Thursday, December 30, 2010

"In every generation, it was the church’s privilege to taste the Lord’s goodness and love; in all seasons, it was the church’s mission to celebrate and magnify this goodness in a foreign and hostile world."


--Owen Strachen and Doug Sweeney, Jonathan Edwards on Beauty: The Essential Edwards Collection, pg. 100.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"God is the ultimate musician. His music transforms your life. The notes of redemption rearrange your heart and restore your life. His songs of forgiveness, grace, reconciliation, truth, hope, sovereignty, and love give you back your humanity and restore your identity."

--Paul David Tripp, A Quest for More (Greensboro, NC; New Growth Press, 2007), 145.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Trying to do the Lord's work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you."

--Corrie Ten Boom

Friday, December 10, 2010

"None of our poor human explanations of life’s dark mystery can heal the hurt of baffled and tormented souls. Nothing can suffice but this — to see Love Incarnate taking upon itself the very worst that suffering and evil can do upon the earth, God going into action once for all against the powers of darkness, Christ reigning from the deadly tree, and making His victory there the pledge and the assurance for all the sons of men."

--James S. Stewart, Heralds of God, pg. 78.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"The key to change is continually returning to the cross. A changing life is a cross-centered life. At the cross we see our source of sanctification (Ephesians 5:25-27; Colossians 1:22; Titus 2:14). We find hope, for we see the power of sin broken and the old nature put to death. We see ourselves united to Christ and bought by his blood. We see the glorious grace of God in Jesus Christ, dying for his enemies, the righteous for the unrighteous. We see our hope, our life, our resources, our joy. At the cross we find the grace, power, and delight in God we need to overcome sin. If we don't come to the cross again and again, we'll feel distant from God, disconnected from his power, and indifferent to his glory — and that is a recipe for sin."

--Tim Chester, You Can Change (Wheaton, Ill.; Crossway, 2010), 127.

Monday, December 6, 2010

"It is of great importance to note that our theology (belief about God) and doxology (our worship of God) should never be separated. It is not possible to worship an unknown God. All true worship is a response to the self-revelation of God in Christ and in Scripture. Worship without theology is bound to degenerate into idolatry. Hence the indispensable place of scripture in both public worship and private devotion. It is the word of God which calls forth the worship of God."

--John Stott

Friday, December 3, 2010

After Prayers, Lie Cold

"Arise my body, my small body, we have striven
Enough, and He is merciful; we are forgiven.
Arise small body, puppet-like and pale, and go,
White as the bed-clothes into bed, and cold as snow,
Undress with small, cold fingers and put out the light,
And be alone, hush'd mortal, in the sacred night,
A meadow whipt flat with the rain, a cup
Emptied and clean, a garment washed and folded up,
Faded in colour, thinned almost to raggedness
By dirt and by the washing of that dirtiness.
Be not too quickly warm again. Lie cold; consent
To weariness' and pardon's watery element.
Drink up the bitter water, breathe the chilly death;
Soon enough comes the riot of our blood and breath."

--C.S. Lewis

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me:
Within thy wounds hide me;
Let me never be separated from thee.
From the wicked foe defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me
And bid me come to thee,
That with thy saints I may praise thee
For ever and ever. Amen.

--14th century prayer.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"What is the true cause of self-righteousness? How is it that such a poor, weak, erring creature as man can ever dream of deserving anything at God's hands? It all arises from ignorance. The eyes of our understandings are naturally blinded. We see neither ourselves, nor our lives, nor God, nor the law of God, as we ought. Once let the light of grace shine into a man's heart, and the reign of self-righteousness is over. The roots of pride may remain, and often put forth bitter shoots. But the power of pride is broken when the Spirit comes into the heart, and shows the man himself, and God. The true Christian will never trust in his own goodness. He will say with St. Paul, 'I am the chief of sinners.'-- 'God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.'"

--J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Luke, Vol. 2 (pp. 229).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see."

--Corrie Ten Boom

Friday, November 26, 2010

"God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars."

--Martin Luther

Thursday, November 25, 2010

"There is in each of us an envy; O how hard a matter it is to rejoice in the gifts, graces, and labours of others, and be content in circumstances, when God casts us by as unworthy, and uses others to glorify his name! We are troubled if others glorify God and not us or more than us, or if they are more holy, more useful, or more serious...We should be content to be abased and obscure provided Christ is honored and exalted."

--Thomas Manton

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"We're not talking so much, remember now, about advancing the gospel here as we are about defending ourselves against Satan. And you will never, my friend, you will never win the spiritual battles that come day by day against your formidable enemy unless you are seriously committed to that victory.

If you're just going to flop your way through your Christian experience, you will be a consistent loser. If you're content with all the loose ends of your life, all the little sins, if you're content with your infrequent interest in prayer, your infrequent interest in worship, your indifference toward great spiritual truth, if you're content with your small understanding of the greatness of God, if you're content with the sins in your life, you are an encumbered soldier, ill prepared for the battle, get ready to be defeated."

