroom, or vault when not needed for safety.
What would you do if you were building your home there? If you opted for the room, you were like Nine of the first ten buyers.
The tenth couple didn’t get the room. They chose to have a hot tub installed instead. Why do you think they did that? Were they foolish young folks?
Actually, they were 75 years old. I suppose they figured if the Good Lord had gotten them through 75 years without being killed by a tornado, he could get them through as many more as He chose and they’d rather enjoy the Jacuzzi than worry about tornadoes.
[from: Americans Are Facing More Disasters, USA Today (5-23-00)]
Excellent Congregations: Excellent Protestant Congregations, by Paul Wilkes and published by Westminster John Knox Press identified the following 26 common traits among the "excellent" protestant congregations.
1. A vibrancy about living a Christian life...living on the creative and holy edge of the New Testament...being a Christian is not a leisure activity but an adventure.
2. Entrepreneurial...risk-takers, self-starters, use what works and put aside that which does not.
3. Draws philosophically, rather than geographically or denominationally, by the spirit of a living and present God.
4. Reach beyond their comfort zone...not afraid of being uncomfortable and ask tough questions of themselves.
5. Regularly evaluate themselves...for effectiveness.
6. Have a clear, yet changing, sense of mission...a vision of where they want to be and willingness to redirect energies to be effective in their community and peopleís lives.
7. Willingness to break up and reassemble...put aside old structures and coalitions when necessary to move forward.
8. Unafraid of being vulnerable and making mistakes.
9. Laity are integral in leadership...competence and a desire to serve, the ability to learn, the humility to admit mistakes and the courage to continue despite setbacks are more important prerequisites for leadership than formal training and ordination.
10. Preach and practice forgiveness and acceptance.
11. Relationship evangelism...personal contact is the key...most new people come to the church through word of mouth...friend, co-worker and neighbor.
12. See themselves as a unique community...not as a franchise of their denomination or even Christianity.
13. In transforming the culture, hold government, agencies and institutions accountable...see their work as not only serving their constituency but also transforming the world around them.
14. Believe in partnerships with other churches, agencies and interest groups.
15. Offer an ascent to God, a relationship...provide the tools and support to forge a real, living and enduring relationship with God.
16. Traditional without being traditionalist...their tradition is a beginning, a springboard, not a wall, not a barrier.
17. The Bible is at their core.
18. Innovative about different spiritual approaches.
19. Tailor liturgies and programs to various constituencies...reject one-size-fits-all approach.
20. Powerful, life-situation preaching...pa...
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE
1930ís 40ís, 50ís, 60ís and 70ís!
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didnít get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we
rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE
actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we werenít overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back
when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down
the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the
bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendoís, X-boxes, no video games at all, no
99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell
phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat
rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no
lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friendís house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didnít
had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They
actually sided with the law!
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers
and inventors ever!
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned
HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
"When somebody says, That cant be done, I smile. Thats about all I need to go after it. Im not a risk taker. Im a risk pervert."
In just the last 50 years there has been incredible innovation in technology. We have so many items in our home that we take for granted that really make our lives easier. TV remotes, microwaves, refrigerators, garage doors. All of these things had to be invented by somebody. Some of the greatest inventors have been considered crazy. Edison tried 50,000 times before he perfected the light bulb. George Washington Carver- development of the peanut- over 300 uses from axel grease, to peanut butter. Men and women who achieved what everyone else thought was impossible. Through all their adversity they stayed true to accomplishing their task. They were willing to risk failure because they knew that eventually they would discover the answer and when they did they were no longer seen as crazy but as genius. And without their drive and passion for innovation, their willingness to take risk we may not have hundreds of the amenities that we do today. We- Maybe you have never invented something that could help all of man kind but I think all of us have at one time or another dreamed of doing something or becoming something that would help with the greater good. Everyone wants to be known for something and to at least once in our lives stand out in the crowd. We want to be noticed for doing something special. To do something that nobody else has done. And unfortunately most people usually have the attitude, ďWell Iím just one person, what am I supposed to do that is so great? How am I supposed to stand out with everyone else? Iíll just let someone else do it and then Iíll follow them. ?Ē But I want to try to prove to you today that the people who have stood out the most in history, those who have made the greatest impact are those people who youíve never heard about. You see we enjoy some great things around us but if it wasnít for people like Robert Noyce and Jack Kilby we wouldnít be able to function on a day to day basis. They invented the microchip which is in every piece of technology imaginable. Or how about tim burners lee who along with a group of others invented the internet. Or Martin Cooper who invented the cell phone. There are so many great men and women of innovation that we donít know about yet we are influenced by their work on a daily basis. And what these people have done is great but the truth is that what they invented will one day be replaced with something better. Technology is always changing and someday they will be totally forgotten. These men and women were amazing innovators but their innovations and desire to take risk when nobody else would doesnít hold a candle to those people that the bible calls the others. Godís word is also full of stories of people who werenít innovators in the sense that they created something. The innovators and risk takers that we read about are the ones that were willing to risk anything just because God asked them to obey. When everyone else thought they were crazy and ridiculed them they obeyed.
A. ONE OF THE PIONEERS IN THE CELLULAR PHONE BUSINESS IS A MAN VERY FEW OF US HAVE EVER HEARD OF: CRAIG MCCAW.
B. HIS BIOGRAPHY IS ENTITLED: MONEY FROM THIN AIR AND HE TELLS ABOUT HOW HE STARTED, MCCAW CELLULAR COMMUNICATIONS, IN 1976, JUST THREE YEARS OUT OF COLLEGE.
