- Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead Scribbling on the sky the message 'He is Dead'. Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong. The stars are not wanted now; put out every one, Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun, Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood; For nothing now can ever come to any good.
and many more!!
- Some years ago, Alexander Sanders, the Chief Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals, was asked to speak at the graduation ceremony for the University of South Carolina, both because of his prestigious position and because his daughter was one of the graduating seniors.
During that speech, he told a true story about a time when his daughter was little. He said “One time when Zoe was three years old. I came home from work to find a crisis in [the house], Zoe’s pet turtle had died. And she was crying as if her heart would break.
“Her mother, having coped with the problems of the home all day, turned that one over to me to solve. At the time, I was practicing law and serving in the Legislature. Frankly, it was a problem a lawyer politician was not up to solving. The mysteries of life and death are difficult, if not impossible for the mature mind to fathom. The task of explaining them to a three-year-old was completely beyond either my confidence or experience. But I tried.
- Occasionally I fly back to South Carolina for a trustee meeting at a wonderful Methodist institution called Wofford College. On a recent trip I had an extra hour or two, so I decided to take a sentimental journey back to the little town of Greer. My father was pastor there when I was a little boy. Right away I noticed so many things that had changed. Our old house has been torn down and replaced. The yard has shrunk. I saw the tree from which my little cowboy friends almost hung me, accidentally, and I thanked God for my mother's quick reaction and handy kitchen knife.
The memories were fun, but thirty minutes was enough. I was ready to leave. Thomas Wolfe was right when he observed that you can't go home again. You can't turn back the clock.
- ("last year's 'Resurrection Sunday Dance' took place in Budapest, Hungary, where God is up to some amazing things. This very moment on Easter Sunday Christians are 'Resurrection Dancing' at various capitols and courtyards around the world. But here is my favorite one from 2010 Resurrection Sunday in Budapest, Hungary...")
- ("Some of you might remember the great drama that took place in space during the early years of NASA's space exploration with the Apollo missions to the moon; and in particular the mission of Apollo 13 in 1970. Some of you might have seen the terrific movie made about this mission of a few years ago starring Tom Hanks...")
- ("On May 18, 1980, the force of the blast was measured in megatons. On that day ash flew twelve miles into the air. On that day more than 2000 square miles of forest was scoured beyond redemption by 800 degree fahrenheit winds that passed over at 600 miles per hour...")
- ("There is a fascinating passage in Geoffrey Moorhouse's book Sun Dancing, which beautifully illustrates this point. Sun Dancing is about medieval Irish monasticism and specifically tells the story of the monks who lived their lives on an island off of Ireland named Skellig Michael....")
- ("Vaclav Havel, former president of the post-Soviet Czech Republic, once said: 'Hope is an orientation of the spirit, a reorientation of the heart. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something will make sense, regardless how it turns out.'...")
- ("There is an old, old legend which the great German poet Goethe turned into an epic poem: the tragedy of Faust...")
- ("Some time ago researchers at Duke University in North Carolina conducted a telling, if cruel, experiment. They gathered a group of lab rats and sealed half of them in a container of water where there was no obvious way of escape. They sealed the other half of the rats in a container of water where escape seemed to be possible..." and other quotes)
- ("Every doctor always remembers the first patient who died under his care. For me, it was an elderly woman who came to hospital very sick with heat stroke and dehydration. We did our best for her; put fluid back into the veins and treated everything else we could treat...")
- ("A young boy moved with his family to a new community and church. The Sunday School class required each student to give a memory verse to the entire congregation. The boy was given the verse from Matthew 14:27: "It is I, do not be afraid"...." and other illustrations)