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Candle in the wind. An expression made popular in the song by Elton John, meaning something that is particularly vulnerable, weak, fragile, or precarious and likely to fail, perish, or be eliminated at any moment. An expression meaning to take sales away from an existing product by selling a similar, but new product.

Can't hold a candle to. Can't see the forest for the trees. An expression meaning to not get so engrossed in details that you lose sight of the big picture. The Latin term translated as "seize the day" means to make the most of one's experiences or opportunities. Carrot or the stick. Provide an incentive, rather than a punishment to get people to do what you want. Cast in stone. Catawampus or Cattywampus. Catching some "z's". Catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

An expression meaning you can win people to your side more easily by gentle persuasion and flattery than by hostile confrontation. Catch the eye of someone. An expression meaning to get someone's attention by making eye contact at the same time, or to be noticed by them. Cat got your tongue? An expression meaning you are unusually quiet, or speechless as in not knowing what to say. This expression is an analogy that a cat won't win the game of trying to catch its tail, and you can't win a tied game of Tic Tac Toe.

Cat's out of the bag. C'est la vie. Change your tune, or sing a different tune. Cheap skate. Cheshire cat. A reference to the magical cat character in "Alice in Wonderland" who disappeared except for his smile, it refers to anyone with a conspicuous and long-lasting smile. Chicken and egg situation. It's a chicken and egg situation. Chomping at the bit. An expression originating from horses chewing on the bits in their mouths, it means to be very eager or impatient. Chose the path less traveled. Though many would say this means the freedom to be unconventional, it actually refers to a man confronted by a fork of equally worn paths who chose one, and will say he took the one less-traveled if someone asks.

Someone who has illegally seized or stolen property or the rights of another. Clear as a bell. An expression meaning easy to understand, similar in meaning to "ring a bell. Cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition. An expression meaning that a bad day can be overcome with a good attitude, similar to. An expression meaning that a bad day can be overcome with a good attitude, similar to "mind over matter".

Clowning around. An expression meaning to change one's mind and not proceed with a prior commitment. Cold shoulder. Come hell or high water. Come out of your shell. Cookie crumbles. An expression meaning the way things worked out, nothing can be done about it, similar to "ball bounces". Couch potato. An expression meaning someone is very lazy or sedentary, they could lay on the couch all day without moving. Count one's lucky stars. An expression meaning to break a promise or to abandon something because of fear, cowardice, exhaustion, or loss of enthusiasm.

Creature comforts. An expression referring to things which provide physical ease such as good food, warm clothing, and accommodations. An expression meaning something or someone that causes an unpleasant feeling of fear or unease. Cross my heart and hope to die.

How to Avoid Common Mistakes in Preaching with Bryan Chapell - Faithlife Today Episode 16

Cross to bear. A burden or trial one must put up with, similar to "an albatross around my neck". A slang expression used as an adjective, describing someone that has well-defined muscles. Cut both ways. An expression meaning a piece of information that can serve both sides of an argument. Cutting edge. An expression meaning the latest or most advanced stage in the development of something.

Cutting off your nose to spite your face. You're cutting off your nose to spite your face. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't. Damn the torpedoes. A quote by Admiral David Farragut during the Battle of Mobile which has come to mean continue with the planned course of action despite known risks. We're going to have this picnic even if the forecast says it will only be 50 degrees. Day dreaming. Drifting off in your thoughts to think about other pleasant thoughts instead of concentrating on the subject at hand.

An expression meaning a person or a thing that is unsuccessful, useless or defunct. Dead in the water. An expression originating from a ship unable to move, it has come to mean something has failed, and that there is little hope of it being successful in the future. Deal with the hand or cards you were dealt. Death and taxes, the only two things that are certain. Benjamin Franklin's practical epigram observing that while many things in life aren't certain, death and taxes are.

Death's door. To be so ill as to be on the point of dying, often used as an exaggeration of ill health. Deer in the headlights. Devil made me do it! Devil makes work for idle hands. An expression, usually used to remind children to remain busy, so they don't have time to create mischief or commit crimes. Devil's advocate. An expression meaning to pursue a line of questioning which questions or opposes whatever position is being expressed. Devil's in the details. An expression meaning the hard part is sorting out all the details, after a major agreement has been reached.

