Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Unfinished Symphony: David


  • Disappointment #1 – career: 1 Samuel20:1
  • Disappointment #2 – family: 2 Sam. 13:14; 15-18:33
  • Disappointment #3 – faith: 1 Chronicles 22:8-10
  • Potential Reaction – Options
  1. DIY – Nob (deception) + Gath (pretence): 1 Samuel 21
  2. Surrender: uncharacteristic – 2 Samuel 15:25



  • What are some of the ways I am tempted to do ‘spiritual DIY’?
  • Why is that dangerous?
  • Why do I find it hard to surrender?
  • Regrets can be crippling – any I need to repent of – 1 John 1:8-9?
  • Who can I pray for that is facing broken dreams?


Trying to become the first women to cross the Arctic Ocean by skiing and swimming, Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen endured the following conditions: The sun shines a scant few hours a day; temperatures routinely drop below -75 degrees; the ice under their tent creaks and shifts with the currents of the ocean beneath it; when they travel, that ice can open into wide cracks, which the two must swim across in cumbersome dry suits while towing 250-pound sleds. They pack a .44 magnum revolver to guard against polar bears. In 2001, they had traveled more than 1,700 miles across the Antarctic. But they had 400 miles of ice left to go. Over the previous 94 days, the women had each lost 20 pounds. Bancroft had a shoulder injury. Arnesen had crashed through thin ice that covered a seemingly bottomless crevasse, yet somehow she had been saved from plunging to her death. Now, standing on the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf, the end was tantalizingly close. The effort and goal of a lifetime was within their grasp. But the weather was deteriorating. The Arctic summer was at its end. Soon darkness would engulf them 24 hours a day. Blizzard conditions would intensify. Bancroft and Arnesen knew that if they continued the journey, they would risk the lives of the rest of their team, who waited for them aboard a small ship in McMurdo Sound. They would also risk the lives of pilots who might need to come to their rescue. The women had spent three years training and raising funds for the journey. Three million children followed their progress through the team’s Website. Still, with all of that on the line, the women decided the dream had to end. The annals of high-risk adventure and exploration are full of stories of those who put their ambition first and perished as a result. Those adventurers might have been physically brave, but morally, they were not courageous. There’s no courage when selfishness takes over. Bancroft and Arnesen showed the courage to act on their beliefs—that the team’s well-being mattered more than their own goals, that the true mission of the trip was not personal glory but setting an example. The price was high: relinquishing a lifelong dream. But the reward was in discovering their true mettle. “For me, exploration is about that journey to the interior, into your own heart,” Bancroft says. “I’m always wondering, how will I act at my moment of truth? Will I rise up and do what’s right, even if every fiber of my being is telling me otherwise?”

A Sermon Listener’s Guide

I came across this on another blog –

I think it is very helpful:

  1. What was the biblical text of the sermon?
  2. Do I better understand this passage now than I did before?
  3. What was the main point or main points of the sermon?
  4. How did this message teach me about Christ and the Gospel?
  5. What truths do I need to believe because of this sermon?
  6. What application points were made in this sermon?
  7. What further personal application can I make for myself?
  8. What actions am I called to take this week because of this sermon?
  9. How did this sermon rebuke me or convict me of sin?
  10. How did this sermon bring me joy and hope?
  11. What questions do I still have about the biblical text or the sermon?
  12. How will this message impact my praying this week?
  13. Was I able to receive this word with gladness and a clear conscience, or is there some sin or distraction in my life that robbed me of the joy of hearing God speak to me?

Turning Points #23: Rejoicing

PREVIOUSLY on Nehemiah….