--John MacArthur

Monday, November 22, 2010

"It takes grace to give grace, takes hope to give hope, takes love to give love. I can give these to you because Christ gave them to me."


--Paul David Tripp

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"The nature of Christ's salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Savior from hell rather than a Savior from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness."

--A. W. Pink

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"'If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away; behold, the new has come!' (2 Corinthians 5:17). When you became a Christian, something amazing happens: you are a new creation. The power of God that made the sun and stars is focused down like a laser into your heart. God steps into the world, as it were, and creates all over again. We’re transformed, reborn, made new. 'For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ' (2 Corinthians 4:6). At creation God spoke a word into the darkness, and there was light. He spoke a word into the chaos, and there was beauty. And now again God speaks a word through the gospel. He speaks into the darkness of our hearts, and there is light. He speaks into the chaos of our lives, and there is beauty."

--Tim Chester, You Can Change.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"In every age, the man who has seen the risen Christ is the man with a mission; his true home is a missionary community; and God wills that through him others may be drawn into the fellowship."

--James S. Stewart, A Faith to Proclaim.

Monday, November 15, 2010

"God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way…The vision is not a castle in the air, but a vision of what God wants you to be. Let Him put you on His wheel and whirl you as He likes, and as sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision. Don’t lose heart in the process. If you have ever had the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you."


--Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Heaven is not here, it's There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for."

--Elisabeth Elliot

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Triumph, O my faith!
All things are Christ's, and Christ is God's, and God, Christ, and all things are thine.
Time is His, and in it I have my numbered years;
The air is His, and in it I breathe;
The world, and on it I dwell;
Its fullness, and I am fed;
Grace is His, and in it I stand;
Faith, and by it I overcome the world;
Tribulations are from Him, and in them I glory;
Perfection is His, and towards it I press;
Death is His, and by it I arrive home;
Heaven is His, and there is my mansion;
Eternity is His, and there is my treasure and glory."

--James Meikle, Solitude Sweetened

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

By night when others soundly slept,
And had at once both ease and rest,
My waking eyes were open kept
And so to lie I found it best.

I sought Him whom my soul did love,
With tears I sought Him earnestly;
He bowed His ear down from above.
In vain I did not seek or cry.

My hungry soul He filled with good,
He in His bottle put my tears,
My smarting wounds washed in His blood,
And banished thence my doubts and fears.

What to my Savior shall I give,
Who freely hath done this for me?
I’ll serve Him here whilst I shall live
And love to Him to eternity.

--Anne Bradstreet

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."

--Philo of Alexandria

Friday, November 5, 2010

"When the Bible speaks of ransom, it speaks of that ransom being paid not to a criminal but to the One Who is owed the price of redemption, the One Who is the offended party in the whole complex of sin — the Father. Jesus didn’t negotiate with Satan for our salvation. Instead, He offered Himself in payment to the Father for us. By so offering Himself, He made redemption for His people, redeeming them from captivity."

--R.C. Sproul, The Truth of the Cross.

Nature's peace

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."

--John Muir

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Here I raise mine Ebenezer; hither by Thy help I'm come; and I hope, by Thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, interposed His precious blood."

--Robert Robinson (1735-1790)

Monday, November 1, 2010

"O what a blessed thing it is to lose one's will. Since I have lost my will I have found happiness. There can be no such thing as disappointment to me, for I have no desires but that God's will might be accomplished. Christians might avoid much trouble if they would only believe what they profess, viz. [example], that God is able to make them happy without anything but Himself. They imagine that if is such a dear friend were to die, or such and such a blessing removed, they should be miserable, whereas God can make them a thousand times happier without them. To mention my own case, God has been depriving me of one blessing after another, but as every one was removed He has come in and filled up its place, and now, when I am a cripple and unable to move, I am happier than ever I was in my life before or expected to be, and if I had believed this twenty years ago I might have been spared much anxiety."

--Sharon James, Elizabeth Prentiss, More Love To Thee.
"I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well."

--Diane Ackerman

Friday, October 29, 2010

"It is the word of God alone which can first and effectually cheer the heart of any sinner. There is no true or solid peace to be enjoyed in the world except in the way of reposing upon the promises of God. Those who do not resort to them may succeed for a time in hushing or evading the terrors of conscience, but they must ever be strangers to true inward comfort.

And, granting that they may attain to the peace of insensibility, this is not a state which could satisfy any man who has seriously felt the fear of the Lord. The joy which he desires is that which flows from hearing the word of God, in which he promises to pardon our guilt, and readmit us into his favor. It is this alone which supports the believer amidst all the fears, dangers, and distresses of his earthly pilgrimage; for the joy of the Spirit is inseparable from faith."

