Luke 12: 32-48

Illustrated New Resources

  • Overcoming Our Fears and Anxieties

    by Rian Adams
    About a month ago, a Baptist church in central Florida wondered if God could change lives through generosity. So they tried, just to see what could happened. They raised 7.2 million dollars. They used the money to eliminate medical debt for 6,500 local families. Medical bills were the number one reason for poverty in their county, and their generosity liberated thousands of people. The secret to the whole passage is that generosity destroys fear and liberates us to live lives of freedom...
  • Do Not Worry and Stay Alert

    by Elizabeth Gelfeld
    Saint Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish priest who provided shelter for thousands of Jews in his friary and was an active voice against the Nazi violence. He was arrested by the German Gestapo and imprisoned at Auschwitz. When a fellow prisoner escaped from the camp, the Nazis selected ten other prisoners to be killed in reprisal. As they were lined up to die, one began to cry, “My wife! My children! I will never see them again!” At this, Maximilian stepped forward and asked to die in his place. His request was granted, and he led the other men in song and prayer as they awaited their deaths. Maximilian had also lived in Japan and founded a monastery on the outskirts of Nagasaki. Four years after his martyrdom, on August 9, 1945, the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, but his monastery miraculously survived. Maximilian’s feast day, when Christians around the world celebrate his life and sainthood as a hero of the church, falls one week [on August 14th] after Nagasaki Day. Each year, we spend the week reflecting on the best and the worst that human beings are capable of...
  • Proper 14C (2019)

    by Scott Hoezee
    Some years ago I had the privilege of hearing Barbara Brown Taylor deliver a sermon at the Princeton University Chapel. At one point she related a story from her childhood when she was growing up in the American South. Every day after school Barbara and her siblings were supervised by an African-American babysitter named Thelma. Thelma was remarkable for how little she ever talked to the children. Each afternoon she’d sit in a rocking chair reading her Bible while the children did homework or played. If things got out of hand, all Thelma had to do was lower the Bible an inch or two, just enough for the children to see her eyes glaring overtop the old King James Version, and order would be rather quickly restored...
  • Keys

    Art and Theology by Victoria Jones
    includes links to “Keys to the Kingdom”, a Traditional gospel blues song, performed by Abigail Washburn (lead vocals), Kai Welch (trumpet, backing vocals), and friends
  • Changed by Something Radically Other

    by Hardy Kim
    W.H. Auden famously said he didn’t think there was such a thing as an atheist poet. I have friends who disagree, but he thought the act of writing a poem was a religious act. Because you were allowing something so radically other into your imagination. And it could change you. The metaphors that Jesus shares in our text today are indeed things that are “radically other.” If we allow them into our imaginations, they might change us.
  • Ordinary 19C (2019)

    by Hardy Kim
    Henri Nouwen is a wise teacher in the art of listening for God’s calling and framing our lives by God’s values. In Spiritual Direction, he shares this: From the beginning of my life, two interior voices have been speaking to me: one saying, Henri, be sure you make it on your own. Be sure you become an independent person. Be sure I can be proud of you; and another voice saying, Henri, whatever you are going to do, even if you don’t do anything very interesting in the eyes of the world, be sure you stay close to the heart of Jesus, be sure you stay close to the love of God. “You are here for just a short time,” Nouwen writes elsewhere in the same book, “for twenty, forty, sixty, or eighty years—to discover and believe that you are a beloved child of God. . . . Life is just a short opportunity for you during a few years to say to God: ‘I love you, too.’” Perhaps Nouwen’s words might helps us learn to bind ourselves to the right ultimate source of value.
  • Napping

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    Nicolaes Maes was fond of the subject of dozing women. He painted the subject more than once and more than once used this woman as his model. Because she appears in several paintings, some historians speculate that the model was, perhaps, the artist's mother. She is peacefully napping, having set aside her lacemaking as well as the book in her lap and the open Bible on the table. I would hope we would not begrudge this woman an afternoon nap...
  • Protecting Your Treasure

