Hard Times Sermons On Hope (Protestant Pulpit Exchange)

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Senator Charles Schumer spoke graciously and made us proud to be Democrats again. It is my prayer that the Republicans are ready to move forward and work to improve healthcare for those who need it most. A dark-skinned baby boy, from the tribe of Judah, was born in Palestine years ago, to save the world.

Many in that clan were people of color; also, the Romans [Gentiles] had not converted to Christianity or Judaism at that time. There are pictures of these scenes in museums in Russia and Poland. Luke himself painted this portrait. The region of Palestine was divided into three areas; they were Galilee, Samaria, and Judea. Jesus family left the city shortly after his birth because Herod wanted to have him killed. This is confirmed in the record about the visit of the wise men. The visit of the wise men, was only a relatively short time, before the death of King Herod, and from the mention that Herod sought to kill all male children of an age "two years and under" it can be concluded that Jesus was no longer a newborn baby.

After the visit of the wise men, the family departed into Egypt in obedience to the instruction given by the angel where they remained until after the death of Herod. They must have been a family of color to blend in there. They returned to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, where Jesus grew up. Genesis and Acts: In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David.

The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. In the book of Revelation, Christ is named the Lion of Judah and the Root of David as a reference to both his family lineage and his victory. There were 12 tribes of Israel. Jesus genealogy comes from this tribe.

David and Solomon also came from this tribe. Manchester and London: W. Irwin, , pg. Judah was the tribe that was more mixed. Judah married two different Canaanite women. Judah had five children between these two women. Judah married Shua, a Canaanite woman. She bore Juda three sons: Er, Onan, and Shelah. When Judah selected a wife for his eldest son Er, he once again chose a Canaanite woman, Tamar. What also needs to be taken into consideration is that out of the 12 tribes of Hebrews that left Egypt, Judah was the largest tribe.

The original Canaanites were Black. Here are the original children of Canaan, the descendants of Ham. Ham is said to be the father of all black and brown people. These people are related to the earliest inhabitants of the land of Israel. They are the Natufians, the Cushites and the Canaanites who lived on the land even before Abraham came as an immigrant to the land cf. Genesis 10 and Numbers Another interpretation of the connection to the lion comes from medieval literature, which suggests that the lion represents resurrection.

The literature goes on to suggest that a lion cub is brought to life on the third day after its birth by its father. The book of Hebrews uses this very issue to make a point of the fact that, in coming from the tribe of Judah, our Lord's new high-priesthood signals a change from the Old to the New Covenant. As of course, in accordance with the Mosaic Law, all prior priests have come from the tribe of Levi see especially Heb.

One important reason for the selection of the tribe of Judah, for our Lord's genealogy, is the membership of David in that tribe. Jesus, of course, is David's greater Son, and in the mentions of our Lord's lineage it is usually His descent from David that is the point which is emphasized rather His tribal affiliation per se e.

For Jesus is the "Son of David", the One who fulfills the covenant to that great believer wherein he was promised a Son who would reign forever. No more dramatic example of this can be found than that of Isaiah chapter In this portion of scripture, the prophet vividly describes how the Messiah will come as the suffering servant and lamb of God to bear the sins of the people. In the book of Acts Philip, the evangelist has occasion to meet with a court official of Ethiopia who was in Jerusalem to worship.

This man was reading from Isaiah ; but did not understand of whom this portion of scripture was speaking. Philip explained to the man that it referred to Jesus and starting there Philip continued to preach the good news about Jesus to him Acts Consider the words of the prophet Isaiah which describe the suffering of Jesus for the sins and iniquities of others.

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining It is the night of the dear Savior's birth! Long lay the world in sin and error pining Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn! Fall on your knees Oh hear the angel voices Oh night divine Oh night when Christ was born Oh night divine Oh night divine.

We had a concert scheduled that day, that concert was in Kingston, North Carolina at the Tobacco Warehouse. That was our home base. We knew the Hurricane was coming and would make landfall near Kingston at the time of the concert, we assumed the concert would be canceled. Hey, man, I got a houseful of people here. What do you want to do? Do you want to take a chance. Kingston was better than an hour away in good weather. We knew the hurricane was coming. The hurricane wind was already happening. When Davis said, we got to go, no one questioned him.

Davis drove to Kingston, and that was before there were any Interstates. Signs were blowing down, the wind was very strong. Water blowing across the road in sheets everywhere. When we arrived and entered the concert hall, the place was packed. They kept cheering and crying and yelling as we set up. We never saw anything like it. When I started playing the guitar to introduce the first selection, people were standing up, and then they got quiet, real quiet. Nobody moved.

Absolute silence and stillness. Sent a shiver up my spine, They wanted to hear what we played, they wanted to see our movements. We were blessed that night, because we did the full concert, and people almost never sat in their seats. When the lightning flashed there was feedback, but a feedback that was in perfect pitch, like a 7th voice, like God had decided to harmonize with The Birds. And you could feel a little shock when you got too close to the mike. I wondered if this was what Moses felt in God's presence at Mt Sinai. And it seemed the thunder kept the beat. And like always they never wanted us to quit.

As we were leaving, People praying for a safe journey home. People sometimes rode mules to get to our concerts, back of pickup trucks, horse wagons. People all dressed up in suits and beautiful dresses and hats, nobody dressed better, like kings and queens and dignitaries, Maybe they got their suit out of the pawn shop just for our concert, and put the suit back in the pawn shop the next day. You know, at our performances people got pretty emotional and this concert was no different.

We got back in the car and started back to the hotel in Raleigh, and we talked about what it would have been like if we missed this one. We understood how dangerous hurricanes can be. What was amazing when we exited the concert building there was a calm during the storm. We just trusted in God. Everybody was sacrificing. People riding in the back of flatbed trucks to get there. And all this in the middle of a hurricane. When we finished the concert and everyone was leaving going home, there was a calm outside, no wind, no rain. I guess it was the eye of the storm.

God opened a door in the storm so we could all go home and come back another day to praise His Name. There would be tornadoes, blizzards, lightning, deserts, mountains to encounter. Because it was important to a lot of people. On the drive back to the hotel in Raleigh, nobody slept in the car on the ride back to the hotel which we often did, although we should have been tired, should have been worn out.

We were wide awake. We talked and we marveled at the power of the Lord we served. His Holy presence blessed our everyday. That was Hurricane Hazel, biggest hurricane to that date, and we were in the middle of it. Pretty much all of North Carolina was Dixie Hummingbird country back then. Baseball was really big back then in North Carolina. Everybody had a team. The job where they worked, the barbershop, the mechanic shop, the funeral home, the schools, the banks, the bakery, the grocery store, but every baseball schedule had to be adjusted to when the Dixie Hummingbirds were in town, because nobody would show up for the baseball game if we had a concert.

