Preaching

Attitude

A convicted criminal, a rough-looking character nicknamed “Knuckles” by his fellows prison inmates, was about to be paroled after serving a fifteen-year sentence. Before walking through the prison gates to his long-awaited freedom, he was paid a visit by the prison chaplain. “You have paid your debt to society,” the chaplain said, “so I encourage …

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Walk The Walk!

A man was grieving over the recent death of his dog — his faithful friend for fifteen years. He wanted to honor his pet in a special way, and so he went to see his pastor, a Methodist Minister … “Could you possibly give the dog a full-blown funeral?” he asked. “No, I don’t think …

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Praise The Lord

Today’s Gospel Lesson begins by telling us that Mary “set out, proceeding in haste, into the hill country to a town in Judah, where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth” (Lk.1:39). The story of Mary’s journey comes immediately after her response to the angel who told her she was to be the mother of …

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Prepare Him Room

At a preachers’ conference, a discussion arose about people who fall asleep during the Sunday Sermon. One of the participants, well-known for his preaching ability, told of a woman who came to him and said, “I want to thank you for helping me. You see, I was having trouble with insomnia, and so I bought …

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Up A Tree?

Knowing that He would be put to death in a few days, Jesus said to two of His disciples: Now My soul is troubled. What shall I say: Father save Me from this hour? but it was for this very reason that I have come to this hour (Jn. 12:27-28). And when I am lifted …

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The Best Medicine

On his return from a trip into the wilds, a birdwatcher told this story of an encounter with a bear. “I was hiking through the woods,” he said, “and came to a big clearing. I got into the middle of the field and found myself face-to-face with the biggest bear I had ever seen. He …

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Bread For The Hungry

In a little book called “You’re Out of Date, God?” the author quotes from an old letter from her mother: Things are fine around here. Elsie Krabble went to church Sunday. She said the sermon lasted rather long, but she didn’t mind because that’s when she plans her menu for the week, and she was …

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Stop, Look And Listen

In many English translations of the Bible, the word “behold” appears hundreds of times. In the Christmas Story for example: Behold, you will conceive in your womb a Son and you shall call His Name “Jesus” … Behold, your kinswoman, Elizabeth, in her old age, has also conceived a Son … Behold, I am the …

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Two-fork Church

Dr. Howard Thurman, clergyman and scholar, who once appeared on “Life” magazine’s list of “Ten Best Preachers in America,” had an uncommon sympathy for people who slept during the sermon. He said that when he was still a young preacher, he would notice a certain woman who slept through his sermon every Sunday, without exception. …

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Now Thank We All Our God

We all know the story from the Book of Exodus of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea. With Pharaoh’s army in hot pursuit, God parts the Red Sea to give the Israelites an escape route, then closes it on the Egyptians when they try to follow. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob stretches out …

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The Power To Resist

On the dashboards of those small “Volkswagen-type airplanes, there is a safety device usually referred to as a “Stall Warning Indicator.” The owner of such a plane has described the “Stall Warning” as follows: The Stall Warning Indicator is there to help the pilot avoid big trouble. In a light plane, if you get below …

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Put Yourself Into It

A seminary student was showing little promise of developing into a good preacher. One day, as he stumbled through a practice sermon in class, his homiletics professor called out to him from the back of the room: “Why can’t you be more enthusiastic? Speak louder. Open your mouth. Put yourself into it!” No better phrase …

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A Matter Of Loyalty

Someone has come up with a fantasy about what might have happened if the twelve Apostles had submitted formal job applications to Jesus. The applications are reviewed by a team of management consultants and Jesus receives the following report: Thank you for submitting the resumes of the 12 men you have chosen for management positions …

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Person-centered

A preacher well-known for his moving sermons, was on a big jet plane crowded with passengers. In mid-flight the pilot announced that because of mechanical difficulties he was going to make an unscheduled landing for repairs. When the plane landed, the passengers disembarked, with instructions to return in two hours. At the appointed time, the …

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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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Get Off Your High Horse

“Sailbad the Sinner” is the name of an old sailboat owned by Baptist Minister, Jess Moody. One day, Moody and his son boarded the little sloop at a Florida Everglades dock and set off on a wild ride to nearby Palm Beach Inlet. Moody tells the story of what happened: It is a twenty-five minute …

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Travelling Light

While visiting her sister and family, Karen Johnson presented a $20 bill to one of her teenage nieces. The young woman expressed a certain amount of reluctance to accept the gift saying, “Oh, that’s very nice of you Aunt Karen, but you really don’t have to do that.” To which Aunt Karen replied, “I want …

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Broken Patterns

There is the wonderful story about a woman listening to her pastor preach a Sunday morning sermon about Simon Peter’s wife’s mother, ill with a fever. Not only was it an obscure text but also it was an insignificant sermon. The woman lasted through the experience, but left the Church feeling somewhat unfulfilled. Consequently, she …

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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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