Mark 1: 14-20

Illustrated New Resources

  • No Ordinary Day

    by Jim Chern
    When was the last time you can remember your life changed on a particular day? The internet is a pretty materialistic/earthly example. Working with college students, when we’ve asked that question – some of them will point to the day they got their drivers license and took out on the road alone for the first time… or moved out to school and were on their own that first night in there dorm room. A bunch of my former students, alumni have gotten married recently and will talk about when they first met one another or a particular time when they knew this person was “the one.” One couple who included the first student I ever met when I first started out as chaplain at Montclair Sate University and was able to witness their marriage and two weeks ago baptize their first born son said “when did we become parents??? when did that happen?” I said “well the paperwork says March 20, 2020″ but I get their point. They were just taken aback by how much life had changed for them. When was the last time you can remember your life changed on a particular day?...
  • The Urgency of Now

    by Jim Eaton
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said in the midst of a time of crisis and war, “we are confronted by the fierce urgency of now.” God’s call does not come as one of many possibilities; God’s call is immediate, urgent and absolute. “Immediately they followed him”: the words are stark and precise and challenge us today. We have this moment. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote from the jail in Birmingham to white ministers who urged him to go slower: We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity...
  • Sermon Starters (Epiphany 3B)(2021)

    by Scott Hoezee
    Or as Dallas Willard writes, when he was a boy, rural electrification was just happening and power lines were being strung throughout the countryside. But suppose even after the lines were up and running you ran across a house where the weary family still used only candles and kerosene lanterns for light, used scrub boards, ice chests, and rug beaters. A better life was waiting for them right outside their door if only they would let themselves be hooked into the power lines. “My friends,” you could proclaim, “electricity is at hand!” But suppose they just didn’t trust it, thought it was too much of a hassle, and anyway didn’t believe the promises that things might be easier with this newfangled juice running into their house. “If it’s all the same to you, we’ll stick with the old ways.” Maybe the kingdom is like that: it’s here, it’s real, it’s right outside your door. The kingdom of God is at hand! Don’t be so easily satisfied with the temporary pleasures of sex and money, power and food, cable TV and the wonders of technology. A better, exciting, hopeful, joyful kingdom of life is real. The kingdom of God is at hand. We live knowing that this is true! We live to help others believe it, too.
  • Metanoia: the First Words Out of Jesus’ Mouth

    by Dawn Hutchings
    Theologian Ron Rolheiser moved me beyond my own ways of thinking about metanoia when he described the first words out of Jesus’ mouth as a pun on the word “paranoia” also from two little Greek words “para” to be beside and “noos” for mind. To be beside one’s mind is the Greek for madness. Today the word paranoia is used as a diagnosis for the irrational fear that people are out to get you. Rolheiser interprets the first words out of Jesus mouth as an invitation away from paranoia and into metanoia. Or as Jesus and the prophets before him continuously proclaimed, “have no fear,” “do not be afraid,” or “Fear NOT!” 366 times. Metanoia, come out of your fearful mind, move beyond fear, think new thoughts...
  • A Voice in the Dark

    by Jim McCrea
    Pat Dirken is a member of the Bethesda United Methodist Church in Bethesda, Maryland. Some years ago, he was surfing in the ocean when a large wave crashed him into the shoreline, breaking his spinal cord and transforming him into a quadriplegic. That led to months of physical therapy and strenuous work to rebuild his life, while he was confined to a wheelchair that he operates with just his breath. Amazingly, the result of all this is that he feels as if he is a new man. His experiences have strengthened his faith and reinforced his belief that God answers prayers. But, even so, he couldn’t quite make sense of why such a tragedy would happen to him. That is until his church introduced him to the Wounded Warrior Project. Once a month, members of Pat’s church go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to provide lunch to military personnel who have been injured in the war in Afghanistan and to their families. Pat accompanied them, offering a friendly heart and a kindred spirit. He was able to talk to the men in a way no one else could. Thinking about that, he says, “It’s a God thing. I feel called.”...

Other New Resources

Recommended Resources

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

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • Repentance and Sin

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • Dangerous Succession

    by D. Mark Davis
    (includes lots of Greek exegesis!)
  • *Jesus Calls Apostles

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("In her book An American Childhood, Annie Dillard remembers learning how to play football with the boys in the neighborhood--and loving it. "You went out for a pass, fooling everyone. Best, you got to throw yourself mightily at someone's running legs..." and other illustrations)
  • Do It Now!

    by Sil Galvan
    An adult education teacher once gave his class an assignment to go to someone they love before the following week's class and tell them that they loved them. They would then give their report at the next class. It had to be someone to whom they had never said those words before, or at least not for a very long time. At the next class, one man stood up and recounted his story to the class. "I was quite angry with you last week when you gave us this assignment. I felt that who were you to tell us to do something so personal? But as I was driving home, my conscience started talking to me. It was telling me that I knew exactly who I needed to say 'I love you' to. Five years ago, my father and I had a terrible argument which we have never resolved. We have avoided seeing each other unless it was absolutely necessary and even then we hardly spoke to each other. So last week by the time I had gotten home after class, I had convinced myself to tell my father that I loved him...
  • Homiletic Ideas (Ordinary 3B)

    by Sil Galvan
    There is a story about a Rolls Royce that stopped on a skid row street. A well-dressed, refined woman got out of that fine automobile and rushed into a dilapidated hotel nearby. She inquired about a certain man who was staying there. Informed of his room, she hurried on--impervious to the stares of the other residents of this run-down establishment. Finding the man's room, she courageously opened the door, where she found a dissipated man lying on a ripped mattress on a rusty iron bed. The man was her husband. He had been born in an iron worker's family. Totally undistinguished as a young person, he squeaked into the state college where he met this coed from a very wealthy family. Despite their differences, they became fast friends. Then they became more than friends. Finally, he was emboldened to seek her hand in marriage. She accepted! With ecstasy!! He proved to be acceptable to her family and he did well in the family business. Despite the ensuing successes, however, he began to have doubts about himself--whether he belonged in such a world and whether he deserved the success that was his. His lack of self-worth was complicated by a growing attachment to alcohol. He began a tragic slide that caused him to conclude that everyone would be better off without him. Eventually, he ended up diseased and alone. Word of his problems had somehow gotten to his wife, and she made this trip to find him dying. Hugging the fallen man to her breast she wept, repeating over and over, "Ronnie, I've always loved you! Why couldn't you believe me?"...
  • *Quotes on "Calling"