Weddings were scheduled around The Dixie Hummingbird concerts. Funeral directors would tell families they had to wait until the next day for the funeral after the Birds were done. Sometimes people would ask us to pray and they would sing and call out the name of a dying relative, praying and singing to the Lord to keep them alive until the end of our concert so they could pray with them one last time and tell them about The Birds concert.

No white music producer or company had enough money to take us away from Our People. My God, what a people we are. Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. After the first show, the audience filed out and the new audience walked right in. Different promoters from all over North Carolina would organize busloads of people, the price of ticket and bus ride and box lunch included. Back then people couldn't go into restaurants so food had to be taken along. Finding a bathroom was always a problem. No hotels. So they slept on the bus on the ride home. Sunday was Hummingbirds Day.

They loved us there. Lucia, the beginning as opposed to the end, the alpha, not the omega, the original not a copy. Images of giant armadillos, which died out before the last ice age, show the artists who drew them lived before even the natives who greeted the Europeans. This evidence suggests that the Americus was home to a great diverse family of people. Lucia was the mother of a race of people who came to America 50, years ago. Lucia represents the beginning of Americus Family.

This family was far more diverse than previously believed. It included Negros, Indians, and Europeans. When God began working with Abram his name was later changed to Abraham , God gave him a command and an amazing promise. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Many people still succeed though they come from less-than-ideal family situations, but having our basic needs met, knowing that our parents love us and learning life lessons at home make all the challenges of day-to-day living that much easier to face. That means being unselfish, honest, loyal, loving and a whole host of other virtues, not to mention a lot of hard work. When a person becomes a Christian, he doesn't just join a local church because it's a good habit for growing in spiritual maturity.

He joins a local church because it's the expression of what Christ has made him—a member of the body of Christ. Being united to Christ means being united to every Christian. But that universal union must be given a living, breathing existence in a local church. To understand the difference between the local church and the universal church, one must get a basic definition of each. The universal church is made up of all believers in Jesus Christ worldwide. Many African-Americans view Christianity as the White man's religion and associate conversion to Islam with recovering their ethnic heritage.

Thus, to effectively evangelize African-American Muslims, it is crucial to understand the development of the American Muslim. If the conversion rate continues, Islam could be the dominant religion among Black Men by It also provides food, housing and jobs to individuals and families in need. The nation serves as a family for Black Men.

Today , the Islamic sects ,are all challenging the African-American church, for the minds of the next generation. Because of Islam's emphasis on external religious practices, African-American adherents, tend to operate on their internal instincts, which are essentially Christian. In three out of four young people attended church. Today ,only one in four young people attend church. The megachurch seems to be a female-centered middle-class movement. These churches, do very little to address the social issues facing Black Members. They are silent on issues such as criminal justice reform, voter suppression, and police violence.

These churches teach, that donating money, will result in God giving you a greater return on your investment. Maybe, providing scholarships and emphasizing education would be more productive. What are the educational, cultural, and social benefits of these churches to society? That is the big question. What type of family does this church provide?

Jews and Gentiles together, who believe in Christ, are heirs of the world. Abraham and his descendants will inherit the land; Abraham will rise from the dead and cannot be defeated by death; Abraham and his descendants will be triumphant over all their foes. What is the implication of these three promises? Paul saw these promises fulfilled in the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

The Messiah is the heir in the fullest sense,' says John Piper. Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Believers in Jesus are heirs to the promise of Abraham on earth and in heaven.

We will be members of his heavenly family Mathew Guest was Dr. Carver's favorite poem; he can be heard reciting it at an audio station at the George Washington Carver Museum. An inspiring video of his life can also be viewed along with a superb collection of artifacts demonstrating his achievements.

With this equipment, they all began, So start for the top and say, "I can. The world considers them brave and smart, But you've all they had when they made their start. You can triumph and come to skill, You can be great if you only will. You're well equipped for what fight you choose, You have legs and arms and a brain to use, And the man who has risen great deeds to do Began his life with no more than you.

You are the handicap you must face, You are the one who must choose your place, You must say where you want to go, How much you will study the truth to know. God has equipped you for life, but He Lets you decide what you want to be. Courage must come from the soul within, The man must furnish the will to win.

So figure it out for yourself, my lad. You were born with all that the great have had, With your equipment, they all began, Get hold of yourself and say: "I can. For all fathers, especially Black Fathers, whose voices have not been heard, I sense your pride, feel your pain and hear your cry! Today is your day! The role of black fathers is one of the strongest and most important traditions in the black community. There is no question that in their earliest years in the New World enslaved African-Americans were concerned about their fathers- Moreover, their loyalty to their fathers.

Dodd of Spokane Washington did a lot for Father's Day. Dodd felt she had an outstanding father. He was a veteran of the Civil War. His wife had died young, and he had raised six children without their mother. States and organizations began lobbying congress to declare an annual Father's Day. In , President Woodrow Wilson approved of this idea, but it was not until when President Calvin Coolidge made it a national event on the third Sunday in June. This scripture is as relevant today as it was years ago. The son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.

I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.

So they began to celebrate. Luke The text deals with the parable of the Prodigal Son in the Gospel of Luke. This account is familiar to most of us. It's the story of a rebellious son who rejects his father's upbringing. Not until he's confronted with failure and despair, does he return home, repentant and willing to do anything to win back his father's favor.

No amount of time, no amount of money, and no amount of rebellion could get in the way of the father's patience and unconditional love for his son. Of course, the awesome message of this parable is that God is patient and gracious with all of His children. He is willing to welcome each of us home to His loving and forgiving arms. The Prodigal Son is a reality for many of us. In the journey of life, we soon realize there are no guarantees as Christian parents. No matter how hard we strive to teach our children about God and His Word, and no matter how often we pray for our children to discover Jesus Christ and His message of salvation, some decide to reject it all!

Even in those families where God is loved, trusted and glorified, children sometimes rebel and run from their roots! The road to God for each Prodigal Son is different. However, as the two stories above tell us, we should never give up - no matter how far away they seem! God gives us these examples in scripture so that we realize that our children may turn against God.

He also gives us instruction on how to dig in spiritually for our prodigal children: Be in constant prayer, always lead by example, and follow through with love and grace, no matter how despairing things get. Remember God's promise to those who raise children in a Christian home: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" Proverbs KJV.

This is the foundation for fatherhood or parenting period! Great fathers make God the head of the house! What is a good father? The text seems to emphasize three major qualities of a good father. I am sure there are many others. Gardner Taylor is now 88 years old.

