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‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said. Almost immediately it became popular with the hummingbirds that lived in the area.” Jesus said somewhat the same thing. Two. You may overreach and lose everything. Collected Sermons. He told a parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. “Beware of being greedy when you are investing in the stock market. He thought to himself. Leininger. A male bird had taken over the feeder as his property.com _______________________________________ Pigs Get Slaughtered Stock market guru Jim Cramer.” He is saying. his STUFF. Guard duty occupied his every waking hour. host of television’s Mad Money. The feeder needed filling only about once a week. says. He was an effective guard. He was no longer free to come and go as he wished. ‘This is what I’ll do.” “Bulls make money. Pigs get slaughtered. He was possessed by his possession David E. I will tear down 2 . He would feed and then sit in a nearby tree. He was tied to the work of guarding his feeder. Bears make money. “Bulls make money. He was now the only hummingbird who used it. “Bears make money. three. That hummingbird was teaching a valuable lesson. rising to attack any bird that approached his feeder. The feeder would be refilled at least once a day. By choosing to assume ownership of the feeder.Forfeiting Freedom I was intrigued to read recently of a family that put up a hummingbird feeder with four feeding stations (similar to one that hangs outside our kitchen window). Suddenly the usage decreased to almost nothing. The only time another bird got to use the feeder was when the self-appointed owner was momentarily gone to chase away an intruder. he forfeited his freedom. The reason for the decreased usage soon became apparent. “Pigs get slaughtered. or even four birds would feed at one time.” Then he adds.eSermons. www.” Then the punch line.
”’ But God said to him." Ford told him that he wanted to teach him a lesson: If his only goal was dollars. “Pigs get slaughtered. "Nothing. But money is only a means by which we reach higher goals. Obedience to God. Collected Sermons _________________________________ 3 .com ___________________________ The Dollars Are in the Way Henry Ford once asked an associate about his life goals. Take life easy. He told the man to put them on and asked what he could see. “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years.com. A few days later Ford gave the man a pair of glasses made out of two silver dollars.Sermons. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God. ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. "The dollars are in the way. www. The rich man had put his trust in things. And I’ll say to myself. He should invest himself in serving others. Money is important. No question about that. That's a great secret of life that far too few people discover.my barns and build bigger ones. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?" The answer was clear. drink and be merry. God comes to the rich man and says. The man replied that his goal was to make a million dollars. King Duncan. "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. not simply in making money.” King Duncan. www. but the message is the same. Service to others. Collected Sermons. he would miss a host of greater opportunities. and there I will store all my grain and my goods. Greed can be your undoing.” Jesus didn’t say it as indelicately as Jim Cramer did." the man said.Sermons. Now he was leaving these things behind. eat.
Imagine doing the following. screech and fight the melon for hours. Meanwhile. it's simple. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. then start to withdraw it. the Zulus sneak up and nab him. Knowing this. For the Zulus of that continent.Greed Greed is the logical result of the belief that there is no life after death. grab as many seeds as he can. which he refuses to do. But he can't get free of the trap unless he gives up the seeds. however. They've been catching this agile little animal with ease for years. just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the seeds inside. The seeds of this melon are a favorite of the monkey. Evangelicals Now __________________ The Ring-tailed Monkey Men who trap animals in Africa for zoos in America say that one of the hardest animals to catch is the ring-tailed monkey. suggest that we go through a little mental exercise that will help us count our blessings. We grab what we can while we can however we can and then hold on to it hard. This he cannot do. The method the Zulus use is based on knowledge of the animal. we Americans have difficulty realizing how rich we are. The monkey will pull and tug. the Zulus simply cut a hole in the melon. p.150ff __________________ How Wealthy Are We? From the standpoint of material wealth. His fist is now larger than the hole. Sir Fred Catherwood. Living above the Level of Mediocrity. 4 . The monkey will stick his hand in. This bibliographic reference is uncertain: Charles Swindoll. who has written dozens of books on the subject of the economy. Robert Heilbroner.
