2 Timothy 4: 6-18

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Resources from 2016 to 2020

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  • Proper 25C (2016)

    by John Frederick
  • Sermon Starters (Proper 24C)(2019)

    by Chelsey Harmon
    In Dear Gift of Life: A Man’s Encounter with Death, poet Bradford Smith wrote, “No one has reached maturity until he has learned to face the facts of his own death and shaped his own way of living accordingly.” I heard that Smith quote in a recording of a sermon on 2 Timothy 4.1-8 by David Watermulder at Princeton Seminary in 1972 entitled “What Death Does to Life.” Among many other memorable things, Watermulder preached, “If we can affirm death as a part of life; if it is something to anticipate rather than something to dread, something to complete rather than something to destroy; then life becomes different. For death does fantastic things to life. The person who doesn’t want to face it can turn into a frantic fool or into a bitter, resentful person. The person who can affirm it and who can embrace death as a part of life, is likely to live a life of victory and of triumph.” Both Watermulder and Smith capture Paul’s state of mind...
  • Proper 25C (2016)

    by Phil Heinze
  • Proper 25C (2016)

    by Scott Hoezee
  • Ordinary 30C (2019) and Week Following

    by Elaine Ireland
    Is the name John Stephen Akhwari familiar to you? You might not recognize the name but you may know his story, and it’s a good one to share with younger folks who haven’t heard it. Akhwari, a marathon runner from Tanzania, was competing in the 1968 Olympics. He had injured himself in a bad fall early on in the race, and was unaccustomed to the altitude in Mexico City where the Olympics were held that year. He came in last of all the runners who completed the race, lagging the leader by over an hour. He was jeered but then cheered by the small number of spectators who remained in the stadium. After he crossed the finish line, he was interviewed. When asked why he didn’t drop out of the race like some others had, he gave his now famous answer: "My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; they sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race." Runners know that to compete well, they must compete primarily with themselves. Many say they often came in last when they were first beginning to race, but they always finished. And they always kept the faith...
  • Proper 25C (2016)

    by Michael Jackson
    I love the finale of Les Misérables (the 2012 film version starring Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, of course). In that moving scene, Jean Valjean is sitting on his death chair and contemplating life’s end. I love how his life ends in a prayer that includes repentance (coming clean with Cosette and Marius regarding his “last confession…it’s the story of one who turned from hating, a man who only learned to love while you [Cosette] were in his keeping”), forgiveness (“forgive me all my trespasses”), and hope (“lead me to your glory”). When I show this clip to my students at Trevecca, I typically say, “Now that’s the way to die!”
  • Proper 25C (2016)

    by David Owen
  • Proper 25C (2016)

    by Fay Rowland
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  • Proper 25C (2019)

    by Teanna Sunberg
  • Three Secrets of a Life Well Lived

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    "I understand your church is looking for a pastor. I should like to submit my application. I am generally considered to be a good preacher. I have been a leader in most of the places I have served. I have also found time to do some writing on the side. I am over fifty years of age, and while my health is not the best, I still manage to get enough work done to please my congregation. As for a reference, I am somewhat handicapped. I have never served in any place more than three years, and the churches where I have preached have generally been pretty small, even though they were located in rather large cities. Some places I had to leave because my ministry caused riots and disturbances. When I stayed, I did not get along too well with other religious leaders in town which may influence the kind of references these places will send you. I have also been threatened several times and been physically attacked. Three or four times I have gone to jail for expressing my thoughts. You will need to know that there are some men who follow me around undermining my work. Still, I feel sure I can bring vitality to your church. If you can use me, I should be pleased to be considered."
  • It's a Worshipful Life

    by Carl Wilton
    The Methodist preacher, William Willimon, tells a story his father once told him, of the bizarre death of one of his colleagues. It happened in the place his dad worked: Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History.The Museum, at the time, had a reptile department that included a few live animals. The scientist who died was a herpetologist, a specialist in snakes.Death came to him late one night. The scientist was working alone,examining a live specimen that had just come into the museum. As he was handling the snake, it bit him.The man knew the snake was highly poisonous. He also knew there was no one in the building who could help him. Even if there had been someone around,this was a completely new species. There was, as yet, no anti-venom that could save his life.What the man did next — or, rather, what he didn’t do—demonstrated that he was a true scientist. He didn’t call for help. He didn’t go running from the building. He returned to his desk and started taking notes. Coolly, clinically, he recorded his observations of what was happening to him, minute by minute, until he lost consciousness.His colleagues found him the next morning, slumped over his desk, dead.But they also found his remarkable notebook. His detailed observations, combined with the medical results of his autopsy, helped others develop an anti-venom. The manner in which he chose to die — his self-sacrifice —saved the lives of others...

Resources from 2010 to 2015

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