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Sermon Illustrations


There are four ages of man: 1) when you believe in Santa Claus, 2) when you don't believe in Santa Claus, 3) when you are Santa Claus, 4) when you look like Santa Claus.

Babe Ruth had hit 714 home runs during his baseball career and was playing one of his last full major league games. It was the Braves versus the Reds in Cincinnati. But the great Ruth was no longer as agile as he had once been. He fumbled the ball and threw badly, and in one inning alone his errors were responsible for most of the five runs scored by Cincinnati. As the Babe walked off the field after the third out and headed toward the dugout, a crescendo of yelling and booing reached his ears. Just then a boy jumped over the railing onto the playing field. With tears streaming down his face, he threw his arms around the legs of his hero. Ruth didn't hesitate for one second. He picked up the boy, hugged him, and set him down on his feet, patting his head gently. The noise from the stands came to an abrupt halt. Suddenly there was no more booing. In fact, hush fell over the entire park. In those brief moments, the fans saw two heroes: Ruth, who in spite of his dismal day on the field could still care about a little boy; and the small lad, who cared about the feelings of another human being. Both had melted the hearts of the crowd. 

Ted W. Engstrom, The Pursuit of Excellence, 1982, Zondervan Corporation, pp. 66-67.

Middle age is the time when a man is always thinking that is a week or two he will feel as good as ever.

Don Marquis.

Age is no cause for veneration. An old crocodile is still a menace and an old crow sings not like a nightingale. 

Dagobert D. Runes.


Ted Williams, at age 42, slammed a home run in his last official time at bat.
Mickey Mantle, age 20, hit 23 home runs his first full year in the major leagues.

Golda Meir was 71 when she became Prime Minister of Israel.
William Pitt II was 24 when he became Prime minister of Great Britain.

George Bernard Shaw was 94 when one of his plays was first produced.
Mozart was just seven when his first composition was published.

Now how about this? Benjamin Franklin was a newspaper columnist at 16
and a framer of the United States Constitution when he was 81.

You're never too young or too old if you've got talent.
Let's recognize that age has little to do with ability.

United Technologies Corporation, in Charles Swindoll, Living  Above the Level of Mediocrity, p.104.

Seven Ages of Man

6 weeks--all systems go
6 years--all systems "No!"
16 years--all systems know
26 years--all systems glow
36 years--all systems owe
56 years--all systems status quo
76 years--all systems slow    

R.M. Cornelius in The Rotarian.

The seven ages of man: spills, drills, thrills, bills, ills, pills, wills.


"The Duration of Life"--from Grimm's fairy tales.

God originally determined 30 years as the ideal span of life for all animals, including mankind. The donkey, the dog, and the monkey considered it much too long, however, and begged God to reduce their years by 18, 12, and 10. Being healthy, vigorous, and somewhat greedy, the man asked to be given those extra years. God agreed, so man's years totaled 70. The first 30 are his own and they pass quickly. The next 18 are the "donkey years," during which he has to carry countless burdens on his back. Then come the "dog years"...12 years when he can do little but growl and drag himself along. This is followed by the "monkey years," his closing 10, when he grows rather strange and does things that make children laugh at him.

Grimm's Fairy Tales.


Interviewer: "I see your birthday is May 5, Ms. Beale. May I ask what year?"   Ms. Beale: "Every year."

Old timer to neighbor: "I've reached the age where the happy hour is a nap."


I am the springtime, when everything seems so fine.
Whether rain or sunshine, you will find me playing.
Days full of pretending.
When a dime is a lot to be spending.
A time when life is beginning.
I am the springtime.

I am the summer. When the days are warm and longer.
When the call comes to wander, but I can't go far from home.
When the girls become a mystery.
When you're barely passing history.
And thinking old is when you're thirty.
I am the summer.

And I am the autumn days. When changes come so many ways.
Looking back I stand amazed that time has gone so quickly.
When love is more than feelings.
It's fixing bikes and painting ceilings.
It's when you feel a cold wind coming.
I am the autumn days.

I am the winter. When days are cold and bitter.
And the days I can remember number more than the days to come.
When you ride, instead of walking.
When you barely hear the talking.
And goodbyes are said too often.
I am the winter...
But I'll see springtime in heaven,
and it will last forever.

From Seasons of a Man, Steve and Annie Chapman.

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