Illustration results for Remembering
Staff Picks of the Week:
Memorial Day 2013
Memorial Day 2013 Preaching Bundle »
Greater Love Video Illustration » Everlasting God Worship Music Video »
Sabbath Sabbath Preaching Bundle »
1 Outta 7 Video Illustration » Before The Throne… Worship Music Video »
The movie industry has made some pretty creative attempts at explaining conflict with god. For those of you that remember the movie “Caddyshack,” there is a scene toward the end of the movie in which a golfing enthusiast priest is playing the round of his life. As he makes his way around the links, the weather turns.
The movie depicts the scene as a battle between this priest in search of nirvana through a golf game and a insensitive and spiteful god that would thwart the priest’s quest for that perfect game. The scene ends with the priest defiantly raising his putter to the violent heavens and being struck down by a well-placed bolt of lighting.
I’m sure many of you have seen the movie “Forrest Gump.” Well, there is a scene in this movie about man’s conflict with god as well. In this movie, the character “Lt. Dan,” who lost both of his legs in a battle in a Vietnamese jungle, and was saved by none other than Forrest Gump, decides its time to have it out with god.
Forrest, by this time, is trying to make it on his own as a shrimp boat captain. Lt. Dan joins Forrest as his first mate. The two men manage only to salvage tires, license plates, and toilet seats from the ocean’s bottom. After several failed attempts, Lt. Dan asks Forrest, “Where’s this god of yours?”
As soon as Lt. Dan asked the question, god arrived in the form of a destructive hurricane. As the storm rages, we find Lt. Dan strapped to the top of the mast, next to an American flag, shaking his fist at god, daring god to try to destroy the boat, and cursing like a sailor. When the storm subsides, Lt. Dan and Forrest’s boat was the only one still afloat. Since no one else could harvest the shrimp, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company became a multi-million dollar industry. A few minutes later in the movie we find Lt. Dan at peace with the world. He had met god face to face, so the filmmaker would have us believe, and won.
Let me share with you one last example, one that I saw recently. The scene is found in the season finale of the popular television show “The West Wing.” President Bartlett, played by Martin Sheen, faces his major conflict with god.
The scene finds President Bartlett alone in the National Cathedral following the funeral of his secretary and long-time friend. The President orders his chief of staff to tell the Secret Service agents outside to secure the perimeter so he won’t be disturbed. After a moment or two of silence, Bartlett does battle with god.
Bartlett begins to curse god for, as he saw it, causing his friend to die in a car accident. He curses god and blames him for the other tragedies that have occurred up to this point, during his presidency. He defiantly lights a cigarette, takes a few puffs, and then tosses the cigarette to the floor, crushing it under his shoe as he gives god a dirty look.
The producers of the show set the scene the way they did in order to try to get the audience to feel sorry for Sheen’s character and respect his independence and defiance of god. It certainly didn’t work for me. In fact, I was so offended by the scene; I doubt I’ll watch the show again.
In all likelihood, and I think I’m on safe ground with this assumption, the producers of the shows I just described have spent little time studying James’ letter. From what we see often times in the media, conflict with god is portrayed as something god desires and causes.
More often than not, we find man as the hero in the conflict and god being the weak, unknowable force. In the media, when man comes to terms with god, it is more often than not due to man’s strength and god’s capitulation, not as a result of man’s submission to God’s will. Hollywood does not see conflict with God the same way James does, or the way we should.
If you go on-line and read the transcript of this portion of this morning’s message, you will see that when I describe these various scenes, I use a little “g” when I make mention of God. The reason is simple. In depicting man’s conflict with God, Hollywood shows quite brazenly that they have no idea who the God of the Bible is.
This morning, as we study God’s Word, we’re going to see what conflict with God looks like from God’s perspective, not man’s.
Several years ago in the movie Hoosiers, Gene Hackman played the part of Norman Dale, a former college coach with a tainted past who was hired to coach a rural high-school basketball team from Hickory, Indiana. Coach Dale leads the team all the way to the state finals. On the day of the semifinals, the team arrives at Butler Field House, the huge inner-city arena where they will play in just a couple of hours. When the players enter the arena, their jaws fall slack and their eyes open wide. Gawking at the seats, the stand-alone goals, the suspended scoreboard, and the lights, they are awestruck and intimidated.
