From the Editor:

NCP 2008:
A Remarkable Success

Shaking Hands,
Meeting Needs

Learning from TR

Death, Faith

Link of the Week

Preacher’s Bookshelf


And Finally…

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

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    Vol. 7, No. 15 April 15, 2008    

Michael Duduit

What a remarkable blessing we had last week at the National Conference on Preaching! There was an amazing line-up of speakers and preachers (Rick Warren, Chuck Colson, James MacDonald, Barry Black, Robert Smith, and many more), and Richard Allen Farmer was masterful as worship leader. (Often, just after a speaker concluded, Richard would step to the piano and sing an original composition that would weave the speaker’s insights into the text.)

Most important was the spirit of the pastors and leaders who attended – a tremendous diversity of churches, denominations, ethnicity, nationality, geography – yet united by the Spirit and by the common purpose of the event: to focus on being more effective preachers of the Word. More than one participant came to me the last day and said, “This has been a life-changing experience for me.”

Mark your calendar for April 20-22, 2009, for the 20th annual National Conference on Preaching in Tampa, Florida. (That was the site of our first conference.) Among the speakers already scheduled are Jack Graham, John Ortberg, Stuart Briscoe, Steve Brown, and Dave Stone, with more yet to be announced. The theme will be “Preaching to Change Lives” – and it might just start with yours! So make your plans to be with us in 2009.

Michael Duduit, Editor


Martin Copenhaver has written a fascinating article about that activity every pastor knows: shaking hands after the service. He writes: “Through the years I have learned the historical and theological foundations of practically every word and gesture in the liturgy, but no one ever has explained to me why pastors stand in doorways and shake hands with worshipers following worship. I just know that you better do it. It is an essential part of Sunday morning. If after worship one Sunday, rather than stopping at the door to shake hands, I went directly to my study instead, I imagine there would be a bit of confusion and perhaps even some grumbling, as if something were terribly amiss.

“One reason the ritual of shaking hands after worship seems indispensable is easy to identify: It is an intensely concentrated time of interaction. As a pastor, you learn a lot about what is going on in your parishioners’ lives while shaking hands-much of it mundane, but some of it momentous, as well. People often are willing to say remarkable things at such a moment. Perhaps that is because, with their hearts fresh from worship, they are more willing to take risks. Perhaps it is because they can say something quickly and then immediately leave without having to face an extended conversation. Perhaps it is simply because they are seizing the moment.”

(Click here to read the full article.)


In a recent issue of his TIPS newsletter, Phillip Humbert talks about learning from the lives of successful people, and cites Theodore Roosevelt as an example. He talks about “models of people who passionately pursue every ounce of talent, opportunity, and potential they have. They do things differently. They have habits, attitudes, and behaviors that create the results they desire. Here’s a hint: Copy THESE people!

“So, what have I observed about TR? Here are just a few things:

1. Enormous self-discipline. As a skinny, sickly child who nearly died many times, when his father told him he must build his body, he launched himself into an exercise routine that would shame most Olympic athletes. Later, his work and writing schedule amazed even his publishers. His ability to master the intricacies of politics confounded his adversaries. The man knew how to focus.

2. Applied energy. Whether he was herding cattle, running for election, or playing with his children, people marveled at his ability to get things done. He may have had more energy than most of us, but what struck me was his ability to solve problems. He got up early, he worked hard, he loved what he was doing and his passion drove him forward. Winners have the same 24-hour day, but they use their time and energy differently. They get more and better results.

3. Quick, practical intelligence. TR had the ability to see through the confusion of daily life and find real solutions. When faced with family challenges or political opponents, or the thousands of details that confuse and confound most of us, he would pause, consider his primary objective, and cut through the clutter. To use a modern cliché, he ‘kept his eyes on the prize.’ For him, there was always a solution and he was determined to find it.

4. Gusto and love of life. Call it what you will, TR’s sheer enthusiasm often carried the day. His most common expression was a rollicking, hugely exaggerated shout of ‘DEEEElighted!’ He loved people. He loved challenges and problems. He loved to laugh, and he loved his work. He loved life and was not shy about it. People enjoyed being around him (even when they opposed him), and his passion and joy opened doors that would not have been available to others.

Obviously, we shouldn’t try to be anyone but ourselves. Each of us is unique, and our highest and best is to be precisely and fully who we are. But we can and do learn from others. Unfortunately too often we learn ‘accidentally,’ and bad habits too easily find room in our lives. But we can also learn intentionally from the most successful and inspiring people we can find. Choose your models wisely. Your life depends on it.” (Copyright © 2008, all rights reserved. U.S. Library of Congress ISSN: 1529-059X. Contact him at:


A sick man turned to his doctor as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said, “Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side.”
Very quietly, the doctor said, “I don’t know.”
“You don’t know? You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?”
The doctor was holding the handle of the door. On the other side came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness.
Turning to the patient, the doctor said, “Did you notice my dog? He’s never been in this room before. He didn’t know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear. I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing … I know my Master is there and that is enough.”

