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  • Sermon Illustration: Decisions

    J. Michael Shannon
    Elbert Hubbard once said, “It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.”
  • Sermon Illustration: Communication

    J. Michael Shannon
    Those who preach and communicate for the cause of Christ always will want to know something about their audience. It is always instructive to learn something about the culture of young adults, a group the church is desperate to reach. Every year, Beloit College issues the “Beloit College Mindset” list. It tells about the world in which the incoming college students have grown up. Here are some insights from the 2010 list, which represents the class of 2014:
  • Sermon Illustration: Christmas

    J. Michael Shannon
    A Sunday School teacher was trying to get some discussion going in her children’s Sunday School class during the Christmas season. She said, “If the flower of Easter is a lily, what is the flower of Christmas?”
  • Sermon Illustration: Christmas

    J. Michael Shannon
    President Calvin Coolidge was often called “Silent Cal.” It has become part of the legend of the man. Although, he wasn’t silent about Christmas. Here is what he said as his Christmas message in 1927:
  • Sermon Illustration: Christmas

    J. Michael Shannon
    Robert Louis Stevenson wrote this prayer for Christmas: “Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of angels, the gladness of the shepherds and the worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate, and open the door of love all over the world...
  • Illustration: Gossip, Words

    Harry hosted a dinner party. One of his guests was a surgeon.
  • Illustration: Service

    In his sermon “Blowing Your Horn,” Richard Love shares this: "Sir Michael Costa, the celebrated conductor, was holding a rehearsal. As the mighty chorus rang out, accompanied by scores of instruments, the piccolo player -- a little pint-sized flute -- thinking perhaps that his contribution would not be missed amid so much music, stopped playing.
  • Illustration: Meals, Company

    The boss and his wife were coming over for dinner, and little Mary was helping by setting the table. She finished just as the company arrived, and as the guests came in and everyone sat down, Mother noticed something was missing.
  • Illustration: Politicians

    A busload of politicians were driving down a country road when suddenly the bus ran off the road and crashed into a tree in an old farmer's field.
  • Illustration: Ministers, Memory

    Not too long ago a large seminar was held for ministers in training.
  • Illustration: Comfort, Challenge

    Too much comfort is dangerous. Literally.
  • Illustration: Weddings, Poverty

    The husband was an older student, which didn't leave much money for our family of seven. One day while attending a friend's wedding, the 4-year-old daughter was sitting next to the mom when the pastor asked, "Do you take this man for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health?"
  • Illustration: Truth

    "It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. It is better to speak the truth that hurts and then heals, then falsehood that comforts and then kills. It is not love and it is not friendship if we fail to declare the whole counsel of God. It is better to be hated for telling the truth than to be loved for telling a lie."
  • Illustration: Relatives, In-Laws

    A couple had an argument, and now they were driving down a country road, not saying a word. As they passed a barnyard of mules, the wife sarcastically asked, "Relatives of yours?"
  • Illustration: Skill, Talent

    Morris, the loudmouth mechanic, was removing the cylinder heads from the motor of a car when he spotted a famous heart surgeon who was standing off to the side, waiting for the service manager to come take a look at his Mercedes.
  • Illustration: Worship

  • Illustration: Generosity, Improvement

    One night at the dinner table, the wife commented, “When we were first married, you took the small piece of steak and gave me the larger. Now you take the large one and leave me the smaller. You don't love me any more?”
  • Illustration: Witness, Evangelism

    One day, a lady criticized D.L. Moody for his methods of evangelism in attempting to win people to the Lord. Moody's reply was, "I agree with you. I don't like the way I do it either. Tell me, how do you do it?"
  • Illustration: Warning, Insurance

    An older man is on the operating table awaiting surgery. He has insisted that his son, a renowned surgeon, perform the operation. He is about to receive the anesthesia when he asks to speak to his son.
  • Illustration: Bible, Word of God

    "Learn the power of quoting Scripture. It's to our souls what a sword is to a soldier.”