Sermon:  Truths for the Journey


Summary:  Life is a journey full of setbacks, uncertain changes but being grounded in God and the support of his people helps us to stay focused on the overarching goal of complete fellowship with and restoration to God.



1.  You ever been on a trip full of . . . surprises?

            a.  No stranger to the Telgrens

            b.  Lot of travel in our earlier years, many with adventures

2.  Took Jeremy to college in Searcy

            a.  Trip was an "adventure" to put it in a positive way

            b.  Could say it was a "challenge"

            c.  Or, could say it was full of setbacks and problems

3.  I spent time reflecting on everything that happened

            a.  Self reflection is a good discipline

                        - Think of what happened, your reaction

                        - Ask why you react the way you did, what can do different

            b.  The weekend was not as we expected or planned

4.  Some lessons I am reminded of


I.  God gives you what you need

A.  Mt 7:11 - God give what is good to his children

B.  Sometimes we need to be "reminded" of this

            1.  Setbacks at the beginning

                        a.  Jeremy's eye injured, got prescription

                        b.  Left prescription in Leavenworth

                        c.  Had to get sunglasses

                        d  Power went out at home on Thursday

                                    - Stacey had to pack and get ready in dark

                                    - Power not repaired till Sunday, four days!

            2.  Jeremy's car acted up after we arrived

                        a.  Felt like it was going to come apart

                        b.  Had to go around on foot to get what he needed

                        c.  Started to rain

                        d.  Found a shop on Friday, got it in, was his brakes

            3.  Stacey and Will to join us on Friday night, but car problems

                        a.  Transmission issues, it was after dark

                        b.  With advice from her brother, got them to Searcy

                        c.  Car still can't drive on highway

                        d.  Looks like we were stuck there

                                                - We decided that best thing was to take Jeremy's car

                        4.  Got a phone call on Saturday that tree fell on Suburban!

                                    a.  Crunched the back end of it

                                    b.  We now down to one car in the family

                        5.  To top it all off, our dog got sprayed by a skunk after came home

            C.  Dog didn't seem worried.  Have you ever said, "Oh to be a dog!"

                        1.  (Mt 6:33f) - Jesus could have used a dog as example

                                    a.  Jesus used birds and lilies as examples

                                    b.  They not worry, or have stress diseases

                                    c.  Kind of like the dog, no worries

                                    d.  We need to be like the dog

                        2.  Jesus said to seek first his kingdom/rule, and God provides

                                    a.  Did God give us what we needed?  Always!

                                    b.  What we think we need, and what we really need can be

     miles apart right?

                                    c.  We can be a one car family - Not end of the world

                                    d.  We have a home, food, clothing, necessities

D.  God faithfully gives us what we need.


II.  Everything Changes

A.  Nothing stays the same in this world

B.  This hit home in several ways

            1.  The campus was not the same

                        a.  New buildings, streets gone, new streets

                        b.  Bowling alley replaced by coffee shop

                                    - Used to be young people bowl, older people coffee

                                    - Now young people drink fancy coffee, older people


                                    c.  Go down professor hallway, many names I not recognize

                                    d.  H.S.B.S. program is now C.A.M.T. - Center for advanced

                  ministry training - A positive change

                        - Visited the end of their orientation

                        - History photo wall in the hallway

                        - Boys thought my hair was funny - But not a mullet

2.  Heritage Inn - Hallway of photos of Harding events

            a.  Historical section in black and white

            b.  George Benson burning mortgage, Harding University

      Arch unveiled, dedication of Jim Bill McInteer Bible Blg.

c.  We were at the dedication ceremony.

d.  Photo was in black and white!  Probably to match the


                        3.  Ran into people we knew from years ago

                                    a.  Some were balding, others graying, years take toll

                                    b.  Make me wonder how I look to them

                                    c.  Met Bill Diles, has house in Williford. 

