Illustration results for jeremiah 29
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 »
(Suggest a Keyword)
On Sept 16, 1620 2 ships set sail from Plymouth Englnad, The Speedwell and the Mayflower. The Speedwell encountered much difficulty as they began their journey springing many leaks in the ship. So when the 2 ships went to Port in Plymouth England, the Speedwell decided to go no further and 42 passengers from the Speedwell joined the 60 passengers and 30 crew members aboard the Mayflower..
Of the 102 passengers on board the Mayflower the majority were devout Christians. They were coming to America to shake lose from the bonds of the church of England so they could worship God as they believed scriptures taught.
And with great excitement and expectations that set sail for a new land... It wasnít long before the trip became difficult for several reasons, as noted by William Bradford an historian on the Mayflower, who would later became Governor of the colony for 33 years.. Many of the passengers became sea sick as huge waves would crash over the deck of the ship... The nights were cold, damp and dark... Remember there was no indoor plumbing or electricity. And to make matters worse one of the crew, a very large man would constantly curse and abuse those who were sick... saying he was going to throw them overboard and steal all of their possessions... Bradford records, "BUT IT PLEASED GOD BEFORE THEY CAME HALF SEAS OVER, TO SMITE THE YOUNG MAN WITH A GRIEVOUS DISEASE OF WHICH HE DIED IN A DESPERATE MANNER.. AND SO HE HIMSELF WAS THE FIRST THROWN OVERBOARD. THUS HIS CURSES LIGHT OWN HIS WON HEAD, AND IT WAS AN ASTONISHMENT TO ALL HIS FELLOWS FOR THEY NOTED IT TO BE THE JUST HAND OF GOD UPON HIM.."
But their problems were far from over yet, they encountered many fierce storms which shook the ship with tremendous force. So fierce that many times they could not even keep the sail out and the force of the wind -- eventually cracked and bowed the main beams when they had just went over the half way point across the Atlantic. And although the passengers and crew wanted to turn back, Christopher Jones, the ships Master, assured all the vessel was "strong and firm under water." He ordered the beam to be secured. It was hoisted into place by a great iron screw that, fortunately, the Pilgrims brought out of Holland. AND Upon raising the beam, they "committed themselves to the will of God and resolved to proceed." These 100 people; cold, wet -- on wooden ship in the middle of the ocean -- put their hope, trust and lives into the hands of God. The battered ship finally came within sight of Cape Cod on November 19, 1620. Two had died at sea and two had given birth. The Pilgrims scanned the shoreline just to the west of them and described it as, "a goodly land wooded to the brink of the sea," William Bradford writes, "AFTER LONG BEATINGS AT SEA THEY FELL WITH THAT LAND WHICH IS CALLED CAPE COD; AND THEY WERE NOT A LITTLE JOYFUL..."
Before going ashore they decided to write a document know as the Mayflower Compact.
At the heart of the compact lay an undisputed conviction that God must be at the center of all law and order and the law without a moral base is really no law at all.
The day the Pilgrims signed the May Flower Compact, according to William Bradford, "they came to anchor in the Bay, which was a good harbor...and they blessed the God of Heaven, who brought them over the fast and furious ocean... and a sea of trouble. And they read the following from the Geneva Bible (the Bible the Pilgrims used) "LET THEM, THEREFORE PRAISE THE LORD, BECAUSE HE IS GOOD AND HIS MERCIES ENDURE FOREVER."
This coming thursday we will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day... Many will be busy cooking turkeys, making stuffing, baking pumpkin pies.... and watching football games. And that is fun stuff -- it is important to get together with loved ones... But that is not what thanksgiving is really about -- itís not about food and fun... it is about giving thanks to the Lord God Almighty.
We usually picture the first thanksgiving in America, as the time when the Pilgrims and the Indians got together for a great feast (though I really donít know how they could of eaten pumpkin pie without cool whip). But I tend to look at that time when on the sea battered Mayflower anchored in the bay at Cape Cod, a group of weary and worn men and women were on their knees praising their God in heaven for bringing them safely through the treacherous sea to this new land, as the real first thanksgiving.
One day three men were walking along and came upon a raging, violent river. They needed to get to the other side, but had no idea of how to
The first man prayed to God saying, "Please God, give me the strength to cross this river." Poof! God gave him big arms and strong legs, and
he was able to swim across the river in about two hours.
Seeing this, the second man prayed to God saying, "Please God, give me the strength and ability to cross this river." Poof ! God gave him a
rowboat and he was able to row across the river in about three hours.
The third man had seen how this worked out for the other two, so he also prayed to God saying, "Please God, give me the strength, ability, and intelligence to cross this river." And Poof! God turned him into a woman.
She looked at the map, then walked across the bridge.
