Thursday, March 8, 2012

The rich really do steal candy from babies (and other illustrations from the web)

Here are four interesting reads from the last week.

  1. Apparently the old saying is true, the rich really are more likely to steal candy from babies. The Huffington Post reports on a study published by the National Academy of Sciences that shows the wealthy are more likely to engage in unethical behavior than the poor including, yes, taking candy from babies.
  2. It's an undeniable truth that many college students leave the faith during their early twenties. Is higher education the cause? Experts weigh in a USA Today article. The resounding answer is that the true problem is to be found in a "lack of 'a robust faith,' strongly committed parents and an essential church connection." 
  3. What do high profile apologies have to teach us about our own acts of contrition? Chuck Warnock explores the possibilities in his blogpost "Why Rush Limbaugh's apology fails" over at Confessions of a Small Church Pastor
  4. Many preachers also serve as supervisors of employees. A tongue-in-cheek article from the WashingtonPost explores the best ways for a supervisor to "completely, utterly destroy an employee's work life."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Thomas Long - The God We Get

The God We Get from First Presbyterian Church on Vimeo.

Dr. Long preached this sermon at First Presbyterian Church of Naples, FL on March 21, 2010. It's a different take on the Parable of the Talents. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Six questions for preachers to ask themselves during Lent

We're already a few weeks into Lent, the 40 day season of preparation before Easter. I've been pondering what Lent means for me as a preacher. I don't mean for my preaching, but rather, for me as a person who also preaches. What do the themes of humility, temptation, confession, repentance, forgiveness, suffering and crucifixion have to teach me as a preacher? If I'm honest, more than I probably care to learn.
  • Humility: Which is more essential to your understanding of self your preaching or your relationship with Jesus?
  • Temptation: Which bothers you more, the presence of sin in your life or preaching a bad sermon?
  • Confession: When was the last time you were 100% honest with another person about the sin in your life?
  • Repentance: What is a practical step you could take to turn towards Christ in your day to day life? What is keeping you from taking that step?
  • Forgiveness: When was the last time you were a recipient of the proclamation of God's forgiveness and not simply the one who made the proclamation? 
  • Suffering/Crucifixion: In light of the fact that you proclaim the gospel of the One who was crucified, how do you define a successful sermon, a successful ministry, a successful career as a minister?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Preaching familiar texts.

As Easter approaches, we are confronted once more with the challenge of preaching from familiar texts. Matt Skinner, in an interview with, reminds us that these texts aren't familiar to everyone and that even the most familiar text, when given room to speak, can give a fresh word for today.

find more Preaching Moments at

Quote of the week: The proper response to biblical preaching

"The proper response to biblical preaching does not lie in pronouncing the pastor a skilled communicator but rather in determining whether God has spoken and whether or not He will be trusted and obeyed."

- Haddon Robinson, Making a Difference in Preaching, 71.