Category | Teaching Illustrations

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You may feel like an outcast, a nobody. You may think nobody likes you, that nobody wants you. But you are God's most valued possession!

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You were created to fly. Your full potential is waiting. Life with all its excitement is ready to be seized. It is time to give up your small ambitions.

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What are you holding onto which is preventing your freedom?

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Refining our gifts, skills, talents and abilities, striving for excellence, is a very important and noble task, that gives Christ more to work with. But regardless of our level of ability, everything we have is to be used for His glory so that others see a vision of Christ when they look at us. This story and Object lesson reminds us that we must live a life that is so close to Christ, that like those in Antioch, we are called Christians - "little Christs".

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We don't always get what we want in life. We sometimes wish we were taller, smarter, more beautiful, healthier, richer, or thinner. Things might not go the way we planned - we could be cut down in our jobs, blown over by situations, our lives turned upside-down.

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Many times our lives seem like a mess and it's often our mothers who come to our rescue. We don't always see the wisdom in the things they tell us to do and sometimes we think that we're smarter than they are. But we often forget that many times, they see life through the lens of their rich life experiences. Often, it is only later, when we look back, that we appreciate their wisdom and guidance. What is true of mothers, is even more true of God. Maybe we need a change of perspective to understand life's journey.

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Stay away from Anger.
It hurts only You and nobody else.
If you are right, then there is no need to get angry,
and if you are wrong then you don't have any right to get angry.

Patience with family is love,
Patience with others is respect,
Patience with self is confidence and
Patience with GOD is faith.

Never think 

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A minister passing through his church in the middle of the day,
Decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray.
Just then the back door opened, a man came down the aisle,
The minister frowned as he saw the man hadn’t shaved in awhile.

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The cat New Year's resolutions were popular but the dog lovers felt left out. So here are some New Year's resolutions from the Dogs.

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Welcome to Flight #2013, We are prepared for take off into the New Year. Please make sure your Attitude and Blessings are secured and locked in an upright position. All self destructive devices should be turned off at this time. Should we lose Altitude under pressure during the flight, reach up and pull down a Prayer. Prayers will automatically be activated by Faith. Once your Faith is activated you can assist other passengers. There will be NO BAGGAGE allowed on this flight. The captain has cleared us for takeoff. Destination GREATNESS!! Have a Blessed New Year Friends .

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Just got this from a friend via email and thought I’d share it with you.

A priest was on a long flight home after a Church Conference.

The first warning of approaching problems came when the ‘Fasten Your Seat Belts’ sign flashed on. After a while a calm voice said, “We shall not be serving beverages at this time as

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Scan of the Newspaper Editorial "Yes, Virginia,There Is A Santa Claus"

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

VIRGINIA O’HANLON.
115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET.

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He remembers it well…

On Tuesday, the 21st of December that year, the pastor went over to his church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

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The church is called to be the light of the world. We are called to save lives. While moral and social issues are part of that calling, they must never replace the Great Commission, to take the gospel to a world that is lost and dying without it.

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Burdens

 
I took a burden to the Lord
To cast and leave it there.
I knelt and told Him my plight,
And wrestled deep in prayer.

But rising up to go my way
I felt a deep despair,
For as I tried to trudge along,
My burden was still there!

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The fishermen had let their lines down into the water when Dan noticed a school of dolphins had come alongside and were swimming in the boat’s wake.  He immediately shouted for the lines to be drawn in.  The fisherman hurriedly reeled in thier lines but it was too late–one of the dolphins had been snared.  He dove deep, trying to

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Franciszek Gajowniczek spent his whole life honoring a man who died on his behalf, yet as Christian youth, we often ignore the One who made an even greater sacrifice for us and saved our lives for now and eternity.

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Runner’s World (8/91), told the story of Beth Anne DeCiantis’s attempt to qualify for the 1992 Olympic Trials marathon. A female runner must complete the 27-mile, 385-yard race in less than two hours, forty-five minutes to compete at the Olympic Trials.

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“…I run to win that which Jesus Christ has already won for me. Brothers and sisters, I can’t consider myself a winner yet. This is what I do: I don’t look back, I lengthen my stride, and I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God’s heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:12-14

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Ryan Hall - Running by FaithOlympic Marathon Runner Ryan Hall

 

I read an article today in the New York Times about an exceptional runner. His name is Ryan Hall. You’ve got to read it to believe it.

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Johnny Fulton was run over by a car at the age of three. He suffered crushed hips, broken ribs, a fractured skull, and compound fractures in his legs. It did not look as if he would live. But he would not give up. In fact, he later ran the half- mile in less than two minutes.

