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In the musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” Tevye, a man devoted to tradition, finds his thinking challenged when his oldest daughter wants to marry for love, instead of having her marriage arranged by her parents. It had never occurred to him that one would marry for love, and one night he cannot help but ask his own wife the question (in song, of course!): “Do You Love Me?”
T: Golde, do you love me?
G: Do I what?
T: Do you love me?
G: You’re a fool!
T: I know! But do you love me?
G: Do I love him? For twenty five years I’ve cooked for him, cleaned for him, starved with him. Twenty five years my bed is his. If that’s not love - what is?
There are times when going through the motions just doesn’t cut it. There are even times when a commitment to “going through the motions” can cause us to miss what’s most important. For 25 years, Tevye and Golde had been going through the motions of a loving marriage, without ever thinking about whether they loved one another or not.
Often in reflection, what we have feared most wasn’t all that bad.
One of my all time favorite TV shows, for having good moral lessons as plot lines, was the "Andy Griffith Show." There was an episode where young Opie was having his "Milk nickel" bullied away from him and could not afford any milk for lunch. "You wouldn’t want me to get weak bones?" Well, Andy found out about the trouble and looked to find a way to help Opie without making Opie ashamed or dependent of his fathers help all of the time. In itself this is a good lesson to parents, children must learn, and earn, some things on their own in order for them to fully appreciate it later in life, but that is not our point in this illustration. Andy began to tell Opie about the time that Odie Snitch stole Andy’s fishing hole away from him when he was Opie’s age. Young Andy had to eventually face Odie Snitch to rid himself of his awful feeling of being "Lilly livered" and found that a punch in the nose didn’t really hurt when taken for a good cause and that bullies often can’t back up their words with deeds. Opie took the words to heart and faced down his extorsionest the next day. Opie came away with a "Bute" of a shiner, but he didn’t even feel the black eye because the sweet feeling of the loosing his trouble and regaining what was rightfully his.
The point, you may ask? No trouble is as bad as it once seemed when completed than it did when we first dreaded and feared it.
One of my favorite movies of all time is one called, "Anne of Green Gables." The main character is a small girl who, through tragic circumstances, finds herself living in a foster home. The foster parents turn out to be a huge blessing to Anne, (that’s "Anne with an ’e’," if you please), but she still faced difficulties as she grew up.
She made a statement once about the need to have a like-minded companion; it is a statement that caught my attention. It was something like this:
"What I need is a really good friend--a bosom buddy. You know...a KINDRED SPIRIT with whom I can share my inmost soul."
We all need such a friend, don’t you think?
Poor Little Orphan Annie! It’s "a hard-knock life" for her and her friends. All the hard chores, the abuse, and the neglect only add insult to injury to these poor little girls already carrying the weight of abandonment.
But if you’ve seen the musical "Annie," either on stage or screen, you know there is a happy ending for the cute, little, misunderstood, red-haired orphan girl. After being invited to spend the Christmas holiday with Billionaire Oliver Warbucks, and after a few shenanigans from her caregiver at the orphanage, Annie learns that her parents are dead and that Mr. Warbucks would like to adopt her. The brightness in Annie’s eyes and the bounce in her step change dramatically when she learns she will be adopted. Why? Because she not only will leave behind the hard-knock life of the orphanage, she will also live in incredible wealth, and, most importantly, live with someone who has chosen her to be his. She celebrates the promise of Mr. Warbucks singing "I Don’t Need Anything But You."
Annie: "Yesterday was plain awful"
Warbucks: "You can say that again"
Annie: "Yesterday was plain awful"
Both: "But that’s not now, that’s then"
Annie realizes that she’s living on another level.
God wants you to live on another level. He’s well aware that some of our yesterdays are just plain awful. We may not face the tyranny of a Miss Hannigan, but we have our moments where life is a bit hard-knock…
Sickness brings pain and death brings grief.
The ruthless acts of a few terrorists bring us fear.
One thug’s crime is o...
A. Todd Coget
STAY THE COURSE
The 2000 movie, The Patriot starred Mel Gibson as Benjamin Martin, a reluctant Revolutionary War hero.
Martin has an 18-year-old son named Gabriel who is eager to join the conflict.
Gabriel’s sentiments for his country are revealed by one pastime: throughout the first half of the movie, Gabriel diligently repairs an American flag he found in the dirt.
Tragically, Gabriel becomes a casualty of the war, and, suffering deep loss, his father Benjamin Martin appears ready to quit the cause.
While Martin is grieving at the side of his dead son, Colonel Harry Burwell, a Continental officer, attempts to persuade Martin not to quit.
He recognizes Martin has great influence with the soldiers and his departure would demoralize the troops.