Died in the wool. An expression meaning deeply ingrained as part of someone's character, similar to "bred in the bone". Dime a dozen. Dog and pony show. Organizing an event or show to impress others or explain the value of something. To fold down a corner of a page to mark a place in a book, or something from paper with corners worn with use. Dog eat dog. An expression meaning a very competitive situation in which people can be cruel and relentless. Dog with a bone. An expression describing someone who won't give up or stop talking about something, wants more.

Story link, related to being greedy and losing what you have. Don't be like the grasshopper. An expression meaning that if you play all the time, instead of working, you might be sorry and hungry when times get tough. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Don't count your chickens until they've hatched. An expression meaning don't act on the promise or potential of something, wait until you know something is certain.

Don't cry over spilled milk. An expression meaning it doesn't do any good to be unhappy about something that has already happened or that can't be helped. Don't fix what ain't broke. Don't know someone from Adam. Don't let the fox guard the henhouse. Don't assign the duty of protecting or controlling valuable information or resources to someone who is likely to exploit that opportunity. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Don't rely on just one source or action, spread your resources around in case you lose that one "basket".

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Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Down for the count. An expression meaning having been, or very near to being, defeated, ruined, or overcome; from boxing, when the referee counts to 10 after a boxer has been knocked out and is down on the mat. Jacob is down for the count. Down in the dumps. Down the rabbit hole. An expression meaning to get distracted or caught up in something confusing that you may not be able to get yourself out of, a literary reference when Alice fell down a hole into a surreal world she couldn't understand.

Down the road, in the long run. Drama queen. Draw the last straw. Dressed to the nines. Early bird gets the worm. Ears are burning. What you say to someone who walks into the room after you've just been talking about them. An expression meaning within range of someone being able to overhear a conversation. Easy come, easy go. An expression meaning to not get upset and just go along with whatever happens. Easy on the eyes. Eating crow. Eeny meeny miny moe. An expression referring to a childhood counting game to determine who is "it" and "not it". Egg on your face.

Egg someone on. An expression meaning to taunt someone to keep doing something or provoke someone to action. Empty threats. Everything's better with bacon. A superstitious belief that a look or stare from someone could cause material harm. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. Commenserate retribution or punishment which is equivalent to the original offense. Eyes are bigger than your stomach. Face the music. To be confronted with unpleasant consequences of one's actions, similar to "pay the piper". Take something for what it actually is, not a literal or exaggerated meaning.

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Fall off the turnip truck. False bill of goods. Feed the fire or stoke the fire. Continue to act or provide reason for someone else to remain excited or upset. Feel it in your bones. Fifth wheel. This expression means to be involuntarily discharged or terminated from a job or assignment. Fire in the belly. Fish or cut bait. An expression meaning to take action, rather than remain at a stand-still, similar to "shit or get off the pot".

Fish out of water. Fit as a fiddle. Fit to be tied. Flash in the pan. An expression meaning something won't last or is a temporary sensation, also known as a "one hit wonder". Flying by the seat of your pants. Follow in your footsteps. Follow suit. An expression related to playing cards, in which you follow along or do what is required because those are the rules or that's what's expected.

Fox in a hen house. Someone or a circumstance which clearly takes advantage of those who are helpless and indefenseable. Full of piss and vinegar, or pep and vinegar. Full steam or speed ahead. An expression meaning to be on course or proceed as planned at an optimum pace.

She's such a fussbudget! Gave someone a heart attack. Get one's licks in. An expression meaning to hit one's opponent, injure them, but not necessarily win. Get on the stick. Get religion. An expression meaning to become serious about something, usually after a powerful experience. Get the boot. An expression meaning to get kicked out of kicked off by someone in a position of authority. Get the monkey off my back. Get the show on the road. Get the wheels in motion. An expression reminding a person to be grateful for the gift they received, without being critical of it.

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Be grateful for the pink socks, even though you wanted a complete outfit. Give me liberty or give me death. Words from a speech by Patrick Henry urging the American colonies to revolt against England. Giving one's eye teeth. An expression meaning to give something one considers very precious, usually in exchange for an object or situation one desires. An expression meaning to work hard to achieve good results in the tasks that they have been given. God helps those who help themselves. An expression meaning to be self-sufficient, rather than rely on others for assistance or guidance.

Go fry an egg. Going against the grain. Doing or thinking something that is different than what most people are doing or thinking. Going like gangbusters. Meaning great excitement and vigor, inspired by a mid-twentieth century American radio program Gang Busters, which began each episode with numerous sound effects. Someone who covets other people's money, and seeks companions who may spend it for their benefit. Golden Rule. A moral lesson in The Bible Book of Matthew and in many stories: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" means to treat other people the way you want to be treated.