Take away the house itself and move the family into the tool shed. 9. Leave the family a cash hoard of ten dollars. of which one third will go to the landlord and one tenth to the money lenders. Leave only one radio for the whole shantytown. some sugar and salt. 3. 7. and a dish of dried beans. not be wasteful. stock certificates. 11. Move the nearest hospital or clinic ten miles away and put a midwife in charge instead of a doctor. 1. By comparison how rich we are! And with our wealth comes responsibility. 10. This is no great loss because now none of you can read anyway. a few potatoes. 4. pension plans. Dismantle the bathroom. 8. The list comes from economist Robert Heilbroner 5 .and you will see how daily life is for more than a billion people in the world. shut off the running water. and help others. 12. and remove all the electrical wiring in your house. Give the head of the family a few acres to cultivate on which he can raise a few hundred dollars of cash crops. 6. shirt or blouse. 5. some onions. Place your "house" in a shantytown. Use blanket and pads for beds. We should use it wisely. Throw away your bankbooks. Take out all the furniture in your home except for one table and a couple of chairs. magazines. Leave only one pair of shoes. Cancel all subscriptions to newspapers. and insurance policies. Lop off twenty-five or more years in life expectancy. Take away all of your clothing except for your oldest dress or suit. Empty the pantry and the refrigerator except for a small bag of flour. 2. and book clubs.
Collected Sermons. One day he woke up with a headache." Mark Trotter." That is the message of this parable. "Your life is on loan. is that we can't take our possessions with us. He made it through that first year. silver or steel. and death unloads thee. Then he had difficulty seeing.A lump of metal. and had three kids. the one that everybody seems to get.eSermons. Definition: Ingot . esp.__________________ If thou art rich. "Have you learned anything through this?" He said. As the day went on. It was in the newspaper some time ago. thou art poor. whose will they be?" But that is not the main point of the parable. ___________________ Your Life Is on Loan The man was just twenty-nine years old. "The things you have prepared. cast in convenient form (usually oblong) for transport and storage. then each year after that you can be more assured of a full recovery. of gold. The doctor said. too. Then he had difficulty walking. A reporter asked him. "Fool! This night your soul is required of you. We are going to leave our possessions behind." He made it through the surgery. The main point of the parable is that your life is on loan. Then he had this interview. www. The obvious point of the parable. He is an attorney in Illinois. it got more painful. He went to the doctor. He was married. William Shakespeare.com ____________________________ 6 . then there could be a critical time of recovery for about a year. thou bearest thy heavy riches but a journey. If you survive that. All three kids were under five years of age. If you survive the surgery. "You have a brain tumor that will require special surgery right away. for like an ass whose back with ingots bows.
p. New Bible Commentary. Carveth Mitchell. 908 __________________________ 7 . If I hadn’t of put the food on the table it wouldn’t be here. the more you drink. He begins every meal with the same prayer: “Lord. according to which possessions are all that really matter. Staff. I plowed the ground. Revised (1970): Luke. the thirstier you become.H.” We had all better understand the role of grace and mystery in life or we too might fall pray to the sin of thinking too highly of ourselves.I Planted the Seeds In the movie Shenandoah." The Sign in the Subway. Marshall.eSermons. James Stewart plays a Virginia farmer during the Civil War years." The Romans had a proverb: "Money is like sea water.com ______________________ Money Is Like Sea Water Someone asked John D. www. or the desire to have more than one has (not necessarily through envy of somebody else) not only leads to strife but also expresses a fundamentally wrong philosophy of life. I. I planted the seeds. Rockefeller (of all people) "How much wealth does it take to satisfy a person?" He replied. I gathered in the harvest. CSS Publishing Company. But we thank you anyway. 1-55673-056-X _______________________ Covetousness Covetousness. "Just a little bit more.
mild-mannered Mr.” The kindly. "on earth he was your gardener. Using his computer. It was the most modest home the rich man had ever seen." the angel answered." The rich man got excited. "Who lives there?" asked the wealthy man. If this was the way gardeners live. he wrote to his mother that he wished he could die. "She spent her life as a missionary. His calming demeanor and accepting message touched the boy’s heart and gave him hope. An angel guided him on a tour of the celestial city. just think of the kind of mansion in which he would spend eternity. Cerebral palsy did not affect this young man’s mind. Rogers. the boy suffered emotional problems after some of his care givers callously abused him. Why is my home so tiny?" ___________________________ Neighborly Prayer Some of you may be familiar with a story by journalist Tom Junod. but it affected his motor skills and his ability to speak. "This is your home. Rogers emphasized that all people are valuable and worthy of love. "I don’t understand. Finally they came to a tiny shack with no window and only a piece of cloth for a door. The wealthy man was flabbergasted. Rogers.The Rich Man’s Reward There is an old story about a very wealthy man who died and went to heaven. It is a true story of a young man afflicted with cerebral palsy. One day a children’s foundation set up a meeting between the boy and his hero. He came to a magnificent home. Roger’s Neighborhood. the boy often hit himself. Overwhelmed with self-hatred. The boy could only communicate through typing on his computer." said the angel. "Oh. In addition to his physical disabilities. "Whose is this?" asked the rich man almost overwhelmed. The angel answered. Upon meeting Mr. Mr. the boy became so nervous that he 8 . There was one thing that seemed to bring the boy comfort: watching “Mr. They came to an even more magnificent abode." The rich man was really getting excited now. The other homes were so beautiful.
