Sermon Illustrations

I want to tell you a story about a man in whom God has moved so miraculously, I’ve just got to walk you through it.

Mel Pellinen was a big strapping guy. I met him when I lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Mel lived in Ishpeming and for years as a butcher he had carried whole sides of beef on his shoulders. Then one day he threw a 250 side onto his back and heard it crack. He went down and for the next 10 years he suffered incredible pain.

Mel had several surgeries but nothing helped so he started drinking. Eventually he was on the edge of suicide, his wife was ready to leave him and his family was coming apart at the seams.

That’s when a friend of his started coming to the Lake Superior Christian Church where I pastured in Marquette, MI. He invited Mel to come with him. Mel wouldn’t come but he if I would go to talk with him. I went over and Mel told me that about a month before he had been in the hospital for yet another surgery and was ready to quit everything when he decided to pray. It was during this prayer that he suddenly heard a voice which said, “You are going to be all right. I am with you.” And then he felt an incredible sense of peace.

Mel told me that since that day he had been sober. The pain wasn’t gone but his attitude had changed and it was bearable. He asked me to teach him about Jesus. A couple of weeks later I baptized Mel into Jesus.

Today in my office you can see, carved on wood, the face of Jesus. On the back it is signed by Mel