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How to Slow-Cook a Sermon (17 Days to Showtime)

As Jessica and I begin to wrap up our last couple of months here in Fort Hood, the church that we attend has asked me to preach. As a Chaplain I typically keep my distance from extra curricular activities that might interfere with my primary job, but I have to admit "I love to preach and teach". Therefore, this will be one of the final highlights of our time serving in Killeen.

So, how do you prepare for a sermon? This day by day blog for the next two weeks will show YOU exactly what I am doing in preparing for the sermon. I hope you will see the labor that is involved. I hope you will see the questions that come up. I hope you will gather resources that you will never hear announced from the pulpit. Finally, I want you to hold me accountable. Feel free to ask questions if you desire, and as I walk in and out of the study...I will address them as I go.

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DAY ONE: THE EMAIL ARRIVES  (18 Days to go)
Email hits my gmail account at 0800, March 05.

John,
Would you be willing to preach ....on this particular weekend?  (Mark 12:1-27)

My Response:
Yes. I would be delighted to do so.
 
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DAY TWO: JUST MY BIBLE, NOTHING ELSE (17 Days to go)
As soon as I agreed to it my heart raced as it always does not knowing what this passage is completely about. I was shocked by how many verses and how I would even be able to work through 27 verses in the time allotted. In a previous sermon assignment in Germany, one of my good friends gave me just 1 verse in Psalms 23. I preached for 45 minutes. Now I have 27 verses,...yikes could this expand 20 hours and 15 minutes. Let's hope not. :)
 
I grabbed my ESV Bible from across my desk. Thumb to the passage and notice that I have already marked this passage up from previous teachings or sermons or Angie's scribbles. I make notes of anything that I can currently see on the page that might help me remember discussions I have had about this passage. THEN,...I pause and skim the headings. OH MY! I have a parable, a teaching of Jesus on taxes, and is there marriage in heaven? My pulse races,...I sense the ignorance in all the categories. I can't wait.
 
Then on March 5th, I read the entire passage. No note taking, just listening. What is Jesus addressing here? What came before this passage? What will soon happen after it? I don't know. Resisting the temptation to run to commentaries...just me and the Word for a couple more days.
 
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