Welcome to Albert's Sermon Illustrations

In this blog, I have collected many stories, quotes, jokes and ideas that I use regularly in my sermons.I have tried to put in the sources and origins of these illustrations. If I have missed some or gotten the wrong sources, please let me know. I will update them. Feel free to use these illustrations for the glory of God. If you have some illustrations that you like to contribute, kindly add them to my blog, so that I and others may benefit from them. God bless!
Reverend Albert Kang

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Carpenter

Once upon a time, two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side-by-side, sharing machinery and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch.

Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference and finally, it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox. "I 'm looking for a few days' work," he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?"

"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor. In fact, it's my younger brother! Last week there was a meadow between us. He recently took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll do him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence an 8-foot fence -- so I won't need to see his place or his face anymore."

The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you."

The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day -- measuring, sawing and nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.

The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all.

It was a bridge .. A bridge that stretched from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, handrails and all! And the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming toward them, his hand outstretched..

"You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done."

The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in middle, taking each other's hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder.

"No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother.

"I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but I have many more bridges to build."

True Friendship

In World War 1, an English soldier watched in horror when his lifelong friend fell under gunfire. All the soldiers had to retreat. The soldier  asked permission from the lieutenant to fetch his friend from the no-mans-land.

The lieutenant agreed but added: "It is hardly worth it. Your friend is probably dead and you may die too."

The soldier did not care about the warning and miraculously he did reach his friend, lifted him to his shoulders and stumbled back. He was wounded in the process.

The lieutenant helped them to safety and noticed the soldier's friend was already dead.

"I am sorry for your friend - but I told you it was not worth it. Your friend is dead and now you are also seriously wounded."

"I have to disagree with you, Sir. It was worth it", the soldier answered.

"What do you mean?" the lieutenant wondered.

"It was worth it", the soldier repeated. "When I got to my friend, he was still alive and said ´Jim, I knew you would never leave me.´ "

Friday, July 29, 2011

Alexander the Great and the Beggar

The story is told that one day a beggar by the roadside asked for alms from Alexander the Great as he passed by. 

The man was poor and wretched and had no claim upon the ruler, no right even to lift a solicitous hand. Yet the Emperor threw him several gold coins. 

A courtier was astonished at his generosity and commented, "Sir, copper coins would adequately meet a beggar's need. Why give him gold?" 

Alexander responded in royal fashion, "Cooper coins would suit the beggar's need, but gold coins suit Alexander's giving."

You Cannot Take Me! I Am Already Dead!

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7-8)

I have read how Dwight L. Moody told about a young man who was called to serve in Napoleon Bonaparte's army but didn't want to go. A friend volunteered to go in his place and was accepted as his substitution. Unfortunately, the friend was later killed in battle.

However, because of a clerical error the same young man was called up to serve again. "You can't take me. I'm dead. I died on the battlefield," he told the astonished officers.

After checking the records, the officers found documentation of his name and alongside it the name of the friend who died in his place. The case was presented to Napoleon who, after examining the evidence, said, "Through a surrogate, this man has not only fought, but has died in his country's service. No man can die more than once; therefore the law has no claim on him."

And that's exactly what Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did for you and me. He died in our place to pay the just penalty for all our sins so we could be freely forgiven and given the gift of eternal life. When we accept God's pardon, we will never have to pay the price for our sins because Jesus did that for us. He was our surrogate. 

Dick Innes

A Broken Anchor Line

A man on the California coast of the Pacific Ocean conceived the idea that a large cask, weighted down and anchored off shore, would serve as a good hiding place from which to shoot ducks, and so he rigged one up. He was rowed out to and deposited in his barrel.

So busy was he shooting at the evening flight of ducks that he failed to notice when the anchor line broke, and soon he was helplessly floating on the tide. A light wind blowing off shore sent him out to sea. A dense fog settled down with the darkness, and he feared he was lost.

When his partner returned to take him from the barrel, he surmised the man's fate and rowed out into the bay, firing his gun and shouting. At last the lost hunter was located and rescued from his perilous situation.

