3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: Christmas 2001 Jesus is a better Choice

John 10:7-10. A better choice for a better life

Eric A. Snyder , Minister, Farwell Church of Christ

December 23, 2001

In an average lifetime, the average American spends 3 years in business meetings, 13 years watching TV, Spends $89,281 on food, consumes 109,354 pounds of food, Makes 1811 trips to McDonalds, Spends $6881 in vending machines, Eats 35,138 cookies and 1483 pounds of candy, Catches 304 colds, Is involved in 6 motor vehicle accidents, is hospitalized 8 times (men) or 12 times (women), Spends 24 years sleeping

A few years ago 33-year-old truck driver Larry Walters made national news. Larry had a habit of spending his weekends in his Los Angeles backyard, just south of LA International Airport, drinking...Pepsi...and eating peanut butter sandwiches. He would sit in his favorite lawn

staring at the houses around him in the subdivision where he lived. Not a real exciting life.

One day abject boredom prompted Larry Walters to buy some balloons and a tank of helium. He figured on tying the balloons to his lawn chair, filling them with helium, and floating up for an aerial view of the neighborhood. He judged he’d get no higher than 100 feet, but just in case, he got out his BB gun and loaded it. He planned to regulate his altitude by shooting out a couple of balloons. I’m not sure how many six packs of...Pepsi...he had consumed when he came to that idea, but he decided it was worth a try.

So Larry Walters of Los Angeles went out and bought 45 big weather balloons, a huge tank of helium, and some rope. First he secured his lawn chair to the ground, then he filled the balloons with helium. One by one he tied them to his lawn chair. Before liftoff he went in the house and got another six-pack of...Pepsi, a couple of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and his BB gun. Then he went out and sat in his lawn chair. He had instructed his neighbors to cut the ropes securing the chair when he was ready. “Let’s go!” he yelled, and the ropes were cut.

But he didn’t go 100 feet. He went up 11,000 feet! Shot straight up in the air! And the BB gun? It was useless since he was using both hands to hang on to the chair for dear life.

He zoomed straight up into the landing pattern at LA Airport. The pilot of an approaching Continental DC 10 reported that he had just passed a man in a lawn chair, and the control tower told him to report in immediately upon landing. They thought the pilot might have been drinking a little too much...Pepsi. Can you imagine being a passenger in that plane? “Look, mom, out the window. There’s a man in a lawn chair!”

Eventually they sent up helicopters to rescue Larry Walters. They closed the airport and diverted all landings and takeoffs at LAX while they played tag with this fellow in his lawn chair at 11,000 feet. When they finally got him down, he was surrounded by TV crews, the police, fire and rescue squads, and plenty of curious people. It was a major event.

“Were you scared?” asked one of the TV reporters, thrusting a mike in his face.

“No, not really” said Larry.

“Are you going to do it again?” asked another reporter.

“No,” said Larry.

“What in the world made you do it the first time?”

Larry Walters thought about it for a moment and said, “Well, you can’t just sit there.”

All of us long for excitement in this life.

Albert Schweitzer said, "The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives."

Where do you search for significance and meaning?

Sheila Larson a nurse, I believe in God, I’m not a religious fanatic, I can’t remember the last time I went to church. My faith has carried me a long way. It’s Sheilaism. Just my own little voice.

This false religion has even crept into the hearts of Jesus true followers

It’s been told so many times that we can no longer distinguish fact from fiction.

Repetition does not transform a lie into truth. FDR

Who do you listen to as a voice of spiritual authority in your life?

Have you subscribed to your own set of personalized beliefs

Have you accepted the truth of Jesus?

While listening to a local radio station I recently heard the Cobbler shop in Alma as well as the Alma glass company spreading their own false religion.

The message they were sharing is that truth is whatever you believe it to be.

I think those folks need to stick with windows.

Truth is only found in Jesus. And in John 10 Jesus says

7 -10 Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

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