| We will be putting sermons, letters, and other things Doug has written. If you have anything of Doug's you would like to put in here, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was an e-mail to me, Mom Shippy, while Doug was still going to Atanta Christian College. Because of the way he signed it, we're sure he sent it to others. He was so excited!:
Yesterday was the first day of Spiritual Emphasis Week here at my school. And my gosh I have never seen revival like this. It HAS ONLY BEEN ONE NIGHT!!! What is revival..I never really knew. It isn't getting the church or group hopping again, but the awakening of ONE. It was the most amazing thing. Guys who were already "good" christians saw their flaw and fell to their knees and laid on the ground and cried and sang and prayed. Just plain set the place on fire...set their souls on fire. It wasn't necessarily a sin they were stuck in, but a life we are/were all stuck in. Why are we here on earth anyway? To live for ourselves, our own pleasures, each other? NO!! We are here for the service of God. We are commanded in Matthew 28 to tell the nations about Jesus. Shame? Nonsense. Once we have faith in Christ we are one with him, we are empowered through the Holy Spirit to live for God. Nothing on our earth should be a concern, a prize...These things shouldn't be our gold, for in heaven gold is merely pavement. We need to achieve purity. We have decided to try our hardest to abstain from secular entertainment. Last night guys were throwing their CD's and videos against the walls, BREAKING temptation..these things that are entertainment are Satan's leash on us. This stuff we pay money to see and hear get in us and fill our eyes and ears with smut. They say our eyes and ears are the windows to our souls. If something does not honor God, we will run from it. T.V. takes us from our family, movies take our time..this time can be used to show love to someone...lost family,friends, anyone. If God is our all in all, we need nothing else. He GIVES US LIFE. We are dead without Jesus. We have given up our selfishness. WE have given up our greed, dishonesty, impurity! We have taken up our God!!! He is the reason for livin'.IF IT DOESN'T HONOR GOD!!!...BREAK IT!!!
Sincerely in Christ, Doug
Day TWO...e-mail from Doug to "Mom Shippy":
Once again the evening was awesome...someone prayed, "God, thanks for showing up!" That describes the night in a nut shell. Satan is knocking at our doors and even getting his foot in, but through the power of the Holy Spirit we slam the door closed. If Satan doesn't step back his foot will be crushed. His temptations will be crushed. His power will be crushed. When we were baptized we became one with Christ, one with the Spirit. WE HAVE ALL POWER THROUGH HIM WHO STRENGTHENS US!!! Satan is no more than a spec of dust on the ground. However we must feed ourselves everyday. We must dig into the word, fellowship with other believers, and PRAY!!! In the middle of the evening when we can't find something to do...don't plop down and watch T.V. No!!! Read the Bible, it is the lamp to our feet. Go witness for that is our mission, or at least go commune with other christians and build each other up. By doing these things we keep our fires lit. When we turn the light on in a room, we don't turn it on and leave the house, we use that light so we can see. The light inside of us should be used to let other people see. Don't hide it under a bush! Tonight we were challenged not to let this week be a spiritual high, but a low...We can continue building up. Through faith all things can be done. If this week is our low, next week we will be running down the streets beating down doors to let people know whassup. For luke-warm christians, we will let them know apathy is the first exit on the highway to hell. For the lost, we will show them Jesus = peace + joy. We gotta put our lives into gear. Faith without work is dead. We know Jesus...OUR FAITH SHOULD BE ALIVE!!!
Sincerely in Christ, Doug
Doug's first serman
Southern Christian Convention preaching contest
Who here thinks God is the greatest?
We all say that in here at conventions among Christians, but what about elsewhere?
Have you noticed (we are all really guilty of it) that people brush off the Lord?
-school nerds: (lunch table or sports), cheating (exams or homework)
-work: gossiping and stealing work pay
-friends: cussing, drinking, trying to be cool
I think a lot of us live like this but (Duet. 6:5)
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
I remember the first time I was in Sunday school class that gave stickers for memory verses...competing and prizes. I learned and heard John 3:16 for the first time. Now don't just rattle it off.... Open your Bibles and look at it as I READ. "For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." I think we tend to forget the importance of this verse. This is what it is all about. God's love is the greatest.
