Illustrations

  • Illustration: Valleys

    Besides the Bible's Valley of Megiddo, the most famous valley in literature is surely Alfred, Lord Tennyson's valley of death in his poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade," written to commemorate the suicidal charge by British forces in the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War (1854-1856): "Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred. Cannon to right of them, cannon to left of them, cannon in front of them, volley'd and thunder'd."
  • Illustration: Mothers and Sons

    Three mothers were sitting on a park bench talking about how much their sons love them. Sadie said, "You know the Chagall painting hanging in my living room? My son, Arnold, bought that for me for my 75th birthday. What a good boy he is and how much he loves his mother."
  • Illustration: Prayer

    As a group of amateur climbers scaled part of the Matterhorn near Zermatt, Switzerland, a vicious gust of wind came along at a narrow ledge.
  • Illustration: Challenges, Empathy

    A college professor met his new class on the first day of school. He stood before the studentsand gave a nice introduction to the class and about himself.
  • Illustration: Marriage

    Forty-four percent of Americans ages 20 to 69 believe marriage is not necessary in order to have a committed, fulfilling, life-long relationship, reports a Zogby/AOL poll. Marriage Savers’ president Mike McManus finds the number shocking. He says, “People who are married live longer, they’re healthier, they’re happier; they’re wealthier. A man who’s single, for whatever reason, will live 10 years less than a married man; a woman, about four years less.”
  • Illustration: Doubt

    A defendant was on trial for murder. There was strong evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. In the defense's closing statement, the lawyer, knowing his client probably would be convicted, resorted to a trick.
  • Illustration: Availability

    A man applied for a job as a handyman. The prospective employer asked, "Can you do carpentry?" The man answered in the negative. "How about bricklaying?" Again the man answered, "No." The employer asked, "Well, what about electrical work?" The man said, "No, I don't know anything about that either."
  • Illustration: Complaints

    An aspiring Yogi wanted to find a Guru. He went to an Ashram and his preceptor told him, "You can stay here but we have one important rule: all students observe a vow of silence. You will be allowed to speak in 12 years."
  • Illustration: Sin

    In the devotional book My Heart -- Christ’s Home Through the Year, Rick Ezell wrote this: “In his book Fuzzy Memories, Jack Handey writes: ‘There used to be this bully who would demand my lunch money every day. Since I was smaller, I would give it to him. But then I decided to fight back. I started taking karate lessons. But then the karate lesson guy said I had to start paying him five dollars a lesson. So I just went back to paying the bully.’"
  • Illustration: Giving, Church

    The boy came skipping into the house munching on a candy bar. "Where did you get it?" his mother asked. "I bought it with the dollar you gave me."
  • Illustration: Revival

  • Illustration: Evil, Sin

    In his message the Sunday after 9/11, John Huffman said, “Accept the fact that life is not easy and that there are wicked people in this world."
  • Illustration: Faith, Hope

    In a sermon on the Sunday after 9/11, M. Craig Barnes said, "The French Philosopher Paul Ricoeur has written about the creative possibility of limit experiences. A limit experience is an experience that is beyond the limits of normal life. It's the one you spent most of life avoiding, dreading, defending yourself against, such as death and separation. Beyond the limits of those things, we think there's nothing but emptiness, loss and anomie; but as Dr. Ricouer reminds us, there is more. There is also God whose creative love knows no limits."
  • Illustration: Accuracy, Appearance

    A university art student asked Bubba if he could paint Bubba’s portrait for a class assignment. Bubba agreed, and the art student painted and submitted the portrait, only to receive a C-minus.
  • Illustration: Faith

    Imagine a young girl asleep on the second story of her home. She awakes one night—middle of the night—and there is the smell of acrid smoke. She stumbles to the door and opens it to a sheet of fire. The young lady slams the door against the flames and stumbles to the window and stares down into the smoke and the darkness. From the ground below the young lady hears her father's voice saying, "Honey, jump!"
  • Illustration: Heaven, Cats

    One day, a cat died of natural causes and went to heaven, where he meets the Lord. The Lord says to the cat, "You lived a good life, and if there is any way I can make your stay in heaven more comfortable, please let Me know."
  • Illustration: Compassion, Service

    On May 2, 1962, a dramatic advertisement appeared in the San Francisco Examiner: “I don't want my husband to die in the gas chamber for a crime he did not commit. I will therefore offer my services for 10 years as a cook, maid or housekeeper to any leading attorney who will defend him and bring about his vindication."
  • Illustration: Prayer, Blessing

    A Christian farmer spent the day in the city. In a restaurant for his meal, he sat near a group of young men. After he bowed his head to give thanks for his food, one of the young men thought he would embarrass the old gentleman.
  • Illustration: Faith, Eagle

    After watching the bald eagle in flight, some people are surprised to learn that Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the wild turkey the American national bird. While turkeys are beautiful in their own way, they cannot soar as can eagles. It is the eagle's seven-foot wingspan and 7,000 lightweight feathers that allow it to rise thousands of feet into the air with seemingly no effort.
  • Illustration: Good News, Bad News; Power

    A large, two-engined train was making its way across America. While crossing the Western mountains, one of the engines broke down. "No problem, we can make it to Denver and get a replacement engine there," the engineer thought, and carried on at half power. Farther on down the line (if you didn't guess by now), the other engine broke down, and the train came to a standstill in the middle of nowhere.