2 Kings 5: 1-17

New Resources

Illustrated Resources from 2016 to 2020

  • Jump: Trusting God To Heal Our Pride

    by Rian Adams
    Speaking of jumping, 1982 was a good year. Not only for French wine and my parents who got a lot more than they bargained for in this little bundle of joy but because 1982 is when Eddie Van Halen first put pen to paper and wrote the famous glam rock song, “Jump.” He wrote the song about a person afraid to love. They didn’t want to get hurt again; they didn’t want to feel the searing pain of disappointment or the weight of grief and loss… but they needed to. The course says, “You might as well jump…”
  • Resource-Less or Resourceful

    by Amy Lindeman Allen
    For the past several years, Time magazine, known for their annual list of the “100 most influential people” has published a supplementary list of the world’s most influential teens. In one way or another, each person listed in Time’s most influential list (both versions: top 100 and teen), by employing a combination of their resources and their resourcefulness in light of their life circumstances, has gained attention on the world stage. From the mostly white upper middle class victims of a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida turned political activists; to Indonesian sisters Melati and Isabel Wijsen who orchestrated a recent beach clean-up in Bali, collecting 65 tons of waste; to Thandiwe Abdullah, 15 year old co-founder of the Black Lives Matter LA Youth Vanguard; to musical and acting savants, the youth on Time’s list boast different levels and types of resources...
  • Proper 9C (2016)

    by Doug Bratt
    Glenn Tinder was raised according to the standards of Christian Science. He writes about his experiences in an article entitled, “Birth of a Troubled Conscience,” in the April 26, 1999 issue of Christianity Today. Tinder insists Christian Science is nowhere near Christianity. It’s not even centered on healing, either, or on the achievement of health. What Christian Science says is that there simply isn’t any sickness. It’s an illusion. We’re all healthy. Christian Science goes on to deny the existence of all evil, sin and fallenness...
  • Wade Right In

    Art and Theology by Victoria Jones
    First recorded by the Louvin Brothers in 1959, “The River of Jordan” is now a country gospel standard that has been covered countless times, especially at bluegrass festivals. Just a note: the song’s second verse mistakenly identifies Namaan as a king (he was the commander of the king’s army, in fact), and Ira Louvin seems to mispronounce Elisha as Eliza—an error that I hear repeated in a lot of other recordings (either that, or Elijah)...
  • God's Country

    by Jim McCrea
    It was much like the story of Grigori Perelman, a Russian mathematician, who rejected the $1 million dollar prize he earned by solving a problem that had perplexed mathematicians around the world for the previous 94 years. Called the Poincaré conjecture, it is one of the seven most complicated mathematical problems in existence — so complicated in fact that after Perelman posted his proofs in 2002, it took other leading mathematicians several years to confirm that his solution was right. In spite of that, Perelman didn’t think his efforts were all that different from the work of others, so he didn’t believe he deserved the prize. It was a matter of principle for him...
  • Something Easy

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    We often overcomplicate things. Rube Goldberg was a widely-known cartoonist in his day, popular enough that he was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for his cartoons and sought after as a spokesperson. Today we know him for his machines - wildly complicated inventions that used levers, pulleys, animals, balloons, and more to perform relatively simple tasks. His contraptions were so popular that his name has become synonymous with the idea of making something simple quite complicated. Like wiping your mouth with a napkin...
  • Repentance Requires Action

    by Steve Pankey
    A good deal of my personal idiomatic dictionary revolves around the Simpsons, but only really from the period of about seasons 5-9. I quit watching the show with any regularity while I was in college, but it had long since done its job to embiggen my vocabulary with perfectly cromulent words. During season 8 there was an episode entitled “Bart after Dark,” in which Bart, after breaking a gargoyle at what turns out to be a burlesque house, has to work the front door in order to pay off the damage. Hilarity ensues, of course, especially when Grandpa Simpson comes through the front door.
  • The Seventh Time

    by Larry Patten
    Maya Angelou famously reflected, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” How often do those sharing our lives for mere moments transform us? Why didn’t that slave girl remain silent? Wouldn’t it have been smarter for Naaman’s servants to keep their opinions to themselves? In a room full of future preachers, why would a professor praise . . . me?
  • Why Do We Doubt Easy?