How can anyone not try their hardest to serve God? God doesn't ask much of us. Not like.......
Noah: in building the ark...He looked insane to everyone.
Joseph: stayed with Mary risking his pure and honest reputation
Paul: a former pharisee who had to change all his former beliefs
I sure can't remember, I don't know about you, the last time God asked me to do anything near that caliber.
Are your friends gonna get you to heaven? Have your friends given their life for you? Why are we turning our backs on God just to look cool? You don't have to be a Bible Bandit or a Holy Roller to show you are a christian, but you do need to stand firm against the bad influences we are surrounded by.
I heard this song (I am sure you will know it). It is just a good little reminder of what is important and forever...not popularity, money, but God. I'll sing it for you. It may seem far fetched so just bear with me.
Rudolph the red nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose. And if you ever saw it. You would even say it glows.
If you let Jesus be in you, others will see his light shine through you.
All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. They wouln't let poor Rudolph play in any reindeer games.
People will persecute you for whatever reason, and it is hard, that is why we must have faith in God.
Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say, Rudolph with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight.
God loves us and is always here for us, He will carry us along in hard times.
Then all the reindeer loved him and they shouted out with glee, Rudolph the rednosed reindeer, you'll go down in history.
Love, honor, and serve God and you are a part of history. You are a part of this....(Holding up the BIBLE).
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
TAKING A STEP OUTSIDE
By Doug Shippy
Sermon given at Villa Rica Church
Bradley was eight, so this oft repeated story goes. One day, having done several odd jobs for his mother, he presented her with a bill, which read as follows:
For weeding the garden: 10 cents.
For going to the store twice: 20 cents.
For not leaving the soap in the bath: 20 cents.
Total, 50 cents.
His mother read it and smiled. Expectantly, Bradley waited. But no money was forthcoming. That evening, as Bradley was going to bed, his mother gave him an envelope in which was a bright new 50 cent piece wrapped up in a piece of paper on which something was written in his mother's handwriting. Bradley spelled it out very carefully and read as follows:
For bringing Bradley into the world: nothing
For taking care of him for eight years: nothing.
For paying his doctor bills, buying his clothes and feeding him all this time: nothing.
Bradley looked at his mother and then the fifty-cent piece. There was a struggle going on in the child's mind, but at last he handed the money back to his mother with these words. "Mummy, I guess I owe you more than you owe me, so in the future I am going to do things for you like you do them for me, for nothing."
I look around this room and I see a variety of people. Most of you are not eight nor ten, in fact a lot of you cant even remember those days. But I bet a lot of us think like Bradley. In fact, we all have the Bradley mentality. but unlike Bradley, have you learned your lesson. Someone named Tim has. Let me tell you about him:
Tim was the elevator boy in a dye factory and his elevator car was used by one great wing of the building. Up and down he carried workers, officers, and visitors, and all loved him because of his friendliness and winning smile.
Tim's clothes were shabby. His knowledge of the world was very limited, and his English was ver poor. Yet, his cheerful "Good morning" was an event in everyone's day.
"My, My! Aint you glad to be alive today" he said to Mary Flynn just before seven one morning. "Look at that "ere sunshine. Don't it make yer want ter shine too. Come in and I will put yer up higher where the air is jest great."
When Mattie Mack came to the elevator door she had in her hand a bunch of flowers from her desk. But as she left she slipped a tiny red rosebud into the hand of the boy. "Bless yer kind heart," he whispered. "I haint got any garden, but a posy on me coat jest makes me happy all the day. This rosebud is sure a dandy."
This morning he did his work quickly and found some time to glance at the morning papers. He couldn't read them all, but he loved to read what he could and look at the pictures. As he was glancing over the papers, he heard a loud sound and then another. Then came a terrific explosion, and dirt, bricks, and wood flew in all directions. The building trembled. Tim rushed out to see what had happened. In some unknown way a great tank of acid had exploded, people told him as they hurried by with white faces.
Like a flash there came the realization that all that lay between the employees in his building and death was himself and his elevator.
