Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"The love of God did not protect His own Son. That was the proof of His love -- that He gave that Son, that He let Him go to Calvary's cross, though "legions of angels" might have rescued him. He will not necessarily protect us -- not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process."

--Elizabeth Elliot

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Darkness is not everywhere

"No my friend, darkness is not everywhere, for here and there I find faces illuminated from within; paper lanterns among the dark trees."

--Carole Borges

Our finest moments

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."

--M. Scott Peck
"There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit–immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of the kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously–no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinners–no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat, the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden."

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory.

Monday, March 29, 2010

When we go to God's throne, we find mercy and grace to help us in our time of need, because of the Cross.  Without the Cross, it is a throne of judgment, but the Cross of Christ makes it a throne of mercy. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Talk to Jesus about your temptations.  Every temptation is an opportunity to get closer to God.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Serenade for Strings, Mvmt. 2 by Tchaikovsky

Christ is our High Priest, representing us before God and pleading our case.  Nobody else can or will do it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sins isn't crumbs on your pants after dinner, something to brush off.  Sin is a stain.  We need a stain remover.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It happens to us all the time: we look to a dream, a vision, a goal, something we have wanted ... [to read the rest of this essay, click here].

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

God wanted you to go in a different direction

It happens to us all the time: we look to a dream, a vision, a goal, something we have wanted for a long time. Doors close; others open. Some doors open temporarily, then get shut; others are shut temporarily, then open. We get disappointed and even shocked at the things that do or don't happen, or don't happen the way we expected and hoped.

There's so many ways to go at those times, so many thoughts that can well up inside of us, expressing frustration and disillusionment. And one compelling thought keeps coming to the forefront.  At the time, the thought is unhelpful, but looking back, we see that it helps us gain a better perspective: God wanted you to go in a different direction.

It's not a easy answer, and it won't earn awards for how comfortable it makes us feel. Most of the time it's excruciating. But those of us who believe that Christ does have a plan for His glory and our good must repeatedly return to those words, eventually taking solace in them earlier and earlier in the grieving process: He wanted you to go in a different direction. He had another plan. He had a different and better plan.

If you have to say it as a mantra, now, and nothing more, then do it. Let it slowly sink in to the level of your worldview. But find some way to get it into your heart. God wanted you to go in a different direction. Let that thought make a difference, somehow, someway. In time, God will take the seed of that thought, and make it feel right, and give us eyes to see what He was up to in the first place, or at least the heart to more fully trust that He has our best interest at heart.

From the Outside by Fiona Joy Hawkins

"The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God."

--C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Think for yourself, and always encourage others to think for themselves. Hand-me down religion or mindless action is not healthy. If it doesn't add up, search for yourself and come to your own conclusions and convictions; let everyone be persuaded in his own mind.  Our pursuit of simplicity should never imply sloppy thinking.  God never asks for mindless followers; He asks us to think clearly and deeply about Him.  Think about it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Refuse to believe that you are entitled to anything. God does not promise anything in this life, except that He will be with us and will bring us home. He promises hardship to those who follow Jesus, and uses that hardship as training, to make us mature.  He asks us to leave our hands open to Him, so that He can give and take if and when He wills. He asks us to maintain an attitude of surrender. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes, and we bless Him either way, and rejoice that we are His servants and His children. We recall the slave block of sin, and live in gratitude for our rescue.  No matter what else we do or don't achieve or obtain in life, we rejoice in our redemption and place no claim on anything else. As His thankful servants, we require nothing but to serve.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

God is a refuge

"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us."

--Psalm 62:5-8

What would have followed

"Make your choice, adventurous Stranger;
Strike the bell and bide the danger,
Or wonder, till it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had."

--C.S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew

Follow Me by John Denver

"Show me a believer who has become both a lover and a doer of the truth, and I’ll show you one who has been rejected and persecuted by the entire lukewarm Church.  Rest assured, if you give up on this world, it will quickly give up on you."

--David Wilkerson

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"Affliction is the Christian's theologian. I never knew the meaning of God's Word until I came into affliction. My temptations have been my masters in divinity. No man, without trials and temptations, can attain a true understanding of the Holy Scriptures."

