Illustration results for black preachers
1 Thessalonians 4:13-4:18
TONY EVANS ON GETTING UN-STUCK
Tony Evans, a popular black preacher from down in Texas, spoke of being on an elevator in a high-rise building. He said he’d never been particularly comfortable on such elevators. There was something about riding up and down in a little box several hundred feet off the ground that has never sat well with him. He worried that something would go wrong.
One day it did. The car he was riding in got stuck in between floors way up in the higher floors. He noted that some of the people in the car became frantic. They began to beat on the door hoping to get someone’s attention. Others began to yell in the hopes that their voices would get someone on the surrounding floors to come to the aid. But nobody heard their noise or their cries.
Then Evans quietly made his way to the front of the car, opened a little door in the wall and pulled out a telephone. Immediately he was connected with someone on the outside. He didn’t need to beat on the wall to get their attention. He didn’t need to speak loudly in the phone to receive their help. He could have whispered and they would have heard him.
Evans said that - in this world, we’re going to get "stuck" in places we aren’t comfortable with. Some people begin to beat against the walls, others cry out in dismay. But the person who trusts in the power of confident prayer knows there’s someone on the other end who hears their call and comes to their aid.
Hebrews 10:19ff tells us that we now can have "boldness" (KJV) to enter into very presence of God because of the blood of Jesus. We can think this way only because Jesus has opened the way for us to approach God’s throne and earnestly ask whatever we desire according to His Will.
Sermon Central Staff
RUBY BRIDGES ON DOING WHAT'S RIGHT
"A federal judge had ordered New Orleans to open its public schools to African-American children, and the white parents decided that if they had to let black children in, they would keep their children out. They let it be known that any black children who came to school would be in for trouble. So the black children stayed home too.
"Except Ruby Bridges. Her parents sent her to school all by herself, six years old.
"Every morning she walked alone through a heckling crowd to an empty school. White people lined up on both sides of the way and shook their fists at her. They threatened to do terrible things to her if she kept coming to their school. But every morning at ten minutes to eight Ruby walked, head up, eyes ahead, straight through the mob; two U.S. marshals walked ahead of her and two walked behind her. Then she spent the day alone with her teachers inside that big silent school building.
"Harvard professor Robert Coles was curious about what went into the making of courageous children like Ruby Bridges. He talked to Ruby's mother and, in his book The Moral Life of Children, tells what she said: 'There's a lot of people who talk about doing good, and a lot of people who argue about what's good and what's not good,' but there are folks who 'just put their lives on the line for what's right'"
(Lewis Smedes, 1001 Quotes, Illustrations and Humorous Stories for Preachers, Teachers, and Writers, 221. From a sermon by Eric Lenhart, Thursday -- "Sleepy Heads" 8/13/2010)
ANGELS OF RECONCILIATION
With his life in disarray, Steven Lavaggi sat on his bedroom’s wooden floor, and began searching his Bible for answers. His wife had just left him to marry a writer for The Rolling Stone Magazine. Ten days later, Steven discovered his son was stricken with Juvenile Diabetes. Then he lost his graphic art business. Unemployed, abandoned, and worrying about his son, Lavaggi turned to God’s Word.
As Steven read, he skipped over the black letters, only wanting to read the words of Jesus. The Risen Christ emerged from the pages. Lavaggi gave his life to Jesus. As a new Christian, he clung to Psalm 91:11: "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways."
Out of his brokenness, came a passion to create a message of hope. He discovered his passion was to minister through fine art. He moved to California, to influence the people who influence the world--Hollywood. He is doing just that.
The response to his work is overwhelming. Inspired by the Psalmist’s words he painted an angel. When a friend encouraged him to make the image three dimensional, he collaborated with a sculptor, and together they cast the angel.
While speaking to a crowd of 3500 natives in Soweto, South Africa, Lavaggi held a 20" sculpture of a black angel above his head. When he did, the crowd erupted with enthusiasm. A man on the stage told him that just a few days before, a preacher had declared that God would soon send an international artist who would express the love of God to their culture by doing something like "painting Angels in black!" When Lavaggi heard this, he grabbed a 20" white angel, held it above his head and said, "these angels were created to be like brothers and sisters, even as we are supposed to be." Those sculptures became known as, "The Angels of Reconciliation."
Today, he is known as the artist of Hope. It propelled him into creating an incredible series of spirit-inspired paintings, sculptures, figurines, and prints. Steven’s message would not exist without his passion! Through his passion, today he is touching and changing the world fopr Jesus Christ.
WHOSE BOY ARE YOU?
