Illustration results for desperation
Sermon Central Staff
USING THE RESOURCES YOU HAVE
At 12:55 pm the mayday call crackled through the speakers at the Flight Service Station on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. The desperate pilot of a Piper A22, a small single-engine plane, was reporting that he had run out of fuel and was preparing to ditch the aircraft in the waters of Cook Inlet.
On board were four people, two adults and two young girls, ages 11 and 12. They had departed two hours earlier from Port Alsworth, a small community on the south shore of Lake Clark, bound for Soldotna, a distance of about 150 miles. Under normal conditions it would been a routine flight; however, the combination of fierce headwinds and a failure to top off the fuel tank had created a lethal situation.
Upon hearing the plane’s tail number, the air traffic controller realized that his own daughter was one of the young passengers aboard the plane. In desperation himself, he did everything possible to assist the pilot; but suddenly the transmission was cut off. The plane had crashed into the icy waters. Four helicopters operating nearby began searching the area within minutes of the emergency call, but they found no evidence of the plane and no survivors. The aircraft had been traveling without water survival gear, leaving its four passengers with even less of a chance to make it through the ordeal. Fiercely cold Cook Inlet, with its unpredictable glacial currents, is considered among the most dangerous waters in the world. It can claim a life in minutes, and that day it claimed four.
Kirk adds these thoughts to the story: For reasons we will never know, the pilot of that doomed aircraft chose not to use the resources that were at his disposal. He did not have enough fuel. He did not have the proper survival equipment. Perhaps he had not taken the time to get the day’s weather report. Whatever the case, he did not use the resources that were available; and in this instance the consequences were fatal.
I wonder how many other people have died needlessly like these four people did? Why, because someone did not manage and or use the resources they had at their disposal. – I also wonder how many have died without Jesus -- spiritually speaking from others being poor stewards of the resources God has placed them in charge of.
Nowery states, "The stewardship of resources is a serious business; and God’s will is that we give it serious attention. This demands that we have the right perspective on our resources, and that is possible only if we have the right focus on our source."
(Story from Kirk Nowery: “The Stewardship of Life,” Page 118. From a sermon by Michael McCartney, 12 dollars a changed life, 6/20/2012)
Jim Cymbala began at the Brooklyn Tabernacle as an ill-equipped, under-educated, time-strapped preacher who led a second congregation in New Jersey. The Brooklyn church had no money to pay him, a ramshackle building, and barely enough attendance to bother with weekly meetings.
Today, the Tabernacle hosts around 6,000 spirit-filled worshipers. The difference came when Jim, in a moment of desperation, set aside his planned message and called the church to pray. The weekly prayer meeting, not the Sunday worship, became the focal point of the Brooklyn Tabernacle.
Jim’s belief that "God can’t resist those who humbly and honestly admit how desperately they need him" (p. 19) guides his work. It is Prayer, not preaching that brings Revival.
Mother Teresa visited Australia. A new recruit to the Franciscan order in Australia was assigned to be her guide and “gofer” during her stay. “Thrilled and excited at the prospect of being so close to this woman, he dreamed of how much he would learn from her and what they would talk about. But during her visit, he became frustrated. Although he was constantly near her, the friar never had the opportunity to say one word to Mother Teresa. There were always other people for her to meet. Finally, her tour was over, and she was due to fly to New Guinea. In desperation, the friar spoke to Mother Teresa. “If I pay my own fare to New Guinea, can I sit next to you on the plane so I can talk to you and learn from you?” Mother Teresa looked at him. “You have enough money to pay airfare to New Guinea?” she asked. “Oh, yes,” he replied eagerly. “Then give that money to the poor,” she said. “You’ll learn more from that than anything I can tell you.”
NO GREATER LOVE
It was February 1941, Auschwitz, Poland. Maximilian Kolbe
was a Franciscan priest put in the infamous death camp for helping Jews escape Nazi terrorism.