He is considered one of the fifteen greatest English-speaking preachers in the world. He was asked who had a major influence on his decision to become a minister. He stated that his father was that person. Taylor said that his father was not well educated, however, he taught himself by reading in many areas. This is a good example of I was involved in teaching young children chess in the 's. A young man called me from South Africa who was an outstanding teacher in that area and said he would like to come to Raleigh where I was at the time and do a class.

I said sure! He came with his father and brother. His father was a medical doctor and his brother was a medical doctor. I was amazed that his father loved and respected his son the teacher just as much as his son the medical doctor. I was very blessed growing up. I had the pleasure of growing up with my father and grandfather. They were both God fearing men. They were both farmers. They taught me great work ethics.

I had to work very hard on the farm from the time I was six years old. However, we had a lot of down times. I still can remember the fishing and hunting trips I went on with my father and grandfather. There were many times my father could not go with us; my grandfather and I would go fishing or hunting. They were great examples of how to work hard and have quality down time. When I did something wrong they were quick to show me the error of my way. When I got in trouble, they always knew what was best and could lead me in the right direction.

My father and grandfather were great examples of unconditional love. My brother George learned much from them! He is a third generation farmer and has carried on their tradition well. I heard him say several weeks ago about his accomplishments as a father.

He said that his two daughters had graduated from college and owned their own homes. He also has What a great accomplishment as a father. He was the only child of four who built his career in the same town he was born. The other siblings moved away from home.

He had the pleasure of being around my father and grandfathers all of his life. He has been successful in farming, mechanical engineering career, personal building and construction. He and his wife have also been successful in the assistant living business. Now, his leadership impacts the lives of hundreds of individuals in the community, on the job, and among family members. He and his wife were invited to the White House to be Belle Hooks, in her "Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism" , reminds us that "scholars have emphasized the impact of slavery on the black male consciousness, arguing that black men, more so than black women, were the real' victims of slavery.

Regarding family and personal relationships, today's African-American males are no less sensitive than their forefathers. According to one black physician, "black men come to the psychiatrist's office in large numbers, in pain and genuinely seeking help. They have little or nothing to say about the statistics, myths and other sociological pronouncements so often made about them. Rather, they come in talking about depression, anxiety, frustration, fear, guilt, esteem issues and anger that are most often related to the close, ongoing relationships in their lives," Henry E. The same way the father did the Prodigal Son.

Esco Yancey, Jr. It has always been amazing to me how women can succeed in raising their children with fewer resources than men in most cases. The great majority of successful individuals assert that their mother is the foundation of their success. Booker T. I attribute all my success in my life, to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I got from her, said George Washington. The text gives us a great paradigm of a woman who goes beyond the norm as a wife, widow, and mother.

I call your attention to the following verses: Ruth And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her. Ruth, the Moabite, became King David's great-grandma. Her lineage She was not a Jewish Semite. Moab was a prosperous country. However, the people worshiped false gods. After the death of Naomi's sons, she was the loyal daughter-in-law who clung to Naomi and followed Yahweh, the God of Israel, giving up her complete heritage and lifestyle.

Un like Orpah, the other daughter-in-law who separated from Naomi never to be heard of again. At the end of her book, Ruth becomes the wife of the wealthy Boaz' and the mother of Obed's. The Book of Ruth has four chapters which entail the story of a virtuous woman. It was written some time after the period of the judges B.

The books of Ruth and Esther have the distinction of being the only two books in the Bible written about women. The dominant cultural stereotype of the "good mother, said Coll, is a woman who is married and works outside the home in a job that does not take her away "too much" from her parenting responsibilities. She has no more than two children, and they have no handicaps or behavioral problems; she conceived her children and is raising them in a heterosexual relationship, and she and her spouse are older than 20 and are of the same ethnic and racial background.

Mothers who are compromised in their ability to access resources will be vilified, such as welfare mothers, mothers in prison and mothers who are homeless. Other mothers will be the target of political campaigns such as lesbian mothers, working mothers, and single mothers. However, just as astonishing It has been said, a mother understands what a child does not say. That facility had beds total There were beds This pattern seems to hold true all over the country. Most churches seem to have more women as members than men.

There are more African American Female business owners than men. The percentage of individuals in prison is greater among men than women. It seems that the great common denominator between Ruth and the successful mothers of today is perseverance. This character trait seems to be the foundation for all achievement. What can we learn from Ruth and today's exceptional mothers?

The case is clear! God Blesses Diligent and Faithful Mothers. Trust in the Lord and do well; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security. Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him. Psalm , 7a Esco Yancey, Jr. He refuted prevailing stereotypes and chronicled black achievements. He criticized the professional education process as delivered to black Americans of the s and s. Woodson, the founder of what is known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the organization through which he systematized the study of Black History and gave the world Black History Week, which we now observe as Black History Month, February. As Howard University historian Daryl Michael Scott notes on the jacket of Woodson's legendary and recently republished book of observations, prescriptions, and analyses, "The Mis-Education of the Negro," Woodson "dedicated his life to two simple yet Herculean tasks: vindicating the black race from the charge of inferiority and restoring Africans and peoples of African descent to their proper place in the annals of history.

His field of battle was scholarship and knowledge, and his weaponry, historical truth. Though he had many predecessors and co-workers, Woodson's singularity of purpose [and] his immense skills as a scholar, a businessman, and an institution builder garnered for him the much-deserved title of the Father of Black History.

I recently read the page book for the first time. It's brief but powerful arguments left me refreshed, inspired, energized, and transformed. I regard Woodson as the essential cross between W. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington, a black thinker of their era who sketched a vision for blacks that bridged formal learning with utilitarian ends. I gave copies to everybody in my immediate family for Christmas. Woodson would be delighted to see that black and white Americans have improved in key respects since the s.

He would be dismayed but not surprised , however, to learn that so much of his criticism of both communities remains applicable to their conditions 76 years after his death in April Some scholar should produce a contemporary annotation of Woodson's book, a chronicle that explains the extent to which Woodson's ideas have been actualized, and where we find ourselves as a result. I found myself glad that certain conditions have changed since he wrote, but I am intrigued by the fact that many other observations still ring true, particularly those concerning the effects of slavery upon interracial and intraracial dynamics.

Carter G. Woodson wrote with unusual clarity, power, and authority. As we conclude the first third of Black History Month , I offer some fascinating passages from his volume. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his 'proper place' and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary. On the contrary, however, the usual way now is for the whites to work out their plans behind closed doors, have them approved by a few Negroes serving nominally on a board, and then employ a white or mixed staff to carry out their program.

This is not interracial cooperation. This unsound attitude of the 'friends' of the Negro is due to the persistence of the medieval idea of controlling underprivileged classes. Behind closed doors, these 'friends' say you need to be careful in advancing Negroes to commanding positions unless it can be determined beforehand that they will do what they are told to do.

