Luke 15: 1-10

Illustrated New Resources

  • A Welcoming Grace

    by W. Rian Adams
    There was a 4th-grade teacher whose student came back into class early after lunch crying. It was college spirit day, and this boy didn’t have the means to buy a University of Tennessee shirt to represent his team. So he got creative; he found an orange shirt, grabbed a piece of paper, and drew a big U and a big T on the paper. Then he taped it to his shirt. His teacher said, “He was SO excited to show me his shirt.” At lunch, a group of girls made fun of his shirt, of his team, of him, and called him poor because he couldn’t afford a real team shirt. When he came back to the classroom, tears ran down his face. Then his teacher took a picture of his shirt and did a Facebook post asking friends to help him get a couple of Tennessee shirts. Well… compassion happened, and the president of Tennessee… miraculously… saw it. The university did something for the boy. They took his design and put it on T-shirts to promote anti-bullying. The T-shirts went viral, and they were printing 50,000 an hour. That wasn’t enough, Tennessee then offered him a full-ride scholarship for 2030, and set up an account to cover other college expenses too. But it gets better! Yesterday the entire marching band wore orange shirts, with the little boy’s drawing on them, and tens of thousands of fans wore the boy’s shirt...
  • You Are Worthy

    by Jim Chern
    there was this story of a man named Nicholas Winton who, as a young man back in 1939, on the eve of World War II, risked his life by providing safe passage for children from Czechoslovakia to Britain. It was an unknown story, as 50 years had passed and he never spoke of it. But in the late 1980’s, his wife found in their attic an old scrapbook with pictures, documents of the children that he saved. A British television network, learning of this story, invited him to be a member of the audience, for their program called That’s life. Unbeknownst to him, he was the life they were highlighting that evening. The host explained what Nicholas had done, how he had basically been responsible for saving over 600 children. She highlighted in his scrapbook the name of one child, Vera Gissing and surprised Nicholas saying “she’s with us here tonight” and in fact was sitting right next to him. You could see the shock on his face as tears streamed down it, recognizing one of the children he helped save. But they weren’t done, he had barely composed himself when the announcer asked, ‘Is there anyone else here tonight that owes their life to Nicholas Winton?” and at that this whole section of the audience who were seated surrounding Nicholas and his wife stood up – revealing over 20 other people he helped save...
  • Seeking the Lost

    by Craig Condon
    The story of the lost sheep could be called,” The Story of Four Verbs”-lose, seek, find, rejoice. The word “lost” is the best word to describe a person’s condition without God. Lost things cannot serve their purpose, and they lack the ability to return to where they belong-they must be found. In Christianity. God searches for people, as opposed to other religions where people attempt to find God. The coming of God in Christ is the God of heaven, seeking the lost...
  • Not Everything That's Lost Can Be Found

    by Melissa Earley
    Todd was a 15-year-old runaway who worshiped at the church where United Methodist bishop Karen Oliveto was once pastor. In Together at the Table, Oliveto tells the story of Todd’s absence from church for several weeks. The people were worried; many had firsthand experience of the dangers for a teenager living on the streets. They did everything they could to find him. One Sunday, Oliveto looked up and saw Todd in his wrinkled shirt and tie, crumpled from being at the bottom of his backpack. Overjoyed, she greeted him with a big hug. “I’ve missed you,” she said. “You missed me?” Todd replied. “No one ever noticed when I was gone, ever.”...
  • Sermon Starters (Proper 19C)(2019)

    by Scott Hoezee
    Allan (not his real name) came to me at my previous church in Hamilton, wanting to be baptized. He was a child (or victim) of the “me decade” and felt compelled to leave home and family to find himself and, of course, lost himself, becoming a stranger to himself and the world, wandering the streets of Vancouver trapped in a world of drugs. One night he managed to get off the street for a night in one of the shelters. He crashed into the bunk, staring up at the ceiling, listening to the groans, and trying not to be overcome by the odors of the strangers in the bunks around him. He didn’t know where he was, he didn’t know who he was, but he wanted it to be over with and he considered how he might take his own life. He was shaken out of this thoughts when someone came in and called out a name from another world. “Is Allan Roberts here?” That had been his name once but he hadn’t heard it for some time. He hardly knew Allan Roberts anymore. It couldn’t be him being called...
  • Who Is the Lost One?

    by Janet Hunt
    Amy Jill-Levine makes an excellent point when she says that neither a sheep nor a coin can repent. And that while a sheep can certainly get ‘lost’ all on its own, a coin cannot. Indeed, she reminds us that the shepherd was responsible for keeping the sheep safe and the woman had only herself to blame if the coin was misplaced. For all of Luke’s tying these parables (and, of course the one that follows) to teaching about repentance, Dr. Levine proposes that really it is not about the sheep, the coin, or the son who leaves home. Instead, she offers that it is about the shepherd, the woman, and the father. And she wonders about who (or what)we have lost and what it is we are called to do to find them again. Indeed, maybe the repentance is on us who have somehow lost one another along the way...
  • The Lost Lamb

    Art and Theology by Victoria Jones
    “The Lost Lamb” is one of several songs that Abigail Washburn co-wrote with her friend Jingli Jurca, a poet from Beijing. Washburn says it was inspired by one of the Chinese students she was teaching English to in Vermont in the early 2000's. He had come to the States to earn money to send back home, but four years later he received a letter from his wife saying that she and their daughter were going to start a new life without him. This mournful ballad gives expression to his feeling of exile, of rootlessness, of being far from home and unable to return to what was once a place of joy and connection. The first time I heard this song, I was incredibly moved. Having no knowledge of Mandarin or the context of the song’s composition, I looked up a translation, finding that the lyrics have a beautiful resonance, whether intentional or not, with Jesus’s parable of the lost sheep, where he likens himself to a good shepherd who seeks out and restores those of his flock who have wandered off...
  • Two

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? (Luke 15:1-10) Images that incorporate this text usually show just that. One sheep down in a ravine with a shepherd hovering close by, reaching down with a crooked shepherd's staff ready to crook the handle around the sheep's neck and pull it up to the ledge where the shepherd is waiting. So it is with the two paintings here. Neither moves beyond illustration of the setting of the story: shepherd, staff, sheep, clouds in sky, mountain, reaching. It is when the two paintings get together that something interesting becomes apparent. What do you see?...
  • Ordinary 24C (2019)

    by Jude Siciliano, OP
    Did you notice a word that appears in both stories… a little word you might have missed, but it is packed with meaning? The word is "until." Both the shepherd and the woman search "until" they find what they were looking for. In the shepherd’s case the search seems reckless to us. When Jesus asked which one of his listeners would leave the 99 sheep in the desert to go looking for the lost one, you can presume the response he got would be the one we would give… "No prudent shepherd would do such a foolish thing." And when he asks the question about the one lost coin, any of us who have lost something, which wasn’t extremely precious, or "one-of-a-kind," might have responded to Jesus, "Well, after a good search, I would have other things to do and would just give up looking." But that is not the word picture Jesus is painting about God – remember the little word, "until"? Jesus is describing no mere glance around the local desert area to see if the lost sheep is visible; no general search around the house to see if the coin is nearby, under the table, or on the floor near the door. No, we’re not talking human logic and ordinary practicalities; we’re talking about a search that doesn’t end "until" the lost object is found...
  • What's Lost Is Found Again

    by Carl Wilton
    the main characters in both these stories are very wealthy people. Look at the shepherd: he’s got a flock of a hundred sheep. No shepherd listening to Jesus’ parable as he told it would have had anywhere near so many animals! That’s no flock of sheep: it’s an agribusiness. . Look at the woman: she’s got ten silver coins. How many peasant women sitting there listening, in that subsistence society, would ever have imagined she’d one day hold ten silver coins in her hand? Not a one. Jesus could perfectly well have told his parables about a shepherd with five sheep, or a householder with two coins — but he doesn’t. It’s important to him that, when his peasant audience hears these stories, it’s like they’re watching that old TV show, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. And why is that important? It’s important because his listeners could scarcely have believed that a person who had so much could have gotten so wrought-up over losing so little (comparatively speaking)...

