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II Cor. 2:12-17
INTRO.- Peace of mind. Many things cause us to lose it.
ILL.- A cowboy Sheriff in the old west said to a man, "Excuse me for being nervous," as he slipped the noose over the condemned manís head, "This is my first hanging."
The man replied, "Mine too!"
If you were about to have your neck stretched and/or lose your life you would have little peace of mind.
ILL.- A bank robber help up a bank one time. He said to the teller, "Give me all your money." The teller replied, "HERE, TAKE THE BOOKS TOO, IíM SHORT TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS."
If you were in trouble financially, that would certainly cause you to lose your peace of mind.
ILL.- Charles Keating, owner of the failed Lincoln Savings and Loan Association in 1991, was shook up as he left the courtroom on August 2, 1991. Keating was facing 20 counts of securities fraud. As he left the courtroom, a 90-year-old former customer named Sarah Mandell, grabbed him by the collar and began shaking him, saying, "GIVE ME BACK MY MONEY!"
If we were to lose all our money in some failed financial institution we would probably have little peace of mind.
ILL.- Itís like the latest deal, THE ENRON CORPORATION. Some people have lost millions. One man was interviewed on national TV and stated that he lost 2 million dollars in Enron stocks. BET HE HAS LITTLE PEACE OF MIND RIGHT NOW! Heís probably worried to death about his financial future.
And what it makes even worse is that apparently some of the top dogs in that corporation are still doing quite well!
It is said that, Kenneth Lay, chairman and CEO of Enron, is one of the 16,000 still employed after abrupt layoffs left more than a quarter of the Enron workforce unemployed.
Kenneth Lay and other top executives are still living the Houston good-life in the best neighborhoods. Layís home is the entire 33rd floor of a high rise. The former CEO is building a new house. He golfs at the nearby $75,000 membership River Oaks Country Club and is a frequent diner at the fanciest restaurants.
Kenneth Lay may have some "peace of mind," but not the stockholders and/or employees who lost millions!
Certain things happen to all of us in life which cause us to lose our peace of mind.
ILL.- Listen to this letter from my Hispanic Brother Ruben Casas. As most of you know, Brother Ruben preaches to a Hispanic congregation in East Los Angeles. Last week he wrote, "This past week was the pits for me. Gangs did another drive by (shooting) and three people died. One is in critical condition and might also die. Please pray for this terrible situation. They were not members of the church, but had contact with members of the church. It is difficult around here."
In another letter he wrote: "The living conditions in East Los Angeles are not safe for our family. The schools are performing very poorly. I want my children to attend better schools in Covina. El Sereno, which is the name of the community where the church is located, is a very ugly neighborhood. We have graffiti all over the front walls of the church property. Almost all of the decorative small windows in the front of the church are broken. Some of them have been hit with bullets, others with stones or other objets. It is a rough area.
"Although we have a chain link fence around the property, individuals have tried to break into the church
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