                                                - Used to preach there, had 40 people, most retired

                                                - Now there is less than ten

                                                - Church dried up with the community

                        4.  What hit home most was going home WITHOUT Jeremy

                                    a.  He has made a transition in his life, on his own

                                    b.  In a couple years, William will also make transition

            C.  Bible has something to say about all this change

                        1.  (Eccl 7:10) - Do not say why good old days better

                                    a.  From God's perspective, the future is better than the past

                                    b.  There has been redemptive movement in history

                                    c.  God will finally restore us, our bodies, and creation

                        2.  (Heb 1:10-12) Reminds us everything gets old and changes, but

      God does not

            D.  In all the uncertainty of life, God is the same and is faithful

                        1.  His promises and mercies are new every morning

                        2.  He never gets tired, old, worn out

                        3.  He will never fail you


III.  Christian Education is worth the sacrifice

            A.  I was reminded of this at chapel and around campus

                        1.  David Burks gave speech, reminded us of Harding's mission

                                    a.  To integrate faith, learning, and living, develop a Christian

     philosophy of life to live by

                                    b.  Development of Christian scholarship

                                    c.  Promotion of Christian ethics

                                    d.  Promotion of citizenship within a global perspective

                        2.  Purpose is to learn to serve God in his kingdom in whatever

     discipline you choose

3.  Goal is to educate and form the whole person spiritual and


            B.  I was reminded of this in the way they do freshman orientation

                        1.  Every year they do IMPACT

                        2.  Orientation to campus, introduction to spiritual life

                        3.  Part of it involved "Energy Groups" - They ministered by doing

     service projects as part of orientation

                        4.  Harding is known for this

                                    a.  Students do ministry, campaigns, and service

                                    b.  Many devote spring break to this

                                    c.  While many are going to the beach to party at state

     schools, Harding students going around world to serve

            C.  In a sense, places like Harding are an extension of the church

                        1.  Supported by Christians all over the world

                        2.  Goal is to educate people in their respective discipline and

      ground them in the Christian faith

3.  Eph 6:4 - Bring them up in discipline and instruction of the Lord

4.  Education continues into college

            a.  If not go to Christian college, find campus ministry

            b.  Many state schools have campus ministries

            D.  Some say Christian education is inferior

                        1.  Nothing is further from the truth, in fact, it is often better

                        2.  Harding has been listed for many years as a top school

                                    a.  US News and World Report listed it as a top college in

     USA for the last 17 years

                                    b.  Princeton Review listed Harding as a top college

                                    c.  Washington Monthly listed Harding as top, etc.

3.  Harding attracted 20 National Merit Scholars in Freshman Class

     last year (compare to KU that got 16)

                        4.  Many employers recruit Harding graduates

                                    a.  Because they have excellent education

                                    b.  Because they are people of integrity

            E.  Many find their husband or wife there, like my brother, and Jamey

            F.  It is worth the sacrifice


IV.  The Goal is what matters

            A.  We had a goal on this trip

                        1.  We met that goal

                        2.  Not happen the way we planned, but we met our goal

            B.  We have a big overarching goal we will meet

                        1.  (2 Tim 4:16-18) - We can have confidence, but not in this world

2.  (Phil 3:12-15) - Keep pressing on to the goal

3.  God is with us, and God makes a way

4.  Jesus blazed a trail for us to follow

            C.  No car problems, trees falling on our things, fires, setbacks stop us

                        1.  (Rom 8:38-39) - Nothing can separate us

                        2.  We can focus on the goal

            D.  Let us never get sidetracked by challenges in this life



1.  Focus on the goal, don't get sidetracked

2.  Do you have sin in your life? 

            a.  Rom 3:23 - All sinned and fall short

            b.  Good news, Jesus provide a way out (inv)

3.  If you have done this, then focus on the goal, don't get sidetracked

            a.  God gives you what you need

            b.  Nothing in this world ultimately dependable, it gets old and changes

            c.  Do what will nurture your soul. 

            d.  Focus on the goal