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Henry Blackaby in "Experiencing God" words it this way:
The crisis of belief
An encounter with God requires faith.
Encounters with God are God-sized.
What you do in response to God's revelation (invitation to the task) reveals what you believe about God.
True faith requires action (page 135).
Sermon Central Staff
HISTORY OF SPAM
In the 1930s, Jay Hormel noticed that there was some perfectly good, though not necessarily desirable, pork-shoulder meat going to waste in his meat-packing plant. So he, being the entrepreneur that he was, came up with the idea of processing that meat with a little ham and squeezing it into a can and selling it as an affordable meat product under the Hormel brand as Spam.
It was very popular. During WW II Spam became a fixture in the canned K-rations for GIs. By the end of the war the military and purchased had shipped 150 million pounds of Spam. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, recalling the Nazi bombing blitz of England, spoke of Spam as a "wartime delicacy."
You would think that Spam was the food of last resort. Something you ate because you had nothing else to eat… but I remember my mother frying it up and serving it as breakfast meat or for sandwiches. And in all honesty, I liked it. I suspect there are many in this room who remember eating Spam and being grateful for it. Apparently there are several people who still love a good can of Spam because Hormel claims they sell 100 million cans a year.
I guess, despite liking it, I always thought it was poor-folk-food...if you couldn’t afford ham, you ate Spam.
The U.S.D.A has eight grades of beef: USDA Prime; Choice; Select; Standard; Commercial; Utility; Cutter; and Canner. The grades of cutter and canned are what is left that is used to make ground-beef, processed and canned meats. If pork were graded like beef, Spam would be made from the Cutter and Canner meat grades.
No, Spam is not spiral-cut, Honey-Baked Ham. However, if you are hungry, Spam is good and maybe a god-send.
Our story today may be thought of as something of a Spam story. It is a story about a time when a can of Spam would have been a mouth-watering, culinary delight.
(From a sermon by Monty Newton, Spam, 6/7/2010)
"There is an old story about a lighthouse keeper who worked on a rocky stretch of coastline. Once a month he would receive a new supply of oil to keep the light burning so that ships could safely sail near the rocky coast. One night, though, a woman from a nearby village came and begged him for some oil to keep her family warm. Another time a father asked for some to use in his lamp. Another man needed to lubricate a wheel. Since all the requests seemed legitimate, the lighthouse keeper tried to please everyone and grant the requests of all.
Toward the end of the month, he noticed his supply of oil was dangerously low. Soon it was gone, and one night on the light on the lighthouse went out. As a result, that evening several ships were wrecked and countless lives were lost. When the authorities investigated, the man was very apologetic. He told them he was just trying to be helpful with the oil. Their reply to his excuses, however, was simple and to the point: "You were given oil for one purpose, and one purpose only - to keep that light burning!"
A church faces a similar commission. There is no end to the demands placed on a church’s time and resources. As a result, the foundational purposes of a church must remain supreme."
James Emory White, Rethinking the Church (Baker Books, 1997), 27-28.
Finney noted this about obedience and sacrifice, “Revival is nothing more or less t...
When a new calf is born, sometimes it doesn’t come to and breathe well right away. And so what a farmer will do - is to take a stick and jab it up the nostril of the calf. This jabbing irritates the calf - gets his heart pumping - hurries up his breathing. As a result, instead of dying, the calf is stimulated and raises to life. Zechariah said the Lord would “test” the remaining third. That word means to “test, try, probe, examine, assay, i.e., to try and learn the genuineness of an object by examination, and observing reaction to a standard.
Sermon Central Staff
TRUSTING THE SCENT
Years ago I read the story of a man by the name of Wally who owned a farm in Connecticut. He had a remarkable talent he had with birds, chickadees specifically. It seems that every morning these little birds would flutter down and land on his hands. And it wasn’t just for food; he’d talk to them and they seemed to enjoy his companionship.
