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C. S. Lewis, “Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
There was a king who had all his world could afford. The thing he loved most, however, was to laugh.
Once while being entertained a jester came along wishing to join in the festival of activities and also wishing to perform for him. His opportunity came and he put the best comical show together he had ever done and the king never laughed so hard.
Once the activity was all over the king wanted to hire this jester to be his personal jester. Once hired the king in humor handed him a small stick and said, "You are the most foolish man alive. When you find someone more foolish than you, then you give them this stick," and the king laughed hartily.
After many years had passed by the king lay sick on his death bed ready to go at any moment. He called for his jester, for he wanted to laugh one more time before he died. When the jester was through he asked to speak to the king personally.
Once alone with the king the jester asked, "king where are you going?" The king responded, "on a far journey." The jester asked again, "and how do you plan to get there?" Again the king responded, "I don’t know." Then the jester pulled the stick from his back pocket and handed it to the king. The king was stunned and asked why he had given him the stick. The jester replied, "King today I have found a more foolish man than I. For you see, I only trifled with the things of life, but you have trifled with things of eternity!"
John Williams III
“Many years ago a man conned his way into the orchestra of the emperor of China although he could not play a note. Whenever the group practiced or performed, he would hold his flute against his lips, pretending to play but not making a sound. He received a modest salary and enjoyed a comfortable living Then one day the emperor requested a solo from each musician. The flutist got nervous. There wasn’t enough time to learn the instrument. He pretended to be sick, but the royal physician wasn’t fooled. On the day of his performance, the impostor took poison and killed himself. The explanation of his suicide led to a phrase that found its way into the English language: “He refused to face the music”. (As cited by Max Lucado’s Just Like Jesus. Nashville: Word Publishing, 1998, pp. 110-11, from the following source: Paul Lee Tan. The Encyclopedia Of 7700 Illustrations. Rockville, Md.: Assurance Publishers, 1979, pp. 562-63).
Bill Hybels tells about an interesting experience after a baptism service in their church. He writes: “I bumped into a woman in the stairwell who was crying. I thought this was a little odd, since the service was so joyful. I asked her if she was all right. She said, ‘No, I’m struggling.’ She said, ‘My mom was baptized today. I prayed for her every day for almost 20 years. The reason I’m crying is because I came this close to giving up on her. At the 5-year mark I said, “Who needs this? God isn’t listening.” At the 10-year mark I said, “Why am I wasting my breath?” At the 15-year mark I said, “This is absurd.” At the 19-year mark I said, “I’m just a fool.” But I just kept trying, kept praying. Even with weak faith I kept praying. Then she gave here life to Christ, and she was baptized today. I will never doubt the power of prayer again.”
Sometimes when we pray and pray we feel like we are experiencing the law of diminished returns — so we stop praying. We correspon...
Criticism is always difficult to accept, but if we receive it with humility and a desire to improve our character it can be very helpful. Only a fool does not profit when he is rebuked for his mistakes.
Several years ago I read a helpful article on this subject. It stated that when we are criticized we ought to ask ourselves whether the criticism contains any truth. If it does, we should learn form it, even when it is not given with the right motivation and in the right spirit. The article then offered these four suggestions: (1) Commit the matter instantly to God, asking Him to remove all resentment or countercriticism on your part and teach you the needed lessons. (2) Remember that we are all great sinners and that the one who has criticized us does not begin to know the worst about us. (3) If you have made a mistake or committed a sin, humbly and frankly confess it to God and to anyone you may have injured. (4) Be willing to learn afresh that you are not infallible and that you need God’s grace and wisdom every moment of the day to keep on the straight path.
When we are criticized, let’s accept what is true and act upon it, thereby becoming a stronger person. He who profits from rebuke is wise. H.G.B.
Dr. Bruce Emmert
Just before the outbreak of the First World War, a small ship named the Endurance set sail from Briton with a crew intent on being the first to cross the South Pole. The ship reached Antarctica, but became ice bound in the Weddle Sea. Soon they had to abandon their ship and the 28-man crew took to their lifeboats. They were trapped on the ice for over a year. A desperate decision was made to take four men in a 20-foot lifeboat across the roughest sea in the world to a whaling station on South Georgia Island some 800 miles away. At the helm was a man named Worsely. All he had to guide them that 800 miles to South Georgia Island was a map, a watch, a sexton, and a compass, but it was all he needed if he used them well. A mistake as minor as being off by only one degree would have proved disastrous. The four men in that boat endured seas that raged higher than a ten-story building. They were constantly cold and wet from the waves that constantly drenched the boat. They had only the most meager of rations. The journey did not take days, but two weeks. But Worsley, whose most sophisticated tool was a compass, managed to get that lifeboat the 800 miles to South Georgia Island and eventually the entire crew of the Endurance was saved. As a result, Worsley was a hero. The whaling captains who sailed those waters considered him one of the wisest navigators in the world. Worsley was brilliant, but all of his brilliance would have been worthless if he not used the compass. Worsley was wise because he used the compass to guide him. The ancients believed that there are two types of people in the world: people who are fools and people who are wise. Being wise is a matter of using the compass you’ve been given to get where you need to go. Fools choose not to use the compass.
You share Christ by imitating Christ. A story is told – by Fredrick Beuchner I believe – called “The Happy Hypocrite." It is a story about a man who was born with an awful facial deformity. He grew up alone and lonely. When reaching adulthood, he decided to move from his town to begin a new life. On his way he discovered a beautiful mask that fit his making him look handsome. At first the mask was uncomfortable and he was afraid that people would find out who he really was, but he continued to wear the mask everyday.
