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Preaching Articles

Knowledge can become a terrible burden. The weight of information can bend the back of the strongest man. We are loaded down with so many "shoulds," we find ourselves paralyzed by the inability to apply what we know. We open up our web browser, and ten thousand voices shout for our attention, each one urgent. Through our computers, radios, televisions and even our friends, urgent knowledge reaches out and tries to shake us into action.

Here are a dozen smooth stones with only one aim: to provide rest. These lessons do claim ultimate authority; they are not a call to action, nor do they command obedience. They whisper simply, “Here ...”

One dozen liberating life lessons:

1. I don’t have to know the answer.

2. Just because I know an answer doesn’t mean I have to answer the question.

3. The answer is rarely as interesting as the person asking the question.

4. Knowing the answer sometimes keeps me from asking the right question.

5. Facts are never true. They are merely facts.

6. God’s presence is an observable, objective fact, and we can recognize his presence.

7. Faith, hope, and love are abiding, eternal things, and I can start cultivating them now.

8. Celebrity authenticates no one—but neither does it disqualify anyone from speaking the truth.

9. The wisdom of Yoda was not very deep, but it was interesting because he was small, green and funny-looking.

10. If a picture is worth a thousand words, actually being there is worth a trillion.

11. The end of a matter is better than its beginning; patience is better than pride.

12. Lists convey a false sense of authority.

What about you? Do you have a collection of quiet truths, the kind that give you peace and rest? What gems have you picked up along the way?



Ray Hollenbach helps pastors and churches navigate change. He's the founder of DEEPER Seminars, weekend leadership retreats focused on discipleship in the local church. His newest book is Deeper Grace, a guide to the connection between grace and spiritual maturity. Ray currently lives in central Kentucky, coaching and consulting church leaders. You can visit his blog at Students of Jesus.

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Doug Knox

commented on Feb 19, 2015

Our dreams offer us a vision. Our pain keeps it grounded.

Greg Parks

commented on Feb 19, 2015

I love number 12. A subtle reminder that with all our deep and clever observations we will never see the whole picture and therefore can never presume to be the final authority. Thankfully, only God holds that position.

Stephen Johnson

commented on Feb 19, 2015

If number 5 is true, it follows that number 6 is meaningless.,

Edmund Chan

commented on Feb 19, 2015

Jer 6:16 - The key to finding REST FOR THE SOUL..... :)

Hank Bailey

commented on Feb 21, 2015

I also concur with the logic of Stephen Johnson who responded regarding number five and six above. However it is likely five and six were not written in the order we read them. It is also true that in quote five, the word fact does not convey the same meaning as the word fact in quote six. In quote six, I understand "fact" to mean reality, experience, or tangible anomaly. However, in quote five, facts are being deliberately, specifically confined to one dimension. I have learned that within the spiritual dimension, facts are sometimes discarded, but never carelessly or without design. It is a fact we were born into sin. It is a fact the wages of sin is death. But the truth is, we are bought and delivered from these facts by a spiritual anomaly called the redemption of Jesus Christ. The spiritual experience in one dimension overrides or makes moot a fact we could count on in another dimension. Stephen, I too caught the collision of words you referred to, but I wanted to share these thoughts with you, so I signed up and logged on just because of you and your honest scrutiny.

Hank Bailey

commented on Feb 22, 2015

I liked number twelve, however some things are on our list because we WERE given authority over that thing. It may be our assignment. Still yet, the powerful point was well taken.

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