Illustration results for Skillfully
Staff Picks of Free Sermons and PRO Church Media
Dr. Evan O’Neil Kane was the chief surgeon at Kane Summit Hospital in New York City. He was 60 years old and had been practicing surgery for 37 years. He was especially interested in anesthetic. You see, he practiced back in the early part of the 20th century, when the only kind of anesthetic used was general in nature—and it had its complications. Patients were sometimes left paralyzed and on occasion, they died. Dr. Kane wanted to somehow prove his point by finding a guinea pig and try using local anesthetic. Finally he did discover a person who was willing to help him experiment. The patient needed his appendix removed, so he was scheduled for surgery. It was February 15, 1921, a Tuesday morning. The patient was prepared and rolled into the operating room. Kane had performed over 4,000 appendectomies. He performed the initial cut. He clamped the blood vessels on the way in while he located the appendix. He then skillfully removed it as he had done many times before. Through it all the patient experienced minor pain, recuperated quickly and was released from the hospital two days later.
Dr, Kane had proved his point. It was a milestone in medical history that a person could be operated on under local anesthetic while still awake. Oh, by the way, did I tell you the surgeon and the patient were one and the same? Dr. Kane operated on himself!
And in the next few minutes I want you to do exactly what the doctor did, spiritually. I want you to be wide awake when you do it. This is major surgery.
Music is major influence for "mosaic" generation
On a recent edition of the radio program "For Faith and Family", pollster George Barna discussed the significant cultural influence music exerts on the Mosaic generation (those born between 1984 and 2002): "Music is really interesting because essentially that is the language of our culture. If you need an example of how that works just think about churches. Even in churches this is true. What is the biggest war we have in churches? It doesn’t tend to be theological. It tends to be over what style of music you’re going to use in the worship service. We’ve had all kinds of fights, but music is the way that we suggest to somebody, Hey, I understand where you’re coming from. I speak your language. This is the feel; this is the sound that constitutes who you are and what you’re about."
"One of the ways I would describe it is every generation has to have it’s own private language that people over 30 can’t penetrate. And that’s really what today’s music is doing for young people. They have icons within the culture that we don’t understand - many of whom we don’t appreciate - but they’re important to the Mosaics because it helps them to develop a life philosophy. Many of those individuals become role models for them. It helps them to identify some of their values and lifestyles. And, it also helps develop a sense of community among themselves. So it’s hugely important."
PreachingNow Newsletter, August 6, 2002
MAY THE FORKS BE WITH YOU
Luke and Obi-Wan are in a Chinese restaurant having a meal.
Skillfully using his chopsticks, Obi-Wan deftly dishes himself a large portion of noodles into his bowl, then tops it off with some chicken and cashew nuts.
All this is done with consummate ease you’d expect from a Jedi Master.
But poor old Luke is having a nightmare, using his chopsticks in both hands, dropping his food all over the table and eventually himself.
Obi-Wan looks at Luke disapprovingly and says, "Use the forks, Luke."
As I read the book of Acts the disciples seem more like Luke than Obi-Wan. Young disciples for whom the power of God is available and they are bumbling along trying to make use of it. But give them time. They will learn. And they will change history for ever!
SOURCE: Brett Blair, www.eSermons.com. Illustrations for May 19, 2002.
A Young man approached the foreman of a logging crew and asked for a job. “That depends,” replied the foreman. “let’s see you fell this tree.” The young man stepped forward and skillfully felled a great ree. Impressed, the foreman said, “Start Monday.”
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday rolled by, and by Thursday afternoon the foreman approached the young man and said, “You can pick up your paycheck on the way out today.”
Startled the young man replied, “I though you paid on Friday.” “Normally we do,” answered the foreman, “but we’re letting you go today because you have fallen behind. Our daily felling charts show that you dropped from first place on Monday to last on Wednesday.”
“But I’m a hard worker,” the young man objected. “ I arrive first, leave last, and even have worked through my coffee breaks!”