    Compiled by Frank Glenn
  • Epiphany 3B

    by Bill Loader
    (always good insights!)
  • Grief and Gospel: The Call

    by Andrew Prior
    "In our Lord's time, people chose a Rabbi to whom they would attach themselves. They chose the one they would follow, and from whom they would learn. We still do the same when we choose our heroes and life guides. This is not how it happens in Mark. Here, Jesus chooses his disciples, and little choice they have in the matter..."
  • Following

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ["Cheryl Strayed, in telling her own story of her 1500 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, which she undertook to redeem her life from the self-destructive course in which she had spent several years, and from the fear and rage that had lived in her heart since the sudden death of her beloved mother when Cheryl was only 20, writes about her commitment to this journey as a journey in itself, a journey that became part of her journey..." and another illustration and quote]
  • Exegetical Notes (Mark 1:14-20)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)
  • *Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Ordinary 3B)

    by Various Authors
    ("Mark Twain once spent a pleasant three weeks in the Maine woods. On his way home making himself comfortable in the train to New York, a sour-faced man sat down next to him, and the two struck up a conversation. 'Been to the woods, have ye?' asked the stranger..." and several more)

Illustrated Resources from 2018 to 2020

  • Imperfect People, Perfect Messengers

    by Jim Chern
    Lance Armstrong was a professional road racing cyclist - who had competed and won in all kinds of world-championship races, when in 1996, he was diagnosed with what was considered a potentially fatal form of cancer. He publicly fought the disease courageously and inspired millions around the world with his “Live Strong” foundation (people still wear those yellow wrist bands that he made famous). After recovering successfully from cancer, he returned to his previous passion for competitive racing and went on to win an unprecedented 7 Tour De France’s. He was the epitome of the feel-good story: being an inspiration to both athletes and to people struggling with illnesses. However, in midst of his successes, rumors that he was consuming some forms of banned substances kept circulating...
  • Minding Your Call

    by Amy Jacks Dean
    In her book The Preaching Life, Barbara Brown Taylor moves from her call at the age of 7 to be a “detective of divinity” to the various other calls in her life and she summarizes it all this way: “If my own experience can be trusted, then God does not call us once but many times. There are calls to faith and calls to ordination, but in between there are calls to particular communities and calls to particular tasks within them . . . calls to seek God wherever God may be found...
  • The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew

    Painting by Duccio
    Duccio (di Buoninsegna, ca. 1260–1319) captures this encounter in tempera for the two-sided Maestà altarpiece in the Cathedral at Siena, Italy (1308–1311). The style anticipates the Renaissance with an attempt at depth through modeling, contour, and compositional divisions. Christ stands on a rocky shore that is painted as a strong vertical on the left side of the picture...
  • The Culture of the Kingdom

    by Vince Gerhardy
    We have three lovely granddaughters whose mother is French. Her parents live in a small pretty French village in the Loire Valley. When we visit them, we need to do a rethink. Forget about our culture and the way we do things and totally immerse ourselves in everything that is French. From speaking only the French language, to how food is prepared, served and eaten, how you break not cut your baguettes, the way an aperitif is served before dinner, eat your evening meal over several hours with several courses and wine to suit each one, and enjoy large extended family gatherings sitting around a large table where there seems to be some kind of tradition happening as the food is served but not quite understanding what is really going on. What we experience is a totally different culture...
  • It's All About the Gathering

    by Owen Griffiths
    We in the US are a bunch of folks growing increasingly more isolated. We drive alone in our cars, spend incredible amounts of supposedly interpersonal time staring at the touch screens on our cellular devices, work in cubicles, and shut the world out with our ear buds. I go to my local Starbucks and see a table of millennials supposedly sitting together, yet each is half focused on a cell phone in his or her lap. Our technology, instead of pulling us together as was promised, is drawing us further apart as we each sink into the oblivion on our computer screens and hear only the voices we’ve chosen to hear...
  • Something Fishy's Going On

    by Jim McCrea
    We always approach to the ocean at its edge — where land and sea converse along a dynamic snaking line. Jesus lived along the edge of life — the place where things change. “I think he loved walking here, loved the feel of the salt sea against his sandaled feet. Maybe this day the wind was up, combing clouds into burls and strands. Men were fishing and mending nets. […] “Jesus saw the men, their boats pulling slowly against the sea. I expect he knew them — at least by sight — maybe more. This is where he grew up, by the Galilean Lake. They knew him too. He had been walking by the shore a lot lately. It got to be a habit.
  • The Beginning

    by David Russell
    In the old Wild West, a stranger arriving in town went to the saloon, which he immediately noticed was full of the toughest and meanest looking cowboys he’d ever seen. Tough and fearless himself, he strode in among them, hoisted himself up onto a barstool, and ordered a drink. He had hardly had time to take his first sip, however, when a man burst through the saloon doors, obviously in a panic. “Big Red is coming to town!!” he yelled. “Big Red is coming to town!!” On hearing this, the hard-bitten cowboys in the saloon were instantly terrified and ran screaming out the door. The stranger thought that was odd, but being genuinely fearless, he remained to finish his drink. About that time, he heard the saloon door swing open again, and turned to see a huge man, 7 feet tall, massively muscled, with long fiery red hair -- on his head, on his face, on his chest, on his arms -- and the meanest most evil face and eyes he had ever seen. And the stranger, who had never known fear, suddenly was very afraid. The floor of the saloon shook as this massive incarnation of evil walked up to the bar ordered a drink and threw it down his throat. Still shaking with fear, the formerly fearless stranger could think of only one thing: get on the good side of this monster. So he said to him, “Please allow me to buy you another drink.” “Another drink??!!” the fellow said. “I ain’t got time for another drink. Ain’t you heard? -- Big Red’s coming to town!!!” “After me comes one who is greater,” said John the Baptist...
  • God Calling

    by Leslie Scoopmire
    One of my favorite “comfort movies” is a sweet little gem from 2000 starring Edward Norton (who also directed), Ben Stiller, and Jenna Elfman called Keeping the Faith. The basic outline of the film is the friendship between Brian, a Roman Catholic priest, and Jake, an Orthodox rabbi, whose lives are turned upside down when their childhood friend Anna, a hotshot corporate executive on the rise, comes back into their lives after moving away when they were all in middle school. Immediately, a love triangle ensues, yet through all the emotional and romantic turbulence, we also get a surprising meditation on the persistence of call, and of the importance both of friendship and also of religious faith among a generation whose religious commitments are often (wrongly, in my opinion) denigrated as being shallow-to-nonexistent. For both Brian and Jake, their love for Anna causes them to question their call. Obviously, for Brian, his (unrequited) feelings for Anna are out of the question, and cause him to question his calling as a priest. Yet Jake, also, faces problems in his Orthodox congregation (and in his family) at his potential relationship with a non-Jewish woman. Each of them ends up re-examining their sense of call and vocation, Anna included...
  • Decentering Ourselves

    by Kimble Parker Sorrells
    In his book, The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer contrasts this costly grace with cheap grace saying, “Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again…. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.”...
  • The Personal Touch

