#2026 – Life is An Adventure (01 February 2009)

The Message

By: Ken Duncan

Special Guest


Special Music

Joyful, Joyful
Medley –Come Christians / We Praise You / Give Thanks
Thanks be to God (Elijah)
Piano Solo – Roger Williams – Autumn Leaves Count Your Blessings
Great is Thy faithfulness

The Message

Thank you Dr. Schuller for having me today. It’s so great to be in the Crystal Cathedral. I love this place. I mean, look at this wonderful window of creation. You know its something amazing about creation. How can anyone not believe in a God? And I love this place because this place to me is like a fountain of hope, a place like a Cape Canaveral where dreams and of rockets of dreams or of hope are sort of expanded out into the world.

My message today is life is an adventure and to me life is an adventure, but more importantly life’s an adventure when you allow Jesus to walk with you. You know, in life we can have difficult times, there’s no doubt about it and being a Christian doesn’t exempt you from that but you know the good thing about being a Christian is when you do tough times, you’re not doing it alone. You’ve got God walking with you. That’s what makes the difference.

Now I wasn’t always a Christian. In fact, it took me to have a condition called agoraphobia before I finally gave in and realized I needed something more. Now agoraphobia is the fear of leaving home. It’s like an anxiety condition. And trust me; this is the worst condition you can have as a landscape photographer. You can’t be just taking photographs in your living room; you’ve got to sort of actually get out. So how do you come out of that sort of condition of agoraphobia? You know agoraphobia is like a fear. It’s a fear that can keep you trapped in a prison and you know that’s what fear is. It is a prison. Whatever that fear is, it holds us captive to that little room.

So what was it that was going to get me out of that place? At that stage, I hadn’t been a Christian, but I started to watch the show, the Crystal Cathedral show, and God started to minister to my heart and I started to realize I had a need that I wasn’t going to be able to get out of that prison unless I had some help. And that’s where I came to know Christ. And you know the thing is there was a scripture that was given to me at that time that really impacted my life and its Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.” But you know, in our own ability, there’s only so much we can do. And when you’ve got agoraphobia, there’s very little you can do. Or very little I can do. So I really need that help.

So it was that relationship. I asked Jesus into my life at that point as my own Lord and Savior. And I will never forget that moment because when I did it, all of a sudden there was just this transformation. I knew I was no longer alone. I felt a peace. Now God didn’t just remove the agoraphobia straight away but He began to walk with me. And you know, in a way, I thank God for allowing me to go through that difficulty because going through it, it enabled me to learn to walk with Jesus. And through that walk, it became so real, saying that verse. To get out of my house, I used to have to say I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. Now look, I wasn’t just doing it like that with that weird little walk there, but you know inside I was saying that verse again and again, and that was the thing that got me out of the prison of my fears the reality of that walk.

You know there are two things you can do with fear. You can either allow it to hold you captive, or you can walk straight into that thing and with Jesus with you, you can do anything. There’s nothing impossible. Life is an adventure when you have Jesus. As I said before, it doesn’t mean things aren’t going to happen but you know what? God is with you. We are in this world but we’re not of this world. We do not have to be concerned about the worries of the world. You know, there are all these anxieties in the world. Not so long ago, it was Bin Laden was going to get you. If it’s not Bin Laden, its interest rates. If its not interest rates, its petro prices. If it’s not that it’s some other crisis that’s coming up. But you know these things as real as they can be; we are in this world but not of this world. The Lord will provide. He will look after us. He will be with us. He is our strength. Jesus is real. That’s why I love walking with Him. I walk and talk with Him out in the beauty of His creation. That’s why I love this place. Look at that beautiful view. You know, lets always remember be connected with the bigger picture that God has got for us all because God has got a bigger picture for every person. And God gives us pictures that are bigger than us so that we are reliant on Him, that we’re not reliant in our ability.

You know how many of you would like to see a miracle in your life? We’d all love to see a miracle; of course we’d all love to see a miracle. But you know what? To have a miracle you’ve got to allow yourself to be put in a place where you need a miracle. How many people want to be put in that place? Well I’m telling you, God will not let you down. He is awesome.