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    Luke's gospel (Luke 12:32-40) offers us a glimpse of the relationship between people and whatever they hold most dear. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. And you will do whatever you need to do to protect your treasure. You'll make sure that your door is locked against robbers who would break in and steal your treasure. Here a heavy wooden chest owned by Melk Abbey. Notice the thick sides of the chest. Notice the lock on the front of the chest...
  • The Kingdom Is Now

    by Steve Pankey
    Nick Saban is, for those who don’t know, the head football coach at the University of Alabama. Coach Saban is one of the most fluent coach-speakers in the history of coach speak. He can spend 20 minutes talking and say nothing at all. Yet somehow, in this case, as I listened, I began to realize that, put back together, the last five weeks of Gospel lessons have had a consistent theme running through. With the ubiquitous bottle of Coca-Cola Classic placed in the sight of the camera, Coach Saban spoke to reporters about the importance of his players focusing only on today. “It’s really important that they focus on what they control today. We have so many players here who get frustrated about what happened yesterday, or they get a little complacent because they had success yesterday. And then we get some players who get worried about what is going to happen in the future. Really, what you do today, correctly, making the right choices and decisions… that’s what really prepares you for the future… You know, all of us are a little bit addicted to tomorrow. I’ll quit smoking tomorrow. I’ll go on a diet tomorrow… I’ll start studying tomorrow, but really making it happen today is the way you improve. That’s the way we’ll get better. That’s the way you’ll create more value for yourself and that’ll really help our team get a lot better as well.” Dan and Stu, the sports-talk guys I was listening to, unpacked what Coach Saban was saying, noting that he was actually tapping into something that is taught in many of the world’s religions. “It’s not just great coaching. You will find… there is great wisdom in that that you will find in a spiritual quest. Eckhart Tolle [who, by the way, changed his name due to the influence of the 13th century Christian Mystic, Meister Eckhart] has written about the power of now. The two things that happen in life that contaminate a human… are regret, which is yesterday, and fear, which is tomorrow.”...
  • On Being a Prepper

    by Andrew Prior
    I'm fascinated by preppers, the folk who are getting ready for the big disaster. Stockpiling food, learning survival skills, building bunkers, and caching weapons. Their desire often seems to be modelled upon the American action hero who steps in when the state fails. These folk are not going to be some "small little flock" at the mercy of the strong. They are going to be prepared. And these folks' hearts are comforted, at present, because they have been active. They are dressed for action and prepared for thieves. But I suspect that when the endless heatwaves come, and if civilisation melts down, they will find that even their bunkers are full of clutter and broken promise, for some thieves can never be denied. A planet cannot be placated...
  • Life's Key Question

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMMI
    John Powell, in his book, Unconditional Love, tells the story of a young student who was dying of cancer. In the final stages of his illness, he came to see Powell and said something to this effect: Father, you once told us something in class that has made it easier for me to die young. You said: “There are only two potential tragedies in life, and dying young isn’t one of them. These are the two tragedies: If you go through life and don’t love and if you go through life and you don’t tell those whom you love that you love them.” When the doctors told me that I my cancer was terminal, I realized how much I’ve been loved. I’ve been able to tell my family and others how much they mean to me. I’ve expressed love. People ask me: “What’s it like being 24 years old and dying?” I tell them: “It’s not so bad. It beats being 50 years old and having no values!”...

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!!]
  • Shocking Generosity

    A Humorous Illustration
  • The Coming of the Lord or Maybe a Thief

    by D. Mark Davis
    (Includes lots of Greek exegesis!!)
  • Be Prepared

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("There was once a blacksmith who worked hard at his trade. The day came for him to die. God sent his angel to the smith, but to the angel's surprise, the smith refused to go. He pleaded with the angel that he was the only blacksmith in the village and it was time for all his neighbors to begin their planting and sowing. He would be needed..." and several other illustrations - recommended!!)
  • Be Prepared (#2)

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("Clovis Chappell used to tell the story of two paddleboats that left Memphis about the same time, traveling down the Mississippi River to new Orleans. As they traveled side by side, sailors from one vessel made a few remarks about the snail's pace of the other. Words were exchanged and soon they were in a race. Competition became vicious as the two boats roared through the Deep South..." and several other illustrations - also recommended!!)
  • Radio

    by Sil Galvan
    It is the true story of a young man about 25 years of age who is (to use a politically correct phrase) developmentally challenged and living in South Carolina in the 1970's. He pushes a shopping cart through the local area where he lives, listening to his favorite station on a radio and picking up things on the way. He happens by the practice field of the local high school football team and when a football comes over the fence, he keeps it. Some of the team members decide to play what they consider to be a practical joke on him, so the next day when he comes by, they bind his hands and feet and lock him in the equipment shed. When the coach, who is also the high school's athletic director and math teacher, finds out, he punishes the boys who locked him up and decides to take the young man under his wing and help him.
  • What Are Your Priorities?

