Airborne Connections

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Airborne Connections

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 Forum 7

This forum celebrates God working through a person. The stories are not necessarily connected, but they all have a focus on the dignity of life and the importance of each individual. The power of one is to discover our destiny in Christ. We are called to trust and to serve. 

In Christ our hope is glorious...
bring on tomorrow ~ we can make a difference.

 

Contents

The Power of One
The Last Roman Triumph
Thank you for helping me ~ at 21 weeks!
The Power of One Cross
Illustration of the Power of the Cross
Forum Index

 

The Power of One

Fleming was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog.

He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself.

Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a carriage pulled up at the Scotsman's modest home. A nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.

"I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life."

"No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer.

At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family home.

"Is that your son?" the nobleman asked. "Yes," the farmer replied proudly.

"I'll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. "If the lad is anything like his father, he'll grow to a man you can be proud of."

In time, Farmer Fleming's son graduated from St .Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Years afterward, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia and he was saved by Penicillin.

The name of the nobleman was Lord Randolph Churchill and his son was Sir Winston Churchill.

 

The 'Power of One' comes through in this story as it connects the circumstances of a boy stuck in a bog with the discovery of penicillin and the defeat of Nazism. What glorious hope can come from the most unexpected situation when the value of an individual is respected. Next we will look at the way in which one man changed the hedonistic values of a civilisation...

 

The Last Roman Triumph!

Telemachus was a monk who lived in Asia Minor about the year 400 AD. During his life time gladiatorial games were very popular in Rome. The gladiators were often slaves or political prisoners who were condemned to fight each other unto death for the amusement of the spectators. The sight of blood and gore on the arena floor fascinated people.

Telemachus was very disturbed that the Emperor Honorius (who was a Christian) sponsored the games and that many people who called themselves 'Christian' went to see them. What, he wondered, could be further from the Spirit of Christ than the cruelty of these gladiatorial games? The bishops and priests spoke against them, but most people were deaf to their message.

Telemachus realised that talking about this evil was not enough. But what could he accomplish - one lone monk against the whole Roman Empire? He had no power and the games had been part an established part of Roman life.

One day in prayer, Telemachus sensed that the Holy Spirit was encouraging him to leave his community and go to Rome ~ which at that time was the metropolis at the centre of the greatest empire the world had ever known.

When Telemachus arrived in Rome he was caught up into a celebration of a recent victory by the Roman Legions over the Goths. As a part of a holiday festival a circus was being staged for the jubilant multitudes.

Telemachus didn't know exactly where he was going in Rome... but he allowed himself to be swept along by the crowds. He soon found himself on the way to the Colosseum for the circus.

When the crowds arrived at the Colosseum they began to get excited by the sounds of the lions roaring their challenge and the gladiators preparing for combat.

Telemachus followed the crowd into the Colosseum. There to his horror he was confronted with callous gut-wrenching carnage. Gladiators fought one another to the death. They slaughtering their hapless foes without pity as entertainment for the bloodthirsty crowds.

Telemachus felt he had to do something. He simply couldn't stand by while human beings were being beheaded, disembowelled and dismembered before his very eyes.

He ran down the steps of the stands, leapt into the arena, and began darting back and forth between the fighters crying: 'Forbear, forbear, in the name of Christ I beg you to forbear.'

When the crowd saw the scrawny figure of the monk running frantically about the arena, ducking and weaving between the combatants - they took Telemachus to be a bit of welcome comic relief and roared their approval.

But as time went on some of the people in the crowd began to hear what 'the mad monk' was saying and more and they came to realise that Telemachus was actually trying to spoil their bloody fun. Then they turned against him, hissing and booing, and bellowing at the top of their voices for his quick dispatch.

The gladiators lunged at the monk with thrusts of their swords... and the audience buried him under a hailstorm of projectiles and stones. When the furore was over Telemachus lay dead in the middle of the arena.

During the silence that followed his death - it was as if the monk's last cry began to echo around the arena: 'Forbear, forbear. In the name of Christ I beg you to forbear.'

Telemachus died - but not in vain.

His work was accomplished the moment he was struck down. The shock of his death changed the hearts of the crowd. Then they saw the hideous aspects of this vice to which they had surrendered themselves.

Emperor Honorius issued an edict that day - forbidding all future gladiatorial games. And so it was that about the year 404 AD, one individual - filled with the love of Christ - dared to say "No!" and the gladiatorial games ceased.

Prayer:

"Lord help me to remember that I am just one person who cannot change the whole world... but I do have the power to change the life of one person. Fill me with the courage of the Holy Spirit so that I may serve your purposes in my life."

Reference:
Fox's Book of Martyrs
(chapter 111).

 

Let's move on from Rome to science and behaviour today. Again we pick up on the value of the individual as we explore the enigma of our society's capacity to both heal and destroy. This in turn leads us to God's perfect provision available to every person...

 

Thank you for Helping Me!

Hand of Hope

This picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by a surgeon named Joseph Bruner. 

The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother's womb. Little Samuel's mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta . She knew of Dr. Bruner's remarkable surgical procedure. Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville , he performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb. 

During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby. As Dr. Bruner completed the surgery on little Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed, hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon's finger. 

Dr. Bruner was reported as saying that when his finger was grasped, it was the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during the procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile. 

The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity.  The editors titled the picture, "Hand of Hope." The text explaining the picture begins, "The tiny hand of 21-week-old fetus Samuel Alexander Armas emerges from the mother's uterus to grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life." 

