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Summary: Part 8 of study of Philippians

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THE PASTOR’S POINTS

Bible Teaching Ministry of

CEDAR LODGE BAPTIST CHURCH

Thomasville, NC

Dr. Russell Brownworth, Pastor

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"Granny" Parker always had trouble with that rooster! Granny was in her mid-70’s when I met her. She’d lived all her life on just two farms -- her father’s, and the one she and her husband worked. She had given the two acres our church was built upon. She was a Godly woman who can "pray heaven down."

Like anyone, Granny has had her share of sorrows and pain. If you "set a spell" on the front porch she will talk with you all day about life, financial "doings" and the like. In all, her life has been ordinary and wonderful, hard work and family. A well-spent 80-odd years -- Until that rooster came! "Brother Russell, he’s mean as Satan, himself."

That was the first I’d heard about that rooster. It seems that this bird had decided that Granny didn’t belong in the yard with all "his" hens. Whenever she ventured too close to the hen house, he’d come flying at her with spurs thrashing and slashing. He got her a few times. I recall one Wednesday night in particular, Granny had just come into the church for Prayer Meeting. She was bleeding from her leg and arm. "Blame rooster done it again!" Had that bird been a human, he would’ve been arrested for disturbing the peace on Parker Road.

But, he was a rooster, so one afternoon, Granny ventured out the back door toward the hen house, calling, "Here chick-chick. Here, chick." The hens knew what that meant, and they all came on the dead run for chow. That old rooster came too. He was bent on protecting his territory, but he made a slight miscalculation. You see, over seventy years of handling problems, weather, crop failures, depression and stubborn barnyard animals, made Granny a formidable foe with a hoe. She watched out of the corner of her eye as that whirling-dervish of a rooster came squawking and flapping his wings, brandishing those spurs like Freddie Krueger.

At the last second, Granny "Make-My-Day" Parker side-stepped the leaping rooster and swung the hoe like a Ninja sword. R.I.P., bird! (I think he was in one of those casserole dishes the following Sunday at dinner on the grounds.)

We all have our roosters. We all have those irritating circumstances of life that disturb the peace. In police work a disturbing the peace call is known as a "Signal-22" It is a code that someone is disturbing the general welfare and state of the community.

In our personal lives a signal-22 can mean many things.

For some it is a job that just gets under the skin.

A neighbor that won’t respect your privacy.

A bully who is a grade or two ahead.

Maybe it’s traffic at rush hour.

Now, I do not suggest the "Granny Parker rooster method" for every circumstance. However, each problem needs to be confronted. Otherwise our peace is disturbed, and sometimes taken away altogether.

Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends! I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Phil 4:1-3 (NIV)

Paul confronted the problem at Philippi. Evidently two of the ladies couldn’t get along, and it was a "rooster event" in the church. Paul pleaded for unity and cooperation, but he went further -- he gave them a formula for peace that works!

We live in an age of edgy, worried, peaceless people. We exist in a pressure cooker of racial tensions, family crises, financial and generational stress.

The "feel-good" approach doesn’t work.

Drugs and simple optimism wear off too quickly. The "don’t feel at all" approach is worse. You can only ignore a problem until it engulfs you and your stoicism. Then it may be too late to do something!

That’s like having an early lead in a football game, and playing defensively for the rest of the time. You’re on the field, but you’re not really playing -- just holding out till time ends.

In verses 4-7 Paul lays out the great formula when you encounter a "Signal 22" -- a disturbance of your peace. What do you do with a signal-22? The formula is P + P + P = P

Praise (4.4)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!Phil 4:4 (NIV)

Praise is such a vital part of the believer’s life. Without praise we are prey to depression, self- righteousness, and arrogance before God. Major-league pitcher, Orel Hershiser once appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Hershiser is a committed Christian, and takes every opportunity to witness for Christ. Carson asked him how he managed to stay so cool and relaxed looking even in the World Series. He replied that he sang hymns and other Christian choruses he’d learned in Sunday School and church during the times he was on the bench, and in-between innings. With that, Orel stood and sang -- on key -- "The Doxology" for Johnny Carson.

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