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Sometimes we cheat...

Sometimes we cheat. We'll be reading a book, getting lost in the story, getting attached to the characters, worrying about what will happen to them, when it occurs to us that their future is in our hands -- literally. We can flip ahead a few pages or go right to the final chapter and know the future now. We have that power. We can know who makes it. We can know who did it. We can know who ends up together and who are separated forever. We do not, however, hold our own future in our hands. We can't flip ahead and know all the answers, but we do know what's on the last page. Jesus lives.
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Proper 14 | OT 19 | Pent 9
26 – Sermons
180+ – Illustrations / Stories
33 – Children's Sermons / Resources
21 – Worship Resources
24 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Proper 15 | OT 20 | Pent 10
28 – Sermons
180+ – Illustrations / Stories
30 – Children's Sermons / Resources
22 – Worship Resources
24 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Proper 16 | OT 21 | Pent 11
27 – Sermons
180+ – Illustrations / Stories
31 – Children's Sermons / Resources
23 – Worship Resources
33 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Plus thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)

New & Featured This Week


John Jamison
Hello, everyone! (Let them respond.) I have a question for you today. Are you ready to hear it? (Let them respond.) Great! Here we go! Has anyone ever said something to you that didn’t make sense to you? (Let them respond.) After they said it, were you pretty confused about what they meant? (Let them respond.) Yes, I think that happens to all of us. But let me ask this: did Jesus ever say something that didn’t make sense to you or that was just really confusing and hard to understand? (Let them respond.) Well, that has happened to me.

The Immediate Word

Christopher Keating
Quantisha Mason-Doll
Thomas Willadsen
Mary Austin
George Reed
Dean Feldmeyer
For August 14, 2022:
  • Holy Heart Burn by Chris Keating. Jesus’ declaration that he comes to bring division and not peace is a harsh reminder of the kingdom’s disruption of our lives and world.
  • Wild Growth by Quantisha Mason-Doll. Based on Isaiah 5:1-7.
  • Sermon illustrations by Mary Austin, Tom Willadsen.

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Mark Ellingsen
Isaiah 5:1-7, Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19
Charles Paul Conn wrote, in his book Make It Happen, about a church that lost her purpose. The story went something like this.

A preacher was in Atlanta, several years ago, and noticed in the restaurants section of the yellow pages, a place called Church of God Grill. The unusual name aroused his curiosity, so he dialed the number. A man answered with a cheery, “Hello! Church of God Grill!”
Mark J. Molldrem
Note: This installment was originally published in 2007.

"But he's for family values!"

My parishioner could not believe that I didn't like the radio talk show. So what if the host's politics were reprehensible, his theology simplistic, and his biblical interpretation uncritical? The only thing that counted was family values!


Peter Andrew Smith
Abbie walked through the door, threw her coat on the chair and crashed onto the couch. She grabbed for the remote and flipped through the channels on the television. Nothing caught her eye, so she turned it off. She picked up her phone and checked her message and social media. Nothing new. She tossed her phone on the table and slumped back.

“Why is this happening to me?” she muttered.

Linda yelled from the other room. “You back from work?”

“Yeah. I’m starving. Is there any of that pizza left?

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Tracey was afraid. They were all playing Truth or Dare, and Tracey didn't know which was worst. The dares were becoming more and more scary, and Tracey didn't want to be part of them. On the other hand, she was terrified of being required to reveal her innermost secrets, for she knew perfectly well all the others would laugh themselves silly.

"Your go, Tracey," announced James. "Truth or dare?"

Tracey hesitated. "Oh come on, Tracey!" cried the others. "What, you scared or something?"


Rick McCracken-Bennett
I have to admit, this is not the Jesus I'm comfortable with. All this talk about bringing fire to the earth and that he can't wait until it's set ablaze. What kind of talk is that? Then there is the part about how households will become divided because of him. For goodness' sake, that's exactly opposite from the kind of community we're trying to build here.
Chrysanne Timm
This summer I decided to take up some simple vegetable gardening. I knew it would happen someday. It's in my blood. My dad has planted and tended summer gardens of various sizes my whole life. For several years, our family's garden filled the whole half acre second lot behind our home. We had strawberries, melons, tomatoes, sweet corn, lettuce, onions, cucumbers, zucchini, acorn squash, and even pumpkins.
Kirk R. Webster
In his colorful commentary on Hebrews, Thomas Long paints a picture of the historical setting surrounding this anonymous New Testament book.

Special Occasion

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