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In his best selling book called, "Into Thin Air," Jon Krakauer relates the hazards that plagued some climbers as they attempted to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Andy Harris, one of the expedition leaders stayed at the peak too long and on his descent, he became in dire need of oxygen. Harris radioed the base camp and told them about his predicament. He mentioned that he had come across a cache of oxygen canisters left by the other climbers but they were all empty. The climbers who already passed the canisters on their own descent knew they were not empty, but full. They pleaded with him on the radio to make use of them but it was to no avail. Harris was starved for oxygen but he continued to argue that the canisters were empty.
The problem was that the lack of what he needed had so disoriented his mind that though he was surrounded by something that would give him life, he continued to complain of its absence. The lack of oxygen had ravaged his capacity to recognize what was right in front of him.
Friends, what oxygen is to the body, the Bread of Life is to the soul. Some of us are suffocating and starving and we don’t even know it. Jesus is offering life to us while we run around trying to appease our appetites. We will never be filled until we take of the Bread and Water of life, Jesus Christ.
Several years ago the Peanuts comic strip had Lucy and Charlie Brown practicing football. Lucy would hold the ball for Charlie’s placekicking and then Charlie would kick the ball. But every time Lucy had ever held the ball for Charlie, he would approach the ball and kick with all his might. At the precise moment of the point of no return, Lucy would pick up the ball and Charlie would kick and his momentum unchecked by the ball, which was not there to kick, would cause him to fall flat on his back. This strip opened with Lucy holding the ball, but Charlie Brown would not kick the ball. Lucy begged him to kick the ball. But Charlie Brown said, "Every time I try to kick the ball you remove it and I fall on my back." They went back and forth for the longest time and finally Lucy broke down in tears and admitted, "Charlie Brown I have been so terrible to you over the years, picking up the football like I have. I have played so many cruel tricks on you, but I’ve seen the error of my ways! I’ve seen the hurt look in your eyes when I’ve deceived you. I’ve been wrong, so wrong. Won’t you give a poor penitent girl another chance?" Charlie Brown was moved by her display of grief and responded to her, "Of course, I’ll give you another chance." He stepped back as she held the ball, and he ran. At the last moment, Lucy picked up the ball and Charlie Brown fell flat on his back. Lucy’s last words were, "Recognizing your faults and actually changing your ways are two different things, Charlie Brown!"
Are you going to change your ways as of today?
The boss of a big company needed to call one of his employees about an urgent problem with one of the main computers. He dialled the employees home telephone number and was greeted with a child’s whispered, "Hello?"
Feeling put out at the inconvenience of having to talk to a youngster, the boss asked, "Is your Daddy home?" "Yes," whispered the small voice. "May I talk with him?" the man asked. To the surprise of the boss, the small voice whispered, "No."
Wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, "Is your Mommy there?" "Yes," came the answer. "May I talk with her?" Again, the small voice whispered, "No."
Knowing that it was not likely that a young child would be left home alone, the boss decided he would just leave a message with the person who should be there watching over the child. "Is there any one there besides you?" the boss asked the child. "Yes," whispered the child, "a policeman."
Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee’s home, the boss asked, "May I speak with the policeman?" "No, he is busy," whispered the child. "Busy doing what?" asked the boss. "Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the Fireman," came the whispered answer.
Growing concerned and even worried as he heard what sounded like a helicopter through the ear piece on the phone, the boss asked, "What is that noise?" "A hello-copper," answered the whispering voice. "What is going on there?" asked the boss, now alarmed. In an awed whispering voice, the child answered, "The search team just landed the hello-copper!"
Alarmed, concerned and more than just a little frustrated, the boss asked, "Why are they there?"
Still whispering, the young voice replied (along with a muffled giggle), "They are looking for me!"
In one of his meetings, D.L. Moody was explaining to his audience the truth that we cannot bring about spiritual changes in our lives by our own strength. He demonstrated the principal like this: “Tell me,” he said to his audience, “how can I get the air out of the tumbler I have in my hand?” One man said, “Suck it out with a pump.” But Moody replied, “That would create a vacuum and shatter it.” Finally after many suggestions, he picked up a pitcher and quietly filled the glass with water. “There,” he said, “all the air is n...
‘Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, humbly implore his protection and favor…” (1st Proclamation of a national day of Thanksgiving, Oct. 3, 1789).
Elie Wiesel, Nobel prize winner and author is a Holocaust survivor. He tells the story of two men and a youth who were hung at a Nazi concentration camp. All of the prisoners, including Wiesel, were paraded to the gallows to witness this horror. The older men died quickly, but the death throes of the younger man lasted much longer. “Where is God?” asked one voice. As the torment continued, the voice called again, “Where is God?” Wiesel says he heard a voice within answer, “Where is he? He is there. He is hanging on the gallows.” German theologian Jürgen Moltmann says, “Any other answer would be blasphemy.”
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Focus on the Family compiled the following conclusions of the effectiveness of 25 years of addressing the search of intimacy with "safe sex" ideology. (From Fresh Illustrations)
Ten percent of all 15 to 19 year-old females become pregnant each year. ("Kids Having Kids," A Robin Hood Foundation Special Report on the Costs of Adolescent Childbearing, June 1996, p 1. )
More than 80 percent of pregnant girls under age 17 who give birth and keep their babies end up on welfare, costing society a staggering $21 billion a year. (Ibid, 20. )
Three million new cases of STDs among teens are reported each year.
ALL I'VE GOT
“You’ll never realize Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you’ve got.”
There’s a famous painting by Rembrandt’s of The Three Crosses. Those who view have their attention drawn first to the centre cross on which Jesus died. Then they look at the crowd gathered around the foot of that cross, impressed by the various facial expressions and actions of the people involved in the awful crime of crucifying the Son of God. At the edge of the painting there’s another figure, almost hidden in the shadows. Art critics say this is a representation of Rembrandt himself, for he recognised that by his sins he helped nail Jesus to the cross.
1,000 unwed teenage girls become mothers
1,106 teenage girls get abortions
4,219 teenagers contract sexually transmitted diseases
500 adolescents begin using drugs
1,000 adolescents begin drinking alcohol
135,000 kids bring guns or other weapons to school
3,610 teens are assaulted; 80 are raped
2,200 teens drop out of high school
6 teens commit suicide
(Taken from "Right from Wrong" by Josh Mcdowell page 18).