Sermon quotes on story

Chinua Achebe

If you don’t like someone’s story, write your own.



John Barth

Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story.



Frederick Beuchner

My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity, as I have long believed and often said, that God makes himself known to each of us more powerfully and personally. If this is true, it means that to lose track of our stories is to be profoundly impoverished not only humanly but also spiritually.

Telling Secrets


Frederick Buechner

Yet they meet as well as diverge, our stories and his, and even when they diverge, it is his they diverge from, so that by his absence as well as by his presence in our lives we know who he is and who we are and who we are not. We have it in us to be Christs to each other and maybe in some unimaginable way to God too-that’s what we have to tell finally.

We have it in us to work miracles of love and healing as well as to have them worked upon us. We have it in us to bless with him and forgive with him and heal with him and once in a while maybe even to grieve with some measure of his grief at another’s pain and to rejoice with some measure of his rejoicing at another’s joy almost as if it were our own. And who knows but that in the end, by God’s mercy, the two stories will converge for good and all, and though we would never have had the courage or the faith or the wit to die for him any more than we have ever managed to live for him very well either, his story will come true in us at last.


Neil Giaman

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.




C.S. Lewis

A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.



Brennan Manning

I have a word for you. I know your whole life story. I know every skeleton in your closet. I know every moment of sin, shame, dishonesty and degraded love that has darkened your past. Right now I know your shallow faith, your feeble prayer life, your inconsistent discipleship. And my word is this: I dare you to trust that I love you just as you are, and not as you should be. Because you’re never going to be as you should be.



Brennan Manning

To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God’s grace means.



Donald Miller

Good writers show rather than tell. Stories are told in action. Life stories are no different.



Toni Morrison

I believe one of the principle ways in which we acquire, hold, and digest information, is via narrative. So I hope you will understand when the remarks I make begin with what I believe to be the first sentence of our childhood-that we all remember –the phrase “Once upon a time…”




Blake MyCoskie

When you have a memorable story about who you are and what your mission is, your success no longer depends on how experienced you are or how many degrees you have or who you know. A good story transcends boundaries, breaks barriers, and opens doors. It is a key not only to starting a business but also to clarifying your own personal identity and choices.



Eugene Peterson

Stories are verbal acts of hospitality.



Eugene Peterson

When we submit our lives to what we read in scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God’s. God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find themselves.


Philip Pullman

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.


Marilynne Robinson

The truth to which all this fiction refers, from which it takes its authority, is the very oldest truth, right out of Genesis. We are not at ease in this world, and sooner or later it kills us.

Facing Reality


Andy Stanley

People who think they are better than other people haven’t taken the time to hear the stories of the people they think they are better than.


Howard Shultz

The merchant’s success depends on his or her ability to tell a story. What people see or hear or smell or do when they enter a space guides their feelings, enticing them to celebrate whatever the seller has to offer.

Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul, Rodale.

Penelope Stamp (Played by Rachel Weisz)

We’re gonna live like we’re telling the best story in the world. Are you ready?”

The Brothers Bloom 

Stanley Hauerwas

Saints cannot exist without a community, as they require, like all of us, nurturance by a people who, while often unfaithful, preserve the habits necessary to learn the story of God.

The Gesture of a Truthful Story” in Critical Reflections on Stanley Hauerwas’ Theology of Disability.

Vaughan Roberts

The Old Testament on its own is an unfinished story; a promise without a fulfilment. We must read on to the New Testament if we want to know what it really means. And the New Testament constantly looks back to the promise it fulfils.

Taken from God’s Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts. ©2003 by Vaughan Roberts.  Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove  IL  60515-1426. www.ivpress.com

James Wood

 Fiction does not ask us to believe things,” he points out, “but to imagine them.” “Imagining the heat of the sun on your back is about as different an activity as can be from believing that it will be sunny. One experience is all but sensual, the other wholly abstract”

How Fiction Works

Alfred Hitchcock

A Story is life with the dull parts taken out.

N.T. Wright

Many first-century Jews thought of themselves as living in a continuing narrative stretching from earliest times, through ancient prophecies, and on toward a climactic moment of deliverance which might come at any moment.

Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision, IVP Press.

Eugene H. Peterson

Being in God’s story does not mean passively letting things happen to us. It doesn’t mean dumb submission or blind obedience.

Every Step an Arrival, The Crown Publishing Group.

C.S. Lewis

The story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened.

Letter to Arthur Greeves, October 18, 1931.

Anthony De Mello

The shortest distance between a human being and the truth is a story.

G.K. Chesterton

It is a mark of the essential morality of fairyland (a thing too commonly overlooked) that happiness, like happiness anywhere else, involves an object and even a challenge; we can only admire scenery if we want to get past it.


Hélène Cixous

If we could see. If we could read the Letter. If, seated on high, amidst the authors of our destinies. we could read the book of our life. Which is written. Already written, finished. But we shall never know our story. We are only characters in it. And to think that there will be readers of our book.

Richard A. Horsley

There is power in bringing untold stories to light. The freedom to speak about the reality of suffering and death results in a freedom from denial.

Zora Neale Hurston

There’s no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.

William Maxwell

What we . . . refer to confidently as memory . . . is really a form of storytelling that goes on continually in the mind and often changes with the telling.

Walker Percy

Fiction doesn’t tell us something we don’t know, it tells us something we know but don’t know that we know.

William Shakespeare

Life’s but a walking shadow; a poor player. That struts and frets his hour upon the stage. And then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Macbeth Act V, Scene V

Daniel Taylor

One of the dearest indications of a flawed life story is its failure to give one the sense of purpose and conviction necessary to live life with an acceptable degree of optimism and resolve. A failed story no longer encourages the kind of life you feel it is important to live.

Michael Williams

Anyone who tells a story speaks a world into being.

N.T. Wright and Michael Bird

Stories, after all, are one of the most basic modes of human life and are a characteristic expression of worldview. Human life is constituted by a series of stories, implicit and explicit, that makes sense of experiences, and allows us to describe them in a coherent manner.

The New Testament in Its World, Zondervan Academic, 2019, p. 57.

Flannery O’Connor

We make our home by stories.

Gregory Spencer

I believe we all need to reframe our stories, at least parts of them, in order to heal, to discard lies, to move from partial truths to richer, fuller explanations, to see our lives as God sees them.

Reframing the Soul: How Words Transform Our Faith, Leafwood Publishers, 2018.

Marshall Ganz

The moral a story teaches is, fundamentally, to the heart.

Heather Box and Julian Mocine-McQueen

Personal storytelling—the kind that reveals who we are and what we care about—is the most potent and effective way to connect with the world around us.

How Your Story Sets You Free, Chronicle Books, 2019.

Parker J. Palmer

The marvellous thing about learning from a story is that a story never ends, so our learning from it need not end either.

The Active Life Harper and Row, 1990, p.98.

​​Frederick Buechner

[T]here are only two stories that make any difference—God’s story and the human story. We all are living out different versions of those two stories with an infinite number of variations. God’s story, or the story of God and man, is simple—God made the world and loved the world, the world got lost, and God has spent the rest of human history trying somehow to bring the world back to himself. That is the story of God and man as I think each one of us has experienced it. It’s really as simple as that and as complex as that.

The Remarkable Ordinary: How to Stop, Look, and Listen to Life, Zondervan, 2017.

William Shakespeare

“I long to hear the story of your life.”

The Tempest

Alisdair McIntyre

I can only answer the question ‘What am I to do?’ if I can answer the prior question ‘Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?’”.

After Virtue

Jerome Bruner

Stories are about the vicissitudes of human intention. Trouble is what drives the drama.

Peter Gruber

The first rule of telling stories is to give the audience—whether it’s one business person or a theater full of moviegoers—an emotional experience. The heart is always the first target in telling purposeful stories. Stories must give listeners an emotional experience if they are to ignite a call to action.

Psychology Today, Article: The Inside Story, March 2011.

Peter Gruber

Stories, it turns out, are not optional. They are essential. Our need for them reflects the very nature of perceptual experience, and storytelling is embedded in the brain itself.

Psychology Today, Article: The Inside Story, March 2011.

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