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A String of Ducklings

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To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who has failed his exam and has to repeat a grade.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to a pre-mature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE DAY,

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“Let me win.  But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
Special Olympics Oath

“Champions are not those who never fail, they are those who never quit…Men love winners.  They want to be identified with winners. Men open a newspaper and turn directly to the sports page because it features winners, while the front page usually

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“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
– 1 Corinthians 1:18 (KJV)

Author Unknown*

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Billy Graham, Chuck Templeton and Bron Cliffort launched out of the starting block like Olympic gold medalists in 1945. Why haven’t you heard of Chuck Templeton and Bron Cliffort? The answer may surprise you.

Chuck Templeton

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The day is over, you are driving home. You tune in your radio. You hear a little blurb about a little village in India where some villagers have died suddenly, strangely, of a flu that has never been seen before. It's not influenza, but three or four fellows are dead, and it's kind of interesting, and they're sending some doctors over there to investigate it.

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An Illustration of Prayer

The angel Gabriel was giving a newly arrived Christian a tour of heaven.  The two of them were walking side by side inside a large mailroom filled with other angels.

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A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island.

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Some youth like to tell others what do do, but don't want to soil their own hands.
They are called "Dic Taters."

Some youth never seem motivated to participate, but are just content to watch while others do the work.
They are called "Speck Taters."

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Dear God,

Thanks for giving me a daddy. You knew just what I’d need! In case you need to make daddies for other kids, I thought you might like to know what I like best about the one you sent me:

A good dad …

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A dad is a person
who is loving and kind,
And often he knows
what you have on your mind.

He’s someone who listens,
suggests, and defends ~
A dad can be one
of your very best friends!

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Attributed to Paul Harvey?

Anna May Jarvis, quote: “Mother’s Day has nothing to do with candy. Candy is junk. You give your mother a box of candy and then go home and eat most of it yourself….”

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As told by Paul Harvey

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  • 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are made for Easter each year.
  • Each day, five million marshmallow chicks and bunnies are produced in preparation for Easter.
  • 16 billion jelly beans are made for Easter
  • 63 percent of Americans would most like to receive a chocolate bunny on Easter morning, followed by marshmallow bunnies (10 percent).

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Many years ago, a dogwood tree grew on a hill outside Jerusalem. In those days, the dogwood tree was as tall and mighty as an oak, and this tree was the tallest of all the dogwoods, and extremely proud of its strength.

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whitney-houston.jpg
Description
As youth look at the story of Whitney Houston’s life, they can will find hope and look towards persevering in their own spiritual walk to leave a legacy that glorifies Christ.

“Whitney”


Illustration

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pear-tree.jpg

There was a man who had four sons.

He wanted his sons to learn not to Judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

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For the past year, take
All the suffering,
All the pain,
All the heartache,
All the rejection,
All the misunderstanding,
All the evil we encounter,
All the hatred directed at us,
All the malice we endure,
All the sadness,
All the tears,
All the sleepless nights,
All the fear,
All the doubt,
All the worry,
All the confusion,
All the

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When as a child I laughed and wept, time crept.
When as a youth I waxed more bold, time strolled.
When I became a full-grown man, time ran.
When older still I daily grew, time flew.
Soon I shall find, in passing on, time gone.
O Christ! wilt Thou have saved me then?

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I may never be as clever as my neighbor down the street.
I may never be as wealthy as some other people I’ll meet
I may never have the fame that other men may have
But I’ve just got to be successful as my little boy’s dad.

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WHO AM I?

God made Adam out of dust,
But thought it best to make me first;
So I was made before the man
According to the Lord’s Holy Plan.

My whole body God made complete,
Without arms or hands or feet.
My ways and acts did the Lord control,
But in my body He placed no soul.

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Every night, the young mother rocked her young 3 year old daughter to sleep and each night the same conversation took place between mother and daughter.

The young mother would first tell a story, then say a prayer for her daughter, and finally hum a lulaby.

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david.jpgMichelangelo is famous for his work as a sculptor and painter. Although he started 44 statues, he finished only 14. He is best remembered for his sculptures of David and also of Moses. But 30 of his sculptures are left unfinished.

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Avoid negative sources, people, places, things and habits.
Believe in yourself.
Consider things from every angle.
Don’t give up and donate give in.
Enjoy life today, yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come.
Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches.
Give more than you planned to.
Hang

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Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address.

She read the letter:

Dear Ruth,

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Our attitude determines our results. What often seems impossible is possible when God is added to the equation. Do we focus on the impossibilities or the possibilities?

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I sometimes wonder if there is a place for grace in the church today? Churches get berated for “cheap grace.” But grace was anything but cheap. It was costly. it doesn’t matter if you are a youth that doesn’t know better, or a seasoned youth worker that should know better. We all fail and we all need grace. It is

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“I want you to know that I haven’t always looked like this.

You see, there was a time when I was just clay. The Master came and He pounded me, and He pounded me so long and so hard. I said, “Let me alone; LET ME ALONE!” And He looked at me and He smiled and said, “Not yet.”