Golden ticket. An expression meaning to get an unexpected or improbable opportunity, a reference to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". Good company. An expression meaning to not be ashamed of making a mistake because respectable or important people have made the same mistake. Good for the goose is good for the gander. What is good for a man is equally good for a woman; or, what a man can have or do, so can a woman have or do.

Goody two shoes. An expression usually derogatory describing someone who always does what is right, never gets into trouble. May have come from a nursery rhyme about an orphan girl with only one shoe. Going to a dance or event without a partner, when bringing a date might be expected. Got gumption or grit.

A compliment meaning someone is spirited, resourceful, and takes initiative without being afraid. An expression used to describe the best person to deal with a particular problem, or something that is a dependable solution. Grass is always greener on the other side. An expression that means to be envious of other's circumstances as more favorable than one's own. I guess the grass is always greener. Gravy train. An expression referring to a situation in which someone can make a lot of money for very little effort. Green thumb.

Green with envy. Hack or hack job. A football and a religious term, whereby someone throws a long pass or tries for something that's a long shot on the chance it may just be successful. Hair of the dog that bit you. An expression meaning go back for a little bit more of what just got you sick like drinking alcohol to treat a hangover. Half in the bag. An expression meaning someone is drunk, "in the bag" can also mean something is secured.

An expression meaning hit or beat, attacked or forcefully criticized. Another meaning is to be extremely intoxicated. Handle on something. Hang-dog look. Hang one's hat. An expression meaning a place where someone lives, frequents, or feels comfortable. Happy as a pig in shit or happy as a pig in a poke. Happy camper. Someone who is cheerfully unconcerned about the future or possibility of problems. Hard nut to crack, tough nut to crack. Have a firm foundation. Having a "come to Jesus". An expression meaning to reveal or express one's true feelings or actions to another in order to understand the truth.

Head over heels. Literally, look up and get out of the way because something is about to hit you. Heart in hand. Heart on your sleeve. Heartstring, pulling on your heartstring. Heaven help us. A spiritual reference meaning you can't do anything else except rely on faith or fate or God or angels in heaven to save you. Hell in a handbasket or Hell in a handbag. Hello, sugar pie! Hemming and hawing. An expression meaning to discuss, deliberate, or contemplate rather than taking action or making up one's mind.

An expression meaning to harass someone for little problems, rather than focus on the big-picture, similar to Back-seat driver". Here's mud in your eye. An expression or toast with glasses raised, then everyone drinks their beverage, similar to "Here's to your health". Here's to your health. An expression or toast with glasses raised before everyone drinks their beverages. He's got guts. High on your horse, or acting high and mighty. An expression that means acting smitten, or bigger and more important than you really have a right to be. Highway robbery. Someone is exploiting customers by charging more than something's worth or not delivering services as promised.

An expression meaning that it is clear to see what action should have been taken after the fact. Hit something out of the ball park. A baseball reference meaning to be successful or to do something extraordinarily well. You ran that meeting like a pro, Allan, you really hit that out of the park! Hit the nail on the head. Hogan's goat. Something that is so messed up it is not even understandable or stinks like a goat. From a European goat farmer, Hoek Hogan, who raised a particularly smelly and ugly goat. Hold your horses, hold the phone.

Hold your tongue, bite your tongue, or watch your mouth. Expression a mother might say meaning don't speak, take back what you said, or stop talking! Hole in the wall. An expression describing a small, shabby place, often a restaurant or bar. In the UK, it can also mean a cash machine. Holier than thou. Holy cow, holy guacamole or holy crap. Honesty is the best policy. Horse's ass.

Horsing around or rough-housing. Hot off the press. An expression meaning that something is new, just recently published, or ready to enjoy reading. An expression meaning to be forced to acknowledge one's deficiencies or errors. Humpty Dumpty. A reference to the nursery rhyme, something or someone which once over thrown cannot be restored. I can read you like a book.


An expression meaning your actions reveal your intentions very clearly opposite of "poker-face". If the shoe fits, wear it. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! I got your back. An expression meaning you are watching out for the well-being of someone else so no harm comes to them. I have my hands full. An expression meaning I have enough to do that I can't assume another commitment. I'll clock you or I'll knock your block off.

