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John T. Ball

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Advent: The Call To Holiness -- 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 -- John T. Ball -- First Sunday of Advent - C -- 2006
Anytime we center on First Thessalonians in our devotional reading or in a study group or read a pas
Advent: A Wider Context -- Philippians 1:3-11 -- John T. Ball -- Second Sunday of Advent - C -- 2006
The congregation at the Macedonian city of Philippi was the first church established by Paul in Euro
Advent: Jesus, The Suffering Savior -- Hebrews 10:5-10 -- John T. Ball -- Fourth Sunday of Advent - C -- 2006
This is our final Sunday in Advent.
Christmas Eve/Day In A Minor Key -- Titus 2:11-14 -- John T. Ball -- The Nativity of our Lord - C -- 2006
One of the best things in the modern church is the creation of our Common Lectionary.
Our Christmas Gift -- Colossians 3:12-17 -- John T. Ball -- First Sunday after Christmas Day - C -- 2006
Since the 1600s, in a historical period called the "Enlightenment," scholars have been studying the
Two For The Price Of One -- Ephesians 3:1-12 -- John T. Ball -- Epiphany of the Lord - C -- 2006
Today is an important day in the life of the world and the life of the church.
Getting The Complete Understanding Experience -- Acts 8:14-17 -- John T. Ball -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - C -- 2006
Many times we settle for lives and experiences that are limited and incomplete.
You Can't Whistle The Finale From Beethoven's Fifth Symphony! -- 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 -- John T. Ball -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - C -- 2006
Halford Luccock, onetime professor of homiletics at Yale Divinity School, told of going to a childre
Who's Going To Play Second Horn? -- 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a -- John T. Ball -- Epiphany 3 | Ordinary Time 3 - C -- 2006
I know someone who achieved a modest excellence in playing the French horn in his high school days.
When They Are Gathered At The Chancel -- 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 -- John T. Ball -- Epiphany 4 | Ordinary Time 4 - C -- 2006
We have all witnessed this scene: the bride and groom are standing at the altar of the church surrou
The Good News Of Christ -- 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 -- John T. Ball -- Epiphany 5 | Ordinary Time 5 - C -- 2006
Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news....
You Can't Undo Appomattox -- So Let's Get On With It! -- 1 Corinthians 15:12-20 -- John T. Ball -- Epiphany 6 | Ordinary Time 6 - C -- 2006
There are some things that once begun, cannot be undone.
When Arlington National Cemetery Is Full -- 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50 -- John T. Ball -- Epiphany 7 | Ordinary Time 7 - C -- 2006
The honored dead from our fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq have created a problem for Arlington Nati
When Truth Comes Via An Invalid Argument -- 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 -- John T. Ball -- Epiphany 8 | Ordinary Time 8 - C -- 2006
Sometimes truth comes to us by way of an invalid argument or perspective.
We're On Our Way, Baby -- 2 Corinthians 3:12--4:3 -- John T. Ball -- Transfiguration Sunday - C -- 2006
Today is the Sunday when we celebrate the Transfiguration of Jesus, a moment in his ministry when up
Advent: An Irrational Sense Of Peace -- Philippians 4:4-7 -- John T. Ball -- Third Sunday of Advent - C -- 2006
We are always touched by newspaper or media stories of people who have come through some terrible ex
Love -- The Only Absolute Commandment -- 1 John 4:7-21 -- John T. Ball -- Fifth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2005
Love is central to the New Testament message. Jesus called his followers to practice love.
The Word Behind The Text -- John 6:1-21 -- John T. Ball -- Proper 12 | Ordinary Time 17 - B -- 2005
Entering her office, the Reverend Ashley Baker-Campbell noticed her secretary was paging her: "Sally
Finding Jesus -- John 6:24-35 -- John T. Ball -- Proper 13 | Ordinary Time 18 - B -- 2005
Martin Hanford is the author of several popular children's books featuring "Waldo," a dapper little
Resisting Jesus -- John 6:51-58 -- John T. Ball -- Proper 15 | Ordinary Time 20 - B -- 2005
Sometimes people have difficulty understanding Jesus, or say they do.
The Unsuccessful Jesus -- John 6:56-69 -- John T. Ball -- Proper 16 | Ordinary Time 21 - B -- 2005
John 6:56-69 is a great passage from John's Gospel.
Time For A Minimalist Faith -- Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 -- John T. Ball -- Proper 17 | Ordinary Time 22 - B -- 2005
Some years ago, a San Francisco author who often worked as a stevedore on the city's docks, wrote,
Generosity As The Clue To Life -- Mark 8:27-38 -- John T. Ball -- Proper 19 | Ordinary Time 24 - B -- 2005
All the great founders of our religious traditions offer secrets to the good life.
An Inclusive Faith -- Mark 9:38-50 -- John T. Ball -- Proper 21 | Ordinary Time 26 - B -- 2005
In 1948, the World Council of Churches was formed in the war-torn rubble of Amsterdam.
Pay Attention To The Context -- Mark 10:2-16 -- John T. Ball -- Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 - B -- 2005
A lot of confusion could be eliminated by paying attention to the context of our theological and eth

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Reading Past The Semicolon -- John 1:29-42, 1 Corinthians 1:1-9, Isaiah 49:1-7, Psalm 40:1-11 -- C. David Mckirachan, John T. Ball -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - A -- 2008
Contents What's Up This Week "Reading Past the Semicolon" by John Ball
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30 – Children's Sermons / Resources
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Proper 22 | OT 27 | Pent 17
24 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
31 – Children's Sermons / Resources
18 – Worship Resources
27 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Proper 23 | OT 28 | Pent 18
26 – Sermons
150+ – Illustrations / Stories
33 – Children's Sermons / Resources
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30 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
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Plus thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
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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:

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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.

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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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