On Sermon Writing

preacherI know from my interactions with readers that most visitors to The Master’s Table are Christians. Many write blogs of their own, author or review Christian books, or are otherwise involved in church culture. Not surprising since many of my posts are devotional in nature; my writing explores what it means to serve God, worship, share the Gospel and so forth. I’ve blogged on meeting Christian writers, musicians, speakers and pastors; working at summer VBS; serving on the stateside mission field; publishing a book about who God is and how we relate to him. On occasion I have not only published sermons but written on the act of preaching.

While the vast majority of the readership here is Christian I have no way of knowing how many actually preach the Gospel. We all know a good sermon when we hear one or at least know what we like. But how familiar with the process is anyone that has never prepared a sermon? While there may be those that joke their pastor only works one hour each week surely no one that has put any thought into it actually believes that. Surely. I’m not going to write a step-by-step guide on how to DIY your own sermon. But I would like to share some insight into what goes on in the mind of the preacher before the sermon is being delivered. Continue reading


Mother’s Day Sermon 2009

Mother’s Day sermons and blog posts have been trending on The Master’s Table for a couple of days now. Lots of search engine traffic. So it could be preachers mining my blog for sermon material but admittedly I sometimes do a Google search just to see what other guys are doing just to get started.

This post was written in 2009, three months before our daughter Johannah was born. One of the issues some have with recognizing Mother’s Day at church is that some woman that would like to be mothers cannot be while others have lost children. My Mother’s Day sermon in 2009 starts with a look into the experiences of Abraham and Sarah but takes a very personal turn. We had no way of knowing for sure that Johannah would be born healthy and happy on August 11th, her mother’s birthday, nor that subsequent issues would result in our never having any other children.

We feel blessed with our little family. We’ve made a lot of new friends, online and IRL, since this post was written a decade ago. It offers a glimpse into who we were and what we were doing back then. I enjoyed the look back. Here’s the link again, just thought I would share.


Doubletake 5-4-19

Screenshot 2019-05-03 at 8.12.43 PMFirst, let me marvel over the fact I have posted each day this week. I don’t know when The Master’s Table last published five days in a row.

So what is this? This is a look back at the past week. Some things I wrote about, others were in the news or perhaps happened on other blogs. Basically it’s a new project that I will likely start and then not follow through on. But The Master’s Table started out as a new project in 2008, Happy Monday was another in 2012. I may have more beginnings than finished projects but every task I have ever seen through to completion had a beginning. There is really no other way to start. Continue reading

This is the Day the Lord has Made

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Psalm 118:24. It’s a very well known text and often used as a call to worship, a rallying cry to get church members stirred up. I’m sure we have used it more than once over the years in our Happy Monday posts. We began our annual Rome Prayer Breakfast yesterday morning by saying this verse together, a couple of times. And during that meeting it’s meaning struck me in a new way. The Bible is like that; no matter how many times you read the Word it will never quit speaking to you. Continue reading

John O’Leary

Screenshot 2019-05-02 at 10.26.28 AMI just returned from the 26th annual Rome Prayer Breakfast. The event is catered by Chick-fil-A and various individuals offer prayer for military veterans, police and first responders, business leaders, educators, families, pastors and church staff. Each year a speaker is invited to give an address and this year John O’Leary joined us. I had never heard of John but he shares a personal story of a tragic incident/accident that happened in his childhood. He was playing with fire and gasoline at the age of nine and basically blew up his parents garage. He was burned on 100% of his body. Yes, 100% of his body. 87% of those burns were 3rd degree and he lost all of his fingers on both hands. Today he is married with four kids but his testimony involves a great deal of fighting with endurance. He has a great sense of humor, the audience shared lots of laughs and he closed playing the piano.

Here is a link to his website. You can find John O’Leary on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and he has written four books.