Summary: An evangelistic sermon about putting God first and keeping your eyes focussed on Jesus.

Keep your eye on the ball Philippians 3:1-16 WBC 10/11/02pm

On day 6 of ill-fated Apollo 13 mission the astronauts needed to make a critical course correction. If they failed they might never return to earth. To conserve power, the onboard computer that steered the craft had been shut down. yet the astronauts needed to conduct a 39 second burst of the main engines. how to steer? Astronaut Jim Lovell determined that if they could keep a fixed point in space in view through their tiny window, they could steer the craft manually. That focal point turned out to be their destination- earth. As shown grippingly in the 1995 movie ’Apollo 13’, for 39 agonising seconds, Lovell focussed on keeping the earth in view. By not losing sight of that reference point, the 3 astronauts avoided disaster.

1 Where’s your FOCUS?

where you focus your attention, devotion… eyes… energies = so important

- Apollo 13 mission and men saved by keeping their eyes on the earth. The one true, fixed point in the direction they needed to go

- I was struck by Wayne “keep your eye on the ball” with Charlotte (I’m useless at footy- and that’s because nobody told me that important fact!)

43% of all statistics are totally worthless !!! 97.3% Of all statistics are made up.

- Not sure this is: 1987 Survey of USA showed over 90% believed in a personal God

o so what’s wrong? Why isn’t that nation… and this nation (50%) the holiest nation on earth???

Indiana Jones & the last crusade- Holy Grail. The ONE thing the baddie lives for. But he can’t take it with him

- dies in horrible disappointment

- films are filled with this kind of ‘dawning’

o Sully in Monsters Inc. Best scary monster- but then realises he’s been part of something horrible. Scaring kids

o they discover… too late… they’ve been focussing on the wrong thing.

Illustr: Towards the end of the 19th Century, Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel awoke one morning to read his own obituary in the local paper. It read: Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, who died yesterday, devised a way for more people to be killed in a war than ever before, and he died a very rich man.

Actually, it was Alfred’s older brother who had died. A newspaper reporter hat bungled the epitaph,

But the account had a profound effect on Nobel. He decided had lived for the wrong kind of thing: the means to kill people efficiently and for amassing a fortune in the process. So he initiated the Nobel Prize, the award for scientists and writers who foster peace.

Nobel said: Every man ought to have the chance to correct his epitaph in midstream and write a new one.

Illustr: another such person was a man with a fixation for the power of ‘CRAZY GLUE’:

While visiting the Eagle’s Rock African Safari Zoo with a group of thespians from St. Petersburg, Russia, Demuth tried to demonstrate one of America’s many marvels. Demuth wanted to show the effectiveness of "Crazy Glue" ... the hard way. Apparently, Demuth put about 3 ounces of the adhesive in the palms of his hands, and jokingly placed his hands on the buttocks of a passing rhino. The rhino, named Sally, had been a resident of the zoo for many years. She was not initially startled because she had been part of the petting exhibit since she was a baby.

However once she tired of the petting, Sally began to panic and run around the pen taking Demuth with her. During Sally’s tirade two fences were destroyed, a shed wall was gored, and a number of small animals escaped. Also, during the stampede, three pygmy goats and one duck were stomped to death.

Sally was finally captured and restrained.

(To complicate matters, Sally had not been feeling well lately. Actually, she had been very constipated. The veterinarian had just given her a laxative and some depressants to relax her bowels. James Douglas, zoo caretaker said, "With all the excitement, the laxatives started to take effect and Demuth was repeatedly showered with rhino diarrhoea. I guess you could say that Demuth was up to his neck. Once Sally was under control, we were able to tranquilize her and three care takers, with the help of shovels were able to keep an air passage

open for Mr. Demuth. It took a team of medics and zoo caretakers over four hours to apply solvent and remove Demuth’s hands from the rhino’s buttocks. "It was tricky. We had to work and shield our faces from being pelted with rhino dung, said Douglass. "I don’t think he’ll be playing with Crazy Glue for a while." Vladimir Aolnikov, leader of the Russian troupe, said they were amused by the demonstration and impressed with the power of Crazy Glue.)

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