Whose Hands is

Courtesy: ICAN 
Whose Hands!
A basketball in my hands is worth about $19.
 A basketball in Michael Jordan's hands is worth about $33 million.
 It depends on whose hands it's in.

A baseball in my hands is worth about $6.
 A baseball in Roger Clemens' hands is worth $475 million.
 It depends on whose hands it's in.
A tennis racket is useless in my hands.
 A tennis racket in Serena Williams hands is worth millions.
 It depends on whose hands it's in.
A rod in my hands will keep away an angry dog.
 A rod in Moses' hands will part the mighty Red Sea.
 It depends on whose hands it's in.
A slingshot in my hands is a toy.
 A slingshot in David's hand is a mighty weapon.
 It depends on whose hands it's in.
Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in my hands is a couple of fish sandwiches.
 Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in Jesus' hands will feed thousands.
 It depends on whose hands it's in.
Nails in my hands might produce a birdhouse.
 Nails in Jesus Christ's hands will
 Produce salvation for the entire world.
 It depends on whose hands it's in.
As you see now, it depends whose hands it's in.
 So put your concerns, your worries, your fears, your hopes, your dreams, your families and your relationships in God's hands because...
 It depends on whose hands it's in.

Saints Peter and Paul

Starter Story:
The year was 1770, and in a small Italian church, two altar boys prepared for Benediction. Annibale Della Genga and Francesco Castiglioni entered the sacristy, put on their albs, and grabbed the heavy brass candlesticks. And then they began to bicker.
Arguing over who would stand on the priest’s right for the procession, their quibble escalated into a shouting match. Alarmed parishioners turned their heads to the back of the church to see the commotion, and that’s when it happened:
Castiglioni cracked Della Genga over the head with his candlestick.
Blood dripped out of Della Genga’s head, and both boys began shoving each other. Shocked parishioners screamed, “Throw them out! Throw them out!” So the embarrassed priest grabbed the boys, led them to the door, and tossed them out of the church.

KFC - The story behind Colonel Sanders..

The Story Behind KFC - Colonel Sanders..

Reverend Albert Kang

Colonel Harland Sanders has become a world-known figure by marketing his "finger lickin' good" Kentucky Fried Chicken.

His chicken is now served daily across the United States as well as in more than eighty other countries. It is one of the largest fast food corporations in the world.

What makes Colonel Sanders' story so amazing, you might ask.

One of the most amazing aspects of his life is the fact that when he reached the age of sixty-five years old, after running a restaurant for several years, Harland Sanders found himself penniless. He retired and received his first social security check which was for one hundred and five dollars. And that was just the beginning of his international fame and financial success story...

Did you know that Colonel Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, was a devout Christian?

Apart from being a successful Christian, he was also a very successful businessman.

He testified that it was his faith in the Lord that provided him with the motivation to succeed even when he was already 65 years old.

He had since gone on to be with the Lord in 1980 but the testimony of his success continues till this day.

Colonel Sanders started out in the food business when he opened a restaurant to complement his automobile service station.

He was quite a creative cook and one of his culinary inventions was a Southern fried chicken. He had marinated this with his own special blend of herbs and spices. Being a curious person, he sought after new ways and methods to improve his cooking.

Soon he learned about a newly invented cooking pot known as the pressure cooker. It was said that this appliance could reduce his cooking time drastically. At that time, his existing customers were already complaining about the food preparation time being too long.

So he decided to try out frying his chicken with this new invention.

To his pleasant surprise, his chicken tasted much better when prepared in this way.

His restaurant business blossomed and grew even beyond that of his automobile service station. Just as he was about to enjoy the success of his restaurant business, a crisis hit him. He was forced to close his restaurant and automobile service station because a new interstate highway had redirected most of his customers elsewhere.

He was then 65 years old and had nowhere else to go.

He could be like many of his aged friends, who had retired and lived off the government retirement benefits. However, that was not the kind of life for the Colonel!

He knew that his special recipe would be his next key to success. Colonel Sanders made a bold decision, took his recipe and pressured cooker and traveled around the United States looking for restaurants that were willing to buy his franchise.

In the 1950s, this idea sounded as crazy as it sounds today.

Imagine an old man with a chicken recipe-franchising scheme, driving around selling franchises that no one ever ask for. This just does not make sense.

Countless restaurant owners rejected Colonel Sanders' franchising scheme.

It was said that not less than 1009 restaurant owners turned him down before he was able to make his first sale.

By 1964, Colonel Sanders had signed up more than 600 franchisees and later sold his business for a huge sum of money.

The rest of the story is history.

What has the story of Colonel Sanders to do with our church growth?

Here are some interesting principles that we can learn from this courageous man:

The Colonel believed in what he had.

Belief is a powerful motivation. Colonel Sanders believed that his chicken recipe was unique and probably the best. He believed that to be a fact even when no one else did. Today, Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants are found worldwide because of that singular conviction.

The church in the Book of Acts was a believing church.

It went through dark time of persecutions and attacks but it triumphed because the apostles and the early Christians believed in what they had.

Do we believe that we, the Church today, have a unique and powerful message to share with the world? Of course, we do! We believe that God has raised us for more than being a ministry to our community but also to the rest of the world.

The Colonel acted on his belief

It was said that Colonel Sanders often slept in his car while he was out selling his franchise.

He even ate the very chicken that he cooked as samples for the restaurants. He did not just expound a theory but acted upon his belief. He was willing to sacrifice so that he could succeed.

Many years ago, Nehemiah believed that the wall of Jerusalem should be built and set out doing it. In spite of tremendous opposition from the enemies, Israel was willing to sacrifice. The citizens believed and stood with their leadership.

They acted together upon that belief. The end result was that the wall was built!

The Colonel refused to respond to his limitation but only to his potential.

Most 65 year-old think that they are too old to launch any new projects.

They are intimidated by the magnitude of these new challenges and so they simply give up. As for the Colonel, he refused to respond to his limitation but only to his potential.

Age was never a barrier but an asset.

He felt that he was more experienced and wiser to fulfil his dream.

In the Bible, Caleb was one of the old Israelite generals who refused to surrender to the limitation of his age. Instead, he believed that the Lord would bless him even at that ripe old age of 80 (Joshua 14:7-14). He was a dreamer who sought only after his potential.

We must learn from these testimonies.

We do not need to surrender to our limitation either. The Lord wants to bless our potentials and we should maximize them for the glory of the Lord. Join a Church today and be active for the kingdom of God.

The Colonel was willing to try new method

One of the primary reasons for Colonel Sanders' success was his willingness to look for new ways to do things. By taking advantage of new invention, Colonel Sanders produced a winning formula that became the key to growing his business.

