Luke 10: 1-20

Illustrated New Resources

  • The Christian’s Inner Power

    by Klaus Adam
    When he was a young priest, St. John Paul II wrote a play called The Jeweler’s Shop. In this play, one of the characters, Anna, feels trapped in an unhappy marriage. She and her husband, Stefan, have ceased paying any attention to each other. One night Anna is wandering the streets, and she meets a man named Adam. He puts his finger on the pulse of her pain and asks her what she’s looking for. She admits that she can’t stand her husband. So Adam tells her that great love and happiness await her and that the person she was looking for would come walking down the street. Anna felt a sudden longing for someone perfect, good, who would be different than Stefan. Suddenly she sees a man walking down the street, and, on impulse, thinks, “this is the one.” But as she draws near and sees his face she realizes that it’s Stefan. And she wonders, “Must he have that face for me? Why?” That vision gave her a new understanding of love, and she comes to realize that we’re called to love the people God has given to us in our lives...
  • Changing Plans

    by Kathy Donley
    Barbara Brown Taylor, the gifted Episcopal preacher, tells a story about a visit she made several years ago to southern Turkey. She shares it in her book, The Preaching Life, a book that was published 28 years ago. She writes that while hiking with some friends and a Turkish guide, “We turned a bend and the outline of a ruined (Christian) cathedral appeared ~ a huge gray stone church with a central dome that dominated the countryside. Grass grew between what was left of the roof tiles and the facade was crumbling.” Taylor goes on to describe the shell of a once magnificent church, which now was filled with trash and indications that it was a play place for children. On the massive walls were still visible the fading frescoes … lambs of God and angels and medieval saints. In the dome you could see one outstretched arm of the victorious Christ who had dominated the building ten centuries earlier. She observes: “It is one thing to talk about the post-Christian era and quite another to walk around inside it. Christianity died in Turkey – the land that gave birth to Paul – the land of Galatia, Ephesus, Colossae, Nicaea. Today the Christian population of Turkey is less than one percent.”...
  • Proper 9C (2019)

    by Scott Hoezee
    If you are Steven Spielberg, then you always shoot more scenes than can fit in the finished movie and it’s only after you see how they all turned out that you can determine which scenes slow the movie down, end up being extraneous, or just didn’t turn out that well. So you cut them. You sit with your film editor and begin selecting and slicing. Back in the day, real pieces of celluloid were cut and tossed aside. Today it’s all digital, of course, with the deleted scenes getting saved somewhere else on a hard drive, perhaps only to be revisited some day in case they decide to release an “Extended Edition Director’s Cut” on BluRay. That’s all de rigeur if you’re Steven Spielberg. Because then, of course, the thing you are editing is your movie. But the Bible isn’t my book or a committee’s book and so just because in the middle of Luke 10 Jesus begins to sound some definite notes of judgment and condemnation for those who reject the message of the Kingdom’s approach, that doesn’t mean we can edit that out, skip it, pretend it’s not there...
  • Evangelism of Presence

    by Louise Kalemkerian
    Sr. Mary McGlone tells of a Romanian friend of hers who experienced this type of evangelism. This woman entered religious life when participating in church was illegal; celebrating the liturgy could get you arrested, and secret communities of monks and nuns who operated underground constantly risked imprisonment. This woman had been working in a factory where some other young women workers attracted her attention simply by some intangible quality of their presence. As she got to know them and asked what made them different, they admitted that they were believers. One day, they invited her to pray with them at their apartment. Time went on and trust grew. They eventually admitted that they belonged to a secret religious congregation and invited her to join them. Being lambs among wolves, they had learned to evangelize by presence and only much later by formal invitations to discipleship. And McGlone’s friend joined...
  • Good News or Bad