Bill Hybels is the Pastor of the largest church in America, Willow Creek Community Church, just outside of Chicago, Illinois. His ministry began as an outreach from another church to teenagers during the early 70ís. They called the youth ministry Son City. He and his wife Lynne recount the story of their explosive church growth in their book Rediscovering church. Listen as I read an excerpt from the book, this is Lynne speaking:
"In my mind I am walking again along the quiet, tree-lined streets from the church to the tiny home where we had just begun our married life in May 1974. I am sitting at the round kitchen table with the red tablecloth. Another lonely meal. Another empty evening. An hour earlier I had begged Bill to stay home. He had looked at me in disbelief. "Kids are dying and going to hell, and you want me to stay home and hold your hand?" The words echo in my mind, and I hear them over and over in different forms: Donít bother me, Lynne. How can you demand that, Lynne? Six months into marriage, I am convinced I have made a horrible mistake. I love the man I married. I love Son City. But I hate our marriage. I hate the pain of disappointment. I hate mourning the death of so many dreams. And I hate the loneliness." (Hybels, p. 44)
GETTING PAST YOUR PAST
Consider Charles Colson, the aide to Richard Nixon who was sent to jail for Watergate. As as a result of his experience as a convicted felon, Colson founded Prison Fellowship, now the worldís largest Christian outreach to prisoners and their families. Prison Fellowship has more than 50,000 volunteers working in hundreds of prisons in 88 countries around the world. A ministry that has blessed millions of people got started twenty-five years ago because Charles Colson committed a crime. Godís eternal purposes for that man included even the sin that sent him to prison. It was a part of Godís plan from the very beginning.
But the story that matters most to you isnít Peterís, or Paulís, or even Charles Colsonís. Itís yours. And what I want to say to you this morning is that the story of your life has not been ruined, not by your sin or anyone elseís. Godís good plan for your life is not buried under the mistakes of the past. God has a plan for your life, a good plan, a wise plan, a loving plan, a sovereign plan, and that plan is still in effect. You havenít missed it. He is working ...
"The life of Jesus Christ was an absolute failure from every standpoint except God’s. But what seemed to be failure from man’s standpoint was a triumph from God’s standpoint, because God’s purpose is never the same as man’s purpose." (Oswald Chambers; My Utmost For His Highest: August 5)
"If you want to make God laugh, tell him your future plans. "
Sermon Central Staff
Learned Helplessness is a term I came across in my reading this week. It is a technical term originally used in reference to animal psychology but is also appropriately applied to human behavior as well.
Learned helplessness describes an animal or a person who has learned to behave helplessly, even when there is opportunity to avoid an unpleasant or harmful circumstance. It is essentially, in humans, it is a mental state in which the person perceives he or she has no control over the outcome of a situation. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness)
A pertinent example of learned helplessness would be the tragic and heart-rending case of Jaycee Dugard who was kidnapped when she was 11 years old while waiting for her school bus. Jaycee was held captive for 18 years, living in sheds and tents in the backyard of her captor...despite numerous opportunities to escape she felt she had no control over her situation.
Self improvement coach and Guru Brian Tracy couches it a little differently. He sums that kind of behavior up in what he calls The Law of Belief. The Law of Belief states, "Whatever you believe, with feeling, becomes your reality; you always act in a manner consistent with your beliefs." In other words, what we think either inhibits and limits us or energizes and frees us.
So what do we do when we realize we have learned helplessness behavior? The key to unlearning helplessness and learning hopefulness is to replace "limiting beliefs and attitudes" with "empowering beliefs and attitudes."
(From a sermon by Monty Newton, Optimism 101, 10/25/2010)
PRAY TILL YOU GET COOKIES
We should be like the 3-year-old boy (that Paul Harvey told about) who went to the grocery store with his mother. Before they entered the grocery store she said to him, "Now youíre not going to get any chocolate chip cookies, so donít even ask."
She put him up in the cart & he sat in the little childís seat while she wheeled down the aisles. He was doing just fine until they came to the cookie section. He saw the chocolate chip cookies & he stood up in the seat & said, ďMom, can I have some chocolate chip cookies?Ē She said, ďI told you not even to ask. Youíre not going to get any at all.Ē So he sat back down.
They continued down the aisles, but in their search for certain items they ended up back in the cookie aisle. ďMom, can I please have some chocolate chip cookies?Ē She said, ďI told you that you canít have any. Now sit down & be quiet.Ē
Finally, they were approaching the checkout lane. The little boy sensed that this may be his last chance. So just before they got to the line, he stood up on the seat of the cart & shouted in his loudest voice, ďIn the name of Jesu...
Sermon Central Staff
NO FAITH IN THE FUTURE, NO POWER FOR THE PRESENT
Years ago, a small town in Maine was proposed for the site of a great hydroelectric plant. Since the dam would be built across the river, the entire town would be submerged. When the project was announced, the people were given many months to arrange their affairs and relocate.
During the time before the dam was built, an interesting thing happened. All improvements ceased. No painting was done. No repairs were made on the buildings, roads, and sidewalks. Day by day, the whole town got shabbier and shabbier. A long time before the waters came, the town looked uncared for and abandoned, even though the people had not yet moved away. One citizen complained, "Where there is no faith in the future, there is no power for the present." The town was cursed with hopelessness because it had no future.
Some of our lives are cursed with no hope for the future. Maybe we let God into some parts of our hearts. The parts that are already neat and in order. But God wants to invade your heart entirely.
(From a sermon by Ty Tamasaka, Dare to Dream Again, 9/9/2011)
Sometimes God doesnít tell us His plan because we wouldnít believe it anyway.