You can never tell when some Negroes will break out and embarrass their 'friends. Such 'friends' will unconsciously keep him in the ghetto. Deriving their sense of right from this teaching, graduates of such schools can have no message to grip the people whom they have been ill-trained to serve. Dear God, Who draws the lines around the countries? Dear God, I went to a wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay? Dear God, Thank you for my baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy. Dear God, Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before.

You can look it up. Dear God, I want to be just like my dad when I get big, but just not with so much hair all over. Dear God, I bet it is very hard for you to love all the people in the world.

There are only four people in my family and I can never do it. Dear God, If you watch me in church Sunday, I'll show you my new shoes. Dear God, We read that Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday School, we learned that you did it. So I bet he stole your idea. Dear God, I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw that sunset you made on Tuesday. That was cool! Dear God, Maybe Cain and Abel wouldn't have killed each other if they had their own rooms.

It works with my brother and me. If - children live with criticism, they learn to condemn and be judgmental. If - children live with hostility they learn to be angry and fight. If - children live with ridicule they learn to be shy and withdrawn. If - children live with shame they learn to feel guilty but If - children live with security they learn to have faith. The story is told about a little boy who found a rat in his back yard. He jumped on it. He stomped on it.

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And he killed it. But he didn't realize that the preacher had come to call. So the excited boy ran into the house, carrying the rat by the tail, hollering to his mom, "Mom, look what I found. I found this rat. A little boy found a rat in his back yard. Several centuries ago in a mountain village in Europe, a wealthy nobleman wondered what legacy he should leave to his townspeople.

He made a good decision. He decided to build them a church. No one was permitted to see the plans or the inside of the church until it was finished. At its grand opening, the people gathered and marvelled at the beauty of the new church. Everything had been thought of and included. It was a masterpiece. But then someone said, "Wait a minute! Where are the lamps? It is really quite dark in here.

How will the church be lighted? Each time you are not here, that place will be dark. This is to remind you that whenever you fail to come to church, some part of God's house will be dark". Jesus appeared in heaven just after his ascension and is giving a progress report on all that has happened while he was on earth. Moses is there and he asks him, "Well Jesus, did you leave things in capable hands? I have left behind Mary and Martha and Peter and the other disciples. Moody once called on a leading citizen in Chicago to persuade him to accept Christ.

They were seated in the man's parlor. It was winter and coal was burning in the fireplace. The man objected that he could be just as good a Christian outside the church as in it. Moody said nothing, but stepped to the fireplace, took the tongs, picked a blazing coal from the fire and set it off by itself. In silence the two watched it smolder and go out. A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing. Some years ago premier Khrushchev was speaking before the Supreme Soviet and was severely critical of the late Premier Stalin.

While he was speaking someone from the audience sent up a note: "What were you doing when Stalin committed all these atrocities? Still no one moved. I was doing exactly what the writer of this note was doing - exactly nothing! I was afraid to be counted! A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.

When the Viet Nam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.


About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said,"Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly.

He often talked about you, and your love for art. The young man held out his package. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this. The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears.

He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. It's a gift. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected. The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings.

Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. Who will bid for this picture? There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted. Skip this one. But the auctioneer persisted.

Who will start the bidding? Another voice shouted angrily. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids! But still the auctioneer continued. The son! Who'll take the son? Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son.

Let's see the masters. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. A man sitting on the second row shouted. The auctioneer laid down his gavel. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings.

The man who took the son gets everything! God gave His son 2, years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, "The son, the son, who'll take the son? The Chevy Nova was a relatively successful American car for many years. Encouraged by U. Unfortunately, the Nova did not sell well in Mexico and other Latin American countries. Additional ads were ordered, marketing efforts were stepped up, but sales remained stagnant. Sales directors were baffled. The car had sold well in the American market; why wasn't it selling now?

When they discovered the answer, it was rather embarrassing: In Spanish, Nova means "no go. The business world is full of such stories. For example, when Perdue Farms, Inc. The translation was "It takes a virile man to make a chicken affectionate. An Alberta man left the snow-filled streets of Calgary for a vacation in Florida. His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick E-mail message. Unable to find the scrap of paper on which he had written her E-mail address, he did his best to type it from memory.

Unfortunately, he missed one letter in the E-mail address and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher's wife, whose husband had passed away only the day before. When the grieving widow checked her E-mail, she took one look at the computer monitor and let out a scream; and fell to the floor in a dead faint. At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen: Dearest Wife, Just got checked in.

Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Sure is hot down here! And if a person has not found something to die for, that person isn't fit to live! Martin Luther King, Jr. There's an old story about a fisherman who was very successful. Every morning he went out on the lake in a small boat and when he returned a couple of hours later, his boat was loaded down with fish. He never failed. People wondered how he did it, even when others were not catching anything at all. He always came in with his boat just overflowing with fish. One morning a stranger showed up with his fishing tackle and said, "Mind if I go fishing with you this morning?

The old fisherman stopped the boat and cut off the motor. He reached over in his tackle box and took out a red stick of dynamite. He lit the fuse and held it for a moment as the fuse burned down. Then at the last moment he tossed it in the water and there was a tremendous explosion. Fish were everywhere on the water. He picked up his net and began scooping up the fish. After watching this for a moment the stranger reached in his pocket and pulled out his wallet. Opening it up, he showed a badge and said, "I'm a game warden and you are under arrest.

He lit it and held it as the fuse burned down. Then, he tossed it to the game warden and said, "Now, are you going to just sit there or are you going to fish? Rabbi Feldman who was having trouble with his congregation; they couldn't agree on anything. The president of the congregation said, "Rabbi, this can't continue. There has to be a conference, and we have to settle all areas of dispute once and for all. At the appointed time the rabbi, the president, and ten elders met around a magnificent mahogany table in the conference room of the synagogue. One by one the issues were dealt with and on each issue, it became more and more apparent that the rabbi was a lonely voice in the wilderness.

The president of the synagogue said, "Come, Rabbi, enough of this. Let's vote and allow the majority to rule. The votes were collected and the president said, "You may examine them, Rabbi. It is eleven to one against you. We have the majority. Offended, the rabbi rose to his feet and said, "So, now you think because of the vote that you're right and I'm wrong. Well, that's not so. I stand here," and he raised his arms impressively while looking heavenward, "and call upon the Holy One of Israel to give us a sign that I'm right and you're wrong. No sooner were the words out of his mouth when there was a deafening clap of thunder and a brilliant flash of lightning that struck the mahogany table and cracked it in two.

