- ("Most pastors prepare for the Sunday sermon by going off to a quiet place and putting their noses into the books for several hours at a time. But one pastor, Lex Rivers, once did his research for the sermon in a far different way. He wanted to understand what it is like to be homeless. He wanted to know what issues homeless people struggle with..." and several other illustrations)
- In reading this parable, I also could not help but be reminded of this song by Randy Newman: âˆ™ Short people got no reason Short people got no reason Short people got no reason To live. They got little hands Little eyes They walk around Tellin' great big lies They got little noses And tiny little teeth They wear platform shoes On their nasty little feet. Well, I don't want no short people Don't want no short people Don't want no short people `Round here. Of course, Newman is writing these lyrics with a huge tongue in cheek and is merely lampooning all kinds of prejudice since he says in the next few lines: âˆ™ Short people are just the same As you and I (A fool such as I) All men are brothers Until the day they die (It's a wonderful world).
- ("Mrs. Billie Cannon, a Knoxville, Tennessee homemaker, was preparing to paint her back porch. In order to protect the floor, she very carefully placed around the edges a strip of Scotch tape, the kind with adhesive on both sides. It was her plan to place a drop cloth over the floor and secure it with the tape. Having succeeded in placing the tape around the entire surface, she went back inside the house to get a drop cloth..." and many other illustrations)
- ("'Where are you going? And why are you in such a hurry?' You fervently wish you could shout those words aloud to the crowd of noisy people rushing by you on this hot afternoon. Your wish, of course, can never be more than a wish. For you can't talk with people like you talk with the wind, or the sun or the birds in the sky...")
- ("Have you ever been hated? I don't mean simply disliked. I mean passionately and gut-wrenchingly despised. To the point where people who think of themselves as being faithful followers of the Lord feel no compunction whatsoever at spitting on the ground whenever they see you or spitting on you if your back is turned...")
- ("Do you like change? Well, I don't. I hate change. I like things to stay the way they are; change is scary and it takes too much energy. I like to know what is going to happen. I like 'predictable'...")
- ("What a week it had been! I remember so well. I had had to fire one of my collectors, and that was unusual in itself, because most people would love to have that job! Sure, they say they wouldn't, they look down their noses at tax collectors, call us sinners, and other things I won't mention, but if I were to come to them and ask, most people would jump at it, no matter what they say...")
- Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal were newlyweds. They had had a bitter argument. Angry words were spoken. Their spirits were wounded. Their feelings were hurt. Their relationship was strained. In pain and frustration, they had pulled back from one another. Then, awkwardly, tentatively... they tried to fix it. Ryan O'Neal was trying to figure out how to apologize when... Ali McGraw interrupted him and said those words that became the marketing theme for that movie. She said to him: "Love means never having to say 'I'm sorry'!" Now, that sounds great... has a nice, sentimental ring to it... and evidently it drew people to the box office, but there's only one thing wrong with it... It's just not true!
- ("Never judgemental, Smiling in friendship Laughing our joy. Seeing our pain. Accepting our failings. Understanding our struggles. Sharing our sadness. Crying our tears. Watching our sleep. Hidden in others. Keeping our secrets, Easing our fears. Blessing our lives. Living our hopes. Waiting for ever. Forever our friend...")
- ("There once was a huge pine tree on the corner of the street where I lived. It had a most wonderful branch, shooting straight out from the trunk and then curving upward that made for a comfortable seat. I could sit in the tree and feel very hidden by its branches from anyone who walked by or any car that would briefly stop at the end of the street...")
- ("Better nutrition seems to have meant that people are taller and bigger. Even a baby's first shoe has gone up in size over the years. Still, while we may have tall people, there's one area we seem to come short on - character. ...")
- ("President Lincoln once received a letter from a man requesting a pardon. There were no letters of recommendation attached to the request. 'Doesn't this man have any friends?' asked Lincoln. His aide answered, 'No, Sir, he doesn't.' 'Then I will be his friend,' Lincoln responded, and signed the pardon...")
- ("In the musical 1776, the continental congress is squabbling and arguing and dithering around and wasting time and criticizing each other, and a young soldier comes dashing in from time to time with dispatches from the front line of battle, messages from General George Washington...")
- ("One day Mitch Albom was watching TV when he saw his old professor from Brandeis University, Morrie Schwartz, being interviewed by Ted Koppel. His professor had Lou Gehrig's disease and was slowly losing control of his bodily functions. His old professor told Ted Koppel, rather matter of factly, that in the relatively near future, he would suffocate to death because nothing would work anymore..." and other illustrations)
- ("Have you ever gone back to your old grade school? It is amazing what a different perspective you get when you gain a few years, a few pounds and a few inches. Those looooong hallways were not really that long. The great auditorium where we ate lunch, saluted the flags and went to assembly was not as large as I remembered. The desks and the chairs were somewhat smaller...")
- ("this story of Zacchaeus always reminds me of a man I once knew called Zach. Zach was a man in his early 30's who didn't have a job as such, but he had a very large and expensive house in a very poor part of town, a brand-new white Mercedes Benz, several children by several different women, always carried a gun and he was of course a drug dealer...")