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  • Illustration: Criticism

    Mike Shannon
    Thomas Paine was the fiery writer who ignited the American Revolution with his book Common Sense.
  • Illustration: Christ

    Mike Shannon
    When William the Conqueror came to invade England, he made a grand entrance; but as he got off the boat, he stumbled and fell, bloodying his nose on the cobblestones.
  • Illustration: Christ

    Mike Shannon
    Lady Diana Cooper, an aristocrat whose husband was an ambassador, went to a concert and began chatting with “a nice little woman.” Afterward, she suddenly realized the woman was Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Illustration: Church

    Mike Shannon
    The author J.R. Dolan was traveling in Austria. He rang the bell at the entrance of an old monastery, hoping he could get a tour.
  • Illustration: Attitude

    Mike Shannon
    The world’s oldest man recently died at the age of 114. His name was Walter Breuning.
  • Illustration: Adversity

    Mike Shannon
    We have heard of the place called Death Valley. Normally it is barren and forbidding, but every once and a while it explodes with color.
  • Illustration: Adversity

    Mike Shannon
    It has been said that you can learn a lot in jail—most of it bad—but there are some good things that can be learned in prison. Just ask John Bunyan.
  • Illustration: Honesty

    A man was trying to pull out of a parking place but bashed the bumper of the parked car in front of him. Witnessed by a handful of pedestrians waiting for a bus, the driver got out, inspected the damage, and proceeded to write a note to leave on the windshield of the car he had hit.
  • Illustration: Sin

    David Jeremiah writes: "Reuters recently reported about a hunter in Belarus who shot a fox from a distance, but as he approached the wounded animal it sprang on him. As the two scuffled, the fox got its paw on the trigger of the rifle and shot the man in the leg. The hunter was transported to the hospital and the fox escaped."
  • Illustration: Suspicion

    Sometimes women are overly suspicious of their husbands...When Adam stayed out very late for a few nights, Eve became upset.
  • Illustration: Service

    Fred Craddock was the visiting preacher at a church one Sunday afternoon when a van full of ragged teenagers pulled in. They looked in bad shape as they sat on their bedrolls, waiting for their parents to pick them up.
  • Illustration: Forgiveness, Debts

    An elderly man took his little grandson for a walk around the local cemetery. Pausing before one gravestone he said, "There lies a very honest man. He died owing me 50 dollars, but he struggled to the end to pay off his debts; and if anyone has gone to heaven, he has."
  • Illustration: Priorities

    As the elderly man lay dying in his bed, death's agony was suddenly pushed aside as he smelled the aroma of his favorite homemade chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs.
  • Illustration: Impurity, Immorality

    Ken Walker wrote in the Christian Reader about 6-foot-2-inch, 280-pound Clay Shiver, a center for the 1995 Florida State Seminole football team. Regarded as a likely All-American, when Shiver got word that Playboy magazine planned to name him to its All-American team, he prepared his response: "Thanks, but no thanks."
  • Illustration: Authority, Sexuality

    In his book Evangelical Landscapes: Facing Critical Issues of the Day (Baker), John G. Stackhouse Jr. writes, “Ignorance of the Christian faith in our culture is compounded by an equally fundamental problem: a growing distance between Christian ways of deciding about matters of truth and virtue and other ways of deciding about such things.
  • Illustration: Eternity, Serious Issues

    In a recent sermon called “Would a Loving God Send People to Hell?” John Ortberg began with this illustration:
  • Illustration: Parents

    Melvin Newland tells the story about comedian Jerry Clower, whose son was the field goal kicker for his high school football team. One day, his son had a chance to kick the goal that would give his team the lead and perhaps win the game, but the kick went wide of the goal.
  • Illustration: Mothers, Sacrifice

    The schoolteacher asked a boy this question: "Suppose your mother baked a pie and there were six of you -- your mother, your father and four children. What percentage of the pie would you get?"
  • Illustration: Service

    J. Michael Shannon
    An Orlando, Fla., newspaper carried the story of a woman named Irene Johnston who was particularly dedicated to the "Meals on Wheels" program.
  • Illustration: Sacrifice

    J. Michael Shannon
    The Salvation Army received an unusual gift last Christmas. A couple who wished to remain anonymous donated a wedding ring—their own—worth several thousand dollars.