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Illustration results for spiritual life

Contributed By:
Michael McCartney
 
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Tags: Parenting (add tag)
 
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Step Mom- The scenario is found at the end of the movie where she says things to her children that are meant to last the rest of their lives. She is dieing of cancer and she wants to leave them with words of comfort and principles for life. Moms on the go know that their faithful instruction makes a difference in their children's lives. This goes for their spiritual children and their natural children!

 
Contributed By:
Michael McCartney
 
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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.

 
Contributed By:
Austin Mansfield
 
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The apostles were a great example of the difficulties of loving one another, and Jesus knew it.

There’s a scene in the epic Franco Zefferelli movie, Jesus of Nazareth, in which Jesus arrives at the house of Matthew, the tax collector, for dinner as he told Matthew he would. Peter and the other disciples were trying to convince Jesus not to go, bringing up the arguments of that it wouldn’t look right for a rabbi to be in a sinner’s house, especially eating — sharing a meal.

Eating together was a very spiritual act; it went well beyond the notion of just nourishment. Think about our Eucharist — it is a remembrance of a meal of love offered by Jesus himself among his closest friends. Meals had deep emotional and spiritual connections among the participants.
So the other disciples did not want Jesus to mingle with the likes of Matthew, a tax collector who was banished from the temple and synagogues by the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders.

But Jesus didn’t care about appearances and besides, he came to save sinners, not the righteous.

So Peter decides not to go. He’s laying in the dark in his fishing boat by himself, feeling smug and proper for having not gone with Jesus to Matthew’s house. Then he gets the urge to follow after Jesus, and stands in the courtyard, his distaste for the celebration at Matthew’s house is clearly visible in the expression on his face.

There’s a huge party going on, and Jesus is sitting in the middle of the room. Someone calls out, “Teacher, tell us a story.”

So Jesus looks over at Matthew, his newest disciple, and over to Peter, who is now standing outside the doorway looking in. And Jesus starts telling the story of the Prodigal Son.

It the story of a young man who asks for his share of his father’s inheritance early, and go away and splurges all his money on debauchery. When he comes to his senses and returns home to his father, he is welcomed with open arms by the father, but his brother is offended by his father having anything to do with this son, much less throwing him such a lavish party.

But the father tells the complaining son that they had to celebrate, because his brother was lost but is now found, was dead but now lives.
As Jesus says those words, he’s staring directly at Peter. Tears fill Peter’s eyes and he comes into Matthew’s house to join the party.

 
Contributed By:
Joel Pankow
 
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THE SPIRITUAL ODD COUPLE

Often times we stand in awe of the fact that our Savior Jesus Christ was born into this sinful world and took on human flesh - born in a cattle stall! What a filthy place for God to be born! In the same way, then, shouldn’t we stand in awe at what the Holy Spirit does?
Do you remember the old show called the Odd Couple - with Felix and Oscar? One was a complete and ungracious slob while the other was a perfectionist and good cook. That’s how you might compare our relationship to God. Here we were, living as slobs in the filth of this world. But then the Holy Spirit moves into our homes, cleans us up, cooks our meals, and takes care of us.
The blood of Christ does not flow into our veins only if we say “please” or “thank you.” The Holy Spirit continues to give us our daily ...

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Contributed By:
Aubrey Vaughan
 
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Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

The film takes place three years after the onset of the Clone Wars; the noble Jedi knights are spread out across the galaxy leading a massive clone army in the war against the separatists. After Chancellor Palpatine is kidnapped, Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his former padawan, Anakin Skywalker, are dispatched to eliminate the evil General Grievous and rescue the chancellor. Meanwhile, Anakin’s friendship with the chancellor arouses suspicion in the Jedi order and proves dangerous to the Jedi knight himself as the chancellor turns out to be Sith lord, Darth Sidious who tempts Anakin to come over to the dark side, with the promise that the death of his wife, which he has constant dreams about, can be reversed. A tussle begins in Anakin’s heart over following the light and the Jedi order or stepping over to the dark side with the Sith lord Darth Sidious. Anakin succumbs to temptation; he steps out of the light and his whole character changes as he enters the dark side and becomes the evil Darth Vader.