--John Calvin, Commentary on the Psalms.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"There may be some foul spot in our lives; the kind of thing that the world never forgives, the kind of thing, at any rate, for which we who know all can never forgive ourselves. But what care we whether the world forgives, or even whether we can forgive ourselves, if God forgives, if God has received us by the death of His Son?

If we could appeal to God’s approval as ours by right, how bravely we should boast—boast in the presence of a world of enemies! If God knows that we are right, what care we for the blame of men? Such boasting, indeed, can never be ours. But we can boast in what God has done. Little care we whether our sin be thought unpardonable or no, little interested are we in the exact calculation of our guilt. Heap it up mountain high, yet God has removed it all.

'I know not,' the Christian says, 'what my guilt may be; one thing I know: Christ loved me and gave Himself for me.'"

--J. Gresham Machen, What Is Faith?

Monday, October 18, 2010

"There is great comfort for us in this thought that, however dim our conscious faith and the sense of our salvation, on the Lord’s side the fountain of grace is never closed, its connection with our souls never interrupted; provided there be the irrepressible demand for his presence, he cannot, he will not deny himself to us."

--Geerhardus Vos, Grace & Glory.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Think much of the Savior’s suffering for you on that dreadful cross, think much of your sin that provoked such suffering, and then enter by faith into the love that took away your sin and guilt, and then give your work your best."


--C. John Miller, The Heart of a Servant Leader.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"The things that crucify Christ and wreck the whole world are the common sins of every day — self-centeredness, pride, apathy, cynicism, slackness, unkindness, every temptation put in another’s path, every wasted opportunity, every pitiful compromise of which we are ashamed — these are the nails and the spear-thrust and the cross. And will anyone deny, with Jesus hanging there, that sin is the critical enemy, the most dangerous insatiable thing in the world, and that he personally needs to be forgiven?"

--James S. Stewart, A Faith to Proclaim.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1.

Now. Not five years from now when you are a better Christian. Right now. At this instant.

No. None at all. Not even a little. Zero. Gone. Poof.

For those in Christ Jesus. And only because we are in him. We provide everything that deserves condemnation. He provides everything that deserves acceptance.

This is the plain message of the Bible, because God not only does not condemn us, he also doesn’t want us feeling condemned. He wants us feeling freed. Nothing like no-condemnation to get us riled up for his glory!"

--Ray Ortlund

Friday, October 8, 2010

"Bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Take what I cannot give - my heart, body, thoughts, time, abilities, money, health, strength, nights, days, youth, age - and spend them in Thy service, O my crucified Master, Redeemer, God. Oh, let not these be mere words! Whom have I in the heaven but Thee? And there is no one upon earth that I desire in comparison to Thee. My heart is athirst for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?"

--Elizabeth Prentiss, Stepping Heavenward.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Grace binds you with far stronger cords than the cords of duty or obligation can bind you. Grace is free, but when once you take it, you are bound forever to the Giver and bound to catch the spirit of the Giver. Like produces like. Grace makes you gracious, the Giver makes you give."


--E. Stanley Jones

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Leave the things of time for the things of eternity
Choose the things of heaven o'er the goods of the earth
Obtain the hundred fold in the place of the one
And so possess a blessed and eternal life.

What a laudable exchange!
What a great and praiseworthy blessing!
What a laudable exchange!

Because of this I have resolved to always progress from good to better;
To be faithful in His service, to always progress from virtue to virtue;
To obtain the hundred fold in the place of the one
And so possess a blessed and eternal life."

--John Michael Talbot

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"I do not think that all who choose wrong roads perish; but their rescue consists in being put back on the right road. A sum can be put rightly: but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on. Evil can be undone, but it cannot ‘develop’ into good. Time does not heal it. The spell must be unwound, bit by bit, ‘with backward mutters of dissevering power’–or else not. It is still ‘either-or’. If we insist on keeping Hell (or even Earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell."

--C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

Friday, October 1, 2010

"Behind Calvary is the throne of heaven. And if we have seen God acting at the Cross with power and great glory, if to that conquering grace we have yielded up our souls in absolute, irrevocable commitment, then every suffering is transmuted, every despair is pierced through with hope; and bright against the dark background of the menace of the mystery of evil, we see the glory of the Kingdom that is to be."

--James. S. Stewart, A Faith to Proclaim.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"How dare you approach the mercy-seat of God on the basis of what kind of day you had, as if that were the basis for our entrance into the presence of the sovereign and holy God? No wonder we cannot beat the Devil. This is works theology. It has nothing to do with grace and the exclusive sufficiency of Christ. Nothing.

Do you not understand that we overcome the accuser on the ground of the blood of Christ? Nothing more, nothing less. That is how we win. It is the only way we win. This is the only ground of our acceptance before God. If you drift far from the cross, you are done. You are defeated.

