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Leadership Magazine carried a story about 4 young men, Bible College students, who were renting a house together. One Saturday morning someone knocked on their door. And when they opened it, there stood this bedraggled-looking old man. His eyes were kind of marbleized, & he had a silvery stub of whiskers on his face.
His clothes were ragged & torn. His shoes didn’t match. In fact, they were both for the same foot. And he carried a wicker basket full of unappealing vegetables that he was trying to sell. The boys felt sorry for him & bought some of his vegetables just to help him out. Then he went on his way.
But from that time on, every Saturday he appeared at their door with his basket of vegetables. As the boys got to know him a little bit better, they began inviting him in to visit a while before continuing on his rounds.
They soon discovered that his eyes looked marbleized, not because of drugs or alcohol, but because of cataracts. They learned that he lived just down the street in an old shack. They also found out that he could play the harmonica, & that he loved to play Christian hymns, & that he really loved God.
So every Saturday they would invite him in, & he would play his harmonica & they would sing Christian hymns together. They became good friends, & the boys began trying to figure out ways to help him.
One Saturday morning, the story says, right in the middle of all their singing & praising, he suddenly said to them, "God is so good!" And they all agreed, "Yes, God is so good." He went on, "You know why he is so good?" They said, "Why?" He said, "Because yesterday, when I got up & opened my door, there were boxes full of clothes & shoes & coats & gloves. Yes, God is so good!" And the boys smiled at each other & chimed in, "Yes, God is so good."
He went on, "You know why He is so good?" They answered, "You already told us why. What more?" He said, "Because I found a family who could use those things, & I gave them all away."
Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. Yes, every morning. However, it debits what is left over at the end of the day. Every evening, it deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every penny, of course! Each of us has such a bank in our lives. It’s name is TIME.
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft . Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the day’s deposits; the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against the "tomorrow." You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success! The clock is running, it is your future. Make the most of today.
Muhammad Ali today is called the greatest. But it hasn’t always been that way. He became the greatest in the eyes of the world over the last 40 years. Muhammad Ali used to “float like a butterfly” and “sting like a bee”. He dazzled crowds with his amazing ability to dodge a punch while he used a very unconventional style, with hands held low, as he bobbed and weaved. Ali won the heavyweight title on February 25th, 1964 from Soney Liston. Ali was a 7-1 underdog and 43 of 46 major press writers picked him to lose. You see nobody really believed that he could be a champion. But he defeated Soney Liston to become the Heavy Weight Champion of the world. Well on his way to becoming the greatest, Ali lost his title and then won it back it perhaps the greatest Heavy Weight fight of all time, the “Rumble in the Jungle”, against then champion Gorge Foreman. Ali played what came to be known as the “rope a dope”. Ali covered up and let the heavy hitter, Gorge Foreman, tire himself out throwing punches, then when Forman was exhausted, Ali knocked him out. Now he became “Americas Champion” and some called him the greatest. Ali would again lose his title to Leon Spinks and then regain it after beating Leon Spinks in a unanimous decision. Now, he had become the only Heavy Weight to win the title three times and many called him the greatest. Ali would go on to lose two more fights to Trevor Burbick and Larry Holmes before retiring in 1981. Ali would have the spotlight once more in 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta Ali, with hands trembling from the Parkinson’s Disease he now suffers from, lit the cauldron to signify the start of the Summer Olympic Games. Many people shed tears as they watched “The Greatest” light the torch. Because of his accomplishments, the world calls Ali “The Greatest”. And while Ali’s story is inspiring and should stir the emotions of our heart, what the world calls great and what the Lord calls great are often two very different things. While Ali became great by winning the Heavy Weight title three times, God isn’t impressed by such accomplishments. While God desires good things in our life, he is immeasurably more concerned with our character than with our trophies. While he enables us to do great things, he desires that we would do his will, and God desires that we would understand what lasting accomplishment is. Faith…Hope…Love… The trophies will gather dust and our bodies wear out with just a little time, but the things of God endure forever!
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF PLAYING FOOTBALL?
Well, of course, we would say winning. But there is a clearer point than winning, it is scoring points. We might score 6
points in a touchdown, three points in a field goal, two points in a safety, or one point in a point after the touch down.
WHAT IF I TOLD YOU OF A MAN THAT PLAYED FOOTBALL 23 YEARS, 15 YEARS IN THE NFL,
FOUR YEARS IN COLLEGE, AND FOUR YEARS IN HIGH SCHOOL AND HE NEVER SCORED A TOUCH DOWN
OR MADE A POINT?
He never even scored one point? THIS MAN WOULD HAVE TO BE A FAILURE WOULDN’T HE?
Well, let’s look at this? This man never made a touch down, but he played in 245 games in his career.
Why start a man that can’t score? He made 1,032 tackles, pretty impressive?
He blocked 86 passes. He made 19 fumble recoveries, but still no touch downs?
He made 3 interceptions, but no touchdowns?
While in a football game everything centers on the football and the goal line, but there is more to the game than that.
THE MAN’S NAME IS ED "TOO TALL" JONES!
