Showing posts from June, 2019


One of the early church fathers, Francis of Assisi, said, “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” The following is a preacher story that communicates how our actions often communicate more than our words. A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening and the pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and sat down. The pastor made himself at home, but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some time, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet contemp


Fifteen years ago, I received news that even now strikes fear into my heart and mind. My son was away at college, when the call came. I wasn’t expecting to hear from his roommate what I was told. It wasn’t the usual news that “everything’s okay.” Instead, I heard the words that still echo through my memory, “Mr. Worthy your son was in a serious accident just a few moments ago.” Being so far away from him was enough to cause a sense of panic and helplessness to flood over me. I was worried about his health and overwhelmed with the feeling that I could not get to him fast enough and do anything to help him. I was too far away, too isolated from him, and too startled to even pray. This feeling of helplessness led to fear and a strange kind of paralysis. I didn’t know what to do, except to just get to him as fast as I could. Helplessness is a feeling that everyone has to deal with at times in their lives. Feelings themselves aren’t bad, evil or destructive. They are feelings –


Here is an all too familiar illustration that’s been told in many sermons over the years. It’s one of those preacher-stories that gets used again and again—but it’s a good one, so I’ll tell it here one more time. One day a farmer’s old mule fell into an empty well. The farmer was disappointed because it was a good mule, but he concluded that the mule couldn’t be rescued, since the well was too narrow and too deep to retrieve the animal. He decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth saving, and his only option was to fill the well with dirt. The farmer grabbed a shovel and began to fill the well with dirt, one shovel full at a time. It turns out that the animal wasn’t as close to dead as the farmer had guessed. When he felt that first pile of dirt hit his back, he instinctively shook it off and trampled on it. Another pile landed on him and he shook it off and trampled it. This went on all afternoon: shake the dirt off, trample it, and step a little higher. Fin