Obedience

What’s New?

Once upon a time, two little sunflower seeds nestled snugly together in the soft earth … They talked of God, the Creator of all seeds. They wanted to find Him. They wanted to see Him. They grew lonely, and longed for the season when they would grow up out of the ground and begin to …

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With Our Hands

Did you hear the story about the nine men and one woman who were being rescued at sea by a helicopter? While hanging on for dear life from a rope suspended from the helicopter, it became obvious that the weight of the ten people was too much for the rope. Consequently, it was decided that …

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They Will Not Fail!

The Gospels tell us that Jesus of Nazareth came among His people, loving them, healing them, bringing them the Good News of how much God loves them, and how they could have wholeness of life, if they only said “Yes!” to God. He came doing so much good, and yet, the religious people, the educated …

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Betrayal, Or Loyalty?

Imagine what might have taken place if the twelve Apostles had submitted formal job applications to Jesus before they were chosen … The application might have been forwarded to a team of management consultants for review and recommendations. And Jesus might have received the following report: “Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve …

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A Change Of Heart

Many years ago, an American traveler secured a few grains of wheat from an Egyptian tomb. Those grains of wheat had been slumbering in that tomb for more than thirty centuries. As he looked at them, the traveler thought to himself that if three thousand years ago just one of those grains had been planted …

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What Is The Cost?

It was the last day before the football team of a large University was to play it’s biggest game of the season … Unfortunately, the head football coach had just received the horrible news that his star quarterback had been disqualified by the Dean for academic reasons. The coach went running to the Dean’s office …

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Just Words?

Two thousand years ago, on the Sunday which we now know as “Passion Sunday” or “Palm Sunday,” a great crowd greeted Jesus as he entered the City of Jerusalem. “They kept shouting,” the Apostle John tells us, Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel! …

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Good Listeners

A popular literary journalist1 began thinking about the telephone and how it affects people’s lives … He thought of the people who might be anxiously hoping to hear a doctor’s voice say, “The x-rays were negative.” He thought of young sweethearts who might be anxiously hoping to hear the telephone ring and that special someone …

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The Goblins Are Coming!

In a newspaper cartoon, two distinguished-looking gentlemen are comfortably seated on soft, upholstered chairs in an upscale office. One says to the other, “Last night I had a most terrible nightmare. I dreamed that the dollar was no longer worth worshipping.” In today’s Gospel Lesson, Jesus has been fasting in the desert wilderness for forty …

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A Change Of Heart

A ninety-year-old man was asked why he remained a man of hope, even in the most difficult days. He replied, Because I get up in the morning believing in the newness of God. I get up believing that God’s awesome work of creation is continuing. I get up believing that God didn’t just create the …

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Giving Directions

The mother of a small child attended a PTA meeting at which it was announced that a new sex-education program was about to be introduced in the district’s schools. She worried about how this would affect her small daughter. The young child came home from school one day and said, “Mommy, you’ll never guess what …

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Flutter Your Wings!

Land where our fathers died/Land of the pilgrim’s pride/ From every mountainside/Let freedom ring! On “Independence Day,” the American people celebrate the great gift of freedom they have received as a nation. Even so, in one of the most popular American songs of the Age, the lament “I want to be free!” is repeated over-and-over …

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He Didn’t Know He Had It In Him

Last January 1st, one man’s New Year’s resolution was to become a non-conformist. For instance, he resolved never again to take part in the over-commercialization of Christmas. He would become a shopping mall dropout. “To think,” he said angrily, “that I paid fifteen dollars for a Christmas tree, and it was so small that on …

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Make Time!

A certain obstetrician delivered babies with great professional skill as well as with a flourish all his own. When the babies first appeared, he began talking to them. From the moment he first touched them he would smile at them and offer them soothing words of welcome … “Hello little one, now don’t be frightened. …

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The Bus Is Waiting

In a fascinating story of his journey across the United States with his pet dog, John Steinbeck tells of a Church service he attended during his travels in the State of Vermont. Tongue in cheek, he says, The preacher spoke of Hell as an expert. Not the mush-mush Hell of these soft days, but a …

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Putting Off/putting On

Jesus is not teaching social etiquette here. He is getting at something much deeper. The “wedding party” symbolizes the Kingdom of God into which we all are invited. The suggested protocol symbolizes one necessary precondition of entry into the Kingdom: to acknowledge God’s absolute preeminence. We are dependent upon God, absolutely, for life itself and …

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Priority One

A college student was standing outside his dormitory building smoking a cigarette. Another student came by and said, “Do you have the same problem I have? Your roommate won’t let you smoke indoors?” To which the man with the cigarette replied, “No, it’s not my roommate I’m worried about. My professor says that if it …

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Your Free Faith Response

A young woman named Mary who lived in the village of Nazareth was confronted by an angel of the Lord. The angel told her that she was to become the mother of the long-expected Messiah. Mary was “deeply troubled” by the angel’s words, Luke tells us, and her first word in response was a word …

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They Didn’t Understand

In today’s Gospel Lesson, Jesus dispatches seventy-two of the disciples to precede Him into the villages He planned to visit, and to prepare the people for His coming. Their mission is to explain to the people that Jesus is of God. “Cure the sick there” and tell the people “The Reign of God is at …

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Rise And Shine

Imagine a man clinging desperately to the top of a solid steel flagpole. Then watch a strong man strike the bottom of the pole with a large sledge hammer. BOING! The vibrations will pass quickly through the solid steel and up the pole, transferring the force of the hammer blow to the man at the …

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