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When I was in the U.S. Army, I remember we had to pull guard duty many times. The purpose of guard duty was to ensure that other soldiers, equipment, or areas were protected from the enemy. I can recall that in basic training, or boot camp, we had to memorize three General Orders and the first one was, "I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved."
When we were properly relieved, there was a password that was spoken between the person on guard duty and the one that was relieving them. If the improper password was given, you were not properly relieved. The safety of all that was being guarded depended upon you, the person on guard duty. If something went wrong or the enemy was able to get access into that which you were responsible for guarding, then you were held accountable and punishment was inevitable.
(From a sermon by Melvin Maughmer, Jr., Guard Duty, 5/25/2011)
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KEEP THE SPRINGS PURE
The family’s water supply came from a spring just a few feet from the house. The pure, cold, sweet water bubbled up through a large pipe about the size of a barrel that had been sunk in the ground. One morning two huge frogs were found in the spring. No one wanted to drink from the water until the frogs had been removed, and the water had been allowed to flush over the sides for the rest of the day. Everyone wanted to make sure it was clean and pure again.
You can make a parable out of the incident. Those frogs could represent bad thoughts, and the spring is man’s heart. If our thought life is evil, the words and deeds that flow from within will be contaminated. Jesus said that the blasphemous statements made by His enemies revealed their inner selves. They spoke the way they did because they had allowed evil thoughts to take control of their minds.
(From a sermon by Dennis Davidson, Guard Your Heart, 9/1/2011)
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THE HEART IS LIKE A GARDEN
John Owen: "The hearts of believers are like gardens, wherein there are not only flowers, but weeds also; and as the former must be watered and cherished, so the latter must be curbed and nipped."
(From a sermon by Glenn Durham, Is Someone Stealing Your Joy? 8/10/2010)
THE WISDOM OF BABES
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Out of the mouth of babes?” Certainly you have. It comes from the simple truth that sometimes it takes a child to reveal lasting wisdom. It seems foolish but it isn’t!
· Patrick, age 10, said, “Never trust a dog to watch your food.”
· Michael, 14, said, “When your dad is mad and asks you, "Do I look stupid?" don’t answer him.”
· Michael, wise man that he was also said, “Never tell your mom her diet’s not working.”
· Randy, 9 years of age said, “Stay away from prunes.” One wonders how he discovered that bit of wisdom.
· Kyoyo, age 9, said, “Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time.”
· Naomi, 15 said, “If you want a kitten, start out b...
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An old American Indian tale recounts the story of a chief who was telling a gathering of young braves about the struggle within. "It is like two dogs fighting inside of us," the chief told them. "There is one good dog who wants to do the right and the other dog always wants to do the wrong. Sometimes the good dog seems stronger and is winning the fight. But sometimes the bad dog is stronger and wrong is winning the fight."
"Who is going to win in the end?" a young brave asks.
The chief answered "The one you feed."
TOP 5 SIGNS YOUR CHURCH IS TOO CONTEMPORARY:
5. At the annual meeting, you play Survivor to elect new leaders
4. When asked what church things begin with "J", the youth in church shout "Java" before "Jesus"
3. When asked, "Who wrote the Bible?" most members say "Eugene Peterson"
2. To be user-friendly, the building committee installs a Jacuzzi rather than a conventional baptistery
1. The "Left Behind" Bible isn’t the one you forgot at church
THE BIBLE CHANGES LIVES
Research consistently shows what a person believes translates into behavior. A major survey of more than 3,700 teens involved in evangelical churches reveals that, compared to teens who possess a solid, biblical belief system, young people who lack such basic biblical beliefs are:
- 225 percent more likely to be angry with life; 216 percent more likely to be resentful;
- 210 percent more likely to lack purpose in life; and 200 percent more likely to be disappointed in life.
This is why research has shown teens -- otherwise good teenagers from good families -- who do not possess a biblical belief system are:
- 36 percent more likely to lie to a friend; 48 percent more likely to cheat on an exam;
- 200 percent more likely to steal; 200 percent more likely to physically hurt someone;
- 300 percent more likely to use illegal drugs; and 600 percent more likely to attempt suicide.
