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Summary: Turning Steps of Risk Into a Walk of Faith. Whenever you’re up against all odds, life seems to take on a different meaning Just when you become comfortable in the even flow of things happening, God shows up and does something wonderful in your life to

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OPTIONAL DVD STATS OPENER AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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DVD Intro “What Are The Odds…” Fade music out on black

(this opener basically shows text fading in and out of odd statistics)

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OPENING:

Often times, life is a test for us. We strive at completing the test and coming through with flying colors.

But sometimes, tests are given to us when we find ourselves against all odds.

Perhaps when we are tested in life for something we haven’t had a chance to study for? How do we react?

Sometimes we get lucky and beat the odds, like this gentleman did (Picture of Truck wreck off the side of the highway - then next slide shows truck wreck only 5 feet from a thousand foot drop-off).

-- POWERPOINT SLIDE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST)--

ILLUSTRATION: THE LOSER-----------------------

For Sparky, school was all but impossible.

He failed every subject in the eighth grade. He flunked physics in high school, getting a grade of zero.

Sparky also flunked Latin, Algebra, and English. He didn’t do much better in sports.

Although he did manage to make the school’s golf team, he promptly lost the only important match of the season.

There was a consolation match. He lost that one too.

Throughout his youth, Sparky was socially awkward.

He was not actually disliked by the other students; it was just that no one cared that much about him.

He was astonished if a classmate ever said hello to him outside of school hours.

There’s no way to tell how he might have done with dating.

Because Sparky never once asked a girl to go out with him while he was in high school. He was too afraid of being turned down.

Sparky was a loser. He, his classmates... everyone knew it. So he rolled with it.

Sparky had made up his mind early in life that, if things were meant to work out, they would.

Otherwise he would content himself with what appeared to be his inevitable mediocrity of just blending in with the crowd.

However, one thing was import to Sparky: drawing. He was proud of his artwork. Of course, no one else appreciated it.

In his senior year at high school, he submitted some cartoons to the editors of the yearbook. The cartoons were turned down.

Despite this particular rejection, Sparky was so convinced of his ability that he decided to become a professional artist.

After completing high school, he wrote a letter to Walt Disney Studios.

He was told to send some samples of his artwork, and the subject for a cartoon was suggested.

Sparky drew the proposed cartoon. He spent a great deal of time on it, and on all the other drawings he submitted.

Finally, the reply came from Disney Studios. He had been rejected once again. Another loss for the loser.

So Sparky decided to write his autobiography in cartoons. He described his childhood self: a little boy loser and chronic underachiever.

The cartoon character would soon become famous worldwide.

For Sparky, the boy who had such lack of success in school, and whose work was rejected again and again, was Charles Schulz.

He created Peanuts, and the cartoon character whose kite would never fly and who never succeeded in kicking a football – was none other than that of Charlie Brown.

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Whenever you’re up against all odds, life seems to take on a different meaning

Just when you become comfortable in the even flow of things happening, God shows up and does something wonderful in your life to counteract the even flow of familiarity

Depending on how we choose to perceive it, it sometimes seems that we’re against all odds either situations, or people

And if you haven’t come against all odds yet…if you haven’t come face to face with the enemy, take a long look, because you may be going the same way he is

The man I would like to take a look at today had to overcome the odds because of his past reputation with his newfound faith.

Situations which would have in normal circumstances—intimidated most people--silencing their belief and preventing them from experiencing the true power of God through the Holy Spirit

Read Acts 9:15-31

Going against the odds sometimes means that the odds aren’t always in your favor—you don’t have CONTROL of the situation

It’s the difference between riding a Schwinn Bike vs. Mini bike -- when I was a kid, all the cool guys had mini-bikes. I thought I was cool with my stick-shift Schwinn yellow chopper -- that is until the guys with the mini-bikes had the girls riding on back with them.

Going against all odds sometimes involves pain—sometimes inwardly and sometimes outwardly as Saul experienced

The pain of taking a risk in becoming a Christ follower and going up against all odds is very real

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