7 Parts | By: Ed Young
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Swimming with Sharks
August 14, 2011
One of the most dangerous and adrenaline-inducing activities in the ocean is swimming with sharks. But before anyone gets in the water and finds themselves staring face-to-face with the world’s most formidable predators, they’ve got to know what they’re doing. They’ve got to know how to swim safely.
In this message, Pastor Ed Young prepares us to dive under the surface and face the feeding frenzy of sharks we encounter in life. And he shows us how every day we spend in God’s House is like a pre-dive safety lesson that empowers us to swim with the sharks—and survive!
I want to teach you a song, a little song. Some of you know this song, some of you don’t. This song has special memories in my life because our oldest daughter, Lee Beth, and I back in the day did a talent show. It was a father/daughter talent show and this was the song that we did for this show. I want to teach it to you. There are hand gestures, just go ahead and roll with it, OK?
A 1 and a 2 and a 3…
“Baby shark. Bum-bum…bum-bum-bum.
Baby shark. Bum-bum…bum-bum-bum.
Child shark. Bum-bum…bum-bum-bum.
Teenage shark. Bum-bum…bum-bum-bum.
Adult shark. Bum-bum…bum-bum-bum.
Grandpa shark. Bum-bum…bum-bum-bum.
Lady swimming. Bum-bum…bum-bum-bum.
In the water. Bum-bum…bum-bum-bum.
Back Into the Water
August 21, 2011
We all have moments, situations or experiences that alter the trajectory of our lives. In 2003, a 13-year old surfer had just that kind of moment. And in what most would consider a disaster that would end everything she knew, she instead used it as an opportunity to reach greater heights—in surfing and in life.
In this powerful message, Ed Young sits down with surfing phenom and shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton. And through their conversation, we discover that no matter what “disaster” we experience in life, God can use it to help us get back into the water and discover a greater purpose that we ever even dreamed.
Welcome to Fellowship Church. I want to say a big shout out to all our campuses. We have overflow right here in our different locations, but also Fellowship Church is one church in five locations. Let’s do a shout out to the coolest church in the hottest town, Fellowship Church Miami! How you guys doing? Also, Downtown Dallas, what’s up Downtown Dallas? And up in Plano, and then over in Funkytown, Fort Worth. Welcome to Fellowship Church.
What a great, great time. I’m in the middle of a series called Shark Weak, W-E-A-K. We’re so honored to have with us someone who is just an epic person for this epic time. So I want us to stand to our feet and let’s welcome a surfer from Kauai, Bethany Hamilton!
Ed: How you doing? It’s great to have you here. Have a seat. Wow, it’s wonderful to have you here Bethany.
Bethany: Thank you for having me.
Ed: Please be seated. Whoa! The Sole Surfer herself! Bethany, how do you like Texas? I’ve gotta ask you, I mean this is it. This is Tay-has… I’m talking about the real deal.
Bethany: Yeah, I mean it’s been awesome. Everyone has been super sweet and it is roasting outside! But yeah, it’s been good.
Ed: Yeah, it’s a cool, cool place. Listen Bethany, tell us a little bit about your life. For example, I’ve got to ask you, what was it like growing up in a place like Kauai?
Bethany: Yeah, I mean I was so blessed to grow up in Hawaii. I was born and raised in Kauai and yeah, it’s just been awesome. Like my whole family surfs and we spent a lot of time at the beach growing up, and still do. It’s just a very mellow, laid-back place. We don’t have like a freeway. Like it’s just two lanes around the whole island and it takes like two and a half hours to get around. Yeah, it’s just awesome.
Surviving An Attack
August 29, 2011
Everyone has thought about it. “How would I respond if I were attacked by a shark?”
But the truth is that all of us have been attacked at some point in our lives. While it may not be assaulted by an actual predator from the ocean, we have faced crisis situations where we needed desperately to escape.
In this message, Ed Young looks at a story of a biblical attack where Peter found himself in the middle of a full-on feeding frenzy. And as we see how God led Peter’s escape, we discover what it takes to not only survive an attack in our lives, but also what it takes to thrive after one.
Ed: Sharks are all behind the boat, I’m getting ready to jump in. Wow! Look at that shark right there. That is a monster!
Stuart: Any time we’ve had an incident with sharks, a negative incident with the sharks, it’s our own error. If you’re scared of the sharks just do this (covers his eyes). They’ll go away.
Ed: You know, a lot of people do that don’t they?
Stuart: Yeah, they close their eyes.
Ed: Part of life is living and swimming with the sharks. Shark bait! Shark bait! Shark bait! … Whoa! What hit my leg? Oh my gosh! The shark hit my leg! Do you ever feel like you’re surrounded by sharks? I do.
<end of video>
Wow, I almost got attacked, didn’t I? I almost got bitten by that shark. I’ve got a question for you. How do you come back after an attack? How do you come back after chunks and hunks are bitten out of your life.