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    Jerry Rice was the longtime star for the San Francisco 49ers, considered one of the greatest receivers in the history of football; he played for the 49ers for 15 years, 1985 to 2000. Tonight he will be playing for the Raiders. He is a famous athlete and you would think he came from some legendary college team but he didn't. He played for Mississippi Valley State University, in Itta Bena, Mississippi, a virtual unknown. He was once asked, "Why did you attend a small, obscure university like Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Mississippi?" Rice responded, "Out of all the big-time schools (such as UCLA) to recruit me, MVSU was the only school to come to my house and give me a personal visit."
  • Fishing for People

    by Debie Thomas
    In his book, Binding the Strong Man, theologian and activist Ched Myers argues that we narrow and distort the radical nature of this text when we interpret it as an invitation to issue altar calls. Jesus was not talking about filling pews or baptismal fonts; he was hearkening back to the Hebrew scriptures, in which “the hooking of fish” is a euphemism for judgment upon the rich (Amos 4:2) and the powerful (Ezekiel 29:4). In other words, when Jesus asked Simon, Andrew, James, and John to “fish for people,” he was asking them to cast aside the existing social order of power, privilege, exploitation, and domination, and to help usher in God’s kingdom — a kingdom of justice for the poor, mercy for the oppressed, and abundance for all.
  • Follow the Leader

    by Peter Thompson
    Theologian Victor Lee Austin offers the example of a symphony orchestra. It is possible, he admits, for music to be made without a conductor. If the instrumentalists are skilled and dedicated enough, they may be able to perform some solos or intimate chamber music on their own. But an entire symphony orchestra, consisting of dozens of instrumentalists, cannot perform successfully unless a conductor is present to coordinate and shape the instrumentalists’ playing effectively. A conductor-less orchestra would almost certainly devolve into chaos. As much as members of an orchestra may dislike or disagree with a particular conductor, they still need someone to conduct them. “Authority enhances what the musicians are capable of doing freely,” Austin explains, “by promoting their good as distinct musicians and by making it possible for them to participate in the complex good of music played together.”...
  • Follow Me

    by David Sellery
    Father Mychal Judge made that leap of faith on 9/11. As a New York City Fire Department Chaplain, he followed Jesus to the World Trade Center. But before he did, he left us this prayer: “Lord, take me where you want me to go. Let me meet who you want me to meet. Tell me what you want me to say. And keep me out of your way.” Father Judge put his faith in Christ and followed him home to glory in the company of so many other 9/11 heroes...

Illustrated Resources from 2015 to 2017

  • A Kingdom Already Ours

    by Tom Cox
    ["This kingdom of God despised hypocrisy and moved with compassion in the face of suffering. It didn't remove it - it responded. This kingdom is not something in the far future that will pop up suddenly with God sweeping aside all earthly rulers. It's in you and among you; you have to do it or it will never come..."]
  • The Southern Cross

    by Vince Gerhardy
    (" On May 31, 1928, a three-engine Fokker monoplane took off from San Francisco, to attempt the first crossing of the Pacific Ocean by air. The pilot was Charles Kingsford Smith and his crew of 3 flew their plane the Southern Cross to Sydney in 10 days. What made this flight so amazing was the equipment they had to navigate such a long distance. Radar was unheard of at that time, the radio was very basic, and there were very few air navigation instruments. Most of the navigating was done with charts, compass, clock and sheer reckoning...")
  • Moving Forward/Embracing the Tension

    by Kate Huey
    (includes several quotes)
  • Gone Fishing

    by Janet Hunt
    ("It helps to know what you're fishing for. Some kinds of 'bait' attract one kind of fish --- and others attract another. And yet, people are less predictable than fish. I remember, for instance, a mission developer I worked with some time ago. Ken had been called to plant a church on the edge of a retirement community and so before their first worship he had focused all of his energy on inviting people over the age of 60. At their first gathering, though, they had as many young families with children as they did retirees...")
  • Call to Action

    by Jen Krausz
    ("The social media site Facebook now boasts some 1 billion plus users worldwide. It is the most used social media site in existence. By comparison, 100 million users log into Twitter at least once a month. Internet marketers discovered years ago that Facebook could be used to sell products. Although Facebook is and has always been free, advertisements appear in the sidebars, and increasingly, in the 'suggested' or 'promoted' posts that show up in users' news feeds of recent posts...")
  • What's Amazing

    by Nicholas Lang
    ("William Willimon, former Dean of the Chapel at Duke University, describes the night a fraternity invited him to give the required talk on 'Character and College'. He went to the frat house, knocked on the door which was answered by a young boy of about nine or ten. 'What is a kid doing over here at this time of the night?' he thought...")
  • New Use for Nets

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    In the 1990s artist Janet Echelman picked up fishing nets. In Mahabalipuram, India, to be precise. Spending a Fulbright year in India, Echelman had shipped her painting supplies ahead of her arrival. But they never arrived. Struck by the art and design qualities of the local fishing nets, she began to formulate what would be a new sculptural language by suspending and coloring the nets.
  • Credite Evangelio

    by Steve Pankey
    ["Diana Butler Bass, in her book Christianity After Religion puts it this way: 'To believe' in Latin (the shaping language for much of Western theological thought) is opinor, opinari, meaning "opinion," which was not typically a religious word. Instead, Latin used credo, 'I set my heart upon' or 'I give my loyalty to,' as the word to describe religious 'believing,'..."]
  • The Promised Nearness

    by Larry Patten
    ("Of the many things I enjoy about working in a hospice is being around staff members who believe in God, and believe about God, differently from me. Though I have no statistics for proof, I suspect the workforce in hospice—whether the highly educated physicians or the underpaid and overworked home health aides—claims a larger percentage of people influenced by their religious faith than those in other careers. Everyone in hospice, even the administrative staff that may never meet the patients or families, is continuously confronted by death...")
  • Jesus Begins the Journey

    by Andrew Prior
    (includes several quotes)
  • Following Jesus: Be Ready for Some Surprises