"May God help me," he thought, as he shut the door of the car and started up the swaying shaft. On every landing were screaming anxious people. Could he ever get them down? If they pushed and struggled all would be lost. When he reached the top floor he called cheerily: "Here I come fer ye. Aint it great to be in a building that is all right. Now if yer won't push and only fifteen will come enter the elevator at once, I kin get every one of yer down. But if you push then I'll never come up again after that. Now I'll see what yer will do. Only fifteen, remember. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen fifteen. full up. Now, Aunt Beckey, stay right there and watch for me. Watch for me red rose." The shaft swayed and shook as, very slowly he took them down. But, he sang cheerily from the foot of the shaft, "I'm coming. Im coming. Tho me car is running slow."
The people watched him breathlessly as he tried to save them. Up and down he went. A great crash told him that more of the building had collapsed, and the heat fro the burning structure was intense. But Tim wanted to save others and forgot about fear. Saving them all in mind and looking at the red rose, he carried on his rescue. One floor after another he emptied, but the face of the elevator boy was becoming white and drawn. Suddenly there was another scream of terror. The flames were spreadng through the shaft yet one more trip must be made. Those waiting covered their faces and were crying as they heard Tim say: "I guess she'll hold for another trip, and I promised to come back fer them. There's only five more up there and one of them is Mattie the one that is so good ter me. I'm going up." The car went up very slowly; watchers below heard the elevator door open and a fervent "Thank God" from one of the women. Then Tim's merry voice again called out, Though this time it was of a tremble. "Now here we go down. Ain't yer glad ter be alive ter tell how yer went through fire and wasn't burned? Ain't fire pretty though? Sure, the shaft will hold up if we go slow. Jest look at my rose. Ain't it one fine match for my red air? Why, here we are so soon. Now out with yer, an Mattie thanks again fer my posy it sure helped me a lot."
A moment later everyone was looking for the boy. On every tongue was the story of his bravery. But he wasn't about the building and he wasn't in the street.
Sitting on the steps of a little house in a back alleyway was the red-haired boy. He was patting the head of a big yellow cat saying: "Twas great, Tom, jest great. Ain't it good I wasn't burned! I am glad I could help. But I don't want all them folks ter thank me so am goin' ter sit here with yer fer a spell."
Our culture has developed a breed of people who are out to satisfy themselves. We want to guarantee our comfort, pursue our own happiness. And of course we expect the credit we deserve if we go out of our way. Like Bradley we expect our reward for the things we do, but how often are we willing to go out of our way to help another? In our lives, are we willing to help another like Tim with his elevator or just watch out for ourelves. Do we ever do things for others that may not benefit ourselves?
Yudisthera and his four brothers were great heroes. They had fought many a good battle as they reigned as kings in India. For a good many years they had ruled gloriously, and now the time had come when they considered giving up their reign to their decendants and starting for heaven.
They started their journey up to the Himalayan Mountains for they thought the dim peaks of heaven lay just beyond. Dressed in clothes of abject poverty the brothers set out on their great journey. The Himalayas were easily reached but the mountains of God lay a long way beyond.
One by one Yudisthera's brothers fell by the way and died because each had been guilty of some kind of sin. Even Yudisthera felt a pang shoot through him whenever his foot touched the earth as he thougt of some untruth of which he had been guilty.
At last from the mountains of God he heard a thunder and out of it came a golden chariot and upon it sat the angel of God.
Then he heard a wondrous voice saying: "It is ordained thou blameless one that thou shouldst enter heaven without tasting death. Therefore, enter this chariot"
"Nay" said the good king "all my brothers are left behind, I must wait for them!"
"Thy brothers are not behind thee replied the angel. "They have died and so reached heaven before thee. To come with me is to go with them."
With this good news he stepped into the chariot. As he entered heaven he began immediately to look around for his brothers, for the celestial regions were nothing to him without his brothers.
The angel therefore took him down into a dark and terrible road gloomy as a night without a star till at last the messenger would go no farther.