Because let’s face it. All of us will get attacked by sharks. I’m not talking about in one of the oceans around the world, I’m talking about in life. Because bad things happen to good people. We’re going to get chewed up. We’re going to get gnawed on. Out of nowhere fins will be slicing through the water. And maybe, just maybe, you’re here and you’re like, OK, I’ve been attacked, and I’m being attacked in some sort of relationship. Maybe it’s a marriage. It could be a friendship. Maybe you’re attacked financially. Maybe you’re attack is in an area you would never articulate. We, however, live in a fallen and fallible place. Our world is jacked up, man. Bad things happen to good people.
September 4, 2011
Everyone deals with sharks. The question isn’t if, but when. To make it out of the water, we’ve got to know what to look for; we’ve got to identify the dangers before we face the attacks. But the truth is that there’s an even bigger threat in life than the sharks we face.
In this message, Ed Young shows us that there’s really only one way to stay shark smart. And he reminds us that it is only by relying fully on the grace of God that we can avoid becoming sharks ourselves.
Wow, it’s great to see everybody here this weekend, especially at all of our different environments. Downtown Dallas and Fort Worth, how are you guys doing? Plano, and also in Miami. I want to do also a big shout out to our worldwide television audience. Welcome to this time.
The Bible says in Matthew 4, these words. I will read out verses 18-20. Matthew 4:18-20. “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fisherman.
‘Come follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed Him.”
Today, Twitter is huge and the big question is, how many followers do you have? In this context it’s not talking about a follow that’s hollow. Jesus is talking about truly following him. Jesus challenged these fanatical fisherman to be fanatical in another way. He said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
Fishers of Men. How do you learn to be a fisher of men? You learn to fish by fishing. You fish for men. You cast your nets for men. That’s the essence of why Jesus came, that’s the essence of his message. He fished for you and me. We have an opportunity to come into his family, to be caught by the good news, by the hook of the gospel. When we’re caught then Jesus says, “Hey, if you followed me, if you’re truly a fanatical follower, you, too, will fish.”
I fish a lot. I love fishing. I always kid around and say that fishing is a Biblical sport. In fact, it is. Jesus was living in Capernaum at the time and Capernaum was a place that was near water. He always seemed to be around water. He always seemed to be rubbing shoulders with fisherman. Most of the disciples were fisherman. Fisherman are visionary. Fisherman will face the elements. Fisherman are eternally optimistic. Fishermen fish. They identify with the fish. They think like a fish and that’s why they are fisherman. Christ challenges you and me, just like he challenged those ancient fisherman, to follow him and to fish.
When you fish, like I fish, if you really fish in the oceans sharks will show up. I’ll say it again. If you fish, sharks will show up.
September 11, 2011
On the 10th anniversary of one of our nation’s darkest days, we can celebrate together a light that shines brighter than any other. It is the light of a future found in Jesus Christ.
In this message, Pastor Ed Young delivers a message of hope that, no matter how vicious the shark attack, God wants us to have victory in life. And when we learn to ask the right questions, we will begin to move forward rather than remaining frozen in fear!
Welcome once again to Fellowship. Please be seated. Fellowship is not only something that we are it’s something that we do. I want to ask you a very important question right now. Where were you on 9/11? Where were you on 9/11? I will tell you where I was. I was here at the church and my wife called and said, “Turn the television set on.” I watched with several staff members in horror as this attack took place, as the towers came crumbling down. It’s a day I will never forget, a day our nation will never, ever forget.
I’m not an alarmist. I’m not a blind optimist. I am, however, a Biblical realist. I’ve got to ask you, where were you on 9/11, but let me ask you a more important question. Where are you on THIS 9/11? Where are you? Ten years ago we had an impromptu worship service. Thousands and thousands of people poured into Fellowship. We knelt, we prayed, and I watched several groups emerge out of the rubble of 9/11.
Some who were paralyzed by fear were galvanized by grace. Some hit their knees, surrendered their lives to Christ. They’ve been walking with him ever since.
Another group were those people who rushed to church, and as quickly as they rushed TO church, they rushed OUT of church once the dust settled. Foxhole faith. Just enough of Jesus to be dangerous. I watched that group.
Then I watched another group. Those who attended here, those who asked the question. Why? When? Where? How? Why did God allow this to happen? Where was God when the towers were struck? How could a good God do such a thing? Caught in the web of why. Trapped in the quagmire of questions. They turned and walked out on God and on faith. But in reality that’s impossible because we all live by faith.
Three groups. Three responses. Some walked on their knees and they walked ever since. Others didn’t.
T.S. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that America 10 years later is in severe trouble. America is sick. As horrible as the terrorists were and are, I would argue that there is a personal sinister force that is attacking us, not without, but within. This force is taking one bite at a time from our standards, out of our values, our relationships, and our nation.
