Illustration results for Living By Faith
[Clip: "Everybody Loves Raymond," excerpted from episode 119, "Talk To Your Daughter". Note: this episode is one of four included in a "For Your Consideration" DVD/VHS package that was prepared for the 2002 Emmy voters. You might find it on ebay.]
Deborah: Ally just doesn’t want to know how we get here; she wants to know why we’re here. Why God put us on earth. She’s waiting for Ray to answer her.
Frank: What’s wrong with you - it’s simple.
Raymond: Oh, okay - we’re going to learn the meaning of life from a guy who wants threw his show at a swan.
Frank: That’s called protecting your sandwich. Listen to me. Here’s what life is - you’re born, you go to school, you go to work, you die. That’s it, that’s all, canoli Marie.
Raymond: We’re not talking about what we do while we here, dad.
Robert: Yeah, the big question is why we’re here in the first place.
Marie: I think Ally is too young to be worrying about things like this.
Deborah: No, I’m proud of her. I love it that she’s such an independent thinker.
Raymond: If she’s so independent, why can’t she figure this out herself?
Deborah: Ray, just get up there and tell her that God put us on earth to help each other. It’s simple, it’s direct, it’s a good way for her to live her life.
Raymond: What are you talking about? That doesn’t answer anything? What - are you telling me that God says, "mmm, let’s see - what should I put there?"
Robert: That’s your God?
Robert: No way. It’s got to be deeper and cool..."Hello, I’m God."
Marie: Keep going Raymond. I think you’re a wonderful God.
Raymond: Thank you. So what did God say? Hey, "I’m going to put some humans on earth, so they can help each other." Or, "I can just skip humans altogether and go hit a bucket of balls."
Marie: Oh, I know. It’s all in the Bible.
Robert: Ever think about space? What is it? Is it really endless? I mean if you had a spaceship, could you go flying and flying into space forever?
Frank: Why don’t you give it a shot?
Robert: No, I’m not kidding around here. How could space go on forever? And if it doesn’t, what’s at the end?
Marie: Stop it, Robert. You’ll give yourself a tummy ache.
Robert: What about the beginning of time? What was it before that? Before time - nothing? What is nothing? How could there be nothing? This doesn’t it bother anybody else?
Marie: Now everybody, listen to me. In the Bible, it says here "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Okay, okay, okay. It might take me a minute.
Deborah: A minute, more, Marie. Scholars have spent their entire life trying to answer this question. You’re not just going to flip through the Bible and find the meaning of life.
Marie: "Oh, ye of little faith" - that’s in here somewhere, too.
Robert: Did you know the fruit fly only lives one day?
Raymond: Ah, are you okay there?
Robert: One day. What’s his meaning of life? Maybe there’s no meaning of life for anyone of us. Am I any different than the fruit fly?
Frank: The "fruit" part’s the same.
Deborah: Robert, the fruit fly doesn’t question why he’s here - that’s what makes us different. I don’t know, maybe that’s kind of the meaning of life. Never knowing the answer, but always wondering about it.
Raymond: So God made us smart enough to know that there’s an answer, but not smart enough to figure it out?
Robert: Come on!!
There used to be a show on cable television called, "Tales from the Darkside." The title sounds a little more sinister than the series really was, because I’m not one to watch scary movies and such. It was more like the old show, "The Twilight Zone." In one episode, there was an old man who lived with his son and their family, and he loved living there. Early in the episode, the man had a heart attack and died. But he enjoyed being with his family so much, he wouldn’t admit it. He went on living there until he began to decay and decompose. You can imagine what the smell must have been like for the family! [Well, folks, that is what happens to us when we refuse to die to sin. We STINK to God!] OR [You might not want to admit the truth in your life, but sooner or later, the truth will be revealed.]
Tevye, the Jewish dairy farmer in the Fiddler on the Roof, lives with his wife and five daughters in czarist Russia. Change is taking place all around him and the new patterns are nowhere more obvious to Tevye than in the relationship between the sexes. First, one of his daughters announces that she and a young tailor have pledged themselves to each other, even though Tevye had already promised her to the village butcher, a widower. Initially Tevye will not hear of his daughter’’ plans, but he finally has an argument with himself and decides to give in to the young lover’s wishes. A second daughter also chooses the man she wants to marry: An idealist revolutionary. Tevye is rather fond of him, and, after another argument with himself, he again concedes to the changing times.
A while later, Tevye’s third daughter wishes to marry. She has fallen in love with a young Gentile. A no-no among faithful Jewish people. This violates Tevye’s deepest religious convictions: It is unthinkable that one of his daughters would marry outside the faith. Once again, he has an argument with himself. He knows that his daughter is deeply in love, and he does not want her to be unhappy. Still, he cannot deny his convictions. “How can I turn my back on my faith, my people?” he asks himself. “If I try and bend that far, I’ll break!” Tevye pauses and begins a response: “On the other hand…” He pauses again, and then he shouts: “No! There is no other hand!”
