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Living Into A New Year

newyearI have heard many reflections on the rapidly closing year. Some have said it was a groundbreaking year in which they praise God. Others are happy that what they feel was a dismal year is drawing to a close. Interestingly enough, however, both groups look forward to the next year at least hoping for God to do something for them in a mighty way.

Preachers have asked me to pray that they will receive a call from a church this year. Others are hoping for some financial blessing. And still others are hoping for educational achievements. And others are just hoping for some kind of “jay-oh-Bee” to pay for the bills in this era of financial uncertainty.

As we teach and practice resolutions for the coming year, I cannot help but think about the text that the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 4:17. He writes about a God who “who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.”

As we look into this new year, we recognize that we can plan, work, and strive to do and be better, but in the end we are nothing without the empowering presence of God. This text reminds us that it is God that gives life to the dead. Those who look back at the past year and see nothing but death can take comfort in the fact that God gives life to the dead.

And finally we can be happy about a God that calls things which are not as though they were. What is it when a human being calls things which “be not as though they were?” We simply call that a lie. However when God calls things “which be not as though they were.” Then a awesome power will be at work in our behalf. So today, I call us who are in that fraternity that is called “preachers” to live into this next year on the creative power of God to do something that we cannot do ourselves. It is time to preach in the power of God. It is time to hope in the power of God. It is time to live in the power of God. And yes it is time to Love in the Power of God.

I pray God’s blessings on you as you seek to live in God’s will this upcoming year. I solicit your prayers for the continued work of Soul Preaching.

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My teaching methods are derived from studying at a world class seminary (Vanderbilt Divinity School) as well as my experience of over 30 years preaching.

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Soul Preaching is designed to use the African American Preaching Tradition to help you preach. The Soul Preaching journey started in 2006, when I desired to make the tools that I was learning in seminary accessible to my preaching sisters and brothers who due to financial, time, or educational background constraints could not go to seminary.  Over time, I found that even those who had been to seminary and/or Bible School have learned from the site. Now you can see what others have seen by taking your sermons to the next level. 

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Nashville, Tennessee

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Napoleon Harris – My First Preaching Experience and Suggstions for new Preachers

My first experience was “all good.” HA HA…yeah right I was as nervous as hell on judgment day! I fasted the week of the sermon by eating only fruits and vegetables until the day before which I ate nothing. I was sooooo focused on delivering that message John 10 the Good Shepherd. I had no title, I still 4 years later and with a MDiv in sight don’t title most sermons!

Praying for the Moment

Anyway, I was lead into a room all by myself and when it was time my dad came and got me. I was in the room going over my piece and praying. Then I just prayed and stretched out on the floor thanking God for calling me and just elated that He’d not quit on me while I was running and just elated that He’d use ME!

So when my pop knocked I wiped my face off dusted my suit off jumped up grabbed my sword and sermon and marched behind him to the pulpit. 2nd Met was PACKED full and I wasn’t scared….. Psyche!

Peace in the Midst of the Storm

But as I walked through the sanctuary, God calmed me. He said “you were born to do this” and a calm came over me. I know now, there are many things I’ve done and still do, but I was born to be in a pulpit. It’s the only thing I do 1/2 way right! No lie. So I took comfort and preached.

I wasn’t gonna try no whoop or nothing, but as I finished God glued me to that spot and said I ain’t through and neither are you, and I made the choice to step out on faith and I raised my voice for a lil bit. It was soooo unscripted, but still on task, (I’m a manuscript man) I knew that this journey of preaching was a faith walk and If I was gonna make it I would have to trust God!

Rehearse the Sermon!

So my advice to you is rehearse the sermon, preach it and everyone word for word at home as you will on Sunday. If you tune tune if you whoop whoop, but practice makes perfect! No it don’t negate the Spirit trust me the Spirit will still give u wings! But you’ll find Him givin’ you wings at home tooo! He’s omniscient too!

Also, tape it, and all your sermons so you can critique them. Everybody will say you did fine but you’ll know you can do better.

GO TO SCHOOL, God has given you a talent don’t put it in the ground! sharpen your tools son sharpen ya skillz. Nawmean?

Give it all you got. Might be ya last time.

Make sure you get the offering! lol naw, but real talk 1st sermons bring in good offerings when done right. U gonna need the cash to either enroll in school and buy books! You must buy books. You can want to be seen (nice suits) or heard, if you’re preferred to be heard folks will always wanna see you! But they can see you without hearing you!

Blessings and Peace

Reading the Bible in the Incoming Year

The Devotional Daily Bible: Read Through the Complete Bible in One YearMany people make resolutions to read the Bible through in the incoming year. Well we are about to start another year and I thought I would do a quick roundup on the tools that are out there to help you read the Bible in 2007.


One interesting tool is the website DailyBible.Com This website provides links to Good News, King James, and Contemporary English Versions. The readings are set up in a short 5 minute reading and a longer 20 minute reading which allows you to read the whole Bible in a year.

Back to the Bible includes a number of Bible Reading Plans. You can read the Bible in chronological order, historical order, beginning to end, and other plans. You simply click the link that takes you to the days reading.

You can also get the Discipleship Journal’s Bible Reading Plan. This is one that you print out and check the box when you have completed the reading. There is two NT readings and one OT reading every day.


The nice thing about computer programs is that you can generate your own Bible Reading Plan. One very good such program is the free Reading Planner. It comes in Palm-OS as well as Windows. I use it on my Palm-OS machine and it automatically kicks off my Bible program (PalmBible+ another free program).

Let’s say you want to read the NT in three months. You simply program it and the plan is created. A daily checkbox is there to show that you did it. Maybe you want to read the book of Psalms in a year. Once again it creates it for you. Maybe you think that a year is a bit ambitous to read the Bible and you instead make 1 year and 3 months. Once again the program does it for you. This software is great to take away all of our excuses. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think.

Hard Copy and EMail

I just found this interesting link that will send you an email with your reading for the day. You simply sign in and choose your version and the plan. They have some of the most common english trasnations. You can choose KJV, NKJV, NASB, NIV, and RSV, and a few others.

They even have Bibles that are split up in daily readings. I went to my Christian bookstore and saw a number of such Bibles in many translations.

You also might be interested in this link that has a number of Bible Reading Plan Links. So go ahead and find some method that works for you and get into some significant reading of the Bible. It will give power to your preaching and bring you closer to God.

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