I'll huff and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house down! An expression threatening someone to commit harm or destroy them or what's precious to them. I'm dying to try it. I'm in the dog house. I'm stuffed. An expression meaning contented or satisfied following a delicious, plentiful meal. In a fishbowl. In a nutshell. In a pickle. An expression describing being in a difficult situation or problem with no easy answer, from the Dutch word 'pekel'.

In hot water. In someone else's shoes. It's a dog's life. While you might think this would be a good thing, the expression actually means life is hard and unpleasant. It's not over until the fat lady sings. It's not rocket science. An expression meaning an idea or term that anyone can understand without needing to be a rocket scientist. I wish I were a fly on the wall. An expression meaning you wish you'd witnessed or been present for something you didn't see directly. Jack of all trades. An expression meaning someone can do just about any task themselves or is well-versed in many skills.

Jinx someone. We haven't lost a game all season. A concluding story? It is evident after most Haddon sermons that he carefully planned his final sentence. He flies the plane until he gets there, and then quite naturally the plane lands on that landing strip of just ten to fifteen words and the journey is over—smooth, apparently effortless, immensely effective. Now a few thoughts relating to the post-landing phase of the journey. Sometimes quiet music played after can help the contemplative mood; sometimes music blasting out after the meeting can switch people into a frenzied chaos of raised voice fellowship and the journey is forgotten, I fear!

After the sermon is over, but still within the confines of the service, sometimes it is helpful to have another person wrap things up—then again, sometimes it can be disastrous. Whether the analogy continues to work or not is somewhat unimportant, but these thoughts are worth pondering in our churches:. Some passengers want to get out of the plane and airport at breakneck speed.

Like it or not, some people just want or need to flee from the church once things are over. On the other hand, some churches seem to put barriers to people leaving, or create an environment where people are rushed out before they need to be the preacher at the door shaking hands with everyone can sometimes create an urgency to vacate the building. Some passengers need to sit down and let it all sink in. In churches sometimes, there is nowhere for someone to sit and soak for a while.

This creates an environment very non-conducive to post-service reflection. Some passengers need to access further information. Is the preacher accessible, or is he stuck at the door shaking hand after hand and smiling at polite feedback? Is there a way to get someone to pray with? What about finding out about other aspects of church life that could be the next step after this service? Most passengers will want to talk with someone about their journey. But actually, people need to reflect and reinforce and respond in community rather than in isolation.

Does your church encourage that kind of interaction? We have thought about weak finishes, and then about the elements in finishing strong. It certainly is not easy to get the plane down comfortably and effectively. I pray I have offered some constructive alternatives. Follow him on Twitter. By Dean Shriver on Jun 30, Tithing is a volatile topic—even away from the pulpit. Dean Shriver suggests a novel approach to the "fuzzy edges" of tithing.

Q&A: How to avoid going awry with sermons

Scripture: 2 Corinthians Tags: Giving , Tithe , Preaching , Tithes. By Joe Mckeever on May 24, Proper preparation is not for the faint of heart. It takes prayer, study, and practice. Scripture: Exodus By James O. Davis on Jan 5, James O. Davis reminds preachers that the length of a presentation is not determined by the clock but by the crowd. Scripture: Ephesians Tags: Church , Preaching , Time.

By Chuck Warnock on Feb 7, There are times in a pastor's life when the clarity of our call fades, discouragement clouds our memory, and we wonder, "Why did I ever want to be a pastor? By Bill Hybels on Feb 8, Bill Hybels guides pastors and church leaders in the pulpit trying to navigate the sticky, delicate, important subject of sex.

By Dr. Larry Moyer on Feb 9, By Chuck Fromm on Mar 15, Scripture: Mark By Haddon Robinson on Dec 20, Give your sermons new life every week with this timeless advice from Haddon Robinson. Scripture: John , Luke , 1 Peter , Psalms Bill Litman. Excellent suggestions Pastoral Care and Counseling. Feasting on the Word. Sermon Collections. Religion and Culture. Politics and Law. Popular Culture. Advent and Christmas. Lent and Easter.

Ordinary Time. Spiritual Practices. Black Theology. Contemporary Culture. Religion and Philosophy. Religion and Science. WJK Series. Armchair Theologians. Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible. Columbia Series in Reformed Theology. Daily Study Bible. Interpretation Bible Studies. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary. Interpretation: Resources. Library of Ancient Israel. Library of Christian Classics.

Library of Early Christianity. Library of Theological Ethics. New Daily Study Bible. New Testament for Everyone. Old Testament for Everyone. Westminster Bible Companion. Westminster History of Christian Thought. William Barclay Library.