Why am I telling you that fictional story? Because it’s a picture of how we are all prone to acts of darkness and how darkness entered into our world in the beginning. I want to share another story this time; it’s a real historical story about our ancestors, the first man called Adam and the first woman called Eve, who were serving and living in the presence of God, who is light and all that is good and perfect. Yet evil lurked in the shadows under the guise of a serpent. It was Satan (Lucifer), a fallen angel who wanted to be like God and who had been banished from God’s presence in heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14). Satan brought temptation and doubts before them both, with the promise they would be like God and the lie that they would not die. They succumbed to eat of the fruit that God forbade to eat (Gen 3:1-7). Adam and Eve succumbed just like Anakin to the dark side. As a result, darkness has entered into our world and our lives with separation from God becoming the norm, physical and spiritual death awaiting us and the world in utter darkness as evil prevails to this day.

 
Contributed By:
Ross Cochrane
 
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Tags: Heaven (add tag)
 
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HEREAFTER

Last night I watched a video called "HEREAFTER" with Matt Damon. It is a movie about people grappling with what happens to them after they die. Matt Damon plays the part of a reluctant Psychic who connects with people who have died by touching the hands of relatives. He relates what those who have died are saying. By the way, doing this is strictly prohibited in the Bible (Deuteronomy 18:10-14).

The thing that really strikes me about Genesis 25 is a clear reference to the HEREAFTER. Genesis 25:7 says "Abraham lived for 175 years, and he died at a ripe old age..." That's an understatement! 175 is almost OVERRIPE but I think the idea here is that it was a fruitful life because it goes on to say that he "lived a long and satisfying life. He breathed his last and JOINED HIS ANCESTORS IN DEATH."

Think about that statement for a moment. Genesis 25:8 (NASB) - "gathered to his people." Henry Morris in his book "the Genesis Record", points out that this is an interesting phrase since NONE of his ancestors were buried in the cave of Machpelah where he was buried, so it can't refer to the actual BURIAL PLACE.

It has to be a reference to LIFE AFTER DEATH! Do "HIS PEOPLE" refer to those who died, from Adam down to him, believing in God? Are "his people" believers, the believing line through the line of Seth? I think so. God is creating a scarlet thread of redemption down through the pages of the Old Testament that will eventually end up with the birth of Christ. He is creating a spiritual line that extends down even further.

What makes this statement even more compelling as a reference to the HEREAFTER is that nineteen hundred years later, the place where believers are said to go to when they die is actually described as "ABRAHAM'S BOSOM" (Luke 16:22). We will be with Abraham, the father of those who believe (Romans 4:9-13).

 
Contributed By:
Ross Cochrane
 
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WHEN PRAYER STIRS UP A CAN OF WORMS

Some of the questions addressed in the TV show called "CAN OF WORMS" are "Is porn a normal, healthy part of adult life?" 52% of Austalians said "No!" "Is marriage necessary anymore?" 78% of Australians said "Yes!" and 68% said that gay people also have a right to marry.

Three guests, a studio audience and people from all over the world find out what Australia really thinks, especially controversial subjects such as political correctness and personal values. "Do Australians swear too much? Is the burqa out of place in Australia? Is it OK to spy on your kids online?" Each question is designed to open up a CAN OF WORMS. No absolute values. No right or wrong answers.

To open a can of worms means "to inadvertently create a host of new problems while trying to solve one." The idea is that once you open a can of worms it is impossible to stop them from trying to escape.

Way back in Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve sinned they OPENED A CAN OF WORMS. Their actions released a host of IRREVERSIBLE PROBLEMS and COMPLICATIONS into the world that only God could resolve. As long as the "can" remained sealed through obedience to God, there was no harm, but once it was opened it set off a chain reaction of events with totally unexpected and complex consequences that irrevocably changed our world. It's called SIN.

Just because God answers my prayers doesn't mean I won't experience difficulties or that I won't feel out of my depth. Everytime I pray, something in the spiritual atmosphere of this world is STIRRED UP as God intervenes to deal with the CAN OF WORMS created by our sin.

Will I try to adjust the plans of God in my life? Prayer releases the promises of God, but am I really willing for God to answer the deepest prayers of my life when I don't know WHERE IT WILL LEAD? Who knows what could happen? UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES that only He can foresee, IRREVOCABLE PROBLEMS and COMPLICATIONS that only He can resolve? A MINE FIELD to navigate where only He can lead?

The believing line of descendents from Abraham carry the promises of the Covenant. The Messiah Jesus will come from this line, and in fulfilling this promise the world will be IRREVOCABLY CHANGED. A battle begins, and is waged in the hearts of men and women to this very day.