Peter, Paul and the other apostles were willing to preach to the Gentiles even though it was a completely new concept.

They learned to obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit even though they had to do what they had never done before.

The Church will be trying out some very new approaches to evangelism and ministries. There will be critiques sitting at the wings, ready to mock when we fail. However, we must never allow the fear of failure or embarrassment to prevent us from using new methods to achieve God's objectives.

Colonel Sanders would not be defeated

When the highway destroyed his business, the Colonel went on fighting.

That's the kind of fighting spirit we must have. When one door is closed, let's trust that the Lord is opening another door. When the restaurant business closed, Colonel Sanders came out with the chicken franchising scheme.

Even when he was on the road, the Colonel proved to be a tenacious fellow. He did not give in to difficulties at all.

After being rejected 1009 times, he went to sell a franchise to the 1010th prospect.

Could you imagine what would happen to KFC if Colonel Sanders had given up after being rejected by prospect no. 1009?

The second temple took the Israelites twenty years to complete. They could have finished building in a few short years but there were much objections and resistance from the enemies. However, the Israelites under the leadership of earnest dedicated men like ‘Zerubbabel, Joshua, Haggai and Zechariah, refused to be defeated.

Their tenacity paid off and the second temple was ready for consecration in the spring of B.C. 516, twenty years after their return from captivity.

Tenacity when applied positively will get us over the "River Jordan."

We do not pretend that growing will be easy. If it were that easy then we would have done it years ago. The journey will be tough!

There will be criticisms, objections, and even rejections.

Whatever the cost, as long as we are patient and willing to pay the price, we will make it.

We have to continue to invite our friends and loved ones to church and cell meetings.

Many of them will turn us down. Do we give up?


We just need to work wiser and harder.

We will not use anything as an excuse to fail because we know that, by the grace of God, we cannot be defeated!

We may face hardship but our church leadership is resolved to lead us to overcome every mountain and obstacle. God is giving us the "Promised Land" and we will be facing "giants".

The going will be tough but we must never, never, never give up!

Fathers' Day

Hear – Paul Anka’s song dedicated to fathers:

 Happy Father's Day!
Today is Father's Day! Happy Father's Day to all you wonderful Dads out there!

Thank you Dad for being a great example in your life and your faith. You are truly amazing and I can't imagine my life without you. Thank you for being there for me, and for bringing me to the other side of the world last summer. :) Thank you for the amazing love that only a Father could have for me and my siblings. Thank you for all you do for us!!! We love you!
What Makes A Dad
God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in the spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew his masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ... Dad

 (I LOVE this!!)

The word "daddy" is not defined by whether 
or not a man has a biological child.
You can never produce a child and be a Daddy,
likewise you can have 20 kids and
never be a "daddy".

A Daddy is a man who cares for a child's
both physical and emotional needs.
He puts the child's wants and needs
ahead of his own.

A true Daddy is hard to come by,
but truly a special thing.

Father's Day Sermon-2

fathers day sermon outlines

"The position and authority of the father as the head of the family are expressly assumed and sanctioned in Scripture, as a likeness of that of the Almighty over his creatures"
- Smith's Bible Dictionary

Four Fathers From The Bible

Enoch, a father who walked with God as a great man of Faith.

Noah, who was concerned about saving his children, he taught them about righteousness. He also walked with God, leaving a great example to follow.

Abraham, who was given the title "Father of all of them that believe". He trained them as mentioned in Genesis 18:19.

Joshua, who trusted God when others would not. Joshua didn't care what other fathers were doing, he and his family were going to serve the Lord!
Father's Day Bible VersesPsalm 103:13 (NIV)
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

Proverbs 3:11-12(NIV)
My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves,as a father the son he delights in.

Proverbs 23:22 (NIV)
Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.

Proverbs 23:24 (NIV)
The father of a righteous man has great joy;
he who has a wise son delights in him.

Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord

Colossians 3:21 (NIV)
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Hebrews 12:7 (NIV)
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?

Matthew 7:11(NIV)
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Joshua 24:15 (ESV)
And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (ESV)
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Psalms 127:3-5 (ESV)
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Psalm 44:1 (NKJV)
"God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us, what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old:"

Proverbs 17:6 (NKJV)
"Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,and the glory of children is their fathers."

Proverbs 23:24 (NKJV)
"The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a
wise son will be glad in him."

1 Timothy 3:5 (KJV)
"For if a man know not how to rule his own house,
how shall he take care of the church of God?"

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
"Direct your children onto the right path,
and when they are older, they will not leave it."

Proverbs 20:7 (KJV)
"The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him."

Genesis 18:19 (ESV)
For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him."

1 Timothy 3:12-13 (KJV)
Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Father's Day Sermon Topics

God is our "Father" and we are His "children". God seems to love being called "Father" more than any other name -- He uses it is to describe Himself all throughout the New Testament.

So when God lets man be called "father", He is giving him a special honor, and with that honor God gives a special responsibility.
Possible Father's Day Sermon Topics:
    • The role of the father
    • Parenting
    • The spiritual head of the home
    • Leadership
    • Correction/Discipline
    • Children and their blessing
    • Biblical Fathers
    • Creating a Legacy
    • Setting a good example
    • Not discouraging children
    • Having compassion on children  


Power can be used in at least two ways: it can be unleashed, or it can be harnessed. The energy in ten gallons of gasoline, for instance, can be released explosively by dropping a lighted match into the can. Or it can be channelled through the engine of a Datsun in a controlled burn and used to transport a person 350 miles. Explosions are spectacular, but controlled burns have lasting effect, staying power. The Holy Spirit works both ways. At Pentecost, he exploded on the scene; His presence was like "tongues of fire" (Acts 2:3). Thousands were affected by one burst of God's power. But He also works through the church--the institution God began to tap the Holy Spirit's power for the long haul. Through worship, fellowship, and service, Christians are provided with staying power.

Source Unknown.  

If people would have been asked in 1968 which nation would dominate the world in watch making during the 1990s and into the twenty-first century the answer would have been uniform: Switzerland. Why? Because Switzerland had dominated the world of watch making for the previous sixty years. 

 The Swiss made the best watches in the world and were committed to constant refinement of their expertise. It was the Swiss who came forward with the minute hand and the second hand. They led the world in discovering better ways to manufacture the gears, bearings, and mainsprings of watches. They even led the way in waterproofing techniques and self-winding models. By 1968, the Swiss made 65 percent of all watches sold in the world and laid claim to as much as 90 percent of the profits. 