  • Reconstruction – wall
  • Re-instruction – the people
  • Reaction – repentance



  • Rejoicing – surprising shift from repentance – led (12)
  • Rejoicing – looking back – feast of the booths
  • Rejoicing – looking forward – Zecharriah 14: 14:4, 9, 16-20
  • Rejoicing – new attitude: 2 Chronicles 8:13; Ezra 3:1-4



  • Link: revival & repentantce & rejoicing
  • Danger #1: joylessness
  • Danger #2: fake joy/self-made joy
  • Happiness vs. The joy of the LORD (‘God brand joy’)
  • Joy of the LORD not hedonism/materialism: Romans 14:17
  • Joy of the LORD not ‘on & off: 1 Thessalonians 5:16



  1. Right relationship with Jesus: John 15:11
  2. Ask the Holy Spirit – Galatians 5:22
  3. Read HIS word: Jeremiah 15:16



Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was a member of the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 years. Justice Holmes explained his choice of a career by saying: “I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers.” 

‘You must be made miserable before you can know true Christian joy. Indeed the real trouble with the miserable Christian is that he has never been truly made miserable because of conviction of sin. He has by-passed the essential preliminary to joy, he has been assuming something that he has no right to assume.’     Martyn Lloyd-Jones

‘Joy is the rational state of the Christian in view of his spiritual position in Christ.’     Derek Prime

It is important for us to make a distinction between the spiritual fruit of joy and the cultural concept of happiness. A Christian can have joy in his heart while there is still spiritual depression in his head. The joy that we have sustains us through these dark nights and is not quenched by spiritual depression. The joy of the Christian is one that survives all downturns in life.   R.C. Sproul

Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Rollercoaster: Joseph


  • Problem #1: jealousy: Genesis 37:4,11
  • Problem #2: injustice: Genesis 39:20
  • Problem #3: forgotten: Genesis 40
  • God brings favour over Joseph: 39:3-6; 21-23; 41:25, 28
  • God redeems evil plans: Genesis 50:20
  • Joseph’s outstanding reaction: Genesis 50:19-21



  • You live in a broken world – wronged: family/work
  • God is involved – trust – prayer
  • God is a redeemer – hope
  • Chose to love/forgive
  • Look outwards – encourage – serve
  • How do you react when wronged?
  • What can you learn form Christ about forgiveness?
  • How can you encourage others who find life difficult right now?
  • What are you doing about it?



On June 17, 1966, two black men strode into the Lafayette Grill in Paterson, New Jersey, and shot three people to death. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a celebrated black boxer, and an acquaintance were falsely charged and wrongly convicted of the murders in a highly publicized and racially charged trial. The fiercely outspoken boxer maintained his claims of innocence and became his own jailhouse lawyer. After serving nineteen years, Carter was released. As a free man, Carter reflected on how he has responded to injustice in his life. The question invariably arises, it has before and it will again: “Rubin, are you bitter?” And in answer to that I will say, “After all that’s been said and done—the fact that the most productive years of my life, between the ages of twenty-nine and fifty, have been stolen; the fact that I was deprived of seeing my children grow up—wouldn’t you think I would have a right to be bitter? Wouldn’t anyone under those circumstances have a right to be bitter? In fact, it would be very easy to be bitter. But that has never been my nature, or my lot, to do things the easy way. If I have learned nothing else in my life, I’ve learned that bitterness only consumes the vessel that contains it. And for me to permit bitterness to control or to infect my life in any way whatsoever would be to allow those who imprisoned me to take even more than the 22 years they’ve already taken. Now that would make me an accomplice to their crime.

Richard Wurmbrand, who spent fourteen years suffering in a Communist prison, reminds all believers with less than ideal circumstances that “if the heart is cleansed by the love of Jesus Christ, and if the heart love Him, you can resist all tortures.” He says, “God will not judge us according to how much we endured, but how much we could love.” The love of God demonstrated in the lives of his people is potent. Wurmbrand gives an example: “A Christian was sentenced to death. Before being executed, he was allowed to see his wife. His last words to his wife were, ‘You must know that I die loving those who kill me. They don’t know what they do and my last request of you is to love them, too. Don’t have bitterness in your heart because they kill your beloved one. We will meet in heaven.’ These words impressed the officer of the secret police who attended the discussion between the two. After he told me the story in prison, where he had been put for becoming a Christian.