Months went by and in desperation an escape took place. The camp rule was enforced. Ten people would be rounded up randomly and herded into a cell where they would die of starvation and exposure as a lesson against future escape attempts.
Names were called. A Polish Jew Frandishek Gasovnachek was called. He cried, "Wait, I have a wife and children!" Kolbe stepped forward and said, "I will take his place."
Kolbe was marched into the cell with nine others where he managed to live until August 14.
This story was chronicled on an NBC news special several years ago. Gasovnachek, by this time 82, was shown telling this story while tears streamed down his cheeks. A mobile camera followed him around his little white house to a marble monument carefully tended with flowers. The inscription read:
IN MEMORY OF MAXIMILIAN KOLBE
HE DIED IN MY PLACE.
Every day Gaso...
The only monument in the world built in the shape of
a bug, to honor a bug is located in Fort Rucker,
Alabama. In 1915 the Mexican boll weevil invaded
Southeast Alabama and destroyed 60% of the cotton crop. In
desperation, the farmers turned to planting
peanuts. By 1917 the peanut industry had become so
profitable that the county harvested more peanuts
than any other county in the nation. In gratitude,
the people of the town erected a statue and
inscribed these words,
"In profound appreciation of the boll weevil, and what it has done as the
herald of prosperity." The instrument of their suffering had become the
means of their blessing.
Jim Cymbala (as described in his book Fresh Wind Fresh Fire) looked around a saw a small rag tag group of church goers surrounded by a city of muggers, transvestites, drug addicts and more, and realized he was in trouble. He was overcome by his own inadequacy to lead the church, as well as his lack of answers for the world.
In his desperation, he began to search for answers, yearning for the power that can only come from God. At the end of his rope, he felt the Lord impress on him, deep within his soul, that God’s power would be with them, if only he and the church learned to call on His name to supply their needs.
And so began a heart felt, focused, consistent commitment to prayer by he and his church. And they began to see God work powerfully in the lives of people swallowed up in sin and society, transvestites giving up walking the streets for ministry and marriage, gang bangers learning to be leaders for the Lord. And their church began to grow—toward maturity and in numbers.
Do we really see the need or are we numb?
If we see—revival prayer starts with us.
Charles Spurgeon: The best style of prayer is that which cannot be called anything else but a “cry.”
Are you ready for crying out to the Lord?
Cymbala concluded: “If the spirit of brokenness and calling on God ever slacks off at Brooklyn Tabernacle, we’ll know we’re in trouble—even if we have 10,000 in attendance.”
That was Lee Risler’s problem according to the Associated Press1. Mr. Risler, a 53-year-old sandal maker, was driving from his high desert home in Lucerne Valley, California to Hermosa Beach to sell his wares at a craft fair, when the accident occurred. For some reason, Risler’s van veered off Interstate 605, overturning in a ditch, very early in the morning. For the next 2 1/2 days Mr. Risler was trapped, his left arm pinned outside the van between the door and some trees.
Fortunately, he was freed by a California Department of Transportation worker, who happened to spot his Ford van tucked among some trees a few yards off the freeway, about 15 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
To say the least, Mr. Risler was very thirsty and was bleeding from his hand. He told the rescue workers he was so desperate he tried to cut off his pinned hand with a pocketknife in an attempt to struggle free.
This brings me to my point. What would you do if you were in a similar situation? We have all heard of people falling into wells, trapped in pipes, caught in snow drifts, etc. My elderly great uncle fell between his bed and the wall of his trailer, and he was unable to get up for a little over two days, but fortunately my mother sent my older brother to check on him. What would you do under desperate circumstance in order to save your life? Cut off your hand?
Jesus once said, “If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell” (Matthew 18:8-9).
Yes, under extreme circumstances people have cut off or left behind precious things in order to save their physical lives. But, what if you were headed to suffer the eternal agony of being separated from your loving Creator? What would you need to cut out of your life to make sure you were with him forever? Forsake a sin and turn away from doing evil? Break off a wrong relationship and develop good ones? Repent of harmful attitudes and develop healthy ones?