As the scene opens, the colonel says, "Stay the course, Martin. Stay the course."
Grief-stricken, Martin responds, "I’ve run the course."
Resigned to the outcome, the colonel informs the troops and they ride on, leaving Martin behind.
As Martin loads his son’s personal effects on his horse, though, he finds the American flag Gabriel had successfully restored.
As the dejected soldiers ride away, certain they have seen the last of Benjamin Martin, Martin appears in the distance, carrying the flag.
With determination in his posture, he rides upright in his saddle, face like flint, the Stars and Stripes whipping in the wind.
Martin has been a symbol of perseverance for the men, and there is a triumphant shout of both relief and excitement from the once-weary troops as they see the patriot crest the hill.
Whether leaders at home, school, work or church, we must never underestimate the power of our influence to demoralize or to rally others.
People are watching. Soldiers look to officers.
Children look to parents.
We must stay the course.
["The Patriot": Perseverance despite Heartbreak, Citation: The Patriot, rated R, Columbia Pictures, Centropolis Entertainment; Executive Producers, William Fay, Ute Emmerich, Roland Emmerich; submitted by David Slagle, Lawrenceville, Georgia]
(Elapsed time: 2:13:09 to 2:15:50; Content: The Patriot is rated R for graphic violence. There is no nudity. )
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)
OUR GREATEST DESIRE
In the first Harry Potter book (and movie), Harry stumbles on a mirror in Hogwarts castle. It is the mirror of Erised. Erised, of course, is the word "desire" written backwards, as if seen in a mirror.
This magical mirror shows the one looking into it whatever they most desire. In Harry’s case, he sees his parents who died right after he was born. In Harry’s heart, his greatest desire is to see the parents he has never known.
When we look into the Perfect Mirror of the Law, we see our greatest desire. We see our failures and our shortcomings. And we see our need for a Saviour, who is Jesus Christ our Lord.
He is our greatest desire!
Rent-a-Kid" starring Leslie Nielson. The opening segment shows a dream sequence. Little Molly is an orphan who just gets adopted. Her new family is extremely wealthy and has everything a child could want materialistically speaking. They even have their own merry-go-round in the house. The new parents tell Molly she can have anything or go anywhere in the house she pleases. She’s just not allowed to go into this one room. It’s off limits! Molly let’s curiosity get the best of her and opens the door. On the other side she finds it is an exit to the outside with her new parents standing by a car waiting to take her back to the orphanage. Her parents are ta...
Video Clip: Shrek 2 - Start: Ch.4-0:12:34 End:0:14:58 = 2:24
Shrek and Fiona have been summoned to meet Fiona’s parents - the King and Queen of Far, Far Away. The people of this land think they are going to see a beautiful couple but instead are confronted by ogre’s. Their reaction may be much like our own when we are confronted with someone who is different than us.
THE IN-LAWS: "ARE YOU A PRAYING MAN?"
Sheldon Kornpett was a quiet, reserved man with a successful dental practice in Manhattan, that is, until he met his future in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. Vince Ricardo. Sheldon’s daughter was soon to be married to their son, so Sheldon’s wife hosted a dinner party at their house to meet the parents of her daughter’s fiancé. This is the setup, of course, for the 1979 film, The In-Laws, in which Alan Arkin plays the docile, subdued dentist and Peter Falk plays the wild and goofy Vince Ricardo.
On the day after the party, Vince drops by Sheldon’s office and tells him that he is actually a CIA operative and that he has secretly robbed the U.S. Mint of a number of engraving plates. He explains that it was a necessary action if he was to crack a worldwide plot against the economy of the United States. He had to act on his own, he says, because the CIA wouldn’t go along with him. Not only that, Vince says, but he left one of the stolen engraving plates in Sheldon’s house the night before. As you might expect, when Sheldon arrives home that evening, the Feds are there to meet him.
But Sheldon doesn’t go into the house; he turns his car around and goes the other way. He calls Vince, and, before he knows it, he and his daughter’s future father-in-law are in a somewhat unstable plane, flying over a vast expanse of water, headed for Central America as part of Vince’s plan to save the United States from financial ruin.
When they arrive, they fall into disfavor with the local dictator, a General Garcia, and they wind up in front of a firing squad. The General enjoys having these Americans at his mercy, and he struts around in front of them, trying to torment them with their fate. This works with the dentist, of course, but the Peter Falk character isn’t shaken a bit. I remember the General, prancing in his black, high gloss, knee-high boots, wielding a riding crop in one hand -- I remember him walking up to the Alan Arkin character, tilting his head to capture his prisoner’s line of vision, and saying: "Tell me, sir: Are you a praying man?"
It’s the question I want us to consider today. Are you a praying man? Are you a woman who prays? Is prayer a part of your practice?