Faithlife Sermons


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respect. Love must respect the dignity, the personhood of the beloved. You cannot love someone truly and deny that person the dignity of facing the results of his or her decisions. To do anything else would be to betray true love for something less than love, a "love" tainted by selfishness and weakness. The father of the prodigal son let his son go. And God the Father of us all does likewise. He who could coerce our wills refuses to. There is a limit even to His pleading. He does not block the doorway as we try to leave Him, flooding us with a thousand arguments. Nor does He pursue us pestering us with, "I told you so." He gives us the full dignity of choice. Do not feel guilty about allowing your children to reap what they have sown, for this is how God deals with all of us.   Dr. John White

Envy is a major cause of unhappiness
and self-contempt. Those who envy are
never happy with what they are and have.
When I asked my wife if she ever felt that
the grass was greener on the other side of
the fence, she answered, "If you think that
is true, it is probably because you are not
properly caring for the grass on your own
side." If each of us would care for and
appreciate the possibilities in what we
have, we would cease to envy what others
have.                               Dr. Tony Campolo

Prediction. If we don't find a way to prevent the painful abandonment, abuse and exploitation of children, we will spend the rest of our lives building mental hospitals and prisons. Dr. Karl Menninger

Forgive. For me to fail to forgive myself
or anyone else who has offended me is to
imply that I have a higher standard of
forgiveness than God, because whatever it
is that has so hurt me that I can't forgive
it, God already has.          Dr. Hal Lindsay

Abstinence is the message or should be
the message in the light of the AIDS
epidemic. In one state, Maryland, teen
mothers cost $454 million annually. At
five middle schools, research indicated
that media coverage advocating abstinence
is working. Ninety-four percent of the kids
were aware of the program. Seventy-five
percent of the kids said the campaign had
helped them talk with their parents about
sex and family life. The national average
for that kind of discussion within the age
group is 20 percent. Most important, there
was a 5 percent reduction in the state for
teen births in 1989 and another 5 percent
in 1990. In 1989 there were 16 percent
fewer abortions to teen girls, and the state
saved about $45 million.          Encounter


Simplify, simplify, simplify. Focus on,
and stay true to, what is at the center, and
like planets around the sun of our
marriage, the other elements of life will
find their right places. Be faithful, stay
faithful, have faith—and happiness will
happen.                   Henry David Thoreau

Lighten up. You came into this world
with nothing, but through the years you
have allowed yourself to be weighed down
by so much heavy baggage, in the name of
security, that your journey through life has
become a punishment instead of a
pleasure. Lighten your load, beginning
today.                                        Og Mandino

Our aim in marriage should be to be
increasingly known to each other through
the years. The process is never completed:
first because man is growing and changing
and thus there is always something new
about him, and second because he is made
in God's image and therefore there is a
depth and a mystery about him that is
never completely penetrable by another or
even by himself.                 Lionel Whiston

Prayer of a small boy. "Dear God, I hope you take good care of yourself. Cause if anything happens to you, we would all be in a terrible mess."

Kids/finances. Include children in family financial discussions—in age-appropriate ways. Just don't expect them to fully grasp a financial crisis or to shoulder the burden. Children must know that they are not burdens. As cutbacks are necessary, try to make sure that they affect everyone in the family fairly. Helping decide where to trim the family budget is useful for children.        Theodore J. Miller

Mature love is other-person centered.
This greatest satisfaction is in making
others happy. We will never find happiness
by simply looking for it. The more we
look, the more frustrated and disappointed
we become. Selfishly seeking our own
enjoyment yields nothing but unhappiness.
Unselfishly living for the good of others
brings rich rewards. Mature love involves
growing from a state of receiving much and
giving little toward a state of cheerful
giving everything and demanding nothing
in return.                          Dr. Richard Strauss

HOMEMADE, USPS 002-362, ISSN 0899-5494 (Vol. 16, No. 8, August, 1992) is published monthly by Family Concern, Box 900, Morrison, CO 80465. Phone: 303/697-1202. J. Allan Petersen, editor. Subscrip.: $5.00 per month/100 copies ($7.00 Canadian funds). 2nd class postage paid at Morrison, CO and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to HOMEMADE, P.O.Box 900, Morrison, CO 80465-0900.

Where there is great love there are
always miracles.                  
Willa Cather

Two Words There are two words we must eliminate from our vocabulary. We must vow to ourselves and to God that we will never use those two words again as long as we live. I must never repeat those words to myself in my own inner self-talk. I dare not echo those words to my spouse no matter how tough things get. Those words must not be recited repeatedly to my children and grandchildren and thereby scar them forever.

IF ONLY...backward looking, failure producing, hopeless words. "If only I had not been from the wrong side of the tracks? If only my parents loved me...if only I hadn't flunked that course...committed adultery...gotten a divorce...married the wrong person...lost my job, etc., etc." There is no end to such regrets because we all fail—we've all sinned.

These two simple words have tremendous power—negative, limiting, bullying power. If only—indicates I'm looking in the wrong direction—have the wrong focus—my future is behind me. What is behind me controls what is ahead of me. You must position your past. It can paralyze you or prompt you to something better. You can fail forward.

Your past is not your whole life. There are some bad chapters in everybody's story. One dark chapter does not ruin the whole biography. You still have a great future. If you have made a mistake, admit it, learn from it and rechart your course. If you have sinned, confess it to God, thank Him for forgive­ness and embrace His good plan for you. The future is always better than the past. Instead of saying with regret —IF ONLY—you say with anticipation —NOW WHAT!

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