Archive for the ‘preaching’ category

Twinkle,Twinkle Little Star.Philippians.2:12-18.(v.15)

September 26, 2011

Philippians.2:15b.Among whom you shine as lights in the world.

A wealthy man was asked,what is the greatest experience of your life? He had a lear jet airplane that he could fly anywhere in the world. He had many experiences as one of the wealthiest men in the world would have.But he said,the most exciting experience I have is sitting with my wife,holding her hand on the front porch of our house at night and watching the show.He meant of course,that there is a great delight in watching what God puts on in the spectacular universe.David declared in Psalm.8:3-4,When I consider the heavens,the work of thy fingers,the moon and the stars,which thou hast put in place;what is man,that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man,that thou visitest him?

The King of the universe as we look into the sky each evening is the sun because the sun speaks of power,greatness and might.But the sun to us is only great and powerful because the sun is so close to us.Many of the stars many times larger than the sun are only smaller because they are so great distances from the earth.The sun is not all that far away from the earth.They tell us it is about ninety three million miles from the earth to the sun.

There are some stars in God’s universe that are so large that they could not pass between the distance of the sun and the earth.They are more than 93 million miles in diameter or across.

When God put this show together,he put it on a great stage and it is a magnificant show. If you could catch a ride on a ray of light that travels 186,000 miles per second,you could travel from the earth to the moon in a second and a half.Now, you would be dizzy when you got there,but nevertheless it would be a fast ride.But if you were riding that same ray of light at the same rate of speed it would take you four hours to get to Mars…because Mars is that much further out in God’s great universe.

There are some stars so far away that travelling at that same rate of speed…if you were to travel 150 years you would still not be there.God is some kind of God isn’t he?No wonder the wealthy man said,  “The most exciting experience that I  have is sitting on the front porch with my wife,holding her hand and looking at the mighty show.”

With our imagination working, I want us too see the stars.(v.15) Paul said, you are like stars.You shine in this universe like the stars of the heavens.

People are like the stars of the heavens.Some shine brightly, some shine dimly.Some twinkle and flicker for a little bit and then they go out.Some are exciting for awhile and then like a shooting star they fall out of the sky.

People are like stars (v.15). You are like the lumanaries of the firmament.God has put you in this darkened world to shine as stars.When God puts us in the world to bear a witness, He doesn’t want us to be Super Stars.He just wants us to be stars; He just wants us to do our thing; just to perform as he has created us and recreated us by regeneration.

The Pastor You’ve Been Looking For.

May 31, 2011

“THE IDEAL PASTOR.”

The ideal pastor is difficult to find. But if your church is fortunate, you may be able to secure his services. Since he is the ideal pastor, it won’t cost very much – he lives by faith. Yet he can be counted upon to tithe heavily and still be able to afford a large house in which he will regularly entertain the entire congregation.

He loves the older folks of the church, visiting them regularly. Besides this, he spends all of his time with the young people. The glow on his face reveals his secret. He’s spent many hours on his knees before God. However, he’s always available to anyone who drops by for a friendly chat. What’s a half-hour out of his schedule since he only works on Sunday anyway.

The ideal pastor loves to disciple new converts and gives full-time attention to calling on the elderly, ill, and shut-in. He has a model family, is always in the church office when you call and is busy at the hospital, just looking for a soul to comfort. He would never miss a church function, and attends every function sponsored by the ministerial association. In addition, he meets all his neighbors and civic leaders within the community and wins their hearts too.

The ideal pastor has a worldwide ministry through television, radio, tapes, and books and he travels extensively preaching the Word. He still has time, however, to listen to everyone’s problems and wants to be updated on the progress of your bunions and backaches.

The ideal pastor is only 29 and has been preaching 30 years. He preaches sermons that win the hearts of the lost and inspire the minds of the mature. He produces miracles like Smith Wigglesworth, teaches faith like Kenneth Hagin, evangelizes like Billy Graham, has the eloquence of Spurgeon and the fervor of Moody. Yet he is so profoundly simple that even preschoolers are blessed. Teenagers take notes on his sermons.

The ideal pastor comprehends the complexity of church finances, has mastery of the church budget, and never talks about money. He is a strong believer in holiness and church discipline and never speaks a stern word to anyone.

The ideal pastor is easily spotted. Just look for the man dressed in the latest style suit and color coordinated outfit. He found it at the bottom of the missionary barrel, but knows how important it is to impress well-to-do newcomers with clothes that say “success” and “achievement.”

The ideal pastor is tall, short, lean, and husky, with brown hair and blond hair. He has a deep, resonant voice which, because it is quietly loud, pleases everyone and is audible to the hard of hearing. He can sing, lead music, and delegates authority to everyone. Besides this, he helps each layman and does all the things other people are too busy to do. In short, he keeps the entire church and each family running smoothly.

You are probably sure by now that you don’t have the ideal pastor. Take heart! You can easily re-shape your present pastor. He should listen to what you say, after all, he is God’s servant.

On the other hand, if you happen to have the ideal pastor, just wait a little while and you won’t. He’ll be confined to a room at the hospital.

There is an alternative: love the pastor you do have and pray for him. You prayed, God answered, and now you have him – at least until he finds the ideal church full of ideal church members.

John Steinbeck and the Church.From–Travels with Charley.

