- ("John Smith is not his real name. I don't know his name. I do know his story is true. John Smith was the minister of a church that was looking for a music minister. Located in a small community, the church realized that the number of qualified candidates would also be small. One day a man called about the job. He was too good to be true..." and several other illustrations)
- Some time ago, there was an article entitled "The Nut That Saved Our Marriage." Now you can't read a title like that and not wonder who that nut was. Perhaps it might be a husband who had a sense of humor that defused situations before they got explosive. Or perhaps it might be one of their children who did something funny to make the couple laugh when situations got tense. Or it might even be a friend who made them see how silly it was to focus on the bad points each had, when they both had so many good points. Well, the answer was none of the above. One day the author was having lunch with her husband and their son, Mike, at their Los Angeles home. Mike was a navy helicopter pilot who was visiting from San Diego. At one point during the lunch, Mike and his father began talking about the helicopter that Mike flew. Mike said: "You know, Dad, as complicated as that helicopter is, its whirling rotor is held in place by a single hexagonal nut." Then turning to his mother, Mike said, "And, Mom, do you know what they call that nut?" His mother shrugged. She had no idea. "I give up," she said, "What do they call the nut that holds it all together?" Mike smiled and said, "They call it the 'Jesus' nut."
- ("There's a scene in the film Schindler's List where Oskar Schindler, the factory owner who spirited so many Jews out of concentration camps, is arguing with the brutish Nazi commandant, trying to get him to release a group of prisoners to labor in Schindler's factory. The commandant is an inhuman monster: for entertainment, he sits at the window of his residence and randomly shoots Jewish prisoners with a high-powered rifle..." and several more)
- Today I'd like to share with you the words of my favorite American spiritual, "Give me Jesus!" It goes like this: I heard my mother say, Give me Jesus You can have all the rest, Give me Jesus Dark midnight was my cry, Give me Jesus You can have all the rest, Give me Jesus Oh, when I come to die, Give me Jesus You can have all the rest, Give me Jesus Oh yes, "give me Jesus!" Wasn't that (in effect) what Simon Peter was saying here in the Bible text when he gave that marvelous answer to Jesus, "Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life"?
- ("In one Irish town parish, back in the nineteenth century, their curate disappeared. His favourite boat was found empty upriver. A search ensued but no body was ever found. Eventually, they all came to the conclusion that the poor man had drowned. A year or so later, news came that he was alive and well and living as a firebrand evangelical preacher in London...")
- ["Former heavyweight boxer James (Quick) Tillis is a cowboy from Oklahoma. Tillis fought out of Chicago in the early 1980's. A deeply religious man, Tillis is remembered as the first boxer ever to make Mike Tyson go the distance in the heavyweight division. Tillis had his disappointments as a boxer, but evidently they didn't rob him of his sense of humor. He still remembers his first day in the Windy City after his arrival from Tulsa...")
- ("As a boy, Joseph Stalin won an award at church for memorizing the entire book of John. Of course, that was in church. It was easy to believe there – to go with the current. Later on, when he was a seminary student, he got in with another group of men whose tendencies were more to the liking of the future Soviet tyrant. He was swept away and the world would never be the same again...")
- ("In this world of stocks and equities, you'll meet a peculiar breed called a contrarion. They are someone who invests in what is currently out of favour. They then wait patiently for their investment to pay off, as the world situation changes. A contrarion buys into something based upon their faith in the underlying value of the investment...")
- ("And God stepped out on space, And he looked around and said: I'm lonely. Of course you recognize those lines. It's the beginning of James Weldon Johnson's great poem, 'The Creation'. I remember the first time I heard it. I was offended...")