Coach Dale instructs one of his players to take a tape measure and determine the distance between the free-throw line and the goal.
“What’s the distance?” he asks.
“Fifteen feet,” the player says.
The coach then tells the smallest player on the team to climb on the shoulders of the taller player so they can measure the goal. “How high is it?” he asks.
“Ten feet,” the player says.
Coach Dale says, “I believe you’ll find these are the exact same measurements as our gym back in Hickory.”
The team members nervously laugh and everybody begins to relax. As they exit the gym, Coach Dale turns to his assistant and whispers, “Sure is big isn’t it!”
The challenges that lay ahead for the church in the 21st century are big as well.
It is important to remember that when measured by the rule of God’s Word, weather in a large metropolitan city or a small rural community the ministry and purpose of the church has not changed.
In the movie, Remember the Titans, the coach pushed the students to the brink of their abilities. Some accused him of trying to ruin them and break their spirits. But by pushing them - he made them stronger. It prepared them for a difficult season of football - and in the end they went undefeated and won the championship. If he hadn’t pushed them, they would not have pushed themselves. A team without discipline ends up weak and soft - unprepared for battle. And so, like a coach that pushes his players - God pushes us for our good. People can blame God for being too extreme all they want. And they will. “God took my son - so I won’t come to church. He told me I was going to hell. I can’t believe in a God that would punish in hell. He told me I couldn’t divorce my lazy husband. I can’t follow a Lord like that. That’s too extreme. ” But the Lord continues to push. Why? Because the stakes with God are not just winning a state championship. An eternity of either bliss or fire is at stake.
I DIDN'T RECOGNIZE HIM
In the classic "Twilight Zone" episode from 1960, "The Howling Man," an American on a walking trip through central Europe gets caught in a raging storm. Staggering through the blinding rain, he chances upon an imposing medieval castle. It is a hermitage for a brotherhood of monks. The reclusive monks reluctantly take him in.
Later that night, the American discovers a cell with a man locked inside. An ancient wooden staff bolts the door. The prisoner claims he’s being held captive by the "insane" head monk, Brother Jerome. He pleads for the American to release him.
The prisoner’s kindly face and gentle voice win him over. The American confronts Brother Jerome, who declares that the prisoner is actually none other than Satan, "the father of lies," held captive by the Staff of Truth, the one barrier he cannot pass.
This incredible claim convinces the American that Jerome is indeed mad. As soon as he gets the chance, he releases the prisoner—who immediately transforms into a hideous, horned demon and vanishes in a puff of smoke!
The stunned American i...
I remember a few years ago, that the Disney Channel presented a movie called “Flight of the Navigator”. It was a Sci-Fi movie where a young boy is abducted by an alien spacecraft. It seems that this spacecraft was piloted by a computer generated being that consisted only of one long mechanical arm with a large eye at the end of it. This spacecraft had somehow been damaged and needed some place to store its memory banks before it lost all of its star maps. The alien had attempted to fill the mind of the captive boy with all of the information contained in its computer systems but found out that the information was “leaking” from the boys mind as fast as they could put it in.
I believe that this is the same problem that we have in our own minds this very morning! We come to church, sit before the preacher, or even study the Word of God in our own study time and then we find that we can’t remember most of what we read or heard because our mind had a pinhole in it that let all the information leak out!
Remember the movie, The Field of Dreams. A farmer made a baseball field in a Iowa cornfield. And one of the scenes of the movie shows cars lined up coming to the field.
Isaiah picture people from every nation streaming to the Light of Israel, which is Jesus Christ. The Lord address spiritual Israel and says, “Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look about you; All assemble and come to you.”
We can become distracted and look away from the goal of becoming like Christ. If you saw the movie Chariots of Fire, then maybe you remember the great runner Abraham. He had won so many races. His coach held up such discipline. But he finally lost one of the races because he looked to the side. Just as he was about to finish the race he looked to see where the competitor was. His coach said to him, that look cost you the race. He was not single minded on the finish and the prize that lay ahead.
