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What is a Synthesis?

What’s going on everybody…

I had a question that came in that I thought would be helpful to all of yall…

If you have a question…go head and hit reply to this email and ask it…

I will get to your question eventually…

Here is the question:

***
Brother Sherman,

I never heard of the
Thesis
Antithesis
Synthesis

Sermon what is this type of sermon?
***

Good question…

I actually speak a bit more on this in the supercharge your sermons system which you can find out about at: http://www.superchargeyoursermons.net

But here is the basic idea…it is based on Hagel’s dialectic.

Looking Back at 2009 and Plans for 2010

newyear2010

Let us look back at 2009. What did we accomplish?

We did a number of new things in 2009.  I think we have taken a strong step towards being more than a blog, but being a full scale ministry of support to preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • Web Seminars. We created and presented a number of free webseminars.  They were: Preaching in the African American Tradition, Sermon Planning, Ending the Sermon Right, The Four Waves of Biblical Exegesis, Using Logos Bible Software in Exegesis, Overview of the Supercharge Your Sermons System, and Affiliate Marketing for Online Ministries.  We plan to offer these and a few more in the coming year.
  • Free E-book, You Can Preach.  We created a website entitled YouCanPreach.Com to give away our free ebook.  We have no idea how many of these we have given away to this point, but we now can keep some tabs on the number we have given to help preachers.
  • Free E-book, Preaching in the Black Tradition.  We have given away a number of these e-books and still give it away from time to time.  If you register for one of our web seminars you can gain access to it now.  This is another free e-book that SoulPreaching.Com has made available to help preachers.
  • Updated the Free website SoulPreaching.Com.  This is our base of operations.  Here any can access free reflections on preaching with an emphasis on African American Preaching.
  • Continued Publishing our Free Web Magazine The Soul Preacher.  This email magazine has been answering questions sent in by readers.   It is the official organ of Soul Preaching Ministries.
  • Some Free Phone and Email Preaching Consultation.  We have had the opportunity to support and aid some preachers in construction of their sermons.  This has been very gratifying.  Due to financial constraints we have not been able to do this as much as we would like, but a few have been helped by this services.
  • Continued the Free Audio Updates to SoulPreaching.Com.  Some have really enjoyed this aspect of SoulPreaching that we have done on occasions.
  • Created a Free FaceBook Group site.  We interact with readers at that site.  On occasion our website has been down and that site has helped us to keep our readers informed of when the site would be back up.   You can join that group by clicking here.
  • Free ebook entitled An Overview of the Supercharge Your Sermons System.  This gave the funamentals of our preaching system.
  • Totally Overhauled the WebSite.  Our new look SoulPreaching.Com of Fall 2009 has been verrryyy successful.  We see that members are staying on the site much longer than any of our previous sites.
  • Supercharge Your Sermons System.  We have created the only interdenominational African American Preaching Course delivered totally over the web.  The course is no longer open to new students, but we will open it again in the fall.   Thank you to those who have supported this by becoming paid students of the program.
  • EBook Sales.  This has been the bread and butter that has paid for many of our expenses.  We have recently discontined them however and will create some CDs and Paperback books to replace them.

Plans for 2010

OK, what do we plan to do in the incoming year?

  • Update SoulPreaching.com 3-5 times a week. We have had times where we would update one or two times a week. We want to get it up to 3 times.
  • Emagazine Soul Preacher will be updated 2 times a month. This is highly dependent on interest from others, but we hope to update this two times a month.
  • Update Audio One time a Week. We have done it infrequently, but we are planning to do one audio a week in the coming year.
  • Web Seminars.  We plan to present 12 webseminars this year.
  • EMagazine Membership Drive. We have desired to give away free books to our members. We will plan to have two contests of some sort to give away some books and increase the size of our EMagazine circulation.
  • Create a Paperback Book. We plan to create a paperback book that will be available on Amazon.Com in the coming months.
  • Note Free Preaching Course. Due to the success of Supercharge Your Sermons, we plan to create and deliver a web course on preaching without notes. This will be a paid course and should be available in early March or late February.
  • Web Media Blitz. We plan to do some web advertising that will include purchasing advertising on other web media outlets. This is a major initiative where we are seeking to take SoulPreaching.Com to the next level.
  • Online Preachers Conference.  I have had thoughts about this for a while, and hope to make SoulPreaching.Com the driving force behind an all online preaching conference this year.

That is a lot to do. I think it can be done. I thank you for your interest in SoulPreaching, SuperchargeYourSermons, and our Audio. Hold on to your seats, we are kicking it up in the coming year as we seek to make 2010 our best year yet!

Special Note of Thanks.  I really wish to thank those who have supported the ministry by their purchases.  You have made this work possible. We do not receive support from any ecclesial organization, so if it weren’t for you, we would not be in business. Once again thank you.

And to all of my readers, I pray God continue to bless us all as we move into 2010 that it may be the greatest year yet.