    by Sil Galvan
    "I was en route to Washington, DC for a business trip. As I collected my belongings from the overhead bin, I heard an announcement for me to see the United Airlines Customer Service Representative immediately...." and another illustration. This story is completed in next week's homily.
  • About the "Birdies"

    by Jay Hoyt
    Throughout our lives we are blessed with spiritual experiences, some of which are very sacred and confidential, and others, although sacred, are meant to be shared. Last summer my family had a spiritual experience that had a lasting and profound impact on us, one we feel must be shared. It's a message of love. It's a message of regaining perspective, and restoring proper balance and renewing priorities. In humility, I pray that I might, in relating this story, give you a gift my little son, Brian gave our family one summer day last year.
  • Proper 15C

    by Bill Loader
    always good insights!
  • Exegetical Notes (Luke 12:32-40)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (always excellent exegesis)
  • Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Ordinary 19C)

    by Various Authors
    "A few years ago Curtis Mayfield passed away. At the height of the Civil Rights struggle Curtis Mayfield, the lead singer of The Impressions, wrote his most memorable lyrics. Listen to the Chorus: 'People get ready There's a train, a comin' You don't need no baggage You just get on board All you need is faith To hear the diesels hummin' Don't need no ticket, You just thank the Lord..." and many more.

Illustrated Resources from 2016 to 2018

  • Heart, Treasure, Pancakes

    by Jim Chern
    Back in November two New Jersey firefighters had spent 12 grueling hours putting out a fire. After that exhausting shift, they hit a local restaurant to grab a bite to eat and some coffee. During the breakfast, the waitress happened to overhear them talking about their dramatic shift. When they had finished their meal and asked for the bill, they were handed the following note: Your breakfast is on me today - thank you for all you do; for serving others, for running into places everyone else runs away from. No matter what your role is, you are courageous, brave and strong... thank you for being bold (and badass) everyday. Fueled by fire, and driven by courage, what an example you are! Get some rest! - Liz.
  • On the Alert

    by Bob Cornwall
    I remember as a teenager reading David Wilkerson’s A Thief in the Night, as well as The Late Great Planet Earth. All the signs seemed to be suggest that we were, to use the title of Barry McGuire’s famous song, we were at the “Eve of Destruction” (I should note that when first released this was an anti-war protest song, which became an apocalyptic ballad after his conversion. That's when I first encountered it).
  • Confetti Clowns

    by Terrance Klein
    Owen McQuade was my partner. This was the perpetual problem of my primary school years. I was always teamed with losers. Indeed, when it came to playground sports, I wasn’t even a selected member of the squad. I was in that group that got assigned when the team captain would say, “And you can have the rest.” The sad little sin of the primary school years: the losers aren’t even kind to each other. Owen McQuade has become a powerful man, much like his father, very kind and gentle. Back then, all I could see was his sloppiness with Elmers.
  • Jesus and the World's Last Gasp

    by Larry Patten
    How can anyone, American or not, believer or not, ever think they can predict when God will throw the switch, hit the delete button, yank away the welcome mat, and drop the final tattered curtain? Jesus seemed awfully clear in this week’s passage from Luke 12:32-40: no one knows. But I know. And you do to. For me it was April 21, 1993. My world ended after a late night call from the pastor—my district superintendent (DS)—with authority over me. The DS announced I’d be leaving the church I then served. It was unexpected, humiliating, and unfair. That decision, I later learned, was based on him lying about me and my wife to the United Methodist Bishop and other superintendents.
  • Life Is Short

    by Brett Younger
    Pray for the ability to discern the presence of God, because life is short and you're old before you know it. Life is short, so live every day as if it were your last, because some day you'll be right. Life is short, so wake up, stay alert, be prepared, light the lamps, get ready. Listen for the knock, answer the call, serve where you're sent. Life is short, so do what you love to do and give it your best. Whether it's business or teaching or medicine, if you don't love what you're doing and can't give it your best, think seriously about getting out of it.

Illustrated Resources from 2013 to 2015

  • Now Is the Moment

    by Christopher Burkett
    ("Leslie Weatherhead used to tell the parable of the Persian carpet. That's a carpet made on a vertical frame. The weaver-artist sits on one side and the boy weaver who actually makes the knots sits on the other. When the boy makes a mistake or inadvertently changes the plan, the artist doesn't necessarily have him change it, instead he alters the pattern...")
  • Living into the Promise

    by Kate Huey
    ("My grandmother was a woman of faith. I don't say that because she went to church all of her life and raised seven children who went to church all of their lives, or because she was named 'Mother of the Year' by the Catholic Daughters of America or because she had a son who was a priest and a daughter who was a nun...")
  • Old Faithful and the Waiting Slaves

    by Janet Hunt
    ("We were there together all in that place for nearly an hour before the geyser fully erupted. It came about twenty minutes later than the clock in the nearby shop had indicated. Still, just as it has for hundreds of years or more, it keeps more of a schedule than any other geyser in the park --- perhaps anywhere in the world. And just as millions before had done so, together we witnessed something remarkable...")
  • Oops, I Just Told a Company Executive I Hate Our Customers!