The room was filled with smoke and fumes, and the president and the elders were hurled to the floor. Surrounded by rubble the rabbi stood erect and untouched, his eyes and smile flashing with triumph. Slowly, the president lifted himself out of the rubble. His hair was singed, his glasses were hanging from one ear, his clothing was in disarray.

Finally he said, "All right, eleven to two. But we still have the majority. It is unexpected, but extraordinarily convincing, that the one absolutely unequivocal statement in the whole gospel of the Divinity of Jesus should come from Doubting Thomas. It is the only place where the word God is used There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam Some of us stay at the cross, some of us wait at the tomb, Quickened and raised with Christ yet lingering still in the gloom. Some of us abide at the Passover feast with Pentecost all unknown, The triumphs of grace in the heavenly place that our Lord has made His own.

If the Christ who died had stopped at the cross, His work had been incomplete. If the Christ who was buried had stayed in the tomb, He had only known defeat,. But the way of the cross never stops at the cross and the way of the tomb leads on To victorious grace in the heavenly place where the risen Lord has gone. Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer; Death is strong, but Life is stronger; Stronger than the dark, the light; Stronger than the wrong, the right; Faith and Hope triumphant say, Christ will rise on Easter Day.

Phillips Brooks. Several hundred years before the birth of Jesus, a crucial battle occurred between the Greeks and the Persians upon the plains of Marathon. The battle raged for hours. In many respects it was a fight to the finish. Finally the numerically inferior Greeks, the underdogs, managed a tremendous tactical win, but there was a problem.

Soon the Senate, many miles away in Athens, was to vote and would most certainly ratify a treaty of appeasement. In desperation they sent a runner in full battle gear to go the twenty-seven miles to tell of the news. By the time the young boy got to Athens he had run a Marathon. It is said he was totally spent, that he literally ran himself to death. In his exhaustion he was able to utter only one word to the Athenians: "Victory. We have been to the empty tomb. We have heard the glad news of resurrection.

The Main Reason People Leave a Church

And now it is time for the church to send a message back to the world. What should that message be? May I suggest that it could be a single word: Victory. One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, "Jump! I'll catch you. All the boy could see, however, was flame, smoke, and blackness.

As can be imagined, he was afraid to leave the roof. His father kept yelling: "Jump! I will catch you. God does not expect us to submit our faith to him without reason, but the very limits of our reason make faith a necessity. There is a story about a pastor who was building a wooden trellis to support a climbing vine. As he pounded away, he saw that a little boy was watching him. The youngster didn't say a word, so the pastor kept on working, thinking the lad would just leave. But he didn't. Finally the pastor asked, "Well, son, are you trying to pick up some pointers on gardening?

In his classic novel, "The Robe," Lloyd C. Douglas has a character called Marcellus, who had become enamored of Jesus. He told her about Jesus' teachings, about his miracles, then about his crucifixion, and then about his resurrection. Finally he informed her that he had decided to become a disciple of Jesus. In her letter of response, Diana said, "What I feared was that it might affect you.

It is a beautiful story. Let it remain so. We don't have to do anything about it, do we? A minister was full of energy and enthusiasm for the Lord. One day he went to the hospital to visit one of his parishioners who was critically ill. The minister entered the room and saw the man lying in bed with a whole host of tubes and wires attached to his body. Without any delay the minister strode to his bedside and began to exhort him to be of good cheer.

Soon the man started to wave his arms. This encouraged the minister, and so he exhorted him more and more enthusiastically. Finally the minister ended with a rather lengthy prayer. At the final "Amen" the minister opened his eyes just in time to see the man reach for a pad of paper and a pencil. Quickly he wrote something and handed it to the minister. Then the man turned his head and died.

The minister was deeply moved to think that his visit to this man had occurred in the nick of time. Then he looked at the pad and read these words: "You are standing on my oxygen tube. Sometimes it is easy to misread people's actions. Not all arm-waving is an expression of exuberance. Not all laughter is the laughter of happiness. Not all tears are tears of sorrow. Not all shouting is the shouting of triumph and victory. And not everyone who says, "Lord! The story is told of a Kansan who owned a general store.

He was a well-intending man who made a habit of offering a verse of Scripture whenever anyone purchased something from him. The group of people who sat around the store in this rural area enjoyed the exchanges, because some of the purchases challenged the imagination. One winter day a Texan stopped in, wanting to buy a blanket for his horse. The locals knew that the store stocked two types of blankets. He showed him the first. I need something warmer for my horse. Don't you understand? This is for my horse, and nothing's too good for my horse.

Now show me your most expensive blanket! Colorfast, percent wool, with a very tight weave. Now you are talking. I'll take it. As the shopkeeper opened the cash drawer and carefully counted the money, he said, "Matthew , He was a stranger and I took him in. Cecil B. DeMille did not want to take any chances with his opulent epic "King of Kings" His two stars, H. Warner, cast as Jesus Christ, and Dorothy Cummings as Mary, were required to sign agreements prohibiting them from appearing in film roles that might compromise their "holy" screen images for a 5-year period.

DeMille also ordered them not to be seen doing any "un-biblical" activities during the film's shooting. These activities included attending ball games, playing cards, frequenting night clubs, swimming, and riding in convertibles. This is a true story of a man called Larry Walters.

At 33 years of age, Larry decided he wanted to see his neighbourhood from a different perspective. So he went to the Army Navy surplus store and purchased 45 weather balloons. That afternoon he strapped himself into a lawn chair to which several of his friends tied the now helium filled balloons. He took along a six-pack, a peanut butter sandwich, and a BB gun - figuring he could shoot the balloons one at a time when he was ready to land.

Larry thought the balloons would lift him about a hundred of so feet into the air, but when he was cut loose - the chair soared 10, feet into the sky - smack into the middle of the air traffic pattern for the Los Angeles Airport. He was too frightened to shoot any of the balloons and stayed in the air for more than 2 hours, forcing the airport to shut down it's run ways - causing long delays in flights. After he was safely back on the ground, and cited by the police - reporters asked him three questions.

For three hours boys and girls, men and women, performed every antic and told every joke they knew. But Bill Fuqua, the Motionless Man, stood perfectly still. Fuqua is the Guinness Book of World Records champion at doing nothing. In fact, he appears so motionless during his routines at shopping malls and amusement parks that he is sometimes mistaken for a mannequin. In his book, The Preaching Event, John Claypool tells a poignant story about identical twin brothers who never married because they enjoyed each other's company so much.

When their father died, they took over his store and ran it together in a joyful collaboration. But one day a man came in to make a small purchase and paid for it with a dollar. The brother who made the sale placed the dollar on top of the cash register When he returned, the dollar bill was gone. He said to his twin brother, "Did you take the dollar bill I left here?