So many times in our life we allow fears to worry us. I’d like to share a little funny story, actually. When I came over to America photographing all around America, I went up to Alaska and I wanted to go up there and shoot the beauty of Alaska and Denali National Park, and I went up there and you American people and a lot of people think that us Australians have some pretty radical animals like crocodiles and the snakes and all that sort of stuff, and yes we do have some pretty interesting animals but the thing is with a crocodile, like we have crocodiles but you have grizzly bears. Now hello, a crocodile knows the rules. It sort of stays around the water and you know it doesn’t go far from the water. Where as a grizzly bear, that thing can run faster than like a horse and it can swim fast, and I don’t think it can actually climb a tree, but I reckon they could give it a really good shake, so on to get you out of that tree.

So off I go, up to Denali National Park and I’d heard that there were these grizzly bears there, so I did a briefing with the ranger there and he said now if you see a grizzly bear, this is what you do. And you know first of all, look big. Put on your backpack. Look big, okay, okay, I’m big I can do look big. And he said don’t move, stand still, so I’m saying okay, standing still, that would probably be easy because I’d probably be frozen still anyhow. So I’m sitting there, stand still. And then he says now if it starts moving towards you, still stand still. And then he says, now if it runs towards you, still stand still because it may be just charging to, you know, to see how it’s going to go, and I’m thinking okay, okay. And now it’ll probably maybe stop just in front of you. Now if it doesn’t, well then play dead. Play dead. I’m going play dead? Are you for real? I mean what are you talking about? And he goes play dead. And I said well sir, what happens if that doesn’t work and he says well, after that you’ve got to make it up as you go. So you talk about our animals.
So off I go to the beautiful Denali National Park to do this, you know photography and before I went there, I also went into a store and I said what should I take for bears and the guy said you need a gun. I said mate I can’t have a gun. I’m an Australian. We’re not allowed to have guns, you know. He said well I’d be taking a gun. I said it’s a National Park, you can’t take a gun. And I said look we’re not doing a gun, so he said well have some of this pepper spray and he gave me these bells that you stick on you which I found out later the rangers actually call them dinner bells because it just rings so the bears know that you’re coming for dinner. I think you’re the dinner.

So off we go into Denali Park with my little bear bells and my can of pepper spray and off we go doing some walking through the park. And one particular morning, we went in to do a sunrise. Now everyone had told me before this that I was going at the wrong time of year. That nothing would happen. But I just felt God say go. And so here we are and all of a sudden it’s an early morning and we’re doing this sunrise and well actually up there, you do a sunset and then a sunrise because the sun sets, the dips and then it comes back up again. It’s wonderful; you get your whole day done very quickly. You do sunset, sunrise, then you go to bed for the rest of the day.

So I was sitting there, had our mountain bikes to ride there and get there, I was with my assistant jingling all the way and praying, going Lord keep the bears away. And so we get there, I had this incredible experience. We just had this full moon come up as well the sun went down, the full moon. It was just awesome. I’m sitting there going God, You are so incredible and so here I’m having this incredible time with God, just waiting through this experience. I take the photos and everything like that, and then all of a sudden it’s all over. We go back to our bikes to go off to take some more photos. And all of a sudden I look over and I see a moose. A big moose. And like I didn’t really know how big moose’s were because Rocky and Bullwinkle is my sort of thing, you know, like not very user friendly moose’s, you know. So I’m seeing this moose and I’m thinking maybe this is a photo opportunity. So I think my assistant looks at me and says I don’t think this is a photo opportunity. They look very big. And so he gets on his bike like he’s meant to be my assistant, but he’s on his bike, he says Ken I’ll meet you up the top of the hill. And I’m thinking what about the camera, so all of a sudden the moose is paying interest in us. And he’s starting to come towards us and I’m thinking I’m not sure about moose but this doesn’t look very good. So I put my camera on my back and I get on my bike and by this stage, the moose’s really starting to move towards us, galloping and I’m thinking this definitely doesn’t look good.
So I get on my bike and because I’ve come down a gear, down a hill, I’m in the wrong gear, aren’t I. I’m in a high gear but does it matter? No, because I don’t have time to change the gears cause I got a moose coming at me. So man I’m peddling, peddling and the adrenaline in me was just like incredible. I could have won an Olympic game at that particular time. So I’m going up the hill and this moose is coming behind me going and it’s snorting, I’m thinking oh Lord help me, you know. And then all of a sudden, praise God, the moose stopped. Now my assistant was very nice. He was watching on top of the hill, so that he could probably tell my mother how it happened.

