6-Week Series: Against All Odds

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Summary: Today is part 3 in our series. It was originally going to be 4 parts, but I downsized…

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Today is part 3 in our series. It was originally going to be 4 parts, but I downsized… In part 1 we talked about having faith in worldly possessions is like using a wet paper sack…the bottom is going to fall out. In part 2 we talked about having confidence in ourselves, or in the flesh, and how it’s like upgrading to a plastic sack…it can only carry so much before the bottom gives out or it overloads. And finally, today, we are going to talk about the Halliburton.

The word Halliburton may not be familiar to everyone, or you may know it as an oilfield company. Halliburton Company is an American multinational corporation. One of the world's largest oil field service companies, it has operations in more than 70 countries.] It owns hundreds of subsidiaries, affiliates, branches, brands, and divisions worldwide and employs approximately 55,000 people. The company has dual headquarters located in Houston and in Dubai, and it remains incorporated in the United States. That is not the Halliburton I’m referring to, but they both come from the same guy.

Erle P. Halliburton, the American founder of Halliburton suitcase, had commissioned the aluminium case in 1938 from aircraft engineers because other luggage could not endure the rough travel through Texas oil fields. In addition to being more durable than a leather or cloth case due to its rigidity, the aluminium case seals tightly against dust and water. The aluminium cases have appeared in over 200 Hollywood movies and television show

Erle, a former Navy man, after his honorable discharge in 1915, headed for the oilfields where he invented a new method of oil well cementing. According to one of the inscriptions on the pictured monument, Halliburton's method "isolates the various down-hole zones, guards against collapse of the casing and permits control of the well during its producing life." He also invented the Halliburton suitcase. My stepdad, who also was a former Navy man, used one when he traveled for work that I remember well, so when I hear Halliburton, it’s the suitcases I think of.

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Our author today Paul I bet could’ve used a Halliburton suitcase in all his travels, but when he wrote today’s scripture as a thank you letter to the church in Philippi, he wasn’t traveling. He wrote Philippians from his imprisonment in Rome because he wanted to both thank them for their gift they sent, which likely wasn’t a suitcase, and to further encourage them in their faith. And we pick his letter again in verse

7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.

But whatever were gains to me…I can think back on many things that I once considered gains to me. I remember being a teenager and being out of my mind excited when I got my first car. It was a dark blue ’82 Cutlass Supreme with a 350 four-barrel engine, mag wheels, and even a bra on the front. Man was I excited when I got that car. Of course, then I had to pay for the gas, not to mention the oil, and believe me, that think burned oil. Turned out, it wasn’t all I had cracked it up to be and eventually I had to upgrade to Toyota pickup that I envisioned all my dreams coming true in. Then after just 2 short months, it was stolen. Then I got a ’79 Plymouth Volare Duster…and the cycle of disappointment continued. And that was just vehicles…how many of you live in the same house you started in…? How many of you wear the same clothes you started with…ok, maybe some of the guys do… I can think of looking forward to so many trips, orders, purchases, new jobs, you name it thinking that if I can just last until then, my life is going to be so much better. But whatever were gains to me…honestly, a person can get choked up thinking about it. When I think about the time that is wasted on what always turns out to be foolish ventures, we can’t help but feel sorry about it. Sorry because all that focus on those earthly desires brought nothing but momentary happiness, but worse, took our focus off God. But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.

Paul did incredible things and accomplished a lot. They weren’t all good things either. In the previous verses he names a few, and here he is telling us he considers it all a loss for the sake of Christ. What have you spent a lot of your time focusing on…? What have you spent a lot of your money on…? It’s humbling when we think back on what we have used our time for…what we have used our money and etc for. It’s humbling, and I get choked up, when I think what I could’ve accomplished for the sake of Christ if I had put that same time, money, and resources towards both my own relationship with God, and helping others grow in theirs.

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