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!!]
  • Searching for a Lost Boy

    A Humorous Illustration
    ("Phone rings...Boy (whispering): Hello? Caller: Hi there. I'm calling for Cold Call Sales. Could I speak to your mother? Boy: She's busy. Caller: Well then, would your father be around? Boy: He's busy. Caller: Is there somebody a little older around, maybe a brother or sister?...")
  • Miracle Reunion: New York Nurse 'Blessed' to Find, Forgive Absent Father

    from ABC News
    ("After 41 Years Apart, Wanda Rodriguez Wants to Focus on Time She Has Left With Her Father, Not the Past...")
  • Agnes' Birthday

    by Tony Campolo
    (A few years ago Tony Campolo flew to Hawaii to speak at a conference. The way he tells it, he checks into his hotel and tries to get some sleep. Unfortunately, his internal clock wakes him at 3:00 a.m. The night is dark, the streets are silent, the world is asleep, but Tony is wide awake and his stomach is growling. He gets up and prowls the streets looking for a place to get some bacon and eggs for an early breakfast...)
  • Amazing Grace

    by Kyle Childress
    ("Author Rick Atkinson tells in his Pulitzer Prize winning history of the American army in North Africa during World War II, An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa 1942-1943, that General Eisenhower wrote to Churchill early in the campaign that the loss of lives was 'insignificant compared to the advantages we have so far won'. Then Atkinson adds, 'Few commanders in this war could function without arriving at a sensibility in which thousands of dead and wounded men could be waved away as 'insignificant''...)
  • Sharing Discontent versus Sharing Joy

    by D. Mark Davis
    includes lots of Greek exegesis!
  • *The Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("She was once the light of their lives, full of giggles and jokes and always ready to lend a helping hand. But during her junior year of high school, she had become hostile and angry; she would hole up in her room for hours; she lied and stole; she ridicules her parents and ignored their values and rules. One day she declared, 'This place is a hole and I can't stand I here anymore,' and she was gone..." and another illustration)
  • The Love That Forgives

    by Sil Galvan
    Fifty years ago, it was the same day and date as today: Sunday, September 15th, 1963. The March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech had occurred just two and a half weeks earlier on August 28 and appeared to have energized the civil rights movement in its push for equal rights. Many of their demonstrations were focused on the city of Birmingham, Alabama, which was considered to be one of the most segregated cities in all of the South. On that day, four Ku Klux Klansmen placed 19 sticks of dynamite under a stairway of the 16th Street Baptist Church where many of the demonstrations originated. At about 10:22 a.m., twenty-six children were walking into the basement assembly room to prepare for the children’s sermon when the bomb exploded. Four young African-American girls, all under the age of 14, were killed and 22 others were injured.
  • Secret Agents

    by Sil Galvan
    It was a cold and snowy night in January. On the floor of the hospital where nurse Sue Kidd worked, things were pretty quiet. She stopped by Room 712 to check on a new patient. Mr. Williams had been admitted with a heart attack, and he had seemed restless and anxious all evening. He perked up when the door to his room opened, but then looked disappointed to see Sue walk in. After checking his chart, she asked how he was feeling. With tears in his eyes, he asked her if she would call his daughter and tell her of his heart attack. She was the only family he had left, and he seemed very anxious that she know of his condition. Sue promised to call right away. Before she left, Mr. Williams asked for a piece of paper and a pencil, which Sue provided.
  • Proper 20C

    by Bill Loader
    (good insights!!)
  • Exegetical Notes (Luke 15:1-10)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (always excellent exegesis)
  • *Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Ordinary 24C)

    by Various Authors
    ("A five-year-old child approached her mother one day in the kitchen and asked, 'Mom, is God a grown-up or a parent?' Mom was a little puzzled by the question. 'I'm not sure what you mean,' she said. 'Is there a difference between a grown-up and a parent?' 'Oh yes,' her five-year-old answered quickly. 'Grown-ups love you when you are good and parents love you anyway..." and many others)

Illustrated Resources from 2016 to 2018

  • Will You Seek God Today?

    by Arlette Benoit
    The story is told about sheep in the Highlands of Scotland and how they often wander off into the rocks and get into places that they cannot get out of, just to get to sweeter grass. But in jumping down ten or twelve feet for sweet grass they were unable to jump back up. After a couple days and eating all the grass, the shepherd would hear them bleating in distress and in those moments of distressed bleating the sheep is seeking the shepherd. The shepherd knowing it’s sheep the best, will wait until each animal was faint before pulling them out. The story continues, proving that the shepherd is being strategic in the saving the sheep because if the sheep aren’t faint the likelihood of them jolting over the precipice when the attempt to save them is made, causing them to jumping to their death is extremely high. Perhaps some believe God deals with them in a similar fashion, waiting until we are faint, down, and out before intervening.
  • One Who Was Lost Is Found

    by Jocelyn Breeland
    Pavlina Pizova is fortunate to be alive. Pizova and her partner, Ondrej Petr, both Czechs, were hiking the Fiordland National Park in New Zealand in July when they became lost and disoriented in fog and heavy snow. The couple spent a night outside before Petr fell down a slope and died. shutterstock_392601556After two more days outside in the snow and sub-freezing temperatures, Pizova made her way to a warden’s hut. The hut was uninhabited, but stocked with food and firewood.
  • A Father Willing to Do Anything to Save Us

    by Jim Chern
    Back in January of 2015, George Pickering III, a 27 year old man from Texas suffered a massive stroke.  Doctors and medical authorities had declared that the young man was not going to recover, that he was clinically brain dead, and had spoken to George’s mother and one of his brothers to get authorization to remove him from life support.  His father, (who is also named George) refused to believe that his son was brain dead. Convinced that they were moving too fast, that no one was listening to his ‘father’s intuition’ that he was going to recover and with doctors preparing to begin the process of weaning the younger George off the life-saving machines, George Sr did something incredibly dramatic. He marched into the Tomball Regional Medical Center; went to his son’s bed side, grabbed his hand and pulled out a gun in the other hand yelling "I’ll kill you all."
  • A Trustworthy Saying

    by Dan Clendenin
    Around the year 200, "purely Christian images began to appear." The catacombs in and around Rome, along with the discovery of a house church at Dura Europos in Syria dated to 240 AD, show how the earliest Christian art was not merely decorative but intentionally devotional; its purpose was not "objective beauty" but an "expression of faith."This early Christian art appears on seal rings, tombs, clay lamps, engraved gems, and in one instance a marble statuette. A hundred years after that, Christian art adorns belt buckles and Bible covers, plates and coins, intricate mosaics and ornate crosses. Eventually, Christian art under Constantine changed radically, as images and even architecture became "imperialized."
  • No Longer Lost

    by Bob Cornwall
    I have embraced an Open Table. It’s not just because I think we need to be...hospitable. I have embraced an Open Table because I believe that by opening the Table up to all who will come, indeed, all whom we seek out, Jesus can meet them at the Table and in the course of meeting them at the Table, changing their lives. Sara Miles speaks of this possibility in her book Take This Bread.
  • God and the Letter "R"

    by Vince Gerhardy
    But the shepherd’s reaction is so unexpected (and so we note the words that start with “r”). There is no reckoning – “It’s not worth my time going after that one lost sheep. I’ll bring her back today and tomorrow she’ll do the same thing.” There is no ranting and rebuking – “Stupid bloomin’ sheep lost again. She’s done it before and now she’s done it again!” There is no ruthless rejection. “I’ve got them all here safely except one useless ditsy sheep. Well, she can stay lost!” In fact, the rugged and tough shepherd who has to deal with difficult and unresponsive sheep all day reacts in a completely different way.
  • Rejoice With Me!

