Illustration results for Beginning
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 »
I want to read to you the opening story from David Platt's book "The Radical Question" (Multnomah Press).
Imagine a scene that took place in Asia not so long ago:
A room in an ordinary house, dimly lit, all the blinds on the windows closed. Twenty leaders from churches in the region sit quietly in a circle on the floor, their Bibles open. They speak in hushed tones or not at all. Some still glisten with sweat; others' clothes and shoes are noticeably dusty. They have been walking or riding bicycles since early morning when they left distant villages to get here.
Whenever a knock is heard or a suspicious sound drifts in, everyone freezes while a burly tough-looking man gets up to check things out.
These men and woman have gathered in secret, arriving intentionally at different times throughout the day so as not to draw attention. In this country it is illegal for Christians to come together like this. If caught, the people here could lose their land, their jobs, their families, even their lives.
I was in that dimly light room that day, a visitor from America. I huddled next to an interpreter, who helped me understand their stories as they began to share.
The tough-looking man--our "head of security"--was first to speak up. But as he spoke, his intimidating appearance quickly gave way to reveal a tender heart.
"Some of the people in my church have been pulled away by a cult," he said. Tears welled up in his eyes. "We are hurting. I need God's grace to lead my church through these attacks."
The cult that had been preying on his church is known for kidnapping Christians, taking them to isolated locations, and torturing them, my interpreter explained. Many brothers and sisters in the area would never tell the good news again. At least not with words. Their tongues had been cut out.
Someone once wrote, "When God is going to do something wonderful, He begins with difficulty. If it is going to be something very wonderful, He begins with impossibility!"
GIVING BEGETS GIVING
Leadership Magazine carried a story about four young men, Bible College students, who were renting a house together. One Saturday morning someone knocked on their door. And when they opened it, there stood this bedraggled-looking old man. His eyes were kind of marble-ized, and he had a silvery stub of whiskers on his face. His clothes were ragged and torn. His shoes didn’t match. In fact, they were both for the same foot. And he carried a wicker basket full of unappealing vegetables that he was trying to sell.
The boys felt sorry for him and bought some of his vegetables just to help him out. Then he went on his way. But from that time on, every Saturday he appeared at their door with his basket of vegetables. As the boys got to know him a little bit better, they began inviting him in to visit a while before continuing on his rounds.
They soon discovered that his eyes looked marble-ized not because of drugs or alcohol, but because of cataracts. They learned that he lived just down the street in an old shack. They also found out that he could play the harmonica, that he loved to play Christian hymns, and that he really loved God. So every Saturday they would invite him in, and he would play his harmonica and they would sing Christian hymns together.
They became good friends, and the boys began trying to figure out ways to help him. They finally collected a bunch of clothes and secretly left it all on his doorstep, no note attached or anything. The following Saturday morning, the story says, right in the middle of all their singing and praising, he suddenly said to them, "God is so good!" And they all agreed, "Yes, God is so good."
He went on, "You know why he is so good?" They said, "Why?"
He said, "Because yesterday, when I got up and opened my door, there were boxes full of clothes and shoes and coats and gloves. Yes, God is so good!" And the boys smiled at each other and chimed in, "Yes, God is so good."
He went on, "You know why He is so good?" They answered, "You already told us why. What more?" He said, "Because I found a family who could use those things and I gave them all away."
ON TOP OF THE FENCEPOST
Alex Haley, the author of "Roots," had an unusual picture hanging on his office wall. It was a picture of a turtle on top of a fence post. When asked, "Why is that there?" Alex Haley answered, "Every time I write something significant, every time I read my words & think that they are wonderful, & begin to feel proud of myself, I look at the turtle on top of the fence post & remember that he didn’t get there on his own. He had help."
That is the basis of thankfulness - to remember th...
At night no one would see him (Nicodemus). At night he would avoid awkward questions from the other religious leaders. At night he could spend time with Jesus without anyone knowing. If he could speak with Jesus at night when no one was around, maybe he could begin a relationship with Jesus without having to make any real changes. He could follow Jesus without it impacting his job. In fact, his friends and family wouldn’t even have to know. He could talk to Jesus at night and quietly make a decision in his heart to believe in Jesus; that way it wouldn’t disrupt his comfortable and established life. That sounds like a lot of fans I know. Fans are happy to follow Jesus as long as that doesn’t require any significant changes or have negative implications. Here is the reality that Nicodemus is about ready to have impressed on him: There is no way to follow Jesus without him interfering with your life. Following Jesus will cost you something. Following Jesus will always cost you something.
Kyle Idleman, "Not a Fan" (p. 30)
Dr. Adlai Naidoo
When God wants to do something wonderful, He begins with a difficulty,
When God wants to do something spectacular, He begins with an impossibility!!!
Dr. Robert McKenzie
WHY WE SHOULD ALL BE NICE...YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN IT MAY BE GOODBYE
"When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, "I wish you enough." May I ask what that means?"
He began to smile. "That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.
"When we said ’I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them," he continued and then turning toward me he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory:
" I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough"Hellos" to get you through the final "Goodbye."
He then began to sob and walked away.
**I WISH YOU ALL ENOUGH**
THE KEY TO HAPPINESS
Gratitude is nothing less than the key to happiness.
For this penetrating insight into gratefulness, I am grateful to Dennis Prager, author of the shrewd and perceptive "Happiness is a Serious Problem."
"There is a 'secret to happiness,'" Prager writes, "and it is gratitude. All happy people are grateful, and ungrateful people cannot be happy. We tend to think that it is being unhappy that
leads people to complain, but it is truer to say that it is complaining that leads to people becoming unhappy. Become grateful and you will become a much happier person."
This is a keen observation, and it helps explain why the Judeo-Christian tradition places such emphasis on thanking God. The liturgy is filled with expressions of gratitude. "It is good to give thanks to the Lord," begins the 92nd Psalm.
Why? Because God needs our gratitude? No: because we need it.
Learning to be thankful, whether to God or to other peo...
Jesus infuriated the Jewish leaders because He claimed to be the “stone which the builders rejected.” This is a reference to the building of Solomon’s Temple. It took 30,000 workmen over seven years to complete the temple. According to I Kings 6 all the stones were quarried far away from the building site, so there was no sound of hammering heard there. Jewish tradition says one day the building superintendent saw an unusual stone being delivered. Because it was cut in an odd shape, he thought it was flawed. He had it rolled away into the Kidron Valley where it lay untouched and unnoticed. Years later, the builder sent word to the quarry that he was ready for the main corner stone. The quarry master came and reported, “Why, I had that stone delivered years ago. When they began to search they discovered the discarded stone in the valley was the main cornerstone. It was covered with debris and moss. It took many men working hard to raise the massive stone out of the valley. When they raised it and set it, it fit perfectly! The chief cornerstone was the very rock they rejected.
According to psychologist William Damon, respect for the parent who exercises proper authority leads to respect for legitimate social institutions and to respect for law. In his book The Moral Child, Damon writes, “The child’s respect for parental authority sets the direction for civilized participation in the social order when the child later begins assuming the rights and responsibilities of full citizenship.” Damon calls this respect “the single most important legacy that comes out of the child’s relations with the parent.”
Michael G. Moriarty, The Perfect 10: The Blessings of Following God’s Commandments in a Post Modern World, p. 112