    by John Jewell
    A young man named Ronnie was a shift supervisor who happened to be training a woman named Sarah Bittorf for what he thought was her new job as waitress at a Boston Market restaurant. As they worked, Ronnie went on incessantly about how much the customers irritated him. 'I literally hate customers more than anything in the entire world. I hate them so much.
  • Surprise Me

    by Terrance Klein
    ("Our goal, especially at worship, isn't to master a lesson or to study a text. It's to meet a person, someone who can surprise us. This is why we stand for the Gospel, and often accompany the Gospel book with candles. Like citizens on their feet for the president, we are recognizing the presence of a person among us. Saint Anthony didn't simply receive an new insight at Mass. He didn't proofread a text; he encountered a person. Listening with all his heart, perhaps even straining to hear, he heard a voice that captivated him. And that's all it took. He fell in love...")
  • Giving's End

    by Roger Owens
    In her book Traveling Mercies Anne Lamott , who is white, tells about when she first started going to St. A ndrews, a n African American Presbyterian church in Mar in County, California. She was broke, an alcoholic, single, and pregnant . “When I was at the end of my rope, ” she writes, “ the people at St. Andrew tied a knot for me and helped me hold on.” When she announced she was pregnant, the congregation cheered for her, and immedia tely began giving her things: food, clothes, and most importantly the assurance the baby was going to be part of the family. T hey also began slipping her money. Sh e writes about how many of the older women, living close to the bone on small social security checks, would sidle up to her and stuff bills in her pocket
  • Treasure in Heaven

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ("My own father, at a family wedding when I was barely 20, dashing in his black suit, asking a very homely and ill-dressed girl of 15 who was hugging the wall in her misery to dance – and he danced with her three times (no one else did). I heard him tell her, as I danced by, that she was beautiful. Later, when I asked him why he said that, he replied, She needed to hear it more than anyone else in the room...")
  • Preaching-Enhancing Drugs

    Story Sermon by John Sumwalt
    ("A rumor began to circulate in the congregation that there was something seriously wrong with their preacher. One long time member asserted that they had a duty to find out what was going on. He said he had heard on CNN that some pastors were using preaching enhancing drugs that they had shipped from a clinic down in Honduras...")
  • A God Who Forgets

    by Keith Wagner
    ("Tony Campolo tells a wonderful story about a friend of his who had to take a bus trip across central India. He was in one of those old-model buses that should have been retired a decade ago. it was seemingly held together with string and glue. As is often the case with buses in Third World countries, this bus was packed, not only with people, but with packages, furniture, and just about every kind of domesticated animal..." and other illustrations)

Illustrated Resources from 2007 to 2012

  • High Fidelity

    by Mickey Anders
    ("That surprising phrase, "greed is good," came from the ultimate 80's movie about greed, Wall Street. It starred Michael Douglas playing the infamous Gordon Gecko, the embodiment of avarice gone amuck.....")
  • Hour Least Expected

    by Phil Bloom
    ("The story is told about a demon assigned to tempt a young man. It was his first assignment so the "junior devil" discussed his strategy with a senior devil. 'I know how to bring this young man down,' he said, 'I will convince him there is no God.'...")
  • The Investment of a Lifetime

    by Mark Burkey
    ("Recently a Chicago hotel was reported to offer help to guests with a 'BlackBerry addiction'. It seems these portable handheld devices, which are intended to aid in one's daily life, have actually become an encumbrance for many. Rick Ueno, general manager of the hotel, admits his own obsession with constantly checking his email....")
  • Proper 14C (2007)

    from the Center for Excellence in Preaching
    ("My wife and I recently took a vacation in the upper Midwest. Because our young adult sons had to work, we left them at home on the east coast. We gave them a rather vague idea of just when we'd return. Our sons, however, pressed us for a near exact time and date of our return...")
  • Don't Worry About Your Life: Jesus Speaks to Our Fears and Anxieties