Romans 8:28 (NLT) assures me "that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them." When prayer stirs up a can of worms, I am unable to deal with it, BUT GOD CAN. He can sort out the mess.

Somehow only the Lord Jesus Christ can deal with the consequences of my sin, no matter how complicated, twisted and out of control things have become. It may mean He does things a little differently to our expectations and it may cut across our cultural norms and look totally upside down to us, but He knows what He is doing. He is the only WAY, TRUTH AND LIFE (John 14:6). The invitation is always to TRUST in Him.

 
Contributed By:
Michael McCartney
 
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THE KING

What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase, “The king is dead - long live the king!”? It is an historical phrase coined in France and said after the death of a monarch through the streets and the countryside of their realm.

Phil Morgan recalls:

"Not too long ago I watched part of a documentary on ABC Television which traced the history of the Royal Family - the House of Windsor. In that program they recounted the passing away of King George VI. In 1952 the sad word went forth from London . . . 'THE KING IS DEAD.' King George VI had died in his sleep at the age of 56. He was somewhat of a private man, in comparison with others who’ve held the throne, but he was greatly respected and admired. His reign had carried him through the rigours of World War 2, the election of a socialist government, and the dissolution of much of the British Empire. His tired heart gave way. All across Britain, people flocked to churches to worship, to pray, and to seek comfort and hope."

I guess as I think about this phrase “The King is Dead” I think of Elvis Presley’s death: I still recall the day that it was announced on August 16, 1977 that the king of rock and roll was dead.

It stopped everyone in there tracks that day. It was my first summer after graduating. I was working as a laborer in Pittsburgh, Pa. hanging out with the crazy five plus one. The news hit that morning and everyone seemed stunned many in shock and grief. The King was dead. We talked about that night at the place we all hung out at “The old ice cream parlor.” I think for some of us teen in the prime of life we realized that living legends could die. There was the discussion about death and life after death and living your mark in history around the tables. The king was dead but we were all full of life and vigor.

What was Elvis legacy? Did he die a Christian? Many knew that he grew up in an AG Church his mom was an active member at her Assembly of God church. What about Elvis?
Article on the life of Elvis:

Elvis knew that God was God and he wasn't. 'He didn't like being called 'The King', says Ray Walker of the Gospel group The Jordanaires that backed Elvis up on many of his hit songs. "The 'king of rock 'n' roll' was one thing, but not 'The King'." He said one time, 'There's only one king, and that's Jesus Christ.' He'd be appalled by the Church of Elvis. He knew who he was. He wasn't fooled." (click here to listen the Jordanaires singing Gospel.)

There are other accounts from the colleagues of Elvis where he would say, "Im not the king, Jesus Christ is the king." He also said it in Vegas.

Elvis has a step brother that became a Christian and he reports that Elvis believed in Jesus. His step brother, David Stanley said, "Elvis read a lot of books, The Impersonal Life, the Shroud of Turin, endless, but he always went back to the Bible."

Elvis had another step-brother, Rick Stanley, who today is a Baptist Evangelist that has spoken in over 4,000 churches. Rick Stanley has written a book, Caught in the Trap where he highlights many of the spiritual events and struggles in Elvis' life. Stanley recalls when Elvis was in Las Vegas, he asked Evangelist Rex Humbard and his wife to be backstage with him. Elvis dedicated "How Great Thou Art" to Humbard that night. It was then that Elvis knelt down to pray with Humbard and recommitted his life to Christ. Elvis was talking about Jesus being the Truth the night before he died. It was Rex Humbard that conducted Elvis' funeral.

David Stanley says that fame caused Elvis to be conflicted abo...

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Contributed By:
Tim Olson
 
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There’s a new "reality" TV show on Fox Network called "Temptation Island" that is the subject of discussion these days. Many people are very upset about it and various groups are fighting against it.

Temptation Island is a short-order unscripted series in which four unmarried couples travel to the Caribbean to test and explore the strength of their relationship. Once on the island, the couples are introduced to eligible singles and then separated from their partners until the final day of their stay. The object for the couples is to see if they love each other enough to overcome temptation. The object for the singles is to see if they can tempt the couples to be unfaithful. The object for Fox TV is to make a lot of money off people who can’t resist the temptation to watch such garbage. (Are people watching it? Yes. More than 16 million people found the debut of Fox’s reality series "Temptation Island" irresistible -- the network’s biggest audience ever for a Wednesday series debut. )

[end, or use following paragraph also.]

The object of this illustration is to point out a similarity between this "reality" T...

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