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David O. Bales

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David Bales was a Presbyterian pastor for 33 years. He is a graduate of San Francisco Theological Seminary. In addition to his ministry he also has taught college: World Religions, Ethics, Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Greek (lately at College of Idaho, Caldwell). He has been a freelance writer for Stephen Ministries. His sermons and articles have appeared in Interpretation, Lectionary Homiletics, Preaching the Great Texts and other publications. For a year he wrote the online column "In The Original: Insights from Greek and Hebrew for the Lectionary Passages." His books include: Gospel Subplots: Story Sermons of God's Grace, Toward Easter and Beyond, Scenes of Glory: Subplots of God's Long Story, and To the Cross and Beyond and Beyond: Cycle A Sermons for Lent and Easter. Dave has been a writer for the CSS online subscription, StoryShare, for five years. He can be reached at dobales.com.

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Illustration

StoryShare

Everything is Possible with God -- 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16, Luke 1:26-38, Luke 1:46b-55 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Fourth Sunday of Advent - B -- 2020
Contents “Everything is Possible with God” by Peter Andrew Smith
Second Chance -- John 21:1-19, Revelation 5:11-14 -- David O. Bales -- Third Sunday of Easter - C -- 2019
Contents "Second Chance" by David O. Bales
The Spirit's Guidance -- John 16:12-15, Romans 5:1-5 -- David O. Bales -- Trinity Sunday | 1st Sunday after Pentecost - C -- 2019
Contents “The Spirit’s Guidance” by David O. Bales
Further Visions To Follow -- John 1:43-51, 1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20), 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 -- David O. Bales, John Fitzgerald -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - B -- 2018
Contents "Further Visions To Follow" by David O. Bales
Visiting Asaph -- Mark 9:2-9, 2 Kings 2:1-12, Psalm 50:1-6 -- David O. Bales, Keith Hewitt -- Transfiguration Sunday - B -- 2018
Contents "Visiting Asaph" by David O. Bales
The Way To God -- Matthew 5:13-20, Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12), 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16), Psalm 112:1-9 (10) -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Epiphany 5 | Ordinary Time 5 - A -- 2011
Contents"The Way to God" by Peter Andrew Smith
New Beginnings For A New Year -- Matthew 25:31-46, Ecclesiastes 3:1-13, Revelation 21:1-6a, Psalm 8 -- David O. Bales, Terry Cain, Wayne Brouwer, John E. Sumwalt -- New Year's Day - A -- 2006
Contents What's Up This Week

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Further Visions To Follow -- John 1:43-51, 1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20), 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 -- David O. Bales, John Fitzgerald -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - B -- 2018
Contents "Further Visions To Follow" by David O. Bales

Emphasis Preaching Journal

2 Samuel 11:1-15 -- John 6:1-21, Ephesians 3:14-21, 2 Samuel 11:1-15 -- David O. Bales, Dennis A. Becker, Mary S. Lautensleger, Timothy Smith, Leah Thompson, Carlos Wilton -- Proper 12 | Ordinary Time 17 - B -- 2009
2 Samuel 11:1-15
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 17 | OT 22 (2009) -- Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23, James 1:17-27, Song of Solomon 2:8-13 -- David O. Bales, Dennis A. Becker, Mary S. Lautensleger, Timothy Smith, Leah Thompson, Carlos Wilton -- Proper 17 | Ordinary Time 22 - B -- 2009
1 Kings 8:(1, 6, 10-11) 22-30, 41-43
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 15 | OT 20 (2009) -- John 6:51-58, Ephesians 5:15-20, 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14 -- David O. Bales, Dennis A. Becker, Mary S. Lautensleger, Timothy Smith, Leah Thompson, Carlos Wilton -- Proper 15 | Ordinary Time 20 - B -- 2009
1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 16 | OT 21 (2009) -- John 6:56-69, Ephesians 6:10-20, 1 Kings 8:(1, 6, 10-11) 22-30, 41-43 -- Leah Thompson, Carlos Wilton, David O. Bales, Dennis A. Becker, Mary S. Lautensleger, Timothy Smith -- Proper 16 | Ordinary Time 21 - B -- 2009
1 Kings 8:(1, 6, 10-11) 22-30, 41-43
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 14 | OT 19 (2009) -- John 6:35, 41-51, 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33, Ephesians 4:25--5:2 -- Leah Thompson, Carlos Wilton, David O. Bales, Dennis A. Becker, Mary S. Lautensleger, Timothy Smith -- Proper 14 | Ordinary Time 19 - B -- 2009
2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 12 | OT 17 (2009) -- John 6:24-35, Ephesians 4:1-16, 2 Samuel 11:26--12:13a -- Mary S. Lautensleger, Leah Thompson, Carlos Wilton, David O. Bales, Dennis A. Becker, Timothy Smith -- Proper 13 | Ordinary Time 18 - B -- 2009
2 Samuel 11:26--12:13a