Yudisthera could not quite trust his eyes and ears when he saw his brothers way down there in pain and sorrow. "Come away" shouted the angel, "this is no place for thee" But he replied: "You return but I shall go where my brothers are and remain with them forever. Heaven without them would be a dreary desert"
Then the illusion vanished, and he found himself and his brothers in a land of love and light and a celestial voice spoke to him, "These things have seemed to happen to thee to test thee but now arise and dwell in the highest heaven with thy brethren. Thy faith is full and complete. All life is mine and I am all that is In loving thy brothers thou didst love me. Therefore enter into the joy of eternal life."
This is how we know what real love is. Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for our brothers. Suppose a believer is rich enough to have all that he needs. He sees his brother in Christ who is poor and does not have what he needs. What if the believer does not help the poor brother? Then he does not have God's love in his heart. Our love should not be only words and talk. Our love must be true love which will show by what we do. (I John 4:16-18)
The phone rang in a fashionable suburban home. "Hi Mom, I'm coming home." It was a serviceman in San Diego who had just returned home from the Korean War. The mother was wild with joy that her boy was alive.
"I'm bringing a buddy home with me," the boy said. " He got hurt pretty bad. Only has one eye, one arm, and one leg. He has no home and I'd like him to live with us."
"Sure son," the mother said. "He can stay with us for a while."
"Mom you don't understand. I want him to always live with us"
"Well okay" the mother relented. "We'll try him for a year."
"But Mom. I want him to be with us always. He's in bad shape, One eye, one arm, and one leg."
The mother became impatient. "Son you are too emotional about this. You've been to war. The boy will be a drag on you."
Suddenly the boy hung up.
The next day the parents received word from the Navy. The night before their son had leaped to his death from a hotel window in San Diego.
And when the boy's body was shipped home, the parents found he had one eye, one arm, and one leg.
Do you love beyond your own personal comfort Like this mother we may even have the best intentions of being a loving person but miss out on showing that love Fortunately for us, Jesus didn't put any limits on his love for us. He gave up everything for us. He didn't seek his own comfort or any selfish desire. He so loved us that he laid down his life for us.
Toyohiko Kagawa was a half-starved child from Japan that was helped by two misionaries. As he grew up he devoted his life back to his people. He gave freely from his income of $5.50 per month until he could give no more. Trying to help the people, he protested the government and ended up imprisoned. Fighting the government he was in and out of jail sentences still helping the people establishing orphanages and churches. Late in his life and almost blind he remained in what he affectionately called my little kingdom of the sums" A newspaper reporter found him there still helping the people and asked him to give his credo of love. He said, "Give of yourself, freely and without reserve to the serving of others.
As Christians we must have a love for others that demonstrates Christ's love for us.
One of the Latin historians Suetonius, tells the story of a certain Roman soldier who was charged with crime and ordered to appear before the judges in the Forum to answer the charges brought against him.
Wishing foo someone to defend him, the soldier appealed to Ceasar under whom he had fought in several campaigns. Ceasar listened to his request then replied, "Soldier, I cannot defend you myself, but I shall send someone to take my place." With that the soldier tore open his toga and exposed his breast which was covered with scars. "When I saw the swords and spears of the enemy leveled against you in battle, Ceasar," he said, " I did not send someone to take my place."
Our Lord Himself came from heaven to save us and to redeem us, He did not send a substitute. That is real love.
This is the kind of love that we are called to; not a love that is limited or comfortable. Our love should not be a love that is persuaded by rumors or gossip, health or wealth, nor any other limitation or distraction we humans so love to come up with. Our love should be like that of Christ all out, unbiased, forgiving, kind, and not limited by any means.
What better describes the way we live and love? The story of this Japanese missionary, Tim with the elevator, the Roman soldier on trial, or the man who left this love note:
My dearest, I would climb the most rugged and precipitous mountain to see the light of your eyes I would swim any body of water far wilder and wider than the Hellespont to sit at your side. I would go through tempests and torrential rains to kneel at your feet. I'm yours forever.
P.S. I will call on you again tomorrow, if it doesn't rain.
Step out into the rain if you have too. This week I want to challenge you to take a look at what is going on outside of your comfort zone. Look for opportunities to demonstrate true Christian love. If we are truly in pursuit of a Christ-like lifestyle, think of how drastically your life may need to change. We need to set our selfishness aside; swallow our pride, and demonstrate the love that Christ showed for us.