Sermons. he turned her away and offered to pray for her instead.” King Duncan. I was naked. the boy began praying for Fred Rogers. As he said. He had been sincere in his request for the boy’s prayers. I was lonely. I asked him because I think that anyone who has gone through challenges like that must be very close to God. and you knelt and thanked God for your health.and lonely . www. and you preached to me the spiritual shelter of the love of God.began hitting himself. When Tom Junod complimented Fred Rogers on this idea. Esquire. it is said. so close to God but I am still very hungry . Mr. I was homeless. November 1998 _____________________________________ The Homeless Woman’s Poem A homeless woman once approached a preacher for help. and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance. Rogers reacted with surprise. but because he was busy and helpless. But from that day forward." Source unknown _____________________ 9 . I asked for me. I was imprisoned. Collected Sermons. and you formed a humanities group to discuss my hunger. I was sick. adapted from Tom Junod. and you left me alone to pray for me.and cold. Would he pray for Mr. The homeless woman. Rogers ended the conversation by asking the boy a very special favor: would this boy pray for him? The boy was floored by this request. I asked him because I wanted his intercession. wrote this poem as a response too that insensitive minister: "I was hungry.com. Rogers? He had always been the object of someone else’s prayers. Rogers carried on their conversation as if nothing had happened. and he experienced a new sense of hope and self-esteem through this act of praying for a man he so admired. You seem so holy. When he returned. and his mother had to take him to another room to calm him down. “I didn’t ask him for his prayers for HIM. And then Mr. and you crept off quietly to my chapel and prayed for my release.
I regret to say. To the professor's amazement. A self-pitying person said. “Only bad people fall into a pit. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. took him by the hand and lifted him out of the pit! Ray Pritchard. A news reporter wanted an exclusive story on his pit. www.” A pessimist said. “Just imagine that you’re not in a pit. The Lawyer Who Wanted a Loophole __________________________ Late For Class Years ago on a seminary campus a New Testament professor was lecturing on the parables. he staged a drunk lying on the ground asking for help. and is.” A mystic said. On the only route to the new class room. Johnny Dean. I haven't always been a Christian. He often penalized students even if they were tardy! After spending a fair amount of time on the parable of the Good Samaritan.A Man Fell into a Pit Once upon a time a man fell into a pit and couldn’t get himself out.eSermons. one of the happiest men I know. not one of the students stopped to help this man--they all were in too big of a hurry to get to class lest they be penalized for being late.” A mathematician calculated how he far he fell.” A Pharisee said. An IRS agent asked if he was paying taxes on the pit. “I knew you were going to fall in sooner or later. he posted a notice on the board telling the students that that days class was being moved to the other side of the campus.” Jesus.” A practical person came along and said. “Things could be worse. “You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen my pit. A sensitive person came along and said. seeing the man. If you want a religion to 10 . “I feel for you down there. “Things will get worse. ____________________ I Certainly Don't Recommend Christianity I have an elderly acquaintance of about eighty. who has lived a life of unbroken selfishness and self-admiration from the earliest years. This professor was known for his strictness. more or less.com. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that.” An optimist said. From the moral point of view it is very difficult! As you perhaps know.
to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice. "God in the Dock.S. _________________ Chip It Away There is a story about a man who had a huge boulder in his front yard. He went to work on it with hammer and chisel. threatens. the love of the poor for the rich. And then there is the love for the enemy--love for the one who does not love you but mocks. it was gorgeous. Eerdmans 1970. unattractive stone in the center of his lawn. for those who are poor. of the black man for the white man. C. the sick. and it touches the heart of the world. The tortured's love for the torturer. When he finished. _____________________ Love for the Enemy The love for equals is a human thing--of friend for friend." Grand Rapids. brother for brother. This is compassion. breath-taking. The world smiles. 11 . the failures. It conquers the world. the unlovely. It is to love what is loving and lovely. Frederick Buechner in his book: The Magnificent Defeat. so he decided to take advantage of it and turn it into an object of art. and inflicts pain. The world is always bewildered by its saints. Lewis. pp. This is God's love. The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing--to love those who succeed where we fail.make you feel really comfortable. The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing--the love for those who suffer. and chipped away at the huge boulder until it became a beautiful stone elephant. He grew weary of this big. I certainly don't recommend Christianity.58-59. Essays on Theology and Ethics.
