Illustration results for second chance
NOW – in life do overs are not the norm… In our Hang Time journal on April 3rd – we read a chapter from max Lucado’s book – “No Wonder They Call Him Savior.”
“Not many second chances exist in the world today.. Just ask the kid who didn’t make the little league team or the fellow who got the pink slip or the mother of three who dumped for a ‘pretty little thing.’ Not many second chances. Nowadays it’s more like, “It’s now or never,” “Around here we don’t tolerate incompetence” Gotta get tough to get along.” “Not much room at the top.” “Three strikes and your out..”
BUT wouldn’t it be great if there were do overs..
A policeman stops you for speeding, you just tear up the ticket and say – Thanks officer but I’ll be taking a do over today… The bank says you bounced a check. Do over you say, no problem they say back…. You get in an argument with a friend and you say something mean & cruel – I think I’ll be taking that do over now – sure thing they say… Fail a test, blow a presentation at work, invest in the wrong company, forget to send in your taxes – JUST take a do over…
BUT LISTEN – in the most important thing there is (our relationship with God) – a do over is not a dream it is a reality….
K. Edward "Ed" Skidmore
"MY SUPREME WEAPON IS DYING."
Joseph Ton was pastor of Second Baptist Church, Oradea, Romania, until he was exiled by the Romanian government in 1981. In Pastoral Renewal, he writes of his experience:
"Years ago I ran away from my country to study theology at Oxford. In 1972, when I was ready to go back to Romania, I discussed my plans with some fellow students. They pointed out that I might be arrested at the border. One student asked, 'Joseph, what chances do you have of successfully implementing your plans?'"
He asked God about it, and God brought to mind Matthew 10:16 -- "I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves" -- and seemed to say, "Tell me, what chance does a sheep surrounded by wolves have of surviving five minutes, let alone of converting the wolves? Joseph, that’s how I send you: totally defenseless and without a reasonable hope of success. If you are willing to go like that, go. If you are not willing to be in that position, don’t go."
Ton writes: "After our return, as I preached uninhibitedly, harassment and arrests came. One day during interrogation an officer threatened to kill me. Then I said, 'Sir, your supreme weapon is killing. My supreme weapon is dying. Sir, you know my sermons are all over the country on tapes now. If you kill me, I will be sprinkling them with my blood. Whoever listens to them after that will say, "I’d better listen. This man sealed it with his blood." They will speak ten times louder than before. So, go on and kill me. I win the supreme victory then.'"
The officer sent him home. "That gave me pause. For years I was a Christian who was cautious because I wanted to survive. I had accepted all the restrictions the authorities put on me because I wanted to live. Now I wanted to die, and they wouldn’t oblige. Now I could do whatever I wanted in Romania. For years I wanted to save my life, and I was losing it. Now that I wanted to lose it, I was winning it."
There he stood, in the midst of the Golden Corral restaurant, with Thousand Island dressing dripping from his hair, over his glasses, down his face, all over his jacket, pants, & shoes. And I’m not talking about a little bit of Thousand Island dressing, I’m talking about 2 gallons of it!
What had happened was that a waitress carrying a 2-gallon container of Thousand Island dressing for the salad bar had paused for just a second while coming through the swinging doors of the kitchen, & the doors had caught her & knocked her forward, launching 2 gallons of dressing all over this guy.
Well, he went ballistic! He started shouting & cursing at her. “You’re so stupid! I can’t believe you could do such a stupid, stupid thing. This is a brand new suit & it cost me $300.” His wife chimed in, “Yeah, you’ve ruined my husband’s $300 suit, & it’s the first time he’s had a chance to wear it.” He screamed, “I want to see the manager!”
Thoroughly shaken, she went to get the manager, & the manager came out. Now picture this – here’s a guy with 2 gallons of Thousand Island dressing dripping from him, & the manager asks, “Is there a problem?”
The guy replies, “Is there a problem? She’s ruined my $300 suit. It’s brand new, & I want a new suit!” The manager says, “We’ll be glad to get your suit cleaned. Accidents do happen, & we’re really sorry about this.”