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("John of the Cross, the great Spanish mystic, said that we imitate Jesus when we try to imitate his motivation, when we try to do things for the same reason he did. For him, that is how one 'puts on Christ'. We enter real discipleship when, like Jesus, we have as our motivation the desire ('proper regnum Dei') to draw all things into one—into one unity of heart, one family of love....")
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Call

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Repentance

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources from 2012 to 2014

  • A Call Worthy of Their Lives

    by Greg Carey
    ("My friend Selina Man owns a small chocolate-themed restaurant in Lititz, Pennsylvania. With a Princeton Ph.D. in economics, she found herself unfulfilled by Wall Street's big money. So she abandoned that life for the global Fair Trade retail business. After a year of that, she founded Café Chocolate with a business model that emphasizes full participation by employees...")
  • Are You an Evangelical?

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("Pope Benedict XVI talks about this word euanggelion and how it elucidates the paean of praise to Caesar Augustus. In his book Jesus of Nazareth, he writes: 'Both Evangelists designate Jesus' preaching with the Greek term evangelion — but what does that actually mean?...")
  • It's Your Call!

    by Robin Crabb
    ("Each year, Thom and I give the gift of a day at Safeco Field to our niece Katie for her birthday. The first year, when Katie was 9 or 10, we 'adults' hooted and hollered: 'It's grand salami time!' and 'Edddd-garrrrr!' No shrinking violet, Katie piped up to each new batter, 'YOU CAN DO IT!'...")
  • Bigger Fish to Fry

    by Kathy Donley
    After President Lyndon Johnson left office, talking about the war in Vietnam, he said, "I never felt I had the luxury of re-examining my basic assumptions. Once the decision to commit military force was made, all our energies were turned to vindicating that choice and finding a way somehow to make it work."[2] Regardless of what we think about Johnson’s presidency, we can probably sympathize with his predicament. We have each made decisions that have set us on a certain path, and in the midst of our busyness, it is hard to stop and re-evaluate, re-examine the basic assumptions that got us where we are. Some courses of action that might get us off the hamster wheel never occur to us because we are so busy running. Our way of living might be killing us, but it’s the only life we know. Here at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus calls people to repent, to reflect, reconsider, re-examine our lives in the light of his good news...
  • Epiphany 3B (2012)

    by Ben Helmer
    ("A woman who grew up in her hometown church remembers going forward to the altar as a young teenager to make her public decision for Christ. She said she believed at the time that was it: her life would be different and better. But she said she did not realize how often she would have to re-make that decision to follow Jesus in light of things that happened to her....")
  • Following Jesus As If Our Lives Depended on It

    by Janet Hunt
    ("I was reminded of this journey as I made my way home from O'Hare Airport in snow and rush hour traffic the other night. It was a hard drive but didn't begin to compared to one I took many years ago when I was serving my seminary internship in Wahoo, Nebraska. I had traveled to Marshalltown, Iowa for a couple of days to visit my sister, Martha. While there an April snowstorm hit...")
  • Oklahoma Love Letters

    by Terrance Klein
    ("Klein had grown up in Weatherford, Oklahoma. She played the organ in the Methodist Church. Grandpa Klein had been a harvest worker, following the Winter Red Wheat harvest from Texas up into the Dakotas. They met one summer as he passed through Weatherford. He wrote her letters after he moved on, and the next summer, come harvest, they got married. The gospels are like that..")
  • Personally Invited

    from Lectionary Tales
    As a great star in the NFL, you would think that Jerry Rice must have come from some legendary college team like Notre Dame or the University of Miami. But he didn't. He played for tiny Mississippi Valley State University - an NCAA Division 1-AA school in Itta Bena, Mississippi. Ever hear of it?...
  • What Could Make You Happy?

    by Rick Miles
    Gorham Williams spent most of his life as a missionary in India. It was 1945. WWII continued to rage, but the sea lanes had finally opened up. Williams was preparing for a long-delayed trip home to the United States. He had purchased his passage tickets, and was counting down the days, when he was suddenly alerted to the plight of a group of German Jews nearby who had escaped the wrath of the Nazis. The Indian government had denied their request to immigrate, but had allowed them to shelter temporarily in the lofts of some dockside buildings at the wharf where they had landed. The conditions were wretched, but they were still better than an extermination camp. It was Christmas Eve when Williams heard about these Jews. Immediately he went to the dock, entered the first building and called out, “Merry Christmas! What would you like for Christmas?” You know, they teach us now in cultural sensitivity classes that this is not the best way to win friends in a Jewish community. The response, as you might imagine was slow. “We’re Jewish,” someone finally called out. “I know,” the unsensitized Williams persisted, “but what would you like for Christmas?” The weary and still wary German Jews tentatively replied, “Well, it’s been a long time since we’ve had something good from home. We would like some German pastries.” At that, Williams sold his ticket home, found a baker who knew how to make German pastries, and bought more than anyone in those parts had ever seen. Then he carried them in large baskets to the docks to what became their very grateful recipients; who I understand then explained to Williams the meaning of Chanukah. Years later, Williams told this story to a group of seminary students. One brash young man reprimanded him. “You shouldn’t have done that. They weren’t even Christians.” “No, they weren’t,” Williams replied. “But I am.” Gorham Williams cared most for what God wanted, and did it...
  • Preaching the RCL

    from Ministry Matters
  • Gone Fishing

    by Lance Moore
    ("One of my favorite movies is a slapstick comedy titled Gone Fishin starring Danny Glover and Joe Pesci as two fools whose only passion in life is to fish. They do some fishing, they battle some alligators, they wreck some boats, but the interesting thing is they never catch a fish the entire movie!...")
  • *Epiphany 3B (2012)

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("There is a novel called The Power and the Glory; and it describes the life of a priest during the great atheist persecution in Mexico in the 1930's, when a fascist regime attempted to annihilate the Church in Mexico through persecution. Thousands of priests and nuns were shot; many more simply gave up the faith for their own protection. Only a few persevered....")
  • As Is

    by Larry Patten
    ("A friend designed our rings, depicting John 15's "I am the true vine…" on the outside with its affirmation of the relationship between of Creator and creation. But on the inside, the etched words now faded from wear, is this promise: . Those two words declared our good news for and with each other. When we joined in marriage, we vowed to take each other as ise")
  • Blessing the Nets

    by Jan Richardson
    ("You could cast it in your sleep, its familiar arc embedded in your muscle memory after months years a lifetime of gathering in what you thought would sustain you forever. You would not have imagined it would be so easy to cast aside, would never have believed the immediacy with which your hands could release their familiar grip, could let it go, could let it simply continue its arcing path away from you...")
  • Re-Imaging Jesus

