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Summary: Harvest Service 2014 - (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Ill:

• At a nursing home, a resident group was discussing ailments.

• One man said: "My arms are so weak I can hardly life this cup of coffee,"

• An old lady added:

• "Yes I know, my cataracts are so bad I can't even see my coffee,"

• Then a third person said:

• "I can't turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck,"

• Then an elderly man spoke up:

• "My blood pressure pills make me dizzy, but I guess that's the price we pay for getting old,"

• They all nodded enthusiastically and someone added:

• "Well, it sure beats the alternative."

• The one woman said cheerfully;

• "Well, it's not that bad, thank goodness we can all still drive!"

• TRANSITION: It is good to be thankful!

• It is good to ‘give thanks’ for all the good things God has given us to enjoy!

Ill:

• Someone wrote a little monologue called; ‘I am Thankful for.........’

• It goes; ‘I am Thankful for.........’

• the taxes I pay

• because it means I’m employed.

• the clothes that fit a little too snug

• because it means I have enough to eat.

• my shadow who watches me work

• because it means I am out in the sunshine.

• a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing

• because it means I have a home.

• the spot I find at the far end of the car parking,

• because it means I am capable of walking.

• my huge heating bill

• because it means I am warm.

• all the complaining I hear about our government

• because it means we have freedom of speech.

• the lady behind me in church who sings off key.

• because it means that I can hear.

• the piles of laundry and ironing

• because it means my loved ones are nearby.

• the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours

• because it means that I’m alive.

• weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day

• because it means I have been productive.

• TRANSITION: It is good to be thankful!

• It is good to ‘give thanks’ for all the good things God has given us to enjoy!

• Quote the hymn: “Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice”

Now harvest is a time of reflection and thanksgiving:

• We take time to reflect to ‘count our blessings’.

• To ‘give thanks’ to God for all the good things he has given us to enjoy!

• Now some of you might be wondering;

• What these verses in Philippians chapter 4 have to do with harvest.

• Well if I had the power to plant five seeds in my own life;

• They would be the five things mentioned in these eleven verses of this chapter.

Seed #1: Stability (vs 1:

“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!”

• Paul’s first request is that these Christians "Stand fast." Or "Stand firm."

• Quote: How stable are you?

• Answer: Some of us suffer from what has been called malarial Christianity;

• That is hot, cold, hot, cold - one week keen to win the world for Christ;

• The next day can’t even get out of bed, a quiet time…forget it!

Seed #2: Harmony (vs 2):

“I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.”

• Paul’s second request is that these Christians have the "Same mind" or "to agree."

• If I could plant a seed to produce some quality in me it would be for harmony.

• Question: How many conflicts have you had this week?

• Question: How many conflicts have you had this month, this year?

• Answer: We might be out and out arguing:

• But we gossip, talk about people, we speak negative things about them.

• And gossip and negative speaking are all visible signs of disunity.

Ill:

• Stephen Hawkings is considered one of the great thinkers of this century.

• He inherited the modern mantle of Albert Einstein.

• Yet he can't even tie his own shoes, brush his teeth or comb his hair,

• Even though these are simple tasks that millions of youngsters do form an early age.

• The reason Stephen Hawkins cannot do these tasks;

• Is because Stephen Hawkings's body has been twisted and crippled;

• By an affliction commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

• This disease causes Stephen Hawkings's nerves to "disconnect" from each other;

• So that the messages from his incredible brain;

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