That is similar to what Paul is calling our attention to here. He is calling us to be single minded toward the goal of becoming like Christ. Yes there are many things that are good. But there is only one thing that is really best. Those are the things that count for eternity. We make our lives more like Jesus.
Last year (2002), A&E produced a made-for-TV movie entitled Shackleton: The Greatest Survival Story of All Time. It is the account of the British explorer Ernest Shackleton and the 27 men with him who attempted to cross the continent of Antarctica. Temperatures around the South Pole can reach as low as 100 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Shackleton advertized for men to join him on the expedition with these words: “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.” But one problem after another plagued them. Their ship , the Endurance, was caught in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea for ten months. With extraordinary endurance and great suffering from the cold and hunger, they left the ship and finally reached Elephant Island. With all hope gone of accomplishing their goal, Shackleton set his mind to the greater challenge before him — bringing his men home alive. Shackleton and two other men endured a hazardous journey in an open boat across the world’s worst seas, and a hazardous three day climb over an arctic mountain range in order to reach a whaling camp and find help to rescue his men. In his absence, the men had made a crude hut of rocks with the life boats on top as a roof. For months they waited in that squalid hovel waiting for their leade...
Do you remember the feelings of disappointment Dorothy and her friends had when the Great and Magnificent Wizard of Oz was exposed behind the curtain? Do you remember that scene? The Wizard spoke with much sound and fury, but seemed to have little substance once the curtain was pulled back. Did Jesus turn out to be that way? No way – no one pulled the curtain back on him. In fact, he ripped in right in two. When Christ died, the curtain in the temple separating the people from the Most Holy Place, which represented the presence of the Lord was torn from top to bottom. God and His eternal love and forgiveness were made accessible to man in Christ!
Sermon Central Staff
THE PARENT TRAP: THE JOY OF HAVING A DAD
Anyone ever seen the original The Parent Trap with Hayley Mills done in 1961? Have you seen the remake from 1998? In the remake Lindsay Lohan plays the twins and Dennis Quaid is the father. If you know the story then you’ll remember that identical twins, separated at birth by their parent’s divorce meet 11 years later at camp and change places. They want to meet the parent they’ve never had.
As Annie James, Lindsay flies home to her father who doesn’t expect anything out of the ordinary. Their conversation goes like this.
She runs to embrace him with a big smile, saying, "Dad! Finally!" The father tells her he missed her and a lot had been happening. Annie responds, "A lot’s been happening to me too, Dad. I mean, I feel I’m practically a new woman!"
In the car Quaid notices she can’t stop looking at him and asks, "What? Did I cut myself shaving?"
Annie answers, "No. It’s just seeing you for the first time. I mean, you know, in so long."
As they drive Annie discusses the camp, ending almost every sentence with "Dad". He asks, "Why do you keep saying ’Dad’ at the end of every sentence?"
Annie answers, "I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was doing it, Dad. Sorry, Dad." They both laugh. "Do you want to know why I keep saying ’Dad’? The truth?"
The father says, "Because you missed your old man so much, right?"
"Exactly. It’s because in my whole life—I mean, you know, for the past eight weeks—I was never able to say the word ’Dad’. Never. Not once. And if you ask me, a dad is an irreplaceable person in a girl’s life. Think about it. There’s a whole day devoted to celebrating fathers. Just imagine someone’s life without a father. Never buying a Father’s Day card. Never sitting on their father’s lap. Or being able to say ’Hi, Dad,’ or, ’What’s up, Dad?’ or, ’Catch you later, Dad.’ I mean, a baby’s first words are always ’Dada,’ aren’t they?"
The father asks, "Let me see if I get this. You missed being able to call me ’Dad’?"
Annie answers, "Yeah, I really have, Dad."
(Source: The Parent Trap 1998 Disney, IMDb.com. From a sermon by Charles Wilkerson, Who’s Your Daddy, 11/10/2009)