One woman who visited was so enthralled by what she asked for permission to try and get the birds to do that for her. She practiced for weeks, but never got one bird to land on her hand. Then one day, she tried something different. She put Wally’s fedora on her head and wrapped herself in his mackinaw. Seconds later, she was covered with birds.
They came to her, because they trusted Wally so much that they even trusted his scent on his clothes.
Do you have the "scent of Jesus" on you?
(Readers Digest, December 1973. From a sermon by Jeff Strite, Trusting in Ravens, 8/8/2011)
“Letting Go of the Branch!” Luke 1:5-15 Key verse(s) 13“But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.”
Trusting in God is fine, as long as it is something you believe He can do. It’s funny that sometimes we find ourselves content to let God handle the ordinary things in life like giving us an opportunity to do well on a job interview or score well on a test. But, when it really comes to the hard things, the things that really seem impossible and we have little if any faith that they will ever happen, we are often tempted to trust our own means rather than give the problem up to God. Being content to wait on the Lord for the impossible is something that most Christians just have a hard time doing.
Why are we so reluctant to give God the impossible things and then sit back and wait for an answer? We know that God has done the impossible in the past. He created something from nothing. How impossible can you get? Even the simpler things like parting the waters of the Red Sea and sending manna and quail to His children in the desert were accomplished without so much as a bat of a Holy eyelash. Yet, when it comes to our impossible, the things that have us so stymied that we are at a total loss for a solution, we often find ourselves thinking that we know God could do it, but it seems so far-fetched that He would. So we fight on alone, trusting that somehow luck or pluck will get the job done.
Perhaps it’s just because we might feel we don’t want to bother God with hard tasks. Perhaps it’s because we feel foolish asking for really “big” things. More likely, however, it’s because we have a schedule for things to happen and the hard things, the impossible things, need to be gotten out of the way quickly so that we can move on with our lives. We know that God has a solution for every problem in life. The problem is we often find ourselves reluctant to match our schedules with His timetable. It’s like the man who fell off a cliff, but managed to grab a tree limb on the way down. He looks upward and yells: “Is anyone up there?” Then he hears a voice.
“I am here. I am the Lord. Do you believe me?”
“Yes, Lord, I believe. I really believe,” the man says earnestly. “But I can’t hang on much longer.”
“That’s all right,” is the Lord’s reply. “If you really believe you have nothing to worry about. I will save you. Just let go of the branch.”
A moment of pause, then: “Is anyone else up there?” (adapted--Bits & Pieces, Ju...
GIFT FROM THE FATHER
Corrie Ten Boom tells of a time in the German death camp Ravensbruk during WWII. She had smuggled her Bible and a small bottle of liquid vitamins into her barracks. Her sister Betsy was sick and growing sicker, but she demanded that Corrie first give a dose of vitamins to all the other sick in their barracks before she would accept any.
Corrie tells that a strange thing was happening. The vitamin bottle was continuing to produce drops. It scarcely seemed possible, so small a bottle, so many doses a day. Now in addition to Betsy, a dozen others on our pier were taking it. My instinct was always to hoard it -- Betsy was growing so very weak! But the others were ill as well. It was hard to say no to eyes that burned with fever, hands that shook with chill. I tried to save it for the very weakest -- but even these soon numbered fifteen, twenty, and twenty-five.... And still, every time I tilted the little bottle, a drop appeared at the tip of the glass stopper. It just couldn’t be! I held it up to the light, trying to see how much was left, but the dark brown glass was too thick to see through.
"There was a woman in the Bible," Betsy said, "whose oil jar was never empty." She turned to it in the Book of Kings, the story of the poor widow of Zarephath who gave Elijah a room in her home: "The jar of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the works of Jehovah which he spoke by Elijah." Well -- but -- wonderful things happen all through the Bible. It was one thing to believe that such things were possible thousands of years ago, another to have it happen now, to us, this very day. And yet it happened this day, and the next, and the next, until an awed little group of spectators stood around watching the drops fall onto the daily rati...