Posts Tagged preaching

Forgiveness Update

Really enjoyed sharing the third message of our 3 part series on forgiveness last Sun. Next Sun I will do an excerpt at the BA Cathedral.

Because people asked, here’s a very brief synopsis of part 3:

Truth, BY ITSELF, is a hard stone that hurts and kills. The Lord never “stones” anyone for their mistakes, because he is Mercy itself, and is present in Good, and ONLY in Truth so far as it is wed to Good. If the Lord doesn’t stone people, we shouldn’t, either. Now, when we feel resentment, or feel owed apologies or reparations, or feel anything negative toward someone who has truly wronged us, it is really hard to let go, because we have no direct control over our feelings or our affections. They are too deep. What we CAN at least partially control are our thoughts. So while it’s hard to let go of a feeling, we can instead focus on letting go of an idea that is attached to that feeling, in this case letting go of the truth we are carrying around like a stone: that truth that the person really did hurt us. And forgiving is all about letting go. The Latin “remittere” means both to forgive and to let go.

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Cross Training

I’m regularly amazed by how often advice for stage magicians turns out to also make a lot of sense for preachers.

What am I talking about? Well, consider these principles of good magic I have come across:

  • Don’t explain, show.
  • NEVER present until you have rehearsed; rehearse until you can present naturally and without hesitation.
  • Know what you look like to your audience; rehearse in front of a mirror, or better yet, on video.
  • Always respect your audience; don’t “fool” them, delight them!
  • Try as much as possible to think “participants”, not “spectators”.
  • Have a reason and a rationale for what you are doing; don’t just “do tricks”.
  • Don’t do the same trick twice.
  • Magic is more about the effect in the other person’s mind than about the “trick” you are doing on stage.
  • Knowing how to do a sleight is meaningless without a really good presentation.
  • Look where you want them to look, but mostly, look them in the eyes so they will look you in the eyes.
  • Be aware that other magicians will evaluate your work differently than normal people.

With just a little thought, one can see how these rules might apply to the art of preaching, too.

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“How to Forgive” or “A New Vision for Family Contemporary Worship”?

Based on Twitter, FaceBook, blog, email and face-to-face suggestions, my three part series will either be on forgiveness, or on a vision for the Bryn Athyn contemporary worship gathering.

But I haven’t decided which. On the one hand, there’s lots of great stuff in the Word to help with the process of forgiving. On the other hand, the Bryn Athyn Family Contemporary worship service is in serious need of a renewed vision and focus. (And this series will be happening at that service July 12, 19, and 26.)

I’m looking for help in figuring out which way to go. Forgiveness is a great general subject that lots of people want help with. A vision series for the contemporary worship service is a critical need, though.

Right now I’m leaning toward forgiveness, but can easily be swayed. Either way, both subjects need to be covered in the coming few months.

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Please Help Me Plan a Three Part Message Series

Please help. I am looking for topics for a three part Sunday morning series. What do YOU want help with DOING in your spiritual journey?

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