    by David Lose
    Not too long ago, while preparing a sermon, I was reminded of linguistic philosopher J. L. Austin’s book How to Do Things With Words, where he expresses the conviction that you know the meaning of a word or sentence not by what it says (our usual assumption), but by why what it does, by what impact it has on you. For instance, imagine that I say, “The door is open.” Is that simply a statement of fact? Maybe. But what if you had just asked a question about why it was so warm inside even though the air-conditioning was on, and I said, “The door is open.” Then I’m not simply stating a fact but providing you an answer. Or maybe I say it with a kind of incredulity or even a hint of contempt in my voice – “the door is open” – and you realize I’m implying that a) your question isn’t too bright – anyone should realize that if you leave the door open when it’s 90 degrees outside it’s going to get warm – and b) you aren’t too bright for leaving it open. Or maybe I’ve told my kids several times that when the air conditioner is on, it’s really important to save electricity by keeping the door closed and I find it open once again and so say, with some annoyance in my voice, “The door is open,” and they feel both accused and guilty and at least one of them – hopefully – gets up to shut the door. Or maybe you and I are gossiping about a mutual friend – not that we’d ever do that! – and I whisper insistently, “The door is open,” to remind you that our friend might be just outside and to beg you to keep your voice down...
  • Carrying Tension

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    Jesus “took away the sins of the world” by holding, carrying, purifying, and transforming tension, that is, by taking in the bitterness, anger, jealousy, hatred, slander, and every other kind of thing that’s cancerous within human community, and not giving it back in kind. In essence, Jesus did this by acting like a purifier, a water filter of sorts: He took in hatred, held it, transformed it, and gave back love; he took in bitterness, held it, transformed it, and gave back graciousness; he took in curses, held them, transformed them, and gave back blessing; and he took in murder, held it, transformed it, and gave back forgiveness...
  • Up Ahead

    by Rob Wright
    All this talk of labor reminds me of a commercial I saw once. Picture the video. No words, just images. Men and women already at work by sunrise. Up early doing important foundational work. Up late doing what it takes to make the world run. Ordinary people. Ordinary work. Images of unity, constancy, and dignity. And then breaks in the audio. Men and women turn to the camera one by one reciting a poem as they work. And the poem is: How often times we hear the praises sung of wealthy men, of prince and duke and peer. They're lauded over the land, but you very seldom hear them sing the praises of the honest working man. Their hands may be both rough and hard. Their clothes and speech be plain, but you will find their honest heart without a spot or stain. Here's to each hearty child of toil that labors in the land, let us give three cheers with right good will for the honest working man. For the honest working woman. Harvest labor is downward mobility. Down into the foundational things. Harvest labor, he said, is not farm management. It's down into the fingernail dirty corners of the world. Wherever God has planted you. Down into the muck of human relationships...

Other New Resources

Recommended Resources

{Based on requests from several members (although I am reluctant to do so since my favorites may not be those of others), I am listing here some of my own favorite resources. FWIW!!]
  • Discipleship

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • Proclaiming the Nearness of God's Reign

    by D. Mark Davis
    (Includes lots of Greek exegesis!!)
  • Apostles Sent On a Mission

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("There is a wonderful Yiddish folk tale about an old man who would sit outside the walls of a great city. When travelers approached, they would ask him, 'What kind of people live here?' 'And the old man would answer, 'What kind of people lived in the place where you came from?'..." and several other illustrations)
  • Peace and the Cross

    by Sil Galvan
    This was the fourth card shop I had visited in a futile effort to find just the right card for my father's birthday. I could not honestly choose one of the beautiful ones that proclaimed, 'You were always there for me'. Rather, I needed one that admitted, 'You were never there for me'. Other years I had picked out a generic 'For my Father' card that was rather nondescript..." and another illustration
  • Something There Is That Doesn't Love the Word Sin

    by John Jewell
    ("Prophets throughout the ages might be called God's 'Fair Warning' messengers. The message has always been clear, 'Reject God's reign at your peril!'. On February 12, 2003, US Senator Robert Byrd gave a 'Fair Warning' speech that included these words: 'To contemplate war is to think about the most horrible of human experiences...")
  • You're Gonna Make It After All!

    by Terrance Klein
    ("Most of us know these lyrics better than those of the national anthem. The melody is certainly more singable. 'Who can turn the world on with her smile? Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile? Well it's you girl, and you should know it With each glance and every little movement you show it Love is all around, no need to waste it You can have a town, why don't you take it You're gonna make it after all...")
  • Proper 9C

    by William Loader
  • Exegetical Notes (Proper 9C)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (always excellent exegesis)
  • Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Ordinary 14C)

    by Various Authors
    (includes many resources)