Chum in the Water
September 18, 2011
One of the easiest ways to attract a shark is to make sure there is plenty of chum in the water. The blood, the bait and the aroma will attract predators from miles away. That is also the best way to catch a shark.
In this message, Pastor Ed Young reminds us that we are all sharks, and that the evil one is out there fishing for us, hoping to drag us away from the purpose and plan God has for us. But just because there is chum in the water, we don’t have to take the bait. Instead, we can avoid the hook and swim free to discover God’s plan for our lives.
Ed: Now we’re in business, baby! Now we’re in business! We’re catching sharks in a very unusual way, a very difficult way, which is on a fly rod. A lot of people think, ‘How can I catch a shark on just a bunch of feathers?’
I got it right here. A little bit of chum, a little bit of blood in the water and the sharks show up.
Dude: I had one of my guys was bitten by a shark last year.
Ed: No way!
Dude: Oh yeah, bringin’ it into the boat.
Ed: There’s a shark coming up, about 2 o’clock. See him? Fish on! By your boat, coming by your boat! …. Popped the line. Awww, sh<bleep!>!
Ed: Uh-oh. Somebody tied a faulty knot, named Ed Young. You gotta have your right knots! It’s not easy just to go out and catch a shark. You really have to work at it. You have to think about it to entice them, to get them to take the fly.
There’s a shark right here… right here, see it? Shark. Shark. Spinner shark.
Dude: It’s coming in. He’s trying to find the scent. See how he’s picking up speed as he gets closer?
Ed: There’s one. He’s on it… he’s on it! Fish on! Yeah, baby! Fish on!!! Shark City, USA!! Wow. Wowowowowowow! Oh he will bite the fool out of ya! Look at him tryin’ to bite! Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo! Awesome! Shark Week, he couldn’t resist the fly. He got it, we’re gonna turn him back loose, but I’m telling you, he cannot resist the temptation of the chum and the fly. A shark on a fly rod!
September 25, 2011
Being a shark can be a very good thing. After all, as apex predators, these creatures swim with confidence through the ocean, fearing little. But even at the top of the food chain, sharks need to be aware of traps in their way, hooks that threaten to ensnare them.
In this message, Ed Young shows us how we are all designed to be sharks. He reminds us about what it takes to avoid the hook of temptation. And we discover how God’s plan for us isn’t to become shark bait, but to swim with swagger through the ocean of life.
ILLUS: Fourth of July weekend, years and years ago, I got together with some friends of mine. We formed a Shark Club. I was 18 years old. We made our way to Galveston, Texas to do some land-based shark fishing. I’m not talking about from a boat, I’m not talking about deep-sea fishing, I’m talking about fishing for giant sharks from the beach. Why in the world we chose Fourth of July weekend I’ll never know, but we did.
We got there early. We met the shrimp boats and collected enough fish, enough chum to do the job. We loaded up the chum in my Cherokee Chief with a little row boat and left the shrimp boats. We parked right in front of the Flagship Hotel. During that time it was like the epicenter of Galveston. We jumped off the seawall, walked on a couple of rocks, and began to cut the bloody bait. We cut that bait up for hours and hours and hours. We cut the chum up. We got some stingrays from the shrimp boats. Stingrays are sharks’ favorite food and we put those on the razor-sharp hooks of the giant rod and reel. We poured all of the chum in the bait buckets after we had cut it up. Then we put it in a little row boat.
Because see, if you’re land-based shark fishing you can’t cast a rod and reel this big out into the ocean. It’s too big. I mean, look at this thing. This thing weighs about 30 pounds. We put the hook and the bait in the boat, rowed it offshore about 400 yards. Just took this, (hear that sound), and took to offshore.
By this time hundreds of people were swimming in the water around us. They had no idea we were shark fishing. They had no idea we had buckets and buckets of chum. We got out there behind the surf line and we dropped the chum into the water. And I’m thinking, “Wow, this chum is all around the swimmers! This has got to be illegal. “
We then took those big honkin’ hooks with those stingrays and dropped them into the murky waters of Galveston in the middle of the chum. We got the heck out of there. We rode all the way back to shore.
So are you with me? We have the big rod and reel on the beach on a cooler, the bait is way out there soaking, the chum is working and the big sharks are swimming.
“Ed, you mean to tell me big sharks swim that close?” You better believe it.
The world of sharks captivates us all. From fear to fascination, intrigue to intimidation, we are drawn into their world and mesmerized by their mysteries. But the truth is that we face the same mysteries every day in our own lives.
In this series, Ed Young dives under the murky surfaces of life to show us what it takes to navigate the often shark-infested waters of day-to-day living. And he helps us discover exactly what it takes to live free from fear and unbound from uncertainty.