Little Samuel's mother said they "wept for days" when they saw the picture. She said, "The photo reminds us that a pregnancy isn't about disability or an illness, it's about a little person." Samuel was born in perfect health, the operation 100 per cent successful.

One Life: possibilities with God unlimited!

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Click here to read the complete story.

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Click here for editorial on abortion.

 

The Power of One Cross

Come on a journey with me in your imagination. Come on a journey back through time... back to the three crosses standing on the hill of Calvery ~ outside the walled city of Jerusalem 2000 years ago.

Come on this journey as we seek peace with God...

 

Gordon's Calvary as it may be seen today
Click here to view a gallery of Jerusalem

 

All of us have the same problem... no matter what our individual circumstances may be ~ we are all guilty before God of not following his ways. We all share in the complicity of sin.

Therefore we can't come to the Cross judging each other ~ rather we come together to find our answer in Christ. We can only come to God with humility and reverence. We are travellers on the road together, seeking the relationship with God we were made for in the beginning.

As we kneel at the foot of the Cross, we make our confession. We open our hands and let go of the things we have been holding onto. We agree that our acts and thoughts have contravened the word of God at so many places. We are letting go of our transgressions and rights. We allow them to spill onto the ground, mixed with our tears. 

As we do this... a drop of the blood of Jesus falls from the Cross onto our sin. This is the blood of innocent suffering shed on our behalf. This is the blood of Christ given to purchase our release from the bondage of sin.

This act of redemption causes us to look up to the Cross... to see Jesus  looking straight into our eyes. Here we find mercy and compassion. Here is love in the extremes of pain... here is suffering in our place.

Jesus opens his mouth to speak.. his words come to us:

"It is finished".

We hear him speak into our hearts: "Your sin in me is finished". 

Our sin cost Jesus his life... his innocent death was the payment in our place. He did for us what we can never do for ourselves: pay the cost of our sin!

Jesus accomplished this purpose.

The payment is already complete. The cross is a vicarious act of love which crosses the boundaries of time. Our salvation is at the Cross alone. There is no more to be done... other than to join Jesus in his triumph by responding to him with a whole heart. This is our response of faith.

  horizontal rule

 

We travelled together on a journey in our imagination to the Cross. In reality the message of the Cross is not constrained by the dimension of time, but searches us out.

As we accept this truth, we are delivered from guilt. We are set free to a new direction of repentance... which is a path of spiritual and moral restoration. We are called out of our old ways... to be new people in Christ.

Our hope is secure in this certain fact: Jesus was not defeated by death - he rose from the dead. As we link up with him through our emerging faith... we are identified with him in his resurrection. We too are given a new life

This radical change is marked by our baptism: Going under the water represents dying to the old life. Coming out of the water represents a new beginning in our life with Jesus. We can ask him to fill us with his Holy Spirit ~ to enable us to live in a way that pleases him.

From here we continue in a contrite attitude where we want to be free from sin and serve him... God makes this possible!  We rejoice in being forgiven and we forgive others just as Jesus forgave us. We love because he first loved us.

We are now a part of the church, helping to accomplish Jesus purposes. Now we are able to enjoy a daily relationship with God - and draw on his strength daily to live his ways. 

This is the Christian message of freedom, joy and hope.

Salvation is at hand. Jesus is waiting for us to open the door of our life to him as we say "yes" to him in prayer: "yes Lord, you died for me, I welcome you into my life as Lord".

 

By Peter Kentley

 

Illustration of the Power of the Cross

Sometimes we struggle to get to the place where we can let go of our feelings to the point of forgiving others. Other times there can be a need to forgive - but we may not be aware of this reality.

My parents were divorced when I was a boy of six, and I didnít see much of my dad, right up to his death in 1962. At that time I was sixteen and living in Sydney.

In 1987 my Mum also died. After the funeral I found myself alone in the family home at Turramurra, a suburb of Sydney. I was in the kitchen and opened a cupboard in which I found some family albums. As I thumbed through them I discovered one album of family documents, which included the case for divorce which my mother had submitted to the court in 1952. This was the first time I was to learn anything substantial about the reason for my parents divorce.

As I read the document, I became aware of all the steps my mum had taken to try and keep the marriage alive. I found myself in tears. Then, in my imagination, it was as if my dad was sitting at the other end of the kitchen table. I found myself saying out loud: "Dad, I forgive you, I forgive you dad, it could have been me".

Here was a need for forgiveness that I hadn't previously realised. Yet in the kitchen alone, the Holy Spirit brought me to this experience. As I forgave my dad, I experienced a deep inner sense of the blood of Jesus Christ healing the wounds of the past and bringing me to wholeness.

This experience of forgiveness, peace and inner healing brought real blessing to my composure and relationships with others. A lot of my reserve and apprehension, which came from a fear of rejection, was healed that day. The blood of Jesus Christ had been applied to my heart through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. I was set free from something which had been holding me up.

Prayer:

Dear God, where there are areas in my past in need of forgiveness, and where I need to forgive others... I invite the Holy Spirit to bring these needs to my attention. May you work in me so that forgiveness and healing flows through every aspect of my life and outwards to others. If you see areas in me that are difficult to let go of... then please work in my heart so that I can surrender all hindrances to you. I want to be set free in Christ and to be a blessing to you and to others. Amen.

Your name.

Peter Kentley

See also:
How do I become a Christian

Discovering Love

Entree to Faith

Forum Index

 

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  Page update: 30 August 2008 ~ Contact us at Feedback

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  Page update: 30 August 2008 ~ Contact us at Feedback