Many a man drifts away form the anchorage of right thinking and right living and is far on the way toward shipwreck and disaster before he appreciates his danger. Many are thus lost in the fog and darkness of doubt and sin, and will be lost eternally unless we go after them with the earnest purpose of rescue.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Old Woman And The Baby

Patricia Saint John wrote about Mary, an English nurse who at the time was working in a mission clinic in an Arab country. "One morning she and her assistant, Fatima, needed to travel eight miles to another village. They caught a bus that was going in their direction. But after a few miles, the bus driver passed their stop and kept on driving. The bus driver ignored the women's pleas to return to the road that led to their village. Mary became upset, but Fatima remained calm, recalling their morning prayers asking for God's guidance.

"Finally, the bus stopped at the foot of a hill, many miles from Mary's and Fatima's homes. At this stop, there was an old woman with a baby in her arms. She walked up to Mary and presented the baby to her. The poor child had a severe eye infection and needed immediate medical attention to save her eyes.

"Mary asked the old woman how she knew to find help here so far from the main village. The old woman replied that a man had come to her in a dream and told her that the English nurse would be waiting at the end of this road the next day. Mary and Fatima had made no plans to come anywhere near this village. They couldn't have anticipated that a rude bus driver would leave them many miles from their designated stop. Yet God had told this desperate woman where to find them. Mary treated the baby's eyes; within days the infection was gone. Later, Mary and Fatima had the opportunity to give their Christian testimony to many people in that village because of their meeting with the old woman and the baby."

Patricia Saint John in Finding God Between a Rock and a Hard Place, compiled by Lil Copan and Elisa Fryling (Wheaton, IL.: Harold Shaw Publishers, 1999), pp. 106-110. Cited on www.sermons.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Kite And A Bridge

Bridge builder, Charles Eliet, had a contract to build a suspension bridge across the Niagara River. One of the first problems he faced was how to stretch his first cable across the wide expanse of raging waters. If a boat tried to cross the river it would be swept over the falls. Eliet thought of a simple idea. If a kite could be flown to the opposite bank using a light cord, a stronger cord could be attached and pulled across, and then a stronger cord pulled across and so on until a cable could be attached and drawn across.

Eliet called for a kite flying contest and a young man named Homan Walsh succeeded on his second attempt. Charles Eliet's simple plan worked and the bridge was built.

In life some of us often feel we don't have a very important role to play. What we do seems so insignificant. It isn't so. Every Christian has an important part to play. It all adds up in the numerous "little things" we are called to do every day.

Jesus started spreading the gospel to the whole world by simply sending his disciples out two by two! So, never underestimate the importance of what God has called you to do. The important thing is to keep at it—day by day!

By Dick Innes

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hawaii Pronunciation

Morris and his wife Sherry were planning a vacation. They ended up in an argument.

"It's pronounced 'Hawaii', I'm telling you!" Sherry said.

"I never KNEW someone so stubborn! 'Havaii' is how it's pronounced!" he replied.

And so it went, all the way to the vacation. As they got off the airplane, they passed by a man. Morris abruptly stopped his wife and turned to the man to ask, "Now that we're on the island, you can settle an argument between my wife and me. Is this 'Hawaii' or 'Havaii?'"

"This is Havaii," the man replied.

"Ha!" the husband gloated to his wife. "See, didn't I tell you never to argue with me?"

As they began to walk away, Morris turned back and gave the man a hearty "Thank you!"

"You're velcome!" he called back.

Friday, July 22, 2011

An Old Donkey In A Dry Well

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quietened down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.

2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less.

Why Did You stay So Long?

At the close of World War II, Jimmy Durante, the famous comedian, was invited to entertain wounded soldiers at a veteran's hospital. He said he would be able to do only one very short routine as he had two radio shows to do that day.

The man who invited him was amazed when Durante didn't rush off but gave three complete routines.

