Thursday, December 23, 2010

Father Forgets

W. Livingston Larned

Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little hand crumpled under your cheek and the blond sticky curls wet on you damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

I was thinking these things son I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor. At breakfast, I found fault, too. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. In addition, as you started to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders back!”

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road, I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your socks. I humiliated you before your friends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Socks are expensive and if you had to buy them, you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father! Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. Then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.

Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

There was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed! It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours.

However, tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy a little boy!” I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and wary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much. (This is one of the classics of American journalism, ‘Father Forgets.’” It originally appeared as an editorial in the People’s Home Journal. Also condensed in the Reader’s Digest.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Snippet from Spurgeon

October 7, 1857, he preached to the largest crowd ever 23,654 people at "The Crystal Palace" in London.

Spurgeon noted: "In 1857, a day or two before preaching at the Crystal Palace, I went to decide where the platform should be fixed; and, in order to test the acoustic properties of the building, cried in a loud voice, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." In one of the galleries, a workman, who knew nothing of what was being done, heard the words, and they came like a message from heaven to his soul. He was smitten with conviction on account of sin, put down his tools, went home, and there, after a season of spiritual struggling, found peace and life by beholding the Lamb of God. Years after, he told this story to one who visited him on his death-bed."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A case for CSI

Sunday Sermon
November 28th 2010
Rhema Community Church

Sermonic Skeleton

Sermonic Pericope: ACTS 5:1-11 1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife's knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. 7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter said to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much." And she said, "Yes, for so much." 9 But Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out." 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.

Sermonic Theme: The Power of the Holy Spirit (The Doctrine of Stewardship)

Sermonic Subject: Spiritual Discernment (The Doctrine of Christian Ethics)

Sermonic Tension: You cannot stop people from lying to you however, you can be filled with the Holy Spirit, and He will illuminate your mind and give you the ability to discern. (Satan Attacks the mind...etc.)

Sermonic Sentence: Christianity is a matter of life and death. (Live with integrity)

Sermonic Question: Is your all on the altar? (Ananias and Sapphira were under no obligation to give.)

Sermonic Warning: You cannot afford to give Satan your heart. (Ananias and Sapphira gave Satan their whole heart.)

Sermonic Title: "A CASE FOR CSI" (Contributors Spiritual Investigation)

Sermonic Sub-Title: “Don’t hold back”. (There is a serious spiritual crime perpetrated by Satan against Ananias and Sapphira however; Ananias and Sapphira let Satan do it.)

Sermonic Cross Reference: NLT Hebrews 6:18 So God has given us both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can take new courage, for we can hold on to his promise with confidence.

John 8:44 (ESV) You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

ESV Luke 22:3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve.

ESV John 13:2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him,

ESV John 13:27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."

KJV Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

ESV James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Sermonic Structure: (There are five moves within this pericope.)

I. THINK ABOUT THE MARRIAGE (verse 1 Ananias, with his wife Sapphira,)

II. THINK ABOUT THE MONEY (verse 1, 2 sold a piece of property, and with his wife's knowledge)

III. THINK ABOUT GOD’S MAN (verse 3 But Peter said,)

IV. THINK ABOUT THE MOTIVE (verse 4 you have not lied to men but to God)

V. THINK ABOUT THE EFFECT THIS HAD ON THE MINISTRY (verse 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.)

A. To be an effective Church we need families
B. To be an effective Church we need finances
C. To be an effective Church we need fear