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Though I was not scheduled to preach at the early service, I was directing the worship time. Jimmy Smith, our soloist, was singing from the piano. It was powerful, moving. "I will pour water on him who is thirsty . . ."

As he finished, I whispered to the guest preacher seated beside me, "I'm going to minister a bit before you preach." He nodded. I walked to the pulpit just as the music finished.

"Please bow your heads and close your eyes," I said. Jimmy caught the mood of the moment and continued to play softly. I talked about the water of the Holy Spirit that softens the parched earth of our lives. I asked the people to let him come into their lives. Jimmy sang another stanza. Some people slipped to their knees. I closed by asking them to receive the seed of the Word the preacher was about to sow in their lives.

After the service, the guest preacher said, "That was great. Could you repeat it at the second service?" I swelled a little. It was a good word. Fresh. Spontaneous. I nodded. If ...

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From Issue:Spring 1988: Integrity
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