"Why did you stay so long," the man asked, "you've probably missed your radio shows?" Durante answered, "Look at the men and you will see for yourself."

There on the front row were two men, each of whom had lost an arm, who were applauding by clapping their two remaining hands together."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

English Is A Very Tough Language

English is such a tough language to master. There are more exceptions to the rules than rules. It's no wonder there are so many blunders. We hope this creative copy from travel and dining brochures from around the world will put a smile on your face.

Italian Hotel Brochure:
This hotel is renowned for its peace and solitude. In fact, crowds from all over the world flock here to enjoy its solitude.

Polish Tourist Brochure:
As for the tripe served you at the Hotel Monopol, you will be singing its praises to your grandchildren as you lie on your deathbed.

Swiss Menu:
Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.

Spanish Hotel Ad:
The provision of a large French widow in every room adds to visitors' comfort.

Athens Hotel:
A superb and inexpensive restaurant. Fine food expertly served by waitresses in appetizing forms.

On the Menu:
Bowels in sauce. (Tripe!)

Chopped up cow with wire through it. (Shish-kebob)

Buttered saucepans and fried hormones - Japan

Cold shredded children and sea blubber in spicy sauce - China

Dreaded veal cutlet with potatoes in cream - China

Rainbow Trout, Fillet Streak, Popotoes, Chocolate Mouse - Hong Kong

Teppan Yaki, Before Your Cooked Right Eyes - Japan

Hong Kong Tailor Shop:
Ladies may have a fit upstairs.

Bangkok Dry Cleaners:
Drop your trousers here for best results.

Paris Dress Shop:
Dresses for street walking.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Giving Robbery A Bad Name

Some people have a tough time recognizing themselves as sinners. Joel Hunter tells of a friend who "once found himself in a conversation with a prison inmate who was serving time for robbery. My friend mentioned he recently read in the paper about a man who had robbed a house and killed the family. 'You know,' the inmate replied, 'it's people like that who give robbery a bad name.'

"When my friend remarked that he didn't know it had a good name, the prisoner explained that his kind of robbery wasn't so bad because he only stole from rich people and never harmed them. This is a guy who should be reminded of his own sinfulness every time he hears the metallic slam of the cell door, yet he can tell you with a straight face why he's not so bad. Although he could recognize sin in theory, he could not (or would not) see it in himself."

(from The Journey to Spiritual Maturity: The Challenging Road)

Amazing Forgiveness

In 1960, White police in South Africa attacked and killed 69 Black protesters in two minutes
The scene is a courtroom trial in South Africa. A frail black woman stands slowly to her feet. She is more than 70 years old. Facing her from across the room are several white security police officers. One of them, Mr. Van der Broek, has just been tried and found guilty in the murders of first the woman's son and then her husband. He had come to the woman's home, taken her son, shot him at point-blank and then burned the young man's body while he and his officers partied nearby.

Several years later Mr. Van der Broek and his cohorts returned to take away her husband, as well. For months, she heard nothing of his whereabouts. Then, almost two years after her husband's disappearance, Mr. Van der Broek came back to fetch her. How vividly she remembered that night. She was taken to a river bank where she was shown her husband, bound and beaten but still strong in spirit, lying on a pile of wood. The last words she heard from his lips as Mr. Van der Broek and his fellow officers poured gasoline over his body and set him aflame were, "Father, forgive them..."

Now the woman stands in the courtroom and listens to the confessions of Mr. Van der Broek. A member of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission turns to her and asks, "So what do you want? How should justice be done to this man who has so brutally destroyed your family?"

"I want three things," begins the old woman calmly, but confidently. "I want first to be taken to the place where my husband's body was burned so that I can gather up the dust and give his remains a decent burial."

She pauses, then continues. "My husband and son were my only family. I want, secondly, therefore, for Mr. Van der Broek to become my son. I would like for him to come twice a month to the ghetto and spend a day with me so I can pour out on him whatever love I still have remaining in me." "Finally," she says, "I would like Mr. Van der Broek to know I offer him my forgiveness because Jesus Christ died to forgive. This was also the wish of my husband. So, I would kindly ask someone to come to my side and lead me across the courtroom so I can take Mr. Van der Broek in my arms, embrace him and let him know he is truly forgiven."