“No! No!” he said. “I don’t want my suit cleaned. I want a brand new suit, & I demand a check for $300 right here & now.” Well, to avoid a bigger scene, the manger goes back into his office, writes out a check for $300 & brings it to him. And justice is served.
Tragically, this true story happened at noon on a Sunday. Now, why would someone be wearing a brand new suit on Sunday? Do you suppose he had been to church. Do you suppose that he had just heard a sermon on “Love your neighbor as yourself,” or “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” or “Go the second mile”?
Apollo 11 was a tribute to modern technology: No foul ups; no glitches. Man had accomplished the impossible without a hitch. In fact Apollo missions 11 and 12 were so error-free they seemed almost routine. The world resumed breathing. The television ratings for moonwalks began to decline. When Apollo 13 lifted off from the Kennedy Launch Center, the mood of anxious anticipation had given way to a sense of smug certainty. We’ve done this before, and we will do it again.
On April 11, 1970, Apollo 13 entered earth orbit, shed the remnants of its Saturn 5 booster rocket, and shot away toward its silent silver destination. Everything was "A-O-K."
Days after the launch, an unscheduled, understated message crackled over the Mission Control loudspeakers. The calm voice of flight commander James Lovell observed matter-of-factly, "Houston … We’ve got a problem."
And what a problem it was. An oxygen tank on the outside of the service module had ruptured, severely damaging the craft. The bad news poured in. First, the moon mission itself was scrubbed. Apollo 13 would have to fire its retro-rockets and return to earth. As the damage was surveyed, it became apparent that the command module could not supply the energy and air to sustain the three crew members through re-entry. They would have to climb into the lunar lander and use its supplies to survive.
Then, the most sobering development of all. Because of the radically altered course back to earth, Apollo 13’s return home would be limited to a very precise and narrow path. Missing the painfully small re-entry window meant catastrophe. If the craft came in too steeply, it would incinerate like a falling star. If the angle of attack was too high, the command module would skip off the atmosphere like a smooth stone on a calm lake. There would not be enough fuel or oxygen for a second chance.
What would you have done in James Lovell’s shoes? In Houston, scores of the brightest and best scientific minds were hard at work calculating, planning, anticipating every contingency. More than guess work, hunches, and the old college try were required to bring the crippled craft home. But, on the other hand...
The Department of Social Services in Greenville County, South Carolina sent the following letter to a deceased individual. "Your food stamps will be stopped effective March, 1992, because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances."
There is no second chance!!
The following quotes from people at various stages of their lives shows the maturity that should take place in our perspective toward God and the world around us.
PROGRESSION OF WISDOM WITH AGE
You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. Age 7
I like my teacher because she cries when we sing "Silent Night." Age 7
When I wave at people in the country, they stop what they’re doing and wave back. Age 9
When I get my room the way I like it, Mom makes me clean it up. Age 13
Though it’s hard to admit it, I’m secretly glad my parents were strict with me. Age 15
Silent company is often more healing than words of advice. Age 24
Brushing my child’s hair is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Age 29
Wherever I go, the world’s worst drivers have followed me there. Age 29
If someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it. Age 39
I’ve learned you can make someone’s day simply by sending them a little card. Age 44
Children and grandparents are natural allies. Age 46
The greater a person’s sense of guilt, the greater his need to cast blame on others. Age 46
Singing "Amazing Grace" can lift my spirits for hours. Age 49
Motel mattresses lie better on the side away from the phone. Age 50
You can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles three things: 1) A rainy day 2) Lost luggage 3) Tangled Christmas tree lights. Age 52
Regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them after they’re gone. Age 53
I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. Age 58
If you want to do something positive for your children, try to improve your marriage. Age 61
Life sometimes gives you a second chance. Age 62
You shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back. Age 64
If you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if yo ufocus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you. Age 65
Whenever I decide something with kindness, I have usually made the right decision. Age 66
It pays to believe in miracles. And, to tell the truth, I’ve seen several. Age 73
Even when I have pains, I don’t have to BE one. Age 82
I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. Age 92
-The First approached the Elephant, and examined his broad and sturdy side. He said this elephant is very much like a wall.
-The Second, feeling of the tusk, said “So very round and smooth and sharp? To me it is mighty clear this elephant is very much like a spear!"