(Mikey’s Funnies)


The Many Names of CHRIST
To the ARTIST He is the One Altogether Lovely.
To the ARCHITECT He is the Chief Corner Stone.
To the BAKER He is the Living Bread.
To the BANKER He is the Hidden Treasure.
To the BIOLOGIST He is the Life.
To the BUILDER He is the Sure Foundation.
To the CARPENTER He is the Door.
To the DOCTOR He is the Great Physician.
To the EDUCATOR He is the Great Teacher.
To the ENGINEER He is the New and Living Way.
To the FLORIST He is the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley.
To the GEOLOGIST He is the Rock of Ages.
To the HORTICULTURIST He is the True Vine.
To the JUDGE He is the Righteous Judge, Judge of All Men.
To the JEWELER He is the Pearl of Great Price.
To the LAWYER He is the Counselor, the Lawgiver, the Advocate.
To the NEWSPAPER He is the Good Tidings of Great Joy.
To the OCULIST He is the Light of the Eyes.
To the PHILANTHROPIST He is the Unspeakable Gift.
To the PHILOSOPHER He is the Wisdom of God.
To the PREACHER He is the Word of God.
To the SCULPTOR He is the Living Stone.
To the SERVANT He is the Good Master.
To the STATESMAN He is the Desire of All Nations.
To the STUDENT He is the Incarnate Truth.
To the THEOLOGIAN He is the Author and Finisher of our Faith.
To the TOILER He is the Giver of Rest.
To the SINNER He is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.
To the CHRISTIAN He is the Son of the Living God, the Savior, the Redeemer and the Lord.

To me…HE is all of this and more;
HE is my everything, my all in all;
HE is more than LIFE to me,
My soon coming King.
What is He to you?

(from Cybersalt newsletter)

From the May-June issue of Preaching …

In an article about “Preaching on Marital Intimacy,” Joseph Rosas writes: “Frequently the prophetic witness of the Hebrew scriptures judge God’s covenant people for their unfaithfulness to Yahweh and liken it to marital infidelity. The prophet Hosea lives a parable of God’s continued seeking of His unfaithful bride, Israel. The problem of ‘meat offered to idols’ in the New Testament is the association of capricious sexual expression as a form of worship in various mystery religions.

“Idolatry as adultery is not an accidental image. Our relationship with God is the most fundamental fellowship we humans are capable of experiencing. From the Genesis 2 creation account it is obvious we are not created to be alone (separated from God or one another). Husband and wife are to complement and complete one another.

“True intimacy is never about ‘me’ – it is always about ‘the other.’ It takes the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13 to form any relationship of lasting value. Contrary to contemporary romanticism agape love is not a feeling over which we have no control. Rather it is made up of a thousand little daily choices to live in and express God’s love.”

Every issue of Preaching contains insightful articles on preaching, plus great model sermons and practical resources. If you’re not a current subscriber to Preaching magazine, click here(or call, toll free, 1-800-527-5226) to go begin your subscription!

Also in the May-June issue of Preaching: It’s one of the issues our members most want us to address and yet we often avoid: sexuality. In this issue we have articles on “Preaching and Marital Intimacy,” “Preaching on Homosexuality,” and much more. Plus you’ll enjoy an interview with creative communicator Ron Martoia, articles by Robert Smith and D.A. Carson, great sermons, and much more. Order your subscription today!

Sunday, April 27, has been designated as Internet Evangelism Day. Churches can download free materials from the Internet Evangelism Day website. These varied materials make it easy for churches to create a short presentation about online outreach on or near that Sunday. They can choose from a PowerPoint, video clip testimonies, drama scripts, music, and handouts to create their own customized program lasting from one minute to 50. Churches still have time to plan a focus spot on or near 27 April, or at any more suitable date during the year. More information is available at:

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
(Martin Luther King Jr.)


Several of the featured speakers at last week’s National Conference on Preaching have recently-published books that are worth a look. Among them:

The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters (Zondervan) by Charles Colson and Harold Fickett


Lord, Change My Attitude: Before It’s Too Late (Moody) by James MacDonald


Where Is God When We Suffer?

Happiness Is: Simple Steps to a Life of Joy (Touchstone Faith) by A.R. Bernard

(Click on the title to order from Amazon.)



A man and his wife were sitting in the living room when he said to her: “Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state dependent on some machine. If that ever happens, just pull the plug.”

So, his wife got up and unplugged the TV.


When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Let fresh air and the wind in your face be pure ecstasy.

When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.
Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.
Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water, and lie under a shady tree.
When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

No matter how often you’re scolded, never hold a grudge! Run right back and make friends.

Delight in the joy of a long walk.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.

Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

The wrappers did them in.

Police in Cincinnati say a trail of candy and wrappers led them to suspects in a break-in at a downtown candy store, according to an April 10 Associated Press report.

Four people have been charged with breaking and entering. One of the four also has been charged with child endangerment.

Police say a 19-year-old woman had her 7-week-old daughter with her when she and three others broke into Peter Minges & Son candy store last Thursday. They are accused of taking about $400 in candy.

The group was arrested a few blocks away – at the end of the trail.

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