With his first two daughters he gave some ground, compromised his positions. However, with his last daughter, he would not because he had to remain true to the Word of God. “No other hand.”
Shadowlands -- a Broadway play, later made into a motion picture -- tells the story of C. S. Lewis and his wife, Joy . . .of their intense love for one another . . .and of the shadow that was cast across their life. Shadowlands portrays their struggle with Joy’s cancer. After Joy’s death, Lewis wrote these words: It is incredible how much happiness, how much joy we sometimes had together after all hope was gone.”
The comfort that is at the heart of those words is also at the heart of Advent. The answers to the paradoxes of living by dying, finding peace o...
McCartney’s Video Illustration: From The movie “The Great Escape” preview of the movie. The movie is about Allied soldiers who planned and executed “The Great Escape” from a German Prisoner of War camp in WWII. The movie focuses on how determined these soldiers were to escape from their present condition of bondage. These men planned their escape carefully. They worked hard and sacrificed to execute their escape plan. This plan was designed to set over 200 prisoners of war free. The escape was successful but many of the ones who got freed were recaptured by the Germans. The good news is though there were those who made it home to their land of freedom.
Spiritual Point: These men knew the risk for breaking out of their prisoner of war camp. They knew that to execute the escape would require sacrifice and hard work. They knew that if the Germans caught them as they dug tunnels or forged documents that the result would be severe punishment. But they did it any way so that they could be free. So they planned the route to freedom and executed it with their sacrificial lives. The big day came and many were freed temporally. The officers who escaped were executed and the others returned to face severe punishment but the truth was some of them made it.
There are many who are prisoners today in the current spiritual war fro the world. The warring powers are the powers of good and evil. One power wants us to yield to our sinful evil desires and the other wants us to resist the sinful way of this corrupt world. The one who resists and takes the route to freedom will be freed for all eternity. The other one who allows themselves to stay in captivity to this world will have no life and no future.
C.S. Lewis is portrayed in the movie Shadowlands as a man struggling with doubts about God. Shadowlands is about his life and reveals the awful ordeal he had to go through with his wife dying of cancer: I discovered these thoughts on the internet about this movie:
1. Jack’s grief was intense. His "faith--so ardently championed in his books--was shaken to its very foundation." 7 Attenborough’s film visually captures this dark period of doubt and bitterness. The suspense builds as the viewer wonders if Lewis can continue to regard death as a simple river-crossing on a bridge built by the great Bridge Builder. Shortly after Joy’s death, Jack attends a social gathering. Everyone turns as Jack enters the room, quietly whispering, one by one, "so sorry, Jack," "so very sorry." Harry Harrington (Michael Denison) reminds him that "we see so little here." Faith, he points out, is all that sustains one. "Only God," he says, "knows why these things happen." Jack turns on him with a vengeance, angrily shouting: "We’re the creatures in the cosmic laboratory. I have no doubt the experience is for our own good, but it still makes God the villainous vivisectionist!" The film lays out the harsh reality of death.
a. Moments like this usually bring on the wave of doubt into our lives.
2. Lewis’s "Grief Observed," claims Ralph C. Wood, is "darker than anything in Kafka or Sartre." 10 Lewis accuses God of being a Cosmic Sadist, an evil tyrant. Lewis later described the book as one "which ends in faith but raises all the blackest doubts en route." 11 In the film, a drained Lewis, sitting behind his desk, voices his Grief Observed thesis. He turns to his brother and admits: "I’m so terribly afraid. Of never seeing her again. Of thinking that suffering is just suffering after all. No cause. No purpose. No pattern. No sense. Just pain, in a world of pain."
I'm sure that by now many of you have seen the movie "The Bucket List." It's the story of two men who meet by chance as hospital roommates. As the story develops, we soon discover that one of the men is terminally ill, and the other man is incredibly wealthy. With hours to spend in their hospital room they have plenty of time to talk about how they are feeling and all that they are facing. Staring mortality in the face they each begin to rehearse some of the "if onlys" and "I wish I hads" of their lives. Finally the wealthy man said to the dying man, "so what's stopping us?" And after a considerable amount of effort he finally persuades the dying man to spend his final days fulfilling many of the things that he had always dreamed of doing. So together they develop a "bucket list" a list of all the things they wasn't to accomplish before they "kick the bucket."
Now I don't want to ruin it for you by telling you the whole story but we eventually discover that it was the dying man who was truly rich because of his faith and his family. And it was the wealthy man who though he had great riches was emotionally and spiritually impoverished.