The foreman, se...
"DON'T SIT ON ME, LORD!"
Romans 6:8-14 Key verse(s): 6: "For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the bod of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin...”
There are many things that a dog does not like. Chief among them for many dogs is the seeming innocuous task of having their nails clipped. Dogs have very sensitive paws. I have often been amazed as to the amount of time our little dachshunds and the lab spend grooming them. The lick and lick is often followed by nibbles and chomps directed at the skin between the toes. Taught at a very early age to be fastidious groomers by their mothers, what we might regard as almost ritualistic and surely repetitive is really more than it seems. Dogs don’t sweat. For the most part they exchange body heat largely through panting. But there is one place on their bodies that is the exception and that is the bottom of their paws. The only place on a dog’s entire body that sweats is its paws. Stress a dog and make it pace, then touch the bottom of their paws. Surprisingly they are quite moist. It is no surprise, therefore, that dogs are so sensitive to the manipulation or grooming of their paws. Their paws are precious to them, providing not only their sole means to escape enemies and pursue prey, but also the one avenue by which they are able to employ evaporation as a means of cooling down.
The longer you allow a dog to go without grooming, especially a dog that is kept indoors and away from the natural corrosive environment that will normally serve to keep a dog’s claws blunted and short, the harder and harder it becomes for it to walk. As the claws grow, the paw is pushed upward, causing an abnormal pressure on the spine. Eventually a dog with unmanicured claws may develop back problems or become listless or agitated. Yet, as good as grooming is for a dog, the dog doesn’t seem to recognize the boon. It will pull, bite and writhe in your grasp as if you are trying to inflict great harm on it. And, the fact is, nail clipping is uncomfortable for most dogs since their paws are very sensitive to touch, temperature and pressure. The very thing that benefits them is the one thing they most fear.
Sanctification, the process by which we are made holy, like Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit seems to have the same effect on humans as nail clipping does on dogs. We want to be like Christ. We long to conform to the image of our Savior in every way possible. We long to walk uprightly and in a "holy" manner. Yet, the old Adam in us, has grown disproportionately to our ability to maintain a holy balance in our life. We often stumble and fall. But, sanctification? Sounds kind of painful and harsh, doesn’t it? Perhaps it is just better to let well enough alone and go on coping as opposed to confronting the nuisance and pain that must be involved to rid us of our old but "thank you, it will do and I will cope" nature.
As a dog must be sat upon in some instances just to convince it that what we are about to do will ultimately be for its own good, so too must our God sit upon us with the weight of his grace. Our hearts are sensitive and we strive to avoid any pain to them. Yet, they are fated to become calloused and anemic unless something crush them and break away the layer upon layer of daily sinful grime and worldly grief that serves to lacquer them. Sound painful? Death always is and that is what is transpiring on a daily basis in every Christian’s life. God is plucking the covering from our hearts; a covering we have worked hard to secure, even nurture. It is a destructive but necessary process in order to reveal what He designed in us from the beginning of time. The comfortable and warm covering of sin that helps us get through the day is seems like such a necessary enemy. We are willing to let it have its way just so we can avoid the cure that would, on the surface, seem more difficult than the illness. So on and on it grows, insidiously and silently wrapping layer upon layer so skillfully and cunningly that we are almost completely unaware of its stifling heaviness. That sin-loving nature we inherited from our father Adam will eventually hobble us. It’s crippling effect robbing us of our ability to walk uprightly in the presence of our God. Unless He sits on us, crushing our natural will to be sinful and clipping away the filth of sin, we will never know the tremendous relief that such a clipping can bring.
Author C.S. Lewis confirms these suspicions in his book God in the Dock, "Man or Rabbit?" He compares the rabbit’s nature to be careful while cowardly to our inherent willingness to avoid trouble by avoiding pain: "All the rabbit in us is to disappear--the worried, conscientious, ethical rabbit as well as the cowardly and sensual rabbit. We shall bleed and squeal as the handfuls of fur come out; and then surprisingly, we shall find underneath it all a thing we have never yet imagined: a real Man, an ageless god, a son of God, strong, radiant, wise, beautiful, and drenched in joy." (God in the Dock, , para. 10, p. 112.)
