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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


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.]


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). 

Don't Be Remembered For The Time You Quit

Endurance Faithfulness Perseverance

Source: "The Champ Throws in the Towel" By RED SMITH , NY Times, November 25, 1980

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Howard Harden | Date Posted: 2018-01-30

Scripture: 1 Kings 19:4 ; Job 3:1

Author: Howard Harden


One of the biggest boxing matches of the twentieth century took place on November 25, 1980, at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was a rematch between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran. Duran had won the previous fight and was the favorite the second time around. He had a record of 72 wins and just one loss and he had won his last forty-one fights. That is some winning streak.

The rematch was a close fight. Only a point or two separated the two fighters on the judges’ scorecards. But then something unthinkable happened in the eighth round that no one expected. Roberto Duran turned to the referee and spoke two words: "No Mas." "No more." He quit.  He wasn’t injured. He wasn’t cut. He was frustrated and he’d had enough. Here is a fighter who was one of the best to ever step into the ring. He won a total of 103 fights, but when anyone mentions his name today, the first thing that comes to mind is “no mas.” People remember the day he quit.


We have all had times when we felt like quitting. Quitting your job. Quitting the class you teach. Quitting on your marriage. Some people even give up on God. Unfortunately, every year, thousands of people in this country give up on life itself. Over 959,000, almost a million Americans, attempt suicide every year.

Some of the greatest heroes of the Bible thought about giving up. Elijah said, “Lord, go ahead and take my life. I’m finished” (1 Kings 19:4). Job said, “Cursed be the day I was born” (Job 3:1). Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet. He said, “O that my eyes were a fountain of tears that I might weep day and night" (Jeremiah 9:1). 

Yet, these men overcame the temptation to quit and served God faithfully. So when you are tempted to quit, remember, you are in good company. Hang in there. Keep serving. Keep being faithful. Keep doing what God wants you to do. Don't be known for the time you decided to quit. 

What Happens When You Double A Penny Everyday For 30 Days?

Faithfulness Priorities Reward

Source: "A Penny Doubled Everyday"

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-05-03

Scripture: Matthew 6:20

Author: Illustration Exchange


Alan Yu, on his business blog, asks an interesting question. " if you were given a choice to receive one million dollars in one month or a penny doubled every day for 30 days, which one would you choose?" 


Day 1: $.01
Day 2: $.02
Day 3: $.04
Day 4: $.08
Day 5: $.16
Day 6: $.32
Day 7: $.64
Day 8: $1.28
Day 9: $2.56
Day 10: $5.12
Day 11: $10.24
Day 12: $20.48
Day 13: $40.96
Day 14: $81.92
Day 15: $163.84
Day 16: $327.68
Day 17: $655.36
Day 18: $1,310.72
Day 19: $2,621.44
Day 20: $5,242.88
Day 21: $10,485.76
Day 22: $20,971.52
Day 23: $41,943.04
Day 24: $83,886.08
Day 25: $167,772.16
Day 26: $335,544.32
Day 27: $671,088.64
Day 28: $1,342,177.28
Day 29: $2,684,354.56
Day 30: $5,368,709.12


A million dollars sure sounds like a lot more than a mere penny doubled every day for 30 days. As it turns out, a penny doubled over the short course of a month is five times more profitable! Go figure. 

In a similar way, the profits and gains of this life sure seem like greater rewards than the ones we have to wait on from God.  But faithfulness to God in small things will one day prove to be of far greater value than anything the world has to offer us now.   

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal:" (Matthew 6:19-20). 


Dr. Henry Heimlich Was Ready

Witness Faithfulness Salvation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-05-30

Scripture: 1 Peter 3:15

Author: Illustration Exchange

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The Game Has Gotten Hotter!

Adversity Ministry Faithfulness

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

Scripture: 2 Timothy 4:5

Author: Shawn Nichols

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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

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Hard Words

Bible Word of God Faithfulness

Contributed By: Chris Horton | Date Posted: 2015-09-25

Scripture: John 6:60

Author: Dr. J. Veron McGee / Chris Horton

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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

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Runner Celebrates Too Soon, Loses Race

Reward Faithfulness Endurance

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-16

Scripture: Hebrews 12:1 ; 1 Corinthians 9:24

Author: Danielle Elliottt, Yahoo! Sports / Illustration Ex

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The Measure of Stewardship

Stewardship Money Faithfulness

Contributed By: Nathan Barber | Date Posted: 2015-03-16

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 4:2

Author: Paul Chappell

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