It was 1972 and a Rugby team from Uruguay was flying over the Andes mountains to play in a championship game. But on the way the plane crashes into a mountain. A film was made that details the ordeal entitled Alive. Of the 45 passengers, which included the team and some of their family members, only 16 survived. It was a ruthless ordeal of cold, wind and starvation. After 70 days, three of the young men decided to try and hike out to find help. It was a grueling climb through the Andes mountains. As they reach the top of yet another mountain, two of the men look out over what appears to be an endless horizon of mountains. As they stand there gazing at what was at once a horrible and breathtaking scene of mountain range, the two men react in totally different ways. One of them says, “Mountains. Nothing but mountains! We’ve had it. We’ve completely had it!” And then he falls to the ground because of physical and emotional exhaustion. He is in complete despair. But the other man responds, “No, we haven’t. Into these mountains somewhere there is a green valley. See the mountains over there? There’s no snow on them.” “Those mountains must be 50 miles away. Do you think we can walk 50 miles?” Canessa responds. “If we have to, we will,” says Nando. Canessa says, “I can’t.” “Yes you can.” “I can’t. I’m not as strong as you.” Nando walks over to Canessa, kneels beside him, and says: “You know what it is that we’ve lived this long the way we have? Seventy days. That we climbed these mountains? You know what it is? It’s impossible. It’s impossible, and we did it. I’m proud to be a man on a day like this. Alive. That I lived to see it. And see it in such a place...
Sermon Central Staff
SIMON BIRCH: A PURPOSE IN LIFE
How many of you remember a movie by the name of Simon Birch that came out in 1998?
It tells the story of a twelve-year-old boy named Simon Birch who, despite his physical disabilities, believes that God has a plan for his life. "Simon was born tiny and with an abnormally small heart. He was expected to die within the first twenty-four hours of his life. He surprises everyone, though, when he lives to be an adolescent.
"A disappointment to his parents and the target of many childhood pranks because of his miniature size and odd-sounding voice, Simon has every reason to question his self-worth and purpose for living. But he embraces his condition and believes that God will use him in a unique, possibly even heroic, way.
"Joe, Simon's best friend, doesn't believe in God, and he is not the only one who doubts that God has a plan for Simon. Simon's schoolmates mock him relentlessly, believing his assertions to be one more indication of his strangeness. On one occasion his Sunday school teacher hurriedly tries to hush him so he won't 'frighten' the other children with his musings.
"The small town's forlorn minister also doubts that God could have a plan for small Simon Birch. In a poignant conversation between Simon and the minister, Simon asks, 'Does God have a plan for us?'
"The minister hesitantly replies, 'I'd like to think he does.'
"Simon enthusiastically says, 'Me too. I think God made me the way I am for a reason.'
"The minister coolly states, 'I'm glad that, um, that your faith, uh, helps you deal with your, um, you know, your condition.'
"'That's not what I mean,' Simon states. 'I think I'm God's instrument. He's going to use me to carry out his plan.'
"Dumbfounded by Simon's confidence, the pastor says, 'It's wonderful to have faith, son, but let's not overdo it.' With that he waves for Simon to leave, shakes his head in disbelief, and whispers with an air of cynicism, 'God's instrument.'
"A short time later Simon is riding with his classmates in a school bus traveling down an icy road. Suddenly the bus driver veers to avoid a deer, loses control, and the bus plunges into an icy lake. Everyone in the front of the upright bus quickly evacuates out the door, but Simon and a handful of other students in the back of the bus are trapped as the bus begins to sink.
"Simon takes charge. He opens a window and commands his classmates to climb out. Last of all, Simon escapes through the window.
"In the hospital following the accident, Joe assures Simon that all the kids are all right. Simon asks, 'Did you see how the children listened to me because of the way I looked?'
"Joe, with tears in his eyes, replies, 'Yeah.'
"With satisfaction, Simon says, 'That window was just my size.'
"'Extra small,' Joe utters with a smile.
"A few seconds later, Simon dies, knowing that God used him. But what Simon doesn't know before he dies is that because of his unwavering faith, his friend Joe now believes in God.
"Some twenty years later, standing at Simon's gravestone, Joe says, 'I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice, not because of his voice or because he was the smallest person I ever met... but because he is the reason I believe in God. What faith I have, I owe to Simon Birch -- it is Simon who made me a believer'"
(Craig Brian Larson & Andre Zahn, Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching (Zondervan: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2003), 160-161. From a sermon by Eric Lenhart, Sunday -- "Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem" 8/13/2010)
Show DVD The Passion Of The Christ – The scene where we see the attitude of Jesus Christ in the Garden.
1. It’s an attitude of self-denial
a. The willingness to say “Yes God!” I will do good even if they persecute me for it.
2. It’s a servants attitude
a. A servant seeks to please His Lord and does not allow others to distract Him from doing what is right for His Master!
3. It’s a no revenge attitude!
a. It’s an attitude of giving mercy even when they make you suffer for doing good.
iii. Let me ask, “Is your attitude like Jesus? Or is you attitude about living this life for yourself!” – allowing your selfish desires to control you?