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New Testament Scholar N.T. Wright tells...

Illustration
New Testament Scholar N.T. Wright tells of learning to prune roses. He learned how when he was quite young. He came to realize that a rose bush on its own eventually would become straggly, tangled, and produce only mediocre roses. He became expert in pruning the roses so that they would grow in the right direction and to the right end. Pruning helped the rose bushes preserve their energy and become more productive. In other words, he learned to prune the roses to help them become their true selves.

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Epiphany 5 (OT 5)
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New & Featured This Week

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John Jamison
After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

The Immediate Word

Katy Stenta
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
George Reed
Bethany Peerbolte
Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
For January 24, 2021:

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Wayne Brouwer
Recently, British researchers discovered that 42 percent of the church-goers in that country fall asleep during the sermon. The numbers may be astounding, but the habit is as old as Eutychus’s fatal nap in Acts 20.

Even the great eighteenth-century evangelist John Wesley noticed that a number of people in his congregation were fast asleep. Without a warning, he suddenly broke his train of homiletic thought, and yelled out at the top of his voice, “FIRE! FIRE!”
Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Mark Ellingsen
Frank Ramirez
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
On New Year’s Day, 1929, Georgia Tech played University of California in the Rose Bowl. In that game a man named Roy Riegels recovered a fumble for California, but became confused, however, and ran 65 yards in the wrong direction. One of his teammates outran him and tackled him at their own one-yard line. Cal attempted to punt on the next play, but Tech blocked the kick and scored a safety.

StoryShare

John E. Sumwalt
Frank Ramirez
Contents
“Yes, God Speaks to Us Directly” by John Sumwalt
“Not Getting Any Credit” by Frank Ramirez


Yes, God Speaks to Us Directly
by John Sumwalt
Psalm 62:5-12

On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.” (v. 7)

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott

One of the interesting features about this story of the calling of the first disciples, is that they all immediately left everything to follow Jesus. It was as though they instinctively knew where they would find life with a capital L.

Donovan Duckling is instinctively tied to his mother's apron strings. When the time is right, will he have a strong enough desire to cut those ties?...

SermonStudio

Constance Berg
The prophet Jonah was commanded by God to go to Nineveh; Joel Fil‡rtiga was inspired to go to Paraguay. Jonah knew the journey and its destination would not be kind; Paraguay has not been kind to Joel Fil‡rtiga. Jonah obeyed God's call and went to Nineveh, even though he knew he it would be difficult; Joel Fil‡rtiga obeyed God's call and went to Paraguay, and his life would never be the same.
Richard E. Gribble, CSC
Once upon a time, a diamond was born. He was nothing striking, but rather rough, like the rest of his family. He lived in the darkness and was very content to do just that. As a young diamond he heard tales of how some of his ancestors had left the darkness to a place of light, but that didn't concern him. One day he began to hear noise in the distance, and it came progressively closer. It was the sound of machinery with men talking and often yelling over the roar of the equipment. As time progressed, an opening was made in the cave where he lived.
James R. Wilson
Call To Worship
Leader: Let the redeemed of the Lord gather this day for worship!
People: We were once condemned by our sins and now we know the mercy of God.
Leader: God sent the prophets to call us back into God's will.
People: And God is true and faithful to all who hear and obey the Holy Word.
Leader: Let us proclaim the righteousness of the Lord for all the world to hear!
All: Blessed be the name of the Lord!

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