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“When you stop achieving long enough to think about it, our world is full of overexpecters. They are in every profession, most of the schools, many of the shops, and (dare I say it?) in all the churches…

Because nobody screws up enough courage to tell overexpecters where to get off, these things keep happening:

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Description
Just got this great teaching / sermon illustration for Zig Ziglar’s Newsletter. Would be great for a youth sermon or youth talk and addresses a common concern among today’s youth. Many are asking “What is my gift and how can I develop it and use it?” This illustration of a famous whittler provides a fresh perspective on gifts.

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“Years ago I got a sermon from a salmon.

Here’s how it happened. While riding on a ferryboat to Galiano Island in British Columbia, I struck up a conversation with Mr. Thompson, a dignified and friendly gentleman who served as the Chief Clerk for the City of Vancouver.

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I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed.
I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure.
I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, small

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By Carol Wimmer

When I say . . . I am a Christian
I’m not shouting “I am saved.”
I’m whispering “I get lost”
That is why I chose this way.

When I say . . . I am a Christian
I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble
and need someone to be my guide.

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Source unknown

A basketball in my hands is worth about $19.
A basketball in Michael Jordan's hands is worth about $33 million.
It depends whose hands it's in.

A baseball in my hands is worth about $6.
A baseball in Mark Mcquire's hands is worth $19 million.
It depends whose hands it's in.

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There is an old eastern story about a snake that lived on a path on the way to a famous temple in India.

Many people would walk along the path to worship, and the snake would often bite people with his poisonous bite.

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Attributed to Sharon L. Bowman, Lake Tahoe

An older boy named Joey, his dog, Buster, and his younger buddy, Brian, are standing on the lawn in front of Joey’s house. Joey turns to Brian and says boastfully, “I taught Buster how to whistle.”

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An adventurous youth was hiking through the German forest when he saw a dark opening in a cliff indicating a deep cave. With the excitement of adventure, the youth decided to go exploring. He carefully made his way into the opening and not too far from the entrance, he saw a flickering light in the passage far ahead. A typical

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A New Year’s Story by 
Hans Christian Andersen

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Stories, Quotes and Truths that reflect on the Meaning and History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Proclamation (Abraham Lincoln) – A few powerful words from Abraham Lincoln who, in the midst of the Civil War, in 1863, established the annual celebration of Thanksgiving.

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Thanksgiving Thoughts and Illustrations for Inspiration and Reflection

How to Observe Thanksgiving – Do you count your blessings or your crosses?

ABC’s of Thanksgiving – Thanksgiving is many things to many people. In this short poem, the author identifies something to be thankful for using each letter of the Alphabet.

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An Athlete’s Twenty-Third Psalm
By Teri Burton

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After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church’s preacher once again slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit, and gave a very brief introduction of his childhood friend. With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit to speak.

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Fact: As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% to the flying range than if each bird flew alone.

Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier when they are traveling

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I wrote this a long time ago in 2007 – “A Father’s Support

But recently a video has been getting attention on Youtube with a similar use of the story.

Here’s my original, followed by the Youtube video.

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In 1st Corinthians 9:24-27 Paul writes:

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A young teenage youth spent many hours building a little sailboat, crafting it down to the finest detail. He then took it to a nearby river to sail it. When he put it in the water, however, it moved away from him very quickly. Though he chased it along the bank, he couldn’t keep up with it. The strong wind

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“Little strokes fell great oaks.”–Benjamin Franklin

The February 1998 issue of Success magazine contains an excerpt from a story that the magazine printed 100 years ago. The article, “A single-minded Tom Edison,” contains an interview with Thomas A. Edison, the great inventor.

Here is part of the conversation Theodore Dreiser had with Edison:

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A while back I was reading about an expert on the subject of time management. One day this expert was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, he used an illustration I’m sure those students will never forget:

Posted in Object Lessons, Teaching Illustrations1 Comment on Managing Priorities

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A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years.
They had shared everything. They had talked about everything.
They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little
Old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had
Cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

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Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they traveled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others adorned the walls of the family estate. The widowed elder man looked on with satisfaction,

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Easter Holiday

Easter holiday is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ!
Jesus Christ, The Son of God bled and died for us in a sacrifice.

This spring day’s celebrated, generally in the month of April.
All of the bright and pretty colors, of the Easter outfits with frill.

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It was a dark and dreary day in 1916, a day well suited to the most brutally devastating rout in all of American football history.

One look at the two teams showed trouble ahead.

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Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep,
I too must sing, with joyful tongue,
That sweetest ancient cradle song,

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I enter the home of poverty and cause
pale-faced children to open wide
their eyes in wonder.

I cause the aged to remember
their youth… and to laugh.

I cause eager feet to climb dark stairways
with filled baskets, leaving behind hearts
amazed at the goodness of the world.

