Mark 13: 1-8

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!!]

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2018 to 2020

  • End Times? Who Can Tell?

    by Jim Chern
    Human history has given way too many examples of how bad, how broken every human being has the capacity to become. One recent story that came to mind has really upset me that I’m sure a lot of you have heard about as well. In fact, tt was just about a year ago when I shared a story in a homily that had gone viral. It was a heart-warming tale about how this woman had run out of gas off a dangerous highway; a homeless man who was nearby saw this, told her to stay put and took his last $20 went and purchased gas for her so she could get home safely and long story short, the woman and her boyfriend shared this on facebook, launched a go-fund me page where they could raise funds to help the homeless man out and ended up raising over $400,000. A few months ago, I saw a follow up to the story that the homeless guy was claiming that the couple had stolen the money meant to get him back on his feet and were vacationing and purchased a new car with it. I remember commenting when I saw that saying “Please God no… I really can’t take hearing such awful news.” That launched law enforcement to conduct investigations on the whole thing. So you held out hope that – even if this kind hearted couple proved to be crooks that at least maybe someone would help this guy and he would get the funds to help him turn his life around. This past week there was another follow up that the couple and the homeless man were arrested for making the whole thing up. As the prosecutor in the case said “they hoodwinked a lot of people.”..
  • The World Comes to an End Every Day

    by Dawn Hutchings
    Mary loved her job. She was a high-powered executive with a company that was expanding at a phenomenal rate. She worked hard to get where she was. She poured all her energy into her work. She barely had time for a personal life, but that didn’t bother Mary. She knew there would be plenty of time for that after she had gotten where she wanted to go. Ten years and she was already playing with the big boys. She was a mover and a shaker. She loved her work and as good as she was at her job, she just didn’t see it coming. She was stunned when the announcement came. Apparently, the company had expanded a little too quickly. Bankruptcy put an end to the life that Mary loved. Mary’s world ended the day she lost her job...
  • Of All God's Creatures, Why Do Only Humans Worry About the Future?

    by Terrance Klein
    My friend was conversing with me as my mother once did shortly after my father’s death. He was speaking with me, but his eyes were focused to his side, where he seemed to be studying a future that seemed much too stark. Sometimes people want to be consoled or at least do not resent it, yet they cannot take their eyes from the terrors they see coming. He was back in the hospital in what is sometimes called a swing bed. Aptly named because his future might go either way. Maybe he will get better and be able to return home. Maybe not. Maybe this room or someplace like it will be home for the rest of his life. We talked about living day to day, about putting one’s trust and confidence in the Lord. I would have said that this is what our faith is all about. We ready ourselves for the coming trials, which no man or woman can avoid. We put our trust not in ourselves but in the Lord...
  • Time Change

    by David Russell
    William Willimon told about a student mission trip to Honduras. A group of was working in an impoverished village, running a makeshift health clinic. Each night they built a fire and sat around the fire singing with villagers. One night a student had the bright idea that they all go around and share their favorite Bible verse. Of course, some didn’t have much of a favorite verse – some mentioned John 3:16 or “The Lord is my shepherd.” Some quoted other verses.
  • Proper 28B (2018)

    by Leonard Vander Zee
    At the end of her story “Revelation”, Flannery O’Connor offers a vision of the future of God’s kingdom. Mrs. Turpin, the main character, is an opinionated, petty aristocrat in a small southern town. She had everyone classified, from (in her words), “the “[blacks] and white trash” on the bottom, on up to the nice Christian ladies like herself on top. But something shocking happens to her one day in a doctor’s office that turns her world upside down. I won’t tell you what it is; you’ll have to read the story. At the end of the story we find Mrs. Turpin, humbled and shaken, leaning on the rail of a hog pen, contemplating this new revelation of herself. She experiences a glimpse God’s coming kingdom...
  • Your Two Cents

    by Todd Weir
    Jesus does not see her giving because she is being exploited by religious propaganda. In fact, she is not giving to the Temple at all, she is giving to God. Perhaps she is giving out of gratitude. That may sound crazy, after all she is poor and now has nothing, but who says you cannot be grateful for life even while you are poor. I remember sitting with a client in a transitional housing program. He was a recovering alcoholic, a combat veteran with PTSD, a string of DWIs. His morning routine was to write down his gratitudes. He said, “First, I am glad to be alive, since I should be dead given everything I have done to myself. Second, I’m glad to be sober. Third, I’m glad I slept in a bed in a dry place. I write down these three things every morning to remind myself how lucky I am. That’s how I stay sober and do what I need to do.”...

