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A few inspirational quotes, sermon illustrations, jokes and humor
from Christianity Today


Mountaintop Spirituality:  Extraordinary experiences are not to be sought after, stirred up, or in any way "worked for." Genuine ones are not in the realm of "our work" at all; they are objective and God-sent, not subjective and self-caused. Should a person desire them to the point of deliberately striving after them, he lays himself open to the greatest spiritual suspicion. He is manifestly desiring God's gifts, God's comforts, rather than desiring God. He is seeking excitement rather than the basic spiritual virtue of stability.  Gale D. Webbe, The Night and Nothing

Sex, Love, and Marriage:  The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union (the sexual) from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union. The Christian attitude does not mean that there is anything wrong about sexual pleasure, any more than about the pleasure of eating. It means that you must not isolate that pleasure and try to get it by itself, any more than you ought to try to get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again.  C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Justice:  The more you seek justice, the more you realize it always remains outside your grasp. Hence, figures like Augustine and [Jonathan] Edwards believed that if the world is to be enjoyed, it must be enjoyed in God, and if justice is to be realized, it must be granted to us with the gift of God's new world. Without God our hopes and we ourselves will remain diminished.  Miroslav Volf, in The Christian Century

Cross and Resurrection:  Grant, O Lord, that in your wounds I may find my safety, in your stripes my cure, in your pain my peace, in your cross my victory, in your resurrection my triumph, and a crown of righteousness in the glories of your eternal kingdom.  Jeremy Taylor, in The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers

Mercy:  A Christian cannot win God's forgiveness, but he can lose it by refusing to extend it to a brother.  John P. Meier, The Vision of Matthew

Walk Humbly:  Humility is facing the truth. It is useful to remind myself that the word itself comes from humus, earth, and in the end simply means that I allow myself to be earthed in the truth that lets God be God, and myself his creature. If I hold on to this it helps prevent me from putting myself at the center, and instead allows me to put God and other people at the center.  Esther de Waal, Living with Contradiction: Reflections on The Rule of St. Benedict

Discerning God's Will:  DISCERNING AND ACTING on God's will does not mean you'll never have difficult days or feel lousy sometimes. But choosing to live in alignment with God makes you more joyful, compassionate, and peaceful, even on bad days.  Debra K. Farrington, Hearing with the Heart

Wisdom for Ministry:  I HAD COME INTO the parish seeing its great potential as a learning center, a kind of mini-university in which I was the resident professor. And then one day, in a kind of shock of recognition, I saw that it was in fact a worship center... . Out of that recognition a conviction grew: that my primary educational task as pastor was to teach people to pray.  Eugene H. Peterson, The Contemplative Pastor



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