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

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Awesome photos of Africa

I wish I could be here!


Homebirth story


"The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me.  This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time.  It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself.  Instead, I think of myself less."

--Tim Keller, The Reason For God
A Christian Home


O give us home built firm upon the Savior
Where Christ is Head and Counselor and Guide
Where every child is taught his love and favor
And gives his heart to Christ, the crucified:
How sweet to know that through his footsteps waver
His faithful Lord is walking by his side!


O give us homes with Godly fathers, mothers,
Who always place their hope and trust in Him:
Whose tender patience turmoils never bothers,
Who calm and courage trouble cannot dim;
A home where each finds joy in serving others,
And love still shines, tho' days be dark and grim.


O Lord, our God, our homes are Thine forever!
We trust to Thee their problems, toil, and care;
Their bonds on love no enemy can sever
If thou are always Lord and Master there:
Be Thou the center of our least endeavor--
Be Thou our Guest, our hearts and homes to share.

--Barbara B. Hart

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rest

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."

--John Lubbock

Monday, July 12, 2010

"The look the Shepherd turned on her was very beautiful. 'Nothing my Father and I have made is ever wasted … and the little wild flowers have a wonderful lesson to teach. They offer themselves so sweetly and confidently and willingly, even if it seems that there is no one to appreciate them … All the fairest beauties in the human soul, its greatest victories, and its most splendid achievements are always those which no one else knows anything about, or can only dimly guess at. Every inner response of the human heart to Love and every conquest over self-love is a new flower on the tree of Love. Many a quiet, ordinary, and hidden life, unknown to the world, is a veritable garden in which Love’s flowers and fruits have come to such perfection that it is a place of delight where the King of Love himself walks and rejoices with his friends. Some of my servants have indeed won great visible victories and are rightly loved and reverenced by other men, but always their greatest victories are like the wild flowers, those which no one knows about.'"

--Hannah Hurnard, Hinds’ Feet on High Places

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Red hair

I was looking through some old family photos and was reminded that my hair was red when I was a baby. I have always loved red hair!




Friday, July 9, 2010

For You by John Denver

New adventures

Well, I got a new position at my company, this time working more with day traders.  It's interesting, being a stock broker, but I sense God using me even there, to bless my co-workers and everyone I come in contact with.  It's not where I'd prefer to be--I wish I were on a trip to somewhere like Botswana, but I hopefully will be on such an adventure very soon--but I praise the Lord for the open doors He has given me so far.  Pray that I can shine right where God has me now, and pray that open doors for missions will be coming very soon!

What Have I Done by Anna Ternheim

Things above

Let's keep our minds on things above!  http://rediscoverworldview.blogspot.com/

"Shall we beat a retreat, and turn back from our high calling in Christ Jesus; or dare we advance at God's command, in face of the impossible? .... Let us remind ourselves that the Great Commission was never qualified by clauses calling for advance only if funds were plentiful and no hardship or self-denial involved. On the contrary, we are told to expect tribulation and even persecution, but with it victory in Christ.

Friends, the task with all its attendant difficulties is enough to fill our hearts with dismay, if we look only to ourselves and our weakness. But the authority in our Master's command to go forward should fill us with joy and the expectation of victory. He knows our weakness and our lack of supplies. He knows the roughness of the way. And His command carries with it the assurance of all we need. Of course we want to be assured of our support! Who cares to go forward in any enterprise, secular or religious, unless he can be reasonably sure that it will not be dropped for lack of funds? Incomes are failing, men are losing employment and bank accounts are being wiped out. Do we, as Christian workers, want to be sure of support? Then let us not put our trust in men, or in any God-dishonoring methods of raising funds for the work. These are not certain enough. We have it on the highest authority that the promise is of faith, that it might be sure. The faithfulness of God is the only certain thing in the world today. We need not fear the result of trusting Him ..."

--John Stam (martyred missionary to China)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

"The preaching of the cross, the preaching of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on that cross, is the very heart and center of the Christian gospel and the Christian message. Put that in the center, place it in the front, proclaim it above everything else."

--D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"In His life, Christ an Example, showing us how to live;
In His death, He is a Sacrifice, satisfying for our sins;
In His resurrection, a Conqueror;
In His ascension, a King;
In His intercession, a High Priest."

--Martin Luther

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Great examples

In the past week I have seen a dozen or so examples of wives praising their husbands publically on websites, blogs, and Facebook.  Some of them almost to an extreme.  I don't know if it's "praise your husband" week or not, but I somehow doubt it.  I suspect these are just truly appreciative women expressing their gratitude for their husbands.

Thank you for demonstrating what it looks like when people are filled with the love of Christ and with a thankful, delightful spirit toward the beloved spouse God has given you.

