Various Broadcast Dates
Those of you who are regular listeners to our program know that the vast majority of messages come from what are called “sermon series” from books of the Bible. Long ago, I have found that the power of preaching is in the Word of God, not necessarily in the speaker! God takes His word as it is shared and does with it what He chooses, in the hearts of people like you and me.
From time to time on “CrossHope”, we will share a stand-alone message that is not a part of a regular series. We call those special occasion messages such as one we shared on Father’s Day or Christmas. These messages are still Biblically based, just different in that they are not part of a series. Maybe they will speak to your heart about something in your life!
Special Message 17
He’s the Potter; We’re the Clay!
Air Date Week of 7/1/2019
This Week – Does the Bible ever direct a message to an entire nation? Absolutely, Jeremiah 18:1-8 is the prime example. God refers to Himself as the “potter” shaping the clay at the potter’s wheel. The clay is not only any life; it’s any nation like ours! Claiming to be the potter, God is claiming authority and power over that which is being formed or reformed. It’s a great passage for July 4, 2019!
Monday (7/1) – Author Charles Sykes says we are nation of “whiners, complainers, and blamers”. We use his comments and illustration to set up this appropriate message for Independence Day, 2019. God says He can bless a country; He also says He can bring a curse upon a nation! Does that give you pause? It does me. God can bless a life; He also can bless an entire nation!
Tuesday (7/2) – People resent this scripture. Why? These verses smack against the notion that we are self-directed as a nation or even as an individual. God claims to be the “potter”. He then says “we are the clay”. That makes Him in charge or in control. That is actually offensive to some people. Perhaps it offends you!
Wednesday (7/3) – We talk about my favorite preacher, Ben Haden of Chattanooga, Tennessee. He told me that the most important quality for a minister to have is brokenness. That would not settle well with most ministers that I know today! The Lord will do more with our brokenness than anything else! We share a story about pottery from Israel that will speak to you about your life! It really will!
Thursday (7/4) – Truthfully, our brokenness is the best we have to offer the Lord. We use the story of a 19-year old man involved in drugs, alcohol and violence. He called out to God in his inebriated state. God can hear the prayer of a sober man or woman; He can also hear the prayer of a not so sober man or woman! You may already know that by past experience. Don’t miss this powerful story illustrating this truth.
Friday (7/5) – God can do things TO a nation as well as WITH a nation. God can do the same with your life and mine. We tell an emotional story of a dying man discovering the Lord through his submission to his earthly father and expressing his love to him. What could the Lord do with you submitting to His authority? What would or could happen if you submitted to His Lordship in your life, today?
SPECIAL MESSAGE SIXTEEN
Air Date Week of 4/15/2019
Now… We Know!
II Corinthians 5: 1-10
This Week – Not only is this an “Easter Message”, it happened to be the last message that a brother-in-law of mine heard. You see, he listened to this message on Sunday in person; he then died that Friday at home. The following week we were sharing in his funeral service in Cincinnati and burial in southern Indiana. Some day we will all hear our “last message”. Some people heard their last message years ago, and haven’t’ heard one since. I’m glad my brother-in-law heard this message and text. Let it speak to you this week!
Monday (4/15) – We begin with a sad story of a woman who had tragically lost a brother, and was raising her 7-year old daughter to simply believe in love as a source of comfort in death. That’s it! No hope in Christ, nothing offered about heaven and life after death. That certainly was and is her legal right as a parent. But I grieve for that little girl in terms of what could help her in her grief of losing a loved one in death. What you believe about life, death, and eternity will impact everything else you believe in life.
Tuesday (4/16) – We read the text from second Corinthians 5. Paul begins with the powerful phrase, “now we know”. I read it at every funeral. Why? Because I really don’t know of anything more comforting than what Paul said about our “earthly tent”, this body. He then talks about the next “dwelling” we will inhabit in heaven. It’s both comforting and sobering!
Wednesday (4/17) – I talk about a funeral I conducted early in my ministry in Dayton. The brother of the deceased did not want me talking about the “weird stuff” such as heaven, Jesus, and eternal life. I asked him what he wanted me to say. He said, “Just tell people that he was a good guy, didn’t beat his wife, worked every day of his life, and was a veteran!” That’s it! I told the man I would be glad to share all of that, but I told him that was not where the hope in death is.
