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ATTITUDE NOT APTITUDE
Jesus' message here is that everybody can be great ... because anybody can serve. Dave Stone says that "service is the language of grace."
One day a couple of church members were out distributing loaves of bread in a low-income housing complex. They came to an apartment where they heard arguing through the door, but they decided to knock anyway. A man opened the door and asked what they wanted. One of the visitors said, "We don't want anything. We just wondered if you know anyone who could use some loaves of bread?"
"Why are you doing that?" the man asked.
"Just to let people know that God loves them."
"What did you just say?" the man asked, rather anxiously.
"We're just handing out loaves of bread to let people know that God loves them."
The man stared and said, "I can't believe this. We just buried our three-week-old son yesterday, and now here you are at our door."
The visitors offered to pray with them, and the couple accepted their offer. As they were leaving, and the door was being closed, they heard the husband say to his wife, "See, honey? I told you God cares. We thought he wasn't paying attention to us, but he sent those people here to make sure we knew."
Too many people make excuses as to why they can't serve. Can you bake a cake? Can you cook some food item? Can you cut someone's grass? Can you call people and give them an encouraging word? Can you do housework? Can you do handy work? Can you donate anything of value? Can you stop along your way and give a smile? Can you take an interest in someone else's life?
The big thing is that you have to be ready to serve. You have to open your eyes and your ears to the needs of others. 1 Pet. 4:10 -- "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms."
(From a sermon by Michael Luke, The Demonstration Factor, 5/5/2011)
Minister, Funny: THE CHAIN LETTER
The chairman of the Church Board received the following chain letter in the mail:
"This chain letter is meant to bring you happiness. Unlike other chain letters, it does not cost money.
"Sit down and make a list of five other churches that are tired of their ministers. Send a copy of this letter to all five churches on the list. Then send your minister to the church on the bottom of the list. In one week you will receive 15,625 ministers, and one of them should be a hit! Have faith in this letter.
"P.S. Please don’t break the chain. In fact, one church broke the chain, and they got their old minister back."
The optimist says, the cup is half full. The pessimist says, the cup is half empty. The child of God says; My cup runneth over.
“When life caves in, you do not need reasons -- you need comfort. You do not need some answers -- you need someone.
And Jesus does not come to us with an explanation --
Reaching the end of a job interview, the human resources person asked a young engineer fresh out of MIT what kind of a salary he was looking for.
"In the neighborhood of $140,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."
"Well, what would you say to a package of 5-weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical & dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, & a company car leased every 2 years...say, a red Corvette?"
"Wow! Are you kidding?"
"Yeah, but you started it."
A servant’s heart is sorely lacking in our society today.
God’s people should have a servant’s heart.
A 200-year-old church was being readied for an anniversary celebration when calamity struck: the bell ringer was called out of town.
The priest immediately advertised for another.
When the replacement arrived, the priest took him to the steps leading to the bell tower, some 150 feet above them. Round and round they went, huffing and puffing all the way. Just as they reached the landing, the bell ringer tripped and fell face-first into the biggest bell of all. Bo-o-o-o-ong!
Dazed by the blow, the bell ringer stumbled backward onto the landing. The railing broke loose and he fell to the ground. Miraculously, he was unhurt—only stunned—but the sexton thought it best to call an ambulance.
“Do you know this man’s name?” asked the doctor when he arrived.
“No,” the Priest replied, “but his face sure rings a bell.”
Steeped study time from autoillustrator.com
Consider the difference between a strong and a weak cup of tea. The same ingredients water and tea are used for both. The difference is that the strong cup of tea results from the tea leaves’ immersion in the water longer, allowing the water more time to get into the tea and the tea into the water. The longer the steeping process, the stronger the cup of tea. In the same way, the length of time we spend in God’s Word determines how deeply we get into it and it gets into us. Just like the tea, the longer we are in the Word, the "stronger" we become.
A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan, "While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. It was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point. On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and begin my two day journey back to the hospital. Upon arriving at the city, two men were fighting, and one was seriously injured. I treated his injuries and told him about Jesus Christ. I then traveled two days, camped overnight, and arrived back home without incident. Two weeks later I repeated my journey. When I arrived back at the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me he knew I carried money and medicines. He said "Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to jump your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards!"
At this I laughed and said that I certainly was all alone out in that jungle campsite. But the young man pressed the point, saying, "No Sir, I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those 26 armed guards that we were afraid and left you alone."
At this point in his message, a man in the audience jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked the exact day that incident happened. The missionary told h...
There was a wealthy man who was shopping with this 16 year-old son. His son saw a new computer system and showed his dad. The wealthy man said, “Why son, that costs $2,000?” The son said, “Yeah dad, but we’ve got the money.” To which the dad says, “We? Who said anything about we having anything? I know that I’ve got the money, I know that you don’t.” You see, the son misunderstood the nature of the relationship with his father. He thought that He could choose whatever the father spent his money on, while the father wasn’t so careless. God owns it all and we must be careful about how we treat his possessions
Music is major influence for "mosaic" generation
On a recent edition of the radio program "For Faith and Family", pollster George Barna discussed the significant cultural influence music exerts on the Mosaic generation (those born between 1984 and 2002): "Music is really interesting because essentially that is the language of our culture. If you need an example of how that works just think about churches. Even in churches this is true. What is the biggest war we have in churches? It doesn’t tend to be theological. It tends to be over what style of music you’re going to use in the worship service. We’ve had all kinds of fights, but music is the way that we suggest to somebody, Hey, I understand where you’re coming from. I speak your language. This is the feel; this is the sound that constitutes who you are and what you’re about."
"One of the ways I would describe it is every generation has to have it’s own private language that people over 30 can’t penetrate. And that’s really what today’s music is doing for young people. They have icons within the culture that we don’t understand - many of whom we don’t appreciate - but they’re important to the Mosaics because it helps them to develop a life philosophy. Many of those individuals become role models for them. It helps them to identify some of their values and lifestyles. And, it also helps develop a sense of community among themselves. So it’s hugely important."
PreachingNow Newsletter, August 6, 2002