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The Butterfly Effect

Ministry Faithfulness Influence

Source: The Los Angeles Times

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2018-05-15

Scripture: Matthew 13:32

Author: James Miller
7

ILLUSTRATION

In 1961, meteorologist Edward Lorenz developed a computer program to predict weather patterns.  One day he was in a hurry and set a computer calculation that was supposed to be .506127 to .506.  He figured a thousandth of a percent would be irrelevant.  Later in the day, he restarted the program and found a radically different prediction in weather patterns.  He produced a paper stating that a very small change in initial conditions could have a radical change in results. A fellow scientist said that if Lorenz was correct, a single flap of a seagull’s wind could change the course of the weather forever. 

In 1972, Lorenz presented a paper called, “Does the Flap of a butterfly’s wing in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?”  The idea that a little change somewhere in the world could produce huge changes somewhere else became known as the "Butterfly Effect."

[Edward Lorenz's findings were first published in 1963, in a paper entitled “Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow."  Lorenz shared the 1983 Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and was awarded the 1991 Kyoto Prize.]

APPLICATION

A small act of faithfulness today can have huge ramifications in the future, far beyond anything we can anticipate, producing results that we may never see.  But it's not necessary for us to know the ultimate impact of these quite actions.  Our task is to simply focus on being faithful to God in small things. 

"His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master’" (Matthew 25:23). 

Thank Your Waitress ...

Glorify God Ministry Spiritual Life

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2016-07-05

Scripture: Matthew 4:4 ; 2 Corinthians 5:19

Author: Stephen Kingsley
4

ILLUSTRATION

The waitress at the cafe serves you the meal she did not purchase or prepare. The cafe owner purchases the food and the cook labors over every detail of the preparation. Yet, they remain hidden, unknown and unseen. The waitress takes orders and places the food on the table and is the one who hears the words, "Thank you!"

APPLICATION

In much the same way, pastors take prayer requests and serve you the Good News of Christ. It is appropriate to give them an occasional "thank you," but be sure to give the ultimate credit and glory to God for all that you receive in life, the tangible and the intangible, the physical and the spiritual. 

"But he answered, "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4)

The Game Has Gotten Hotter!

Adversity Ministry Faithfulness

Source: Tannen, Deborah. The Argument Culture: Stopping America’s War of Words. New York: Ballantine Books, 1999. P.77-78.

Contributed By: Shawn Nichols | Date Posted: 2016-04-25

Scripture: 2 Timothy 4:5

Author: Shawn Nichols
4

ILLUSTRATION

On January 18, 1994, retired admiral Bobby Ray Inman shocked the political landscape when he voluntarily withdrew his nomination to be the next Defense Secretary under the leadership of President Bill Clinton. Inman was anything but unqualified, serving under both Republican and Democrat leadership. He served as Director of Naval Intelligence, Vice Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Director of the National Security Agency, and Deputy Director of the CIA. He had chaired several high-profile task forces, most notably after the April 1983 bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, and had served on the board of several publicly traded companies.

Yet, in an hour-long news conference, he explained that the political landscape had become so troubled with trivial accusations and attempted smears that he no longer felt capable to contribute to the needs of the nation. Recapitulating Inman’s announcement, a senior official in the White House administration summarized, “This was a guy who knew how to play the game and thought he could play the game. Only he discovered that the game had gotten a lot harder and a lot hotter.”

APPLICATION

Such is the case among western religious professions. In earlier days, pastors, circuit-riding preachers, and religion professors were viewed in high professional esteem because of their moral integrity and the power of their rhetoric to change the course of lives within their communities. Such is not the case, for the most part, in our media savvy culture, where leaks from Ashley Madison and stories of debunked televangelists have corrupted the public's view of the moral fiber of the profession. For the enduring pastor, the game has gotten a lot harder and a lot hotter.

The ministry is under a proverbial microscope that can discourage others from joining the ranks of honest proclaimers of truth. Perhaps this was the point of the Apostle Paul to the young Timothy. Even more, now, in the light of corrupted teachers, it necessitates that you “watch … in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5, KJV). Under the scrutiny of a hotter game, make sure, preacher friend, that you completely fulfill the work of the Lord’s ministry.

Don't Do More, Do Better

Good Works Faithfulness Ministry

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-09-27

Scripture: Colossians 3:23

Author: Kent Crockett
11

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Putting On The Batman Suit

Spiritual Gifts Ministry Faithfulness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-09-07

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:4

Author: Illustration Exchange
7

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Rock Star Janitor

Ministry Humility Influence

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-06-19

Scripture: Mark 9:35 ; Matthew 20:26

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

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Meteor or Shining Light

Burn Out Leadership Ministry

Contributed By: Scott Roberts | Date Posted: 2015-06-14

Scripture: Exodus 18:14

Author: Scott Roberts
7

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In The Next Thirty Seconds

Productivity Ministry Spirituality

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2014-09-06

Scripture: John 6:63

Author: Larry Lewis
2

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There Is No Testimony Without A Test

Testing Testimony Ministry

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-07-03

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9

Author: Illustration Exchange
7

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Ministry At The Speed of Cheetah

Ministry Burn Out Weakness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-03-30

Scripture: Luke 5:16 ; Matthew 14:23

Author: Julia Layton / Illustration Exchange
4

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