Thursday (4/18) – We share a moving story about a 6-year old boy who had lost his mother in a tragic accident and his “belief” in heaven. He actually believed some of the truths of II Corinthians 5, without even hearing it. What do you believe about life after death for you, a family member, or a friend? What you believe about these issues matters more than you may think!
Friday (4/19) – If this scripture about life after death is true, the only hope we have in seeing loved ones again is all tied into a relationship with Jesus Christ! That is certainly not politically correct in 2019, but political correctness will matter little to you or me at our death. What matters is that Jesus is who He claimed to be or that He is not! Decide!
SPECIAL MESSAGE FIFTEEN
Air Date Week of 3/26/2018
The Event of All History?
Matthew 27:62-66, 28:1-10
This Week – From time to time someone will refer to an event as the “event of the decade” or even the “event of the century”. The only event that could be referred to as the “event of all history” would have to be the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Nothing else comes close. We use Matthew’s account in chapters 27 and 28 to discover this truth. All of history looked either forward or looks backward to this event! Everything was and is impacted by what happened that day!
Monday (3/26) – We begin with mentioning a book by a physics professor from the University of Texas called “The First Three Minutes”. After describing what happened at the “big bang”, he commented on how meaningless our existence is on our planet. He honestly believed that the more he understands about the universe, the more pointless it all seems. Really? What is pointless is living and dying not knowing the One who is the resurrection and the life!
Tuesday (3/27) – There is power in just reading Matthew’s description of the resurrection events out loud. If you don’t believe that, try it! Mel Gibson is supposedly planning a sequel to the movie, “The Passion of Christ”. Undoubtedly, this will be one of the texts that will provide the underpinning of the script for the film. Read it again! Picture the events on the movie screen!
Wednesday (3/28) – We tell the personal testimony of Carol Marin, a CBS News reporter whose life was saved on 9/11, 2001 by a New York City firefighter. As great an event as that was, it’s nothing compared to what the Lord accomplished for you and me on the days of His death and resurrection. In verses 9 of chapter 28, Matthew says, “Suddenly, Jesus met the women” who had come to the tomb. Someday, you and I will meet the Lord, suddenly! You do know that, don’t you?
Thursday (3/29) – Today and tomorrow, we share three stories of people having an “NDE”. That’s the acronym for “near death experience”. My purpose is not to get you to believe these stories; my hope is for you to believe in the One who is the resurrection and the life! Please note that! One of the stories I share today was emotionally difficult to share; I really had trouble in an earlier service getting through it. When you hear it you’ll know why!
Friday (3/30) – The last of the three stories about “NDE” is shared today. Again, you may have trouble believing what happened. All I ask is for you to keep an open mind as you listen to this story told by a Presbyterian minister from Bonham, Texas. She shares about an aunt in the last hours of her life who gets out of bed and “addresses” an audience of Christians about her impending death. What she says will touch you deeply. People of the resurrection live and die differently!
SPECIAL MESSAGE FOURTEEN
Air Date Week of 1/1/2018
The Greatest Intervention
This Week – All this week on CrossHope, we air a “stand alone” message from the book of Galatians that is timely for the Christmas season and New Year’s. It’s about the God of creation intervening in history by sending His Son to be born of a woman named Mary. Paul describes how “in the fullness of time”, God sent his Son to redeem the world from sin and death!
Monday (1/1) – We begin with the true story of an alcoholic intervention in a place called Madison, New Jersey. There is nothing “pretty “about such an act. It is always dramatic; it is often traumatic. It is something done by one or many people in the life of a person. The greatest intervention of all is when Jesus Christ came to earth to deliver you and me!
Tuesday (1/2) – Rita Snowden from New Zealand is an author I have quoted several times over the years. I first retell a story of hers that has produced more response from listeners that just about any story I have told on CrossHope. We then share a humorous story that applies to the text we study this week, about a boy proud of whose son he was.
Wednesday (1/3) – The Apostle Paul says that we are “all sons and daughters of the living God” through faith in Christ. He said that before coming to Christ, we were “slaves to the basic principles” of the world. What are they? They are humanism, materialism, and hedonism. Which one has a hold on you or me? We talk about those three.
Thursday (1/4) – Using a story about a car that was owned by Adolf Hitler, we tell a modern day parable about life in the United States today in 2017. It was a $2,000,000 Mercedes-Benz automobile built just for him. Despite all the “extras” that a car like that would have, it had a separate key on the dashboard that when turned would blow up the car! So many people do things in life and become things that they can self-destruct their lives one day at a time! Look around you!
Friday (1/5) – Paul says that as believers, we are “clothed with Christ”. Tell me what you talk about all the time, and I will tell you what it is that “clothes” you! If a person always talks about politics, it’s safe to say that they are clothed with politics. If a person talks about things or money, that’s what they’re clothed in. I think you get the point. What is it or whom is it that clothes you and me?
SPECIAL MESSAGE THIRTEEN
Air Date Week of 12/25/2017
Favorite Christmas Stories 2017
This Week – All this week on CrossHope, we air five favorite Christmas stories that come from various messages on our program over the last 7 years. Each story stands on its own to convey truth and power for the season. We hope you will not only enjoy them, but share them with others.
Monday (12/25) – Jean Gietzen lived in North Dakota during World War Two. Her story of Christmas of 1943 may just move you to tears in a quiet and yet powerful way. It really will! Listen to her recalling a memory of blessing a family in deep need at Christmas.
Tuesday (12/26) – This is my absolute favorite Christmas story! It’s told by Lillian Smith of Georgia. You won’t believe what her father did one Christmas, when he invited a group of state prisoners in what used to be called a “chain gang” over for Christmas dinner! And you are worried about having your relatives over! It truly is a scene out of a movie, yet it really happened one Christmas in her life!
Wednesday (12/27) – We share the story of a young man who didn’t speak to his father during his teen years and beyond. What he did at his father’s grave will impact you in a mighty way! This may just be the most important message of the week. Why? It’s about forgiveness. Christmas is about forgiveness for one simple reason: Christ is about forgiveness!
Thursday (12/28) – This is the only Christmas story I know involving the game of chess. And yet it has a much needed message for Christmas of 2017. We live in a culture today that “sees no Jesus, hears no Jesus, and speaks no Jesus. “ You’ve seen that at Christmas in our community, in our media, and even in families. Unfortunately, we need the “King” at Christmas as well as the rest of the year.
Friday (12/29) – We close the week with a story about the father of Dallas preacher, T.D. Jakes. It describes the direction this country is going this Christmas of 2017. It just might describe the direction your marriage, your family, or even your circle of friends is going this Christmas. It’s not just the “wrong” direction; it’s the opposite direction we should be going. Listen to this great story.
SPECIAL MESSAGE TWELVE
Air Date Week of 12/18/2017
Who’s Your Master?
This Week – We all have a “master”. Your master and mine is whatever or whoever controls our thinking and/or behavior. That master has a “voice” that we respond to, simply by hearing it. Jesus bluntly states that a person cannot serve two masters; they will hate one and love the other. Is life really that simple? Yes, Jesus explains why in the passage that we study the week before Christmas.
Monday (12/18) – We talk about how those families with dogs usually have a dog that responds to one voice in the family in particular. You may know that to be true in your family. We respond to the voice of the one who ‘controls” us. It may be the voice of money or things; it may be the voice of popularity or power. What voice do you respond to in life, if the truth were known?
Tuesday (12/19) – We share stories of people “honest to a fault” or what is termed “pathologically honest”. These are people who are perhaps “overly honest”, and yet Jesus says that whoever can be trusted with little can probably be trusted with much. Thus, the person who is dishonest with little probably will be dishonest with much. What is your level of honesty or dishonesty?
Wednesday (12/20) – We don’t truly own anything! Everything we have is on loan to us. The house, the car, the clothes all belong to someone else. Unless we are someone who lives forever, we really can’t say that we “own” anything! Most people don’t believe that; many Christians don’t either! What do you believe?
Thursday (12/21) – We consider a story by Fred Craddock, a former professor of preaching. It’s a story of his father dying of throat cancer at home, and Fred visiting his sick room at the house. What transpires will deeply move you. His dad was a man who realized he was wrong about some important things in his life. Is it possible that you or I will have to acknowledge that we were wrong about who was the master of our lives? Many of us will!
