Summary: This was a presentation to the Canadian Valley Technology Center near OKC) on the anniversary of the EF-5 tornado that destroyed their facilities. They are in the process of rebuilding. This was to encourage their moral in the effort.
1. Daniel and Ezekiel Webster Doing Nothing
Lawyer and statesman Daniel Webster was a powerful orator who gave early evidence of his quick mind and his way with words. One day Webster’s father, was to be absent from the home. He left Daniel and his brother Ezekiel specific work instructions.
But on his return he found the task still undone, and questioned his sons about their idleness. "What have you been doing, Ezekiel?" he asked. "Nothing, sir." "Well, Daniel, what have you been doing?" "Helping Zeke, sir."
That sounds like some people today. “Why should I do something if no one else is?” Some reason this way: “I don’t see anybody else around here doing anything, so why should I?”
2. Not so with the Canadian Valley Vo-Tech
a. You have been through a major tragedy and bounced back
b. The leaders of this institution have led you into action as you anticipate the building of a new and improved facility
1) No sitting and waiting until the new facility is finished
2) Sacrificial efforts on the part of the whole organization have kept things going
3) SYCoC is very honored to have a part in hosting the CVVT-CDC; in a small way we get to partner with you to serve this community
3. There are many Stories in the Bible and in Life of Persevering People
4. God has put something in us that just does not roll over when tragedies happen, whether it is tornadoes; illnesses; disruption; or whatever the case may be.
I. Face the Challenges as they Come – and they WILL Come – Nehemiah 4
The original “Murphy” of “Murphy’s Law” fame was an engineer who conducted an experiment to test human acceleration tolerances. Unfortunately for him, he installed 16 motion sensors the wrong way, leading to the now famous quotation, “If anything can go wrong, it will.” I guess the corollary is also true: “If anything can’t go wrong, it will anyway.”
Here are some other laws blamed on poor Mr. Murphy:
• Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
• Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.
• You will never find a lost article until you replace it.
• Everything goes wrong all at once.
• If everything seems to be going well, you’ve obviously overlooked something.
A. Recap of Nehemiah
1. Chapter 1 – Nehemiah’s prayer for the city of Jerusalem
2. Chapter 2 – God moves Nehemiah from the prosperity of Persia to the desolation of Israel
3. Chapter 3 – Progress in the rebuilding – a place for everyone to work
B. Challenge of the Loyal Opposition – If anything can go wrong – Nehemiah 4
2. Reprisal – enemies angry and begin plotting to stop the Jews
C. Challenges from within
1. Fatigue – Nehemiah 4.10 “Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, ‘The strength of the laborers is giving out…” they were tired
2. Frustration -- Verse 10 continues by saying that there is “so much rubble” that they cannot rebuild the wall.
3. Fear -- verse 10: “We cannot rebuild the wall.”
Winston Churchill was not only an inspirational leader against the terror of Nazi Germany, but he was also something of a humorist. Adolf Hitler had announced at a Nazi rally during the Battle of Britain that Germany would wring England’s neck like a helpless chicken.
Churchill spoke the next day in Parliament and said that Hitler was in for a big surprise because he would find out that England is "some chicken with some neck."
Churchill’s words, his cigar, his hat, and his proper London suit were humorous jabs at terrible fears. As Churchill demonstrated, leaders need to rise above their circumstances.
a. Fear is the #1 issue God deals with in the bible – 365 verses telling us not to fear
b. Statistics on Fear
• 60% of our fears are totally unfounded
• 20% are already behind us
• 10% are so petty they don’t make any difference
• 5% are real, but we can’t do anything about them
• 5% are real, and we can do something about them
II. Overcome the Challenges
A. With Focus on God First
CVTS may not be a “religious institution” but there are godly people here who have found a way to serve others – our God is a servant leader (Mark 10.42)
B. With Right Priorities
“Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest point of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.” 4.13
C. With Encouraging Words – Nehemiah Encouraged and the work was finished in 52 days
Warren G. Harding said, “There’s good in everybody. Boost. Don’t knock.”
Booker T. Washington said, “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”