    by Larry Patten
    I’ll trust that you, dear reader, have already read the full account in II Kings. However, let’s make sure with a whiz-bang quiz: Naaman heads for Israel by: Riding on a fast chariot Astride a sturdy camel Driving his aging Outback Naaman carries: A sword sharpened to kill A spear easily hurled a hundred yards A smartphone with a low battery Naaman wears: A scowl and billowing robes Leather sandals fashioned by the finest craftsman Eddie Bauer no-wrinkle shorts What’d you choose on your quiz? I picked #3 every time because, regardless of Naaman’s lack or abundance of Biblical detail, when I read about him, I see me. Yup, I have a Subaru. Darn that iPhone, I should charge it. And my lovely wife wishes I wouldn’t wear those shorts to formal occasions. Naaman, like me, and like you, needs a cure...
  • Our Faith, Their Health

    by Michael Ruffin
    I had a conversation a while back with someone who had good health insurance and considerable personal wealth. He had recently traveled a long way to undergo a very specialized surgery for a life-threatening disease. He was telling me that his prescriptions cost him several thousand dollars out of pocket per month after his insurance paid what it would pay. I asked him what people in his situation would do if they didn’t have a lot of money. He shrugged. It was a powerful shrug. He probably meant it to say, “I don’t know what they’d do,” but it really said, “They’d die.” They would die because they aren’t privileged and wealthy enough to have access to the kind of care he received. Many reports inform us of problems associated with a lack of access to healthcare or the cost of healthcare in the United States...
  • The Gifts of Everyday Saints

    by David Russell
    The last couple of weeks have been awful, filled with hatred and violence. But in the midst of that there have been rays of hope and love. After the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the shooter, a man who had murdered 11 Jews and injured many others, was taken to Allegheny General Hospital. Even while in the ambulance and in the emergency Room, he kept yelling that he just wanted to kill Jews. Well, in the ER, his attending doctor was a Jew. His nurse was a Jew. They cared for him as they would anyone else. Jeff Cohen is the president of the hospital. He lives a couple of blocks from the synagogue, where he is a member. He heard the gunfire. He was concerned for his mother, who he thought ma have been in the building. Yet Cohen went to the shooter’s hospital room. He asked how the man was doing and if he was in pain. The man said that no, he was fine. And then the man asked who he was. He said, “I’m Dr. Cohen. I’m the president of the hospital.” The FBI agent guarding the patient told Dr. Cohen, “I don’t know if I could do what you just did.”...
  • Moving the Story Forward: Servants as Leaders

    by Brenda Seat
    In 1926, a man named Robert Greenleaf joined AT&T, one of the biggest corporations of its time. He had been told by one of his teachers that corporations were not doing a good job of serving their employees or their customers and this young, idealistic man decided that he would try and work steadily and quietly to try and change that. He rose within the organization, visiting the 200 or more subsidiary “Ma Bells” and other organizations within the umbrella of AT&T. What he found was that the companies that were thriving were places where leaders tried to serve their employees, clients and customers rather than companies where the leaders were “in charge” and demanded that everyone do what the leader wanted. When Greenleaf retired in 1964, he began writing about his experiences and insights. In 1970 he published an essay, The Servant as Leader, in which he articulated his ideas...
  • The Prophet's Prescription

    by Carl Wilton
    Sister Joan Chittister, writing in the Roman Catholic tradition, has some wonderful, evocative stories to tell. One of them is about a priest who once traveled to see a renowned spiritual teacher, to spend a time on retreat with him.“Master,” he said upon arriving, “I come to you seeking enlightenment.”“Well, then,” the master said, “for the first exercise of your retreat, go into the courtyard, tilt back your head, stretch out your arms and wait until I come for you.”Just as the priest arranged himself in that uncomfortable position, the rains came. And it rained. It rained the rest of the afternoon. Finally, the old master came back. “Well, priest,” he asked, “have you been enlightened today?”“Are you serious?” the priest asked, in disgust. “I've been standing here with my head up in the rain for an hour. I’m soaking wet. I feel like a fool!” “Well, priest,” said the master, “for the first day of a retreat that sounds like great enlightenment to me.”...
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Healing

