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The Immediate Word
Mary Ausin

Next at Bat

Luke 7:11-17

As soon as our church secretary’s funeral was over, people began asking when we would hire someone to replace her. Who would be a worthy successor to the woman who filled the church office with her laughter and compassion for over twenty years? Who would have her mix of office skills and her knowledge of the congregation? Truly, no one.

It’s not fair to hire someone right now, I keep telling the congregation. We will all expect the new person to be just like the person who used to be there. We won’t be able to see the new person’s gifts right now. Fortunately, we have a capable person filling in -- someone who has other long-term plans, but is available for a few months. That allows us to hold the space, without rushing toward someone new.        

The question of a successor is hard, whether it’s a President or a church secretary, or any other important role. Luke gives us some hints in this week’s story of a resurrection from death. ...
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The Dream

It was an October Monday morning. Nothing much happened on Monday mornings, especially during the harvest time. The pastor sat in his office wondering how the sermon reviews were going down at the coffee shop. He would give them another hour, and then stop in for his coffee and wheat toast. He would get the summary of the reviews from Maryanne, the waitress.
      The door was open, so there was no knock. The man just kind of appeared, leaning against the sill and looking pretty uncomfortable. The pastor recognized the guy as being from town, knew a little bit about his family and where they lived, but didn't actually know his name. He did know that the guy had never been in the church here, and that was probably why he looked so uncomfortable.
      The pastor said, "Hello," and the visitor asked if he could talk for a minute. His hands were shaking, and his voice was quivering. This was not a simple case of the nerves. As he sat down, he explained, "You're probably going to think that I'm crazy, and maybe I am. But I just don't know who else to go to about this."
      He was asking permission to talk about something, and the pastor gave it. I'll try to retell the story exactly as the visitor told it.
      He began by saying that his name was Fred, and he talked a little more about his family and what they all did. In fact, he talked quite a bit about those things, the whole time sounding like he really wanted to talk about something else. The pastor tried to help him along a bit by asking, "So, what can I do for you this morning?"...
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Sandra Herrmann

The power of God made real

Does our modern faith leave room for miracles? Not your ordinary “come here and be healed” kind of miracles; not the “I thought I was out of money, and then I reached into my pocket and I had the exact amount I needed for something” kind of miracles. Nor do I mean the kind of miracle that unfolds in the opening of a flower, nor the magic of seeing your baby for the first time on a sonogram. No, I mean the “I saw it with my own eyes, though it was impossible” kind of miracles....
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Frank Ramirez

Too Good To Be True

Galatians 1:1-12

Wouldn’t it be nice to discover something important that no one else had and everyone wanted? Like an unknown photo of Abraham Lincoln, or a discarded scene from a famous movie like The Wizard of Oz, or, who knows, maybe a lost play by William Shakespeare? It’s not easy to find something that everyone’s looking for and probably doesn’t exist. Take Shakespeare. There is probably more known about the life of William Shakespeare than is known about any other ordinary person from the Elizabethan era. That’s because people are constantly searching for new information about him. And there have been recent discoveries...
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The Village Shepherd

Janice Scott

The Spirit of Wisdom

I'm not what you might describe as an inveterate traveller, but whenever I've visited other countries I have always been struck by the similarity in the children. No matter whether the children come from rich families or poor families, from a hot climate or a cold climate...
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CSSPlus (Children's Sermon Service...Plus

Cynthia Cowen

Key to Eternal Life

Object: keys to your car, house, church
The Point: Jesus is the key to eternal life so put your faith in him

The Lesson: Good morning, boys and girls. Thank you for joining me as we share God’s word together. I brought with me some keys....
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Gospel Grams 1 (Ages 5-7)

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Gospel Grams 2 (Ages 8-10)

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