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Richard L. Sheffield

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Preaching

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Why Sheep? -- John 10:1-10 (Luke 16:19-31) -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2007
Why sheep?
Fairy Tale Or God's Word? -- Matthew 7:21-29 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Proper 4 | Ordinary Time 9 - A -- 2007
When we ordain elders and deacons and ministers in the Presbyterian church we ask a number of questi
Listen To Yourself -- Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Proper 10 | Ordinary Time 15 - A -- 2007
Sometimes the best way to start reading your Bible is with the footnotes.
How Many Times? -- Matthew 18:21-35 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Proper 19 | Ordinary Time 24 - A -- 2007
I received a piece of mail not too long ago that brought a rather disconcerting message.
Did You Hear What Jesus Said? -- Matthew 21:33-46 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 - A -- 2007
Did you hear what Jesus said?
Explanations Or Truth? -- Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Proper 11 | Ordinary Time 16 - A -- 2007
So, what's that all about?
More Than Fair! -- Matthew 20:1-16 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - A -- 2007
I ran across a website a while back that said something that we all know, intuitively: "A roll of th
Think! -- Matthew 21:23-32 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Proper 21 | Ordinary Time 26 - A -- 2007
So, what do you think?
Salt And Light -- Matthew 5:13-20 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Epiphany 5 | Ordinary Time 5 - A -- 2007
Sometimes I think preachers would do best by getting out of Jesus' way.
Storytelling -- Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Proper 12 | Ordinary Time 17 - A -- 2007
Jesus loved to tell stories. Much of his teaching was in the form of stories we call parables.
Party Time -- Matthew 22:1-14 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Proper 23 | Ordinary Time 28 - A -- 2007
What kind of story was that? The one Jesus told about the wedding reception?
Faith Like Fanny's -- Matthew 25:14-30 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Proper 28 | Ordinary Time 33 - A -- 2007
I have a little book titled, You Are What You Believe in my library.
Narrow Love? -- Matthew 25:31-46 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Christ The King (Proper 29) - A -- 2007
Okay -- I confess.
What We Have Left Undone -- Matthew 25:1-13 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Proper 27 | Ordinary Time 32 - A -- 2007
There is a mistake in my Bible. Actually, I found two mistakes in the gospel reading this week.

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Think! -- Matthew 21:23-32 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Proper 21 | Ordinary Time 26 - A -- 2007
So, what do you think?
Why Sheep? -- John 10:1-10 (Luke 16:19-31) -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2007
Why sheep?

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He Ascended Into Heaven -- Luke 24:44-53 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Ascension of the Lord - A -- 1998
I want to take the text seriously this morning.
Lent To Life -- Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Ash Wednesday - A -- 1998
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent.
The Lord Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed! He Really Is! -- John 20:1-18 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Easter Day - A -- 1998
The Lord is risen!He is risen indeed!The Lord is risen!
The Last Beatitude -- John 20:19-31 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Second Sunday of Easter - A -- 1998
What the disciples of Jesus reported to their fellow disciple Thomas they had seen seemed unbelievab
People Die! -- Luke 24:13-35 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Third Sunday of Easter - A -- 1998
"People die.
Why Sheep? -- John 10:1-10 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - A -- 1998
Why sheep?
This Is Certain -- John 14:1-14 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Fifth Sunday of Easter - A -- 1998
Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled.
I Will Not Leave You Alone -- John 14:15-21 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - A -- 1998
There's an old saying about the way you get people to hear what you're saying, that goes something l
What Jesus Prayed For -- John 17:1-11 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Seventh Sunday of Easter - A -- 1998
What do you pray for? Maybe the question should be: "Do you pray?!"
Where, In This Hell, Is The Holy? -- John 18:1--19:42 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Good Friday - A -- 1998
I am convinced that few of us are really convinced that this Good Friday really leads to the first d
Lint -- Matthew 4:1-11 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- First Sunday in Lent - A -- 1998
The topic this morning was not a misprint in the newspaper nor in your bulletin.
The Stealth Disciple -- John 3:1-17 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Second Sunday in Lent - A -- 1998
In the "Science & Technology," section of a recent issue of Business Week magazine, there was an
Water, Water, Everywhere -- John 4:5-42 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Third Sunday in Lent - A -- 1998
Reading the Gospel lesson this week a snatch of poetry I learned somewhere along the way kept runnin
Blind Driveways -- John 9:1-41 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - A -- 1998
King George VI, addressing his subjects at the beginning of a new year, said in his annual message:
Upon Those In The Tombs Bestowing Life -- John 11:1-45 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - A -- 1998
In the Orthodox Church, Easter worship includes the singing of a hymn that goes:
Go Love! -- John 13:1-17, 31b-35 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Maundy Thursday - A -- 1998
Where Is God When I Need Him? -- Matthew 26:14--27:66 -- Richard L. Sheffield -- Passion Sunday - A -- 1998
"Truly, this man was God's Son!" (Matthew 27:54 NRSV).
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At the beginning of his masterpiece, Paradise Lost, John Milton articulates a part of his task in writing as to “justify the ways of God to men.”1 That may be an ongoing task for us. Fallen humanity is like a perpetual adolescent, always questioning and challenging (and disobeying) the parent. And so there is a continual need for the ways of God to be explained and justified to human beings.
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None of us are thieves. And so the commandment forbidding stealing does not condemn us! Oh, but it does if you have ever tried to cut a smart business deal, suckered someone to get them to buy your product, or failed to help those in need. Jonathan Edwards explained it this way in his exposition of dishonesty and theft:

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There once was a report in "The Sunday Times" about the claims of Francis Crick to have located "the cells of our soul." Fifty years ago, Francis Crick and James Watson won a Nobel prize for their discovery of the DNA double helix, which has been responsible for huge leaps forward in health care and criminal detection.

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It was a new church for Sam. It was his grandmother's church, and because Sam loved his grandmother, he sat on the edge of the pew and tried hard to listen. "Are you saved?" the preacher asked from the pulpit far away. Sam remembered when he had saved pennies for a new plant for Mother on Mother's Day. "Maybe Mother saved pennies for me," Sam thought. The preacher continued, "Will you give your heart to Jesus?" Sam wondered where his heart was. But if Jesus needed Sam's heart he would be glad to give it.
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In this season of Lent, we are Sunday by Sunday approaching the foot of that executioner's cross on Golgotha. And I think that sometimes we wonder why it is necessary for us to make that journey. After all, it does not have a pleasant destination. To be sure, human beings often have a morbid curiosity about disasters. We flock to the site of an auto wreck, thereby holding up the traffic with our rubber--necking. Winston Churchill told of the time when a woman remarked on the crowd that had gathered to hear him speak.
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There are some people who have the gift of persuasion. If you've ever seen the Music Man, it's a gift that Professor Hill had as he sold musical instruments to all the kids in town by convincing everyone that they could make beautiful music by just thinking the notes. He was what you'd call a smooth talker, which is a valuable skill for a salesperson. There are also other professions where it helps to have strong verbal skills that can be used for persuasion. Take politicians, for example. Bill Clinton was known as a smooth talker.
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Jesus in the temple -- oh, didn't he show those money-changers who were desecrating the temple grounds with their money-grubbing business? Not to mention the mess that all the livestock were making! Out! Out! Out! He cleared them all out, those traders in things that didn't belong in God's house. And he had every right to do it, we tend to think. Serves them right, despoiling sacred space with their commerce -- profiting off of the desire of the faithful to do something pleasing to God. Exploitation. Good riddance!

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