Friday (12/22) – We share the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s song, “You’ve Got to Serve Somebody”. It’s a lyric that is based on this passage in Luke. But Jesus points out the definitive detail that we are going to serve one master or the other, but not both. We talk about why Jesus has the right to demand servanthood from you and me. He died for us!
SPECIAL MESSAGE ELEVEN
Aired – 12/26/2016
The Greatest Intervention
This Week – All this week on CrossHope, we air a “stand alone” message from the book of Galatians that is timely for the Christmas season and New Year’s. It’s about the God of creation intervening in history by sending His Son to be born of a woman named Mary. Paul describes how “in the fullness of time”, God sent his Son to redeem the world from sin and death!
Monday (12/26) – We begin with the true story of an alcoholic intervention in a place called Madison, New Jersey. There is nothing “pretty “about such an act. It is always dramatic; it is often traumatic. It is something done by one or many people in the life of a person. The greatest intervention of all is when Jesus Christ came to earth to deliver you and me!
Tuesday (12/27) – Rita Snowden from New Zealand is an author I have quoted several times over the years. I first retell a story of hers that has produced more response from listeners that just about any story I have told on CrossHope. We then share a humorous story that applies to the text we study this week, about a boy proud of whose son he was.
Wednesday (12/28) – The Apostle Paul says that we are “all sons and daughters of the living God” through faith in Christ. He said that before coming to Christ, we were “slaves to the basic principles” of the world. What are they? They are humanism, materialism, and hedonism. Which one has a hold on you or me? We talk about those three.
Thursday (12/2) – Using a story about a car that was owned by Adolf Hitler, we tell a modern day parable about life in the United States today in 2016. It was a $2,000,000 Mercedes-Benz automobile built just for him. Despite all the “extras” that a car like that would have, it had a separate key on the dashboard that when turned would blow up the car! So many people do things in life and become things that they can self-destruct their lives one day at a time! Look around you!
Friday (12/30) – Paul says that as believers, we are “clothed with Christ”. Tell me what you talk about all the time, and I will tell you what it is that “clothes” you! If a person always talks about politics, it’s safe to say that they are clothed with politics. If a person talks about things or money, that’s what they’re clothed in. I think you get the point. What is it or whom is it that clothes you and me?
SPECIAL MESSAGE TEN
Aired – 12/19/2016
Favorite Christmas Stories (2016)
This Week – All this week on CrossHope, we air five favorite Christmas stories that come from various messages on our program over the last 6 years. Each story stands on its own to convey truth and power for the season. We hope you will not only enjoy them, but share them with others.
Monday (12/19) – Jean Gietzen lived in North Dakota during World War Two. Her story of Christmas of 1943 may just move you to tears in a quiet and yet powerful way. It really will! Listen to her recalling a memory of blessing a family in deep need at Christmas.
Tuesday (12/20) – This is my absolute favorite Christmas story! It’s told by Lillian Smith of Georgia. You won’t believe what her father did one Christmas, when he invited a group of state prisoners in what used to be called a “chain gang” over for Christmas dinner! And you are worried about having your relatives over! It truly is a scene out of a movie, yet it really happened one Christmas in her life!
Wednesday (12/21) – This may just be the most important message of the week. Why? It’s about forgiveness. Christmas is about forgiveness for one simple reason: Christ is about forgiveness! This is a story of a man who didn’t speak to his father all during his teen years and beyond. What he did at his father’s grave will impact you in a mighty way!
Thursday (12/22) – This is the only Christmas story I know involving the game of chess. And yet it has a much needed message for Christmas of 2016. We live in a culture today that “sees no Jesus, hears no Jesus, and speaks no Jesus. “ You’ve seen that at Christmas in our community, in our media, and even in families. Unfortunately, we need the “King” at Christmas as well as the rest of the year.
Friday (12/23) – We close the week with a story about the father of Dallas preacher, T.D. Jakes. It describes the direction this country is going this Christmas of 2016. It just might describe the direction your marriage, your family, or even your circle of friends is going this Christmas. It’s not just the “wrong” direction; it’s the opposite direction we should be going. Listen to this great story.
SPECIAL MESSAGE NINE
Aired – 4/18/2016
Remembrance and Rebellion
This Week – Most individual churches don’t “last” 175 years, yet the one I currently serve has. This week’s message is what was shared with the church on their 175th Anniversary. The admonitions that the prophet Isaiah gave to his people generations ago has an amazing application to a congregation today. See if you don’t agree!