The Preacher’s Bookshelf – A Bible Dictionary

When you are preaching the Gospel, you need various tools to help you understand the Biblical text. As noted in other places on this site and others, you should never begin your preparation looking at these tools, however, you should always ensure that your preaching is in line with what is truth. There is nothing that will ruin your credibility faster than basing a major point in your sermon on something that is simply untrue.

When you are attempting to understand the text, you need to know the background of the text, author, occasion that calls for the writing of the scripture. One should never forget that the scripture is an alien book to us. Sometimes we think we are reading a book written primarily to 20th century readers, but there is a gap between us and the original hearers of scripture that require bridging. One important tool in this bridging is the Bible Dictionary. There are a number of dictionaries that can be of aid to the preacher. I personally have Harper-Collins Bible dictionary in addition to Anchor Bible Dictionary on CD. Harper-Collins is one volume and the Anchor is a multi volume tool.

A good Bible dictionary will allow you to look up any word you find in the Bible. That word may be a person, place, or thing. It might be a city. You might wonder about an animal or even the monetary system. Have you thought about the other gods in the surrounding areas of Palestine? All of these questions will be addressed in a good Bible dictionary.

Another Bible dictionary that you can find on the web for free is the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. However that is a bit dated. in any case, preachers should never preach a text that is not fully understood. While referring to the Bible Dictionary should not be the first place in the sermon prep, you must never get up in the pulpit preaching a text you dont’ understand, a Bible dictionary will help you not make that mistake.

Why Subscribe to the Newsletter?

SoulPreaching.Com was launched on September 1, 2006. Since that time we have had a number of articles and audios on preaching. In addition, we have provided a free ebook that taught the reader how to create an effective sermon in the African American tradition. We now have over 400 articles on preaching.

A few months ago we kicked off the newsletter and it has been well received, however some wonder what are the benefits?

Well here are the current benefits:

  1. The newsletter is delivered once a week most of the time on Monday Morning you will receive an email to encourage you in the preaching task.
  2. Links to important websites that may or may not be on the main SoulPreaching site.
  3. Articles that have not appeared in SoulPreaching.Com or have been expanded for the newsletter. For example we had an article on how to use another person’s sermon. We also had an issue where we examined the Jeremiah Wright issue. And finally we had an article entitled “Learning to Whoop” that was only available to email subscribers.
  4. Links to important posts in the past. In the last couple of issues we have had a theme where we linked to posts on “whooping” and on “preaching without notes.” Here you can learn about some articles that are on SoulPreaching.Com that you may not have read.

What are some of the future benefits?

  1. Discounts on SoulPreaching.com merchandise. We are very close to releasing some Audio-Book training systems and all email subscribers will learn about the programs first and also receive special discounts.
  2. Sermons and Outlines.
  3. Other important benefits that will help you to preach.
  4. All of this is available to the SoulPreaching newsletter subscribers. Please subscribe to the list at the bottom of this post.

    Subscribe by clicking here

I’m Gonna Sing That Song!

Psalm 33:6-9

Introduction


My father was a district leader of the NAACP during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Because of this, he used to tell my brothers and me about the Civil Rights Movement. My father simply called it “the movement.” I heard stories about marches, bus trips called freedom rides, and lunch counters. My father would have a smile on his face when he spoke about the accomplishments of the movement.

In addition, my father told us about the meetings. He noted that these meetings were full of songs and preaching. The songs were about courage, standing up against evil, and about God being on the side of humanity struggling for justice. “I, I shall not be moved, I, I shall not be moved.” Or, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” Also, “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize hold on.” they also sang, “I ain’t gonna let nobody turn me round.” Finally, “We Shall Overcome.”

If one was not aware of the situation one might think that one was listening to a description of a meeting that was celebrating victory. But, surprisingly at the same time that they were singing these songs they were in the midst of very difficult times. I learned about the church bombing that killed those little children. I learned about the assassinations of great leaders of the movement. I learned about government conspiracies to overthrow that same movement that my father spoke so glowingly of. Even my father at times would tell us of his own struggles like having his car window shot out and his life threatened.

Yes, it was a difficult time that called for struggle and work against a system that had been in existence since the beginning of this nation. It was a time when the people of God stood up against powers without even really having the ability to overcome these powers. It was a time when justice was without form and void and darkness was all over the face of the deep.

3 Israel’s Song

Our text this evening was crafted during a time like this. Hope could have easily given in to hopelessness. It was a time when the promise of God to come back to the land that God promised them was coming to past. It was a time when all around there was nothing but visual indications of pain and hopelessness.

Our text is simply a song. “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made. And all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” Here were a people in the midst of trouble. They were struggling against an environment that was totally against the promise of God. Certainly it didn’t look as though a powerful creator God would leave the return to their land project half done. Certainly all didn’t look right, but they sang this song in particular, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made. And all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” The song describes the awesome creative power of God. The song talks about God’s ability to do something with nothing. The song attempts to lets us know that that word has the power to do what it says.