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LONG BEFORE the bright red suit, the rotund figure, and the flying reindeer, the mythical Santa Claus was a real person named Saint Nicholas.

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Author, source unknown

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

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Description
This Halloween mask related study encourages youth to take a look at the masks we wear everyday, not just on Halloween and to expose what is underneath to God so that he can transform us so that we reveal his glory!

Read the Poem “The mask I wear”
Author unknown

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Once upon a time there was a leafy tree in a field. Leaves grew densely on the tall branches. The roots were deeply into the ground. The tree was the most remarkable among the rest.

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God made
Adam bit
Noah arked
Abraham split
Joseph ruled
Jacob fooled
Bush talked
Moses balked
Pharaoh plagued
People walked
Sea divided
Tablets guided
Promise landed
Saul freaked
David peeked
Prophets warned
Jesus born
God walked
Love talked
Anger crucified
Hope died
Love rose
Spirit flamed
Word spread
God remained

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I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day,
And as my fingers pressed it still,
It moved and yielded to my will.

I came again when days were past–
The bit of clay was hard at last;
The form I gave it, it still bore,
But I could change that form no more.

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Once upon a time, there was a church staff looking for teachers for children and preschoolers and youth.

And some adults said, “I don’t want to leave the sweet fellowship and study in my adult class.” (But the drug pusher on the street said, “Not even the threat of jail will keep me from working with your children.”)

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A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his young son waiting for him at the door.

‘Daddy, may I ask you a question?’

‘Yeah sure, what it is?’ replied the man.

‘Daddy, how much do you make an hour?’

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Grandmas are for stories about things of long ago.
Grandmas are for caring about all the things you know…
Grandmas are for rocking you and singing you to sleep.
Grandmas are for giving you nice memories to keep…
Grandmas are for knowing all the things you’re dreaming of…
But, most importantly of all, Grandmas are for love.

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4 years old: My Mommy can do anything!
8 years old: My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!
12 years old: My Mother doesn’t really know quite everything.
14 years old: Naturally, Mother doesn’t know that, either.
16 years old: Mother? She’s hopelessly old-fashioned.
18 years old: That old woman? She’s way out of date!
25 years old: Well,

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“A small child waits with impatience the arrival home of a parent. She wishes to relate some sandbox experience. She is excited to share the thrill that she has known that day. The time comes; the parent arrives. Beaten down by the stresses of the workplace the parent often replies: “Not now, honey, I’m busy, go watch television.” The most

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A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived two hundred miles away. As he got out of his car he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing.

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A little boy was told by his doctor that he could save his sister’s life by giving her some blood. The six-year-old girl was near death, a victim of disease from which the boy had made a marvelous recovery two years earlier.

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Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 

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He carried His cross despising the shame
To the place of the skull, Golgatha by name
And there with two thieves, His friends’ hopes all lost,
Was man’s greatest error now hung on a cross

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The donkey awakened, his mind still savoring the afterglow of the most exciting day of his life. Never before had he felt such a rush of pleasure and pride.

He walked into town and found a group of people by the well. “I’ll show myself to them” he thought.

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Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out patients at the clinic.

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You may remember seeing cans of grocery items in your local store during the 1970s and 80s which had plain white and black labels. They were marked simply “Peaches” or “Peanut Butter” or “Soup,” and below that was a statement that the item was “suitable for its usual use.” The idea was that brand names were unimportant. Any can of

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I am giving you the ball son, and naming you the quarterback for your team in the game of life. I am your coach, so I’ll tell you straight.

There is only one schedule to play. It lasts all your life, but consists of only one game. It is long, with no time out and no substitutions. you play the

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I wonder if He grew impatient as He awaited word from His Father that now He might proceed. Surely it was a difficult thing for Jesus of Nazareth to work day by day in the carpentry shop, while daily He could see the suffering, the pain, the torment His people were living through, dying through, while He did nothing more

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A lthough things are not perfect
B ecause of trial or pain
C ontinue in thanksgiving
D o not begin to blame
E ven when the times are hard
F ierce winds are bound to blow
G od is forever able
H old on to what you know
I magine life without His love
J oy would cease to be

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The story of Valentine’s Day begins in the third century with an oppressive Roman emperor and a humble Christian martyr. The emperor was Claudius II. The Christian was Valentinus.

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A turtle family went on a picnic.. The turtles, being naturally slow about things, took seven years to prepare for their outings. Finally the family left home looking for a suitable place. During the second year of their journey they found it. For about six months they cleaned up the area, unpacked the picnic basket, and completed the arrangements. Then

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Watchman Nee tells about a new convert who came in deep distress to see him. “No matter how much I pray, no matter how hard I try, I simply cannot seem to be faithful to my Lord. I think I’m losing my salvation.” Nee said, “Do you see this dog here? He is my dog. He is house-trained; he never

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