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AN OLD FEUD AND A NEW BRIDGE
There were two old geezers living in the backwoods of the Ozarks: Rufus and Clarence. They lived on opposite sides of the river and they hated each other. Every morning, just after sunup, Rufus and Clarence would go down to their respective sides of the river and yell at each other.
"Rufus!" Clarence would shout, "You better thank your lucky stars that I can’t swim, er I’d swim this river and whup you!"
"Clarence!" Rufus would holler back, "You better thank YOUR lucky stars that I can’t swim, er I’d swim this river and whup YOU!"
Every morning. Every day. For 20 years.
One day the Army Corps of Engineers came along and built a bridge. But the insults went on every morning. Every day. Another five years.
Finally, Mr. Rufus’ wife had had enough. "Rufus!" she squallered one day, "I can’t take no more! Every day for 25 years you’ve been threatenin’ to whup Clarence. Well, thar’s the bridge! Have at it!"
Rufus thought for a moment. Chewed his bottom lip for another moment. "Woman!" he declared, snapping his suspenders into place. "I’m gonna whup Clarence!"
He walked out the door, down to the river, along the river bank, came to the bridge, stepped up onto the bridge, walked about halfway over the bridge, then turned tail and ran screaming back to the house, slammed the door, bolted the windows, grabbed the shotgun and dove under the bed.
"Rufus!" cried the missus. "I thought you was gonna whup Clarence!"
"I was, woman, I was!" he whispered.
"What in tarnation is the matter?"
"Well," whispered the terror-stricken Rufus, "I walked halfway over the bridge and saw a sign that said, 'Clearance, 13 feet, 6 inches.' He ain't never looked that big from the other side of the river!"
That’s what happens sometimes to the people of God. We look at things from a distance and make plans but when we get closer to doing what God wants us to do we think that the task is too monumental and we resort back to the safety of what we have always done. We circle the wagons and stand our ground. We stay right in our comfort zone.
(From a sermon by Horace Wimpey, Christian Attributes of Action, 8/15/2012)
The story is about a man by the name of Larry Walters, a 33-year-old man who decided he wanted to see his neighborhood from a new perspective. So, he went down to the local army surplus store and bought forty-five used weather balloons.
That afternoon he strapped himself into a lawn chair, to which several of his friends tied the now helium-filled used weather balloons. He took with him, something to drink, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and a BB gun, figuring he could shoot the balloons one at a time when he was ready to land.
Walters, who assumed the balloons would lift him about 100 feet in the air, was caught off guard when the chair soared more than 11,000 feet into the sky--smack into the middle of the air traffic pattern at Los Angeles International Airport. Because he was too frightened to shoot any of the balloons, he stayed airborne for more than two hours, and forced the airport to shut down its runways for much of the afternoon.
Soon after he was safely grounded and cited by the police, reporters asked him three questions:
"Were you scared? "Yes."
"Would you do it again? "No.
"Why did you do it?" "Because you can’t just sit there."
"Faith enables us to understand what God does. Faith enables us to see what others cannot see. As a result, faith enables us to do what others cannot do."(Wiersbe, 318)
“A Boulder With Your Name On It!” Numbers 13:25-29 Key verse(s) 27:“They gave Moses this account: ‘We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But . . .”
Sometimes the things that we are able to do surprise even ourselves. Have you ever had the experience of accomplishing something that you thought you would have a very difficult if not impossible time doing and then, do it? The feeling is utter exhilaration. The first thing that you want to do is to look around to see if anyone saw you do it. “Did you see that? Did you see what I did? I just can’t believe that I could do that. I’ve been trying to do that for years and now, well, I’ve done it!”
A number of years ago I was putting in wash posts for my wife. We had just moved into Beech Springs and this was one of the duties right at the top of my list. “Need wash posts!” My father-in-law had been kind enough to make a set of welded steel posts that we had used for a number of years at our previous home. They traveled with me to our new house because no one makes things like my father-in-law. They would stand the test of time and, when the Lord comes to call us home, they might be one of the last elements to concede destruction under the fires of heaven. As I was scouting the side yard for a likely place into which the posts could be restored, I discovered to my dismay that there was but one place that would get enough sunlight and was open to the breeze; and that site had a huge boulder smack dab in the middle of it. Having the aid of both pry bar and a medium size diesel tractor with a front-end loader, I figured that, although it would take some time and sweat, eventually I would be able to budge the rock and move it elsewhere with the bucket of the loader. Unfortunately, the more I dug around it, the more of it I revealed. Like a giant iceberg, the bulk of it lay below the ground, concealed and stubbornly refusing to budge. My first thought was that although the site was perfect for my wife’s wash posts, there just had to be another one somewhere that was better. I really didn’t think that I would be able to move that boulder. But, as I soon discovered, God had put it there several thousand years ago with my name on it and, since there is no use trying to circumvent Him, I went back to work.
Several hours later, sweaty and tired, I had uncovered a very large erratic boulder. I am not sure what it weighed but suffice to say it would not relent to the pry bar. Eventually, after several more hours of digging, I was able to cut a channel below the rock through which I was able to slip a very sturdy chain. Connected to the bucket of the diesel loader, I hoped that in the very least I would be able to turn it enough so that I might be able to get the lip of the bucket under it and pry it out of the hole. I started the tractor and gently hit the hydraulics that controlled the bucket. It strained and groaned as the steel arms and bucket strained under the sheer weight of the rock. Finally the rock turned in the hole and I had my chance. Detaching the chain I positioned the bucket in the hole, crossed my fingers and pushed on the hydraulics. The rock moved and then it moved again. Finally, after about a half hour’s coaxing, it rolled out of the hole. Now all I had to do was get the bucket under it, lift it a few inches above the turf and move it out into the woods. Again, creaking and groaning all the way, rear tires sometimes leaving the ground due to all the up-front weight, the boulder with my name on it found a new home about a hundred feet away. When it dropped from the bucket there was both a sense of relief and unbelief. The rock that couldn’t be moved, had been moved.
That rock moved not merely because of the pry bar and the diesel (although it wouldn’t have moved without them). It moved because of the ha...
Os Guiness gives a very helpful definition of doubt in his book In Two Minds. He says, "When you believe, you are in one mind and accept something as true. Unbelief is to be of one mind and reject that something is true. To doubt is to waver between the two, to believe and disbelieve at the same time, and so to be in ’two minds.’" That is what James calls, in Chapter 1, a "double minded man," or as the Chinese say, "Doubt is standing in two boats, with one foot in each."
SHAKESPEARE ON OPPORTUNITY
"There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries."
(Shakespeare, Julius Caesar)
Carl Rogers, a psychologist, was 22 years old when he entered Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1924. While there, he participated in a seminar organized to explore religious doubts. Rogers later said of the group, “The majority of members...in thinking their way through questions they had raised, t...
THE IMPORTANCE OF VISION
Walt Disney never lived to see the opening of Disney World. During the opening ceremonies, someone is reputed to have said to Walt’s wife, "It’s a shame Walt is not here to see this."