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2012 to 2017

  • Proper 28B (2012)

    by Delmer Chilton
    Scroll down the page for this resource.

    "Morgan Wooten was a basketball coach. He coached at DeMatha High School in the DC area. His teams won 1274 games while losing only 192 times. He was considered by everyone who knew him to be one of the great ones. Well, everyone except his grandson. Wooten is one of only three high school coaches in the Basketball Hall of Fame..."

  • Opposite the Temple

    by Robert Elder
    ("Bruce Larson once wrote that the neighborhood bar is possibly the best counterfeit there is to the fellowship Christ wants to see in his church. It is an imitation, but a good one, dispensing spirits instead of the spirit, escape instead of what is really real, but one thing is true of such places as we used to see on the old 1980s TV series Cheers...")
  • Epitaphs

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("Toward the end of the nineteenth century, Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel awoke one morning to read his own obituary in the local newspaper. It read, 'Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, who died yesterday, devised a way for more people to be killed in a war than ever before. He died a very rich man.' Actually, it was a mistake...")
  • The Beginning of the Birth Pangs

    by Janet Hunt
    "The world ended that day. With that phone call. That startling news. That deepening realization. The world ended that day. Or at least it ended as you had known it. I am so deeply aware of this right now for I am in the midst of a stretch of funerals. Some expected. Others not. All leaving those they loved living with a before and after like they have never known before..."
  • Looking in the Wrong Direction

    by Janet Hunt
    ("A couple of weeks ago we were gathering in the classroom where we come together for Confirmation each Wednesday. Some were done with the service project earlier than others so Jim, one of our adult leaders, volunteered to wait with a handful of young people who were the first to return. I walked in a few minutes later ---while the group was still small. Pretty soon Jim was asking me to 'test' Joe, one of our 8th graders...")
  • One Thing Will Remain

    by Brian McLarren
    "So what I am telling you is exactly the same as what I am telling everybody else: there is only one game plan, love, love and more love. Forgive, forgive and more love. Keep yourselves on the ready at all times, lest you be lured back into the ways of suspicion, division and retaliation. Hold on tightly to the hope that you've put your hands up to..."
  • The Destruction of the Temple Foretold

    by David Owen
    ("Gregory L. Fisher in Leadership magazine tells of teaching a class at the West African Bible College. One day the class was discussing the Second Coming of Christ. A student asked Fisher a question that took him by surprise. The question was this: 'What will he say when he shouts?' Fisher wanted to leave the question unanswered..." and other quotes)
  • Dive On In

    by Andrew Prior
    includes several quotes
  • Wars and Rumors of Wars

    by Nancy Rockwell
    "who isn't awed by buildings? The icons of cities are their buildings: the Eiffel tower is Paris; Big Ben is London; the Capital Building is D.C.; the Brandenburg Gate is Berlin. I pick travel destinations, in part, for the buildings I want to see..."
  • Something to Do While the World Falls Apart

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    "A number of years ago, leaders in a church decided to track down the congregation's drop-outs. They combed through the membership list, put together a list of names, and sent out volunteers two-by-two to knock on doors and invite the absent members back to church. As is often the case, the volunteer visitors discovered that most of the people visited had found other things to do on Sunday morning..."
  • The Temple of Doom and the Bridegroom

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ["If you've ever had your wallet or purse stolen you know that the worst 'loss' is not the cash (who has it!) or the credit cards (you just cancel them). The worst loss is all those personal, "heart" things you keep close to you..."]

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

  • Wars and Rumors

    by Robert Allred
    ("Mother kept a little plaque on her wall that read 'Keep Looking Up'. I now have that plaque in my desk next to my nameplate. I have looked at that simple line so often that it has been hard wired into my soul. Keep Looking Up, expectant for a better world at peace and in prosperity for all...")
  • Everything Nailed Down Is Coming Loose

    by Mickey Anders
    ("In 1936, a movie was made of the Broadway play The Green Pastures. The movie, with an all-black cast, would undoubtedly be politically incorrect today because it presents some rather stereotypical portrayals of African-Americans. But the play was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1930...")
  • Toppling Temples, Towering Trees: Is God Up to the Challenge?