Illustrated Resources from 2016 to 2018

  • Life Stripped Bare

    by Neil Bishop
    Did anyone watch the programme on Channel 4 where people agreed to have literally all their possessions taken away? Life Stripped Bare started out as an excuse to see young people running about naked, because even their clothes were taken away. But each day during the making of the film they could take back one of their possessions and one person said that, although at first it was really exciting every time she got something back, the excitement grew less every day until she found she didn’t really need anything else. At the end of the programme some of the people gave away half their possessions to charity. They also found they had a lot more time to concentrate on what really mattered most in their lives.
  • The Pulse of Love and Anger

    by Kathy Donley
    Discusses the shootings in Orlando and is based on Genesis 19 which is referenced in Luke 9:51-62.
  • Proper 9C (2016)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Some while ago, someone wrote of a conversation he overheard at some East Coast upscale party. The topic turned to morality and at one point a martini-sipping woman proclaimed, 'Oh, those terms: adultery, fornication! Isn't it a shame that people still talk that way in this day and age?!' To this another partygoer replied, 'No, I think that what's a shame is that people still do those things in this day and age.'...")
  • Casting Out Our Redeemer

    by Terrance Klein
    It’s unfortunate that Nicholas Stargardt’s The German War: A Nation under Arms, 1939-1945 is a long read. Released the year before Britain has weighed European unity and found it wanting, it recreates, by way of diaries and letters, the personal experiences of a European nation at war. It also illustrates how the most diabolical aspect of evil is its ability to hide itself, even to take on a semblance of righteousness.
  • He Sent How Many?

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    Seventy, after all, is six times more than Jesus' original disciples. Imagine a 600% increase in staff. But we might think of the number in a larger context. The population of the city of Rome during the time of Augustus (he of the census in Luke's gospel) has been estimated at 1,250,000. 1.25 million. What does a million look like? The composition of the silkscreen print below is made of a million dots.
  • The Church of the Seventy

    by Joe Tyler Mitchell
    When artist Bob Kane created The Batman in 1938, the so-called Dark Knight was a solitary figure. But in 1940 Kane decided that his nocturnal detective needed a partner. So, hoping to draw in younger readers, Kane introduced Robin: the Boy Wonder. Together Batman and Robin would become the icons symbols of justice in Gotham City: the Dynamic Duo. In the years since, it is safe to say that these two caped crusaders have become one of the most recognizable teams in all of popular culture.
  • Sex and Sodom and Gomorrah

    by Nancy Rockwell
    Last week in Sacramento, CA, Baptist preacher Roger Jimenez said that Orlando was a safer place with 50 gays dead, and he wished it could have been more. The Westboro Baptist Church greeted the news of the Orlando massacre by composing a song, Shooters, Keep Coming Around. Such virulent religious haters hold up the story of Sodom as one of their main biblical anti-gay texts.
  • Love Among the Wolves

    by David Sellery
    In Libya, a score of Christians are marched out onto a beach and with choreographic precision they are beheaded for the benefit of some blood-thirsty bloggers. In Indonesia Christian schoolgirls are dragged from a bus and butchered in front of their classmates. In Egypt the ancient Coptic communities have now been virtually annihilated. In Sudan Christian villages are routinely bombed and strafed. In Nigeria entire congregations are rounded-up, gunned down and left to rot. In India venerable Anglican churches are burned to the ground, while the faithful are hacked to death. In Palestine, Iraq and Syria, “ethnic cleansing” has reduced Christian communities to a pitiful few, elderly survivors.
  • Proper 9C

    by Richard Swanson
    We are always dependent on gifts. The older I get, the more I realize the ways my teachers (some of whom were even part of educational institutions) gave me the best that they had for free. For instance, Gretchen Heath, my high school drama teacher, gave me much more than a couple of plays to be in. She opened up a way of understanding the world and human being that I would never have discovered apart from the theatre. The good stuff she gave for free because none of us could ever have afforded to pay for what she knew out of a life dedicated to literature and theatre.
  • Snaring Satan

    by Brian Volck
    What many of the news industry’s theological illiterates overlook, however, is that Francis is a Jesuit (Google “Satan, Pope Francis” or “Satan, Jesuits,” and see what the blogosphere thinks of that!), and that order’s founder, Ignatius Loyola, was very much an early modern, though traditional enough to consider the Evil One a spirit whose invitations must be resisted through a rigorous “discernment of spirits.” In Week Two of Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius writes: It is characteristic of the evil angel, who takes on the appearance of an angel of light, to enter by going along the same way as the devout soul and then to exit by his own way with success for himself. That is, he brings good and holy thoughts attractive to such an upright soul and then strives little by little to get his own way, by enticing the soul over to his own hidden deceits and evil intentions.
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Call

