Fred Smith

The Parable of the Pounds

While there are differences between the way Luke tells the story of the ten minas and Matthew the story of the talents, there are many similarities. So, this morning I want to use Matthew’s account because I think he takes more time to create the context behind the parable – two whole chapters. In Luke’s account it says, “While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, ...[Read More]

Luke 13: The Narrow Gate

1.  There are a number of other references to doors and gates in the New Testament: Matthew 7:13-14:“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Revelation 3:20: 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my ...[Read More]

The Rich and the Kingdom of God: Luke 18

A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’ “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. When Jesus heard th ...[Read More]

The Prodigal Sons

While the text this morning is Luke 15, I started thinking about the similarities between this story and Genesis 33 where Jacob meets Esau after a long estrangement.  This is the only positive story about Esau and the Edomites in all of the Old Testament. If anything, it is a picture of forgiveness and grace. Instead of meeting Jacob with 400 men armed and ready to get even after what Jacob had do ...[Read More]

I Know What I Saw

I Know What I Saw

As some of you know, I enjoy taking pictures – and then finding something to say.

Repaid by Love

Repaid by Love

Listen to “Repaid by Love” by Fred Smith   Stories come in all shapes, don’t they? Today, there is an industry devoted to people anxious to understand their personal narrative and the arc of their lifelong story. What is the plot of my life? For others, it is merely a collection of anecdotes compiled as multiple stories. They have a beginning and an end. They may or may not ...[Read More]

Rest In Peace Mrs. Perkins

Rest In Peace Mrs. Perkins

Listen to “Rest In Peace Mrs. Perkins” by Fred Smith   Mrs. Perkins stepped out from her pew and walked down the aisle of our Baptist church to rededicate her life on a regular basis – almost monthly. It was a mystery to those of us who knew her to be one of the kindest and godliest people in the congregation. Sunday School teacher, model wife and mother, and a light in our ...[Read More]

Bearing Witness

Bearing Witness

Listen to “Bearing Witness” by Fred Smith   The first time I read the phrase “bearing witness” was in Elie Wiesel’s book “Night” recounting the horrors of the Holocaust and the responsibility he felt never to forget or allow others to dismiss what happened there. Over the years, the phrase has come to mean more. We bear witness by standing up for something in danger of being overl ...[Read More]

Mama's Boy

Mama's Boy

Listen to “Mama’s Boy” by Fred Smith   If you visit Elk Lake, Minnesota and the headwaters of the Mississippi, you will see a stream that is about 20 feet across and 2 feet deep. Sometimes it is so obscured by reeds that people lose sight of the stream altogether. But if you keep going for 2,300 miles you will end up in New Orleans where the Mississippi is 200 feet deep and ...[Read More]

The Widow's Great Treasure

The Widow's Great Treasure

Listen to “The Widow’s Great Treasure” by Fred Smith   For years I have treated the story of the widow’s mite as an illustration of sacrificial giving. So remarkable is the exorbitance of her gift that even Jesus is astonished and calls his disciples over to see what she has done. “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together ...[Read More]