    by Owen Griffiths
    When our (homeless) guests moved on this year to the next church, Bob, the director of Northeast Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network, remarked to me that one of last year’s guests—now safely in a home of her own—had become a chaperone/mentor for those currently in the program. Bob is a great young man (If he weren’t married, I’d consider him son-in-law material!), and it was a thrill to see him rejoice over the success of one of the formerly homeless. I felt that there was joy in the presence of the angels of God, too.
  • The Only Way to Change: Begin to Live the Way of Love

    by Thomas Gumbleton
    Dr. Martin Luther King, in a book he wrote in 1967 called Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? says, "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. You may feel activated by the cause of righteousness, but violence is most often a poor instrument for its implementation. Indeed, violence corrodes righteousness. It robs it of its essence."
  • Proper 19C (2016)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Allan came to me at my previous church in Hamilton, wanting to be baptized. He was a child (or victim) of the "me decade" and felt compelled to leave home and family to find himself and, of course, lost himself, becoming a stranger to himself and the world, wandering the streets of Vancouver trapped in a world of drugs...")
  • Getting Lost and Getting Found: Joy in the Presence of the Angels!

    by Janet Hunt
    I was eight years old and in the third grade. It was a day in October. I was new enough to this classroom that the teacher did not really know me yet. I was not so new that I had not already learned the consequences for certain infractions. We were outside for afternoon recess. My sister, Martha's, 2nd grade class also happened to be on the playground at the same time and I was playing with her. This is, by the way, the only time I can remember this being so. Perhaps because of what happened next.
  • Joy!

    by David Lose
    On September 11, 2001 – fifteen years ago this Sunday – Welles Crowther went to work like every other day to his job as an equities trader in the World Trade Center. After the second tower was hit, the one he was in, Welles led everyone he could find down the steps to safety, and then he went back for more. And after leading more people to safety, he went back again, and again, and again, until the tower collapsed. On that day, this talented, athletic, good natured, but in so many ways ordinary person did an extraordinary thing, giving his life to make sure others could live. On that day, God used Welles Crowther to find people who were lost.
  • Something Worth Celebrating

    by Jim McCrea
    Kenneth Bailey was a Presbyterian missionary who spent his career in the middle east, where he learned a great deal about the cultural background of the Bible, and discovered that things aren’t always the way we thought they were. For example, in this story Bailey says of the 99 sheep left behind in the wilderness, “They are certainly left with undershepherds and quite likely in a cave.” So it’s not really the tale of risky abandonment that we thought it was. But Bailey goes further than that. He adds that it is the shepherd’s willingness to go after the one that gives the other 99 their real security. “If the one is sacrificed in the name of the larger good of the group, then each individual in the group is insecure. He knows that he too is of little value. If lost, he too will be left to die. But when the shepherd pays a high price to find the one, he offers the profoundest sense of security to the many.
  • A Woman's Ten Coins

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    Eugene Burnand's image (left) is typical in those details. Burnand has chosen not to show the sweeping woman but rather the woman who has had a successful search. She stands on the balcony of her home, and in her left hand she holds the long-sought coin, sharing her joy with friends and neighbors.
  • The God of Our Desires

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    In most of us, if we are honest, there is a secret envy of those who recklessly plumb sacred energy for their own pleasure, that is, we doggedly do our duty in committing ourselves to something higher, but, like the Older Brother of the Prodigal Son, we mostly serve God out of obligation and are bitter about the fact that many others do not.
  • Lost and Found: Depression and Isolation

    by Karyn Wiseman
    I went to Junior High and High School in the West Texas community of Andrews. It was a loving and vibrant community where high school football and marching band were important. I was a band geek and loved working with our band director, Jim Harvey. In 1984, Jim and his family went to their usual Colorado vacation spot to spend part of the summer. On July 11, their 14-year-old son, Chris, went for a walk with their dog. He visited with a friend in the trailer park at about 3pm. The dog returned to their home later but Chris never did. At 11pm they contacted the sheriff’s office and a full-scale search began. For weeks volunteers searched the mountain area around the trailer park where they were staying. Posters with pictures of Chris were circulated around the area, across the state, and then on to surrounding states. For years the Harvey Family returned to try to get some small clue as to what happened to their son. They received some false leads but have never found any sign of Chris.

Illustrated Resources from 2010 to 2015

  • Room at the Table

    by James Barnette
    ("In his recent memoir entitled In the Sanctuary of Outcasts, Neil White recounts his eighteen-month federal prison sentence for bank fraud. Neil is not sent to any ordinary prison, but to a leprosarium in Carville, Louisiana. He and other prison inmates--many of them convicted of similar white collar crimes--share building space with the last people in America disfigured by leprosy...")
  • God's Perspective

    by Phil Bloom
    ("To understand how God seeks the lost human soul, C.S. Lewis proposed this image: He asks us to imagine a young, muscular diver standing on a high cliff overlooking the ocean. The diver strips to nakedness then jumps from the precipice. He cuts thru the surface of the water at a violent speed then goes deeper and deeper...")
  • A Party of the Lost

    by Christopher Burkett
    ("This short homily is an attempt to simply retell the parable of the lost sheep. It is based on two incidents experienced on rural railway journeys in the United Kingdom. The homily takes its shape and style from the monologues of the comedian Bob Newhart. The preacher begins in a conventional way, but then his cell phone rings and the remainder of the script is delivered as if he is speaking on the phone with the congregation over-hearing...")
  • Proper 19C (2013)

    by Delmer Chilton
    "Writing in the Catholic Digest, Kathleen Chesto admits being confused by her 5-year-old's question 'Mom, is God a grown-up or a parent?' 'I'm not sure what you mean,' she said, 'What's the difference between a grown-up and a parent?' 'Well,' the child went on, 'Grown-ups love you when you're good and parents love you anyway.'..."
  • A Tax Collector's Confession

    Narrative Sermon by Rick Fry
  • On His Shoulders

    by Vince Gerhardy
    (" One evening a woman was driving home when she noticed a black car behind her driving uncomfortably close. She stepped on the gas to gain some distance from the car, but when she sped up, the black car did too. The faster she drove, the faster the car did. Now scared, she exited the freeway, but the car stayed with her. The woman then turned up a busy street hoping to lose her pursuer in the traffic...")
  • Seeking the Lost