Sermon

SermonStudio

The Right Reason -- Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 -- David O. Bales -- Ash Wednesday - A -- 2010
Two mornings a week I drive from Ontario, Oregon, to Caldwell, Idaho, to teach at College of Idaho.
Jesus Tempted in Us -- Matthew 4:1-11 -- David O. Bales -- First Sunday in Lent - A -- 2010
It's good to be here with you.
Nicodemus: A Young Old Man -- John 3:1-17 -- David O. Bales -- Second Sunday in Lent - A -- 2010
Sermon Note: This story sermon is best read with a "special" voice reserved for the scripture
The Bridge at Sychar -- John 4:5-42 -- David O. Bales -- Third Sunday in Lent - A -- 2010
A great deal of the Bible is quite understandable by itself.
Seeing Jesus -- John 9:1-41 -- David O. Bales -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - A -- 2010
Josiah Harlan was the first American to enter Afghanistan.
Where Is Jesus? -- John 11:1-45 -- David O. Bales -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - A -- 2010
For the last few years our family has visited The Dalles, Oregon, for Memorial Day to be with my wif
Remembering Jesus -- Matthew 26:14--27:66 -- David O. Bales -- Passion Sunday - A -- 2010
The novel The Ugly American is based upon facts of how Americans related to people in Southea
Suffered under (Saint) Pontius Pilate -- John 18:1--19:42 -- David O. Bales -- Good Friday - A -- 2010
Christians Sunday by Sunday announce our collective memory of Pontius Pilate: "Suffered under Pontiu
Putting the World Back Together -- John 20:1-18 -- David O. Bales -- Easter Day - A -- 2010
It's too soon after the murder to mention the names of the people involved; so, the following names
He's Back -- John 20:19-31 -- David O. Bales -- Second Sunday of Easter - A -- 2010
Most Christians know about the Holy Spirit's power granted one morning in Jerusalem seven weeks afte
On the Road with Jesus -- Luke 24:13-35 -- David O. Bales -- Third Sunday of Easter - A -- 2010
Larry McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Lonesome Dove is about a cattle drive from Texa
The Door of the Cross -- John 10:1-10 -- David O. Bales -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2010
Last summer my wife and I enjoyed visiting our friends Dick and Mary in Montana.
Praying in Jesus' Name -- John 14:1-14 -- David O. Bales -- Fifth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2010
It's good to be with you in worship. I appreciate the invitation to preach.
Duuuh! -- John 14:15-21 -- David O. Bales -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2010
If you've been around the Christian faith for a while, you've noticed how people pick what they like
He Ascended into Heaven -- Luke 24:44-53 -- David O. Bales -- Ascension of the Lord - A -- 2010
After John Glenn was the first American astronaut to orbit the earth, he met with the Soviet astrona
Jesus' Prayer: The Pause in the Battle -- John 17:1-11 -- David O. Bales -- Seventh Sunday of Easter - A -- 2010
In 1936, near the beginning of the Spanish Civil War one horrible center of fighting was the Alcázar
Looking Down on God -- John 13:1-17, 31b-35 -- David O. Bales -- Maundy Thursday - A -- 2010
One of the most interesting accounts of a creative and surprising story was of a father and his thre
In The Balance -- Romans 5:12-19 -- David O. Bales -- First Sunday in Lent - A -- 2007
"He started it." You've probably heard that from the backseat or from a distant bedroom.
For Example -- Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 -- David O. Bales -- Second Sunday in Lent - A -- 2007
If you're going to study a subject or learn a profession, a good strategy is to investigate one of t
Spiritual Judo -- Romans 5:1-11 -- David O. Bales -- Third Sunday in Lent - A -- 2007
Back in the old days, meaning before Computer Assisted Design (CAD), blueprints for a house were dra
Lighting Up Lent -- Ephesians 5:8-14 -- David O. Bales -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - A -- 2007
Can you recall a significant event that changed many things about you: maybe a natural disaster like
Spiritual Resuscitation -- Romans 8:6-11 -- David O. Bales -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - A -- 2007
One spring when I was about ten, I was home alone after school.