We overcome the accuser of our brothers and sisters, we overcome our consciences, we overcome our bad tempers, we overcome our defeats, we overcome our lusts, we overcome our fears, we overcome our pettiness on the basis of the blood of the Lamb."

--D.A. Carson, Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Man is not converted because he wills to be, but he wills to be because he is ordained to election."

--Augustine of Hippo

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"My Dearest Lord, be Thou a bright flame before me, be Thou a guiding star above me, be Thou a smooth path behind me, be Thou a kindly shepherd before me, today and evermore."

--St. Columba

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"I am persuaded that love and humility are the highest attainments in the school of Christ and the brightest evidences that He is indeed our Master."

--John Newton

Monday, September 20, 2010

"This is a wise, sane Christian faith; that a man commit himself, his life, and his hopes to God; that God undertakes the special protection of that man; that therefore that man ought not to be afraid of anything."

--George MacDonald

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"God is the great reality. His resources are available and endless. His promises are real and glorious, beyond our wildest dreams."

--John Bertram Phillips

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"There is nothing that can take place towards a child of God but what our heavenly Father designs, in infinite love, for our spiritual advancement, and His own glory. We are to submit to His holy will, and believe that there is a 'needs be' for it.

The Lord loves His children too well to lay upon them the weight of a feather, without an absolute necessity, and without some wise and loving purpose. God deals wisely and graciously with us in all His varying dispensations.

If tears could be shed in heaven, we would weep that we ever mistrusted His goodness in His dealings towards us."

--Mary Winslow

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Jesus does not say, 'Come to me, all you who have learned how to concentrate in prayer, whose minds no longer wander, and I will give you rest.' No, Jesus opens his arms to his needy children and says, 'Come to me, all who are weary and heaven-laden, and I will give you rest.' . . . The criteria for coming to Jesus is messiness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy."

--Paul Miller

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"The marvel of marvels is not that God, in His infinite love, has not elected all of this guilty race to be saved, but that He has elected any."

--Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You."

--Jeremiah 32:17

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"A seed is useless until it is cast into the soil where it will die in order to become something greater-a plant, a flower, a tree. In the same way, my dedication to life at home as a mother is a seed of sacrifice. I give up my own desires and sacrifice my gifts and talents so that new life may come from me. I am buried in the rich soil of housework, homeschooling, character training, disciplining, and the myriad responsibilities of make a home. To many in my generation, my decision to stay at home is a fruitless sacrifice, a waste of feminine intelligence and abilities. To me, though, it is a small sacrifice if by it I may send my children into the next generation bursting with spiritual life, ready to change the world for Christ."

"If I want to be set apart for God's purposes, then I need to have an intimate knowledge of the God whose purposes I want to serve. The more I fellowship with him through prayer and reading his Word, the more clearly I will begin to know and recognize his will for my life. While other trusted believers may provide some needed wisdom or perspective, God's will is primarily a personal matter discovered through prayer, reflection on his Word, and daily obedience. God's will is not something hidden that needs to be found but, rather, something that needs to be done."

-Sally Clarkson, Seasons of a Mother’s Heart

Monday, September 13, 2010

"Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition."

--Jeremiah Burroughs

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved."

--Psalm 62:1–2

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction."

--Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Friday, September 10, 2010

"A Substitute has appeared in space and time, appointed by God Himself, to bear the weight and burden of our transgressions, to make expiation for our guilt, and to propitiate the wrath of God on our behalf. This is the gospel."

--R.C. Sproul, The Truth of the Cross.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"In our natural life our ambitions are our own. In the Christian life we have no aim of our own, and God’s aim looks like missing the mark because we are too short-sighted to see what He is aiming at."

--Oswald Chambers

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Thou art the Lord who slept upon the pillow,
Thou art the Lord who soothed the furious sea.
What matter beating wind and tossing billow
If only we are in the boat with Thee?

Hold us in quiet through the age-long minute
While Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill:
Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?
Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?"

--Amy Carmichael

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"The whole life of a Christian should be nothing but praises and thanks to God; we should neither eat nor sleep, but eat to God and sleep to God and work to God and talk to God, do all to His glory and praise."

--Richard Sibbes

Monday, September 6, 2010

"If you want God’s grace, all you need is need, all you need is nothing. But that kind of spiritual humility is hard to muster."

--Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

"God is to be trusted when His providences seem to run contrary to His promises."

--Thomas Watson

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I have done this!

This is my heart! I was here at Interface, in Papua New Guinea, several years ago. I know some of the people and was in many of the places shown in this video. Awesome! Go!

"My dear friend, when grief presses you to the dust, worship there."