then. "How did you ever carve such a marvelous likeness of an elephant?" The man answered. "Paul is in love. but whose serenity and magnetism challenged the visitor. ___________________ By loving the unlovable. with the help of God. and for your sake. "I just chipped away everything that didn't look like an elephant!" If you have anything in your life right now that doesn't look like love. the concerned man inquired. chip it away! If you have anything in your life that doesn't look like compassion or mercy or empathy. You made me lovable." The merchant looked bewildered. p. then. Nashville: Dimensions. physically frail. 1994. encountered Timothy. at the time. "What is the secret of this man's power? I have never seen anything like it before. with the help of God. 32. and the for the other person's sake. Finally the merchant left with Paul's blessing. chip it away! If you have hatred or prejudice or vengeance or envy in your heart. Moore. Augustine to God _________________ The Secret of Our Power to Love Legend has it that a wealthy merchant traveling through the Mediterranean world looking for the distinguished Pharisee.A neighbor asked. Paul was. They talked for hours. James W. Some Things Are Too Good Not To Be True." Did you not guess?" replied Timothy. who arranged a visit. Paul. "In Love?" 12 . a prisoner in Rome. Stepping inside the cell. Outside the prison. for God's sake. the merchant was surprised to find a rather old man. get rid of it! Let God chip everything out of your life that doesn't look like tenderheartedness.
Douglass. to be more loving. 225. powerful man. a South African writer." the missionary answered. the traitor to the State. 13 . the leper. the man out of prison." The merchant looked even more bewildered. Help me by my love to restore the faith of the disillusioned. O Lord. Alan Paton. a large. __________________________ My Friend Frederick Douglass approached the front door of the White House. two policemen seized him. the unmarried pregnant woman. two more officers grabbed the uninvited guest. 1986. "Paul is in love with Jesus Christ. And may I this coming day be able to do some work of peace for you."Yes. "Is that all?" Smiling. seeking admission into Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Ball. the early bereaved. Nashville: Broadman. Once inside. all the while uttering racial slurs. Curtis Jones. not to be afraid to love the outcast. author of "Cry the Beloved Country" who made a courageous stand against racism. p. Just as Douglass was about to knock on the door. Timothy replied. "Sir. that is everything. brushed the officers aside and stepped into the foyer. Help me by my love to be the witness of your love. Illustrations For Preaching And Teaching. _________________ A Prayer Help me. Help me O Lord. barring the black man's entrance. the disappointed." G.
he cried to a nearby patron. because once there was a man who paused on a cross for us. "Just say to Mr. but I suppose that’s too much to ask. So we pause and we help. God has called us His own children. Also the person who lies stripped and beaten by the side of the road. the great abolitionist stood in the presence of the esteemed President.As Douglass was being dragged from the hall. One woman said to the other. hand outstretched in greeting. But not only us. Who dared demean Douglass if he was a friend of the President? Jesus Christ. the Lord of the universe. "That sounds like a reasonable desire. Then suddenly the officers received orders to usher Douglass into the East Room. In that beautiful room. our neighbor." The President had called Frederick Douglass friend. Ronald Love __________________ The Nearest Willing Hand Two women were sitting in church." The other woman replied. and speaking in a voice loud enough so none could mistake his intent. The place quieted as Lincoln approached his newly arrived guest. Have you prayed about it?" "Well. the President announced. Lincoln that Fred Douglass is at the door!" Confusion ensued. no. "I’ve always wished that God would touch me. Dr." 14 . has called us his brothers and his sisters. He ” or she ” is our friend. Of course not. "Here comes my friend Douglass.
blogspot." "Not sometime. About ten seconds later the other woman gently laid her hand on the folded hands of the friend at prayer. You should pray about it."Why not? There’s certainly nothing wrong with a prayer like that. She responded as most of us would do.com 15 . She jumped and said." "All right. asking that God would touch her. Vince Olaer http://lighthouseresource. What better place to pray than here in the Lord’s house?" Thus persuaded. "He did it! He touched me. Maybe I will sometime. Now. bowed her head and closed her eyes in prayer. the woman reluctantly folded her hands. after a moment’s thought "But that felt an awful lot like your hand… Compiled by: Ptr." Then.
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