Preaching Connection: Discipleship

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Movies for Preaching

Star Wars: Episode VI–The Return of the Jedi (1983) – 1

Star Wars: Episode VI–The Return of the Jedi (1983).  Written by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas.  Directed by Richard Marquand.  Starring Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and James Earl Jones.  PG.  131 mins.  Rotten Tomatoes: 80%. If the self-sacrificial death and redemption of Darth Vader comes as a surprise in the last moments of…

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Reading for Preaching

Love Within Limits: A Realist’s View of 1 Corinthians 13

“Servant power is personal power used to increase the strength of a weaker person.  The best example is the power of a parent to nurture a child into an independent personality.  Children need a model of personal power.  They have to be confronted with the exercise of it.  From a parent who demonstrates such power...
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Grace Notes: Daily Readings with a Fellow Pilgrim

“The founder of the L’Arche homes for the mentally disabled, Jean Vanier, says that people often look upon him as mad.  The brilliantly educated son of a governor general of Canada, he recruits skilled workers (Henri Nouwen was one) to serve and live among damaged people.  Vanier shrugs off those who would second-guess his choices...
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Mere Christianity, in The Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classics

“Some of us who seem quite nice people may, in fact, have made so little use of a good heredity and a good upbringing that we are really worse than those we regard as fiends.  Can we be quite certain how we should have behaved if we had been saddled with then psychological outfit, and...
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Gilead

The elderly John Ames muses over his many years in ministry.  “My reputation is largely the creature of the kindly imaginings of my flock, whom I chose not to disillusion, in part because the truth had the kind of pathos in it that would bring on sympathy in its least bearable forms. . . I’ve...
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Losing our Virtue: Why the Church Must Recover its Moral Vision

(p. 11) Our evangelical Christian religion has become merely an indoor pleasure. It seems no longer possible to be thoroughly modern and also committed to the faith. We no longer think of virtue as composing character, and no longer assume that virtue has a public exhibition. Now all we have left is government rules plus...
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“On Self-Esteem vs. Self-Respect”

“One has only to go into a prison, or at least a prison of the kind in which I used to work, to see the most revoltingly high self-esteem among a group of people (the young thugs) who had brought nothing but misery to those around them, largely because they conceived of themselves as so...
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A Circle of Quiet

Children can display a wondrous self-forgetfulness: “The concentration of a small child at play is analogous to the concentration of the artist of any discipline. In real play, which is real concentration, the child is not only outside time, he is outside himself. He has thrown himself completely into whatever it is that he is...
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“Responses to Hate-Talk Can Vary”

“Dear Carolyn: Do you have any advice for how to handle situations in which people–whether it be relatives, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, service providers, whoever–make hateful comments or jokes that are anti-Semitic, anti-black, anti-gay, anti-Hispanic, you name it? I am way too old not to know how to handle these situations. I don’t encourage the remarks...
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The Screwtape Letters

“He will be silent when he ought to speak, and laugh when he ought to be silent. He will assume, at first only by his manner, but presently by his words, all sorts of cynical and skeptical attitudes which are not really his. All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to...
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Iron and Silk

Salzman is traveling in China and is on the Yangzee River: ” . . . we pulled our boat into their little cluster and shared breakfast. When everyone had eaten, they took turns dropping their trousers, leaning off the sides of the boats and using the river as a toilet. At the same time, old...
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Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Comedy, Tragedy, and Fairy Tale

“We might say God is like the great physician with a cure for every ill. He is like the good president whose Oval Office is always open to even the humblest citizen. But Jesus says something quite different. He says God is like a man who, when his friend comes knocking at his door at...
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The Giving and Taking of Life

We learn virtue and vice by seeing them incarnated. We learn virtue from saints. It’s not as if we have an abstract idea of some virtue, note it in the life of a person, and then make them a saint. It’s rather that we see sanctity in a Stephen, learn sanctity there, and have our...
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A Circle of Quiet

“I do not think that it is naive to think that it is the tiny, particular acts of love and joy which are going to swing the balance[in forming a Christian life], rather than general, impersonal charities. These acts are spontaneous, unself-conscious, realized only late if at all. They may be as quiet as pulling...
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“Facing the Muzak—A Punishing Ordeal”

“There’s a modern-day ‘punishment room’ that many lawbreakers fear and hate—and some even say it violates the law forbidding cruel and unusual punishment. But the judge who sends people to this ersatz torture chamber says he’s only making the punishment fit the crime . . . . A few months ago Municipal Court Judge Paul...
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Blessings: An Autobiographical Fragment

After her second son with a disability was born, Mary Craig began to get letters: “No-one in their right mind could say that they were happy for us, but almost everyone I had ever known, even only slightly, felt compelled to write, to express deep feelings, or even to apologize for the fact that they...
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Character Above All: Ten presidents from FDR to George Bush

Gregory Peck tells of waiting at a harbor when he was a boy to catch a glimpse of the President. He had no idea of the extent of the President’s disability. “So when the young Gregory Peck stood on the dock that day and saw Roosevelt being carried off the boat like a child, he...
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