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("Philip Cunningham wrote a book on Jesus that he accurately entitled A Believer's Search for the Jesus of History. What Cunningham does, and does very well, is to summarize the research of the major academic books on Christ that have been written in the last ten years as these pertain to what can be said about the actual person of Jesus...")
  • Transformation to the Light

    from Sermons on the Gospel
    Once upon a time, a diamond was born. He was nothing striking, but rather rough, like the rest of his family. He lived in the darkness and was very content to do just that. As a young diamond he heard tales of how some of his ancestors had left the darkness to a place of light, but that didn't concern him. One day he began to hear noise in the distance, and it came progressively closer...
  • Is Anybody Listening?

    by Melissa Bane Sevier
    ("One of our cars is equipped with Bluetooth technology. When we purchased the car, I'd already been using a Bluetooth earpiece for years, but I expected the new hands-free-just-push-a-button-on-the-steering-wheel device would be even safer, so I sat in the parking lot to learn how to use it. That was a good thing, because it didn't work out so well the first few tries...")

Illustrated Resources from 2009 to 2011

  • Are You Ready for Launch?

    by Mickey Anders
    ("When I thought about launching into the ministry of a new year, I visualized a fighter jet launching sitting on the deck of an aircraft carrier, ready to launch. I got so excited about that visual image that I went out and bought the movie Top Gun...)
  • A Big Fish Story

    by Bob Cornwall
    In The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway told the story of Santiago the fisherman. Santiago was an old and experienced fisherman, but at one point he’d gone out to sea eighty-four straight times without catching a thing. He would have given up, except this young boy kept cajoling him and encouraging him to keep going in the hope of making that last big catch. Yes, it was that boy’s faith in his fishing abilities that pushed him further out to sea, far beyond the usual boundaries, in the hope of success. As the story goes, one day Santiago’s luck changed...
  • Disciples Making a Difference

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("There was a man, a graduate of one of the world's best universities. He had a promising future. He could have become quite wealthy and lived a comfortable life. But he went to India and lived among and worked with the poorest of the poor helping especially orphans to be educated, to reach a point where they could take care of themselves and even help others...")
  • Decisions

    by George Hermanson
    ("I am reading Kathleen Norris book called Acedia and Me. It is a study in how spiritual reflection helps overcome our tendency to say why bother. Our society tends to suggest two different and contradictory calls. The first is our sense of worth is dependent on what we accomplish, the present is but a prelude to a more important future...")
  • Living Life Beyond the Heresy Called Complacency

    by Rex Hunt
    Scholar Ched Myers, in his comments on this story, offers an important and different interpretation, which suggests phrases like ‘fishers of men’ and ‘hooking of fish’ are (Hebrew prophets) euphemisms for judgement upon the rich. Myers says initially: “Taking this mandate for his own, Jesus is inviting common folk to join him in his struggle to overturn the existing order of power and privilege”. And again: “...following Jesus requires not just assent of the heart, but a fundamental reordering of socio-economic relationships. The first step in dismantling the dominant social order is to overturn the ‘world’ of the disciple... This is not a call ‘out’ of the world, but into an alternative social practice.”...
  • The Gospel According to Rabbie

    by Pastor Liz
    ("Just what is it that keeps the myth of Robert Burns alive? What is it that turns his followers into a worldwide cult perpetuating the wisdom he penned in a very short life some 250 years later?...")
  • What About the Others?

    by Philip McLarty
    ("Charles Page is an archeologist and Bible scholar who's spent most of his life in the Holy Land. He's the author of the book The Bible and the Land. Based on geography and a little common sense, he imagines that, as a young man, Jesus may have made numerous trips to Capernaum. It's a relatively short distance, and, growing up in a remote village like Nazareth, that's where the action was...")
  • *Follow Me

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("Jesuit schools are famous for their iron discipline. Amongst our teachers was Brother X, a young Jesuit in training what we call a 'scholastic'. He was a good and holy man, but as he would admit, he wasn't the best at maintaining discipline...")
  • Hooked

    by Jan Richardson
    ("Thomas Merton, the famed Trappist monk of the 20th century, once took a picture that he titled The Only Known Photograph of God. The picture was of a meat hook. I keep thinking of this stark image, and Merton’s title, as I ponder this Sunday’s gospel lection, in which Mark offers his version of Jesus’ call to the kindred fishermen Simon and Andrew...")
  • *Are You Better at Wearing or Bearing Crosses?

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("How would you describe a color to someone who had been blind since birth? What can you say about 'blue' or 'red' or 'green' to someone who has no concept of color, of bright, light, or dark?...")
  • The Master Fisherman

    by Curtis Tilleraas
    ("I recently read an article about some pelicans in California. If you've ever seen pelicans in action, you know they're great fishermen, or fisher-birds, I guess. These pelicans were hanging out near a fleet of fishing boats. The fishermen on the boats would pull into the little harbor, and clean the fish right on the spot, throwing the heads and the rest into the water...")
  • Epiphany 3B (2009)

    by Katerina Whitley
    ("The remarkable American anthropologist and medical doctor, Paul Farmer, responded to a conviction that all human beings on earth deserve medical care. Together with four other doctors he founded Partners in Health, and in the process is changing the lives of the poorest of the poor...")
  • An Encounter with Jesus

    by Tim Zingale
    ("There was a little girl who had a very large collection of dolls heaped on her bed. A guest in her room one day asked herd 'Do you love dolls?'. Then with tender loving care she spread out the whole collection for the guest to inspect and admire...")

