Mark 10: 35-45

Illustrated New Resources

  • Selective Listening

    by Jim Chern
    A couple who have been dating for over a year have this huge fight: Stephanie who is a waitress when she got off work, went over to her boyfriend’s house. It was a tough night – all she wanted to do was vent about how horrible it was. Frankie was lying on the couch in his living room watching TV when she walked in. He says “hi honey, how was your night?” She starts telling him all the things that went wrong – orders kept getting screwed up with almost every table … the kitchen was backed up, that one of the other waiters didn’t show up for work. She continues to vent about how she did not make very much money in tips -with the final insult being the last table she had that night, their bill was about two hundred dollars and they did not leave her a tip at all. Frankie doesn’t really say anything or even try to make her feel better, and then all of a sudden starts laughing. Stephanie asks him “what is so funny?” Frankie responds, “oh I’m sorry babe I wasn’t laughing at you, I was laughing at the TV.” Stephanie who was already upset from the rough night at work now is enraged as she asks “have you even heard a word I’ve said?” His reply was,” of course I did babe, and you should be happy that your last table tipped you two hundred dollars.” Selective listening. Scientists have been exploring this phenomenon for decades, ever since loved ones started to insist that their spouse, their parent, their child must have hearing difficulties, only to come back with a clear bill of auditory health.
  • Proper 24B (2021)

    by Brigid Dwyer
    Today, it takes years just to get to seminary, but in earlier days, you could be already enrolled and taking classes and be told “no thank you,” or “not yet.” It is certainly not something you start flipping the script on lightly. And Jonathan Daniels did not do that lightly. In March 1965 he voluntarily took a semester away from Episcopal Divinity School to return to Alabama, where he had been helping in the fight to end segregation. He knew this might cost his ordination, but he was prepared to sacrifice even that, and so much more, to faithfully carry out the work of the Kingdom of God. Two weeks earlier, he had first arrived in Alabama, expecting to spend the weekend. Instead, he and a few others from EDS wound up staying a week, and then coming back, having taken a leave of absence from seminary. He expected to march, to work hard, to humble himself and take orders, and to send time in jail, and he did all this. But five months after he arrived in Alabama, he pushed Ruby Sales out of the way of a bullet that wound up hitting him instead. He was not expecting to become a martyr, but that’s precisely what happened. Jonathan Daniels’s feast day is August 14th, making him what we colloquially call a “Saint” of our church. In 2015, there was a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of his martyrdom...
  • Sermon Starters (Proper 24B)(2021)

    by Chelsey Harmon
    I listened to the podcast Throughline’s episode on chaos recently. One section of the show included an interview with historian Rutger Bregman about a real-life Lord of the Flies scenario in the 1970s on an island near Tonga; spoiler alert: it turned out nothing like the novel. Bregman made a larger claim that humanity’s civilizations were built on cooperation, not competition: among nomadic hunter/gatherers, it was actually the friendliest—not the cutthroat—who survived and passed on their friendly ways to the next generation. Eventually, they collectively built civilizations that helped more and more of them survive and transitioned from nomads to communities. This is God’s design for shalom, seen in human history. Bregman makes the argument that if there were despots and tyrants among them, the community stepped in and protected the whole group from being destroyed by the impulses of an individual. Even in general revelation/natural theology we see that “greatness” which tramples on others is a part of sin, not God’s will and design.
  • Captain Kirk and His Merry Band of Billionaires!

    by Dawn Hutchings
    This week, two events stand in stark contrast to one another. As different as night and day these 21st century events are brought into focus by the first century story which just happens to be the assigned Gospel reading for this Sunday. While the first century story told by the anonymous gospel-storyteller we call Mark, sees the sons of Zebedee, jockeying for coveted seats at the right and left hand of Jesus, our 21st century story portray the contrasting circumstances of wannabe-astronauts blasting far above our planet with scarcely a thought for the 150 million or so who will slip into the depths of poverty before this year ends. Somehow, the flight of the billionaire Bezos phallic Blue Horizon thrusting its five privileged passengers across our screens will capture more attention from those of us who are wealthy enough to own screens, than the roughly one and a half billion men, women, and children who are consigned to live in poverty. Today, is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Today is the 35th annual International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. But I suspect that like the sons of Zebedee, who earned renown by jockeying for privileged positions, the powerful images of an aging Captain James Kirk and his merry band of billionaires will earn far more renown than the 150 million poor souls who are about to slip into poverty as a result of the COVID pandemic...
  • Servant Power

    by Alyssa Kaplan
    In the past few years there has been a movement within the US American Catholic Church to recognize Dorothy Day as a saint within their tradition. While Lutherans and Catholics have different understandings of saints and sainthood, we too, can look to these people as exemplars of the faith. Dorothy Day was an incredible leader, activist, mother, and theologian. Above all she was a fierce advocate for and faithful servant to the poor. She was deeply skeptical of hierarchies and institutional power. She operated on the fringes of her faith tradition. Throughout her life and ministry, she unequivocally made those on the margins of society the center of her work. She was an exceptional leader because she was first and foremost a servant of all. Dorothy Day founded the Catholic Worker Movement, which largely operated out of Catholic Worker Houses. For decades these houses have provided respite and resources for the poor and served as gathering places for justice activists. At the time of her death there were 30 such houses around the United States; as of January 2020 there were over 250. Robert Ellsberg, who worked closely with Dorothy Day in the last years of her life, stated, “When many people think of saints, they think of people who are kind of removed from the world in some sacred way. She showed there can be a holiness of action, of engagement of the challenges of our time. She’s not someone from the past — she’s someone from the future. In some ways she’s the American counterpart of the vision Pope Francis has brought to the universal church. She isn’t encapsulated in institutionalism, not mired in clericalism. She just stands there and points the way.”...
  • Winners and Losers

    by Joseph Pagano
    In the rough and tumble world of the schoolyard, one of the most frequent insults kids hurl at each other is “loser.” As in, Joey so-and-so is a loser, or your big brother is a loser. And, as we all know, these insults sting. They sting because it seems like kids, like all of us, would rather win than lose. As the old saying goes, “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.” It’s also the logic of bullies of all ages. Ridicule the apparently weak and vulnerable. Stigmatize them. Tell others not to waste their time hanging out with losers, but rather to join the bullies in their sham fellowship of supposed victory and viciousness. That message lives on beyond the playground...
  • Acquiring Honor

    by John Pilch
    In Mediterranean culture, the head of the family fills the cups of all at table. Each one is expected to accept and drink what the head of the family has given. Since all theology is based on analogy, and the behavior of God is assumed to be like the behavior of human beings in a given culture, the cup came to represent the lot in life which God has assigned for each person
  • From the Bottom Up

    by Don Pratt
    The United States has always been a majority white nation of European descent. It is projected that by the year 2044 that will no longer be the case. There will be more minority populations than the white population [Brookings.edu.com]. I believe that, at least in part, the rise of white supremacy and racism that we have witnessed lately comes from people who are worried about losing privilege, worried about losing power. As the nation becomes more brown than white, some white people are asking Jesus to let them keep their seats of power...

