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TRUSTING DOCTORS, TRUSTING GOD
Not many people enjoy going to the doctor, but according to Reuters, in 1994, one London accountant to that to an extreme. The 63-year-old man needed bladder surgery, but he couldn't overcome his fear of doctors and hospitals. So he self-reliantly did what had to be done. He tried to perform the surgery upon himself. Tragically he got an infection and died. The coroner said, "Unfortunately, his drastic remedy went wrong. A simple operation would have solved the problem."
Just as many don't trust doctors and hospitals, many people wont trust God. In their self-reliance, they destroy themselves.
John Blanchard noted, “For daily need there is daily grace; for sudden need, sudden grace, and for overwhelming need, overwhelming grace.”
There is an old story about a man in China who was walking on a rain slick road. He lost his footing & fell into a ditch filled with mud. He kept sinking deeper & deeper in the mud. The more he struggled to get out of the ditch, the deeper he sank.
As he was sinking in the mud Buddha came by. Buddha looked at him & said, "My what a predicament you are in. Here is a paper that tells you ten ways to get out of ditches." The man started reading & he tried all ten ways to get out of the ditch, only to discover that the harder he tried the deeper he sank.
Then Confucius came along & looked at him, & said, "You are in a terrible condition, but I have good news for you. If you’ll take 5 steps toward me, I’ll take 5 steps down to meet you, & then together we will walk out of the ditch."
But the man said, "I couldn’t even take the 5 steps. The more I struggled the deeper I sank in the mud."
Then Jesus came by. Jesus looked at him, took off His crown & His royal robes, & got down in the ditch with him & He pushed him until his feet were on solid ground once again.
"From sinking sand He lifted me. With tender hands He lifted me. From shades of night to plains of light. Oh praise His name, He lifted me." That is what love means. It means that Jesus Christ has lifted us out of the muck & the mire of our sin, & He has put our feet on solid ground.
2 Corinthians 12:20-12:20
My name is Gossip. I have no respect for justice. I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives. I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age. The more I am quoted, the more I am believed. I flourish at every level of society. My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no face. To track me down is impossible. The harder you try, the more elusive I become. I am nobodies friend. Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same. I topple governments, wreck marriages, and ruin careers -- cause sleepless nights, heartaches, and indigestion. I spawn suspicion and generate grief. I make innocent people cry in their pillows. Even my name hisses...
To seek to earn, merit, or purchase salvation is to insult the Giver. Imagine yourself invited to a banquet in the White House by the president of the United States. You are seated at a table that is filled with the choist foods. Every effort is made to give you a most enjoyable evening. At the end of a lovely visit, the president stands at the door to bid you good-bye. What do you do? As you leave do you press a dime into his hand and say, “Thank you very much for your kindness. I realize it has cost you a lot of money, and I want to help you pay for the meal.” Is that the proper response to his kindness? On the contrary, it would be a very rude and insulting gesture. So it would be with God’s grace. (William MacDonald, The Grace of God - Swindoll’s Book of Illustrations, p. 250.)
For more from Chuck, visit http://www.insight.org
I have heard Evangelist David Ring speak numerous times. David is a shining example of an individual suffering from a human weakness, a thorn if you will, but with God’s help used that weakness to preach the Gospel. David was born October 28, 1953 and suffered from cerebral palsy. David said that he could not speak plainly, he could not walk like the other children and he could not use his hands and arms like everyone else. David suffered much because of the remarks of the other children. He said his mama loved him and he was very close to her. David became an orphan at the age of 14 years. No one wanted him, so he went from family to family never finding a home. David was in much pain, both physical and mental. He was constantly being ridiculed in public. For David to become discouraged was very easy. He was told that no one liked him and that he would never amount to anything. People told him that he would never get married and have a family. Today, David has a beautiful wife, three beautiful daughters and a very handsome son. All this came about because David formed a personal relationship with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God showed David how to accept his physical problem and turn it into a blessing and a victory. David turned a thorn into a blessing.
NONE OF US GET OUT WITHOUT PAIN
There is a calendar entitled "The 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said." Each day, it features a stupid statement from someone. A page in the calendar had this amazing quote, "Listen closely: If you bought our course, ’How To Fly In Six Easy Lessons,’ we apologize for any inconvenience caused by our failure to include the last chapter, ’How To Land Your Plane Safely.’ Send us your name and address and we will send you the last chapter posthaste. Requests by estates will be honored." If you are a pilot, I hope that you did not purchase that course!
