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Our daughter Carrie and her husband Shannon have a dog; rather he is a small horse. He is called Coltrane. Cole does not realize he weighs 150 pounds. He also does not realize he has "drooling issues". (Now that may be caused by the fact that my wife brings hot dogs to the house whenever we visit...the dogs are for the dogs...Cole starts drooling when we turn on their street. The sound of our car’s engine is like music to his ears!)
Whenever we visit Cole comes charging; he has only two gears, wide-open and stopped (on top of your chest, after you’ve been slammed to the ground). The hound is not going to miss hot dog call!
Coltrane eats before saying "hello". (Got his priorities straight, that dog does!) Once the Ball Park dogs are inside the dog (is that an "inside-the-park-dog"?), then comes a gregarious welcome. The welcome always includes generous portions of "slime". A 150-pound Rottweiler who has just consumed 18 hot dogs can produce impressive amounts of saliva!
Needless to say, I have learned to wear my yard clothes when we visit. This is for two reasons --
1. I can’t afford to buy clothes as often as we are at Cole’s place.
2. I love the dog...even the way he says "hello".
When that hound comes to me, everything living (or that which wants to stay living) has to get out of the way. He is going to get his ears scratched and his tummy rubbed. In fact, if you rub his belly long enough, he just slides down to one side, flops-over and falls asleep while you "say hello". "Keep rubbing...a little to the left...harder, that’s it....ahhhhh."
This is so much like God’s acceptance of me. He wants me close to Him, even with all the goofy things I do, and the mess which I bring. He loves me and calls me friend, even with my sin and betrayal. He loves me and calls me friend, even though it meant taking on all my slime, my sin. He is still called, the Friend of Sinners!
A monument to a man’s leg was erected on the Saratoga battlefield in honor of Benedict Arnold, one-time hero of the Continental Army but who later tried to betray West Point and then fled to England.
Because Arnold was instrumental in winning the crucial battle of Saratoga where his left leg was wounded. General Depeyster had the monument erected at his own expense. The rest of the betrayer’s body and his face were not to be commemorated!
The inscription beside the boot nowhere carries the name of Benedict Arnold. It reads:
“In memory of the most brilliant soldier of the Continental Army, who was desperately wounded on this spot. . . 7th October, 1777, winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution, and for himself the rank of major general.”
Great things can be erased by bad acts.
Charles A. Lindbergh said, “We actually live today in our dreams of yesterday and living in these dreams, we dream again. A healthy church lives out of a healthy dream. But not all church dreams are created equal. Some congregational dreams are founded on hope and concern for others. Some begin negative, contentious or narrow in ministry and doctrine.
(This quote came from Robert Dale’s book "To Dream Again")
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you l...
William Herbert Carruth’s poem, “Dreamer of Dreams,” shows how the rise and fall of dreams shapes our lives as well as creating congregational health.
We are all of us dreamers of dreams,
On visions our childhood is fed;
And the heart of the child is unhaunted, it seems,
By the ghosts of dreams that are dead.
From childhood to youth’s but a span
And the years of our life are soon sped;
But the youth is no longer a youth, but a man,
When the first of his dreams is dead.
He may live on by compact and plan
When the fine bloom of living is shed,
But God pity the little that’s left of a man
When the last of his dreams is dead.
Let him show a brave face if he can,
Let him woo fame or fortune instead,
Yet there’s not much to do but to bury a man
When the last of his dreams is dead.
One little boy, when asked to explain about Father’s Day, said, “It’s just like Mother’s Day, only you don’t spend as much on the present.”
Sermon Central Staff
A frenemy is a friend/enemy. You like a frenemy and you hate a frenemy. You work with a frenemy when it is convenient and self-serving, but when it is not, the frenemy becomes a nemesis. The Urban Dictionary states a frenemy is "an enemy disguised as a friend." and twists the old adage to say, "Keep your friends close, and your frenemies closer." (Urban Dictionary Word of the Day, May 20, 2007)
In 2008 Bishop John Rucyahana of Rwanda spoke of the amazing transformation that has taken place in his country following the horrific ethnic genocide of 1994 in which long-standing tribal hatreds swept through the country. He spoke of how Jesus was the key to restoring relationships. He said, "We don't invest in hatred and hurt anymore. We invest in hope." No frenemies here--only forgiveness.
(Pastors.com/blogs/ministrytoolbox/archive/2009/o8/20/how-to-forgive-someone-who-has-hurt-you.aspx. From a sermon by Monty Newton, The Frenemy Dysfunction, 8/8/2011)
A good illustration of this comes from an old parable of the end time judgment with all the people who have ever lived being brought before God. Not submitting to God they come with a complaint. One group made the claim that they suffered persecution. They had died in gas chambers and concentration camps. They wanted to know how God could judge them. What would he know about their suffering? Another group were ones who had been slaves and suffered. They had no homes and no place to lie down to sleep. They had been poor and just had made enough to pay for their needs. There were others who had been sick most of their lives. How could God judge them? God lived in heaven where there is only goodness and light, no tears, no worries, no fears, no hungers, no mistreatments. These groups appointed a committee to draw up a case before God. They stated that before God could Judge them he must first endure what they went through. They said He would have to live on earth and be subject to all they had gone through. They cried out, “Let him be born a Jew! Let Him be poor! Let him be rejected by his people! Let him have friends who betray him! Let him have false charges brought on him! Tried before a jury! Convicted by a judge! Abandoned by his friend! Let him be lonely! Let him be tortured! Let him die at the hands of enemies!” The crowd stood back and gave approval to each sentence. Then there was hush to be heard all over the room, for they then realized God already had served that sentence. For Jesus in His coming as a man identified with us, in his suffer...
: Don Richardson was a missionary to the cannibalistic, headhunting Sawi tribe of Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Try as he would, he could not find a way to make the people understand the gospel message, especially the significance of Christ’s atoning death on the cross.
Sawi villages were constantly fighting among themselves, and because treachery revenge, and murder were highly honored there seemed no hope of peace. The tribe, however, had a legendary custom that if one village gave a baby boy to another village, peace would prevail between the two villages as long as the child lived. The baby was called a “peace child”.
The missionary seized on that story as an analogy of the reconciling work of Christ. Christ, he said, is God’s divine Peace Child that He has offered to man, and because Christ lives eternally His peace will ...