She was just fifteen. Tears filled her eyes and quivers moved her lips. Quickly she placed her hands over her ears. The shouting from her mother exploded her emotions and her restraint. And, suddenly, she screamed, “SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP!”
From all accounts, he stood above the rest. His preaching touched hearts and informed minds. His church suffered growth pains. People came from all around to be a part of the ministry growing under his leadership. Quietly, however, on one otherwise forgettable morning his wife walked out. She did not come back. He resigned. They divorced. Their children cringed. The church almost fell apart. The community laughed.
Across the table he stared into the other man’s eyes. Slowly he stood. Pointing his finger in his new adversary’s direction, he said, “Never, never have we done it like that before.” It was classic. The obstruction grew from long years of control and power. How dare anyone else presume to offer guidance for his small organization?
The meeting was informal. Few were invited. She figured the privacy of her own home served to strengthen her cause. Slowly she began. “I’ve been studying my Bible at great length lately. I’ve discovered something our church has never taught before. Now I’m wondering if our Pastor is really the man to lead us.”
8:30pm. Once again, he failed to come home on time. Even the children wondered why Daddy seemed to be away so much. There were those strange phone calls. The phone would ring. The Mrs. would answer, “Hello.” Click. Nothing. The caller hung up. And what about those new clothes he seemed to be buying so quickly over the past few weeks. Why the change in style? And what of his quiet, pensive demeanor of late? Did she detect a note of guilt sketched in his eyes? Finally, the day came. He said, “We need to talk...”
Ring. Ring. “ABC Products. This is Sam Johnson. How can I help you?”
“Mr. Johnson, my name is Jane Smith. I work in accounts receivable for XYZ Industries. I’m calling to find out when we can expect payment on your overdue account. I see that ABC Products has been issued two past-due notices.”
“Mr. Johnson? Mr. Johnson are you still there?”
“Ah, yes, sorry. You seem to have caught me off guard. I was under the impression that bill had been paid. Let me check with my partner and I’ll call you back.”
“Well, okay, Mr Johnson. What time will you be calling?”
“Ah, well, I’m not really sure. I’ll call you soon. Goodbye.” Click. Sam’s mind began to race, “Not another one. What is George doing? He knows the books are his responsibility. I know there has been plenty of income to cover our expenses. Why are these bills not being paid?”
Not one of the above scenarios is false. Unfortunately, they are also not unusual. They could be the stories of people you know — right there in your family, your community, your church, your business.
Ricki Lee Brooks
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Karl Eckhoff on Nov 13, 2003
Blow the trump and ring the bell; Dress it up and make it sell; Fill it with the rich and well; And count the heads. We’re doing well! But where’s the faith? Read the creed and get it right; Hold it fast with all your might; Close the door and bolt it tight; We’ve no need for ...read more
Contributed by Karl Eckhoff on Nov 13, 2003
During Telemachus’ life the gladiatorial games were very popular. People were fascinated by the sight of blood and gore upon the arena floor. And that alone was enough to bring the criticism of bishops and priests from within the church. But worse than all of this was the fact that most of the ...read more
Contributed by Sam Martin on Aug 15, 2002
In 1924, the New York Giants and the Washington Senators played in the World Series. It was a very close series. At the end of six games it was tied at three games. The stadium was filled for the deciding game, played in Washington. They came to the ninth inning with the score tied at two. New ...read more
Contributed by Peter Schmidt on Nov 13, 2003
And starting today, you are beginning to turn into adults. While your parents still are going to make a lot of choices for you, you are just beginning that Phase where you begin to make some life-changing decisions. You will learn that mom and dad won’t always be there to tell you what to do. I’m ...read more
Contributed by Paul Fritz on Aug 10, 2004
John Hiebert, a former bank-robber, became a Christian when he heard a bouncy tune coming from a tent-meeting in Oklahoma. The friend, ee called Jesus, transformed his life. He became a missionary with SIM and started a Bible school, Zabolo, in Nigeria that has trained thousands of Pastors, ...read more