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THE HUMMINGBIRD AND THE VULTURE
Both the hummingbird and the vulture fly over the desert. All vultures see is rotting meat, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet. But hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colourful blossoms of desert plants.
The vultures live on what was. They live on the past. They fill themselves with what is dead and gone. But hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new life. And they fill themselves with freshness and life.
Point is - Each bird finds what it is looking for. And so do we all!
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"THANK YOU FOR TOMORROW"
I like that story about the boy and his father who were planning a trip for the next day. The father told his son that they would go on a very exciting and wonderful trip. He did not tell his son where they would go or what they would do. Nevertheless, the son was full of child-like excitement all day, contemplating the next day!
He didnít have much information to go on, but he knew his father would be with him every step of the way; he knew that his father would protect him from anything bad; and he knew his father never lied to him.
That evening as the father was putting his son to bed, the boy hugged his fatherís neck and said, "Daddy, thank you for tomorrow."
(From a sermon by Bruce Ball, The Journey, 5/13/2011)
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JOHN PIPER ON MINIMIZING DOCTRINE
I think John Piper put it best in his book, Contending For Our All. He wrote:
"To the emerging church that would like to minimize doctrine, Athanasius would say, 'Our young people in Alexandria die for doctrine about Christ. What do your young people die for?' Athanasius would have grieved over statements like 'It is Christ who unites us; it is doctrine that divides.' He would have grieved because he knew this is the very tactic used by Arian bishops to cover the councils with fog so that the word Christ could mean anything. They think they have done something profound and fresh, when they call us away from doctrine. In fact, they have done something very old and worn and deadly."
(John Piper. From a sermon by Mark Connelly, The Deity of Christ, 8/24/2011)
Steve McQueen was a top billing actor who lead a life as tough as the ones he portrayed on the screen. Success filled his life until alcohol and a failed marriage left him empty. In his despair he attended a crusade led by one of Billy Grahamís associates. McQueen made a profession of faith and requested an opportunity to speak with Billy Graham. A connecting flight in Los Angeles allowed Dr. Graham to spend a couple of hours with Mr. McQueen in the actorís limousine. Dr Graham shared numerous scriptures in his quest to give spiritual hope and assurance. Steve McQueen struggled with the thought of God giving eternal life to a man who had such a checkered past.
In Titus 1:2, however, he found a promise that spoke to him - "the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago" He requested something to write down the verse, but Billy Graham gave McQueen his Bib...
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John Koessler pastored for years before becoming a professor in the pastoral studies department at Moody Bible Institute. In 2007 he wrote, A Stranger In The House of God, chronicling his experience in various churches. "Most of the Christians I know are disappointed with their church, finding it either too traditional or too modern. The sermon is either too theological or not theological enough. The people, too cold to one another or too cliquish. In the end, the root problem is always the same. It is the people."
In the Winter 2009 issue of Leadership, Mike Lueken wrote: "We are a culture of Christ-followers who pay far too much attention to whether or not our needs are being satisfied. And we have become a culture of leaders who spend far too much time orienting our ministries around the ever-changing preferences of our people. As we mature in Christ, might the goal be to develop a gut-level instinct to give less attention to what we are not getting from our church? Perhaps a step on the way to growing more Christ-centered is to accept our dissatisfactions instead of assuming they have to be resolved. Churches that spend too much time alleviating their people's dissatisfactions may be nurturing a self-absorbed attitude of the heart that needs to be nailed to the cross.... To authentically lead people into deeper apprenticeship with Jesus, we must graciously and rigorously confront the raging selfishness that is alive and well in all of us."
(From a sermon by Glenn Durham, Order in the Church! 10/26/2010)