One of the great preachers of our time is Dr. Fred Craddock. Craddock tells a story about vacationing with his wife one summer in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. One night they found a quiet little restaurant, where they looked forward to a private meal. While they were waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white-haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests. Craddock leaned over and whispered to his wife, "I hope he doesn’t come over here." He didn’t want anyone intruding on their privacy. But sure enough, the man did come over to their table. "Where you folks from?" he asked in a friendly voice.
"Oklahoma," Craddock answered.
"Splendid state, I hear, although I’ve never been there," the stranger said. "What do you do for a living?"
"I teach homiletics at the graduate seminary of Phillips University," Craddock replied.
"Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I’ve got a story to tell you." And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with Craddock and his wife.
Dr. Craddock said he groaned inwardly and thought to himself, "Oh, no! Here comes another preacher story! It seems like everybody has at least one."
The man stuck out his hand. "I’m Ben Hooper," he said. "I was born not far from here across the mountains. My mother wasn’t married when I was born, so I had a pretty hard time. When I started to school, my classmates had a name for me, and it wasn’t a very nice name. I used to go off by myself at recess and lunch time because the things they said to me cut me so deep. What was worse was going to town on Saturday afternoons and feeling like every eye was burning a hole through me, wondering just who my father was.
"When I was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to our church. I would always go in late and slip out early. But one day the preacher said the benediction so fast I got caught and had to walk out with the crowd. I could feel every eye in the church on me. Just about the time I got to the door I felt a big hand on my shoulder. I looked up and the preacher was looking right at me. ‘Who are you, son? Whose boy are you?’ he asked. I felt this big weight coming down on me. It was like a big black cloud. Even the preacher was putting me down. But as he looked down at me, studying my face, he began to smile a big smile of recognition. ‘Wait a minute!’ he said. ‘I know who you are. I see the family resemblance now...
WHOSE BOY ARE YOU?
"I was about 12 years old when a new preacher came to my church. I would always go in late and slip out early. But one day the preacher said the benediction so fast I got caught and had to walk out with the crowd. I could feel every eye in church on me.
"Just about the time I got to the door I felt a big hand on my shoulder. I looked up and the preacher was looking right at me. 'Who are you, son? Whose boy are you?'
"I felt the old weight come on me. It was like a big black cloud. Even the preacher was putting me down.
"But as he looked down at me, studying my face, he began to smile a big smile of recognition. 'Wait a minute,' he said, 'I know who you are. I see the family resemblance. You are a child of God.'
With that he slapped me across the rump and said, 'Boy you've got a great inheritance. Go and claim it.'"
Ben Hooper would later say, "That was the most important single sentence ever said to me." Ben Hooper would one day be elected and re-elected Governor of Tennessee.
--Jamie Buckingham, Power for Living.
With his life in disarray, Steven Lavaggi sat on his bedroom’s wooden floor, and began searching his Bible for answers. His wife had just left him to marry a writer for The Rolling Stone Magazine. Ten days later, Steven discovered his son was stricken with Juvenile Diabetes. As if coping with the personal crisis wasn’t enough, Lavaggi also lost his graphic art business.
Unemployed, abandoned, and worrying about his son, Lavaggi turned to God’s Word. As Steven read, he skipped over the black letters, only wanting to read the words of Jesus. The Risen Christ emerged from the pages. Lavaggi gave his life to Jesus.
As a new Christian, he clung to Psalms 91:11: "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways." Out of his brokenness, came a passion to create and message of hope. He left the lucrative world of graphic art to become a fine artist.
Since Steven’s passion is to minister through fine art, he moved to California, to influence the people who influence the world--Hollywood.
He is doing just that. The response to his work is overwhelming. Inspired by the Psalmist’s words he painted a 4’ X 5’ angel. When a friend encouraged him to make the image three dimensional, he collaborated with a sculptor, and together they cast the angel.
While speaking to a crowd of thirty-five hundred natives in Soweto, South Africa, Lavaggi held a 20" sculpture of a black angel above his head. When he did, the crowd erupted with enthusiasm. A man on the stage told him that just a few days before, a preacher had said, "One of the things we need is for international artists to express the love of God through art, perhaps even painting angels in black." When Lavaggi heard this, he grabbed a 20" white angel, held it above his head and said, "these angels were created to be like brothers and sisters, even as we are supposed to be." Later, as he reflected on the day, he decided to call the sculptures, "The Angels of Reconciliation."
His creation graces the cover of the Winter 2000 GROWING CHURCHES magazine and two 20" bronze statues are in the city of Lake Village, Arkansas symbolizing the hope of racial reconciliation in the deep South.
Steven’s message would not exist without his passion! His message is easy to see-it is in the light, but remember, his passion was born in the dark, on a wooden floor while he grieved the loss of his wife, his job and his son’s health. Through the struggle, he gained a passion, and today, he is changing the world.