Monday – Remembering is important in a marriage, a family, and in a church! What has the Lord done for you personally and done for your family? Rehearsing what the Lord has done is not just a spiritual exercise; it’s an act of obedience! We are commanded to remember what the Lord has done and tell the Lord of our gratitude and praise. Watch what happens when you do that!
Tuesday – We discuss a delicate story of how the Lord “spares” us in situations in life, even if we are not aware of it at the time. In eternity, I believe we will find out the many ways that has happened. We talk also about what makes a husband a husband; we discuss what makes a wife a wife. It may surprise you to find that out! It relates to what Isaiah talks about, being “true to the Lord”.
Wednesday – We talk about Isaiah’s words about the “angel of God’s presence”. We tell a great story from history, featured on PBS that speaks of God’s presence in a dramatic way with three men stranded in Antarctica. Maybe it will speak to you today as you listen. The word angel means “messenger”; God may use you or me as messenger of His presence!
Thursday – We share the story of Shannon from Pennsylvania where the Lord used her younger sister to minister to parents who lost their 24-year-old son in Afghanistan. Her sister became the “angel of God’s presence” in their lives by what she did. We also talk about God’s people rebelling against the Lord through idolatry. Idolatry was and is the greatest act of rebellion against the Lord!
Friday – The reason a church has lasted for 175 years is not luck, location, or finances. It’s by the grace of God! Just like the reason you’re reading these words right now; it’s by the grace of God! Isaiah tells of God “carrying” His people. God carries us all. He carries individuals, marriages, families, and churches!
SPECIAL MESSAGE EIGHT
Aired – 4/11/2016
Boldness in Prayer
Acts 4: 1-20
This Week – To pray “boldly” doesn’t mean to pray arrogantly or presumptuously; it means to pray with confidence! Not self-confidence, it means Christ confidence. It is confidence that as believers we are heard and listened to. That’s no small thing in life! That’s what we talk about all this week in a stand-alone message on CrossHope.
Monday – We begin with a humorous story of a hospital chaplain who was uncomfortable with praying for people at the hospital where he worked! One reason was that hospital patients were often uncomfortable with him praying for them. They actually didn’t want anyone praying for them. We use his story as a starting point for a stand-alone message on boldness in prayer from Acts 4.
Tuesday – We read the text of two apostles, Peter and John healing a man of lameness. (Blindness and lameness were the two most common ailments of the day.) The Jewish leaders had them arrested and interrogated. They were asked by what power or name that they did this act of healing. They were actually threatened because of someone healed of an ailment a man had for decades!
Wednesday – Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones of London gave up his medical practice to enter the ministry! He believed we had the ability as believers to plead God’s own word back to Him. We can say, “God, your word says that the Lord is my Shepherd.” We can then call upon the Lord as OUR Shepherd who cares for the flock and cares for you and me in particular.
Thursday – We talk about how that when the believers were praying in this chapter, the place where they were started “shaking”. We don’t know if they experienced a tremor or minor earthquake. Whatever it was, the place was shaking. Prayer shakes up things in a marriage, a family, or a church! When has your life been “shaken up” by prayer?
Friday – We close with a powerful story of someone who was actually in the service when this message was given. It was with his permission that we told it. In 1993, he was piloting one the military helicopters involved in the incident in Mogadishu, Somalia portrayed in the movie, “Blackhawk Down”. (Eighteen U.S. Marines were killed that day.) We shared part of that story as an illustration of prayer that you need to hear!
SPECIAL MESSAGE SEVEN
Exodus 19:3-5 and Hebrews 9:15, 27-28
This Week – When you love someone, you are usually interested in what interests them. What matters to them, even if didn’t matter to you in the past, now matters to you. When you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, you find yourself interested in what matters to Him. God has always been a “covenant” God. He was in covenant with the Israelites in the Old Testament times. He claims to be in covenant with us in the body of Christ today because of the blood of Christ that was shed on the cross for our sins.
Monday – Many Christians aren’t familiar with an important Biblical word. It’s the word “covenant”. A covenant is a contract or agreement between two or more parties. God has always been a covenant God. He established a covenant with the nation Israel in the book of Exodus. In the New Testament (testament means covenant), Jesus is called the mediator or broker of the new covenant with the body of Christ, the church.