 By 1980, however, they had laid off thousands of watch-makers and controlled less than 10 percent of the world market. Their profit domination dropped to less than 20 percent. Between 1979 and 1981, fifty thousand of the sixty-two thousand Swiss watchmakers lost their jobs. Why? The Swiss had refused to consider a new development—the Quartz movement—ironically, invented by a Swiss. Because it had no main-spring or knob, it was rejected. It was too much of a paradigm shift for them to embrace. Seiko, on the other hand, accepted it and, along with a few other companies, became the leader in the watch industry. 

 The lesson of the Swiss watchmakers is profound. A past that was so secure, so profitable, so dominant was destroyed by an unwillingness to consider the future. It was more than not being able to make predictions—it was an inability to re-think how they did business. Past success had blinded them to the importance of seeing the implications of the changing world and to admit that past accomplishment was no guarantee of future success. 

 James Enery White, Rethinking The Church, Baker Books, 1998, p. 20. 

The miracle of Pentecost (Acts 2) is the Spirit’s overcoming the barriers of language and perception to open not only the minds of the Apostles’ hearers but their hearts as well to understanding and embracing the Word of God. 

The glassblower’s art 

The process has changed little in the last 3,000 years.  A long, narrow metal tube is dipped into a pot of sand, soda, lime and any number of metal and chemicals.  Then the artisan blows carefully into the tube and creates a bubble – and glass is formed.  As he blows, the glassmaker will shape and form the bubble into the final piece: a vase, a bowl, a pane of glass.  During the shaping process, the piece is frequently returned to the furnace in order to keep it soft enough to work.   

By the breath of the glassblower and the fire of the kiln, sand is transformed into glass – glass of beautiful color and transparency, glass that protects and preserves, glass that warms and illuminates. 

In the story of Pentecost, the Spirit of God is experienced in images of breath and fire.  The word Hebrew word for “Spirit” in is ruah, meaning breath or air (in Greek the word is pneuma).  Pentecost is the “breath” of God blowing through our community, re-creating us and forming us into the Church of the Risen Christ.  In the Pentecost story from the Acts of the Apostles, Luke describes “tongues” of fire appeared to “rest” on each of the Apostles.  Such “fire” moves them to articulate what they had seen and heard and experienced in their encounter with Jesus.  On this feast of Pentecost, we celebrate the Spirit of God within our own hearts and dwelling within our Church community: the breath of God giving life to us and animating us in his grace to live lives of compassion and mercy; the fire of God forming us become a people of loving service and humble love, reflecting that of his Christ. 


The Holy Spirit's distinctive role is to fulfill what we may call a floodlight ministry in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ. So far as this role was concerned, the Spirit "was not yet" (John 7:29, literal Greek) while Jesus was on earth; only when the Father had glorified him (John 17:1, 5) could the Spirit's work of making men aware of Jesus' glory begin. 

I remember walking to church one winter evening to preach on the words, "He will glorify me" (John 16:14), seeing the building floodlit as I turned a corner, and realizing that this was exactly the illustration my message needed. When floodlighting is well done, the floodlights are placed so that you do not see them; in fact, you are not supposed to see where the light is coming from; what you are meant to see is just the building on which the floodlights are trained. The intended effect is to make it visible when otherwise it would not be seen for the darkness, and to maximize its dignity by throwing all its details into relief so that you can see it properly. This perfectly illustrated the Spirit's new covenant role. He is, so to speak, the hidden floodlight shining on the Savior. 

Or think of it this way. It is as if the Spirit stands behind us, throwing light over our shoulder on to Jesus who stands facing us. The Spirit's message to us is never, "Look at me; listen to me; come to me; get to know me", but always, "Look at him, and see his glory; listen to him and hear his word; go to him and have life; get to know him and taste his gift of joy and peace." The Spirit, we might say, is the matchmaker, the celestial marriage broker, whose role it is to bring us and Christ together and ensure that we stay together.  

James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986. 

Gordon Brownville's Symbols of the Holy Spirit tells about the great Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, the first to discover the magnetic meridian of the North Pole and to discover the South Pole. On one of his trips, Amundsen took a homing pigeon with him. When he had finally reached the top of the world, he opened the bird's cage and set it free. Imagine the delight of Amundsen's wife, back in Norway, when she looked up from the doorway of her home and saw the pigeon circling in the sky above. No doubt she exclaimed, "He's alive! My husband is still alive!"  

So it was when Jesus ascended. He was gone, but the disciples clung to his promise to send them the Holy Spirit. What joy, then, when the dovelike Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost. The disciples had with them the continual reminder that Jesus was alive and victorious at the right of the Father. This continues to be the Spirit's message.   

Thomas Lindberg.

The well-known author and preacher Fred Craddock tells a rather funny story about a lecture he was giving: A few years ago, when he was on the west coast speaking at a seminary, just before the first lecture, one of the students stood up and said, "Before you speak, I need to know if you are Pentecostal." The room grew silent. Craddock said he looked around for the Dean of the seminary! He was nowhere to be found.  

The student continued with his quiz right in front of everybody. Craddock was taken aback, and so he said, "Do you mean do I belong to the Pentecostal Church?" He said, "No, I mean are you Pentecostal?" Craddock said, "Are you asking me if I am charismatic?" the student said, "I am asking you if you are Pentecostal." Craddock said, "Do you want to know if I speak in tongues?" He said, "I want to know if you are Pentecostal." Craddock said, "I don't know what your question is." The student said, "Obviously, you are not Pentecostal." He left. 

What are we talking about this morning? Is the church supposed to use the word Pentecost only as a noun or can it be used as an adjective? And so I ask you: Are you Pentecostal?  

In spite of the fact that the church doesn't know what the adjective means, the church insists that the word remain in our vocabulary as an adjective. The church is unwilling for the word simply to be a noun, to represent a date, a place, an event in the history of the church, refuses for it to be simply a memory, an item, something back there somewhere. The church insists that the word is an adjective; it describes the church. The word, then, is "Pentecostal."  

If the church is alive in the world it is Pentecostal. And you thought we were Methodist! [Insert your own tradition here.]  

How do we keep this aliveness, this fire burning, this spirit moving? What must exist in us, around us, and through us, if we are to be Pentecostal? Simply these three things: 

1. We Are To Be Of One Accord
2. We Are To Join Together Constantly in Prayer
3. We Are To Repent
Happy Natal Day, church!  

As a kid did you ever terrorize a sibling by scuffing your feet on the carpet and walking towards your "prey" with an index finger pointing at them? The threat, of course, was "static electricity." If you touched you brother or sister, it meant a small but smarting little zap. A small shock - big fun!   