Read about Dr. Harry Ironside where he was called upon at his home by two nuns to collect money for a certain charity. He invited them inside and as he talked with them, he quickly and skillfully steered the conversation around to the subject of saints. Then suddenly he asked, "Would you like to meet a saint?" The two nuns quickly replied, "Yes."
"Well," said Dr. Ironside, ’"look at me. I am a saint. I am St. Harry."
The two nuns were very shocked, but this gave Dr. Ironside the opportunity to explain to them what a saint really is.
A saint is not a man without fault but a man with faith in Christ.
"Words of comfort, skillfully administered, are the oldest therapy known to man."
John Williams III
"Several years ago there was a well-known television circus show that developed a Bengal tiger act. Like the rest of the show, it was done "live" before a live audience, One evening, the tiger trainer went into the cage with several tigers to do a routine performance. The door was locked behind him. The spotlights highlighted the cage, the television cameras moved in close, and the audience watched in suspense as the trainer skillfully put the tiger through their paces. In the middle of the performance the worst possible fate befell the act: the lights went out! For twenty or thirty long, dark seconds the trainer was locked in with the tigers. In the darkness they could see him, but he could not see them. A whip and a small kitchen chair seemed meager protection under the circumstances, but he survived and when the lights came on calmly finished the performance. In an interview afterward, he was asked how he felt knowing that the tigers could see him but that he could not see them. He first admitted the chilling fear of...
Her husband had skillfully amassed a multi-million dollar fortune. When her husband learned that he was dying he asked only one thing of her---he told her the entire fortune is yours but please do this one thing, have a will drawn up. He said something to the effect----Since we have no children everyone will try to dip their hand in the till. So please draw up a will. You can have it all given to charity if you wish---just don’[t let any of it get into the hands of those conniving no good relatives of ours who’ve always been trying to mooch off of us.” But after his death she had no will drawn up. Years later at the age of 81 Mrs. Henrietta Garrett died in her Philadelphia home on the night of November 16, 1930. She left behind a $17 million dollar estate and no will. She had at the time of her death only one known relative a second cousin---and she had less than a dozen friends still living. But at the news of her death, the vultures descended. It wasn’t dozens or even hundreds of people who claimed they were entitled to some of the estate---it was thousands---in fact to date more than 26,000 people from 47 of the United States and from 29 foreign countries have staked their claims. Over the course of time more than 3000 lawyers have been employed on the case.
In their efforts to get some of this money---alleged relatives and friends have committed perjury, forged family records, altered church records, changed their names and concocted all kinds of stories of illegitimacy. Twelve have been fined, ten sent to jail, two have committed suicide, three have been murdered. In the meantime the estate’s grown to over $30 million.
All he ever really wanted in life was more. He wanted more money, so he parlayed inherited wealth into a billion-dollar pile of assets. He wanted more fame, so he broke into the Hollywood scene and soon became a filmmaker and star. He wanted more sensual pleasures, so he paid handsome sums to indulge his every sexual urge. He wanted more thrills, so he designed, built, and piloted the fastest aircraft in the world. He wanted more power, so he secretly dealt political favors so skillfully that two U. S. presidents became his pawns. All he ever wanted was more. He was absolutely convinced that more would bring him true satisfaction. Unfortunately, history shows otherwise.
[He] concluded his life … emaciated; colorless; sunken chest; fingernails in grotesque, inches-long corkscrews; rotting, black teeth; tumors, innumerable needle marks from drug addiction. [SLIDE] Howard Hughes died,… believing the myth of more. He died a billionaire junkie, insane by all reasonable standards [Bill Hybels, “Power: Preaching for Total Commitment,” Mastering Contemporary Preaching (Portland, OR: Multnomah Press, 1989), 120-121].