Tuesday – In Exodus 19, God reminds the Israelites of the covenant that He has with them. He reminds them to obey Him completely, not partially. If they do, they will be God’s “treasured possession”. Everything about God’s relationship with His people is centered in the covenant. Today our relationship with God was initiated by the “mediator of a new Covenant”: Jesus Christ. The ultimate token of covenant is the Cross!
Wednesday – Breaking covenant is no small thing. Today we talk about people who break covenant with the God who loves them, and the Christ who died for them. We use the illustration of people retreating from a camp fire as an example of “breaking covenant” with the Lord. They initially reflect the light of the campfire in their faces. But as they move away from the firelight, the light dims in their faces; they eventually sink back into the darkness.
Thursday – We tell the true story of an attorney from Virginia who relates how his relationship with his children was “broken” for a time due to a marital separation. What he says about his relationship with his children will touch your heart. It speaks powerfully about the covenant relationship that every parent has with his or her children. So much of our lives is about covenant! Most of all, it’s about our covenant with the Lord God Almighty!
Friday – The covenant relationship we have with God is not for just a lifetime; it is eternal! You and I don’t have any other relationship that can be described in that way. We close with a story about a couple from Pittsburgh who were at the early service the morning this message was given. They had just lost a 39 year old daughter and wondered about their “covenant relationship” with their daughter now. Their question and subsequent answer may speak to you and your relationships.
SPECIAL MESSAGE SIX
End of Year – Aired 12/28/2015
It’s Up to You!
This Week – Dr. Henry Blackaby believes that the end of the year serves a two-fold purpose in our lives. First, it has a “corrective component” in our lives. Is it possible the Lord God Almighty would like to correct something in your life or mine at this time of the year? Why not? Then he believed that there was a “preparatory component” to the end of the year. Is it possible the Lord wants to prepare you for something that is coming up in your life or mine in 2016? Why not?
Monday – We introduce a text I have never preached from in my life, never! Moses is giving a message to the people of Israel as they are about to finally enter into the Promised Land. He tells them that what he’s going to tell them is not difficult to do what God wants them to do. It is a message about being faithful and obedient to what the Lord commands them to do. He literally tells them to choose life over choosing death! That’s the choice that we make in our lives today.
Tuesday – Most people don’t celebrate a new year, they just observe another “old one”. If you are honest, that has been true at some point in your life. The first thing to having a new year in your life according to Moses is to “love the Lord your God.” When you love the Lord, it impacts what you do, what you say, and what you think. It really does!
Wednesday – When Moses tells people to love God and walk in His ways; it means to align your will with His. What matters to Him, suddenly matters to you. What’s important to Him is now important to you. Tell me what really matters to you, and I’ll tell you what your God is! The message is clear; it is also critical to your life and mine.
Thursday – We share a powerful story about something I dislike a great deal: golf! It’s a true story about putting yourself under the influence of the One who wants to guide your life, your family, and your career. Whether you golf or not, you will be blessed by this story by Ron Mehl from Oregon.It’s a great illustration for 2016.
Friday – We close talking about the consequences of forgiven sin in our lives. Have you ever thought about the fact that though God does forgive, we still have to live with the consequences of what we set in motion? I wish it weren’t true, but it is. God calls us to make a decision to love the Lord, obey His commands, to “walk” in His ways, and to not to follow idols of our culture in 2016. What’s your decision? It’s up to you!
SPECIAL MESSAGE FIVE
Christmas – Aired 12/21/2015
Here’s Your Sign
This Week – Signs are a part of our everyday lives. We observe signs in travel, on businesses, and even in traffic. We mention that signs of disease are different from symptoms. Did you know that? A symptom is subjective; a sign is objective. We talk about that this week. Luke says that there would be a sign for the shepherds at the birth of Christ. It may not be what you have always thought.
Monday – We begin with a true story of country singer, Travis Tritt. His story of singing the carol, “Silent Night” whenever a fight would break out at a bar where he was performing will bring a smile to your face; it will also touch your heart. A Christmas Carol is a “sign” of the Savior. It really is!
