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  • Illustration: Heaven

    J. Michael Shannon
    The Maldives is an island nation. Rising sea levels in the Indian Ocean threaten this land of 376,000 people.
  • Illustration: God

    J. Michael Shannon
    A few years ago a school bus driver in a Chicago suburb legally changed his name to “In God We Trust.”
  • Illustration: Forgiveness

    J. Michael Shannon
    According to a recent news report, a Texas church received a lot of criticism for a sign that said, “Jesus Does Not Care.”
  • Illustration: Encouragement

    J. Michael Shannon
    Joel Manby is the CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment, a company that operates theme parks, aquariums and other family attractions. Manby was featured in the TV hit, “Undercover Boss.”
  • Illustration: Conscience

    J. Michael Shannon
    You never know where you will find a conscience. In York, Pa., an armed robber gave back what he would have stolen from a homeless man.
  • Illustration: Attitude

    J. Michael Shannon
    A man was sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room. He kept saying out loud, “I hope I’m sick. I hope I’m sick. I hope I’m sick.”
  • Illustration: Abundant Life

    J. Michael Shannon
    In a classic “Peanuts” comic strip, Charlie Brown goes to Lucy for psychiatric help. He says, “What can you do when you don’t fit in? What can you do when life seems to be passing you by?”
  • Illustration: Marriage

    On their 50th wedding anniversary and during the banquet celebrating it, Tom was asked to give his friends a brief account of the benefits of a marriage of such long duration.
  • Illustration: Denominations

    A Baptist preacher and his wife decided to get a new dog. Ever mindful of the congregation, they knew the dog must also be a Baptist. They visited kennel after kennel and explained their needs. Finally, they found a kennel whose owner assured them he had just the dog they wanted.
  • Illustration: Perspective

    Traveling through New England, a motorist stopped for gas in a tiny village. "What type of town is this?" he asked the station attendant.
  • Illustration: Life

    Erma Bombeck once wrote about what she would do differently If I Had My Life to Live Over:
  • Illustration: Adversity

    More than 2,000 years ago, a young Greek artist named Timanthes studied under a respected tutor. After several years, the teacher's efforts seemed to have paid off when Timanthes painted an exquisite work of art.
  • Illustration: Habits

    The passenger tapped the cab driver on the shoulder to ask him something. The driver screamed, lost control of the car, nearly hit a bus, went up on the sidewalk and stopped inches from a department store window.
  • Illustration: Children and Television

    The math teacher saw that little Johnny wasn't paying attention in class. She called on him and said, "Johnny!"
  • Illustration: Contentment, Ambition

    Chuck Swindoll writes, “You and I are afraid that if we open the door of contentment, two uninvited guests will rush in: loss of prestige and laziness. We really believe 'getting to the top’ is worth any sacrifice. To proud Americans, contentment is something to be enjoyed between birth and kindergarten...retirement and the rest home...or (and this will hurt) among those who have no ambition."
  • Illustration: Christmas

    A woman was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable--and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves--she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.
  • Illustration: Apologies, Forgiveness

    In the washroom of his London club, British newspaper publisher and politician William Beverbrook happened to meet Edward Heath, then a young member of Parliament, about whom Beverbrook had printed an insulting editorial a few days earlier.
  • Illustration: Gifts

    Ann Landers wrote about a person she knew who said the greatest gift he ever received in his life was a note his dad gave him on Christmas.
  • Illustration: Christmas, Sharing

    The mall Santa had many children ask for electric trains. “If you get a train,” he would tell each one, “you know your dad is going to want to play with it too. Is that OK?”
  • Illustration: Ministry, God’s Love

    Jim Cymbala, Pastor of Brooklyn Tabernacle, tells the following story: It was Easter Sunday and I was so tired at the end of the day that I just went to the edge of the platform, pulled down my tie and sat down and draped my feet over the edge. It was a wonderful service with many people coming forward. The counselors were talking with these people. As I was sitting there I looked up the middle aisle, and there in about the third row was a man who looked about 50, disheveled, filthy. He looked up at me rather sheepishly, as if saying, “Could I talk to you?”