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("As the sun slowly peeked over the horizon, the sheep one by one opened their eyes to greet the new day. Jethro their shepherd had herded them into the sheep pen last night and they had a good night's sleep. They had felt safe and secure because they knew that the shepherd was watching over them and protecting them from anything that wanted lamb for dinner...")
  • Finding the Lost

    by George Hermanson
    ("A friend tells a story about her friends whose Land Rover broke down in Africa. They could not get it started so they left it and went to get parts. Now if any of you have been in a big city like New York, your experience would be of abandoned cars stripped...")
  • Lost and Found

    by Janet Hunt
    ("Sunday afternoon I went to see Norma. I sat down next to her daughter and we visited a while. She may only have pretended to remember me, but still she knows somehow that God remembers her. Slowly but surely the disease that is erasing her memory will not finally erase what matters most. In some ways, she may seem 'lost' to those who have loved her, but she is not lost to God...")
  • *Proper 19C (2010)

    by Linda Kraft
    ("There's an old story, about a little boy who cried out in the night. 'Daddy, I'm scared!' Half awake Daddy said, 'Don't be afraid, Daddy's right across the hall.' There was a brief pause and the little boy called out, 'I'm still scared.' So Daddy pulled out the big guns...")
  • *Unexpected Treasures

    by Anne Le Bas
    ("I recall a man who phones for a chat now and then, whom I met first during my ministry in Gosport. He's a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, from an appalling family background in a rough part of Glasgow. When I first met him he was a homeless drunk who used to turn up in local churches begging for money...")
  • *Rejoice with Me

    by Jim McCrea
    ("a girl who was deeply troubled. She became increasingly rebellious. Her mom and dad didn't know what to do. Late one night the police arrested her for drunk driving. Mom had to go to the police station to pick her up. They didn't speak until the next afternoon..." and other illustrations)
  • When Children Go Missing

    by Scott Mims
    ("On July 26, Ariel Castro pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping and rape over the long-term abductions and captivity of three women from Cleveland, Ohio. Michelle Knight was 21 years old when she disappeared in 2002. Amanda Berry was just 16 years old when she was abducted in 2003, and Georgina DeJesus only 14 years old when she disappeared in 2004...")
  • Seekers and Rejoicers

    by Anna Murdock
    ("This morning, allow me to share with you one of the most important moments of my life. It seems fitting today because it happened on the evening of 9/11, nine years ago. Unlike many of you, I had no access to TV that morning. The receptionist where I worked had a small radio, our only source of news...")
  • Search and Rescue

    by Nathan Nettleton
    It was a cold night in the little alpine town. Of course at that time of year they were all cold nights. At midnight in the mountains it makes very little difference that you’re below the snow line. That night was much like any other night at the height of the snow season. Many of the visitors were up raging in the bars, but by midnight most of the mountain work force had bedded down for the night. Another full day of catering to the recreational needs of thousands of visitors would have them up again by 7 am. Some of the long term mountain people said they’d known for years it was only a matter of time, but that night there was no way to know anything was wrong. No warnings. No tell tale signs. Nothing. It just happened.
  • Lost Coins and Boxes

    by Larry Patten
    ("Unlike Jesus' parable of a woman scouring her house for a lost coin, my mother's quest for a box didn't have a happy ending. In August a year ago, Mom had moved from her home of forty-six years to a retirement community. Many of the contents of her suburban house were donated, itemized for a garage sale or bequeathed to my two sisters and me. After a hug and chitchat and how-was-the-drive-from-Fresno, Mom's demeanor flattened like air escaping a tire. 'I've lost a box.'...")
  • We'll All Be 'Rooned

    by Andrew Prior
    ("There's a famous Australian poem. Week after week outside the church, the men discuss the weather. 'We'll all be rooned,' said Hanrahan, In accents most forlorn, Outside the church, ere Mass began, One frosty Sunday morn. The congregation stood about, coat-collars to the ears, And talked of stock, and crops, and drought, As it had done for years..." and other quotes)
  • The Perils of Safety

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("I was raised to be cautious, physically and morally: "Be careful! Don't make a mistake! Be safe! Don't do anything for which you'll be sorry!" I inhaled those words, literally, through my years of childhood, my years of seminary training, and through most of my years in the priesthood")
  • Lost and Found

    by David Russell
    Robert Fulghum wrote the book All I Ever Needed To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. In it, he describes watching the neighborhood kids play hide-and-go-seek from the second-story window of his house. He had a good vantage point. Everybody had been discovered except for one kid, and over at the base they are about to give up on him. He is under a pile of leaves right under Fulghum’s window. He was so well hidden that he would never be found. Fulghum thought about going over to the base and telling them where the kid was, and briefly thought about setting the leaves on fire to drive him out, but in the end, he just opened his window and yelled, “Get Found, Kid!” It “scared him so bad that he probably wet his pants and started crying and ran home to tell his mother,” Fulghum wrote. “It’s real hard to know how to be helpful sometimes.”...
  • Broken Hearts, Broken Communities

    by Nanette Sawyer
    "Taking an example from film, there's one movie moment emblazoned in my mind from Sense and Sensibility when the sensible sister of the story played by Emma Thompson expresses grief, and relief from it, so profoundly that I can't forget it. In the story, she has been living her own personal grief, believing that the man she loves has married another woman..."
  • Compound Interest Your Life

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("Albert Einstein is noted for his work in the field of physics. That's where he got his Nobel Prize in 1921. But one of his most famous quotes is one that appears to have nothing to do with physics. Einstein is reported to have said, when asked what is the most powerful force in the universe: 'The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest'....")
  • The ME and the WE

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("A few weeks ago, we marked the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic I Have A Dream speech. The power of that proclamation, the timely words of one man spoken at the one right moment before the enormous crowd gathered before the Lincoln Memorial, provided the 'tipping point' for the civil rights movement and for decades of legal and social changes to come....")
  • God's Math

    by Carlos Wilton
    ("an amazing story happened just the other day, in the midst of the Seaside Boardwalk fire. There were strong and steady winds from the south, pushing that wall of flame relentlessly up the Boardwalk, towards the north. The firefighters knew there was no pumper truck in the world that could push out enough water to douse those flames. The only hope was to cut a defensive line right through the Boardwalk...")
  • What's Lost Is Found Again

    by Carl Wilton
    ("As the mystical New Jersey poet, Walt Whitman, wrote, in a little poem called Continuities: Nothing is ever really lost, or can be lost, No birth, identity, form — no object of the world. Nor life, nor force, nor any visible thing; Appearance must not foil, nor shifted sphere confuse thy brain. Ample are time and space — ample the fields of Nature....")

Illustrated Resources from 2007 to 2009

  • God's Obsession

    by Mickey Anders
    ("Do you have an obsession? Most of us do. Princeton physicist Paul Chaikin's obsession for M&M's candies was so well known that his students played a sweet practical joke on him by leaving a 55-gallon drum of the candies in his office. Little did they know that their prank would lead to a physics breakthrough...")
  • The God Who Searches

    by Stacey Aslangul
    ("In the frenzy of battle during WW II it obviously wasn’t always possible to return fallen soldiers to their homeland for burial. Many lay where they fell & died and are only remembered today by anonymous graves. Fearing this fate for one of their own, a US company fighting in the heart of the French countryside approached a Catholic priest to ask if they could bury their fallen colleague in the small, countryside graveyard attached to the church...")
  • Never Give Up

    by Phil Bloom
    ("Many historians consider Winston Churchill the greatest orator of the twentieth century. During dark years he rallied the British nation - and free men everywhere - to stand against Nazi barbarism. It is said, however, that he gave his most famous speech not during World War II, but afterwards...")
  • Proper 19C (2007)

    from Center for Excellence in Preaching
    "He was sincere, well-meaning, and was trying to be genuinely helpful. And he was dead wrong. A member of my congregation had become pregnant out of wedlock. Fact was, she was an upstanding member of the church, a regular attender and a solid participant across the life of the congregation..."
  • Notes and Quotes on the Gospel (Luke 15)

    Compiled by Francis Chisholm
    ("In the Ontario town of Fergus, where the Highland Games are held in August, there is a very old cemetery on the banks of the Grand River, in which stands a simple headstone which bears the inscription, In memory of George, eldest son of Andrew Clephane, late Sheriff of Fifeshire. Scotland, died May 2, 1851, age 32..." and more)
  • The Lost and Found Department

    by Gwen Drake
    "Danny Hunt was a homeless man who was killed because of a head injury from a bike collision. He had no obituary, just a brief news story. He was 56 years old and a transient. Danny was lost to his family and to the world. And it was clear that Danny wanted it that way. His death changed that..."
  • *Sacred Searching

    by Frank Fisher
    ("It won't be long, before you'll be searching for your new pastor. So I thought, you'd like to hear a chain letter I received over the internet recently. It's title was called The Perfect Pastor: The perfect pastor preaches exactly ten minutes -- condemns sin, but never hurts anyone's feelings. The perfect pastor works from 8 a.m. until midnight, and is also the church janitor...")
  • Ordinary 24