But as I think about this singing and about this song in particular, I begin to wonder if there were some in the audience when this song was sung who didn’t really feel like singing the song. I am not suggesting that those few didn’t believe what the song says, but when we look at the circumstances of a creation gone wrong we have to wonder if some didn’t feel like singing this song of God’s majestic creative power. Certainly there was at least one who didn’t want to sing this song when God’s creative power hasn’t seemed to show up “on time” as the old folks used to say. Certainly there was at least one who was in that movement that my father spoke of who didn’t want to sing their songs. When we today look at the pain and hurt in the world and realize that this is not in line with the hopes and dreams of a God that has the power to set aside all of this with only a word. Certainly somebody doesn’t want to sing that song.

I didn’t want to sing the song

I must confess that sometimes I don’t want to sing that song. Why sing songs about the power of God to overcome any situation when you are in the midst of a situation that God could do something about but doesn’t? How can I sing songs about this power of God when we hear of a diagnoses that causes the doctor to shake her head? Sometimes I don’t want to sing that song. And so even when I come to a song found in our text like this I begin to wonder. How could Israel sing about the total creative power of God while looking at complete destruction? How could our mothers and fathers stand up and sing a song about overcoming when injustice seems to reign?

I mean I can understand singing the songs about a God that will help us but not do for us, but that is not this song. No this song is about God’s complete power over all of creation by speaking a simple word.

As a child I had an imperfect picture of this problem and went to my father and asked him why would you sing these songs at the same time that your windshield is being shot out? Why would you sing these songs when water hoses are put on your brothers and sisters? He then answered, we sung these songs so that we can remember. Remember what we were seeing was not in line with God’s desires. We needed to remember, that God spoke in the past. We needed to remember that God was on our side. And most of all we needed to remember the power of God for we were counting on that power of God.

Counting on the Creative Power of God

Israel sang this song for the same reason, they needed to remember that God is a powerful creator. Somebody may be in the same situation of not really wanting to sing the song, but the song reminds us of the time that God stepped in and spoke in the past. Yes we may not always feel like singing the song, but the song reminds us of God’s promise to step in in the future. And thus ultimately you and I are counting on that power to create again. You may not feel like singing the song, but as you sing the song you are a part of a community of witnesses to the power of God. And as you sang the song, you remember and then you fell like singing the song.

Yes, there were some in the congregation who didn’t want to sing the song, but they sang in the community, “By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made.” I am sure that there were some who needed to be reminded of the power of God to help them in their situation and so they sang, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made.” They sang the song because they needed to be reminded of what God did do in the beginning.

They needed to be reminded of the awesome power of a God that can step out on nothing and call something into existence. They needed to be reminded that that same power has promised them something that they cannot get on their own. They needed to be reminded that they were counting on God’s creative word to do what they could not do themselves. They needed to be reminded that the deeps of their existence needed to be placed in a bottle and that no amount of struggle that they engage in could do that. They needed to be reminded that that same word can take the seas and gather them together as in the creation. So they sang, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made.”

We can struggle, we can fight. We must struggle we must fight, but in the end we are dependent on that creative power of God that can take nothing and make something. They sang “By the Word of the Lord where the heavens made.” Because they may not see it now, but they were counting on that creative power to come through for them. They may not see it now, but they were counting on God pulling the cat out of the hat.

I am going to sing the song

I don’t always feel like singing this song. “By the word of the Lord where the heavens made”, but Israel reminds me that I need to remember that power of God that will come through in God’s own time. I don’t always fell like singing the song, but my father reminds me that I need to remember what God has done for us as a people. And so I will sing it anyway, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made.

I am going to sing this song. I may have tears in my eyes, but I will sing the song, I may not want to sing the song, but I am gonna sing that song until I remember because like the Israelites, and like my father I am counting on the fact that God is going to do something with nothing. I am counting on that fact that God is going to take nothingness and make something just and good.

Yes, God isn’t through creating. God is still taking formless voids and turning them into paradise. I don’t know where you are right now. You might find yourself in an untamable sea of trouble, but the Song says that God has the power to take that sea and place it in a bottle. So I am going to sing this song, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made.” I don’t know when God will create, I don’t know how God will create, but I am counting on that creative power over my circumstances. In fact right now I am planning on seeing that creation happen. In the beginning we were not here to see the creation, but this time we can see creation happen. You might find yourself in the deeps, but the song says God has the power to place all of the deeps into storehouses. Just wait to see that creation happen. Somebody might be in the tumultuous sea all I have to say today is keep on singing the song, because the song says God has the ability to put that sea in a bottle.

So I am going to keep on singing that song, because I am counting on the creative power. I am going to keep on struggling for justice, but I am going to sing that song, because I need God to do what only God can do. Today I ask you to sing that song with me so that we all can remember what God can do until God steps in and does it!

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made.

God Bless You!

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