They put a partition right down the middle of the building and made it into two stores. In anger, they refused to speak for the next 20 years. One day a stranger pulled up in a car and entered one of the two stores. Some 20 years ago, I passed through this town. I was out of work and homeless. I jumped off a boxcar. I had no money and I had not eaten for days. I came down that alley outside and when I looked into your store window, I saw a dollar bill on the cash register. I slipped in and took it.

Recently I became a Christian. I was converted and accepted Christ as my personal Savior. I know now it was wrong of me to steal that dollar bill Would you please come next door and tell that story to my brother? Twenty years of hurt and broken relationship based not on fact, but on mistrust and misunderstanding. But then healing came; reconciliation came, because of that stranger's love for Christ. Someone once asked Wayne Gretsky, the great hockey player, how he managed to become the best goal-scorer in the history of the game. He simply replied, "While everyone else is chasing the puck, I go where the puck is going to be.

A few years ago, rumours spread that a certain Catholic woman was having visions of Jesus. The archbishop decided to check her out. Please call me if anything happens. Within the hour the archbishop arrived. She took his hand and gazed deep into his eyes. The demand for absolute liberty brings men to the depths of slavery. In the movie, The Mission, one of the leading characters is converted from being a slave-trader of Brazilian Indians to be a Jesuit priest.

But he insists on doing penance, dragging a heavy bundle through the jungle back to the Indians he used to enslave. Once back, in a dramatic, cliff-side scene, where the bundle threatened to make him fall, the Indians cut away the bundle. The people he had formerly enslaved forgave him and set him free.

We have the power to do that for each other. A teen-age boy told his parents he was going to run away from home. There is nothing you can do to stop me. I want excitement, adventure, beautiful women, money, and fun. I'll never find it here, so I'm leaving. Just don't try to stop me!

Don't try to stop me. I'm going! I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character; I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made law, the rough places will be made plain and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together When we let freedom ring when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of Gods children, black men and white men.

Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, Free at last! Free at last.!.! Thank God almighty we are free at last. Noah - former pastorate of years with no converts, problem with the bottle, and a wayward son morals problem.

Abraham - Scandal ridden, offered wife to another man, child abuse. Moses - poor communicator, stutters, unanswered murder charge. David - affair with neighbor's wife, hired a hit man to kill husband. Solomon - husband of more than one wife, in fact parsonage too small. Elijah - prone to depression and nervous break downs. Elisha - reported to have live with a single widow at former church. Hosea - our congregation could not handle his wife's occupation. Jeremiah - emotionally unstable, alarmist, negative, lamenter, reported to have buried underwear on a foreign river bank, claims to have a set of recreated originals.

Isaiah - language problems, on the fringe, claims to see angels. Jonah - refuses to preach to the lost unless forced to by God. Amos - backward and unpolished, does not like the rich. John - does not dress like a Baptist, weird diet, provokes higher powers. Peter - bad temper, curses, hypocrite in racial matters, loose cannon.

Jesus - dwindled church of 5, down to 12 or , offends folks. Judas - His references are solid. Good connections. Knows how to handle money, has compassion for poor. He is preaching for us Sunday. Possibilities here. In May , an eighteen-year-old boy went to the deacons of the church in Boston. He had been raised in a Unitarian church, in almost total ignorance of the gospel, but when he had moved to Boston to make his fortune, he began to attend a Bible-preaching church.

Then, in April of , his Sunday school teacher had come into the store where he was working and simply and persuasively shared the Gospel and urged the young man to trust in the Lord Jesus. He did, and now he was applying to join the church. It is not so much that I need to be impressive in my communication. It is more about giving my sheep the best food I can find. I could put in 20 hours a week in sermon prep but I believe that stewardship of my time means that I invest and use the rest to care for our staff and our church.

Honestly, my larger concern is that there is a trend in the church for leaders to be more authors and artists than pastors. I wonder if we should take out Proverbs since the writer uses material from ancient literature that pre-dates its writing. Of course not! I appreciate you injecting common sense leadership perspective. Blessings my friend! Thanks to both Michael and David, both of you had excellent points. I believe that using ghost writers is nothing more than legal plagiarism and totally negates one of the main points of the original article, that each pastor should put in the sweat and tears to earn their own paycheck with an original message, instead of, God forbid, taking advantage of research already done by others, because, of course, if I do it myself, it makes it more valid.

Of course, I am not going to defend getting up and reading verbatim what someone else preached, but how many do that? Aside from ethical issues, that is not even practical or effective, but if it were effective and people were blessed, why not give glory to God for that revelation that was extended and used to bless others instead of worrying about getting credit? Besides, I could not be an Andy Stanley, no matter how I preached his message. I will never be Andy Stanley, or anyone else but me. That is nothing more but one more myth to promote the next how-to course.

When the ministry becomes a business, we forget we all have the same Father. What is it? Are they really that needy for getting credit from a brother in the Lord? And you do know that plagiarism is illegal, right? God is the giver of every good thing according to the scripture. Amen brother. That is why I stay away from sermons by these types of guys. There are plenty of great preachers who are honored that their messages are being carried on and multiplied by others, just like Paul taught Timothy in 2 Timothy 2.

Not verbatim of course. I am a avid reader and as a result, many of these ideas find heir way to one of my sermons. Many of the mega church pastors sells their sermons in hopes that they will be used. Some people write with more originality than others. Any great sermon starts in the heart of God and that is a great place to begin. I work to be creative every week, never preach a message ver batim and write my own thoughts. But my thoughts do stem at times from whatever I have read. Friends we are all this together. Any message that chcamges lives does so because God is in it.

So I think we need to lighten up in this topic. As far as a blog is concerned, copying it word for word and posting it under your name is just plain wrong. So what is the difference? Putting your name on something and claiming it as yours is plagiarism. Preaching a sermon and using ideas someone has presented it generally acceptable in my opinion.

I have seen this post before and believe Carrie should move on to another topic. I agree David! I know Furtick has one he applied for a job at a church I used to work at. If someone gets famous speaking what other people have written, is that not the same principle. Or could we say that if the Kingdom is advanced and people find and grow in Jesus — none of it really matters. Thank you. I am a new pastor of 4 months and I am glad to know there are other pastors that feel the same as I do.

Here in Brazil we preach about sermons a year, so it is very difficult to be original. But we do not have to be. And as you said, integrity is everything. Hot tourist growth is putting pressure on the Phu Quoc residence market but opens the golden opportunity for real estate investors to be sensitive to the market. For those with a reasonable budget, you can see the potential when choosing to invest in a Mini Hotel Mediterranean at this time with the advantage of thin investment capital, the investment advantage comes from the gold position.