A local grocery store (actually, the local Orcas Island Supermarket where we live) recently bit the bullet and spent big money on some major renovations. Among the improvements was all new flooring, a snazzy laminate that looked like real hardwood. The store also bought new shopping carts. These were sleeker and more "user friendly" than the previous model. An upgraded misting system in the produce section required new de-humidifying equipment for the rest of the store.  

But all these various upgrades resulted in a "perfect storm" for this grocery store. The contact between the new floor and the new shopping cart's wheels coupled with the dry, de-humidified air resulted in perfect conditions to create tremendous static electricity. Suddenly every shopper with a grocery cart was getting electrified by the lemons, zapped by the chocolate chips, zinged by a loaf of bread. The pain for those local shoppers was no longer confined to the check-out counter. Now every item the shopper selected brought a painful static electric wake-up shock.  

Our ancestors took one giant technological step after a thunderstorm. Lightning ignited a fire - a fire that offered both light and warmth to the cold darkness of night. It gave our ancestors an idea. Figuring out how to keep a fire going, without the thunder and lightning, was the beginning of human civilization. Taming "fire" was the first great human achievement.  

In 1957 a young musician named Jerry Lee Lewis, one of the first to be called a member of a new genre called "rock and roll," recorded a huge hit. Primarily a piano player, Jerry Lee pounded out at hit called "Great Balls of Fire." The title came straight out of Lewis' traditional Christian upbringing - recalling a familiar Southern expression describing the miraculous events of Pentecost...
You Are in the Spirit  

It's like the story of the shark and the whale. Both were swimming in the sea when the shark swam up to the whale to engage in conversation. As they swam along, the shark said to the whale, "You are so much older than I, and wiser too. Could you tell me where the ocean is?" The whale responded, "The ocean is what you are in now." The shark would not believe it. "Come on, tell me where the ocean is so I may find it!" The whale repeated, "The ocean is here, now; you are in it." Unbelieving, the shark swam away searching for the ocean.  

The moral of the story, I believe, is this: don't spend too much time looking for God because the Spirit of God is here in the now of your life, dwelling within you, within me, within this community. And that truth is nurtured in prayer.  

Susan M. Fleenor, The Indwelling Spirit of Pentecost

The peace Jesus gives to us through the Holy Spirit is more than we can ever imagine:  
Peace means the cessation of all warfare, but it also means much more.
Peace means a feeling of inner well-being, but it also means much more.
Peace means an end to psychological tensions, but it also means much more.
Peace means halting interpersonal conflicts, but it also means much more.
Peace means the settling of silence on the soul, but it also means much more.  

In Valyermo, California , the Benedictines converted a 400-acre ranch into a religious community called St. Andrew's Priory. As you enter the grounds, you find that the land is posted: "No Hunting Except for Peace."  The world is hunting for peace. What will we give it?  

Leonard Sweet, Collected Sermons,
Shaped by the Winds of God  

Most times, when I'm called to conduct a funeral of a loved one from the church, I'm asked by the funeral director if I'd like to ride with them rather than to drive my own car. And most times, I take them up on the offer, for it is more relaxing not to have to worry about driving. I must say that I've had some interesting and informative drives out to the cemetery. One director told me about the effect God's Wind has on things that grow. It seems that over time, trees that have to stand out in the open become shaped in the direction the wind is blowing. Unless there are other trees around to block it from happening, a tree will eventually be shaped by the force and direction of the wind. Then, as living proof, the funeral director began to point out to me tree after tree that had all been shaped in this way, trees that I confess I had passed by many times, but had never really seen until then. Once this was pointed out to me, I began to see them everywhere. The cemetery was literally filled with them! All shaped by the Winds of God!  

I leave you with this question. Like those trees in the cemetery, do we, as individuals, and as a congregation, show any evidence of being shaped by the Winds of God's Spirit? Is the new beginning Pentecostal experience a fresh, yet continuing presence in our lives?  

David R. Cartwright, Sermons for Sundays after Pentecost (First Third): Guided by the Spirit, CSS Publishing Company, Inc.
Waves of Worry 

 Several years ago a submarine was being tested and had to remain submerged for many hours. When it returned to the harbor, the captain was asked, "How did the terrible storm last night affect you?" The officer looked at him in surprise and exclaimed, "Storm? We didn't even know there was one!" The sub had been so far beneath the surface that it had reached the area known to sailors as "the cushion of the sea." Although the ocean may be whipped into huge waves by high winds, the waters below are never stirred.  

This, I believe, is a perfect picture of the peace that comes from Christ's Spirit. The waves of worry, of fear, of heartbreak, cannot touch those resting in Christ. Sheltered by His grace and encouraged by His Spirit, the believer is given the perfect tranquility that only Christ can provide.  

Adrian Dieleman, Receive the Holy Spirit
Humor: How Were You Attired? 

 Recently, a judicial friend was presiding over a case in a small, rural county. The defendant was charged with drunk driving and trying to assault the police officer who arrested him. To convict the defendant on the assault on an officer charge, the District Attorney had to prove that the defendant knew the person he was assaulting was a police officer. And the easiest way to do that is to show that the officer was wearing a police uniform, and therefore the defendant knew that this was a police officer. 

So the District Attorney asked the officer on the witness stand "And how were you attired when you pulled the defendant over?"
The witness looked at him blankly. It was clear he didn't know what the District Attorney meant by "attired". Everyone saw this but the District Attorney.

"Would you repeat the question, please?"
In a slightly irritated voice the District Attorney said, "And how were you attired when you pulled the defendant over?"
The witness still was puzzled. "Say that again", he pleaded.
"How were you attired when you pulled the defendant over?" barked the District Attorney.
My friend said you could suddenly see the light bulb come on in the officer's head, and he proudly proclaimed "I was traveling on standard issue radial tires!"
This officer needed an interpreter even within the English language! 

That's what I'm getting at: We all need our own personal interpreter, full time, 24/7. So much of what we hear, even within the English language, we don't understand. And nowhere is that truth more evident than with people who are new to the church. 

Leonard Sweet, Collected Sermons,
Lost and Found 

Picture a little girl lost in a big city. There she sits, crying on the curb. A policeman finds her, puts her in his cruiser and drives her up and down the streets, hoping she'll recognize something familiar. Which, at last, she does. She sees a steeple with a cross on it. Tears vanish. Speech returns. "That's my church," she says. "I can find my way from here." 

You're not the only one, little girl. 