Free Access

The Bridge at Sychar -- John 4:5-42 -- David O. Bales -- Third Sunday in Lent - A -- 2010
A great deal of the Bible is quite understandable by itself.
Remembering Jesus -- Matthew 26:14--27:66 -- David O. Bales -- Passion Sunday - A -- 2010
The novel The Ugly American is based upon facts of how Americans related to people in Southea
Duuuh! -- John 14:15-21 -- David O. Bales -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2010
If you've been around the Christian faith for a while, you've noticed how people pick what they like

Stories

StoryShare

Where Have All The Churches Gone? -- Lamentations 1:1-6, 2 Timothy 1:1-14, Luke 17:5-10 -- John S. Smylie, David O. Bales -- Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 - C -- 2022
ContentsWhat's Up This Week
Follow The Star -- Isaiah 43:1-7, Acts 8:14-17, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22, Psalm 29 -- David E. Leininger, David O. Bales, Terry Cain, Rick McCracken-Bennett, Frank R. Fisher -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - C -- 2022
Note: This installment was originally published in 2007.Contents
X Games -- Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Joshua 5:9-12, Psalm 32 -- John S. Smylie, David O. Bales -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - C -- 2022
Note: This installment was originally posted in 2007.Contents
Justice and Grace -- Mark 10:2-16, Genesis 2:18-24, Psalm 8 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 - B -- 2021
Contents“Justice and Grace” by Peter Andrew Smith
Full-Throated Joy? -- Job 42:1-6, 10-17, Jeremiah 31:7-9, Psalm 126 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Proper 25 | Ordinary Time 30 - B -- 2021
Contents“Full-Throated Joy?” by David O. Bales
Giving Everything -- Mark 12:38-44, 1 Kings 17:8-16, Psalm 146 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Proper 27 | Ordinary Time 32 - B -- 2021
Contents“Giving Everything” by Peter Andrew Smith
Where Is The Church? -- Luke 21:25-36, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, Jeremiah 33:14-16, Psalm 25:1-10 -- Terry Cain, David O. Bales -- First Sunday of Advent - C -- 2021
Note: This was originally published in 2006.Contents
The Feast Awaits -- Joel 2:21-27, 1 Timothy 2:1-7, Matthew 6:25-33 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Thanksgiving Day - B -- 2021
Contents“The Feast Awaits” by Peter Andrew Smith
Cave Arrest -- Revelation 21:1-6a, Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- New Year's Day - B -- 2021
Contents “Cave Arrest” by David O. Bales
Receiving Grace -- Mark 1:4-11, Genesis 1:1-5, Psalm 29 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - B -- 2021
Contents “Receiving Grace” by Peter Andrew Smith
Something New In Old Capernaum -- Mark 1:21-28, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, Psalm 111 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Epiphany 4 | Ordinary Time 4 - B -- 2021
Contents“Something New In Old Capernaum” by David O. Bales
The Faith of Giving -- Joel 2:1-2, 12-17, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21, Psalm 51:1-17 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Ash Wednesday - B -- 2021
Contents“The Faith of Giving” by Peter Andrew Smith
Forty Years Later -- 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, Exodus 20:1-17, John 2:13-22 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Third Sunday in Lent - B -- 2021
Contents“Forty Years Later” by David O. Bales
Mindful of Christ -- Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11, Psalm 31:9-16 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Passion Sunday - B -- 2021
Contents“Mindful of Christ” by Peter Andrew Smith
Despite Unreliable Witnesses -- Acts 10:34-43, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Mark 16:1-8 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Easter Day - B -- 2021
Contents“Despite Unreliable Witnesses” by David O. Bales
Trusting in God -- Acts 4:5-12, 1 John 3:16-24, Psalm 23 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Contents“Trusting in God” by Peter Andrew Smith
Not the Hour or the Day -- Acts 1:1-11, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:44-53 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Ascension of the Lord - B -- 2021
Contents“Not the Hour or the Day” by Peter Andrew Smith
One King Dead, Another King Eternal -- Isaiah 6:1-8, Romans 8:12-17, Psalm 29 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Trinity Sunday | 1st Sunday after Pentecost - B -- 2021
Contents“One King Dead, Another King Eternal” by David O. Bales
A David and Goliath Story -- 1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49, 2 Corinthians 6:1-13, Mark 4:35-41 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Proper 7 | Ordinary Time 12 - B -- 2021
Contents “A David and Goliath Story” by Peter Andrew Smith
Through Michal's Two Windows -- Ephesians 1:3-14, 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19, Psalm 24 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Proper 10 | Ordinary Time 15 - B -- 2021
Contents“Through Michal’s Two Windows” by David O. Bales
Seeing Your Sin -- 2 Samuel 11-26--12:13a, Ephesians 4:1-16, John 6:24-35 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Proper 13 | Ordinary Time 18 - B -- 2021
Contents“Seeing Your Sin” by Peter Andrew Smith
Longing For The Smallest Hint Of God’s Presence -- 1 Kings 8:(1, 6, 10-11) 22-30, 41-43, Ephesians 6:10-20, Psalm 84 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Proper 16 | Ordinary Time 21 - B -- 2021
Contents“Longing For The Smallest Hint of God” by David O. Bales
Understanding Jesus -- Proverbs 1:20-33, James 3:1-12, Mark 8:27-38 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Proper 19 | Ordinary Time 24 - B -- 2021
Contents “Understanding Jesus” by David O. Bales

