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We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.
— Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador
A LITTLE MORE
An interesting article appeared in the Wall Street Journal. It was an interview of six top executives, all of them making six-figure salaries. That means that they made somewhere between $100,000 and $1 million a year.
Now you are probably thinking , “If I made even $100,000 a year, I’d be in great shape. No worries, and no problems.”
But in the interview each was asked, “What is your greatest fear?” Each answered pretty much the same, using different words. Their greatest fear was that they would not have enough. When they were asked, “How much is enough?” they always answered, “a little more.”
SOURCE: Pastor Steve Dow in "The Parable of the Sower" on www.sermoncentral.com
Hal Niedzviecki in his book "We Want Some Too: Underground Desire and Reinvention of Mass Culture" - Has identified another type of culture that exists today which he calls "Lifestyle Culture" defined as "the triumph of our leisure lives over the things we are supposed to be paying attention too."
BY THE SEEDS YOU PLANT
"Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant."...
Jonathan Edwards wrote: “I suppose no one will doubt that some natural men do reach out to the evidence of the truth of the Christian religion on the basis of rational proofs or arguments. Doubtless Judas thought Jesus was the Messiah on the basis of things he saw and heard. Yet he was a devil all along. We read in John 2:23-25 that many believed in Christ’s name when they saw the miracles that he did. Yet Christ did not trust them. Simon the sorcerer believed when he saw the miracles and the signs which were done, yet he still remained bitter and in the bond of iniquity (Acts 8:13,23). So too we read of those who believe for awhile and were greatly affected, even joyfully receiving the word, yet their religious affections were not spiritual.”
A discerning commentator (Alexander Maclaren) writes: “The Parable of the Sower is both history and prophecy. It tells Christ’s own experience, and it foretells His servants’.”
"It's what each of us sows, and how, that gives to us character and prestige. Seeds of kindness, goodwill, and human understanding, planted in fertile soil, spring up into deathless friendships, big deeds of worth, and a memory that will not soon fade out. We are all sowers of seeds and let us never forget it"
Joseph Colebank II
WITH OUR ARMS ABOUT THEIR KNEES
“Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that…. The saving of souls, if a man has once gained love to perishing sinners and his blessed Master, wil be an all-absorbing passion to him. It will so carry him away, that he will almost forget himself in the saving of others…..
If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring the...
OUR WHITE STONE NAME
In the BBC reality show Monastery, a group of five men from diverse backgrounds voluntarily join a Benedictine monastery for a span of forty days. The five men don't have to assent to Christian beliefs, but they do have to respect and follow the monks' communal requirements--a strict rhythm of meals, silence, prayer times, and so on.
One of the stories focused on a man named Tony, a producer of soft-core pornography. After some time in the monastery, Tony felt torn: he wanted to keep his job, but he didn't want to lose the peace he was experiencing in the monastery. With two days left at the monastery, he shared his concerns with Brother Francis:
Tony: No, I am not going to give up my job. I am not going to sit in church all day and read the Bible. I need to live. I need to keep my lifestyle. So I'm just a little bit worried. Part of me wants to keep the whole thing alive and carry it through. And I know the minute I get out, it will fade.
Brother Francis: I want to give you something that I think will help with what you've just described... Vocation is about discovering who you really are and maybe what you should really be doing. And that is what we are trying to do here--discover who we really are. I want to give you this stone, this white stone. We have our Christian name, our family name. But we also have another name, and it's called our "white stone name." [Revelation 2:17] says, "Your new name is written on a white stone in heaven." I think our vocation is to find out what that name is, to find our white stone name.
After handing Tony the stone, Brother Francis places his hand on his head and speaks a word of blessing over him. Immediately after that exchange, the camera scans to a shot of Tony, outside in the dark, huddled on a bench, deeply affected by Brother Francis' fatherly words of hope and blessing.
Author John Sower comments on this scene from The Monastery:
"I believe Brother Francis...speaks to the heart of the fatherless generation. These are the sons and daughters who don't know their true name. They are searching for who they really are. In their search, they bring this question of identity to anyone who will listen...They are willing to look anywhere to find it."
Earlier in his book, John Sower had already described our crisis of fatherlessness:
"We are a generation seriously searching for Dad. Fatherlessness has become the new cultural norm. This story is being written into the lives of my generation. A story that can be heard in our songs, seen in our movies, read in our blogs. A story of grief and pain, of loneliness and rejection. A story that desperately needs to be heard."
[John Sower, Fatherless Generation (Zondervan, 2010), pp. 116-117, 12-13 | posted 6/13/2011]
"My own generation seemed just as quaint and misguided in its way. Raised in the fearful 50’s, we believed that freedom to fornicate, to use 4 letter words and possibly put a drop of LSD in the water supply would bring not only nirvana but also world peace. We had to experience the disappointments of sexual freedom to understand that it did not, in and of itself usher in paradise. It was not just the problem of sexually transmitted diseases that cooled the sexual revolution, but the discovery that sex without intimacy can be downright depressing. We had dealt with our guilt, but we had not dealt with our romanticism. People who tabulate theses things tell us that the typical sex-addict (is there such a person) spends an average of 24 hours a week exploring sex on line. Sexual perversions - nothing new, fill me, I’m lonely - sex is everywhere but not satisfying. We hunger for intimacy - sex slaves advertise online but soul mates are hard to find. Love crisis not a sex crisis. We blast our kids with sexual ideas and pictures then tell them no. Looking for love in all the wrong places. I wish we could go back to prearranged marriages. I have a 20 something daughter - "From No No’s to anything goes" - Erica Jong