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

  • It's About Time

    by Robert Allred
    ("Stephen Hawking is widely known as the most intelligent and informed person alive; albeit, he is in a wheel chair and has to type on a computer keyboard through a breath straw. Hawking, a theist, has re-written his former book A Brief History of Time, with a new title, A Briefer History of Time...")
  • Go Fish

    by Mickey Anders
    ("On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur there was once a crude little life-saving station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea...")
  • Sharing God's Love with Open Arms

    by Barbara Beam
    ("Cesareo Gabarain was a Spanish priest and author of a number of beautiful hymns. Perhaps his most loved work is Pescador de Hombres, Fisher of Men. It was originally written in Spanish, but the English lyrics have much to say to us today: 'You have come down to the lakeshore seeking neither the wise nor the wealthy, But only asking for me to follow...")
  • Epiphany 3B (2006)

    by Hubert Beck
    "In C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Mr. Beaver tells the four children who sit at his feet hearing about the Lion who will come to save Narnia from its unending winter, 'Course he isn’t safe! But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you...."
  • Time Is Running Out

    by Phil Bloom
    ("You have probably heard of the nineteenth century Russian novelist, Feodor Dostoevsky. He wrote The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment and other wonderful novels. As a young man, Dostoevsky got involved with a group of subversives who were arrested and imprisoned...")
  • *The Invitation

    by John Bluett
    ("Try to imagine throwing a party - maybe for the Superbowl or for a birthday. Think about sending out the invitations and getting the place all ready. Imagine buying all the food and drinks and putting everything out, all ready for your guests...")
  • Epiphany 3B (2006)

    from the Center for Excellence in Preaching
    ("Don't you wish sometimes you could have been there, could have seen them in person? I mean the disciples and, of course, Jesus himself. You hear people say things like that once in a while. Wouldn't it have been something to have been able to meet Peter, to shake Matthew's hand...")
  • When Chronos Meets Kairos

    by Dan Clendenin
    ("Part of King's many-faceted genius was his recognition that chronos, mere clock time—the passage of days, weeks, and years, no matter how long or short, no matter how trivial or important—is no match for kairos, that unique or opportune moment of God's visitation...")
  • A Swift Kick and the Window Opens

    by Winifred Collin
    ("It was the summer of 1959. At a resort in Northern California. Just out of college a young man gets a job that combines being the night desk clerk at the resort and helping with the horses in the stable. The owner-manager is Swiss/Italian with European notions about conditions of employment...")
  • *But First…

    by Tom Cox
    ("too many of us suffer from 'but first' syndrome. You know, it's when you decide to do the laundry, start down the hall and notice that unread Sunday newspaper. OK, it's laundry time – but first I'll read the newspaper...")
  • Superficial Choices or Deep Freedom

    by Gawain de Leeuw
    "The film Trainspotting opens with a memorable monologue from Mark Renton, its lead character: Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a ... big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers..."
  • A Two-fold Calling

    by Richard Fairchild
    ("Rick Warren, in the book The Purpose Driven Church writes: Small ministries often make the greatest difference. The most important light in my home is not the large chandelier in our dining room, but the little nightlight that keeps me from stubbing my toe...")
  • *Going Fishing

    by Frank Fisher
    ("Pastor Pyre E. Brimstone led off the discussion by showing his colleagues his congregation's flashy new tracts. 'The multicolor printing was really expensive, and I had to really sell my design to the church board,' he said proudly. 'But I think it was worth every penny.'...")
  • Fishing for People

    by Eric Funston
    ("The poet Don Marquis has written, rather correctly, I think: 'Our idea of fishing is to put all the exertion up to the fish. If they are ambitious, we will catch them. If they are not, we let them go about their business.'...")
  • In the Hands of Amateurs

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("I received a phone call first thing one morning. The person on the line said with obvious excitement, 'I need to see you. Come over this morning. I need to have breakfast and have my hair done. So how does eleven o’clock sound?' I agreed to go over to her house. I had learned sometime before that she was not a person to be trifled with...")
  • Ordinary 3B (2006)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("'We can go to Ireland for the summer', a mother and father announced to their children at this time of the year not so long ago. The response was underwhelming. The older teen said the Irish are creepy people, they talk all the time and they talk funny...")
  • Follow, Follow, Follow

    by J. Bennett Guess
    ("In 1960 the off-Broadway classic The Fantastiks debuted in front of widely approving audiences. The best known song from that popular musical was Try to Remember, a sentimental ballad written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, which is still a crowd favorite at sing-along piano bars and among any of us who consider ourselves to be Broadway divas...")
  • *Epiphany 3B (2003)

    by Roger Haugen
    ("I will always remember the movie The Karate Kid. The boy wants to be a disciple of the great Karate master and all he seems to be doing is washing and waxing cars and painting fences...")
  • *Called to Change

    by Mark Haverland
    ("Have you been following the saga of Joy Lee Sadler, the Waterloo nurse just released from serving a four-month sentence in Banda, Indonesia? She seems about as ordinary a person as Iowa produces. But she went off to a far away land, as Jonah eventually did, to bring the love of God to people hardly any of us knows about and even fewer people in the world care about...")
  • *Ordinary People Becoming the Dream

    by Donald Hoffman
    ("The African Violet Queen of Milwaukee began as a rich widow, depressed and lonely. The only place she ever went was church, and she never spoke to anyone there. Her family asked an acquaintance to visit in her home. He noticed that she had two or three little pots with African violets growing in them..." and other illustrations)
  • The Good News of God

    by James Kegel
    ("Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn't find his ticket, so he reached in his other pocket. It wasn't there, so he looked in his briefcase but couldn't find it...")
  • Goin' Fishin'

    by David Leininger
    ("An old-timer sat on the river bank, obviously awaiting a nibble, though the fishing season had not officially opened. A uniformed officer stood behind him quietly for several minutes. 'You the game warden?' the old-timer inquired. 'Yup.' Unruffled, the old man began to move the fishing pole from side to side..." and other illustrations)
  • Where You Never Expected to Be

    by Thomas Long
    ("one of the deepest human hungers that we have is to be called for. And one of the deepest human fears that we have is that there is no one out there who cares enough about us to call for us..." and other illustrations)
  • Body Art

    by Tim Lusk
    ("In Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen tells a story about her Kenyan cook, Kamante: One night, after midnight, [Kamante] suddenly walked into my bedroom with a hurricane-lamp in his hand, silent, as if on duty. He spoke to me very solemnly. 'I think that you had better get up. I think that God is coming.'..." and another illustration)
  • Making the Ordinary, Extraordinary

    by Ben Manning
    ("When a car skidded on wet pavement and struck a light pole, several bystanders ran over to help the driver. A woman was the first to reach the victim, but a man rushed in and pushed her aside. 'Step aside, lady,' he barked. 'I've taken a course in first aid.'...")
  • Fishing for Christ

    by Edward Markquart
    ("We know that the symbol of the church is a fish, in the Greek language, ICTHUS. If you take the first letter of the following words, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, you get the Greek word, ICTHUS, which means fish..." and other illustrations)
  • Called! Now What?