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("So once upon a time this very wealthy man went out to play golf with some of his friends. It looked like it might rain, so he insisted in wearing his favorite rain hat. He searched in his golf bag and couldn’t find it. He searched in his duffle bag and couldn’t find it....")
  • Get Lost!

    by Donald Hoffman
    ("Robert Fulghum tells a story about a kid in his neighborhood who was so good at playing hide and seek that the other kids … could never find him. Sooner or later they would give up, and the kid would grow tired of hiding and would come out angry that the others didn’t keep looking for him...")
  • Quitting Ain't An Option!

    by Leslie Holmes
    ("A woman in the community where I live approached me after I had purchased something from the store where she works. She told me the story of her niece, a daughter of her deceased sister, who has slipped down through temptation's surly way and now makes her living in places where women are regarded as cheap entertainment and that are not safe for young women to go..." and other illustrations)
  • God's Promises for You: I Love You

    by Allen Hunt
    ("Forty-one years ago Roger and Sally got married. They did all the normal things that married couples do, and, eventually, they had two daughters of their own. But still there was something missing; there was a part that just wasn't there. Roger had a daughter from a previous, short-lived marriage many years before, a daughter he had never been able to see, never been able to contact....")
  • Lost in the Wilderness

    by David Martyn
    ["Clarence Jordan, the founder of Koinonia Farms (where Habitat for Humanity was born) and author of The Cotton Patch Gospel, has a very interesting take on these parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. Jordan noted that Jesus said the shepherd searches 'until he finds' the sheep. The same with the lost coin, she searches 'until she finds it'..."]
  • *I Once Was Lost But Now...

    by Jim McCrea
    ("When I was about six years old, my mother took me to a large department store in downtown Pittsburgh. She was looking at clothes and, as young kids do, I quickly got bored. so I decided to hide from her. I wiggled my way into the middle of a large rack of clothes and sat there snickering as I thought about how much fun it would be to have her look for me..." and other quotes and illustrations - recommended!!)
  • The Parable of the Lost Sheep

    by Philip McLarty
    In December, 1980, our youngest son, Christopher, got separated from us at the mall. We were living in Sherman at the time. It was Christmas, and the mall was packed with shoppers. We drifted into a bookstore. John and Patrick were with their mother. Chris was with me. Or so I thought. I was skimming through a book with Chris at my side. I put the book back on the shelf and looked down at Chris. Only it wasn't Chris. It was somebody else's kid. "Honey, is Chris with you?" I called to the other side of the stack. Donna replied, "I thought he was with you." We panicked. We searched the bookstore, then went out into the promenade of the mall. You've never seen such bedlam. There was a sea of shoppers moving in both directions. Donna went one way with John and Patrick. I went the other. As I got to the front door, I looked out across the parking lot. It was about nine o'clock at night. It dawned on me that Chris may have gone out to the car. I bolted out the door and ran across the parking lot as fast as I could. We'd parked near the street, about a quarter of a mile away. Sure enough, when I got there I found one brave little four-year-old boy clinging to the driver's side door handle. I guess he figured if he held on to the car, we couldn't leave without him. I picked him up and held him and, just about that time, Donna and the other boys got there. We hugged each other and cried for what seemed like an eternity. Our little boy was lost, and now he was found...
  • *Ordinary 24C

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    "My father was a school teacher. He was never really happy with that. He had hoped for more in life ­ a sparkling career in what he thought was more a glamorous profession and certainly a better paid one. But, for many reasons, he did not succeed in his chosen career and so he settled down reluctantly to be a school teacher...."
  • The Gospel Within the Gospel

    by Nancy Petty
    "There was the story of a child named Kameron and his family who were spending the summer in Durham so the young boy could receive chemotherapy treatments at Duke Hospital for a rare kind of cancer. The beloved family dog, Kirby, had been included for the out-of-town stay because he brought comfort and joy to the young boy who was going through such a difficult time..." and another illustration
  • Proper 19

    by Amy Richter
    ("A little girl was looking at the things in her mother's jewelry box. One item particularly fascinated her – an opal that had once been set in a ring, but had come loose from its finding. The little girl liked the opal a lot. She liked how it sparkled, how its iridescence gave it different colors depending on how she held it and in what kind of light...")
  • God's Promise to Come

    by George Smiga
    Scroll down the page for this resource.

    A young family with four children decided to take a camping trip in YosemiteNational Park. The scenery was breathtaking and it was wonderful having the family together for vacation. Their only concern was that the youngest child, a boy of 8 years old named Peter, was a bit too anxious to explore the park. Whenever he would see anything that was unusual or different he would want to run over to examine it more closely. Now his parents warned him how dangerous it was to wander off on his own, and the boy tried to obey their directions. But one morning as the family was enjoying a particular beautiful mountain meadow, they realized that Peter was not with them. Immediately they began calling his name and searching for him in ever widening circles. But they had no success. They notified the park rangers and soon there were 15 – 20 people combing that region trying to find the boy. With each passing hour the parents became more frightened as they imagined what had happened to their son. But just before sunset one of the rangers saw the boy sitting on a rock by a waterfall and he called out his name. Peter had his head in his lap crying. When he heard the call, he looked up and the first thing that he said to the ranger was, “Are you here from my father?” “Well yes,” the ranger said, “there are many people looking for you and your parents are very concerned. What have you been doing?” “Waiting,” the boy said. “Waiting for someone to come. My father told me that if I ever got lost I should find a safe place and wait. And he would come for me.” “You must have been frightened” said the ranger. “Very,” said the boy, “but my father promised he would come, and my father doesn’t lie to me”...

  • The Way to Eureka

    by James Standiford
    ("'Eureka' is a Greek exclamation meaning 'I have found it.' Tradition claims that Archimedes, the third century B.C. Greek mathematician and engineer, had been asked to evaluate the purity of an irregular golden crown. It was while he was taking a bath that he came to the idea that the volume of an irregularly shaped object could be calculated by finding the volume of water displaced when the object was submerged in water....")
  • Come, Join the Party

    by Keith Wagner
    "In his book, I Refuse to Lead a Dying Church, Paul Nixon tells the story about a new church start called The Community Life Center. It was to be an outreach ministry of the Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church in Florida. They flooded the neighborhoods with postcards and other publicity that asked the question, 'Are we having fun yet?'..."
  • Lost Things and Lions

    by Jo Bailey Wells
    ("Allow me to indulge in a favorite story from a book that never seems to become dated: Christianity Rediscovered, by Vincent Donovan. Donovan was a Roman Catholic priest-missionary in Tanzania in the 1960's. Exasperated with conventional forms of Catholic education , he persuaded his bishop to let him simply wander among the Masai tribes, sharing their life and talking about God...")
  • Lost and Found

    by Wilma White
    ("I married young and foolishly, and divorced when my sons were young. My ex-husband is a disabled Vietnam vet who suffers from PTSD and self-medicates with alcohol and drugs. One of our sons has written him off and will have no contact with him until he goes into rehab. The other son stays in touch, especially since Nana, his father's 87 year old mother, lived with his dad...")
  • Illustrations (Proper 19C)

    Compiled by Tim Zingale

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from the Archives

  • As Children of Light?