    by John Auer
    Maybe it is, as it says in the opening to the old Dickens novel, with every ending, every beginning again, both the best of times and the worst of times. Whatever it is, it is our time, brothers and sisters! This is our time under God! Walter Wink introduces his last chapter with this quote from the play A Sleep of Prisoners, by Christopher Fry – Thank God our time is now when wrong Comes up to face us everywhere, Never to leave us till we take The longest stride of soul men ever took. Affairs are now soul size. The enterprise Is exploration into God, Where no nation’s foot has ever trodden yet...
  • Be on Your Guard

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("'They shall either be converted or wiped out,' wrote St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153) of the Slavic pagans in the Baltics. It would be convenient to dismiss his chilling words as an abberation, but that would only be a comforting illusion...")
  • We Would Be Building!

    by Patricia de Jong
    ("Kathleen Norris, in her most recent book The Cloister Walk, reflects upon her experience of time when she was living in a Benedictine abbey: 'Gradually, my perspective on time has changed. In our culture, time can seem like an enemy; it chews us up and spits us out with appalling ease...")
  • The Mystery of God's Judgment

    by Richard Fairchild
    "At the end of time, billions of people were scattered on a great plain before God's throne. Most shrank back from the brilliant light before them. But some groups near the front talked heatedly - not with cringing shame, but with belligerence. 'Can God judge us? How can he know about suffering?' snapped a young brunette...
  • Proper 28B (2009)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Some while back in a sermon, Barbara Brown Taylor related a story from her childhood when she was growing up in the American South. Every day after school Barbara and her siblings were supervised by an African-American babysitter named Thelma. Thelma was remarkable for how little she ever talked to the children")
  • In the Birth Pangs, There Is Hope

    by Rex Hunt
    Louise Mahan had attended a biblical storytelling workshop in 1985. Two years prior to this she had become parish minister of a congregation which had suffered the loss of their church in a fire. For two years they had been fighting and arguing with the insurance company. With every small victory seemed to come two other defeats. “By the end of the second year, we were all discouraged,” she said. “The burned out hulk still stood, the insurance settlement was woefully inadequate, we were meeting in a church building where we were only tolerated on Sunday afternoons – the litany of woes could go on and on.” During the workshop the group told the parable of The Sower. Commenting on the parable she says she had always disliked the parable - because she had always thought of herself as the 'dirt’. “But as I learned it and told it and heard it told, it suddenly came to me that I was not dirt, but the sower, and that my congregation was filled with sowers.” With great excitement she returned to her congregation and on the first Sunday following the workshop, while they worshipped on the lawn, she told the congregation the parable of The Sower...
  • Look Out Below

    by Beth Johnston
    "There is a castle in the north of Italy. I am told that if you ask, the friendly gardener will open the gate and give you a tour of the grounds. I am also told that the grounds are kept in perfect order and in each and every season of the year they look their very possible best. The same gardener has been there for many years and not once had the owner of the castle visited him..."
  • Praise In the Midst of Change

    by Beth Johnston
    Jimmy Allen grew up in the church and he raised his family in the church. His father was also a minister, his best friend was a minister and his son entered the ministry. That son married a woman named Lydia, a paediatric nurse and the daughter of his best friend...
  • Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

    by James Kegel
    "The English poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley saw the great statues of Ramses II fallen near Luxor and wrote his poem, Ozymandias: 'My name is Oxymandis, king of kings: Look on my works, yet might, and despair! Nothing beside remains..."
  • Worries and Fears Can Paralyze Us

    by Linda Kraft
    ("Last weekend Retired General Colin Powell spoke at a fund raiser in Stamford, CT. He remarked on the differences in his life since he resigned as Joint Chief of Staff in the Bush Administration. One of the items he misses is his own personal jet, ready to whisk him away to important places...")
  • Proper 28B (2003)

    by Paul Larsen
    ("In a Peanuts cartoon, Lucy is staring out the window with a worried look on her face. 'It sure has been raining a long time,' she says to Linus. 'Do you think it's going to flood the earth again?'...")
  • Suddenly

    by Edward Markquart
    ("It was January 27, 1986. We were getting ready. The whole nation was getting ready. It was going to be a great day. All eyes were watching the television sets. It was going to be the 'all time greatest' space launching. We had a schoolteacher; a woman; an astronaut. It was one of the most exciting days in American history..." and other doomsday illustrations)
  • We Shall Not Cease

    by David Martyn
    ("Leonard Sweet, describes the time of change we are experiencing as being like a tsunami that is rushing towards us—a tidal wave of change that cannot be stopped. In fact, he calls it a Soul Tsunami, because of the massive spiritual challenges and opportunities it presents..." and a T. S. Eliot guote)
  • The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

