Jeremiah Rankin

It’s hard to say goodbye. You may recall the immortal words Juliet spoke to Romeo, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” Or consider the endearing line from Winnie the Pooh, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Pastor...

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Andrew Murray

News outlets are all over the story that belief in God is on the wane in America. There is no shortage of testimonials on social media of people who have walked away from God and given up on faith. Surely, unanswered prayer has something to do with...

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Rachel Field

She was, of her own admission, a shy and awkward child. She lived in a house along Main Street in Stockbridge, Mass, which Norman Rockwell painted into "Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas." She said of herself, "I wasn't one of those children who...

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John Suder

It must rank as one of the most imaginative cover letters ever written. Robert Pirosh quit his job as a copy editor in NY to look for work as a Hollywood screenwriter in 1934. He sent the following letter to studio executives and producers, “I like...

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Thomas a Kempis

What is the second best-selling Christian book of all time? The all-time best seller is a no-brainer—the Bible. The runner-up best-seller is likely one you don’t know and haven’t read. It’s Thomas a Kempis’ (1380-1471) devotional classic, The...

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George Duffield

It was his first Sunday at Old Pine Street Church in Philadelphia. The congregation voted by a strong majority to call George Duffield (1732-1790) to be its pastor in 1771. A large crowd gathered to hear his inaugural sermon, but the old guard...

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Sabine Baring-Gould

I'm searching for the right word to introduce Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924). Eccentric? Unconventional? Quirky? He reportedly taught with a pet bat on his shoulders. You get the picture! A recent biographer wondered how he had the capacity for...

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Henry Ward Beecher

The dilemma of unanswered prayer is particularly vexing for us who pray. We who try to be diligent in prayer know the disappointment that attends prayers that seemingly go unanswered. Why doesn't a loved one recover from illness? Why can't family...

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Ernest T. Campbell

Political activist James Foreman asked Pastor Ernest T. Campbell (1923-2010) for permission to read the Black Manifesto in worship the next day at Riverside Church in upper Manhattan. The manifesto called for 500 million dollars in reparation from...

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Maltbie Babcock

Suicide is on the rise in our country, yet we still don't know how to talk about it. We speculate in hushed tones about the deceased mental state and rush to conclusions, yet we are hard-pressed to know what to say to grieving family members. This...

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Thomas Olivers

He described himself as “the worst boy known in Tregynon (a town in Wales) in thirty years.” Thomas Olivers (1725-1799) was orphaned at four and went to live with a great uncle who died a few years later, leaving him a small fortune. Thomas...

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George Whitfield

He was passing through Exeter, New Hampshire, on Sept. 29, 1770. He was invited to preach at a local church, but when 6000 people showed up, the venue was moved outdoors. Some people in the crowd could tell George Whitfield (1714-1770) wasn't...

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Francis Akanu Ibriam

Knighthood conjures up legendary stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Knighthood is bestowed by the British king and queen for significant achievement and meritorious service to the United Kingdom. The prefix “Sir” is an...

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Edward Perronet

They were both passionate and strong-willed. John Wesley had heard about the gifted young preacher Edward Perronet (1726-1797), and was eager to hear him. Since Wesley was 18 years his senior and the elder statesman in the Methodist movement,...

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St. Francis of Assisi

The BBC in 1957 aired a television special about a family in Switzerland harvesting a bumper crop of spaghetti from a spaghetti tree. Since pasta was relatively unknown in the UK at the time, unsuspecting viewers were oblivious that this news...

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Gregory the Great

Most of my sermons follow a predictable pattern. I begin by attempting to draw people into the message, aware that most congregants decide in the first minute or so whether they will give full attention to the sermon. The middle portion of my...

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N. T. Wright

The day between Good Friday and Easter, Holy Saturday, is one of the most confusing days in the Christian calendar, situated halfway between the agony of Good Friday and the joy of Easter. Nothing much happened on that first Holy Saturday. Jesus'...

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Christina Rosetti

It seems counterintuitive to call the day on which Jesus died "Good Friday." As far as I can tell, the phrase likely originated in the Middle Ages. Jesus' death on the cross is good in what it accomplishes--death to our sins and the harbinger of...

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