As the court assistants come to lead the elderly woman across the room, Mr. Van der Broek faints, overwhelmed by what he has just heard. As he struggles for consciousness, those in the courtroom, family, friends, neighbors—all victims of decades of oppression and injustice—begin to sing, softly but assuredly, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me."

(Craig A. Smith, Sermon Illustrations for an Asian Audience, Manila: OMF Publishing, 2004)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Daughter-in-law Is Not My Daughter

Congratulating a friend after her son and daughter got married within a month of each other, a woman asked, "What kind of boy did your daughter marry?"

"Oh, he's wonderful," gushed the mother. "He lets her sleep late, wants her to go to the beauty parlour regularly, and insists on taking her out to dinner every night."

"That's sounds lovely," said the woman. "What about your son?"

"I'm not so happy about that," the mother sighed. "His wife sleeps late, spends all her time in the beauty parlour, and makes them eat take-out meals!"

A Glass of Milk

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.

Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it so slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?"

You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness."

He said ... "Then I thank you from my heart."

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Many year's later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes.

Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.

Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once.

He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won.

Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words ...

"Paid in full with one glass of milk"

(Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.

Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: "Thank You, God, that Your love has spread broad through human hearts and hands."

Origins:   The above-quoted account has been showing up in the snopes.com inbox since 2000. It has appeared in any number of collections of inspirational tales and self-help books, including Ruth Fishel's 2004 Living Light as a Feather: How to Find Joy in Every Day and a Purpose in Every Problem, Viola Walden's 1994 Pardon the Mess: A Collection of Family-Building Thoughts, Benjamin Blech's 2003 Taking Stock: A Spiritual Guide to Rising Above Life's Financial Ups and Downs, and John Mark Templeton's 2002 Wisdom From World Religions: Pathways Towards Heaven on Earth.

It is a well-traveled and much beloved tale. And yet, while at its heart it is a true story, it has been so greatly exaggerated that it is now only a caricature of itself, having been distorted in numerous ways to better tell the story of a doctor who wouldn't accept a fee for his services from a gal who once gave him a glass of

Dr. Howard Kelly (1858-1943) was a distinguished physician who was one of the four founding doctors of Johns Hopkins, the first medical research university in the U.S. and arguably one of the finest hospitals anywhere. In 1895 he established the department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at that school. Over the course of his career, he advanced the sciences of gynecology and surgery, both as a teacher and as a practitioner.

It is not his skills as a healer or accomplishments as a medical pioneer that concern us in this tale, though, but rather the account of a years-previous kindness repaid.

According to the biography written by Audrey Davis from knowledge she gained of the doctor through her 20-year friendship with him and through the notebooks and journals he left her upon his death (Dr. Kelly began keeping a diary at the age of 17 while in his junior year of college), the story of the bill paid in full by the glass of milk is true:

On a walking trip up through Northern Pennsylvania one spring, Kelly stopped by a small farm house for a drink of cool spring water. A little girl answered his knock and instead of water brought him a glass of fresh milk. After a short friendly visit, he went on his way. Some years later, that same little girl came to him for an operation. Just before she left for home, her bill was brought into the room and across its face was written in a bold hand, "Paid in full with one glass of milk."
However, it should be noted that while the story itself is true, it has been greatly embellished to make it a more touching tale. Dr. Kelly was never an impoverished student who ruefully eyed his last dime as hunger set in and he resolved to beg a meal at the next farm house. He was the scion of a relatively well-to-do family, and he did not have to work to put himself through school, let alone by peddling goods door to door. Over and above his education and living expenses, the young scholar received from his family a monthly allowance of $5 for pocket money, his biographer noting of his bank account in those days: "It is amazing how many items of necessity and pleasure those $5 deposits accounted for, and yet there was always an unexpended balance." On his 21st birthday, the future doctor received "checks for $100 from his father and from several aunts," which would have been considered astronomical sums in those days (1879).

