Sermon Illustrations
Posted by Douglas on Jul 09, 2018

This morning my son and I were planting trees again. The first part of the process was to dig eighteen holes, and pour a bucket of water into each hole. So right after breakfast we got a wagon, filled two five-gallon buckets of water, added a spade, and headed for the field where we're planting.

While I dug the holes, my son scooped water and poured it into holes so there would be plenty of moisture in the soil when we planted the trees. The temperature was already on the rise, and I was dripping with sweat, so I wasn't in...

Posted by Douglas on Jul 09, 2018

I love music. I've always loved music. But when I started playing a musical instrument in fourth grade I had no sense of rhythm. In fact, it took me many years to develop that sense. My mom and I would drive a half an hour to my private violin lessons with Mrs. Small, a tiny lady who used to be my mother's music teacher when she was young, and who insisted that now that she was over 85, she was allowed to subtract a year from her age for each birthday. I can still remember her asking me, week after week,...

Posted by Douglas on Jul 02, 2018

12:2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:2 (ESV)

My life is controlled by a clock. School begins at 8:00 a.m., and I am there at 7:30 to work with students. First period ends at 9:30, and new students arrive. And so on, through the day. Then, when school is over, I have my first music student at 3:00. My first math tutoring session is at 3:30. And on it goes....

Posted by Douglas on Jun 25, 2018

Years ago, when I was in college, I participated in a Bible study group for college students. The object lesson I'm sharing here is not mine; I first heard it from Lenny, the leader of that Bible study group. I found it helpful, so I thought I'd share it here.

Imagine that you get a phone call from a friend who says he has a gift to give you. Curious, you ask him what it is. He tells you that he has received a van Gogh painting, and he would like to pass it on to you. You are stunned, knowing...

Posted by Douglas on Jun 25, 2018

If you've spent much time browsing this site, you've probably figured out by now that I'm a fan of hiking. Some of my best times of thought, meditation, and prayer happen on a quiet trail through the woods to a mountain peak.

But my priorities in hiking have changed quite a bit in the last few years. For a long time I set as a goal for myself to hike all the four-thousand-foot peaks in the state of Maine. What? Maine has four-thousand-footers? You bet! We have fourteen of them. And I intended to hike all of them. So far I've...

Posted by Douglas on Jun 23, 2018

28:19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,Matthew 28:19 (ESV)

10:5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans.6Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.7As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.Matthew 10:5-8 (ESV)

We have a...

Posted by Douglas on Jun 20, 2018

Tonight I'm cooking up a batch of rhubarb sauce. The obvious ingredients in rhubarb sauce are rhubarb and sugar (rhubarb is so tart most people consider it inedible without a lot of sugar!). Less obvious, but also important, are the spices. Cinnamon? Nutmeg? And maybe (if you want your rhubarb to have even more bite) a pinch of ginger.

But there's one more ingredient I always put in my rhubarb sauce. No one ever tastes it, but it's very important. Salt. No one ever tastes my rhubarb sauce and says, "This is too salty." In fact, no one says that...

Posted by Douglas on Apr 25, 2014

4:8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.Philippians 4:8 (ESV)

I'm in the process of launching a new Content Management System for some of my clients who own websites. The control panel for my clients' websites gives them fine-tuned control not just over the appearance of the site, but also over how it appears in different devices (desktops, phones, etc).

It's exciting for me to be launching this software, but it's...

Posted by Douglas on Dec 18, 2013

One of the perks of living next to my parents is that when Dad gets out his snow blower to clear their driveway, he also brings it over our way and clears our yard as well. We had our first big snowstorm over the weekend, and we knew that our young son (who was too young to remember anything about winter last year) would be very interested to see the snow blower for the first time.

Sure enough, when we heard the snow blower coming our way, we directed him to the window, and he clung to the windowsill in excitement as...

Posted by Douglas on Dec 11, 2013

When trying to teach our one-year-old about things he is (and is not) allowed to do, we run into a couple problems. One is that, since he can't communicate except in grunts, waves, and "diddle-diddle" baby-talk, it's hard to know how well he understands what we're telling him. If we tell him not to stand on the sofa, does he understand what a "sofa" is? And does he understand what it means to "stand"?

The second problem is that he has not yet developed much impulse control, so if we inundate him with rules to follow, we will be constantly...

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