Sermon Illustrations

This last week I started reading the book, “Pivotal Praying,” - Connecting with God in times of great need. The book is written by John Hull and Tim Elmore. The book has been enlightening to say the least but in chapter 5 Tim shares about how important it is to run to God in prayer when we find that we have failed God. He notes how all of us like to hear stories of the “Failure to Fortune” kind or the “Rags to Riches” type. I thought as I was reading this chapter you know this is the story of Jonah “Failure to revival” – really every prophet wants to be a part of a great revival. Jonah got to be a part of one in his life – think about it “A heathen city went from living lives filled with evil to repentance , to revival and to serving Jehovah God.” Sounds like the kind of event I would love to be a part of – Maybe this is one reason why I loved being a part of the revival happening in India with Dr. Nichol’s.

Tim opened chapter 5 with one of those “failure to fortune stories” let me share that story with you.

Charles B. Darrow set a goal while still in his twenties. He determined he was going to become a millionaire. This isn’t too unusual today, but Charles lived during the Roaring Twenties, a time when a million dollars was an enormous sum. He even married his wife, Esther, promising that they would be millionaires one day. Then tragedy struck, 1929 rolled around; and the Great Depression began. Both Charles and Esther lost their jobs. In fact, they mortgaged their home, lost their car, and used up most of their life savings. Charles was crushed. He sat around the house depressed, until one day he told his wife she could leave him if she wanted to. After all, it was clear they were never going to reach their goal. Esther wasn’t about to leave. She told Charles they were still going to reach their goal, but that they would need to do something every day to keep the dream alive. “Keep it alive?” Charles responded. “It’s dead! We’ve failed.” But Esther didn’t believe this. Instead, she suggested that every night they take some time to discuss what they would do when they reached their goal. They began doing this each night after dinner. Soon Charles came up with the idea of creating play money-something quite appealing, since money was so scarce in those days. He would sit around with lots of time, and now lots of “easy money” to play with, as he and his wife pretended to buy things like houses, property, and other buildings. Soon they turned it into a full-fledged game, with a board, dice, cards, little house and hotels…and you guessed it: that was the beginning of a game you probably have in your closet right now. This is how the game Monopoly was born…The game was copyrighted in 1935, and Parker Brothers bought if from Charles Darrow. And do you know how much money they gave for it? That’s right (with royalty rights) he received over one million dollars” (Pages 54, 55).