2010 sermon

Published Date Author: , August 13th, 2010

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08-01-2010 sermon

# 402 08-01-2010 The Art of Frog Kissing

Donald Brown

Caldwell Friends Church

John 10:7-10

Sometime the fall of 1953 or the spring of 1954 in our school assembly in Eads, Colorado I heard Glenn Cunningham give his life story. Mr. Cunningham was on the circuit to speak to school assemblies. Glenn Cunningham was born in 1909 at Atlanta , Kansas. When he was 8 years old he was burned in a school fire. The Doctors told him he would never be able to walk normally let alone run. His parents encouraged him to regain the use of his legs. They encouraged him to try to walk. With their encouragement he began to walk and then to run. He began to run in track meets. In one track meet he was running against one of the fastest runners of that time. Glenn set out to beat him. He did and went on to run professionally and in 1937 he set a new outdoor record of 4.06.7 and then in 1938 he set an indoor record of 4.04.4. He told us in our school assembly that there would be others who would run the mile even faster and he was right Shortly after his address to us, on May 6, 1954, Roger Barrister, an English Doctor, ran the mile in 3:59.4. Since then it has been run even faster. The current record set in 1999 is 3:43.13 Glenn did what he did because someone believed in him and encouraged him to do the impossible.

I listened to a motivational tape several years ago by a man named Mike Zundel entitled, “The Art of Frog Kissing.” In it he describes a couple of times when people were changed when they were made to feel they were special. He went on to say, making people feel special is a wonderful thing to do.

I want to talk to you about the art of frog kissing. There are two things I want to do, first, encourage us to practice the art of frog kissing and secondly to introduce you to one who came into this world to kiss frogs.

John 10:7 “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.

8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.

9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Did you catch the words of Jesus? The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I came to kiss frogs. To change broken, battered and lost human beings into God’s precious children.

We all remember the story of the wicked witch who got mad at the handsome young prince and turned him into a frog. She told him that the only way he could become a handsome prince again was for a young maiden to kiss him. So day after day the young prince who was a frog, sat on a lily pad and croaked out to all the young maidens who came down to the pond, “Please young maiden, I am a young prince who was turned into a frog by the wicked witch. Will you please kiss me and turn me back into a prince?” And of course the young maidens looked at the frog and said, “Who me, kiss a frog, you have got to be kidding.” And so the young prince remained a frog. But he was persistent, he wanted to be free, he wanted to be a prince again. Finally one day a beautiful young maiden came down to the pond and the frog croaked, “Please beautiful maiden, the wicked witch turned me into a frog. If you will kiss me I will turn into a price. Will you kiss me?” The beautiful young maiden looked at the frog and said to herself, “You know if that were me, I would want someone to kiss me and turn me back into a young maiden.” So she picked the frog up in her hands and gave him and kiss. And the frog turned into a handsome young prince and they lived happily ever after.

There are plenty of people who turn people into frogs but not very many people who turn frogs into handsome princes and beautiful princesses. But that is exactly what Jesus came to do. Jesus came to turn frogs into handsome princes and princess’s. There are a lot of people who make us feel lower than a rug. They destroy our feeling of self worth. They beat and batter us and leave us beaten and broken. They turn us into frogs. But not many people who have learned the art of frog kissing. We need to learn the art of frog kissing.

The art of frog kissing. Time after time Jesus did this. As a matter of fact it seems as though that was all Jesus did. He reached out to the frogs of his community and transformed them into handsome princes and princesses. Let me read you just a couple of instances when he did this.

Luke 5:12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.

Here was a man who had a physical problem. Leprosy was and is a terrible disease. It attacks the nerves so that you do not have any feeling. It usually begins in the hands and feet and progresses. Since they have no feeling, they experience no pain. Because of this they injure themselves and healing does not occur. Disease destroys tissue and bone and they become disfigured. This man who came to Jesus was a leper, a social outcast. By this time he had probably suffered loss of fingers, claw hands and maybe even facial disfiguration. Time after time he had experienced people shouting and throwing stones at him. They called him all kind of names and kept telling him everything was his fault.

