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Peggy Noonan, speech writer for Ronald Reagan, relates a story about Frances Green, an eighty-three-year old woman who lived by herself on Social Security in a town just outside of San Francisco, California. Peggy was very poor, but for eight years she had been sending one dollar a year to the Republic National Convention. One day Frances got an RNC fund raising letter inviting the recipient to come to the White house to meet President Ronald Reagan. She never noticed the little RSVP card that suggested a positive reply that needed to be accompanied by a generous donation. She thought she had been invited because they appreciated her dollar-a-year support. Frances scraped up every extra cent she had and took a four day train ride across America. Unable to afford a sleeper, she slept sitting up in the coach. Finally, this little elderly woman with white hair, white stockings, an old hat with white netting and an all white dress arrived at the White House. When she walked up to the entrance of where the grand event was to be held she gave her name to the guard. He informed Frances that her name was not on the list. She could not go in. A Ford Motor company executive who was standing in line behind Frances watched and listened to the little scenario. Realizing something was wrong, he pulled Frances aside and got her story. He asked her to return the next day at 9:00 A.M.. Frances agreed. This executive of Ford Motor Company made contact with Anne Higgins, a presidential aide, and got clearance to give Frances a tour of the White House and if possible introduce her to the president. The next day was anything but calm and easy at the White House. Ed Meese had just resigned and there had been a military uprising abroad. President Reagan was in and out of high-level secret sessions. Never-the-less, Frances Green showed up right on time with full expectation and enthusiasm. An executive met her and gave her a personal tour of the White House, then quietly led her to the Oval Office. Members of the National Security Council came in and out while high-ranking generals were coming and going. President Ronald Reagan glanced out of his office and saw Frances, patiently waiting. With a smile President Ronald Reagan motioned for her to come into the office. As Frances entered, President Reagan rose from his desk, invited her to sit down. They talked about her town and family and California. The president of the United States and the White House staff took time out of a very busy day to properly greet Frances Green.
During construction of Emerson Hall at Harvard University, president Charles Eliot invited psychologist and philosopher William James to suggest a suitable inscription for the stone lintel over the doors of the new home of the philosophy department. After some reflection, James sent Eliot a line from the Greek philosopher Protagoras: "Man is the measure of all things." James never heard back from Eliot, so his curiosity was piqued when he spotted artisans working on a scaffold hidden by a canvas. One morning the scaffold and canvas were gone. The inscription? "What is man that thou art mindful of him?" Eliot had replaced James’s suggestion with words from the Psalmist. Between these two lines lies the great distance between the God-centered and the human-centered points of view.
John Bisagno former Pastor of Houston’s First Baptist Church tells the story of his coming there to candidate for the position of pastor many years ago. He said that as he entered the auditorium it was dimly lit, with just a few people huddled together. They were singing some old slow funeral type song that was depressing.
Later that day he took a walk in downtown Houston and came upon a jewelry store. It was some sort of grand opening and there were bright lights and a greeter at the door to welcome you in with a smile. Inside there was a celebration going on. There were refreshments and people having a good time talking and laughing with each other. They welcomed him and offered him some punch. He said that after attending both the church and the jewelry store, if the jewelry store had offered an invitation, he would have joined the jewelry store!
Wade Hughes, Sr
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF PLAYING FOOTBALL?
Well, of course, we would say winning. But there is a clearer point than winning, it is scoring points. We might score 6
points in a touchdown, three points in a field goal, two points in a safety, or one point in a point after the touch down.
WHAT IF I TOLD YOU OF A MAN THAT PLAYED FOOTBALL 23 YEARS, 15 YEARS IN THE NFL,
FOUR YEARS IN COLLEGE, AND FOUR YEARS IN HIGH SCHOOL AND HE NEVER SCORED A TOUCH DOWN
OR MADE A POINT?
He never even scored one point? THIS MAN WOULD HAVE TO BE A FAILURE WOULDN’T HE?