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Satan

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Strength

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources from 2010 to 2015

  • Changing Plans

    by J. C. Austin
    ("About 15 years ago, my wife, Tammy, and I were traveling through East Africa and we decided to go to Uganda to try and see some of the last remaining Mountain Gorillas in the world. The gorillas lived on the western border of the country, but we had to go to Kampala, the capital, because you could only get into the park on an official permit on a particular assigned date...")
  • A New Creation Is Everything

    by Christopher Burkett
    ("We become what we hate. This is one of the most disconcerting parts of being human. In blind fear at a daughter's hurt, a father becomes the one to hurt others. Unaware of what is happening to us, we turn into the very thing we oppose. The process happens over and over again. It happens within us, in our hearts and minds...")
  • Why Are You Surprised?

    by Jim Chern
    ("One repeat of Everybody Loves Raymond I caught the other day was when Ray's mother-in-law enlists his help in throwing a surprise party for his wife Debra. The long and short of it, the forever lazy and often foolish Ray ends up telling Debra about the forth-coming surprise, gets direction from her on how the party SHOULD be run...")
  • Penmanship of Faith

    by Robert Elder
    ("James Billington, the Librarian of Congress and a student of Russian history, happened to be in Moscow in August of 1991, the tumultuous time when the old Soviet regime was giving way to a new social order. These were tense and dangerous days, and power was balanced on a razor's edge...")
  • It's Not Easy to Be a Disciple of Jesus

    by Thomas Gumbleton
    ("In Nelson Mandela's autobiography called The Long Road to Freedom, he said: 'During those 27 long years of imprisonment, I came to understand that I had to work as hard for the freedom of the oppressors as for the freedom of my own people because anyone who oppresses another is a prisoner of hatred.'...")
  • To Leave a Living Namee

    by Fred Kane
    ("One night several years ago, we were living in Madras in Central Oregon where I was the pastor of the United Methodist Church we were and caring for both my parents in our home. My father had completed radiation therapy and was taking chemotherapy for inoperable esophageal cancer. My mother was being treated for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They could not care for themselves in their home any longer..." and other illustrations)
  • Traveling Light

    by Rick Miles
    If I had my life to live over, I’d pick more daisies. I’d try to make more mistakes next time. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would relax, I would limber up. I know very few things I would take seriously. I would take more trips, travel lighter. I would be crazier. I would be less hygienic. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets. I would eat more ice cream, and less bran. I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones. You see, I am one of those people who live practically and sensibly and sanely, Hour after hour, day after day...
  • What to Do About the Fourth

    by Ed Moore
    ("In The Worshiping Body: The Art of Leading Worship, Kimberly Bracken Long recalls the 1984 film Places in the Heart, set in Waxahachie, Texas, in 1935. Its last few minutes depict a communion service in a small country church. The few folk in the sanctuary do their best to sing "Blessed Assurance" as they prepare to commune. But then something remarkable happens...")
  • Carrying Tension

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("One of the things we're asked to do as Christians is to help 'take away the sins of the world' as Jesus did. How? Jesus 'took away the sins of the world' by holding, carrying, purifying, and transforming tension, that is, by taking in the bitterness, anger, jealousy, hatred, slander, and every other kind of thing that's cancerous within human community, and not giving it back in kind...")
  • Anything to Declare?