Each of us has been where this has occurred and maybe it has occurred to us and just maybe we have done this. People are ignored or made fun of because of their physical problems. People are ridiculed if they are old or because of their looks, the way they talk or the way they dress. We can be very cruel. Probably all of us have either done this, see it done or had it done to us. I can certainly remember the times I did this to other people. I am deeply ashamed because of it and wonder how I could have been so cruel.

When Jesus saw him he spoke to him and put out his hand and touched him. You know where he touched him? I believe he touched him where his disease had scarred him the most. The scripture says that immediately the leprosy. Talk about a miracle. Modern antibiotics can cure leprosy because it is a bacterial infection but they cannot reverse the effects of the cancer or bring back feeling to the diseased parts of the body. This man was healed of his leprosy. It as though he never had leprosy. Feeling came back to the parts of his body that had lost its feeling. He became a completely well man. He had been turned from a frog into a prince.

And then there is another time. In John 8: 3-11 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Here we find a social outcast. Someone who people said all kind of things about. I can imagine some of the words they used to taunt her with. “You’re just like your mother. You never will amount to anything. I knew you would end up in trouble. Serves you right.” All kind of words that destroyed her and left her feeling worthless. And then Jesus came into her life. Someone who looked on her with love and compassion and said “I do not condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Have you ever wondered what happened to these two nameless people. Could the man be the one mentioned in Mark 14: 3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

Could this leper have been Simon the Leper? Maybe. We do not know what happened to the leper Jesus had touched and healed but I can guarantee you he certainly looked at Jesus differently than anyone else.

And then the woman. Could this have been the women that we just read about? Maybe. All I know is that Jesus touched these two people’s lives and they were never the same again.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. A lot of people walk through life leaving havoc behind. Bruised and battered children, spouses, friends and neighbors are left behind in their wake. They roll over people like a steamroller rolling down the road. Squashing and flatting everyone who gets in their way. They seem to get enjoyment out of making other people miserable. They have a knack of making other people cry or feel bad. Parents who continually put down their children. Husbands who abuse their wife verbally and physically. Wives who strip their husbands of their self worth. There are these kinds of people in the world.

And then there are those who are like Jesus. They leave behind them joy and peace. Lives are restored. People are encouraged. They are a joy to have around, they are a breath of fresh air.

The question we need to ask our self is, which one are we?

One of the workshops I went to was on the recovery ministries that our churches are involved in across the Yearly Meeting. The thing that impressed me was that the moderator and the panel were all people who had been touched by God and delivered from drug and alcohol addictions and today are beautiful children of God who are serving him in ministry.

Either I have a poor memory or maybe I have been blessed. I tried to think of teachers and people in my life who fit the first, the destroyers. I could not think of a single person. Or maybe I was too dense to understand what they were doing. All I could think of was teachers and people who affirmed me and encouraged me. I really have been blessed. Time does not permit to name all the people who have blessed me but I will share with you one man.

I think of a time when our Pastor, Cecil Williams and a neighbor man, Frank Bush, took my friend, Lonnie Ramey, and me fishing. They put up with two Junior High boys on a two day one night fishing trip at Bonney Reservoir. They may not have been aware of it, but that made an impact on me that affected my life. I still remember that and how it made me feel.

We need to learn the art of frog kissing. Let me encourage you to imitate the Master and learn the art of frog kissing and practice it all the time. You will never regret it.

Jesus said, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

I can not think of a more fitting description of Satan. Peter said in 1 Peter 5: 8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Satan leaves wrecked lives, Jesus came to change lives and he wants to change ours today. So I want to introduce you to the master of frog kissing. Jesus Christ is his name and he wants to touch your life and make you whole. He wants to restore you to the fellowship that man had with God before the fall.

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