William A. Ritter, Collected Sermons,

Holy Trinity

From Father James Gilhooley 

The story is told of a priest sitting in an airport waiting for his flight. A fellow killing time struck up a conversation. Said he, "Father, I believe only what I can understand. So, I can't buy your Trinity. Perhaps you can explain it to me." The priest reluctantly put down The New York Times. "Do you see the sun out there?" "Yup." "OK, it's 80 million miles away from us right now. The rays coming through the window," said the priest, "are coming from the sun. The delightful heat we are enjoying on our bodies right now come from a combination of the sun and its rays. Do you understand that?" The fellow answered, "Sure,  padre." "The Trinity," the priest went on, "is like that. God the Father is that blazing sun. The Son is the rays He sends down to us. Then both combine to send us the Holy Spirit who is the heat. If you understand the workings of the sun, its rays, and heat, why do you have difficulty believing the Trinity?" The man said something about catching a flight and was off.   
He recalled the husband, who said when he became a father, he better understood the Trinity. When he and his wife had their son, they had evidence of their love for each other. There was the lover, the beloved, and the love, each distinct and yet one.


I enjoy the playful description of Daniel Durken of the Trinity. The Father played creator and was overjoyed that the world turned out so attractively. The Son played redeemer and put everything right again in the wounded world by stretching out His arms on a cross. The Spirit played sanctifier. He made room in the heart of each of us for the Trinity. "Today," says Durken, "the Trinity invites us to keep playing with them this delightful game of life and love." And why not?  We have nothing to lose but our chains. 
Some Quotes:  

"To try to deny the Trinity endangers your salvation, to try to comprehend the Trinity endangers your sanity." Martin Luther

Tertullian on the Trinity

Tertullian, one of the theologians of the early church, explained the Trinity in a metaphor. God the Father he described as "a deep root, the Son as the shoot that breaks forth into the world, and the Spirit as that which spreads beauty and fragrance." Brett Blair,
Faith and Knowledge

Faith and knowledge are two different things. Faith makes us into obedient servants, but knowledge only makes us trivia experts. It's as if Jesus is saying, "Hold your questions to the end. Right now your primary task is loyalty and obedience."  Kenneth W. Collins, The Great Commission

Our faith: It is a relationship of Trust and commitment.

“Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.” (Augustine.)  

Our experience of God leads us to an understanding of God. Theology seeks to understand the truth God has revealed to and through the experience of his people. Definition of Theology: Faith seeking understanding.

l  Experience is how we ENCOUNTER God
l  Theology is what we KNOW of God
l  Spirituality is how we LOVE

From the Collection of Fr. Tony Kadavil1: 

1. "But that is impossible, my dear child:”  

There is a very old and much repeated story about St. Augustine, one of the intellectual giants of the Church. He was walking by the seashore one day, attempting to conceive of an intelligible explanation for the mystery of the Trinity. As he walked along, he saw a small boy on the beach, pouring seawater with a shell into a small hole in the sand. "What are you doing, my child?" asked Augustine. "I am trying to empty the sea into this hole," the boy answered with an innocent smile. "But that is impossible, my dear child,” said Augustine. The boy stood up, looked straight into the eyes of Augustine and replied, “What you are trying to do - trying to comprehend the immensity of God with your small head - is even more impossible.” Then he vanished. It was an angel sent by God to teach Augustine a lesson. Later, Augustine wrote: "You see the Trinity if you see love." According to him the Father is the lover, the Son is the loved one and the Holy Spirit is the personification of the very act of loving. This means that we can understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity more readily with the heart than with our feeble mind. Evagrius of Pontus, a Greek monk of the 4th century who came from what is now Turkey in Asia and later lived out his vocation in Egypt, said: "God cannot be grasped by the mind. If God could be grasped, God would not be God."  

2: Explanations by Ss. Patrick, Cyril, John Maria Vianney:  

The shamrock a kind of clover is a leguminous herb that grows in marshy places in Ireland. St Patrick, the missionary patron saint of Ireland, used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. The story goes that one day his friends asked Patrick to explain the mystery of the Trinity. He looked at the ground and saw shamrocks growing amongst the grass at his feet. He picked one up and showed it to his friends, saying “Look at this beautiful little shamrock. Do you think it has one leaf or three?" Patrick's friends couldn't answer--the shamrock looked like one leaf but it clearly had three parts. Patrick reassured them, "The mystery of this shamrock is like the mystery of the Trinity; there are three parts but they are all part of one." Christians around the world continue to puzzle about the mystery of the Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit - one God in Three Divine Persons. They use symbols based on the triangle pattern or plants like the shamrock to help them with this kind of “three-in-one thinking.”   

3. St. Cyril, the teacher of the Slavs, tried to explain the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. He said, "Do you see in the heavens the brilliant sphere of the sun and how, from it, light is begotten and warmth proceeds? God the Father is like the sphere of the sun, without beginning or end. From Him is eternally begotten God the Son, like light from the sun; just as there comes warmth together with light from the sun, God the Holy Spirit proceeds. Each one is distinguished separately: the sphere of the sun and the light and the warmth — these are not three suns, but one sun in the heavens. So also, in the Holy Trinity: there are three Persons but God is One and indivisible."   

4. St. John Maria Vianney used to explain Holy Trinity using lighted candles and roses on the altar and water in the cruets. “The flame has color, warmth and shape. But these are expressions of one flame. Similarly the rose has color, fragrance and shape. But these are expressions of one reality, namely, rose. Water, steam and ice are three distinct expressions of one reality. In the same way one God revealed Himself to us as Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.  

5: Trinitarian design for medieval cathedrals: When the architect and engineer Aldo Spirito was commissioned to design a cathedral for the Archdiocese of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, he used a number of architectural elements to reinforce, as in the tradition of the medieval cathedrals, the truths of our faith. Among those elements is the fact that the basic structure is triangular, so as to state dramatically the fundamental truth of Christian faith: God has revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  


A preacher proudly boasted that he does not preach doctrinal sermons. They are boring he asserts and people do not understand or relate to them. Further, he claimed, I am a preacher and not a theologian. I get down do the practical issues and simply preach Christ crucified.  

His thinking is faulty at several points. First, he is wrong when he says that he is not a theologian. The fact is that everyone to a certain extent is a theologian. Theology is nothing more than what you think about God. Well, shouts one person, I don't believe In God. That then is your theology. I would also take issue with him when he claims that he does not preach theology but gets down to practical issues. In my thinking there is no difference in good theology and good practice. Good, solid theology gets down to the very core of our existence. 

