Podcast Episode 17 | 12 min
Always stay curious when looking for illustrations.
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Matt Woodley: Welcome to Monday Morning Preacher. This is Matt Woodley, editor of PreachingToday.com, and Missions Pastor at Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Illinois. I’m here with our default guest host, the preaching guru and all-around swell guy, Kevin Miller.
Kevin Miller: Wow, that was a really impressive intro. You can’t imagine how puffed up I got when you called me the “default guest host.” You couldn’t have come up with, like, esteemed guest host, quality guest host, respected guest host? No, I’m the default guest host. Like I got stuck with this guy but here he is, he keeps showing up.
MW: You are esteemed.
KM: Oh, thank you.
MW: And default at the same time. Okay, so Kevin, I was in Great Clips, getting my hair cut. There was a long line ahead of me so I picked up the latest edition of GQ.
KM: That sounds like you.
MW: I don’t normally read it but there was an interview with Clint Eastwood and his son Scott. I didn’t know he had a son Scott.
KM: Me either.
MW: You know, Clint Eastwood, this guy.
Clint Eastwood: Go ahead, make my day.
MW: Yeah, that guy. He said this, this is a quote: “I’m always looking forwards, never backwards.” He talks about how he doesn’t live with regrets. And then Scott, his son, left the room. Then he said this, and I’m quoting again: “You know, you always wonder if you could have done more, you could have spent a little more time with my son, a little more attention. I had that regret when my dad died. I used to live close enough to him that I could have dropped by a lot more. I never did and I was busy, always busy doing all the films.” And I’m thinking, Wait a minute, I thought you said you’re always looking forward, you never live with regrets. And I thought, Does anyone really live without regrets? Probably not. You know what, boom, I had a sermon illustration.
KM: That’s a good one. I like it a lot. You never know where illustrations may come. I don’t generally go to Great Clips to get mine. But I was on a boat tour once on the Chicago River and they were talking about how the Chicago Fire broke out in the 1870s and it started on the west side of the river and burned over to the east side of the river, and I was thought, Well, how’d it get across the river? And the guy said, “Well, remember the river was mostly like a trash dump at that time. It had all carcasses from the animal stockyards and trash and human waste. So it just basically burned across the river.” So I said, “Well, wouldn’t that make people sick?” He said, “Yeah, all that water was flowing into Lake Michigan which was the source of the drinking water for Chicago and people were getting cholera and dysentery. So engineers came up with a way to reverse the flow of the Chicago River, make it go the other way to bring fresh water to the people of Chicago.” So I later used that as a sermon illustration of how God reverses the flow in our lives from sin to righteousness and it brings health instead of sickness.
Matt Woodley serves as the Editor for PreachingToday.com and the Pastor of Compassion Ministries at Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Illinois. He is also the author of God With Us: The Gospel of Matthew (IVP).