    by Richard Nolan
    ("A poet has summed up God's Light in Christ beautifully: 'God hath not promised Skies always blue, Flower-strewn pathways All our lives through; God hath not promised Sun without rain, Joy without sorrow...")
  • Jesus: The King of Kings and Lord of Lords

    by William Oldland
    I recently saw the movie "Bruce Almighty". Now, whether or not you are a Jim Carrie fan I highly recommend you see the movie. There are some theological concepts that are well portrayed in this movie. Probably one of the best concerns free will, the ability to choose. Jim Carrie does not like his life as Bruce very much. He wants more out of life and so he prays to God. He is mad at God for his position and wants to know why God made it so. As a result God answers his prayer by giving Bruce God's power for a short time. He can do anything he wants except mess with free will. People have to be willing to choose. They have to be free to choose what they will do, good or bad. They are free to choose what they will express of their feelings, anger or love. They have to be free to choose what they will believe, God is alive or there is no God. As the movie unfolds Bruce turns out to be pretty self-centered...
  • Living in the End Times

    by John Pavelko
    ("During the last few years, we have had a number of movies that portray a pending millennial doom to the human race. Such movies as 12 Monkeys, Waterworld, Armageddon and The Matrix have all used religious symbolism as a backdrop to present their end of the world scenario...")
  • Proper 28B (2006)

    by Amy Richter
    "How do you spend time? How will you live this day?"...)
  • On Your Mark, Get Set...

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("There's a story told by Mary Hollingsworth about the noted director, Cecil B. DeMille. When they began working on the movie Ben Hur, DeMille talked to Charlton Heston, the star of the movie, about the all important chariot race at the end. He decided Heston should actually learn to drive the chariot himself, rather than just using a stunt double..." and another illustration)
  • Satan's Talking Points

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("Have you heard? Hollywood says we have three years left until the apocalypse. Hollywood, always a reliable scientific and spiritual source, is basing its prediction on the ancient Mayan long-count calendar. This is a calendar which correctly predicted an astonishing number of other astrological and mathematical events...")
  • God Who Remains

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Frederick Buechner, one of my favorite writers, writes a beautiful passage in his book Magnificent Defeat. He says: 'The gods are dying. The gods of this world are sick unto death. If someone does not believe this, the next time they happen to wake up in the great silence of the night or of the day, just listen...")
  • The Joy of Being Mortal

    by J. Barry Vaughn
    ("A man came to the Buddha and asked, 'Are you a god?' 'No,' the Buddha answered. 'I am not a god.' 'Are you a spirit, then?' the main asked. 'No,' said the Buddha. 'I am not a spirit.'...")
  • Are You Having an Anxiety Attack?

    by Keith Wagner
    ("At the age of 20, Art Berg was a very happy man. Everything was going right. He was a gifted athlete and had started his own tennis court construction company. And he was engaged to a beautiful woman. Leaving California one Christmas eve, he was headed to Utah with a friend. He was going to meet his fiancee and complete their wedding plans...")
  • When the Sky Is Falling

    by Keith Wagner
    ("On Sunday, May 18, 1980, Mount Saint Helen’s exploded in one of the most spectacular eruptions in recent memory. The eruption sent more than 540 million tons of volcanic ash raining down over 22,000 square miles, covering Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, and sending ash drifting as far away as Virginia...")
  • End Times?

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("The largest of the churches that were predicting the imminent end of the world disbanded this week—not with a bang or a whimper, but an apology. 'We are sorry for creating problems to the nation and the established churches by misinterpreting the Bible,' said a statement by the Mission of the Coming Days church released through newspapers this week...")
  • Jesus and Our Future

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("Only 12 kilometres south of the popular Taizé monastic community in France, is the town of Cluny. Cluny was a thriving monastic centre from about the tenth to the twelfth centuries, with around ten thousand monks. The cathedral at Cluny was most likely the largest edifice of Christendom until St Peter's Basilica was built in Rome five centuries later...")
  • Hang In There

    by Samuel Zumwalt
    "This scene must have been like my experience standing at the base of the World Trade Center towers in the fall of 1993 sometime after the parking garage had been bombed. Looking up, I saw those towers reaching to the heavens. Bystanders commented on how foolish those bombers were to think they could bring down those towers..."

Other Resources from 2018 to 2020

Other Resources from 2015 to 2017

Other Resources from 2009 to 2014

Other Resources from 2000 to 2008

Other Resources from the Archives

Children's Resources

Recursos en Español