So I am guessing that your saying that all the pastors that are using ghost writers are really not telling the truth. Maybe we should be careful in our judgement upon others. After all as one of the greatest men of God that I know said these great words.

Just saying that we should be very careful. Years ago we attended a church in a different state, and the pastor preached a Max sermon word for word even down to the key illustration which was based on a local thing in San Antonio…but he adapted that part as if it had occurred to him locally. As a hearer, it felt very dishonest.

Had he attributed it and preached it it would have been fine. It really was a great sermon, and one of the few I remember to this day. That pastor really destroyed his credibility, which is another danger. Ha ha ha ha Great Blog post about copying blog posts! May I share this? Oh my! Do you not want it to reach as many people as possible? Look at it this way… somebody taught you. And somebody taught them and so on. Most pastors have around 50 sermons or so that they rehash every year… but a lot of pastors are relating what they have been taught in the past. You can only know this through discernment, not by lazy plagiarism.

And if it is a word for your community, why not acknowledge it as a matter of your own integrity? And this should be so for pastors, who have an extra reason to behave ethically — their calling from God.

Break The Barriers Holding You Back

If you preach a sermon verbatim and act like it was your own work, then that is stealing and a lie. Stealing and lying is sin. Many lay leaders teach small groups with prepackaged study guides like in Sunday School classes. We generally call these leaders facilitators. At least we know where they get most if not all of their material. The pastor of the church and any person who regularly preaches should be studying the Bible and not spending precious time on copying sermons from others.

I am not a pastor, Andrew. Does being a pastor or simply being a member of the body of Christ matter in this regard? I have been a Sunday School teacher and have led small groups. I have preached a few sermons as a lay leader in the church. When I used material that was written by someone else, I would give them credit. Remember the message you can preach is not your message. I believe every meeting service at church has its purpose and as a Pastor if am found at someones Church I know that it is GODs intention for me to get another information to spread it to others.

Yes we have to acknowledge that you got the message according to what you heard but lets not sound as if we generate messages on our own. Moreover we required to spread the Good news. Unless the message is not Good. If you feel like you cannot preach a sermon that is original, then go to the Bible and read it word for word out loud to your audience. Check out Jeremiah and Romans Instead of copying and pasting, I recommend you open your Bibles and diligently study. Thank you for your post. You hit the nail right on the head.

Sorry I guess I should not say that because I know that I have heard that somewhere before. It is hard work to come up with your own sermons but the benefits outweigh the work. But when you take illustrations as if they are your own, that is a real integrity issue. I usually put hours of straight research into my sermons.

I print that off and using voice recognition software, I look it over and speak my sermon into a text. Then I reformat it and I preach from my laptop. To say anything else would be a lie, and how would the Holy Spirit bless a lie? Twenty years ago, I worked at a megachurch with a pastor most of us would know. I personally looked over his preaching notes many times. True, he was brilliant, but I can tell you he never plagiarized.

I thought we all more-or-less followed a similar process. No wonder why the American church is in such tatters. What if the Holy Spirit gives the same idea to 30 different pastors who have prayed listening to His leading? Maybe not verbatim, but inspiration, theme, or anointing. Who is going to copyright that? The Holy Spirit is the author. Are you going to look to see the first peron in the chain to hear this from the Lord every time? I think many are forgetting the original author.

This is a danger, in my view, of building up man and not the One you serve. I am a librarian and believe very much in Open Sources. The Holy Spirit is the most open sourced database anyone could have? Jesus gave you all free material to use and duplicate. He is the Word. Duplicate until the gospel is proclaimed in every tongue, in every nation. Great article, Carey! I wish more pastors would understand this. Unfortunately integrity is becoming a lost art in ministry.

Love it. Original content becomes more and more taxing. Integrity, credit, and Holy Spirit are so important. Thanks for the post Carey. The more I think about this, the more this question keeps coming back up into my mind. Not one time during my time as a worship pastor did I ever before singing a song give credit to the writer of the lyrics or the music. I just came back from a conference where worship was a major part of it and one of the worship leaders announced they were going to do a new song.

I loved the song and try to look it up — I found it and the worship leader that lead it was not one of the writers of that song. Maybe there are a number of small churches, or churches without live streaming, or web available broadcast that do not, but any church who puts there services online is risking big fines if they do not pay CCLI. Further, whether you broadcast or not it is illegal to play music in your church in any other context than the actual church service unless you pay CCLI fees this includes VBS, church coffee shop, music in the lobby, music on your telephone hold, etc.

Thanks Carey, I hope there is no problem to quote someones sentences and mention that to congregation. We have a same fellow in our church. As someone accused of plagiarizing even when citing the source I do see how important this is to people. For one intro to a message I used multiple sources.

So what do you suggest? Or is that a different topic? So attribute the major ones…be generous and humble with your sourcing and that should cover it. Let people know up front that you consulted several sources, and that they can find a list of those somewhere, perhaps in a text version of your sermon with the citations, or, at the very least, tag concepts, e. No citing is necessary. So I would use verbal citations for his or other authors thoughts, ideas, quotes, etc. A few years ago I realized that there are times where I quote someone but in the process I may forget to cite them, or may misattribute the quote.

So at the end of my sermon notes, I have a Bibliography. I do this because I want my people to have good sources they can go to as well. I just finished sharing this with my team. For years I have been railing against use of other pastors sermons. I know of a former pastor who constantly justified his plagiarism of Craig Groeshel and Louie Giglio. Yes even right down to the personal stories about family members including wives. When people approached me about it I talked to another local pastor who was my coach.

We approached him and he rebuffed our loving attempt to correct his behavior. His reasoning was the Spirit can work through the any preacher because the Word was from God and he like the pastors he plagiarized were mouthpieces for God. Unfortunately he continued, his church leaders were okay with it.

With regard to leading to other things creeping in. This pastor is now in jail for some not so good things. I will always strive to correctly represent myself because our integrity is the only thing man cannot take from us…we have to give it away. About five years ago, there were several web sites where pastors could purchase sermon outlines with complete references. One particular pastors stands out in my memory. As a pastor, I find your assumption 3 things — 1 Presumptuous, 2 Arrogant and, 3 Ignorant. Perhaps you should spend more time working on being a little more truthful and a lot less self-righteous.

I used to attend a megachurch where the nationally recognized and admired Senior Pastor had a full time staff person that did a lot of his sermon research. It would be impossible for me to spend that much time on my sermon. I understand intellectual property and plagerism but nothing is new under the son. The new commentaries are other pastors sermons. It would almost be impossible to preach something new. Also, why do we feel this need to reinvent the wheel?