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • The Strange Ways of God

    by Mickey Anders
  • Healing Touch

    by Sarah Buteux
  • Miracle Market

    by Barbara Crafton
    ("Naaman is like the man in an old joke who is caught in a flood and goes up on the roof, where he intends to wait for God to rescue him...")
  • Unnatural Laws

    by Richard Donovan
    Chuck Swindoll tells about a missionary-lady who was sitting by her window as she opened her mail. In one letter she found a crisp, new, ten-dollar bill. She was pleasantly surprised, but then she noticed a poorly-dressed stranger, leaning on a post by her window. She couldn't get him off her mind. Thinking that he might be in greater need than she, she slipped the bill into an envelope and wrote, "Don't despair." She handed the envelope through the window to the man. He read the note, smiled, tipped his hat and walked away. The next day she heard a knock at the door. There the same man handed her a roll of bills. When she asked what they were, he said: "That's your sixty bucks, lady! ‘Don't Despair' paid five to one!"
  • Naaman's Story

    Narrative Sermon by Judith Evenden
  • Following the Directions

    Narrative Sermon by Frank Fisher
  • Water to the World

    Narrative Sermon by Frank Fisher
  • A Simple Matter

    by Eric Funston
    ("A few years ago I read an article by a woman named Catherine A. Thiemann entitled A Simple Heart in which she said: '[Voluntary simplicity] starts with a simple heart. And a simple heart starts with exploring why you are here on earth...")
  • Epiphany 6B (2009)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("In our North American society, image is everything, money talks, power rules, and so most people don't bat an eye over advertisements for cars, clothing, and BBQ grills that promise that this is the product that will help you reach the next level. A recent ad for the Range Rover SUV simply says, 'Higher Ground'...")
  • God's Country

    by Donald Hoffman
  • Can a Leper Change His Spots?

    by Beth Johnston
    "An expert mechanic in a small town worked on an older car for one of his customers. Finally he had to admit defeat and announced that it could not be repaired. The owner agreed and the mechanic asked on of his employees to tow it to the junkyard..."
  • The Laughter Barrel

    by Jeffrey London
    Author and poet Maya Angelou, in talking about the history of slavery in this country, states that on many plantations the slaves were not allowed to laugh. There was a rule against it. So when the urge to laugh became uncontrollable, when the urge to laugh became absolutely irrepressible, they had what they called "the laughter barrel." At the moment when they couldn't hold it in any longer they would, under the pretext of getting something out of the barrel, lean way down inside and let it all out. They would laugh and laugh and laugh. Now, Maya Angelou goes on to say that what was behind such a strange rule was — fear. The plantation owners feared that if the slaves were allowed to laugh, they might laugh at the masters. Or, worse yet, the laughter of the slaves might become so infectious that the masters would start laughing with the slaves. And how can you laugh with a person one day and have that person be a slave the next?..
  • The Nameless Ones

    by David Martyn
    Timothy Garton Ash tells of being in a school in Brazil. Brazil is a country that has traumatized with deforestation and the widening gap between the rich and the poor. He states that “the rich enjoy virtual immunity from the local police, and the local police enjoy virtual immunity for anything they might do to the poor, who also happen to be mainly black. Most murders go not just unpunished but uninvestigated. In a school in the poor district of Sao Paulo he asked the students, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “A policeman!” shouts out one 11-year-olod boy. “Why?” “So I can kill people.” He makes shooting gestures with his hands. Bang! Bang! A girl in the third row then speaks up, “I want to be a doctor.” “Why?” “I want to save lives.” He did not say what her name was. She was simply one of those unnamed young girls whose story needs to be told so that we can have hope for God’s world.
  • Couldn't We Do It the Hard Way?

    by Jim Riddell
    ("A friend of ours in Benicia had once been homeless and somebody helped her get herself back on her feet...")
  • Compassion for the Apparently Incurable

    by Ron Ritchie
    ("I would like to start by saying how uncomfortable I felt about coming to speak to you today. The more I thought and prayed about it, the more I was aware that what I would be talking to you about was the very situation I was afraid of. You see, I have what some would call the 1994 leprosy-I have AIDS. But God is good...")
  • Power, Pride And Faith

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
  • Godly House Servant

    from Today in the Word

Other Resources from 2018

Other Resources from 2016 and 2017

Other Resources from 2013 to 2015

Other Resources from 2009 to 2012

Resources from the Archives

Children's Resources

Currently Unavailable