The young man did not hold a job, in fact, until the age of 22 — upon being sent to Colorado Springs for his health (he stayed there for a year) and purchasing a horse for $40, he carried the mail for a week to relieve the regular mailman.

The future Dr. Kelly came to be tramping about the farmland and woods of Pennsylvania and put himself at that farm house door through his love of nature. His special joy was to hike great distances and study animals in the wild, and indeed he had been headed for a career as a naturalist until his father insisted during his final year of college (1877) that he "divert his talents into a field that offered greater certainty of a livelihood and promised fair financial return." Dr. Kelly did retain his interest in the natural world throughout his life, though, and so he continued to go on such walking trips.

On the day described in the "milk" anecdote, he hadn't been "ready to give up and quit," nor had he been experiencing a spiritual crisis that caused him to doubt the nature of man or God. Throughout his life Howard Kelly was a devout Christian whose faith was as natural to him as breathing. He was neither financially nor spiritually beaten down that day; he was merely a thirsty hiker who thought to ask for a glass of water at a farm he passed.

The Davis biography of Dr. Kelly contains no mention of the "glass of milk" girl's being "critically ill," of her local doctors being "baffled," or of her being sent to Baltimore because she had fallen victim to a "rare disease," as the much-embroidered version of the tale would have it. Indeed, nothing is said of her case to indicate that it was at all unusual, or that her life was in any way in jeopardy. Other than for Dr. Kelly's writing off her bill for that long-ago glass of milk, her case was not remarkable in the least.

As regards his writing off that bill, while Dr. Kelly did charge very high fees for his work (and "suffered extreme criticism" for it, says his biographer), he did so only with patients who could afford it, their payments underwriting the medical care he provided free-of-charge to the less fortunate. By his conservative estimate, in 75% of his cases he neither sought nor received a fee. Moreover, for years he paid the salary of a nurse to visit and care for those of his patients who could not otherwise afford such treatment, thereby providing them with both doctor and nurse without charge.

So, to sum up:

    Howard Kelly wasn't a destitute young scholar peddling goods door to door in furtherance of his dream of someday becoming a doctor and so was rescued from overwhelming hunger by a fortuitous glass of milk. He was a thirsty hiker out on one of his many rambles about the countryside to study wildlife. He asked for water at a farm house and was instead given milk.

    The girl who gave the milk to him later came to him as a patient, but likely not because she was dying or because her condition was unusual.

    Dr. Kelly wrote off her bill, but he did so with three of every four patients he treated.

Sunday, July 3, 2011



What is worship? Worship is to feel in your heart and express in some appropriate manner a humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe and astonished wonder and overpowering love in the presence of that most ancient Mystery, that Majesty which philosophers call the First Cause, but which we call Our Father Which Are in Heaven.

A.W. Tozer, quoted in D.J. Fant, A.W. Tozer, Christian Publications, 1964, p. 90.

To worship God is to recognize his worth or worthiness; to look God-ward, and to acknowledge in all appropriate ways the value of what we see. The Bible calls this activity "glorifying God" or "giving glory to God," and views it as the ultimate end, and from one point of view, the whole duty of man (Ps. 29:2; 96:6; 1 Cor. 10:31).
Scripture views the glorifying of God as a sixfold activity: praising God for all that he is and all his achievements; thanking him for his gifts and his goodness to us; asking him to meet our own and others' needs; offering him our gifts, our service, and ourselves; learning of him from his word, read and preached, and obeying his voice; telling others of his worth, both by public confession and testimony to what he has done for us. Thus we might say that the basic formulas of worship are these: "Lord, you are wonderful"; "Thank you, Lord"; "Please Lord"; "Take this, Lord"; "Yes, Lord"; "Listen everybody!"
This then is worship in its largest sense: petition as well as praise, preaching as well as prayer, hearing as well as speaking, actions as well as words, obeying as well as offering, loving people as well as loving God. However, the primary acts of worship are those which focus on God directly -- and we must not imagine that work for God in the world is a substitute for direct fellowship with him in praise and prayer and devotion.
James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, July 1986,  P. 15.