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!!]
  • Proper 24B (2015)

    by Delmer Chilton
    ("Sir Isaac Newton, the great scientist and mathematician, had a dog that he loved very much. Wherever Newton went, the dog went with him. One time he had worked for months and months on a theory about the nature of the universe, working late into the night by candlelight, his worktable covered with papers, which were in turn covered with formulas and theorems and conclusions. Late one night, Newton got up from the table to leave the room and the dog jumped up and bumped the table, turning over the candle, which set Newton's papers on fire. Newton returned to the room to find years of work gone up in flames...")

    (Scroll down the page for this sermon.)

  • Saving and Losing One's Life/Soul

    by D. Mark Davis
    contrasts Mark 10:45 with Mark 8:36
  • *Humility Anyone?

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("Mohandas Gandhi, though a Hindu, was greatly attracted to the Christ whom he encountered when reading the Gospels. Despite his birth into a middle class caste with all its taboos about Untouchables and such, Gandhi reached out to them and championed their cause..." and other illustrations)
  • Commitment, the Cross and the Crown

    by Sil Galvan
    I remembered something that happened to me about 12 years ago. A young couple whom I married had a baby boy who was born with all his intestines outside his body. In correcting that, his liver was damaged. He spent the first 9 months of his life 90 miles from home in the hospital. He was in line for a liver transplant. He finally came home to await the transplant. He seemed to be thriving. Something happened and he was rushed back to the hospital and placed on a respirator. I drove there to be with the family. The parents and grandparents were told they would do an EEG in the morning to see if there was any brain function. The father and I waited all night in the waiting room. Mom and the grandparents stayed nearby. The next day the news was not good. The family chose to turn off the respirator. Dad sat in the rocking chair and tenderly held his son until he died. I stood in the background feeling useless. There was nothing to say. I had nothing to offer. When the baby died, I offered a prayer with the family. Then we all left. I felt like a failure after that day. I felt like I had blown it as their pastor. The guilt hung on and I didn't know what to do about it. About two weeks after the funeral, I received a letter from the grandmother in which she said, "Thank you for being there. You reminded us that God was there with us and that we were not alone." That letter has meant more to me than almost any other I have received in my 16 years of pastoring. It reminded me that sometimes being there is enough. Sometimes it is even better than speaking.
  • Jesus' Call to Servant-hood

    by Janet Hunt
    (includes several illustrations - a worthwhile read!)
  • The Drum Major Instinct

    by Martin Luther King, Jr.
    ("we all have the drum major instinct. We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade. Alfred Adler, the great psychoanalyst, contends that this is the dominant impulse...")
  • Ambition

    by Nancy Kraft
  • Proper 24B

    by Bill Loader
    always good insights!
  • First

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ("This past week the Nobel prizes were awarded. The world hushes for a moment, to hear who is first. A man who made a discovery in science fifty years ago, won. He won long after he must have ceased to think he might. He won now because a youmger man he never met, on another continent, in another field of science, used his discovery to make another, quite different discovery..." - good discussion of this topic also!)
  • Exegetical Notes (Mark 10:35-45 )

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)

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

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • The Loneliness of Jesus

    by Jim Chern
    It reminded me of a story that this pastor in Illinois shared this past week. He had founded and leads what are called “Mega-Churches” in the Chicago area and a few weeks ago he decided to pose as a homeless person literally laying outside the doors of one of the locations of their Churches – wearing layers of clothes, a hoodie, and growing a mangy, grey beard, with a shopping cart next to him filled with what would appear to be his life belongings. On a recent Sunday he walked into the Church’s sanctuary in his undercover guise, pushing the shopping cart in front of him and removed all the layers and beard in front of the congregation revealing his true identity – as he broke down in tears saying he couldn’t believe how he was treated by some of the people in his Church. He then showed video of people that would walk in the other direction, pretend not to see him as they reached for the door, practically stepping over him, with their bibles in hand as they entered into the Church themselves...
  • The Way of the Cross Leads Home

    by Delmer Chilton
    In the 1960s, the Rev. Walter Moore was a prominent figure in moderate Southern Baptist churches in Georgia, serving several terms as president of the state convention. He was in the forefront of their tentative efforts toward integration and racial reconciliation. He integrated his congregation in Macon, Ga., losing a third of the white membership in the process. Earlier, in 1933, Moore was serving in a small town in South Georgia. One day he and his family pulled into their driveway after a trip to town. As they got out of the car, a neighbor girl beckoned his 5-year-old daughter, Miriam, who quickly darted across the street, directly into the path of a car. She was killed instantly. Moore grabbed his daughter in his arms and laid her on living room couch. Then he returned to the porch to find the very sorrowful and frightened African American man who had been driving the car. Moore went inside and called the sheriff and an ambulance. As he sat with his family, an angry crowd gathered, determined to lynch the driver. Standing between them and the man who had killed his child, he said: “You must not do this. You will have to kill me first.” By the time the sheriff and ambulance arrived, the crowd had melted away...
  • Don't We Deserve a Prize?

    by Owen Griffiths
    I recently read W. Somerset Maugham’s 1906 comic novel The Bishop’s Apron, and I had one of those dark epiphanies which I find so uncomfortable. The main character in the book is an Anglican pastor named Theodore Spratte who desperately wants to become a bishop. Spratte feels he’s entitled to wear the gators and apron of the episcopal post. He’s witty, charming, eloquent, and the son of a prominent peer. He’s put in twenty years of service with his London congregation, and he feels he’s earned a promotion. When a bishopric opens up he feels certain he will be named. Unfortunately for him, he is only offered a minor deanery in Wales. For a brief moment, Spratte grasps his own unimportance and begins to see himself the way others might see him—overly ambitious, vain, pretentious, and foolish. His ego cracks, and he has the opportunity to embrace a real humility. He considers the honor it might be to serve the Church away from the limelight and do good works for their own sake without the glory he has so coveted. Of course, Maugham’s novel is a comedy, so Spratte doesn’t waste too much time on acquiring self-knowledge before talking himself back into his old self-satisfied grandiosity...
  • The Inner Circle

    by Heidi Haverkamp
    In 1944, C. S. Lewis gave a talk to students at King’s College at Cambridge called “The Inner Ring,” about this longing to be safely inside imagined lines and walls of belonging. Inner rings exist not because of who is inside them but because of who is kept out. An inner ring creates and defines outsiders and then coddles insiders with special privileges and powers. For Lewis, in-groups are about not power but exclusivity: “We hope, no doubt, for tangible profits from every Inner Ring we penetrate: power, money, liberty to break rules, avoidance of routine duties, evasion of discipline. But all these would not satisfy us if we did not get in addition the delicious sense of secret intimacy.”...
  • The Sons of Zebedee

    by Janet Hunt
    More and more, it seems, I am the ‘go to pastor’ for one of our local funeral homes when a family comes in with no church connection, but they still want a pastor for a funeral. It turns out in this case that I had actually met the family the day before when the social worker at the hospital flagged me down on my way to visit someone else. I did stop in with them. I learned their names and witnessed their deep love for their wife and mother. I offered a prayer for peace for her and for all of them. A day later the funeral director called. I sat down with Millie’s widower and her daughter a few days later. We visited a while about what mattered to her, what her life looked like, about the places she had called home, about where she had worked, about who she had loved. Even so, it is hard to really get to know much about someone in such a short amount of time. I offered then to allow others to speak so as to make the service more personal, more meaningful to them, but they declined...
  • Being White and Poor Does Not Mean You're Trash

    by Terrance Klein
    The family chronicle of native Kansan Sarah Smarsh is gaining a lot of press and nominations for literary prizes:Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth (2018). Its poverty plays out on a farm in Kingman County, Kan., and in the nearby city of Wichita. In telling the multigenerational story of her family, Smarsh rejects the equation that white + poor = trash. “Our struggle forced a question about America that many were not willing to face: If a person could go to work every day and still not be able to pay the bills and the reason wasn’t racism, what less articulated problem was afoot?” That’s what Smarsh seeks to show. She begins her story with a farmer...
  • Inverted Power

    by Jim McCrea
    one time the renowned psychiatrist Milton Erickson was planning to give a lecture in Milwaukee. Before he left on that trip, a colleague asked him to look in on his aunt who lived in that area. The aunt was in her sixties and lived alone, having never married. She had lost most of her close friends and relatives and had medical problems that confined her to a wheelchair. So, when he had a little free time, Dr. Erickson took a taxi to the aunt’s home. She gave him a tour of her estate. It seemed to him that, except for minor remodeling to allow wheelchair-access, nothing had been changed in that house since it was built in the 1890s. The furniture and household decorations smelled of must, and Erickson noted the heavy curtains were kept closed, making the house a dark, depressing place. However, the aunt became animated when she showed Erickson her greenhouse, where she spent hours and hours working with plants — especially African violets. The woman confided that she suffered from major depression. Erickson told her that her problem was not depression but the fact that she had chosen to isolate herself from people. He said, “I recommend that you look in the latest church bulletin. “You’ll find announcements of births, illnesses, graduations, engagements, and marriages there. Make a number of African violet cuttings, repot them in gift pots, and have your handyman drive you to the homes of people who are affected by these happy and sad events. Bring them a plant and your congratulations or condolences and comfort, whichever is appropriate to the situation.” Although she was upset by the psychiatrist’s blunt assessment, the woman responded positively. Twenty years later, Dr. Erickson proudly displayed in a scrapbook an article from the Milwaukee Journal. It had a large headline that read: AFRICAN VIOLET QUEEN OF MILWAUKEE DIES MOURNED BY THOUSANDS. The article detailed the life of this caring woman who had become locally prominent for her trademark flowers and her charitable work with people in the community during the ten years preceding her death...
  • Prepared for Whom? (Mark)

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    In art, Jesus in glory seems to be most-often surrounded by a host of angels or by symbols of the four gospels (and remember their relationship to Ezekiel's creatures and the creatures in Revelation). Annibale Caracci's "Christ in Glory" (below left) has Peter on Jesus' right and John on Jesus' left. At least one of the brothers made it in that version. A search for "Jesus in Glory" or "Christ in Glory" often shows the Transfiguration - where Elijah and Moses flank Jesus. No disciple emerges as a favorite in those depictions...
  • Sermon Notes (Proper 24B)(2018)

    by Paul Nuechterlein
    One of my closest friends at seminary was Mark Brocker, now a pastor in Beaverton, OR. He worked two big influences in my life: a summer at church camp in Coeur d’Alene, ID, and adopting orphaned children from West Africa. Mark is a scholarly type (on the team who published Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Works in English) who finally published his own book two years ago: Coming Home to Earth, expressing his love of God’s creation and call to eco-justice. He begins the book: As a young teenager in rural Wisconsin I lay awake one night worrying whether I believed in Jesus enough to get to heaven. It was unusual for me not to fall asleep right away. During the day I tended to be preoccupied with school and sports. But at least on this one night, concern for my personal salvation kept me awake longer than usual. My Norwegian Lutheran forbears were not strong proponents of rapture theology. I do not remember hearing talk about being “left behind.” Nonetheless, we tended to be afflicted with “getting to heaven anxiety,” a milder version of “left behind” thinking, reflecting an excessive focus on individual salvation and a loss of concern for the well-being of Earth...
  • How Will You Measure Your Life? By Who and How You Serve

    by Beth Quick
    Pastor Adam Hamilton suggests that the more power we have, the harder it is when others try to control it. He recounts two situations where a person’s power was demonstrated in their insisting on their own way and refusing any restrictions on that power. He went to lunch with a man who insisted to the host that they would sit in a section of the restaurant that was closed off for the evening already. He put up a fuss until the host gave in, and Hamilton found himself embarrassed and worried about what the restaurant staff would do to their food! Another time, Hamilton was standing in line at a store behind a person who was trying to return an item but they didn’t have the receipt. They wanted to get cash back, but the store policy was to give store credit when there was no receipt. The person berated the cashier until the cashier finally gave in. Hamilton asks, “What price does your character have, just so you can get your way?” The world teaches us to seek after power, but it isn’t a very good measure of our life. We don’t want to measure our life by how often we’ve gotten our own way, and how often we got to be in charge, and by how many people we get to boss around.
  • Different Kinds of Glory

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    the Gospels teach a very different lesson: On the cross Jesus proves that he is powerful beyond measure, not by doing some spectacular physical act that leaves everyone around him helpless to make any protest, but in a spectacular act of the heart wherein he forgives those who are mocking and killing him. Divine kingship is manifest in forgiveness, not in muscle. That is real glory, and that is the one thing of which we really should be envious, namely, the compassion and forgiveness that Jesus manifested in the face of jealousy, hatred, and murder...
  • God's Favorites

    by David Russell
    Writer Frederick Buechner spoke of how Jesus’ way collides with the ways of the culture: If the world is sane, then Jesus is mad as a hatter and the Last Supper is the Mad Tea Party. The world says, Mind your own business, and Jesus says, There is no such thing as your own business. The world says, Follow the wisest course and be a success, and Jesus says, Follow me and be crucified. The world says, Drive carefully - the life you save may be your own - and Jesus says, Whoever would save his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. The world says, Law and order, and Jesus says, Love. The world says, Get and Jesus says, Give. In terms of the world’s sanity, Jesus is crazy as a coot, and anybody who thinks they can follow him without being a little crazy too is laboring less under a cross than under a delusion...
  • Responding Joyfully with Our Lives

    by Deborah Sokolove
    Last week, I went to the closing reception of an art show where some works by my friend Helen Zughaib were on exhibit. I’ve been following Helen’s work since 2005, when I showed her joy-filled series Stories My Father Told Me in the Dadian Gallery. In these paintings, Helen remembers her childhood in Lebanon, preserving the vivid memory of her father’s stories about relatives and folk heroes, while never forgetting the pain of knowing that the world she depicted had been destroyed by what seems to be an unending war. Helen’s life as a Lebanese Christian and an immigrant in the US has made her particularly sensitive to the plight of refugees and oppressed peoples everywhere, especially in the Middle East. In recent years her work has become increasingly filled with their images. However, rather than surrendering to the sadness and anger that threaten to turn even the most good-hearted people into bitter mirror images of the oppressors, Helen manages to insist that joy can be the true ground and being of our lives even when facing the most terrible of hardships...
  • Preaching Helps (Proper 24B)(2018)

    by Leonard Vander Zee
    We are at the brink of a national election of some importance to the future of our country. It would be refreshing if the various campaigns made it a point to emphasize the service which their candidate offers the country, but that’s not the way the “Gentiles” operate. Rather we must watch depressing ads in which candidates vie for power by putting down their opponent in a power struggle for the top. The corrupting nature of power politics was well-understood by the framers of the constitution. They may not have all been orthodox believers, but they had imbibed enough biblical and historical wisdom to understand the corruption of power. Their plan was to erect a system of balance of power that would thwart the power of hierarchy. Jesus’s words here should be seen as the constitution of the church, the counter-cultural kingdom of God. Servanthood is the primary quality of leadership, and self-giving is the primary attitude for which we look...
  • The Cup of Servanthood

    by Tim Willis
    One of my early influences was my mother. She was the WMU director of my home church in Texas. She asked me to go with her one cold Saturday morning when I would have rather stayed in bed. We ventured out to a rural area where a woman with five children lived. Her husband had been the dairy hand and they were living in an old run-down house. He had left her a few months back and she took over the dairy hand duties. Her oldest daughter was twelve and in charge of the other four children that included an infant in diapers. I followed my mother into the home that had no heat and the children had very little to wear. The baby shivered in a wet diaper. The mother has just returned to the house exhausted after milking sixty-eight head of cattle. I helped my mother quietly pass out food and clothing. I cleaned the kitchen while she changed the diaper and gently rocked the crying baby. In no time the child had drifted off to sleep. She gathered the woman and children around her and led us in prayer. She then promised the woman that the propane tank would be filled on Monday to provide heat and that more groceries, clothing and school supplies would be brought out the next week. I will never forget the calming and encouraging effect my mother had on that lady and her children. As we drove away from that house I saw tears roll down my mother’s cheeks. She had helped me learn how to drink from the cup of servanthood...
  • Images of James

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • Images of John

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2015 to 2017

  • The Meaning of Suffering

    by Phil Bloom
    Padre Pio, has a helpful image. He invites us to imagine a small boy looking up at his mother doing embroidery. Seeing only knots and tangled threads, he asks his mother what she is doing. She lowers the embroidery hoop, and shows the good part of her work. Says Padre Pio, 'Each color is in place, and the various threads form a harmonious design.' That's the first thing we need to say about suffering. We see the knots and tangles; God see the embroidery from beginning to end...
  • Proper 24B (2015)

    by Delmer Chilton
    Scroll down the page for this resource. The story is, Sir Isaac Newton, the great scientist and mathematician, had a dog that he loved very much. Wherever Newton went, the dog went with him. One time he had worked for months and months on a theory about the nature of the universe, working late into the night by candlelight, his worktable covered with papers, which were in turn covered with formulas and theorems and conclusions. Late one night, Newton got up from the table to leave the room and the dog jumped up and bumped the table, turning over the candle, which set Newton’s papers on fire. Newton returned to the room to find years of work gone up in flames. He put out the fire, then sat on the floor and wept. The dog nuzzled up to him and licked his face and Newton hugged his dog and said, “You will never, ever know what you have done.” (Ravi Zacharias, Jesus Among Other Gods, p. 36) The story is, when Eve took the fruit from the tree and when Adam took the fruit from Eve; things fell apart. And God looked at Adam and Eve with great sadness and said, “You will never ever know what you have done.” The story is, what began in Adam and Eve keeps showing up in the Bible. Time and time again, God’s people play out a personal little Garden of Eden in which they discover their all too common capacity for doing things that tear God’s creation apart. And God kept on weeping and shaking his head and telling the people, “You have no idea what you have done.”...
  • Proper 24B (2015)

    by Andy Doyle
    Henri Nouwen wrote: 'Can you drink the cup? Can you empty it to the dregs? Can you taste all the sorrows and joys? Can you live your life to the full whatever it will bring? I realized these were our questions. But why should we drink this cup? There is so much pain, so mcuh anguish, so much violence, Why should we drink the cup? Wouldn't it be a lot easier to live normal lives with a minimum of pain and a maximum of pleasure?...
  • Drink the Cup That Jesus Drinks

    by Ben Helmer
    Carl is a man who had a successful career as a consultant. After his retirement he continued to attend his church, but he also devoted his time to finding out who were the poor in his community and bringing people together to help serve them. He helped organize weekly suppers for everybody at his church with meals supplied by local restaurants. He created new community where people from the neighborhood and all walks of life met for food and fellowship. He also organized a successful program that began providing food on the weekends for children in need. Now afflicted with a serious illness, he and his wife continue to remain interested and concerned about others...
  • James, John, Jesus and My Great Aunt Esther

    by Janet Hunt
    Esther was my grandmother's sister. This is what I knew of Esther: She was not educated by the world's standards. Like many in her generation, she had only completed eight years of formal schooling. Her husband, Glenn, was a laborer --- all of his life he worked hard. They lived in a small gray house by the railroad tracks. She was a person of deep faith. I especially remember when we went to visit, my sisters and I would clamor to go to her Sunday School class at St.Luke's Lutheran Church in Waukesha...
  • In the Name of What?

    by Beth Kawasaki
    My favorite book on leadership is Henri Nouwen’s In the Name of Jesus. And like the lectionary, it speaks to the costly and paradoxical nature of Christian leadership. Nouwen, a Dutch-born Catholic priest, professor and writer, had reached the highest level of success and influence as a religious academic: teaching at the University of Notre Dame, and then Yale and Harvard Divinity Schools. He later left academia to live in L’Arche Daybreak community with profoundly developmentally-disabled adults. His experience as pastor there broke open his definitions of success and leadership and led to this small book.
  • America: God's Chosen?

    by Terrance Klein
    Lincoln, Kennedy, Dr. King: like so many other fallen Americans, they were conformed unto the Christ. But we are called to a heroism beyond bullets and battlefields. Justice and peace are of God. To receive them, the depths of the human must be laid open. God's city upon a hill, wherever it rises, is a city that remembers the poor, that welcomes the stranger, that enables all its citizens....
  • The 13th Disciple

