Why every communicator (preacher / teacher) should use a Kindle


I am preaching through the book of John these days. This next week is John 9, the story of the man healed at the pool of Siloam. I do a quick search on my Kindle for the word Siloam and 22 books show up where this story is mentioned. Books by people like Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, Craig Groeschel, Max Lucado, Charles Stanley, J.C. Ryle, Billy Graham, Charles Swindoll, and John Ortberg. Odds are, some of these authors will have said something brilliant that will work its way into this week's sermon. Can you do that with a paper book?

Last week I was in John 8 and I did a search for "Woman caught adultery."  Here is the story that made the sermon come alive:

It's  autumn in New York. November 2004. Freezing rain, weary drivers. One carload of delinquents on a joyride.

Got the picture?

Their spree begins at the local cineplex. Bored with action flicks, the teenagers decide to act one out. They break into a car, grab a credit card, and proceed to a video store. There they charge four hundred dollars' worth of DVDs and video games.

Why not pick up a few groceries while they're at it? A surveillance tape catches the kids selecting a twenty-pound turkey.

Remember the turkey.

Pedal to the metal in a silver Nissan, the kids move along an irregular line intersecting with a Hyundai containing one Victoria Ruvolo. The two cars cross paths at approximately 12:30 a.m.

Victoria Ruvolo, forty-four, is heading for her Long Island home.

Having attended her fourteen-year-old niece's vocal recital, she looks forward to home and hearth-particularly hearth. She's ready to unravel the overcoat and scarves, burrow under an electric blanket, and rest her weary self.

Maybe the silver Nissan, approaching from the east, catches Victoria's eye-maybe not. Later, she won't be sure. She certainly won't recall the image of a teenage boy leaning out the window of the Nissan as the car approaches. Nor will she retain any memory of the bulky projectile taking flight from his hands.

This is the part about the turkey.

The twenty-pound bird crashes through Victoria's windshield. It bends the steering wheel inward, smashes into her face, and breaks every bone it encounters.

Victoria will remember none of this-frankly, a stroke of mercy. Eight hours of surgery and three weeks of recovery later, however, friends and family fill in the blanks. Victoria lies impassively in a bed in Stony Brook University Hospital and listens to every detail. Yet her emotions are difficult to discern, given the mask her face has become: shattered like pottery, now stapled together by titanium plates; an eye affixed by synthetic film; a wired jaw; a tracheotomy.

The public reaction is much more vigorous. The media has run with this story; weblogs follow every new detail of arrest and arraignment. Over Thanksgiving, New Yorkers whisper prayers of gratitude that they were not Victoria Ruvolo. Over Christmas, they cherish their health and their fortunes a little bit more than usual. Over the New Year, they cry out for justice.

Internet bloggers and TV pundits suggest what they'd do if they could be in a room for five minutes with those punks in the Nissan. They'd especially love to lay hands on Ryan Cushing, the eighteen-year-old who heaved the turkey. His face should be shattered. His life should lie in ruins. That's how the man in the street sees it.

But it's all in the hands of the justice system. On Monday, August 15, 2005, Ryan and Victoria meet face-to-restructured-face in the courtroom. Nine agonizing, titanium-bolted months have passed since the attack. Victoria manages to walk into the courtroom unaided, a victory in itself.

A trembling Ryan Cushing pleads guilty-to a lesser charge. Sentence: a trifling six months behind bars, five years probation, a bit of counseling, a dash of public service. People shake their heads in righteous indignation. Is that all the punishment we can dish out? When did this country become so soft on crime? Let's lock up all these criminals and throw away the key.

Who is responsible for this plea bargain anyway?
The victim. That's who. The victim requests leniency.
Ryan makes his plea and then turns to Victoria Ruvolo, all the essence of tough guy long since drained away. He is weeping with abandon. The attorney leads the assailant to the victim, and Victoria holds him tight, comforts him, strokes his hair, and offers reassuring words. "I forgive you," she whispers. "I want your life to be the best it can be." Tears mingle from mask of reconstruction and mask of remorse.

It takes quite an event to bring tears to the eyes of New York attorneys and magistrates. This is such an event. TV and radio reporters file their stories in voices that for once are hushed and respectful. The New York Times dubs it "a moment of grace."'

--Captured by Grace: No One Is Beyond the Reach of a Loving God (Dr David Jeremiah)