Neil Marten, a member of the British Parliament, was once giving a group of his constituents a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament. During the course of the visit, the group happened to meet Lord Hailsham, then lord chancellor, wearing all the regalia of his office. Hailsham recognized Marten among the group and cried, "Neil!" Not daring to question or disobey the "command," the entire band of visitors promptly fell to their knees!
Today in the Word, July 30, 1993.

True biblical worship so satisfies our total personality that we don't have to shop around for man-made substitutes. William Temple made this clear in his masterful definition of worship:
For worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose -- and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.
Warren W. Wiersbe, The Integrity Crisis, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991, p. 119.

Deeply immersed in meditation during a church service, Italian poet Dante Alighieri failed to kneel at the appropriate moment. His enemies hurried to the bishop and demanded that Dante be punished for his sacrilege. Dante defended himself by saying, "If those who accuse me had had their eyes and minds on God, as I had, they too would have failed to notice events around them, and they most certainly would not have noticed what I was doing."
Today in the Word, March 10, 1993.

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) was present at the Vienna Music Hall, where his oratorio The Creation was being performed.  Weakened by age, the great composer was confined to a wheelchair.  As the majestic work moved along, the audience was caught up with tremendous emotion. When the passage "And there was light!" was reached, the chorus and orchestra burst forth in such power that the crowd could no longer restrain its enthusiasm.
The vast assembly rose in spontaneous applause.  Haydn struggled to stand and motioned for silence. With his hand pointed toward heaven, he said, "No, no, not from me, but from thence comes all!" Having given the glory and praise to the Creator, he fell back into his chair exhausted.
Daily Bread, September 20, 1992.

Barclay quotes William Temple, the renowned archbishop of Canterbury, as defining worship as quickening the conscience by the holiness of God, feeding the mind with the truth of God, purging the imagination by the beauty of God, opening the heart to the love of God, and devoting the will to the purpose of God 
Matthew R. Mounce.

The citizens of Feldkirch, Austria, didn't know what to do.  Napoleon's massive army was preparing to attack. Soldiers had been spotted on the heights above the little town, which was situated on the Austrian border. A council of citizens was hastily summoned to decide whether they should try to defend themselves or display the white flag of surrender. It happened to be Easter Sunday, and the people had gathered in the local church. The pastor rose and said, "Friends, we have been counting on our own strength, and apparently that has failed. As this is the day of our Lord's resurrection, let us just ring the bells, have our services as usual, and leave the matter in His hands. We know only our weakness, and not the power of God to defend us." The council accepted his plan and the church bells rang. The enemy, hearing the sudden peal, concluded that the Austrian army had arrived during the night to defend the town. Before the service ended, the enemy broke camp and left.
Source Unknown.

I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. If it were possible for a created soul fully to 'appreciate,' that is, to love and delight in, the worthiest object of all, and simultaneously at every moment to give this delight perfect expression, then that soul would be in supreme blessedness. To praise God fully we must suppose ourselves to be in perfect love with God, drowned in, dissolved by that delight which, far from remaining pent up within ourselves as incommunicable bliss, flows out from us incessantly again in effortless and perfect expression. Our joy is no more separable from the praise in which it liberates and utters itself than the brightness a mirror receives is separable from the brightness it sheds. 
C.S. Lewis.

God seeks and values the gifts we bring Him--gifts of praise, thanksgiving, service, and material offerings. In all such giving at the altar we enter into the highest experiences of fellowship. But the gift is acceptable to God in the measure to which the one who offers it is in fellowship with Him in character and conduct; and the test of this is in our relationships with our fellow men. We are thus charged to postpone giving to God until right relationships are established with others. Could the neglect of this be the explanation of the barrenness of our worship? (Matt 5:24) 
G.C. Morgan.