--C.H. Spurgeon

Friday, September 3, 2010

"But the true idea of a home is that it is a place for growth. It is a place for the parents themselves to grow--to grow into beauty of character, to grow in refinement, in knowledge, in strength, in wisdom, in patience, gentleness, kindliness, and all the Christian graces and virtues. It is a place for children to grow--to grow into physical vigor and health and to be trained in all that shall make them true and noble men and women."

--J.R. Miller, The Family.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure:
Save from wrath and make me pure."

--Au­gus­tus Top­la­dy

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

BlondeStar commercial

"Nature was the first Scripture .... to be out in nature is to be near God."

--John O'Donohue

Spellbound by Emily Brontë

The night is darkening round me,
The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant spell has bound me
And I cannot, cannot go.

The giant trees are bending
Their bare boughs weighed with snow.
And the storm is fast descending,
And yet I cannot go.

Clouds beyond clouds above me,
Wastes beyond wastes below;
But nothing dear can move me;
I will not, cannot go.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"Behold, then, beloved, the high vantage-ground on which a saint of God stands, with regard to his hope of heaven. He stands 'outside' of his own righteousness, in the righteousness of another."

--Octavius Winslow

Monday, August 30, 2010

"Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
Who declares Your glory and shows forth Your handiwork
in the heavens and in the earth;
Deliver us, we beseech You, in our several callings,
from the service of mammon*
That we may do the work which You give us to do,
in truth, in beauty, and in righteousness,
with singleness of heart as thy servants,
and to the benefit of our fellow men;
For the sake of Him who came among us as One that serves,
Your Son Jesus Christ our Lord."

--"Prayer for One’s Calling," from The Book of Common Prayer.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Like a river glorious is God's perfect peace,
Over all victorious in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.

Hidden in the hollow of his blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a share of care,
Not a blast of hurry, touch the spirit there.

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love.
We may trust him fully all for us to do;
They who trust him wholly, find him wholly true.

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blessed,
Finding, as he promised, perfect peace and rest.

--Frances R. Havergal, Like a River Glorious.

Friday, August 27, 2010

"Paul and James both say that we should rejoice in our trials because of their beneficial results. It is not the adversity considered in itself that is to be the ground of our joy.


Rather, it is the expectation of the results, the development of our character that should cause us to rejoice in adversity. God does not ask us to rejoice because we have lost our job, or a loved one has been stricken with cancer, or a child has been born with an incurable birth defect.


But He does tell us to rejoice because we believe He is in control of those circumstances and is at work through them for our ultimate good."

--Jerry Bridges

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"The branch of the vine does not worry, and toil, and rush here to seek for sunshine, and there to find rain. No; it rests in union and communion with the vine; and at the right time, and in the right way, is the right fruit found on it. Let us so abide in the Lord Jesus."

--Hudson Taylor

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Visit with my family in Philadelphia, August 2010



"Whenever those things present themselves to us which would lead us away from resting in God alone, let us make use of this sentiment as an antidote against them, that we have sufficient cause for being contented, since he who has in himself an absolute fullness of all good has given himself to be enjoyed by us.

In this way we will experience our condition to be always pleasant and comfortable; for he who has God as his portion is destitute of nothing which is requisite to constitute a happy life."

--John Calvin, Commentary on the Psalms.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"It is finished! (John 19:30).

Has Christ perfected and completely finished all His work for us? How sweet a relief is this to against all the defects and imperfections of all the works which are wrought by us.

There is nothing finished that we do. All our duties are imperfect duties; they come off lamely and defectively from our hands. O, there is much sin and vanity in the best of our duties.

But Jesus Christ has finished all His work, though we can finish none of ours. And so, even though we are defective, poor, imperfect creatures in ourselves, yet we are complete in Christ. His complete obedience being imputed to us, makes us complete, and without fault before God."

--John Flavel, The Fountain of Life.

Monday, August 23, 2010

"All afflictions which tend to…bring the soul to God, keep up a life of communion with the Redeemer, make us sensible of the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit, spiritualize our affections, wean our hearts from a world from which we must soon part, and promote a more intimate acquaintance with that world in which we are shortly forever to dwell—are undeserving the name of afflictions! They are among the sweetest mercies of God! God removes earthly comforts—in order to make room for heavenly delights. He empties the soul of all creature-comforts—that He may fill it with Creator-mercies. We should embrace our afflictions, as affording the choicest proofs of divine love."

--Robert Hawker, "Zion's Pilgrim."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Only with the benefit of hindsight is it possible to see all the intricate details of God's plan working together for the good of his people. So also in our own lives, we may well have no idea what God is doing. He may seem hidden and remote, refusing to answer our prayers and to give us what we so earnestly ask of him. Wait! The end of our story has not yet been told, and who knows how the pieces of the jigsaw that at present seem to have no logical connection with one another will ultimately come together . . . sometimes [God's work] is a quiet faithfulness to his promises in the seemingly ordinary providences of life, bring about in the hearts of his people what he has purposed."

