Sermon Illustrations


When Charlene Sanders drove home from a routine day of work April 28, the last thing she expected was that she would be telling family of her husband’s death later that night.

At about 9 p.m. on April 28, Jim Sanders invited a young man and women into his home to view a ring he had posted for sale online. Within 30 minutes, Jim Sanders was shot dead before his family’s eyes.

The events of April 28 changed the local family forever, as it shook the quiet town of Edgewood, and the "Craigslist Murder" drew the attention of media nationwide.

Jim was the head of his hard-working Christian family that included his wife of close to eight years, Charlene, and their two boys – Jimmy Jr., 14, and Chandler, 10.

As a trusting, loving human being, Jim never suspected the evening visit would take the direction it did. If he had, he would have stopped it at the doorstep. He was an unfailing protector of his family.

Jim was always cautious, and fully prepared to protect his family against intruders, said Charlene. But on April 28, he was blindsided.

"He was duped," said his younger brother, Derek Sanders. "He trusted someone and he let them into his home."

Once things took a turn for the worse, Jim did what he had to do. After seeing his 14-year-old son pistol whipped by one of the intruders, he freed himself from the zip-ties around his wrists and defended what was most important to him: his family.

"Jim stood courageously and he died for his family," Derek said. "The way he was taken has made his story what it is – he stood up for his family, he fought, and he died. If he died in a car crash, it would have been tragic, but it would have been just another obituary."

Jim’ family has spent the time since his tragic and untimely death clinging to their faith, trusting in God’s plan, and searching for meaning in such a senseless slaying.

What they have found is that their family’s story, which has spanned international news, has inspired people to make positive changes in their own lives.

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