Sermon Illustrations


Let me tell you about some dear friends of mine: "Punk" and "Beanie" Peters. Punk’s real name was Ralph; Beanie’s was Lavena. They were members of Driftwood Christian Church near Vallonia, Indiana. Beanie was a simple farm wife who had an unshakable faith.

Dying of liver cancer, I was at the hospital with her family, essentially on a deathwatch. Beanie’s pain was excruciating, and the pain medicine kept her in a nearly unconscious state. Others left the room for a moment; only her daughter Harriet and Punk were present with me. Suddenly Beanie opened her eyes.

Looking at the ceiling, she said, "Sing." I leaned over her bed and asked, "What did you say, Beanie?"


"Do you want us to sing a hymn?"

She nodded. So I started:

"I heard an old, old story, how a Savior who came from glory..." By that time Ralph and Harriet joined in:

"How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me;

I heard about His groaning, and His precious blood atoning;

Then I repented of my sin and won the victory."

On the chorus, Beanie joined us. She sang the melody; Harriet sang alto; Punk sang tenor, and I picked up the bass.

"Oh victory in Jesus! My Savior forever;

He sought me and bought me

With His redeeming blood

He loved me ‘ere I knew Him

And all my love is due Him

He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood."

I started singing the last verse. With eyes fastened on the ceiling, Beanie’s voice became stronger:

"I heard about a mansion He has built for me in Glory

And I heard about the streets of gold beyond the crystal sea;

About the angels’ singing the old redemption story;

And some sweet day I’ll sing up there the song of victory!"

Sing the chorus with me.

"Victory in Jesus, my Savior forever!"

We prayed together, and hours later, Beanie Peters died. Just a few years later her daughter Harriet died of the same type of cancer. Not long ago, Punk also went home to be with the Lord. Out of the four in that room, I am the only one left to tell the story. No matter what trials you face, sing. God is there to help you through.

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