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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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The Fiery Sermon

A man tells this story about the time his preacher came to his home for a visit. The man was a church member, who had attended services regularly, but for some reason or another, had suddenly stopped going. After a few weeks went by, his preacher decided to visit him.

It was a chilly evening, and the preacher found the man at home sitting in front of a blazing fire in the fireplace. The man welcomed the preacher, guessing the reason for his visit, and invited him to sit in a big chair near the fireplace. The preacher made himself comfortable, but said nothing.

In silence he watched the play of the flames around the burning logs. After a few minutes, the preacher reached over, took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Still silent, he sat back in his chair.

The host watched in confusion, and then fascination as the lone ember's flame diminished. There was a brief glow and then its fire went out. Soon it was cold.

Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. Just before the preacher was about to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and the warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the preacher reached the door, his host said, "Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I'll be back in church next Sunday."

Where are you? Are you in the flames, on fire for God and the work of the church? Or are you a cold, dead ember off to yourself because someone made you made or you didn't get your way about something? Get in the fire and stay in the fire! !

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward