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Summary: Our decisions are born out of a core of set values. These values determine our direction in life. When Christ is at the center of our lives our values will be such as to inform our decisions in the correct manner.

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THE SET OF THE SAIL.

OPENING SONG SCRIPTURE READING: 2 Corth 10: 3-6 CLOSING SONG #15

Growing up as a boy in Brandons, I loved to go to the beach and watch the sailing boats sail across the water. It has always fascinated me how smoothly the boats glided across the waters. But what intrigued me most, above all else, was the observation that the boats were travelling in every direction.

Some boats were moving in the same direction as the wind but some were moving into the wind and I could not understand how this could be possible. If the wind is supposed to propel the boat how was it possible for a boat to move into it? It is only lately that I discover that it was all in the set of the sail. Let us pray.

Let us turn in our bibles to the book of Dan. 3:13-18:

We come upon a -sense of absolute quiet as a spectacle is played out between a king and three Hebrew slaves. Every man, woman, princes, governors and men of high regard is focused on the drama unfolding before them. Every eye is riveted on these three slaves who dared to disobey a direct order from the most powerful king in the world. Every ear strained to hear every word that dropped from the lips of the antagonist. Nebuchadnezzar, whose name means "Oh god Nabu, defend my firstborn son", conqueror of all Palestine, against three slaves, who could not even keep their name.

But amidst this quiet scene hurricane force winds were blowing; Winds of anger and winds of calm

Winds of pride and winds of humility

Winds of fear and winds faith

The bible says: Dan. 3:13-18:

Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said unto them, Is it true, 0 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which i have set up? Now fye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace,- and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, 0 Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, 0 king. But if not, be it known unto thee, 0 king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou last set up. Daniel 3:13 48 (KJV)

The winds of anger and pride were blowing right into Nebuchadnezzar sails. His sails were full. He could not imagine that three slave boys would dare to disobey him. What do we do when our subordinates disobey us, and do so openly, what winds do we allow to blow in our sails? Are we filled with rage and anger?

When our children blatantly disregard our instructions what type of winds do we allow to blow in our sails? Are we a replica of Nebuchadnezzar? Boy, he was angry. And the calmness of the boys did not help.

He was attempting to blow into the boys' sails the wind of fear but they had already set their sails to receive the winds of the Holy Spirit, humility and faith.

Too many of us allow the winds of fear to sail our boats (

Fear of abuse,

Fear of victimization

fear of losing friends

Fear of losing our jobs

Fear of living alone

Fear of independence.

But Brothers and sister we cannot afford to let others blow their winds into our sails. The minute we allow that they are controlling our direction.

They .are controlling our destiny and

they are controlling our lives.

Unfortunately many are controlled by the media. They allow the advertisers to blow into their sails.

Telling them how they should dress

How they should appear

What is beautiful and

What is good.

What type of house you should have and how you should decorate it.

They are masters at it and many are caught in the snare

The story is told about an American company which opened a new plant in Central America because the labour was plentiful and inexpensive. Everything went well until the villagers received their first pay cheque, afterward they did not return to work. Several days later the manager went down to the chief to determine the cause of the problem. The chief responded "Why should we work? We already have every thing we need." The plant stood idle for two months until someone came up with the brilliant idea of sending a mail-order catalog to every villager. There has never been an employment problem since! (Extracted and adapted —from Taking Care of Business- Establishing a Financial Legacy For The African American Family by Lee Jenkins p. 94.

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