C. EIGHTEEN YEARS LATER, HE SOLD HIS COMPANY TO AT&T FOR $16.5 BILLION, ACCORDING TO FORBES MAGAZINE
D. NOT TOO SHABBY FOR A FELLOW WHO IS DYSLEXIC, GOT CíS AND DíS IN COLLEGE AND LOST HIS FATHER WHEN HE WAS A FRESHMAN.
E. WHAT DO THE PEOPLE WHO KNOW CRAIG MCCAW SAY ABOUT HIM?
F. WELL, ONE OF HIS COMPETITORS, JACK ROBERTS SAYS, ĒCRAIGíS STRENGTH IS TAKING BOLD RISKS. HIS THINKING IS VISIONARY, AND HE IS WILLING TO PLAY CLOSE TO THE EDGE.Ē
G. ANOTHER CELL PHONE INDUSTRY GURU DESCRIBED CRAIG AS: ďAN INTELLIGENT RISK-TAKER WHO ONLY TOOK CALCULATED RISKS.Ē
H. HERSHEL SHOSTECK, OF FORBES MAGAZINE WRITES: ĒMR. MCCAW HIRED PEOPLE HE TRUSTED AND GAVE THEM LOTS OF ROOM TO GET RESULTS. HE GAVE A LOT OF AUTONOMY TO HIS SUBORDINATES, AND THEY TOOK THE BALL AND RAN WITH IT.Ē
J. MCCAW HIMSELF SAID TO THE AUDIENCE AT THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS BANQUET IN 2001, ďTHE GREATEST BURDEN YOU CAN EVER PUT ON SOMEONE IS TRUST.
K. BUT IF YOU PASS AUTONOMY DEEP DOWN INTO ANY GROUP OF PEOPLE, YOUíLL GET EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS IF YOU ASK FOR A LOT AND REQUIRE ACCOUNTABILITY.Ē
L. IN ALL OF HIS MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR VENTURES, MCCAW HAS DEMANDED THAT EMPLOYEES BE TOTALLY COMMITTED TO THE GOAL AND BUY INTO HIS BELIEF THAT: ďIF I WANT THE WALL TO FALL DOWN AND IíM WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE OF PUSHING ON IT LONG ENOUGH, IT WILL FALL DOWN.Ē
M. CRAIG MCCAW SAID AT A 2001 CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE: ďYOU PASTORS MUST CONSIDER THE LONG TERM; BECAUSE SHORT TERM GRATIFICATION IS JUST THAT. BE HUMBLE: IF YOU THINK YOUíRE GREAT, YOUíRE PROBABLY NOT AND YOU WILL PROBABLY NEVER BE RESPECT YOUR CO-WORK...
Sermon Central Staff
"HERE BE DRAGONS. HERE IS GOD."
2 Timothy 3:1-7 Matt. 8:23-26; 16:24-26 John 16:33 Psalm 107:23-30
We all remember Hurricane Katrina and the damage it inflicted on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Itís only a memory now, but it left terrible devastation and painful memories that still remain. The other night on the news they were revisiting New Orleans and looking at how much still remains to be done. As I watched, I thought about all those sailors over the centuries who looked to the sea for their livelihood, and how familiar they mustíve been with similar scenarios. Then I also thought how life is often compared to a voyage at sea.
Consider the ancient sailors for a moment. Now they really were the ultimate risk-takers. A weather forecast in those days meant, maybe, a couple of hours warning . . . if they were lucky.
I read about an interesting map thatís on display in the British Museum in London. Itís an old marinerís chart first drawn in 1525. It outlined the North American coastline and adjacent waters that had been explored. The cartographer made some intriguing notations on areas of the map that represented regions not yet explored. Some of his notations included the following:
* "Here be giants!"
* "Here be fiery scorpions!"
* "Here be dragons."
The article explained that eventually the map came into the possession of Sir John Franklin, a British explorer in the early 1800ís. Franklin scratched out each one of the fearful inscriptions, and he wrote these words in their place: "HERE IS GOD."
How often do we live our lives like weíre following that original map? We sail through waters which seem filled with many dangers. Fear of the unknown becomes very real to us! It seems that "Here be Giants! and "There be fiery scorpions!" and "Near by are terrible dragons." Our fears take away our peace of mind everywhere we turn.
(From a sermon by Terry Barnhill, Here Is God, 10/26/2009)
DOORMAT OR DAUGHTER OF DESTINY
There's a difference between CO-OPERATING WITH GOD and being a DOORMAT for others. Rebekah has a choice. Is this her destiny? Is she merely a doormat for the plans of others? In John 10:10 (NIV) Jesus says "...I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." So often God's intentions for me are so much higher than the plans other people have for me.
Rebekah is a RISK TAKER. Faith is always a risk. Giving your life to Christ is also a risk. FAITH MAYBE BLIND BUT IT ISN'T DEAF. Faith comes when we hear what God has to say for our lives and then we step out and act upon it without knowing what the future holds.
Rebekah courageously takes a step of faith by her willingness to give up her life with her family and go with this man to a land she has never seen, and marry a man she has never met, based upon God's promises to a relative which have yet to be fulfilled. Now that is faith.