    Narrative Sermon by Larry Patten
  • The Fire This Time

    by Nancy Rockwell
    A week ago, at the New Yorker (magazine) Festival, I went to a panel discussion about race in our time. It was held in a make-shift hall that is normally a car show room. The cars were parked outside on the street, and the showroom was full of folding chairs and a portable stage. At one point, when the conversation turned to Charleston and the massacre in the church, Ta-Nehisi Coates (who argues forcefully for reparations) provoked a conversation by saying that he was unable to understand the forgiveness the relatives of the victims had offered the shooter...
  • Different Kinds of Glory

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    But, with a subtlety that's easy to miss, the Gospels teach a very different lesson: On the cross, Jesus proves that he is powerful beyond measure, not by doing some spectacular physical act that leaves everyone around him helpless to make any protest, but in a spectacular act of the heart wherein he forgives those who are mocking and killing him. Divine kingship is manifest in forgiveness, not in muscle....
  • True Greatness

    by Keith Wagner
    "When Sam Rayburn entered politics he was an advocate of the poor and underprivileged. He challenged big business and was not persuaded by lobbyist groups. He also had dreamed of being Speaker of the House, the number three leader in government. Early in his career he was known for his long, two-hour speeches. But, then a strange thing happened..." and other short illustrations

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2009 to 2014

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Servus Servorum

    by Stephen Chanderbhan
    ("One night, while putzing around the internet, I stumbled upon one of those websites with random quizzes. These things aren't usually legit. However, one halfway serious quiz caught my eye: What Kind of Leader Are You?...")
  • Proper 24B (2012)

    by Delmer Chilton
    When I was about 12 or 13, I was in the Boy Scouts. My Dad was one of the dads who helped out. One night we were playing around in the parking lot and I fell while racing some other boys. I hit squarely on my forehead in the gravel, and a piece of gravel got lodged under the skin against my skull. Our Scoutmaster was also the local doctor and his clinic was across the road, so he and Daddy took me in there to tend to my wound...

    (Scroll down the page for this resource.)

  • Cheap Success or Self-Surrender?

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("In his book Let Your Life Speak, Parker Palmer tells how he was offered the presidency of a small educational institution. He wanted the job, and thought he should take it. Nevertheless, given his Quaker tradition, he assembled a "clearness committee" of a half-dozen trusted friends. Their job wasn't to give advice but to ask honest, open-ended questions, so that Palmer could discern his vocational call for himself..." and another illustration)
  • Not So with You

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("The humorist Dave Berry learned a thing or two on his summer internship in Washington forty years ago. But like many internships, his expectations met with very different realities. Years later, and with typical wit and wisdom, Berry deconstructed the distorted values that characterized those corridors of power...")
  • *Are You Able?

    Narrative Sermon by Frank Fisher
  • Upside Down

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("Alice in Wonderland is a story that certainly engages our imagination as we try to imagine what it was like for Alice to make sense of the back to front upside down world in which she found herself. Let's use our imagination. We aren't going to imagine what it's like to be in Wonderland and meet White Rabbits or Mad Hatters but pretend to be something much more ordinary – a common fly...")
  • Proper 24B (2009)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Most people, if they are honest, admit that they like power, they like influence, they like perks. According to Robert Caro, in the mid-twentieth century, the United States Senate was a haven for power-hungry men in love with prestige. Senator Carl Hayden of Arizona was known to enter the Senate cafeteria and lay his cane on whatever table he chose to sit at for lunch....")
  • Servant Leadership

    by Charles Hoffacker
    A group of exhausted soldiers were struggling and straining to repair a small defensive barrier. One of them shouted orders at the others, but made no attempt to help them. Suddenly a civilian came by on horseback. He asked the soldier in charge why he wasn't helping in the effort. The solider responded, "Sir, I am a corporal!" The stranger apologized, dismounted, and helped the exhausted soldiers in their work. Once the job was done, he turned to the corporal and said, "Corporal, next time you have a job like this and not enough men to do it, go to your commander-in-chief and I will come and help you again." With that, George Washington got on his horse and rode off...
  • Great Service

    by Kate Huey
    (includes several quotes)
  • True Greatness

    by Beth Johnston
    Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye is a heartwarming tv show about a deaf woman who is hired by the FBI because she can read lips. In post 9/11 Washington the agents in her little unit usually spend their time thwarting the schemes of domestic terrorists but occasionally they solve cold cases, etc...
  • Greatness

    by Rick Miles
    Can you guess who said this? “I am the Greatest! I want everyone to bear witness, I am the greatest! I'm the greatest thing that ever lived. I don't have a mark on my face, and I upset Sonny Liston, and I just turned twenty-two years old. I must be the greatest. I showed the world. I talk to God everyday. I know the real God. I shook up the world; I'm the king of the world. You must listen to me. I am the greatest! I can't be beat!" For a good many of us here, I don’t even have to provide a helpful hint for you; you already know who said that. You may even have been watching live on television when he said it. It was, of course, Muhammad Ali, truly the greatest boxer of his era. See if you can guess who said this. "Wouldn't it be a beautiful world if just 10 percent of the people who believe in the power of love would compete with one another to see who could do the most good for the most people?" Any guesses? It‘s Muhammad Ali; same guy as that first quote. Well, maybe not the same guy, exactly. The two statements could hardly be more different. The first is Ali's boyish bluster from 1964, just after he defeated Sonny Liston for the first time. The second is something he wrote in his autobiography, The Soul of a Butterfly, in 2004. Forty years separate the two quotations. Forty years of living. A lot can change in half a lifetime...
  • Wishing to Be Great

    by Nathan Nettleton
    Albus Dumbledore is the Headmaster of Hogwarts. One of the distinctive features of Dumbledore is that he doesn’t seem to feel any need to lord it over anybody. There is no discernible aggression or macho posturing. He doesn’t show any need to prove his leadership. He doesn’t demand that it be recognised. There is a very real humility without any of the pretentious false humility that causes many of us to downplay our gifts. Dumbledore can acknowledge that he has a great intellect and unusually great powers, but he does so simply as a statement of fact with no demand that anybody therefore bow down to him or put his name up in lights. And this calm and unpretentious self-assurance gives him enormous natural authority. Despite having great and even spectacular powers, he never looks for opportunities to display them. Instead, he is devoted to bringing out the best in others. His enemies suggest that his greatest weakness is his capacity and willingness to always believe the best of others. It is indeed a “weakness” that costs him dearly at times, but it is the essential nature of his service too...
  • *Are You a Walking Corn Chip or a Living Christ Image?