Tuesday – We read the famous text from Luke 2, telling of the birth of Christ. Luke talks about “the sign” of the Messiah. The sign was not that a baby was born in Bethlehem; the sign was that the baby would be lying in a manger. A manger is simply a feeding trough! Think about it. God became flesh and was lying in feeding trough!
Wednesday – Christmas is not just about “good news”, it’s about the forgiveness of sins. It’s not just about good cheer and positive feelings of the Christmas season. It’s about our need of deliverance not only from guilt, but from the fear of death. Hebrews says that Jesus came to deliver people from their “fear of death” which holds people in bondage, all their lives!
Thursday – On Christmas Eve, we tell the story of a minister from Atlanta who was embarrassed that his 7-year-old son could play chess; but he could not. Taught by a ranked Chess Player how to play the game, he shares the most important lesson he learned from the pro. It’s a great lesson for your life and mine at Christmas! It really is!
Friday – T.D. Jakes tells of how his father refused to ask for directions when traveling, but he refused to even look at a map. The result was not only were they lost many times; often they were going in the opposite direction. It’s a great parable for our nation in 2015! We’re not only lost without the Christ of Christmas; we are going in the opposite direction!
SPECIAL MESSAGE FOUR
Easter, 2015 – Aired 12/14/2015
This Week – Have you ever thought of believing in the resurrection as being risky? It is today and it was in the day of the Apostle Paul. Paul describes being “on trial because of his hope in the resurrection”. Not everyone today in 2015 believes in life after death or in the resurrection of Christ. And yet that is where the hope is. Hopelessness is believing in nothing; hope is believing in the One who is hope, Jesus Christ.
Monday – Dr. Erwin Lutzer of the famous Moody Church in Chicago, tells of being asked to conduct the funeral of a multi-millionaire. The son asked that the funeral be very brief, as they were only having it to please a relative who carried some clout in the family. He said, “Nothing you say will be too short.” Lutzer insisted on at least sharing something about death, resurrection, and Christ. In that case, hope wasn’t welcome!
Tuesday – If you were on trial for your belief in the hope of the resurrection, would there be enough evidence to convict you? That’s a thought provoking question. We share the powerful word of a woman writing from a women’s reformatory in Ohio about her past and present. It is one of the most beautifully written statements about a person’s belief in Christ that I have ever read!
Wednesday – The book of Acts says that while Paul was in prison, the Lord “stood near him” and told him to “take courage”. What an encounter! Is it possible that the Lord wants us to take courage in a discouraging time in history and to realize that the Lord may be nearer than we think? I want you to hear the story of a psychotic patient in a mental hospital and her words of encouragement to the doctor who treated her. It’s a story that will impact your life!
Thursday – Rarely do I tell stories from the Viet Nam war era. A Presbyterian minister friend of mine from California relates a poem written by a woman who lost her boyfriend in the war. It is one of the hardest hitting pieces of writing I’ve ever seen. It illustrates our refusing to come to terms with who Jesus is as the Resurrection and the Life. One person told me that just thinking about this poem brought them to tears.
Friday – I close with a story of my 81-year-old aunt who works out at a gym five days a week! You may be surprised at the reason that motivates her. It’s not what you think. What motivates us in our world today should include a belief in the hope of the resurrection. We are either motivated by hope or hopelessness. Which motivates you?
SPECIAL MESSAGE THREE
Palm Sunday, 2015 – Aired 12/07/2015
Defined By What?
I Corinthians 1:18-25
This Week – Most of the time on CrossHope, we share messages that are a part of a series from a book of the Bible. That’s what I have done in terms of preaching style for 3 decades on the radio. From time to time, we do share “stand-alone” messages. That’s what we do this first week after the last series in First Timothy. We begin with a message given on Palm Sunday, 2015. It’s a message about the cross, the pivotal point of history. Not only that, it’s the thing that defines your life and mine.
Monday – We begin with the story of Jason from southern California who said he didn’t want his life defined by the tragic events in his life. There was sickness, death, and family tragedy in his life; he wanted his life defined by three simple words: “life goes on”. I agree, but I believe every believer in Jesus Christ has his or her life defined by something else: the cross! We look at the passage from Paul’s letter to Corinth where he talks about the cross being the Center-Point of our lives.