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ["When your kids are driving you crazy, there are two default responses. One is to declare a universal 'NO'. Sometimes 'no' IS the right answer. But the other automatic parental default is, surprisingly, the polar opposite. Need to get restless and rustling kids out from underfoot? 'Go out and play!'..."]
  • In Prayer's Way

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ["This little baby is embarking on a journey. And it's an awesome journey to be a part of. All new parents here - is there anything as exciting as watching your baby go from a snuggly little lump you cradle in your arms to a roller, then a crawler, then a "cruiser" and finally a walker?..."]
  • Traveling Light

    by Keith Wagner
    ("Near the end of his life, Mickey Mantle received a liver transplant after years of alcohol abuse. But, even in this difficult situation, graciousness toned his words, as Mantle told the media: 'You talk about your role models. This is your role model – don't be like me.' Mantle squarely faced the fact that while he had been a superstar on the field, he could not manage his personal life off the field....")
  • Jesus Instructs the Seventy

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("Two missionaries, commissioned to organize a new church in a South American country, visited, preached, and prayed with the poor people of the region for a year, sleeping in thatched-roof huts on straw mats laid upon clean, dirt-packed floors, and giving thanks for the constant diet of rice, beans, and potatoes...")
  • Jumping from the Edge

    by Amy Winkler
    ("The First Reading offers images of a motherly comfort and the Gospel demonstrates the trust that the disciples had as they embarked on their journeys with "no money bag, no sack, no sandals. What complete trust and faith they had! As I was reflecting on this trust and dependence on God to provide everything needed for the journey, the little girl I babysit for during the summers popped into my mind...")

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • The Call for Laborers

    by Mickey Anders
    ("The church was saddened to learn this week of the sudden and unexpected death of one our church's most active members - Someone Else....")
  • Proper 9C (2007)

    from the Center for Excellence in Preaching
    ("Dallas Willard once said that when he was a young boy, rural electrification was taking place throughout the United States. For the first time ever, tall poles popped up across the landscape of the countryside with huge electric wires strung from pole to pole to pole. But initially at least, not everyone trusted electricity...")
  • The Amateur Professional

    by Tom Cox
    ("Peace is also something that no expert can corner for themselves. It's a currency we can all have in our pocket. Amateurs welcome! 'I slept and dreamed that life was joy. I woke and saw that life was but service. I served and understood that service was joy.'...")
  • Following His Footsteps

    by Tom Cox
    ("While people can be very willing to help out in practical parish projects, if you really want to get the back up of parishioners, all a priest has to do is to suggest anything that involves sharing their faith. The response can be in marked contrast to the Gospels' 72, more on the lines of; 'who am I to tell my neighbour what to believe?'...")
  • Wondering Thoughts

    by Tom Cox
    ("Scale is an amazing thing. In a small group, the one who is missing is missed. Whereas in a larger body, a feeling can arise that you won’t be particularly noticed if you miss the odd lecture or meeting. Small is truly beautiful, because it reinforces that everyone is important. Small isn’t easy though. Take the 72. Part of us can’t help but wonder how the pairings went?...")
  • Traveling Lightly

    by Gwen Drake
    "Let me tell you about Fred Snodgrass. He died in 1974 The New Times reported his death, like this: 'Fred Snodgrass, 86, dead, ball player muffed fly in 1912.' Poor old Fred Snodgrass. Some sportswriter would not let the world forget that he had made a mistake in a ball game 62 years before his death..."
  • Traveling Lightly

    by Gwen Drake
    ("Let me tell you about Fred Snodgrass. He died in 1974 The New Times reported his death, like this: 'Fred Snodgrass, 86, dead, ball player muffed fly in 1912.' Poor old Fred Snodgrass. Some sportswriter would not let the world forget that he had made a mistake in a ball game 62 years before his death......")
  • Mission of the Laity

    by Ernest Munachi Ezeogu, CSSP
    ("A preacher was speaking at an open-air crusade in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Billy Graham was to speak the following night. But he arrived a day early. He came unannounced and sat on the grass with the crowd. In front of him sat an elderly gentleman who seemed to be listening attentively to the preaching...")
  • Traveling Light

    by Arthur Ferry, Jr.
    ("Ann Morrow Lindberg wrote a marvelous little book that's been read by thousands, GIFT FROM THE SEA. It is a profound work. In it Ann Lindberg describes her alone time at her beach home. She tells how she experiences God's grace thru the simplicity of the life she finds on summer vacation..." and other illustrations)
  • Water to the World

