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  • Time

    J. Michael Shannon
    Recently, the Cincinnati Enquirer told a story about a man named David Booth who wanted to make an apology. Years earlier in 1969, Booth tried to hijack a Delta flight. During the attempt, he threatened an 18-year-old girl with a knife. The offended girl's sister is certain her sister would have forgiven Booth, but Booth will not be able to experience the freedom and joy of offering an apology and receiving the grace of forgiveness. He learned a valuable lesson. The time to make amends or do anything noble and good is now.
  • The Lord's Supper

    J. Michael Shannon
    According to news sources, there is an 88-year-old woman in Colorado Springs who walks laps around her nursing home property every day. She has reached 10,000 miles. Why does she do it?
  • Illustration: Timing, Late

    Bob had this problem of getting up late in the morning and was always late for work.
  • Illustration: Purpose, Direction

    Former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice once told graduates of the Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson that they have a responsibility to be "optimistic" in their lives.
  • Hunting, Preferences

    Cybersalt Digest
    Dad loved the outdoors, and because of his passion for hunting and fishing, the family ate a considerable amount of wild game. One evening as Dad set a platter of broiled venison steaks on the dinner table, his 10-year-old daughter looked up and said, "Boy, it sure would be nice if pizzas lived in the woods."
  • Sermon Illustration about Sin

    J. Michael Shannon
    In northern New Jersey, police picked up three suspected burglars who were believed to have left a crime scene with only $2 in change. How did the police find them? They left behind keys to their car. Police believe the suspects only got away with the money in a piggy bank.
  • Illustration: Worship

    During a Christian conference, I worked late on the worship PowerPoint slides. Please note the "D" and "F" keys are next to each other on the keyboard and spell checkers do not catch wrong words used in the correct context.
  • Illustration: Students, Graduation

    It was graduation day, and everybody's going to get their diploma but David.
  • Illustration: Struggle

    In a recent issue of his One Minute Uplift newsletter, Rick Ezell writes: "The pages of history are lined with individuals encountering negative setbacks only to make something positive out of them. They are better for it. In many cases so are we."
  • Heaven/Trust

    J. Michael Shannon
    A dying man who was living in great fear of death asked his minister if he knew exactly what heaven was like. The minister replied that he did not know exactly what heaven’s like. The sick man replied, “Then what good are you, and what kind of minister are you?”
  • Bible

    J. Michael Shannon
    The oldest surviving Irish manuscript is a fragmentary copy of the Book of Psalms. Before they went into battle, Celtic armies carried it around their troops three times to ensure victory. While we would not endorse such a magical view of the Bible, surely reading it does make us ready for spiritual warfare and eventual victory.
  • Illustration: Shopping, Completeness

    My first grader got some new boots she had been wanting for school. The teacher noticed she had gotten her boots and said, “Laura, I see you got new boots. Where did you get them?”
  • Illustration: Power, God’s Provision

    Richard Fairchild tells this story of Leslie Weatherhead, a well-known preacher of a previous generation: “Once, when he was a high school student, he had a very difficult examination, but he had discovered that verse, 'And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do...'
  • Christ, Head of the Church

    J. Michael Shannon
    Can you believe it? The head of a baby Jesus statue was knocked off and carried away by vandals. It happened in Wauwatosa, Wis., at Saint Joseph's Catholic Church. The church members understandably are angry and looking to get the statue fixed. If the head is not found, the church will have to replace the entire statue at a cost of $12,000.
  • Illustration: Compassion/Evangelism

    J. Michael Shannon
    According to the wire service reports, there is a place in Australia that has become a favorite spot for those who want to commit suicide. It is a rocky cliff near Sydney Harbor called The Gap. For nearly 50 years, a man named Don Ritchie has lived across the street from The Gap. Don sees it as his responsibility to try to keep people from jumping over. It is estimated he has saved more than 160 lives by offering conversation, coffee or tea.
  • Illustration: Gratitude

    J. Michael Shannon
    A little boy was invited to a birthday party in the neighborhood. His mother said, “Be sure to thank the mother when you leave.” When he returned, his mother asked him if he had thanked the mother who hosted the party.
  • Illustration: Selflessness

    J. Michael Shannon
    The original seal of the state of Georgia depicted a mulberry leaf, a silk worm and a cocoon. The seal bore these Latin phras sibi sed allis,"not for us but for others.” Not a bad slogan for the church.
  • Illustration: Riches in Christ

    J. Michael Shannon
    You can imagine how foolish I felt clutching my little bag of dollar popcorn and my cup of soda. I did not know the riches that were actually mine. Many Christians do not know the riches that are available to them in Christ.
  • Illustration: Suffering/Love, Power of

    J. Michael Shannon
    Erich Fromm is reported to have said, “Who will tell whether one happy moment of love, or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.”
  • Illustration: Repentance

    J. Michael Shannon
    In Vansbro, Sweden, police were startled when a thief returned a wallet he had stolen with the whole amount that was in the wallet along with the interest the money would have earned. He also enclosed a letter of apology. He had stolen the money 40 years earlier. It is never too late for restitution and repentance.