    by Bob Allred
    ("I remember a large family of poor children who rode my school bus. Our bus would only have a few kids on it when we got to their stop, but after they all got on the bus seemed full. They were poor, but they all carried their books home and did their homework and made real good grades. Rosalie was in my class and she always was toward the top in every subject. Years later, she was one of my Dad's nurses at his deathbed; a true 'Angel of Mercy'...")
  • The Joy of Being Lost and Found

    by Edward Beck
    ("Once I got so lost that I began to wonder if I'd ever get found. I was on a thirty day retreat in a hermitage, no less, in the hills of California. I'd decided to take a long walk to a beach about five miles away that I'd heard was a wonderful place to watch the sunset. And indeed it was...")
  • Edith

    from Biblical Studies
    ("One day a little girl returned home from church and was asked by her mother what the preacher had said. She replied, 'He talked about ,' her little sister. 'What do you mean?' asked the mother...")
  • Joy in the Presence

    by Philip Blackwell
    ("Very early in my ministry I visited a woman in the hospital who was a sister of one of our members. She was Roman Catholic but no longer attending Mass, and she wanted a visit from a priest because she was dying from cancer. Her brother asked me to go; it was not good. I was not what she hoped for, a Protestant minister, and she did not talk to me, not a word...")
  • The Parable of the Ninety-Nine

    by Sarah Dylan Breuer
    ("Once there was a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. One of them went astray. The shepherd's colleagues figured this was probably due to some carelessness on the shepherd's part - after all, when the shepherd had been a farmer, he had repeatedly been seen tossing seed in the middle of paved parking lots and pigeon hangouts without much thought as to whether anything would actually grow there...")
  • The Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin

    by Robert Farrar Capon
    "The one lost sheep stands for all of us, and this says that the only thing the shepherd—God, the God character—is interested in, is going after the lost, and, if necessary, the shepherd will go out of the sheep ranching business to find the lost..."
  • Does Your Soul Need Tenderizing?

    by Dennis Clark
    ("A woman was divorced and found herself struggling with an increasingly rebellious teenage daughter. It all came to a head late one night when the police called her to pick up her daughter who'd been arrested for drunk driving. The two of them didn't speak on the way home or next day either, till mom broke the tension by giving her daughter a small, gift-wrapped package...")
  • Clean Sweep

    by Jennifer Copeland
    "The best storytellers paint pictures with words, using words to fill our minds with vivid imagery. I remember reading the first Harry Potter novel to my first-grade son. Each time we completed a chapter and I turned the page to start a new one he would shift in my lap and look away from the book. Finally I asked him what was wrong..."
  • *The Lost Sheep (Politically Correct Version)

    by Tom Cox
    ("Once there was a geographically disadvantaged lost sheep who wandered away from the flock in search of fresh grass. Due to attention deficit by the shepherd it took several hours to notice this absence....")
  • *Radical Welcome

    by Tom Cox
    ("We are all in a sense unfinished works. A 'distant country' attracts as it means getting away from home- the place where you are known, and for some that feels like suffocation....")
  • *Ninety-Nine Out of One Hundred Leaves One

    by Robert Elder
    ("Once the President of Southern Methodist University was stopped by one of those religious zealots on the streets of Dallas, Texas. 'Are you saved?' she demanded to know. 'I think so,' replied the president. 'That’s not good enough!' she announced, 'you have to know so!'...")
  • *No Turning Back

    by Robert Elder
    ("Several years ago the chaplain at Duke University decided to ask a group of those in the student body who counted themselves outside the faith to go on a retreat. There, he would bombard them with anything and everything he could think of to make a case for the Christian faith...")
  • A Change of Mind

    by Richard Fairchild
    "An old man used to meditate each day be the Ganges River in India. One morning he saw a scorpion floating on the water. When the scorpion drifted near the old man he reached to rescue it but was stung by the scorpion. A bit later he tried again and was stung again, the bite swelling his hand painfully and giving him much pain..." and another illustration
  • Seeking the Lost

    by Richard Fairchild
    "Erma Bombeck, in one of her books, describes a visit to a church one Sunday. She writes: '...I was intent on a small child who was turning around smiling at everyone. He wasn't gurgling, spitting, humming, kicking, tearing the hymnals, or rummaging through his mother's handbag. He was just smiling..."
  • What Person Among You?

    by Richard Fairchild
    "It was on a cool October day when Fiona walked with the head shepherd far into the hills to mend fences and to check on the fifty ewes pasturing on a fenced-in hilltop. Fiona went with Robert, as she did every day, to see that the sheep were all right, that the fence was secure, that none were missing, and especially to make sure none of the sheep was lying on her side..."
  • Come Just As You Are

    by Arthur G. Ferry, Jr.
    ("Author Norman Cousins, a true believer in the healing power of humor, tells of a 'lost coin' episode in his life: 'I went into the telephone booth to call my office. I put a quarter in the slot and dialed the number, but nothing happened. I pressed the 'coin return' lever. Nothing happened. Then I heard a voice say, 'Deposit 25 cents please'. It was a recording..." and another short illustration)
  • Lost In America

    by Arthur G. Ferry, Jr.
    ("Playwright Arthur Miller years ago gave us a classic portrait of what it means to be lost. The play was Death of a Salesman. The tragic central character was Willie Loman, the man who searched all his life but 'never knew who he was'. We see his family being poisoned by Willie's inclination toward dreaming all the wrong dreams. Those who loved him most suffered the most..." and several other illustrations - recommended!!)
  • *God In a Box

    by Justin K. Fisher
    ("Way back in the first grade I remember my teacher surprising us one day by bringing in a HUGE, brightly wrapped box, with a bow on top. Printed on each of the sides were the letters "S-U-R-P-R-I-S-E!!"..")
  • A God Who Searches

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("An urgent matter had arisen at work and the boss needed to call one of his staff who was on holidays. He dialled the home phone number and was greeted with a child's whispered, 'Hello?' The boss asked, 'Is your Daddy home?' 'Yes,' whispered the small voice. 'May I talk with him?' the man asked. To the boss’ surprise, the small voice whispered, 'No.'...")
  • Lost in the Scrub

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("Maybe if Jesus had been an Australian he might have told a story like the one in Tom Collin's novel Such is Life. He tells how a five-year-old girl became lost in the bush. She had thought that she would go and find her father who had been away for 5 days mustering sheep. Her mother came in from milking the goats and discovered that the little girl was missing...")
  • Do You Mind Dogs?

    by Chris Glaser
    ("In what turned out to be the final year of his life, my seminary professor turned friend, Henri Nouwen, made plans to visit me in Atlanta. Henri wrote more than forty books on the spiritual life, and is regarded by both Protestant and Catholic clergy as one of the most influential Christian writers of our time. I had been pressing him to come for a relaxing visit during his sabbatical...")
  • Ordinary 24 (2004)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there was a mother who had twins when her next oldest was a senior in high school. She was surprised but happy. She loved all her children. The twins were so cute and so lively that she figured they’d keep her young. Alas for her, the twins were monsters. They fought with one another, they fought with other children...")
  • Terrorist Attack in the US

    by Roger Haugen
    ("There was a clerk at a Post Office somewhere who did not enjoy her job very much. And she shows it. On her bad days, she glowers from behind her counter like a malevolent mushroom. On days such as those, she makes life miserable for everyone. One elderly immigrant didn’t have the right change for her stamps, 'Next!' barked the clerk impatiently..." and another illustration)
  • *Darkness Rising

    by Mark Haverland
    ("As we joined the crowd streaming out of the dolphin pavilion after the show, a small boy of about four or five I would guess got separated from his father. His fright and panic were heart rending as he raced back and forth in short burst crying out for his father, not knowing if Dad was in front of him or behind. But a very wise woman, whom I never did see, but heard very clearly, calmed the boy from the crowd. She called out to him, 'Wait, someone is calling for you'..." and another illustration)
  • Search and Rescue

    by Peter Haynes
    Friends, we’ve seen these parables acted out this week. I recall watching a television reporter a few blocks away from the World Trade Center in New York City as he described the rescue workers racing to the scene. In the background I could see the firefighters heading that way. So many of them were operating by a different math. Yes, they had loved ones somewhere, but still they journeyed toward peril in the effort to save even so much as one person. The value of their own lives was also laid on the line... And then a while later this same reporter, in the same location, spoke in disbelief about that high rise tower collapsing. The scene in the background involved fewer firefighters, who were covered in dust, stumbling back. I really don’t want to be reliving that day, my friends. Nor do I wish to get all melodramatic. It’s just that this scripture reminds me of that scene. At the same time, however, it lifts my thoughts beyond the horror we all (to some degree) witnessed... Jesus, when he told these parables, was painting a picture of God. As we try to come to grips with this week, with the non-stop barrage of terrifying images that came into our homes via television and were etched on our brains, we need this picture of God. Title it, "Search and Rescue"...
  • Rejoice!