    by David Martyn
    ("The call of Jesus was described by Albert Schweitzer in this way, 'He comes to us as One unknown, without a name, as of old, by the lakeside, He came to those who knew Him not. He speaks to us the same word: "Follow thou me!"...")
  • A Fountain That Flows Good and Evil

    by Jack McKinney
    "Things have changed at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Billy is no longer running the show. The mantle has been passed to his son, Franklin. But that is not the only thing that is different. William Martin, the journalist who wrote the official biography of Billy Graham twenty years ago, recently visited Billy as he prepared to preach to 82,000 young people in Dallas..."
  • An Easy Burden

    by William McKinney
    ("This past week I have been reading the newly published memoirs of Andrew Young. He titles his book . Andrew Young's story is a remarkable one. Born in new Orleans into a middle-class Black family, he attended Hartford Seminary and became a minister in the United Church of Christ...")
  • Fishers of Men

    by Philip McLarty
    ("The story is told of a woman named Sarah who'd just graduated from seminary. She was seeking her first call, hoping for a young and growing suburban church. Instead, she accepted a call from an old, declining church in the inner city. Right off, she began to wonder if this was God's will. Her congregation was made up of mostly older women...")
  • The Main Event

    by Paul Nuechterlein
    ("Many Christians of today have come to believe in such a dramatic event called the Rapture, for example. The Left Behind series of Christian novels has spawned a phenomenon of books sold in the tens of millions, and in a series of movies...")
  • Temptation Does Not Mean The Devil Made Me Do It

    by William Oldland
    ("One of the favorite shows in our house as I grew up was The Flip Wilson Variety Show. I remember the family gathering in the den to see what antics and characters Flip Wilson would develop next. One of our favorite characters that Flip played was Geraldine...")
  • To Respond as the Disciples Did

    by William Oldland
    ("Friday morning I saw part of an interesting show on The History Channel. The show was a live auction of the memorabilia of one of the world's greatest magicians and escape artists, Harry Houdini...")
  • Have I Got Some News For You!

    by Ray Osborne
    ("I will never forget my Uncle telling of a time when he was sitting in the waiting room of the 'Birthing Center' at North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem. This wasn't your ordinary - run of the mill - Birthing Center. This is the place people go who are having multiple births...")
  • The Gains of Our Loss

    by John Pavelko
    ("To enjoy a gain requires the pain of a loss. The quandary of choice was amply put into words by the rock group, the Loving Spoonfuls: Did you ever have to make up your mind Pick up on one and leave the other behind...")
  • When Left Behind

    by John Pavelko
    "Neil Perry was a young man attending the exclusive, Welton Academy in Vermont. He was a bright student whose father wanted him to become a doctor. Neil was not sure what he would like to do with his life but in dutiful obedience he conformed to his father’s wishes by diligently applying himself to his pre-med academic studies..."
  • *Changing Your Mind

    by Glenn Pease
    ("A mother calling to her son shouted, 'Johnny, tell your sister to get in the house out of the rain'. 'I can't mom,' came the reply. 'And just why can't you?' demanded his mother...")
  • Our First Calling

    by Julie Pennington-Russell
    (" In Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Will Ferrell plays the role of Ricky Bobby, the most successful driver on the NASCAR circuit. But Ricky Bobby has these fatal flaws--he's just morally and ethically bankrupt...")
  • Finding the Way

    by Michael Phillips
    (includes several quotes)
  • Shrewd Selfishness

    by Gerry Pierse, CSsR
    ("Albert Camus, in his book THE FALL, tells the story of a successful Paris lawyer, Jean Baptiste Clamence. He is above reproach in his professional life. He has never accepted a bribe or stooped to a shady deal. He takes up the cause of the poor and defenseless free of charge...")
  • *God Is Our Father

    by Ron Saunders
    ("When she was just a little girl, her father abandoned the family, left her mother and the four kids. Until she celebrated her 18th birthday, she thought he was dead. Through all those years, she never spoke to him or saw him. Her Aunt Emma, her father's sister, told her that her dad was alive...")
  • *Traveling Light

    by Norm Seli
    ("I was cleaning up yesterday. Closets, basements… that kind of stuff. Trying to thin out the mess. You see, I’m something of a pack rat… but if you’ve seen my office you know that. I don’t travel light...")
  • GOOD News for a Change!

    by Martin Singley
    ("I’m holding in my hands here one of the most powerful devices known to man. And I do mean, MAN. Not manKIND or humankind as a generic form of the word intended to include both men and women. I mean MAN…..MEN, MALES, creatures of the MASCULINE persuasion. And this most powerful device is - a remote control!..." and other good illustrations)
  • Show and Tell

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("Do you remember in school? That's where you would bring something you thought was really cool, show it to the class and then tell them where you got it and why you thought it was so cool. Well, I almost flunked ...")
  • Following the Joy

    by Alex Thomas
    ("I think Andrew would say with Martin Luther King Jr: 'Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition...")
  • The Master Fisherman

    by Curtis Tilleraas
    The Reverend Dr. Gary Nicolosi has written the following reflection. He says, “I recently read an article about some pelicans in California. If you’ve ever seen pelicans in action, you know they’re great fishermen, or fisher-birds, I guess. These pelicans were hanging out near a fleet of fishing boats. The fishermen on the boats would pull into the little harbor, and clean the fish right on the spot, throwing the heads and the rest into the water. The pelicans picked up on this, and began eating the leftovers without having to go out fishing. And if you’re a pelican, that’s good eating. So for weeks, they just sat by the harbor and waited for the fishing boats to come in. After a while, the fishermen found out they could sell the fish waste, and so they stopped chucking it into the water. The pelicans were caught unprepared. They continued to sit and wait for the fishing boats to come in and throw free food in the water. And they grew thinner and thinner and seemed able to do nothing about their situation. Wildlife officials came to check out what was going on, and concluded that the pelicans had forgotten how to fish. So what they did was to bring pelicans in from another area to join the flock and teach the starving birds how to fish again.”...
  • Disciples