In his new hometown, he made many friends and fell in love. But one day a wicked woman from his old home came to his town and discovered this man’s true identity. In front of his friends and fiancé, she forced him to remove his mask. When he removed the mask, it revealed a handsome face. His face had conformed to the mask.
Becoming like Christ is analogous to this. Go ahead and put on Christ. At first it may feel unnatural or uncomfortable, and maybe you may think, “who am I trying to fool?” But everyday just keep putting on Christ and everyday you will grow to look more like him.
Persian Legend - Pour Water Into Basket
A certain king needed a faithful servant and had to choose between two candidates for the office. He took both at fixed wages and told them to fill a basket with water from a nearby well, saying that he would come in the evening to inspect their work.
After dumping one or two buckets of water into the basket, one of the men said, "What is the good of doing this useless work? As soon as we pour the water in, it runs out the sides."
The other answered, "But we have our wages, haven’t we? The use is the master’s business, not ours. He is a wise King, and must have his own purpose that we do not understand."
"I’m not going to do such fool’s work," replied the complainer. Throwing down his bucket, he went away.
The other man continued until he had drained the well. Looking down into it, he saw something shining at the bottom - it was a diamond ring....
THE DEVIL’S VISION
The devil once said, to his demons below, our work is progressing entirely to slow; The holiness people stand in our way, since they don’t believe in the show or the play; they teach that the carnival, circus and dance, the tavern and honky tonk, with games of chance, drinking and smoking, these things are wrong; that Christians don’t mix with this ungodly throng. They’re quick to condemn everything that we do; to cause unbeliever’s to be not a few. They claim that these things are all of the Devil, that Christian folk should live on a higher level. Now, fellows, their theology, while perfectly true, is blocking the work we are trying to do. We’ll have to get busy and figure a plan, that will change their standards as fast as we can. Now, I have a vision of what we can do; Hearken-- I’ll tell this deception to you. Then find me a wise but degenerate man, whom I can use to help out this plan.
There’s nothing as real as what you can see; the eyes and the mind and the heart will agree. So, what can be better than an object to view? I say, it will work and convince not a few. The home is the place for this sinful device; The people deceived will think it’s quite nice. The world will possess it; most Christians won’t tell that it’s all of the devil, and was plotted in hell.
We’ll soothe them with pictures of the latest of news, and while they are looking, then will advertise booze. At the soul damming cigarette they’ll also look, until they forget what God say’s in his book. At first it will shock them, they’ll seem in a daze, but soon they’ll be hardened and continue to gaze. We’ll give them some gospel that isn’t too strong; and a few sacred songs to string them along. They’ll take in the ad’s with the latest of fashion and soon watch shows that stir evil passions. Murder and love-making scenes the will behold, until there souls become bitterly cold. The “old family altar” which once held such charm, will soon lose its place without much alarm. Praying in secret, will also be lost as they look at the screen without counting the cost. The compromising preacher’s who won’t take their stand, will embrace the new vision and think it is grand. They’ll help fool the people and cause them to sin by seeking this evil and taking it in.
The influence is great, and this you can see; Just look at my fall and you will agree. It won’t take long my demon’s to tell, that the vision of Satan will populate Hell. Divorce will increase, sex-crimes will abound; much innocent blood will be spilled on the ground. I say, the home will be damned and this in short order. When this vision of mine comes in to stay.
Get busy my cohorts, and put this thing out; we’ll see if the church can continue to shout. The holiness people who stand in our way, will soon hush their crying against the show and the play. We’ll cover the earth with this “Devil vision” though we will camouflage it with the name “Television.” The people will think they are getting a treat, till the Antichrist comes to take over his seat, He’ll then rule the world, while the viewer’s behold; The face of the beast, to whom they were sold. We’ll win through deception, this we cannot fail. Though some holiness preacher’s against it will rail.
THE BEATLES REBELLION
The Beatles rebellion against the God of the Bible goes way back for most of them! One example is the fact that John Lennon was taken to Sunday School by his Aunt Mimi. He even sang in the choir. But, by age 11, John was permanently barred from Sunday services in his aunt’s Anglican church because he "repeatedly improvised obscene and impious lyrics to the hymns." (Rock Lives; p. 114). He did things even cruder and viler than that, such as urinate on members of the "clergy" from second floor windows and display homemade dummies of Christ in lewd poses. In his 1965 book published by Simon & Schuster, John Lennon blasphemed the Father, Son and Holy Spirit by calling them "Fahter, Sock and Micky Most." In 1964 Paul McCartney stated, "We probably seem to be anti-religious… none of us believes in God."
Does the Bible say anything about those who do not believe in God? YES! It says they are fools. Psalms 14:1 "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good." That description pretty well describes the character and accomplishments of the Beatles… "corrupt" and having "done abominable works." The words of their own press officer Derek Taylor, affirm the application of Psalms 14 to the Beatles: "They’re [the Beatles] completely anti-Christ. I mean, I am anti-Christ as well, but they’re so anti-Christ they shock me which isn’t an easy thing" (Saturday Evening Post, August 8-15, 1964, p. 25).
One last illustration to prove the point. George Harrison financed Monty Python’s vile and blasphemous mockery of Christ in the movie "Life of Brian." Even Newsweek magazine described the movie as "irreverent." Time magazine called it an "intense assault on religion" (Time, Sept. 17, 1979, p. 101).
SOURCE: The Unholy Legacy of The Beatles by Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.http://logosresourcepages.org/beatles.htm