Sermon Illustrations

Did you ever notice that there are certain things the Lord doesn't want us to miss? That's the way I feel about Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture." It was simply impossible to miss. I think the first person to email the link to me was Jim Turk, our music director. He sent it with the words, "This is long, but it's really worth it." I was in the midst of going through my emails. I quickly went to the link, saw that it took one hour and forty minutes, and decided I couldn't take the time.

Then I went to a leadership meeting for Stephen Ministry. They were talking about it and telling everyone to watch Randy Pausch who was going to be interviewed by Diane Sawyer. I knew I had another meeting the night of the television show.

Then three Sundays ago, the Parade magazine with Randy Pausch's picture on the cover arrived in the Sunday newspaper. I glanced at it, was too tired to read it, and placed it in the pile of reading materials next to my bed.

Then on Thursday, I was preparing for this week's sermon. I read a lot in preparation. One of the sermons I found was by Barbara Lundblad, a Lutheran pastor in New York City. It was written in 2005. One of the things she mentioned was the idea of "The Last Lecture" which beloved professors are asked to give. The lecture is given as though it is the last lecture the professor will ever give. This is the information the professor wants you to remember forever.

Once again, I remembered all I had seen about Randy Pauschs' last lecture. I finally realized that I had to stop everything and watch this it. I settled down at the computer and spent two hours watching it. The Holy Spirit finally brought me to hear this amazing man.

If you haven't seen or read about it, Randy Pausch is a 47-year-old professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. Last year he was asked to participate in the university's "Last Lecture" series. A few weeks later he learned that he had only months to live because he was dying of pancreatic cancer. He could have canceled, knowing there was much to do for his family, wife, Jai; Dylan (6), Logan (3), and Chloe (1), but he didn't. He thought the lecture would give him the opportunity to leave a living piece of himself for his children.

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