Crazy things happen in this world, don’t they? - life happens!
Then, there is the story of Candace Prestwich which tells about a day that she would rather forget! On a cold wintry night, her furnace died, so she went to the home of her parents. The following morning, a neighbor called to tell her that her water pipes had burst and flooded both her town house and her neighbor’s town house. Candace raced home and on the way, she got a speeding ticket. Then, the furnace repairman arrived and told her that he did not think he had the proper fuse; but, that he would check in his truck. Meanwhile, the plumber cut holes in her bathroom wall to locate the leak. When the furnace repairman returned, he held aloft a fuse. "I had the right fuse," he said triumphantly. "This must be your lucky day." Candace may not have felt all that lucky on that particular day - life happens!
The story is told of a pastor who was taking a morning walk. He came across a woman pushing a baby carriage up a hill. She was struggling with it a bit, so he offered to push it up for her. It was a rather unwieldy baby carriage, so it was no easy job to get it to the top. Once they had reached her house, the woman thanked the pastor for his help. The pastor replied, "Do you mind if I take a little peek at the precious baby that I have been pushing all this time?" The woman laughed and said, "Pastor this isn’t a baby that we have been struggling with, it’s my husband’s weekly beer supply." Life happens - I guess it is better to laugh than to cry!
American actress, Mary Tyler Moore (Born: 1936), sums things up well! You remember her, don’t you? She was, at one time, America’s sweetheart! It would be easy to believe that her life was always charmed; but, the truth of the matter is that it wasn’t! She was married as a teenager and then divorced. Her sister, in college, overdosed and died. Then, Mary got married a second time and divorced. But, she remarried the same man and got divorced again - three marriages with two men! Then, her son accidentally shot and killed himself. In her despair, she turned to "booze" and became an alcoholic - got off it - but, contracted diabetes as a result of her drinking. Now, the diabetes has affected her eyes; and, there is a good chance that she will be blind by the end of her life. America’s sweetheart, but, not without deep, deep heartaches! She summed up her life experiences like this, "None of us gets out of here without pain."
Source: "Thorns of Grace," sermon by King Duncan, found at eSermons.com, used by permission, accessed 03 July 2009. "www.wikipedia.com." (Mary Tyler Moore), (Leonard Bernstein), accessed 04 July 2009. From a sermon by George Dillahunty, "Thorns Of Grace!" 7/5/2009.
David Livingstone went to darkest Africa as a lone missionary. After some time his missions committee wrote to him saying, "Some people would like to join you. What’s the easiest road to get where you are?" He replied, "If they’re looking for the easiest road, tell them to stay in England. I want people who will come, even if there’s no road at all!" Sometimes...
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DEMOLITION DERBY AND THE SURRENDER STICK
Lydia and I went to the Demolition Derby at the 4-H Fair this past week and had a blast. I loved watching drivers take aim at each other with the attempt to demolish or disable one another. We saw some great smash ups and did a lot of laughing. I don't know much about how these derbies work, but I do know that the last car still running is declared the winner. The announcer pointed out that each driver has a long wooden stick duct-taped to the side of the car, and if for some reason he can't go on, either because he's feeling a bit woozy from getting clobbered or the car has gone caput, he simply reaches up and breaks the stick, which is supposed to signal to the other drivers that he has surrendered. No one is supposed to smash into a car that has a broken stick.
During one of the heats, a car stalled and I saw a driver reach up and break his stick. Apparently the other cars didn't see this, and so they revved up their engines and came at him full-speed and collided with the stalled car. The driver was not very happy at all. I couldn't hear what he said but I could tell that what came out of his mouth was not a word of blessing. He held his hands up in exasperation and starting waving the stick at the other drivers as if to say, "What's up with that? Can't you see that I'm out of commission here? Stop hitting me."
I suspect that some of you feel like you've been in a demolition derby. You've waved the surrender stick but the hits just keep coming and you don't know how much more you can take. As we wrap up our series called, "When Life is Hard," we're going to learn that God loves to bring out His purposes through our problems.
(From a sermon by Brian Bill, God's Purpose in our Problems, 7/25/2010)
An unknown confederate soldier wrote:
I asked God for strength that I might achieve
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey
I asked for health that I might do greater things
I was given infirmity that I might do better things
I asked for riches that I might be happy
I was given poverty that I might be wise
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life
I was given life that I might enjoy al...