    by Paul Rooney
    ("did you know that foods like ketchup, salad dressing, soda pop, cookies and chips all contain Corn, usually derived from corn syrup additives? I think that most of us here have heard of Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who appears on CNN as their Chief Medical Correspondent. He took a look at the old saying, 'You are what you eat' to see if there was any truth to the proverb...")
  • Pain's End

    by Stephen Schuette
    ("At our clergy conversation around these texts a friend suggested the book Hurt People Hurt People by Sandra Wilson. The thesis is that the pain we inflict has its source in the pain that we've received. Not knowing what else to do with it, and since it needs to go somewhere, we pass it on in a never-ending cycle...")
  • *Not So with You

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("How many of us here this morning were born BC? By 'BC' I mean 'Before Cell-phones?' The first cell phone was invented in 1973 by Martin Cooper. My kids were born AC, but I was born BC. In a world of 7 billion people, there are now 5 billion cell phone subscriptions. Pretty amazing for something under 40 years old....")
  • *Operation Omega

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("Our parents complained that 'the world is going to hell in a hand basket'. It's closer to the truth to say that 'the world is going to hell in a shopping cart'. Your soul, not to mention your budget, is in mortal danger as you approach the grocery store checkout lane...")
  • The Unknowable Shape of Things to Come

    by Brian Volck
    ("In his book Thoughts in Solitude, Thomas Merton offers this prayer: 'My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself...")
  • Proper 24B (2012)

    by Suzanne Watson
    ("One young mother recalls her difficult transition from paid employment to being a stay-at-home mother after the birth of her first child. A spiritual director assisted her in the process, instructing her to walk with the baby each day, being acutely aware of her surroundings and being alert to where God might be" and other quotes)
  • Good News?

    by William Willimon
    ("I know a young man, he's a Baptist, who became an active Christian in high school. He was going through a turbulent period in his life. In an emotional youth worship service, he gave his life to Christ. He said of his conversion, 'I have found what I've always been looking for.' I visited with him a while back..." and another illustration)
  • Everyone Needs an Enemy

    by Peter Woods
    ("When last did you scapegoat someone and feel so much better? If you are human, it happens quite frequently. At least according to Rene' Girard, Stanford University professor of sociology who was converted from atheism to Roman Catholicism by his study of human conflict and violence. Let me illustrate his theory...")
  • Ransomed for Service

    by Samuel Zumwalt
    "A delightful young couple was meeting with me regularly in preparation for their wedding day. As the day drew near, her parents wanted to make this transition a special one. They took the bride with them on one last family vacation before her pending marriage. It was a very special African photo safari. As part of the safari, they happened upon a photo opportunity with a local village chieftain..." - a humorous read!

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

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Jesus as Lord, Jesus as Servant

    by Diogenes Allen
    ("George Herbert in his poem The Agony expresses this dual character of a judicial murder that is at the same time a holy action: 'Philosophers have measur'd mountains, Fathomed the depths of seas, of states, and kings, Walk'd with a staff to heav'n, and traced fountains...")
  • Servant Leadership

    by Mickey Anders
    ("In Hermann Hesse's little book, Journey to the East, he tells the story of a band of men on a mythical journey to join a special Order. The central figure of the story is Leo, the servant who does the menial chores for the group. But Leo has an unusual presence about him. His spirit and his songs sustain the group...")
  • The Path from My First Execution

    by John Auer
    There is something about the Jesus we meet again and again in such gospel moments as this who knows that killing just leads to more killing. Only dying for him, for what he stands for and lives for and dies for himself – only dying can break the cycles. So many recent deaths come to mind. Amy Biehl of southern California who died trying to help end apartheid in South Africa. Her family attended the trial of her killers and publicly forgave them and asked that they not be killed in return. Daniel Pearl, New York reporter, kidnapped and murdered for religious reasons in Pakistan. His family set up a foundation to build better communications among the religions of the world. Rachel Corrie of the northwest whose family has shared her words with the world to build awareness of her death defending Palestinian homes. Young Nicholas Green of northern California whose family donated six vital organs to others when he was killed in a robbery in Italy. And of course the five Amish girl-children shot down in their one-room schoolhouse in Pennsylvania. Their parents announced forgiveness of their murderer immediately. They reached out to the killer’s family, inviting them to share family grief and memorial service and remain with them in tight-knit community. Amish historical origins lie with Anabaptist martyrs burned at the stake, beheaded and tortured by the state – because they stood for individual freedom of decisions about religion. They learned to yield their lives completely to God’s protection. They took their gospel naturally and normatively...
  • Power and Glory

    by Christina Berry
    ("Max Lucado elegantly sets God’s power and glory Next to our feeble efforts. Speaking in the voice of God, Like the writer of the book of Job, Lucado writes: I've seen you stalking the malls, walking the aisles, searching for that extra-special gift. Stashing away a few dollars a month to buy him some lizard-skin boots; staring at a thousand rings to find her the best diamond...")
  • A Leading Question

    by Peter Blackburn
    ("In the late 1940s Whittaker Chambers was called to witness before a New York Grand Jury against Alger Hiss, a high US government official. Chambers, a one-time Communist, accused Hiss of attempting to transmit confidential government documents to the Soviet Union through him. When asked what it meant to be a Communist by one of the jurors, Chambers told them that when he was a Communist, he had three heroes...")
  • The Problem of Envy, and Jesus' Solution

    by Phil Bloom
    ("I had a terrible experience of envy when I was a young priest. One of my parishioners had everything which I felt would make me happy: a beautiful wife, some great kids, a lovely home. I especially envied his profession - it seemed more exciting than the humdrum work of the parish...")
  • Vaulting Ambition

    by Phil Bloom
    ("St. Hippolytus lived in Rome at the beginning of the third century. Hippolytus was a brilliant man, but he suffered from a defect common to intellectuals. He was proud to the point of arrogance and he resented anyone having authority over him - especially those he considered his intellectual inferiors...")
  • Power, Pleasure and Wealth

    by Patrick Brennan
    A doctor friend of mine was telling me recently that he has become concerned about a peer of his, another doctor. This other doctor's number of patients has risen exponentially. But as patients have increased in number, the doctor's bedside manner, and style of inter-acting with patients have deteriorated...
  • *Where Do We Sit?

    by Margaret Buchanan
    ("In 1986, this story hit the news. On the evening of August 31, the Soviet cruise liner Admiral Nakhimov set sail on the Black Sea. This large passenger liner was carrying 884 passengers and 346 crewmembers on a voyage to Odessa. Shortly after 11 p.m., a 50,000-ton freighter was spotted on a collision course with the cruise liner...")
  • The Journey

    by Thomas Lane Butts
    ("Charles Haddon Spurgeon was a famous 19th century English minister. As a young person, he had a lot of spiritual problems. His mind was filled with doubts which seemed to stand between him and a meaningful relationship with God..." and other illustrations)
  • Some Facts of Life

    by Bede Camera, OSB
    ("Here are twenty-five facts of life. The first one is easy to forget. In fact, I'll bet you forgot it several times this week. #1: God loves you. #2. God wants you to make it to heaven...")
  • Greatness and Glory: The Jesus Way

