There is a famous scene in the original Peter Pan. Peter is in the children’s bedroom; they have seen him fly, and they wish to fly, too. They have tried it from the floor and they have tried it from the beds and the result is failure.

“How do you do it?” John asked. And Peter answered: “You just think lovely, wonderful thoughts and they lift you up in the air.” There is also a wonderful moment in the movie, Hook. The movie concerns a grown man with a family that discovers he was Peter pan. He has to go back to Never-Never land but he has a big problem. He no longer remembers how to fly. He knows he is supposed to think of lovely things, but it doesn’t seem to work. Finally, he thinks of his family and that causes him to fly again.

-Michael Shannon, Preaching March/April 2003

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“Perhaps the best we can do in our fifty-something years is sound the wake-up call to our family members and deepen our relationships with them. Fifty-something can be a time when your family floats away from you with no imminent return in sight, or it can be a time of making a concerted effort at pulling your loved ones together and redefining what family really is.” (Jim Smoke, Facing 50 . . . A View from the Mountaintop. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1994, p.179.)

-Derl G. Keefer, Preaching November/December 2002

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Finding Nemo is the most popular animated feature of all time. What is the secret of its success? Much of its appeal is in the amazing technical and artistic features that helped produce a wonderful underwater world. Others might point to the comical characters created by animators and voice actors. Behind it all is a great theme. There is a father who is a bit overprotective and a son who is a bit too careless. They both eventually learn to give in a little. The huge journey for reunion motivated by love, give us the greatest lesson of all. Parents and children need each other and are worth sacrifice.

-Michael Shannon, Preaching January/February 2004

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The man had had a distinguished career. He had been a United States Congressman. He had been the head of the C.I.A. He has been Ambassador to the United Nations. He had been the Chief Liaison Officer in China. He had been Chairman of the Republican National Committee. He had been Vice-President of the United States. He had been President of the United States. But when his life in public office ended George Bush said that he still had the three most important titles he had ever held: husband, father and grandfather.

-Robert Shannon, Preaching May/June 1998

 

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A business owner had developed what he considered to be a good relationship with a younger employee. The younger employee began on a downward spiral and his job was on the line. The business man brought in the young man and said to him, “You’re just like a son to me.”

“Oh really?” replied the employee.

“Yes, you don’t listen to anything I say either,” said the employer.

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Even mothers who try hard are sometimes disappointed.According to Irving Wallace, Alice Hamilton had two sons who were listed as “Public Enemy Number 1.” Her older son, Floyd, was a part of Bonnie and Clyde’s gang.He served time at both Leavenworth and Alcatraz. Another son, Raymond, was also in Bonnie and Clyde’s gang. Raymond killed a sheriff, sheriff’s deputy and a prison guard.He was eventually captured, tried, and executed.

Mrs. Hamilton said, “I was taught to love and honor God and that hard work was good for the soul. And that’s what I taught my sons.” It wasn’t a total loss, however. One son got the message. Floyd eventually became a born-again Christian and preached to prisoners.

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A
man passed out a card, at his daughters wedding, with these words
engraved on it: I am the Father of the Bride. Nobody is paying much
attention to me today. But, I can assure you that I am getting my
share of attention, for the banks and several business firms are
watching me very closely.

_______________
J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.

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In
his autobiography the late Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s, tells of his difficult
childhood.  Dave had been adopted, but did not learn of it until he was thirteen. 
His adoptive mother died when he was quite young.  His adoptive father ran through
several wives and he and Dave had a very tense relationship.  There was, however,
his adoptive grandmother, her name was Minnie Sinclair.  Dave said that Minnie
taught him about hard work, faith, excellence, prayer and many other important
ideas.  Later, after he became a huge success, Dave also became an advocate
for adoption.  Considering how difficult his relationship with is father was,
some people asked Dave how he could be so enthusiastic about adoption.  Dave
resounded that adoption had given him Minnie Sinclair and her wisdom, a mother’s
love, though he did not remember it.  Even though he had a very imperfect father,
he had a family.  While all families are imperfect, they give each member a
sense of belonging.

 

_______________

J.
Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati,
OH.

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Finding
Nemo is the most popular animated feature of all time. What is the secret of
its success? Much of its appeal is in the amazing technical and artistic features
that helped produce a wonderful underwater world. Others might point to the
comical characters created by animators and voice actors. Behind it all is a
great theme. There is a father who is a bit overprotective and a son who is
a bit too careless. They both eventually learn to give in a little. The huge
journey for reunion motivated by love, give us the greatest lesson of all. Parents
and children need each other and are worth sacrifice.

_______________
J.
Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati,
OH.

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“Perhaps the best we can do in our fifty-something years is sound the
wake-up call to our family members and deepen our relationships with them.
Fifty-something can be a time when your family floats away from you with no
imminent return in sight, or it can be a time of making a concerted effort at
pulling your loved ones together and redefining what family really is.”

___________________________
(Jim Smoke, Facing 50 … A View from the Mountaintop. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
Publishers, 1994, p.179.)

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Mignon McLaughlin wrote, “One of life’s few really reliable pleasures is
to have a family you love, and to leave them for a week.” That fits with
what one grandfather said about his grandchildren: “I love to see them
come and I love to see them go.” Loving one’s family does not mean never
leaving them for a few days. In fact leaving them for a few days may make us
realize how much we love them. It can even make us love them more! In some ways
the old adage is true: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

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In 1924 Bill Havens was set to go to the Olympic games in Paris as a rower. He
was the best in the United States and considered to be the best in the world.
His wife was about to give birth and he thought he ought to stay with her. It
was a tough decision. It was twenty-four years later that he knew he had made
the right decision. He got a telegram from Helsinki, Finland:
“Dear Dad: Thanks for waiting around for me to get born. I’m coming home
with the gold medal you should have won. Your loving son, Frank.
His son had won the same event in which he himself would have competed a
quarter of a century before.

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