-The Third approached the elephant and felt of the squirming trunk, he said “the elephant is very like a snake!"
-The Fourth reached out an eager hand, and felt about the knee. He said “the elephant is very like a tree!"
-The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear said: "this elephant is very much like a fan!"
-The Sixth no sooner had begun that he seized on the swinging tail. "I see," he said, "the elephant is very much like a rope!"
And so these blind folk disputed loud and long. Each of their own opinion. Each was exceeding stiff and strong.
-Each wasn’t partially right but they all were wrong.
(The Blind Men And The Elephant (John Godfrey Saxe, 1816-1887) -- Contemporized by Rev. Roy E. Fowler, Jr. for this sermon)
Part of a song by Anointed-
if you say you’re sorry for all the stuff you do
Know that he is ready with a second chance for you
Praise the Lord He’s the God of Second Chances
You’ll be floored how His love in life enhances
You can be restored from your darkest circumstances
As long as we are in this world, the physical heart will need help. Science has found one avenue to attempt to help the heart. It has been making great strides on creating and implementing an artificial heart. The world’s first recipient, Robert Tools, lived for 151 days after his artificial heart surgery. On Tuesday, April 16th, according to a report from Reuters, the second recipient, Tom Christienson was sent home having survived 215 days with the electrically powered device. So far, he is still doing fine. Asked what he at 71 years old was going to do now, Christienson responsed, "I’ve been given a second chance at life, and I can’t wait to get home and begin celebrating it."
You and I have been given more that a second chance at life! With Resurrection hearts, we have been given eternal life! Let us celebrate the wonder of this new life by always giving Christ the proper place in our hearts as our Lord. Let us keep living with the good news of Christ pumping forgiveness and new life into our hearts until the rest of our bodies catch up with our hearts. Amen.
Sermon Central Staff
GIFT OF HONOR
Football practice was over, and Denny was sore from head to toe. Slowly he climbed the graffiti-laden stairway of the aging apartment building. Suddenly, his mother’s chilling screams pierced the cold, still air. He had heard the sound many times before. Still, a sickening knot formed in Denny’s stomach.
Denny had tried for years, without success, to quell his father’s drunken fits of anger and abuse. Today would be different. Something snapped inside him. With adrenaline pumping, Denny stormed through the apartment door and tore his dad away from his mother. Hardened by years of football training, he hammered his dad with two quick punches. Then, empowered by years of burning memories, he lifted his father from the floor and threw him through their second-story window.
Amazingly, his father sustained only minor injuries in the fall. But memories of what he’d done haunted Denny through two marriages and a string of friendships shattered by a fiery temper. Alcoholism, something he swore would never destroy his life as it had his father’s, slowly ate away at him as well. Little did Denny realize that if he had any chance at all for a worthwhile life, it would come by learning to honor his dad. Miraculously, even Denny discovered the freedom to be found in honoring his dad.
After six years Denny finally consented to attend church with an old high school team-mate and placed his faith in Jesus Christ. Soon he met and married a wonderful Christian widow. Prompted by his wife and several Christian friends, Denny placed three phone calls to his dad over the course of seven years. Each call began with, “Dad, I love you,” only to be abruptly cut off with a prompt “click” on the other end.
Finally, on the fourth attempt, Denny was able to convince his father to listen. In the ensuing moments, he explained how much his life had changed, and how he could forgive and honor his dad now because of all he had been forgiven.
Several months passed. One day his mother called him at the office with the shocking news that his father was near death. Before he could leave for the airport, his mother called again to report that his dad had disappeared. His father had checked into an alcoholic rehabilitation clinic in order to be able to talk with Denny about spiritual things, sober, before he died.
Denny did see his father again and had the incredible privilege of leading him to the Lord. Several months later, his dad died. Denny waits with great anticipation to see him again, eager to pick up where they left off. Having found the freedom in giving the gift of honor, Denny now moves through life unencumbered by the chains of hate that once paralyzed him. By choosing to bestow honor, even when it wasn’t deserved, he liberated himself and brought his dad to Christ. For Denny, and for many others, the gift of honor is the gift of life.
(Source: Gary Smalley. From a sermon by Terry Blankenship, Lighting the World, 2/21/2011)