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Forty Days And Forever

Sermon
Sermons On The First Readings
Series II, Cycle A
Here's a story that many church members have been telling for a while.

Two seminary professors entered a local fast-food restaurant loudly chanting, "For-ty days! For-ty days!" Then they were joined by three more. Then five more gathered at their table, all chanting, "For-ty days! For-ty days!" Soon, the uproar had disrupted the entire restaurant and the manager came over to ask the professors to keep the noise down.

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Proper 22 | OT 27 | Pent 17
24 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
31 – Children's Sermons / Resources
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27 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Proper 23 | OT 28 | Pent 18
26 – Sermons
150+ – Illustrations / Stories
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30 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
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New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
Katy Stenta
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
George Reed
Quantisha Mason-Doll
For October 2, 2022:

CSSPlus

John Jamison
Object: A printed copy of the job description that is included with this week’s message. (Download here.)

* * *

Hello, everyone! (Let them respond.) I have another story for you today. Are you ready? (Let them respond.) Great!

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Coffin
All of today’s texts address times along the faith journey where a mature faith is helpful. Modern examples include a church which has just completed a major building project. The ribbon cutting celebration is in the past. It is time to make payments to the creditors. Also, there are maintenance and upkeep costs along with knowing the state will be making inspection visits to assure building safety standards remain current.
Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Mark Ellingsen
Lamentations 1:1-6; 3:19-26
John Calvin well describes the distress and doubt which this lesson depicts:

...for there is nothing more difficult for men than to preserve their minds in a state of peace and tranquility, undisturbed by any disquieting fears, whilst they are in this world, which is subject to many changes. (Calvin’s Commentaries, Vol.V/1, p. 18)

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Alice loved ballet. She'd been given a ballet video for her birthday, and she spent hours watching it. When she'd been attending ballet classes for three weeks, she announced to the assembled family that she was going to be a ballet dancer when she grew up.

Alice's mother and father exchanged meaningful glances. "Ballet means a lot of hard work," warned her father.

StoryShare

John S. Smylie
David O. Bales
Contents
What's Up This Week
"Where Have All the Churches Gone?" by John Smylie
"Caught Not Taught" by John Smylie
"Oh, Mulberries!" by David Bales

Note: This installment was originally published in 2007.

* * * * * * * * *


Where Have All the Churches Gone?
By John Smylie
Lamentations 1:1-6

SermonStudio

David E. Leininger
A couple of years ago, a fascinating book by Mitch Albom hit the bestseller lists, Tuesdays with Morrie. The author had learned that his old teacher was slowly dying of Lou Gehrig's disease, and after an absence of many years, the two reconnected and began to get together every Tuesday. The book shares some of the great lessons that emerged from those weekly conversations. For example:

"Okay, question," I say to Morrie. His bony fingers hold his glasses across his chest, which rises and falls with each labored breath.

"What's the question?" he says.
Carlos Wilton
The little-known book of Lamentations was likely composed in the ashes of Jerusalem, following the Babylonian invasion which carried the leaders of the Jewish community off into exile. It speaks to the concerns of the Jerusalem community for their long-term survival under occupation by a foreign power. While the book's title sounds grim, and its setting is dark, the book is fundamentally life-affirming. It is a testimony to the steadfast love of God that may be discovered through renewed faith, even in troubled times.

Dallas A. Brauninger
1. Text

The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" [6] The Lord replied, "If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.
John W. Clarke
In most congregational settings, the name Habakkuk does not bring people to their feet. He is not considered famous biblically speaking, like the more recognized names of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others. In point of fact, most people do not know who Habakkuk is or what he did.

Habakkuk was a prophet who undertook to sustain the faith of the nation through one of the most hopeless periods of Hebrew history.
Robert R. Kopp
The Dead Poets Society is one of my favorite movies.

It's about an English teacher named John Keating who returns to his stodgy old alma mater named Welton Academy -- the students call it "Hellton" -- and challenges students to live extraordinary lives.

Mr. Keating tells a few students about a secret organization called The Dead Poets Society.

"The Dead Poets Society," he reveals with eyes aglow, "was a society dedicated to sucking the marrow out of life. That phrase is by Thoreau and was invoked at every meeting."

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