--Iain M. Duguid

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"Trust the past to the mercy of God, the present to His love, and the future to His providence."

--Augustine of Hippo (354-430).

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Dilemma wretched: how shall holiness
Of brilliant light unshaded, tolerate
Rebellion’s fetid slime, and not abate
In its own glory, compromised at best?
Dilemma wretched: how can truth attest
That God is love, and not be shamed by hate
And wills enslaved and bitter death—the freight
Of curse deserved, the human rebels’ mess?
The Cross! The Cross! The sacred meeting-place
Where, knowing neither compromise nor loss,
God’s love and holiness in shattering grace
The great dilemma slays! The Cross! The Cross!
The holy, loving God whose dear Son dies
By this is just—and one who justifies."

--D.A. Carson, Holy Sonnets of the Twentieth Century

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"No soldiers of Christ are ever lost, missing or left dead on the battlefield."

--John Charles Ryle (1816 - 1900).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Christians don’t think God will love us because we’re good, but that God will make us good because He loves us."

--C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"God, in his providence, has the power and the will to work all things together for good for his people. This does not mean that everything that happens to us is, in itself, good. Really bad things do happen to us. But they are only proximately bad; they are never ultimately bad. That is, they are bad only in the short (proximate) term, never in the long term. Because of the triumph of God's goodness in all things, he is able to bring good for us out of the bad. He turns our tragedies into supreme blessings."


--R.C. Sproul

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated; it will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be specially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us."

--C.H. Spurgeon

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"This hard place in which you perhaps find yourself is the very place in which God is giving you opportunity to look only to Him, to spend time in prayer, and to learn long-suffering, gentleness, meekness--in short, to learn the depths of the love that Christ Himself has poured out on all of us."

--Elisabeth Elliot

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Remembrance by Matt Redman

"How can God have mercy on sinners without destroying justice? What can it mean that God forgives iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by no means clears the guilty (Ex. 34:7)? How can a righteous and holy God justify the ungodly (Rom. 4:5)?

The answer to all these questions is found at the cross of Calvary, in Jesus’ substitutionary death for his people. A righteous and holy God can justify the ungodly because in Jesus’ death, mercy and justice were perfectly reconciled. The curse was rightly executed, and we were mercifully saved."

--Greg Gilbert, What is the Gospel?

Friday, August 13, 2010

"God is not a belief to which you give your assent. God becomes a reality whom you know intimately, meet everyday, one whose strength becomes your strength, whose love, your love. Live this life of the presence of God long enough and when someone asks you, 'Do you believe there is a God?' you may find yourself answering, “No, I do not believe there is a God. I know there is a God."

--Ernest Boyer, Jr.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"God's loving us is a means for our joyfully glorifying Him. . . . The love of God is not God's making much of us, but God's saving us from self-centered sin so that we can enjoy making much of Him forever.  And our love to others is not our making much of them, but our helping them to find eternal satisfaction in making much of God.  The only ultimate love is a love that aims at satisfying people in the glory of God.  Any love that terminates on man is eventually destructive.  It does not lead a person to the only lasting joy, namely God.  Love must be God-centered or it is not the greatest love; it leaves people without their deepest need and only hope."

--John Piper, Taste and See.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of."

--Tennyson

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Love, again, will dispose our hearts to submission to the will of God, for we are more willing that the will of those we love should be done, than of others. We naturally desire that those we love should be suited, and that we should be agreeable to them, and true affection and love to God will dispose the heart to acknowledge God’s right to govern, and that He is worthy to do it, and so will dispose to submission. Love to God will dispose us to walk humbly with Him, for he that loves God will be disposed to acknowledge the vast distance between God and himself. It will be agreeable to such an one, to exalt God, and set Him on high above all, and to lie low before Him. A true Christian delights to have God exalted on his own abasement, because he loves Him. He is willing to own that God is worthy of this, and it is with delight that he casts himself in the dust before the Most High, from his sincere love to Him."

--Jonathan Edwards, Christian Love As Manifested in the Heart and Life.

Monday, August 9, 2010

"As a bride adorned for her husband, goes forth of her bedchamber unto the marriage, so shall the saints go forth of their graves, unto the marriage of the Lamb.

Joseph had a joyful coming out from the prison, Daniel from the lion’s den, and Jonah from the whale’s belly – yet these are but faint representations of the saint’s coming forth from the grave, at the resurrection. Then shall they sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb, in highest strains; death being quite swallowed up in victory.

They had, while in this life, sometimes sung, by faith the triumphant song over death and the grave, 'O death, where is your sting? O grave where is your victory?' But then they will sing the same, from sight and sense; the black band of doubts and fears, which frequently disturbed them, and disturbed their minds, is forever dispersed and driven away."