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("One recent cartoon pictures a man sitting in his living room with a look of panic on his face. He's dropped his book and his hair stands on end. He's yanked his legs off the floor and onto the chair where he clutches them in his arms...")
  • Ordinary 19C (2007)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("'Only idiots make proposal plans', said a certain young man, who was planning a surprise birthday party for a young woman he hoped to marry. In fact, he planned to ask her to marry him at the beginning of the party and give her the biggest diamond in all the world...")
  • Ordinary 19C (2010)

    by Chris Heath
    ("In the preparation for this sermon I was pondering some of the 'kingdoms' of this world, to see if our perception of what the Father's kingdom is like might be gained through contrasting it with the kingdoms we know. The book that first set me on this path was one I read long ago, The Godfather by Mario Puzo, written in 1969....")
  • Proper 14C (2010)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Some years ago I had the privilege of hearing Barbara Brown Taylor deliver a sermon at the Princeton University Chapel. At one point she related a story from her childhood when she was growing up in the American South. Every day after school Barbara and her siblings were supervised by an African-American babysitter named Thelma...")
  • The Christlike Life Is Messy

    by Donald Hoffman
    ("Once upon a time Religion and Science were trying to deal with the messiness of life. They were looking for the underlying meaning to life, they were looking for the blueprint, the computer program, the recipe, the basic tidiness and orderliness of life. 'It's gotta be here somewhere!' Maybe we can imagine Religion and Science as brother and sister...")
  • A Gospel for Hard Times

    by John Killinger
    ("Herbert Farmer had been having a long busy day and came home exhausted. He put on the kettle and being English, he made a pot of tea, and had just sat down to enjoy his tea when the doorbell rang..." and another illustration)
  • Treasure That Lasts

    by Anne Le Bas
    ("There is a story told about St. Lawrence, who was martyred in the third Century in Rome. In St. Lawrence's time the church was still just a collection of small groups of people worshipping together in their homes, often enduring suspicion and persecution. Many of them still followed the practice of the early church, holding their property and wealth in common and distributing it to others as they had need...")
  • Ordinary 19C

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("About five years ago, when I was working in South America, a young woman came to see me...She said 'I am a victim of HIV'. And she talked, crying most of the time, of what had happened ­ how she had felt a bit ill with a cough and flu ­ how she had gone along to the Public Clinic and they'd asked her to have the test ­ and it had come back positive...")
  • Leave the Light On

    by Melissa Bane Sevier
    ("One night a couple of weeks ago, I came home quite late and it was already dark. I knew I'd have to leave the car's headlamps on until I could get into the house, so I didn't trip on the steps. But as I turned into the drive, I saw that my husband had turned on the outside lights...")
  • Illustrations (Proper 14C)(2004)

    by Tim Zingale
    ("There is a story about a tourist who was traveling along the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy. When he reached the castle, a friendly old gardener opened the gate and showed him the ground which the old man kept in perfect order. The tourist asked when the owner of the castle had last been there. '12 years ago', the old man answered..." and several others)

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • If I Should Die Before I Wake

    by Bob Allred
    ("Charlie Gibson hosted a Friday night television special about the friendships Billy Graham has had with all of our Presidents since Truman. The common question the Presidents asked the evangelist was, 'Will I go to heaven?' Here is the man who has the nuclear bomb button at arms reach 24/7 and his concern is the afterlife...")
  • No Fear!

    by Bob Allred
    ("You may have heard the story about a five year old that had spent his early years in foster homes. He had never drunk a full glass of milk as each child was only allowed to drink down just one swallow. In his new home a big glass of milk was set beside his plate at suppertime...")
  • No Hurry

    by Phil Bloom
    ("Once a newly assigned devil was explaining his strategy to a veteran. 'My plan', he said proudly, 'is to convince the man that there is no God.' 'No', said the senior devil, 'That will not work...")
  • Faith and Wishes

    by Barbara Bundick
    ("One day, a stonecutter passed a wealthy merchant's house, and through the open gateway, saw many fine possessions and important visitors. 'How powerful that merchant must be!' thought the stonecutter. He became very envious, and wished that he could be like the merchant. Then he would no longer have to live the life of a mere stonecutter...")
  • How Much Is Much

    by Tom Cox
    ("God won't ask the square footage of your house, but will ask how many people you welcomed into your home. God won't ask how many material possessions you had, but will ask if they dictated your life...")
  • The Unexpected Hour

    by Gwen Drake
    "When I participated in my first 4-H Horse Show, I had to borrow a saddle that fit me. I had learned to ride bareback. So, when the judge had us do everything in the arena, I had trouble keeping my feet in the stirrups. I fought back tears when I got last place..."
  • What Drives Out Fear?