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Understanding Jesus -- Proverbs 1:20-33, James 3:1-12, Mark 8:27-38 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Proper 19 | Ordinary Time 24 - B -- 2021
Contents “Understanding Jesus” by David O. Bales
Justice and Grace -- Mark 10:2-16, Genesis 2:18-24, Psalm 8 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 - B -- 2021
Contents“Justice and Grace” by Peter Andrew Smith
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New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
Katy Stenta
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
George Reed
Quantisha Mason-Doll
For October 2, 2022:

CSSPlus

John Jamison
Object: A printed copy of the job description that is included with this week’s message. (Download here.)

* * *

Hello, everyone! (Let them respond.) I have another story for you today. Are you ready? (Let them respond.) Great!

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Coffin
All of today’s texts address times along the faith journey where a mature faith is helpful. Modern examples include a church which has just completed a major building project. The ribbon cutting celebration is in the past. It is time to make payments to the creditors. Also, there are maintenance and upkeep costs along with knowing the state will be making inspection visits to assure building safety standards remain current.
Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Mark Ellingsen
Lamentations 1:1-6; 3:19-26
John Calvin well describes the distress and doubt which this lesson depicts:

...for there is nothing more difficult for men than to preserve their minds in a state of peace and tranquility, undisturbed by any disquieting fears, whilst they are in this world, which is subject to many changes. (Calvin’s Commentaries, Vol.V/1, p. 18)

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Alice loved ballet. She'd been given a ballet video for her birthday, and she spent hours watching it. When she'd been attending ballet classes for three weeks, she announced to the assembled family that she was going to be a ballet dancer when she grew up.

Alice's mother and father exchanged meaningful glances. "Ballet means a lot of hard work," warned her father.

StoryShare

John S. Smylie
David O. Bales
Contents
What's Up This Week
"Where Have All the Churches Gone?" by John Smylie
"Caught Not Taught" by John Smylie
"Oh, Mulberries!" by David Bales

Note: This installment was originally published in 2007.

* * * * * * * * *


Where Have All the Churches Gone?
By John Smylie
Lamentations 1:1-6

SermonStudio

David E. Leininger
A couple of years ago, a fascinating book by Mitch Albom hit the bestseller lists, Tuesdays with Morrie. The author had learned that his old teacher was slowly dying of Lou Gehrig's disease, and after an absence of many years, the two reconnected and began to get together every Tuesday. The book shares some of the great lessons that emerged from those weekly conversations. For example:

"Okay, question," I say to Morrie. His bony fingers hold his glasses across his chest, which rises and falls with each labored breath.

"What's the question?" he says.
Carlos Wilton
The little-known book of Lamentations was likely composed in the ashes of Jerusalem, following the Babylonian invasion which carried the leaders of the Jewish community off into exile. It speaks to the concerns of the Jerusalem community for their long-term survival under occupation by a foreign power. While the book's title sounds grim, and its setting is dark, the book is fundamentally life-affirming. It is a testimony to the steadfast love of God that may be discovered through renewed faith, even in troubled times.

Dallas A. Brauninger
1. Text

The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" [6] The Lord replied, "If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.
John W. Clarke
In most congregational settings, the name Habakkuk does not bring people to their feet. He is not considered famous biblically speaking, like the more recognized names of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others. In point of fact, most people do not know who Habakkuk is or what he did.

Habakkuk was a prophet who undertook to sustain the faith of the nation through one of the most hopeless periods of Hebrew history.
Robert R. Kopp
The Dead Poets Society is one of my favorite movies.

It's about an English teacher named John Keating who returns to his stodgy old alma mater named Welton Academy -- the students call it "Hellton" -- and challenges students to live extraordinary lives.

Mr. Keating tells a few students about a secret organization called The Dead Poets Society.

"The Dead Poets Society," he reveals with eyes aglow, "was a society dedicated to sucking the marrow out of life. That phrase is by Thoreau and was invoked at every meeting."

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