DEPRESSIONS OF SPIRIT
One Sunday morning in 1866, the famous preacher C. H. Spurgeon shocked 5,000 listeners from the pulpit of London's Metropolitan Tabernacle he announced, "I am the subject of depressions of spirit so fearful that I hope none of you ever gets to such extremes of wretchedness as I go to."
Martin Luther was subject to such fits of darkness that he would hide himself away for days, and his family would remove all dangerous implements from the house for fear he would harm himself.
At one point in his depression his wife entered the room he was in. She was dressing in total black. Luther asked who died and she said by the way he was acting God must have.
Pastor E. V. Hill was talking about the racial violence in downtown Watts, in the Los Angeles area. He is as a Baptist Preacher and was caught up in that kind of tension. There was another of the black pastors who had already been killed because of their involvement in this racial tension. E V Hill got a threatening phone call and he was told that if he did not cease his involvement in the racial conflict that he would be killed.
They told him that they would put a bomb in his car. The next day when he woke up he noticed his wife was not there. When he looked out into the garage the car was gone. He looked out the window and saw his wife was driving up in the car. When he asked her what she was doing she said, I just wanted to be sur...
A NAME ON THE BILL OF RIGHTS
The Black Brigade or Black Regiment were the preachers, because they wore black robes. Black preachers, white preachers — they all wore black robes. And the British specifically blamed the preachers for the American Revolution. That's where the title "Black Regiment" came from.
The British hated what the preachers did. They hated what they had to say. They claimed if it hadn't been for the preachers, America would still be a happy British colony.
When the British came to America, they started decimating churches. They went to New York City where there were nineteen churches. They burned 10 to the ground. They went across Virginia burning churches. They went across New Jersey burning churches.
Let me tell you about one of those preachers. This was a preacher in Virginia in 1776. He pastored two churches in a little rural town. He was also a member of the legislature — John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg.
While in Williamsburg, the British came marching in town. No big deal, because we haven't signed the Declaration yet. We were still British colonies. But they started going in private homes, taking things - especially guns and ammunition. And so Patrick Henry said, no way. Patrick Henry got 5,000 farmers to go get 200 British soldiers and get all their stuff back.
Pastor Muhlenberg, who pastors on the other side of the state thinks, "My guys need to hear about this." So he jumps on a horseback and rides all the way back. He preaches a sermon Sunday morning, January 21st, 1776.
His side of the state doesn't know what's happening with the British. He's in the pulpit and he's in his black robe, his clerical robe. And he's preaching from Ecclesiastes 3, which says, "There is a time of peace and a time of war." When he read this, he said, "Brethren, this is no longer a time of peace. This is now a time of war." And he gave them a news flash of what was going on. And of course, they were all, “Oh, my! What do we do?”
Then, instead of doing what he always did — have a dismissal prayer, go to vestment room and disrobe, he started undressing right in front of the congregation. And much to their shock — when he took off his clerical robe, underneath, he was wearing the full dress uniform of an officer in the Continental Army. That scene was show in “The Patriot” with Mel Gibson.
The pastor then dismounted the pulpit, went to the back of the church and said, “We came here to practice our liberties. And if we don't get involved, we're going to lose our liberties. Now, who is going with me to defend them?” Three hundred men got up and met him at the back of the church.
But the pastor had a brother. Let me tell you about him. His brother is Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg who pastored up in New York City. And when Pastor Frederick in New York City heard what his brother Peter had done, he said, “Wrong! Wrong, Brother! You should have stayed in the pulpit. Church shouldn't get involved in this stuff.”
And that's what his brother believed until the British came marching into New York City in 1777 and threw him out of his church. And as he stood outside, they desecrated his church. And he has this epiphany and says, maybe I ought to get involved as well or I'm going to lose my liberties. So he decides to get involved. He actually ends up being the speaker of the House in Pennsylvania, helps write their original Constitution. And he is the first ever speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. There are only two signatures on the bottom of the Bill of Rights and one is his — the Rev. Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg.
A man was preaching to a church in Australia. The congregation had big black Bibles and severe expressions... And they knew their Bibles, and were proud of that. It was a smallish group, so he decided to engage them in dialogue: ’Who knows who the Pharisees were?’ They did. ’The Pharisees got a pretty nasty press in the New Testament - particularly Matthew.’ ’Now tell me all the *good* things you can think of about the Pharisees: The Pharisees knew their Bibles; were disciplined in prayer; fasted twice a week; gave about a third of their income to their church; were moral (very moral); many had been martyred for their faith; they attended ’church’ regularly; they were orthodox; and evangelistic. There was a deep silence. Someone sitting at the front said ’That’s us’ ’Is it?" the preacher responded. ’Then you’ve got a problem: Jesus said these sorts of people are children of the devil’