    by Mike Hays
    "There has been a lot of talk this past week about Lindsay Lohan, the twenty-one year old actress who rose to fame by the time she was fourteen. Lindsey has had two DUI's in the past couple of months. She was found with cocaine on her when they took her to the police station this past week. She is imploding before our very eyes..."
  • *Evangelism Now!

    by Donald Hoffman
    ("In 1947, when I was five years old, our family took a long vacation trip out west. The grownups decided we'd all go to Spirit Lake for a picnic. And while most of the folks were working on setting up, Uncle Jesse and Aunt Hazel took me on a walk, through the picnic grounds, down a steep incline, to the beach...")
  • *Lost and Found

    by Donald Hoffman
    ["I got lost in Walmart early this morning. I try to make a habit of smiling at, and acknowledging strangers as they pass in public places. Anyhow, I was in Walmart early this morning, because of all the rain that [Hurricane] Frances had dumped upon us, shopping for tortillas for breakfast, when an overweight, shirtless, incredibly tattooed fellow, smoking a cigarette walked through the 'Food' entrance..."]
  • God's Promises for You: I Love You

    by Allen Hunt
    ("Forty-one years ago Roger and Sally got married. They did all the normal things that married couples do, and, eventually, they had two daughters of their own. But still there was something missing; there was a part that just wasn't there. Roger had a daughter from a previous, short-lived marriage many years before, a daughter he had never been able to see, never been able to contact....")
  • Jeremiah: The Judgment

    by Randy Hyde
    ("Last summer Janet and I visited the Culloden battlefield, near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. On April 16, 1746 the armies of Bonnie Prince Charlie and George II met in a boggy field. Charlie was trying to retake the British throne for the Stuart dynasty, but it was to be to no avail. He made a number of miscalculations, and the British took advantage of them. In less than an hour, the battle was over. But that's not the end of the story..." and another quote)
  • Lost and Not Knowing It

    by Beth Johnston
    "Once upon a time a young boy accompanied his father to the shopping mall. They went to the bank, the post office, the food court and then to the pet store for gerbil food. Later in the morning, as the father was consulting the list his wife had given him, he suddenly realized that he had not seen his son for several stores. He looked around. The little boy was nowhere in sight..." and other illustrations
  • Those Pesky Lost Ones

    by Beth Johnston
    ("There was once a young couple with two lovely children. Now, as sometimes happens, this couple ended up in divorce court and the mother was awarded sole custody. The father died in strange circumstances and, in accordance with the mother's wishes , the children had no contact at all with their grandparents or uncles and aunts on their father's side of the family...")
  • Lost and Found

    by Edward Markquart
    ("I love the poem Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson. In my memory, it goes like this: "I fled from God, down the nights and down the days; I fled from God, down the arches of the years; I fled from God, down the labyrinth of my own mind. In the midst of tears, I hid...")
  • *Looking in the Face of Evil

    by Jim McCrea
    ("Several years ago, when a terrorist bomb blew up a airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, the Rev. James Whyte was asked to preach at the memorial service. And in that sermon, he said: 'The Christian answer to the age old question why a good God permits evil is a strange one, because the Christian faith is that God is there where we might least expect to find him - in the disaster, in the tragedy, in the suffering...")
  • *Rejoice with Me

    by Jim McCrea
    ("In the early the early days of television, George Burns and Gracie Allen were enjoying moderate success with their new TV show, but they weren't attracting the large audiences they had hoped for. So they tried to come up with some way to get people interested in their show. George Burns knew that Gracie loved to tell daffy tall tales about her brother, who was also named George..." and other quotes)
  • Joy in the Presence of Angels

    by William McKinney
    ("Forgiveness is a hot topic these days. Michael Mendiola of our faculty serves on a Cal committee that is addressing the related issue of mistakes: what should happen when a doctor makes an innocent but serious mistake that can take the life of someone under his or her care? Doug Adams has an interesting theory that our society is obsessed by forgiveness because we have lost the ability to deal with confession...")
  • No Throw-Away People

    by Harold McNabb
    ("In this week's news a fifteen year old Calgary Alberta girl gave birth in her bedroom while her siblings watched TV. She put the baby in a trash bag at the curb. No one, including her mother had suspected that she was pregnant, and I suppose being immature and fearful she just wanted to dispose of the child. So it, along with the bloody towels, went into a plastic trash bag...")
  • Doing Lost, Being Found

    by Russell Metcalfe
    ("In the early years of World War II after the United States forces invaded northern Africa, crude airstrips were established on the desert, and bombing runs across the Mediterranean were begun on Axis targets in Italy. Lady Be Good was a Flying Fortress, B-17 bomber, that was making these long and dangerous flights. The night this plane was tragically lost the crew had made it to Italy and was returning on a radio beam from the desert air strip..." and another illustration)
  • On Losing, Seeking and Finding . . . Sometimes

    by Marita Munro
    This week we are reeling from the news of Beslan and Jakarta - the terrible suffering of parents and communities who have lost children and loved ones in sieges and bombings. The tragedy and devastation is beyond description. Some of the parents of Beslan are still searching for their children and waiting for news of family members. The Baptist World Alliance has informed us that the Baptist pastor of the church in that town has lost three of his five children and his brother, a church elder, four of his children. One of Pastor Sergei Totijev’s surviving children is severely injured and the other has lost his sight. Four of the elder’s children are still missing. Their experience is the reality for many people in the world - loss, searching and often, little joy in the outcome...After the memorial service for his children, Beslan Pastor, Sergey Totiev said he would not seek revenge on the killers of his children; others in the crowd started to curse and vowed to take revenge against the terrorists but Pastor Totiev said: “Yes we have an irreplaceable loss, but we cannot take revenge. As Christians the Bible teaches us that we must forgive. Vengeance is in God’s hands”.
  • Changing Our Minds About God

    by Paul Nuechterlein
    ("Dennis Linn tells this wonderful story about how his mind was changed about God: 'One day Hilda came to me crying because her son had tried to commit suicide for the fourth time. She told me that he was involved in prostitution, drug dealing and murder. She ended her list of her son's 'big sins' with, 'What bothers me most is that my son says he wants nothing to do with God...")
  • Holy Communion

    by Paul Nuechterlein
    ("We've experienced a terrifying evil as a nation this week. And the question arises: Why didn't God stop it? One of the best answers to this question that I've run across didn't come from some thick theology book, but from one of the Trailblazer series books that I read to my boys. The church was persecuting one of the new Protestant groups in Europe, the followers of Menno Simons, the Mennonites...")
  • The Righteous Welcome All

