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The Immediate Word
Beth Herrinton-Hodge

Faith in the Face of Loss

Genesis 22:1-14; Psalm 13

Philando Castile, Otto Warmbier, Nabra Hassanen, Charleena Lyles -- four names... four humans whose lives were lost. We speak these four names, along with the names of countless others in our communities who have lost their lives to violence. These killings, this loss of life, stand in stark contrast to the spared life of Isaac in our Genesis text. 
     What do we say to parents who have lost their children to senseless killing? What do we say to the children who have lost fathers, siblings, friends? The son of Abraham was spared. God provided a surrogate for the sacrifice.
     What surrogate stood in for Philando, for Nabra, for Otto, for Charleena? Why weren’t these humans spared?
     Psalm 13 gives us words of lament: “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?... How long must I bear pain in my soul?” Yet like Abraham, the psalmist trusts in God’s steadfast love. Life involves hurt and hope, pain and praise, threat and trust.
     We speak their names. We mourn their deaths. We hold on to hope while praying for help. See more...
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SermonStudio

When The Tank Runs Low

Wally Gaines was a pastor in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was a great storyteller, and he told a lot of stories about his grandmother. Wally's family was poor and when times were especially difficult Wally's grandmother would say, "When the tank starts running low, then pull the plug and let it all out." That didn't make a lot of sense to Wally as a child. One day, years later, Wally was visiting his grandmother in the nursing home. He remembered this old expression and asked her to explain it. Here's what she said: "When times are bad and the tank runs low, that's when we pull the plug and let it all out. Then, what was left in the tank will water those things of God, and God will take oil from on high and refill it."
     Wally's grandmother was a woman of faith and courage. She understood something very important. In her expression she was saying: when we are down....
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David Coffin

Serving what god?

How does one preach in the middle of the summer and vacation time, when God is possibly the last thing on people’s minds? Unless there is a summer weather disaster or tragic shooting incident at a populated tourist attraction, the whole topic of God, life, and death matters all seem distant if not morbid....
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StoryShare

Frank Ramirez

Prophets for Peace

Jeremiah 28:5-9
The prophet Jeremiah may have been a little skeptical when he spoke these words about a prophet who prophesies peace, for as he said earlier in the passage, the default setting for prophesy involves war, famine, and pestilence. Nevertheless, he suggests that if the words of the peace prophets come true then the Lord has truly sent them....
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The Village Shepherd

Janice Scott

Boris In The Forest

We usually fail to welcome people not because we want to be unkind, but because we don't know what to say or how to approach them. But our failure can be so hurtful that those new people never come again. This is a story about Boris, who although appearing to other animals as belligerent and aggressive, was actually very unsure of himself....
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CSSPlus (Children's Sermon Service...Plus

Arley K. Fadness

Welcome!

Object: large distinctive cup
I am so happy to see you today. (Presenter cites an example or two why he/she is happy.)
How are you? (children respond) Isn't it a great feeling to be loved and welcomed?
When Jesus was sending his disciples out to their mission, he told them,“Whoever welcomes you, welcomes me.” Jesus knew....
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Gospel Grams 1 (Ages 5-7)

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Gospel Grams 2 (Ages 8-10)

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