Well, let’s look at this? This man never made a touch down, but he played in 245 games in his career.
Why start a man that can’t score? He made 1,032 tackles, pretty impressive?
He blocked 86 passes. He made 19 fumble recoveries, but still no touch downs?
He made 3 interceptions, but no touchdowns?
While in a football game everything centers on the football and the goal line, but there is more to the game than that.
THE MAN’S NAME IS ED "TOO TALL" JONES!
Ed "Too Tall" Jones is in the Football Ha...
“How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none.… For those out of Christ, time is a devouring beast; before the sons of the new creation, time crouches and purrs and licks their hands.”
I am reminded of the conversation that took place between Thomas Aquinas, a prominent Catholic theologian of the past, and Pope Innocent II. The Pope was counting a large sum of money from the Vatican treasury and as he did so, he turned to Aquinas and noted that the church no longer needed to say, “Silver and gold have I none.” To which Aquinas replied, “True, Holy Father, but neither can the church any longer say, “rise up and walk.”
Sermon Central Staff
Although at times it seems as though the church is in ruin and rubble, God sees it as a beautiful building.
Clinker bricks are bricks that did not quite make it. For some reason or another, they come out of the kiln misshapen or deformed. I read about a Presbyterian Church in New York State that was intentionally built of clinker bricks. Apparently, the congregation wanted to send a message, so they build their church of imperfect, rejected bricks. [“Clinker bricks and Ebenezers,” May 2, 1999, Exeter Congregational United Church of Christ Web Site, users.rcn.com.] The message is that we are all clinker bricks, we are sinners, we are imperfect people full of follies and foibles, but through Christ we become living stones in his church.
We do not become living stones because we are so great. It is Christ who is great. We are connected into his church through him.
(From a sermon by Larry Wise, Precious In His Sight, 2/24/2010)
Randy Frazee has written a book called "The Connecting Church." He has a son who was born without a left hand. One day in Sunday School the teacher was talking with the children about the church. To illustrate her point she folded her hands together and said, “Here’s the church, here’s the steeple; open the doors and see all the people.”
She asked the class to do it along with her – obviously not thinking about his son’s inability to pull this exercise off. Then it dawned on her that the boy wouldn’t be able to join in.
Before she could do anything about it, the little boy next to his son, a friend of his from the time they were babies, reached out his left hand and said, “Let’s do it together.” The two b...
Sermon Central Staff
WHO NEEDS THE CHURCH?
Mark Driscoll stated this about the importance of the church in a person’s life and how he discovered that truth:
"Occasionally, I would drop in to church out of guilt, but always walked away feeling as if I’d just wasted an hour with an ex-girlfriend ... simultaneously. I continued reading the Bible and kept seeing that the New Testament was written by pastors of churches to churches about church life. And, I was convicted that there is no such thing as a personal isolated relationship with Jesus apart from His often ugly bride, the Church. Acknowledging my disinterest in the Church as little more than arrogant judging, I decided to seek out a church where I could obey the Scriptures commands to go to church (Hebrews 10:25), place myself under the authority of pastors (Hebrews 13:17), use my abilities to build up the church (1 Corinthians 14:12), partake of communion in a church (1 Corinthians 11:17-34), and give my tithe to a church (2 Corinthians 8-9). I was finally starting to realize Jesus died not just for me, but for His church, which I was a part of by His death and resurrection (Acts 20:28). I then had to decide where to go, which was a frightening prospect..."(The Relevant Church, page 23).
(From a sermon by Michael, McCartney, Who Needs the Church? 6/20/2012)
Prayer of ST. Theresa
"Christ has no body now but yours
No hands, no feet on earth but yours
Yours are the eyes through which he looks
compassion on this world
Yours are the feet with which
He walks to do good
Yours are the hands with which
He blesses all the world
Yours are the hands
Yours are the feet
Yours are the eyes
You are His body"