Jesus in this passage is using hyperbole. He is exaggerating to make a point. For people normally don’t deliberately cut off their appendages because of a sin, unless you have some type of pathology. Now, what if you have a sin in your life that is keeping you from having a personal relationship with God. Would you cut it out of your life and get rid of it?
In the culture of Jesus’ day the hands and feet stood for purposeful actions and eyes covered the area of emotions or thoughts. Is there an activity keeping you from coming to God’s Son, Jesus of Nazareth? Is there an attitude, bias or philosophy blinding you to the need to draw close to the Almighty?
Before you put this article down, take the time to examine your life and see what questionable activities or ideas there might be blocking you from coming into a relationship with your Father in heaven. Jettison them! Purge them from your life and come to the living God. Do what is good and right, and make peace with the Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ right now.
If you do, I assure you, you’ll be eternally thankful you did. Praise the Lord!
Pinned Man Tries to Cut Off Hand
Downey, Calif. (AP) - Trapped for days in a crashed van as traffic whizzed by only a few feet away, Lee Risler got so desperate he tried to cut off his pinned hand with a pocketknife.
Risler’s van veered off Interstate 605 and overturned in a ditch around 3 a.m. Saturday. The 53-year-old sandal maker spent the next 2 1/2 days stuck there, his left arm trapped outside the van between the door and some trees.
Risler was freed around noon Monday when a California Department of Transportation worker spotted his 1991 Ford hidden by trees a few yards off the freeway, about 15 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Risler complained of a tremendous thirst and was bleeding from the hand, but he was coherent, rescue workers said. He told them he began cutting at the wrist and fingers of his left hand, struggling to get free.
“He did more damage to his arm than the accident," Downey Fire Department Battalion Chief Chuck Seely said "This guy was definitely in desperation."
Rescue workers rushed Risler to the St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where he was in fair condition late Monday.
Risler was driving from his high desert home in Lucerne Valley to sell sandals at a craft fair in Hermosa Beach when the accident occurred.
Source: Omaha World-Herald, Tuesday, 3.21.00, Metro Ed., National News, pg.3.
Winston Churchill is remembered as perhaps the greatest prime minister in the history of Great Britain. By the steel of his will, he led his island nation to stand against Hitler and eventually triumph in World War ll. But years before that victorious moment for the ages, Churchill found himself plunging through a succession of devastating trapdoors–each one worse than the one before.
In August 1929, Churchill had managed to bring in approximately $70,000 into the family coffers. That’s a lot of money even today. In 1929, that was an unimaginable amount of money for a single month’s work. He invested nearly all of it into the American stock market. He then jotted a note to his wife saying how pleased he was to finally reach a place of financial independence. Less than ninety days later the stock market fell through it’s own trapdoor and Churchill lost virtually everything.
It was a major blow. Churchill had experienced ninety days of financial security–and then the bottom fell out. For the first time in his adult life he had been on easy street enjoying the prospects of a comfortable future and then the trapdoor fell open beneath his feet and down he went.
That setback alone would be enough to send most any man into the dungeon of depression. But there were two more difficulties that waited quietly and patiently for Churchill to arrive. In 1931, after serving his entire adult life as a central figure in the British government, he was not invited to serve in the cabinet. This was another staggering blow to Churchill. He had been banished to the political wilderness. While Hitler was working full-time to build his war machine, Churchill, virtually the only British politician who saw the reality of Hitler’s threat, was put out to pasture. When he should have been center stage, he was banished to his country home where he wrote, painted, and built brick walls and cleaned out the ponds to stay busy. The great statesman was sent down to the minors to play Class A ball when he should have been starting in the All Star game. This defeat was even more bitter than the financial loss. It was heating up in the British steel furnace.