October 19, 2009

In Steinbeck’s book,”Travels with Charley.”In search of America,he shares an experience he had in visiting a local church in Vermont. Sunday morning,in a Vermont town,my last day in New England,I shaved,dressed in a suit,polished my shoes,whited my sepulcher,and looked for a church to attend.Several I eliminated for reasons I do not now remember,but on seeing a John Knox church I drove into a side street and parked Rocinanate out of sight,gave Charley his instructions about watching the truck,and took my way with dignity to a church of blindingly white ship lap.I took my seat in the rear of the spotless,polished place of worship.The prayers were to the point,directing the attention of the Almighty to certain weaknesses and undivine tendencies I know to be mine and could only suppose were shared by others gathered there.

The service did my heart and I hope my soul some good.It had been a long time since I had heard such an approach.It is our practice now,at least in the larg cities,to find from our psychiatric priesthood that our sins aren’t really sins at all but accidents that are set in motion by forces beyond our control.There was no such nonsense in this church.The minister,a man of iron with tool steel eyes and a delivery like a pneumatic drill,opened up with prayer and reassured us that we were a pretty sorry lot.And he was right.We didn’t amount to much to start with,and due to our own tawdry efforts we had been slipping ever since.

Then ,having softened us up,he went into a glorious sermon,a fire-and- brimestone sermon.Having proved that we,or perhaps only I,were no damn good,he painted with cool certainty what was likely to happen to us if we didn’t make some basic reorganizations for which he didn’t hold out much hope.He spoke of hell as an expert,not that mush-mush hell of these soft days,but a well stoked-white-hot hell served by technicians of the first order.

This reverend brought it to a point where we could understand it,a good hard coal fire,plenty of draft,and a squad of open hearth devils who put their hearts into their work,and their work was me.I began to feel good all over.For some years now God has been a pal to us,practicing togetherness, and that causes the same emptiness a father does playing softball with his son.But this Vermont God cared enoug about me to go to a lot of trouble kicking the hell out of me.He put my sins in a new perspective.Whereas they had been small and mean and nasty and best forgotten,this minister gave them some size and bloom and dignity.I hadn’t been thinking very well of myself for some years,but if my sins had this dimension there was some pride left.I wasn’t a naughty child but a first rate sinner,and I was going to catch it.

I felt so revived in spirit that I put five dollars in the plate,and afterward,in front of the church,shook hands warmly with the minister and as many of the congregation as I could.

All across the country I went to church on Sundays,a different denomination every week,but nowhere did I find the quality of that Vermont preacher.He forged a religion designed to last,not predigested obsolescence.

Help him,Jesus!Help him,Jesus!

June 2, 2009

A faithful listener in church writes to preachers:

I always feel sorry for a preacher who is floundering’on his feet.Everybody does.There they are,talking along through a snoring sea of nodding narcoleptics,knowing they’e not cutting the mustard.Furthermore,they know we know.It’s like watching the crash and burn of an airliner in slow motion.You know where it’s all going to end and you can’t do a thing to stop it.Preachers have to fail so publicly.

I was at an Africian American service the other day when a poor monotone European-American was boring us out of our gourds.One hefty brother,toward the back of the service,kept saying,”Help him,Jesus!Help him,Jesus!”Jesus didn’t.I don’t know why Jesus didn’t help him.We all would have if we could.

Still I’ve seen it happen a lot of times.You think when they’re up there preaching God’s word,He’d help ‘um out of the mess that they sometimes get themselves in.Everybody would appreciate it.But God just kind of watches a poor sermon go up in smoke,shaking his head like the rest of us.

I’ve always wondered why,when a preacher knows he’s not doing it,why he just doesn’t bless everybody and send them off to the cafeterias early.A surgeon will stop her surgey when she knows her patient has died on the operating table. A boxer will leave the ring once the fight is over and the arena is empty.A cowboy will dismount when he knows for sure his horse is dead.Only preachers keep on preaching after they’ve run out of sermon.Darndest thing,they just won’t quit.In all my years of church–going,I’ve never heard a soul criticize preachers for preaching short sermons,only vice–versa.Anyway,if I were you,I’d quit preaching just before we quit listening.If not,don’t expect God to come down and deliver you.He won’t do it.You’ll be up there failing all by yourself with everybody lookin’ on.If you do it very often,maybe you should get another job.

———Your Audience.

From,The Empowered Communicator,by Calvin Miller(page 188)

Retirement:Finally Brethren,Farewell.

February 6, 2009

This Easter Sunday will be my last sunday as Pastor of Calvary Baptist church.I am retiring.Actually,I retired at age 59 four years ago.This time it is final.I can say with the Apostle Paul,”Finally Brethren farewell.”

I will certainly miss preaching every sunday.For 39 years I have preached almost every sunday.However,preaching is what I do,it is not who I am.

Too many pastors are ”addicted”to preaching.If we are not content unless we are preaching..we are ”addicted” to preaching and all addictions are sinful.Too often I have heard pastors say,”I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t preach.”That may sound spiritual,but in my humble,but correct opinion ,it is a shallow and prideful statement.

Several years ago,I completely lost my voice.During that time I spent a lot of time talking and more importantly..listening to God.One morning while walking before day light I was seeking to know what the Lord was teaching me.He spoke to my heart in a very real way and seemed to say,”I don’t need your voice.I got along fine before you were born.It is not your voice(preaching)that I want.I want you.”I was humbled,thrilled and relieved and sensed the love of God as I had never felt before.

So,in retirement,I pray that God will open doors of opportunities to preach.But if he doesen’t that is fine with me.Preaching is what I do..it is not who I am.

Finally Brethren,Farewell.

Bill Poore,Retired.