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Sermon Illustrations: Attitude


There once was a king who went hunting game with his friend. As the king shot the arrow, his thumb came off. His friend said, "Praise God because He's in control." The king was furious and threw his friend in gaol. Some time later, the king was hunting when he ventured into a distant land where he'd never been before. Suddenly he was surrounded by cannibals. They tied him up and were ready to cook him when they saw the hand with no thumb. "No perfect, no cookie," said the chief, and they let him go. He went back to his friend and apologised. "You were right. Not having a thumb saved my life." His friend said, "Praise God that I have been in gaol for so long." "How can you praise God?" asked the king. "If I hadn't been in gaol, I would have been hunting with you. And look: two thumbs."

Once upon a time a woman woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and saw that she had only three hairs on her head. "Well," she said, "I think that today I might braid my hair." And she did and she had a great day. The next morning she woke up, checked herself in the mirror and discovered that she only had two hairs on her head. "Hmm," she said, "Maybe I'll part my hair down the middle today." So she did and she had a fantastic day. The next morning she woke up, looked in the mirror and found that she had only one hair left on her head. "Well," she said, "Not to worry. Today I'll wear my hair in a pony tail." So she did and she had the best day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn't one single hair on her head. "Hooray!" she exclaimed. "I don't have to do my hair today!"

Two shoe salesmen arrived on an island. The first one looked around and saw that the natives wore no shoes. He thought, "Why'd they send me here? There's no market for shoes here!" The second one looked around and saw that the natives wore no shoes, and thought, "Wow! Everybody needs shoes - and the whole market is mine."

My Collection of Jokes, Quotes & Anecdotes

Two people can go to the same church. One can say, "There's no evangelism here. I'm going to a different church." The other says, "There's no evangelism here. And I'm just the one to get it going."

At the end of a beautiful day, round a college campfire, a blind girl gave thanks: "I've never been able to see the beautiful things you've all been giving thanks for, but then again, I've never had to see any of the awful things you've had to see. I've been blind from birth, but I thank God for my blindness. I've never seen anything. My eyes are virgin eyes. And do you know what their first sight will be? Jesus Christ! I'll see Him when He gives me my new body in heaven."

Back in 1979, speaker and author Dennis Waitley once found himself racing to catch a flight. He was on his way from Chicago to Los Angeles and had to board DC10 flight 191 to deliver a speech later in the day. But this time he didn't get there on time. Furious to see the gate agent lock the door just as he arrived, he pleaded with her to open the gate and let him board. She refused and fuming, Waitley left the boarding area to complain, but only twenty minutes later, the news came through that the plane he had missed had just crashed on take-off, killing all on board. Instantly, his anger and disappointment turned to shock, and later to gratitude. He left the ticket line and checked into a room at an airport hotel. He knelt beside his bed and then tried to get some sleep. Instead of returning the unused ticket for a refund, he decided to keep it and put it on his office notice board at home. It's a silent reminder, because every so often if he gets annoyed at something, his wife Susan leads him by the hand through to the notice board to take a look at his flight 191 ticket. Waitley says, "Every day is a gift to be lived to the full".

A man went to see his doctor. "Doctor," he moaned, "Everywhere I touch seems to hurt. Is there something seriously wrong with me? If I press my finger on my nose, I hurt. I touch my foot and I hurt! I press on my stomach next to my navel and that hurts too! What's wrong with me?" The doctor organised a full body X-ray. A while later, after carefully examining the X-rays, the doctor returned. "I think I?ve found the reason why everything you touch hurts," he said. "Well, what is it?" the man demanded. The doctor pointed at the X-ray. "Your body is fine, but your finger is broken."

A father had two sons. One was a pessimist and the other an optimist. He decided he'd really try them out to see how entrenched their natures were. So he filled the pessimist's room with toys and filled the optimist's room with horse manure. He went into the pessimist's room to find him sitting dejectedly on the floor. "What's wrong?" he asked. "Look at all these toys," said the boy. "Someone's going to have to put them all together, read the manuals. Then all the kids in the neighbourhood will want to come over." Then he went to see the optimist, and found him having a ball digging in the manure. "What are you doing?" he asked. "Well, I figure that with all this manure, there's got to be a pony in here somewhere."

A pastor said, "Say, deacon, a mule just died out in front of the church." The deacon answered, "Well, it's the job of you ministers to look after the dead. Why tell me?" The pastor responded, "You're right; it is my job. But we always notify the next of kin."

Residing in Gladstone, Bradley Harris Wolf at only 16 years old suffered from cerebral palsy and was totally unable to speak, dress, feed or in any way look after himself. He was in fact a highly intelligent person trapped inside a useless body. When he was only very little his father left because he couldn't cope. His grandparents have held down two jobs for years to help pay for his medical expenses. You'd think that if anyone had reason to regret their own birth and the way life had turned out, it would be him. But he doesn't wallow in self-pity and futile regret. In his book, Trapped By Silence, he describes the way he copes daily with his disability. It took him three painful years to write by holding something in his hand and tapping it out on a keyboard letter by letter. In it he continually expresses thanks to his family, his friends, and to God for what he describes as his blessed life.

Two frogs fell into a can of cream, Or so I've heard it told; The sides of the can were shiny and steep, The cream was deep and cold. "O, what's the use?" croaked No. 1, "'Tis fate; no help's around. Goodbye, my friends! Goodbye, sad world!" And weeping still, he drowned. But Number 2, of sterner stuff, Dog-paddled in surprise, The while he wiped his creamy face And dried his creamy eyes. "I'll swim awhile, at least," he said - Or so I've heard he said; "It really wouldn't help the world If one more frog were dead." An hour or two he kicked and swam, Not once he stopped to mutter, But kicked and kicked and swam and kicked, Then hopped out, via butter! T.C. Hamlet

An Indian fable talks about a mouse that was constantly in fear of cat. So one day, a magician changed the mouse into a cat. But then the cat was afraid of a dog. So the magician changed the cat into a dog. But the dog was afraid of a tiger. So the magician changed the dog into a tiger. But then the tiger was afraid of a hunter. Finally, in exasperation, the magician said, "Be a mouse again, you have only the heart of a mouse and I cannot help you."

When God measures a man, he puts the tape around the heart instead of the head.

Every day, an old man sat in his rocking chair with his granddaughter outside a petrol station, greeting tourists who passed through their town. One day, a man who seemed to be looking for somewhere to live asked, "So what sort of town is this?" "What sort of town do you come from?" the old man replied. The tourist answered, "Everyone criticises everyone. It's really bad." "That's just the way it is here," said the old man. A few days later, another man asked, "So what sort of town is this?" "What sort of town do you come from?" the old man replied again. The tourist answered, "It's great. Everyone gets along so well." "That's just the way it is here," said the old man. After the man left, the granddaughter said, "How come you told the first guy this was a bad place to live, and the second guy this is a great place to live?" "Because wherever you go, you take your attitude with you, and that's what makes it good or bad."


Attitude is the librarian of our past, the speaker of our present, and the prophet of our future.

Bad attitudes won't change your past, but they will mess up your future.

Can you face triumph and disaster and treat them both the same?

Adversity reveals our attitudes.

Get rid of stinking thinking and do a check-up from the neck up.

No one is unreachable as long as he is teachable.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond.

The no.1 problem in our country is apathy - but who cares?

Attitude is more important than aptitude.

Your outlook will determine your outcome. Your attitude will determine your altitude.

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Please note that all Scripture quotations, unless otherwise stated, are taken from the New King James Version ®.
© 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.