Preacher’s Blog Page
John McCranie’s blogs are what he calls “Visuables” which is a compound of the words “Visual” and Parables”.
John shares, “As I journey in life and ministry I tend to notice things that remind me of spiritual principles and insights. These blogs are designed to encourage greater trust in the God who reveals Himself to those looking.”
January 2021
Disaster. When I review the year 2020,
that’s the one word that rises above all others. The year started with so much promise. Everyone was talking about VISION since it was “2020″ and our goals and hopes were high. Then a catastrophe struck. The Coronavirus hit. First it was schools, then businesses, then restaurants, then theaters and then we got news from Governor Newsom that churches were to close. By mid-March our entire state was in full blown look-down. What shocked us about the pandemic was that it was everywhere and affected everybody. We were stunned at the news reports of how far spread Covid-19 was reaching globally. We had never seen a plague of this magnitude. It changed everything.                                More
December 2020
The parsonage where my family lived…
in Santa Paula, CA faced Fagan Barranca Park. I learned that  “barranca” is the Spanish word for creek. Fagan is a low maintenance park with only a simple paved pathway, no tables or grassy areas, just a narrow eucalypti stand for strolling or cycling. During heavy rains the normally dry barranca would fill rapidly and the water running off the nearby mountains would rush through mightily. One year when the clutter from the hundred foot giants was especially thick, city workers came in with their chainsaws, weed eaters, rakes and blowers and transformed the eucalyptus woodland back into the beautifully serene walkway the neighborhood enjoys. Mountains of leaves and…             More
October 2020
Recently, our church secretary …
sent me a picture by text. It was taped to the glass doors of the church’s foyer. The warning is unmistakable, “CHRIST IS COMING 2021″. During these times of plague and disaster it’s no surprise believers think this is probable. The fact is that for the past several decades there has been mania fixated on the exact time of Jesus’ return. Entire denominations have experienced meteoric growth based on this sensationalism only to be later decimated by their prophet’s false predictions on when Christ will come back. Their disillusioned masses leave those churches and, sadly, many of those worshipers leave behind their faith. What is more depressing than false hope?                                                                                        More

August 2020
In 1989 . . .
I was preaching for a little congregation called the Fresno Church of Christ. My go to song leader was Chris, who was about twenty-six-years-old. Having a lot in common, we became good friends. We loved rock music, ping-pong and the great Sierra Nevada. Chris asked if I had ever done any backpacking. I replied that I loved to go camping but he insisted I hadn’t really camped until I backpacked way up in the high country. I told him I didn’t have the gear and he said it would be no problem to borrow a backpack and essentials.         More
July 2020
Negative. If there is word that captures…
our current quandary, that’s the one.  I know the news media thinks good news is boring news. It’s obvious the reason “human interest” stories featuring selflessly, kind acts are inserted into the final moments of the televised news hour are there to silence those who complain that everything reported is negative. Well, to news hounds everything important is negative. This is how it works: conflict, violence, injustice, scandal and disaster are sensational. Sensationalism draws big audiences. Big advertisers pay big bucks to have big audiences be swayed to buy their products or service. The motives for …                    More
May 2020
Turlock Church has…
some wonderful kingdom quilters. They are busy little bees in their homes and in the fellowship hall (when allowed). Perhaps we should call them “Q-Bees?” They make quilts for people who really need them. I donated some to Julien Elementary to help impoverished students stay warm. Our sisters also give quilts out of their love. The following story, of unknown authorship, causes me to appreciate my “sewing sisters” even more. Enjoy.

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord …        More 
April 2020
Dear Visuables reader,

Last Sunday morning in my online sermon, I opened with remarks about Mel Gibson’s PASSION OF THE CHRIST movie. Since then I have been surprised that so many of you have never seen it.  Perhaps you are like like my wife who heard how people’s hearts were crushed by the realistic flogging and crucifixion scenes and decided not to go through that. Perhaps you have given up on any Hollywood depiction of Jesus being faithful to the gospels (rightfully so). Maybe you read reviews that pointed out Gibson’s movie is biased by his Catholicism (true).  More

March 2020
On St. Patrick’s Day…
I often think of Clinton Storm, an elder friend of mine, who was a minister in Ojai, California twenty years ago. His shepherding heart and wisdom is shown in the tale below of how he dealt with a frustrating situation and how God was glorified in it.

A homeless man came to the church office for assistance. He was given food and discovered the building had a breeze-way that could provide a nice sleeping spot. One morning, the elder encouraged this “guest” to tell him his story of how he ended up begging for sustenance and sleeping on church property. The man was Irish. He left his parents, brothers and sisters in …                                                                                                     More
February 2020
Don McCullough writes …
in Waking from the American Dream that during World War II, England needed to increase its production of coal. Winston Churchill called together labor leaders to enlist their support.  At the end of his presentation he asked them to picture in their minds a parade which he knew would be held in Picadilly Circus after the war.  “First,” he said, “would come the sailors who had kept the vital sea lanes open.  Then would come the soldiers who had come home from Dunkirk and then gone on to defeat Rommel in Africa.  Then would come the pilots who had driven the Luftwaffe from the sky.”                                                               More
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