Finally, I would disagree with him when he says that we should only preach Christ crucified. I know that is what the Apostle Paul said but this preacher doesn't mean what Paul meant. He is saying that he only preaches about the cross and saving the sinner. I submit to you that the cross is not central in Paul's theology; rather, it is Christ. It has always puzzled me why some ministers preach the message of salvation to people who have been sitting in the pews all their life when they need so much more of Christ's teaching on life's other issues. There are many strings on a guitar. To make beautiful music all of them must be played and not just one. That is why in the United Methodist Church we honor the lectionary and the seasons of the church year. That insures a witness to the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ. How can one go through the season of Advent and not touch upon the doctrine of the incarnation. How can one go through Lent without touching upon the doctrine of the resurrection? Likewise, how can we embark upon the season of Pentecost, as we did last week, without mentioning the doctrine of the Trinity?  

Today is Trinity Sunday... 
The soul has its seasons. "There is a time to be born, a time to die." 

The Bible has its seasons. The biblical New Year begins at the appearance of the first "new moon" of spring, when nature comes to life.   

The West has its seasons. The New Year begins in the depths of the winter, which is often when the new comes, in the midst of winter, the soul most often coming to life in the wintry seasons of life.  

The church has its seasons.   

In the church our "seasons" are not determined by climate changes or a vernal equinox. Instead of fall, winter, spring, and summer, the church calendar recognizes seven "seasons:"   

Holy Week
Kingdomtide (unique to Wesleyans and Presbyterians)  

Unlike those other "four seasons" that neatly divvy up the year into four equal parts, the church seasons are all of different lengths. Advent is only four Sundays long. Lent is observed for six Sundays. Epiphany and Eastertide both extend over seven Sundays. The week of Holy Week gets its own "season." But by far the majority of the church calendar year is designated as the "Sundays after Pentecost" - depending on what church calendar you are using, up to twenty-seven Sundays in all, with this week being the first of those many "Pentecost Sundays."  

The reason for such a lop-sided division of the "seasons" in the church is explained in part by this week's gospel text. Matthew 28:16-20 is identified as the "Commissioning of the Disciples" text. It is a hotly contested text, to say the least. The phrase "The Great Commission" doesn't appear in the Bible, and wasn't widely used until the early 20th century, when the phrase and the text became wed-locked forever.  

In these few verses Matthew manages to encapsulate the whole of his gospel story...
Understanding the Trinity  

This is Trinity Sunday. God in three persons--Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Do we fully understand this wonderful doctrine? No, but some of us will fight for it. 

You may remember that ancient story about St. Augustine. One day he took a break from writing about the Trinity to take a walk along the seashore. There he came across a child with a little pail, intently scooping up a pail full of water out of the ocean, then walking up the beach and dumping it out into the sand, then going back down to scoop out another pail of water to pour into the sand, etc.

Augustine asked the child what he was doing, and the child explained that he was "emptying the sea out into the sand." 

When the Bishop tried to gently point out the absurd impossibility of this task, the child replied, "Ah, but I'll drain the sea before you understand the Trinity."

There's truth to that child's comment. We don't understand the Trinity, but we're ready to go to war to defend it. Well, maybe not anymore. But there was a time when battles were fought over church doctrine, and even today churches are being split over whose interpretation of the Word is correct. And it's tragic. 

King Duncan, Collected Sermons.
The Image of the Father  

Thomas Troeger, a Presbyterian pastor and gifted preacher, tells a story of an experience he had once. He wrote: 

"One day several years ago I was in a department store buying myself a new shirt when a complete stranger walked up to me and said, 'You must be Henry Troeger's son.' 

"I looked at this person and I said, 'I don't believe I have ever seen you.'

"He said, 'Oh, no, you have never met me at all, but a long time ago I worked with your father. I was a close colleague of his and when I saw you across the aisle of the store, I said to myself, `I'd know that face anywhere.' You are the very image of your father.' 

"For several weeks after that, I would sometimes be going down the street, and maybe come around a corner, and catch my reflection in a store window. I started to see myself with the eyes of someone else. It is not like looking into the mirror in the morning. I would come around the corner, catch that reflection and I would think, 'That's Henry Troeger.' All of a sudden I would be seeing how I bore the image of my father." 

And so it is with us. 

Each one of us is created with the image of God indelibly imprinted on our souls, so that, in some miraculous and inexplicable way, the diverse expressions of God that are you and you and you and me all come together to illustrate the mystery, to live together in community as we do our best to display for the world all the possibilities that the divine imprint on all of us could mean.

Amy Butler, A Curious Community
 Who, Me?

Unfortunately, most of us act like the out-of shape, overweight man who decided to take up tennis. He took lessons from a pro. He read several self-help books which advised him to "think positively" and "develop a winning attitude."

A friend asked him how his tennis was going. With a positive, winning attitude in his voice, the man replied, "When my opponent hits the ball to me, my brain immediately barks out a command to my body: 'Race up to the net.' Then, it says, 'Slam a blistering shot to a far corner of the court. Then immediately jump back into position and return the next volley to the other far corner of the court.' And then my body says, 'Who, me?'" 

I'd be willing to bet, if we could go back in time, that the first words out of the mouths of all the Disciples after Jesus spoke these words were the same: "Who, me?" You have to remember that the events of this passage actually took place before Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But the question is still pertinent. "Who, me?"  

Billy D. Strayhorn, Go!
 "Feeling Like..." 

I rather like the story Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick once related from his own childhood days. His father had said to his mother, upon leaving the house one Saturday in the morning hours: "Tell Harry that he can cut the grass today, if he feels like it."

 Then, halfway down the walk, his father turned once more to add: "And tell Harry that he had better feel like it."  

Well, in its own rather humorous way, there is something essential about life wrapped up in that. For there is a difference between knowing we are supposed to do something, and 'feeling like" doing it. There is a difference between a sense of obligation and a sense of generosity. There is a difference between obedience and desire. And the one of those weighs us down, while the other lifts us up.

Christianity says to us, you do not know God, if you know Him only as a sense of authority over your life. Furthermore, you do not know God, if you merely believe intellectually that God is a God who cares and loves.  

You do not know God somehow at all, unless the same spirit of His authority and His love captivates you from within, so that you live knowing the spirit of it for yourself. You do not know God, unless all this that we have been saying about Him becomes for you your own way of life and not an obligation imposed on you by the Church, or by the fear of death, or by anything else.  

Paul van Dine, Not the Nature, But the Character of God - Trinity!, Cathedral Publishers.
Safely through the Storm  

Max Lucado tells the story about the time he was sailing with his son and a church friend of the coast of Miami. They were having a leisurely cruise and the weather was perfect. But out of nowhere a storm appeared. The sky darkened, the rained started and the ocean became violent. Max was terrified and looked at his friend Milt for help. 