Tuesday – Verse 18 says that the message of the cross is “foolishness” to those who are dying spiritually. But to those who are being “saved”, it is the power (Greek word that is foundation of the English word dynamite) of God! Maybe there was a time in your life that anything connected to Christ or the cross was a joke! Now, it’s the pivotal point of your life what happened 2,000 years ago in the death and resurrection of Christ.
Wednesday – Any power that is in preaching is connected to the power of the cross! It’s not in our wisdom or brilliance, it’s not in rhetoric or speaking ability, it’s in the simple message that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead. We discuss the placing of the unexplainable things of our lives at the foot of the cross. We tell a story that illuminates that idea.
Thursday – We share the story of a woman named Diane from Frankfurt, Indiana who talks about her struggle with cancer and the support organization she belonged to. A newspaper reporter writing about her group describes their lives as being “lived in the shadow of death”. Diane says she prefers being described as someone who “lives in the shadow of the cross”. I prefer that as well. Hopefully, so do you!
Friday – We close this message with one of the most unusual stories I’ve ever heard or told! It’s about a professional photographer who takes pictures of people who are complete strangers to the people that are being photographed with them. What happens when people view these pictures will surprise you. Is your life defined by the cross? That’s the message today and all this week!
SPECIAL MESSAGE TWO
Christmas, 2013 – Aired 12/23/2013
Christmas Stories for the Heart
The greatest story ever told begins with the remarkable coming of the Messiah into the world. Paul would say, “In the fullness of time, Christ was born of a woman….” We don’t use terminology like that, we might say “just at the right time”, Christ was born. All this week, we share stories that help to illustrate His story of coming to this world to redeem people from their sin. Let them help illuminate your Christmas experience in 2013.
Monday – Part One – Lillian Smith grew up in rural Georgia during the depression. Her story of her father bringing 48 state prisoners home for a Christmas dinner will not only bring a smile to your face, but a tear to your eye when you hear it.
Tuesday – Part Two – Jean Gietzen’s story of a North Dakota Christmas in 1943 caught me off guard when I read it. I honestly thought it was going to be another “corny Christmas story” that so many people write about. It is anything but, and will grab your heart as it did mine!
Wednesday – Part Three – What do you know about the writing of the most famous Christmas carol of all time? The third verse of “Silent Night” is the most profound statement in the hymn. We talk about it, and yes, we’ll sing the third verse together!
Thursday – Part Four – Christmas isn’t always about forgiveness, but maybe it is. A friend of mine didn’t speak to his father all during his teen years, right up to his dad’s death. Twenty years later, he talked to his father’s headstone at the cemetery. You really do want to hear this story.
Friday – Part Five – We close out the week with an end of the year thought prompted by Dr. Henry Blackaby. He believes that the end of year serves a two-fold spiritual purpose in our lives. You and I need this message before 2013 ends and 2014 begins!
SPECIAL MESSAGE ONE
Father’s Day, 2013 – Aired 12/2/2013
Father’s Day Warning
The book of Proverbs has some of the most frightening statements in the entire Bible. The verses that we study this week are graphic in their description of what happens to those who disrespect their father and mother. One person said he sure hoped these verses were figurative. We can only hope!
Monday – Part One – Proverbs 30 says the “the eye that mocks his father will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures.” The Bible says that? Yes, and it indicates how serious the Lord takes our disregard and disdaining of a parent. He takes it very seriously in your life and in mine!
Tuesday – Part Two – The Proverb writer says that fathers are conveyers of truth and wisdom to their children. Likewise, children are to heed those lessons and listen with the intent of obeying the truth. The “truth” in the New Testament sense is Jesus Christ. Why? He is the way, the truth, and the life!
Wednesday – Part Three – Proverbs says, “Get wisdom, discipline, and understanding”. Part of being a godly father in 2013 is conveying those things to our sons and daughters. We can’t convey or pass on to our children what we don’t possess!
Thursday – Part Four – We share a story today of a woman who nearly drowned in a pool when she was three, when the bottom fell away from under her. Her dad rescued her at the last second. We live in a culture where the bottom is falling away the young people of the day, and have no father to rescue them!
Friday – Part Five – The reason this passage is so serious is that in Old Testament times, to curse your father or mother was considered a capital offense! The Lord did not take kindly to those who showed contempt for a parent. He hasn’t changed! The way we treat our parents just may reflect our attitude toward our heavenly Father.