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Paddleboat Race

Clovis Chappell, a minister from a century back, used to tell the story of two paddleboats. They left Memphis about the same time, traveling down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. As they traveled side by side, sailors from one vessel made a few remarks about the snail’s pace of the other.

Words were exchanged. Challenges were made. And the race began. Competition became vicious as the…


A certain amount of permanent dissatisfaction with one’s talents is probably a healthy thing. Those who are totally satisfied with their work will never reach their potential. The great pianist, Paderewski, achieved tremendous popularity in America. Yet, said Paderewski, “There have been a few moments when I have known complete satisfaction, but only a few. I have rarely been free from…

Paganini’s Violin

The absence of blessing on a life withdrawn from service. The great violinist, Niccolo Paganini willed his marvelous violin to city of Genoa on condition that it must never be played. The wood of such an instrument, while used and handled, wears only slightly, but set aside, it begins to decay. Paganini’s lovely violin has today become worm-eaten and useless except as a relic. A Christian’s…

Paid in Full

A.B. Simpson is reported to have said that the gospel “Tells rebellious men that God is reconciled, that justice is satisfied, that sin has been atoned for, that the judgment of the guilty may be revoked, the condemnation of the sinner canceled, the curse of the Law blotted out, the gates of hell closed, the portals of heaven opened wide, the power of sin subdued, the guilty conscience healed,…

Pain and Pills

You and I live in a world that is obsessed with the elimination of pain. Just take a stroll down the medicine aisle next time you are in the grocery store. You will see what I mean. When we have a headache, we take two aspirin, take a nap, and wake up feeling better. We forget the pain.

Face it, we do not like pain. But is that entirely healthy? Could it be that in some matter of my life, there…

Pain is a Megaphone

We can rest contentedly in our sins and in our stupidities, and everyone who has watched gluttons shoveling down the most exquisite foods as if they did not know what they were eating, will admit that we can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.…

Painful Choice

During World War II, Winston Churchill was forced to make a painful choice. The British secret service had broken the Nazi code and informed Churchill that the Germans were going to bomb Coventry. He had two alternatives:

(1) evacuate the citizens and save hundreds of lives at the expense of indicating to the Germans that the code was broken; or

(2) take no action, which would kill hundreds…

Pains of Hell

Oh that I was to lie a thousand years upon the fire that is never quenched to purchase the favor of God...But it is a fruitless wish. Millions and millions of years would bring me no nearer to the end of my torments than one poor hour! Oh, the insufferable pains of hell!

Painted Sticks

One Sunday a preacher told how, while sitting in his garden, he had watched a caterpillar climb a painted stick that was for decoration. After reaching the top, the caterpillar reared itself, feeling this way and that for a juicy twig to feed on, or some way to further progress. Finding nothing, it slowly returned to the ground, crawled along till it reached another painted stick, and did the same…


Vincent Van Gogh first began to experiment with impressionist techniques during his Parisian period, the time from 1886 until 1888. “Last year,” the Dutch artist wrote to his sister in 1887, “I painted almost nothing but flowers to accustom myself to colors other than grey, namely pink, soft or vivid green, light blue, violet, yellow, orange, beautiful red.” Last week, the Van…

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 31st, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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