Why is that message only for the people in Georgia, Canada, Montana, or wherever? God just might have wanted me to hear so I could tell my people too. Right on Carey! I find it very aggravating in my circle the amount of re-preaches I hears. I have read all the comments so far posted and I was fascinated with some of the thoughts presented.

As for those who are bi-vocational, I feel your pain very much. I just know that the best messages I have given have often come from moments of my greatest pain and thus often when there was little time to prepare the way I would like. I also have a church dynamic where I am often called to cover the pulpit with little or no notice. Just my thoughts. This is a good point. I too am bi-vocational. Bible study and journaling should be more than just to find material to preach, but it often becomes a good source. Just a few weeks ago I was reading a devotional magazine, and the focal verse was Hebrews That struck me as a good passage for a biblical sermon warning against coming judgment.

I was out of the country on a mission trip and it became a sermon while I was preaching there in a crusade. As for other comments above, I often use quotes from others as illustrations. Somewhere in this thread the comment was made that when you quote people and give them credit, you come across as being more prepared and intelligent. We Protestants are so focused on the sermon, we have forgotten that worship is about the whole service, not the sermon! The sermon is a part of an entire event focused on directing our attention to God, and glorifying him.

The Protestant Reformation came at a time when most people could neither read nor write, and most could not afford to purchase a Bible — reading scripture and explaining it was essential for transmitting the Gospel. This is part of the reason public education became important to most Protestant denominations, BTW.

Today, neither of these is the case, and most people can find meaningful explanations of the Bible online, in the comfort of their room of choice. So why preach? If we see the sermon as a part of a larger goal, the worship of God, then the sermon becomes less the reason people should attend. People should attend to worship, not simply to listen to us preach. To think of my sermon too highly is hubris. Jeff Courter, Amen! Regarding your seminary experience, I once heard a sermon by Chuck Swindoll that was both so convicting and so inspiring that I thought, if I were pastoring right now, I would simply share the video with my congregation, and preface it by saying that I was so touched by this teaching that I want you to experience it too.

Great article but what advice you would give to a young bivocational pastor with a young family and only hours to build a sermon? Especially when there are those resources available from life. Further, I would say that often in my reading other sermons or resources they spark an idea or answer a question about a text I am studying which, while spurred by my reading, is my own thought or my own way of describing the point.

The Holy Spirit can work that way. But the problem is when you cut and paste a sermon, or parts of it and present it as your own where it gets muddy. I remember a time I told a guest speaker how impacted I was by a point he made and that I would be preaching it again. He said, the first time give me credit and after that it is yours, but always remember it ultimately came from God. One last thing I would offer is that I use Logos Bible software.

It is expensive up front I have been building my digital library for 14 years but it helps me cut so much time in studying as it helps me get right to the point and gives me many differing perspectives on a text all in one place. Hopefully your church could purchase it for you if you personally do not have the budget. God bless you in your endeavors my friend! Hey Carey, this is excellent and very timely. Just give credit where it is due. We need to increase our time with God and in preparation to increase our effectiveness.

I add my own take on it, share how it impacted my walk with Christ. I would never just peach a whole sermon mimiking another. I think using quotes is fine, but plagiarism is just not okay. When we quote the Bible, we should always reference the chapter and verse. It would frighten me to think that anyone might have enough trust in me to just take it for granted. I always carry bibles to share, so that those who hunger can find truth in those pages. He again and again emphasizes that his copy right policy is the right to copy.

His passion to get the message out far exceeds any need to get the credit. I used to be a High School teacher. We do not expect high school teachers to write their own books every day for lesson plans, however we do expect that they will put their own spin on it, in a good way. I bought a copy of it. When I was a you, the youth minister taught us to take sermon notes. I kept weekly notes in that church from until I moved away from home in From then I kept notes until I became a pastor in Now I have my own notes Anyway, going back to the book.

There was a particular illustration that my pastor had used from the pulpit. He was telling a third person story about a little boy who skipped school one day. Years later while in seminary, I was the youth minister. Not the author of the book. As I began to pay more attention, he was ripping off other pastors virtually every sermon.

He would get a newsletter from a church. Copy the outline of the sermon in his own handwriting and then give it to the church secretary to type. Then he would preach it on Sunday as his own.

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He could have saved a lot of time and effort if he had just taken the newsletter to the pulpit. I simply do not agree with this post. We have used a video series of yours to train our people in leadership. I read sermons and listen to sermons frequently. When I quote Sources I do foot note these in my sermon notes. Sometimes I do preach other individuals sermons. I add and subtract and make changes but I definitely use other peoples ideas.

I like what Dr. Adrian Rogers said many years ago about this, if the bullet fits your gun, use it. Pastors have many things to accomplish every week and most of us speak 2 to 3 times a week. It is hard to be original every week. This is an awesome article and I agree with it all but as a young bivocational pastor I have a question. Many friends of mine who are full time pastors have encouraged me to get inspiration from other messages, saying that I should prayerfully listen and read the manuscripts etc.

In fact the likes of Craig Groeschel even encourage it. Do you think that it is acceptable for a bivocational pastor to lean more heavily on other pastors messages given their context? Not sure I agree with all the points made. It is true, some of have so many other responsibilities other than preaching. When I listen to other sermons, I am always in sermon mode to gather ideas and the best way to express thoughts.

For me, if there is a good sermon that has touched my life, I want to share that same idea. I will rework the words and outline to make it me, then preach it! I called Oak Hills and they gladly shared much of the media with me to use. I guess, if you are using the sermons word for word, you are just memorizing a script, and that would be plagiarism! But if you take the text, idea, and work through all the thoughts as you allow the Holy Spirit to lead, not sure how that is wrong! Anyway, we all are individuals and have to be honest before the Lord and our church board…thanks for the thought provoking article!

Well spoken Carey. I would caution that if a preacher does not start in the Word, he will not finish in the Word. Holy Spirit inspiration comes through the Word not the words of other people. We should never go online first seeking inspiration! Surf away after the sermon is mostly finished seeking a better way to say things, or great applications, but resist the temptation to start online.

Having had my own work plagiarized, I am sensitive to this issue. Occasionally I go back to one of MY old sermons and use the bones of that, but almost never go back to that sermon entirely, because the context is different. Yes, I almost always preach from text on an I-Pad, but the I-Pad seemed to free me up in a strange way from text on paper.

I am challenged by this. If I had to write all the content that I need in a given year between preaching with students, leading events, and preaching on Sunday throughout the year, I would never be able to do of the other ministry work I need to do. I use so many sermons from other pastors and great preachers more like commentaries.

I trust that guys like Andy Stanley, Steven Furtick, Levi Lusko, and yourself are far smarter than I am and have done countless more hours of research than I can do.