Source: From a sermon by Timothy Pang, "Keeping the faith" 7/5/2009
St Augustine wrote
Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure.
Where your treasure is, there is your heart.
Where you heart is, there is your ha...
Sermon Central Staff
QUESTIONS HELP YOU LEARN...?
A father and his small son were out walking one day when the lad asked how electricity could go through the wires stretched between the telephone poles. "I don't know," said his father. "I never knew much about electricity."
A few blocks farther on, the boy asked what caused lightning and thunder. "That too has puzzled me," came the reply.
The youngster continued to inquire about many things, none of which the father could explain. Finally, as they were nearing home, the boy said, "Pop, I hope you didn't mind all those questions."
"Not at all," replied his father. "How else are you going to learn!"
(Source: Our Daily Bread. From a sermon by David Cook, Real Heroes, 5/28/2010)
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A SHIPWRECK MOTIVATES SUCCESS
In 1845 Royal Navy Rear Admiral Sir John Franklin and 138 specially chosen officers and men left England to find the Northwest Passage. They sailed in two three-masted ships with the daunting names the Erebus (the dark place, according to Greek mythology, through which souls pass on their way to Hades) and the Terror. Each ship was equipped with an auxiliary steam engine and a twelve-day supply of coal, should steam power be needed sometime during the anticipated two- to three-year voyage. But instead of loading additional coal, each ship made room for a 1,200-volume library, an organ, and full, elegant place settings for all--china, cut-glass goblets, and sterling flatware. The officers' sterling was of especially grand Victorian design, with the individual officers' family crests and initials engraved on the heavy handles. "The technology of the Franklin expedition," says Annie Dillard, "... was adapted only to the conditions in the Royal Navy officers' clubs in England. The Franklin expedition stood on its dignity."
(Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk, Chapter 1, “An Expedition to the Pole” (New York: Harper & Row, 1988), p. 24).
The only clothing which these proud Englishmen took on the expedition were the uniforms and greatcoats of Her Majesty’s Navy. The ships sailed off amidst imperial pomp and glory. Two months later a British whaler met the two ships in the Lancaster Sound, and reports were carried back to England of the expedition’s high spirits. He was the last European to see them alive.
Search parties funded by Lady Jane Franklin began to piece together a tragic history from information gathered from Inuit. Some had seen men pushing a wooden boat across the ice. Others had found a boat, perhaps the same boat, and the remains of thirty-five men at a place now named Starvation Cove. Another thirty bodies were found in a tent at Terror Bay. Simpson Strait had yielded an eerie sight--three wooden masts of a ship protruding through the ice.
For the next twenty years, search parties recovered skeletons from the frozen waste. Twelve years later, it was learned that Admiral Franklin had died aboard ship. The remaining officers and crew had decided to walk for help. Accompanying one clump of bodies were place settings of sterling silver flatware bearing the officers’ initials and family crests. The officers’ remains were still dressed in their fine, buttoned blue uniforms, some with silk scarves in place.
The Franklin Expedition was a monumental failure by all estimations. It was foolishly conceived, planned, equipped, and carried out. The expedition itself accomplished absolutely nothing. Yet it is universally agreed that it was the turning point in Arctic exploration.
The mystery of the expedition’s disappearance and its fate attracted so much attention in Europe and the United States that no less than thirty ships made extended journeys in search of the answer. In doing so, they mapped the Arctic for the first time, discovered the Northwest Passage, and developed a technology suitable to Arctic rigor. It was upon the shipwreck of Rear Admiral Franklin’s “wisdom” that Amundsen would one day stand victorious at the South Pole and Perry and Henson at the North. Similarly, the shipwreck of worldly wisdom ought to motivate us to seek wisdom from above, so we can wisely navigate through life.
[Day Otis Kellogg, ed., The Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 9, Ninth Edition (New York: The Werner Company, 1898), pp. 719–722. From a sermon by Matthew Kratz, Earthly Wisdom vs. Godly Wisdom, 7/10/2010]