Milt was deliberate and decisive. He told the men exactly where to sit and gave them specific instructions. Last he said, "just hang on." They did what he said. Why? Because Milt was the only skilled sailor on board and knew exactly what to do in a storm. Until then Max could have boasted about his merit badge in sailing that he had received in the boy scouts. But, that was no comparison to a real storm on the high seas. He had no choice but to trust in Milt's directions...

From Fr. Tony Kadavil's Collection:  

1) The universal testimony: A good illustration of the Trinity comes from world- renowned scientist Dr. Henry Morris. He notes that the entire universe is Trinitarian by design. The universe consists of three things: matter, space, and time. Take away any one of those three and the universe would cease to exist. But each one of those is itself a trinity. Matter = mass + energy + motion. Space = length + height + breadth. Time = past + present + future. Thus the whole universe witnesses to the character of the God who made it (cf. Psalm 19:1).  

2) “You ask me a riddle?” The late Cardinal Cushing tells of an occasion when he was administering last rites to a man who had collapsed in a general store. Following his usual custom, he knelt by the man and asked, "Do you believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit?" The Cardinal said the man roused a little bit, opened an eye, looked at him and said, "Here I am, dying, and you ask me a riddle."  Call  them riddles.  Call  them mysteries.  There are things about life and faith we do not understand. I am not going to suggest that you resign your effort to understand.  

3) “The undertaker.” There is an old story about a henpecked husband who went to a psychologist. He was tired of being dominated by his wife. The psychologist told him, “You do not have to accept your wife’s bullying. You need to go home right now and let her know that you’re your own boss.” The husband decided to take the doctor’s advice. He went home and slammed the door on the way in. He confronted his wife and said, “From now on you’ll do what I say. Get my supper, then go upstairs and lay out my clothes. After I eat, I’m going out with the boys while you stay home. By the way, do you know who is going to tie my tie for me?”  “I sure do,” said his wife  calmly,  “the  undertaker.” Some marriages are filled with conflict. So are some offices. Unfortunately some churches are filled with conflict as well. The feast of the Holy Trinity challenges us to cultivate the Trinitarian relationship of love and unity in our families and offices and parishes.  

4) Human mystery confronting divine mystery: The story is told that Franklin D. Roosevelt and one of his close friends, Bernard Baruch, talked late into the night one evening at the White House. At last, President Roosevelt suggested that they go out into the Rose Garden and look at the stars before going to bed. They went out and looked into the sky for several minutes, peering at a nebula with thousands of stars. Then the President  said, "All right,  I think we feel  small enough now to go in and go to sleep." The wonder of the power and wisdom of God puts things in perspective for us humans. It was not an accident, but the result of a Divine Plan; planets, stars, plants, birds, fish, and animals were all created by God. And the climax of God's creation was humanity. How complex and mind-boggling is our physical construction! Chemically, the body is unequalled  for complexity.  Each one of its  30 trillion cells  is  a mini chemical factory that performs about 10,000 chemical functions. With  its 206 bones, 639 muscles, 4 million pain sensors in the skin, 750 million air sacs in the lungs, 16 million nerve cells and 30 trillion cells in total, the human body is remarkably designed for life. And  the brain!  The human brain and nervous system is the most complex  arrangement of matter anywhere in the universe.  One scientist estimated  that our  brain, on the average, processes  over 10,000 thoughts and concepts each day. Bill Bryson in his book, A Short History of Nearly Everything, says it is  a miracle  that we even exist.  Trillions  of atoms come together for approximately 650,000 hours (the average span of human life), and then begin to silently disassemble and go off to other things. There never was something like us before and there never will be something like us again. But for 650,000 hours the miracle that is uniquely us exists. One could spend years just dealing with the marvelous intricacies and majesty of God's creation. We are, as the Psalmist states "fearfully and wonderfully made." No wonder we cannot understand the mystery of a Triune God.  

5) Holy Trinity prayer:    When the bishop’s ship stopped at a remote island for a day, he decided to use the days as profitably as possible. He strolled along the seashore and came across three fishermen mending their nets. In Pidgin English they   explained   to   him  that   centuries   ago  they   were   Christianized   by missionaries.  "We,  Christians!"  they said, proudly pointing to themselves.  The bishop was impressed. Did they know the Lord’s Prayer? They had never heard of it. The bishop was shocked. How could these men claim to be Christians when they did not know something as elementary as the Lord’s Prayer? "What do you say, then, when you pray?" the bishop asked. "We lift eyes in heaven. We pray,

‘We are three, you are three, have mercy on us.’" The bishop was appalled at the primitive, downright heretical nature of their prayer. So he spent the whole day teaching them to say the Lord’s Prayer and he succeeded although the fishermen were poor learners.

Months later the bishop’s ship happened to pass by those islands and the bishop, as he paced the deck saying his evening prayers, recalled with pleasure the fact that on that distant  island  were three fishermen  who  were now  able  to pray correctly, thanks to his patient efforts. While he was lost in thought he happened to look up and noticed a spot of light in the east. The light kept approaching the ship and, as the bishop gazed in wonder, he saw three figures walking on the surface of the water towards the boat. The captain stopped the boat and all the sailors leaned over the rails to see this amazing sight. When they were within speaking distance, the bishop recognized his three friends, the fishermen. "Bishop!" they exclaimed, "we are so glad meet you! We heard your boat go past island and came in a hurry, hurry to meet you." "What do you want?" asked the bishop filled with wonder seeing them walking on water as Jesus did. "Bishop," they  said,  "we  so sorry.  We  forgot  that  lovely  prayer  you  taught  us. We remember only this much: ‘Our Father in heaven, holy be your name, your kingdom come’ . . .the rest we forgot. Please teach us whole prayer again." The bishop felt humbled. "Go back to your homes, my good men," he said, "and each time you pray, say your Holy Trinity prayer, ‘We are three, you are three, have mercy on us!’" (Fr. Anthony de Mello S.J., The Song of the Bird).  

6) “Bad things always come in threes.” An old adage warns, “Bad things always come in threes.” Have you found  this true in your  own experience? That bad things (and good things) like to happen in community, in bunches? You say: we invent this connection by suddenly realizing that we got a flat tire on the same day that a computer glitch devoured our hard drive, shortly after our last contact lens just slid down the drain. I say: there seems to be something significant about the power of three. Today the Church celebrates the Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—on this “Trinity Sunday” affirming the truth  good things also come in threes. We recognize  God as power  (the Father), God as person (the Son), and God as presence (the Holy Spirit).  