    by Rob Elder
    ("A friend of mine tells me that on a mission trip to India he learned about a quaint and theologically meaningful custom among the Evangelical Churches of India. When the church receives a new member there, after they are baptized and welcomed, they are given a coconut palm tree. It is to be taken home and planted. Within four years that tree will start to bear fruit...")
  • A Light Beating

    by Ernest Munachi Ezeogu, CSSP
    ("An unskilled worker goes for a job interview and demands a pay higher than that demanded by skilled workers. When asked why he demands so much for his unskilled work he explains that because he is new to the job he would put in more effort and time than the skilled workers to do the same job...")
  • Purses That Do Not Wear Out

    by Richard Fairchild
    "St. Thomas was employed by the local king Gundaphorus to build a new palace, and Thomas was given money to buy materials and hire workmen. Thomas gave the money to the poor, but always assured the king that his palace was rising steadily. The king became suspicious when Thomas kept putting off his requests to see the work in progress and finally sent for Thomas..."
  • What Are You Afraid Of?

    by James Farfaglia
    ("While a family was vacationing in Europe, they found that they needed to drive three days continuously, day and night, to get to Germany. So, they all got into the car – Mom, Dad, and their three year old daughter. The little daughter had never traveled at night before. She was scared the first night in the car, seeing only the deep darkness outside the window..." and other humorous illustrations)
  • Proper 14C (1998)

    by Carol Joy Gallagher
    ("Recently, I heard the story of a older woman who, over the course of her life, had accumulated a large number of quilts. She had about 25 quilts, most of which had been handed down to her through her husband's and her own family. A few of the quilts she had made herself. She was a widow who had never had much money and had always lived her life simply....")
  • Proper 14C (2004)

    by Grant Gallup
    ("O world invisible, we view thee, O world intangible, we touch thee. O world unknowable, we know thee, Inapprehensible, we clutch thee! Does the fish soar to find the ocean, The eagle plunge to find the air-- That we ask of the stars in motion If they have rumor of thee there? Not where the wheeling systems darken, And our benumbed conceiving soars!...")
  • Ordinary 19C (2004)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Mary Anne, a junior at the local high school was considered by all to be the most popular girl in her class. In addition to being very smart, she was the class rep to the student council, on the year book staff, co-chair for the junior prom, a great volley ball player, and very involved in social service activities....")
  • Ordinary 19 (2001)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a family was driving home from their summer vacation. It had been a good vacation and everyone was happy about it, including the Daddy, who had a reputation of being something of an impatient man. However, the vacation was now over and it was time to get back to the real world...")
  • Light Your Lamp

    by Mark Haverland
    ("There is the old chestnut about the drunk on his hands and knees under a streetlight, obviously looking for something. 'What are you looking for,' a passerby asks. 'My car keys,' the man replies. 'Where did you lose them?' comes the question. 'Over there in the ditch'...")
  • Peter Pan and the Treasure Hunt

    by Peter Haynes
    ("With "treasure" and "adventure" and "getting away from the ordinary" in mind, allow me to slip back to a Robin Williams movie from the early '90's, entitled "Hook". Perhaps you remember it. This flick was a sequel to the old story of Peter Pan. I remember watching it with my then much-younger children, and being 'hooked'. This children’s tale really spoke to the father in me at that time...")
  • Ordinary 19C (2007)

    by Chris Heath
    ("Many years ago in a country town in South Australia the local delicatessen owners were Lebanese Roman Catholics. When they originally came to Australia they were Orthodox, but without a local church they became Catholics. But these brothers were really more ecumenical. While they worshipped in the Catholic Church they supported the functions of every denomination in town...")
  • Be Ready!

    by Richard Husman
    ("'Tomorrow morning', the surgeon began, 'I'll open up your heart'. 'You'll find Jesus there', the little boy interrupted. The surgeon looked up annoyed. 'I=ll cut your heart open,' he continued, 'to see how much damage has been done.' 'But when you open up my heart, you=ll find Jesus in there,' said the boy....")
  • Light on Your Feet

    by Randy Hyde
    ("A renegade Episcopalian priest named Malcolm Boyd published a book of prayers in 1965 entitled, Are You Running With Me, Jesus? Just to let you know that my formative years weren't spent just listening to music, I also read stuff like this. 'It's morning, Jesus,' he says. 'It's morning, and here's that light and sound all over again.'...")
  • God Wants to Give You Something

    by John Jewell
    ("A few months ago, the New York Times told the story of 'Reggie' who achieved a lifelong dream of obtaining a college degree at the age of 52 He recalled the poverty of his family during his high school days and told of the hopeless feeling he had knowing that most of his friends were going away to college, but neither he nor his family had the resources for a college education...")
  • God Communicating with Us Unexpectedly