--Martin Luther

Friday, March 19, 2010

Visiting Virginia City, Nevada

With Helen Howell, Jenni Travis, and Katie Sitler

The battleground of character

"Character cannot be summoned at the moment of crisis if it has been squandered by years of compromise and rationalization. The only testing ground for the heroic is the mundane. The only preparation for that one profound decision which can change a life, or even a nation, is those hundreds of half-conscious, self-defining, seemingly insignificant decisions made in private. Habit is the daily battleground of character."

--Senator Dan Coats
"I will not offer to the Lord sacrifices that have cost me nothing."

--2 Samuel 24:24

Thursday, March 18, 2010

When God withholds a promised blessing for an extended period of time, it is to orchestrate the timing of events and mindsets, so that the blessing will be enjoyed as much as possible and so that God will get all the glory. And when God grants a promised blessing and then asks us to give it up again, it is to focus us on Him rather than on people, things, or statuses. Do not withholding anything from God: let Him give and take away as He wills, knowing that He is doing what is good and right for us, even when it hurts.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

True beauty

"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."

--Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
God calls us to create culture for His glory. We are not called to primarily critique or condemn culture, nor to copy and consume it. We are called to create and cultivate culture that is good, right, and beautiful.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Do it

"We believe the time has come for doing more fully what He has commanded us; and by His grace we intend to do it. Not to try, for we see no Scriptural authority for trying. Try is a word constantly in the mouth of unbelievers, ... far too often taken up by believers. In our experience, 'to try' has usually meant 'to fail.' [The Lord’s] command is not 'Do your best,' but 'DO IT.'"

--Hudson Taylor
"Christ died for God, and God was satisfied with Christ."

--Steve Camp

Monday, March 15, 2010

God is worthy of our relinquishing our rights, stepping aside. His salvation bought us from the slave block of sin so we could become slaves to Christ. We give up our so-called rights because we understand that we are people absolutely indebted to a redeemer, and we live in gratitude to Him for paying the ultimate price so we could be free. That freedom brings the responsibility to also lay aside our lives so that others may also know the freedom they can have in Christ. We speak of dreams and desires, but we make them subservient to our calling in Christ, and to the Lord's will.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Give God your emotions. Take your feelings captive to His Spirit.  Cry over what breaks His heart. Laugh because of the joy of the Lord.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

He made the pleasures

"Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden."

--C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters.
"Your judgment is either behind you or in front of you . . . and the hour has never been later than it is now."

--Source unknown

Friday, March 12, 2010


"The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope."

--Robert E. Lee
"The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope."

--Robert E. Lee

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What more can the heart desire?

"I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor--such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children perhaps--what more can the heart of man desire?"

--Leo Tolstoy, Family Happiness
Wake up, O sleeper,
Rise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.

--Eph. 5:14

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"Rise, heart
Thy Lord is risen."

--George Herbert

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"So, it becomes the devil's business to keep the Christian's spirit imprisoned.  He knows that the believing and justified Christian has been raised up out of the grave of his sins and trespasses.  From that point on, Satan works that much harder to keep us bound and gagged, actually imprisoned in our own grave clothes.  He knows that if we continue in this kind of bondage ... we are not much better off than when we were spiritually dead."

--A.W. Tozer

Monday, March 8, 2010

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living."

--Ps. 27:13

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March days

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."

--Charles Dickens
"We and the world, my children, will always be at war.  Retreat is impossible.  Arm yourselves."

--Leif Enger

Friday, March 5, 2010

"We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to create something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan."

--Romans 8:28, The Voice

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Our security and significance comes only from our right standing before God because of Christ alone.  The fact that we are human and God's handiwork does not give us our security and significance, since most of humanity ultimately chooses the wide path to destruction.  We are declared worthy and made worthy only because of the Cross.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

God is pursuing you--actively, intoxicatingly, irresistibly, patiently, lovingly, faithfully, joyfully.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Because we are made in God's image, to wrong a brother or sister is to wrong God.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Your Heart is a Kingdom

Over the years, a lot of people have told me they like to study people. I guess they sit and watch people, perhaps at a mall or the park, because those people seem interesting and humorous. I don’t know for sure, but I guess most of us [to read the rest of this essay, click here].