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John T. Ball

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A Time To Quit Asking Questions -- Micah 6:1-8 -- John T. Ball -- Epiphany 4 | Ordinary Time 4 - A -- 2004
We Christians should be very careful about putting a limit on serious questions concerning human and
The Healing Power Of Doing Good -- Isaiah 58:3-9a (9b-12) -- John T. Ball -- Epiphany 5 | Ordinary Time 5 - A -- 2004
When pastors retire they have a chance to check out some of the Sunday morning religious television
What God Will Not Do For Us -- Deuteronomy 30:15-20 -- John T. Ball -- Epiphany 6 | Ordinary Time 6 - A -- 2004
The book of Deuteronomy revises the traditions of God's people after they left the desert and settle
Three Cheers For Leviticus -- Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18 -- John T. Ball -- Epiphany 7 | Ordinary Time 7 - A -- 2004
A once--popular book, The Varieties Of New Testament Religion, by E. F.
God's Tattoos -- Isaiah 49:8-16a -- John T. Ball -- Epiphany 8 | Ordinary Time 8 - A -- 2004
Have you noticed that tattoos are in?
Salvation - Worldly, Corporate, And Dynamic -- Isaiah 9:1-4 -- John T. Ball -- Epiphany 3 | Ordinary Time 3 - A -- 2004
All religions offer salvation.
Getting More Of God Than We Really Want -- Exodus 24:15-18 -- John T. Ball -- Transfiguration Sunday - A -- 2004
There is an old story about a Sunday school teacher who asked a young girl in her class why her litt
A Worldly Salvation -- Isaiah 63:7-9 -- John T. Ball -- First Sunday after Christmas Day - A -- 2004
In the early 1960s, John A. T.
I'll Be Home For Christmas -- Jeremiah 31:7-14 -- John T. Ball -- Second Sunday after Christmas - A -- 2004
In 1943, during World War II, a new song appeared, "I'll Be Home For Christmas." The lyrics and the
The Truth Of Christmas -- Isaiah 9:2-7 -- John T. Ball -- The Nativity of our Lord - A -- 2004
The early Christians were good at using the Hebrew Scriptures when confessing the meaning of Jesus a


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Easter 6
30 – Sermons
110+ – Illustrations / Stories
26 – Children's Sermons / Resources
20 – Worship Resources
25 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
25 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
22 – Children's Sermons / Resources
18 – Worship Resources
23 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
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Easter 7
30 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
27 – Children's Sermons / Resources
25 – Worship Resources
27 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
29 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
27 – Children's Sermons / Resources
28 – Worship Resources
32 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Trinity Sunday
27 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
29 – Children's Sermons / Resources
29 – Worship Resources
30 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
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New & Featured This Week


John Jamison
“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.” (vv. 26-27)

The Immediate Word

Mary Austin
Katy Stenta
Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
Bethany Peerbolte
George Reed
Christopher Keating
For May 23, 2021:
  • Are We There Yet? by Mary Austin — God’s people never get good at waiting. Our Christian calendar has two whole seasons dedicated to preparation, aka waiting, and we never quite mange to do it gracefully.

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Mark Ellingsen
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Acts 2:1-21
A focus on the Holy Spirit in the lesson is nicely explained in a sermon by Martin Luther. He proclaims that “the Holy Spirit, the real teacher, comes and gives power to the word so that it takes hold” (Weimar Ausgabe, Vol.17 II, p.460 [translation mine]).  Elsewhere he adds:
Wayne Brouwer
Schuyler Rhodes
Note: This installment was originally published in 2009.

An ancient Jewish writing declares, "Pentecost is the day on which Torah was given." According to the teaching, it was on the day that eventually became the feast of Pentecost that God gave birth to the Hebrew nation by speaking the divine covenant to them at Mount Sinai.

As the book of Acts makes clear, Pentecost was also the day on which the New Testament church was born. Just as God spoke through Moses to bring the nation of


John E. Sumwalt
Frank Ramirez
“The Billy Graham Test” by John Sumwalt
“Correctly Hearing Each Other” by Frank Ramirez

The Billy Graham Test
by John Sumwalt
Romans 8:22-27

And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (v. 26)

The Village Shepherd

Call to Worship:

On this, the birthday of the Christian Church, let us welcome God's Holy Spirit into our hearts and into the heart of our Church.

Invitation to Confession:

Holy Spirit, sometimes our hearts are cold or luke-warm.
Lord, have mercy.

Holy Spirit, sometimes we fail to believe that you still have power in human lives.
Christ, have mercy.


Richard A. Jensen
Over at last. That's the only thought she could think about just now. Over at last. The funeral finished. The committal service completed. She was home now and weary; bone weary. Her husband, Carl, was safely tucked into the grave. How had she ever endured the year of his agony?
Schuyler Rhodes
In Christian tradition, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit as a partner on the journey (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7), an advocate who will accompany us on our journey toward faithfulness. We hear the Pentecost story and delight in the dancing tongues of fire as they descend and create something new in their wake.
Michael D. Wuchter
Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.

William J. Carl, III
What a way to start a church! It's certainly not the typical format for new church development. Where is the planning committee, the fund-raising, the arm twisting, the real estate deal acquiring the land, the faithful few who volunteer from other churches to give the whole thing its initial push? Not everyone has the personality to start a church from scratch, but Paul did. "I planted, Apollos watered," says Paul (1 Corinthians 3:6). Some preachers are just good at planting churches and getting them started.

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