    by Tommy Lane
    ("A wealthy American was being shown around the Vatican and as the Pope was in Castel Gandolfo he was taken into the Pope's private apartment. On the Pontiff's desk he noticed a gold telephone and was told that it was a direct line to God. When he asked if he could use it he was told that it would cost a half million dollars. He didn't call...")
  • Proper 14C

    by Paul Larsen
    ("From humble beginnings in Alabama, Millard Fuller rose to become a young, self-made millionaire at age 29...Fuller founded Habitat for Humanity. Fuller says, 'I see life as both a gift and a responsibility. My responsibility is to use what God has given me to help His people in need...")
  • Be Alert and Ready for Action

    by Edward Markquart
    ("Let me explain by a simple analogy, which is a Christmas drama. The play is entitled WAITING FOR THE CHRISTMAS GUEST by Edwin Markham. In this Christmas play, there is an old shoe cobbler by the name of Conrad and his wife, Martha. In his dream, Conrad the cobbler, had a vision that he was going to be visited by Jesus himself before Christmas day...")
  • Faith, No Fear

    by David Martyn
    ("A man died far from his home, and this is what his will said. 'Let the community where the land is situated take what they wish for themselves, and let them give that which they wish to Arif the Humble.' Now Arif was a young man at the time, who had far less apparent authority than anyone in the community. Therefore the elders took possession of whatever they wanted from the land...")
  • Overriding the Operating System

    by Nathan Nettleton
    ("To revert to computer language for a moment Christianity is not competing against the other add-on modules, it is competing against the operating platforms If you are buying a home computer you first have to choose whether to have a Windows platform or a Macintosh platform. Whichever way you choose, that basic decision will then limit what programs you can run with it....")
  • The Operative Word Is Watchfulness

    by William Oldland
    ("When I was very young I had a best friend. We did everything together. We played and we ran. We went exploring in the woods. We played ball. We had a great time. My best friend was my dog. His name was Puddles. Now, Puddles was a great friend and a great dog but he was not a handsome dog. He was not a Lassie or a Rin Tin Tin. First of all, Puddles was a beagle...")
  • Treasures from Heaven

    by William Oldland
    Steve is a very important man. He runs a multimillion dollar company. His annual salary is in the high six figure range. He travels extensively in the corporate jet and the corporate limos to various destinations. Personally, he is married and has two children. He is a member of all the right organizations and country clubs. Steve is considered to be a very influential person in large number of circles. In short, when Steve speaks people listen. To achieve this status and position Steve works long hours. His workweek averages 60-80 hours. He has very little time with his family. He has lost touch with his children's likes and dislikes. He does not know their hobbies. He does not attend their activities. In fact, he does not speak to them very much at all. One day Steve has a few minutes between appointments. As he relaxes in his chair he begins to wonder. He asks himself what is life all about. He lists his accomplishments in his mind. He goes down a checklist of the people he knows and the places he has been. Steve thinks about his net worth. After he goes through all of these thoughts he finds himself asking one question. Is this all there is? Is this all there is to life? He begins to think about his family. He realizes he has not really been with them for a long time. Oh, he has come home and spoken a few words. He has taken them to the country club while he played golf. He realizes he has lost touch. He really does not know who they are anymore. That night Steve goes home. He has dinner with his family. After dinner he sits down with his teenage son and has a long talk. They just sit and chat about what is happening in his son's life. As the time approaches for them to go to bed, Steve turns to his son and says, "I'm sorry I have not taken the time to be with you. I'm going to make some changes so we can be together more often. I love you." His son starts to cry. Steve is taken back. His son says, "Dad, I have been so upset. I don't remember the last time you told me you loved me. Tonight, after we all went to bed I had decided to commit suicide. Please be here for me and help me. Please keep telling me you love me."...
  • The Trouble with Jesus

    by Gerry Pierse, CSsR
    ("In an ancient Kingdom the monarch had no heir. He issued a decree that if there was a really kind man in the kingdom he would make him his heir. There was a really kind young man in one of the barrios and the people there persuaded him to apply to be king. They dressed him up in nice robes and gave him gifts to bring to the king...")
  • A Heart in the Right Place

    by Cheryl Pyrch
    "'I know he doesn't do anything, but his heart's in the right place.' In other words, when someone's heart is in the right place, something else about them isn't. There’s a gap: between their intentions and their actions, their feeling and their understanding, or their desire and their ability..."
  • Are You Prepared for Jesus' Second Coming?