Ed "Too Tall" Jones is in the Football Ha...
Steve Brown, a popular radio bible teacher, says that one morning after a Church service a lady came up to him and said, "I wanted to meet you because I have listened to your sermons on the radio and they have turned my life around. I didn’t know the Lord, and my whole life has been changed because of your messages. I just wanted to meet you," she continued and I also wanted you to meet a friend of mine too." And then she turned back from her friend and said to Steve, "I’m sorry, what was your name again?" She had forgotten his name! And we might say, "If those sermons had changed her life how could she had forgotten who gave them?" The point is of course that she hadn’t forgotten where they had come from. And Steve Brown said, "I was thrilled! She was simply remembering the message and not the human messenger. It was the Word of God that was being honored!" And that is a humble servant.
Sermon Central Staff
WALT DISNEY'S LEADERSHIP
Walt Disney was a remarkable man of vision. He never gave up. Early in his career a newspaper fired him because they thought he had "no good ideas". That just made Disney try harder. When he was starting out in Kansas City he couldn't sell his cartoons. Some hinted that he had no talent but Walt Disney had a dream so he set out to conquer his foes. He found a minister who paid him a small amount to draw advertising pictures for his church. Disney had no place to stay, so that the church let him sleep in the mouse-infested garage. One of those mice which Disney nicknamed Mickey, became famous -- as the world knows.
The early days were tough; but that remarkable, creative visionary refused to give up. Walt would occasionally present some unbelievable, extensive dream to his board about and idea he was entertaining. Almost without exception, the members of his board would gulp, blink, and stare back at him in disbelief, resisting even the thought of such a thing. But unless every member resisted the idea, Disney usually didn't pursue it. Yes, you heard me correctly. Unless everyone RESISTED the idea he would not take it. The challenge wasn't big enough to merit his time and creative energy unless they were unanimously in disagreement! Is it any wonder that Disneyland and Disney World are now realities? This type of faith is required for visionaries in business -- but also for us as Christians. Like Disney we need to dream big and trust in God for the impossible.
When Walt Disney World in Orlando ,FL. opened in 1974, Mrs. Disney was sitting beside Walter Cronkite. Walt Disney has passed away a few years earlier. Walter Cronkite wanted to say just the right thing to Mrs. Disney, so he leaned over to her and said, "Wouldn't it be great if Walt were here to see this today." Mrs. Disney wisely replied, "If Walt had not first seen this you would not be seeing it today."
(From a sermon by Stephen Sheane, Dry Bones, 8/18/2010)
Back in June of 1999, Eddie Stankey died at the age of 83. Time Magazine carried his obituary. It seems that in his day, Stankey (nicknamed “the brat”) had been a “pugnacious pennant-winning 2nd basemen for such championship teams as the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Boston Braves and the New York Giants.
The general manager of the Dodgers, Branch Rickey, once commented: “He can’t run, he can’t hit and he can’t throw, but if there’s a way to beat the other team, he’ll find it.”
In the Greek original of the New Testament the word often translated sincere means `judged in the sunlight’; and the English word is derived from the Latin--- `sine cera’, which means `without wax’.
In the days when art flourished in ancient Greece, it was the common practice to repair with `invisible’ wax any vase or statue that had, as a result of carelessness or misadventure, been damaged.
A rich man or a person of high rank might employ a sculptor to chisel his bust in marble. Sometimes, if the chisel slipped, the end of the nose would be chipped off. Rather than go to the trouble of making a new bust, the sculptor would so mend the features with wax that the flaws could not be detected unless by very close scrutiny, and palm off on the customer his defective workmanship. If the client happened to be a knowing person, he would carry the finished statuette out of the studio into the open before paying for it, and examine it carefully in the sunlight: otherwise ...
Hitler imprisoned a German pastor, Martin Niemoeller, for eight years. He spent some time in prisons and concentration camps, including Dachau. Hitler realised that if Niemoeller, a First World War hero, could be persuaded to join his cause then much opposition would collapse, so he sent a former friend of Niemoeller to visit him, a friend who now supported the Nazis. Seeing Niemoeller in his cell, the one time friend is reported as saying, "Martin, Martin! Why are you here?" To which he received from Niemoeller the response, "My friend! Why are you not here?"
Those of us who pray for the persecuted church, mourned the loss of Cardinal Ignatius Kung who died last month at the age of 98. Though I’m not a Catholic, I admire Cardinal Kung who stood by his convictions, and withstood persecution for his faith.
He was ordained as a Bishop of Shanghai in 1949, shortly after the communists took over China. The Chinese government pressured him to align his loyalties to the "Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association," he refused, choosing to remain loyal to his church’s chain of command. In 1955, the authorities brought he and 200 other priests to a stadium in Shanghai. The government ordered them to "confess their crimes." Instead, Kung shouted "Long live Christ the King! Long live the Pope."
Shortly thereafter, he received a life sentence, where he spent the next 30 years in prison, most of the time in solitary confinement. He was freed in 1987 and finally arrived to his final resting place last month.