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("In a column that rings more true today than when he first wrote it, the humorist Dave Berry recalls his summer internship in Washington's corridors of power forty years ago, and the distorted values that characterized so much of what he experienced...")
  • No Problem

    by Patricia de Jong
    ("One of Bill Coffin's favorite sermon illustrations is a story about a beggar in 16th-century Paris who, desperately ill, was taken to an operating table by a group of doctors. They said in a Latin they thought he would not understand, 'Let us experiment on this vile fellow.'...")
  • True Greatness

    by Gwen Drake
    It was the Sunday after 9/11, 2001 at the Dallas United Methodist Church, my previous church. The church was full as were most churches, synagogues, and worshiping places that week. I came that Sunday with no special words of wisdom. I was prepared to acknowledge reality in a sacred space, that's all. I had prepared a sermon, but it did not feel like enough...
  • The Caring Servant

    by Richard Fairchild
    ("During the American Revolutionary War a company of soldiers under the command of a captain was building a fort out of a pile of heavy logs. While wrestling with a log which was to form the capstone and was really too heavy for the men to handle, the captain kept yelling at his men 'heave it up', while he himself stood by with his hands on his hips...")
  • A Man of Unassuming Brilliance

    by Tom Fox
    (A prayer service for Bishop Ken Untener Tuesday evening began fittingly with The Servant Song written by Richard Gilliard. Untener saw himself as a servant bishop. When he was first consecrated as Saginaw bishop he said, 'My name is Ken, and I'm going to be your waiter, and I'm going to serve you for a long time.'...)
  • Fundamental Wildness

    by Anna Gilcher
    ("I am going to read a long passage from Jerry May's last book, written as he was dying. I lie awake for a long time, sleepy yet energized by fear. I realize the fear is just happening, all by itself. Nothing is scaring me. It's not that I have an idea about what might be of danger and then become afraid of it...")
  • The Servant

    Gospel Parody by Raymond M. Gotko
  • Ordinary 29B (2006)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time, a widow in her early 70s began thinking about moving from the big family home to a smaller, more manageable residence. One day when youngest daughter was visiting and began playing the piano, the mom told her that when she did move, this daughter could have the piano...")
  • *Want

    by George Griffin
    ("Early in 1954, Perry Como had a song that remained in the number one spot for eight whole weeks called WANTED: Someone who kissed me / And held me closely / Then stole my heart / Wanted / Someone I trusted / Who gave no warning / That we'd ever part...")
  • Siev X: The Untold Tragedy

    by Rex Hunt
    Thursday the 19 October 2006 will mark the 5th anniversary of the sinking of the boat subsequently referred to as ‘Siev X’ (suspected illegal entry vessel unknown) carrying a load of asylum seekers, mainly from Iraq and Afghanistan. Barely hours after departing southern Sumatra, the engines failed and the boat capsized. Most of the passengers drowned, mainly women and children, however some 100 survivors managed to swim to the surface and grab onto floating debris. They spent 19 hours in the water and when two Indonesian fishing vessels eventually came to their rescue, only 45 had survived the ordeal. 353 had drowned - 146 children, 142 women and 65 men.
  • The Servant's Quarters

    by John Jewell
    ("Years ago, I spent a week with friends who owned a large and lovely mid 19th century home in New England. When I arrived, they greeted me and showed me to me room which we reached by a large mahogany staircase. The landing of the staircase boasted a beautiful stained glass of a patriarchal figure who seemed to oversee the household.I was truly amazed...")
  • The Big Picture

    by Beth Johnston
    "Christoph Meili was a bank guard at the Union Bank of Switzerland in Zurich, the country's largest bank. While working the night shift over a year ago now, Meili made a routine check of the basement shredding room, where useless bank documents were destroyed. But there was nothing routine about what he saw..." and another illustration
  • *Will the Real Leader Please Step Forward?

    by Pamela Laing
    ("One day their drill sergeant came out and threw a hand grenade into a group of young soldiers. The men all ran away and took cover away from the grenade. Then the drill sergeant told them that the grenade was not set to explode and he just did it to see their reaction. The next day a newly recruited soldier joined the group..." and another illustration)
  • Having the Heart and Hands of a Servant

    by Edward Markquart
    ("The greatest. Who is the greatest? Let’s play a guessing game. Which sporting event had the greatest viewing audience ever? The 2004 summer Olympics, 3.8 billion people. Who won the greatest number of Olympic medals ever? 18 medals. Larissa Latynina, the gymnast from the USSR, won 18 medals between 1956-64...")
  • Not So Among You

    by David Martyn
    ("Journey to the East by Herman Hesse, is written from the point of view of a man who becomes a member of 'The League'. The narrator speaks of travelling through both time and space, across geography imaginary and real. Although at first fun and enlightening, the Journey runs into a crisis in a deep mountain gorge when Leo, a simple servant, disappears, causing the group to plummet into anxiety and argument...")
  • Healthy Ambition

    by Philip McLarty
    Whether it’s a hunger for power or prominence or prestige or worldly possessions, once greed takes hold of ambition, it corrupts, and then it kills. This is what happened to Kenneth Lay, the founder and CEO of Enron. He grew up in Missouri, the son of a part-time Baptist preacher and tractor salesman. His family was dirt poor. But Lay was ambitious. He managed to get accepted into the University of Missouri, where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He went on from there to land a job with Exxon in Houston. That led to a government job as a federal regulator. In no time, he was undersecretary for the Department of the Interior. He was a rising star. When the federal government deregulated energy, Lay returned to the private sector to form Enron. It quickly became a high-tech corporation on the cutting edge. Its stocks soared. Investors couldn’t get enough of it. Then it fizzled. And then it crashed. As it turned out, Lay and his executives were cooking the books – falsifying reports so as to exaggerate earnings. Toward the end, Lay sold off most of his stock while convincing others to buy more. When Enron folded, he walked away with millions of dollars, while everyone else lost the farm...
  • The Greatest of All Times

    by Tim Meadows
    I’m pretty, I’m a bad man, I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, I’m the greatest of all times. These presumptuous and braggadocios statements were the constant proclamations of former world boxing champion Muhammad Ali, who began his career as Cassius Clay. What a career it was. Three time undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, Ali held a 56-5 record. His professional career was preceded by an Olympic run that resulted in a gold medal. Impressive! But can we really affirm with Ali that he was the greatest of all times? I suppose we will have to leave that decision to the passage of time, and sports historians opinions, but we know from Ali’s present life situation, that whatever his level of greatness may have been, it was fleeting.
  • *Proper 24B (2006)

    by Robert Morrison
    ("Nouwen wrote, 'In this book I want to tell you the story of the cup, not just as my story, but as the story of life. 'When Jesus asks his friends James and John, the sons of Zebedee, "Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?", he poses the question that goes right to the heart of my priesthood and my life as a human being...")
  • Drinking From the Cup of Wrath