    by Ron Ritchie
    ("Our waitress told us her name was Kathy, and then as I was ordering, I told her I used to meet there in a Bible study for businessmen, called Agora. I said, 'I don't remember you, but I do remember a busboy I made friends with named Hector.' She said, 'Oh, yes, he's here. His wife just lost her second baby, and he's really depressed. Maybe you could help him.' So I said, 'Sure.'...")
  • Waiter and Waitee

    by Paul Rooney
    ("One example of this is the story of the three-year-old fiddling with a toy trumpet, as she watched television. The program featured a highly skilled musician who played a fabulous trumpet solo. The little girl listened intently to the whole song. Then she held up her own toy trumpet, and said to her Mother, 'Mine doesn't have that kind of music in it.'...")
  • Prince or Pauper?

    by Gary Roth
    ("I was on my internship in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, when an elderly man in our community died....He lived in a little house that was in a sad state of disrepair. He got food and clothing at the local pantry. People in the community felt sorry for him, because he was so poor and elderly. In the winter, he only heated one room of the house and, finally, froze to death, because there was not enough heat in the house...")
  • On Stuff

    by Mark Sargent
    ("Listen to what George Carlin says about stuff: 'That's all your house is-a place to keep your stuff. If you didn't have so much stuff, you wouldn't need a house. You could just walk around all the time. A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it, and when you leave your house, you've got to lock it up. You wouldn't want to somebody to come by and take some of your stuff...")
  • God Has No Need For McGruff

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("Shel Silverstein, in his latest collection of poems entitled FALLING UP has a little poem that I think sums up the transient nature of things and possessions. It is entitled Snowball. I made myself a snowball As perfect as could be. I thought I'd keep it as a pet And let it sleep with me. I made it some pajamas And a pillow for its head. Then last night it ran away, But first--it wet the bed..." and another illustration)
  • The Sacred Journey

    by Alex Thomas
    ("This is why Frederick Buechner was able to say that when he was a boy after his father committed suicide and he went with his mother and brother to live in Bermuda, that God was with him. He didn't really know it then. He didn't know it until he reflected on it some years later. He then perceived that God was there all along, helping him mature in the face of that terrible tragedy...")
  • Do You Have a Backup Plan?

    by Keith Wagner
    ("David Berger was 26 years old, aspiring to be a medical doctor. He had a big heart and when the terrorists entered his dormitory he could have escaped. Instead, he stayed and tried to defend his fellow athletes. Berger’s family lives in Cleveland. So Archdeacon went there to interview them...")
  • We'll Leave the Light on for You

    by Keith Wagner
    ("There was a man in l924 who was willing to take a risk. He agreed to assume $28,000 debt of a troubled pharmacy. He made the business profit by increasing the volume of the newsstand and developing a home delivery service. He recruited 75 paper boys and increased his paper business to $30,000 a year. His drugstore had a soda fountain and ice cream was a popular attraction...")
  • Do Not Be Afraid

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("At an equestrian show in Calgary several years ago, the show was being conducted in an arena and the ice had been covered with some sort of board held together by tape. Everything went well until a line of six horses was wheeling around the corner. Suddenly, the tape tore, then the board slid across the floor leaving two riders stunned, laying helplessly on the ice after their two horses fell..." and other illustrations)
  • Home Where I Belong

    by Steve Yamaguchi
    ("I had the opportunity to spend over a year in Japan as the Assistant Pastor at Tokyo Union Church, and since I'm a Japanese-American person with a face that looks very Japanese, I could be a spy there. I could blend in. I could sneak up next to people conversing in Japanese. Even more I could sneak up next to Americans speaking in English...")
  • Looking for the Center of Life

    by David Zersen
    ("The center of my life: what could it be? This question is at the heart of a recent book, become a movie, by Andre Dubois, The House of Sand and Fog. In the story, a number of people are trying to identify the meaning in their lives. It seems to be centered in a house. A recovering alcoholic woman loses this house given to her by her father because she has failed to pay the taxes...")
  • Are You Ready in Faith?

    by Tim Zingale
    ("A certain lord kept a fool or jester, in his house as a great men did in olden times for their amusement. This lord gave a staff to his fool and told him to keep it until he met a greater fool than himself, and if he met such a person, a greater fool, he should give him the staff. Not many years after, the lord fell sick..." and other illustrations)

Other Resources from 2013 to 2015

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Other Resources from 2004 to 2006

Other Resources from the Archives

Resources from the Bookstore

  • The Treasure

    from More Stories For the Heart
    (Compiled by Alice Gray) ("The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. 'Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please!' Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face...")

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