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David O. Bales

David Bales was a Presbyterian pastor for 33 years. He is a graduate of San Francisco Theological Seminary. In addition to his ministry he also has taught college: World Religions, Ethics, Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Greek (lately at College of Idaho, Caldwell). He has been a freelance writer for Stephen Ministries. His sermons and articles have appeared in Interpretation, Lectionary Homiletics, Preaching the Great Texts and other publications. For a year he wrote the online column "In The Original: Insights from Greek and Hebrew for the Lectionary Passages." His books include: Gospel Subplots: Story Sermons of God's Grace, Toward Easter and Beyond, Scenes of Glory: Subplots of God's Long Story, and To the Cross and Beyond and Beyond: Cycle A Sermons for Lent and Easter. Dave has been a writer for the CSS online subscription, StoryShare, for five years. He can be reached at dobales.com.

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Illustration

StoryShare

Everything is Possible with God -- 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16, Luke 1:26-38, Luke 1:46b-55 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Fourth Sunday of Advent - B -- 2020
Contents “Everything is Possible with God” by Peter Andrew Smith
Second Chance -- John 21:1-19, Revelation 5:11-14 -- David O. Bales -- Third Sunday of Easter - C -- 2019
Contents "Second Chance" by David O. Bales
The Spirit's Guidance -- John 16:12-15, Romans 5:1-5 -- David O. Bales -- Trinity Sunday | 1st Sunday after Pentecost - C -- 2019
Contents “The Spirit’s Guidance” by David O. Bales
Further Visions To Follow -- John 1:43-51, 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20), 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 -- David O. Bales, John Fitzgerald -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - B -- 2018
Contents "Further Visions To Follow" by David O. Bales
Visiting Asaph -- Mark 9:2-9, 2 Kings 2:1-12, Psalm 50:1-6 -- David O. Bales, Keith Hewitt -- Transfiguration Sunday - B -- 2018
Contents "Visiting Asaph" by David O. Bales
The Way To God -- Matthew 5:13-20, Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12), 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16), Psalm 112:1-9 (10) -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Epiphany 5 | Ordinary Time 5 - A -- 2011
Contents"The Way to God" by Peter Andrew Smith
New Beginnings For A New Year -- Matthew 25:31-46, Ecclesiastes 3:1-13, Revelation 21:1-6a, Psalm 8 -- David O. Bales, Terry Cain, Wayne Brouwer, John E. Sumwalt -- New Year's Day - A -- 2006
Contents What's Up This Week

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Further Visions To Follow -- John 1:43-51, 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20), 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 -- David O. Bales, John Fitzgerald -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - B -- 2018
Contents "Further Visions To Follow" by David O. Bales

Emphasis Preaching Journal

2 Samuel 11:1-15 -- John 6:1-21, Ephesians 3:14-21, 2 Samuel 11:1-15 -- David O. Bales, Dennis A. Becker, Mary S. Lautensleger, Timothy Smith, Leah Thompson, Carlos Wilton -- Proper 12 | Ordinary Time 17 - B -- 2009
2 Samuel 11:1-15
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 17 | OT 22 (2009) -- Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23, James 1:17-27, Song of Solomon 2:8-13 -- David O. Bales, Dennis A. Becker, Mary S. Lautensleger, Timothy Smith, Leah Thompson, Carlos Wilton -- Proper 17 | Ordinary Time 22 - B -- 2009
1 Kings 8:(1, 6, 10-11) 22-30, 41-43
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 15 | OT 20 (2009) -- John 6:51-58, Ephesians 5:15-20, 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14 -- David O. Bales, Dennis A. Becker, Mary S. Lautensleger, Timothy Smith, Leah Thompson, Carlos Wilton -- Proper 15 | Ordinary Time 20 - B -- 2009
1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 16 | OT 21 (2009) -- John 6:56-69, Ephesians 6:10-20, 1 Kings 8:(1, 6, 10-11) 22-30, 41-43 -- Leah Thompson, Carlos Wilton, David O. Bales, Dennis A. Becker, Mary S. Lautensleger, Timothy Smith -- Proper 16 | Ordinary Time 21 - B -- 2009
1 Kings 8:(1, 6, 10-11) 22-30, 41-43
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 14 | OT 19 (2009) -- John 6:35, 41-51, 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33, Ephesians 4:25--5:2 -- Leah Thompson, Carlos Wilton, David O. Bales, Dennis A. Becker, Mary S. Lautensleger, Timothy Smith -- Proper 14 | Ordinary Time 19 - B -- 2009
2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 12 | OT 17 (2009) -- John 6:24-35, Ephesians 4:1-16, 2 Samuel 11:26--12:13a -- Mary S. Lautensleger, Leah Thompson, Carlos Wilton, David O. Bales, Dennis A. Becker, Timothy Smith -- Proper 13 | Ordinary Time 18 - B -- 2009
2 Samuel 11:26--12:13a

Sermon

SermonStudio

The Bridge at Sychar -- John 4:5-42 -- David O. Bales -- Third Sunday in Lent - A -- 2010
A great deal of the Bible is quite understandable by itself.
Seeing Jesus -- John 9:1-41 -- David O. Bales -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - A -- 2010
Josiah Harlan was the first American to enter Afghanistan.
Where Is Jesus? -- John 11:1-45 -- David O. Bales -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - A -- 2010
For the last few years our family has visited The Dalles, Oregon, for Memorial Day to be with my wif
Remembering Jesus -- Matthew 26:14--27:66 -- David O. Bales -- Passion Sunday - A -- 2010
The novel The Ugly American is based upon facts of how Americans related to people in Southea
Putting the World Back Together -- John 20:1-18 -- David O. Bales -- Easter Day - A -- 2010
It's too soon after the murder to mention the names of the people involved; so, the following names
He's Back -- John 20:19-31 -- David O. Bales -- Second Sunday of Easter - A -- 2010
Most Christians know about the Holy Spirit's power granted one morning in Jerusalem seven weeks afte
On the Road with Jesus -- Luke 24:13-35 -- David O. Bales -- Third Sunday of Easter - A -- 2010
Larry McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Lonesome Dove is about a cattle drive from Texa
The Door of the Cross -- John 10:1-10 -- David O. Bales -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2010
Last summer my wife and I enjoyed visiting our friends Dick and Mary in Montana.
Duuuh! -- John 14:15-21 -- David O. Bales -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2010
If you've been around the Christian faith for a while, you've noticed how people pick what they like
He Ascended into Heaven -- Luke 24:44-53 -- David O. Bales -- Ascension of the Lord - A -- 2010
After John Glenn was the first American astronaut to orbit the earth, he met with the Soviet astrona
Jesus' Prayer: The Pause in the Battle -- John 17:1-11 -- David O. Bales -- Seventh Sunday of Easter - A -- 2010
In 1936, near the beginning of the Spanish Civil War one horrible center of fighting was the Alcázar
Looking Down on God -- John 13:1-17, 31b-35 -- David O. Bales -- Maundy Thursday - A -- 2010
One of the most interesting accounts of a creative and surprising story was of a father and his thre
The Right Reason -- Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 -- David O. Bales -- Ash Wednesday - A -- 2010
Two mornings a week I drive from Ontario, Oregon, to Caldwell, Idaho, to teach at College of Idaho.
Nicodemus: A Young Old Man -- John 3:1-17 -- David O. Bales -- Second Sunday in Lent - A -- 2010
Sermon Note: This story sermon is best read with a "special" voice reserved for the scripture
Suffered under (Saint) Pontius Pilate -- John 18:1--19:42 -- David O. Bales -- Good Friday - A -- 2010
Christians Sunday by Sunday announce our collective memory of Pontius Pilate: "Suffered under Pontiu
Praying in Jesus' Name -- John 14:1-14 -- David O. Bales -- Fifth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2010
It's good to be with you in worship. I appreciate the invitation to preach.
Jesus Tempted in Us -- Matthew 4:1-11 -- David O. Bales -- First Sunday in Lent - A -- 2010
It's good to be here with you.
In The Balance -- Romans 5:12-19 -- David O. Bales -- First Sunday in Lent - A -- 2007
"He started it." You've probably heard that from the backseat or from a distant bedroom.
Surprises -- 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11 -- David O. Bales -- Seventh Sunday of Easter - A -- 2007
You hope for good surprises, but many of life's surprises are the bad kind.
For Example -- Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 -- David O. Bales -- Second Sunday in Lent - A -- 2007
If you're going to study a subject or learn a profession, a good strategy is to investigate one of t
Spiritual Judo -- Romans 5:1-11 -- David O. Bales -- Third Sunday in Lent - A -- 2007
Back in the old days, meaning before Computer Assisted Design (CAD), blueprints for a house were dra
Spiritual Resuscitation -- Romans 8:6-11 -- David O. Bales -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - A -- 2007
One spring when I was about ten, I was home alone after school.
Humility: We Know It When We See It -- Philippians 2:5-11 -- David O. Bales -- Passion Sunday - A -- 2007
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln won the Illinois Republican Presidential nomination in this way: Lincoln's

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The Bridge at Sychar -- John 4:5-42 -- David O. Bales -- Third Sunday in Lent - A -- 2010
A great deal of the Bible is quite understandable by itself.
Remembering Jesus -- Matthew 26:14--27:66 -- David O. Bales -- Passion Sunday - A -- 2010
The novel The Ugly American is based upon facts of how Americans related to people in Southea

Stories

StoryShare

Where Have All The Churches Gone? -- Lamentations 1:1-6, 2 Timothy 1:1-14, Luke 17:5-10 -- John S. Smylie, David O. Bales -- Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 - C -- 2022
ContentsWhat's Up This Week
Follow The Star -- Isaiah 43:1-7, Acts 8:14-17, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22, Psalm 29 -- David E. Leininger, David O. Bales, Terry Cain, Rick McCracken-Bennett, Frank R. Fisher -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - C -- 2022
Note: This installment was originally published in 2007.Contents
X Games -- Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Joshua 5:9-12, Psalm 32 -- John S. Smylie, David O. Bales -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - C -- 2022
Note: This installment was originally posted in 2007.Contents
Justice and Grace -- Mark 10:2-16, Genesis 2:18-24, Psalm 8 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 - B -- 2021
Contents“Justice and Grace” by Peter Andrew Smith
Full-Throated Joy? -- Job 42:1-6, 10-17, Jeremiah 31:7-9, Psalm 126 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Proper 25 | Ordinary Time 30 - B -- 2021
Contents“Full-Throated Joy?” by David O. Bales
Where Is The Church? -- Luke 21:25-36, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, Jeremiah 33:14-16, Psalm 25:1-10 -- Terry Cain, David O. Bales -- First Sunday of Advent - C -- 2021
Note: This was originally published in 2006.Contents
Giving Everything -- Mark 12:38-44, 1 Kings 17:8-16, Psalm 146 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Proper 27 | Ordinary Time 32 - B -- 2021
Contents“Giving Everything” by Peter Andrew Smith
The Feast Awaits -- Joel 2:21-27, 1 Timothy 2:1-7, Matthew 6:25-33 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Thanksgiving Day - B -- 2021
Contents“The Feast Awaits” by Peter Andrew Smith
Cave Arrest -- Revelation 21:1-6a, Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- New Year's Day - B -- 2021
Contents “Cave Arrest” by David O. Bales
Receiving Grace -- Mark 1:4-11, Genesis 1:1-5, Psalm 29 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - B -- 2021
Contents “Receiving Grace” by Peter Andrew Smith
Something New In Old Capernaum -- Mark 1:21-28, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, Psalm 111 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Epiphany 4 | Ordinary Time 4 - B -- 2021
Contents“Something New In Old Capernaum” by David O. Bales
The Faith of Giving -- Joel 2:1-2, 12-17, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21, Psalm 51:1-17 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Ash Wednesday - B -- 2021
Contents“The Faith of Giving” by Peter Andrew Smith
Forty Years Later -- 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, Exodus 20:1-17, John 2:13-22 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Third Sunday in Lent - B -- 2021
Contents“Forty Years Later” by David O. Bales
Mindful of Christ -- Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11, Psalm 31:9-16 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Passion Sunday - B -- 2021
Contents“Mindful of Christ” by Peter Andrew Smith
Despite Unreliable Witnesses -- Acts 10:34-43, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Mark 16:1-8 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Easter Day - B -- 2021
Contents“Despite Unreliable Witnesses” by David O. Bales
Trusting in God -- Acts 4:5-12, 1 John 3:16-24, Psalm 23 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Contents“Trusting in God” by Peter Andrew Smith
Not the Hour or the Day -- Acts 1:1-11, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:44-53 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Ascension of the Lord - B -- 2021
Contents“Not the Hour or the Day” by Peter Andrew Smith
One King Dead, Another King Eternal -- Isaiah 6:1-8, Romans 8:12-17, Psalm 29 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Trinity Sunday | 1st Sunday after Pentecost - B -- 2021
Contents“One King Dead, Another King Eternal” by David O. Bales
A David and Goliath Story -- 1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49, 2 Corinthians 6:1-13, Mark 4:35-41 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Proper 7 | Ordinary Time 12 - B -- 2021
Contents “A David and Goliath Story” by Peter Andrew Smith
Through Michal's Two Windows -- Ephesians 1:3-14, 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19, Psalm 24 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Proper 10 | Ordinary Time 15 - B -- 2021
Contents“Through Michal’s Two Windows” by David O. Bales
Seeing Your Sin -- 2 Samuel 11-26--12:13a, Ephesians 4:1-16, John 6:24-35 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Proper 13 | Ordinary Time 18 - B -- 2021
Contents“Seeing Your Sin” by Peter Andrew Smith
Longing For The Smallest Hint Of God’s Presence -- 1 Kings 8:(1, 6, 10-11) 22-30, 41-43, Ephesians 6:10-20, Psalm 84 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Proper 16 | Ordinary Time 21 - B -- 2021
Contents“Longing For The Smallest Hint of God” by David O. Bales
Understanding Jesus -- Proverbs 1:20-33, James 3:1-12, Mark 8:27-38 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Proper 19 | Ordinary Time 24 - B -- 2021
Contents “Understanding Jesus” by David O. Bales

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Understanding Jesus -- Proverbs 1:20-33, James 3:1-12, Mark 8:27-38 -- David O. Bales, Peter Andrew Smith -- Proper 19 | Ordinary Time 24 - B -- 2021
Contents “Understanding Jesus” by David O. Bales
Justice and Grace -- Mark 10:2-16, Genesis 2:18-24, Psalm 8 -- Peter Andrew Smith, David O. Bales -- Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 - B -- 2021
Contents“Justice and Grace” by Peter Andrew Smith
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New & Featured This Week

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Kalas
In the sometimes-tiresome debate over science and scripture with respect to creation, it’s easy to become distracted. While the argument typically requires a focus on the how, we may lose sight of the what. And so, for just a moment, let me invite us to think for a moment about what God created.
Mark Ellingsen
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Acts 8:26-40
As a local church pastor, I was often asked if I would baptize a child whose family were not members of the church. Some churches rebelled against this, but I remember this scripture -the hunger for understanding and inclusion of the Eunuch and Philp’s response – to teach and share and baptize in the name of our God. How could we turn anyone away from the rite of baptism?

StoryShare

Peter Andrew Smith
“Dad, I think you worked a miracle.” Rolf slowly walked around the tree. “After that windstorm, I assumed this tree was as good as gone.”

“We just needed to give the branches time to heal and come back,” Michael replied.

 “I know, but so many of them were battered and broken I figured that it couldn’t recover. Now though it looks just like it did before the storm.” Rolf paused. “Do you think it will bear any fruit this summer?”

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John Jamison
Object: A live plant that produces fruit, and a broken branch from that plant. I used a tomato plant from a local greenhouse. Ideally, find a plant with blossoms or small fruit already growing. If you use a different kind of fruit-producing plant, just change the script to fit.

* * *

Hello, everyone! (Let them respond.) Are you ready for our story today? (Let them respond.) Excellent!

The Immediate Word

Christopher Keating
Katy Stenta
Thomas Willadsen
Mary Austin
Elena Delhagen
Dean Feldmeyer
Quantisha Mason-Doll
For April 28, 2024:
  • On The Way To Gaza by Chris Keating based on Acts 8:26-40. On the way to Gaza, Philip discovers the startling ways the Spirit of God moves across borders, boundaries, customs, and traditions.
  • Second Thoughts: Abiding by Katy Stenta based on John 15:1-8.
  • Sermon illustrations by Mary Austin, Tom Willadsen, Elena Delhagen, Dean Feldmeyer.

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:

Jesus is the vine, we are the branches. In our service today, let us absorb from the vine all the nourishment we need.


Invitation to Confession:

Jesus, sometimes our branches become cut off from the vine.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes our branches are withered.
Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes we fail to produce good fruit.
Lord, have mercy.

SermonStudio

Stan Purdum
We will meet Psalm 22 in its entirety on Good Friday, but here the lectionary designates just verses 23-31. The lectionary psalms generally illuminate the week's First Lesson, which in this case is about the covenant initiated by God with Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 17. The nine verses from this psalm, while not inappropriate, nonetheless leave us looking for an obvious connection with the First Lesson.

John S. Smylie
I think some people are natural-born gardeners. Our Lord grew up in a society that was familiar with agriculture. The images that he used to explain the ways of his Father in heaven are familiar to his audience. Growing up, my closest experience to agriculture was living in, "the Garden State." Most people, when they pass through New Jersey, are surprised to see that expression on the license plates of vehicles registered in New Jersey. Most folks traveling through New Jersey experience the megalopolis, the corridor between New York City and Washington DC.
Ron Lavin
A pastor in Indiana went to visit an 87-year-old man named Ermil, who was a hospital patient. A member of his church told the pastor about this old man who was an acquaintance. "He's not a believer, but he is really in need," the church member said. "I met him at the county home for the elderly. He's a lonely old man with no family and no money."

Paul E. Robinson
"Love is a many splendored thing...." Or so we heard Don Cornwall and the Four Aces sing time and again. Of course you or I might have other words to describe love, depending on our situation.

Love. "I love you." "I love to play golf." "I just love pistachio lush!" "It's tough to love some people." "Jesus loves me, this I know."

Love.

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