6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermon Illustrations

AF Sgt. Arthur Powell told his story in the July (1994) "Guideposts."

When I was a kid growing up in St. Nicholas Project in Harlem, I was scared. I was afraid of shooting, gang harassment and threats from drug dealers. Dad wasn’t around much, and Mom, who wasn’t well, had her hands full raising eight children on welfare. So Grandma Powell took me in tow. A feisty woman with discerning eyes and an implicit faith in God, Hattie Powell took me to church often.

”One Sunday morning in 1964 as we left the Abyssinian Baptist Church, she stopped on the sidewalk, lifted my chin, and, using my middle name, said, ‘Maxwell, you have got to live by the Word." She pointed back to the old stone church. "You heard what the preacher said--to pray, to ask the Lord for guidance and protection? Well, it won’t do you much good unless you...’

”She took my arm and directed my attention to a man lolling gainst a lamppost. ‘See that man? He’s always bragging about his big plans, but he never has done anything. Talk is easy,’ she continued. ‘It’s the doing that counts. God tell us to be doers of his Word, and not just hearers.

Remember, Maxwell, Monday doing is better than Sunday talking.’"

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