There are a number of weekly e-newsletters I receive each week: from Grace Church’s GraceLink eNews, to a number of leadership/pastoral/preaching newsletters.
One of the free emails I receive weekly is PreachingNow. It is distributed by Preaching.com and, if you are a speaker, I highly encourage you to register for it. Each week, you’ll receive sermon ideas, illustrations, and insights on preaching the Word.
What do I do with this email each week?
- Read the newsletter
- If I find a good story I might want to use in the future, I copy that story into its own email and email myself
- When I receive the new email (with the single story), I file it in one of 2 special email folders:
- "Best Jokes"
- "Best Serious Stories"
- Then, when I’m looking for a story for a particular message, I scan those folders. Once I use a story, I file it in one of my "used story" folders. For example:
- Culture – Business
- Culture – Money
- Finally, I file all my back issues of PreachingNow so I can search them in the future
Incidentally, my favorite joke came from this newsletter series. I have told this joke. When I was in Nicaragua, I heard a Mexican tell this joke. And Grace’s Missions Director heard this joke in Malta! Here it is:
ILLUSTRATION: Perspective, Heaven
Two female friends die together in a car accident. As they enter heaven, Peter says, "There’s just one rule in heaven. Don’t step on the ducks." As you can imagine, there were ducks all over heaven. When one of the women steps on one, Peter appears along with the ugliest man she ever saw and says, "Your punishment for stepping on a duck is to spend eternity with this man.
After seeing what happened to her friend, the other woman is very careful to avoid stepping on ducks. One day Peter approaches her with the most handsome man she ever saw, and he chains the man to her.
"Oh, my," she says. "I don’t know what I could have done to deserve a man like you."
To which the man replied, "I don’t know about you, lady, but I stepped on a duck." (Robert Kopp, "Cutting Through Compromise")