    by William Oldland
    ("One day I was watching a show about a minister. He had always felt called to the ministry. He was very well educated and very intelligent. After graduating from seminary he began to build a reputation as a preacher. This man became known far and wide for his preaching ability. He was sought after by many churches for his talent...")
  • From Vengeance to Forgiveness

    by John Pavelko
    ("Jurgen Moltmann, a famous German theologian, fought in the German army during World War II. After his capture by the British, he was imprisoned in Scotland. While a POW, God found him through two incidents. The first happened while he was reading the scriptures. The chaplain of the camp had given Bibles to the prisoners...")
  • *More God Than We Want

    by Michael Phillips
    ("He drew a circle that shut me out--Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But Love and I had the wit to win: We drew a circle that took him in!...")
  • Who's Who in the Sheepfold

    by Beth Quick
    ("Amazing Grace, as we now call this hymn, was written by John Newton somewhere between 1760 and 1770....")
  • And God Wore Red Gym Shoes

    by Barry Robinson
    ("The campers arrived on Sunday night. By Monday morning, someone was missing his hunting knife. By later that afternoon a baseball glove went missing. By canteen time that night, one of the campers was missing five dollars. One did not need to have 'light years' of experience to know that the camp had a thief!...")
  • Saving the Lost

    by Gary Roth
    ("Pastor Shulz had always wanted to do something really big for God. Sometimes he would think about the great saints of the church, and the martyrs, people who were eaten by lions, or drawn and quartered, or crucified for the faith...")
  • Desperate Housewives

    by Martin Singley
    ("Whenever I think about the power of belonging, I remember Sherry, a young teenager who was the friend of a friend of a friend of a friend who belonged to a church youth group. Someone who understands the importance of belonging invited Sherry to come to a meeting, and she did. Sherry came from a rather tough home situation, and didn’t have any church relationship...")
  • Contagious Compassion

    by Mike Slaughter
    ("Anyone who has owned an animal knows how you develop an emotional attachment. My wife and I have two dogs. We have a giant Schnauzer and a miniature Schnauzer named Toby. Toby is eleven years old. Several years ago on a Friday night, the whole family went to one of my son's baseball games. We got home late. I was the last person entering the house and so the family left the door open for me...")
  • Finder's Keepers

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("Remember the movie "Cheaper By The Dozen"? One of the youngest boys, Mark, is at that awkward age where he doesn't feel like he fits in, even in his big family. He's the only one who wears glasses. They tease him and call him Fed Ex. They tell him that the Fed Ex man brought him. Dad is a Coach whose dream has always been to coach his alma mater...")
  • Lost And Found Department

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("Maybe you remember Charles Dickens' book A Tale of Two Cities. In the book there was a cobbler who was prisoner in the Bastille. H had lived in a cell for so many years and had became so used to the narrow walls, the darkness, and the monotony...")
  • God Never Gives Up

    by Mark Trotter
    ("There is a wonderful story about Maya Angelou. She wrote that years ago when she first came to San Francisco as a young woman she became sophisticated. She said that was what you were supposed to do when you go to San Francisco, you become sophisticated. And for that reason she said she became agnostic...")
  • Lost and Found

    by Keith Wagner
    ("Do you remember the Wizard of Oz? Dorothy and her three companions followed the yellow brick road in search of the Great Wizard, who could give each one of them what they really wanted most in life. The tin man got a heart, the scarecrow a brain and the lion, courage. But, there was really nothing the wizard could do for Dorothy...")
  • No Limits to God's Mercy

    by Keith Wagner
    ("Two of my hobbies are collecting coins and collecting books. One of my book collections is called the Happy Hollisters. It was a favorite in the fifties and my wife and I have managed to find about two thirds of them..." and other illustrations)
  • Lost and Found

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("When William Willimon was a graduate school student at Emory, he supported himself by serving two difficult little rural churches on weekends, many miles outside of Atlanta. It was a difficult experience. When he arrived at one of the churches for the first Sunday, there was a padlock on the door, put there by the local sheriff..." and another illustration)
  • Proper 19C

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("Leslie Weatherhead, the famous preacher, once arrived rather earlier than expected in a town with which he wasn't familiar. He had an evening engagement, and the only place he could find to pass the time was a public house opposite the church. He went in, ordered a glass of lemonade, and was soon in an animated conversation with some of the customers..." and other illustrations)
  • Outrageous Parties

    by William Willimon
    ("One spring break, I took a group of students on a retreat called 'Exploring the Christian Faith'. The retreat was designed for people 'who know something about Jesus, but are not yet ready to put their money down yet'. I told them, 'I am going to use any means at my disposal — films, arguments, worship, music, Bible study — to arm wrestle you into following Jesus...")
  • Forgiven. Period.

    by Tim Zingale
    ("A minister, touring in West Germany was invited to spend the night with one of the families of the host congregation. The family consisted of the father. the mother, and a twelve-year-old boy. The father began to tell the minister something about the family, and especially about the circumstances surrounding the adoption of this youngster whom they had rescued during the war years..." and another illustration)

Other Resources from 2016 to 2018

Other Resources from 2013 to 2015

Other Resources from 2010 to 2012

Other Resources from 2007 to 2009

Other Resources from 2004 to 2006

Other Resources from the Archives

Children's Resources and Dramas

The Classics

Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable

  • I Once Was Lost

    by L. Gregory Bloomquist
    ("There at the top of the World Trade Center, with dozens of little people on a great adventure out of our normal lives, being attended to by hundreds of other little people who were serving us, moving us around in elevators, making sure the escalators worked well....")
  • Pentecost 18

    by Lyle Dennen
    ("One of the great paintings of Caravaggio is his David with the Head of Goliath. It was painted as a present, really a bribe, for Cardinal Scipione Borghese, after Caravaggio had murdered a man in seamy circumstances. He wanted the Cardinal to use his influence with the Pope to obtain a pardon...")
  • Cross

    by Lane Denson
    Scroll down the page for this resource.
  • Commentario

    por Guillermo Hansen
  • Our God IS Crazy

    by Michael Kennedy
  • Trinity 15

    by John Pridmore
  • Lost and Found

    by David Russell
    ("David Duncan pointed out that empathy is an act of 'creative fiction'. Here is what he meant. Duncan teaches fiction writing. He suggests a scenario: 'A white girl wonders in school one morning what it would it be like to be that black girl who sits four rows in front. Her imagination sets to work, creating fiction. In her mind, she becomes the black girl..." and another illustration)
  • An Eastern Wedding Feast

    by Steve Santini
  • The Lost Sinner

    by Stephen Sauer
  • Faith Without Excuse

    by Keith Wagner
  • An Eastern Wedding Feast

    by Steve Santini
  • Propio 19C (2016)

    por Roberto Arciniega
  • Models of Ministry

    by Fred Anderson
  • Lost and Found

    by David Russell
    ("a man is all alone in a hotel room in Canada. The man is in a state of deep depression. He is so depressed that he can't even bring himself to go downstairs to the restaurant to eat. He is a powerful man, the chairman of a large shipping company. But at this moment, he is absolutely overwhelmed by the pressures and demands of life, and he lies there on a lonely hotel bed far from home, wallowing in self-pity..." and other illustrations)
  • The Man Who Slept on the Church Porch

    by John Jewell
    ("Some years ago, in a church that shall remain anonymous, a few of us decided to do a bit of drama as a part of our exposition of this passage from Luke. The church had a large portico at the front entrance located on a major downtown street. Early on the appointed Sunday, one of the men on our church council came with an old sleeping bag. He was unshaven, disheveled and wore an old cap and sunglasses...")
  • God's Party Time

    by Mary Schertz
  • Ordinary 24

    by Walter Ray Williams
  • Devotional Meditation

    by Dave Risendal
  • Joy in Heaven

    by Dave Risendal