What great examples!  Thank you as well for reminding us singles that there are good, caring, sweet people out there.
"Humble yourselves under God's mighty hand, so that He may lift you up when the time is right. Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you."

--1 Peter 5:7

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ordinary arts

"The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

--Thomas Moore

The best thing a man can do for his children

"The best thing a man can do for his children is love their mother."

--John Wooden

Convicting

"Proud people tend to speak of others' sins, the miserable delusion of hypocrites, the deadness of some saints with bitterness, or the opposition to holiness of many believers.

Pure Christian humility, however, is silent about the sins of others, or speaks of them with grief and pity. The spiritually proud person finds fault with other saints for their lack of progress in grace, while the humble Christian sees so much evil in his own heart, and is so concerned about it, that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts.

He complains most of himself and his own spiritual coldness and readily hopes that most everybody has more love and thankfulness to God than he."

--Jonathan Edwards

Feminism

"Feminism is mixed up with a muddled idea that women are free when they serve their employers but slaves when they help their husbands."

--G. K. Chesterton

Wait trustfully and quietly

"Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands."

--Elisabeth Elliot

I will simply love

"I will give you this, my love, and I will not bargain or barter any longer. I will love you, as sure as He has loved me. I will discover what I can discover and though you remain a mystery, save God's own knowledge, what I disclose of you I will keep in the warmest chamber of my heart, the very chamber where God has stowed Himself in me. And I will do this to my death, and to death it may bring me.

I will love you like God, because of God, mighted by the power of God. I will stop expecting your love, demanding you love, trading for your love, gaming for your love. I will simply love. I am giving myself to you, and tomorrow I will do it again. I suppose the clock itself will wear thin its time before I am ended at this altar of dying and dying again.

God risked Himself on me. I will risk myself on you. And together, we will learn to love, and perhaps then, and only then, understand this gravity that drew Him, unto us."

--Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz.

Another ordinary miracle

"It's not that unusual
When everything is beautiful
It's just another ordinary miracle today."

--Sarah Mclachlan, Ordinary Miracle

One little did

"All the woulda-coulda-shouldas
Layin' in the sun,
Talkin' 'bout the things
They woulda-coulda-shoulda done...
But all those woulda-coulda-shouldas
All ran away and hid
From one little did."

--Shel Silverstein
"Proud people tend to speak of others' sins, the miserable delusion of hypocrites, the deadness of some saints with bitterness, or the opposition to holiness of many believers.

Pure Christian humility, however, is silent about the sins of others, or speaks of them with grief and pity. The spiritually proud person finds fault with other saints for their lack of progress in grace, while the humble Christian sees so much evil in his own heart, and is so concerned about it, that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts.

He complains most of himself and his own spiritual coldness and readily hopes that most everybody has more love and thankfulness to God than he."

--Jonathan Edwards

Sunday, July 4, 2010

"The general state of Christianity is much more cultural than authentic. The advancement of the kingdom of God and His glory are scarcely embraced as the objects of our greatest passions. The pursuit of these treasures is no longer what we strive for. Christ is not Lord over all our lives. We have made ourselves our own masters.

Life gets confusing. What was to be our highest pursuit is lost as our minds and hearts become consumed with lesser issues. If our thinking and our power are our own, then possessions become property rather than objects of stewardship. At best, we give our leftovers to God and keep the rest, indulging ourselves in the full and free pursuit of personal pleasure …

There is a fascinating dynamic in all of this. We all know that our faith in Christ is not merely a matter of internal belief. If our conduct does not conform to that belief, then our belief can be called into question. The latter validates the former. It is almost impossible to live as Christ taught if we do not have a transforming belief that changes the way we live."

--William Wilberforce

Saturday, July 3, 2010

"Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands."

--Elisabeth Elliot

Friday, July 2, 2010

"Self is a tight lock. I see many decent sinners who are in spiritual prison because their self is on the throne of their hearts, and Jesus is on the cross. What liberation comes when Jesus cleanses their hearts with His blood and comes to the throne, and self goes on the cross!"

--Corrie Ten Boom

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Congrats to my parents

My parents just bought a new house in Narvon, PA, near Lancaster. Congratulations! I know the nice kitchen is going to be a real treat!  Can't wait to see you in a few weeks!



Bookshelves


"I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves."

--Anna Quindlen
"The times when life seems unmanageable to us are the times when we find out that God is truly good. His goodness is shown not just in blessing us with material comforts: houses, cars, television sets, vacations. His goodness shines through in the times when we are uncomfortable, when all of life seems to have gone crazy. One of the psalms we were able to recall, and even write down, in the jungle was the uplifting Psalm 100, including the line 'Serve the LORD with gladness' ..."

--Gracia Burnman, To Fly Again

Into summer

"And so the seasons went rolling on into summer, as one rambles into higher and higher grass."

--David Thoreau