--Thomas Boston, Human Nature in its Fourfold State.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

"That which hinders love to men, will hinder the exercise of love to God; for, as was observed before, the principle of a truly Christian love, is one. If love is the sum of Christianity, surely those things which overthrow love, are exceedingly unbecoming Christians. An envious Christian, a malicious Christian, a cold and hard-hearted Christian, is the greatest absurdity and contradiction. It is as if one should speak of dark brightness, or a false truth!"


--Jonathan Edwards, Christian Love As Manifested in the Heart and Life.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Do not lose heart about doing good, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not grow weary."

--Galations 6:9

Friday, August 6, 2010

"Oh, let me live in Thy realities,
Nor substitute my notions for Thy facts."


--George MacDonald

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"When we go to the cross, we see our God dying for us. If you let any other god down, it will beat you up. If you live for people’s approval or your career or possessions or control or anything else and you don’t make it or you mess up, then you’ll be left feeling afraid, downcast, or bitter. But when you let Christ down, he still loves you. He doesn’t beat you up; he died for you.

Let his love win your love, and let that love replace all other affections. The secret of change is to renew your love for Christ as you see him crucified in your place."

--Tim Chester, You Can Change.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"My soul is not at rest, there comes a strange and secret whisper to my spirit like a dream of night, that tells me I am on enchanted ground.

The voice of my departed Lord, “Go! teach all nations!” comes on the night air and awakes mine ear!

Why stay I here? the vows of God are on me, and I may no longer stop to play with shadows or pluck earthly flowers, till I my work have done and rendered up account.

And I will go; I may no longer doubt to give up friends and idle hopes and every tie that binds my heart to thee, my country.

Henceforth it matters not, if storm or sunshine be my earthly lot, bitter or sweet my cup, I only pray, “God make me holy and my spirit nerve for the stern hour of strife.”

Through ages of eternal years my spirit never shall repent that toil and suffering once were mine below."


--Nathan Brown, an 1800’s missionary.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"A Missionary was never designed by Jesus Christ to gather a congregation of a hundred or two natives and sit down at his ease, as contented as if every sinner was converted, while thousands around him are eating each other's flesh and drinking each other's blood, living and dying without the gospel. For my own part, I cannot content myself within the narrow limits of a single reef."


--John Williams, missionary to the South Sea Islands.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Julie with Susanna Harrold

"I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.

The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in
from this time forth, and even forevermore."

--Psalm 121

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hero

Great article on society's perspectives on courtship

“If the Lord be with us, we have no cause of fear. His eye is upon us, His arm over us, His ear open to our prayer--His grace sufficient, His promises unchangeable.”

--John Newton

Summer afternoon

"Summer afternoon-summer afternoon; to me these have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."

--Henry James

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Poetry

"Poetry may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate; for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves"

--T.S. Eliot

Beautiful reminder

I saw this picture and thought it was a beautiful reminder of two best friends delighting in each other and life together.  Good stuff.  Can't wait for my turn ...

Lamenting is Worship by Michael Card


What a blessing this video is! The rest of the videos can be found here.

The overwhelming does not overwhelm

"But God is the God of the waves and the billows, and they are still His when they come over us; and again and again we have proved that the overwhelming thing does not overwhelm. Once more by His interposition deliverance came. We were cast down, but not destroyed."

--Amy Carmichael

A Better Freedom by Michael Card

A matter of trust

"... It took a lot for you to not lose your faith in this world.
I can't offer you proof,
But you're gonna face a moment of truth.
It's hard when you're always afraid;
You just recover when another belief is betrayed ..."

--from Billy Joel, A Matter of Trust.
"But God is the God of the waves and the billows, and they are still His when they come over us; and again and again we have proved that the overwhelming thing does not overwhelm. Once more by His interposition deliverance came. We were cast down, but not destroyed."

--Amy Carmichael

Friday, July 30, 2010

"God is loving, but a major part of what He loves is His own perfect character, with a major aspect being the importance of maintaining justice and righteousness. Though God pardons sinners and makes provision for expressing His mercy, He will never negotiate His justice. If we fail to understand that, the cross of Christ will be utterly meaningless to us."

--R.C. Sproul, The Truth of the Cross

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"He endeavors to live according to God's will, to do the things that please God, to avoid the things that God hates. His aim and desire is to love God with heart and soul, and mind and strength, and to love his neighbor as himself. His wish is to be continually looking to Christ as his example as well as his Savior, and to show himself Christ's friend by doing whatever Christ commands. No doubt he is not perfect. None will tell you that sooner than himself. He groans under the burden of indwelling corruption cleaving to him. He finds an evil principle within him constantly warring against grace, and trying to draw him away from God. But he does not consent to it, though he cannot prevent its presence.

In spite of all short-comings, the average bent and bias of his ways is holy--his doings holy--his tastes holy--and his habits holy. In spite of all his swerving and turning aside, like a ship going against a contrary wind, the general course of his life is in one direction—toward God and for God. And though he may sometimes feel so low that he questions whether he is a Christian at all, in his calmer moments he will generally be able to say, with old John Newton, 'I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world--but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.'"