    Narrative Sermon by Frank Fisher
  • Tough Love Not Sloppy Agape

    by Bob Fiske
    ("One of the people I’m indebted to when I look back at my past ministries is a man by the name of Claude Duteal who was an Episcopal priest. He graduated from Georgia Tech and was very proud of that. He majored in engineering and then went to study to become a priest in the Episcopal Church...")
  • Words and Deeds

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("there are events and people who change our lives in a positive way. There is the story about a man who visited the Fiji islands. This visitor was sceptical of missionaries. He even spoke with the chief and told him that nobody believed what the Bible had to say nowadays...")
  • Ordinary 14

    by Andrew Greeley
    ["Once upon a time a mommy and a daddy were preparing to take their two children for two weeks vacation in the country. They had, as do most mommies and daddies these days, a sports utility vehicle (SUV). They figured that they would travel light. For two weeks you don’t have to bring the whole house, do you?..."]
  • The Ride of Your Life

    by Mark Haverland
    ("My family has become great fans of the TV show Whose Line is It, Anyway? Drew Carrey is the host of a show where four people improvise on the most outrageous skits. This week, they were asked to perform the broadcast news as a televangelist, a strip dancer and a teenager practicing her first kiss...")
  • The Nearness of the Kingdom

    by Christopher Henry
    ("I have a friend who spent six weeks last summer along the United States-Mexico border in the states of Arizona and Sonora. Sara was working with an organization called No More Deaths, which provides humanitarian aid to migrants crossing the desert. Over 2000 people have died since 1998 trying to cross into the United States, most from dehydration or exhaustion...")
  • New Creation

    by Donald Hoffman
    ("There once was a woman whose only son died. In her grief, she went to a holy man and said, 'What prayers, what magical incantations do you have to help me with my pain?' He replied, 'Fetch me a mustard seed from a home that has never known sorrow. We will use it to drive the sorrow out of your life.'...")
  • Appointment with Destiny

    by John Jewell
    ("Arthur was a nerd! A class 'A' ... number one... no doubt about it nerd! He didn't hang around with the 'cool' guys and he didn't have any girlfriends that anyone knew about. Arthur might even have been a geek! But... Arthur received an appointment that turned all the 'cool' guys green with envy and brought up the interest of the girls several notches..." and another illustration)
  • A Guide for Ministers

    by James Kegel
    ("A questioner asked Norma Cook Everist in a column in The Lutheran magazine whether the asker's church had gotten off track: 'My congregation is successful but I wonder if the success is a result of being popular and trendy while sacrificing Lutheran teaching...")
  • A Guide for Ministers

    by James Kegel
    "A questioner asked Norma Cook Everist in a column in The Lutheran magazine whether the asker's church had gotten off track: 'My congregation is successful but I wonder if the success is a result of being popular and trendy while sacrificing Lutheran teaching..."
  • Your Name's in There!

    by Linda Kraft
    "A line from the late 60's rock opera Jesus Christ, Superstar asks 'Why'd you choose such a backward time and such a strange land?' Why indeed? Without newspapers, radios and television, how do you get the job done? You do it in person and you delegate emissaries, advance delegates, to prepare the way and to excite anticipation for Jesus' arrival and for his message of hope..."
  • In God's Name

    by John Manzo
    ("On July 4th, 1863 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the grim task of burying almost 50,000 American soldiers, from the north and the south, began. The Battle of Gettysburg was the northmost battle of the Civil War on the most devastating for the Confederacy. Though they would go on and fight for two more years, the tide of the war had dramatically turned that day...")
  • The Harvest Is So Ripe!!

    by Edward Markquart
    ("When I was a boy growing up in Jackson, Minnesota, we prayed that the spring and early summer rains would be good, so the corn crop would be abundant that year. When I was a boy growing up, we would walk in the cornfields on July 4th, to see whether or not the corn was up to our knees. When the corn was to our knees by July 4th, we knew that the corn was off to a good start...")
  • What to Sow

    by David Martyn
    "One of the classic stories about missionaries is Brian Moore’s 1985 novel Black Robe. It is a fictionalized account of a French Jesuit missionary priest among the Iroquois and Algonquin tribes of present day Quebec in the 17th century. The story begins with the priest’s journey of faith from childhood visions of heroic martyrdom at the hands of pagan savages..."
  • Like Lambs Among Wolves

    by Sara Miles
    In his book The Legacy of the Second World War , the historian John Lukacs honors patriotism but warns of nationalism. Many aspects of patriotism are natural, good, and even admirable. People rightly love their unique ethnic roots, foods, history, language, culture, and music. Homesickness is a compliment to the sights, sounds and smells which we love and miss when we are separated from them...
  • It Ain't Me, Babe!

