- ("I read an article this past week about Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address. Lincoln was very depressed at how long the war had lasted and at what cost. His theology told him that God had done this since nothing happens that is not part of God's providence, as it is called..." and other illustrations)
- ("The story is told of an atheist who was fishing on Loch Ness. All of a sudden, the Loch Ness Monster attacked and flipped over his boat. There he was helpless and alone in the frigid waters. He cried out, “Please, God. Save me.” God replied, “I thought you didn’t believe in me...")
- The year 1993 wasn't shaping up to be the best year of my life. I was into my eighth year as a single parent, had three kids in college, my unmarried daughter had just given birth to my first grandchild and I was about to break up with a very nice man I'd dated for over two years. Faced with all this, I was spending lots of time feeling sorry for myself. That April, I was asked to interview and write about a woman who lived in a small town in Minnesota. So during Easter vacation, Andrew, my thirteen-year-old, and I drove across two states to meet Jan Turner. Andrew dozed most of the way during the long drive, but every once in a while I'd start a conversation. "She's handicapped, you know." "So what's wrong with her? Does she have a disease?" "I don't think so. But for some reason, she had to have both arms and legs amputated." "Wow. How does she get around?" "I'm not sure. We'll see when we get there." "Does she have any kids?" "Two boys - Tyler and Cody - both adopted. She's a single parent, too. Only she's never been married." "So what happened to her?" "Four years ago Jan was just like me, a busy single mother. She was a full-time music teacher at a grade school and taught all sorts of musical instruments. She was also the music director at her church." Andrew fell asleep again before I could finish telling him what little I did know about what had happened to Jan. As I drove across Minnesota, I began to wonder how the woman I was about to meet could cope with such devastating news that all four limbs had to be amputated. How did she learn to survive?...
- ("I have a friend - well, actually I have more than one friend! - and this person is more than a 'friend' - but I have a friend whom I've known for more than thirty-two years now. She's the sort of person to whom one can say just about anything, and with whom one can discuss anything...")
- ("Last week in Zurich, the pride of a gold medal champion, a 3000 meter steeplechase runner, managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. French runner Mahidine Mekhissi, already a two time European champion, found himself in the final 100 meters of his race. He was well ahead of the rest of the pack. After a long backwards glance confirmed his apparent victory over the trailing field of runners,...")
- ("What image are you going to take away from the Beijing 2008 Olympics? Is it Michael Phelps with his history-breaking breastplate of gold medals draped across his chest? Is it the first-ever gold/silver finish in women's gymnastics?...")
- I recall a story told at a stewardship conference that I attended a number of years ago in West Palm Beach, Florida. The speaker was talking about the gifts of the Spirit and making the point that the gifts that we needed to give were not the gifts that we necessarily thought were important for ourselves but what the body of Christ needed at a particular time. It wasn't a case of somebody saying, "I have a gift, and I'm going to give it to the Church whether they need it or not". No! It was more of a question of what the church needed to do a particular ministry and whether we had a gift to offer that would fill that need.
- ("One day a man told his wife that he had decided to ask his boss for a raise. He was nervous, but toward the end of the day he finally got up enough courage to ask. To his surprise, his boss gave him a larger increase than he had anticipated. He also praised him for the great job he was doing. The man was elated and when he arrived home, he found the dining room table set with the best china...")