    Poem by Steve Turner
    ("They threw down their nets and they followed Him. There was no time to calculate profit or loss. There was no time to call home for a second opinion. It seemed like absolute madness. It seemed like death...")
  • I'd Rather Be Sailing

    by Keith Wagner
    ("One time there was a high school in the inner city of Philadelphia that was wanting to improve it’s basketball program. It seems they could never win any games. A new coach was hired and he was convinced that the school had adequate talent...")
  • Spreading Our Wings

    by Keith Wagner
    ("There is an episode in Peanuts, by Charles Schultz, where Charlie Brown and his friends are playing baseball. Charlie Brown is at bat. The umpire calls 'Strike Three' and Charlie Brown strikes out...")
  • Give Jonah a Break

    by Todd Weir
    ("This kind of immediacy was captured in a TV show I used to watch called Early Edition. The basic concept of the show is that an average guy with a good heart and modest prospects receives an early edition of the Chicago Sun Times every morning that tells not the news of yesterday, but what is actually going to happen today...")
  • *You've Made a Disciple

    by William Willimon
    ("Willimon, a University Chaplain, tells about the time he got a call from a parent who was very upset because his graduate school bound daughter had just informed him that she was going to go do mission work with the Presbyterians in Haiti. 'Isn’t that absurd!' shouted the father. 'A Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and she’s going to dig ditches in Haiti.'...")
  • Illustrations (Epiphany 3B)(2006)

    by Tim Zingale
    ("Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962), the world-famous violinist, earned a fortune with his concerts and compositions, but he generously gave most of it away. So, when he discovered an exquisite violin on one of his trips, he wasn't able to buy it. Later, having raised enough money to meet the asking price, he returned to the seller, hoping to purchase that beautiful instrument. But to his great dismay it had been sold to a collector...")
  • A Sense of Calling

    by Tim Zingale
    ("In her book, A Man Called Peter, Catherine Marshall tells how her late preacher-husband felt a sense of destiny, a sense of call in his life. One dark night, Peter Marshall, then a young man, decided to take a shortcut across the Scottish moors. He knew there was a deep deserted limestone. quarry in that area, but he was confident he could avoid it. Suddenly, he heard someone call, 'Peter' there was great urgency in the voice...")

Other Resources from 2018 to 2020

Other Resources from 2012 to 2014

Other Resources from 2009 to 2011

Other Resources from 2006 to 2008

Other Resources from 2003 to 2005

Other Resources from 2000 to 2002

Other Resources from the Archives

Resources from the Bookstore

Children's Resources and Dramas

The Classics

Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable

  • Commentario

    por Jaime Sancho Andreu
  • Commentario

    por Doug Avilesbernal
  • Caught Up in Christ

    by Sarah Buteux
  • Gospel Activities

  • Superficial Choices or Deep Freedom

    by Gawain de Leeuw
    ("The film Trainspotting opens with a memorable monologue from Mark Renton, its lead character: Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a ... big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers...")
  • Domingo 3

    por Richard Donovan
  • The Master's Call

    by J. David Hoke
  • Follow Me

    by Kate Huey
    (includes several quotes)
  • What Was He Thinking?

    (Poetic Homily by Michael Kennedy)
  • The Miracle Continues

    by Nicholas Lang
    ("William Willimon, former Dean of the Chapel at Duke University, tells the story of the night a campus fraternity invited him to give a talk, a requirement of all Duke fraternities. The topic was Character and College..." and other quotes)
  • An Attitude of Discipleship: Responsive

    by John and Robin McCullough-Bade
  • A Fountain That Flows Good and Evil

    by Jack McKinney
    ("Things have changed at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Billy is no longer running the show. The mantle has been passed to his son, Franklin. But that is not the only thing that is different. William Martin, the journalist who wrote the official biography of Billy Graham twenty years ago, recently visited Billy as he prepared to preach to 82,000 young people in Dallas...")
  • All Apostles Are Unlikely

    by William O'Malley, SJ
    ("It's exactly the same situation as all great stories: When Frodo Baggins is toasting his hairy feet, and Gandalf raps on his door with an unsettling invitation. When Obiwan Kenobi sidles up to Luke Skywalker and asks if they might talk about The Evil Empire...")
  • Growth Through Dark Nights

    by Ron Rolheiser
    ("Positive disintegration. Isn't that an oxymoron? It would seem not. A canon of wisdom drawn from the scriptures of all the major world religions, mystical literature, philosophy, psychology, and human experience tells us that the journey to maturity and compassion is extremely paradoxical and that mostly we grow by falling apart...")
  • Destinations Unknown

    by Keith Wagner
  • The God-Provoked Life

    by Carlos Wilton
    ("What do you think of when you hear the word 'provocative'? How would you define it? Well, you might use it to describe a TV show you'd just watched, or a book you'd just read, as in: 'That talk-show guest – or that author – makes a provocative argument.' More often, you hear the word used in another sense...")
  • The Time at Hand

    by Kathy Donley
    Barbara Brown Taylor, Episcopal priest and writer, talks about a time when she struggled with her sense of call. She could not figure out what it was that God wanted her to do and be. Did God want her to be a writer? Did God want her to be a priest or a social worker or a teacher? She simply did not know. And in her frustrations and exasperation, one midnight, she fell down on her knees in prayer and said, “OK, God. You need to level with me. What do you want me to be? What do you want me to do?” She said that she felt a very powerful response, God saying, “Do what pleases you. Belong to me, but do what pleases you.”[5] She said it struck her as very strange that God’s call could actually touch that place of greatest joy, that she could be called to the thing that pleases her the most...v
  • Ambivalencias de la Llamada

    por John Kavanaugh, SJ
  • Take This Job and Shove It

    by Richard Bryant
    John Paycheck was the ultimate working man’s balladeer. He did prison time for shooting man in a bar. Paycheck was the real deal. He played with Willie Nelson and George Jones. His biggest hit was a song called, “Take This Job and Shove It” (written by David Alan Coe). I tell you the story of Johnny Paycheck and his song because I picture him, a hard working guy, an old country listening guy, working on his fishing boat, when I picture the story of Jesus calling his first disciples. When I read about the speed and decision the disciples walked away from their lives as fisherman, I can’t help but hear a bit of Johnny Paycheck singing in the background, “Take this job and shove it, I ain’t working here no more.”...
  • Epiphany 3B

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("when Dallas Willard was a boy, rural electrification was just happening and power lines were being strung throughout the countryside. But suppose even after the lines were up and running you ran across a house where the weary family still used only candles and kerosene lanterns for light, used scrubboards, ice chests, and rug beaters...")
  • A Larger Mind

    by Cameron Fraser
  • The Good News of God

    by David Risendal
  • Ordinary 3B

    by David Shea