The Power of Vision

The Power of Vision

Proverbs 29:18 September 15, 2019 It might surprise you that Henry Ford did not invent the automobile or the assembly line. What Ford did was take the ideas of others and build upon them, improve them, and expand them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Ford Ford’s ability to envision a future where the automobile took the place of the horse and buggy set him apart.  For that to happen, he made cars at a cost that the average wage earner could buy by introducing the Model-T assembly line in 1913.  The speed of automobile production increased by a factor of eight, and the world changed forever. (Ibid) There are not many people in a generation whose vision fundamentally changes our lives and their ideas are not usually supported  right away. By nature, visionary people live and think outside the box. They are ahead of the pack.  Because of that, in the beginning, their ideas, dreams, hopes, and plans seem like a fantasy.  If not fantasy, their views represent the kind of change that people are afraid to embrace. We are comfortable with what we know, and most of us are afraid of change if we are satisfied with the present. We prefer to stick to what we know. Most of us are not risk takers or dreamers.  Few of us are willing to risk changing the way we see the world or risk changing the way we live even if there is the promise that our world could be a better place to live. Some say Elon Musk is the “Ford” of our generation. I have not drunk the Musk cool-aid.   However, there seems to be little doubt...
Something That Can’t Be Taken From You

Something That Can’t Be Taken From You

Not long ago, I needed to water some plants in my backyard.   Mia, my granddaughter, was over for a visit and she wanted to help. I felt a little bit like Tom Sawyer, handing that hose over to her, but I didn’t have to convince her that it wasn’t every day that a child had a chance to water plants. She took the job on with a smile.  I gave her instructions on where to point the water. But like most new things, it wasn’t long that the novelty wore off and she said, “Here P-Paw. You do it.” She was hot and tired of the heat, so she began to make her way to the house. She was about halfway there when I turned the hose in her direction.  To her delight, it rained a few drops on her head.  “Do it again,” she said.  It rained some more. “Do it again,” she said.  This exchange continued until she got an idea of her own. She wanted to have control of the water hose.  When she turned it in my direction, she laughed even harder.  But it didn’t just rain; it flooded on me. As I danced around trying to escape her surprisingly good aim, I was caught up in her laughter and the joy of the moment as I got wetter and wetter.  It was pure joy, innocent, spontaneous, and playful. After a while, she realized that I might be having more fun getting wet than she was using the hose, so she handed the water hose back to me and asked me to turn it on her. Before...
The Secret to Being a Leader

The Secret to Being a Leader

Mark 9:30-36 September 8, 2019 Listen to the stories of these people. You have likely heard about all of them. After I share a summary of something each one of them did, I want you to think of what each of them has in common with the other. On December 1, 1955, in segregated Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in the “colored section” of a bus to a white passenger when ordered to do so by the driver. Her nonaction had her arrested. She lost her job and received death threats for many years. However, her action became a powerful symbol of the modern civil rights movement, and Rosa became an international icon. She went on to organize and collaborate with civil rights leaders, wrote an autobiography, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. The United States Congress called her “the first lady of human rights.” https://www.roffeypark.com/leadership-and-management/7-inspiring-leadership-stories/ In the 1980s, AIDS arrived on the world stage. It was a new, frightening disease with no cure and was rampaging through communities and countries. People believed that you could catch AIDS from touching someone who had it or by sitting on the same toilet seat. Sufferers were shunned, and up to 50% of people polled in the United States believed that those with AIDS should be quarantined. (Ibid) On April 19, 1987, Princess Diana, one of the most famous people in the world, opened the first unit in the United Kingdom dedicated to treating people with HIV and AIDS. During her visit, she shook the hand of an AIDS patient without wearing gloves, and changed...
The Blessing of Sacrifice

The Blessing of Sacrifice

September 1, 2019 Romans 11:33-36 – 12:1-2 In the “Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” Mark Twain created a scene that has been recreated many times in theatres for the enjoyment of us all. Young Tom Sawyer is caught breaking the rules by his Aunt Polly, and as a punishment, she tells him that his job is to paint the picket fence. This picket fence is thirty yards of board fence nine feet high. That’s 800 square feet of fence to paint. Tom is about as happy about his opportunity to bless his Aunt Polly painting the fence as a boy is to hold his mother’s purse while she shops. As Tom paints the fence, one of his friends comes along and teases him for having to do that work, but Tom makes out like what he is doing isn’t work at all. “Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?” he asks his friend. He made whitewashing a fence sound as exciting as going to a circus. Soon, Tom had convinced his friend to try whitewashing the fence instead of going swimming. Tom was such a great salesman that he wasn’t just going to let his friend do it for free. Instead, his friend had to trade his apple for the chance to do the work. Before the day was over, Tom had talked so many of his friends into whitewashing that fence that he collected a kite, twelve marbles, part of a jews-harp, a piece of chalk, a tin soldier, six firecrackers, a kitten with one eye, a brass doorknob, and a dog-collar. Did I...
The Cost of Doing Nothing

The Cost of Doing Nothing

August 25, 2019 Matthew 25:14-30 Many years ago, when I was a pastor in Moultrie, a young physician and his family visited our church. A few weeks later, I had a meal with him at a local Mexican restaurant.  The young doctor had a beautiful family which included  a wife and three small children.  He had purchased a home in a nice neighborhood across the street from my youth pastor and his family. This young doctor and his family were looking for a church to find community and to help instill Christian values in their children. A few days after our meeting at the restaurant, my youth pastor called me and told me that he had just left the home of the family.  The doctor’s wife woke up that morning and discovered that her husband wasn’t breathing and she called 911. Later, word came that he had died in his sleep.  An autopsy revealed that he died from a heart attack.  He was only in his thirties. Within a few months, the realities of death compiled the grief for this young widow.   She discovered that her husband had not purchased any life insurance.  She was not going to be able to afford to live in their newly purchased home. Soon, everything was boxed up, and they were forced to move back to Alabama to be closer to their family. This family made a lot of good decisions.  He had prepared for a life of helping people through a worthy profession.  They searched for the right home and were searching for the right church.   The had based their marriage on the Lord Jesus.  But because...