You're in limited preview mode.

Login or signup for free to unlock more content.

A Lesson from a Crash Landing

Preparation Heroism Obedience

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-04-27

Author: Illustration Exchange


 On January 15, 2009, US Airways flight 1549 collided with a flock of seagulls shortly after liftoff from La Guardia airport in New York City.  The birds congested both engines, causing them to fail and leave the pilots without any power to continue flying.  With only seconds to act, Captain Sullenberger contemplated a return to the airport, but realized they weren't going to make it. The only option was to ditch in the Hudson River. After following an emergency checklist with his crew, Sullenberger guided the plane down just beyond the George Washington Bridge and successfully landed in the river. An aviation expert later called it "...the most successful ditching in aviation history."

After an investigation, all were in agreement that Captain Sullenberger had done everything "by the book."  Had he made an error in judgment, or failed to follow the emergency procedures, it’s very likely that all 150 passengers and 5 crew members would be dead right now. But his preparation, experience, and determination to follow procedures, even with only seconds to act, turned him into a hero. 


God's Word equips us with the wisdom and knowledge we need to respond the right way when we encounter challenges and hardships. If we, like Captain Sullenberger, commit ourselves to operating "by the book," we'll be equipped to deal with life's challenges quickly and decisively, averting what could be serious consequences.

Superheroes All

Redemption Heroism New Birth

Source: “Superheroes movies like Avengers Assemble should not be scorned: From Superman to Batman, superhero films have much to teach us about faith and humanity,” THE GUARDIAN Film Blog, posted 4/19/12

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-08-27

Author: Illustration Exchange


With the Summer 2012 release of the latest superhero blockbuster movie--THE AVENGERS--one film critic thinks the action genre has more to offer than just great special effects:

“In our increasingly secular society, with so many disparate gods and different faiths, superhero films present a unique canvas upon which our shared hopes, dreams and apocalyptic nightmares can be projected and played out. Ancient societies had anthropomorphic gods: a huge pantheon expanding into centuries of dynastic drama; fathers and sons, martyred heroes, star-crossed lovers, the deaths of kings – stories that taught us of the danger of hubris and the primacy of humility. It's the everyday stuff of every man's life, and we love it. It sounds cliché, but superheroes can be lonely, vain, arrogant and proud. Often they overcome these human frailties for the greater good. The possibility of redemption is right around the corner, but we have to earn it.”


Ironically, it's in real life that we are presented with the possibility of being real superheroes—overcoming our “human frailties for the greater good.” It's true, our “redemption IS right around the corner.” But we don’t have to “earn” it—indeed, we can’t. Redemption has been earned for us through the completed work of Christ on the cross. We need only acknowledge, as this film blogger describes it, the “danger of hubris pride and the primacy essential necessity of humility in order to reach out and receive it, and BAM, POW, ZAP, we become a new creation in Christ, able to do ALL things through His power (Philippians 4:13).

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7, cf Colossians 1:14). 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Illustration Exchange

I Pledge Allegiance to the Savior

Devotion Determination Heroism

Source: "VETERANS DAY: NEVER FORGET THEIR DUTY" by Senator John McCain, November 10, 2002. Originally appeared in the November 10, 2002 issue of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-07-30

Scripture: Philippians 3:20

Author: Senator John McCain


Senator John McCain - American patriot, war hero, prisoner of war - recalls an incident of patriotism and heroism inside the Vietnamese prison camp, the 'Hanoi Hilton':

"Let me tell you what I think about our Pledge of Allegiance, our flag and our country. I want to tell you about when I was a prisoner of war. 

"I spent five years in the Hanoi Hilton. In the early years of our imprisonment, the North Vietnamese kept us in solitary confinement two or three to a cell.

"In 1971, the North Vietnamese moved us from these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to a room. This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change . . . and a direct result of the efforts of millions of Americans, led by people like Nancy and Ronald Reagan, on behalf of a few hundred POWs, 10,000 miles from home.

"One of the men moved into my cell was Mike Christian. Mike came from a small town near Selma, Ala. He didn't wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He later earned a commission. He became a naval flying officer and was shot down and captured in 1967.

"Mike had a keen and deep appreciation for the opportunities this country -- and our military -- provide for people who want to work and want to succeed.

"The uniforms we wore in prison consisted of a blue short-sleeved shirt, trousers that looked like pajama trousers and rubber sandals that were made out of automobile tires. (I recommend then highly; one pair lasted my entire stay.)

"As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners to receive packages from home. In some of these packages were handkerchiefs, scarves and other items of clothing. Mike got himself a piece of white cloth and a piece of red cloth and fashioned himself a bamboo needle. Over a period of a couple of months, he sewed the American flag on the inside of his shirt.

"Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike's shirt on the wall of our cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance. I know that saying the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important or meaningful part of our day now, but I can assure you that for those men in that stark prison cell, it was, indeed, the most important and meaningful event of our day.

"One day, the Vietnamese searched our cell and discovered Mike's shirt with the flag sewn inside and removed it. That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, called for Mike Christian to come out, closed the door of the cell and, for the benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple of hours.

"Then they opened the door of the cell and threw him back inside.

"He was not in good shape. We tried to comfort and take care of him as well as we could. The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which we slept and four naked light bulbs in each corner of the room.

"After things quieted down, I went to lie down to go to sleep. As I did, I happened to look in the corner of the room. Sitting there, beneath that dim light bulb, with a piece of white cloth, a piece of red cloth, another shirt and his bamboo needle, was my friend, Mike Christian.

"Sitting there, with his eyes almost shut from his beating, making another American flag.

"He was not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better. He was making that flag because he knew how important it was for us to be able to pledge our allegiance to our flag and country.

"Duty, honor, country. We must never forget those thousands of Americans who, with their courage, with their sacrifice and with their lives, made those words live for all of us."


Lt. Commander Michael Christian serves as a heroic example of dogged determination and allegiance to country and conviction. We should no less continually devote ourselves to dogged determination and allegiance to our glorious God.

"I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Savior for Whose Kingdom it stands. One Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again, with life and liberty for all who believe."

"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20).

The Ever-Present Man of Steel

Heroism Jesus, Savior Fact or Fiction?

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-07-09

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:51 ; Revelation 22:20

Author: Illustration Exchange

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

The Red Letters

Sacrifice Death Heroism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-06-16

Scripture: John 10:15

Author: Nietzsche / Illustration Exchange

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Daring Dad Dives for Drowning Toddler

Fatherhood Heroism Children

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2012-06-12

Scripture: Deuteronomy 6:4


This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

The Grunts of the City

Servanthood Heroism Reward

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-01-16

Scripture: Matthew 20:16

Author: Peggy Noonan

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

War Follows Soldier Home

War Spiritual Warfare Heroism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-12-26

Scripture: Ephesians 6:12

Author: Illustration Exchange

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Thank You for Lending Me Your Hero

Thankfulness Heroism Hope

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-11-16

Scripture: Matthew 5:3

Author: Shaun Usher, Editor, Letters of Note

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

The Great First Responder

Heroism God's Love Jesus' Sacrifice

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-09-29

Scripture: John 3:16

Author: Illustration Exchange

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or