Randal, plain and simple

Fulford: Notes and quotes


Back in September of last year I sent out a “News & Views” titled “Sermons I Have Been Preaching.” This referred to an emphasis I had been giving in my recent preaching, and that I continue to give because I think it is vital to the spiritual health and the future welfare of the body of Christ. In response to what I wrote, I received the following note from brother Rod Rutherford, a seasoned gospel preacher who also has many years of experience teaching in Schools of Preaching operated by faithful brethren. While humbled by Rod's remarks, I nevertheless appreciate them. His word about young preachers and their approach to preaching is especially worthy of thought. Here is his note to me of September 12, 2023.

“I appreciate you for your soundness in the faith. I can see that you still preach the 'old Jerusalem gospel.' The younger preachers do not preach like our generation nor on the same themes. Too many, I fear, get their sermons from the internet (including from denominational preachers) and preach them without revising them to teach the truth on all points. I having a filing cabinet crammed full of outlines that I've preached over the past 60 plus years as well as a bookcase full of notebooks of sermons. I've offered them to a number of younger preachers. They don't want anything that is not 'computer ready' so they can preach it from their laptops, it seems. Thanks for 'Hugh's News and Views.' I enjoy them and often forward them to others.”


George DeHoff [1913-1993], an extremely able and effective preacher (he had baptized 2,300 people before he was twenty-five years old), wrote: “All great preachers use the sermons of others. They are stimulated and encouraged by hearing and reading them. It is not originality we need today—it is the gospel of Christ. Give us men with souls on fire with the old time message—men who are neither ashamed nor afraid to preach the truth—and the world will be stirred again” (Foreword to SERMON OUTLINES ON THE RESTORATION PLEA by C. C. Crawford, a 1956 reprint of a 1927 publication of a great series of sermons).


When Parents Grow Old...

LET THEM GROW OLD with the same love that they let you grow... Let them speak and tell repeated stories with the same patience and interest that they heard yours as a child... Let them overcome, like so many times when they let you win... Let them enjoy their friends just as they let you... Let them enjoy the talks with their grandchildren, because they see you in them... Let them enjoy living among the objects that have accompanied them for a long time, because they suffer when they feel that you tear pieces of their life away... Let them be wrong, like so many times you have been wrong and they didn't embarrass you by correcting you.

LET THEM LIVE and try to make them happy for the last stretch of the path they have left to go; give them your hand, just like they gave you their hand when you started your path! (Author unknown).


“We hear a lot today about 'Black Lives Matter.' It has become a slogan which is painted on signs for protest marches, with some cities even painting it on the streets... I want to go on record saying that 'All lives matter.' But sadly, many people today want to dictate what lives matter, and certain categories are singled out as being of more worth than others. For example, the unborn are not considered to be worth much in the eyes of many, and their lives can be snuffed out as a matter of course and convenience. These want to pick and choose which lives have value” (Dennis Abernathy, via David Tant's “Thought For Today,” February 21, 2024).


“Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). I wonder how many of those couples living together without the benefit of marriage have seriously considered what this passage says. I am increasingly convinced that many people no longer care what the Bible says about anything—marriage, child rearing, salvation from sin, how to acceptably worship the Lord, or how to live. They prefer what the culture around them is doing rather than what God says. Truth be told, many of them would not know how to start reading the Bible if one was laid in front of them. If asked to turn to a particular book of the Bible they would not know where to find it. Faithful preachers of the gospel have their work cut out for them!


“Scripture is profitable for doctrine (what is right), reproof (what is not right), correction (how to get right), instruction in righteousness (how to stay right) (II Timothy 3:16-17)” (Allen Webster, House to House Heart to Heart, Volume 29, Number 3).


In recent years I have been giving a lot of thought as to how present day preachers are being trained and the effect (and effectiveness) of that training. My thoughts have been spurred by the results of the preaching of many contemporary preachers. Sometime in the future (either near or remote) I plan to set forth in a kind yet straightforward way my thoughts on this important subject. In the meantime, consider the following from a couple of fairly able preachers of the past.

“The way to preach is to preach. Just get full of spirit and turn yourself loose. As a good old brother once expressed it, 'Just fill the barrel full, knock out the bung, and let 'er come” (T. B. Larimore, from Smiles and Tears, or Larimore and His Boys, by F. D. Srygley).

“Young man, get brimful and running over with the word of God and it will come out” (A. J. McCarty).

Both of the preceding quotes came via Ben Vick, Jr. in Indianapolis, and his church bulletin “The Informer” of February 18, 2024.

Hugh Fulford
March 26, 2024

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