But anyhow, finally, I got away from the moose. But I met up with a park ranger just an hour later and he said Ken, and so how’s it going with the grizzly bear and I said well actually, we haven’t had a problem with the grizzly bear, but we got chased by a moose. And he said, oh the moose, he said you got to watch out for the moose. More people get killed by the moose than the grizzly bear and I’m saying well why didn’t you tell me about the moose, you know.

So the moral of that story is we can spend our whole life worrying about the grizzly bear, and it’s the moose that gets you. So you know God is an awesome God and look I encourage you, we do not have a spirit of fear. In Timothy, 2nd Timothy 1:7, it says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” There’s nothing impossible in Him. Look God also says in the bible, He uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. I am one of those foolish things and I love it. God is cool. The world can talk about recession as much as it wants, but you know what, just don’t turn up to the party. You don’t have to be part of a recession. We are in God’s kingdom. God will look after us. He has never let me down. He has never let the Schuller’s down because you know faith is the opposite to fear and we are born for this time. We are not dependent on the world, we are dependent on God and He loves us and He will never let us down.

When I was young, everything was an adventure, unless of course somehow it would be damage these young kids and you know sometimes that happens. Sometimes kids have had their dreams stolen from them at a young age but you know I was brought up by a loving family. My mother, you couldn’t get her away from the Crystal Cathedral on a Sunday. She’d be always there in Australia watching that, so she was full of power, full of positive thinking. But normally, in a normal childhood, when we’re brought up, life’s an adventure. We can’t help ourselves. We think wow look at that over there. And you don’t even think about what will happen, you just go there. I mean when I was younger, when I first came to America, I was on an airplane, I actually didn’t even have a hotel booked at the other end. I was going to New York and I just got on the airplane and off I go. But when we get older, if we’re not careful, all of a sudden rather than life being an adventure, life can become a worry. We start to think about well what’ll happen if, oh but what’ll happen if this happens, so then we start to try and anticipate everything that will happen to try and accommodate for it. And you know what, just like this story with the moose in America, and the grizzly bear, we can worry about things that will never happen and guess what: something else happens that we didn’t even anticipate. But we handle it. And that’s what makes life an adventure. The adventure of life is as we see God do things in our life to help us overcome whatever comes our way.

Now in the book that we’ve just done for the Schuller ministries, and it’s a wonderful thing, we had to actually look at all the inspirational quotes from the Dr. Schuller’s, and all of the Schuller’s, this is talking about years of wisdom and I had to actually pick photos for all of these different sayings and all these different thoughts that have come from years in the ministry and years walking as a Christian. I’m telling you, after you’ve done a whole year’s worth in a couple of weeks, I was so WOW on fire, I thought Wow man this stuff is so good, like I’d read and I’d go wow that is so good. Yes, yes, yes and then on to the next one. Oh that’s good, too. Oh I was just like a kid in the candy store; I was like wow, wow.

So I encourage you, this book is incredible for us at this time because at a time when people are allowing fear to hold them captive, this is the time where we need to put our faith in action. And we need to feed the faith. Turn off the news. It’s not good news and we don’t need to listen to that stuff. The news we need to know is the good news that comes from the bible. This is the truth. The bible is the truth, not what man says. God is victorious.
Thank you so much, everybody, for listening to me and having me here in this beautiful Cathedral. You know, if you’re out there and in your heart you’re heavy laden, I just encourage you to get your focus back on God because all things are possible in Him and life is an adventure when we’re walking with Him. You know if we’re having difficulties, go out and look up unto the stars, just look at the stars at night and when you look at those stars at night and see them all firmly placed up there in the heavens above, it puts into perspective our worries and our thoughts here on earth. If God can deal with all that awesomeness out there, there’s nothing He can’t deal with in our life. Look around you at the beauty that surrounds us. Don’t get so focused on your problems. I just encourage you to look beyond and look at what God’s got for you because God has a destiny for every person, and He has a miracle for every situation.

Thank you for allowing me to be here today. For me, it’s like a dream. This is where my journey began and here I am actually talking to all you beautiful people. So I’d like to end in a prayer of thanks. Thank you, just bow your heads. Thank you very much.
Father God, we thank You that You are an awesome God. Father, we thank You that there’s nothing impossible. Father, I thank You that You’ve given us all a dream and a vision and Father I come against anything that’s tried to steal that. Father, we thank You that You’re with us and walking with us and nothing’s impossible. Father, I thank You for the destiny that You’ve given America and Father I pray You’re protection upon this nation, in Jesus’ name, Amen


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