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Illustrations

  • Illustration: Santa, Communication

    Little Bethany climbed up into Santa’s lap in the mall. As soon as she was settled, Santa said, “And what would you like for Christmas this year?”
  • Illustration: Christmas, Incarnation

    Back in 1891, Robert Louis Stevenson, author of such classics as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Kidnapped, gave a rather odd gift to the daughter of a friend of his. This friend, Henry Ide, once joked that Christmas was not the happiest day of the year in his household. His 14-year-old daughter, Annie, had been born on Christmas; she always complained she got cheated out of a separate birthday party.
  • Illustration: Self-Righteousness, Heaven

    "I was shocked, confused, bewildered as I entered Heaven's door, not by the beauty of it all, nor the lights or its decor."
  • Illustration: Thankfulness, Providence

    In his Church & Culture blog, James Emery White shares this story: The barracks where Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsy were kept in the Nazi concentration camp Ravensbruck were terribly overcrowded and flea-infested.
  • Illustration: Excuses, Family

    A cowboy walks into a bar in Texas, orders three mugs of Bud and sits in the back room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more.
  • Illustration: Gifts, Shopping

    A mother and a daughter are shopping in the mall when the mother eyes an expensive fur coat. "This year," she says, "I think I will buy my present instead of making you and Dad shop for me."
  • Illustration: Prayer, Sharing

    A businessman needed millions of dollars to clinch an important deal, so he went to the church to pray for the money. By chance he knelt at the altar next to a man who was praying for $100 to pay an urgent debt.
  • Illustration: Christian Life, Discipleship

    Ruth Bell Graham wrote of an encounter she had with a young Indian student named Pashi. She spoke with Pashi about Christ, to which he replied, "I would like to believe in Christ, and many in India would like to believe; but we never have seen a Christian who was like Christ."
  • Illustration: Excuses

    Philadelphia's Highway Patrol officers hear all kinds of creative excuses that drivers give for speeding. Here are some of the officers' favorites. By the way, none of them worked.
  • Illustration: Cost of Commitment

    From a recent "Hagar the Horrible" comic: Hagar is inciting on his troops. “This is the moment we've been waiting for men! The moment we do battle with the enemy! Is everyone here?”
  • Illustration: Value of Teamwork

    An out-of-towner drove his car into a ditch in a desolated area. Luckily, a local farmer came to help with his big strong horse, named Buddy. He hitched Buddy up to the car and yelled, "Pull, Nellie, pull!" Buddy didn't move.
  • Illustration: Names

    The story appeared in the January 29, 2003, edition of The Washington Post. Titled “Picabo’s Problem,” it is a story about the well-known Olympic gold medallist, Picabo Street. The article notes that she’s much more than a famous skier. Between training on the slopes and traveling around the world, she managed to get an education and earn a degree in nursing.
  • Illustration: Giving, Stewardship

    A very wealthy man in the community was not known for his generosity to the church. The church was involved in a big financial program so the fundraising committee decided they had to pay him a visit. As they met with him, they said that in view of his considerable resources they were sure that he would like to make a substantial contribution to this program.
  • Sermon Illustration: Thanksgiving

    J. Michael Shannon
    Melodie Beattie, a noted self-help author, often stresses the importance of gratitude.
  • Sermon Illustration: Popular Culture, Influence of

    J. Michael Shannon
    A math teacher saw that one of her students wasn’t paying attention in class. She called on him to deal with a math question and said, “Billy, what are 2, 4, 28 and 44?”
  • Sermon Illustration: Peace of Mind

    J. Michael Shannon
    David Suchet is a well-know British actor, known primarily for his brilliant portrayal of Agatha Christie’s eccentric detective, Hercule Poirot. In an interview in The Strand magazine, he was asked about his philosophy of life. This is what he told the interviewer:
  • Sermon Illustration: Love

    J. Michael Shannon
    There is a minister’s wife in the Midwest who is also a well-known speaker. Her name is Love Lockman.
  • Sermon Illustration: Lord's Supper

    J. Michael Shannon
    In October 1971, the Shah of Iran invited 60 kings, queens and heads of state to celebrate the 2,500 years of the Persian Empire. The cost of the celebration was $100 million, but it was not the costliest table ever spread.
  • Sermon Illustration: Importance of Small Things

    J. Michael Shannon
    “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” says that Craig Dawson has an unusual habit. He keeps an eye on the ground as he jogs. This is not for balance, safety or even shyness. He is looking for spare change.
  • Sermon Illustration: God

    J. Michael Shannon
    It has been reported that a student was given a question, “Where do our rights come from?” He answered with one word: God. The teacher marked it wrong.