    Narrative Sermon by Eric Muirhead
  • When You're Good to Mama

    by Nancy Nichols
    ("Perhaps the best part of the Flapper era movie Chicago is when Warden Mrs. Morton, beautifully portrayed by Queen Latifah, bumps and grinds her way through the song . Although she is singing about the favors given to her by the residents of the Cook County jail, she might just as well be singing about James and John, and anyone else for that matter...")
  • A "Who Dunnit" with a Gracious Twist

    by Paul Nuechterlein
    ("My favorite story about changing our minds about God is one from Christian counselor Dennis Linn, a personal story about how his mind was changed about God. He tells of Hilda coming into his office one day because her son had tried to commit suicide for the fourth time. She described how her son was involved in prostitution, drug dealing and murder ..." and another illustration)
  • Ordinary 29B (2006)

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("When I was about 19, I decided I needed to learn something about computers. So I went along to a computer training center to find out about it. The course cost so much per lesson, so I asked how many lessons I would need just to learn the basics of how to get a computer to work. And the man said, 'five lessons'. So I worked out how much that was and said 'OK'...")
  • *Proper 24B (2000)

    by Joe Parrish
    ("In a story told by Pastor Michael Sherer, a volunteer by the name of Martin saw the rising river poised to flood his town. He went to help by placing sandbags at the raging river's edge. He worked diligently, and the river's ferocity was ruled in..." and other illustrations)
  • *The Servant Suffers

    by Michael Phillips
    ("Mark Twain, after he truly learned how to be a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi, had a problem. ‘Now when I had mastered the language of this water, and had come to know every trifling feature that bordered the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet, I had made a valuable acquisition..." and other illustrations)
  • The Core of Our Identity

    by David D. Prince
    ("When the Amish people of Pennsylvania were asked why they forgave and helped the murderer's family, they seemed surprised. Their answer was, 'That's what we do.'...")
  • Are We Able?

    by John Ewing Roberts
    ("A room-service waiter at a Marriott hotel learned that the sister of a guest had just died. The waiter, named Charles, bought a sympathy card, had hotel staff members sign it, and gave it to the grieving guest with a piece of hot apple pie...")
  • Are We Able?

    by J. Richard Short
    ("My Dad invited me to attend the closing banquet of a golf tournament several years ago. My conversation with this man illustrated well what I have been talking about. He and his wife are devout Roman Catholics, and very involved in the life of their church. He remembers fondly one particular Sunday morning, when he was the lay reader, and all four of his sons were acolytes..." and other illustrations)
  • *Ordinary 29B (2003)

    by Benjamin Sim, SJ
    ("Francis Joseph was emperor of Austria and king of Hungary from 1848 to 1916, one of the longest reigns in history. It was also the most progressive. Francis Joseph could be strict, but mostly he reigned with kindness. Early in his reign, an epidemic of cholera swept through Europe...")
  • How's Your Serve?

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("James Moore tells about a man named George. George was a peacemaker with a big heart and wonderful sense of humor. George claimed he was, 'so tenderhearted that he cried at supermarket openings!' Everyone at Church loved George. He was respected at the hospital where he worked..." and other illustrations)
  • *Illustrations (Proper 24B)

    from Leonard Sweet
    ("In his book An Hour Before Daylight, former President Jimmy Carter reflects on his childhood in rural Georgia, his relationship with his parents, and his infamous brother Billy. He writes, "Mama always said that Billy was the smartest of her children, and none of us argued with her...")
  • The Thirst for Titles

    by Alex Thomas
    ("People love titles because they often bring with them a certain kind of status. We have lived with a lot of titles in human history. There have been court titles like King, Emperor, Czar, Sultan. Also, there are titles like Duke, Earl, and Count..." and other illustrations)
  • What's Wrong With Being Number Two?

    by Alex Thomas
    ("There is an interesting little piece from Tuesdays With Morrie written by Mitch Albom. He remembers fondly his professor, Morrie at a basketball game: It is 1979, a basketball game in the Brandeis gym. The team is doing well, and the student section begins to chant, 'We're number one! We're number one!' Morrie is sitting nearby. He is puzzled by the cheer...")
  • Looking Glass Ethics

    by J. Barry Vaughn
    ("In Through the Looking Glass, the author Lewis Carroll takes his character Alice on a series of adventures in “Looking Glass Land,” where you have to run as fast as you can just to stay in one place and where the Red King practices believing six impossible things before breakfast...")
  • First Class Faith

    by Keith Wagner
    ("My daughter and her husband made reservations at a condominium in Myrtle Beach one summer. When they arrived they were told that their condo was not available. Squirrels had found their way into the walls and got trapped. They eventually died and the condo had a terrible odor...")
  • The Paradox of Faith

    by Keith Wagner
    ("Betty Tisdale was the wife of a Naval Doctor in Vietnam. She had compassion on the hundreds of orphans in Saigon. She made l4 trips to Saigon by using her life savings. With great determination she managed to airlift orphans from Vietnam during the time it was falling into the hands of the North Vietnamese..." and other illustrations)
  • Saying "Yes" Is Never Easy

    by Keith Wagner
    ("A year ago, the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting presented Elia Esparza with the 2002 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival's 1st Annual Desi Arnaz Memorial Scholarship Award for Best Story for a Motion Picture or Movie Made for Television for her work on The Ladies of Doheny..." and other illustrations)
  • Feast of St. James

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("There were two men who were inseparable friends from childhood. Though their love bound them together, a series of unfortunate circumstances forced them to live in separate and hostile countries. One day one of the men, a merchant, came to visit his friend..." and other illustrations)
  • Reformation Sunday

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("Even before the dawn one Friday morning I noticed a young man, handsome and strong, walking the alleys of our City. He was pulling an old cart filled with clothes both bright and new, and he was calling in a clear, tenor voice: 'Rags! Rags! New rags for old! I take your tired rags! Rags!' ...")
  • Unconditional Service

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("There is a story of the scholar, musician and doctor, Albert Schweitzer, nailing on the roof of a hospital building in the Lambarene and seeing an African native passing, calling out to him to come up and help him, only to receive the man's refusal and his haughty explanation, 'I can read and write.'..." and another illustration)
  • Learning What to Wish For

    by David Zersen
    ("A trial is taking place in a courtroom in South Africa where the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is attempting to bring to closure the long-range impact of some of the atrocities committed under Apartheid. A policeman by the name of van de Broek is charged with having killed the 18 year old son of a woman, and then burning his body...")
  • Your Eyes, God's Eyes

    by Timothy Zingale
    ("In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to learning-disabled children. At a Chush fund-raising dinner, the father of a Chush child delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, 'Where is the perfection in my son Shaya? Everything that God does is done with perfection..." and other illustrations)

Other Resources from 2018 to 2020

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from 2015 to 2017

Other Resources from 2012 to 2014

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from 2009 to 2011

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from 2006 to 2008

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from 2003 to 2005

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from 2000 to 2002

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Resources from the Archives

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Children's Resources

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

The Classics

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable