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Illustrations

  • Christmas

    J. Michael Shannon
    A little, rich kid walked up to the Santa Claus at the local mall and asked, “So, what can I do for you?” It is hard to say what he could have done for Santa, but we know Christmas isn’t so much about what we can do for Christ, although giving in His name is a beautiful thing to do. It is primarily about what He has done for us.
  • Christmas

    J. Michael Shannon
    Secularism and commercialism have tried to silence Jesus at Christmas—or at least shove Him into a corner. Schoolchildren have a Christmas break, but aren’t allowed to acknowledge why or even call it a Christmas break. A woman in a store picked up a Christmas-themed religious recording and said, “I can’t believe it—the Christians are trying to horn in on Christmas now.” I would not for a moment try to take away from your celebration Santa Claus, Scrooge, the Grinch, Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life. Still, we must remember it is His day.
  • Gifts, Expectations

    Bubba tried a new shampoo for the first time and was so pleased with it that he mailed off an enthusiastic letter of approval to the manufacturer.
  • Gratitude, Thankfulness

    Gratitude, Thankfulness The boy said, "What a wonderful day! I asked for one flower but got a beautiful bouquet." That's the thankful spirit. That's the gratitude attitude. It's that attitude that should guide our giving and our lives. Like that boy's granny, God has blessed us so much. God has been so good to us that giving shouldn't even be a question. It should just flow from us naturally.
  • Communion

    J. Michael Shannon
    The anniversary of the first moon landing has reminded us of some interesting details. What was the first food and drink consumed on the moon? It was the elements of the Lord’s Supper. Buzz Aldrin reports that the pastor of Webster Presbyterian Church in Houston presented him with a portable communion kit that included a bit of unleavened bread, a small container of wine, and a small chalice. Aldrin partook shortly after the landing. The church still uses a replica of the cup that went to the moon.
  • Mistakes, Teaching

    A high school senior saw an inspirational advertisement on television about becoming a teacher. She called the number shown: 1.800.45TEACH. After a woman answered, the student immediately began talking about how she thought she had found her life's calling and asked if she could send her some information.
  • Perfection, Excellence

    Stradivarius violins are known as the best violins in the world. Famous musicians love to play them. These violins can be strong and powerful, soft and expressive, energetic and brilliant. Said one performer: "It's like a great race car."
  • Christian Life

    Isn't it strange how everyone wants a place in heaven but they don't want to believe, do or say anything to get there?
  • Sexual Purity

    In a recent Breakpoint commentary, Mark Earley writes: "Dale Kuehne is the author of a new book, Sex and the iWorld. He says the traditional world, or tWorld, as he calls it, has been largely supplanted by the iWorld, in which 'the immediate desires of the individual have been deemed paramount.' In the iWorld, complete sexual freedom is a given, as long as all parties consent. Sexuality is considered essential to human happiness.
  • Words

    J. Michael Shannon
    It happened in the 1840s in Uruguay. The Uruguayan Navy was desperate. They were fending off the navy of an aggressive force from Argentina. They ran out of conventional ammunition and thought their cause was lost.
  • Preaching

    J. Michael Shannon
    family asked a preacher to come to their home for dinner after church. The child of that family was quite precocious. To encourage conversation the mother asked the little girl how she liked the service.
  • Listening

    J. Michael Shannon
    Recently, Dennis the Menace’s mother had to put Dennis in time out for something that happened at school. His mother said, “Your teacher says you don’t listen, Dennis.”
  • Kindness

    J. Michael Shannon
    While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, a police officer was interrupted by a little girl about 6 years old.
  • Relationships

    J. Michael Shannon
    According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Linda Wolfe holds the record as the most married woman in the world. The Guinness Book of World Records has verified it. Linda, 68, has been married 23 times.
  • Forgiveness

    J. Michael Shannon
    In 1961 U.S. Representative John Lewis, at the time a civil rights activist and seminary student, was beaten severely at a South Carolina bus stop. Forty-eight years later, Elwin Wilson, the man who beat Lewis, has asked for forgiveness.
  • Fatherhood

    J. Michael Shannon
    Just around the time of the inauguration of President Obama, the daughters of outgoing President Bush wrote an open letter to the Obama daughters.
  • Strength

    J. Michael Shannon
    According to wire service reports, a New York man has set a record for the most records in the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • Prayer

    J. Michael Shannon
    In an article in AARP magazine, Dolly Parton, legendary county singer, speaks of her dependence on prayer.
  • Lord's Supper

    J. Michael Shannon
    The oldest synagogue in the western hemisphere is the Mikve synagogue on the island of Curacao.
  • Optimism

    J. Michael Shannon
    There is an old “Far Side” comic that illustrates the power of perspective.