Sermon Illustrations
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...

Posted by Douglas on Oct 17, 2013

Have you ever been to a concert of a symphony orchestra? There's something quite dramatic about watching a group of musicians working together under the conductor's leadership to produce beautiful music. If you go to a concert, there are certain members that will stand out to you, and attract your attention.

The conductor, obviously, captures our attention as they wave their hands and baton, and use even the slightest body motions to guide and direct the members of the orchestra.

Then there are the violinists, who often carry the melody, and do so with dramatic sweeps of their bows across the strings. Watching a section...

Posted by Douglas on Oct 13, 2013

Meal times were much more simple before our son started eating "grown-up" foods. When we sat down to eat, Laura and I had our plates, and our son had his bowl. We ate from our food, and he ate from his, and I don't think it ever occurred to him to wonder what we were eating.

But that changed when we started feeding him food off our plates. Once we started that, from then on, he would always be curious about what was on our plates.

And that's fine, but sometimes it's a bit inconvenient. There are some foods that we don't feed our son...

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Posted by Douglas on Oct 06, 2013

Last Thursday I did something I've wanted to do for a long time. I got up early in the morning and drove to New Hampshire to hike one of my favorite mountains -- Mount Chocorua. I say early, and I do mean early. Normally when I'm hiking, I hike with other people, and they never want to get started as early as I do. I left the house at 4:45 a.m.

Why did I want to get started so early? Because I wanted to be on the summit while the sun was still low on the horizon, on a cool...

Posted by Douglas on Sep 14, 2013

As a math teacher, I love logic and logical puzzles. There is one kind of logical puzzle that I've always found particularly fascinating: logical paradoxes. Consider a piece of paper on which is written the following statement:

This statement contains threee mistaks.

What are the mistakes? "Three" is spelled incorrectly, and so is "mistakes." That's two mistakes. Oh! So the third mistake is that there are actually only two mistakes. But wait! That means there really are three mistakes. So that means it's not a mistake to say there are three mistakes. Which means there are only two mistakes, which means......

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