7) “But the machine can't ask me about my arthritis.” The true story is told of a woman named Mamie who made frequent trips to the branch post office. One day she confronted a long line of people who were waiting for service from the postal clerk. Mamie only needed stamps, so a helpful observer asked her, "Why don't you just use the stamp machine? You can get all the stamps you need and you won't have to wait in line." Mamie said, "I know, but the machine can't ask me about my arthritis." That's part of the wisdom of Christ's coming to our earth to live among us as described in today’s gospel (John 3: 16-18). He could relate to us in all of our daily needs. As we try to walk in Jesus' steps, we might do well to pray the ancient Irish poem set to an Irish ballad tune, which says, 

 Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word; I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord; 

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all. 

 8) Aggressively selfish child: A report some years ago, allegedly by the Minnesota Crime Commission, painted a dark picture of human nature indeed, particularly with regard to small children. I quote: “Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it – his  bottle,  his  mother’s attention,  his  playmate’s  toy, his uncle’s  watch.  Deny  him  these once, and  he seethes with rage and aggressiveness, which would be murderous were he not so helpless. He is, in fact dirty. He has no morals, no knowledge, no skills. This means that all children not just certain children  are born delinquent.  If permitted  to continue  in the self- centered world of his infancy, given free rein to his impulsive actions to satisfy his wants, every child would grow  up a criminal a thief, a killer, or a rapist.” [Cited in R. Scott Richards, Myths the World Taught Me (Nashville: Thomas Nelson  Publishers,  1991), p.  39.] It  is  to  transform  this  self-centered  human nature into a selfless,  God-centered one that the second person of the Holy Trinity took human form as described in today’s gospel.  

9) A dumb debate on God: The following hypothetical debate for the mute and the deaf scholars is a warning to our pastors who think that they have explained Holy Trinity well to their flock on Trinity Sunday.   The Jews and the Catholics are having a debate about God and decide that they will each send one representative to prove that their side is right. The only rule is that words are not allowed. They decide on their representatives. The Vatican decides to send their best brain–  Cardinal  Ratzinger, the head of  the Congregation  on Faith and Morals while the Jews pick one of their best rabbis to represent them. As a sign of respect the Jews allow the debate to be held at the local cathedral. The time for the debate comes and the rabbi walks into the cathedral and up to the cardinal. The cardinal waves his hand towards the sky. The rabbi responds by slamming his fist into his palm. The cardinal holds up three fingers. The rabbi responds by holding up his middle finger. The cardinal then pulls out bread and wine. The rabbi then reaches into a bag and pulls out two fish. At this point the cardinal holds up his hands and walks away.  

After the debate the cardinal heads back to the Vatican to talk it over with the pope and the other cardinals. "Man, those Jews have it all figured out. First I said to him, 'God is everywhere,' and he responded, 'God is right here.' I was taken aback. So I held up three fingers representing the Holy Trinity, and he responded, 'We all worship the same one God.' I didn't know  what to do so I showed  him  bread  and  wine  representing   the  sacrifice   of  Jesus,   and  he responded with two fish, representing that Jesus provides.  

The Rabbi headed back to the synagogue to tell the others his version what had happened. "Man, you wouldn't believe those Catholics. The moment I walked in this guy with a weird hat gestures at me 'No Jews Allowed.' I said 'I'm staying right here.' Then he said, 'You have three minutes.' I said, ‘Get lost.' Then he pulled out his lunch, so I showed him mine." 

10) Why Isn't the Holy Ghost Included?  A woman wrote to Reader’s Digest. She wanted to tell about an experience that she had when she took a young girl from India to church with her. It was the eleven-year-old  girl’s  first  exposure to a Christian worship service. The young lady’s parents were traveling on business and had left  her in the care of their  American  friends.  The little  Hindu girl decided  on her own  to go with the family to church one Sunday.  After  the service was over, they went out to lunch. The little girl had some questions. She wondered, "I don’t  understand why  the West Coast isn’t  included,  too?"  Her Christian friends were puzzled and asked, "What do you mean?" She responded, "You know. I kept hearing the people say, ‘In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the whole East Coast.’" 

11) God Is Everywhere: A pastor was trying to explain to a little Sunday school child that God is calling people everywhere in the world to believe in him. "God is much bigger than we imagine him to be and God can use all of us in lots of different ways to do his work everywhere," the pastor said. "God is everywhere!" "Everywhere?" asked the little boy. "Everywhere!" said the pastor. The boy went home and told his  mother, "God is  everywhere! The pastor said so." "Yes, I know," said the mother. "You mean he is even in the cupboard?" "Yes," said the mother. "In the refrigerator -- even when we close the door and the light goes out?" "Yes," said the mother. "Even in the sugar bowl?" the lad asked as he took the lid off. "Yes," said the mother, "even in the sugar bowl." The boy slammed down the lid and said, "Now I've got him." 

12) “What   Jesus said, “Who do men  say that  I  am?”  And his  disciples answered and said, “Some say you are John the Baptist returned from the dead; others say Elias,  or other of the old prophets.”  And  Jesus answered and said, “But who do you say that I am?”  Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Logos of the Father, the Son whom the Father loved from eternity and Whom the Holy Spirit,  the eternal personification  of the love  between the Father and the Son, begot on the Virgin Mary.” And Jesus answering, said, "What?" 

13) "I'm  surprised  at you:" An English  teacher of a 21-sophomore high school class put a small chalk dot on the blackboard. He then asked the class what it was. A few seconds passed and then someone said, "That is a chalk dot on the blackboard."  The rest of the class  seemed relieved  that the obvious  had been stated, and no one else had anything to say. "I'm surprised at you," the teacher told the class. "I did the same exercise yesterday with a group of kindergartners and they thought of 50 different things the chalk mark could be: an owl's eye, a cigar butt, the top of a telephone pole, a star, a pebble, a squashed bug, a rotten egg, a bird's eye, and so on." The older students had learned how to find a right answer, but had lost the ability to look for more than one right answer. The Holy Spirit helps us, in his wonderful Wisdom, to see more than we might have seen by ourselves. The Spirit's vision allows us wonderful options for expansion and new possibilities. It is the Spirit's Wisdom that reveals the Word to us. It is the Wisdom of the Spirit which shows us our sin, which guides us, which instructs us, which leads us in the way everlasting.

 14) Trinitarian design for medieval cathedrals: When the architect and engineer Aldo Spirito was commissioned to design a cathedral for the Archdiocese of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, West Africa, he used a number of architectural elements to reinforce, as in the tradition of the medieval cathedrals, the truths of our faith. Among those elements is the fact that the basic structure is triangular, so as to state dramatically  the fundamental  truth  of Christian  faith: God has revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee; Holy, Holy, holy, merciful and mighty, God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.