what really helped me the most was God!
The reason that there was a severe reduction in the number of posts over the last two or so weeks is that I had been asked to do a sermon at my Church. I was surprised just how much time it takes to pull together a forty five minute talk! It struck me that a lot of the things that helped me most are mentioned on this website.
Of course, what really helped me the most was God! Without His help and guidance it would have been a dull and pitiful preach. And secondly, my pastor’s guidance and feedback was vital. Assuming that these are a given though, what else did I find the most useful? When I had got the basic framework of what God wanted me to bring what helped me to pull it together?
There is no doubt that eSword came top of the list. It makes it so easy to find related verses to the ones you are looking at. The dictionaries and commentaries also proved really useful in adding context and background to the passages.It is also simple to paste any verses you may need directly into your notes.
2) Desiring God
I read several books (or rather parts of books) but there is no doubt that second to the bible the Desiring God website was most helpful in clarifying my thoughts. Rather then listening to any of John Piper’s sermons I found it most useful to read them and mull over his thoughts. His sermons are very rich and biblically sound and there were many things I wanted to say in my preach that I couldn’t put into words. Reading his sermons really helped to guide me in how to express the topics being covered.
Also, it must be said the Desiring God website is so well laid you can find what you are looking for within minutes. I don’t have the patience to dig around the internet on probable wild goose chases! There were many sites which I gave up on looking at because it was so difficult to find things.
3) Sermon Illustrations
I found Sermon Illustrations useful for helping find illustrations to add a bit of colour to the preach. Interestingly (at a stretch!), when I looked over my notes I only had one illustration from this site in my preach. What I found was this site helped guide me in the direction of the kind of illustration that may help – and I then I could find more culturally suitable examples (there is an American slant to the illustrations).
I haven’t actually reviewed this site yet, but it is in the list of ‘sites yet to be reviewed’ on the sermon page of this site.
So how did it go?
I think the preach went well, certainly for a first attempt! It was very challenging as it was about loving enemies. It should be published on the internet soon so I’ll let you all know when you can listen to it!