And then in the same year, while he was trying to hold things together financially and fight off depression of political defeat, he decided to take a tour of Canada and the United States. In New York City he looked the wrong way while crossing a street and was hit by a taxi traveling at thirty-five miles per hour. The accident sent him to the hospital, clinging to life by a thread.
In less than three years he had suffered three shattering transitions that had devastated him financially, then politically, and then in an accident that nearly cost him his life. In a letter t...
Mike Yaconneli talks about Eric. “I’ll never forget the day Eric, a recovering alcoholic, stood up in our church during announcements. Eric’s lifelong battle with alcohol had been mostly unsuccessful. He had been in and our of jail, and his drinking was taking its toll on his marriage. ‘I need prayer’, he said
‘my wife has given me an ultimatum- drinking or her. She’s asked me to decide today, and I just wanted to tell you all that I have decided......’
A long awkward pause ensued and every person in the church was on the edge of their seat with their face turned toward him, encouraging him, pleading with him to make the right decision. You could have heard a pin drop. Finally, he stumbled on, tears in his eyes. ‘I’ve decided to choose my wife!.’
Applause and cheering broke out. No one said it, but you could hear it, Good answer, good answer. Eric was not afraid to tell the truth; he was not afraid to reveal to all of us how difficult it was to give up alcohol, even for his wife.
Eric is a spiritual man. Troubled? Yes. Weak? Yes. Unfinished? Absolutely.
Eric refused to pretend life is clean and neat, and he knew he had to tell us the way things were, not the way we wished they were.
Messy Spirituality, Mike Yaconelli
We often learn about following Jesus in the desperation of life. It is a myth, or if you choose an out right lie that we have to fix ourselves in order to meet God. God meets us right where we are.
ONE DAY A GRASSHOPPER DECIDED TO PLAY WITH A HARMLESS LOOKING SPIDER. SO, HE CRAWLED SLOWLY IN THE HOT SUN AND CAME WITH IN A FEW INCHES OF MR. SPIDER. THEN, HE GRADUALLY CAME WITH IN A VERY SHORT DISTANCE OF THE SPIDER. AND THEN, SLOWLY BUT WITH APPARENT DELIBERATION, THE GRASSHOPPER REACHED OUT WITH ONE OF HIS FEELERS TOWARD MR. SPIDER AS IF TO SHAKE HANDS.
QUICK AS A FLASH, OUT WENT ONE OF THE SPIDER’S LEGS, AND WHEN HE HAD WITHDRAWN IT A WEB HAD BEEN ATTACHED TO THE ANTENNAE OF THE GRASSHOPPER.
INSTEAD OF FLYING AWAY, AS HE MIGHT EASILY HAVE DONE, THE GRASSHOPPER REACHED OUT ANOTHER MEMBER, WITH THE SAME RESULT. TIME AFTER TIME THE PROCESS WAS REPEATED, UNTIL THE HOPPER SEEMED TO BECOME AWARE THAT HE WAS GETTING INTO TROUBLE.
BY THIS TIME HE WAS RESTLESS, AND HIS MOVEMENTS WERE MORE FREQUENT, BUT EACH TIME HE RAISED AN APPENDAGE A NEW WEB WAS ATTACHED. FINALLY IN DESPERATION, MR. HOPPER BEGAN A REAL STRUGGLE TO FREE HIMSELF. BUT, IT WAS TOO LATE.
AT THE VERY MOMENT WHEN HE COMMENCED IN EARNEST TO ATTEMPT HIS ESCAPE, MR. SPIDER JUMPED UPON HIM AND ROLLED HIM OVER AND OVER IN AN EVER-INCREASING COAT OF WEB UNTIL, WITHIN JUST A FEW MOMENTS, THE GRASSHOPPER WAS BOUND AND HELPLESS, AND MR. SPIDER BEGAN HIS MEAL.
THIS IS JUST HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ENTANGLED WITH SIN - DRAWN AWAY OF THEIR OWN LUST, AND ENTICED WHICH LEADS TO DEATH!!!