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Can You Sleep On A Windy Night?

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William Clifford Elmore
October 15, 1937 ~ October 10, 2001
 
"If Tears could build a highway
And memories a lane
I'd walk right up to Heaven
and Bring you home again"

This was one of my very favorite of my dad's short, and long sermons written. This has two parts, a short version, and longer version, the longer will be added later. He was asked to give this often when visiting other congregations, or conventions to speak,, so it seemed to be very well received by others as well. I know I wasn't the only teary eyed one in the house when he finished. He used a prop for this sermon, he had a tape recorder with remote, the tape had a very violent storm recorded, it played in the background as he quietly began. The sound of the storm slowly at first blowing in, then picking up pitch, and sound, the tape recorder effect lasted about 5- 10 min. as the first of this sermon was presented. It would once again begin at the end of this sermon. I still get goose bumps, as it's recalled, and shared. Here once more, our hero,
my dad,,
 

" Can You Sleep On A Windy Night? "
 
There's a storm coming, can you feel it? The morning sky is bright red, bringing to mind the old sailor's rhyme, " Red sky at morning sailors take warning, red sky at night, sailor's delight. " A rhyme which so often has more truth then riddle. The day wears on, now,, the wind is picking up, dark clouds are rolling in, with thunderheads rising thousands of feet up above into the heavens, blinding ripples of light flash through out them as veins, making them look alive, and soon thunder rolls across them as some mystic giant ear drum crashing, heart beat, yes,, you can even see, feel, and smell it coming now. Wind gust are getting more steady, pushing harder, lasting longer periods, trying even the soundest of stead-fast readiness. Lights begin to flicker as electric lines, and power fails against the unforeseen  force of nature pushing in. Lightning and thunder soon become as one over head, crashing so close the very house's foundation shakes, window glass rattles, shake, breaking, and shutters give way, banging with complete abandon. Angry green clouds mix in with the black, and gray. Long funnels reach down as wicked crooked fingers trying to grab great holds of earth, or anything in their reach, this doesn't look good, this is going to be a bad one. Are you ready? Have you battened down all the hatches, and secured the doors? How about you brother,, or you sister, how would your family be? Tell me,
" Can you sleep soundly on a windy night? "
 
Consider if you will that this storm is as God's great coming, would your house-hold fare well? Have you done everything possible to save your family, and loved ones, or do you just think everyone will be O.K.? Are you totally and fully prepared for the worst, are you half way, maybe partly ready, or not prepared at all? Maybe your waiting till tomorrow.
Well, now, tomorrow could very well be to late.
 
The scriptures has stories, and parables for our use in these last days, encouraging us to be fully prepared for a last great storm. Nothing should be left unprepared, nothing left to chance, or left to become a surprise failure due to us not doing all we could to prevent destruction. Each and everyone is a precious child of God, all should be done to save every special child.
Faith is a key which inspires us to be prepared. Faith in God, in his holy spirit, and in ourselves. Faith there is a God, God is love, loves us. We too are told our bodies, each one of us, is a blessed temple in which resides God's spirit. The cleaner we keep this temple, the better God's spirit can reside in it, and we, as well, can better use our blessed gifts, talents given to us, which we then can reach their fullest potential.
 
Did you know even Jesus' apostles had to learn to have even stronger faith? We can go to another storm mentioned in the bible to read about this valuable lesson to be learned.
 
Matt
14;23-34
( New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures )
 
23 Eventually, having sent the crowds away, he, ( Jesus ), went up into the mountain by himself to pray. Though it became late, he was there alone..
24. By now the boat was many hundreds of yards away from land, being hard put to it by the waves, because the wind was so against them. 25. But in the forth watch period of the night he came to them, walking over the sea. 26. When they caught sight of him walking on the sea, the disciples were troubled; saying: " It is an apparition! ". And they cried out in their fear. " 27. But at once Jesus spoke to them with the words: " Take courage, it is I, have no fear. " 28. In reply Peter said to him: " Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you over the waters. " 29. He said, " Come! " Thereupon Peter, getting down off the boat, walked over the waters and went toward Jesus. 30. But looking at the windstorm, he got afraid and, after starting to sink, he cried out: " Lord save me! " 31. Immediately Jesus caught hold of him and said to him: " You with little faith, why do you give way to doubt? " 32. And after they got up into the boat, the windstorm abated. 33. Then those in the boat did obeisance to him saying: " You are really God's Son. " 34. And they got across and came to the land in Gen-nes'a-ret.
 
~
 
Here we see our lord getting away to the wilderness once again, as written he did often, to get closer to his father, recharging his soul in prayer. On returning to the apostles by way of walking across the waters, in a fearful windstorm, we see how the lack of faith, or the belief in faith can lose, or save our soul. Here we see even though Peter came to a point of doubting his faith,, without hesitation Jesus reached out to save him when called upon. How often when our brethren or sisters, sons daughters, or friends, make a mistake are we willing to reach out without hesitation to help them as they are beginning to sink? He did not wait until Peter was under the water drowning to help him, it was immediately of Peter's asking. Another wonderful example of the ultimate love as displayed by Christ, to be used, anytime we also are called upon in our paths.  Jesus did not continue to beat Peter down with chastisement ether, for his doubt, or lack of faith, so too we, should follow in this example. Once hold of Christ hand, Peter was able to return safely to the boat, faith once again restored, the storm subsided, and he too knew, he could sleep soundly from then on in any windy night.
 
Our next parable takes us back into the biblical book of
 
Matt.
25;1-13,
( New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures )
 
 
Join with me as we see in this story,
 
1. " Then the kingdom of the heavens will become like 10 virgins that took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2. Five of them were foolish, and five were discreet. 3. For the foolish took their lamps but took no oil with them. 4. Whereas the discreet took oil in their receptacles with their lamps. 5. While the bridegroom was delaying, they all nodded and went to sleep. 6. Right in the middle of the night there arose a cry. " Here is the bridegroom! Be on your way out to meet him. " 7. Then all those virgins rose and put their lamps in order. 8. The foolish said to the discreet, " Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are about to go out ". 9. The discreet answered with the words, " Perhaps there may not be enough for us and you. Be on your way, instead to those who sell it and buy for yourselves ". 10. While they were going off to buy, the bridegroom arrived, and the virgins that were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11. Afterwards the rest of the virgins also came, saying, " Sir, sir, open to us! " 12. In answer he said, " I tell you the truth, I do not know you. "
~
 
So, will you be ready, will Jesus recognize you? Will you, your family, and your loved ones all be in order? Will your boat of faith be built sea worthy solid? Will your oil lamp be filled as well as too it's receptacles?
So, tell me, can you sleep on a windy night?
 
William Clifford Elmore
copyright
1974

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