    by Richard Mueller
    ("Fifty some years ago, one woman decided to do her part in spreading that message. From 1953 to 1981, a silver-haired woman walked across North America, calling herself 'Peace Pilgrim' and spreading a similar message, one of peace in our households and in our world. Mildred Norman set out in 1953, at the height of the Korean War and the McCarthy era...")
  • The Workers Are Few

    by John Nadasi
    ("There is true and old story told about a man by the name of Ali Facid. He had a small farm and a family. One day, the story goes, a Buddhist priest came by and said to Ali: You know, there are valuable stones called diamonds, and if you find one of these you could be a wealthy man...")
  • Ordinary 14C

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("And out of all the great spiritual texts that have been written throughout the ages on the spirituality of priesthood and religious life, I nearly always find myself recommending a novel by Graham Greene...")
  • Under Orders

    by John Pavelko
    ("The students had been working hard practicing the all school play. They were guided by a young woman who taught English at the school. She was a new addition to the faculty, She poured herself into those students and the play. In the afternoons when school was out, she carefully coached all the actors on their lines and helped them get their timing right..." and another illustration)
  • The "How-To's" of Evangelism

    by Stephen Portner
    ("One of the morning speakers was Kirk Cameron, whom you may remember as "Mike Seaver" on the television series Growing Pains...")
  • Jesus: Tougher than Grandma??

    by Paul Rooney
    ("A farmer has to be patient while waiting. It takes good nerves to be a farmer. A crop isn't worth anything until it is ready. The farmer can't wait too long either. A crop that is ready this week may rot next week. When a crop is ready, the farmer had better be ready too...")
  • Jesus Laughed

    by Robert Short
    ("It was always fun to be around Charles "Sparky" Schulz, the creator of Peanuts. As one might expect, he had a sense of humor that never ran dry. He also knew the Bible very well and had the kind of insight into the Bible that would delight most ministers when it didn*t shame them. But when he threw a party, he had fun and was funny and was a kind and considerate host...")
  • Seeing the Good News

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Isaac Asimov once told a story about a Rabbi Feldman who was having trouble with his congregation; they couldn't agree on anything. The president of the congregation said, 'Rabbi, this can't continue. There has to be a conference, and we have to settle all areas of dispute once and for all.' The rabbi agreed...")
  • This Is Urgent!

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Years ago a I remember seeing a piece entitled IF A CHILD LIVES WITH...: If a child lives with criticism, she learns to condemn, If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight, If a child lives in fear, she learns to be apprehensive. etc...")
  • Beyond the Pew

    by Keith Wagner
    ("In his book, Discontinuity and Hope, Lyle Schaller said that 'the height of the steeple is no longer the influential bragging point' of the church. Today it is conveniently located parking. Hmmm. He also adds the necessity of a first floor nursery and space where people can fellowship. This he calls a 'milling around' place...")
  • It Takes Guts

    by Keith Wagner
    ("On January 13, 1982, when Air Florida's Flight 90 crashed on takeoff and fell into the icy waters of the Potomac River, Martin Skutnik, age 28, saw the plane go down. He stood with other spectators on the riverbank watching a woman who had survived the crash and was struggling to swim in the cold water. Skutnik plunged into the river and rescued her...")
  • Taking Your Faith on the Road

    by Keith Wagner
    "A traveling salesman was traveling on a train through the countryside when it suddenly stopped. 'Why have we stopped?' he demanded. 'I’m a salesman and I have an appointment in less than an hour in the next town.' The conductor smiled and said, 'Nothing to worry about, sir. Just a cow on the tracks. Gotta wait her out.'..." and other illustrations
  • Practicing Hospitality

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("The Clarks were the first black family to move into an all-white neighborhood. Before moving they made an inspection trip to their property. They saw a few of their future neighbors, but none of them spoke, and their indirect glances were less than friendly...")

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