--J.C. Ryle

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"A calling is simply God’s shaping of your burden and beckoning you to your service to him in the place and pursuit of his choosing."

--Ravi Zacharias, The Grand Weaver.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I promised your hand in marriage to Christ, presented you as a pure virgin to her husband. And now I'm afraid that exactly as the Snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ.

--2 Cor. 11:2-3

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"God blesses us all up to the full measure and extremity of what it is safe for him to do. If you do not get a blessing, it is because it is not safe for you to have one. If our heavenly Father were to let your unhumbled spirit win a victory in his holy war, you would pilfer the crown for yourself, and meeting with a fresh enemy you would fall a victim; so that you are kept low for your own safety.

When a man is sincerely humble, and never ventures to touch so much as a grain of the praise, there is scarcely any limit to what God will do for him. Humility makes us ready to be blessed by the God of all grace, and fits us to deal efficiently with our fellow men. True humility is a flower which will adorn any garden."

--Charles Spurgeon, Morning & Evening, April 5

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The future is in God's hands

"The future is in God’s hands, not yours. God will rule it according to your need. But if you seek to forecast it in your own wisdom, you will gain nothing but anxiety and anticipation of inevitable trouble. Try only to make use of each day. Each day brings its own good and evil, and sometimes what seems evil becomes good if we leave it to God and do not forestall him with our impatience.

Be sure that God will grant you whatever time you need to reach him. Perhaps he may not give you as much as you would like for your own plans, or to please yourself under the pretext of seeking spiritual perfection, but you will find that neither time nor opportunity for renunciation of self and self-pleasing will be lacking. All other time is lost, however well spent it may seem. Be assured that you will find all such circumstances adapted to your real needs. In proportion as God upsets your own inclinations he will uphold your weakness. Do not be afraid; leave everything to him.

You will always find freedom in God so long as you do not give way to the false idea that you have lost your freedom."

--François Fénelon.
"The future is in God’s hands, not yours. God will rule it according to your need. But if you seek to forecast it in your own wisdom, you will gain nothing but anxiety and anticipation of inevitable trouble. Try only to make use of each day. Each day brings its own good and evil, and sometimes what seems evil becomes good if we leave it to God and do not forestall him with our impatience.

Be sure that God will grant you whatever time you need to reach him. Perhaps he may not give you as much as you would like for your own plans, or to please yourself under the pretext of seeking spiritual perfection, but you will find that neither time nor opportunity for renunciation of self and self-pleasing will be lacking. All other time is lost, however well spent it may seem. Be assured that you will find all such circumstances adapted to your real needs. In proportion as God upsets your own inclinations he will uphold your weakness. Do not be afraid; leave everything to him.

You will always find freedom in God so long as you do not give way to the false idea that you have lost your freedom."

--François Fénelon.

Friday, July 23, 2010

He wrote us into His story

"What I'm saying is I think life is staggering and we're just used to it. We all are like spoiled children no longer impressed with the gifts we're given--it’s just another sunset, just another rainstorm moving over the mountain, just another child being born, just another funeral." … "If I have a hope, it's that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically, into the story, and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you."

--Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.
"What I'm saying is I think life is staggering and we're just used to it. We all are like spoiled children no longer impressed with the gifts we're given--it’s just another sunset, just another rainstorm moving over the mountain, just another child being born, just another funeral." … "If I have a hope, it's that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically, into the story, and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you."

--Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Celebrate and magnify His goodness

"In every generation, it was the church’s privilege to taste the Lord’s goodness and love; in all seasons, it was the church’s mission to celebrate and magnify this goodness in a foreign and hostile world."

--Owen Strachen and Doug Sweeney, Jonathan Edwards on Beauty: The Essential Edwards Collection, pg. 100.
"God's love is relentless in its determination that we be cured of our sins, at whatever the cost to us or to Him."

--C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Every good thing we could think or desire is to be found in this same Jesus Christ alone. For he was sold, to buy us back; captive, to deliver us; condemned, to absolve us. He was made a curse for our blessing, sin offering for our righteousness; marred that we may be made fair.  He died for our life; so that by him fury is made gentle, wrath appeased, darkness turned into light, fear reassured, despisal despised, debt canceled, labor lightened, sadness made merry, misfortune made fortunate, difficulty easy, disorder ordered, division united, ignominy ennobled, rebellion subjected, intimidation intimidated, ambush uncovered, assaults assailed, force forced back, combat combated, war warred against, vengeance avenged, torment tormented, damnation damned, the abyss sunk into the abyss, hell transfixed, death dead, mortality made immortal.  In short, mercy has swallowed up all misery, and goodness all misfortune."

--John Calvin